These are just a few principles that historians use to make determinations about sources and testimony. I learned these from Habermas and Licona’s book The Case For the Resurrection of Jesus. Many of the replies I have received on Youtube reveal that skeptics resort to attacking the bible rather than accounting for the historical evidence. When a critic attempts to simply dismiss the bible out of hand, he is committing what is known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on its origin. Basically because the bible is a religious book they dismiss it as a historical source. Yet the truth is the New Testament has proven itself reliable over and over again. For instance, skeptics used to claim Pontius Pilate was a fictional character until archeologists uncovered a stone monument bearing his name. There have been many such vindications. A 19th century archeologist, Sir William Ramsay , set out to expose the book of Acts as a work of fiction but after thorough investigation he ended up being so impressed by Luke’s accuracy that he converted from skeptic to christian believer. He wrote,
- 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.1
The New Testament is regarded as historically accurate as far as its mundane claims, thus the skeptic cannot simply dismiss its testimony to the miraculous. The evidence is abundant and compelling. How do you account for it?
1 Sir William M. Ramsey, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, Hodder & Stoughton, 1915.