Would you be able to hang on to your faith in Jesus and God?
I find it interesting how this question is addressed to Christians specifically, yet many who answered are obviously not Christians. One can tell by their answers.
Christianity is a religion that is based on faith, as all religions are. There are many parts of the Bible that have been proven by archaeological and other historical evidence. We put a lot of stock in many secular ancient writings, such as those by the Greek philosophers. However, historical proofs of the Bible, especially of the New Testament, have been shown to be more complete and extensive than historical proofs of these other ancient sources. If questioned, I will go into the details of this, but for length’s sake, I’ll leave it at that.
There are parts that can never be proven either way, due to the very nature of topic. For example, the Creation story. There is a lot of evidence that supports this theory or that, but there is no way that any theory about the origins of the universe can ever be proven true. No, not even the Big Bang Theory.
Lastly, there are parts of the Bible that I, myself, believe are more literary and metaphorical, than realistic. In ancient times more than now, fictional stories were used to convey a truth. For instance, in the Creation story God created the world in 7 days. I think this means that God is all-powerful and can do in a small amount of time (and with ease, I might add) what no man can ever do. I am not saying that the entire Bible is simply a collection of fairy tales. There are some historical facts contained in the Bible which lend it at least some credibility.
In conclusion, my faith would not waver. Who’s to say this ancient text would even be credible? An ancient text could surface that claims the world is flat. Does that mean we take its word for it? We are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs. But just because something isn’t readily evident, it doesn’t mean that it’s not true (i.e., the world sure seemed flat to people a long time ago, and for a long time at that).
Unity, the question is, just what would that sort of evidence consist of, short of a skeleton that could somehow prove to be Jesus’s non ascended body? Many ancient texts have been unearthed and uncovered that call both “old” and new testaments into question, from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which seems older than Genesis but contains some astonishing parallels, to the non-canonical gospels that were excised by the council of Nicea in 325 AD, with most extant copies being ordered destroyed by the emergent Church, but some copies contemporary to the oldest canonical copies have indeed been found by scholars. These Gnostic Gospels mostly call into the question the extreme literal interpretation some give to scripture, but a few contradict important aspect of established dogma. None of these things has brought Judaism or Christianity to a screeching halt.
There have been many discoveries of ancient texts that disagree with the Bible. But, you see, faith is — get this, now — a matter of faith, not proof. So finding such texts doesn’t actually prove anything except that there was once somebody who didn’t agree that the current text of the Bible was the full and complete truth. Well, there are folks like that now, so it doesn’t shatter anybody’s faith to consider the idea that there might have been nonbelievers in the past, too. In fact, the Bible itself contains descriptions of lots of past nonbelievers.
Some of those past examples include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Naj Hammadi texts (gnostic texts, some of which were used by Dan Brown, rather imaginately, to write “The Da Vinci Code”), and earlier writings by Babylonians, like the Epic of Gilgamesh, which told about a flood legend which differed from that in Genesis, and Egyptian records of 7 Lean Years (not quite the same tradition as described in Genesis or Exodus), and so on. There is the Hittite tale of Ullikummi, the diorite man which is similar to the vision of the great metal man with the feet of clay, described in the book of Daniel. But I can’t think of a single scholar who has translated any of these ancient texts who has felt the slightest urge to go off and worship Enki or Alalu or Ullikummi or Asherah or Baal or Utnapishtim or any of the other deities mentioned in any of these documents. It’s sort of interesting to read. But everybody pretty much comes away feeling that the Hebrews and Israelites had a superior understanding, even way back in 1300 BCE.
So I suppose the answer to your question really is, yes. The other documents show us that, compared to the more simplistic and childish notions of their neighbors, those ancient Jews were always progressive. We may think some of their ideas were a bit backward — looking at them now, from the distance of millenia. It may not make any sense to live in tents and make people go off in a separate tent when they get sick (as was done with lepers in the earliest times). But we have to remember what things were like back then. There was no effective treatment back then, no penicillin or anti-viral medication. For a virulent, sometimes fatal disease, that was easily communicable, this kind of quarantine made sense.
It’s the same with that rather enigmatic almost-a-human-sacrifice of Isaac. When we read ancient descriptions of real human sacrifices, we can see that the Hebrews were saying that they were just as pious and just as willing to give up their own beloved children to their God as anybody else in the ancient world. But the difference was crucial. Yahweh (or Jehovah, to give the Roman version of his name) did not require human sacrifice — he provided a ram instead. So the Jews did not sacrifice their children as the ancient Canaanites sometimes did, or as even the ancient Greeks did (as Herodotus and even Pausanias tell us, in their better known manuscripts).
No, ancient texts from other sources don’t make us doubt the special nature of the Bible. Rather, they demonstrate that special nature, instead!
A book is just one author’s testimony. It would take more than a dissenting testimony to prove that another testimony is false.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls did not prove the Bible wrong, but enlarged our knowledge of it, and gave us a better understanding of what was taught prior to 70 AD.
The discovery of the Nag Hammadi has caused some ripples, because they discuss things not found elsewhere in the scriptures, but they would have to be accepted as inspired before any of these things would be added to modern Christianity.
i hit upon this better than exciting! For years historians have been doubting King David even existed. even while they admit the possibility he did exist, they declare he grow to be a minor ruler. while this historic text textile is deciphered, it might desire to instruct Biblical bills are genuine. this will additionally instruct the classic Israelites had a written language. this would advise Biblical memories weren’t basically surpassed down from era to era yet are written records of events that extremely got here approximately. in my opinion, this would become as substantial because of fact the invention of the lifeless Sea Scrolls. perchance then, many scholars would end claiming the Bible is a artwork of fiction and a determination of myths. thank you plenty for sharing. (((Wifey)))
You may notice that some of my brethren are blissfully unaware that archeology has pretty much blown the entire book of Joshua out of the water.
By the way: Nova is doing scientific explication of the bible this week. I do not think the bible worshipers will be pleased.
Scientists can create nuclear bombs, they can safely leave this Earth and land on the moon, and they have begun to map our DNA and yet no scientist can disprove the existence of God. And the Bible tells me that there will be people of little faith and the amount will probably grow and here are foolish atheists that stand before me. Do you believe in love? If so, you believe in God.
Don’t worry – I’m sure they destroyed all of those a long time ago.
Besides, they would just come up with some sort of justification for why the Bible is true, and the other text is not.
You have to remember – these people actually believe in a magical man, who lives in the sky. And he has a list of 10 things that he doesn’t want you to do, and if you do any of them, then you go to a lake of fire where you suffer forever and ever.
-But he loves you!
He loves you, and he needs your money!!
There are “Christians” who won’t even study their high school science books because they are afraid that they might cause them to lose their faith. Accordingly, I don’t think that any archaeologically established document could ever be given more credence by such Christians than the bible.
Um!!! How about the cuneiform tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh which date about 1000 years older than the bible proving the Noah ark story was plagiarized.