No, Jesus And Mithras Weren’t Both Born Of Virgins (Myths About Christianity Debunked)

Unless there is some way to determine if the rock from which sprung Mithras — the ancient mythical god at the heart of the mystery cult known as “Mithraism” — was a virgin, that is.

Mithras petra genetrix Terme

That Jesus’ virgin birth was stolen from the Mithras myth is one of the many allegations raised by Christianity’s critics, ancient and modern. They contend the New Testament authors borrowed heavily from multiple pagan religions to elevate an obscure itinerant preacher named Jesus to divinity.

Not so, contends Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, an expert on such matters who teaches at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS). Jones addresses a bunch of the supposed parallels.

Continue reading “No, Jesus And Mithras Weren’t Both Born Of Virgins (Myths About Christianity Debunked)”

Would You Go To Jail For Your Basic Beliefs, Like This Chinese Pastor?

Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, is in jail, accused by the Communist government in Beijing of “inciting subversion of state power.”

The pastor absolutely denies the charges, which are based on the fact he preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including His claim to be “the King of Kings” and His injunction to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are God’s to God.”

Continue reading “Would You Go To Jail For Your Basic Beliefs, Like This Chinese Pastor?”

Pilate’s Seal Ring Tops Biblical Archeology’s 10 Biggest 2018 Discoveries

A familiar maxim in the conventional secular wisdom of the age is that the Bible is nothing more than a collection of tales and cannot therefore be trusted as a reliable historical source.

The reality is that for decades archeology has been producing mounds of evidence that supports the Bible as not merely a reliable source but quite possibly the most reliable and comprehensive one for the ancient Middle East.

The latest illustration of this fact is found in “Biblical Archeologies Top 10 Discoveries in 2018,” written by ARTIFAX magazine editor Gordon Covier for Christianity Today.

Continue reading “Pilate’s Seal Ring Tops Biblical Archeology’s 10 Biggest 2018 Discoveries”

Science & Faith: ‘Quantum Artificial Life’ Ends Origins Debate? Not Yet!

Something cannot be created from nothing. That’s why the material world either is eternal or had a beginning, which requires a beginner, AKA the “First Cause,” or “God.”

Not according to many materialists, however. They might say “quantum processes.” And they may have just gotten a potentially huge boost to their case, thanks to a team led by a Spanish scientist, according to The Daily Galaxy (TDG). Photo above by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash.

Continue reading “Science & Faith: ‘Quantum Artificial Life’ Ends Origins Debate? Not Yet!”

Yes, God Can Even Use Pink Floyd To Bring You To Truth

Rock legend Pink Floyd probably isn’t the first name that would come to mind if you were to ask 100 randomly selected professing Christians working on Capitol Hill or anywhere else who led them to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The Poached Egg founder Greg West isn’t just anybody, however, and here he explains the role of one of the cuts on the band’s classic album, The Dark Side of the Moon, played in his journey from atheist to one of this generation’s most significant Christian apologists.

But before you click on the “here” link above, watch and listen to the cut below and see if you can detect what it was in the lyrics that launched West on an epic spiritual journey. Yes, there is a hint in the above photo, which is by George Fitzmaurice on Unsplash:

Which Are More Reliable, Aristotle and Plato, or Matthew, Mark, Luke And John?

One of the most frequently mentioned myths about the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is the claim they cannot be historically accurate because they were written decades after the events they purport to report.

Several of the commenters to yesterday’s post here — “Are Christians The Biggest Fools Of All Time?” — repeated variations of the claim the Gospels are unreliable because so much time elapsed between the events and the writing of the individual books. The actual facts, the critics argue, were lost to the myths and legends that grew up around the events related in the Gospels.

The German higher critics of the 19th Century made this claim a standard argument in the conventional wisdom scholarship of the 20th century among those who reject the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ and His claim to be the incarnate creator of the universe and everything in it. And the argument continues in popular culture and debate to this day, as seen in the comments to yesterday’s post.

There has been a tremendous amount of scholarship on the accuracy and reliability of the Gospels in recent decades. Below is a link to a recent podcast of Frank Turek’s interview with Dr. Craig Blomberg, who is one of the most respected scholars in the world on this issue. I highly commend it to anybody on any side of the debate.

But more immediately, let’s address the question posed in the headline above. Nobody today doubts when they read Plato’s “Republic” or Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” that they are reading what the Greek philosophers actually wrote, even though what they hold in their hands are copies of copies of copies … stretching back centuries.

Even so, when was the last time you heard anybody say Plato’s discussion of the shadows on the wall of the cave cannot be trusted as what Plato actually wrote or believed because so much time elapsed between his original manuscript and the earliest copies used by copyists in the millennia before Mr. Gutenberg invented the printing press? Or that Aristotle’s Golden Mean as the key to human virtue was a creation of a later copyist and thus was not the philosopher’s original view?

Nevertheless, that’s a commonly expressed argument whenever the Gospels are under discussion.

But guess what? There are far more copies of the Gospels, written much closer to the original authors, than there are for any other of the ancient classics, including Plato and Aristotle.

Aristotle’s works were written between 386 B.C. and 322 B.C. The first copies came along in about 1,100 A.D., or roughly 1,400 years after Aristotle did his thing. As for Plato, he wrote between 427 B.C. and 347 B.C, and the first copies date to 900 A.D., for an interval of roughly 1,200 years.

Compare that to the New Testament, which, regarding the Gospels, the critics claim were written, at the earliest, around 70 A.D., with copies first appearing around 130 A.D.

In other words, if the same standards of reliability and accuracy are applied to the New Testament that have long been accepted without question for other ancient authors, then the Gospels must be viewed as among the most reliable of the ancient classics. You can check out this post by Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research for more specifics on this angle.

And as I always say, a great place to start in assessing these issues is “More Than A Carpenter” by Josh and Sean McDowell. Just tell me your address and I’ll get a copy of MTAC for free.

Now, here’s Frank Turek’s extended audio conversation with Dr. Craig Blomberg:

https://crossexamined.org/?powerpress_embed=72550-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio