What do Jack & the Beanstalk, Goldilocks & the Three Bears, Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel, Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, Peter Pan…and the Bible…have in common?
Apparently, a whole lot…at least according to many skeptics.
Placing the Bible in the same literary category as fairy tales has become a common way for some people to dismiss its credibility. And, to be fair, not everyone that does this has some nefarious intention. There are many who simply find it hard to believe that some of the more miraculous events in the Bible actually took place.
Of course, with God in the picture, anything can happen. But I assume that not everyone reading this shares my faith in the God of the Bible, so I’d like to come at this from a different angle.
Here’s one of the main problems with labeling the Bible as a book of fairy tales; it was around well before the term “fairy tale” was coined. The fairy tale label was introduced by a French writer named Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy…in the 17th century. In contrast, some of the earliest Bible manuscripts date back to the early 1st century.
Which brings up another interesting point: the Bible is, hands down, the most well preserved piece of ancient literature out there. The New Testament by itself has more documented manuscripts than any other ancient work. You don’t have to dig very far for information like this either; here’s a direct quote from Wikipedia:
“The New Testament has been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work, having over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian.”
I obviously don’t consider Wikipedia as an authorative source. By all means, dig deeper…just be prepared to encounter a plethora of thoroughly documented historical data, from both Christian and secular scholars.
In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find any serious scholars that would question the history that is present both in and outside of the Bible. There are plenty of people in the Bible that are documented in numerous extra-biblical sources, as well as countless archaeological finds that point to it’s historical accuracy. Again, don’t just take my word for it…do a little “digging” yourself. You’d be surprised what even a simple Google search will pull up on this subject.
But, beyond all of the information you will find, I believe the most compelling evidence lies in the millions of people, myself included, who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Granted, there are many of us who don’t always live consistently by His example…in fact, there are frankly a lot of phonies.
You have to admit, though…it wouldn’t make much sense for this many people to live their lives according to the teachings of a book that was simply fantasy. Factor in the countless lives that have been completely transformed through God’s word…
…and I’d say you have more than just a “book of fairy tales”.