The link below is to the transcipt of an interview with New Testament scholar Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Evans is a good source of information on the Bible for many reasons, but particularly because he is not given to hyperbole and because his assurance about the Bible’s historicity is based upon subtle but important facts – such as its verisimilitude wherein so many of its details are corroborated by other historical sources from its times.
For example, Evans says:
If you have an old document, one of the first tests is to ask, Does it really reflect life back then as we know it? If it does, the historian takes it seriously. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the book of Acts—these are the basic narrative books of the New Testament. They talk about real people, real events, real places, and the archaeologist can show that; so a fictional, nonexistent Jesus makes no sense of the actual hard data we have.
Evans thus demonstrates how the biblical documents are historically valid as well as theologically informative. This is indeed helpful scholarship and he is gentleman as well.
(12 min read; 2,986 words)