The Bible’s historical reliability is not a question of superstition vs facts, but rather a question of truth vs bias. Prior to the 1847 British expedition by Layard Nineveh was, in historical circles of study in Europe, a place of myth. There simply was no evidence (aside from the Bible) that critics would accept. The lack of evidence, didn’t change the truth. Truth itself is not reliant on evidence, there are crimes committed every day which do not have the evidence to prove them.
One of my favorite discussion points with unbelievers is the historical reliability of the Bible. This often comes up when discussing the reason for my faith (1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,). The Bible is frequently caricatured by unbelievers as a book full of myths, old wives tales, and is in general untrue. This position is most commonly parroted by militant atheists, many of whom I admire as they seem more evangelistic regarding their lack of faith than many inside the church regarding their presence of faith!
When the question of historical reliability comes up, I like to ask, and listen intently to my friends and conversation partners to find exactly where their objection is located. By narrowing down a focus point (or points) it allows for further exploration and even engagement with the Bible itself. On many occasions I’ve had the joy of hearing militant atheists read passages from scripture themselves to identify exactly where the myth begins and the history ends (in their minds).
One such occasion was in discussing the historical reliability of the New Testament. This is one of the easiest objections to engage with as a follower of Christ. First, we began by examining the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This was reported by Josephus, and the dating is corroborated by Roman imperial history as the siege took place during the second year of Roman Emperor Vespasian (Who ruled from 69-79AD).