Unlike any other of the religions of the world, Christianity is uniquely and entirely dependent upon the historical veracity of its holy book, the Bible. The very narratives and prophecies which make up the majority of its pages, rather than being simply a complement to, are the vitals of what Christianity contends as a religion.
If the historicity of Adam and Eve, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and others are not true, then there is nothing on which to found the rest of the Christian teachings.
Sadly, secular critics have realized this fact more readily and more eagerly than many Christians, which has encouraged them for hundreds of years to seek ways to weaken the entirety of the Christian religion by casting doubt on the validity of its historical claims. The result has been a great deal of success — in those churches and among those people that accepted these false claims as truth — and the Christian teachings concerning morality, law, and (most of all) the gospel have been easily overcome, once the history has been falsified in people’s minds.
Archeology, textual criticism, linguistic studies, and scientific dating — have proven to be the Bible’s greatest allies, rather than its enemies.
To combat these false accusations against the Bible, Christian apologists have investigated for themselves every area in which the history of the Bible has been brought into question, and have been able to provide more than sufficient proof of the validity of the Bible’s history (while certainly not total proof, since that is impossible in matters of history).
These objective tools — including archeology, textual criticism, linguistic studies, and scientific dating — have proven to be the Bible’s greatest allies, rather than its enemies.
Besides defending the Bible against reasonable critics and sincere inquirers, these studies have proven to be a great inspiration to believers as well. By providing a deeper and more complete understanding of the cultures and events that are recorded in the Bible, by providing insight into the very language of the Bible, and by providing a greater appreciation for the transmission and preservation of the Bible, these studies have proven to be of great value.
While these extra-biblical proofs are not the basis for the Christian faith, they do objectively and convincingly substantiate the Christian faith.
Chronology, prophecy, and even didactic Biblical passages have all been brought into a greater appreciation and understanding by these studies. Perhaps the most important historical subject of all — the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth — has been proven beyond the point of any reasonable contention. With more extent evidence for his historicity than Plato or even Alexander the Great, Jesus has left behind him plain proofs of his own existence, even from the mouths of his detractors. As early as Flavius Josephus’ and Tacitus’ writings in the first century and Pliny, Tertullian, and Justin Martyr in the second century, the historical person of Jesus, and even the central events surrounding His life and death, have been abundantly substantiated.
While these extra-biblical proofs are not the basis for the Christian faith, they do objectively and convincingly substantiate the Christian faith. Bible believers, through the work of faithful and honest Christian apologists, have been given further tools to share the truth and power of Jesus Christ.