The CSI Test and the Bible
There is an interesting phenomenon in our culture. We are fascinated by crime stories! For years, many of the top-rated programs on television have been criminal dramas. Check out the Nielsen Ratings that measure program viewership and you’ll see what I mean.
Consider NBC’s Law & Order franchise. It is the longest running crime series and second longest running drama series in the history of American broadcast television. The program first started running nineteen years ago and has spun-off several other programs(Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent,Crime & Punishment and Law & Order: Trial by Jury). Just about all of these are filmed in and around New York City. You know a program is successful when it launches that many spin-offs.
Even more popular today is the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise. Using Las Vegas as a backdrop, CBS launched this program in 2000 and it has been going strong ever since. This too has launched an array of spin-offs (including CSI: Miami and CSI: NY). Closely related in style and form is another CBS hit series, NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). This fictional program uses as a theme, crimes involving US Navy and Marine personnel. This was actually a spin-off from another military flavored criminal drama entitled JAG .
So what gives? Why am I writing about TV viewing habits? In this, there is a lesson to be learned and a manner of approach to be gleaned for defending our faith when it comes to the reliability of the Bible. See, each episode follows a simple format:
- A case needs to be solved.
- To get at the truth, investigators will interview individuals (those who saw or heard something relevant) and collect physical evidence (e.g., fingerprints, DNA samples, or spent bullet casings)
- The reliability of a particular theory or the dependability of a specific witness is then established by performing a comparison with the gathered testimony and collected evidence
- This ultimately helps the detectives get to the truth and solve the case
This forensic approach is not just the purview of Hollywood writers and producers, it is the method used by every good law enforcement agency to get at the truth. We can use this same technique to test the reliability of the Bible.
We too can examine physical evidence (such as artifacts or ancient ruins) and revieweyewitness testimony (as found in ancient manuscripts or clay tablets) dating to the time of the Scripture. The findings of archeology down through the centuries allow us to test whether or not the Bible is an accurate witness to history. Sure enough, the evidence is overwhelming in support of the historicity of the Biblical text!
Associates for Biblical Research is one ministry dedicated to demonstrating the historical reliability of the Bible through archeological research and related apologetic investigation. And of course, explore the rest of this website to find out more interesting and reliable information.
In so many criminal dramas, it is a matter of life and death. The same is true in this case. It really is a matter of life and death - eternal life or eternal death! The Bible testifies to history and tells us the story of God’s love for a lost and dying world. It also tells us of the lost eternitythat awaits those who do not come to faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So be about the task of encouraging others to examine the evidence for the Bible. If people fail to heed its witness, they never will get at the Truth (Romans 10:17)!