How do I know the Bible is not just mythology?
That the Bible originated in the mind of God makes it not only unique among all books, it is unique among all the treasures on earth. President Abraham Lincoln appropriately referred to the Bible as “the best gift God has given to man.” Indeed it is. It reveals God’s eternal plan of redeeming the fallen human race. Yet even though billions of copies of it have been distributed throughout the world, many continue to question its truth. Is the Bible is a book of mythology, or is it the true, inspired Word of God? This question is of the greatest importance to every person, whether they know it or not.
Many religious texts claim to convey a divine message. The Bible, however, stands alone in that God left absolutely no room for doubt as to whether or not this is His written Word. If anyone undertakes an honest effort to examine the facts, he will find the Bible most assuredly has God’s signature all through it. The very same mouth that spoke all of creation into existence also gave us the Bible.
Unlike mythology, the Bible has a historical framework. Its characters are real people living in verifiable locations during historical events. The Bible mentions Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, Cyrus, Herod, Felix, Pilate, and many other historical figures. Its history coincides with that of many nations, including the Egyptian, Hittite, Persian, Babylonian, and Roman empires. The events of the Bible take place in geographical areas such as Canaan, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and others. All this certifiable detail refutes the idea that the Bible is mere mythology.
Unlike mythology, the Bible has many confirmations in sciences such as biology, geology, astronomy, and archaeology. The field of biblical archaeology has absolutely exploded in the last century and a half, during which time hundreds of thousands of artifacts have been discovered. Just one example: at one time, skeptics used the Bible’s references to the Hittite civilization as “proof” that the Bible was a myth. There was never any such people as the “Hittites,” according to the science of the day. However, in 1876, the first of a series of discoveries was made, and now the existence of the ancient Hittite civilization is well documented. Archaeology continues to bolster the Bible’s historicity. As Dr. Henry M. Morris has remarked, “There exists today not one unquestionable find of archaeology that proves the Bible to be in error at any point.”
Unlike mythology, the Bible is written as history. Luke wrote his Gospel as “an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us . . . just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses.” Luke claims that he had “carefully investigated everything from the beginning” and so wrote “an orderly account . . . so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (see Luke 1:1-4). Did Luke include miracles in his account? Yes, many of them. But they were miracles verified by eyewitnesses. Two thousand years later, a skeptic might call Luke’s account a “myth,” but the burden of proof rests with the skeptic. The account itself is a carefully investigated historical document.
Unlike mythology, the Bible contains an astounding number of fulfilled prophecies. Myths do not bother with prophecy, but fully one third of the Bible is prophecy. The Bible contains over 1,800 predictions concerning more than 700 separate subjects found in over 8,300 verses. The Old Testament contains more than 300 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ alone, many with amazing specificity. Numerous prophecies have already been fulfilled, and they have come to pass precisely as foretold. The mathematical odds of someone making this number of predictions and having every one of them come to pass are light-years beyond the realm of human possibility. These miraculous prophecies could only be accomplished with the supernatural guidance of Him who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10).
Unlike mythology, the Bible has transformed a countless number of lives. Yet many people allow the views of others—who have never seriously studied the Bible—to shape their own opinions. Each of us needs study it for ourselves. Put it to the test. Live by the Bible’s precepts and experience for yourself the dynamic and transforming power of this amazing Book. Apply its teachings on forgiveness and see how it can mend a broken relationship. Apply its principles of stewardship and watch your financial situation improve. Apply its teaching on faith and feel a calming presence in your heart even as you navigate through a difficult trial in your life. The Bible works. There is a reason Christians in various countries around the world risk their lives daily to expose others to the life-giving truth of this remarkable Book.
Ultimately, many who reject God and His revealed Word do so because of pride. They are so invested in their personal beliefs that they refuse to honestly weigh the evidence. To accept the Bible as true would require them to think seriously about God and their responsibility to Him. To accept the Bible as true might require a change of lifestyle. As Erwin Lutzer stated, “The truth is, few people have an open mind, especially about matters of religion. . . . Thus, perverted doctrines and prejudices are easily perpetuated from one generation to another.”
Millions die every year having bet their eternal souls that the Bible is not true, hoping against hope that it is nothing but a book of mythology, and that God does not exist. It is a risky gamble, and the stakes are very high. We urge everyone to read the Bible with an open mind; let it speak for itself, and may you find that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17).
Recommended Resources: The Quest Study Bible and Logos Bible Software.