Most scholars say that the Gospel of Mark dates from AD 66–70, Matthew and Luke around 85–90, and John 90–100. Skeptics like Bart Ehrman imply that they’re too late to be reliable, as a decades-long time-gap leaves plenty of room for myths and legends to creep in. When it comes to history, chronological closeness matters. But where exactly are critics coming up with these later dates? In this video, I look at one bad reason that scholars often date the Gospels late. And we’ll discover there are several good reasons to think they were written while Peter and Paul were still alive.
Ah, the Spider-Man fallacy. It’s a card that skeptics love to play. While I can define it, you’ll recognize it better if I give you an example: Christian apologist: “Critics of the New Testament have repeatedly been proven wrong by archaeology. Some skeptics have said that Nazareth wasn’t a real city, or that there couldn’t have been a synagogue in 1st-century Capernaum. But archaeologists have proven them wrong.” Internet atheist guy: “Bro, you’re committing the Spider-Man fallacy. 2,000 years from now archaeologists could dig up the ruins of Columbia University or the Empire State Building. Does that prove that Spider-Man exists? LOL.” Or to give another example: Christian apologist: “Jesus’ crucifixion is historically certain. Even if any of … Read more
Skeptics argue that the Gospels were written far after the events they report, in distant lands like Rome, Egypt, Turkey, or Greece. They’re not a product of eyewitness testimony but a collection of stories passed on for decades. The original story of Jesus got mixed up over time, like a long game of telephone. But is that really what happened? As it turns out, the Gospel writers don’t just know 1st-Century Palestinian geography when compared with other sources, they are actually valuable sources themselves, proving the skeptics wrong. The video is just under 6 minutes long.
Skeptical critics love to try to poke holes in the Gospel narratives, claiming they’re full of historical blunders. But in recent times, many of these so-called holes have been filled by the shovel of archaeology. In this video, I run through the top 5 examples of critics looking bad in the light of new archaeological discoveries.
It isn’t shocking that Christian texts are our primary source about Christian origins. After all, baseball fans tend to write about baseball history. American history buffs tend to write about American history. But what does come as a surprise is that we can learn a fair bit about Jesus from early, non-Christian sources. One is the Roman historian Tacitus, who lived in the 1st to early 2nd-century. In this video, I look at what we can learn from Tacitus about the life of Jesus. I also examine four objections against Tacitus being a reliable source for Christ and see if they carry any weight.
Skeptics often ask why contemporary historians fail to mention Jesus. The typical Christian reply is we have several who describe Jesus, notably including the first-century Jewish historian Josephus. Here’s where hardcore skeptics will say: “Fake news! Josephus never really mentions Jesus. Of the two passages about Jesus found in Josephus, one is fake, and the other isn’t referring to Jesus at all.” I have to say that I find this reply to be a bit odd. Even rabid critics of Christianity like Bart Ehrman and John Dominic Crossan believe that Josephus refers to Jesus. Where are these Jesus mythicists getting this stuff? In this video, I look at 5 common mythicists complaints against the genuineness … Read more
Nearly every shred of evidence that we have from the early church fathers tells us that the Apostle John wrote the fourth Gospel. And in a previous video, we saw plenty of internal evidence that points to John being the genuine author. Despite all this, there’s a lot of pushback offered from the critics. You’ll often hear there’s a vast scholarly consensus against the traditional authorship of John. But when you dig into the arguments from biblical critics, they often turn out to be pretty weak. In this video, I address some of the more common ones.
Just about every shred of evidence we have from manuscripts and early church fathers identifies John the son of Zebedee as the author of John’s Gospel. But if you read the book by itself, John isn’t explicitly identified by name. He refers to himself as ‘the beloved disciple.’ Because of that, skeptics like Bart Ehrman tell us that we’re clueless about who wrote it. Ehrman says: “The Gospel of John … is completely anonymous. The author does not tell us his name or identify himself in any way.” But before Bart was a twinkle in his daddy’s eye, 19th-century BF Westcott did some Batman-like detective work. Using only internal evidence, Westcott narrowed things down to John, … Read more
Many of the early church fathers say that Mark’s Gospel is based on Peter’s preaching. If that’s the case, it’s understandable why an apostle like Matthew or someone like Luke would use Mark as a source. You can’t get much closer to the life of Jesus than through the eyes of Peter. We’ve looked at what the early church fathers had to say about Mark before. However, skeptics like Bart Ehrman say that this whole idea that Mark based his Gospel on Peter’s preaching stems from Papias, and Papias doesn’t know what he’s talking about. OK, so now what? While I don’t think that argument works, what if I said there was a way to … Read more
The following is a guest post by Karsten Friske. You can find him on Twitter at @someapologist. The idea of protesting in an attempt to garner support to make a moral change is not new. With each movement, there exists a side that champions a series of issues and a counter-protest that opposes the change. In recent days, some have advocated for racial justice by marching to affirm the value of Black lives. Others are concerned about election integrity and the rule of law in that area. Both of these primary causes are attempting to evoke social reform and call for justice in the midst of perceived injustice. Yet, undergirding both of these cries for … Read more