04 Nov Early Acceptance of the Bible and Archaeological Evidence
November 4, 2016
The word of the Lord is upright.
One of the strongest arguments for the Bible is its acceptance by the early followers of Christianity. Liberals used to argue that the New Testament was written many decades after the life of Jesus and was subject to embellishments like the miracles and the resurrection. Yet most scholars now accept that the majority of the New Testament was written within only a few years of the events it reports and was accepted as fact, making the addition of fictitious events highly unlikely.
Furthermore, consider the extent to which the New Testament writers replaced the tenets of Judaism with new beliefs. These Jews abandoned the sacrificial system that had been in place for 1,400 years, they changed their day of worship from the Sabbath to the first day of the week, they replaced the sign of faith from circumcision to baptism, and they relegated the Mosaic Law to a shadow of the revelation from Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:17). Almost overnight, thousands of Jews in Jerusalem radically altered their cherished spiritual convictions and embraced an entirely new spiritual paradigm.
The disciples were willing to endure imprisonment, torture, and death rather than recant that they had seen Jesus Christ in His resurrected body. Surely, if they had contrived a hoax, one of those 11 men would have broken under such pressure and revealed the truth. Instead, the disciples maintained their testimony until the end—a story that could have been easily dismissed if anyone had been able to produce the body of Jesus Christ. Yet the reality of Christ’s resurrection was so quickly embraced by so many that in less than 300 years the faith of these 11 men effectively toppled the Roman Empire.
Finally, there is archaeological evidence for the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Many locations, names, and events have been confirmed by external sources, providing a strong argument for the truthfulness of the Bible. Space does not permit me to describe all the archaeological confirmations of biblical names, events, and locations. There has never been a single discovery that disproved any name, event, or location in the Bible.
God took the initiative in communicating His message to you for one reason: He loves you. And because God is all-powerful you can rest assured that He has both the ability and the motivation to make sure that His message has been communicated to you without error. That is the best reason for knowing that the Bible is true.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know the Bible Is True?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.