Points on Old and New Testament Historicity.

. . .

Scholarly reasons why the Bible is historical by Paul Johnson (historian) and Craig A. Evans (scholar):

Old Testament by Paul Johnson

– Faults and disgrace attributed to important characters (such as Job questioning God and wishing to die).
– Unnecessary, but interesting, detail recorded in the midst of stories (such as seen in early Genesis and Judges).
– “Boring” historic and geographic reference points (such as kings lists and city/country names).
– Ancient customs, which were unknown to the copier, still written down despite their mysterious origins.
– More realistically detailed accounts of mythological stories compared to others (Noah’s Ark vs. Epic of Gilgamesh).
– Agreement with other Near East archaeological findings (including geography, structures, items).
– Abrupt archaeological layer changes (such as Canaanites to Hebrews)
– Linguistic consistency within books (Isaiah calling God “the Holy One of Israel”).

New Testament by Craig A. Evans

– Historical coherence of circumstantial situations with culture (such as Jesus’ scholarly quarrels and Crucifixion).
– Multiple Attestation by independent and historically reliable sources such as Matthew, Luke, Paul, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger.
– Embarrassment on the part of followers (such as John the Baptist’s questioning) or a main character (Jesus’ baptism).
– Dissimilarity of Jewish sects and early Church; Acts/Fathers (ideas original to Jesus; such as association with sinners and title “Son of Man”).
– Semitic sayings and deeds common to Semitic and Palestinian background (such as Hebrew or Aramaic phrases preserved in Greek).
– Coherence (or consistency) of testimony (corroborating perspectives) and other material judged as authentic.
– Sheer volume of collaborative documents/artifacts (thousands of proximate ancient Biblical texts and documents which assume/leapfrog off of Biblical accounts).
– Assumptive language including or excluding major events (John leaving out the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 A. D.)

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