Answering the Skeptic: Is the Bible a Myth?
Recently, I received some e-mail from an avowed skeptic that repeatedly made the following claims:
“Is not the bible simply a book of parables and mythology, written by men for men? Is not the parable simply a short story, never intended to be taken literally? With the events of September the eleventh behind us, is it not reasonable for humanity to take another look at religion and it’s contribution to the chaos in the world?”
Such a sentiment is common. So many people today think that belief in the Bible is for the simple-minded of the past whereas we are now “enlightened” through science and discovery. However, in that view lies some unfounded assumptions – making the position as unreasonable as that which they object to.
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Assumes Myth With No Good Reason: When a skeptic asserts that the Bible is merely a collection of myths, he must put forth evidence to bolster his claim. But if we are to compare the Biblical texts against other ancient documents, we find a marked difference. The Bible speaks about real people, places and events and dates many of those events within an historical framework. The New Testament especially reads not like myth at all, but like recorded history. In fact, if we use the rules of textual criticism consistently across all ancient documents, we find the Bible to be some of the most reliable historical documents of antiquity.
More importantly, it is evident that the authors of the Bible intended for the readers to take them literally. Luke begins his gospel by explicitly stating, that he has carefully investigated the accounts of Jesus from the eyewitnesses and he seeks to write out “the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” To claim that this was intended as a parable or myth is wholly without merit…