The Gospel Observer
and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20).
June 3, 2018
1) Myth or History? (Part 1 of 3) (Forrest D. Moyer)
2) News & Notes
Myth or History? (Part 1 of 3)
Forrest D. Moyer
The Bible is either the product of God or the product of men.
Christians believe that the Bible is from the hand of God and that
it is to be believed and obeyed in order to have a good life now and
Heaven in eternity. There have always been those who oppose God and
His way. This opposition has come in varied forms. Some have been
and are opposed to the idea of God; thus, they are “atheists” (the
“a” negates “theist,” a believer in God). There are those who accept
the idea of God but reject His interaction with man in revelation or
divine authority. These are known as “deists.” The opposition to the
Bible as the revelation of God to man has been around for centuries,
but it is now becoming more and more prevalent. As humanism
advances, so does opposition to the Bible. Humanism and the Bible
cannot co-exist. One or the other must fall.
One form of this opposition to Jesus and to the Bible comes with the
charge that the Bible is made up of myths that have been foisted
upon people by priestly castes in order that priests might control
the masses. Our purpose in this writing is to examine the charge
that the Bible is made up of myths and fables.
First, let us look at some of the charges that are made against the
“The Gospels do not contain the history of an actual man, but only
the myth of the god-man Jesus, clothed in a historical dress.”1
“The Bible is not ‘the word of God,’ but stolen from pagan sources.
Its Eden, Adam and Eve were taken from the Babylonian account; its
Flood or Deluge is but an epitome of some four hundred flood
accounts; its Ark and Ararat have their equivalents in a score of
Deluge myths; even the names of Noah’s sons are copies, so also
Isaac’s sacrifice, Solomon’s judgment, and Samson’s pillar act; its
Moses is fashioned after the Syrian Mises; its laws after
Hammurabi’s code. Its Messiah is derived from the Egyptian Mahdi,
Savior, certain verses are verbatim copies of Egyptian scriptures.
Between Jesus and the Egyptian Horus, Gerald Massey found 137
similarities, and those between Christ and Krishna run into the
hundreds. How then can the Bible be a revelation to the Jews?”2
Mr. Graham expresses his humanism by saying, “It’s time this
scriptural tyranny was broken that we may devote our time to man
instead of God, to civilizing ourselves instead of saving our souls
that were never lost.”3
Another quote from him will show how rabid is his opposition to God
as he advances his humanistic philosophy:
“Had Christ known the nature of Reality he would not have taught the
love of God for man or its reverse. Yet the Gospels have him say:
‘And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this
is the first commandment’ (Mark 12:30). It is not the first of an
enlightened Christ but only of a priesthood that needed it
professionally. God being but the ruthless creative power, man has
no right to love it, since from it spring all his pain and
suffering, his savagery and war. If he would escape from these he
must not only cease pretending to love it but oppose and conquer it.
Mythologically man rebelled against this one–to become human; he
must now rebel against it mentally and morally to become divine.”4
It is obvious from these quotations that Graham “errs, not knowing
the Scriptures nor the power of God.” However, humanists and
atheists are not the only ones to regard the Scriptures as filled
with myths. The Interpreter’s Bible commentary is considered to be
one of the most scholarly works in its field. We quote:
“Obviously, the book [Genesis] begins in that misty region of
tradition and transmitted myth in which imagination precedes
knowledge. Few will suppose that Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden
belong to factual history. Cain and Abel and Lamech and Nimrod and
Methuselah and Noah–these also come down to us as legends rather
than as persons identifiable in the literal history of a particular
“Not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” has led many to
look upon the Biblical accounts as myths. Hermann Gunkel wrote
toward the end of the last century:
“The clearest criterion of legend is that it frequently reports
things which are quite incredible… Thus many things are reported in
Genesis which go directly against our better knowledge: we know that
there are too many species of animals for all to have been assembled
in any ark; that Ararat is not the highest mountain on earth;… And
however cautious the modern historian may be in declaring anything
impossible, he may declare with all confidence that animals–serpents
and she-asses, for instance–do not speak and never have spoken, that
there is no tree whose fruit confers immortality or knowledge…”6
It is impossible to reply to all the various charges that the
Biblical account contains myths in this one paper. However, I shall
address some questions of significance in response.
The Biblical Claim
Let it be understood that the Biblical writers did not regard the
Genesis account or the person of Jesus as mythical. The New
Testament writers quote from Genesis numerous times, thus placing
their stamp of approval upon what was recorded in Genesis. If the
New Testament writers were inspired (and I affirm that they were),
then it follows that the account given in Genesis is historically
accurate. Geisler and Nix give a list of thirty-two people and
events of the Old Testament which are referred to as historical by
New Testament writers. Fifteen of these are from the first twelve
chapters of Genesis:
* Creation of the universe (Genesis 1): John 1:3; Colossians 1:16
* Creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-2): I Timothy 2:13-14
* Marriage of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-2): I Timothy 2:13
* Temptation of the woman (Genesis 3): I Timothy 2:14
* Disobedience and sin of Adam (Genesis 3): Romans 5:12; I
* Sacrifices of Abel and Cain (Genesis 4): Hebrews 11:4
* Murder of Abel by Cain (Genesis 4): I John 3:12
* Birth of Seth (Genesis 4): Luke 3:38
* Translation of Enoch (Genesis 5): Hebrews 11:5
* Marriage before the flood (Genesis 6): Luke 17:27
* The flood and destruction of man (Genesis 7): Matthew 24:39
* Preservation of Noah and his family (Genesis 8-9): II Peter 2:5
* Genealogy of Shem (Genesis 10): Luke 3:35-36
* Birth of Abraham (Genesis 11): Luke 3:34
* Call of Abraham (Genesis 12-13): Hebrews 11:8
In this sample survey, several things should be noted. Most of the
controversial passages of the Old Testament are referred to, for
example, the creation, fall, flood, miracles of Moses and Elijah,
and Jonah in the great fish. These are not just alluded to, they are
authenticated as historical events by the New Testament. If these
major miraculous events are authentic, there is no difficulty in
accepting the rest of the events of the Old Testament.8
(To be continued)
1. Arthur Drews as quoted by Lloyd Graham, Deceptions and Myths of
the Bible, Carol Communications, N.Y., p. 282.
2. Lloyd Graham, Ibid., p. 5.
3. Ibid., p. 6.
4. Ibid., p. 426.
5. The Interpreter’s Bible. Abingdon Press. New York. Vol. I. 1952,
6; Gunkel, Hermann. The Legends of Genesis: The Biblical Saga and
History. Schocken Books. New York. 1964. pp 7-8. Quoted in a
manuscript by Brad Bromling, Is Genesis Myth? Apologetics Press,
Inc. Montgomery, AL.
7. Geisler, Norman L. and William E. Nix. A General Introduction to
the Bible. Moody Press. Chicago. 1968, p. 85.
8. Ibid., p. 86.
— Via the bulletin of the La Vista church of Christ
News & Notes
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Abraham
Thompson Sr. (Cicely’s father) who recently passed away. He is
described as having been “a very friendly, outgoing, talkative, and
charismatic person who left a lasting and profound impact on his
survivors” (The Blackshear Times). He was only 65.
Janie Thornton thanks all for their prayers for her 5-year-old
grandson, Luke Thornton, and points out that he “did well
during the surgery, but is having a rough time post op and is not
out of the woods yet.”
Rick Cuthbertson’s surgery eliminated the cancer in his
liver, and he is now back home.
Concerning the aneurysm in his artery, Bennie Medlock saw his
doctor, but will not be receiving a procedure for it at this
time. Right now, it is small. So they will be keeping a
watch on it.
The muscle pain in Danny Bartlett’s leg is improving, but
not completely gone.
Others to also pray for: Tommy Lindsey, Rhyan Thomas,
Hannah Laughlin, Charles Crosby, Jim Lively, Shirley Davis,
Deborah Medlock, Pat & A.J. Joyner, Ginger Head, Rex &
Frankie Hadley, Misty Thornton, Belinda Medlock, Michelle
Rittenhouse, and Mary Vandevander.
WordPress version of this bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the
gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John
2) Believe in the
deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins
(Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 2 p.m.
(Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures,
but back to March 1990)