It can’t get any dumber, or crazier, or whatever it is that describes what we found today at the website of Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s online ministry). The title is The Preservation of the Bible.
Perhaps there’s a hidden message in the fact that it’s a repeat of an article that first posted on 01 April 2011. Yes, that’s right — the thing originally appeared on April Fool’s Day three years ago, and now they’re putting it up again.
The author is Mike Matthews. That’s a link to his biography page at AIG, where he’s described as an AIG staff writer. He has two degrees from Bob Jones University, the first in English, and then an M.Ed. in English Education. We’re not going to spend much time on his article. The sub-title is what really grabbed us:
One of the most amazing testimonies to Scripture’s truth is its preservation over thousands of years despite sometimes intense efforts to destroy it.
Ponder that, dear reader. We’re told that we can know scripture is true because it has endured for so long, despite the hazards of antiquity. Essentially the argument is: Age = Truth. The only excerpt we’ll give you is the article’s first sentence, minus the scripture references:
Jesus Christ made an amazing prophesy about this preservation of His Word: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
So we started thinking — What other old texts exist, and should we judge their truth by their age?
After looking around, we found this article at Wikipedia: Ancient literature, which starts by telling us:
The history of literature begins with the invention of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Writing developed out of proto-literate sign systems in the 30th century BC, although the oldest known literary texts date from the 27th or 26th century BC.
The oldest literary texts go back that far? Wow — that’s around 4,600 years ago! What are the odds against something that old surviving? If we apply The AIG Truth Test, those writings must be even more true than the New Testament, which is less than 2,000 years old.
Wikipedia’s article provides a “List of ancient texts,” starting with the Early Bronze Age. They list 13 items are from Sumeria and Egypt (including the earliest stories in the Epic of Gilgamesh). Then they give a list of 14 texts from the Middle Bronze Age (including the Code of Hammurabi), and then 15 texts from the Late Bronze Age (including the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which is about a century older than the Torah).
Wikipedia’s list goes on and on, eventually getting to the Iliad and the Odyssey in the 8th Century BC, the same time as a few other books in the Old Testament. The Psalms were a couple of centuries later, around the same time as Aesop’s Fables.
That’s where we’ll end our romp through ancient literature, because we’re not sure what it tells us, if anything. Well, this much is certain: If we accept The AIG Truth Test — and of course we do because we don’t want to end up in the Lake of Fire — then we have a lot of re-thinking to do.
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