Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Silly Argument: "The Bible isn't evidence"

This is a common fallacious argument made by prejudiced individuals who are generally ignorant of ancient history. Here's an example of the silliness of this claim:

Specific examples showing Luke was right after his critics said he was wrong

Let's examine some cases where Luke was called wrong, but later vindicated. For example, Luke was said to imply incorrectly that the cities of Lystra and Derbe were in Lycaonia but Iconium wasn't (Luke 14:6), according to what the Roman politician and orator Cicero (106-43 B.C. ) and others had written anciently. But in 1910, Ramsay found a monument that showed Iconium was in Phyrgia, not Lycaonia--a discovery since corroborated by further evidence. When Luke said Lysanias was the Tetrarch of Abilene (Luke 3:1), this was said to be erroneous, since the only Lysanias known to ancient historians had died in 36 B.C. But later an inscription, dated between A.D. 14 and 29, was discovered near
Damascus, Syria that said "Freedman of Lysanias the Tetrarch." The textual critic F.J.A. Fort maintained Luke was wrong to use the Greek word meris to mean "district" when referring to Philippi as part of Macedonia. Later archeological discoveries have found that Luke was right--this very word meris was employed to describe this district's divisions.

Luke called Publius of Malta the "first man of the island" (Acts 28:7); inscriptions have been found that refer to him as "first man." Luke wrote of a riot in Ephesus that took place
in its theater. Having room for 25,000 people, this theater has been dug up. Paul's preaching here provoked a riot because silversmiths feared their trade in objects related to the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world) would collapse if he was believed. Correspondingly, one unearthed inscription said the silver statues of Artemis were to be placed in the "theater during a full session of the Ecclesia [assembly]." Luke once described Paul nearly being killed by a riot provoked by the rumor he had brought a gentile into the Temple (Acts 21:27-31). Helping confirm this account, archeologists have found inscriptions that read in Latin and Greek:

"No foreigner may enter within the barrier which surrounds the temple and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will be personally responsible for his ensuing death."


These are just a few of the numerous examples of the proven accuracy of the Bible.

The fact remains, the Bible has been found truthful again and again concerning ancient history. To claim the Bible is worthless without corroborating extrabiblical evidence is just bigotry.

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