Busted (6): The Massacre of the Innocents…Did It Happen?

Herod the Great

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

Busted (5): Did Luke Exhibit “Geographical Ineptitude?”

Busted 1Continuing 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

Busted (4):  Did Luke Screw Up Pilate’s Job Title?

Busted 1In a previous article, we explored how critics falsely accuse Luke of gross inaccuracy in Luke 3:1.  Here, we return to the same verse to explore another alleged mistake.  Let’s review the relevant part of the passage, from the English Standard Version:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea,…

Some critics have pointed out that Luke refers to Pontius Pilate as the governor or “hegemon” (ἡγεμών) of Judea, rather than by his actual title, which was prefect (νομάρχης).  If, the critics say, Luke was wrong about something that simple, then he surely was wrong about other things, too. Continue reading

Busted (3): Did Luke Get a Date Wrong by 60 Years?

Busted 1It seems that whenever one of the gospel accounts disagrees with that of a non-Christian historian, skeptical scholars assume it’s the gospel-writer who got it wrong.  That’s a dangerous thing to assume.

Luke 3:1 is a passage that many critics have used to “prove” Luke’s incompetence as an historian.  Here’s the passage (ESV): Continue reading

Busted (2): Was Luke Wrong About the Jewish High Priest(s)?

Busted 1In this article, we tackle an alleged error in the Gospel of Luke that some critics use to paint Luke as an unreliable historian.  Let’s take a look at the offending verse, Luke 3:2 (English Standard Version):  “…during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.”

So, what is the alleged mistake?  Continue reading

Busted (1): Synagogues Didn’t Exist In Jesus’ Time

Introducing the “Busted” Series

Busted 1The gospels, the book of Acts, and other New Testament documents have proven their worth as historically accurate documents over the centuries.  Nevertheless, anti-Christian scholars persist in their efforts to paint the gospel writers as liars at worst and careless historians at best.  Continue reading

About That Error-Filled New Testament…

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The Codex Sinaiticus, a handwritten Greek manuscript written in the middle of the fourth century. It is the earliest existing complete copy of the New Testament.

“Don’t you know that the New Testament is full of errors?  Over the years, scribes made copy after copy, and introduced so many alterations, errors, and variations that today we can’t even be sure what the original texts said!  In fact, scholars have shown that the surviving manuscripts have around 400,000 variations.  That’s a horrible number, especially considering that the entire New Testament only has about 138,000 words!” Continue reading

The Truth About Jesus’ Burial

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One assertion made by anti-Christian authors, such as Bart Ehrman in his recent book, How Jesus Became God, is that Jesus was never buried in a tomb.  Contrary to gospel accounts, they say, the Roman authorities did not allow executed criminals to be buried.  Instead, Jesus would have been left hanging on the cross to become carrion for birds and dogs.  There was no “empty tomb” from which the resurrected Jesus could have emerged because, simply put, there was no tomb. Continue reading