Defending the Faith Practical Apologetics for our times. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else… C.S. Lewis
Apologetics is the field of study concerned with the systematic defense of a position.
NOT an apology!
Someone who engages in apologetics is called an apologist.
comes from the Greek word apologia (Ἀπολογία), meaning the defense of a position against an attack – http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics
The origin of the concept of apologetics lies in the beginnings of Christianity. Between the second and fourth century, a number of Christian teachers wrote defenses of Christianity against pagan critics http:// www.calvarychapel.com/redbarn/terms.htm
In spite of general revelation, the pagan world does not know the true and the living God because of the distorting nature of worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:21).
Fallen man's intellectual sin bias is so basic and so complete that even when he is exposed to God's truth in plain language through the special revelation of Scripture, he still does not know God's truth in any spiritually significant sense (1 Corinthians 2:14).
He knows but he does not know (Isaiah 6:9). The god of this age has blinded his mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
He is like an illiterate man with an open book in his hands (Isaiah 29:12). He sees God's truth spelled out before him but he cannot grasp its meaning, for to rationally comprehend God's truth is to be persuaded by it and to submit to it in faith.
To know the formal content of God's special revelation and not to believe is to see without perceiving (cf. Acts 28:24-28).
“ My dear,” Teabing, declared, "until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet. . . a great and powerful man, but a man nevertheless. A mortal." "Not the Son of God?" "Right," Teabing, said. "Jesus' establishment as the Son of God was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea."
Consider This: The Bible is the most reliable book of antiquity - with more manuscript evidence and less significant variations deviation than any other, by a long shot.
Consider This: The Bible demonstrates its inspired origin in many ways, including its lofty doctrine, its historical precision, its predictive prophecy and the way that it was acclaimed by Old and New Testament figures, especially Jesus and the apostles.
Consider This: The earliest testimony we have today of a list which corresponds exactly to our New Testament is from Athanasius of Alexandria, in 367. However, the concept of a New Testament, and much of its content are attested as early as I Clement (95 AD), and is essentially the same as ours by the mid second century, which is 175 years before the Constantine’s rule (306-337).
Consider This: Tradition strongly suggests Constantine became a Christian in 312. He did a lot for the church, including forbidding persecutions and calling councils, but it would not have occurred to him to collate the Bible.
Consider This: There are two main types of documents contained in the scrolls: Biblical books (all except Esther), and a large collection of documents, some complete, some in fragments of stuff written by the Essenes. However, there is no Christian literature in the Dead Sea scrolls at all!
Consider This: Not only was no attempt made to suppress these books, but they cast considerable light on the New Testament background.
Consider this: If Jesus had married Mary Magdalene, we would expect to see some type of her veneration in the history of the early church – like we see for Mary Jesus’ mother. However, there exists no reference or tradition anywhere to worship or veneration of Mary Magdalene.
Consider this: The Son of God came to earth not to start a family but to save the Church, which is his true bride (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Consider this: Whenever Jesus' family is referred to, it is his brothers and sisters who are mentioned, but never a wife. Contrast this to descriptions of the rest of the apostles: Peter, Paul, and the brothers of the Lord, all of whom are said to have had wives.
Consider this: At the crucifixion, Jesus shows no special concern for the care of Mary Magdalene as he does his mother.
Consider this: This claim commits the fallacy of Hasty Generalization – just because the majority of Jews would be married, it doesn’t follow that EVERY Jew would be.
Consider this: There exists no mention of a wife in any scripture of Jesus, in his ministry, when he was tried and crucified, or after his death.
Consider this: The legend of the Grail is indeed about the lost cup from the Last Supper. But biblical language about a mothers’ womb is always a reference to gestation and protection, never about bloodlines. Indeed, shed blood was always about the opposite of birth, that is, death.
Consider this: This passage comes from the Gnostic gospel of Philip and was written very late. It was written in Coptic, not Aramaic or Hebrew, and there IS no word in Aramaic where companion means spouse.
Consider this: The actual manuscript is broken at this passage, so we don't know where it claims Jesus kissed Mary.
Consider this: The Gospel of Philip is a Gnostic document, and Gnostics held that the physical expression of sex is not sacred or spiritual - it actually defiles the soul who believes by holding to the corrupt physical.
Consider this: Other than the four recognized gospels, there are only eleven ancient documents still in existence today that are called "gospel" .
Consider this: In all of antiquity, there are only twenty eight other sources no longer in existence that are cited or mentioned in Jewish or Gnostic writings as gospels.
Consider this: Most of the Gnostic works are rejected because they are too late to be written by the purported authors, they rely heavily on the stories in the existing gospels, and they contradict the beliefs taught in the orthodox gospels.
Consider this: All of the Biblical gospels date from the last half of the first century, where the two texts the Da Vinci Code relies on most, the gospel of Philip and the gospel of Mary Magdalene, are from the third to fifth century.
Consider this: The Gnostic gospels reflect a line of thinking that didn't arise until the second century, and it was criticized by the early church fathers Irenaeus, Hippolytus and Tertullian.
Consider this: Irenaeus makes it clear that the so-called gospels of the Gnostics are heretical precisely because they were secret documents. The Apostolic writings commend themselves because they are public and verifiable.
Consider this: The Advent of Christianity radically transformed the fate of women. Even ancient Roman pagan scholars agree that it was a turning point for the freedom and dignity of women.
Consider this: According to sociology scholar Steven Goldberg, “The findings of the past 50 years [have] failed to include a single shred of evidence that such matriarchies had ever existed… All the claims of societies ruled by women are nonsense. We have no reason to believe they ever existed.”
"Constantine and his male successors successfully converted the world from matriarchal paganism to patriarchal Christianity by waging a campaign of propaganda that demonized the sacred feminine."
“ Christian Gnosticism” emerged in the seventh century and it has gained a growing popularity over the centuries. It is currently known as Sophian Gnosticism and has found followers among many of the churches of our day
The Gnostics held several views that were opposed to biblical Christianity. They believed there was a “sacred relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.”
They also accepted the idea that Goddess worship was central to understanding man’s spiritual destiny and that the ‘sacred feminine’ (or the ‘divine goddess’ as Brown puts it), is the foundation stone that Christianity is built on, even though it has been obscured. This knowledge is gained by attaining wisdom through the teachings of Sophia – the Goddess of Wisdom – and her counterparts within the church.
"The Priory [of Sion's] membership has included some of history's most cultured individuals: men like Botticelli, Sir Isaac Newton, victor Hugo... and Leonardo Da Vinci... The Priory has a well documented history of reverence for the sacred feminine."
Consider this: The modern Priory of Sion was created in 1954 by Pierre Plantard. All documents “proving” a blood line and a list of historical Priory members were proven to be forged in a French court of law.
Consider this: Much of the supposed research done for The Da Vinci Code is embarrassingly incorrect
Consider This: Before the twelfth century, there were no legends about the grail; by the thirteenth century, the tale had become intertwined with Arthurian legends. The characters from Chretien's story developed into supposed historical figures from the Gospels, and the grail had become the Holy Grail.
""The word Sangreal derives from San Greal - or Holy Grail. But in the most ancient form, the word Sangreal was divided in a different spot.. Sang Real .. literally mean[ing] Royal Blood."
For more information, articles and news about responding to The Da Vinci Code ,
log onto www.thetruthaboutdavinci.com
Next … 2 Timothy 3 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God* may be competent, equipped for every good work.
*That is, a messenger of God (the phrase echoes a common Old Testament expression)
Scripture, the Canon and the development of the Bible
Scripture, the Canon and the development of the Bible
We thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of any human being but as what it really is, the word of God which is at work in you believers’ (1 Thess. ii. 13).
I. Scripture, the Canon and the development of the Bible
Bible: the sacred writings of the Christian religions; "he went to carry the Word to the heathen"
any writing that is regarded as sacred by a religious group wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
This is another word for scripture. The Canon consists of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. The Canon is closed which means there is no more revelation to become Scripture. www.carm.org/dictionary/dic_c-d.htm
The Bible (from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, "(the) books", plural of βιβλιον, biblion, "book", originally a diminutive of βιβλος, biblos, which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos, meaning "papyrus", from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported this writing material), is the classical name for the Hebrew Bible ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible
Basically – in context for a Christian – these all mean the same thing
The Jewish use of versions. In the synagogue the Hebrew scripture itself was read from a scroll, followed by a translation into Aramaic or Greek given by the Methurgeman (translator). The translation was never read from a scroll, because the Jews were determined not to give any version such an illusion of authority; the translation had to be memorized or done extemporaneously. In the beginning the translations were not even written down. When they were eventually written down they were not made widely available, and were not "authorized" in any sense by the Rabbis.
The Greek version of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint. About two hundred years before the birth of Christ a Greek translation of the Pentateuch was committed to writing in Alexandria, where many Jews only knew Greek. This version was later called the Septuagint because legend has it that the translation was done by seventy (Latin septuaginta ) men. Gradually the other books of the Old Testament were also put in Greek. The Septuagint gives a fairly accurate translation of the Pentateuch, which was read most closely by the Jews, but for the prophetical books like Isaiah and Jeremiah the translation is often quite loose and even erroneous, and in need of correction.
Apostolic use of the Septuagint. The quotations of the Old Testament in the New show that the apostles often used the Septuagint , because it was generally known to those in the Church and usually adequate for their purposes. Some people in looking at these quotations have been troubled by the fact that they are sometimes not very accurate translations of the Hebrew. Did the apostles not know their business? Of course they did. They did not concern themselves with corrections when the translation served well enough for their purpose, but when it did not they quietly offered their own translation of the Hebrew. Then they usually offered a better translation. The apostles did not see fit to produce a complete version of the Old Testament in Greek for the use of the churches.
Part of the problem in confirming authorship lay in the fact that--unlike the Old Testament books that were received by a localized community of Jewish believers--the New Testament community of believers was dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
Persecutions, as well as transportation and communication obstacles, impeded the circulation of writings across the far-flung communities of believers. Some books that were considered canonical in the eastern part of the Roman empire were not well known in the western part of the empire, and vice versa.
Thus, it took time to sort through the evidences in favor of authenticity. The process culminated in the major councils of
Hippo (393 A.D.)
Carthage (397 A.D.)
Carthage (419 A.D.)
All three councils agreed to the same set of books in setting the Old and New Testament canon.
Gnosos means “To Know” - Gnostics believed that salvation was attained through attaining knowledge.
Pagan mythology and philosophies began to fall with the spread of Christianity
Temple-prostitutes would facilitate worship with Aphrodite/Venus, Ishtar, Astoria.
The Churches at Pergamum and Thyatira were warned about proto-Gnostism and sexual immorality
Gnostic “Gospels” were named after known Bible characters to justify Gnostic doctrine
Gnostic works contradicted both the Old and New Testament Scriptures…the God of the OT was viewed as an evil demon and the serpent as good.
Gnostic works were not connected to the Apostles…but battled their teachings.
Gnostic works quoted from the Scriptures…the Scriptures do not quotes from Gnostic works.
The Da Vinci Code Fiction:
Constantine…held a gathering known as the council of Nicea…(325 A.D.)…Until that moment in history Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet…not the Son of God…Jesus’ establishment as the ‘Son of God’ was…a relatively close vote (Page 233)
Fact: The Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) was not a close vote, 300 bishops from throughout the Empire arrived to discuss the Arius, teaching that the Son was created, and therefore not God incarnate, the vote was 300 to 2…not close at all. Arius did not believe the Son was mortal but the first of creation.
In his book, Can I Trust My Bible , R. Laird Harris concluded, "We can now be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 B.C. . . . indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny that we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the word of the Lord to those who had returned from the Babylonian captivity."
To be skeptical of the 27 documents in the New Testament, and to say they are unreliable is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as these in the New Testament.
"Whenever a professional archaeologist turns to a careful, detailed study of the gospels, only one thing dominates all his thinking. This is Jesus Christ himself. The personality of the Christ is unique and alone in all of human history. The archaeologist realizes more than anyone else the difference between B.C. and A.D."
James L. Kelso – Late 19 th century archaeologist
http://www.irr.org/yamauchi.html Video http://www.leestrobel.com/videos/davinci/strobelT1095.htm
Only Jesus came out of a culture which was already monotheistic.
“ Judaism after the exile represents a startling new development in the history of religion, and that it is the Jewish monotheistic conception of God that makes this religion stand out from all others” Peter Hayman Edinburgh, 21 August 1990, published as Monotheism - A Misused Word in Jewish Studies? , Journal of Jewish Studies 42 (1991)
Only Jesus claimed equality with the sole, supreme deity. According to E.O. James, an authority on comparative religions, "Nowhere else had it ever been claimed that a historical founder of any religion was the one and only supreme deity."
G. Bernard Shaw once remarked rather cynically: "These refined people worship Jesus and take comparatively no account of Socrates and Mahomet, for no discoverable reason except that Jesus was horribly tortured, and Socrates humanely drugged, whilst Mahomet died un -sensationally in his bed.“
Jesus' death on the cross is unique not only in its manner but also in its redemptive meaning. Neither Zoroaster, Buddha, Socrates nor Muhammad claimed his death would save men from their sins.
1. He is the only, unique Son of God (Psalm 2:7,11-12; John 1:14; Luke 1:35).
2. He is eternal...both past and future (John 1:1-3,14; John 8:58).
3. Jesus alone is the One who bore our sins so that we could have forgiveness and be saved from them (Isaiah 53; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3).
4. Jesus is the only Way to the Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5); there is no other.
5. Jesus alone had power over His own death and the ability to take back His life again (John 2:19; 10:17-18). Note: His resurrection was not a “spiritual” one, but was physical (Luke 24:39). His resurrection from the dead, never to die again, distinguished Him as the unique Son of God (Romans 1:4).
6. Jesus alone accepted worship as an equal with the Father (John 20:28-29; Philippians 2:6), and indeed God the Father states that the Son is to honored as He is honored (John 5:23). All others, whether Jesus’ disciples or angelic beings, reject that worship (Acts 10:25-26; Acts 14:14-15; Matthew 4:10; Revelation 19:10; 22:9).
7. Jesus has the power to give life to whom He will (John 5:21).
8. The Father has committed all judgment to Jesus (John 5:22).
9. Jesus was with the Father and directly involved in the creation, and it is by His hand that all things are held together (John 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:8-10; Colossians 1:17).
10. It is Jesus who will rule the world at the end of this present age (Hebrews 1:8; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 2:35,44; Revelation 19:11-16).
11. Jesus alone was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, with God being His Father (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23; Luke 1:30-35).
12. It is Jesus who demonstrated that He had the attributes of God [e.g., to forgive sins and heal the sick (Matthew 9:1-7); to calm the wind and waves (Mark 4:37-41; Psalm 89:8-9); to know us, being perfectly acquainted with us (Psalm 139; John 1:46-50; 2:23-25), to raise the dead (John 11; Luke 7:12-15; 8:41-55), etc.]
13. Jesus had a great number of prophecies concerning His birth, life, resurrection, person, and purpose that have never been made of any other (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Psalm 22; Zechariah 11:12-13; 13:7; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 53; Psalm 16:10; etc.).
The typical responses to the life and claims of Jesus Christ sound something like this: "Jesus Christ was a great man." "Jesus Christ was a wonderful moral model." "Jesus Christ was an enlightened religious teacher." "Jesus Christ was an esteemed prophet."
http://www.allaboutgod.com/Jesus-christ.htm Video Clip
'There is no halfway house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and said 'Are you the son of Bramah?' he would have said 'My son, you are still in the veil of illusion'.
If you had gone to Socrates and asked, 'Are you Zeus' he would have laughed at you.
If you had gone to Mohammed and asked 'Are you Allah?' he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off.
If you had asked Confucius 'Are you heaven?' I think he would probably have replied, 'Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.'
The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are not looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met Him. He produced mainly three effects — Hatred — Terror — Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval.'
If Jesus were a liar, then He was also a fool, because His lies only got Him killed.
If Jesus deliberately lied, he is a hypocrite as well, because he preached about honesty and integrity. Even worse, he lied and convinced others to trust Him for their eternal destiny, making His lies even more deceitful and evil – making HIM really evil.
He lived a life that was exemplary, He had one of the most profound impacts on the world, more so than any other religious leader in history.
How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an imposter--that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man--have invented, and consistently maintained, from beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality?
It would not be humanly possible for Jesus to pull off such a deception, even an evil , demonic liar. Using Jesus’ own logic, how could He have been working with Satan, or maybe even have been Satan Himself when all the things He did were for good and pointed toward God?
If Jesus were evil, where is the fruit, all these years later of Satan’s master plan? What did He hope to accomplish through such a strategy?
http://www.lifeteen.com/default.aspx?PageID=JCHOME Someone who lived as Jesus lived, taught as Jesus taught, and died as Jesus died, could not have been a liar.
If Jesus was not a liar, then maybe He was a complete madman, who innocently deceived the world because He actually believed these ridiculous claims that He was God.
How could a mad man have been so convincing? How could He have made such an impact on the world that we are still talking about Him today – 2,000 years later?
What is the measure of insanity? It is the the gap between what you think you are and what you really are? If you think you’re the greatest athlete to ever live, you’re probably just very arrogant.If you think you’re Elvis, you’ve crossed a bigger line.If you think you are Bigfoot, or perhaps an eagle, you have lost your footing in sanity. If you think you are God – wow, you have really tripped out! God is an infinite being. For human beings, finite beings, with a beginning and an end to their lives, to think they are God, who always was, always is, and always will be – that’s messed up!
Jesus said He was God, so on a scale of measure of insanity, if He was wrong about that, then He was really crazy. His level of insanity would have been very, very high
If He was not a liar, and He was not a lunatic, then there is only one other possibility – He was who He said He was – the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior.
C.S. Lewis: I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God." That is one thing we must not say. A Man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic . . . or else He would be the Devil of Hell. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman, or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
http://www.lifeteen.com/default.aspx?PageID=JCHOME Jesus Christ is Lord & God!
Weltanschauung: A world view describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining and applying knowledge.
any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man's relation to God and the world. www.summit.org/resource/dictionary/
a set of beliefs about who we are, the way things are, and what we ought to do about it; state of mind, metaphysics, morality. web.nwe.ufl.edu/~gulmer/s03/zwhalen2/definitions.html
What is a WORLDVIEW? http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/worldviews.html
Question: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Answer: There is an infinite-personal God who has created the universe out of nothing.
Question: How do you explain human nature?
Answer: Man was originally created good in God's image, but chose to sin and thus infected all of humanity with what is called a "sin nature." So man has been endowed with value by his creator, but his negative behavior is in league with his nature.
Question: What happens to a person at death?
Answer: Death is either the gate to life with God or to eternal separation from Him. The destination is dependent upon the response we give to God's provision for our sinfulness.
http://www.xenos.org/CLASSES/papers/5wldview.htm Values are part of our social paradigms as well. Tolerance, freedom of expression, inclusion, and refusal to claim to have the answers are the only universal values. Truths are mental constructs meaningful to individuals within a particular cultural paradigm. They do not apply to other paradigms. Truth is relative to one’s culture. Humans are nodes in a cultural reality – they are a product of their social setting. The idea that people are autonomous and free is a myth. Reality must be interpreted through our language and cultural "paradigm." Therefore, reality is "socially constructed." Postmodernism Moral values take the form of taboos, which are things that irritate or anger various spirits. These taboos are different from the idea of "good and evil" because it is just as important to avoid irritating evil spirits as it is good ones. Truth about the natural world is discovered through the shaman figure who has visions telling him what the gods and demons are doing and how they feel. Man is a creation of the gods like the rest of the creatures on earth. Often, tribes or races have a special relationship with some gods who protect them and can punish them. The world is populated by spirit beings who govern what goes on. Gods and demons are the real reason behind "natural" events. Material things are real, but they have spirits associated with them and, therefore, can be interpreted spiritually. Spiritism and Polytheism Thousands of Religions Moral values are the objective expression of an absolute moral being. Truth about God is known through revelation. Truth about the material world is gained via revelation and the five senses in conjunction with rational thought. Humankind is the unique creation of God. People were created "in the image of God," which means that we are personal, eternal, spiritual, and biological. An infinite, personal God exists. He created a finite, material world. Reality is both material and spiritual. The universe as we know it had a beginning and will have an end. Theism Christianity; Islam; Judaism Because ultimate reality is impersonal, many pantheistic thinkers believe that there is no real distinction between good and evil. Instead, "unenlightened" behavior is that which fails to understand essential unity. Truth is an experience of unity with "the oneness" of the universe. Truth is beyond all rational description. Rational thought as it is understood in the West cannot show us reality. Man is one with ultimate reality. Thus man is spiritual, eternal, and impersonal. Man’s belief that he is an individual is illusion. Only the spiritual dimension exists. All else is illusion, maya. Spiritual reality, Brahman, is eternal, impersonal, and unknowable. It is possible to say that everything is a part of God, or that God is in everything and everyone. Pantheism Hinduism; Taoism; Buddhism; much New Age Consciousness No objective values or morals exist. Morals are individual preferences or socially useful behaviors. Even social morals are subject to evolution and change. Truth is usually understood as scientific proof. Only that which can be observed with the five senses is accepted as real or true. Man is the chance product of a biological process of evolution. Man is entirely material. The human species will one day pass out of existence. The material universe is all that exists. Reality is "one-dimensional." There is no such thing as a soul or a spirit. Everything can be explained on the basis of natural law. Naturalism Atheism; Agnosticism; Existentialism VALUES TRUTH MAN REALITY
Thinking Biblically About the World’s Religions http://www.reasons.org/resources/fff/2002issue10/index.shtml#world_religions See notes below -
Defending the Faith Practical Apologetics for our times. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else… C.S. Lewis