Showing posts from September, 2009

Proof of Joseph in Egypt?

The Bible is a book that proponents claim is history but which many detractors claim is the creation of story-tellers. The New Testament, which is the 27 most recently written of the Bible's 66 books, has a well-attested historical backdrop in which its accounts take place. Certain historical findings -- such as the finding of the tomb of Caiphas and the Pool of Siloam -- have added credence to the Christian contention that the authors of the New Testament documents were accurate in their description of people and places. The 39 books of the Old Testament, however, stretch back into times that historians and archaeologists know little about and about which little archaeological evidence can be found or even expected to be found. Some skeptics suggested for a time that even King David didn't exist and that the majority of the Old Testament writings were written during the exile of the Jewish people around 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Obviously, the older one goes

Anti-Semitism and the New Testament

One of the more ridiculous assertions in objection to the Christian message is that the New Testament is anti-semitic. I am aware that some scholars have made this claim in the past, but simply because someone -- even someone with a Ph.D. -- makes an assertion is hardly reason to believe that it is necessarily reasonable. While an exhaustive analysis of this rather heady subject is beyond the scope of a simple weblog entry, I do want to briefly raise some reasons for rejecting this claim. First, let me make a statement about context. I am a Bible-believing Christian and argue from that context. I believe that the books attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all written by those men or written down by people who were their disciples (and, in the case of Mark, a person who was himself a disciple of Peter), and that all three of the canonical Gospels were completed by 70 A.D. with John being largely written before that date and completed sometime shortly thereafter. I have my rea

I Object To Your Quoting From My Book!

The following is from a debate between atheist Dan 'former pastor' Barker and Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. The portion shown is one of the most amazing objections I have ever seen in a debate -- Dan Barker objects to his book being quoted because he might have changed his mind about what he wrote in the book -- not that he will say that he definitely has changed his mind, only that he might have done so . Bizarre. I like Dr. White's offer to allow Mr. Barker to simply repudiate his own book if he doesn't want his book quoted. That's a priceless reply. Based upon what I have read by Mr. Barker in the past, I can understand why he wouldn't want his book brought up in a debate. Still, I find it to be a most interesting debate tactic -- try to disarm your opponent's critique of your book by arguing that things you said elsewhere in a book that is available to be bought at the site of the debate that addresses the topic of the debate is irrele

Orwellian Atheism

I have noted the Orwellian nature of atheist language. For atheists reading this, Orwell (George Orwell) was a great writer who specialized in political language. One of his greatest achievements was to write one of the best essays ever written on the use of language in political ideology: " Politics and the English Language, " written in 146. In that great work he reminds us that: Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Never was this so true than in dealing with atheists. In the way atheists are beginning to use speech we can see all the tricks Orwell talked about. Of course, most of these internet atheists have not read Animal Farm or 1984 so they have no idea. But in their use of certain words they disguise totalitarian leanings one would never suspect. The totalitarian regimes o

James Ossuary Trial Update

Professor Ben Witherington notes this Time magazine article on the James Ossuary trial. The thrust of the article is that the Prosecution's expert patina witnesses may be heading for trouble as they take the witness stand. The article also notes what we have reported in the past, the Prosecution's case is in big trouble and the Judge knows it. Another interesting tidbit of which I was unaware is that the Judge in the case has a degree in archaeology. I have to believe that is more common in Israel than in the States.