4. Examining External Evidence – Considering the Historical Reliability of the Bible

In this session we examine historical evidences external to the Bible – historical writings of non-biblical authors from that era as well as archaeology – to assess not the textual reliability (which we did in Session 3) but whether what the Biblical writers record for us actually did happen.  We are not trying to assess here whether the Biblical writings are scripture in an inspired-by-God sense.  We are just seeing if there is evidence that supports whether the Bible can be taken seriously as history.

 

Blog Posts Related to this Session

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  • 29/05/2015 - Did Moses write the Torah?

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  • 12/09/2013 - Was there a Noah? (Part 2) – Testimony of ‘weeks’ in Calendars

  • 20/08/2013 - Was there a Noah? Testimony from ancient Hindus & modern calendars … (Part 1)

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  • 28/02/2013 - Was there an Adam? Part 2 … Ancient Chinese & modern-day Google

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  • 07/01/2012 - Religious Evidence: From Flying Spaghetti Monsters to Mormons and Miracles

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  • 4 thoughts on “4. Examining External Evidence – Considering the Historical Reliability of the Bible”

    1. I don’t think references to people whose existence has been historically validated really counts for much. Film adaptations of ‘true stories’ or worse, ‘re-tellings’ almost always have tons of historical inaccuracies, sometimes in the most dramatic parts.

    2. Also, operating under an atheistic theory that the Good News is false, it would have been to the fabricator’s advantage to make sure that all the verifiable details be totally accurate in order to lend more credence to the story. One might even wonder if those details were thrown in for the sole purpose of adding credibility. The main issue at hand, I think, is the apparent impossibility of Jesus’ miracles and resurrection…can that really be addressed in this way?

      Sorry for posting comments piecemeal, I’m writing while watching the video so I don’t forget my thoughts and have to re-watch it.

    3. Good point about the Ebla tablets’ dating, but it would be foolhardy to assume that anything they say happened in exactly the way they describe.

      All in all, I think you present a good argument for maintaining an open mind to the possibility that the Bible is historical, but not that it is more likely to be historical than not. I guess your main aim was to convince us that the Bible’s content is not ‘mythical’ in the sense that it was not entirely made up, and I agree with that (except in the case of the Creation story). However, critics like myself hold that the Bible’s content is ‘legendary,’ in the sense that it is a distortion of the truth, rather than ‘mythical.’ I think it might take a bit more to convince us otherwise.

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