Bart Ehrman’s Worst Argument Against John’s Christology

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Bart Ehrman is fond of saying that if Jesus really said “Before Abraham was, I am” and “I and my Father are one” the Synoptic Gospels would’ve surely reported it. Since they don’t report it, Ehrman infers that it didn’t happen. The author of John’s Gospel made it up. He writes: “If Jesus went around Galilee proclaiming himself to be a divine being sent from God . . . could anything else that he might say be so breathtaking and thunderously important? And yet none of these earlier sources [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] says any such thing about him. Did they (all of them!) just decide not to mention the one thing that was most significant … Read more

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

Why Apologists Should Talk About the Ascension | Response to Matthew Hartke

Matthew Hartke’s video Why Apologists Don’t Talk About the Ascension has really taken off, lame pun intended. For his very first video, he’s already amassed nearly 60,000 views and counting. That’s impressive. Hartke asks the question “why don’t the big-league resurrection apologists like William Lane Craig, Mike Licona and Gary Habermas talk about the ascension?” And I think this is a good question. Let’s listen to Hartke: Clip 1:  I’ve combed through several books and listened to dozens of talks by Gary Habermas on his minimal facts argument for the resurrection. And maybe I’ve just missed it, but I have yet to see or hear him talk about the ascension. Mike Licona has written one … Read more

Is the Story of Darkness During Jesus’ Crucifixion Pure Fiction?

Skeptics tell us that one of the reasons we can’t trust the Gospels is because they make so many historical gaffes. In particular, the evangelists tell us of far-out tales that aren’t corroborated by other contemporary historians. One of those stories is the darkness that happened during Jesus’ crucifixion, according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  Here’s Mark’s version:  And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Mark 15:33, cf. Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44 We know from history that historians like Pliny and Seneca have carefully described much less exciting events in the same kind of remote regions. But they failed to note an eclipse occurring in … Read more

If Jesus really was a miracle-working teacher who rose from the dead, why isn’t He mentioned by more 1st century historians?

Jesus of Nazareth was a highly influential teacher. He allegedly was a prophet with miraculous powers. He cast out demons, healed the sick, and even raised people from the dead. Then there’s the whole matter of his own resurrection. If Jesus was such a big deal, why isn’t he mentioned in the first and early second century beyond a few Christian sources? Wouldn’t Jesus have made more of an impact in his times? This is a common complaint of skeptics, especially from the internet infidel crowd who question whether Jesus ever even existed. On the face of it, these questions appear reasonable, but history just doesn’t work this way. THE ARGUMENT FROM SILENCE IS STILL … Read more

Is Jesus Alive?