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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Encyclopaedia Britannica Was Wrong!

Back in the days before the internet, many of us depended upon encyclopedias to find information. And one of the most respected ones was the Encyclopaedia Britannica. We knew we would find accurate information because we trusted the book's integrity and truthfulness.

Maybe it would have looked like this.

At one point, you would have read in the Encyclopaedia Britannica that the Salem Church Dam on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was 194 feet high and 8,850 feet long. It was located upstream from Fredericksburg and made hydroelectric power and controlled floods. 

But guess what? There wasn't any such dam. Although an Army Corps of Engineers drew up plans for it in 1944, it was never built.

How could this mistake happen within such a respected encyclopedia? "The whole reason for the encyclopedia is accuracy, but we are dealing with 44 million words, and we sometimes do make mistakes," said Larry Grinnell, a spokesman for the book, as quoted in the LA Times. "The error will be corrected in the next update possible," he explained. (LA Times, August 18, 1988).

Even though such a distinguished book made mistakes, you and I are never going to be given an update to correct the facts about God's character or His Word, the Bible. God's qualities of truthfulness, love, compassion, and so many other wonderful characteristics have always been there, and they always will be. They never change. And the facts stated in His Word are timeless and immutable. We may not always understand them perfectly, and at times our explanation of them may have to be altered; but the facts themselves never change.

Deuteronomy 32:4 assures us, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (KJV).

Dick Eastman said, "Without the integrity of God, everything He says about Himself in His Word would be open to question."

Talk about security in our lives! God's truth is a strong, rock-like foundation that will always hold us steady. We may have to wonder if an encyclopedia or Wikipedia got the information wrong, but we'll never have to wonder if the Bible is wrong—or God's qualities have changed.

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