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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2001


Myths and the Bible

In this world there are many things that we do not understand. Even the most educated doctors and scientists come across questions for which they have no answers. How does DNA in a cell work? Or how big is the Universe? Although we learn more everyday, there always will be some things that we do no know.

In the past, people had a solution to this problem. Whenever they encountered something unknown or confusing, they simply would invent a story to answer their questions. For instance, many years ago in the city of Greece, people did not understand how the Earth was held in place. So, they invented a god named Atlas. Supposedly, Atlas committed a crime against a more powerful god than himself, and was forced to hold the world on his shoulders as punishment. Today we understand this to be a silly idea. Physical forces in nature keep the world revolving around the Sun, and we have pictures from space that prove no huge man holds up the Earth. But people in the past did not have this kind of information.

In fact, the same people who believed in Atlas likewise created stories for almost everything in nature. According to their stories, a god named Zeus produced lightning and would throw bolts of it down on people or places when he was angry. Poseidon, the god who lived in the sea, could cause huge storms and waves that would sink ships and flood harbor cities.

These stories are called myths, and were used to explain everything from plant growth to lightning flashes. They were not true, and never could give a true explanation for things that happen on this Earth.

Today, many people accuse the Bible of being filled with these myths, because the Bible answers questions that no other source of information can answer—not even science. The Bible explains that the one true God created the Universe. It also tells about God creating humans and giving them rules to follow in order to live happy, productive lives.

The stories in the Bible are not myths, because every story that can be checked by science or archaeology has proven to be true. The stories in the Bible give detailed descriptions of historic events. They do not contain the make-believe, false ideas that were found in ancient mythology. Modern science will not be able to take a picture from space that proves a story in the Bible to be false, because biblical stories came from God, Who created this Universe and understands exactly how it operates.



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