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Did the Gospel Authors Think They Were Writing Scripture?

March 23, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Kruger

One of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books. I dealt with this misconception on a general level here, showing that there was a clear apostolic self-awareness amongst the New Testament authors.

While this apostolic self-awareness may be easy to show for authors like Paul, what about the gospels which, technically speaking, are formally anonymous? Do their authors exhibit awareness that they were writing something like Scripture? To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.

The first step is to get our expectations clear. We should not expect that Matthew would say something like, “I, Matthew, am writing Scripture as I write this book.” Gospels are a very different genre than epistles, and we would not expect the authors to provide the same type of direct and explicit statements about their own authority…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Free Ebook- An Apology for the Baptists

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment

An

Apology

For The

Baptists;

In Which

They Are Vindicated From The Imputation

Of Laying

An Unwarrantable Stress

On

The Ordinance Of Baptism.

And

Against The Charge Of Bigotry

In Refusing

Communion At The Lord’s Table

By Abraham Booth

 

Download here (Pdf)

What Happens to Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

September 15, 2016 2 comments

by Matt Smethurst

The man on the island. Perhaps you’ve encountered him in a friend’s argument against Christianity. Maybe you’ve even voiced the objection yourself.

How could a good and loving God condemn to hell someone who’s never heard of him?

When it comes to this emotionally vexing issue, there are two dominant positions among professing Christians: inclusivism and exclusivism. While both views maintain that Jesus is the only way to God, only one insists on the necessity of conscious faith in him.

Inclusivism vs. Exclusivism

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Serious Challenge to the New Perspective on Paul

by Michael Kruger

As most readers know, there has been a long scholarly debate over what is known as the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP). This approach argues that “justification” in Paul does not mean what many Christians (especially Reformed folks) have always believed.

In short, NPP advocates (e.g., N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn) argue that (a) first-century Judaism was not a works-oriented religion, and (b) “justification by faith” is not referring to the acquisition of a righteous status before God, but instead refers to the fact that membership in the covenant community can be obtained without the standard Jewish boundary markers laid out in the law of Moses (inset is a picture of Mt. Sinai).

One of the major flash points in this debate is the term “righteousness of God.” Paul uses this phrase in a number of places…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Likely Forger Behind the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

by Michael J. Kruger

It has been a while since the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has been in the headlines. It was originally unveiled by Karen King at Harvard (here), but quickly exposed as a likely forgery. I have also written on the fragment (here and here).

While this document’s status as a forgery is relatively certain, what has been uncertain (until now) is the identity of the forger. Who was the person who created this document and convinced King and others to promote it?

The forger must have had some Coptic abilities. But, the abilities would have had limits–as demonstrated by the mistakes in the Coptic text.

What is remarkable is that King herself has not undertaken a rigorous investigation of the document’s origins and provenance. Who discovered this document? Who owned it? And how was it passed along? If the authenticity of a document is in doubt,….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Were the Stories of Jesus Radically Changed Before They Were Written Down? My Review of Bart Ehrman’s Latest

by Michael J. Kruger

If one accepts the dating of some modern scholars, the earliest canonical gospel–the Gospel of Mark–was not written until 70 AD or later.

This means there was a gap of time of about 40 years between the life of Jesus and our earliest Gospel that records his words and deeds.

What happened to the stories of Jesus during this period of time? Since such stories were largely passed down orally, can this process be trusted? Did Christians change the stories along the way? Is it reasonable to think that Christians could have even remembered the details accurately?

These are the questions raised in Jesus Before the Gospels, Bart Ehrman’s latest Easter-timed book attacking the reliability and historical integrity of the New Testament.

Prior installments in Ehrman’s “you can’t trust the Bible” series include Forged in 2011, Jesus, Interrupted in 2009, God’s Problem in 2007, and Misquoting Jesus in 2005.

Each of these books, though different in the specific topic, tells the same overall story: Ehrman, once an evangelical who attended Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College, has now discovered, along with the consensus of modern scholarship, that the New Testament, and the Gospels in particular, do not provide a trustworthy account of the historical Jesus.

Instead, what we have (according to Ehrman) are books that are forgeries, contain contradictions, have morally-questionable teachings, and have been edited and changed throughout the centuries.

My full-length review of Ehrman’s new volume has just been published over at the Gospel Coalition website. See here.

In addition, you can listen to my hour-long interview about Ehrman’s book on the nationally-syndicated radio program, Stand to Reason with Greg Koukl. Download here.

 

 

Source [Canon Fodder]

Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?

February 24, 2016 Leave a comment

By Brett Kunkle

On Sunday, I returned home from another Berkeley Mission trip, where I intentionally exposed high school students to some of my atheist friends in the Bay Area. For the last six months, we’ve taught apologetics to these high schoolers from Upland Christian Academy. Now it was time for them to “get off the sidelines and into the game” and engage non-Christians with the truth. Of course, my atheist friends are more than happy to oblige, so they meet with our missions teams, challenge them with a short lecture, and then dive into some rigorous dialogue.

Without fail, a couple of our atheist guests will contend, “Religion is the cause of most wars.” This cultural mantra has been uttered so often….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.