How Do We Know the Bible Is True? Part 2

Another evidence that the Bible is true comes from archaeology. Ironically, skeptics for years said the Bible was not true because there was no corroborating evidence for many of the places, people, or events in the Biblical accounts. It is the same absence-of-evidence argument that atheists today use about God’s existence.

During the cross-examination phase of the recent Hitchens/Lane debate about the existence of God, Dr. Lane asked, Would you agree that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence? Mr. Hitchens simply responded, I do not.

But any thinking person can see that absence of evidence has nothing to do with actual existence. The people groups in the Amazon jungle, for example, may have no evidence that computers exist, or the Internet. Obviously their ignorance of computer technology does not cancel its existence. Does their lack of evidence reduce existence to relativity? (Computers and the Internet don’t exist for them.) That reduces “existence” to that which has impact.

If we believe words have meaning and are to true to that meaning, then clearly the absence of evidence has no meaningful bearing on existence.

Here’s how this relates to the Bible. Despite the earlier failure of archaeology to uncover physical evidence to corroborate some Biblical history, more recent finds have reversed that trend. For example, I have a newspaper article written in 2003 that reports about an archaeological find confirming the existence of Simeon, the devout Jew who spoke a blessing while holding the infant Jesus. Until scholars uncovered previously invisible lines of inscription, no extra-Biblical evidence verified that Simeon had ever lived. Now scholars not only realize the monument they were examining marked his tomb, they have a verse of the Bible etched in the stone, directly tying the tomb with the New Testament narrative.

Archaeologist Dr. John McRay (Ph.D. from the University of Chicago) and author of Archaeology and the New Testament, is quoted by Lee Stobel in The Case for Christ as saying this:

The general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian. He’s erudite, he’s eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say.
(emphasis mine)

The point is simple. Archaeological finds, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, continue to appear and are being studied. These discoveries verify Biblical accounts. Consequently, it is logical to accept as true the Bible’s record of events not yet corroborated independently.

Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 10:42 am  Comments (8)  
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