Why Was Paul and Mark Silent About the Virgin Birth?

It’s Christmas time, and I can already hear the choruses. No, I’m not talking about Christmas carolers. I’m referring to the chorus of biblical critics and skeptics poo-pooing the Christmas narratives found in the Bible. A favorite argument of skeptics is that there’s scant mention of the virgin birth in the New Testament. It’s Matthew and Luke against the world.  For example, here’s an older quote from NT scholar Geza Vermes: “Considering the importance of the Virgin Mary in Christianity, the historian is struck by the scarcity of supporting evidence in the New Testament. St Paul never speaks of the virginal conception. All we learn from him is that Jesus had a Jewish mother.” And … Read more

Holy Koolaid Ruins Christmas

In his video 12 Contradictions in the Bible, Holy Kool-Aid includes the standard list of complaints against the Christmas narratives. Leave it to the skeptics to try and stuff a lump of coal in the stockings of Christians every year. Let’s see what Thomas has for us: Two of the four canonical gospels even tell the story of Jesus’ birth. And these two accounts are irreconcilably different. In both stories, Jesus is born in Bethlehem. But in Matthew, after Jesus’ birth, King Herod hears about baby Jesus described as the future king of the Jews. He feels threatened and has every baby under the age of two slaughtered while Jesus’ parents Mary and Joseph escape … Read more

Video: Don’t Blindly Follow “Biblical Scholarly Consensus”

I’ve made a lot of content defending the historical reliability of the gospels. And one of the most common objections I hear is that my views aren’t in line with modern scholarship. And I admit it. If you’re a Christian and you’re looking for evidence for your faith, you and I are guaranteed to lose the credential war. Yes, there are good conservative Christian scholars out there like DA Carson or Craig Blomberg. But they’re a minority voice. The scholarly consensus is against me. I get it.  Here’s the thing though: That doesn’t really bother me, and it shouldn’t bother you. When it comes to biblical scholarship, we have some reasons to be seriously skeptical. … Read more

The Evidence For Napoleon Is Worse Than You Think

Ah, Napoleon. People can’t get enough of this guy. The man. The myth. The legend. Actually scratch that first part. Was Napoleon really a man? You might think that’s a crazy question.  It’s taken for granted that Napoleon existed. But this very circumstance draws attention away from the credibility question. We often are likely to accept insufficient evidence and ignore flaws in the evidence when things go unquestioned. Flaws in supposedly uncontroversial ideas have been overlooked in the past, such as flaws in the idea that the Earth is flat. History books may tell us one thing, but increasing numbers of independent researchers are questioning whether Napoleon existed at all. Yes, you heard that right. … Read more

The Anti-Christian’s Favorite Fallacy – 19th Century Logician Richard Whately

Richard Whately (1 February 1787 – 8 October 1863) was a brilliant guy. He was an English academic, rhetorician, logician, philosopher, economist, and theologian who was also a reforming Archbishop of Dublin of the Church of Ireland. That’s a lengthy resume. In addition to his role as a leader in the Anglican church, he was a prolific author who tackled a wide variety of topics, and he was one of the first people to discover the legendary Jane Austen. This is a quote from his book “Elements in Logic”, and I believe it’s extremely relevant today. Here Whately tackles one of the skeptic’s favorite fallacies. “Similar to this case is that which may be called … Read more

Video: No, the Resurrection Narratives Are Not Hopelessly Contradictory

Christians are often duped by the common mistake called the ‘fallacy of the expert witness.’ While there’s nothing wrong with appealing to expert authorities, fancy credentials can’t cover up weak arguments.  Enter Bart Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He’s written several scholarly and popular-level works that cast doubt on the reliability of the New Testament.   As an agnostic, one reason Ehrman says we should reject the resurrection of Jesus is that the Gospel narratives are “hopelessly contradictory.” But are they really? What is his case for this? Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. … Read more

Answering Ehrman: Did the Temple Curtain Rip Before or After Jesus Died?

The following is a guest post by Jacob Varghese, who is the director of SAFT Apologetics. (Seeking Answers, Finding Truth). You can find his website at saftapologetics.com and also follow him on Instagram at instagram.com/saftapologetics/. Recently a friend of mine placed before me a couple of Biblical contradictions raised by Bart Ehrman, in his presentation at the 2019 Defenders Conference, for me to try and solve. One of the contradictions was concerning the tearing of the veil and its temporal placement in relation to Jesus’ death on the cross. The account is recorded in Mark 15:37-39, Matthew 27:50-51, and Luke 23: 45-46. Admittedly this alleged contradiction had me puzzling in the beginning. As I couldn’t … Read more

Are the Accounts of Jesus’s Ascension Contradictory?

Bart Ehrman says that the author of Luke can’t seem to get the story of the Ascension of Jesus right. In his Gospel, Luke says that Jesus ascended into heaven the day of his resurrection. In The Acts of the Apostles, Jesus hung around for 40 days before leaving his disciples. Dr. Ehrman writes in his blog:  “In Luke 24 (you can read it for yourself and see) Jesus rises from the dead, on that day meets with his disciples, and then, again that day, he ascends to heaven from the town of Bethany. But when you read Acts 1, written by the same author, you find that Jesus did not ascend on that day … Read more

Does John Disagree with Mark About What Day Jesus was Crucified?

Noted agnostic NT scholar Bart Ehrman says that the Gospels are cannot be reliable eyewitness accounts because they’re riddled with contradictions. The very center of the Gospel message is that Jesus was crucified. But according to Bart, the evangelists can’t even agree on what day exactly Jesus died. Ehrman brought this objection up in his debate with William Lane Craig.  “[When you read the Gospels] you come up with major differences. Just take the death of Jesus. What day did Jesus die…? Did he die on the day before the Passover meal was eaten, as John explicitly says, or did he die after it was eaten, as Mark explicitly says?” Is There Historical Evidence for … Read more

Jesus’ Death in Mark and Luke: Do They Disagree?

Skeptical New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman says that Mark and Luke tell two irreconcilably different stories about Jesus’ death. In his book Jesus, Interrupted, Ehrman describes Mark’s account:  Jesus is silent the entire time, as if in shock, until his cry at the end, echoing Psalm 22…Mark is trying to say something by this portrayal. He doesn’t want his readers to take solace in the fact that God was really there providing Jesus with physical comfort. He dies in agony, unsure of the reason he must die. Jesus, Interrupted p 65-66 Ehrman says this stands in sharp contrast with Luke’s calm and collected version of Jesus:  In this account, Jesus is not at all confused about … Read more

Is Jesus Alive?