Introduction

Historically this is an interesting question because it helps to establish both the historicity and accuracy of the biblical text.

That is, that in making the claim it helps to center the text into a specific time frame where, should the character in question be in a place or period where the statement would be meaningless or uncalled for it sets the statement up as suspect.

Many of the accusations against the authority and accuracy of the text of Scripture has been allegations of falsehood (things are just made up) or that it engages in instances of anachronism (getting things out of their place in time).

However, as we have learned more about the text—as a historical phenomenon—and about ancient texts in general, we have discovered that where there are anachronisms (say with place names), there is usually—either in the same text or another—that the name was changed at some point for some reason.

Furthermore, we have learned that ancient scribes would often update texts with new words, or alternative spellings, or even inside jokes. Those actions display that the such practices were completely acceptable to the original audiences. Once we understand these facts the accusations disappear, though the ghosts remain, repeated ad nauseam on the interwebs by unbelievers.

But what about the Apostle Paul?

On a recent episode of his podcast Bible Study for Amateurs, Ben—the Amateur Exegete—dives into the question of Paul’s citizenship.

More…