Showing posts from March, 2015

"There Was No Jesus, There Is No God": Ansering Raphael Lataster

Raphael Lataster, the author of There was no Jesus, There is no God wrote an article for the Washington Post recently that, like Kurt Eichenwald's hit piece from Newsweek, makes quite a lot of assertions (you can see my rebbutle to Eichenwald here). Lataster argues that Jesus did not exist, and declares that,
Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved….
The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason …

Doctrines, Dates, and Dead People: Corrupt Manuscripts?

If you're looking for a way to critique the authority of Scripture, there are seemingly endless options these days. There are historical critiques (e.g., many of these books are forgeries). There are logical critiques (e.g., the Gospels contradict themselves). There are moral critiques (e.g., God is immoral to order the slaughter of entire cities). And there are interpretation critiques (e.g., no one can agree on what the Bible means).

While I in no way wish to downplay those types of critiques, for they have their place in this discussion, recentlyin my interactions I have encountered a slightly more foundational challenge that to the Bible. All of the above critiques are essentially the same; they all argue the words of the Bible are not true. But this more foundational challenge is not about whether the words of the Bible are true, but whether we have the words of the Bible at all.  

Foundationally, this challenge rests on the fact that we only have handwritten copies…

Doctrines, Dates, and Dead People: The Books that Didn't Make it

This post is a closer look at some of the topics and points I discuss in my previouspost on the Issue of the New Testament Canon.

One of the most common claims today by some critics of the biblical New Testament (NT) is that of the existence of apocryphal writings, particularly Gospels, were as common and widely used as the NT writings. Often being touted as "lost gospels" by the media.Dr. Helmut Koester, professor of New Testament at Harvard, is a good example of this trend. He laments the fact that the terms “apocryphal”(anything outside of the biblical list of books) and “canonical” (anything included in the biblical list of books) are even used by modern scholars because they reflect, according to him, “prejudices of long standing” against the authenticity of these apocryphal texts.1 Koester then argues, “If one considers the earliest period of the tradition, several apocryphal gospels are as well attested as those which later received canonical status.”2 Dr. Willi…