Dear Atheists, Actually it’s NOT a Bronze Age Book


If there is one popular phrase used by atheists to criticize the bible that I’m heartily tired of reading it’s calling the bible a “Bronze Age Book.” There are two reasons I’m tired of it:

1) It’s Grossly Inaccurate: The vast majority of the Old Testament was written during the Iron Age (1200 BC – 500 BC) and the entire New Testament was written in the 1st Century AD and entirely postdates both the periods referred to as the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. If you want to use a snarky chronologically arrogant term to imply you are smarter than the people who preceded you merely because you were born after them, the correct term would be “Ancient Book.”

2) It’s Doesn’t Even Prove What it’s Supposed to Prove: Apart from the foolishness of asserting that people like Moses, Solomon and Aristotle were clearly idiots because they were around a long time ago and didn’t have things like Google, Microwaves, or Cup O’ Noodles, age doesn’t nullify truth or the factual nature of a record any more than the fact that something was generated recently makes it true.

For instance, “I, Rigoberta Menchu,” an autobiography that won Menchu the Nobel Prize, was written in the late 20th century, and became wildly popular and was considered by American academics to be “the gospel truth” about oppression in Central America. Subsequent investigations however revealed that Rigoberta Menchu had made up much of her life story.

In the case of the bible, if the events it records happened, the fact that they were written down a long time ago doesn’t change that factual nature of the record, and to date, every historical event the bible records that can be confirmed by archaeology and other histories has been confirmed.


About Andrew Webb

I was converted out of paganism and the occult in 1993 and while I was initially Charismatic/Arminian in my theology, I became Reformed and Presbyterian through bible study and the influence of ministries like RC Sproul's. After teaching in local bible studies, and taking seminary courses part time, I began to feel called to the ministry in 1997. I was Ordained as an RE at Christ Covenant PCA in Hatboro, PA in 2000 and as a TE by Central Carolina Presbytery in 2001 when I was called to be the Organizing Pastor/Church Planter for Providence PCA Mission, Cross Creek PCA's church plant in Fayetteville, NC (home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Airforce Base). In 2005 when the Providence PCA Particularized I was blessed to be called by the congregation to be their Pastor
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14 Responses to Dear Atheists, Actually it’s NOT a Bronze Age Book

  1. And if they didn’t happen, you made a fool out of yourself by trying to live by a book that was written by people who thought that slavery was a good thing.

    • Kelly says:

      You are a slave.

    • Reimu says:

      What you imply is actually factually incorrect. The Bible speaks of slaves as manservants, no different than maids today but with the rights of a child, it was a better position than homeless that often received both pay and food and was often voluntary, even generals to a king could be called slaves, there was not a lot of difference between slaves and normal people. It was also a product of the law of man, not Christianity. Ephesians speaks of honoring your agreements, especially after you receive a roof, food and in many cases money. There was some term for slavery like African slaves, but contextually those are not being discussed in the specific book, so it’s often misinterpreted when read out of context or without consideration for cultural differences. Not your fault or anything since it literally says slavery but context matters.

  2. Brett Strong! says:

    god, Jesus, heaven, and hell have never been proven by archeology 🙂 …because they are fiction thuds puff goes Christianity; up in smoke!

  3. Andrew Webb says:

    Hello Atomic Mutant, you write “IF they didn’t happen” (emphasis mine) – given that the post above was limited to “every historical event the bible records that can be confirmed by archaeology” do you now doubt archaeology and history as well? I mean I guess that’s consistent, you can’t prove Nebuchadnezzar existed via an experiment in a lab either, or answer ethical questions for that matter.

    So, a couple of quick questions. You say you believe that the bible was written by people who believe slavery was a good thing, I’m assuming you believe that not because you’ve studied the bible in depth on the subject, but because its a popular objection you can easily learn about via a Google search. I think Jeremiah and God would have a profoundly different take on that given that it was one of the reasons the Kingdom of Judah was judged (Jeremiah 34:10-22) but if you’d like to present evidence that the authors of the bible thought slavery was a “good thing” please show me where.

    Second, while you’re at it, I’d like you to show me, using nothing but the scientific method, why slavery is a “bad thing”.

  4. Andrew Webb says:

    Hi Brett, aside from the fact that Peter’s first sermon in Jerusalem recorded in Acts 2 would have gone over like a led balloon and the movement would not have spread from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth (reaching to Rome and beyond during the lifetime of the first apostles had Jesus not existed, Jesus and the origins of the Christian movement are mentioned by a number of contemporary sources, in fact we have more first hand evidence for the life of Christ than we do the life of Socrates (and yet no one seems to doubt he existed).

    Here’s an extract from Pliny’s letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny was writing in AD 112 about how to go about dealing with the Christian sect which he had started persecuting as a illegal assembly and thus banned by Roman law:

    Pliny to Trajan A.D. 112

    “They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so.”

  5. Kelly says:

    Great article.

  6. Andrew says:

    Great blog – glad I found it.
    I linked to this in a yet-to-be-published post of mine.

  7. Pingback: Discussing Evidences for the General Theory of Evolution… Still Waiting | Religio-Political Talk (RPT)

  8. Barry Miller says:

    The bronze age and the Iron age overlap! If an atheist says it was written in the bronze age he would be partly right and you should run with that as it would date the bible earlier than if they only mentioned the Iron age! The bronze age lasted from 2300bce to around 1600bce whereas the Iron age was circa 1200bce to 800bce although these times are dependent on where in the world you lived! We know that parts of the bible were written in the Iron age because Iron Chariots are mentioned in (Judges 1:19 NIV).
    Quoting Pliny to prove the existence of Jesus is sheer folly! He mentions Christians and does not elude to the actual existence of Jesus! And, Yes! Christians did exist around 112CE no one disputes this! You also demean yourself by asking Atomic Mutant to explain why slavery is a bad thing! Even by scientific method it would be easy to prove if you compared the bible’s account of how to treat your slave. You can beat him as long as he does not die within a few days! I am sure that science would prove that beating someone causes severe injuries and often death! Unless you think that injuring someone is a good thing?

  9. Njord says:

    the old testament is just a collection of romanticized stories about the bronze age, written after its collaps by people who just filled in the power vacuum that egypt left in that area. it´s just sad that this book survived that long while many others in alexandria didn´t. at least christianity was much less offended by literacy then islam.

  10. Nick says:

    Dumbest thing I have ever read….

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