Monday, March 31, 2014

3. How can we trust the Bible after all that copying & translating over the years?

The short answer on translations is new translations are based on the oldest greek & hebrew text. They are not translations of translations of translations. A difference in wording between modern translations like the Lord's Prayer in Mt. 6:12 (...forgive us our debts vs. trespasses or sins), means translators disagree on what phrase best expresses the original idea.  The short answer on copying is that we can compare copies & see where they differ.  There are no variations that affect the basic story of Jesus' life, death & resurrection.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2. How do we know the resurrection story was not a borrowed myth?

There are several aspects of the story of Jesus death & resurrection that are fairly unique.  He dies once, so that the sins of mankind can be forgiven.  He predicts his own death & resurrection.  Predicting your own death isn't a big trick if you are suicidal, but fulfilling that resurrection part is a little harder for the rest of us. That's not the point here, though. The point is those details aren't found in earlier myths. Earlier cultures & religions had stories about gods that died yearly & came back to life again to explain the seasons or the crop cycle.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

1. How do we know Jesus was a real person
& not just a myth?

There actually is plenty of evidence that Jesus was a real person & the story of his life & death is not a myth. His crucifixion is attested to outside the Bible by Tacitus, Josephus & Pliny the Younger. All 3 were non-Christians writing in the 1st & early 2nd centuries AD. I've since read that there are at least 47 references to Jesus outside the Bible from close to the time he lived. 

Introductions

Ever sit in church on Easter & wonder if 2000 years of worship by zillions of people was just one huge cosmic joke?  I did.  I used to feel like a liar for coming to church anytime, but especially on Easter.  What if Jesus was a myth or maybe he just passed out on the cross & revived in the tomb? We’d be believing a lie. The Apostle Paul was pretty blunt about it in 1 Corinthians 15:14:  “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless & so is your faith.”