Let’s start with the New Testament. According to the Military Historian C. Sanders, there are three tests of reliability for an historical document: bibliographical, internal, and external tests.
Test 1 Bibliographical test
This test examines how accurately the books of the Bible have been preserved over 2000 years. Historians measure this in two ways:
a. Number of manuscripts available.
There are over 20,000 copies of New Testament documents, or fragments of documents in existence today.
There are no originals of the NT documents in existence.
b. The time interval between the original and the extant (earliest existing) copy.
The earliest copy (extant) of any NT document is the John Ryland manuscript which is dated A.D. 130.
Homer’s Iliad has 643 manuscripts and is second in manuscript authority only to the New Testament.
So when were the New Testament books written?
William Albright, who was the world’s foremost biblical archaeologist, wrote:
“In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written by a baptised Jew between the forties and eighties of the first century A.D. (very probably some time between about 50 and 75 A.D.)”
What about the gap between the original NT documents and the earliest copies?
Sir Frederic Kenyon who was the director and the principal librarian of the British Museum and second to none in authority in issuing statements about manuscripts concludes:
“The interval between the dates of the original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”
“Computer analysis of all known NT manuscripts reveals only 0.1 percent variance. That means that 99.9 percent of the manuscripts’ contents are in perfect agreement.”
Test 2 Internal evidence test
The bibliographical test has determined only that the text we have now is what was originally recorded. What if what was recorded was a lie? Then all we have is a well-preserved lie.
So the question we need to answer now is: “To what extent is the written record accurate?”
Historians use two tests to determine how accurate an historical document is:
a. How near chronologically was the witness to the event?
b. How near geographically was the witness to the event?
People who were eyewitnesses, or who had received their information from eyewitnesses, wrote the New Testament documents.
Luke 1:1-4 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the Word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
2 Peter 1:16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
1 John 1:3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
What happens though if an eyewitness consciously or unconsciously tells falsehoods about what they saw? But there is further convincing internal evidence that what the New Testament writers recorded was truthful.
a. The documents about Jesus were circulating during the lifetime of those who saw Him.
Jesus caused a great stir politically and spiritually. He was a high profile person. People were writing down what He said and did. Some wrote to promote Him (e.g. John and Luke). Others wrote to accuse and convict Him (e.g. the Pharisees). If either side has written falsehood, it would have been quickly detected. In fact, those who were promoting Christ made appeal to common knowledge about Jesus.
Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”
Acts 26:24-28 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane”. “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.
Lawrence J. McGinley comments on the value of hostile witnesses in relationship to recorded events:
“First of all, eyewitnesses of the events in question were still alive when the tradition had been completely formed; and among those eyewitnesses were bitter enemies of the new religious movement. Yet the tradition claimed to narrate a series of well known deeds and publicly taught doctrines at a time when false statements could, and would, be challenged”.
What McGinley is saying is that hostile witnesses keep testimonies honest!
But there is further convincing evidence that what the New Testament writers recorded was truthful. The authors of the New Testament books were living when their books were circulating. If an author wrote a book and someone changed the content of the book during the lifetime of the author, who would be the first to know? The author. The fact that the authors of NT books were alive when their books were circulating was another strong factor working to preserve their validity.
b. The inclusion of records of human failures, doubts and fears in the Bible
If the incidents recorded in the Bible were invented or made up, surely many negative aspects of the lives of Christians would have been concealed? Will Durant writes:
“Despite the theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed – the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confession of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross. No one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character and teaching of Christ remain reasonably clear and constitute the most fascinating feature in the future of Western man” 7
The third test that historians use to determine the reliability of an historical document is the external evidence test.
Test 3 External evidence test
This is the third test historians use to test whether an ancient document is trustworthy. Historians ask the question: Do other historical documents confirm or deny the validity of the documents in question? In other words, are there other documents, other than the ones under analysis, which confirm the accuracy, validity, and reliability of the document in question? There are nine sources outside of the Bible, which confirm its validity.
a. Josephus, a respected Jewish historian and contemporary of the Apostles (A.D. 37-95)
‘Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ and, when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold, these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day’
A well-known Roman historian. Tacitus was born in A.D. 52. Among the many other things he wrote about the Christians he writes ‘Christ was their founder. He was put to death by Pontius Pilate, who was procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Caesar’
c. Suetonius (A.D. 69-130)
Also a well-known Roman historian. Suetonius was a court official under the emperor Hadrian, the one who built Hadrian’s Wall in Britain. He records that the Jews were making constant disturbances against Christ, so Hadrian expelled them from Rome.
The other four Roman historians who wrote about Christ are:
d. Lucian; (A.D.120 – 180)
e. Pliny (a Roman official); (A.D. 63-113)
f. Thallus (A.D. 50)
g. Serapion (A.D. 191-211)
Thallus tried to explain away the great darkness during the crucifixion, which even reached Rome where he lived and was still a talking point. He says it must have been an eclipse. But Julius, a Christian, pointed out that an eclipse is impossible during a full moon at the Passover.
And there are other sources.
Eusebius the historian, (A.D. 275 – 339) preserves the writings of Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis (A.D. 130). Papias reports that Mark was the interpreter of Peter the Apostle. Papias says of Mark “…[he] made no mistake, writing down … for he paid attention to this one thing, not to omit anything that he heard, not to include any false statement among them”. What Mark wrote down from Peter (who walked and talked with Jesus for three years), plus his own notes and memories, he used to write the gospel of Mark.
Irenaeus (A.D. 130 – 202), Bishop of Lyons, writes in A.D. 180 ”…Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Rome and founding the church there. After their departure [i.e. their death], Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter’s preaching. Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the Gospel preached by his teacher. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on his breast, himself produced his gospel, while he was living in Ephesus in Asia.”
Fulfillment of Prophecy
The OT contains 306 prophecies about Christ’s coming to Earth. Each one of them came true, literally, exactly as predicted. According to Professor Peter Stoner, the probability of all 306 prophecies coming true is a number greater than the estimated stars in known space.
Professor Stoner calculates the probability of just eight prophecies coming true. To visualise how big such a number is, follow the following. Cover NZ with 20-cent coins, one metre deep. Paint one of the coins red. Take someone up in a plane over NZ. Blind fold them. Put a parachute on them. Ask that person to jump from the plane at any time as it fly’s from one end of the country to the other. The probability that that person would land, still blindfolded, and pick up the one red coin is the same as the probability of just eight Bible prophecies coming true.
The ‘Ring of Truth’
In his book ‘The Ring of Truth’, J.B. Phillips tells of a radio interview he had with the distinguished classical scholar, Dr E.V.Rieu. Rieu was the scholar who translated
Homer into very Modern English for the “Penguin Classics”. Rieu was sixty, and a lifelong agnostic, when the same firm invited him to translate the Gospels. His son remarked: “It will be interesting to see what father makes of the four Gospels. It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels make of father.” The answer was soon forthcoming. A year later Dr Rieu, convinced and converted, joined the Church of England. When Phillips asked him, “Did you not get the feeling that the whole material was extraordinarily alive?” Rieu replied, “I got the deepest feeling. My work changed me. I came to the conclusion that these words bear the seal of the Son of Man and God.” Phillips concluded, “ I found it particularly thrilling to hear a man who is a scholar of the first rank, as well as a man of wisdom and experience, openly admitting that these words written long ago were alive with power. They bore to him as to me, the ring of truth.”
The eighteenth century French skeptic Voltaire boasted, “One hundred years from my day there will not be a Bible on earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker” while his works would be found in every household. But 50 years after Voltaire’s death, the Geneva Bible society purchased the infidel’s old home and moved in presses to print the Word of God! Two hundred years later, on Christmas Eve, 1933, the British government paid the Russian Government $AU1.3m for one copy of the Bible in Greek – Codex Sinaiticus. That same day a first edition of Voltaire sold in Paris for 11 cents.
 C. Sanders. Introduction to Research in English Literary History. MacMillan Company. New York. 1952. p143ff. cited in: Josh MacDowell. More than a Carpenter. p46.
 Josh MacDowell. More than a carpenter. Kingsway Publications. Eastbourne. 1989. p47.
 Paul Little. Know why you believe. Inter-varsity Press. 1988. p78.
 William F Albright. Christianity Today. Vol. 7. Jan.18,1963. p3. cited in: Josh MacDowell. More than a Carpenter. p43.
 Josh MacDowell. More than a carpenter. Kingsway Publications. Eastbourne. 1989. p48.
 Terry Hall. How the Bible became a Book. Victor books. London. 1990. p135.
 Dr E.K. Victor Pearce. Archaelogy; Evidence for Truth. Vol.2. Eagle Publishing. 1998. p158.
 Ibid, p158. Quoted from Josephus’ main work The Wars of the Jews.
 Ibid, p159.
 Dr E.K. Victor Pearce. Archaelogy; Evidence for Truth. Vol.2. Eagle Publishing. 1998. p158.
 Josh MacDowell, More than a carpenter. Kingsway Publications. Eastbourne. 1989. p54.
 Ibid, p55.
 Terry Hall. How the Bible became a Book. Victor books. London. 1990. p140.
 Dick Tripp. Did the New Testament Writers Get their Picture of Jesus right?. Published by Dick Tripp. Governors Bay, New Zealand. 1996. p22
 Terry Hall. How the Bible became a Book. Victor books. London. 1990. p142.
What about the Old Testament? Is there verifiable evidence that such ancient writings are accurate?
(Acknowledgment to pleaseconvinceme.com for this excellent article)
The Old Testament Has Been Archaeologically Verified
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Many of us are confronted by people who level criticism against the Bible concerning its historical reliability. These folks will generally say that there is a lack of evidence from outside sources confirming the Biblical record. And because the Bible is a religious book, many people take the position that it is biased and cannot be trusted unless we have corroborating evidence from extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt. People will NOT give the Bible the benefit of the doubt at all.
These same people don’t require this of other ancient documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. These other documents are considered to be accurate unless there is evidence to show that they are not. In other words, for ancient documents other than the Bible, people will always assume them to be INNOCENT of error until proven guilty, not the other way around! Although it may not be possible to verify EVERY incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archeology since the mid-1800′s have demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Biblical narrative. We know enough now to measure the reliability of the Scripture as a historical text, and the Bible DOES measure up.
The Ebla Discovery
For many years, critics of the Old Testament argued that the most ancient of Patriarchs (Abraham among them) did not contribute anything in writing to the scriptures. They basically claimed that Moses invented the stories found in Genesis (if Moses even wrote them at all!) They argued that ancient people of these times were too primitive to record documents with any detail. In addition, these same critics argued that there was no verification that the people and cities mentioned in the oldest of Biblical accounts ever really existed.
Well, the discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970′s has confirmed that the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs are viable. During the excavations of the palace in 1975, the excavators found a large library (in a royal archive room), filled with tablets dating from 2400 -2300 BC. Nearly 15,000 tablets and fragments were found, but when joined together they account for about 2,500 tablets. These tablets demonstrate that personal and location titles in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. For years, critics said that the name ‘Canaan’ was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible; that the term was never used at this time in history, proving that it was a late insertion and that the earliest books were not written in the times that are described. But in the Ebla tablets, the word “Canaan” does appear, contrary to the critics’ claim. The tablets proved that the term was actually used in ancient Syria during the time in which the Old Testament was written.
In addition, critics also claimed that the word ‘Tehom’ (‘the deep’ in Genesis 1:2) was a late addition demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. But ‘Tehom’ was part of the vocabulary at Ebla as well, in use some 800 years before Moses! In fact, there is a creation record in the Ebla Tablets that is remarkably similar to the Genesis account! In addition this, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (once thought to be pure fiction) are also identified in the Ebla tablets, as well as the city of Haran. This latter city is described in Genesis as the city of Abram’s father, Terah. Prior to this discovery, ‘scholars’ doubted the presence of the ancient city.
The Ebla discovery bolstered the Biblical account and it did this in several ways. First, it confirmed the locations of several ancient cities that had long been doubted. In addition to this, however, it confirmed the use of several terms and names hat had also been doubted. And finally, it confirmed that ancient people living in the city of Ebla, (only 150 miles from Haran) were eloquent and conscientious historians and authors. Critics had argued that ancient people of this time were NOT capable of intricate and detailed record keeping, but the Ebla Tablets prove otherwise. It is well within reason to believe that Abraham recorded detailed accounts of his life and his family and that these records were used later by Moses to write the account we presently have in the Book of Genesis.
Other Ancient Confirmation
In addition to the Ebla Tablets, other archaeological findings have also confirmed the ancient truth and customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs. These cultural customs have been confirmed in clay tablets found in digs in the cities of Nuzi and Mari. In addition to these, archaeological digs in the city of Bogazkoy, Turkey have confirmed the existence of the Hittites who were once thought to be a Biblical legend (until their capital and records were discovered)! In a similar way, many thought the Biblical references to Solomon’s wealth were greatly exaggerated. But recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon’s prosperity is now considered to be entirely feasible.
“Scholars” have also claimed that there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, (because this name was not known in any other record). But archeology once again proved the Biblical account to be true. Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls! What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.
Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was another historic king who was doubted by critics. Belshazzar is named in Daniel 5, but according to the non-Biblical historic record, the last king of Babylon was Nabonidus. Tablets have been found, however, that reveal that Belshazzar was Nabonidus’ son and Belshazzar served as coregent in Babylon. If this is the case, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel ‘third highest ruler in the kingdom’ (as recorded in Daniel 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, and this would have been the highest available position. Here, once again we see the ‘eye-witness’ nature of the Biblical record has been confirmed by archaeology.
But it’s not just kings and well known figures who have been verified by archeology over the years! There are thousands of ‘lesser known’ and relatively unimportant characters in the Bible who could easily be overlooked if not for the fact that archeology continues to verify them. One such person is Nebo-Sarsekim. Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned in the Bible in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah. According to Jeremiah, this man was Nebuchadnezzar II’s “chief officer” and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when the Babylonians overran the city. Many skeptics have doubted this claim, but in July of 2007, Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, discovered Nebo-Sarsekim’s name (Nabu-sharrussu-ukin) written on an Assyrian cuneiform tablet! This tablet was used as a receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin’s payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon, and it described Nebo-Sarsekim as “the chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon. The tablet is dated to the 10th year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of Jerusalem, once again verifying the dating and record of the Bible!
Another “lessor known” Biblical character (or family in this case) has also been confirmed archaeologically. In January of 2008, archaeologists discovered a stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple (and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia). The seal was uncovered in an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem’s City of David. It was 2,500 years old at the time of its discovery, and it contained the name “Temech” engraved on its surface. It was discovered amid stratified debris in an excavation just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate. According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were exiled to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Nehemiah lists them among many other families in Nehemiah 7:6, 46, 55: “These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city…The Nethinim … The children of Temech.” The seal of one of the members of the Temech family was discovered just dozens of meters away from the Opel area, where the servants of the Temple, or “Nethinim,” lived in the time of Nehemiah.
Archeology has confirmed more than individuals and people groups found in the Old Testament. Over and over again, archeology has confirmed historical facts that were once doubted by the “experts”. As an example, historians once doubted the historicity of Nehemiah’s account of the restoration of Jerusalem that is found in the Bible. Nehemiah lived during the period when Judah was a province of the Persian Empire, and he arrived in Jerusalem as governor in 445 BC. With the permission of the Persian king, he decided to rebuild and restore the city after the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians (which occurred a century earlier, in 586 BC). The Book of Nehemiah records the completion of this wall in just 52 days, and many historians did not believe this to be true, since the wall itself was never discovered. But in November of 2007, the remnants of the wall were uncovered in an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David, strengthening recent claims that King David’s palace was also found at the site. Experts now agree that the wall has been discovered along with the palace and once again the Old Testament has been verified.
They Recorded A Flood Too!
But of all the Biblical historical accounts, perhaps the most doubted has been the Biblical account of the Flood (as described in Genesis 6-9). Well, it just so happens that the most doubted event is also the most archaeologically documented. A number of Babylonian documents have been discovered which describe the same flood. The Sumerian King List, for example, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time. Then a great flood came. Following the flood, this Babylonian document records that Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time. This just so happens to be the same pattern that is found in the Bible. Men had long life spans before the flood and shorter life spans after the flood. In addition, the 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.
And be aware of the fact that flood stories have been discovered among nearly ALL nations and tribes. Though most common on the Asian mainland, the islands immediately south of the continent and on the North American continent, they have been found on ALL the continents. There are approximately 270 known Flood stories. Although these traditions have been modified through the ages and some have taken on fantastic elements, most of them have certain basic elements in common:
88% of them single out a favored individual or family.
70% point to survival due to a boat.
66% see the Flood coming as a result of human wickedness.
67% speak of animals saved along with human beings.
57 % record that the survivors end up on a mountain.
66% indicate that the hero receives warning of the coming catastrophe.
Critics sometimes claim that these flood stories came from recent contact with Christian missionaries, but this claim will not stand up; most of the stories were gathered and documented by anthropologists who were uninterested in confirming the truth of the Bible. In addition to this, these common tales of a worldwide flood are filled with fanciful and pagan elements, evidently the result of the telling and re-telling of the story for extended periods of time in a non-Biblical society. It should also be noted that the ancient accounts were written by people who very much opposed the Hebrew-Christian tradition.
There Are Other Common Historical Accounts
In addition to the flood story, there are other non-Biblical accounts that record events that are also found in the Bible. The Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). This account records a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and ‘scattered them abroad and made strange their speech.’
And There’s a Whole Lot More!
In addition to all of this, there are many Biblical events that have now been confirmed by extra-Biblical sources. There are so many examples of Biblical confirmation, in fact, that it would be ridiculous to try to list it all in a single webpage. Volumes of books have already been written. But, let’s just take a look at a few examples:
The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak
(1 Kings 14:25-26) is recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.
The revolt of Moab against Israel
(2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27) is recorded on the Mesha Inscription.
The fall of Samaria
(2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, is recorded on his palace walls.
The defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II
(Isaiah 20:1) is recorded on his palace walls.
The campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah
(2 Kings 18:13-16) is recorded on the Taylor Prism.
The siege of Lachish by Sennacherib
(2 Kings 18:14, 17) is recorded on the Lachish reliefs.
The assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons
(2 Kings 19:37) is recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.
The fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah
(2 Kings 2:13-15) is recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.
The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon
(2 Kings 24:10-14) is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.
The captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon
(2 Kings 24:15-16) is recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.
The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians
(Daniel 5:30-31) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
The freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great
(Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
Have They Been Fair?
For years, critics of the Biblical account have doubted its reliability, not because there existed archaeological evidence that DISPROVED its claims, but simply because there was no discovered archaeological evidence found to SUBSTANTIATE its claims. In essence, because there was nothing to prove the Bible innocent, they simply assumed it was guilty of a lie. Is that really fair? Even now, critics will admit that much of what has been written in the Bible has been confirmed archaeologically, yet these same critics will continue to argue that extra-Biblical confirmation of SOME of the Bible does not constitute confirmation of ALL of the Bible. Of course that is true. But with so much confirmation in the archaeological record, why must the critics assume the Bible is lying first, until forced to admit the truth under the pressure of an ever increasing body of archaeological evidence? Why must the Bible be guilty until proven innocent?
Perhaps it is because the Bible, unlike secular records and histories, not only tells a tale of an ancient people, but also tells a tale of an ancient God who has a purpose for our lives and an expectation that accompanies this purpose. Are the critics of the Bible uncomfortable with the Biblical history, or are they simply uncomfortable with the Biblical God of accountability?
Thanks to www.pleaseconvinceme.com for this latter article on the Old Testiment.