Biblical contradictions in light of other ancient sources

when we calibrate our expectations by looking at other sources — even those deemed to be generally trustworthy — we find many discrepancies, often much more grave than those we find in the gospel accounts. Timothy and Lydia McGrew document several examples from ancient literature [4]:
Even a passing acquaintance with the documents that form the basis of secular history reveals that the reports of reliable historians, even of eyewitnesses, always displays selection and emphasis and not infrequently contradict each other outright. Yet this fact does not destroy or even significantly undermine their credibility regarding the main events they report. Almost no two authors agree regarding how many troops Xerxes marshaled for his invasion of Greece; but the invasion and its disastrous outcome are not in doubt. Florus’s account of the number of troops at the battle of Pharsalia differs from Caesar’s own account by 150,000 men; but no one doubts that there was such a battle, or that Caesar won it. According to Josephus, the embassy of the Jews to the Emperor Claudius took place in seed time, while Philo places it in harvest time; but that there was such an embassy is uncontroversial. Examples of this kind can be multiplied almost endlessly.
— Číst dál

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