Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Review of Post-Biblical History (1)

This is part 1 of chapter 8 of my book, Biblical Glasses.

We have seen that the Bible is accurate as history, but it only gets us near the end of the first century A.D. How do we determine what happened after Biblical history concluded? Among the final words of the Bible, the apostle John says:

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds
anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this Book. And if
anyone takes words away from this Book of prophecy, God will take away from him
his share in the Tree of Life and in the holy city, which are described in this
Book (Revelation 22:18-19).
I certainly do not want to add to what the Bible says, making it claim what it does not. So to learn about post-Biblical history, we must examine reliable historian accounts and cultural evidence found to be accurate by scholars.

I often ask myself questions like, “How do I know for sure that the Civil War actually occurred?” It happened only 150 years ago, yet no one alive today was an eyewitness. I must trust the evidence for the war. I must accept by faith that the legal/historic evidence does not lie. Experts on the Civil War might claim to have actual writings from Army Generals or authentic artifacts from battles staged during the war. How do I really know those items are genuine? It is by faith.

As I mentioned earlier, the Bible says: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). I am sure of what I do not see when I, by faith, accept as truth that the Civil War did actually occur without my personally having experienced it. The same holds true when anyone examines historical events, including both secular world history and Christian Church history after the Biblical account.

Before examining the post-Biblical Christian Church, I want to consider the secular world after Jesus’ apostles died. The following section is a succinctly incomplete overview of major world events after Biblical history concluded, but it serves to show how the population continued to grow and spread out with people groups developing in distinct cultures.

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