EARLEY: How true is the Bible?
By Al Earley
Every three or four years there is a new archeological find that people say will prove the Bible is wrong. People will come up to me and ask, “Are you worried that this will cause problems to continue to believe in the truth of the Bible?” I always answer, “No.” I have been answering “No” for decades because every discovery has proven to be a forgery, not what they thought it was, and often actually turns out to prove the truth of scripture one more time. The “threat” to the Bible always goes away with a lot less fanfare than when it became the “news of the day!!!” In contrast, there are dozens of major archeological finds every year that support what is written in scripture. We rarely hear about any of these.
I was studying Isaiah recently. Over and over God revealed to Isaiah what to look for when the Messiah came. At least twelve sections of scripture have revelations of who the Messiah will be. My favorite is the fourth of the four servant songs that sing about a suffering servant who will die for the sins of the world, found in Isaiah 52-53. As you read these words from Isaiah 53:10-11 remember they were written 700 years before Jesus was born. “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” This beautiful Hebrew poetry points to Jesus’ death and resurrection and their meaning with the clarity of divine revelation.
It used to be that the skeptics would declare that these prophecies of a coming Messiah were written after Jesus was born, and that the book of Isaiah was written in parts and wasn’t finished until decades after Jesus had died. Then the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and amongst them the Great Isaiah Scroll was found. It was an intact version of the entire book of Isaiah and scholars agree it was from 125 BC or even earlier. It is by far the oldest scroll from the Bible ever discovered, and it is in great condition.
As I read Isaiah 52-53 again I had this great desire to share with my readers a simple truth I no longer ever doubt. We can trust the truth of the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and the truth, wisdom, and revelations of the Bible are timeless. It has endured every test imaginable for millennia, and has passed every test. Every atheist that thought they could prove the Bible was flawed has failed, and many of those became Christians in the process of digging deep into the Word of God.
There will always be skeptics. Don’t be one. I invite you today to decide you are going to believe in the truth of the Bible, and begin a journey that will be a love affair with the Word of God. There will never be a perfect proof that God is real, the Bible is true, and we should believe. There is always that last moment when we must take a leap of faith and believe. I remember when that moment was in my life, and I am grateful that God gave me the courage to take it and reject the cynicism, skepticism, and doubt of the world so I could have a closer walk with Him.
If you have resolved this modern dilemma and said “Yes, the Bible is always true,” then I celebrate with you in your wisdom. Further, I encourage you to look for ways to look deeper into scripture with new disciplines in Bible study. Seek new studies that intrigue you. Commit or recommit yourself to daily Bible reading and study. Desire to grow in your Biblical literacy like never before.
When you hear a modern skeptic try to cast doubt upon the truth of the Bible does it intrigue you or is it chatter? If you haven’t decided once and for all the Bible is true, what are you looking for to resolve this issue? How carefully are you studying? How high a priority is it to know the Bible is true? If you have resolved this issue, then what are you doing now to go deeper and learn more about God’s divine word revealed to you?
To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org.