A fact of history that has stumped historians, psychologists, and skeptics alike is the disciples’ behavior after Jesus’ death. That these eleven former cowards were suddenly willing to suffer humiliation, torture, and death is a dramatic turnaround. All but one of Jesus’ disciples were slain as martyrs. Would they have done so much for a lie, knowing they had taken the body? [Read more…]
May 21st, 2011, was to be no ordinary day according to prominent radio evangelist, Harold Camping; it was to be the day Jesus returned to earth. Twitters were going ballistic with speculation. The media splash had many people wondering, “Could he be right? Could this be the end of the world?”
Camping’s message of imminent doom was swallowed hook, line and sinker by some of his followers. Sixty year-old Robert Fitzpatrick spent his entire life’s savings of $140,000 on 1,000 subway-car placards and ads at bus stops warning, “Global Earthquake: The Greatest Ever! Judgment Day May 21, 2011.” As he stood in Times Square in New York surrounded by onlookers, Fitzpatrick handed out leaflets waiting for Judgment Day to begin.
But it never came. On May 21st at 6 pm, nothing happened. “Judgment Day” was a dud. Fitzpatrick was left dumbfounded, broke, and muttering, “I do not understand why nothing has happened.” [Read more…]
Jesus Christ made some earth-shaking statements that stunned the Jewish religious leaders. Once, after Jesus blurted out to them, “I am the light of the world”, the Pharisees challenged his authority in making such a claim. Jesus answered by telling them he was sent by God, whom he called his Father. Furthermore, Jesus told them that the patriarch, Abraham, looked forward to seeing him (Jesus).
What a shocking claim! In their eyes, Jesus was an uneducated carpenter who should stay out of their exclusive world of interpreting the Scriptures and preaching about God. Yet here he was, not only speaking intimately about God as his Father, but claiming to be the object of Abraham’s adoration.
Incredulous, the Jewish leaders rebuked him, “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” What Jesus said next not only shocked the Pharisees; it infuriated them. Jesus boldly told them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” [Read more…]
How do we know that the words we read about Jesus in the New Testament are reliable? Can we actually trace the manuscript evidence back through the centuries and determine what the original writings said?
The answer from the science of textual criticism is, “Yes,” but only if there are enough ancient manuscripts dating to within a few generations of when the originals were composed. The Scholars studying ancient literature have devised a three-part test that looks at not only the faithfulness of the copy but also the credibility of the authors. The tests are these:
1. The bibliographical test
2. The internal evidence test
3. The external evidence test
Let’s see what happens when we apply the first of these tests to the early copies of New Testament manuscripts. [Read more…]
Just before Easter, Simcha Jacobovici (the “Naked Archaeologist”) produced a TV show on the History Channel about two iron nails that he believes could be from Jesus’ crucifixion. His show, “The Nails of the Cross” airs on April 20th.
Jacobovici is the same TV journalist who narrated a Discovery Channel TV special on “The Jesus Family Tomb” in 2007. In that documentary, which also aired just prior to Easter, Jacobovici speculated Jesus Christ’s final resting place had been discovered. Such a discovery, if true, would have undermined the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection.