Many skeptics claim that the resurrection of Jesus originated from pagan myths about “dying and rising” gods—commonly called the “copycat theory” of Christianity. James G. Frazer popularized this view in his book The Golden Bough (1914), though more recently, others have followed in his footsteps.
I recently did a debate on Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio, a show that airs every Saturday on British radio (also podcasted online), featuring debates between Christians and non-Christians. Last year on the show, I did a debate on whether Christianity is evidence-based, with British atheist Elliot George. The recording of that encounter can be found here. On Saturday 16th May, the show featured a conversation between myself and British Muslim apologist, Abdurraheem Green. Our topic was “What is God Like — Tawhid or Trinity?” I have embedded the debate as a YouTube video above. Enjoy!
Vol. 1, No. 2
Evidence for the Existence of Jesus
“The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us”
If you’re looking for a good conversation starter, try asking, “Who is the most important person in history?” and follow it up with, “Why do you say that?”
After reading this issue, you will be EQUIPPED to discuss these questions and answer the most important question: “Who do you say I am?”
—Glen Richmond, Editor
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Share EQUIPPED as you please with your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
I was recently invited to do a debate on a local radio station that airs in Tyneside, England, called Spice FM. Every Thursday, a Muslim program, called “Eye on the East”, run by Muslim activist Daniel Johnson of the Islamic Diversity Center airs. In the video above, I take on Daniel Johnson and Muslim apologist Majid Younus on the identity of Christ and the validity of the Triune concept of God. Enjoy! You can listen to two other recent radio interviews I have done on the subject of Islam here and here.
Remember the following:
- Targums are the Aramaic Translations of the Jewish Scriptures (The Tanakh), that were read in the synagogues on the Sabbath and on feast or fast days.
- Scholars usually assume the Targums were needed because the loss of Hebrew fluency by Jewish people growing up during the exile
- Targums are supposed to represent rabbinic Judaism after C.E. 70. Targums originated in Palestinian Judaism but later editions were done in Babylon.
- All of the extant Targums seem to date from 2nd century C.E. and later, yet a number of the translations would preserve readings that were current in the first century. (4)
Part of the passage reads this way (with italics indicating departures from the Hebrew): ( The translation is based on Bruce D. Chilton, The Isaiah Targum (ArBib 11;Wilmington: Glazier, 1987), 103–5. For Aramaic text and English translation, which at points differs somewhat, see John F. Stenning, The Targum of Isaiah (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949), 178–81).
Behold, my servant, the Messiah, shall prosper, he shall be exalted and increase, and shall be very strong. Just as the house of Israel hoped for him many days—their appearances were so dark among the peoples, and their aspect beyond that of the sons of men—So he shall scatter many peoples . . . Who has believed this our good news? . . . And the righteous shall be exalted before him . . . his appearance is not a common appearance and his fearfulness is not an ordinary fearfulness, and his brilliance will be holy brilliance, that everyone who looks at him will consider him. Then the glory of all the kingdoms will be for contempt and cease; they will be faint and mournful, behold, as a man of sorrows and appointed for sicknesses . . . Then he will beseech concerning our sins and our iniquities for his sake will be forgiven; yet we were esteemed wounded, smitten before the Lord and afflicted. 5And he will build the sanctuary . . . (if) we attach ourselves to his words our sins will be forgiven to us. He beseeches, and he is answered, and before he opens his mouth he is accepted . . . 8From bonds and retribution he will bring our exiles near . . . for he will take away the rule of the Gentiles from the land of Israel; the sins which my people sinned he will cast on to them. 9And he will hand over the wicked to Gehenna and those rich in possessions which they robbed to the death of the corruption . . .53: 10 Yet before the Lord it was a pleasure to refine and to cleanse the remnant of his people, in order to purify their soul from sins; they shall see the kingdom of their Messiah . . . .