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GOD: new evidence

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Real People: John the Baptist

'Testing Luke' #28

 

What's in the series?      Previous: The tomb of Augustus      Next: Pontius Pilate

According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Herod Antipas put John the Baptist in prison in the fortress of Machaerus, and later had him killed. John was a prophet who lived at about the same time as Jesus. He called on people to turn back to God, and to show this by being baptised.

In this series we are looking at evidence for the reliability of the book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke, in the Bible. The same person wrote both these books.

So far we have looked at the book of Acts, and we have seen that the author is reliable: he writes about real people in real places, and he gets the local details right.

So what about Luke's Gospel? There are not so many places where we can test what Luke says, but there are some: one of these places is the story of John the Baptist.

All the accounts of Jesus's life in the Bible begin with John the Baptist: they say that he announced the coming of Jesus, and they say that he himself was foretold by the prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament.

Luke's account mentions that John publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife. So Herod put John in prison.

Eventually, both Josephus and the Bible record that Antipas had John executed. Once again, we see that Luke wrote about real people, like John the Baptist.

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