Are there multiple eyewitnesses for the events recorded in the Bible?
by Teri Dugan
Many people think the Bible is just like other “holy books,” giving good advice and telling allegorical and maybe mythological stories. However, upon close examination we find that the Bible is mainly an historical narrative giving facts about people, places, events and times. It contains one mega-theme that connects its 66 books, written by 40 authors over a period of about 1500 years, and its content is unmatched in ancient literature. How do we know that? The authors give eyewitness testimony that is supported by historical and literary facts. Not only did the authors write historically accurate accounts, they recorded actual eyewitness testimony.
Let’s look at some other evidence from the New Testament:
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1-4
Luke, the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, tells us at the beginning of his writings that he has set out to (also) write an account of what had been going on. This area of Palestine was not that big and the population was in the thousands, so everyone either directly knew what had happened concerning Jesus, or were talking about it. If we look at the other writers of the New Testament we find this same desire for people to understand the truth of what had happened and there was a sort of urgency in getting the message out.
You can imagine that when they began to experience persecution (Acts 7-8) there would have been a sense that they might not make it out alive. They would have wanted to make sure that what they had witnessed was recorded and passed on. These early Apostles and disciples were everyday people and would have gained nothing by fabricating stories about Jesus…
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