Bible Sources: Truth or Myth Part One -- By: Mark Perkins

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 11:1 (Spring 2005)
Article: Bible Sources: Truth or Myth Part One
Author: Mark Perkins


Bible Sources: Truth or Myth
Part One

Mark Perkins

Mark Perkins received a B.A. from Azusa Pacific University in 1982 and an M.Div. in New Testament from Talbot Theological Seminary in 1985. He served as a Cavalry Scout and Fire Detection Controller in the Army National Guard from 1986 until 1991, was ordained in 1987 at Berachah Church in Houston, Texas, and since 1988 has served as pastor of Front Range Bible Church in Denver, Colorado. Mark and his wife Rene married in 1987 and have two children, Turner, born in 1995, and Alexandra, born in 1998. They enjoy backpacking and adventuring in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Introduction

A myth is “a traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society.”1 Myths have been striking a deep chord within human nature for generations—even the most ancient literature of mankind contains stories from earlier times. Underlying this resonance seems to be an identification with the experience described in the myth and a longing for the life of the hero and the times. The world repository of folklore includes much that is familiar to the readers of the Bible. Mythological flood and creation narratives, for instance, are sometimes strikingly similar to the records of our sacred text. As a result, many assert that the Bible itself contains myths or scraps of the same secular themes.

The anecdote regarding the salvation of the famous Christian writer C. S. Lewis illustrates the importance of the issue.

In mid-September [1931] two friends, Hugo Dyson, who had studied English at Oxford and lectured both there and at Reading, and J.R.R. Tolkien, Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, engaged Lewis in what he immediately recalled “was really a memorable walk [and discussion]. .. on metaphor and myth.” A few days later Lewis wrote, “I have just passed on from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ.” Dyson and Tolkien had helped him see that pagan myths of dying and reviving gods did not prove that the Christ story is false. On the contrary, these ancient myths show us how pagan peoples had a glimpse of the Truth that was going to happen and in fact did happen two thousand years ago.2

The creation and flood narratives of Genesis are the more notorious fields of battle, where Christian scholars are fighting the good fight against an imposing phalanx of Bible critics: scientists offer compelling evidence for the veracity of those narratives,...

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