Is the Bible a myth or just a nice story? Has the Bible been changed thousands of times into something unrecognizable?
Many skeptics seem to think so. “Someone probably just made up the Bible. It’s just a nice story like Santa Claus.”
Rarely, if ever, have these same people looked into the Bible, its history, or contents. Most of them have never even read the Bible. The following is a typical conversation that we have had many times:
Skeptic: I don’t believe in the Bible.
Catholic Truth: Why not?
Skeptic: Because somebody probably just made it up.
CT: Who? You said “somebody made it up,” so who was this person who invented the world’s most popular book? When did he or she invent it, and how long did it take them to do so?
Skeptic: I don’t know. Somebody a long time ago.
CT: Somebody? Who?
Skeptic: I don’t know.
CT: You don’t seem to know anything about this and don’t seem to be able to support your claim. So, how can you make a bold claim like “someone invented the Bible” that you haven’t looked into or studied? As a matter of historical fact, one person did not invent the Bible.
In truth, it was written over a period of one thousand years by more than 40 different authors, and so one person could not have just “made it up.” Moreover, we know who most of these authors were, when they wrote, and a good bit about their lives.
Skeptic: Alright, you got me there. The Bible wasn’t just made up by someone.
At this point, other objections usually arise. Here is another one:
Skeptic: I have a hard time accepting the Bible though because it is full of contradictions.
CT: Like what?
CT: You said the Bible is full of contradictions. Name a few, please.
Skeptic: Well, um, I can’t think of any right now off the top of my head.
CT: If the Bible is so full of contradictions, then how is it that you cannot come up with any? Also, have you looked into the supposed contradictions to verify that they in fact are true, or that they are not just seeming contradictions that are not in reality?
Most people who condemn the Bible have not read it. Even people who do attempt to read it most often don’t try to understand Scripture, its literary genres, or different writing styles.
About the Bible
What most skeptics and atheists fail to understand is that the Bible is a library. A person cannot just read through it like The Hunger Games, for it is not just one genre, but many.
Each book of the Bible possesses a different literary genre that needs to be properly understood and correctly interpreted. This is one reason why people fail to understand Scripture properly. For example, some books contained within are history, law, and poetry. Still others are prophecy, exhortation, apocalyptic literature, and so on.
There are also different literary devices to understand as well, such as mythic stories, prophetic texts, rabbinic hyperbole, etc. It is necessary to understand this along with what the author was trying to communicate.
Also important is the historical worldview and context at the time the author was writing. Too many people attempt to interpret the Bible in English, from a modern day American/European (etc.) worldview without understanding the worldview it was set in.
Some reject the Bible because they believe Adam and Eve were actually talking to a snake. Others postulate that the world was created in seven literal days. These and other examples reveal a lack of understanding of the biblical texts themselves.
If Atheists or skeptics assert that the story of Jesus is merely invented, like Hamlet, then they have to provide fact based evidence. Who made it up? When? Why? What was their motive? How long did it take?
People invent things for a reason. So what was that reason? To take their claims seriously, they need to provide names and dates and cite evidence to begin the conversation.
Some atheists attempt some other arguments:
Atheist: I’m an atheist, and I certainly don’t believe in the Bible. I think it’s all a big lie.
Catholic Truth: Why?
Atheist: Well, because I don’t think there is any proof for it.
CT: Proof for what?
Atheist: For the Bible. It’s been shown to be wrong.
CT: Really? Where?
Atheist: Archeologists can find no evidence whatsoever for the Israelites being in Egypt. Additionally, there is no evidence that a census ever happened as mentioned in the Book of Luke.
CT: To make sure I understand you correctly, you are saying that you reject the whole Bible because archeologists have yet to provide evidence for two events?
I do not see how this disproves the Bible. What you seem unaware of is that archeologists have made hundreds of discoveries which confirm the Bible both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Thus, there is proof that confirms the Bible, and far more than not.
Atheist: Perhaps that is true, but the fact remains that to date there is no evidence for the Israelites being in Egypt or of a census.
CT: Not yet there isn’t. Does that mean these things did not happen though? Or, is it possible that archeologists just have not discovered the evidence yet?
One must note the amount of times that critics have claimed there was no proof for something in the Bible only to have the evidence emerge at a later time. Archeologists have turned up a large number of people, places, and events not originally considered true that archeologists then had to reverse their position on.
For example, archeologists have claimed that Pontius Pilate or Lysanius the Tetrarch did not exist. In addition, Herod the Great, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and many, many other things were said to be myths, or just incorrect. Then, lo and behold, the evidence for all of these people and places have been found and are not disputed.
Hundreds of discoveries have confirmed the Bible time and time again. So, to say there is currently no evidence for these two events does not prove anything except that nothing has been found to date. It is important to note that the things being discussed here happened thousands of years ago, and history is still being uncovered daily.
Atheist: That actually makes some sense. I’m still skeptical though.
The Book of Mormon
The two most prestigious historical societies in the United States have officially stated that there is no proof for the Book of Mormon or any of its historical claims. That is telling. Nothing like this has been pronounced about the Bible.
The book, The Case for Christ, sums up the archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon: “In other words, no Book of Mormon cities have ever been located, no Book of Mormon person, place, nation, or name has ever been found. No Book of Mormon artifacts, no Book of Mormon Scriptures, no Book of Mormon inscriptions, nothing which demonstrates the Book of Mormon anything other than myth or invention has ever been found.
Now, contrast this with the hundreds and hundreds of historical and archeological discoveries which authenticate persons, places, and events in the Bible. Thus, the Bible is not a myth, something “made up” to scare people. It is based on the true history of true people, places and events.
Atheist: That does makes some sense.
We may note too that the Bible is not the only historical source on Jesus or Christianity. There are other historical sources that confirm the existence of Jesus and the Christian religion, whereas there is nothing like that to confirm the Book of Mormon.
In Jesus’ day, there were prominent Jewish and Roman historians (Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Tactius, and others) who mention Jesus in their histories. Jesus and Christianity are also mentioned in the Jewish Talmud. Thus, the Bible is not the only source we have regarding these things.
The Bible is not a myth. There is abundant evidence that demonstrates its authenticity.
Do you know where the Bible came from? God did not just hand it to us from the sky. Check out our article on how we got the Bible.
 The Smithsonian: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Finding-Herods-Tomb.html?fb_action_ids=10151847945161117&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.UjHMAJwqpSk.like&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582, / National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/11/081119-herod-tomb-paintings-missions.html,
 Strobel, Lee, The Case For Christ, Pg. 107.