Beyond the Weekend

April 18 | Historically Accurate

April 18, 2023


With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:3-4

Read: Luke 1:1-5
Luke 1


Many early Christians knew Jesus or at least someone who did. Early Christians also knew they needed to record the teachings of Jesus. There were Christians who didn’t know Jesus, and generations of Christians would come after them. That’s where the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) come from. Luke makes his goal for writing clear. He says he’s carefully investigated what happens and has written it down so others can know the truth. He pulls together eyewitness testimony. He uses historical names. The New Testament has proven to be historically accurate. It lines up with what’s known about first-century Israel and the Roman Empire. Herod was a real person who ruled Judea and built many sites still around Israel today. Pontius Pilate is a historical figure working under Emperor Tiberius. The New Testament is good history. The accounts of Jesus’s life are real.

It can be easy to think of ancient literature as stories that probably didn’t happen—historical fiction or stories created after the fact to explain something. But the Bible and the life of Jesus are different. Instead of some fairy tale, we have to continually remind ourselves it is real. Numerous references to Jesus’s death are in ancient writings within the first one hundred years, including Thallos, Mara bar Serapion, Tacitus, Pliny, and Suetonius. This means we can trust the New Testament and believe it happened. Christianity is historical. It’s good news because it really happened. Jesus came to earth, died on the cross and rose again. It’s historically accurate good news. And this should make a difference in how we interact with it. When we trust the New Testament, we begin to let it shape our lives. We treat it like it has authority.


Make a plan to read the entire gospel of Mark. It’s only 16 chapters. Read two a day and finish before the end of the month. Or read three a day to get through it in a week. Think about the things you read and how they can make a difference in your life.


Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.

April is CONFESSION. Keep track of our spiritual practices at

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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