Among the most common objections to the credibility and historical reliability of the Gospels — the first four books of the New Testament, authored, respectively, by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — is how could such men write in Greek if they were illiterate?
That objection is frequently accompanied by the claim that 90 percent of the people in the ancient world were illiterate. Several of the disciples who first proclaimed Jesus’ resurrection were viewed by Jewish leaders as “uneducated and untrained,” according to Acts 4:13. Compared to members of the Sanhedrin, the disciples likely weren’t as educated, but that’s not the same thing as being illiterate.
And both Matthew, a former tax collector, and Luke, a physician, certainly weren’t illiterate. Biblical scholars have long noted that Mark’s Greek is simple and direct, which suggests a lower level of education but clearly not illiteracy.
As for John, his Gospel is the most philosophical, which, since he outlived the other disciples, likely reflects that he thought long and hard before putting pen to scroll.
Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek responds to this and related objections regularly, as seen in the following video in which he specifically addresses the critique of New Testament scholar and skeptic Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina.
Christians everywhere face the question of whether their faith has anything to do with their jobs, but it’s an especially acute issue for those on a congressional payroll.
Here’s why: The law in America is made through the competitive political process, but culture is upstream from politics and faith in turn is upstream from culture. Your faith shapes your work ethos.
Continue reading “Can Christians Be Faithful AND Work With Integrity On ‘The Hill?’”
People on Capitol Hill often speak of the importance of doing a “forensic audit” of a government program, a corporate expenditure or a political campaign, typically in conjunction with a court case or a congressional investigation.
The purpose of a forensic audit is to uncover facts that would otherwise likely go undiscovered, which could in turn render the case or investigation inadequate or outright wrong. Can there be such a thing as a “forensic faith?”
Continue reading “Should A Congressional Aide View ‘Forensic Faith’ As An Oxymoron?”
Christmas is less than a month away and that means there is a fair amount of discussion in the media and popular culture about the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem.
Critics have long delighted to point out that the census that plays a key role in Luke’s Gospel account of His birth never really happened. Here’s how Luke put it:
Continue reading “New Evidence Shows Luke Didn’t Just Invent The Census In The Christmas Story”
One of the effects of working on Capitol Hill for any length of time is how it tends to capture your focus within the narrow confines of Washington politics and policy.
There’s a whole world out there in the “real world” beyond the Potomac River, one small but immensely significant part of which is the community of scholars who study things like whether the New Testament are reliable records of ancient history, especially the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Now, here’s what is likely a shocker for a lot of folks who spend their working lives toiling away in Congress: Beginning in the early 1970s and continuing today, scholars who once declared the New Testament was not reliable have now come to the conclusion that the Gospels are indeed authoritative and trustworthy.
Continue reading “Here’s Why Even Critical Scholars Now Say The Gospels Are Reliable”
Mention “New Testament” or “Bible” or “Gospels” in a mixed crowd and be prepared to be told there are so many contradictions in the documents that they can’t be believed.
As Prof. Sean McDowell points out, there are indeed what appear contradictions in the Gospels, such as John 3:16 and I John 2:15. “Which is it? Are we supposed to love the world, as God does, or not,” McDowell asks.
“Yet closer analysis reveals they are not thoughtless mistakes from a careless writer, but part of an intentional rhetorical strategy to get readers to reflect upon the deeper meaning of words,” McDowell continues.
If you work on the Hill, such a rhetorical approach might not seem so foreign. After all, liberals and conservatives use the same words all the time, but infuse them with different, sometimes radically different, meanings.
McDowell goes on to illustrate his point with additional examples. Definitely worth your time to read and consider.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
You hear it regularly in conversations on Capitol Hill. One guy says X and the other guy instantly dismisses it because “oh, that’s what you expect Fox/CNN/MSNBC to say. That’s just fake news.”
And that raises an interesting question, and not just for men and women working in the House and Senate or one of the congressional agencies like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or Government Accounting Office (GAO).
Continue reading “Is Jesus’ Resurrection Fact Or Just ‘Fake News?’”