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IS THE BIBLE ACCURATE AND RELIABLE?. THE BIBLE IS A HISTORY BOOK. Men wrote down their accounts of events they witnessed (Luke 1:1-4, John 19:35) Christianity is not based on emotion, but historical events, people and places.

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the bible is a history book
  • Men wrote down their accounts of events they witnessed (Luke 1:1-4, John 19:35)
  • Christianity is not based on emotion, but historical events, people and places.
  • About 40 men wrote their accounts over a period of 1500 years and did it without discrepancies or errors.
secular history verifies the bible
Secular history verifies the Bible
  • Many Roman historians from the 1st century mention Christ as a man of history
  • Even men like Plato and Socrates acknowledge Christ as an historical figure.
  • The world accepts these men without ANY doubt.
  • If we accept their writings as absolute truth, we have no choice to accept the existence of Christ.
written contemporary documentation
Written Contemporary Documentation
  • At the time the New Testament writers were writing, there were contemporary men writing also.
    • Men like Tacitus and Josephus were also writing their histories.
    • When these men wrote their histories, they dropped them into the historical context of the time.


historical check points
Historical check points:
  • Certain persons, involved in certain events,at certain times, and in certain places.
  • They told about the morals of the time, they wrote in the linguistics of the time, they wrote of politics, climate, customs, and culture.

NOTE: If a person accepts Tacitus, or Josephus, or some classical historian from antiquity as reliable, and if the New Testament says basically the very same thing that these men are saying, and they agree with him about the events and the times and the places, we are going to have to accept the New Testament as reliable on the same ground.

historical people and dates recorded by both biblical writers and pagan writers
Historical People And Dates Recorded By Both Biblical Writers And Pagan Writers
  • Luke 3:1-2 Luke introduces the ministry of John the Baptist.
  • In doing so he mentions:
    • Tiberius Caesar
    • Pontius Pilate
    • Herod, tetrarch of Galilee
    • Philip, tetrarch of Ituraea and Traachonitis
    • Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene
    • Annas
    • Caiaphas
    • John the Baptist

NOTE: Every one of these men can be found outside the Bible in extra-biblical statements in classical histories. What you are reading in Luke is history of a reliable sort.

Pontius Pilate

historical people and dates recorded by both biblical writers and pagan writers1
Historical People And Dates Recorded By Both Biblical Writers And Pagan Writers
  • Mark 15:33 - Mark records the darkness that took place during the crucifixion of Jesus. Thallus, a pagan historian, also mentions this same darkness in his trying to give an explanation for it.
  • Acts 11:27-28 - A famine is prophesied by Agabus to come to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Josephus makes the observation that the famine came to pass during the time of Claudius, about the year A.D. 45.
  • Acts 18:1-2 - Claudius commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. In his life of Claudius, Suetonius refers to this same event in about the year 120 A.D.
cornelius tacitus
Cornelius Tacitus
  • Usually rated as the greatest historian of Rome, while writing of the reign of Nero (54-68 A.D.), told how the Christians were made scapegoats for the Great Fire of 64 A.D. It had been rumored that Nero himself started the fire in order to gain glory by rebuilding the city.
  • Tacitus says, “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus...”
  • NOTE: To the pagan Tacitus, the name “Christus” was more than likely a proper name. Tacitus was in a good position to learn of Christianity being governor of Asia in 112 A.D.
flavius josephus
Flavius Josephus
  • “And there arose about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed we should call him a man; for he was a doer of marvelous deeds, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure. He won over many Jews and also many Greeks.
  • “This man was the Messiah. And when Pilate had condemned him to the cross at the instigation of our own leaders, those who had loved him from the first did not cease. For he appeared to them on the third day alive again, as the holy prophets had predicted and said many other wonderful things about him. And even now the race of Christians, so named after him, has not yet died out.”
c plinius secundus pliny the younger
C. PliniusSecundus (Pliny the Younger)
  • Pliny, governor of Bithynia, often wrote to the Emperor Tragan asking his Imperial advice on how best to deal with the sect of the Christians which, according to him, were troubling his province. One letter (c. 112 A.D.) reveals information he extracted from some Christians by torture:
  • “They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang an anthem to Christ as God, and bound themselves by a solemn oath not to commit any wicked deed... after which it was their custom to separate, and then meet again to partake of food, but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”
things to consider in view of the facts
  • Faith in Christ is not a feeling, but a belief in history
  • If the people, places, and events of the Bible can be verified, then the miracles, promises and commandments can be accepted as truth.
  • In view of this, we need to strongly consider paying attention to what the Bible has to say!
heaven and hell
  • Death is certain for all of us – Heb. 9:27
  • After we die, our soul will live eternally in either heaven or hell
    • Revelation 20:11-15
    • Matt. 7:13-14
  • Keep in mind that if every historical word of the Bible is true, what is says about the future is no doubt true as well.
  • Decisions we make today will determine our destiny to one of these places.
we must obey christ and his teachings
  • Obedience to Christ is the only assurance we will go to the right place – Heb. 5:9
  • Christ now has ALL authority – Matt. 28:18, therefore we are under His teachings
  • Rom. 10:17 – “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.”
christ is the only way of salvation
  • The only way to the Father is through Christ – Acts 4:10-12, John 14:6
  • God saves the world through Christ – John 3:16-17
  • Belief alone will not save anyone. Obedience to Christ is what saves, which belief is part of, but not all. John 3:36, Matt. 7:21, 24
what does christ require of me to be saved
What does Christ require of me to be saved?
  • Hear the Gospel – The historical account of what Christ did for us at Calvary – Rom. 10:17
  • Believe what you have heard – This is a belief in objective history, not a feeling – Matt. 7:21, 24
    • Christ was a real person
    • Calvary was a real place
    • The crucifixion was a real event
action that faith compels
Action that faith compels
  • Repent – A u-turn in your life from living in sin to looking toward Christ – Acts 3:19
  • Confess – An outward expression of what you now believe with all your heart – Rom. 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
  • Be Baptized – The action where salvation actually takes place – Acts 2:38, 22:16,I Peter 3:21
  • The Bible is a history book that can be verified by Pagan and Jewish history. If we accept secular history as reliable, we are forced to accept the Bible as reliable and accurate on the same grounds.
  • The Bible is objective, absolute Truth
  • The Bible says we must obey Christ and His Teachings
  • Have you done that??