5Apologetics1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer [apologia] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”Presentation Notes:This illustrates the importance of a proper method of interpretation.
6ApologeticsApologetics: Defending the faith to those outside the church. Polemics: Defending the faith to those inside the church.Presentation Notes:Emphasize the importance of distinguishing between these two. A good discussion can come about when one considers how the church is to deal with internal disputes in comparison to when we are dealing with outsiders. It would seem that both Paul and Christ were more “harsh” and direct when speaking to those who are in the church. These are people who are “under the authority” of the church and are therefore held to a different level of accountability. When dealing with outsiders, it is not as though they are the only one’s with whom we should be gentle and respectful, but, simply put, they are not under our authority. Just like when we deal with our kids compared to when we deal with those who are not in our family, there is a different approach. This might help to see the difference between Apologetics (to the outside world) and Polemics (in-house stuff).
7Apologetics Four types of Apologetics: Classical Apologetics – Reason oriented approach which argues from the existence of God to the truths of Christianity.Evidential Apologetics – Evidence oriented approach which argues for the probability of Christianity based on the evidences (primarily of the resurrection of Christ).Presuppositionalism – Approach which argues for the presupposed properly basic belief in God and the authority of Scripture.Fideism – Faith oriented approach which argues which argues for a blind faith and the absence of any need for evidences.Presentation Notes:This illustrates the importance of a proper method of interpretation.
54The ProblemObjection: We don’t have the originals and the Bible has been transmitted so many times that it is impossible to know what it really said.Illustration:Bring out some modern translations of the Bible and have people look up the copyright date. Explain how distant the copies we have are from the original.Refer to the “pass the word” exercise we did at the beginning.
55The Problem“ [How] Can we hope to get back to anything like the original [biblical] text, the text that the authors actually wrote? It is an enormous problem. In fact, it is such an enormous problem that a number of textual critics have started to claim that we may as well suspend any discussion of the “original” text, because it is inaccessible to us.” (p. 58)Activity: Group DiscussionTake time to have your audience engage this question.
56The ProblemIn the New Testament alone there are anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 differences among the existing texts. This amounts to close to three differences per word!
57The ProblemHow do we know that the Bible we have today is an accurate representation of the original?Activity: Group DiscussionTake time to have your audience engage this question.
58The Problem Transcription activity Presentation Notes: “Drinking apples with regular frequency, docs says, is good for the ticker in your chest.”
59The Problem“Drinking apples with regular frequency, docs says, is good for the ticker in your chest.”Presentation Notes:“Drinking apples with regular frequency, docs says, is good for the ticker in your chest.”
61Textual CriticismThe Old Testament was originally written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic (portions of Ezra and Daniel), from the years 1500 to 400 B.C.The New Testament was originally written in Koine Greek from the years 40 to 100 A.D.We do not have any original writing (autographa).All transmissions of the Bible were handwritten until the invention of the printing press in 1450s by Johann Gutenberg.The most readily available writing materials were stone, papyri, and parchment/vellum. Later (second century B.C.) the codex was developed.
73Textual CriticismNinety-nine percent of the variants make no theological difference.Of the one percent that do, none affect any major doctrine.Presentation Notes:Give examples of the different type of insignificant variants (e.g. “Christ Jesus” instead of “Jesus Christ”; absence of the definite article; movable nu, variant spellings, etc.).
75Textual CriticismField Ops: Discuss how many ways can this statement be misunderstood and mis-transcribed? “Paul went to the mall to buy apples. Paul also went to the mall to buy orangutans.” Come up with at least three ways to mis-transcribe this.Activity: Group DiscussionEveryone who comes up with three gets a prize.
76Textual CriticismHow does the manuscript evidence give testimony to the uniqueness of Scripture?Why do you think that God did not allow the originals to be preserved?Does it disturb you that there are so many variations? Why or why not?
82The ImportanceA priest during a television interview: “If they were to find the bones of Jesus Christ, this would not effect my Christian faith at all. And it does not have to yours.”
83The ImportanceIf Christ has not been raised from the dead, Christianity if false. Period. If Christ has been raised from the dead, Christianity is true. Period.
84The Importance EXODUS RESURRECTION Old Testament New Testament Presentation Notes:Two foot prints of God in apologetic history: 1) the Exodus and 2) the resurrection of Jesus. In the Old Testament, God is continually calling on people to look back to the historic event of his deliverance of his people from Egypt. After the resurrection, God calls on us to look back to the historicity of the resurrection of Christ.Old TestamentNew Testament
85The Importance1 Samuel 10:18-19 Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians, and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you. But you today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses.
86The ImportancePsalm 78:12-13 He wrought wonders before their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
87The ImportancePsalm 136:13-15 To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
88The ImportanceNehemiah 9:9-10 You saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, And heard their cry by the Red Sea. Then You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, Against all his servants and all the people of his land; For You knew that they acted arrogantly toward them, and made a name for Yourself as it is to this day.
89The Importance1 Corinthians 15:14-19 “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
90The ImportanceObjection: I was not there to see Christ raised. It is a matter of blind faith. How could God expect us to believe something that have no firsthand evidence for?
91The ImportanceGetting pulled over with my daughter.
92The ImportanceWhat other ancient historical events do people believe?
93The Evidence Internal Evidence: Evidence coming from within the primary witness documents.External Evidence:Collaborative evidence coming from outside the primary witness documents.
95HonestyIrrelevant/Incidental detailsHarmony in AccountsPublic historical claimsLack of motive for fabrication
96Internal EvidenceInternal Evidence For the Resurrection of Christ, the primary witness documents are the twenty-seven works that make up the corpus that Christianity has traditionally called the New Testament. These works stand or fall individually from an historical standpoint. Therefore, they provide twenty-seven separate sources of documentation, not one.
97Internal Evidence Internal Evidence Honesty/Embarrassing Moments Irrelevant/Incidental detailsHarmony in the accounts (but not too much)Public historical claimsLack of motive for fabrication
98Internal EvidenceHonesty/Embarrassing Moments The entire Bible records both successes and failures of the heroes. I have always been impressed by this. It never paints the glorious picture that you would expect from legendary material, but shows them in all their worst moments. The Israelites whined, David murdered, Peter denied, the apostles abandoned Christ in fear, Moses became angry, Jacob deceived, Noah got drunk, Adam and Eve disobeyed, Paul persecuted, Solomon worshiped idols, Abraham was a bigamist, Lot committed incest, John the Baptist doubted, Abraham doubted, Sarah doubted, Nicodemus doubted, Thomas doubted, Jonah ran, Samson self-served, and John, at the very end of the story, when he should have had it all figured out, worshiped an angel (Rev 22:8).Presentation Notes:A hallmark of embellishments and fabrications is that they display people in a positive light, normally only bringing to light their successes and triumphs. True history, on the other hand, will contain accounts that might cause some embarrassment.
99Internal EvidenceHonesty/Embarrassing In addition, the most faithful are seen as suffering the most (Joseph, Job, and Lazarus), while the wicked are seen as prospering (the rich man). In the case of the Gospels, the disciples who recorded it claimed to have abandoned Christ and did not believe in His resurrection when told. Even after the resurrection, they still present themselves as completely ignorant of God’s plan (Acts 1:6-7). Women are the first to witness the resurrection which has an element of self-incrimination since a woman’s testimony was not worth anything in the first century. If someone were making this up, why include such an incriminating detail? (I am glad they did—what an Easter message this is for us today!)Presentation Notes:A hallmark of embellishments and fabrications is that they display people in a positive light, normally only bringing to light their successes and triumphs. True history, on the other hand, will contain accounts that might cause some embarrassment.
100Internal EvidenceHonesty/Embarrassing None of the Gospel writers give their names.Presentation Notes:This might seem odd and is often used as evidence *against* the resurrection. But the reality is that the unnamed authorship is a mark of authenticity, not fabrication. In the day when the Gospels were written, it was characteristic of people to produce works and tag it with the name of their favorite teacher (pseudopigrapha—”false writings”). Why? To gain authority to their writing. But the Gospel writers completely left their name out. Why would someone do this if it was a false embellishment! The last thing one would do is leave their name out.Read here for more information:
101Internal EvidenceMark 8:22-25 And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?“ And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.“ Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.
102Internal Evidence Irrelevant/Incidental Details Presentation Notes: Refer to this story and have people tell what irrelevant details are included.Ask people why would a fabrication contain irrelevant details.
103Internal EvidenceIrrelevant/Incidental Details The Gospel writers (especially John) include many elements to their story that are really irrelevant to the big picture. Normally, when someone is making up a story, they include only the details that contribute to the fabrication. Irrelevant details are a mark of genuineness in all situations.
104Internal EvidenceJohn 20:4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first.
105Internal Evidence Polar bear in Lost Presentation Notes: Everyone what very upset that they never explained what the polar bear that showed up in the first season of the television show Lost was all about. Why? Because Lost is a fictional show that cannot contain incidental details. Everything, every camera shot, every dialogue fits into the bigger picture. Fabrications do not contain incidentals. True history often does and it is a mark of its historicity.
106Internal EvidenceMark 14:50-52 And they all left him and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
108Internal EvidenceHarmony in Accounts The four Gospel writers claim to have witnessed the resurrected Christ. The same is the case for most of the other writers of the NT. The four Gospel writers all write of the same event from differing perspectives. Although they differ in details, they are completely harmonious to the main events surrounding the resurrection, and all claim that it is an historical event.
109Internal EvidenceHarmony in Accounts (but not too much) The differences among the accounts add to the historicity. Why?
111Internal EvidencePublic Historical Claims The Bible records that the resurrection of Christ happened and gives the time, place, people involved, and it names many of the witnesses. In other words, the extraordinary claims were not done in secret as would be the case if it were fabricated. Look to all the ancient myths and you will see how obscure the mythology has to be in order to claim historicity. Why? Because if you give too many details of times, people, and places it can be easily disproven. If it was a fabrication, the author should have said only one person knew about it. He should have said it happened in a cave or a place no one has ever heard of. We have those type of stories that start religions.
116Internal EvidenceActs 26:26 For the king knows about these matters [concerning the resurrection of Christ], and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.
117Internal EvidenceLack of Motive for Fabrication
118Internal EvidenceMotives for Fabrication: Why would someone make this up? Popularity Power Riches
119Internal Evidence1. James – Killed with a sword. A.D Peter - Hung on a cross “head downward.” A.D Andrew - Hung from an olive tree. A.D Thomas - Burned alive. A.D Phillip - Crucified. A.D Matthew - Beheaded. A.D Nathanael - Crucified. A.D James - Thrown from the temple. A.D Simon - Crucified. A.D Judas Thaddeus - Beaten with sticks. A.D Matthias - Stoned on a cross. A.D John - Natural death. A.D Paul - Beheaded. A.D. 69
120Internal EvidenceBeyond this, it was culturally unacceptable at all levels to have a crucified and resurrected Messiah. The Jews certainly were not expecting their Messiah to be crucified. The Greek world would have nothing but disdain for the idea of a bodily resurrection since, from their perspective, the material body was something from which we desire to escape. Therefore, for this idea to arise as a fabrication at this time in history would have been about the most counterproductive story anyone could have made up!
121Internal EvidenceRelation of these things to getting pulled over Do you believe that I got pulled over? Why?
123External Evidence While the internal evidence looks to the evidence coming from within the primary witness documents, the external evidence seeks to find collaborative evidence coming from outside the primary witness documents.
124External Evidence Antiquity of the Documents Archeology Extra-biblical Attestation
127External EvidenceSignificance of the empty tomb Historical markers in the Gospels
128External Evidence“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries.” (Nelson Glueck Rivers in the Desert; History of Negev [Philadelphia: Jewish Publications Society of America, 1969], 31).
130External EvidenceExtra-biblical Attestation There are numerous first-century and second-century extrabiblical writings that witness to the historicity of Christ death, resurrection, and/or early worship: Josephus, Tacitus, Trajan, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Clement, Papias, Didache, Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Hermas, Tatian, Theophilus, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria.
131External Evidence No Yes The Apostles lied The Apostles were mistaken Fabrication theoryThe Apostles were mistakenMistaken identity theoryChrist did not die“Swoon” theoryChrist’s body was stolenStolen body theoryNo motivation to lie? They were martyred for an unwavering testimony to have seen Christ alive.Christ only appeared dead, yet He came to the Apostles after three days, beaten, bruised, pierced, and stabbed, and convinced them that He was their risen king?They claim to be eye witnesses of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and they all went to their deaths for mistaken identity?Who stole it and what was their motivation? This still would not explain the Apostles’ testimony to have seen Christ alive.
137Matthew 16:13-17 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?“ And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?“ And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.“ And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
138Jehovah’s Witnesses: “You are the first creation of God though whom he created all things.” Mormons: “You are the son of God, the offspring of God and his wife and the brother of Lucifer.” Jews: “You are a false prophet.” Islam: “You are a great prophet, second only to Mohammad.” Liberal Theology: “You are a man who inspires us to love others.”
139Orthodox Christianity: Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the eternal Trinity, fully God and fully man.
142Docetism: Christ was God, but he was not man Docetism: Christ was God, but he was not man. God would not lower himself by having a physical body. Therefore it only “seemed” like Christ was man.
1431 John 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
144Arianism: (Arius: 256 – 336) Christ was the first creation of God through whom God created all things. He is god, but not God.
145“Since there was a time when Christ was begotten, there was a time when Christ was not.”
147Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty [pantokratora], creator of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten [pro panton ton aionon] of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of the same essence [homoousion] with the Father.
148Council of Nicea (A. D. 325) Through him all things were made Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.