Truth, Understanding, Insight

How do we know the Bible is true?

16th December 2012, hej


5) Fourth Witness: Archaeology

Luke is regarded as a reliable witness to history. We have this testimony- evidence – of modern historians and archaeologists.

From Sherwin-White and Ramsay respectively:

“In Acts or in that part of Acts which is concerned with the adventures of Paul in Asia Minor and Greece, one is aware all the time of the Hellenistic and Roman setting. The historical framework is exact. In terms of time and place the details are precise and correct. One walks the streets and market-places, the theatres and assemblies of first-century Ephesus or Thessalonica, Corinth or Philippi, with the author of Acts. ...The feel and tone of city life is the same as in the descriptions of Strabo and Dio of Prusa...In all these ways Acts takes us on a conducted tour of the Greco-Roman world. The detail is so interwoven with the narrative of the mission as to be inseparable. (RSRL, pp.120, 121)

In Ephesus Paul taught `in the school of Tyrannus'; in the city of Socrates he discussed moral questions in the market-place. How incongruous it would seem if the methods were transposed! But the narrative never makes a false step amid all the many details, as the scene changes from city to city; and that is the conclusive proof that it is a picture of real life”. (SPT, p. 238)

"The accounts of these trials in Acts is so technically correct that Roman historians since Mommsen have often judged them as the best illustration of Roman provincial jurisdiction in this particular period" (TC, p. 101). And in circumscribing our topic of the historicity of Acts from its presentation of judicial concerns he declared: "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming....any attempt to reject its basic historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken if for granted" (RSRL, p. 189).