How Mentions of Money in Matthew’s Gospel Confirm Matthean Authorship

The Synoptics tell us that Matthew was a tax-collector by trade. So if his version of the Jesus story shows an unusual degree of interest in financial matters, we’re given a solid reason to think that the apostle is the genuine author. It wouldn’t likely be some later, anonymous non-eyewitnesses like the skeptical critics say.  As it turns out, this is precisely what we find to be the case. Matthew talks about moola more than any other Gospel writer, and it isn’t even close. When we add up the references to money in the Synoptics, here’s what we get:  Matthew – 44 Mark – 6 Luke -22 Luke’s total includes nine references in one parable … Read more

Animal Cruelty, Errors, and Contradictions: The Story of the Madman of Gadara

One of the weirdest stories in the Gospels is Jesus’ encounter with the Madman of Gadara. Here you have a demonized man living in tombs, naked, and cutting himself with rocks. Jesus cures the man but allows the evil spirits to enter into some nearby pigs, who end up drowning themselves immediately afterward. Not only does this raise some moral red flags about Jesus’ lack of concern for animals, but there are more problems with this story. Mark and Luke report this event happened in the country of Gerasenes. But Matthew says it was in the land of the Gadarenes. So right off the bat, there’s a contradiction. But it gets even worse. Gadara is … Read more

James was Jesus’ Brother. Deal With It, Mythcists.

James the brother of Jesus

It’s a pretty amazing historical fact that Jesus’ brother — who probably wore the Savior’s hand-me-downs — later in life converted to Christianity. What would it take to convince you that your brother was the Messiah? Suffice to say that would take some pretty miraculous evidence, right? The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus’ own family thought he was crazy and doubted his claims. (Mark 3:21, John 7:5) But after believing he saw the risen Jesus, James had quite the change of mind. (1 Corinthians 15:7) He became an apostle, led the Jerusalem church, and was even martyred for the faith. This is pretty compelling evidence for Christianity. Here is where Jesus-mythers try and burst our … Read more

Was Paul Silent About the Historical Jesus?

Paul argument from silence

Over 99% of historical scholarship acknowledges that Jesus was a real person. It doesn’t matter if that scholar is liberal or conservative, or Christian, atheist, agnostic or Jewish. The <1% of historians that believe Jesus is a myth are mostly atheists or agnostics. And it’s only the ‘internet infidel’ crowd that takes their arguments seriously.  One of the arguments that Jesus mythicists will often push is that Paul was mostly silent about the historical Jesus. Here’s GA Wells, one of the minority voices, who writes:  “Paul’s letters have no allusion to the parents of Jesus, let alone to the virgin birth. They never refer to a place of birth…. They give no indication of the … Read more

Without Training, the Church Will Create More Jon Steingards

Recently Jon Steingard made headlines after he announced over Instagram that he had lost his faith. Steingard was the lead vocalist of the Christian music group Hawk Nelson, which became popular in the early 2000s. Since they had so many fans, this obviously sent shockwaves over social media. In the post, Steingard gives several reasons why he no longer believes. He does ask some challenging questions when he writes, “If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why is there evil in the world? Can he not do anything about it? Does he choose not to? Is the evil in the world a result of his desire to give us free will? OK then, what about famine … Read more

No, Jesus’ Resurrection Is Not Like Elvis Sightings

“Oh, so you believe in that Jesus appeared to his followers after he died, huh? Do you believe Elvis is still alive too?” You often hear this kind of mockery from skeptics. Just as urban legends and conspiracy theories have sprung up shortly after Elvis’ death, the same is likely true of Jesus, and both are equally unbelievable.   The atheist philosopher Keith Parsons writes, “Like sightings of Elvis, such (resurrection) stories and bizarre experiences feed off each other and snowball.” But is that really the way resurrection stories spread? Rather than being all shook up over this rather dismissive objection, let’s see how fair this comparison is.  No, Elvis Isn’t Alive On August 16, 1977, … Read more

Is Paul’s Gospel Out of Step with the Teachings of Jesus?

According to some critics, Paul hijacked Christianity. He preached an entirely different Gospel than Jesus. We are asked why Paul’s teachings and tone are so different than what we read from Jesus in the four Gospels. Plus, there are times that Paul and Jesus are seemingly at odds with each other. Critics will say that modern Christians don’t believe in Christianity, but Paulinism. One natural response would be to say that Paul had a lot more to say about the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus wasn’t just going to come out and say what his death would accomplish, he was cryptic about it. But another response would be, “is their teaching … Read more

We Know Moral Truths Better Than We Know Many Scientific Claims

I recently came across this article “10 Things You Should Know About Scientism” by Christian philosopher JP Moreland, and he dropped a truth-bomb that is too good to not share. But let me give you a trigger-warning. This is sure to rankle a lot of atheists who seem to unquestionably accept the philosophy of scientism. Contrary to scientism, there are things we know with greater certainty in theology or ethics than certain claims in science. Consider these two claims: 1. Electrons exist. 2. It is wrong to torture babies for the fun of it. Which do we know with greater certainty? The second claim is the correct answer. Why? The history of the electron has … Read more

No, Dan Barker. COVID-19 Doesn’t Disprove God

Not one to let a good crisis go to waste, former minister and atheist activist Dan Barker tells us that the coronavirus proves that the Christian God doesn’t exist. Why? Because God promises to answer prayer. People have prayed for COVID-19 to stop. The virus continues to spread and people continue to die. Therefore Christianity must be false. Here’s Barker in his own words:  The Christian god makes a crystal-clear pledge: “I will answer your prayers.” Jesus stated boldly: “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”(Matthew 21:22) There is no ambiguity here. “All things” means “all things.” He even clarified: “Even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up … Read more

The Fear of Death Drives You More Than You Think (Q+A With Dr. Clay Jones)

My favorite book on the problem of evil is Clay Jones’ Why Does God Allow Evil?: Compelling Answers for Life’s Toughest Questions. Jones flips the problem of evil on its head by suggesting that the real question isn’t so much why God allows evil, but why God allows human beings. After all, we’re the ones carrying out so much evil. (And if you take a rosy view of humanity, Jones’ chapter on genocide over the past 100 years will shake that out of you!) Jones says that the problem of evil ceased to be a problem for him after getting a deeper understanding of the life that is to come for the believer. He writes, … Read more