A Simple Reason to Believe Colossians Isn’t a Pauline Forgery

Most biblical scholars agree that Paul’s letter to the Colossians is likely a forgery, unlike the letter to Philemon, which is generally accepted as genuine. But there are some hidden similarities between these two letters that challenge this belief. These connections revolve around similar situations and people mentioned in both letters. All this info comes from William Paley’s Horae Paulinae. Let’s focus on the evidence that links Onesimus to Colossae. In the letter addressed to Philemon, we learn that Onesimus was actually a servant or slave of Philemon. So where did Philemon live? Oddly enough, the letter doesn’t directly say where he was from. But there’s a clue – Philemon seems to be connected to … Read more

The Gospels: Mere Myths or Myth Made Fact? CS Lewis’ Unexpected Journey

In his book Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis talked about a moment that pushed him towards atheism. He saw a striking similarity between Christianity and pagan myths. Back in his school days, everyone saw pagan myths as mere fiction, but Christianity was treated as something different, as actual history. Lewis wondered why the Bible got a free pass while other myths were questioned. Lewis wrote back and forth with his friend Arthur Greeves, saying, “You ask me about my religious views: you know, I think I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint, Christianity is not even the best. All religions, or mythologies as … Read more

The Synoptic Problem Isn’t a Problem For Undesigned Coincidences

One of the most intriguing arguments for the reliability of the Gospels is the argument from undesigned coincidences. Speaking as a proud member of Team McGrew, I can tell you it’s one of my all-time favorites. However, the moment you try to explain this argument to a skeptic, you’re often hit with a common objection: “But aren’t the Gospels dependent on each other?” It’s what we call the Synoptic problem, and it’s the main objection critics tend to throw our way. But here’s the deal – this objection is usually rooted in a misunderstanding, and I’m here to clear things up for you. If you ever find yourself defending this argument online, you’re pretty much … Read more

Some Undesigned Coincidences in the Corinthian Correspondence

In his well-known work, “Horae Paulinae,” William Paley presents a compelling case for the reliability of the book of Acts through a concept he termed “undesigned coincidences.” In this blog post I’ll look at several notable examples between Acts and Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. Just to jog your memory, an undesigned coincidence is “a notable connection between two or more accounts or texts that doesn’t seem to have been planned by the person or people giving the accounts. Despite their apparent independence, the items fit together like pieces of a puzzle.” (McGrew, Hidden in Plain View, pg. 18) So you might be reading a passage and it raises a question, but then you turn … Read more

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

Is Jesus Alive?