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The Bible—‘it’s not historical’

by Ken Ham, President, AiG-USA

First published in:
Answers Update–US
April 2003

Millions of people each year visit the Smithsonian Institution—a leading research organization in Washington, D.C., with many museums—funded by US tax dollars. The voluminous information in its exhibits, publications, etc., is presented as authoritative.

Sadly, not only is the Smithsonian one of the greatest evolutionary propaganda machines in the world, but it has, as a part of its foundation today, that the Bible is ‘not an historical document.’ The interesting thing is that it’s the first twelve chapters of Genesis (the history that is foundational to the whole of Christianity) in particular that the Smithsonian regards as not historical.

If you write to this institution and ask about the historicity of the Bible (and Noah’s Flood in particular), you will receive a letter that states:

‘The Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology has received numerous inquiries in recent years regarding the historicity of the Bible in general, and the Biblical account of Noah’s flood in particular. The following statement has been prepared to answer these questions:

‘ … Many people ask if the Biblical flood actually took place, i.e. a flood which literally covered the entire earth and wiped out all living things except those which managed to board the ark?

‘The occurrence of a flood story in both the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as in other folk traditions, does hint that there may have been enormous flooding of river valleys in a far distant time. However, thus far, after literally hundreds of archeological excavations at different times in the Near East, no all-encompassing flood stratum has ever been found.’

The letter then goes on to say that much of the Bible’s history is very trustworthy—well sort of! It continues:

‘ … On the other hand, much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories.

‘These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work. For the most part, historical events described took place and the peoples cited really existed. This is not to say … that every event as reported in the historical books happened exactly as stated.’

So—there’s a lot of relatively accurate history in the Bible, BUT, when it comes to the first twelve chapters of Genesis, it’s almost as if these researchers/writers are fighting to hold back the emotion as they attack them, the foundational chapters for the history of the whole of Christianity:

‘However, in the stories found in the Book of Genesis, chapters 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically.

‘The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages?

‘It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. It was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. …

‘In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.’

As I’ve said so many times, the Devil knows that to try to destroy Christianity in society, the best way is to attack the foundations (Psalm 11:3). For the past 200 years, there has been a relentless attack on the first few chapters of Genesis—as this is history, encompassing geology, biology, astronomy, anthropology, etc., which is all foundational to the whole of Christianity—to all Christian doctrine.

Through government-sponsored institutions like the Smithsonian, millions of tax dollars are being used to attack the foundation of God’s Word—the foundation of our Christian faith. And now we see the results of that attack: the collapsing Christian fabric across America.

Your partnership in the Creation Museum [now built] can help us make up for this anti-Christian use of tax dollars.


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