Are the Gospels Historically Reliable?

The authorship of the first four books of the New Testament has fascinated scholars for centuries. If the authors were eyewitnesses, one could assume greater reliability. If not, then questions are naturally raised about the historicity of details in the writings. Because the first three Gospels are so similar, many theories have been proposed and argued to explain the sources of verbatim sections, as well as the unique material. Did Mark rely on Peter for eyewitness details? Luke admits his use of other sources, but did he use Mark or Matthew or both? What about Matthew and John?

New evidence in the discussion of these questions and more was the focus of this captivating lecture delivered by Dr. Peter Williams on March 5, 2011. In probing the historical reliability of the gospels, Williams suggests four tests:

  1. The test of what people are called.
  2. The test of geography.
  3. The test of botany.
  4. The test of the feeding of the 5,000.

My guess is you’ve never heard a lecture on historical evidences quite like this one, and I highly recommend it.

Related Articles