Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? Offers the reader, as stated in the introduction, a challenge and an invitation to consider that the Bible is a historical narrative, the account of real actions that happened in real places in real times. The book covers a very wide range of topics relating to this thesis:
- Biblical, Systematic, and Historical Theology
- The Old Testament and Issues of History, Authenticity, and Authority
- The New Testament and Issues of History, Authenticity, and Authority
- The Old Testament and Archeology
Since the topics cover a very wide area, it is not always possible to give an in-depth treatment to any one topic. However, I didn't find this to be a problem. There are numerous references and if one topic is of many interest it can be followed up in other sources. I liked the fact that I could sample all the areas and then go in-depth on those the interested me.
My particular favorites were the chapters on Isaiah and Daniel. I found the chapter on Daniel particularly fascinating. Little is known about the history of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, beyond that found in the Bible chapter. However, the more we learn, the more the chapter appears to report on real events.
My favorite section was the fourth section on archeology, particularly the chapter on excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa. The descriptions of the site were very well done and reinforced for me the idea that not all ancient sites have been well explored and the more we learn about them, the more they support a historical model. Personally, I believe that the Bible is a historical record. I was delighted to find so many excellent chapters in support of that proposition. Even if that isn't you belief, the book is well worth reading. It will make you think and may change your mind.
I reviewed this book for Crossway.