Who Says Jesus Existed?

Flavius JosephusOne of the more popular accusations brought against Biblical Christianity is that there are no historical sources outside of the Bible that confirm the truth of the Biblical story of Jesus of Nazareth. Many people simply deny the accuracy of the New Testament in details of the life of Jesus, but appreciate the “main ideas.” Others boldly deny that He existed at all. But, is the Bible the only place we find the story of Jesus, or are there sources outside of the Bible to back up what the Bible says.

In other words, besides the Bible, who says Jesus existed?

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Archaeology and the Bible

Carchemish, the Hittite captialToday, some of the most popular criticisms against the Bible are concerning its historical reliability. These criticisms are usually based on a supposed lack of evidence from non-biblical sources to confirm the Biblical record. Because the Bible is filled with supernatural claims and is a religious book, many take the position that its record cannot be trusted as historical fact. Some stop there and say that the Bible is still a good book of moral lessons despite historical inaccuracy. Others go further and claim that it cannot be a standard of morality because of its historical errors. Either way, their claims spring from a “guilty until proven innocent” charge based on a lack of outside evidence. Nevertheless, the Bible’s “innocence”, and more specifically its reliability, has been evidenced time and again, particularly in the field of archaeology.

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They Lived How Long!?!

MethuselahGenesis 5


As we read through the first few chapters of the Bible, we are presented with a world that is very unlike ours. One of the characteristics of the world described in Genesis is the incredibly long lives lived by the men listed in Genesis 5.

For example, Adam is said to have lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5), and his son Seth is said to have lived 912 years (Genesis 5:8). These alone make Enoch’s life of 365 years seem short (Genesis 5:23). Of course everyone knows the oldest of them all, Methuselah, lived to be a ripe old age of 969 years old (Genesis 5:27). The average age of these guys was pushing a millennium!

Seeing the long lives of these men, we have to ask two questions: 1) did these men really live to be that old and if so, 2)how?

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Interview with Darrell Bock

Every time Darrell Bock opens his mouth something smart falls out.

Dr. Bock (for all the Trekkies out there) is the Research Professor of New Testament Studies and Professor of Spiritual Development and Culture at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has more credentials than I have time to list.

Here are four videos from an interview in which Bock discusses a number of issues concerning the many misunderstandings about Christ and the Bible.

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Aw, do we have to?

Nearly every teenager in the world shapes their philosophy and defines their being by asking two age-old, monumental questions – “Do we really have to?” and “WHY!?!”

So, do we really have to do apologetics? If so, why? Well, I can think of a few reasons.

  1. Because God told us to. You just can’t argue with verses like 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3.
  2. Because God told us to. No, seriously, we shouldn’t need another reason! Nevertheless, I have a few more anyways.
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You are an apologist…yeah, you!

In Matthew 5:13-16, the Lord Jesus calls Christians two things: salt and light. He doesn’t tell us that we could be salt and light, or even that we should be salt and light. He just tells that we are salt and light. The question is not if we are salt and light, but how good are we at being salt and light. If salt loses its flavor, it’s useless. If light is hidden, it’s pointless. It’s that simple.

Apologetics is very similar. The question is not if we could or should be apologists. We already are apologists. We became apologists when we became Christians. God has called us to always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us what we believe and why we believe it (1 Peter 3:15).

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Apologize for what!?!

booksSo what is Christian apologetics? Are we apologizing for Christianity? What are we apologizing for? And, isn’t it supposed to be, “what are Christian apologetics”?

When most people hear the word apologetics the root word that they recognize is apologize. But, the way we use the word today is very different from the way it was originally used. Today, when we apologize for something we are expressing regret that we said or did that something. We wish that we had not done it. However, the original word (apologia) meant to defend what we said or did without regret. So when the Bible tells us, say, in 1 Peter 3:15 to “be ready always to give an answer (apologia) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you”, it is not say to apologize as we think of apologizing. It’s actually telling us to do quite the opposite, to defend our belief and explain why we believe.  

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

old-testament-scrollOne of the biggest reasons why Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah is becuase He fulfilled Bible prophecy. The odds of Jesus fulfilling all the prophecies that the New Testament claims He fulfilled are enormous. So much so, that we consider it to be a miracle and evidence that Jesus is Lord.

The thing is, the Bible prophecy that we say Jesus fulfilled was written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Skeptics bring up the point that that the writers of the New Testament could have described Jesus with Old Testament prophecy in mind in order to make it appear as though He fulfilled prophecy. This possibility makes sense.

That is, until you consider a few other things.

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