The Accuracy of Acts by Eric Lyons

The Accuracy of Acts
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
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Archaeology is one of many disciplines that can be used to prove the historical accuracy of Scripture. Time and again, it has helped confirm the Bible’s references to people, places, and dates. In the last one hundred years, archaeologists repeatedly have confirmed and illuminated the historicity of the Bible. Although we cannot rely upon archaeology to establish and sustain our faith, having physical evidence that confirms the historical context of God’s saving acts causes the sincere person to accept the Bible as God’s Word.

When renowned archaeologist Sir William Ramsay started his explorations in Asia Minor, he doubted the historicity of the book of Acts. But after hundreds of hours of research, he began to change his mind. A careful study of Acts 14:5-12 led him to believe that Luke was quite familiar with the places, people, and events about which he wrote. In this passage, Luke wrote that Paul and Barnabas fled from Iconium to “Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia” (14:6). It formerly was assumed in ancient geography that Iconium was a city of Lycaonia (e.g., like Montgomery is a city of Alabama). This passage was considered by some Bible critics to be a typical example of the lack of local exactitude by the author of Acts, and thus evidence against divine inspiration. However, as Ramsay went on to demonstrate conclusively, this was not the case. Iconium was not a part of Lycaonia. Rather, it belonged to Phrygia, an entirely different district of Asia Minor. This change may sound like a minor point, but it was a very important one in the thought of Ramsay. His attitude toward the book of Acts began to change radically. The more he studied Acts, the more he became an ardent advocate of the trustworthiness of Luke’s scholarship.

Archaeology can be a great asset to people who are searching for knowledge. It enlightens our reading of the Scripture as it continues to confirm the Bible’s historical accuracy. Those who have studied the book of Acts in light of archaeology have found that where references are checkable, Luke always was correct, regardless of the country, city, island, or person he mentioned. As Wayne Jackson observed: “This is truly remarkable, in view of the fact that the political/territorial situation of his day was in a state of almost constant change. Only inspiration can account for Luke’s precision” (“The Holy Bible—Inspired of God,” Christian Courier, 27[1]:1-3, May 1991). How very true.


Copyright © 2001 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.Taken from Apologetics Press – website http://www.apologeticspress.com/articles/1616

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Alleged Bible Contradictions from Apologetics Press

The following is taken from Apologetics Press Website: Alleged Discrepancies  
Of all the challenges to a Christian’s faith, surely one of the most troubling in this day and age is skepticism’s charge that the Bible is filled with various discrepancies and contradictions. If true, such a charge (which is occurring with increasing frequency) certainly would serve to negate the inerrancy and inspiration of God’s Word. It is a simple matter for an unbeliever to hurl a barrage of alleged discrepancies and/or contradictions at a believer, but it is not always a simple task for the believer to respond quickly and effectively. This is the case because many of the so-called discrepancies and contradictions cannot be answered adequately via a “quick wave of the hand,” but instead require in-depth, painstaking research in order to craft a reply that can dismantle each one on a case-by-case basis.That is exactly what this section of our Web site is intended to do. We have selected samples of the most frequently used (and, generally, the most difficult) alleged Bible discrepancies and/or contradictions, and have performed the in-depth, painstaking research necessary to answer them. And we will continue to do so. Each of our responses will appear in the “Alleged Bible Discrepancies” section of our Web site, which will be updated often. It is our goal to eventually produce a response to all the major charges, and almost all of the minor charges, from unbelievers”—charges that are intended to challenge the inspiration of God’s Word and threaten the faith of Christians. We hope you will visit this section of our site often, and that you will benefit from its contents. If you are searching for a response to a particular alleged discrepancy or contradiction and do not find it here, feel free to contact our offices to request a response. We will do our best to research the matter and provide a logical, well-thought-out, practical answerEric Lyons

Click on this link for some interesting articles on Alleged Bible Discrepancies

http://www.apologeticspress.com/allegeddiscrepancies/details

Self-Help Quiz for Spiritual Growth by Tim Ayers

by Tim Ayers

Each Christian is responsible for spiritual improvement and growth. No one else can do it for you. Others can help, but each of us must accept our personal accountability. Peter admonished the people on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, “Save yourselves” (Acts 2:40Open Link in New Window). Paul wrote, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12Open Link in New Window). Peter wrote, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18Open Link in New Window). We need to give serious attention to the following questions, and let them help us to grow mature in Christ.

Am I the person I ought to be? In 2 Peter 3:11Open Link in New Window, the apostle wrote, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness?” First, we should be Christians. That is the most important matter for everyone to take care of. Then, after you have obeyed the first principles of the gospel to be born into God’s family, take your place in God’s kingdom. Each of us has personal abilities and opportunities unique to each one, and we must take advantage of and use these for God’s glory. “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31Open Link in New Window).

Do I respect Bible authority? Peter wrote, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11Open Link in New Window). John told us that we must remain within the bounds of scripture, the “doctrine of Christ,” or we no longer have a relationship with God (2 John 9Open Link in New Window). Anyone who does not care what God’s will is cannot succeed in spiritual growth. After all, how else is that growth going to occur, except by continual study of the word? Read 2 Timothy 2:15Open Link in New Window and Romans 10:17Open Link in New Window.

Am I willing to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ? This is a real earmark of maturity in Christ. Paul was willing to give up all for Jesus, even those things that he previously had thought were so important (Philippians 3:4-15Open Link in New Window). The Macedonians “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5Open Link in New Window). After that, they found it easier to give “beyond their power,” even though they were in “deep poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3Open Link in New Window).

Do I understand the true nature and mission of the church? Read these passages to see God’s purpose for the church: Ephesians 3:9-11, 21Open Link in New Window; 5:25-27. The church will be presented to Christ, but in a condition that requires personal character development on the part of each member. Since the church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1Open Link in New WindowColossians 1Open Link in New Window), the Christians who compose it should be doing what He did while He was here on earth, i.e., seeking the lost (Luke 19:10Open Link in New Window). Are we?

Am I becoming more spiritually mature? Several passages in the scripture encourage us to grow up and not remain as babes in Christ (e.g., Hebrew 5:12-14; 1 Corinthians 14:10Open Link in New Window; 16:13; Ephesians 4:14Open Link in New Window).
Read and study God’s word every day, and you can “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15Open Link in New Window).

Taken From South West Church of Christ Website http://swcofc.org/