And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  Deuteronomy 6:5


About Us

Our Beliefs

Our Farm

Our House

At the Farmer's Market

Field Day  Scrapbook

High Tunnel Agriculture

Our Fiber Arts Web Site


(Note: This article is written in story form and was originally published as a small tract by Aaron Swanson. I have put this article on my web site because I  felt it was worthy to be repeated. - Daniel Mielke)


What’s behind the Bible?

  By Aaron Swanson



            It was a cool fall morning at the local university campus as students were bustling to their early classes.  To most, the small flyer left on the sidewalk from over the weekend went unnoticed.  But to one student, it caught his eye, and he picked it up from the ground.


            A casual glance at it revealed it to be some sort of religious tract.  "I've got some spare time before my first class," thought Tom, "I may as well read this thing for a good laugh..."  It seemed to be a standard, banal, religious promotion.  The one thing that caught his attention, though, was their reasoning in why others should adhere to their strange ideas.  They made the claim that the Bible was the literal "word of God."  That one made him snort.


            Being well versed in both biochemistry and physics, Tom acknowledged that there certainly must be something more than what we perceive to account for the incredible complexity and order in the universe.  But he was vehemently agnostic- believing that no religion or philosophy can truly reveal what is "out there."  Especially not a religion based upon some crusty old book.


            Tom paused for a moment while sitting on the bench.  "I may as well do some research on this, it should be an easy claim to prove wrong,” he thought to himself.  "Then perhaps I'll publish an article in the campus paper showing my research.  That should dispel these silly notions and help keep these beliefs from being propagated any longer."  He made a mental note of going to the library after classes to begin his studies on the subject.




            Tom decided that his first course of study would be to see if the claim of being divinely inspired by God was actually within the writings of the Bible.  If this concept was just a theory brought out by over-zealous Christians later on in history, that would end the debate right there...


            Indeed he found that this idea was not made up later, but the very first Christians, and even Jesus himself, believed in it.  One thing that caught his eye was where Jesus used the terms "word of God" and "Scripture" interchangeably:


            Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'?  If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world. 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?’

- John 10:34-38 (emphasis, underline added)


            And as Paul reiterates: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…

- 2 Tim 3:16a


            Tom researched the original Greek language for the phrase "given by inspiration of God"  (the word "theopneustos") and found that it literally means "God-breathed."  Also in various other spots a similar belief is expressed--


            ...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 

- 2 Peter 1:20,21


            God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets…

- Hebrews 1:1


            Therefore, as the Holy Spirit states:  “Today, if you will hear His voice,…”

- Hebrews 3:7


            Tom noticed how in the above passage the author quotes a passage from Psalm 95 and attributes it to the Holy Spirit, not just a human author, which is very significant.


            From a distance this seemed adequate, but to probe it one step further Tom researched whether or not the New Testament writings were considered inspired, to see if he could find a loophole in their logic.  But that search turned out to be of no avail.  Similar statements were there as well.


            These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches. 

- 1 Corinthians 2:13a


            If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.  But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 

- 1 Corinthians 14:37,38


            ...when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God… 

- 1 Thessalonians 2:13


            “…and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation – as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which some things are hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”

- 2 Peter 3:15,16 (und. mine)


            2 Peter 3:15,16 was found to be of significance.  In this passage Peter rather nonchalantly refers to Paul's epistles as being Scripture.  And it is no little thing for a Jew to list these writings at the same level with the well-respected Old Testament Scriptures!


            "Ok, so the first Christians' belief in this phenomenon has been established." Tom thought to himself.  "The author of that flyer was at least consistent, because if you don't believe what the Bible says on inspiration, you may as well not believe what it says about the resurrection or any other event.  But whether or not this is a supportable belief has yet to be proven.”




            The next day Tom decided to delve into another area of study to see if the Bible would "preach against itself."  He decided to go through the various prophecies and see if he could find one which turned out to be either completely false, or at least partly so.  One such prophecy he looked into was the destruction of the city Tyre as predicted by God's prophet Ezekiel. 


            The Bible's claim went as such:

1.> Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would attack the city (26:7-12).

2.> Many nations would come up against it (26:3).

3.> The city would be leveled and scraped clean as a rock (26:4).

4.> Tyre's stones, timbers, and soil would be cast into the sea (26:12).

5.> The area would become a place for spreading fishermen's nets (26:5).

6.> And the city would never be rebuilt (26:14).


            Tom checked the historical records to see if this had actually happened.  To his dismay, it was incredibly accurate.  Nebuchadnezzar besieged the mainland city in 586 B.C. (1 yr. after Ezekiel's prophecy), and was able to inhabit it in 573 B.C. (14 yrs. after prophecy).  However, the people of Tyre had left the mainland city and moved into the island 3/4 of a mile offshore.  Then, in 332 B.C. (255 yrs. after prophecy), Alexander the Great conquered Tyre, but not easily.  To reach the island part of Tyre, he literally had to have his army scrape clean the inland city of debris, and then use those materials (stones, timbers, & soil) to build a causeway to the island.  Alexander inflicted great damage on Tyre, but the city still remained until 1291 A.D., when the Moslems thoroughly destroyed it (1878 yrs. after prophecy).  To this day it is a barren place where fishermen spread their nets.


            This indeed was profound information!  Namely because humans on their own, whether they think they are special or not, cannot accurately predict the future.  (For example, in a study of the top 10 New Age psychics named The Shattered Crystal Ball, an analysis of their prophecies from the year 1976 to 1979 revealed they were wrong 98% of the time.  6 of the 10 psychics were wrong 100% of the time.)  So how did Ezekiel foresee this series of future events, leading almost 2000 years past his time?  The evidence would seem to support what Scripture states:  “...the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest..." (Ezekiel 1:3).


            Another area where Tom also tried to find contradiction was in the prophecies of the Messiah.  Of the 300 or so predictions about the Messiah (or Christ) in the Old Testament, he figured that at least a couple would be contradicted by some statement in the New Testament, thus providing a blow to the claim of the Bible's cohesion.  A veritable web of interlocking prophecy and fulfillment was found, however, between the Old and New Testament Scriptures.


            While researching that subject he ran across a study done by mathematician Peter W. Stoner.  He selected just 8 of the O.T. prophecies concerning Christ, and estimated that the probability of just those 8 being fulfilled accidentally would be 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000.  That's comparable to laying enough silver dollars on the face of Texas to cover it 2 ft. deep, with one of them painted red, stirring the whole mass thoroughly, and being able to pick out the red one on your first try while blindfolded!





            "Alright," he thought, "so the prophecy challenge comes out squeaky clean.  But there are still other avenues to pursue.  I'm not convinced yet.  If I can find it to be archaeologically inaccurate, that would tarnish its image."


            As the author J.W. McGarvey, in his book, Lands of the Bible, wrote:  "A fictitious narrative, located in a country with which the writer is not personally familiar, must either avoid local allusions or be found frequently in conflict with the peculiarities of place and of manners and customs.  By this conflict the fictitious character of the narrative is exposed."


            With that in mind, Tom proceeded to scrutinize the Scriptures.  Is Egypt truly "down" from Jericho (Joshua 7:2)?  Is the way from Jerusalem to Gaza really "south" of Samaria (Acts 8:26)?  Is Bethel "west" of Ai (Genesis 12:8)?


            The research of the scholar Sir William Ramsay did not prove helpful.  Ramsay, being skeptical of Acts' authenticity, went on an archaeological expedition to Asia Minor to prove the inaccuracy of the book of Acts.  After years of digging, Ramsay had no choice but to conclude that Acts  (which mentions 32 countries, 54 cities, 9 islands, and 95 people) was indeed accurate.


            Also, the Hittite civilization (Ex. 23:28, Josh. 1:4, etc.) was once considered fraudulent, since the only information on it was within the pages of Scripture.  However, when Hugh Winckler excavated Boghazkoy, Turkey in 1906 he discovered the ancient Hittite capital on that very site.


            As J.W. McGarvey stated in his book, "in not a single instance of this kind has any of the Bible writers been found at fault."  And later asks, "How could they have done what learned and careful men of their own age and of subsequent ages have failed to do, unless they were guided, as they claim to have been, by wisdom from on high?"




            With much of his previous attempts at disproving the Bible's claim of divine inspiration having been destroyed, Tom was feeling exhausted, but by no means defeated.  He still intended to go after one other aspect in full force:  To find a scientific flaw.  Just one verse saying, "And the flat earth, which doth sitteth upon the giant turtle..." was all he needed.  After digging for a good part of a week, Tom again discovered the opposite of what he had set out to find.  He found case after case of knowledge which was far ahead of its time.


            First, in the field of biology he found advanced knowledge--  In the O.T., infants were to be circumcised on the 8th day (Genesis 17:12).  Why?  The 8th day after birth is the only time in a person's life (under normal conditions) in which the amount of prothrombin (which prevents hemorrhaging) is elevated above 100% of normal.  Also, in Leviticus 17:11-14 it is revealed thatthe life of the flesh is in the blood.”  This was not known (or at least not put into practice!) in George Washington’s day.  He died as a result of the common medical practice of “bloodletting.”


            Approximately 700 yrs before Christ, the prophet Isaiah revealed the earth to be a circular shape.  The Hebrew word, “khug”, even denotes a spherical shape!  "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth..." (Isaiah 40:22)  The Bible also plainly states, He hangs the earth on nothing." (Job26:7b)  -Far more advanced knowledge than thinking the, earth was on the back of a giant elephant, as the pagans taught!


            The Bible coincides perfectly with the first and second laws of thermodynamics (which have been scientifically observed).  The universe is a completed creation (Genesis 2:1), the first law of thermodynamics.  And also that the universe is wearing out (Psalm 102:26, Isaiah 51:6), the second law of thermodynamics, entropy (“all things tend toward disorder“).  The theory of evolution, however, contradicts both.


            The "springs of the sea" were not discovered until recent times, yet the Bible mentions them (Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? - Job 38:16).  And also, more than 2,000 yrs. prior to the works of Pierre Perrault, Edme Meriotte, and Edmund Halley, the Bible speaks of a complete water cycle on the earth (noted below).


All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again.

- Ecclesiastes 1:7


            He that builds his layers in the sky, and has founded His strata in the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is His name.

- Amos 9:6




            Feeling worn from his unfruitful month-long assault on the Bible, he sat to think for a time, and meditate on what he had discovered.  It was apparent now that it could not be the product of mere men.  Because a collection of writings which were written by 40 different authors (from different cultural and educational backgrounds), and over a time span of some 1,600 yrs, could not possibly have produced the incredible unity we see in the Bible without supernatural guidance.  The advanced scientific knowledge couldn't possibly be just "lucky guesses" on part of the authors.  And the fulfilled prophecies are a veritable stamp of God upon the book.


            What is there left to say?  All the evidence points in that direction.  The critics, though numerous (and confident), couldn't substantiate their claims.


            "So indeed I have found myself to be wrong," he thought to himself.  "It is not as though it has never happened before.  I have now found the book that reveals the Truth to mankind, and the far greater goal is now before me...  To seek the will of God... and do it."




Note: The Scripture quotations in this section are taken from the New King James Version.  Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


Back to Top

Back to Our Beliefs