Bible Think

Evidence for Acts and the Epistles

Evidence for Acts and the Epistles

After the Resurrection of  Jesus the message of the Gospel was proclaimed by the followers of Jesus. Their witness began in Jerusalem and spread from there, first to Samaria, then throughout the Eastern Roman Empire. The Acts of the Apostles describes the activities of the Apostles as they spread the Gospel from Jerusalem in about 30AD to Rome in 62AD.

 

The accounts of events in acts covers the provinces of Judea, Syria and Cilicia, Galatia, Asia, Macedonia, Achaia and Italy. The Apostles visit scores of cities, from Antioch to Rome and from Jerusalem to Athens. Everywhere, the details of the area correspond to what is known of the customs and geography of the period. The correspondence between Acts and the Letters written by the various Apostles is subtle but nevertheless clear if one looks for it.

 

The detail within the letters of the Apostles also fits the customs and geography of the area. It is possible to follow the footsteps of the Apostles and read of their concerns in their own words.

 

Evidence to support the reliability of the New Testament as it covers this period includes the following:-

Archaeology:  Descriptions of places, people and events in Acts or the Epistles match what is seen from archaeology. Acts was not made up, but written by someone from the time and place of the first Apostles.

Undesigned Coincidences:  The narrative of Acts is meshed with the letters and the letters with one another in a way that could not have been made up.

Evidence of Dating:   The letters can often be dated to within a few months. As this is done by comparison with Acts, Acts must also be an accurate record of the period.

Manuscript Evidence:  Thousands of New Testament manuscripts guarantee the textual integrity of Acts and the Epistles.

Dating the New Testament

The correspondences between Acts and the letters of Paul are so good that it is possible to determine where Paul spent every winter of his life after his conversion and the date of all of his letters. Click here for more information on the dating of the period of the Apostles.

Ultimately the authority of Acts and the Epistles depends on the accuracy of the writing but also on the authority of the Apostles whose words are contained them. The authority of the Apostles is derived from the Holy Spirit which inspired their words. The evidence of this comes in the words of Jesus, the abilities of the Apostles to perform miracles and endorsement by the other Apostles. This is supported by the words of Jesus, who promised to send his spirit to teach the Apostles and bring the words of Jesus to their memory. Evidence of fulfilled prophecy and the unity of teaching of Acts and the Letters shows that they are inspired along with the rest of the Bible.

The Text of the New Testament

There are nearly 6,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and many more in other ancient languages. These show that the text of Acts and the Epistles, like the rest of the New Testament, is essentially unchanged since they were written. Click here to find more details.

 

 

Archaeology and Acts

The Epistles, and especially the book of the Acts of the Apostles contain information about a multitude of cities and provinces of the early Roman Empire. Some of these have been excavated by archaeologists; the correspondences are very convincing. Click here for more.

 

 

Undesigned Coincidences

These are insignificant details in the narrative which correspond with other insignificant details elsewhere. They only occur in accurately remembered accounts of real events, and not in fiction. A considerable number of  undesigned coincidences appears in Acts and the Epistles.

Paul - Witness to the Gospel

Many people don’t like the message that they think Paul brought. This page examines his claim to be an Apostle and to carry a message from God.

 

 

Home Page

Click here to link to the website home page.

 

 

Links.