The Bible as Evidence
Is the Bible the word of God or just a story? Dan Kimball examines the historicity of the Bible and whether or not it's reliable or even relevant.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- Have you ever looked into the Bible's historicity?
- Has anything ever changed your perspective of the trustworthiness of the Bible?
I used to keep the Bible on my bookshelf between "The Lord of the Rings" and "Dracula"— Bram Stoker's "Dracula"— because to me, the Bible felt like it was a bunch of, kind of, like, spooky stories that kind of fit in with Dracula and kind of fantastic creatures like a talking snake and different things that might fit better in "The Lord of the Rings." I then began saying, "Is this something from God or is it a human being like Bram Stoker who penned a, a story?" And what started convincing me— it was a little-by-little process. I didn't have some sort of overnight, like, "It's, it's the Bible, and I believe it all"— it mentioned cities, it mentioned names, it mentioned you know, it, it's talking that it's history. And so a big thing for me was to say like, all right, "Is this mythical or are these places real?" And so then I started looking into the historicity of the scriptures and can I have something that's backed up from it? And I started being more and more convinced because you can go to other religious documents, and they can't find that, as I was comparing a bunch. And so I then began more and more convinced that boy, there's some solid reasons to trust this, at least that there are names that you can find today in history, there are cities that line up. That was one thing. Then a big question was also, you know like, I, I assumed that it was so far from what was originally written because how did they, you know, how do we have today what was about thousands and thousands of years old? And the more I studied this— and that's what I was kind of very overwhelmed with— because the more I studied it, a lot of my thoughts of why I didn't want to believe it was from God, I began finding there's plenty of evidence to believe that it is trustworthy. There is a scholar that, uh, his name is Dan Wallace out of Dallas, uh, Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and I remember, uh, reading things that he wrote that were also talking all about, you know, the, the amount of— he called it— a, um, an embarrassment of riches, and I think he called it that, there's so many documents they've discovered that will show that, that copies of the New Testament, you know, down the road that they can compare them to is in the thousands and thousands of them, to then show that we can really believe that what we have in the New Testament is pretty accurate to what was originally written. What I loved about the Bible itself was it said if a prophecy does not come true, don't trust the one who, who gives it, so it, the Bible itself was even putting itself to a test, saying, "If what is in here isn't true, get rid of it. The source of it is not from God." And so, like, I'm reading that, and I'm like, "This is fantastic, so if I can find prophecies that were not coming true, then I can dismiss the Bible." And then the more I looked into it, the more I became like, "Wow, a lot of this is, did come true." Then I began saying, "Then, maybe it's time I put faith in this Jesus because I now kind of have pretty good reasons, rational reasons, for believing that the Bible is what it says it is.