Christianity - Unanswerable Questions

The BELIEVE Religious Information Source web-site that our Church presents on the Internet contains thousands of articles which were all written by respected Christian scholars. It would be nice to think that every possible religious question might be answered by the efforts of one or another of those 600+ scholars. Unfortunately, that is not the case!

There are some questions for which no reliable answer can be given! People often ask questions to BELIEVE such as the name of the wife of various men mentioned in the Bible, or the location of birth, or the date of either birth or death, of various people in the Bible. People ask things like what was the occupation of Saint Joachim (considered to be the father of Mary)? Where was/is the Garden of Eden?

It is important to remember some things!

  • (1) The Bible was written a LONG time ago, more than a hundred generations ago.
  • (2) Back in those times, pencils, pens and paper did not exist, and the obtaining of ink that would last very long and parchment or papyrus to write on was very difficult and expensive. Also, VERY few people ever had any experience writing (or reading) and so very few people, except Scribes and Historians even had the skills necessary to write down any accounts of almost anything! (This is why most scholars believe that for hundreds of years after Moses, the first Five Books of the Bible [the Pentateuch, or Torah] were almost certainly passed down from one generation to the next as spoken, oral traditions. The availability of the materials and the necessary skills was just extremely rare.

    As a result of this, virtually no written records appear to have been made by Historians regarding many of the events described in the Bible. In other words, there is no external source that exists that could either confirm the accuracy of many Biblical stories, or, in this case, which could add personal details to the Scriptural record.

This results in a situation where the Bible represents the exclusive source of information on many stories and subjects. So, if you want to know the names of the great-grandsons of Noah, there is really only one place to look, in the Bible! If the information you seek is not there, then it is not available anywhere. (For greatest accuracy, it is best to use the original Hebrew or Greek wording, to avoid any variations that a translator might have unintentionally added.)

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There ARE a few references in the Bible that DO match up with Historians' accounts, such as some things about Pharaoh, about King Herod, about the Crucifixion. In each case where such references exist, they agree, which adds extra confidence in the accuracy of the Bible.

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This presentation was first placed on the Internet in January 2004.

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C Johnson, Pastor
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