According to atheistic scientists, the universe is about 14 billion years old, and the earth nearly 5 billion years old. The real reason for these figures is not the evidence; rather, atheistic origins theories such as the theory of evolution require long periods of time. Long ages (for civilizations, the earth and the universe) are justified using highly speculative dating techniques. There is actually considerable evidence for a young earth and universe. Thus, there is no logical reason to doubt the Bible's claim of creation in about 4000 BC and a worldwide flood in about 2400 BC. It is worth noting that apart from the Bible, no written material claims to be older than 2200 BC.
The Biblical accounts of Creation, the Fall, the Flood and the Dispersion have parallels in the mythologies of ancient civilizations. Skeptics suggest that the Biblical authors copied from them. However, this is special pleading because it deliberately ignores the other possibility: these events actually happened, and the descendants of the participants in these events narrated them in their legends as they got dispersed all over the earth.
These stories are not confined to the Middle East, but spread all over the world (for example, see a list of flood myths from all over the world similar to the account of Noah's Flood in the Bible). This makes the plagiarism claim implausible. Why should a handful of stories be plagiarized worldwide? There are many unique stories in the myths of different cultures; this shows that the ancients were not lacking in the ability to compose stories! Why should they copy from across the globe instead of only inventing their own stories? According to secular anthropology, civilizations developed separately all over the world as hunter-gatherer communities adopted agriculture. If this is the case, how did distant civilizations copy from each other? Just like the Jewish Biblical authors supposedly plagiarized from Akkadian sources, are we to believe that Mexican and Chinese civilizations also sent their representatives to learn myths from Akkad (Iraq)? Outlandish claims like this call for outlandish evidence, which skeptics have not provided.
Genesis 1-11 was written before 2000 BC - contemporaneous or prior to the writings of other ancient civilizations. Moreover, Biblical accounts are detailed and less fanciful than their pagan counterparts. This also refutes the notion that Biblical authors copied from others.
Conclusion: The events of Genesis 1 to 11 actually happened, and most ancient civilizations narrated them (no doubt with distortion and embellishments). Thus, far from discrediting the Bible, the similarity between the Biblical narratives and other ancient stories constitutes historical evidence that the Bible is based on fact.
"The literature of the old German Religiongeschichtliche schule (school of the history of religion), which produced this conclusion and which has been the authority for contemporary scholars who wish to perpetrate the notion that the virgin birth in the New Testament has a non-Christian source, is characterised by brief word, phrase, and sentence quotations that have been lifted out of context or incorrectly translated and used to support preconceived theories." – Thomas Boslooper, The Virgin Birth, (Philadelphia: Westminister, 1962), p135Myth details above have been taken from Edwin Yamauchi, quoted in Strobel, Lee, The Case for the Real Jesus, p166-182.
This world has a lot of pain that cannot be linked causally with any specific misdeed:-
The Bible tells us that God is not the author of this pain. Why does evil exist then?
Liberals and Muslims believe that God is the author of pain - He created a rotten world. Atheists and Biblical Christians say that such a God is not worthy of worship even if he exists. Muslim apologists say he is, because pain is good. The following are the reasons they offer, and my responses.
Pain is a helpful signal. Leprosy patients don't feel pain in their limbs and so don't realize it when they hit their limbs against something or burn them. So they don't tend to their wounds because they don't feel them! Hence their limbs deteriorate. Thus, pain is a blessing in disguise. But this explanation is inadequate. Why couldn't God think of some better warning signal? Why are animals carnivorous? Why does child delivery have to be painful?
Pain is cathartic - it is good for you because it makes you a better person. This argument is invalid because:-