Friday, December 24, 2010

Bible Scholarship and History

My wife and I had recently recorded most of a History Channel program about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the spread of Christianity. It was hosted by Simcha Jacobovici, whom I'd not viewed before. The man is a compelling storyteller and a shoddy scholar. He would take a few shreds of evidence and make sweeping conclusions. He repeatedly said or presumed that nearly all of the Christians in Rome at the time of the eruption (79 AD) were Jews. Yet in Romans 16, written 22 years earlier, most of the people whom Paul greets have Greek or Roman names, not Jewish names.

Jacobovici trusted ancient graffiti (and his own theories about the ancient graffiti) completely, while ignoring the Bible's own testimony.

The secular world is offended by fanciful scholarship, but is generally much more offended by simple Christianity.

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