professor said Exodus 37:17-24, which describes sevenfold
lamps, was in error because such lamps did not exist in
Moses time. Later I took part in an archaeological
expedition in Dothan in Israel and watched workmen uncover
a sevenfold lamp dating from 1400 B.C., right from Moses
said the Hittites never existed because the Greeks and
Egyptians didnt mention them. Then a whole Hittite
civilization was discovered. The Greeks and Egyptians
did mention them but got the name so twisted no one recognized
it. The Bible had it right.
That did not
satisfy the critics. They said, "That may be true,
but the Horites are fiction." Others said Sargon
never existed. Some even said King David never existed.
But Horites were proved to be the same as Hurrians. Sargons
palace has been excavated. Recently, an ancient inscription
was discovered that mentions Davids name and kingdom.
Again and again
the Bible has been proved true. It is the critics who
are in error due to their unbelief and insufficient knowledge.
errors include chronological difficulties caused because
the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used
different systems of measuring time or dating. One cause
of apparent contradictions is that one passage may use
round numbers; another may give the exact figure, depending
on the purpose of the writer.
Most of the
errors critics talk about are copyists errors. Because
the books of the Bible were copied by hand it was easy
to make spelling mistakes, misread a word, or leave out
a word or a line. By comparing the many ancient copies
that have been discovered, scholars can determine the
original reading in the vast majority of cases. These
cases where we cant be sure are mostly differences
in spelling or word order. None of them affect the teachings
of the Bible in any way.
that the Bible uses everyday language because it was written
for the common people, not for scientists. Actually, scientific
language did not develop until modern times. Most of us
still use the language of appearance, just as the Bible
does. Who says, "What a beautiful earthset,"
even though we know that it is the earths turning
that causes the sunset?
The Bible is
a wonderful revelation of God and His plan. It will not
lead us astray.
For more on
this subject, see Bible Doctrines, by Menzies and
Horton, Th.D., is distinguished professor emeritus of
Bible and theology, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary;
coordinator of the Pentecostal Textbook Project; and general
editor of Logion Press, Springfield, Mo.