Book Review: “The Resurrection of Jesus” by Mike Licona

cover_image.aspWhen it comes to the truth of Christianity, no subject is more important than the Resurrection. The entire Christian faith hinges on it, and without it our faith becomes pointless. The apologetic task of defending the Resurrection is tantamount to defending Christianity itself, or at least defending its most defining facet.
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Frozen- The Eyewitness of “No Greater Love”

DISNEY-FROZEN-618-618x400Before I go into any content about this movie, I want to warn the reader that there are major spoilers in this post. A thorough examination of the message behind the movie is not the intention of this post, rather I want to focus on one important detail in the movie that has value for understanding the force behind the eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ disciples. If you have not seen Frozen yet, please do. The main force behind what is written below is best read in the context of having seen the film first. [Read more...]

Why Is There Even A Jesus Myth Theory?

Jesus

Picture by pixaby

I have spent much of my apologetics activity responding to the Jesus myth theory. My first book (co-authored with Stanley Porter) Unmasking the Pagan Christ and my first journal article were both responses to the Jesus myth theory.

Although generally discounted by scholars, I believe that it is a dangerous theory that is influencing people through the medium of the internet. I am thankful that many apologists see this challenge and are responding to it.

This post is not a response to the specific claims of the Jesus myth theory.

My question is: Why is there even a Jesus myth theory to begin with? It does not make sense for people to just wake up one morning and decide they are going to question the historicity of one of the most well known ancient figures. Why do they do it?

I do not believe that there is only one answer to that question. I will present four possible reasons for people to embrace this theory.

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The Divinity of Jesus. Part One: Did Jesus Claim the Divine Name?

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Arnold Friburg

Many Christian scholars believe that Jesus claimed the divine name spoken to Moses from the burning bush, most specifically using the example in John 8:58, where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

The passage from which the divine name originates is Exodus 3:14:  “And God said unto Moses, I AM [THAT] I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you.”

With little variation, “I Am That I Am” is the common English translation of this verse. However, English translations do not accurately reflect the meaning of the name. Most languages have one main copula. In English, this is the verb “to be” in all its various forms — am, are, is, was, were, been, etc. Both the English, Hebrew, and Greek also have a non-copular use of “to be,” meaning that at times it is used as  an existential verb, denoting “to exist” (an English example would be Shakespeare’s famous line, “To be or not to be, that is the question”). [Read more...]

A Defense of the Minimal Facts: Part 1

I was recently sent an article by Matthew Ferguson of Adversus Apologetica where he attempts to knock down the minimal facts approach. Looking through the article, I was largely unimpressed. For those interested, it can be found here:

The minimal facts approach is used by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona. This strategy take facts that even liberal scholarship acknowledges and argues from there that the best conclusion that can be reached from what we know is that Jesus rose from the dead.

Much of this is done to avoid going to the gospels. As Habermas has said, the gospels were written, by liberal standards, 40-70 years after the facts. The minimal facts approach is also used to avoid “The Bible says it happened, therefore it did,” approach, as Habermas and Licona use facts that are agreed upon by non-Christian scholars in the field.

So what does Ferguson say? [Read more...]