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. Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer … Read more
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. Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer and the co-owner of a vintage and handmade decor business with his wife, Dawn. He is passionate about the intersection of apologetics and evangelism.
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. Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, … Read more
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. Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball … 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
Skeptics like Bart Ehrman say that we don’t know who wrote Matthew’s Gospel. In Bart’s own words, “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…” Now, the early church fathers all agree that Matthew wrote it. And all the ancient manuscripts we have attributed it to Matthew. We’ve looked at this in previous videos. So what are the main reasons Ehrman thinks that someone other than Matthew wrote it? In this video, I look at three bad reasons why many biblical critics reject the traditional authorship of Matthew and why they fail. Erik ManningErik is … Read more
Here is Episode 2 of Sunday School Apologetics. Skeptics like Bart Ehrman say that the Gospels were written between 70-100 AD. This leaves plenty of time for legendary development to happen. But what if I told you that the main reason for dating the Gospels late is not particularly good, and there’s plenty of good reasons to date the Gospels early? Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer and the co-owner of a vintage and handmade decor business with his wife, Dawn. He is passionate about the intersection of apologetics and evangelism.
I’d like to introduce you to my new YouTube channel. It’s called Sunday School Apologetics. I’m excited about this new channel! The idea behind it is to do a Sunday School type of curriculum covering various apologetic topics. The first series is going to be on the historical reliability of the Gospels. Today we start with the genuineness of the Gospels. Were they really written by the traditional authors? Skeptics like Bart Ehrman say that the Gospels were anonymously written and the traditional authors like Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were names added long after the disciples were dead. But is this theory right? Here I defend the traditional authorship of the gospels and answer … Read more