Acts 24:24, The Historicity of Acts

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess…

//Acts is a puzzling book. On the one hand, its miracle stories are so bizarre that they are hard to believe, given the lack of corroborating writings. On the other hand, it is chock full of references to real historical figures for which we do have non-Christian corroboration. Most of this corroboration comes from Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian. Here is a list of people mentioned in Acts that are also written about by Josephus:

Agrippa I (Acts 12:124)

Agrippa II (Acts 25:13-26:32)

Annas (Acts 4:6)

Bernice, wife of Agrippa II (Acts 23:13)

Caiaphas (many references)

Claudius (Acts 11:28, 18:2)

Drusilla, wife of Felix (Acts 24:24)

The Egyptian false prophet (Acts 21:38)

Felix (Acts 23:24-25:14)

Gamiliel (Acts 5:34, 22:3)

Judas the Galilean (Acts 5:37)

Porcius Festus (Acts 24:27-26:32)

There are a few other historical figures in Acts confirmed by archaeological evidence: Erastus, Gallio, and Sergius Paulus. Josephus didn’t mention these. Yet the above list is startling; it’s almost like the book of Acts took its cast of characters from Josephus’ writings.

There is a recent trend among Bible scholars of dating the book of Acts quite late, well into the second century, based upon an apparent dependency on the writings of Josephus. Could these scholars be right?

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>