I cant say I love the Bible I respect it as a great historical document It is a very confusing and contradictory document What I get from the Bible is a little bit of how you should act as a man (as per corinthians and romans ) but overall I find it lacking as proof of divine anything. Jesus certainly had a good message if we can believe the words as accurate. I found some inspiration on how to behave and think from the story of Jesus but I also found similar inspiration from the bahatvahghida and the way of the kung fu . If it really is THE ONLY TRUTH I think it would be more apparent . Some say that only when you are full of the holy spirit will the truth be made plain when you read the Bible. Yeah,,,,right,, But those people also say other things that go against a lot of what Jesus stood for.
Do you still love the Bible?
I was raised a witness to believe the Bible as well. Blind faith. But I really didn't feel a true spiritual connection with God until I volunteered to "Go where the need was greater." I grew up in Compton, California, a middle-class black area where the "truth" took over like a wildfire. So many witnesses were coming in that it was the fastest-growing area for witnesses in the country. The congregations were dividing and dividing and dividing and the congregation territories got smaller and smaller and smaller. As a result the territory was likely overworked. The zeal of the young brothers was there though, so lots wanted to pioneer and so we had to get out early and stand on the corners of the do-nut shops or stores that were open. It seems soooo silly now because instead of a tasteful say one or two brothers standing around, sometimes they were lined up all along the wall. It seems so silly now, but that's how we had to put in our time; the territory didn't last but an hour or so at the most. So the thing was for the young ones to "go where the need was greater" which was in the South. Some brothers actually moved to where the preaching work was greater. That was my goal. So I got a job in a high-school tutorial program where I tutored Spanish to Jr. High School students to save enough to pay for my going to Arkansas during the summer. A brother who had gone there would provide me shelter. It wasn't enough money so my parents had to supplement; my parents, though on a strict budget were wonderful that way and still are.
Finally, off I went to "where the need was greater" and in that process of being in the full-time service, I just came a heightened sense of my love for God and the Bible. I was just 16. I loved it all. I was really into it. I even played the piano for the congregation who had a piano but no piano player. It was a bit different though since this was The South in the 60's so we only contacted blacks and there were two separate congregations. Even so, the black and white brothers knew each other and got along just like at the assemblies. Then one day when I had been out a long day and was coming in, it was thundering and about to rain. I was running trying to get in before it started and just as I reached the porch it just POURED! I hadn't gotten wet. It was as if God had not let it rain until just as I got cover. And at that moment I just sensed Jehovah was watching over me. I had this sense of "holy spirt" I guess. Especially from then on did it seem there was harmony and compatbility between the Bible and reality and being a witness. There was just no doubt. Every challenge the world or Christendom presented seemed to be easily vanquished by what the Bible said or the Watchtower explained.
But it was still blind faith. Hope, with no direct confirmation that any of this was really true. I just believed it. Then, many, many years later during the summer of 1992, after all my struggles with my personal issues and the truth, something amazing happened. I became one of the "anointed." Most have only heard about this from others. When some are asked about how a person feels if they are anointed, they all say the same thing, that it's just an assured feeling. But also, they say something strange happens with respect to the Bible and that is, it seems as though suddenly that the Bible is talking to them directly, as if certain verses light up and jump out at you. I had that precise feeling! I started seeing things in the scriptures that I hadn't noticed before. At that point, I rejoiced though, because for me, all that I had only believed before was now FULFILLED. I actually had something more direct upon which to believe the Bible is ture and that God alive. Many things happened since then of course, but at that point I knew the Bible was true and that God is real.
So even though many don't have that experience, there is no doubt for me that the Bible is true and God's word. So that's one level. It's different for the "anointed" who are more directly involved with scripture than say for most.
But then, after the fact, I did look into the major issues contradicting the Bible as a book of truth, which is the scientific attacks from archaeology and in relation to evolution, as well as conflicting ancient history. Evolution proved to essentially be an "inconclusive" argument that went no where. Evolutionists don't want to have to explain where it all begin and just want to explain how it evolved after it all began quite mysteriously. That's usually where I get off. But if you pursue this further, it no longer becomes about the process of "evolution" but about the contradiction of the Bible's timeline as to when things started and what the scientists are saying, a few thousand years versus millions, and that argument continues, so nothing is resolved there. Of course, the Global Flood is an attempt to discredit the Bible but lack of evidence is not real proof against the Bible for a fundamentalist. So that's another dead topic. But what you have left, a little more hands-on was the archaeology and ancient history. That's where I focussed a lot of my research. As a result of that, my faith in God's word not only intensified but it became even more accurate!
What do I mean? I mean ancient texts, like the SK400 astronomical text actually forced me to correct some false beliefs I had from what the Bible says or what I was taught by the Watchtower without really paying attention! This demonstrates how something like this actually increases your faith. Basically, the WTS had quoted from the "Strm. Kambyses 400" astronomical text about two lunar eclipses, the same year that supported or confirmed that Kambyses' 7th year occurred in 523BCE. I knew by this time from the Bible that 455 BCE had to be the 1st of Cyrus. But going by what I had been taught all those years by the WTS, that the 70 years began with the fall of Jerusalem, a cornerstone belief related to 607BCE and 1914, I assumed that the corrected date for the fall of Jerusalem must have been 525BCE and that is what I started preaching. I was convinced that somehow the astronomical text must somehow point to the correct date. I didn't know anything about astronomy back then. But I cross-checked and cross-checked for two eclipses that would align with 525BCE and it just wasn't happening. Of course, one of the eclipses was 2-hours askew for 523BCE as well so there was no problem dismissing the SK400 as a fake text. Also a "year 9" reference was in the text and Kambyses at the most only ruled for 8 years, so something was wrong. Still, I didn't want to think that astronomy from this ancient text didn't support the Bible. I figured if the Bible was true then some way, this text should reflect this. I couldn't make heads or tails out of this situation and basically sort of gave up. Out of curiousity though, I finally decided to look for dual-eclipses during these months for the entire period of 500-600 BCE, just to see if these eclipses made any sense with respect to the times in the eclipses. And then it happened!! In 541 BCE, there were two lunar eclipses in the prescribed months that matched the eclipse interval between these two eclipses of 2 hours and 46 minutes! WOW! That must be it. Those must be the eclipses! I wantd this so badly to be "year 7" of Nebuchadnezzar which I was dating 4 years later in 537 BCE. But it wasn't working. I was desperate too, willing to try and compensate for a year give or take. But no go. The text clearly matches 541 BCE for "year 7" and that was that. There was a 4-year discrepancy that I couldn't resolve. Having faith in the Bible, I just assumed that the text must be wrong and fraudulent. I let it go, not giving up my faith that the Bible had to be true and no matter what, Jerusalem had to fall in 525BCE as the Bible said.
But then, generally doing more research into the NB Period and finding out all this history from a different point of view, maybe a few weeks later I stumbled upon Jeremiah 52:30. Basically I was looking for perhaps a double-rulership for Nebuchadnezzar or something, something that would explain why his year 7 was falling in 541BCE instead of 537BCE. But there it was! Jeremiah 52:30 says that the last deportation from Jerusalem was in the 23rd year of Nebuchadnezzar! Therefore, the land was not completely desolated until the 23rd year! If that's the case, the 525BCE was actually when the 70 years began and 529BCE is the actual date for year 19 of Nebuchadnezzar. Thus my dating was 4 years off! At the same time, of course, the eclipse reference was also four years off! That is, once you correct the Bible's chronology so that the fall of Jerusalem falls in 529BCE, year 19 of Nebuchadnezzar, his 7th year falls in 541 BCE!!!! AMAZING!!!!
Now what is so grand about this is, that this is the direct result of an ancient astronomical text!!! A text that actually corrected my inaccurate chronology of the Bible! So then I had the best of both worlds. I had an ancient astronomical text confirming the accurate Bible chronology! It was a RUSH!!! I couldn't believe it! This was early on, long because the VAT4956 even more specifically does the same thing, pointing to 511BCE for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar, the exact same chronology.
So when you talk about faith in the Bible, especially now that we have two astronomical texts that can be used not only to support the Bible's specific chronology but independently correct the secular chronology, then your faith in God's word as a true book of history simply soars!! This has nothing to do with "holy spirit" or seeing or talking to God or any of that. This is simple, pure, direct RESEARCH.
So absolutely the Bible is true if you actually get really close to the actual research and discover these things.
Then on top of all this, just recently, after digging into the archaeology challenges now being thrusted against the Bible by archaeologists like Israel Finkelstein who want us to think King David and Solomon are myths, because they don't match the archaeological timeline, another huge surprise! Turns out the Bible's corrected chronology which would date Shishak's invasion specifically to 871BCE is directly confirmed by RC14 dating from Rehov. That is, the archaeologists have actually gotten so good, they have painted themselves into a corner! They figured out that if they carefully discover grains or cereals that are burned at the time of a destructive event and test those grains, then they can get a more accurate idea of precisely when this event occurs. Seems reasonable that grains found could be presumed to have been perhaps harvested that same year. But a new method was introduced where they divide the sample up and test it multiple times. What they discovered is, even though the range of dating might be about 90 years, there was a consistent random higher ratio of dating in the very middle of the range! As a result, radiometrologists provide dating, if the samples are good for some events to within less than ten years! That is profound! That's because even Finkelstein considers Solomon and David impossible during their current times and they are just displaced about 54-60 years! Dating to within 10 years is a profound contradiction or confirmation of any timeline.
Well, guess what? I'M CONCERNED HERE! That's because knowing the precise dating to be 571 BCE, and the reasonable theory behind radiometric dating using RC14 for short-lived grains, it should confirmed the Bible's dating, right? I mean, that's what I'm thinking. If this is scientific and all, it should point more toward 571BCE than the erroneous dating of 925BCE. Well, IT DOES!!!
Further, it proves the 925BCE dating is wrong!
So when it comes to faith, even though now those who actually use this RC14 dating to bash the Bible are now trying to qualify the results, subjectively if you dated Shishak's invasion as I do to 871 BCE, this new research just confirms your faith in the Bible even more!!! At the same time, it dismisses, like the VAT4956 and the SK400 do, the false chronology that is used to contradict the Bible. Again, this is not "holy spirit"or just blind faith, this is direct historical and scientific evidence that supports the Bible and that can be used to build up faith in the Bible.
Therefore, many who dismiss the Bible as inaccurate, are those who take the word of biased archaeologists like Finkelstein and others, and who don't look at all the evidence or more of the direct evidence. Thus they make their dismissal because they are not well informed or have been influenced by what the "experts" have decided, even though if you directly consider ALL the evidence, so much supports the Bible's timeline but it is ignored. Final case in point of FAITH IN THE BIBLE, is the digging up of Jericho by Kathleen Kenyon. She clearly dismisses the popular chronology for the fall of Jericho based upon the current popular timeline that would date the Exodus in 1446 BCE and thus the fall of Jericho around 1406 BCE. Her archaeological findings dates the fall of Jericho where they found cartouches of Pharaoh Shishak at the last destructive level to between 1350-1325BCE. Now this is already on the books! If you use this archaeological dating alone to project to the Exodus, you'll get a 5-year early range of dates for the Exodus between 1390-1985BCE. But this alone would force you to date or consider dating Solomon's 4th year falling no earlier than 910 BCE to 905BCE (Solomon's 4th year is 380 years after the Exodus)! But this is ignored by archaeologists who don't use the Egyptian-based dating for Jericho for determining Solomon's rule. Instead they use the erroneous secular dating and then claim the Bible writers revised their documents. So you see there are two sides to this story. More than one way to look at the evidence!
In the meantime, this dating by Kenyon totally agrees and aligns with the RC14 dating, since that dating would overlap the narrow range of dating for Shishak's invasion between 874-867 BCE. That is, say if you dated the Exodus in 1386BCE, as I do, then that falls within that 1390-1385 BCE range. Shishak's invasion occurs in year 39 of Solomon so that matches the dating to 871BCE and that's confirmed by the RC14 dating. But it is also compatible with the fall of Jericho in 1346 BCE as dated by Kenyon.
So is the Bible a true book of history? YES, it is! If you first get the right chronology from the Bible straightened out from those want to distort the Bible's chronology like secular historians and the WTS, AND you actually do your own research to find out the true facts instead of what is biasedly represented by those who have their own anti-Biblical angendas.
So do I believe the Bible is true history? Absolutely! But far moreso based upon actual supportive historical, astronomical, archaeological and scientific evidence than before, evidence that allows me to dismiss the lies totally and have complete faith in the Bible.
So now it's an absolutely wonderful time for Biblicalists, especially in regard to understanding the contradictions and challenges presented against the Bible as far as chronology and the Bible's history. At this point, beause it is possible to reconstruct the original secular timleine, which is now identifical to the Bible's, there is no reason to doubt the Bible as a true historical record. And at that point, that recommends that the Bible is true in other areas.
It's AWESOME now. It's wonderful and it's ABSOLUTE. The Bible is a true book of history. I have the goods to prove it!
So the advice to those who want to maintain their faith in the Bible, you have two choices:
1) Simply accept the Bible is true and try to understand it more accurately and do as Paul told Timothy and ignore all the secular "genealogies" that deal with history and the "false stories" out there that contradict the Bible's history and chronology. Just have blind, absolute faith.
2) If that's not good enough, then you have to do the hard work like I did of taking these people who are challening the Bible to task. A degree behind their name is an automatic red flag they don't know what they are talking about or are lying. That's the attitude. Take them to task on every little detail and if possible get to the source materials and don't deal with their interpretation of the source materials. Get fully involved. When you do that, you'll find many times there are many issues that archaeologists and/or scholars vary on or have different opinions on. You'll find there is more than one timeline for different periods that are supported by different scholarly groups, as in the case of the Egyptian timeline. Arm yourself with KNOWLEDGE. Listen to all sides of the story. Listen and read what Olof Jonsson has to say, for instance, about the 70 years, but check into Josephus as well to see what traditional Jewish history says about when the "70 years" of desolation or servitude says. Don't just read his book and think, "Oh yeah, I'm impressed. He explained that well." It doesn't work that way. You may still agree with him at the end of the day, but you have to hear all the counter arguments. A lot of people want to influence you to doubt the Bible is true history. But in fact, it ACTUALLY and truly is the most accurate history and there is an abundance of evidence now that reconstructs the original timeline, supported as noted above by both science and astronomical texts. At this point, there is no excuse not to consider the Bible reliable history. Research is going on all the time. More sites are being dug up and more information is coming in. If the Bible is truly accurate history, then this is a good thing. The more they dig up, the more you will be able to fill in the missing pieces. But BE HONEST. You have to actually accept the Bible's own timeline! You can't change the history of Persian Period and then think Solomon and David's timline is going to work out. You have to accept the Bible's dating of the 1st of Cyrus in 455BCE and go from there. IF the Bible says there were 70 years from the last deportation, then compare THAT with the evidence, not some convoluted explanation that requires you to doubt a certain part of the Bible to make something else fit. The moment you don't follow the Bible precisely, you will be comparing the wrong dating and will get the wrong results. When you have the correct dating, then everything from the astronomy to the RC14 dating falls right into place.
But if you don't use the Bible's true timeline, then there is plenty of reason to doubt the Bible isn't true. For instance, JWs date Solomon's rule some 127 years earlier than the Bible does, which is 67 years earlier than the secular archaeologists do who are already saying Solomon is dated to early. So how is that as far as building faith that the Bible is true? What is you're a witness faced with the RC14 evidence now pointing to 871BCE and your WTS is telling you per the Bible this happened 127 years earlier? How can you justify that? Now, true, I'm a hardcore fundamentalist like the rest and I have my suitcase of excuses why everything doesn't seem to work if it doesn't agree with the Bible, just to reassure myself, But still, one has to wonder. In the meantime, if you actually keep digging, then the Bible will always turn out accurate and true, as it has for me.
So I'm a very happy and very confident person as far as the Bible is concerned. Not just because I'm into prophecy and see some accurate dating being fulfilled but also because of some hardline research that has turned out very supportive of the Bible. It's just WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!!
JCanon, you're really got to learn to nutshell, or at least summarize. Your post contains 3,512 words, and I can guarantee you that no one does more than skim it. You are obviously smart enough to narrow your focus and your points, and you would be way ahead to do so.
IF YOU LOVE THE BIBLE, there are two things that build faith in the Bible.
1) Fulfilled Bible prophecies recorded over 2 thousand years ago that fit events of our day.
2) Hardcore research into history, astronomical texts, archaeology, etc. that support the Bible's true timeline; but you must not waver on that timeline. You have to actually use the Bible's timeline. If you are in doubt, then test the timelines that are out there. There is no harm in understanding the various times and comparing them with the evidence. You can come to your own conclusion afterwards, therefore, even if you consider the Biblical interpretation of the timeline up for grabs. It's not an open number of options, only about 2 or 3 that you have to consider and compare. And most of that has been done for you, you only need to do a web search and see some of the pros vs cons arguments on every single date. But make sure you read my own references since I'm the one with the most accurate chronology for both the Bible and secular history. BE informed.
When I pursued the above, my faith in God's word as the true book of history and inspiration by God soared. Not that I wouldn't have maybe still believed the Bible had I not done the research or perhaps not understood all the prophesies because I was one of the chosen anointed ones, but still, it does INCREASE that faith when you can actually relate it to archaeological or scientific evidence. It just does!
A WARNING: If you want to believe the Bible but you need some "reality checks" as well as far as historical or scientific corroboration, then it's going to take some TIME and RESEARCH. Remember, Satan is out there with all the propganda he can come up with to try to destroy your faith. You have to do as the Bible says and build your house on the ROCK MASS, that means directly on the Bible. If you build your house on the sand, which includes what the Watchtower says that contradicts the Bible, then when all of Satan's propaganda comes around and strikes your house, it will fall with a great collapse. Rock-solid faith comes from the rock-solid faith in the Bible, but also if you do research, you have to get past the interpretations and look at the actual evidence yourself. When you do that, then the evidence comes through to support the Bible. For instance, I date the 1st of Cyrus to 455 BCE because the Bible says that event is 483 years from the baptism of Christ, "when the word goes forth to rebuild Jerusalem." Now that is challenging since secular history and even the witnesses date that event to 537BCE, which is an 82-year gap. Do you have faith in the Bible even at this point? Well countering this in support of the secular timeline is presented key astronomical texts like the VAT4956, which has over 70 references, all of them except a couple of "errors" pointing quite specifically to 568BCE for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar. Problematic? Not really. If you just took this reference for face value it would be. But turns out this text comes from 200 years after the fact, so we can dismiss it on that basis alone. So it never has been an issue as far as dating accurately the NB Period if there were cany contradictions, especially Biblical. But it turns out that the "errors" in that document were discovered to be from the identical lunar cycle, and thus not likely incidental "errors" but intentional references to another year. That lunar cycle was then matched to 511BCE. This circumstance suggests that 511 BCE was the true original chronology and 568BCE was a revised, fabricated date. The text alone does that. But the question for those who want to believe the Bible is, whether or not 511 BCE reflects the 455BCE dating from the Bible! After all, the VAT4956 late creation cannot be used as an argument against a cryptic reference like we can use it for the primary reference. If 511 BCE did not match the Bible's chronology for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar, then it would tend to suggest the Bible's chronology was inaccurate. Turns out though, 511 BCE is the PRECISE YEAR for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar when the 1st of Cyrus falls in 455BCE. Quite simply, the last deportation is 70 years prior to the 1st of Cyrus and thus falls in 525BCE, which was year 23 of Nebuchadenzzar, which means year 37 falls in 511 BCE. See how that works? Suddenly you know from this text alone that the 568BCE chronology is fabricated, meaning both 607BCE and 587BCE for the fall of Jerusalem are inaccurate since they are based on this same revised timeline that dates the fall of Babylon in 539BCE. Instead, it now supports the 455 BCE dating for the 1st of Cyrus as well as the 70 years mentioned in the Bible. So you get both a "relative chronology" and "absolute chronology" confirmation of the Bible's timeline at the same time.
Now some people don't want to go to the astronomical texts or get involved in all that. That's fine. But these same people will then feel challenged in their faith in the Bible by all the rhetoric. You can't play both sides of the fence. You either have to just go by the Bible and forget about everything that doesn't agree with the Bible. Or do as I did, after accepting what the Bible really is presenting, go and do your research and see just how strong this evidence truly is. When you do. That is, you try to find hardcore evidence that the Bible must be inaccurate, then suddenly you'll see all the weaknesses of the lying secular chronology or biased archaeology and you can see so much of the fundamental research and evidence directly support the Bible. So even if some things are a matter of opinion, you'll have your own evidence supporting the Bible, which is still faithbuilding. See some people will flash the "Saturn Tablet" in my face saying this confirms the current secular chronology is true. I might have an answer to that document other than the presumption it was part of the revised documents from the Seleucid Period. But I don't have to just use blind faith in the Bible, I can wave the VAT4956 in their faces and claim I have my own evidence what the chronology was. Thus the argument is really between two astronomical texts in conflict rather than any real challenge to the Bible. So that matters and that helps when you can come up with your own alternative research.
Thus the Bible is "true and accurate", not just because you were raised a witness and want to believe it. For what we do have available as far as archaeology goes, a lot supports the Bible, and a lot more is in place now than even before. There is more reasons now to believe the Bible is accurate and true than even ten years ago.
I love the Bible...I regard it among the literary treasures of our cultural heritage.
Among other things, it tells us who we are, who we were, and it makes us think about who we want to be.
There are many other instances that I've uncovered to show that the Bible clearly isn't infalable, or the Word of God, but this has made me realize just how wonderful this collection of writings actually is and I still have a passion and deep love for it, because I now see it for what it actually is... A collection of ancient writings, written by ordinary, imperfect men.
Very much my feeling too. And there's nothing wrong with it being an anthology of different works expressing different points of view. "Contradiction" is too judgmental a word and is borne out of a misplaced concept of unity of scripture. I feel that the BIble's diversity should be embraced and celebrated. It makes it a certainly richer book. And it makes one want to look at the wider context... at the wider array of literature from which the canonical books were chosen. Taking it all together, you get a breathtaking parorama of cultural and religious ideas and their development.
You wanna know another reason why my faith in the Bible is so strong? FULFILLED BIBLE CHRONOLOGY!
You see, with chronology, certain things have to happen at a specific time. If it doesn't, then it suggests the Bible's chronology is wrong. Case in point, the Holocaust. Per the Bible it has to happen during a 7-year period between 62 weeks and 7 weeks, during a 70-week period. That is, the "cut off" occurs after 62 weeks or 434 years into this 70-week period, but the jubilee of the Jews has to be the final 49 years, or 7 weeks. 62 weeks and 7 weeks is 69 weeks. That leave 1 week for the "desolation" of the Jews. Zech 13:8 says that when this "great tribulation" happens two-thirds of the Jews would perish and a third would be restored to Israel after it was all over.
Well, there's no getting out of calculating when the series of 70 weeks occur since we know absolutely the 70-weeks are fixed by when Jesus arrived in 29CE, fixing the 70th week in his day from 29-36CE. Thus the 70 weeks go from 455BCE to 36CE. But that locks into place every other subsequent 70 weeks, right? So we only have to count down to our day to figure out where the 70 weeks fall. 490 x 4 is 1960. 1960 plus 36 CE gives us 1996. Thus the 70 weeks for our day, the time when two-thirds of the Jews would be exterminated (Daniel 9:27 "there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination...").
Now keep in mind, this is just my interpretation or the interpretation of others wo have figured out this chronology. Thus it involved our faith if we see a relative fulfillment. This is what we need for our faith in the Bible to prove true. Well, if the 70 weeks ended in 1996 then it begins in 1506 and 62 weeks, a period of 434 years, would end in 1940 (434 + 1506 = 1940). That means the week of desolation wherein two-thirds of the Jews would be "exterminated" would have to occur specifically between 1940 and 1947 if the Bible is true and this is the right interpretation. Well, that is precisely what happened. Six million Jews out of an estimated nine million were indeed exterminated during this period. And then quite specifically in 1947, which needs to begin the 70th jubilee of 49 years, is the precise year the Jews indeed were granted sovereignty to their "promised land"; six months later they set up the Sate of Israel. So it fits the prophecy precisely. And this is dating that cannot be adjusted. The 70 weeks is fixed by 29 CE.
But having that interpretation, actually looking at the fulfilment of this prophecy and seeing it happen so precisely as we would expect, totally builds up our faith that the Bible is true and a true book of prophecy!!! How could the Bible have prophesied this so specifically and accurately to match modern events with ancient onces. Now we have coordination between 29 CE and 1947.
In addition, sometimes modern events that we use to fulfill prophecy also reflects on ancient history and confirmation related to archaeology. Case in point, if 1947 truly does represent the 70th jubilee in a week of 3430 years (70 x 49 = 3430), then we can date the Exodus specifically to 1386 BCE by this method, and thus Solomon's 4th year to 906BCE and Shishak's invasion in Solomon's 39th year to 871BCE. Point being, we have archaeological dating using RC14 from Rehov that dates short-lived grains found burned during Shishak's invasion dated to witin lesss than 10 years. That extremely narrow range includes the 871 BCE dating!
So see how the faith builds and builds and builds and builds? But it doesn't build for those people who claim they don't need chronology! Or those who don't bother with the research but listen to everybody else trying to bash the Bible. Thus both the research into archaeology and understanding Bible chronology so much increase faith in the Bible! So many specific events have to be coordinated to specific dates and when you see archaeological evidence or astronomical text evidence coming in support of the Bible, it just amazes you! Your faith in the Bible gets confirmed absolutely.
But if you don't do the research or you are only casually trying to make the Bible's timeline work and you make some errors, like JWs do, then the really hardcore evidence is going to challenge your faith. For instance, why does the RC14 dating of short-lived grains burned at the time of Shishak's invasion point to 871 BCE but the JWs say that event happend 127 years earlier in 998 AD? Popular secular history claims it happend in 925 AD. See? If you have the wrong dates, this could potentially be discouraging, perhaps making you see that the Bible really isn't true. Or that the WTS' historical dating isn't true. Sometimes people don't separate faith in the Bible and faith in the WTS. But you must! You cannot follow the apostate WTS now, especially with their chronology, since it is inaccurate, and then do research thinking you'll find confirmation of this timeline. You won't.
I'll give you a perfect example. The VAT4956. It has dating mostly for 568BCE for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar, but it is part of the coordinated dating that also supports 539 BCE for the fall of Babylon, a date the WTS uses. How do they get around that? Actually, in this case they can because it's a Seleucid Period document and presumed revised anyway. But still, in the same document is double-dating to 511 BCE, presumably the true original dating for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar. That does not work out for the WTS' dating for the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who date that event 20 years earlier than secular historians to 588BCE rather than 568BCE. So while the 568BCE dating is dismissible as challenging the JW dating, the 511 BCE is less dismissible and more challenging. How can they explain the cryptic 511 BCE dating in relation to their dating? In the meantime, if you use 455BCE for dating the 1st of Cyrus, the 511 BCE dating falls in the correct year for year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar! Thus, instead of having a challenge or having to come up with excuses for your faith in the Bible, now you can relax since your faith is confirmed. The double-dating to 511 BCE preempts the 568BCE dating so we know 511 BCE must have been the original year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar, which the Bible, indeed, confirms!
So now you have RC14 dating for Rehov in 871BCE, a completely scientific and independent means of dating, and an astronomical text that can be used to date year 37 of Nebuchadnezzar to 511 BCE, which both agree with the 1st of Cyrus falling in 455 BCE! So how do you explain all this scientific and astronomical text information coming together so accurately for such specific dating unless they all are reflecting the truth of the original chronology? And that, in turn, projects to specific dating for the arrival of the Christ in 29 CE and the final return during the 70th week jubilee of the Jews in 1947.
So NO WAY! Anybody at this point who wants to claim the Bible isn't accurate history is just laughed at. They are either out of touch, out of date or totally out of their minds living in an anti-Biblical fantasy world or having an anti-Biblical acid trip. At this point, it's either accept the Bible as true history, or just be uninformed and stupid. It's just that simple.
I have to admit that I still do....there are a few passages that move me.
Yeah, much like how music moves you, but I would say songs have more of an effect than the bible!
Music has saved my life more than once.
I can't say that for the Bible.
JCanon, you're really got to learn to nutshell, or at least summarize. Your post contains 3,512 words, and I can guarantee you that no one does more than skim it.
I can guarantee you that some read his entire posts.
Blueviceroy: I cant say I love the Bible I respect it as a great historical document It is a very confusing and contradictory document.
It is very true the Bible can be "confusing" and sometimes that seems to make it contradictory. But I've found, looking closely at what some people call "contradictions" turn out not to be that at all, but usually due to some misinterpretation or lack of expertise. So if you wish, could you please just give us say three of the things you find in the Bible "contradictory" since possibly a couple of those can be explained by the apologists.
Now some things you do just have to believe on blind faith. After all, there would be indirect evidence at best of any miracles that occurred. So I wouldn't presume to try to prove by any archaeological evidence or historical corroboration the details of Eden or even the Global Flood. But once you get into some of the later periods where we have a lot of archaeological documentation and even some astronomical texts that have survived, you'd be surprised how much of it actually still is available that directly support the Bible!
In the meantime, I've found a consistent circumstance where often what is perceived to be a contradiction is not that at all, but a misinterpretation of the Bible or a lack of diligence in trying to resolve an issue.
Just one example: The case of the Mesha Stele (Moabite Stone) that was found. Wonderful! This is a secular document from Mesha explaining the details of how he broke away from the "king of Israel." This confirms him as a true historical character during the time of the Ahab and Jehoram. But it claims that he rebelled half-way through the rule of the king of Israel. This is considered a contradiction to what the Bible says, which is that Mesha rebelled right after the death of Ahab. So some people think either Mesha got the facts wrong if they believe the Bible, but others claim the Bible story was adjusted or inaccurate. Which is unfornate. However, it turns out, if you're a chronologist, that you'd realize that Ahab and Jehoram were co-rulers for precisely six years. We know that because the Bible gives both of Jehoroam's kingship dates. There was a coronation for when he became co-ruler as well as sole ruler. The Bible doesn't distinguish between them, only noting he "became king"; that's because the co-ruler son and the father had the same title as "king." Thus Jehoram became king in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat as well as the 2nd year of Jehoram of Judah. Two dates. But Jehoram of of Judah became king in the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel! That means that Jehoroam of Israel, Ahab's son, became king in his own 6th year. In turn, he ruled for 12 years. Thus he became king mid-way through his rule. Thus the "King of Israel" that Mesha was talking about rebelling against mid-way through his reign was Jehoram, not Ahab. Even the cryptic "40 years" of servitude he mentions matches the number of years of all the kings over Mesha from the time of Omri. Omri ruled for 12 years, Ahab for 22 years, which is 34 years. If you factor in the 6 years under Jehoram during the co-rulership it totals 40 years.
So you see? A classic example of completely harmony between a secular source and the Bible, with that source confirming for us the 6-year co-rulership! So instead of distracting or challenging faith in the Bible, when you actually get the correct understanding, it increases faith in the Bible. In the meantime, if this is one of the "contradictions" you might have had in mind, you can see it really isn't. Now I'm not saying that there aren't many things in the Bible that seem contradictory or that might not have an answer we fully understand, but generally speaking, there are far less contradictions for the fundamentalists than for those who are only superficially reading the Bible and thinking there is a contradiction when there really is none. There are many more examples of this.
I'm not promising to answer or explain any of what you consider contradictions, but I would be interested in seeing say what you think are say 5 major contradictions that you have not been able to resolve that suggests to you the Bible must not be accurate. It would be interesting to know just what a person who thinks there are "contradictions" in the Bible actually is getting that from. If it's about the flood or whether dinosaurs are 2 milllion years old, then I can understand those things. I don't have a response, necessarily. But for internal Biblical issues that might contradict with secular historical records, a lot of these "discrepancies" are resolvable as in the case above, resulting in the opposite effect, one's faith in the Bible is strengthened and not challenged.