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I realize there is probably a large spectrum of opinions on this matter. Nevertheless, what is the general consensus among academics on the historical reliability of the Bible? Is it a sound historical document or is it simply a book of legends? Considering the number of books that comprise the Bible, are some considered more historically accurate than others?

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closed as not constructive by American Luke, Steven Drennon Nov 21 '12 at 16:31

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I don't think this question is that bad in its essence. Clean it up a bit and there is at the bottom a perfectly valid question about the reliability of he Bible as a historical document. –  Lennart Regebro Nov 22 '11 at 11:19
    
I think that if someone wiser than I were to edit this question it could be salvaged. Remove the religion tag and ask how we treat sources in the study of history. –  Mark C. Wallace Oct 10 '13 at 11:30

1 Answer 1

The overall "feeling" is that it is neither historical fact nor legends. It is a book of stories, many of which have real events that lies behind them, and many that do not. There is a discussion about exactly what is true, though.

The well known stories such as the flood and the exodus generally have no or little evidence behind them, and often a lot of evidence against them. In general, there is very little archaeological evidence, if any, for the stories in the Bible. Attempt to prove that there was a united kingdom under King David etc has been inconclusive, for example.

There are however historical documents that corroborates some things in the Bible, mainly wars and sieges by Babylonian and Persian kings. Many of the kings mentioned in the Bible have left their own written texts and in some cases these agree with the Bible on the events.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_history

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