Shackled Or Anchored: Past Events, People, And Places Confirm Scripture -- By: Bryan Windle
BSpade 29:3 (Fall 2016) p. 99
Shackled Or Anchored:
Past Events, People, And Places Confirm Scripture
It’s always interesting to hear how people describe the Bible. In a Huffington Post article from a few years ago, Jeffery Small declared,
I fear that an insistence on a literal or historical reading of the Bible will ultimately lead to the irrelevance of Christianity in our society. By throwing off the shackles of having to believe in the historicity of the Bible, we are free to interpret the stories as a testament to the religious experiences of people from a different age.1
Many would disagree about whether a historical reading will lead to the irrelevance of Christianity in our society (the exact opposite is likely true). However, discarding the historicity of Scripture certainly does allow one to freely interpret the stories however one likes. This isn’t a good thing, though. Moreover, it ignores a crucial fact from which one cannot escape: The Bible claims to be a document rooted in actual history. Consider the following:
In the 480th year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord (1 Kgs 6:1).
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high- priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness (Lk 3:1–2).
These texts, and many others like them, do not sound like mere mythology or allegory. Rather, the authors are basing their stories in historically verifiable times and places.
The Bible’s accuracy in describing past events, places and people continually demonstrates its historical veracity. Rather than being “shackled,” Scripture is anchored to history, and ought not to be passed off as mere faith fables. Both shackles and anchors use chains; but where one enslaves, the other grounds and protects. Seeing the many synchronisms that have been established through archaeology between the biblical text and actual history demonstrates that the Bible is a truthful book, and our faith does not rest on fairy tales. The following is a small sampling highlighting archaeological discoveries of past events, places and people that confirm the reliability of Scripture.
The Siege Of Lachish
In 701 BC, Sennacherib king o...
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