Fossils showing stability over time...............
Many fossils, like this jellyfish fossil, actually show stability of some species over time rather than change and there is a lack of intermediates. Species that are the same as their fossil ancestors are called "Living fossils".
The Bible has sold more copies than any other book by millions despite the fact that for centuries regimes have tried to destroy it. However, many see it as not much more than a collection of fables. On this page, Chris Tokeley explores the reliability of the Bible.
Many people can automatically assume the Bible is no more than a set of old myths and fables. As such people can also assume that anything that the Bible says on any topic, including the origin of life on Earth, is no more than a myth.
Whilst it is accepted the Christians have a range of views about how literally the first few chapters of Genesis should be taken, there are other parts of the Bible that speak of it’s reliability and worth.
At one stage, Darwin himself said "Whilst on the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (although themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history.....was no more to be trusted." Charles Darwin.
The question most asked of me, “is the Bible reliable or is it false!”
The Bible has sold more copies than any other book by millions. There is a great demand from emerging countries for Bibles. For centuries regimes have tried to destroy the Bible. Bibles in English translated by brilliant linguist and translator William Tyndale were burnt at St.Pauls. In 1611 the Bible in English was authorised by James 1 of England. About 90% of it was taken from Tyndale’s translation direct from the Hebrew & Greek.
Christians claim their lives have been changed by reading and acting upon what they read. The Bible claims that it is God's word to mankind, and that it is his final word. Christ's followers say it brings peace of mind, when they believe what it teaches. He says you must accept his teaching by faith. It has inspired thousands to give up well paid careers to go and translate and distribute the Bible so that every person has this amazing book in their own language. No one can convince you that the Bible is to be taken seriously, but like any good thing the proof is in the tasting.
Archaeology & Historical evidence
General - We look at some interesting examples from archaeology and history for the authenticity and accuracy of the best selling book the Bible and some of the events that it records.
Charles Darwin expressed the wish that someone would come up with evidence that proved the history of the Bible was true. "I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels." Darwin's Autobiography.
Darwin was also interested in archaeology and was intrigued how peoples all over the world had common practices:-
"the stone arrow-heads, brought from the most distant parts of the world, and manufactured at the most remote periods, are almost identical; and this fact can only be accounted for by various races having similar inventive or mental powers. The same observation has been made by archaeologists with respect to certain widely-prevalent ornaments, such as zigzags, &c.; and with respect to various simple beliefs and customs, such as the burying of the dead under megalithic structures. I remember observing in South America, that there, as in so many other parts of the world, men have generally chosen the summits of lofty hills, to throw up piles of stones, either as a record of some remarkable event, or for burying their dead." The Descent of Man.(24th February 1871).
Since Darwin's day there have been some most remarkable finds confirming history as detailed in the Bible. Recently many amazing discoveries have been made that throw light on the Bible showing its accuracy, affirming its reporting of past events and helping to reject claims that its history is unreliable. Having studied his life I am sure Charles Darwin would have been interested in all of these discoveries.
Oracle Bone Characters - Have you been on a tour of China recently? If you have this will interest you. In recent years a discovery was made of ancient writing on ox bones and tortoise shells. These writings found in China, which record the offering of bull sacrifices to “ShangDi” (pronounced like Shaddai the name for God in the Old Testament) way back in the time of Emperor Shun (c2230BC - before Abraham). From a very early date the Chinese were already making offerings to “ShangDai” on top of Mount Tai in Shan-Dong, much later it was transferred to The Altar and Temple of Heaven in Beijing, which today are tourist attractions. These sacrifices ceased in the sixteenth century AD. The people who invented the original pictographic characters inscribed the story of creation on bones with detail to that found in the Book of Genesis. They must have known and believed in an identical account of creation and the earth’s beginnings as recorded in Book of Genesis.
The authors state, "Historically, the Shang Dynasty's (1766-1122 B.C.) recognition of ShangDi as the Supreme God over all gods may have continued into the Zhou Dynasty (1122-255 B.C.), but by the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 24 A.D.), ShangDi was largely forgotten. Buddhism and Taoism, in addition to the interwoven religion of ancestor-worship, predominated. However, all traces and knowledge of the original God of China have not been erased. We believe a beautiful history of the beginnings of the human race on the newly created earth have been perfectly preserved in the ancient character-writing of the Chinese language. The written language was invented simultaneously with the development of early Chinese culture.” (God's Promise to the Chinese, Ethel R. Nelson, Richard E. Broadberry, and GingerTong Chock; Read Books Publisher).
Papyrus Ipuwer - This papyrus (picture left) was found in Egypt towards the end of the nineteenth century and is now in the Museum of Leiden (catalogue Leiden 344). T
The sage Ipuwer describes in detail a time when Egypt was in great distress and violence ruled the land. There was great destruction due to plagues and earth tremors. The poor took from the rich and temples and palaces were destroyed. He laments the loss of pharaoh. There is a papyrus with a similar account in St.Petersburg 's Hermitage (catalogue number 1116b recto) that tells of God's judgment on Egypt.
In his book "Ages in Chaos" (1953). Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1976) shows by looking at each part of Leiden 344 how this is a parallel account of the Old Testament book of Exodus chapters 7 to 12. One cannot easily dismiss this ancient papyrus as not corroborating the story of the Israelites exodus from Egypt. Immanuel Velikovsky proposed a revised chronology of ancient Egypt, Israel and other cultures. He puts the Exodus contemporary with the fall of the Middle Kingdom and the subsequent invasion of Egypt by the Hyksos. This revised chronology is accepted by many Bible scholars.
Joshua's Long Day - This is recorded in the Old Testament book of Joshua Chapter 10:13 states: "so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day." If the Israelites had a long day some countries may have had a long night. There are so called mythological stories from many cultures in every continent about a long day or long night (as there is also for the Flood). Can this be explained?
Immanuel Velikovsky (Worlds in collision, 1950) and others have come up with an explanation. Researching these stories and using astronomical records and other scientific information he came to the conclusion that Venus and Mars had close encounters with the Earth causing great change to take place in the rotation of the earth on its axis. In addition he claims Venus deposited tar substances on the Earth's surface. This possibly explains the scorching in the area of Jabel AL Lawz in Arabia (read Galatians 4:25), considered by some to be the true Mount Sinai (Horeb), where Moses received the Ten Commandments, and struck a rock from which water flowed for the people, and the Israelites disobeyed God, by making and worshipping a golden calf. (Base Institute).
Joseph called Zaphenath-Paneah (Tzafnat-Pa’neach) - The Bible records that Pharaoh took off his ring and gave it to Joseph and placed him in charge of the whole land of Egypt to prepare it for seven years of famine. Did Joseph the man who is subject of the musical, Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, whose life is recorded in Genesis chapters 37 - 50 really live?
So called experts often repudiate the Bible history that Joseph and the Jews lived in Egypt. The Al-Ahram daily newspaper has recently carried a dispatch reporting the discovery of ancient coins in unsorted items in the Museum of Egypt vaults. It was reported that the researcher found coins with Joseph's name in hieroglyphs, there are also images of a man and a cow on the coins. (Searching for Moses, Journal of Creation 15 (1), 17 (3), Fall of the Sothic Theory.
Pool of Siloam - One of the most recent discoveries is the unearthing of the Pool of Siloam (pictured right).
It was this place that Jesus told the blind man to wash and he would see again (Gospel of John chapter 9). In recent times archaeologists working in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan have uncovered the pool where under Jewish law people were ritually cleansed by immersion. They are sure this is the pool that was connected to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Israeli Antiquities Authority reports that they have found coins and pottery shards marked with ancient Hebrew script that has convinced them this is the pool mentioned in the Bible.
The Bible states it was King Hezekiah who built the pool and cut a tunnel about 600 metres long to bring water into the City of Jerusalem (2 Kings 20:20.) There is an inscription on the tunnel wall showing details of its construction.
King Nebuchadnezzar - Only a few years back a clay tablet from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, a well known figure in history and mentioned in the Bible has been deciphered at the British Museum, London. The name on the tablet is Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer of the king. The tablet has even the date, tenth year of the his reign (595 BC) just twelve years before he laid siege to Jerusalem. The Prophet Jeremiah mentions this officer, “Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar; Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon." (Jeremiah 39:3) www.creation.com
Apostle Paul’s ship wreck - One of the most amazing discoveries I believe is of the anchors that Dr Luke (who wrote the Gospel according to Luke), wrote about in his Acts of the Apostles, chapter 27, concerning the Apostle Paul's shipwreck: "they noticed a bay with a sand beach, where they decided to run the ship aground. So they cut away the anchors." Verse 29 tells us there were four anchors.
Using the many facts, fathoms etc., mentioned by Dr Luke, former detective Bob Cornuke (who I heard speak on this subject in 2002) and his team researched the site on the coast of Malta. Local fishermen knew of the Roman anchors and three were located, however the fourth had already been melted down to make weights for fishing nets.
Widows mite - Do you collect coins? There are coins going right back to old Testament times as well as coins showing Roman Emperors and the Herods who were the puppet rulers of Israel under the control of this great empire that ruled during the time of Jesus Christ.
I have a bronze coin, called the poor widows mite (as picture left), it is about the size of an old farthing. This was the coin mentioned by Jesus when he told the story of the poor widow. It was the smallest coin in value and size in circulation at the time. This recorded story can be found in Mark 12:42 & Luke 21:2. Jesus was teaching not the importance of how big your gift to God is, but your motive. Do you give thankfully and willingly? Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” (Matthew 22:37)
Dead Sea Scrolls - In 1947 a Bedouin discovered earthen jars containing scrolls in a cave at Ain Fashkha in the northwest area of the Dead Sea (picture right, caves where some of the Dead sea scrolls were found).
There were several hundred manuscripts hidden to keep them safe by a Jewish sect in the first century AD from the Roman conquest of Judea. Among the manuscripts was a copy of the Book of Isaiah, about 1000 years older than any hitherto found copy. It proved the accuracy of the same book that is included in the Old Testament section of the Bible - see also Wikipedia Dead Sea scrolls).
Jesus knew of the accuracy and authenticity of the Old Testament when he said, speaking of himself; “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Jesus was referring to the jot (yud) the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and title that was a stroke attached to letters. The importance of what he was saying is made clear in this quote from the New Bible Commentary; “The Lord teaches a very high view of biblical inspiration and indicates clearly that the Gospel is founded upon the Old Testament.” Jesus in alluding to jot and tittle knew how any mistake made by scribes in copying from one document to another meant the copy was destroyed.
Conclusion for archeological and historical evidence - Archaeologist Dr Clifford Wilson has said recently: "The Bible is the most accurate history textbook the world has ever seen." (Archaeology Questions & Answers).
There are three amazing things (there are many more) I want you to know about this great book that are not generally known. It is an interesting fact that both the languages in which original manuscripts of the Bible were written have a numeric value for each letter. As far as I am aware there are no other languages of this type. Each Hebrew letter of the Old Testament has a value and the same is true of the New Testament Greek. There is no space to explain all that can that can be said about this exciting aspect of the Bible.
First, there are hidden messages in the pages of the Bible, but they do not add any doctrine or information that cannot be easily learnt from the translated text. Ancient Hebrew scholars were intrigued by this discovery. The most notable was Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, who lived in the twelfth century. One of the best textbooks on subject is Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity by Chuck Missler (Koinonia House). These messages have been put there by Almighty God perhaps to encourage our faith in an era of atheism. None of God's servants to whom the words of Scripture were inspired could have known of these hidden messages and it would have taken any man thousands of years to write a coherent prose containing them.
Second, the most remarkable mathematical code hidden in the Hebrew and Greek text is the value of p and 'e' in the numerical value of both letters and words of Genesis 1:1., "In the beginning God created the heaven and earth" and John 1:1., "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" respectively. The calculations can be found in Creation Science Movement (Portsmouth UK.), Pamphlet 337 by Dr Peter Bluer. Only God who is a great mathematician (the genetic code is mathematical) could have implanted these codes in the text for an age when the numerical value of these two constants would be known to man.
Third, there are other messages which are not mathematical, one being the promise of a redeemer in the meaning of the names of the pre-flood patriarchs, Adam - Seth - Enosh - Kenan - Mahalalel - Jared - Enoch - Methuselah - Lamech - Noah.
This message - Man - Appointed - Mortal - Sorrow - The Blessed God - Shall come down - Teaching - His death shall bring - The despairing - Rest would have been an encouragement to Noah, his sons and those who came after them. This foretells Christ’s death. (Chapter 5, Cosmic Codes)
Prophecy – some prophecies that have come true.
Charles Darwin said "... I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels. But I found it more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me, Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete."
However, we should take note seriously of what the Bible teaches. The Bible always points to itself as a true record of events and in no way presents falsity.
There are over fifty prophecies concerning the Messiah (anointed one) who the Bible teaches is Jesus of Nazareth, a descendant of King David. A prophecy is an event predicted sometimes hundreds of years before the event. If the prophecy does not come about or is disproved then he is not a true prophet. It is possible for any man to fulfil a few of these prophecies that are made about Jesus but it is impossible to fulfill them all. Jesus fulfilled them all.
Here are just five to think about. They are all taken from the Prophet Isaiah who lived seven hundred years before Jesus. This is what Isaiah wrote in chapter 53 of his book, it is probably the most famous Old Testament scripture:
Verse - 3 - He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not.
Verse - 5 - He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.
Verse - 7 - He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Verse - 9 - He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Verse - 10 to11 - Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him, and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After suffering of his soul he will see the light of life and be satisfied.
How do we know this is about Jesus of Nazareth. In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles it is recorded that Philip was directed by the Holy Spirit to help an important Ethiopian official who happened to be reading Isaiah to understand who he was reading about. Philip told him the prophet spoke of Jesus and told this man the good news. The Ethiopian was subsequently baptised on profession of faith in Jesus.
Verse - 3 tells us Jesus was rejected by the crowd on Good Friday and they choose Barabbas, a murderer, instead. We read in the Gospels that Jesus was crucified and he was wounded so dreadfully he could not carry the cross all the way to Calvary this is reflected in verse 5. In verse 7 it says that he was silent like a sheep about to be sheared. Jesus made no defence at his trial. He was crucified with the wicked on each side of him and it predicts in verse 9 that he was buried with the rich. Wealthy Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilot the Roman Governor for the body of Jesus to bury it in his own tomb.
Rabbi Yacov Rambsel has found that the words Yeshua shmi translated Jesus is my name appears hidden in the Hebrew text in Isaiah chapter 53. He also found encrypted in the text the names of people who where there at the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.
There are other prophecies and I take two from the prophet Zechariah, chapter 11 verses 12 to 13.
Verse - 12 to 13 - I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.
Hundreds of years later Matthew, a tax collector wrote in his account of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. The first book of the New Testament, Matthew. chapter 26 and 27:-
Matthew 26 verse - 14 - Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.
Matthew 27 verse - 3 to 10 -When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood. “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field.....
There are many other prophecies that Jesus fulfilled including being executed without a bone broken (this is unusual), being thirsty during his crucifixion and being beaten etc.,etc. Read the Gospels for yourself and find the prophecies that were fulfilled.
There is a wealth of information that corroborates much of the Bible, its places, events, peoples and their culture. It is the book whose message has brought new life, peace and joy to millions over the years. It is much more than paper, print and glue!
However much evidence may be produced to confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible the major question still has to be answered, who is Jesus of Nazareth? He is either just an exceptional leader from history who was mad or he is who he claimed to be, God who took on the form of a man to die as a substitute for each of us as the Bible clearly teaches. If he was God then he demands a response. The Apostle Paul wrote, “In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
More important than any thing else the Bible tells us is, how we can have a personal relationship with Almighty God through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins on the cross, as a substitute for us, and rose from the death to give us the promise of life with him in eternal glory.
References, pamphlets and useful books
Ages in Chaos; from Exodus to King Akhnaton (1952) Immanuel Velikovsky
Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern (Jewish New Testament Publications Inc, Clarkville , Maryland , USA ). Read section XIV. “TANAKH PROPHECIES FULFILLED BY JESHUA THE MESSIAH”
Cosmic Codes: Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity by Chuck Missle
His name is Jesus, Jacov Rambsel, Frontier Research Publications, Toronto Canada
The Handwriting of God, Grant Jeffrey, Frontier Research Publications, Toronto Canada
Hidden Treasures in the biblical Text, by Chuck Missler, Koinonia House.r.
Heritage of Evidence, in the British Museum, Masters.
Hidden Treasures in the biblical Text, by Chuck Missler.
Rome, City of Empire, Christendom and Culture, Scotland. Day One.
The Truth Behind the Torment, Ruth Velikovsky Sharon, PhD. Xlibris Corp
The Two Universal Constants encoded in Genesis. Pamphlet 337 by Dr Peter Bluer.
Through the British Museum with the Bible, Edwards & Anderson. Day One.
Travel through the Houses of Parliament, Cradle of Democracy. Atherstone. Day One