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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.

7 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.

    1. Justin- Your comment of generalities in film stories has no significance. The point is, History and its “validated” people provide affirmation and confirmation of truth or nullification of untruth. Films have a bias; mostly to entertain. Talking about “films” is not the issue we want to focus on. Historical truth is. In our day, I believe there is not much time left given the remarkable prophesies and revelations being fulfilled. Time to get the word out. Christianity has been confirmed as the true religion. There are believers in God in other faiths….these will be most open to the proof God has provided that Jesus is who He said He was. Best to delve into the New Testament with eyes wide open. Spread the good news…

  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.

    1. We are instructed in the bible, that if we want to have wisdom, we need to first get wisdom. Simply put, first we must get God. You talk about the merits of the accuracy or validity of parts of (or all) the bible as if you are speaking with any intelligence or authority. For non-believers, I suggest disregarding Old Testament scripture for now. Understanding there will only be given to you once you come to God in prayer with a humble heart yearning for more of His truth. In the meantime, give up the scholarly talk as if you discuss these things with any authority of your own. God will keep you blind if you do not seek Him. Instead, the way forward is simply to read the New Testament. Talk about it with sincerity with believing born again Christians. Pray on it with them. Believe that Jesus is who He said He was, and understand the ramifications. Jesus said that He came in fulfillment of scripture. That should be enough to get you started. Ask yourself what He meant when He said: “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one will see the father except through me.”

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