Geographical Historical Reliability of the Gospels

Lecture – Dr Simon Gathercole “The Journeys of Jesus and Jewish Geography” given 05/07/2016 at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, TX

Simon Gathercole—Reader in New Testament Studies and Director of Studies at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University—recently gave a lecture at Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas, on “The Journeys of Jesus and Jewish Geography.”

Here is a description:

The Gospels in the New Testament contain a remarkable amount of geographical information, especially in the quantity of references to areas, towns, and villages that Jesus (and John the Baptist) visited.

Are these genuine or fictitious?

Some Jesus skeptics have doubted the existence of places like Nazareth and Capernaum.

Even many New Testament scholars are unaware of the evidence for Gospel sites.

Strikingly, however, a huge proportion of the place-names in the Gospels are paralleled in Jewish literature outside the New Testament, even down to some of the small villages.

This illustrated lecture will examine the historical evidence, some already known, some presented for the first time, for the places in the Gospel. It will show how this evidence has clear implications for the reliability of the Gospel narratives.

You can watch the lecture below (and view the slides here):

Time Lapse Map of European History

(1) Here is a time lapse map of the history of Europe showing the shifting borders, alliances, unions, territories, occupied land, etc. from around 1000 AD until the 21st Century.
Software: Centennia
Music: Inception OST

(2) Here is an slower annotated version of the time lapse map of Europe – more zoomed in on the Continent, showing years and some important events.
Music: Inception OST
Software: Centennia

Facts about Brazil

Out here in Brazil I was able to visit Seixas, which is the most easterly point anywhere in the Americas and therefore, the closest to Africa.

Brazilians are a proud, patriotic people. One native boasted that if the USA were to lose Alaska, Brazil would be the larger of the two countries. My reaction was to say, “two things: The last time I checked, Alaska IS part of the USA and you just go and try to tell all the Bears and Elk there that they are not American and see how they react.” 🙂

Brazilians are notorious for at least a couple of things:

(1) Having a party for any reason whatsoever
(2) The love of the game of soccer

The parties can last for days, and the soccer matches are such a big event that when Brazil play any game at all, the banks and businesses close four hours before the kick off.

I was born and raised in England, the very home of soccer. However, there is no doubt that Brazil has taken the game to a whole new level, both in skill and in fanaticism. BRAZIL IS SOCCER CRAZY.

The rivalry between Brazil and Argentina is notorious, the games played between them, like wars. The whole nation’s emotions rises and falls on Brazil’s result. The fact that Brazil has won the World Cup in soccer 5 times (more than anyone else) means that Brazil is a happy country. If Brazil does not win, the next best thing is for Argentina to lose. Brazilians ususally cheer for any team playing against Argentina.

As to religion, Brazil is a Roman Catholic country, and yet a great many people often mix this Catholicism with other pagan religious rituals. The percentage of evangelical Christians is relatively small, but thankfully growing.

May God cause His gospel to be proclaimed and heard by many here in this beautiful country.