Although biblical accuracy is often questioned and dismissed by sceptics, there is much evidence of the Bible being a very accurate document.
Much of this accuracy is in the myriad of historical references that have been shown by archaeology to be correct, although other indications of its accuracy are its fulfilled prophecies and general explanations of humanity.
William F. Albright said:
The excessive scepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, certain phases of which still appear periodically, has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history.
Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense...in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.
Luke, the author of the book bearing his name and the book of Acts, includes numerous details that, together, would only be known to someone who was actually there at the time, given that names and titles frequently changed in his era. In fact, Luke names nine islands, 32 countries, and 54 cities, and gets every one right.
Luke also provides the titles of numerous officials, and in many cases scholars in the past have believed that he got these wrong, but subsequent discoveries have proved him to be right. For example, Luke referred to the officials in Thessalonica as politarchs, a term not used in any other ancient literature, and which caused many to believe that Luke was mistaken. But inscriptions have since been found that show that this term was used in the area, specifically including Thessalonica.
- Albright, William F., The Archaeology of Palestine, rev. edition. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Pelican Books, 1960.
- Bruce, F.F., The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?, 1943
- Geisler, Norman, Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics, Baker Books, 1999.
- Hawkins, Craig S., The Book of Acts and Archaeology, 22 October 1998.
- Miller, W.R., Archaeologists of the Christian Faith: Ancient Evidence for the Bible … in Spades
- Ramsay, Sir William M., The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, Hodder & Stoughton, 1915.
Notes and references
- Albright, 1960, p.127-128, quoted in Miller.
- Ramsey, 1915, quoted by various people on-line
- Geisler, 1999, p.47
- Bruce, 1943, ch. VII; Hawkins, 1998