Passing the Test of Time
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8.
The word of God has stood the test through the centuries. It has proved trustworthy over time. Archaeological finds and discoveries of ancient manuscripts through the years have shed light on the authenticity of the Bible.
In 1798 Napoleon led 38,000 of his troops into Egypt. He also took hundreds of artists, linguists, and scholars to help him better understand the history of that intriguing land. Relics of the past were everywhere, with their hidden mysteries of a once-great civilization. Strange inscriptions decorated monuments and temple walls, leaving Napoleon and his brain trust wondering what secret messages they contained.
In 1799 one of Napoleon’s soldiers unearthed a black stone about four feet long and about two and a half feet wide that would unlock the mystery of Egyptian picture writing and reveal secrets hidden for centuries. That slab, known as the Rosetta Stone, is now housed in the British Museum in London, England. The Rosetta Stone bears an ancient decree in three different languages: hieroglyphics (Egyptian picture writing), cursive Egyptian, and Greek. Scholars quickly translated the Greek text, but puzzled over the hieroglyphics. Twenty years later, in 1822, a brilliant young French Egyptologist by the name of Jean Francois Chapollion startled the world by cracking the ancient code. With the language unveiled, scholars were able to verify biblical passages that had appeared questionable. Here is one striking example.
The Bible mentions a people called the Hittites about fifty times, discussing their dealings with Abraham, David, and Solomon. These biblical references picture the Hittites as one of the most powerful of ancient empires. Yet in all of the ancient historical records not a trace of them remained. Critics reasoned that it would be impossible for such a mighty empire to disappear from history without leaving a trace behind. They suggested that such a nation never existed. But then came the Rosetta Stone. The vast museum of monuments and pillars all along the Nile, its messages locked up in hidden languages for centuries, now opened their doors. Inscriptions on these pillars and palace walls speak repeatedly of the political and military conflicts between Pharoah Rames II and the “King of Hitti,” or the Hittites. Today the Hittites’ place in history is well established.
The Bible’s claims are reliable. We can safely trust God’s Word to reveal guidance, directions, instruction, faith, and hope for the future. In the shifting moral values of the twenty-first century world, God’s Word is still trustworthy.
from On Solid Ground
Mark Finley | Review & Herald (2003)
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