The New Testament Authors Were Correct In The Names They Used.

Should The Long Ending Of Mark Be In the Bible?

As Tent Making Christians, we are often put in situations where we are forced to defend Scripture against critics.  We are seen as backwards thinking because we hold the Bible up as the Word of God.  How can you believe this is true? Don’t you know that the Bible is just a bunch of made up stories?  Christians are often challenged with such statements. It’s difficult to know where to begin against such attacks.  I have a unique way for you to help show that the New Testament authors were in fact present in Palestine during the events they recorded.  How can we know this?  One reason is the New Testament authors were correct in the names they used when recording their accounts.

Lets Write A Story

Let’s do a thought experiment here.  Suppose I am going to write a fictional story about one of my relatives that was born in the 1920’s.  I’m going to try and write the story so that it sounds as if it were true.  So, for the main characters in my story, I’ll use the men’s names of Jacob, Jordan and Ethan.  For the girls in my story, I’ll use Tiffany, Brittany and Jayden.  Sounds good, right? But wait, there’s a problem.

From my perspective, there would be nothing wrong with the names I picked.  They would be familiar to me.  I use them every day.  In fact, a large percentage of the population I encounter would have these names.  But are the names accurate to the time period I’m writing about?  

Did I Get The Names Right?

The problem is, the most popular boys’ names in 1920 were Robert, John and James.  And the most popular girls’ names during the same period were Mary, Dorthey and Helen. As a matter of fact, I’d bet you would’ve had a hard time finding a “Tiffany” anywhere in 1920.  It simply wasn’t a popular name at the time. If anyone who actually was born at this time read my story, it wouldn’t ring true simply because the names would be so out of place.

So how does this apply to the Gospels?  The charge is often made that the Gospel writers wrote their accounts of Jesus’ life much later and in areas outside of Jerusalem.  If this is the case, then they would be in much the same situation I am in writing my story.  They may choose names for the characters, but how do they know they have chosen the correct names? Is there any way we could test the Gospels to see if they are accurate in the names that are used? 

Were The Gospel Writers Accurate Using Names?

Actually, we can.  In his book, Jesus And The EyewitnessesRichard Bauckham researched the most common names in Palestine at the time of Jesus. He then studied the most common names in the New Testament.  His findings are illuminating.  

15.6% of the men in Palestine at the time of Jesus were named Simon or Joseph.  In the New Testament, 18.2% of the men had the name Simon or Joseph. 

41.5% of the men in Palestine had one of the 9 most common names.  In the New Testament, 40.3% of the men have one of the 9 most popular names.

28.6% of the women in Palestine had the name Mary or Salome.  In the New Testament, 38.9% of the women were named Mary or Salome.

49.7% of the women in Palestine had one of the 9 most common names.  In the New Testament, 61.1% of the women had one of the most common names. 

As you can see, if the authors of the New Testament were guessing at which names to use, they guessed incredibly accurately.  It’s hard to believe that the writers could be this precise without first-hand knowledge of the area and the people they were writing about. 

Making A Case

As we look at evidence for the reliability of the New Testament and its authors, we need to understand something.  No one piece of evidence is enough by itself to prove the reliability of the Scripture or the accuracy of the authors.  But as we begin to look at multiple lines of evidence, we can build a cumulative case for the accuracy of the Bible.  The fact that the New Testament authors were correct in the names they used in their accounts is just one piece of evidence that they were accurately recording what they witnessed.

Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.  

3 thoughts on “The New Testament Authors Were Correct In The Names They Used.”

  1. Pingback: A Book Of Faith -

Comments are closed.

Catagories
Archives
Calendar
May 2021
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
RSS Listen to Our Latest Podcast Here
  • Should We Take The Bible Literally? May 13, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team discusses whether Christians should take the Bible literally.
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Do People Still Care If Christianity Is True? May 11, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses whether offering evidence for the truth of Christianity is still relevant in our culture. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Why Did God Create Satan? May 6, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question "Why did God create Satan?".
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Holding A Consistent Christian World View In Politics May 4, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses how to maintain a consistent Christian worldview in politics.  
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Why Did God Create People He Knew Would Go To Hell? April 29, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team discusses the question "Why did God create people He knew would go to hell?"
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • The Satan Shoes April 27, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses a recent marketing campaign featuring the Satan shoes. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Is There A Contradiction In Paul's Conversion Story? April 22, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team discusses whether there is a contradiction in Paul's conversion story. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • The Easter Tweet April 20, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses an infamous tweet that appeared on Easter Day. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Are There Modern Day Apostles? April 15, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team answers the question "Are there modern-day apostles?"
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • The Fate Of The Apostles April 13, 2021
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team explores what became of the 14 Apostles. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean