Ancient History Affirms the Bible
Ancient History Affirms the Bible
When it comes to history, most modern texts tell a similar story: man started as a hunter-gatherer, made tools, began farming, developed language, formed societies, and continues to evolve ever upward. If we assume this premise, however, we are left with a few false implications.
First, if recorded history didn’t begin until the early Mesopotamian societies, anything prior is a blank slate. It also implies that early man was ignorant and lacked the desire or awareness to record the events of his time for future generations. Is that true? We know that the Bible tells a different account but are there any extra-Biblical records that lend support to the Scriptures? Take the following quiz and find out.
1. False. While much exists in the way of Middle Eastern manuscripts, engravings, tablets, and compilations of earlier histories, early manuscripts dating to pre-Christian Europe exist as well. According to Bill Cooper, early Europeans kept excellent records tracing their lineage back to Japheth, one of Noah’s three sons. To the Greeks he was “Iapetos,” and in India, the Sanskrit vedas call him Pra-Japati. To the Romans he was first known as Iupater, then Jupiter. The Saxons, who corrupted his name to “Sceaf,” also traced their royalty to Japheth as did the Irish Celts and early Britons.
2. False. Cooper says, “The overwhelming concensus in every major culture throughout the ancient world for which we have records, believed that the universe had been created by a single divine being - even in notoriously polytheistic cultures. In 600 BC for example, the early Greek, Xenophanes said, “...there is one God, greatest among gods and men, similar to mortals neither in shape nor in thought...Always he remains in the same state, changing not at all...”(1) At about this same time in China, philosopher Lao Tzu, acknowledged this about God: “Before time, and throughout time, there has been a self-existing being, eternal, infinite, complete, omnipresent... Outside this being, before the beginning, there was nothing.”(2)
3. False. While early history records little challenge to the belief of creation throughout the ancient world, records indicate the early Greeks had their own origins’ debates when the first materialist arguments were recorded around 540 BC.
4. False. The concept of a billion-year old earth is a fairly recent idea known as uniformitarianism. This theory was introduced by Hutton and Lyle between the 18th and 19th century. Prior to that, history records quite the opposite. According to Cooper, the early British, Anglo-Saxons, and Irish, kept specific chronologies indicating an age for the earth measured in thousands of years - not millions or billions. Moreover, the Mayans, using a day-count instead of years, began counting in 3113 BC after the world had been destroyed by water. Assuming this refers to the Flood of Noah’s day, it is Cooper ’s assertion that the Mayan calendar corresponds rather well with the afformentioned chronologies. While Bishop Ussher is maligned for trying to set an exact day for the Creation, it is evident he was not alone in this kind of pursuit.
5. True. Baron Waldstein, a tourist visiting London’s Lambeth Place in 1600 is recorded as seeing,“...a splendid genealogy of all the Kings of England, and another genealogy, a historical one, which covers the whole of time and is traced down from the Beginning of the World.” Later, at Richmond Palace, he found in the library: “...beautifully set out on parchment, a genealogy of the kings of England which goes back to Adam.”(3) According to Cooper, such genealogies were immensely popular and fascinating to the general public as well as historians. What happened to them? Rationalists from the 18th century onward successfully replaced history with their anti-Biblical notions and the genealogies fell from popularity.
By Mark Sonmor
1Cooper, After the Flood, p.19 quoting from Barnes, 1987, Early Greek Philosophy, p.95-97, Penguin Books.
2Cooper, After the Flood, p.16, quoting from Lao-tzu, Tao-teching,p.13,tr.LeonWieger, Eng.version-Bryce 1991, Lampeter.
3Cooper, After the Flood, p.87, quoting from Groos, T.W. The Diary of Baron Waldstein, p.61, Thames & Hudson.
(Article was also included in the January/February 2012 Think and Believe publication.)
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