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The standard of history

June 5, 2008

I try to be optimistic. But this story struck me. An east coast lighthouse was lost. Historians assumed it was dismantled and destroyed. It was later found on the west coast.

Often when historians review the New Testament they use today’s standards to do so. If there is a quote in the New Testament then they assume the writer copied down word-for-word the contents of that quote. That wasn’t the standard in New Testament times. There weren’t even quotation marks in the Greek language.

Now I’m not saying that the Holy Spirit would not inspire direct quotes. But in an time when a lighthouse can be lost, it might not be feasible for historians reflecting on a 1900 year old history to hold it to a higher standard than what is held today.

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