In his book Church History: A Crash Course for the Curious, Christopher Catherwood made a very interesting observation.
He mentioned that people have no trouble accepting the historicity of Julius Caesar’s accounts in Gallic Wars, a book that he purportedly wrote about his conquests in what we now know as France. The problem is that according to archaeology, Gallic Wars was actually written 900 years after the death of Julius Caesar!
The Bible, on the other hand, has thousands of proofs that are archaeologically precise. It is referenced in many other writings in that period, both in Christian literature and in secular writings. Interestingly, despite the overwhelming body of evidence that favor the authenticity of the Bible, people still consider it as scientifically unproven.
Catherwood notes that the reason for this rejection of the Bible is not because of the lack of empirical, verifiable proof but the unwillingness of the people to recognize the power of the words written in that Book. Accepting the historicity of the Bible means that people will be confronted with the moral truths written in its pages. Many people are just not ready for that kind of confrontation with the truth.
If the documents supporting the Bible are declared true, even the scientific community is bound to take the Christian faith seriously. And so the liberals and the unbelieving people would cast all the doubt they could muster, not because there’s much to doubt but because they simply can’t swallow the moral implications of the teachings of Jesus.
So why would Caesar’s Gallic Wars pass for authenticity while the Bible is unfairly criticized?
The reason is very simple. Gallic Wars doesn’t call for morality and behavioral transformation. It doesn’t call men to purity and it doesn’t command people to pursue righteousness and make godly choices. It is a collection of stories that don’t need any commitment from us.
Only the Bible and the God of the Bible have the power to make us uncomfortable with its pronouncements and commands. It’s asking a lot from us and it pricks our hearts like no other can.