For years a certain group of scholars said that John’s Gospel was a philosophical and theological work, but not a historical one, meaning that it couldn’t be trusted at face value.
One of the reasons for that (faulty) conclusion was that details in the text seemed wrong from a historical perspective. For example, in John 5:2 we read: “Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.”
Since archaeological digs in that area hadn’t found a pool, the text must be wrong, they concluded. Untold numbers of people walked away from their faith because of it, falsely concluding that if the pool wasn’t there, the entire book of John couldn’t be trusted, and neither could the rest of the Bible.
Then archaeologists dug deeper. And guess what they found? They found this very pool of Bethesda—and they found it exactly as John had described it with five roofed colonnades! If you go to Jerusalem today you can see and touch it for yourself.
Nelson Glueck is a well-known Jewish archaeologist. He says “it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted a biblical reference.”*
We live in a time when a multitude of forces are trying to convince you that you can’t trust the Scriptures. But you can. Not only are they inspired by God (Isaiah 40:8, 2 Timothy 3:16), but it has historical and archaeological credibility—and that has been proven time and time again.
Stand on the word of God. Stand with confidence. Stand as a life-giving ambassador of our loving and reliable Saviour, Jesus Christ.
–Did you know you can now LISTEN to The Up Devotional as a podcast? Subscribe on iTunes (Apple), Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher.
–Sermon. Today’s devotional is connected to my latest sermon, “Exhale.” Click here for watching or listening options.
–*As quoted in: Mark Clark, The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), 81.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.