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Let's Party!

Updated: Sep 4

The Creator “reveals” himself by letting us understand Him and His plan through the Bible as we discussed in the last post.

To recall, we claimed that the Bible is “the revelation of God’s will and purpose for mankind in the context of history and in relation to four doctrinal themes: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration”. Our next question is:

How is the Bible related to history? For that, we need to have an overview of the composition of the Bible.

The Bible is a collection of sixty-six individual books. They were written over a period of 1500 years by approximately 40 authors. The first 39 books make up the Old Testament. They described events in ancient Israel and God’s words to the Israelites before Jesus was born. Then there are 27 books that make up the New Testament. They described Jesus’ earthly ministry, as well as apostolic letters to early churches. The last books of the Bible were composed by the end of the first century A. D.

Therefore, the Bible is primarily an historical book. It is constantly subjected to historical examination. However, so far archaeology has not produced anything that is unequivocally a contradiction in the Bible.

As an illustration of how the Bible is historical in nature and how it is constantly challenged by critics, let us take a look in one of the events that the Bible described. It is recorded in Chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel, which is one of the 39 books in the Old Testament. The following is an outline of the event.

It starts with a big party:

(verse 1) King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them.

Something weird happened in the middle of the party:

(verse 5 and 6) Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall…..His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak…

The king was so frightened that he summoned the astrologers and wise men to interpret the writings. He threw in a huge reward:

(verse 7) Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom

No one could help. The queen, the king’s mom, then suggested to the king to bring in Daniel to interpret the writing. Daniel, probably in his eighties, came to the presence of the King. He said he would not need the rewards, but he would interpret the writing. He rebuked the king’s arrogance as the king did not humble himself before God. Daniel interpreted the writing and told the king:

(verse 26 to 28) God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

King Belshazzar kept his promises and made Daniel the third ruler in the kingdom. However, verse 30 and 31 tells us that King Belshazzar was killed, and his kingdom was taken over by Darius the Mede that very night. This is the end of chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel.

Does it sound like a fictional story that has nothing to do with real history? We shall discuss it in the next post.

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