Saturday, April 02, 2022


The Ivy League Informational Apologetics Database:

Who are we?

The Iliad Forum was founded in 2021 by undergraduate students from all across the Ivy League, who wanted to provide an online, accessible, and rigorous database of answers to common questions about the nature and commitments of orthodox Christianity. The Iliad Forum site is intended to be a resource for both Christians and non-Christians, where answers to deep and complex questions and objections can be found almost immediately. Many of the questions that we deal with are tailored to the specific interests of undergraduate students at Ivy League universities. However, we also deal with broader topics, such as Christianity in the job market, philosophical apologetics, and Biblical history.

Got questions about Christianity?

The Iliad Forum is dedicated to the furtherance of the intellectual side of Christianity by answering common questions that Ivy League students have about the faith. Whether philosophical, scientific, Scriptural, pre-professional, or otherwise, we are committed to giving accessible answers in accordance with scholarly endorsement.

Both Christians and non-Christians submit questions to The ILIAD Forum, and we hope that it would be a resource for both. As an organization, we are committed to Biblical orthodoxy, and our answers will reflect as such.

The ILIAD Forum website is broken up into two main parts. Firstly, we answer anonymous questions that can be submitted by any student in the Ivy League. These questions can be submitted at the bottom of the home page. Secondly, Christians who are current or former students in the Ivy League are eligible to join our private forum, where they can freely and privately ask their Christian peers more personalized questions.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Paranormal Temperature Changes In The Enfield Case

The Enfield witnesses often reported unusual temperature changes. It's often difficult or impossible to tell if something paranormal was involved, though, and the significance of the incidents varies widely. Some of the people involved in the dragging episodes on December 3, 1977, for example, reported a lot of coldness on that floor of the house around the time when the dragging occurred, but there's a reasonable chance that the coldness was due to the weather at that time of year. Other temperature changes are harder to dismiss.

Part of what makes these temperature changes significant is how difficult it would be to attribute them to fraud on the part of the Hodgson children. It would also be hard to maintain that all of the witnesses were lying or honestly mistaken, given the nature of some of the circumstances and the number and variety of witnesses involved.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Apostleship Of Jude The Brother Of Jesus

In a post last year, I argued that Jude the brother of Jesus was an apostle in the highest sense of the term, meaning that he had seen Jesus after he rose from the dead. My focus there was on some New Testament evidence. I should add that there's some patristic evidence as well.

Tertullian refers to Jude as "the apostle" in section 1:3 of his treatise On The Apparel Of Women. Origen refers to "the apostle Jude" (in Thomas Scheck, trans., Origen: Commentary On The Epistle To The Romans, Books 1-5 [Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University Of America Press, 2001], p. 320, 5:1:29). They could be referring to him as an apostle in a lesser sense, but the higher sense is more likely in the contexts in which Tertullian and Origen were writing. They're appealing to authority and scriptural authority in particular, and apostleship in the highest sense fits best in that context.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

A Pattern Across All Of The Gospel Resurrection Narratives

Another line of evidence for the resurrection appearance discussed in my last post is the ordinariness of Jesus' resurrection body. Contrast that with what was said shortly beforehand:

"an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow." (Matthew 28:2-3)

The other resurrection appearance of Jesus, narrated later in Matthew 28, likewise has no reference to a glorious body. Notice the contrast to the descriptions of not only the angel early in Matthew 28, but also the righteous in 13:43, Jesus in the context of the Mount of Transfiguration in 17:2, and Jesus again in the context of the second coming in 24:30.

See my post here for a discussion of the same characteristics in Luke's writings. John's gospel doesn't offer any contrasting descriptions of beings with glorious bodies, as far as I recall, but there are references to beings with a glorious appearance, including Jesus, in another Johannine document, Revelation. The gospel of John agrees with Matthew and Luke in describing Jesus' resurrection body in ordinary terms. In fact, John's gospel has Jesus being mistaken for a gardener (20:15) and not being recognized in 21:4-6.