7 startling historical facts we learn about early Christianity from a Roman governor who persecuted Christians

Christians wrote the gospels, so for some skeptics, that’s enough to assume they are too biased to be taken seriously. While I think the “biased testimony” objection is a terrible argument, we do have some hostile sources outside of the Bible that tell us a lot about the beliefs of early Christians. These sources obviously can’t be accused of the same prejudice and provide us with some powerful info that confirms what we read in the New Testament. In an earlier post, I wrote about what the Roman historian Tacitus tells us about Jesus and early Christianity. Now let’s turn to our second hostile Roman witness, Pliny the Younger. WHO WAS PLINY? Pliny lived from … Read more

7 eye-opening facts we learn about early Christianity from a Roman Historian who hated Christians

Most of what we learn about Jesus and early Christianity comes from the New Testament. This is not a big shock. But what does come as a shock to some is that we can also learn a lot from non-Christian sources. There are some hostile sources from the first century from whom we can glean a lot. One of them is from a guy named Tacitus. Who is Tacitus? Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56-120 AD) is his full name, and that’s as Roman as it gets. Tacitus was a Roman senator and is also considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians. His works – The Annals and Histories gives us a lot of info on … Read more

Bart Ehrman says the Gospel of Matthew was forged. Here are 7 reasons why we know Matthew was the author of the Gospel of Matthew.

If it could be shown that Matthew’s gospel was written by one of the twelve apostles, it would be a decisive weight in favor of the credibility of biblical history. After all, Matthew would have had a front row seat to Jesus’ life and alleged miracles. Because of that, skeptics have challenged the genuineness of the authorship of Matthew. For example, here’s the famous skeptic Bart Ehrman in an interview with NPR: “All the Gospels were written anonymously, and none of the writers claims to be an eyewitness…Whoever wrote Matthew did not call it “The Gospel according to Matthew.” The persons who gave it that title are telling you who, in their opinion, wrote it… … Read more

Polycarp – How a church father with a funny name gives us strong evidence for the early use and high esteem of the New Testament documents

How do we know the books that we have in the New Testament are the right books? Why isn’t the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Mary included with the other four gospels? And didn’t the teachings of the disciples and apostles get corrupted over the centuries? Christians often get tested with these questions. While I hate to admit it, this is also the quiz that most believers flunk. We need to be better prepared and that requires a little understanding of early church history. So let me introduce you to a guy who went by the funny name of Polycarp. His life and martyrdom are a big part of the answer to these … Read more

Skeptics say “we don’t know who wrote the gospels, but it wasn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John”. They’re using a double standard. Here are 6 ancient sources that show that we know who are the genuine authors of the Four Gospels.

Double standards are the worst. Have you ever been on the wrong side of a double standard? Of course you have. To use an example, let’s say I have someone drop by my house unexpectedly. I have four kids so things are bound to get messy. Let’s pretend that there’s an empty pizza box sitting on the counter, crumbs on the floor, toys are strewn about the living room and a pile of dishes in the sink. While this feels awkward for me, my wife is going to feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious about it.  Why? Because she is far more likely going to get unfairly judged over it. Even in this day where sexism … Read more

The story of the conversion of Paul is so nice Luke told it thrice. But is there any evidential value in Paul’s testimony as we read in Acts, or are there contradictions?

There are three accounts of Paul’s conversion to Christianity found in the Book of Acts. They’re all a little bit different, and because of that, some critics have cried foul. I don’t think these skeptics are paying very close attention. What are the differences that critics point to? Biblical scholar Darrell Bock tells us in The Holman Apologetics Commentary on the Bible: The biggest differences in the accounts have to do with whether the men traveling with Saul see the light and hear nothing (22:9) or stand speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one (9:7). . . . Another difference is that Ananias does not appear at all in the Acts 26 account. . . . … Read more

9 historical facts about James the brother of Jesus that provide a strong basis for the truth of Christianity

Do you think that you could convince one of your siblings into believing that you’re the Son of God? Unless they were three years old, it would probably be a tough sell. After all, they’ve seen how you keep your room. So it’s a pretty amazing historical fact that Jesus’ brother James, who probably wore Jesus’ hand-me-downs, later as an adult converted to Christianity. And we know that he was sincere about his belief because he died for it. James’ martyrdom wasn’t just recorded in Christian sources (Hegesippus) but by the 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus. In his book Antiquities of the Jews 20.200, Josephus wrote: “But this younger Ananus, who, as we told you already, took … Read more

Peter J Williams Goes Full Thug-Life on Richard Dawkins’ Twitter Account with an Epic Thread

OK, so this was pretty good. Peter J Williams has a Ph.D. from Cambridge, works for Tyndale House and has debated the likes of Bart Ehrman on public radio. The man knows his stuff. He recently published a book titled Can We Trust the Gospels?. I’m halfway through it now and I’d highly recommend it to anyone just for the gold-mine that is in Chapter 3 alone. It’s really, really good. Anyway, whoever the brain trust is behind the Richard Dawkins Foundation’s Twitter account thought they’d try and tango with Peter. More jollity https://t.co/1NsdnYNd1S — Peter J. Williams (@DrPJWilliams) January 9, 2019 Yeah, they asserted the old “Jesus probably never even existed” canard. You may … Read more

Skeptics say that Paul knew next to nothing about the life and teachings of the historical Jesus. Here are 27 reasons why that’s false.

You can find the craziest conspiracy theories on the internet. The earth is flat. 9/11 was an inside job. Saved by the Bell was a brainwashing tool by the Illuminati. Jay-Z is a time-traveling vampire. Or that Jesus never existed. One tactic of the Jesus-mythers is that they say that Paul knew nothing of the historical Jesus. They claim that the Jesus of the gospels is nothing like the Jesus of Paul’s Epistles. There’s nothing about his birth, baptism, the Sermon on the Mount, his healings and exorcisms, his walking on water, feeding of the 5000, his cleansing of the temple, and so on. Paul only speaks about a ‘heavenly man’, seemingly unconnected to real … Read more

Can miracles pass historical tests? Charles Leslie, a 17th-century clergyman created a method for testing historical events. Jesus’ resurrection passed the test. Skeptics of his time couldn’t refute his criteria or the results.

There are so many good books that have been written in the last 10 years on the subject of Christian apologetics. It can feel overwhelming to keep up with! Not to mention expensive. Many of these books are responses to modern criticisms against the faith. Because of this, we tend to focus on the new books and neglect the old. This is a big mistake. Most objections to Christianity aren’t all that new, a lot of what we hear today are the same recycled arguments posed by skeptics for centuries. If you want to get really good at defending the Bible, look no further than the works of apologetics published during the 17th-18th century. This was … Read more