The Virgin Birth: A Miracle, Not a Misunderstanding

The Christmas season is like an alarm clock for skeptics. It’s an annual reminder for them to tell you that the Christmas story is fiction. One of their favorite arguments is to cast doubt on the virgin birth. Critics say that Matthew was very quick to connect Jesus to the Old Testament. Even if it caused him to get sloppy and make a fool out of himself. So to bolster Jesus’ Messianic credentials, he invented the virgin birth story. He did this by misreading the Greek version of Isaiah 7:14, which does use the word virgin or parthenos in Greek. But the original Hebrew passage wasn’t referring to a virgin at all, but a young … Read more

Episode 5 – Fulfilled Prophecy or Fish Story? Jesus and the Sign of Jonah

When arguing for the resurrection of Jesus, Christian apologists often make a historical case for the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus that occurred after his death. I’d be the last person in the world to say that isn’t a legitimate way to argue, but there’s an additional reason to believe in the resurrection that flies under the radar: Jesus’ resurrection was a fulfillment of Scripture. The New Testament writers are pretty emphatic on this point.  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead… (Luke 24:45-46) For I delivered to you … Read more

Did the author of Matthew’s Gospel make a donkey out of himself when telling the story of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry?

The writer of Matthew is quick to connect Jesus to the Old Testament. You can’t read Matthew for long before he drops a reference from the prophets. But some critics say that’s he’s too quick to connect the dots, to the point where he makes himself out to be a dumb…well, I made the pun once as click-bait and this isn’t a Shrek movie, so we’ll leave it at that. One way Matthew allegedly parades his ignorance of the Old Testament texts in his version of the Triumphal Entry. To help me state this objection here’s Kristin Swenson of The Huffington Post: Mark and Luke agree that Jesus rode on a donkey, and that’s the … Read more

Fulfilled Prophecy or Fish Story? What did Jesus mean when he said the resurrection was the “sign of Jonah”?

When arguing for the resurrection of Jesus, Christian apologists often make a historical case for the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus that occurred after his death. I’d be the last person in the world to say that isn’t a legitimate way to argue, but there’s an additional reason to believe in the resurrection that flies under the radar: Jesus’ resurrection was a fulfillment of Scripture. The New Testament writers are pretty emphatic on this point.  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead… (Luke 24:45-46) For I delivered to you … Read more