The historical integrity of the Bible.
One of the most annoying accusations is that there are manuscripts that have been found that are older than what the bible is supposed to be so therefore the bible has to be a false document. The real motive is to discredit the biblical scriptures rather than examine just where the bible actually comes from.
The bible itself is a historical record mainly devoted to the formation of the nation of Israel and Gods dealings with that nation as pertaining to the establishments of the covenants with that nation thus setting in place the chain of events that lead up to this day. It was originally started by Moses who had been raised and educated in the royal house of Egypt. The first book of the Bible is the Book of Genesis and clearly cover the events of human history prior to the establishment of that first covenant with Abraham which occurred over 400 years before Moses was even born.
So where did Moses get the records from that he used to write this first book. Clearly as he was educated in the Egyptian systems it would be logical to assume that he used the ancient Egyptian records as his starting point and then drew on the Israelite oral traditions to fill in the rest as pertaining to the Abrahamic lines. The books after that, Consisting of the Torah, all took place with Moses being an eye witness to the events and therefore he was just a recorder of the events and revelations as they unfolded. It is quite possible that it was in fact Moses that actually developed the Hebrew alphabet for his people in the first place. While the Israelites were doing their 40 year stint in the wilderness he had plenty of time to get all the records in place and writing system established. Those that remained with him all properly schooled and trained so that they could lead the nation into the promised land after they returned, and in a position to continue updating the records as they went through the Jordan.
So now where does that leave all the other traces of ancient religious literature? Well obviously God did not just appear on the scene when Abraham showed up. After all he was active with Noah and the tower of Babel and he did put a smite on Sodom. So of course there are going to be other records prior to the traditional bible but that does not mean that it is not the same God or that the traditional Bible is wrong. It just means that the scriptures represent a more organized form of record keeping, that’s all, and is the reason those records are so accessible today.
So when did all this religiosity stuff with God start and the ideas of sacrifices and rituals actually begin. Well believe it or not that is recorded in the Bible anyway. It started right in the beginning with Cain and Able, the very first two children that Adam and Eve gave birth to.
Gen 4:3 And in the end of days, it happened, Cain brought to Jehovah an offering of the fruit of the ground.
Gen 4:4 And Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat of it. And Jehovah had respect to Abel and to his offering,
Gen 4:5 but He did not have respect to Cain and to his offering. And Cain glowed with anger, and his face fell. [/quote]
Well it would seem that the first conflict on this earth was a religious one. Cain killed Able out of Jealousy because God showed Able’s sacrifice more attention than his own. And the act of violence was committed by the vegetarian side and their green movement. How’s that for a twist. And how strange it is that not much seems to have changed as we seem to be ending where we began! But we only know about it because someone kept a record of it and it was eventually committed to a written form.
Then we get to something interesting in the days of Noah!
Gen 6:7 And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air. For I repent that I have made them.
Gen 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah.
Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
Gen 6:10 And Noah fathered three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Gen 6:12 And God looked upon the earth. And, behold, it was corrupted! For all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. [/quote]
Now for Noah to walk with God meant that there had to be a knowledge about God for him to know what he was doing. But the rest of society at that time were all off in another direction. So the Knowledge of God was by-en-large lost. Now Noah was obviously going against the grain and out of step with the normal society at that time. But he was the one that had it right.
But if we ever got our hands on a written record of that time concerning the accepted religious practices written by the scholars of that day and were able to read it the following would become obvious. It would be very ancient, it would be genuine and it would be labeled as authentic. Only problem is that it would obviously not be accurate. After all it would concern religious rituals that God found offensive and it would not be in our interest to start to practice them all over again. So old does not mean right!
But then we get to the point where the very start of the Israelite nation began to come about and the plan of redemption that was destined to take place many thousands of years later was started in motion.
Gen 12:1 And Jehovah said to Abram, Go out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house into a land that I will show you.
Gen 12:2 And I will make you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing.
Gen 12:3 And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. [/quote]
This is where the first covenant was to be established and God was to breed up his holy nation in the earth. It is from this point that the scriptures stopped being just a general record and started to be a specific record about this Holy Nation.
Now we come to an interesting record concerning the fall of nations.
Gen 15:12 And it happened as the sun was setting, and a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him!
Gen 15:13 And He said to Abram, You must surely know that your seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them. And they shall afflict them four hundred years.
Gen 15:14 And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance.
Gen 15:15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace. You shall be buried in a good old age.
Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. [/quote]
Now here God was telling Abraham that his decedents were going to be going into bondage into Egypt for 400 years. An event that was at that time still two generations away. But this is the interesting part and it is from this that we get the understanding that judgment only falls on the generation that is ready for it.
The land that God promised to Abraham belonged to the Amorites at that time. But this nation was still close enough to God that he was not prepared to sweep them away yet. In other words they still had a true knowledge of God. But God knew the direction that they were going to be going in and that in 500 years they would be so far gone that they would be ready for his judgments and that the land could be given to another people that were more worthy. It was not that God was not giving these nations warnings as well. After all it was during Abrahams time that Sodom got blasted as a warning to all. But the lesson was obviously brushed aside.
Now we are finding old religious writings from that period that belonged to the Amorites and Philistines etc. And they are indeed authentic and do represent the religious practices of that region at that time. Only problem is that God couldn’t stand the sight of them. So it would be safe to assume that there was something horribly wrong with their religious practices and that we should not be considering them as something to place our own faith in or emulate in any way. If anything it should be a study on how things go off the rails and what the results are likely to be! That concept can be reinforced when it is considered that whenever the Israelites drifted away from their God and started to copy the practices of these nations around them they also started to come under the curse as well.
So all things considered, finding old writings that predate the Bible do not mean that the Bible is inaccurate or that the older writings carry more weight or that the older writings are more pure or closer to God in any way. They are just old but not necessarily accurate from Gods perspective. They should be taken as a warning of what NOT to do!
This is a link to a secular record of the exodus as viewed from the Egyptian side.
People do try and explain it away but lets face it. How often do all the waters in the land turn to blood. As far as I know it has only happened once in recorded history.
And with the nations army drowned Egypt was wide open for the plunder.