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Christian Evidences APLA Day 2. The Bible. Quiz #1. 1. Give three examples of claims Jesus made which were “backed up” by miracles he worked at the same time. 2. Name at least one non-Christian writer who mentioned Jesus in the first or very early second century. Ex Cr for more than one.

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quiz 1
Quiz #1

1. Give three examples of claims Jesus made which were “backed up” by miracles he worked at the same time.

2. Name at least one non-Christian writer who mentioned Jesus in the first or very early second century. Ex Cr for more than one.

3. Describe the teleological argument for the existence of God.

5. According to the majority of biblical scholars, when was the book of Daniel written? When was it actually written?

6. List two Messianic prophecies: chapter and verse and the basic thing or things prophesied.

course outline
Course Outline
  • Existence of God
  • Jesus
    • Messianic Prophecies
    • Claims of Jesus
    • Miracles of Jesus
    • Resurrection of Jesus
  • The Bible
    • Inspiration and Inerrancy
    • How We Got the Bible, Canon
    • Contradictions?
  • History, Archaeology and the Bible
  • Science and Christianity
  • Christian and Other World Views
  • Defense of Christian Theology
    • Problem of Pain, Suffering and Evil
    • The Problem of Hell
    • Free Will/Predestination
inspiration and inerrancy
Inspiration and Inerrancy
  • Inspiration: Is the Bible inspired by God?
  • Inerrancy: Is the Bible inerrant?
inspiration is the bible inspired by god
Inspiration: Is the Bible Inspired by God?
  • The entire Bible, although authored by men, is divinely and authoritatively the revelation of God.
  • 2 Peter 1:19-21, 2 Tim 3:16, 1 Thess 2:13, 2 Peter 3:15-16
  • Is there such a thing as inspired opinion? (1 Cor 7:12 I, not the Lord)
  • What about John 9:31?
is the bible inerrant
Is the Bible Inerrant?

Inerrant: The Bible contains no errors whatsoever. This is the standard fundamentalist view.

Translation issues. Translations are not perfect.

Copyist errors. It is a fact that Hebrew and Greek texts have errors.

is the bible inerrant are there mistakes in the autographs original manuscripts
Is the Bible Inerrant?Are There Mistakes in the Autographs (Original Manuscripts)?
  • Does the sun move across the sky?
  • Are the gospels or Bible in general exact transcriptions?
  • Is Genesis 1 literal?
  • Did Jesus clear the temple twice?
  • Are there chronological errors in the NT?
  • What would it mean if there was a “mistake” in the Bible?
  • What is your definition of “error?”
  • Was Moses literally in the desert exactly 40 years
  • Be cautious about imposing a modernist/Western concept of inerrancy.
  • More on this later….
is it genuine
Is it Genuine?
  • Discovered in a subterranean chamber in Egypt in 1970’s.
  • Carbon-14 dating: AD 220-340.
  • A Coptic manuscript on papyrus.
  • Quoted by Iranaeus Against Heresies AD180.
  • Probably originated AD 150-170.
  • Bottom line, it is genuine!

National Geographic Article:

“Some of these alternative versions (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Phillip, Gospel of Judas) may have circulated more widely than the familiar four Gospels”

“A long-buried side of Christianity is re-emerging”

“In fact, it is unclear whether the authors of any of the gospels—even the familiar four—actually witnessed the events they described.”

is the gospel of judas a gospel
Is the Gospel of Judas a Gospel?
  • 3200 words long—about three chapters in length.
  • No miracles, no healings, no ministry to the people.
  • Not a biography of Jesus.
  • No passion account!
  • Not a gospel.

The Message and Content of the Gospel of Judas:

Judas Did Jesus a favor when he “betrayed” him!!!


The Theme of the Gospel of Judas:

“The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot.”

Judas was Jesus’ closest apostle.

Jesus revealed secret, deeper knowledge of his purpose and ministry to Judas. This Gospel reveals this deeper knowledge (gnosis).

content cont
Content (cont.)
  • A bizarre Gnostic cosmology put into the mouth of Jesus
  • “Come, that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] seen…” (GJ, p. 47)
  • 12 Aeons (gods?) (see on Gnosticism below).
  • 72 heavens and 72 luminaries: six for each of the Aeons.
  • 360 firmaments and 360 luminaries: five for each of the heavens.
  • Characters such as Nebro, Yaldabaoth, Saklas, Galila, Yobel, Adonaios, Seth. “The first is Seth, who is called Christ” (GJ p. 52) Jesus is Seth, one of the five rulers of the underworld.
content cont1
Content (cont.)
  • The key like comes near the end: “For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” (GJ p. 56) Believe it or not, this makes sense (to a Gnostic)!
what about the other gospels
What about the other “gospels?”
  • There were several Gnostic “gospels,” such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Phillip, and the gospel of Judas.
  • These books were written AD 150-250 and definitely were not written by the apostles.
  • Even the Gnostics such as Marcion did not include them in their canon of scripture, because everyone knew they did not have apostolic authority.
from the gospel of thomas
From “The Gospel of Thomas”
  • (supposedly quoting Peter) “Let Mary go away from us, because women are not worthy of life.”
  • Then Jesus allegedly tells Peter that he will make Mary male so that she may enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Not much of a battle cry for women’s rights, and yet the “Gospel of Thomas” is one of the primary sources for Dan Brown’s feminist agenda.

So, who cares?

You should.

National Geographic: Marcionites, Ebionites, Gnostics, Orthodox Christians are all equally valid views of Jesus which fought it out. What we know as Christianity is the one that won out (DaVinci Code). The Gospel of Judas is just another of many equally valid pictures of the true Jesus. “In fact, it is unclear whether the authors of any of the gospels—even the familiar four—actually witnessed the events they described.”

This is a lie!!!


Gnostic writings:

Even the Gnostics did not take them as historical facts. They interpreted their stories/myths as allegories with deep, hidden meaning.

Even Marcion, in his “canon” did not list the Gospel of Thomas or any other of the Gnostic writings! No apostolic authority.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts:

Clearly to be taken as literal history with obvious literal meaning. Jesus really walked on water. We know when and where he was born, where he lived, who he touched and healed. He died a horrible, physical, bloody death. This is unmistakably literal.

why only four gospels
Why only four gospels?
  • If you accept the others, you have to throw out the Old Testament.
  • Dates they were written (as opposed to the Gnostic writings).
  • Apostolic authority.
  • Manuscript evidence.
  • Church Father quotes.
  • Evolution of the church canon.


The Gospel of Judas is not a gospel at all. It is a non-Christian, Gnostic writing from some time after AD 150 with absolutely no apostolic authority and virtually no historical content. It is of great interests to historians of religion in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 2nd century AD, but it has nothing new to tell us about Jesus or about true Christianity.

excerpt from dvc
Excerpt from DVC
  • “Aha!’ Teabing burst in with enthusiasm. ‘The fundamental irony of Christianity! The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great.” (page 251, DVC)
dates of composition
Dates of Composition
  • Matthew 60’s AD
  • Mark AD 50’s or 60’s
  • Luke AD 63 (based on details not included in Acts)
  • John AD 70-90
  • Alternative, non-canonical gospels: 2nd and 3rd centuries AD
  • Gospel of Thomas AD130-150
  • Gospel of Judas AD 150-170

Apostolic Authority

Justin Martyr AD 150 four “memoirs of the apostles.”

Irenaeus: AD 190 MML&J are the “four pillars of the Gospel.”

The New Testament canon was chosen as those books which, by consensus, had apostolic authority.

The four gospels are the only ones even the heretics ever saw as being truly apostolic.


Manuscript evidence for the canonical gospels

The Rylands


John 18:31-33, 37

AD 125

church father quotes
Church Father Quotes
  • Ignatius d. AD 115 Quotes from Matthew, John and Luke.
  • Polycarp, writing to the Philippians in AD 120 quotes from Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, 1,2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1,2 Thessalonians, 1,2 Timothy, Hebrews, 1 Peter, and 1,3 John
  • Clement of Rome AD 95 or 96 quotes from ten of the twenty-seven New Testament books.
  • Nearly the entire New Testament can be reconstructed from quotes of the church fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
  • None of these ever quoted from a Gnostic gospel, ever!
development of the new testament canon
Development of the New Testament Canon
  • Four gospels circulating and recognized as apostolic by AD 100 or even by AD 90.
  • A group of letters of Paul circulating together and recognized as apostolic by AD 100
  • A still fluid, but developing complete list of canonical books by AD 150. (some doubt about Hebrews, 2,3 John, Revelation, 2 Peter, Epistle of Barnabus, Didache).
  • By AD 200, the New Testament as we know it was canonized by acclamation of the church. (The Muratorian Fragment, AD 175)
non canonical books
Non-Canonical Books
  • Some books not in our NT were accepted for reading in the church.
  • Didache
  • Gospel of Barnabas
  • Clement of Rome
  • Why Rejected?
    • Not “apostolic”
    • Lower quality

Codex Sinaiticus (350 AD)

  • Codex Vaticanus (350 AD)
  • Alexandrian Codex (350 AD)
  • Codex Bezae (300 AD)
  • Chester Beaty Papyrus (200 AD)
  • John Rylands Papyrus (125 AD)



Oldest Copy




400 BC

AD 900

1,300 years



340 BC

AD 1100

1,450 years



300 BC

AD 1100

1,400 years


Julius Caesar

50 BC

AD 900

950 years



435 BC

AD 900

1,350 years



800 BC

AD 100

900 years



360 BC

AD 800

1,150 years



415 BC

AD 1000

1,400 years



410 BC

AD 900

1,300 years


Old Testament

1400 BC – 430 BC

250 BC

200-400 years


New Testament

AD 50-90

AD 125

50 years


Textual Evidence for Ancient Manuscripts


What about the tens of thousands of manuscript errors in the New Testament?

Blow-up of text from Codex Sinaiticus

Showing uncial manuscript type

new testament manuscript errors
New Testament Manuscript Errors
  • There are over 100,000 manuscript “errors.”
  • Virtually all are minor spelling errors, word order changes, etc.
  • There are only four significant controversial passages in the New Testament
  • John 7:53-8:11
  • Acts 8:37 and 1 John 5:7
  • Mark 16:9-20
  • The New Testament canon was selected by consensus of the church in the second century as those books with apostolic authority.
  • The evidence is conclusive that the Greek New Testament we have is virtually identical to the original writings of the inspired writers.
the text and canon of the old testament
The Text and Canon of the Old Testament
  • The Cairo Codex: The former and latter prophets AD 895
  • The Leningrad Codex: Oldest Hebrew manuscript of the whole Old Testament AD 1008
  • The Masoretes and the Masoretic Text. These guys were fanatics!
  • All this changed in 1949 with an Arab child in the hills east of Jerusalem….

The Talmud.

A synagogue roll must be written on the skins of clean animals, prepared for the particular use of the synagogue by a Jew. These must be fastened together with strings taken from clean animals. Every skin must contain a certain number of columns, equal throughout the entire codex. The length of each column must not extend over less than forty-eight, or more than sixty lines; and the breadth must consist of thirty letters. The whole copy must be first lined; and if three words be written in it without a line, it is worthless. The ink should be black, neither red, green, nor any other color and be prepared according to a definite recipe. An authentic copy must be the exemplar, from which the transcriber ought not in the least deviate. No word or letter, not even a yod (a vowel mark), must be written from memory, the scribe not having looked at the codex before him…. Between every consonant the space of a hair or thread must intervene; between every word, the breadth of a narrow consonant; between every new section, the breadth of nine consonants; between every book, three lines. The fifth book of Moses must terminate exactly with a line, but the rest need not do so. Besides this, the copyist must sit in full Jewish dress, wash his whole body, not begin to write the name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink, and should a king address him while writing that name he must take no notice of him…. The rolls in which these regulations are not observed are condemned to be buried in the ground or burned; or they are banished to the schools, to be used as reading books.



Cave #4


Column I

The Great Qumran Isaiah Scroll

other versions
Other Versions
  • The Septuagint 250-170 BC
  • The Samaritan Pentateuch 400 BC
  • Jewish quotations from the OT in the Talmud and other writings.
old testament apocrypha
Old Testament Apocrypha
  • Composed in the 2nd and 3rd century BC
  • Attached to (included in?) Septuagint
  • Never quoted in NT (Jude 14 and exception?)
  • By 3rd Century these books were quoted extensively and treated as scripture by church fathers
  • Included in Jerome’s Vulgate
  • Rejected by Jews by 3rd century. NOT in Jewish Bible
  • Included in KJV.
  • Excluded by Protestant Bibles in 17th century
old testament apocrypha1
Old Testament Apocrypha
  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Additions to Esther
  • First Maccabees
  • Second Maccabees
  • Wisdom
  • Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
  • Baruch
  • Additions to Daniel:
    • The Prayer of Azariah and The Song of the Three Children
    • Susanna
    • Bel and the Dragon
tobit judith additions to esther susanna bel and the dragon
Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon
  • Jewish Fables/Parables
  • Tobit: Using the smoke from the liver and heart of a fish to drive off a demon.
  • Judith: Nebuchadnezzar called a king of the Assyrians.
  • Additions to Esther: A Greek interpolation. A “Targum” A Jewish commentary. Never in Hebrew.
  • Susanna: Daniel as a young boy. “And from that day onward, Daniel was greatly esteemed by the people.”
  • Bel and the Dragon: Daniel convinces Cyrus that Bel and “the Dragon” are mere idols
1 st and 2 nd maccabees
1st and 2nd Maccabees
  • 1st Maccabees of very high quality. Rejected because it is favorable of the Romans?
  • 2nd Maccabees of much lower quality.
    • Some very inspiring stories. (2 Maccabees 7)
    • Many historical errors.
    • 2 Maccabees 6:17 “Without further ado, we must go on with our story.”
    • “I will bring my own story to an end here too. If it is well written, and to the point, that is what I wanted; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that is the best I could do” (2 Maccabees 15:37-38)
wisdom and sirach ecclesiasticus
Wisdom and Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
  • Very similar in form and substance to Proverbs.
  • Wisdom is a Pseudepigrapha (falsely ascribed book) Solomon? Written about 100 BC
  • Some very good advice.
    • Envy and anger shorten one’s life, Worry brings on premature age. One who is cheerful and gay while at table benefits from his food (Sirach 30:24,45)
    • If there are many with you at table, be not the first one to reach out your hand. Sirach 31:18)
wisdom and sirach include false doctrine and unbiblical advice
Wisdom and Sirach Include False Doctrine and Unbiblical Advice
  • Tell nothing to a friend or foe; If you have a fault, reveal it not (Sirach 19:7)
  • For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering–it will take lasting root. In time of tribulation it will be recalled to your advantage, like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins (Sirach 3:14-15).
  • Water quenches a flaming fire and alms atone for sins. (Sirach 3:29)
  • Worst of all wounds is that of the heart, worst of all evils is that of a woman.... There is scarce any evil like that in a woman; may she fall to the lot of the sinner (Sirach 25:12,18).
summary of the evidence for the old testament
Summary of the Evidence for the Old Testament
  • Our Hebrew Bible is very similar to the original writings. No significant biblical doctrine is in doubt
  • The Old Testament books were chosen by consensus of Jewish teachers somewhere between 400 and 200 BC.
  • The entire Bible we have in our hands is essentially what God had written by the inspired writers.
bible contradictions
Bible “Contradictions”
  • Claims that the doctrine which is taught in two different passages is contradictory.
  • Identical events described by two different authors have details of fact that appear to contradict.
  • Numbers of objects, people or years in two different passages do not agree.
bible contradictions1
Bible “Contradictions”
  • Claim: The Bible is full of contradictions.
    • Genesis 7:17 vs Genesis 8:3 Forty days or 150 days?
    • Genesis 37:36 vs Genesis 39:1 Was Joseph sold to the Midianites or to the Ishmaelites?
    • Proverbs 26:4 vs Proverbs 26:5 Do we answer a fool?
    • Mathew 27:5 vs Acts 1:18 How did Judas die?
    • John 19:17 vs Mark 15:21-23 Who carried the cross?
    • More serious Exodus 20:4-5 vs Ezek 18:19-20
bible contradictions cont
Bible Contradictions (cont.)
  • “David took seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4) or seven thousand (1Chronicles 18:4) horsemen from Hadadezer. Which is correct?”
  • “Exodus 20:8, ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy’ contradicts Isaiah 1:13 ‘Your… Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear…’”
more difficult supposed contradictions
More Difficult Supposed Contradictions
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 vs James 2:20-24. Are we saved by works?
  • Exodus 20:4-5 vs Ezek 18:19-20
  • All-time most difficult: Matt 10:10, Luke 9:8 vs Mk 6:8 Were they to carry a staff?
bible errors
Bible “Errors”
  • Matthew 2:23 Where is the prophecy that Jesus will be called a Nazarene? Answer: Isaiah 11:1-2, Zechariah 6:9-15
  • Two different and contradictory Genealogies in Matthew and Luke. Answer: Matthew is genealogy of Joseph and Luke is genealogy of Mary (Joseph the son in law of Heli)
  • Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child” is a misquote of the Bible.
  • Matthew 2:15 Mistakenly makes Hosea 11:1 a prophecy (no, it is a fulfilled foreshadow, not a fulfilled historical prophecy)
bible errors cont
Bible “Errors”? (cont.)
  • Is David mistaken? Psalm 51:4 Against you only have I sinned. Psalm 51:5 Original sin?
  • Psalm 103:12 How far is it from the East to the West?
  • Do Bible writers misquote the OT? Is it an “error” if they quote from an unispired translation (the Septuagint)? Are they paraphrasing? Is that a mistake?
  • Bottom line, Inspiration is very solid, but inerrancy is tricky, depending on how you define it.
biblical inspiration inerrancy advanced topics
Biblical Inspiration/Inerrancy Advanced Topics
  • Source Criticism.
    • New Testament Source Criticism: Q
    • Old Testament Source Criticism: The Documentary Hypothesis
    • JEPD (Jahwist, Elohist, Priestly, Deuteronomist)
    • DeuteroIsaiah Isaiah 40-66
    • Two authors (or more) for Genesis? Moses the author?
  • Form Criticism.
  • Redaction Criticism: Did Copyists edit the NT in small ways, on purpose, and what are the implications?
more thoughts on biblical inspiration
More Thoughts on Biblical Inspiration
  • Unity of theme, doctrine and theology
  • The Bible works
    • Changed Lives. John 7:17
  • The Bible is the best book in the world on…
    • Psychology
    • Teaching Look at Jesus’ parables
    • Literature (Psalms)
    • Wisdom (Proverbs)
    • Philosophy
    • Character, Ethics
    • Child Raising
    • Finances
    • Government Q: Other????