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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Amazing Historical Accuracy of the Bible

Don Stewart :: What Conclusions Can Be Made about the Historical Accuracy of the New Testament?

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Question 14

What Conclusions Can Be Made about the Historical Accuracy of the New Testament?

After looking at the question of the New Testament’s historical accuracy we can arrive at the following conclusions about what we have learned:

  1. It Is an Important Subject

    The question of the New Testament’s historical accuracy is of utmost importance because God has revealed Himself in history. This is especially true when God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is crucial that the events recorded in Scripture actually took place.

  2. The New Testament Writers Claimed They Were Eyewitnesses of the Events They Recorded

    Those who wrote about Jesus were either eyewitnesses to the events in His life, or recorded eyewitness testimony. This is their consistent claim. They are telling us what they knew to be true and they were indeed in a position to make such claims.

  3. The New Testament Was Written Soon after the Events

    The New Testament was written soon after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consequently, there was not enough time for the message to be altered. There were too many eyewitnesses, both friendly and unfriendly, that would have corrected any altering of the truth.

  4. The New Testament Books Were Read Aloud and Circulated

    We know that the New Testament books were read aloud in the churches. The message was open for all to hear and evaluate. This demonstrates the confidence that they had in its truthfulness.

  5. The Disciples of Jesus Were Cross-examined by Their Contemporaries

    The disciples could be cross-examined by their contemporaries about the events they proclaimed. They preached their message in Jerusalem - the very city where many of the events took place. This is another indication that they were unafraid of any challenge.

  6. Paul Wrote During the Eyewitness Period

    Paul’s letters were written during the eyewitness period. His writings confirmed many of the main facts of the gospel. His words could be evaluated by eyewitnesses of the events.

  7. Their Accounts Match up with Secular History

    The evidence concerning the events, places and names mentioned in the New Testament conclusively affirms the basic historical reliability of the text. In addition, there is evidence that the New Testament writers were minutely accurate in their recording of historical details.

  8. They Should Be Given the Benefit of the Doubt in Matters That Are Unclear

    Since the New Testament documents have come down to us without any tampering, and since they contain no obvious errors or contradictions, they should be given the benefit of the doubt in matters where there is no independent evidence to confirm or deny its teachings. Therefore, we should rightly assume that the New Testament is a reliable historical document unless it is clearly proven otherwise.

Conclusion: All the Evidence Tells Us That the New Testament Is a Trustworthy Historical Document

This being the case, the message of the New Testament, that God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ and died for the sins of the world, has to be taken seriously. We are dealing with actual facts; not mythology. Therefore, humans need to face the claims that Jesus made for Himself.

Summary - Question 14
What Conclusions Can Be Made about the Historical Accuracy of the New Testament?

The historical accuracy of the New Testament is an important subject. As we examine the evidence, we find the following things to be true: The New Testament writers claim to record eyewitness testimony. They wrote soon after the events occurred.

In addition, the books of the New Testament were publicly read out loud. The disciples of Jesus proclaimed His message in the very city, Jerusalem, where many important events took place.

The Apostle Paul also wrote and circulated his letters during the eyewitness period. Since the events, people and places recorded in the New Testament match up to known secular history, it should be given the benefit of the doubt in areas where there is no secular confirmation.

Therefore, the totality of the evidence leads us to believe the New Testament is trustworthy.

Is the Book of Acts Historically Accurate? ← Prior Section
How Do We Find Out What the Bible Said When First Written? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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