Apologetics: The Resurrection of Jesus

emptytomb3A central claim of Christianity is that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. In particular, “resurrection” is not a dead man’s incorporeal, phantasmagorical spirit floating off to heaven.

Rather, the claim is that Jesus’ body left the grave re-animated and transformed into a body given by the Spirit (1 Cor 15:44). That is, Christian faith insists on an empty tomb.

What evidence of an empty tomb is there? After all, finding a First Century tomb with no one in it would hardly prove that Jesus had been buried there. No, the evidence is not archaeological but historical. Continue reading

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Apologetics: Archaeology and the Bible, Part 2

archaeologyOld Testament

The Dead Sea Scrolls

These were found in 1946 by a shepherd boy in caves near the Dead Sea. There are hundreds of such caves, and many are very difficult to reach. Fortunately, the boy’s goats wandered into a cave that held scrolls, leading to the greatest Biblical archaeological discovery of the 20th Century.

Scholars have only recently published the full texts of the scrolls, and they have shed tremendous light on Second Temple Judaism from about 200 BC to shortly after the time of the apostles. Continue reading

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Apologetics: Archaeology and the Bible, Part 1

archaeologyWe really can’t fairly consider the impact of archaeology on the Bible’s authenticity without knowing a little history.

Of course, for centuries, the Western world just assumed the Bible to be true and felt no need to test its claims against archaeology. However, by the late 19th Century, European skepticism had come to dominate Christian education. In fact, at this time the center of Christian scholarship was Germany, with Tübingen University being the center of New Testament Higher Criticism. Continue reading

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Time off

I need to have a series of medical tests starting this morning. I’ve been dealing with severe back spasms for a while now, likely due to my back surgery in October.

Hopefully the tests will give the doctors what they need to treat me.

So I should be gone for less than a week if all goes well.

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Apologetics: The Prophecies

scrollThere are numerous prophetic references to the Messiah in the Old Testament, and the fulfillment of these prophecies by Jesus is at times uncanny. It’s an impressive list of prophecies — so many that we can’t begin to cover them all.

Moreover, as you can imagine, skeptics question the applicability of many of these texts. And, indeed, the church should be cautious to make only those claims truly justified by the text.

In addition, we must be careful not to limit these prophecies to apologetics. They, in fact, establish much of the theology of the New Testament, and the New Testament becomes much clearer when we read it in line of its prophetic ancestry. But that’s too big of a topic for today. For today, we’re just going to cover the predictive power of prophecy as evidence of the foreknowledge of God and the truth that Jesus is God’s Messiah. Continue reading

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Little Chief “Mountain Song”

Debut Album is Lion’s Den. Available for free download at Noisetrade.

PS — Best played very loud.

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Apologetics: Did Jesus Really Exist?

HistoricalJesusNo self-respecting historian denies that a Jewish rabbi named “Jesus” walked the earth in the early First Century. However, we live in a world where people get their “history” from the Da Vinci Code and similar absurdities. Therefore, it’s necessary to cover the evidence.

The New Testament is sufficient evidence by itself, being the best attested ancient document, by far. I mean, Paul took beatings and stonings and wrote his letters for a reason. Peter traveled and taught the gospel for a reason. The Gospels were written for a reason.

It’s clear that these documents date to the early First Century. Contrary to the teaching of some European scholars in the 19th Century, the evidence of the age of the New Testament is now over-whelming.

Today, no self-respecting theologian, no matter how liberal, doubts that the real Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians as the first or among the earliest New Testament books, sometime around 53 to 57 AD, that is, less than 25 years after Jesus’ crucifixion — when plenty of people who’d been there were still around. Continue reading

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Apologetics: History

AFRICAThe history of the world weighs heavily in favor of Christianity, even when we consider the many missteps taken in the name of Christianity, such as the Crusades, slavery, and the Inquisition.

I had intended to write a post on this subject, but I’ve found several excellent articles already on the Internet that I could not easily better. Continue reading

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New Post at Wineskins

WineskinsbannerMaking Weakness Perfect

While you’re there, check out the greatly improved look (still under construction), the archives, the forums, and the job boards.

 

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Apologetics: Modern Physics

modernphysicsGod has a way of turning up in the strangest places. When we look into the skies with remarkably powerful telescopes seeing stars billions of lights away (and so billions of years in the past), we see evidence of creation from nothing, the sudden appearance of light, and the separation of light from darkness.

We see the hand of God. Continue reading

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