A comparison of the New Testament to other ancient writings…

Here is how the New Testament compares to other ancient writings*:

Author

Book

Date Written

Earliest Copies

Time Gap

# of
Copies

Homer

Iliad

800 B.C.

c. 400 B.C.

c. 400 yrs.

643

Herodotus

History

480-425 B.C.

c. A.D. 900

c. 1,350 yrs.

8

Thucydides

History

460-400 B.C.

c. A.D. 900

c. 1,300 yrs.

8

Plato

 

400 B.C.

c. A.D. 900

c. 1,300 yrs.

7

Demosthenes

 

300 B.C.

c. A.D. 1100

c. 1,400 yrs.

200

Caesar

Gallic Wars

100-44 B.C.

c. A.D. 900

c. 1,000 yrs.

10

Tacitus

Annals

A.D. 100

c. A.D. 1100

c. 1,000 yrs.

20

Pliny
Secundus

Natural
History

A.D. 61-113

c. A.D. 850

c. 750 yrs.

7

New Testament

A.D. 50-100

c. A.D. 114
(portions)
c. A.D. 200
(books)
c. A.D. 325
(complete N.T.)

c. +50 yrs.

c. 100 yrs.
c. 225 yrs.

5366

*, Josh. The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), p. 55.
McDowell Return to article
Chart listing some of the major archaeological finds…

ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND

SIGNIFICANCE

Mari Tablets

Over 20,000 cuneiform tablets, which date back to Abraham’s time period, explain many of the patriarchal traditions of Genesis.

Ebla Tablets

Over 20,000 tablets, many containing law similar to the Deuteronomy law code. The previously thought fictitious five cities of the plain in Genesis 14 (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar) are identified.

Nuzi Tablets

They detail customs of the 14th and 15th century parallel to the patriarchal accounts such as maids producing children for barren wives.

Black Stele

Proved that writing and written laws existed three centuries before the Mosaic laws.

Temple Walls of Karnak, Egypt

Signifies a 10th century BC reference to Abraham.

Laws of Eshnunna (ca. 1950 BC)

Lipit-Ishtar Code (ca. 1860 BC)
Laws of Hammurabi (ca. 1700 BC)

Show that the law codes of the Pentateuch were not too sophisticated for that period.

Ras Shamra Tablets

Provide information on Hebrew poetry.

Lachish Letters

Describe Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Judah and give insight into the time of Jeremiah.

Gedaliah Seal

References Gedaliah is spoken of in 2 Kings 25:22.

Cyrus Cylinder

Authenticates the Biblical description of Cyrus’ decree to allow the Jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (see 2 Chronicles 36:23; Ezra 1:2-4).

Moabite Stone

Gives information about Omri, the sixth king of Israel.

Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

Illustrates how Jehu, king of Israel, had to submit to the Assyrian king.

Taylor Prism

Contains an Assyrian text which detail Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem during the time of Hezekiah, king of Israel.

PAST CHARGES BY CRITICS

ANSWERED BY ARCHAEOLOGY

Moses could not have written Pentateuch because he lived before the invention of writing.

Writing existed many centuries before Moses.

Abraham’s home city of Ur does not exist.

Ur was discovered. One of the columns had the inscription “Abram.”

The city built of solid rock called “Petra” does not exist.

Petra was discovered.

The story of the fall of Jericho is myth. The city never existed.

The city was found and excavated. It was found that the walls tumbled in the exact manner described by the biblical narrative.

The “Hittites” did not exist.

Hundreds of references to the amazing Hittite civilization have been found. One can even get a doctorate in Hittite studies at the University of Chicago.

Belshazzar was not a real king of Babylon; he is not found in the records.

Tablets of Babylonia describe the reign of this coregent and son of Nabonidus.

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*Article temporarily borrowed from everystudent.com

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