Answers in Genesis: The Test of Truth

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.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

16 responses to “Answers in Genesis: The Test of Truth

  1. I am relieved to know that, by Hambone’s computation, AEsop’s Fables is at least as accurate as the bible. I’ve always prefered AEsop’s fables to the ones in the bible!

  2. Lewis Thomasonn

    The trouble with “TRUTH” as defined by religious apologist is that it has nothing to do with facts.

  3. If we accept their standard, then we have many sacred books in which to find the real god and identify the pretenders to the throne

  4. Eddie Janssen

    Thank God, Noah took one (two?) copy of each of the in his time already existing texts with him on the Ark. Otherwise we wouldn’t have known about them at all!

  5. Garnetstar

    No dumber or crazier? In this field, you must accept the sad truth that they can always top the preivous record, no matter how impossible that may seem.

    And, SC, a rare error in your writing: you omitted the mandatory scare quotes in ‘He has two “degrees” from Bob Jones University’.

  6. “It can’t get any dumber, or crazier …..”
    Ah, now that’s a challenge! This begs for a bet. How long will it take AIG or any other creationist to force our dear SC to withdraw these words by pulling off something even dumber and/or crazier? I say four months.

    “If we apply The AIG Truth Test”
    Ah, dear SC, this is not the complete AIG Truth Test. There must have been “intense efforts to destroy it” as well. Of course the Bible in that case completely fails, because there haven’t been any such efforts at all.

  7. Monty Moose

    “Thank God, Noah took one (two?) copy of each of the in his time already existing texts with him on the Ark. Otherwise we wouldn’t have known about them at all!”

    Wow! Just opened up my mind to another reason YEC is so silly. Thank you.

  8. You missed a point, the gods of Gilgamesh must be true, more true than YHWH. See what stealing other people’s work gets you?

  9. What about those people who try to suppress the deuterocanonic books of the Bible? The way that the Hebrew text of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) has survived, to take one example.

  10. lanceleuven

    “…27th or 26th century BC”

    You’ve just blown my mind. That’s incredible. I had no idea that we have texts that ancient. That’s around the time of (randomly picked ancient thing) Stonehenge. If only those people had writing too; we might know what the hell it was for.

  11. lanceleuven writes

    That’s incredible. I had no idea that we have texts that ancient

    Check out Instructions of Shuruppak, which is available on-line in translation.

    Among my own favourite pearls of wisdom therein:

    [49] You should not have sex with your slave girl: she will chew you up

    [126] You should not pass judgment when you drink beer.

    [246] You should not abuse a ewe; otherwise you will give birth to a daughter.

    Well, that’s how they called it in the 3rd millennium BC…

  12. One often sees this morbid fascination with, and reverence for, ancient texts other than the Holey Babble. There seems to be a ubiquitous cognitive tic of the human brain that compels many people to accord undue veneration to ancient writings. The underlying assumption appears to be that those ancient writers knew profoundly valuable mystical things, even vital ones, that we’ve since forgotten. Authors like Erich von Däniken, Graham Hancock, Zecharia Sitchin, et al. exemplify this type of thinking, and the widespread popularity of their works signifies extensive common buy-in.

    It seems none of these proponents has considered that truly vital knowledge simply being forgotten would be a most remarkable thing to happen. Still, they sometimes do tell good stories.

  13. Con-Tester: “…truly vital knowledge simply being forgotten would be a most remarkable thing to happen.”

    It is written that you are correct.

  14. As far as books being a target of destruction, I wonder whether any books have survived more attacks than the Talmud and the original Hebrew of the Tanakh (Old Testament).

  15. Don’t forget that the Literalist interpretation of the Bible is a relatively new phenomenon, less than 200 years. Their “Truth” doesn’t have the history they claim.

  16. Funny thing is, I have always thought that the fact that we do not have any original copies of the text of either the old or new testaments as a good argument for their lack of veracity. With so many copies of the new testament having been made, but we know that there are no surviving copies of the original text. Surely God could have arranged for the original text to have survived if he cared at all about getting the Truth to subsequent generations.