Thursday, February 08, 2024

Paul's Suffering And Prophecy Fulfillment

I've been thinking about Paul's comments in 2 Corinthians 11 regarding how he'd suffered as a Christian. What he says there is significant in a lot of contexts. It provides further evidence that the earliest Christians lived in a setting in which there was a large amount of potential to suffer for the claims they were making (about Jesus' resurrection and other topics). Given Jesus' crucifixion, Paul's former persecution of Christians, and Paul's references to his own suffering in 2 Corinthians 11 and elsewhere, we have multiple, independent lines of evidence that Christianity arose in that kind of atmosphere. And what Paul reports about his own experiences corroborates much of what the gospels and Acts report about such circumstances. The gospels' reports about efforts to throw Jesus over a cliff or stone him, for example, are rendered more plausible by what Paul tells us about the violent reactions he often met with. There are some undesigned coincidences between 2 Corinthians 11 and the gospels and Acts as well. These are just a few examples of the value of Paul's comments in 2 Corinthians 11. What I want to do in the remainder of this post is focus on one of the other examples, the significance of the passage in a context involving prophecy fulfillment.

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

The New Testament's Historicity Evidenced In The Earliest Extrabiblical Sources

It's common to cite Josephus, Tacitus, Clement of Rome, and other early sources to corroborate certain parts of the New Testament. But the extent to which they support the historicity of the New Testament is underestimated, because so many of the details seldom or never get discussed.

Sunday, February 04, 2024

People Converted Through Arguments

"My colleague J.P. Moreland, out at Talbot, has taken to responding to, when people say to him, 'You can't bring anybody to Christ through argument.', J.P. says, 'Oh, yeah, you can. I've done it.' And I can say the same. We constantly get emails and testimonies coming into Reasonable Faith that people who have come to Christ after seeing a debate or a video or have come back to Christ after walking away from Christian faith through Reasonable Faith materials." (William Lane Craig, 8:04 in the audio of his November 13, 2023 Reasonable Faith podcast here)

There are Biblical examples as well (e.g., Acts 17:2-4, 19:8).