Painting of Luke, the author of Acts, Andrea Mantegna, 1453-54
Many anti-Christian commentators argue that the gospels and other New Testament documents, contrary to Church teaching, could not have been written by direct eyewitnesses to the events they describe. This is because, they argue, Jesus and his disciples were just simple, illiterate, Aramaic-speaking peasants who probably couldn’t write their own names, let alone a Greek gospel account. The argument is weak, and we have countered it in other articles (here and here).
However, there is another angle to this argument that we should address. Let’s allow Matthew Ferguson, a Ph.D. hopeful—and activist atheist—from UC-Irvine to lay it out for us: Continue reading
Herod the Great
The second chapter of Matthew relates a story found in no other gospel, known as the Massacre of the Innocents. In this story, King Herod (the king of Judea and client of Rome) orders the killing of all boys less than two years of age in Bethlehem. Herod takes this “scorched earth” approach in a desperate attempt to find and kill the recently-born Jesus, who he believes will grow to become a threat to his throne.
Critics have long alleged that this story never happened, saying that the gospel author just made it up to create a fulfillment of prophecy. Continue reading
Earlier this week, I promised a friend that I would provide for him a list of resources to aid in his studies about the New Testament, how it developed, how we know it’s true, and how we can combat the false information about Christianity that seems to proliferate both on- and off-line. Well, this post makes good on that promise. It’s an expanded version of a list that I posted some time ago.
Obviously, this list is far from exhaustive, but it does provide a wide range of excellent resources. Hopefully, he—and you—will find it useful. Continue reading
Continuing with our “Busted” series, in this article we tackle the charge that Luke is an unreliable historian because he demonstrates in Luke 17:11 that he doesn’t even know basic geography. Here is the “offending” passage:
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. (Luke 17:11, NIV) Continue reading
Like many Christians, I was “born and raised” in the church. There was never a time when we didn’t attend regularly. As I grew up and became exposed to more of the world, I never doubted God’s existence, but I certainly wrestled with questions about whether what I believed was true. Occasional doubts are normal since the topic of God is one that requires some amount of faith. But I have learned over time that faith is not “belief despite the evidence” as some claim. Continue reading