Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Insights from the World That Was series.
A great deal of research goes into writing books. That goes without saying.
But what about books based on the Bible or, for that matter, on history?
The series The World That Was is a fictional story that is based on historical and Biblical facts. I didn’t one day just sit down and dash off a novel. It took tremendous research. This research involved any secular history that related to our beginnings and the Bible.
What does Secular History say?
At first glance secular history is a no-show. But part of the reason for that is that liberal educators have tampered with our history books. Not only with our nation’s history but with world history. So as an author I had to dig.
The history of the Jewish people can be found in the writings of Josephus. It is essentially a secular book thereby subject to error. Even so, it contains a lot of history. Why? Because the early history of our world surrounded a little piece of land we now call Israel. It is also known as Palestine, Canaan land, and other titles.
As you can see that invites you to do much research and you soon find there are conflicting histories. Part of this problem involves the history of Egypt. To be perfectly frank this is highly unreliable. At best you have to guess about the time frames of different rulers.
Egypt is the worst case, but to some degree the problem exists elsewhere. A partial solution comes from comparing known historical people who lived at the same time in different lands. That helps in nailing down the time table. But even that is subject to error. There is a more sure aide, but I’ll visit that later.
Of all the secular writings I have found Josephus a fairly reliable resource that sheds light on people, places, and events. This is very important from an author’s viewpoint.
Why is historical reliability important?
As an author I want readers to feel that the characters and their stories are real. To accomplish this I need them to have confidence in the “facts” of the story. In short, I strive to be accurate when describing the land so that someone who’s been there will readily accept that fact. Now there are exceptions. For example, a description of Mt. Ararat in Noah’s day will differ from a description of Mt. Ararat today. In Noah’s day snow hadn’t been seen before and therefore was a new thing to Noah and the family. Mt. Ararat would have been barren of snow when the Ark landed and for years afterward. But today it is covered in snow and ice. A lot has happened.
So it is important to know about changes in weather conditions?
To some degree, yes. Let me change that to a high degree. I had one man write me with criticisms of the land and of Mt. Ararat in my book. He’d been in the area and said it didn’t look like that at all. He’s probably correct as far as today is concerned, but my story took place over a 1000 years ago. There have been changes.
The Most Reliable Resource
Contrary to the modern liberal crowd, also known as evolutionists, the King James Bible is the most reliable book out there. While it is not a history book, it is totally accurate when it tells of historical peoples, lands, and events.
A classic example of this is found in the Bible’s numerous mentions of the Hittite people. A number of centuries ago cynics “proved” the Bible to be in error. These cynics were the most highly educated of their time. They were the experts you’d turn to regarding history, science, archeology, and more.
They successfully demonstrated that archeology had not turned up any evidence that these Hittites ever existed. This they said proved the Bible was in error in mentioning a people that had never existed and if existed were never a powerful nation.
But time went on and after centuries of denial evidence began surfacing in the early 19th century. The greatest minds of science and archeology were thus proved wrong although that is glossed over. It was of far greater importance to prove the Bible wrong. But the Bible had been right all the time!
We now know that the Bible is without doubt not only the most accurate but is completely accurate as it deals with history and science or any other subject. Man continues to deny it and offers up questions that range from the foolish to the outright manipulation of Scripture.
As an author I have not doubted the reliability of the Scriptures. As a result I discovered the solution to the problem of secular history. Test secular history against the Bible. If secular history is in complete disagreement with the Bible, then bring it into conformity to the Bible. This is particularly helpful when dealing with time frames. It brings unity to the jumbled mass of time frames and enables a writer to better understand what is going on, who is living, who is dominant, and where their chief character lives.
All to often people try to make the Bible conform to the secular. It won’t work. But when you pull secular history into conformity with the Bible it is like a puzzle of a 1000 pieces suddenly falling into their proper place!
What is my Insight?
That when writing a book that is based on history, science, or both you can rely on the Bible. Just remember that so-called “errors” are found in the reader’s mind not in the Bible. In matters of science who is talking. The Bible often relates what someone believes to be true, as with Jacob. It doesn’t comment on whether his “scientific” ideas are true or not, but simply relates the truth of what he believed or what he did.
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.