I think that every argument that we may have come at us who believe in Christ finds itself, in the end, attacking the reliability of the Bible. Other religions have their books of authority. How do they stack up to the Bible? I just had a conversation with a certain Elder Robinson. He is a Mormon missionary from Idaho Falls, Idaho. I was up in his hometown two years ago doing what he is trying to accomplish here in Oklahoma City. He believes that he is right. Why? He believes he is right because of revelation and experience. How can we know that the book of Mormon is true?
How can we know that the Bible is true? One thing is for certain. They both cannot be true for they each teach quite a different view of God. Then there are those who claim that there is no God. They obviously have a problem with the credibility of the Bible. After all, what they say cannot be true and the Bible still be reliable. But if the Bible is reliable, then what the atheists or even agnostics say cannot be true. Webster gave a very simple definition of reliability. It simply means “dependable” or “trustworthy” (Webster, 385).
D. James Kennedy, Senior Pastor of the historic Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church has written on the unique nature of the Bible. He stated that: The Bible was written over a period of more than 1600 years by forty different human writers. There are sixty-six separate volumes contained in the Bible that are written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages. What is also amazing is that with such diversity, each of the sixty-six books contain structural, historical, prophetic, doctrinal, and spiritual unity and after more than 1900 years has not needed updating or correcting.
The human writers of the Bible come from a variety of backgrounds. Moses was a well-educated political leader. Joshua was a military general. Solomon was a king. Daniel was a Prime Minister. Nehemiah was a cupbearer. Amos was a herdsman. Matthew was a tax collector. Simon Peter was a fisherman. Paul was a rabbi. What is amazing is that even though these people come from a variety of backgrounds, time spans cultures and languages they all agree on such important eternal issues. The only satisfactory explanation for this is that the Bible was penned by human writers but its author is God.
Kennedy, 23-24) This diversity yet unity is one of Kennedy’s reasons for the unique nature of the Bible. Because a variety of people over a long period of time agree on issues that could be contested so easily is certainly impressive. Some may ask, “But did these people really write these words and did they mean them they way they are interpreted? This will be dealt with later in this paper. For now, the answer is an unqualified “yes. ” This kind of unity in itself can be called a miracle. But there were other most unusual events surrounding the formation of the Scriptures we know today as the Bible.
There are the authenticating miracles recorded in Scripture. These cannot be easily written off as the product of a prescientific era. There is a restrained character to biblical miracles that distinguishes them from other ancient sources. They occur, as C. S. Lewis reminds us in “Miracles”, not randomly, but cluster around critical points in divine revelation. Where miracle is the order of the day, it loses any leverage as a means of verification. It is rather when the miraculous appears in some meaningful context or another that we are impressed by its relevance.
Such is the persistent and obvious pattern of the biblical account” (Inch, 96-97) Thus the activity of the miraculous, which is presented at certain points in the formation of the scriptures points to the Bible as a most unusual book that deserves closer scrutiny. Reliability of the New Testament R. C. Sproul wrote of the importance of the reliability of the New Testament. “If the Biblical documents are not at least basically trustworthy then we have no historical basis for knowledge of Jesus at all.
Without a reliable historical witness to Jesus the Christian faith would be reduced to an esoteric-gnostic religion” (Sproul, 249). It would be reduce Jesus to simply personal opinion. There are several tests of bibliographic data that can be performed to verify if a document is trustworthy. One of these is called the internal evidence test. The Internal Evidence Test Perhaps the strongest argument that the Bible is the Word of God is the testimony of Jesus. Even non-Christians believe he was a good teacher. Jesus affirmed the Old Testament to be the Word of God and promised to guide his disciples to know all truth.
Jesus accepted the Bible as not only authoritative, but as the very words of God. We also have abundance of scripture that bears testimony of itself as the word of God and as such, being reliable. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty (2 Peter 1:16, NKJV). That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3, NKJV).
Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus (Luke 1:1-3, NKJV). While the record of scripture bears a unity within itself, that does not mean that the events that transpired really happened. What it does say is that they all have the same story.
The question could be posed, “Could not there have been a conspiracy to makeup a story? ” Don Bierle’s response to this is very interesting. The early dating of the New Testament documents within 20-30 years after Jesus’ death made the theory of legends untenable. As [F. F. ] Bruce says, The disciples could not afford to risk inaccuracies (not to speak of willful manipulation of the facts), which would at once be exposed by those who would be only too glad to do so. ” No legend is known to have developed within the same generation as the events and persons themselves (Bierle, 42).
Bierle further adds the incredible obstacles in fabricating a history during the lifetime of the original witnesses. The gospel accounts of the words and deeds of Jesus were being preached within fifty days and had limited circulation in written form within twenty-five years after his death and resurrection. Imagine the difficulties today of trying to publish a totally fabricated biography of former president John F. Kennedy. In this account JFK is depicted as walking on water, healing the sick in front of crowds, raising the dead, and feeding 5000 people with five barley loaves and two fish.
Following his death he was said to be resurrected as he ascended to heaven before over 500 eyewitnesses. As a result, a massive religious movement has begun with which JFK is worshipped (Bierle, 41-42). The only way that this fabricated biography would come close to being accepted would be by none of the people living at the time to see or hear about the biography or that the people who knew JFK were all dead. The same situation is true for Peter’s proclamation of Jesus on Pentecost. 3,000 responded in faith and repentance. Hardly a showing of skeptical doubts just 50 days after his crucifixion and resurrection.
The very place where all of the events happened to Jesus was the very place that he was first declared risen from the dead. Eight Tests of Eyewitness Evidence In Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ,” he interviewed noted New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Blomberg, Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary. Blomberg answered eight key questions on reliability of the evidences of the New Testament. In this he gave eight tests for verifying reliability. 1. Was the stated or intended intention of the writers accurately preserved? A follow-up question is, “Were these first century writers really trying to write down accurately what happened?
Craig Blomberg gives an emphatic “yes”(Strobel, 44). Luke’s gospel and Acts begins with These words”Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed (Luke 1:1-4, NKJV).
2. How well could the material in the gospels be preserved orally for thirty years before it was finally written down in the gospels? Blomberg states: “This was an oral culture, in which there was great emphasis placed on memorization. And remember that eighty to ninety percent of Jesus’ words were originally in poetic form. This doesn’t mean stuff that rhymes, but it has a meter, balanced lines, parallelism, and so forth-and this would have created a great memory help. The other thing that needs to be said is that the definition of memorization was more flexible back then.
In studies of cultures with oral traditions, there was freedom to vary how much of the story was told on any given occasion-what was included, what was left out, what was paraphrased, what was explained, and so forth. (Strobel, 45) What Blomberg states is that it was very probable that the New Testament story of Christ was preserved in a form especially suited for faithful oral transmission. He then goes on to say: One study suggested that in the ancient Middle East, anywhere from ten to forty percent of any given retelling of sacred tradition could vary from one occasion to the next.
However, there were always fixed points that were unalterable, and the community had the right to intervene and correct the storyteller if he erred on those important aspects of the story. (Strobel, 43) What is important to note is the community kept the checks and balances. Blomberg says that the synoptic are consistent with the ten to forty percent variations in the telling of the story (Strobel, 43).
3. Was there any evidence of dishonesty or immorality that would discredit their ability to correctly transmit what really happened historically? Blomberg stated: “We see them reporting the words and actions of a man who called them to as exacting a level of integrity as any religion has ever known. They were willing to live out their beliefs even to the point of ten of the eleven remaining disciples being put to grisly deaths, which shows great character” (Strobel, 45) 4. Are the New Testament documents internally free from internal contradictions? There has been accusation that the gospels are hopelessly contradictory. Scholars agree that there are many apparent contradictions.
Blomberg states: “My own conviction is, once you allow for the elements I’ve talked about earlier-of paraphrase, of abridgment, of explanatory additions, of selection, of omission-the gospels are extremely consistent with each other by ancient standards, which are the only standards by which it’s fair to judge them” (Strobel, 45). We must remember that if the gospels were too consistent with one another, that would invalidate them as independent witnesses (Strobel, 45). 5. Were the writers biased to reporting inaccurately?
This test analyzes whether the gospel writers had any biases that would have colored their work (Strobel, 48). Blomberg said, “These disciples had nothing to gain except criticism, ostracism, and martyrdom. They certainly had nothing to win financially. If anything, this would have provided pressure to keep quiet, to deny Jesus, to downplay him, even to forget they ever met him-yet because of their integrity, they proclaimed what they saw, even when it meant suffering and death”(Strobel, 48). The easiest thing to do would have been to accommodate. “When the gospels mention people, places, and events, do they check out to be correct in cases in which they can be independently verified? ” (Strobel, 50).
“Yes, they do, and the longer people explore this, the more the details get confirmed,” Blomberg replied. “Within the last hundred years archeology has repeatedly unearthed discoveries that have confirmed specific references in the gospels, particularly the gospel of John-ironically, the one that’s supposedly so suspect! ” (Strobel, 50). Archeology is examined in greater depth later.
“When the gospels mention people, places, and events, do they check out to be correct in cases in which they can be independently verified? ” (Strobel, 50). Blomberg stated that the more archeology we find in the Bible lands, the more the historical accuracy is verified. Blomberg further stated, “Within the last hundred years archaeology has repeatedly unearthed discoveries that have confirmed specific references in the gospels, particularly the gospel of John-Ironically, the one that’s supposedly so suspect! ” (Strobel, 50).
Through these non-Christian resources we see the verification of the historical setting as posted by the Bible. 8. “Were there others present who would have contradicted or corrected the gospels if they had been distorted or false? ” (Strobel, 51). One must remember that many people could have had reasons for discrediting the Christian movement. “In later Jewish writings Jesus is called a sorcerer who led Israel astray-which acknowledges that he really did work marvelous wonders, although the writers dispute the source of his power” (Strobel, 51).
These would have been effective in discrediting him if they had done a better job of it. Instead they did not deny his miraculous powers, they just denied that his power came from God. Strobel asked Blomberg, “Could this Christian movement have taken root right there in Jerusalem-in the very area where Jesus had done much of his ministry, had been crucified, buried, and resurrected-if people who knew him were aware that the disciples were exaggerating or distorting the things that he did? ” (Strobel, 51). “I don’t believe so,” Blomberg replied.
We have a picture of what was initially a very vulnerable and fragile movement that was being subjected to persecution. If critics could have attacked it on the basis that it was full of falsehoods or distortions, they would have. “But,” he emphasized in conclusion, “that’s exactly what we don’t see” (Strobel, 51). The attacks are not on the veracity of his miracles or even the resurrection, but on the character and source of power. The Bibliographical Test of the New Testament The bibliographical test is one that examines the reliable transmission of the documents. The question that is asked is: “Are the copies faithful to the original?
What we are establishing here is the historical reliability through historiography of the Scripture, not its inspiration. C. Sanders, in Introduction to Research in English Literary History, lists and explains the three basic principles of historiography. These are the bibliographical test, the internal evidence test, and the external evidence test (McDowell, 33). To illustrate the importance of the bibliographical, imagine this scenario by Don Bierle: There is a well-known work written about 50 BC entitled ‘Ceasar’s War Commentaries. ‘ They are the personal memoirs of Julius Ceasar’s brilliant military campaigns.
Let us suppose shortly after they were written that a friend of Caesar was visiting the palace, noted the work, and requested a copy for his own library. Caesar granted his request, but there was no Xerox machine in his office. Instead, the friend needed to send for a trained copyist who would labor for days to handwrite every letter, word, and sentence. Would the copy be exactly like Caesar’s original? That is unlikely. Now a person visits the home of Caesar’s friend, notes his copy, and secures permission to have his copyist come in to make a second-generation copy for himself.
Will it be exactly like the first generation copy? That is also unlikely. Furthermore, it is even less like Caesar’s original. To the extent that changes occur in the copies, that is the extent to which they lack authenticity. So far the changes are probably minor, but multiply that scenario by hundreds of generations over centuries of time. The authenticity is certain to degenerate. by the time we reach the fifteenth century and put it on the printing press, only a shadow of Caesar’s original writing may remain” (Bierle, 29).
The logical thing to do would be to go to Caesar’s original, but that no longer exists. The same is true of every other ancient document, including the New Testament writings. Because of this, we must work with whatever copies have been found. This is the reason for developing some guidelines to determine to what degree the document is authentic (Bierle, 29). An abundance of manuscripts will help determine the accuracy of the transmission. The New Testament is unique in that it has more manuscripts that any other document of antiquity.
There are now more than 5,686 known Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Add over 10,000 Latin Vulgate and at least 9,300 other early versions (MSS), and we have close to, if not more than, 25,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence today. No other document of antiquity even begins to approach such numbers and attestation. In comparison, Homer’s “Iliad” is second, with only 643 manuscripts that still survive. The first complete preserved text of Home dates from the thirteenth century. (McDowell, 34) The New Testament clearly outshines the next earliest document by a millennium.
Bierle expands on the importance of the large numbers of manuscripts noted earlier. The more abundant the number of ancient copies that are found, the better. Even if there are variant readings, a large number of copies allows comparison and correlation in order to reproduce the original. Furthermore, a large number of manuscripts over the centuries minimize the possibility that a little band of people created the documents ‘behind closed doors’, so to speak. A large number of copies means broader public exposure and greater accountability to integrity (Bierle, 29-30).
When there are more manuscripts, that means that a better correlation can be found, bringing it closer to the original, but also it indicates that these copies were also known in various public arenas. On a purely bibliographical examination, if the New Testament documents are not deemed reliable, then no ancient documents can be deemed reliable. “John Warwick Montgomery says that ‘to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament. (McDowell, 35).
Sir Fredrick G. Kenyon served as the director for the British Museum and was second to none in authority on manuscripts (MSS). He wrote: The interval between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established (McDowell, 35).
This should leave no room for doubt in the historicity of the New Testament. Archaeologist W. F. Albright confidently informed: No other work from Graeco-Roman antiquity is so well attested by manuscript tradition as the New Testament. There are many more early manuscripts of the New testament than there are of any classical author, and the oldest extensive remains of it date only about two centuries after their original composition (McDowell, 36). The New Testament is much closer to the originals in its copies than other documents of antiquity.
In comparison to other documents of antiquity, Metzger wrote: The textual critic of the New Testament is embarrassed by the wealth of his material. Furthermore, the work of many an ancient author has been preserved only in manuscripts which date from the Middle Ages (sometimes the late Middle Ages), far removed form the time at which he lived and wrote. On the contrary, the time between the composition of the books of the New Testament and the earliest extant copies is relatively brief.
Instead of the laps of a millennium or more, as is the case of not a few classical authors, several papyrus manuscripts of portions of the New Testament are extant which were copied within a century or so after the composition of the original documents (Metzger, 34-35). This gives the New Testament an advantage of a thousand years or more in most cases. Ravi Zacharias added: In real terms, the New Testament is easily the best-attested ancient writing in terms of the sheer number of documents, the time span between the events and the document, and the variety of documents available to sustain or contradict it.
There is nothing in ancient manuscript evidence to match such textual availability and integrity (Zacharias, 162). The New Testament beats every other document of antiquity in the bibliographical test. Bierle gave us a direct comparison of the scriptures to a comparable document of the times. Dr. Metzger reported that 746 lines of the ‘Iliad’ were corrupted, a distortion rate of about 5%. Said another way, the meaning of one out of every twenty lines is uncertain. Which Iliad do we read in literature class? Who decided which manuscript was correct?
Yet, it is probably rare that an instructor would caution students about the authenticity of the Iliad when it is assigned or discussed. The authenticity is assumed. The data for the New Testament is incredible. Only 40 lines of 1/5 or 1% (0. 2%), are distorted. This is twenty-five times more accurately copied than the Iliad, which is considered good. Besides, F. F. Bruce has said that the variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact of Christian faith and practice (Bierle, 34-35).
With these kinds of numbers, one can have assurance of the reliability of the Bible in comparison with other world literature. The question of whether the Bible we hold in our hands today is the same as the original is also germane to all ancient works that have been handed down to us. Bruce Metzger said, “What the New Testament has in its favor, especially when compared with other ancient writings, is the unprecedented multiplicity of copies that have survived” (Strobel, 59). Metzger further stated:
The more often you have copies agreeing with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the more you can crosscheck them to figure out what the original document was like. The only way they’d agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts. In addition to Greek manuscripts, we also have translations of the gospels into other languages at a relatively early time-into Latin, Syriac, and Coptic. And beyond that, we have what may be called secondary translations made a little later, like Armenian and Gothic.
And a lot of others-Georgian, Ethiopic, a great variety (Strobel, 59). These copies, in all of these languages are also found in many different geographical parts of the ancient world and some are written close to the time of the original documents. Metzger said, “We have copies commencing within a couple of generations from the writing of the originals, whereas in the case of other ancient texts, maybe five, eight, or ten centuries lapsed between the original and the earliest surviving copy” (Strobel, 59).
The wealth of quotations from the New Testament books in sermons and other literature from the early church father and their disciples is also extensive and gives another valuable historical verification. “The textual critic has available the numerous scriptural quotations included in the commentaries, sermons, and other treatises written by early Church Fathers. Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament” (Metzger, 86).
This fact is often overlooked by critics of the New Testament. Often the question comes up as to how certain books made it into the Bible. Basically the early church had three criteria,” Metzger said, “First, the books must have apostolic authority-that is, they must have been written either by apostles themselves, who were eyewitnesses to what they wrote about, or by followers of apostles. Second, there was the criterion of conformity to what was called the rule of faith. That is, was the document congruent with the basic Christian tradition that the church recognized as normative?
And third, there was the criterion of whether a document had had continuous acceptance and usage by the church at large (Strobel, 66). This process did not occur immediately, but as the need arose in the church for a definitive authority, these criteria emerged. The acceptance of the Old Testament was recognized from the beginning. The protestant Church accepts identically the same Old Testament books as the Jews had, and as Jesus and the apostles accepted. The Roman Catholic Church, since the Council of Trent in 1546, includes the books of the Apocrypha.
By the time of the Christian era the term ‘Scripture’ had come to mean a fixed body of divinely inspired writings that were fully recognized as authoritative (Little, 81-82). Thus now the conclusion can be reached based on internal and textual evidence that the New Testament was faithfully transmitted down through time. External Test: Evidence outside the New Testament Dr. Gleason Archer, who taught for over thirty years at the graduate seminary level in biblical criticism has an impeccable background. As a classics major at Harvard he received training in Latin and Greek, French and German.
At Seminary he majored in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic; and in post-graduate years he studied and taught courses in Syriac and Akkadian. He also acquired a special interest in Middle Kingdom Egyptian studies which he later taught classes in the Eighteenth Dynasty historical records at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. Dr. Archer was also admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1939. This gave him a thorough grounding in the field of legal evidences (McDowell, 45-46). This quote is from the forward in Archer’s book: “Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties”
As I have dealt with one apparent discrepancy after another and have studied the alleged contradictions between the biblical record and the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, and science, my confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture has been repeatedly verified and strenghtened by the discovery that almost every problem in Scripture that has ever been discovered by man, from ancient times until now, has been dealt with in a completely satisfactory manner by the biblical text itself-or else by objective archaeological information (McDowell, 46).
In Dr. Archer’s opinion, every Bible discrepancy is just an apparent discrepancy until further facts are in. Authorship and Dating Lee Strobel asked Craig L. Blomberg, “Tell me this, is it really possible to be an intelligent, critically thinking person and still believe that the four gospels were written by the people whose names nave been attached to them? ” (Strobel, 22). “The answer is yes, ” Blomberg said with conviction.
The uniform testimony of the early church was that Matthew, also known as Levi, the tax collector and one of the twelve disciples, was the author of the first gospel in the New Testament; that John Mark, a companion of Peter, was the author of the gospel we call Mark; and that Luke, known as Paul’s ‘beloved physician,’ wrote both the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles” (Strobel, 22). “There are no known competitors for these three gospels,” He said. “Apparently, it was just not in dispute” (Strobel, 23).
There are testimonies from those who knew some of the disciples or their disciples. The oldest and most significant testimony comes from Papias about A. D. 125. He specifically confirmed that Mark had “made no mistake” and did not include “any false statement. ” He also concluded that Matthew had preserved the teachings of Christ as well (Strobel, 24). Later about AD 180, Irenaeus confirmed the traditional authorship. “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church.
After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia” (Against Heresies). Here, Irenaeus’ testimony also attributes to Paul’s work as does the Book of Acts written by Luke.
Eusebius wrote the following of the Gospel of Mark: And so greatly did the splendor of piety illumine the minds of Peter’s hearers that they were not satisfied with hearing once only, and were not content with the unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought Mark, a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been orally communicated to them.
Nor did they cease until they had prevailed with the man, and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of Mark. And they say that Peter when he had learned, through a revelation of the Spirit, of that which had been done, was pleased with the zeal of the men, and that the work obtained the sanction of his authority for the purpose of being used in the churches. Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias. Eusebius, 196).
Here we have several references to testimonials of the authorship of Mark’s gospel. One thing that must be remembered in studying the authorship and dating of the New Testament is that these works were not written long after the events themselves. This is important for primary documentary source study. “The books of the New Testament were not written down a century or more after the events they described, but during the lifetimes of those involved in the accounts themselves.
Therefore, the New Testament must be regarded by scholars today as a competent primary source document from the first century” (McDowell, 52). Irenaeus wrote that even the critics of Christianity in the first centuries did not deny the authentic authorship of the gospels. “So firm is the ground upon which these Gospels rest, that the very heretics themselves bear witness to them, and, starting from these [documents], each one of them endeavors to establish his own peculiar doctrine” (Against Heresies).
Of all the attacks on Christianity, one would have thought that if there were even a hint of doubt concerning the dating and authorship of the New Testament, that would have come out. It did not. Evidence from Secular Sources Secular sources out side of the followers of Christ are almost unheard of to most people. Many would be fascinated to know that there is great documentation in antiquity concerning the person of Christ and of the early church. One such important source was the Jewish historian, Josephus.
Josephus was a very important Jewish historian of the first century. He was born in AD 37, and he wrote most of his four works toward the end of the first century. He was a priest, a Pharisee, and he was somewhat egotistical. His most ambitious work was called “The Antiquities”, which was a history of the Jewish people from Creation until his time. He probably completed it in about AD 93.