Signpost – Historical Reliability of the New Testament, pt. 2

(Sorry for the long time it took to post this article; I had some family medical AND computer problems this last week)

Previously, I outlined how the most reasonable conclusion about the dating of the Gospels was that they were written within 20 – 60 years after the events chronicled, and possibly even earlier.

In this post, I will tell you why I’ve concluded that the Gospels are not only historically accurate, but show evidence that they were written either by eyewitnesses, or are accurate documentation of events gathered from eyewitnesses.

First, a brief discussion of what seems to be one of most New Testament apologist’s favorite subject – archaeology.

There are many books and websites defending the Bible that adamantly proclaim that “Archaeology has proven the Bible to be 100% historically accurate” and an equal number from the opposing side declaring “there is NOTHING in archaeology that confirms the Bible, so we can discount all of it”.

Both sides are guilty of gross exaggeration. The truth of the matter is that archaeology, which is concerned with historical documents only as one of many kinds of artifacts which may be useful for dating other artifacts found with them can provide confirmation that people, places, or customs existed as depicted in the Bible, but historical confirmation can really only come from textual documentation. Therefore, archaeology can provide incidental support, but cannot be used to disprove or confirm the historical record except for the discovery of documents or text carvings that can do so. Continue reading

Should We Welcome Mormons Into Fellowship, pt 3

In part 1, I defined terms, and identified the essential issues that must be addressed in order to give a reasoned answer to the question “Are Mormons Christians, and should we fellowship with them?”. In part 2, I looked at the issue of the historical and archaeological accuracy of the Book of Mormon.

In part 3, I will be looking at the early history of the Mormons, both as presented by the LDS and as given by non-LDS accounts.

Why am I bothering to do this? Because if I am to believe in the validity of Mormon teachings on doctrine, then their narrative of their early history must be at least plausible and agree with non-church accounts of that history, at least in the broader narrative. Continue reading

Should We Welcom Mormons into Fellowship, pt. 2

In part one, I gave an introduction to how to go about answering that question. Terms were defined, and I decided that it would be best to look at two aspects of the historicity of the Book of Mormon and other LDS authoritative writings.

First, since the LDS claims that the Book of Mormon is historically accurate, we’ll take a look at what non-Mormon sources can confirm the events related in that book. After that, we’ll look at the accuracy of the official LDS accounts of the early history of the Mormons.

Continue reading