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Luke is correct.

Are the gospels a reliable record of the life of Jesus? What about the other parts of the New Testament? Yes, they are reliable! Here is one example of why we can trust them.

1 IN THE fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—2 In the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] came to John son of Zachariah in the wilderness (desert). Luke 3:1-2

During the time of John the Baptist and Jesus, there were no calendars such as we have now. There was no internet, no television, or cell phones. No smart watches or date books-you couldn’t even look at a watch to know what time it was. So how did people know when things happened? They knew by the way Luke is writing in this passage. He gives the proper titles to the leaders of the land in which he lives and their relationship to each other in time.

This is not as easy as it sounds. In the Roman Empire at that time, a leader of a province could be a governor, a tetrarch, an ethnarch, or even a king. These titles could change based on the politics in Rome. It was hard to keep track of, but Luke got these titles correct.

What’s the point? This is evidence of a careful historian recording facts. This is evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. Good evidence.

This is well documented in many places. One book that details the accuracy of Luke, not only in the gospel of Luke but of the Acts of the Apostles, is F. F. Bruce’s "The New Testament Documents, are They Reliable?". This is an excellent work and brings forward lots of evidence to support the writings of the New Testament. The evidence of Luke’s accuracy can be found on pages 80-93.

So, whenever you hear the myth that the Bible is not accurate, know that that is untrue. The Bible is a reliable source for historical information.


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