LETTER: Biblical appreciation
Having recently moved to Blackfalds, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Lacombe Globe and the many Letters to the Editor, which was something lacking in the papers where I used to live.
In the April 19th edition, Scott Lewis, while writing about ‘Christian Privilege,’ stated “one must put some effort into addressing the topic at hand and getting the facts straight...” Yet Mr. Lewis himself did not do this when he stated “the Bible is a man-made collection of myths, allegories, and pure fiction...an ancient hodge-podge of contradictory writings.”
Having done many academic studies of the Bible, Hebrew, Greek, and archeology for the last 40 years, I can assure your readership that wherever Mr. Lewis may have obtained his information about the Bible is inaccurate to say the least. The fact that the Bible is one of the most accurate historical documents of all time is absolutely amazing.
Over 53 historical people mentioned in the Bible have been verified in non-biblical written texts, ostraca (clay shards), papyri, stella(stone inscriptions), bullae(seals attached to official documents) etc. from numerous other countries and time periods. An example is King Shalmaneser III of Iraq (a real person and not a myth) had stone inscriptions written about him and his men in the Battle of Qarqar in 853 BCE which portrays his conquering of King Hadarezer of Syria. King Hadarezer of Syria (a real person, a real place, and not a myth) is also mentioned in the Bible in ‘The First Book of the Chronicles of The Kings’ chapter 19 in a different battle which is a verification of his existence and that the Bible is an accurate historical document. King Shalmaneser also is listed in the Bible in ‘The Second Book of The Kings’ chapters 17 & 18 and there is a black obelisk of his in the Museum of London depicting one of the kings of Israel bowing down to him. Mr. Lewis is welcome to fly over to London to see it for himself or he can look it up on Wikipedia. I would ask him: What other sacred writings have actual proofs of people, places, events, and detailed accounts like the Bible does? And verified by other writings and objects from non-biblical sources?
Perhaps Mr. Lewis needs to also consider hundreds of cities and towns mentioned in the Bible have been found and dug up in the Middle East like Nineveh, Sodom, Gomorrah, Petra, and Ur in Iraq where Abraham came from. These hundreds of ancient ruins are also testament to the accuracy of Biblical facts. Numerous ancient cities still have the same Biblical names and locations today like Rome, Jerusalem, Damascus, Athens, Alexandria, Babylon and even countries like Lebanon, Syria, Persia (Persian Gulf), Greece, Crete, Libya, and Mizraim (Jews today still call Modern Egypt by this biblical name). In the U.S., Philadelphia, which was named after the same ancient city in Turkey listed in The Book of The Revelation. These cities aren’t myths or pure fiction but actual places with multiple buildings and homes, protection walls, and streets unearthed by the top archeologists and specialists in their fields of endeavour. Even Egypt being listed in the Bible shows it is accurate in describing ‘The Land of the Nile River.’ Not a myth for sure.
Maybe Mr. Lewis would even like to look up the “List of Biblical Places” on Wikipedia which is a fascinating read. It has an alphabetical listing of Bible places. Many of these names are over 2,000-3,000 years old and still in use today. Thousands of tourists visit these places every day throughout the Middle East.
Factual royal genealogical records in Europe and Ireland state clearly that their kingly lineages go back to Japheth, a son of Noah. The Miautso peoples of China have genealogical records that state all Chinese peoples came from Lo Han (Honourable Ham), Lo Shen (Honourable Shem), and Lo Japhu (Honourable Japheth) which are the three sons of Noah. This Chinese record also includes Nuah (Noah), all his 16 grandsons by name, and even has the very first man, Adam, listed (called ‘Dirt’ in Chinese). The Miautso people live in China still today. The Miautso are not a myth either.
Many people groups are called by their Biblical names today with examples such as “Cush” who was a grandson of Noah (Ethiopians today continue to call themselves Cushites), “Ashkenaz” who was a grandson of Noah (the Jewish people today continue to refer to Germany as Ashkenaz), and “Meshech” who was a grandson of Noah and is the old name for Moscow.
Does Mr. Lewis know that many languages are still called by the original Biblical names of people in the lineage of Noah with examples such as the “Aramaic” language which was from ‘Aram’ who was a grandson of Noah, the “Gomeraeg” language which is Welsh and comes from ‘Gomer’ who was a grandson of Noah, and the “Hebrew” language which was from ‘Eber’ who was a grandson of Noah?
The Bible is totally accurate with ELS Codes (Equidistance Letter Sequencing Codes) even showing that President John Kennedy would be assassinated in Dallas. Also, the Paleo Hebrew writings correspond with Biblical concepts. The Bible is accurate geographically, historically, linguistically, geologically, astronomically, mathematically, oceanographically, scientifically, anatomically, zoologically, botanically, culturally, morally, and even with health, medicine, and hygiene. The Bible is the most accurate and comprehensive book of all time that covers all these topics and more. No other book or sacred writings encompasses all these topics or with such accurate details. Kindly show me if there is one. I’d be interested to read it. The Bible speaks to every generation and gives answers to every human problem. It is timeless. Even the “scientific method” was first discovered in the Bible and then used afterward as a criterion for true science. The ocean currents were found and charted on maps now used by ships and sailors due to an accurate verse about the pathways in the seas found in The Book of Psalms in the Bible. The plagues that killed thousands in Europe in the Middle Ages were only stopped by applying the hygiene rules found in the Old Testament. This is definitely not fiction.
Lastly, with 500 prophecies of the 1000 written in the Bible that have already been fulfilled to the exact letter, no other book or sacred writing can claim this, that I am aware of. Even Nostradamus with his vague prophecies can’t lay claim to the incredible accuracy and sheer amount of prophecies that have already come to pass found in the Bible. The Bible itself even declares this is proof of its authenticity. Whatever “God” can predict and foretell events accurately hundreds of years before they happen is this proof:
“Bring your idols to tell us what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods.” (Isaiah 41:22-23 NIV)
“I am the LORD: that is My Name: and My Glory will I not give to another, neither My Praise to carved images and idols. Look, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42: 8-9 KJV)
“...I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:9-10 KJV)
A fulfilled biblical prophecy was written hundreds of years before his birth, names the exact king, Cyrus King of Persia (Iran), who would allow the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem around 450 BCE to rebuild their temple and city walls. This prophecy is found in The Book of the Prophet Isaiah 44:28-45:1
Another fulfilled biblical prophecy that was written 300 years before his birth, declares a new king in Israel, the son of Amon, by his actual name, Josiah. This prophecy is found in The First Book of The Kings 13:2.
Another fulfilled biblical prophecy that was written many years before two of the sieges of the city and island of Tyrus (Tyre) and had eight parts to this prophecy fulfilled exactly to the letter by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE and more parts of this prophecy fulfilled to the letter earlier by King Nebuchadnezzar of Iraq starting in 586 BCE and his siege lasted for 13 years. The island of Tyre is still nothing but a barren island today in 2018 used to dry fishermen’s nets, just exactly like the prophecy said it would be used for. This prophecy is found in The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 26:4-5.
Both the prophets, Daniel and Zechariah, spoke about Alexander the Great almost 200 years before he was born. His exploits are listed in these Bible books of their names. The Prophet Daniel even saw four generals come up after Alexander died. He saw this before Alexander was even born! He saw this also when speaking of Alexander’s campaign against Persia (modern day Iran) listed in ‘The Book of the Prophet Daniel’ long before it even happened.
One of the most amazing accurate modern day fulfillments of prophecy is the rebirth of the Nation of Israel in 1948. Found in The Book of The Prophet Isaiah 66:8, this ‘rebirth of a nation’ was prophesied in the 700 BCE time period, which is about 2,650 years ago. What other empire has come back to life 2,500 years after it was destroyed? We don’t see ancient Rome being resurrected and Latin spoken and written as its national language today. We don’t see the Iroquois in the U.S. become a world player and retake all the lands that the settlers seized from them. The only nation in the history of humanity that has “come back to life” (and in our lifetime) has been Israel with its current national language being exactly the same spoken and written language from the Babylonian Hebraic era of around 450 BCE.
Unquestionably, this Book is not full of myths and hodge-podge contradictions but accurate facts. Therefore, I definitely wouldn’t call any referencing to the Bible in Letters to the Editor as a ‘Christian Privilege’ but more correctly as a ‘Biblical Appreciation,’ which is something I hope Mr. Lewis will come to appreciate more as he starts to “put some effort into getting the facts straight” like he had challenged others.