Posts Tagged ‘Answers for Skeptics’

“Where the data of the Gospels can be tested, they consistently have proven to be remarkably accurate, especially in John. Archaeologists have unearthed the five porticoes of the pool of Bethesda by the Sheep Gate (John 5:2), the pool of Siloam (9:1-7), Jacob’s well at Sychar (4:5), the “Pavement” (Gabbatha) where Pilate tried Jesus (19:13), and Solomon’s porch in the temple precincts (10:22-23). As recently as 1961 an inscription was discovered in Caesarea, providing for the first time extrabiblical corroboration of Pilate as Judea’s prefect during the time of Christ. Since the, discovery of an ossuary (bone-box) of a crucified man named Johanan from first-century Palestine confirms that nails were driven in his ankles, as in Christ’s; previously some skeptics thought that that Romans used only ropes to affix the legs of condemned men to their crosses….In 1990, the burial grounds of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest, and his family were uncovered in Jerusalem. These and numerous other details create a favorable impression of the Gospels’ trustworthiness in the areas in which they can be tested.”

–Craig L. Blomberg

via http://www.alwaysbeready.com/quotations

Archaeology as it stands today is mainly hostile to Christianity. Despite that fact, where it is honest, it is busy verifying the historical accuracy of its contents.

simul iustus et peccator, 

 
Eric Adams 
Rossville, GA 
godsguy12@comcast.net 
christianreasons@gmail.com 

“The Multiverse Created Itself” and “Who made God after all?” – The Kalam Cosmological Argument | With All I Am

Some have objected to the Kalam by raising the possibility of a multiverse. They say that this counters the Kalam because it’s possible that our universe is one of nearly infinite past universes, generated as another “bubble” among untold trillions of other bubble universes. There should be one glaring difficulty with this objection that most can see immediately: “Whence the multiverse?” If the multiverse is proposed as eternal, then every objection about actual infinites applies to the multiverse. Not only that, but the multiverse itself would have to account for entropy. How is it that all the energy in this (nearly) infinite multiverse has not been used if it has existed for all eternity?

— J.W. Wartick

via “The Multiverse Created Itself” and “Who made God after all?” – The Kalam Cosmological Argument | With All I Am.

simul iustus et peccator, 

 
Eric Adams 
Rossville, GA 
godsguy12@comcast.net 
christianreasons@gmail.com 
English: Image of the Last Page of the Coptic ...

English: Image of the Last Page of the Coptic Manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas. The title “peuaggelion pkata Thomas” is at the end. Courtesy of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And…they’re off…again! Bless their darlin’ little hearts-causing controversy with badly outdated evidence…read a book, for cryin’ out loud!

“2. The Gnostic Gospels.  The narrator mentions the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi, Egypt (the most famous of which is Thomas).  In an effort to present these gospels are more historically credible than the canonical gospels, he then claims that these manuscripts are older than the oldest copies of the New Testament.

The problem with this claim is that it is patently false.  These manuscripts, written in Coptic, date mostly to the fourth and fifth centuries, whereas we have NT manuscripts from as early as the second century. Once again, one wonders about the historical accuracy of the Historical Channel when mistakes like this are made–mistakes that just happen to be in favor of the more radical version of the historical Jesus.” — Michael J. Kruger

via Bible Secrets Revealed?: A Response to the New History Channel Series (Part 4) | Canon Fodder.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric “nag him already” Adams,

Rossvegas

Remember this the next time a skeptic, postmodern Emergent, or cult member makes the statement that ascribing Divinity to Christ was a later development. Read the whole article, it’s worth the effort.

 

English: close-up of P46 reading of textual va...

English: close-up of P46 reading of textual variant in 1 Co 2:4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

“So how does Paul fit Jesus in with this strong statement of Jewish monotheism?

 

English: Papyrus Nash, fragment of the Ten Com...

English: Papyrus Nash, fragment of the Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael prayer, found 1930 in Egypt Česky: Papyrus Nash, fragment obsahující desatero a modlitbu Šema Jisrael, nalezen 1930 v Egyptě (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul alludes to the Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.

 

4  So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.

 

5  For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),

 

6  yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

 

Holy mackerel! How did that get in there? Paul is splitting the roles of God in the the Shema and identifying Jesus in one of the divine roles! Jesus is not an ordinary man. That passage “through whom all things came” foreshadows John identifying Jesus as “the Word of God”, which “became flesh and dwelt among us”. Holy snark – did you guys know that was all in here so early?

 

The date for 1 Corinthians is 55 AD. It should be noted that skeptical scholars like James Crossley accept these passages, and you can check it out in the debate audio yourself.”

 

via Did the divinity of Jesus emerge slowly after many years of embellishments? | Wintery Knight.

 

simul iustus et peccator,

 

Eric Adams

 

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It’s never a good idea to watch a History Channel piece on Christianity or the Bible without your apologetics glasses on. They can blind you to the truth with their dazzling presentation. They are usually strong on fabrication, and short on fact. Viewer beware.

  • “As another example, Elaine Pagels declares, “We had Christianity for three-hundred years before we had a New Testament.”  But, this is only partially true at best, and downright misleading at worst.  Sure, the edges of the canon were not solidified until probably the fourth century, but the core of the canon around 22 out of 27 books was fairly well-established by the mid/late second century. Irenaeus, for example, was keen to use these books and to use them as Scripture.  On a functional level, he did in fact have a New Testament.

 

  • Incredibly, this documentary then trots out the Constantine-made-the-Bible argument, implying that he used his political power to makes sure the right stories were chosen.  However, this absolutely zero evidence that Constantine had any influence/control over the canon of Scripture.  This is more of a Dan Brown-Da Vinci Code style argument, than a historical one.

 

  • Mention is made of the long ending of Mark 16:9-20 as evidence that Christians made up the resurrection because of Mark’s shorter ending.  But, the documentary shows no awareness that there is good evidence that the long ending of Mark is actually drawing upon resurrection accounts in the other three gospels (see Kelhoffer’s works), thus showing that the idea of Jesus’ resurrection was not made up due to Mark’s truncated ending.

via Bible Secrets Revealed? A Response to the New History Channel Series Part 1 | Canon Fodder.

Remember that most of the claims in this documentary are simply “pimped up” versions of the tired old arguments of old -line Christian Liberalism. As Chris Rosebrough put it on an episode of Fighting For The Faith, it’s like arguing for stricter ship-building standards today by bringing up the sinking of the Titanic. The evidence is a little old. So are the arguments slickly produced in this documentary. They have all been thoroughly dealt with by serious Evangelical scholars decades ago. Nothing to see here…move along home.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric the stuffed turkey
Gobble-gobble

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“But the most important thing is to consider what it means to use the term “natural evil.” Nearly all of us, whether we believe in God or not, look at the great loss of life and suffering in the Philippines and do not hesitate to call it evil. Yet, to believe in evil is to believe in an objective moral code and to believe in an objective moral code one must believe in an objective and good moral law giver. If one denies an objective moral law giver then “good and evil” are nothing but random modifiers we choose to describe subjective opinions that are not binding on anyone else. In other words, to deny the existence of God is to deny the reality of good and evil.” – Pastor Matt Rawlings

via ASK PASTOR MATT: “CAN A GOOD GOD AND NATURAL EVIL CO-EXIST?”

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently heard this demonstrated on a podcast of Fighting For The Faith, where Chris Rosebrough interviewed Joseph Atwill Of Covert Messiah. If you enter into a conversation with an disciple of naturalism, understand they will not accept your evidence, since they refuse to admit the possibility of the miraculous, including prophecies. The best you can do is what Chris does in this podcast-point out that they are suppressing truth, and have an a priori assumption about the supernatural, and share the Gospel with them. Don’t try to win an argument. Trust the Holy Spirit in His Word, and pray.

“When visiting with Dan Wallace earlier this year, Greg Koukl and I asked him about the skepticism on the part of people like Bart Ehrman related to early dating. We asked Wallace if there was some specific manuscript evidence that inclined people to deny the early dating of the Gospel accounts. Wallace said there was no such evidence. We then asked why people continued to deny the early dating if, in fact, we were continuing to find early fragments and there was no contrary manuscript evidence. It turns out that the late dating of the gospels is due primarily to a denial of supernaturalism.

One of the primary reasons why skeptics date the gospels later than 70AD is the fact that Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in the gospel accounts (i.e. Matthew 23). Secular history records that the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, fulfilling this alleged prediction by Jesus. In order to avoid the accurate prophesy from Jesus, skeptics argue that the gospel must have been written after the temple was destroyed. After all, how could Jesus possess the supernatural power of prophecy if nothing supernatural exists? The philosophical naturalism of the secular historian prevents him from accepting the possibility of accurate prophecy.

The gospels also contain many descriptions of miracles. The philosophical naturalist must also deny the truthfulness of these supernatural accounts. Skeptics, therefore, date the gospel accounts very late, arguing that eyewitnesses to these events were already dead and unavailable to deny the claims. It turns out that the presupposition of philosophical naturalism is at work in the minds of those who would deny the early dating of the gospels. When this presuppositional bias is removed, the remaining evidence confirms that the gospels were written in the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses.”

via There’s No Good Reason to Deny the Early Dating of the Gospels | Cold Case Christianity.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric