In my interview with Dr. Norman Geisler, I asked him to briefly summarize the archaeological evidence supporting the New Testament.
“The noted Roman historian Colin J. Hemer, in The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, shows how archaeology has confirmed not dozens, but hundreds and hundreds of details from the biblical account of the early church,” Geisler said. “Even small details have been corroborated, like which way the wind blows, how deep the water is a certain distance from the shore, what kind of disease a particular island had, the names of local officials, and so forth.
“Now, Acts was authored by the historian Luke. Hemer gives more than a dozen reasons why Acts had to have been written before AD 62, or about thirty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Even earlier, Luke wrote the gospel of Luke, which is substantially the same as the other biblical accounts of Jesus’ life.
“So here you have an impeccable historian, who has been proven right in hundreds of details and never proven wrong, writing the whole history of Jesus and the early church. And it’s written within one generation while eyewitnesses were still alive and could have disputed it if it were exaggerated or false. You don’t have anything like that from any other religious book from the ancient world.”
“Is Hemer a lone voice on that?” I asked.
“Hardly,” Geisler replied. “Prominent historian Sir William Ramsay started out as a skeptic, but after studying Acts he concluded that ‘in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.’ The great Oxford University classical historian A. N. Sherwin-White said, ‘For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming,’ and that ‘any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd.’ ”
“I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”