Saturday, November 17, 2007

Selective, Dubious Concern For Corroboration

During this Christmas season, a lot of people are going to claim that we shouldn't trust the Biblical accounts of events such as the Slaughter of the Innocents or the census of Luke 2, because such events aren't corroborated by non-Christian sources. Aside from the doubtful nature of the claim that there is no non-Christian corroboration (a subject I've addressed in the past and will be addressing again in the coming weeks), the concept that we should expect non-Christian corroboration to begin with is dubious. See our discussion of Matthew 27:52-53 here and here.

Remember, critics of Christianity don't just have a problem with what the earliest Christians reported. They also disagree with much of what the earliest non-Christian sources believed. When the critic selectively objects to a lack of corroboration on some issues, why should we believe that he wouldn't dismiss such corroboration if he had it, much as he does on other issues? As I've said elsewhere, one of the problems facing the critic of Christianity is how much he not only has to look for ways to dismiss the beliefs of the earliest Christians, but also has to attempt to dismiss what the earliest enemies of Christianity believed.

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