From Back Cover: Is Christianity historically true?
Because the events recorded in the New Testament occurred almost two thousand years ago, most people assume that it is no longer possible to decide the question of historical truth.
But this assumption is false. A great deal of circumstantial evidence has survived the centuries. The Acts account of the Apostle Paul's journeys contains hundreds of statements that can be judged as true or false in light of evidence that is completely independent of the New Testament record.
Most people - even most Christians - are unaware of the persuasiveness of this evidence. Books written for the general public, that deal with biblical history, examine the evidence superficially and only in passing. The purpose of this book is to examine the evidence in depth.
"If you want to know the historical
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Our Comments: The majority of this book deals with Acts. The author breaks all the evidence therein down into bite-sized chunks and deals with each piece in a straightforward and no nonesense fashion while following a self-imposed rule that "a contradiction cannot be proved if there is a reasonable explanation for it" (p. 118). This rightfully narrows the field of contradictions down to a scant few and warrants the author's assertion that: "The Acts account of Paul's journeys is as reliable as we may expect history to be. So far as it can be tested by objective evidence, Acts has proven to be an astonishingly accurate record of events" (p. 134). All of this evidence eventually points to "one of the most striking aspects of the Acts record" which is how many of the details "belong to the middle of the first century, and to that era alone" (p. 132).
He also deals with empirical evidence regarding 1 and 2 Corinthians and states: "If Paul had not written a second letter to Corinth, or if that letter had been lost to history, the travel plans that he outlines in the first Corinthian letter would contradict Luke's account of his movements in the third journey" (p. 88). We can apply this same logic to the perceived contradictions elsewhere and wonder if they wouldn't be just as easily cleared up if there were more manuscripts extant relating to that time--we shouldn't look askance at the Biblical narrative because it has a remarkable track record but question our limited understanding of that particular time.
Easy writing style that won't leave you exhausted; nicely done.
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