Friday, May 14, 2021

Some past correspondences with Steve Hays

A longtime Triablogue reader and a friend of Steve Hays thought some of their past email correspondences might be beneficial for others to read. He granted us permission to post these correspondences. He preferred to be anonymous so I've edited and anonymized the content. Of course, "SH" refers to Steve Hays.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Jesus' Fulfillment Of Prophecy Wasn't Faked By Him Or The Early Christians

Sean McDowell recently posted a brief video on Twitter responding to the idea that Jesus lied about being born in Bethlehem. You can see a somewhat longer response in the original YouTube video. His comments are good as far as they go, and he's deliberately being concise, but much more could be said.

I have a collection of resources on the evidence for Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, and I'll be saying a lot more about the subject during the Christmas season later this year. However, there's more evidence for, and more ancient and modern non-Christian acknowledgement of, Jesus' background in Nazareth and Capernaum, which fulfills Isaiah 9:1. See here regarding problems with alleging that Jesus or the early Christians made up the claim that he was raised in Nazareth. And you can go here to read my interaction with a skeptic on these issues in a thread last year. Here's an interaction with a skeptic in the Sean McDowell thread.

There are a lot of other prophecy fulfillments that are similarly unlikely to have been fabricated by Jesus or the early Christians. See here for a collection of examples.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

One good teacher or more than one?

"In considering whether Jesus said something or not, we should remember that it is simpler to suppose that one genius came up with remarkable teaching than to posit that multiple people had brilliant ideas and all independently attributed them to the same prior teacher….If we want to say that Jesus told none of the parables, we need to have at least three individuals who created different parables in order to explain those unique to each source. This is problematic when we know that soon afterward, parables were not a popular form for early Christian authors to use. If we suppose that Jesus told some of these parables and others were put on his lips by followers, again we have multiple parable tellers at different periods, with parables suddenly going out of fashion among Christians….Some of Jesus's parables, such as the parables of the sower, good Samaritan, and prodigal son, are viewed as masterpieces of composition. It is far simpler to suppose that the founding figure of the new religion was the creative genius for these stories than to suppose that several later creative geniuses all credited their less creative founder with their great compositions." (Peter Williams, Can We Trust The Gospels? [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2018], approximate Kindle locations 1712, 1725)

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Maybe it's time to give the Germans a break

One question often brought up in studying World War II is the question of how the average German could have allowed the Gestapo and the S.S. to take over their country and kill so many people unopposed.

Perhaps we should ask the Canadians.

The Lord Is Your Home

"Be not discouraged to go from this country to another part of the Lord's earth: 'The earth is His, and the fulness thereof.' This is the Lord's lower house; while we are lodged here, we have no assurance to lie ever in one chamber, but must be content to remove from one corner of our Lord's nether house to another, resting in hope that, when we come up to the Lord's upper city, 'Jerusalem that is above,' we shall remove no more, because then we shall be at home. And go wheresoever ye will, if your Lord go with you, ye are at home; and your lodging is ever taken before night, so long as He who is Israel's dwelling-house is your home (Psa. xc. 1)." (Samuel Rutherford, Letters Of Samuel Rutherford [Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2012], 43)