Apologetics - reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.


1 Peter 3:15 - "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"


John 8:32 - And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Table of Contents

IThe Gospel Message
IIJesus Christ
IIIHistorical Reliability
IVGod is Real
VScience Confirms God is Real
VIWhat do Scientists Say?
VIIDoes the Bible Contain Errors or Contradictions?
VIIIConclusions

What is the Gospel message?

The message that Jesus came to teach us is very simple. Everyone that is born is in a state of rejection from God and the punishment for that rejection is the eternal seperation from God. But while the world was still in a state of rejection, Jesus came and paid the punishment for us, for everyone, and those that recognize Him as God and accept Him as their savior will have eternal life with God.

The Romans Road provides the Scriptural evidence for us that Jesus is the sole source of salvation for the human race.
  1. Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
  2. Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
  3. Romans 5:8 - "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
  4. Romans 10:9 - "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
  5. Romans 10:13 - "for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

An apologetic for the Christian faith is not complete without Jesus

The Christian faith is not complete without the person of Jesus Christ. The 27 books of the Bible's New Testament are all about Jesus, the Son of God who was sent with the purpose of providing mankind a way to live forever with God. Jesus doesn't just appear out of nowhere in the New Testament (which was written about 450 years after the writing of the final book of the Old Testament), His coming was mentioned in the Old testament anywhere between 300 and 400 times in various prophecies which occurred in many of the Old Testament books. For our purposes let's consider just a mere 8 of these prophecies and we'll describe statistical work done by Professor Peter W. Stoner (published in his book, "SCIENCE SPEAKS") which calculates the odds of any one person fulfilling them all (mind you we are talking about just 8 of anywhere from 300-400 prophecies) .

  • He would be born in Bethlehem, as prophecied by Micah (written approximately 700 years prior to his birth)
  • He had a messenger sent by God before Him to prepare the way (written by Malachi approximately 450 years prior)
  • He would enter into Jerusalem riding on the foal of an ass (written by Zechariah approximately 480 years prior)
  • He would be betrayed by his friend and suffer wounds to his hands (written by Zechariah appoximately 480 years prior)
  • The price of his betrayal was 30 pieces of silver (written by Zechariah 480 years prior)
  • The 30 pieces of silver when returned by Judas to the priests was cast down on the temple floor (written by Zechariah 480 years prior)
  • He was an innocent man, betrayed, oppressed and afflicted and on trial for his life and yet did not speak a word in his own defense (written by Isaiah about 700 years prior)
  • He would be crucified (written by David 1000 years prior, and interestingly enough crucifixion had not even been invented yet)

The professor and his class calculated the probability of any one man fulfilling just these 8 prophecies (from all of the people who lived from the time the first prophecies were being written to now) as being 1 in 10 to the 17th power. This has been summarized as the chance of picking one random silver dollar in a pile of silver dollars big enough to fill the state of Texas 2 feet deep. Now, be sure to keep in mind that this probability only accounts for 8 prophecies out of the 300-400 prophecies that have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Mathematically speaking, are those numbers convincing enough for you to start to consider the implications, that Jesus Christ who was written about in the New Testament actually is God and came here to save YOU and to allow YOU to live forever with God?

How can we rely on what we do know about Jesus?

What we know about Jesus comes to us from the New Testament and fortunately for us it is easily considered to be the most historically reliable literary work of the ancient world. Consider the following facts:

  1. There are currently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence, these are the earliest documents in existence in the original language the NT was written.
  2. In addition to the original Greek there are also over 24,000 copies of the NT manuscripts from early translations including 19,000 Syriac, Coptic, Latin and Aramaic copies.
  3. The vast majority of biblical scholars agree that the NT documents were all written before the close of the 1st century, which means the entirety of the NT was written within 70 years of Jesus' death, that is within a single generation.
  4. One manuscript in particular called the 'John Rylands fragment' contains portions of the gospel of John and has been dated to within 20 years of the original composition. The manuscript (papyrus) was found in Egypt; Because papyrus was the material used to record this portion of the NT and because it was found only 20 years after its composition in Egypt we see evidence of widespread dissemination, which greatly reduces the chance for legendary development of the gospel narrative.
  5. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is 99.5% pure.
  6. There exist no ancient documents written in the 1st century that contest the NT text.

How do the New Testament documents compare to other ancient literature?

Comparing the NT documents with all other ancient writings shows the NT stands out far above all other ancient writings in terms of reliability. Consider these examples:

  1. There exist only 7 copies of Plato's writing and the gap between the documents in existence with the original is 1200 years.
  2. There exist only 10 copies of Ceasar's writing and the gap between the documents in existence with the original is 1000 years.
  3. There exist 49 copies of Aristotle's writings and the gap between the documents in existence with the original is 1400 years.
  4. There exist 643 copies of Homer's Iliad and the gap between the documents in existence and the original is 500 years.
  5. There exists 5,686 copies of the NT documents and the gap between the documents in existence and the originals is less than 100 years.

What about non-Christian references?

We also have numerous 1st and early 2nd century references to Jesus, other Biblical figures and events which exist outside of Scripture and were written by non-Christian historians. These non-Christian references confirm these Biblical events:

  1. Jesus lived during the time of Tiberius Ceasar.
  2. Jesus lived a virtuous life and was a wonder-worker.
  3. Jesus had a brother named James.
  4. Jesus was acclaimed to be the Messiah.
  5. Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate on the eve of Passover.
  6. Darkness and an earthquake occured when he died.
  7. Jesus disciples believed he rose from the dead and were willing to die for their belief.
  8. Christianity spread rapidly as far as Rome.
  9. His disciples denied the Roman gods and worshiped Jesus as God.

Does Archeology confirm or conflict with the New Testament?

Additionally, archeology continues to support the historical reliability of the NT and has continued to confirm that places mentioned in the gospels really existed and that the customs, living conditions, etc correspond to how the gospels describe them. In fact, no archeological discovery has ever contradicted a NT biblical reference.

Is it possible that God is real?

Yes, it is not only possible but there are many things about our world that would not make any sense if God were not real!

  • Modern science (specifically, cosmology) has all but confirmed that the entire universe began with what we now know as 'The Big Bang'. Contrary to popular view by skeptics, this is powerful evidence for the existence of God: 1) it implies that the Universe had a beginning and 2) if the Universe began what (or who) caused it to begin? Since we can observe in our world that everything that has a beginning has a cause it is natural to conclude that the Universe also must have a cause.

    Robert Jastrow (agnostic Nasa researcher) - “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
  • Open any High School science text book and you are likely to find alot of information about evolution, which skeptics would have you believe explains the creation of all life on our planet and does not require a higher being (God). The problem is that as science advances in its study of evolutionary theory there are gaps that evolution fails to fill. The more evidence that we discover the more it is apparent that a God-less explanation makes less sense, that only a universe with God fits our observations and empirical data.
  • Evolutionary biologists admit that they are stumped when it comes to the process for which a planet with only non-living chemicals was able to produce the first life. In the 145 years since Darwin wrote "Origin of Species" evolutionary science has finally come full circle and is conceding that the missing ingredient is information, and as every human being knows at their core, information can only come from a mind. Our very existence on this planet is strong evidence for the existence of God!


Some things make no sense if God were NOT real

Additionally, there are alot of intricacies and complexities in the world around us that make no sense unless there were an all-powerful, personal Creator behind it all.

  • There exists no cosmological model (cosmology is the study of the beginning of the Universe) that explains the creation of the Universe without there being something that caused it, even Stephen Hawking admits his best attempt at a model is not realistic. What kind of being would be powerful enough and creative enough to create everything?
  • The laws and constants in the physical world that allow life to exist on Earth are so precise that it has been likened to be standing out in space and throwing a dart back to Earth and nailing a target a trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter. Did that level of precision really just happen randomly? Can you think of anything on this planet that precise that wasn't created by an intelligent mind?
  • How is it that the Earth is composed so efficiently of geological and chemical processes and is positioned so precisely as to provide the perfect place for life to form in the Universe? Also, why is the position of our planet so perfectly located for our exploration and observation of the Universe and that several books of Scripture speak of mans' discovering and exploring the world, written thousands of years before Astronomy would confirm just how perfect the location of the Earth is for such a task.
  • It also must be explained how there exist many irreducibly complex systems in biology that are extremely complex, some involving up to 50 unique parts to function (one missing component would render the system useless). Darwin himself admitted that the existence of any such organ that could not be explained through systematic, successive, minor changes over time would render his theory obsolete, and yet modern science has discovered a number of such systems. If Darwin's theory of evolution is a bust, what does that say about the possibility of a Creator being behind the very existence of life?
  • There exists 6-feet of DNA that is present in every cell of the human body. DNA is information, its in every cell of our being, what could account for information being at the core of every cell of the human body, could you come up with an example of anything else that contains information which didn't come from an intelligent mind?
  • Research has shown that consciousness continues even after the brain has ceased to function. If the mind is the same thing as the brain, as the Darwinian views holds how can this be explained? How can self-aware, thinking, believing, feeling beings come from nothing but chemicals and dead matter? The only explantion that does make sense is for such beings to instead have come from another self-aware, thiknking, feeling being, ... namely God.


But doesn't science prove that God is not real?

This misunderstanding appears to be the crux of the problem for the children brought up in the later part of the 20th and the 21st centuries. It was during this time period that the gatekeepers to the education systems began to embrace Darwinian evolution as the answer, only the science textbooks which emphasized evolution were approved. Essentially God was shown the door in the public school systems. But, is there truth behind the claim that science proves God is not real?

If this were true then how can we explain that empirical science itself first began in a Christian setting 300 years before Darwinism? How also can we explain that many of the first great scientists were all Christians? Names such as Pascal, Kelvin, Newton, Kepler, and many more which contributed greatly to the core of modern science. Why is it that as science progresses further more and more powerful evidence is being discovered which corroborates that a designer must be behind the existence of life and the Universe overall?

Let's ask the scientists themselves.

  • Albert Einstein: "Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble."
  • Paul Davies: [professor of theoretical physics] "Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact. I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama."
  • Sir Fred Hoyle: "A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in Nature."
  • Dr. Arno Penzias [Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist] "I invite you to examine the snapshot provided by half a century’s worth of astrophysical data and see what the pieces of the universe actually look like…In order to achieve consistency with our observations we must…assume not only creation of matter and energy out of nothing, but creation of space and time as well. The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole.”
  • Professor Vera Kistiakowski: [professor of physics at MIT/former president of the Association of Women in Science] "The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine."
  • Dr. Stephen Meyer: [PHD in origin-of-life biology] "If it’s true there’s a beginning to the universe, as modern cosmologists now agree, then this implies a cause that transcends the universe. If the laws of physics are fine-tuned to permit life, as contemporary physicists are discovering, then perhaps there’s a designer who fine-tuned them. If there’s information in the cell, as molecular biology shows, then this suggests intelligent design. To get life going in the first place would have required biological information; the implications point beyond the material realm to a prior intelligent cause."
  • Francis Crick: [one of the discoverers of DNA] "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which had to have been satisfied to get it going."
  • Stephen Gould: [professor of paleontology, biology, and geology at Harvard] "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."
  • Steve Jones: [professor of genetics at London University] "The evidence for human evolution is, in fact, still extraordinarily weak…There are no more fossils than would cover a decent-sized table and we know almost nothing about what propelled a hairy and rather stupid ape into a bald and mildly intellectual human being."
  • Dr Stephen Meyer: "The Cambrian explosion represents an incredible quantum leap in biological complexity. Before then, life on Earth was pretty simple – one-celled bacteria, blue-green algae, and later some sponges and primitive worms or mollusks. Then without any ancestors in the fossil record, we have a stunning variety of complex creatures appear in the blink of an eye, geologically speaking…All of this totally contradicts Darwinism, which predicted the slow, gradual development in organisms over time…The big issue is where did the information come from to build all these new proteins, cells, and body plans?"
  • Franklin M. Harold: "…we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations."
  • Dr. Scott Todd [immunologist at Kansas State University] "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic."
  • Professor D.M.S. Watson [a leading 20th century biologist] "Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."
  • Professor Richard Lewontin [a Harvard geneticist and atheist] "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs … in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
  • Professor J.P. Moreland: "For example, scientists have done studies of the brains of people who worried a lot, and found that this mental state of worry changed their brain chemistry. They’ve done studies of the brain patterns of little children who were not nurtured and loved, and their patterns are different from those of children who have warm experiences of love and nurture. So it’s not just the brain that causes things to happen in our conscious life; conscious states can also cause things to happen to the brain."
  • Professor J.B.S. Haldane: [British atheist and scientist] "If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of the atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…"
  • Michael Ruse: "Why should a bunch of atoms have thinking ability? Why should I, even as I write now, be able to reflect on what I am doing and why should you, even as you read now, be able to ponder my points, agreeing or disagreeing, with pleasure or pain, deciding to refute me or deciding that I am just not worth the effort? No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have any answer to this…The point is that there is no scientific answer.
  • Jean Paul Sartre: "I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a king whom only a Creator could put here; the idea of a creating hand refers to God."




But I have heard or read that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions!

This is a common perception that has become very popular with the rise of new Atheism, afterall if it can be shown that the Bible is in error or contains any contradictions how could we trust it to provide us with any truth? The reality is that the Bible does not contain error or contradiction and that any supposed problems are resolved when put in their proper context or when studied properly. You may be surprised to find that the many of the errors and contradictions that new atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris like to mention were resolved by theologians hundreds of years ago.


Contradiction #1: Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 disagree about the order in which things were created.

This is a common argument used to undermine the Bible since if the first two chapters contained contradictions how could you then trust the rest? These accusations are easily answered:

    a) From Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3 we see a chronological account of God's creation during each of the 6 days involved.

    b) Genesis 2:4-25 shows in more detail the events that took place during the 6th day, these events are not recorded in any chronological order. The source of the disagreement originates from a more recent translation of the text which uses the perfect form of the Hebrew word 'yatsar' which means 'formed'. The earlier translation by Tyndale used the pluperfect form of the word which means 'had formed'. This means the text in Genesis 2 is speaking of events that had taken place in the past and the accusations of disagreement are resolved.

There are a number of web resources available that provide explanations:
https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/two-creation-accounts/
https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/do-genesis-1-and-2-contradict-each-other/
https://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/dont-genesis-1-and-2-present-contradictory-creation-accounts



Contradiction #2: The flood story is really two interwoven stories that contradict each other in how many of each kind of animal are to be brought into the Ark. is it one pair each or seven pairs each of the "clean" ones?

This supposed contradiction is easily explained:

    a) Genesis 6:19-20 instructs Noah to take two of every kind 'to keep them alive with you', emphasis is placed on why these pairs are being brought into the ark.

    b) Genesis 7:2-3 instructs Noah to take seven pairs of the 'clean' animals which were used in sacrifice.

Genesis 7 is merely a more detailed set of instructions in which the initial pairs specified in Genesis 6 are already included.



Contradiction #3: The Gospel of John disagrees with the other three Gospels on how long Jesus had stayed in Jerusalem, was it a couple of days or a whole year?

Jesus enters Jerusalem 7 times during the gospels: 1. once when he was 41 days old to be purified, this is when Simeon's prophecy was fulfilled by seeing the Messiah, 2. Passover when Jesus was 12 years old, 3. when Jesus was being tempted by Satan, and finally Jesus visits Jerusalem 3 times during his 3-year ministry. So exactly which visit are you saying disagrees between the gospels, because they discuss different visits. For more info there is a very detailed guide to Jesus' travels which also includes maps, I believe this should help clear up any misconception:
https://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/CN160-TRAVELS.htm

None of the gospels contradict each other in any regard, each speaks to different aspects or parts of the same story. It is helpful to have some understanding of the backgrounds of the gospel authors and how their gospels each had individual points of focus or emphasis. Here are some references:
https://carm.org/when-were-gospels-written-and-whom
https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/volume-8-number-2-2007/distinctive-testimonies-four-gospels



Contradiction #4: The Gospels of Matthew and Luke contradict each other on the genealogy of Jesus Christ's father

The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke only seem contradictory on the surface but a study of the text reveals that there are no contradictions.

    a) Matthew's gospel emphasizes Jesus' Abrahamic descent and that he is the heir of King David. He records 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the Exile and then 14 from the exile to Jesus. Matthew traces Jesus' lineage through David's son Soloman and to Joseph. Matthew's gospel was written to a Jewish audience and he placed emphasis on Jesus' being an heir to King David.

    b) Luke's gospel, which was written to a gentile audience, extends the lineage all the way from Adam to Jesus and it only presents highlights of the geneology. Luke traces Jesus' lineage through David's son Nathan and to Mary. The emphasis here is that Jesus' lineage traces all the way back to the first son of God, Adam, before Abraham's line was chosen as God's people, to stress that salvation was for everyone, not just Jews.

Here are some references for further investigation:
http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/do-the-genealogies-of-jesus-in-matthew-and-luke-contradict-one-another/



Contradiction #5: If Adam and Eve were the first two people, and had two sons and one killed the other, how did the rest of us get here?

I must admit I was surprised to have been asked this question from an atheist who claims to have spent many years studying the Bible, the explanation below will reveal why this question is surprising.

Genesis 4:25-26 -- "And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointedg for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord."

One must read only 4 chapters into the very first book of the Bible to find the answer.



Contradiction #6: Jesus is a fictional character and the stories about Him were copied from the pagan God Mithra.

The Jesus being a copycat of Mithra thesis has been around for awhile but you may likely be surprised to find that Christian theologians didn't really consider the theory to be serious enough to debunk until Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" brought some popularity to the idea. There is a very thorough debunking of this theory at this site:
http://tektonics.org/copycat/mithra.php

Conclusions

I cannot be more blunt, we are all involved in spiritual warfare! Satan wants you to not believe in God, but he'll settle for you to hate God. He loves it when you believe false information about God and even more so when you spread that false information to others who don't have a biblical understanding that could help them be able to refute it.

What does the Bible say about Satan that you should know:

    John 8:44 - "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    1 Peter 5:8 - "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

Fortunately for us, God sent His Son Jesus who said this:

    John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

If you have any questions or comments or if there is a supposed Bible contradiction or error that bothers you please use the form below it to send it to us. If you would like us to get back to you please be sure to include a valid email address!

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