the scarlet thread: is the old testament reliable?

Last week we began a new series called “The Scarlet Thread.”  What is “The Scarlet Thread” you ask?  Well…

It’s the story of how God has rescued us.

It’s the story of how God had a plan for us from the very beginning.

In other words, it’s THE story.  The story of God.

In the first message, Pastor Seth walked through the beginning of the Scarlet Thread in Genesis 3.  Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, and afterwards God Himself provided a sacrifice and provided clothing for Adam and Eve.

This Sunday I’m planning to walk through some other Old Testament passages to see how the Scarlet Thread continues throughout the Old Testament.  However, I know that there are some out there who are troubled by this.  There are some who would ask, “Hasn’t Science and History proven that the Bible is nothing but myths and legends?”  Short answer: no.  But for those who like to have more evidence, here are a few things discovered through archaeology affirming people and events throughout the Old Testament.

1. Hezekiah’s Tunnel (2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chronicles 29-32)

Hezekiah was king of Judah (Southern Israel) from about 715-687 B.C.  While Hezekiah was king, the Bible declares that he built a tunnel, a wall, among other achievements.  Hezekiah's TunnelWell, Hezekiah’s tunnel was discovered back in the early 1900’s, and actually remains a popular tourist attraction in Jerusalem today.  We know it’s Hezekiah’s tunnel because there was a Hebrew text written on the walls describing how it was constructed.  Due to the text, the tunnel has been accurately dated to 701 B.C., the same year the Assyrian Empire attempted to overthrow Jerusalem.

We have more from Hezekiah’s reign, too, including texts from the Assyrian Empire which affirms the Biblical account.  Hezekiah’s story is no myth or legend, and we have massive evidence from his reign to prove it.

2. King David

For years a number of scholars believed that king David wasn’t real.  Archaeological digs from the late 1800’s onward had not found anything verifying he ever existed.  If king David didn’t exist, the entire lineage of Jesus goes up in smoke!Tel Dan Stele

Then in the early 1980’s a text was discovered verifying the “house of David.”  And much more has been discovered since.  Today, you can visit the part of Jerusalem which was known long ago as the “City of David”.  King David was no myth or legend, giving additional credibility to the text of the Old Testament.

3. The Text Itself

One of the highest criticisms of the Old Testament is the text itself.  In fact, a number of secular scholars believed that there was no possible way any text of the Old Testament could have been written prior to the 400-500’s B.C.  Then in 1979,Birkat_kohanim_22 an archaeologist found a small piece of jewelry that contained a tiny silver scroll on the inside.  After carefully removing the scroll, they discovered it contained Biblical passages from four different books, including Exodus, Deuteronomy, Daniel and Nehemiah.  Not only that, but the text was easily dated to the 600’s B.C.  This tells us two things.  One is that the Old Testament was written earlier than some scholars presumed.  And second, the Old Testament was widely distributed, as it was inscribed and included in small pieces of jewelry.

4. The “Nation” of Israel

Merneptah_Israel_Stele_CairoAnother great criticism of the Old Testament is that there is no mention of the “nation” or “people” or Israel until more recent history.  However, the discovery of the Merneptah Stone shows this just isn’t the case.

This discovery in Egypt dates to the 1200’s B.C. and clearly mentions the “nation” or “people” of Israel, identifying them as their own ethnicity.

There’s a lot more out there…a lot more!  But it’s my hope this helps you to see that the Old Testament can easily be seen as a reliable source.  And if it’s reliable, we can then continue to see how the Scarlet Thread continues.

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