Last time we briefly looked at Biblical skepticism and man’s suppression of the Triune God from Romans 1. I’d like to direct our attention now to some of the important historical facts surrounding the Bible and its historicity.
Note: There is so much information on this subject to be read and learned. Therefore, as way of a basic overview I’ll be discussing just a few foundational and historical truths in the next several blog posts. I will also add links to meaningful scholarship for the individuals looking for a deeper study into these important issues.
Let’s get started. The Scriptures as a whole were written over the span of 2,000+ years by over 40 different authors, across three continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and were originally written in three different languages (Ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek).
The unfolding historical revelation of the Old Testament (the Tanakh) involved select individuals, people groups, cultures, and entire nations. All of which were supernaturally guided, a part of real history, and were used in the writing of a cohesive testimony of Scripture.
Something that is extremely important to note here is that Scripture did not come into being by just one guy who claimed to be “enlightened” or to have had a “revelation” from God one day. That is the case for most religious systems such as Islam, and Buddhism, and especially the cults like Mormonism, and Jehovah Witnesses. The Biblical Scriptures are quite the opposite. God used a plurality of men from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different languages to produce a cohesive and consistent body of historical and supernatural writings.
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
In essence, the Old Testament Scripture is the “history book” of the people of God. The Hebrew people took tremendous care of its content, safeguarding it century after century as it was being penned and preserved by divine providence. That is why when we have found reliable ancient manuscripts such as the most recent 1700+ year old Torah Manuscript the contents therein match exactly to what we have in our Old Testament today. Researcher Emanuel Tov from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem had this to say about this remarkable find in 2016, “This is quite amazing for us, that in 2,000 years, this text has not changed.”
The Old Testament Scriptures that we have in our Bibles today are in fact the very Scriptures that Jesus had and used during His earthly ministry. Jesus believed that they were divinely inspired (Matthew 22:31), Jesus affirmed their infallibility (Matthew 5:18), and Jesus professed that all the Old Testament Scriptures concerned Him (Luke 24:27).