Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Records are important. Matters very little if its an audio record (like the one pictured), or a shopping list. The simple fact is that there are a variety of records. In my job, we keep a record of what is loaded into a given trailer. This helps us to know where the freight is. Additionally, we keep records regarding what trailers went out, when they went out, and where they were last. This helps us to know where vital equipment is when we need it.
What about human history? Is there a record of our history as a species? Yes, there is such a record. It is the Bible. The Bible is a record of the history of where we come from as a species, and the history of the nation of Israel. This history has withstood any and all attempts to be disproven. However, there are those who seek to disprove the Bible, and they really do reach.
Before getting too far, lets make it clear, the most reliable records when it comes to history are those things which are written down. Yes, oral tradition has played a part in remembering the history of a given tribe, but a written record makes it far easier to find necessary information when trying to confirm a discovery or when needing something rather specific.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear as to how important a written record is. A simple search of the Bible reveals that the phrase “it is written”, or some variant thereof, occurs at least ninety three times. This means that the authors of the various books of the Bible, and Christ Jesus, placed much emphasis on written accounts of historical events.
Wait! What about Egypt? What about all those pharaohs? Good question. Most would be rather shocked to learn that most of the listings of the pharaohs of Egypt are not chronological. In fact, it would appear that at any given time in the history of Egypt, there could be as many as four pharaohs ruling different areas, possibly being unaware of the others and considering himself king over all of Egypt. This would help to account for why a later pharaoh would be unaware of a previous pharaoh or those who served that particular pharaoh. Additionally, some of the pharaohs were self appointed and were more like unto regional despots rather than legitimate rulers.
Wait! What about China? What about its language and emperors? Good question. However, much like Egypt, some of the emperors overlapped or reigned in different regions. Also, there is some question as to when written Chinese originated. There are some inflated claims that the earliest forms of written language began in 6600 B.C. However, given how inaccurate radiometric dating gets as we further and further into the past, such claims should be taken with a grain of salt. Truthfully, the written Chinese language seems to begin around 2000 B.C. This would put the beginning of the Chinese civilization and its emperors not long after the flood of Noah’s era.
WHAT? How can you say that? Easy. Just look at the record. If the earliest reliable forms of writing began two years before Christ Jesus walked this earth, then there must be a reason for it. It is unlikely that our species could have lived millions of years without having some form of symbolic system for transmitting important information when there wasn’t a messenger available to remember and recite such information. Additionally, any such transmission of information would require a way for the message to remain reasonably unaltered. Oral tradition can only do so much. As the message gets longer and longer, it would become more difficult to remember and recite.
Let’s look at this another way. Why is it that, aside from the Bible, we don’t have any reliable record of events from more than a few thousand years ago? Yes, we have some cave paintings, but even those can not be thoroughly confirmed with regards to when they were inscribed. Also, some seem to show things that are regarded as impossible by some, and are disregarded because of these seemingly impossible things. Simply put, if our species were truly millions of years old, we would have already had a highly complex symbolic system of encoding information for reliable transmission. That we have such a system and it is not more than a few thousand years old really is serious setback for claiming our species is millions of years old. In fact, if that were true, there should be a written record of this, but there isn’t.
Yes, not much scripture to this entry. More of a philosophical issue. However, unless it is written, we have no real way of knowing. This is not to say that everything that is written down is true. I am quite familiar with fiction, and also with the idea of forgery. Yes, there are individuals who willingly bear false witness and create false records, often for personal gain. This is especially true of some who seek to discredit the recorded history within the Bible. Oddly, closer inspection discredits those who seek to discredit the Bible.
Whether to convey a message, to entertain, or to promote an idea, records exist. They are a vital part of our society. Some records are more important than others. Some records are really little more than a note, important only to the person who wrote it. The Bible is record, a record of where we came from and what our ultimate future will be. It is true that the Bible is not a complete history of the world, nor should it be. However, the Bible is a complete history of God’s creation of this world and his plan to save us from our sin.
Yes, there are many records out there. However, the record that will really matter is God’s record, as recorded in the written words of the Bible. This record will stand for all eternity. This record is written for you and me. In the end, its the only record that matters.