1It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was rulera over Galilee; his brother Philip was rulerb over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests.
Today’s discussion is going to be a little different. When you read this does it sound like myth or history? If you were writing a lie, and the penalty for promoting the lie was death on a Roman cross, beheading, or eaten by lions, would you write something with so much detail? If you weren’t there and you were just retelling a story that was generations old, would the story sound like this?
And that is the point. While there are things in the Old Testament that are likely to be stories similar to what we tell our children when we want to teach them something but they are not capable of understanding a complex idea, the New Testament is history. Read it for yourself and then read the writings of Homer. No honest person will contend that the New Testament is a far-fetched fairy tale written hundreds of years after the event. It’s just not reasonable. It is also not reasonable to think it is a lie made up for the benefit of the writers. I’ve written an entire series on that and you can read it here. There are also a lot of people claiming the New Testament is poorly translated or edited by the Catholic church or that Jesus didn’t really say what the writers say he said. I address that in an article here.
To sum this up, if the New Testament were evaluated by historians with the same criteria they use for other works written at approximately the same time, it would be taught as history in our schools, and considered the most accurate and well preserved ancient literature ever discovered. I say without hesitation that an honest person using statistical analysis and logic MUST come to that conclusion.
However, if you hate the idea of there being a God with moral expectations you cannot achieve, and a savior require humility and faith to receive a justification you cannot earn, it won’t matter to you. Nothing will. But if you just want the truth, it is overwhelmingly obvious.