Dr. Jef Tripp’s Tripping Over Undesigned Coincidences On the MythVision Podcast

In case you missed it, recently on the MythVision Podcast, Dr. Jef Tripp took the stage to give his negative verdict on Lydia McGrew’s work, Hidden in Plain View. I’m thankful Dr. Tripp actually took the time to read it. Many reviewers haven’t even bothered to do so. (I’m looking at you, Richard Carrier!) During the course of his lecture Dr. Tripp made several noticeable slip-ups in his critique, but in this post, let’s zoom in on one particular point. For a more comprehensive response to his arguments, stay tuned for an upcoming livestream on my friend Than Christopoulos’ channel Exploring Reality. Refresher: What are undesigned coincidences? Just to jog your memory, an undesigned coincidence … Read more

Paul’s Corinthian Companions and Undesigned Coincidences

In his well-known work, “Horae Paulinae,” William Paley highlights a convincing body of evidence related to what we call “undesigned coincidences.” One of these coincidences revolves around two separate lists of names in the New Testament. One list is from the Book of Acts, while the other is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. The Acts’ list specifically identifies the men who traveled alongside Paul during his journey from Corinth to Jerusalem. These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. Acts 20:4 In contrast, the list in Romans, written by Paul before to his departure from … Read more

Miracle Claims and Alleged Double Standards: Jesus vs. Apollonius

Miracle claims from ancient times are all over the place, and relying on them as proof for religious beliefs can be a real puzzle. You don’t want to be a stubborn Humean skeptic and just brush off every miracle story you hear, but you also don’t want to fall for just any wild tale. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between skepticism and openness, so you don’t get sucked into wasting your time investigating any and every old miracle claim out there. Anyway, in a recent video, I discussed the DOUBTS filter—a concept coined by philosopher Tim McGrew and utilized in his debate with Zachary Moore. Here’s a concise overview of the criteria: These … Read more

A Brief Response To Atheologica’s Doubts About DOUBTS

So, I finally got around to watching Atheologica’s video response to me on why I think atheists should reconsider Christianity. It seems like he misses the mark on a couple of key points: First, Derreck appears to want to diminish the significance of the criteria, basically saying it commits the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. For a quick review, these are the criteria: Yeah, I don’t understand why a skeptic would dislike this filter unless they’re just completely closed-minded when it comes to miracles. It’s obvious that these criteria serve to reduce the likelihood of a genuine miracle occurrence, and I fail to see how anyone could argue against that, or why we should dismiss the criteria … Read more

Proving Acts: 3 Key Archaeological Finds Bolstering its Historical Accuracy

Liberal scholars and skeptics often claim that the Acts of the Apostles is a work of historical fiction, riddled with contradictions and historical inaccuracies.  However, the tides are turning as archaeology has shown time and again that the author of Acts knew his stuff. Here are three examples where biblical archaeology has shed new light on the credibility of the Book of Acts and confirmed the existence of people Paul met on his missionary journeys.  1.Sergius Paulus In Acts 13, Saul and Barnabas embark on a missionary journey to Cyprus, where they encounter Sergius Paulus, the proconsul of Paphos. Cyprus was a culturally influenced island with ties to Greek and Roman activities.  Luke correctly labels … Read more

No, Mark Didn’t Invent the “Sea” of Galilee

Porphyry, the 3rd-century Greek philosopher, didn’t like Christianity and tried to “sea-ze” any opportunity to debunk it. He believed Mark was just “casting” a big fishy story about the Sea of Galilee.  Alright, I am “shore” that these puns are lame. However, I’ve noticed that some modern critics of Christianity recycle some of his arguments, so I thought it might be useful to address them. What exactly does Porphyry say? He writes:  Another section in the gospel deserves comment, for it is likewise devoid of sense and full of implausibility; I mean that absurd story about Jesus sending his apostles across the sea ahead of him after a banquet, then walking across to them “at … Read more

Are The Doctrines of Christianity Effected By Textual Variants? Even Bart Ehrman Says No

photo of child reading holy bible

Bruce Metzger, a big shot in New Testament studies, is renowned for his meticulous research and comprehensive grasp of early Christian manuscripts. His work in textual criticism has significantly influenced the study of the Bible, earning him immense respect among his colleagues and students. Enter Bart Ehrman, an impressive scholar in his own right, who had the privilege of being Metzger’s student. Ehrman absorbed his mentor’s expertise and adopted his meticulous approach to biblical research. However, as he embarked on his own scholarly journey, Ehrman started questioning the fundamental beliefs he grew up with, leading to a shift in his religious perspective that diverged from Metzger’s. Ehrman’s bestseller, “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed … Read more

From Homer to Luther: Tracing the Epic Journey of a Reformation Icon with Chat GPT

After some prompting, I asked ChatGPT to create a mock episode of MythVision with guest “Donald MacDennis”, discussing the story of Martin Luther and its parallels to Homer’s work. I was not disappointed by the result. Although I did make some edits for clarity and to add a little personality, the content was largely generated by the AI. Enjoy! Disclaimer: This is not necessarily meant to be taken as a serious criticism of Dr. Dennis MacDonald. This is just a product of me goofing around. Satire only! Derek: Welcome to MythVision, the podcast where we explore ancient myths and their relevance to our modern lives. Today, we have a special guest, Donald MacDennis, a renowned scholar … Read more

No, The Author of Acts Didn’t Use Josephus

There’s an ongoing debate among scholars about whether the author of the book of Acts used Josephus’ writings. Some critics argue that the author heavily relied on Josephus, which would raise doubts about the author’s claim of being a companion of Paul. This is because Josephus’ writings didn’t appear until the early second century and obviously Luke would’ve long been dead. Although this perspective isn’t widely accepted yet, it’s gained popularity among some scholars and a few online skeptics who believe that Acts is a work of historical fiction. In this post, I aim to explore why I think this theory is really far-fetched. Let’s Talk Chronology The order of events is a major point … Read more

Pervo’s Pitfall: Acts Is Independent from Paul’s Letters

Did Luke really travel with Paul as Christians have always believed? Richard Pervo, a New Testament scholar, has a different idea. Pervo thinks the Book of Acts, which tells us about Paul’s adventures, was made up much later, in the second century. Pervo believes they took parts of Paul’s letters to create the book. Several scholars and skeptics online have latched onto his thesis in their quest to discredit the reliability of the Book of Acts. But is there any proof to support what he’s saying? Let’s dive into this topic and see if Pervo’s arguments really make sense. So, if we entertain the idea that both Paul’s letters and Acts are based on real … Read more

Is Jesus Alive?