Is the Bible Reliable?

“Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand.”
— Daniel 5:1

Our text today speaks of Belshazzar the king, and the critics have fastened their talons on these words. For some time, they used to say, “Ah ha. Here again we find one of the many mistakes of the Bible.” They would claim there was no such king of Babylon as Belshazzar, and that furthermore the son of Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel 5:2 says was Belshazzar, is conclusively proved by the monuments to be none other than Nabonidus, and that no Belshazzar is mentioned at all. They delighted to fixate on this passage.

And yet the spades of the archaeologists continued to dig, and need I tell you how the story came out? The Bible has been proven right again and again. Finally the spade of the archaeologist unturned the monuments that brought to our attention the fact that Nabonidus, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, had a son whose name was Belshazzar.

But someone might object that he was not the son, but rather grandson, of Nebuchadnezzar. But the Bible calls him son. Biblical Hebrew has no word for grandson or great grandson or great grandfather or grandfather, but simply refers to one as father, regardless of the number of generations that have  intervened. So once again the critics were proven wrong.

As Werner Keller, author of the book, The Bible As History, noted in the 1950s: “…as I thought of the skeptical criticism which from the eighteenth century onward would fain have demolished the Bible altogether, there kept hammering in my brain this one sentence: ‘The Bible is right after all.’”

God of truth, we thank You for the trustworthiness of Your Word. Thank You for sustaining me and feeding me Your living, holy, and eternal Word everyday…