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Don Stewart :: Why Do Some Argue the Bible Is a Result of a Religious Evolutionary Process? (History of Religion)

Don Stewart

One of the approaches that is taken by those who reject the divine authority of the Bible is to make Scripture seem like any other religious book. The Bible is explained as a mere product of its times. This is done in a number of ways. This includes the following.

This View Is Based Upon Certain Anti-supernatural Assumptions

This approach is based upon the anti-supernatural assumptions, or presuppositions. There are certain things that are believed at the outset before any investigation of the evidence can proceed. Those who hold a "history of religion" point of view assume that the Bible is like any other book that has ever been written. They do not accept any type of divine authority of the Scripture. They reject all accounts of miracles and the supernatural. With this anti-supernatural point of view as a starting point, they attempt to explain the Bible as a product of its own environment.

They Find Parallels To Other Cultures

Parallels of biblical events are found in other cultures. These biblical events are then explained as having borrowed from these cultures.

For example, the Babylonians had their own account of the creation of the world. They also had their own flood story. It is argued that the Bible, coming later, borrowed from the Babylonian accounts. Therefore the accounts found in Scripture are not unique - rather they were taken from some earlier pagan source.

It Assumes Scripture Was Written Long After The Fact

One of the keys to this view of Scripture is the alleged lack of credible testimony that is found in the Bible. The books of the Bible are dated long after the events they record. Things have supposedly been added, subtracted and embellished from the original story. The final record is thought to be untrustworthy.

The list goes on and on. What one ends up with is a book that can be completely explained as a product of its time.

This Approach Does Not Fit The Facts

The problem with this approach is that it just does not work. The evidence of so-called borrowing of stories about creation and the flood is not there. Neither is the evidence that the stories of Scripture were composed long after the fact. What the evidence does reveal is that the writers of Scripture testified truly to things that actually occurred. They were there!

John wrote.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1-3).

Peter testified.

For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased" - and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Peter makes two things clear. First, the writers of the New Testament were eyewitnesses to the events they recorded. They were there!

Second, they understood the difference between fables and truth. What he and the other apostles proclaimed was the truth - it was not a fable.

Summary

It is popular in some circles to view the Bible as result of a religious evolutionary process. This happens when the divine authority of the Scripture is rejected. Attempts are then made to explain the biblical teachings, miracles stories, and beliefs about God from a non-supernaturalistic viewpoint. The final result is to make the Bible look like any other religious book that has ever been composed. The problem with this view is that the evidence points to just the opposite. The Bible is like no other book that has been ever written. It gives evidence to being the very Word of God. All attempts to compare it to other literature is doomed to failure.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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