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August 4    Scripture

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Bible History : Answers & Evidence

Apologetics Topics in Apologetics. Brief discussions and videos for sale.

Biblical Criticism "According to the Documentary hypothesis, the Biblical claims for the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch are false. Rather, the first five books of the Bible are made up of many fragments by different authors. The earliest, the Jahwist (J), was an unknown writer who lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah in about 850 B.C., either 440 or 600 years after the time of Moses, depending upon one's dating of the Exodus. The Elohist (E) was supposed to have been an unknown writer in the Northern Kingdom of Israel who lived around 750 B.C. The writings of J and E were combined a hundred years later by an unknown redactor. Then, according to this hypothesis, in 621 B.C., the Deuteronomic writer (D) composed the book of Deuteronomy during the reforms of King Josiah. Finally, in about 570 B.C., the Priestly writer (P) wrote various sections of the Pentateuch concerned with genealogical lists and the details of the sacrificial system. These views, which were advocated by Julius Wellhausen, gained a strong foothold in the field of Biblical studies during the twentieth century, despite the fact that both the Pentateuch and many other parts of the Bible specifically state that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. However, there is abundant evidence disconfirming the Documentary hypothesis."

Christ's Use Of The Bible "Jesus Christ assumed the absolute authority of the Old Testament as God's Word. When he quoted from it to establish anything, he considered the case closed, and that was the end of the matter."

Christian 'bias' in the NT Writers Does it render the NT unreliable or inadmissible as evidence? [Answers]] [New Testament Studies] [Bible History]

CIN Message Boards: Apologetics Catholic Information Network (CIN) [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Confirmation Outside the Bible Is there any confirmation of Biblical events from written sources outside the Bible? Author: Bryant Wood of Associates for Biblical Research [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Contemporary Scholarship and Historical Evidence William Lane Craig. "Man," writes Loren Eisley, "is the Cosmic Orphan." He is the only creature in the universe who asks, Why? Other animals have instincts to guide them, but man has learned to ask questions. "Who am I?" he asks. "Why am I here? Where am I going?" [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Date and Authenticity of the New Testament In the early twentieth century, most scholars dated the New Testament documents as follows: Matthew, A.D. 851; Mark, A.D. 60-652; Luke, A.D. 80-853; John, A.D. 90-954; Pauline Epistles, A.D. 48-645.

David Hume On Miracles "Twentieth-century philosophers usually consider David Hume's essay, "Of Miracles," to have dealt the decisive death-blow to any belief either in the supernatural or in the miracles of the Bible. Because Hume's arguments against miracles merely assume the conclusions that he draws, he only begs the question without demonstrating his point." Includes excerpts from Hume.

Do Extraordinary Events Require Extraordinary Evidence? by G. Brady Lenardos

Does The Bible Employ Cultural Accommodation? "Many theologians suggest that whatever truth may be found in the Bible is relative to the world view of the culture in which it was written. According to them, God has accommodated himself to the mistaken notions of the ancient Near East in His communication to us through the Bible. This viewpoint was never widely held until the rise of liberal theology in the eighteenth century,1 and assumes that God either cannot or does not communicate with us in such a way as to give us truth unencumbered with the false ideas of the people whom he inspired. The theory of cultural accommodation is therefore the result of an antisupernaturalistic bias which is incompatible with the Bible's treatment of itself."

Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History The Resurrection by Edwin Yamauchi [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Evidence for the Resurrection The Resurrection by by Josh McDowell [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Evidence for The Resurrection of Christ The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact of history and applies to every person's life. Because Jesus died, our debt was paid. Jesus' last words on the cross was, "It is finished", the debt has been paid. His death on the cross paid the debt for your sin and His resurrection gives you life. Eddie Snipes

Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ by Christopher Louis Lang. In order to examine the evidence for the resurrection we must place ourselves in the historical situation. The events surrounding the life and death of Christ didn't occur at a place where we can gain no knowledge of them. Rather, they occurred in history, on earth, and were recorded by men who witnessed the events.

Historical Trustworthiness of the Bible The trustworthiness of the Bible's historical statements has been corroborated again and again both through archaeological discoveries and through close correlation of the Bible's content with other independent ancient sources. A comprehensive study of this topic would be far beyond the scope of these lectures, but for the purpose of illustration, it will be possible to examine briefly the accuracy of Luke as a historian.

How 'non-Jesus' was paul really? How much clearer can the data be?! The concept of a 'crucified Messiah' was in the Tanakh/OT and on the lips of Jesus--it was certainly not original with PAUL!! How about the other apostles? Peter, James, John, and others--do they speak of a 'crucified Christ'? Of course they do! [Answers] [Bible History]

How The Bible Came To Us Understanding how the Bible came to us gives us a confident foundation for our faith in the reliability the Bible. Evidence presented in a criminal case must be shown to have been protected by a proper chain of custody from being tampered with. We will be able to answer to critics when they claim that the New Testament contains 200,000 errors. We will have some understanding of why the newer translations such as the NIV and NASV differ from the King James Versions at various points. Wesley Ringer [New Testament Studies] [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Jonah and History "Many people feel that the account given in the Bible of Jonah is legendary, since even if there were a fish big enough to swallow a man, certainly no man would be able to survive three days in its digestive tract and then escape to the outside world. However, again and again, Jesus referred to this as a historical event, and even pointed to it as a foreshadowing of his own death and resurrection. There are, however, several documented accounts of people who have been swallowed by whales and large fish, and have lived to tell about it, even after several days. The preservation of the name "Yunas" or "Jonah" at the ruins of Nineveh also confirms the historicity of the Jonah story. As soon as modern discoverers unearthed the mound that had been known for centuries by the name of "Neby Yunas," they found beneath it the ruined palaces of the kings of Nineveh."

Literacy and time measurement in the Ancient World [Answers] [Bible History]

Man-Made Structures and the Bible From ChristianAnswers.Net, by Dr. Bryant Wood. A list of some of the palaces, forts, towers, etc. mentioned in the Bible that have been found and excavated in modern times. [Answers and Evidence] [Bible History]

Manuscript Attestation Of The Old Testament There are many important old manuscripts of the Old Testament. This deals in brief with Cairo Codex, Leningrad Codex, Aleppo Codex, the Septuagint, the Masoretic text, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Manuscript evidence for superior New Testament reliability The New Testament is constantly under attack and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics. But, if the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer. This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writing. Because the copies are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy. This process has determined that the biblical documents are extremely consistent and accurate. There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.1 If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity. [New Testament Studies] [Bible History]

Master Index of Subjects and Questions Large index of subjects by The Christian ThinkTank [Old Testament Studies] [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

Messianic Expectations in 1st Century Judaism Documentation from Non-Christian Sources [Answers] [Jesus]

Miracles Throughout History "Many people argue against the miracles of the Bible by asking why there have been no miracles since the time the Bible was written. However, there is an abundance of evidence that miracles have been happening throughout the history of the Church. Many of the other early church fathers referred to the operation of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and recorded other miraculous phenomena which took place in their day, including demonic activity."

Miracles: Are They Possible? "According to C. S. Lewis, reason itself cannot be explained purely in terms of naturalism. If the reasoning process is a purely naturalistic phenomenon, then its results cannot be trusted, and it becomes highly questionable whether there is any possibility of arriving at truth through it."

On an objection about Luke, Quirinius, and Herods Questions asked to Glenn Miller [Answers]] [New Testament Studies] [Bible History]

On Joshua's 'long day' [Answers] [Bible History]

On the parting of the Red Sea [Answers] [Bible History]

On the reversal of the sun by Isaiah [Answers] [Bible History]

Pitcairn's Island "The story of the Pitcairn Bible is a testimony both to the providence of God and to the value of the Bible in saving society from chaos. Ginny Hastings has written of it, "with no law to guide them, the mutineers of the Bounty turned an island paradise into a living hell of sexual abuse, drunkenness and murder. Their society was on the brink of collapse when one of the men discovered an ancient book from the Bounty."

Problems With The Denial Of Christ's Claims "If Christ's claims were false, then he could not have been a good man, since he thought of Himself as God. It is interesting that, throughout all of history, Jesus has been considered a model of humility. Yet, if He was not whom He claimed to be, then He was the very opposite of humble."

Problems With The Denial Of The Bible's Claims For Itself "It is certainly impossible to accept the Scriptures as authoritative for some purposes, but then to reject the claims of those Scriptures concerning themselves. If the Scriptures are suspect in their repeated claims for themselves, then on what basis can it be said that they have integrity on any other matter? If we are going to say that mankind has any basis for optimism, and if we base this statement upon the fact that we have the Judaeo-Christian Bible, then if we are going to have any integrity at all, we will have to accept the claims that the Bible consistently makes for itself. To do otherwise is do violence to the integrity of the foundation for that optimism and to throw the entire matter into serious question."

Questions about the Bible Is the Bible truly God's Word? What is Bibliology? With so many Bible versions today which one is the best translation? How and when were the books of the Bible put together? What is the canon of Scripture? [Answers] [Bible History]

Reason And Observation, Or God's Word? The Basis For Authority: Reason And Observation, Or God'S Word: "In seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe, a great deal of emphasis began to be placed upon reason as the primary criterion to be used in the determination of truth. Prior to this time, revelation, as given to us in the Scriptures, was considered to be the means by which truth was determined. If the Biblical claims are valid, then the Bible's authority must reign supreme if there are apparent conflicts between its statements and that which has been determined on the basis of reason, experience, or observation."

THE AMAZING SURVIVAL OF THE WORD OF GOD "Unchanged and unchangeable, this Bible stands for centuries, unconcerned about the praise and the reproach of men. With sublime freedom it strides through the history of mankind, dismisses entire nations with a glance, with a word, in order to tarry a long time with the deeds of a shepherd. It rises like an angel to heights that make peoples, passing hither and thither, appear like swarms of grasshoppers, yea, all nations like a drop in a bucket."

The Battle for the Resurrection An Interview with Norman Geisler [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Bible And The Rules Of Legal Evidence "Many critics of the authenticity of documents included within the Old and New Testaments base their contentions upon principles of literary criticism. The use of modern higher Biblical criticism, employing the methods of literary criticism in establishing date and authorship of canonical and extra-canonical documents, is highly questionable."

The Bible: Is It Factually True, Or Merely Religiously True? "The Bible claims that the miracles recorded within it really happened. If we reject this Biblical claim, then we reject the integrity of the Bible. If we do not accept the miracles, then the Bible cannot be accepted as trustworthy, because it consistently attests to these miracles."

The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus The Resurrection by by William Lane Craig [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Claims Of Christ According to the New Testament accounts, Jesus, during His ministry, often predicted that He would be raised from the dead, He claimed to have authority to forgive sins, to be Teacher and Lord, to be the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, to be equal with God, etc.

The Claims Of The Bible Concerning Itself "The Biblical narratives carry with them the claim of authenticity for the events they describe. The Scriptures claim to be valid in an absolute sense, such that all counterclaims are excluded. If we do not subordinate ourselves to it, we are in rebellion against God."

The Claims Of The Old Testament For Itself "It becomes obvious, as one considers factors of this kind, that the Old Testament claims for itself, not only that the words of the prophets were preserved and considered to be equal in authority with the law of Moses, but that both were considered to be the words of Jehovah Himself."

The Divinity Of Christ Jesus is not the only one who attests to His divinity. All of the Scriptures attest to it. In fact, the Hebrew prophets expected the Messiah to be God, and that He would walk on the earth as a man. He received worship, and said "if you do not believe that "I AM" you will die in your sins."

THE FORMATION OF THE CANON: THE NEW TESTAMENT "The determination of the Canon of the New Testament was not the result of any pronouncement, either by an official of the Church or by an ecclesiastical body. Rather, the Canon was determined by the use of these books throughout all of the Churches during the first and second centuries. The establishment of the Canon was the process by which formal recognition was given to the writings of Scripture already recognized as authoritative."

The Formation Of The Canon: The Old Testament "The Hebrew Scriptures were recognized as authoritative at their inception, and were immediately accepted as such by the Jewish people. The acceptance of the Pentateuch, for example, is recorded in Deuteronomy 32:46-47, and in Joshua 1:7,8. As a matter of course, the Church of the first century regarded the Hebrew Scriptures as inspired. Jesus, in Luke 24:44, refers to the Law, the prophets, and the psalms (or the writings) as divinely authoritative and canonical. The Jews accepted all of the 39 books of the Old Testament as inspired. A confirmation of public opinion along these lines was made at the synod at Jamnia." Also mentions briefly about Philo, Josephus, and Origen.

The Fulfillment Of Prophecy "The fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible is a vast subject. In fact, the Messianic prophecies alone have provided enough material for the publication of many books. Other books have been written solely about the Old Testament prophecies concerning certain cities or about certain world empires, while still others consider the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies in the twentieth century. Some authors have identified more than 300 Old Testament passages that are cited by the New Testament as having been fulfilled by Jesus Christ."

The Genesis Files - Archaeology Archaeology and the Bible. Archaeological discoveries continue to show how historically accurate the Bible really is. It is by far the greatest document the world has ever known, surviving centuries of ridicule. God has remarkably preserved His message to us, which still provides the much-needed means of navigation in today's world. The real question that one should consider is: How much proof does it take for one to believe? [Old Testament Studies] [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Gospels As Historical Sources For Jesus,The Founder Of Christianity by R. T. France [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Guard at the Tomb The Resurrection by by William Lane Craig [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Historical Evidence For Noah's Ark Many quotes and references to sightings. The existence of the ark on Mt. Ararat is also mentioned by Theophilus of Antioch (c. 115-185), who stated, "and of the ark, the remains are to this day to be seen in the Arabian mountains."3 A similar statement is made by Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315-403), who said, "Do you seriously suppose that we are unable to prove our point, when even to this day the remains of Noah's Ark are shown in the country of the Kurds?"4

The Historical Trustworthiness of the Bible "The trustworthiness of the Bible's historical statements has been corroborated again and again both through archaeological discoveries and through close correlation of the Bible's content with other independent ancient sources."

The Historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus The Resurrection by by William Lane Craig [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The History Of Biblical Criticism "A careful study of the history of Biblical Criticism will demonstrate that this discipline has its roots in attempts to overthrow the authority of the Bible in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly in France, where the libertines challenged the Christian consensus that prevailed almost universally in Europe at that time.1 For example, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), in his Tractatus-theologico-politicus (1670), sought to find contradictions in the Pentateuch in order to undermine the prevailing viewpoint of the Bible as infallible." Also mentions Spinoza, Hugo Grotius, and Jean LeClerc.

The Importance And Validity Of Christian Apologetics "The validity of Christian apologetics, or of the defense of the gospel, is taken for granted in the New Testament. This is particularly clear in the book of Acts, which is filled with accounts of the defense of the faith by Peter and John, Stephen, Paul, and other leaders of the Church, all of whom were prepared to lay down their very lives in the defense of the Gospel. Not all of the early Christian leaders were intellectuals, but all of them defended the Gospel. The task of apologetics is for all Christians. All people have the same questions, whether they are sophisticated or naive and whether they are well- educated or not."

The Inspiration And Authority Of The Bible "In II Timothy 3:16, it is stated that "all Scripture is inspired by God." The Greek word , translated here "inspired by God," literally means "God-breathed." That is, the Scriptures are a product of the creative activity of the divine breath. As Alan Stibbs has observed, this "indicates that Scripture has in its origin this distinctive hallmark, that it owes its very existence to the direct creative activity of God himself."1 It is this same divine breath that brought about the creation of the heavens: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). God's breath is "the irresistible outflow of His power."2 The divine breath also brought about the creation of man: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). The mystery of inspiration has often been compared to the mystery of the incarnation. Just as Jesus is both divine and human, so the Scriptures are both divine and human. To emphasize one at the expense of the other is to fall into heresy."

The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Authority of the Bible by Ron Rhodes. Biblical inspiration may be defined as God's superintending of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities (and even their writing styles), they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs. Inspiration means that "the Holy Spirit of God superintended the human writers in the production of Scripture so that what they wrote was precisely what God wanted written." [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The issue of 'borrowing' - did Moses It has long been realized that the similarities between some of the Mosaic legislation and the Law Code of Hammurabi are striking. Hammi's law is dated around 1720 b.c.--before the advent of Moses. There are those who suggest that the Law of Moses is actually a mild type of plagiarism (instead of a divinely-given law), and seek to assert substantial dependence of Moses on prior law collections. [Old Testament Studies] [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Jesus Seminar Under Fire by Greg Koukl. The "Jesus Seminar" is a group of self-described scholars who have determined Jesus probably only said 20% of the quotes attributed to him by Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. Greg puts their method, which includes voting with colored beads, "under fire." [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Long Day Of Joshua "One of the evidences for the historicity of the long day recorded in Joshua 10:13 and reiterated in Habakkuk 3:11 lies in the large body of traditions from many parts of the world according to which there was a long day (or night, or evening, depending upon the location) at about the same time that Joshua lived."

The New Science of Archaeology Literally scores of additional discoveries of archaeology could be cited as corroboration of Bible history. Examples of archaeological illustration of the Old Testament are continually increasing as new discoveies are being made. The claims of disbelieving critics have been completely exploded Archaeology has abundantly confirmed Bible history many times over. The clear message is that we can rely on the Bible record. It is consistently historical in every detail. The Bible challenges disbelieving critics to prove it false. Many have tried desperately to do so-and failed. God's Word cannot be broken (John 10:35)! The Bible in not the work of fallible man. It is not a book of ancient fables.It is truly the infallible word of God! "Thy word is truth," Jesus declared in John 17:17. Archaeology has lent its voice in support of this unassailable fact! [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The New Testament's View Of Itself "The New Testament writers recognized their own writings as Scripture. Paul, in II Corinthians 3:5,6 states that his competency comes from God. In fact, according to Paul, the very words that he used were taught by the Spirit:"

The Resurrection of Jesus by Jeffrey B. Russell. All of us, whether we believe it or not, will rise from the dead in our own bodies. This is the teaching of Orthodox Judaism, and it is the teaching of Orthodox Christianity. Easter is the day that Jesus of Nazareth rose, in his body, from the dead. Easter is crucial to every citizen of this earth, this state, and this university, because if Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is false: it must go. But if he did rise from the dead, that is the single most important event in all of time. We none of us can escape the power of the claim of the Resurrection. [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Resurrection of Theism by William Lane Craig. "I think it is clear as a result of these contributions that philosophical theism is very much alive and well today-indeed, when one recalls the bleak days of the "Death of God" movement in the sixties, it is not unfair to speak of a veritable resurrection of theism." [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

The Synoptic Problem The Synoptic Problem concerns the literary relationship between and among the first three canonical gospels, or the "synoptic gospels." Specifically, a solution to the Synoptic Problem must account for the similarities and differences in content, order, and wording. The literary relation may be either direct (one Evangelist possessed one of the gospels) or indirect (two Evangelists having access to a shared source). The sources may be written or oral; one or a multitude. [Answers]] [New Testament Studies] [Bible History]

The Transmission of the Hebrew Text The OT was basically finished around 400 BC., but the earliest full copies (of all the books together) we have are from around 900 AD....we have fragments earlier, and can historically reconstruct the text back to around 100 AD. (beginning of the Talmudist period) this regards, the mss tradition is comparable to other classical literature...but the means of transmission of that text is so bizarre as to suggest that its reliability is very, very high... by John H. Skilton [Old Testament Studies] [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

THE VERIFIABILITY OF HISTORY THE VERIFIABILITY OF HISTORY: EVERY EVENT HAS COLLATERAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONSEQUENCES. "The life of Christ made an indelible imprint on all of humanity, yet that this should have happened at all is in itself a miracle. "That this man of poor and uncultivated stock should remake the basis of philosophy and open out to the world of the future an unknown territory of thought; that this simple son of a declining people, born in an obscure district in a small Roman province, this nameless Jew like all those others despised by the Procurators of Caesar, should speak with a voice that was to sound above those of the Emperors themselves, these are the most surprising facts of history."3 In our own day and age we live with these consequences of the life of Christ. Whether we like it or not, he made an indelible mark upon all of humanity. If we deny his existence, not only do we do violence to the fabric of history, but we deny what is presently the case."

TRANSMISSION OF THE BIBLE "The accuracy of the present-day Hebrew version of the Old Testament is a result of the fastidious care with which the Sopherim and the Masoretes transmitted it. The Sopherim copied manuscripts of the Hebrew Scriptures from about 300 B.C. until A.D. 500. According to the Talmud, they came to be called "Sopherim" because, in their endeavor to preserve the text from alteration or addition, they counted the number of words in each section of Scripture, as well as the number of verses and paragraphs. The accuracy of the present-day Greek version of the New Testament has resulted from the comparison of thousands of manuscripts by textual critics who have been able to separate them into families on the basis of certain variations that each manuscript family has in common. The principles of textual criticism enable scholars to determine which versions of the text are predecessors of the others, thereby coming close to the original reading."

Views Of The Bible Throughout History "It is evident from the literature of the Christian Church from the time of the Apostolic Fathers onward, that the Church has always considered the Bible to be trustworthy in its affirmations about itselfl."

Was the New Testament Influenced by Pagan Religions? by Ronald Nash. Many Christian college students have encountered criticisms of Christianity based on claims that early Christianity and the New Testament borrowed important beliefs and practices from a number of pagan mystery religions. Since these claims undermine such central Christian doctrines as Christ's death and resurrection, the charges are serious. But the evidence for such claims, when it even exists, often lies in sources several centuries older than the New Testament. Moreover, the alleged parallels often result from liberal scholars uncritically describing pagan beliefs and practices in Christian language and then marveling at the striking parallels they think they've discovered. [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

What is the JEDP Theory? In brief, the JEDP theory states that the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were not written entirely by Moses, who died in 1451 B.C., but also by different authors / compliers after Moses. The theory is based on the fact that different names are used for God in different portions of the Pentateuch, and there are detectable differences in linguistic style. The letters of the JEDP theory stand for the four supposed authors; the author who uses Jehovah for God's name, the author who uses Elohim for God's name, the author of Deuteronomy, and the likely Priestly author of Leviticus. The JEDP theory goes on to state that the different portions of the Pentateuch were likely compiled in the 4th Century B.C., possibly by Ezra. [Old Testament Studies] [Answers & Evidence] [Bible History]

WHY THE BIBLE CANNOT BE LEGEND "This makes history verifiable, and enables us to investigate any historical claim. Moveover, the events of history are inextricably interwoven. Every event that actually takes place is interconnected with all others that occur at the same time and place. To deny the historicity of a single event requires a re- explanation of all of the circumstances surrounding its occurrence. Biblical history and secular history are completely interrelated. They interpenetrate each other to such a degree that it is impossible to divorce them. A denial of Biblical history would entail a denial of what is known about secular history, because both are interwoven into the same fabric. The facts recorded in the Old Testament, including the supernatural events, are integral to the secular history of Israel and the nations that surrounded her before the time of Christ. In the same way, the facts recorded in the New Testament are integral to the history of the Roman Empire. If we did not take the Bible at face value, it would be difficult to explain the rise of Christian faith in the midst of persecution in the Roman Empire until it eventually became the preferred religion almost three hundred years later."