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How Historically Accurate is the Bible?

30th November 2006

The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel offers a couple responses to the question, “How Historically Accurate is the Bible?” The first response is by an orthodox rabbi who believes “completely in the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Bible” on the basis of the uniqueness of its message:

The Bible internally proves its own accuracy. No people who were simply inventing their history would invent such things as apparent character flaws and mistakes in their heroes and founders. The sheer honesty of the Bible helps prove its accuracy. And the lack of precedent for and the sudden appearance out of nowhere of so many ideas in the Hebrew Bible that are fundamental to Western civilization also prove its historical accuracy.

Another answer is offered by a pastor of a Disciples of Christ church, who approaches the Bible “with prayer and scholarship” and affirms “the Bible is ‘true’ – and some of it even happened!” (italics added). Here’s an excerpt:

But reading the Bible as history misses its gift and grace, which lies not in its historical or scientific accuracy, but in the profoundly creative way it guides the search for meaning and hope. The search is so deeply rooted in the human spirit that the Bible stories predate an age of literacy. Traveling orally, the sacred words were passed from one generation to another attempting to make sense of the root of the human experience: love, suffering, joy, evil, hope.

Maximalism and minimalism in the popular press. So, what do you think?


One Response to “How Historically Accurate is the Bible?”

  1. Christopher Heard Says:

    I confess to being skeptical that the popular press has enough patience to explore the issues in detail, so the general public is left with little more than sound bites.