All peoples on Earth will be blessed through you: How only Jesus fulfills the prophetic promise God made to Abraham

In the Gospel of John, Jesus made the bold claim that Abraham was glad that he would see the day when he would come. (John 8:56) In other words, Jesus was saying that he was the promised heir of Abraham’s blessing. But what blessing is he referring to? According to Genesis 12:2-3, God said to Abraham:  “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Conservative scholarship attributes Genesis to Moses, who … Read more

6 ancient cities, 6 deadly accurate prophecies that prove the inspiration of the Bible

Most of you have probably seen the movie Groundhog Day. In the movie, weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) gets stuck in a time loop where he repeatedly relives the same day — Groundhog Day. Over the course of this weird experience, he falls in love with his producer Rita (played by Andie MacDowell). In trying to level with Rita about this phenomena, he has to demonstrate to her that he’s inexplicably reliving the same day over and over again. So how does Phil prove such an extraordinary claim? Through some uncanny foresight. Phil reveals personal particulars about the locals in the coffee shop. He then tells her about multiple, minute details about what’s … Read more

Why does an all-powerful and all-loving God need apologists?

More than once I’ve seen skeptics say that if God was real, apologetics would be unnecessary. If God is really all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good, then he ought to be able to communicate his message clearly to all. He shouldn’t need fallible humans to come in and set the record straight. If you think about it, this is just the ‘hiddenness of God’ objection in another skin. And from a Biblical perspective, it just isn’t true. God has needed apologists even when he is obvious For starters, in some sense, God has needed apologists from the very beginning. Think about it for a second. According to the first few chapters of Genesis, God made himself abundantly … Read more

Was God being cruel for striking Uzzah dead for touching the ark of the covenant?

If you want to find a story where Yahweh looks like a merciless dictator, critics will say look no further than the story of David returning the Ark to Jerusalem. There was dancing in the streets as they were bringing the Ark back when all of a sudden the proverbial needle scratched off the record. Uzzah was struck dead for trying to keep the cart from falling when one of the oxen stumbled. Here’s the passage in question: “David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called … Read more

Forgery in the Bible: Were 1 and 2 Timothy really forged in Paul’s name? (Part One)

2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is “God-breathed.” Of course for Christians, this would include 2 Timothy, as well as the rest of the pastoral epistles. Skeptics find this verse to be ironic because many biblical critics think that the pastoral epistles were forgeries.  These letters claim to be written by the Apostle Paul, but they allegedly were really written sometime in the early 2nd-century, long after Paul was dead. Apparently the forger wanted to address some doctrinal issues and their own name wasn’t authoritative enough, so they borrowed Paul’s. So the “God-breathed” New Testament apparently contains some pious lies.  But are the critical arguments against the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles really … Read more

The power of Paul’s testimony: How investigating Paul’s conversion turned a skeptic into a Christian apologist

Here’s a very simple proof for Christianity. I’m warning you though, you’re going to be tempted to dismiss it because it’s sneakily uncomplicated. Are you ready for it? OK, here goes: Premise 1: Paul converted.  Premise 2: Therefore Christianity is true. OK, I’m kidding. Sort of. But I think that we sometimes fail to appreciate the evidential power of Paul’s conversion. Investigating Paul’s story is what turned a formerly self-proclaimed infidel into a believer and Christian apologist. His name is George Lyttleton.  Who was George Lyttleton?  Born in the small-town of Hagley, England in 1709, George Lyttleton was a prolific poet, Oxford graduate, and statesman who served as a member of Parliament. He had a … Read more

Are Christians arrogant for claiming to know the truth about God?

One of the most common complaints about Christians is that they’re so certain. It takes a lot of hubris to say that they’re right about God and everyone else is wrong. Shoot, it takes a lot of arrogance to say that the truth about God can even be known in the first place. Isn’t it more humble to say that we can’t know for sure? I’m going to say something that might be a little shocking. In one sense, the critics can be right. Christians indeed can be very arrogant in the way that they handle “being right.” But claiming to know the truth doesn’t necessarily make somebody arrogant. Arrogant Christianity There are more than … Read more

Did Jesus cleanse the temple twice? Was he throwing a temper tantrum?

Noted biblical scholar and critic Bart Ehrman says that the gospels have hopelessly irreconcilable differences. Therefore they can’t be trusted as reliable documents. One big difference would be the story of the cleansing of the Temple when you compare John and Mark (and the other synoptic gospels). Here’s Bart:  The Gospel of Mark indicates that it was in the last week of his life that Jesus “cleansed the Temple” by overturning the tables of the money changers and saying, “This is to be a house of prayer…but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11), whereas according to John this happened at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry (John 2). Some readers have … Read more

Did the author of Luke make a geographical blunder in Luke 4:29?

Let’s just say that Jesus’ first sermon in his home city of Nazareth did not go over big. Reading out of Isaiah 61, Jesus announces that he’s the long-awaited Messiah that the prophet predicted. Rather than becoming a hometown hero, this offended the people who watched Jesus grow up to no end. Jesus then irritated them further, pointing to two different scenarios in the Books of Kings where rejected prophets healed and helped Gentile sinners before helping their fellow Israelites. (Luke 4:16-31) Luke tells us that this was the result: “And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so … Read more

The Man Who Carried Jesus’ Cross: The Hidden Significance of Simon of Cyrene’s Sons

Simon of Cyrene met Jesus in the most unusual way. Mark and Luke tell us he was coming back from the country. Whether out of curiosity or just being stuck in foot traffic, Simon ends up being a bystander to Jesus making his way to Golgotha. Weakened from the flogging, Jesus could no longer carry his cross by himself. Whether Simon felt any sympathy for Jesus or not, Roman soldiers forced him to help Jesus bear the weight of the cross the rest of the way. Coming face to face with the Man from Galilee in such a fashion would likely leave a lasting impression, and so his inclusion in the gospels makes sense. But what … Read more