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Comments

Val

GREAT JOB!

This is excellent stuff.

Thank you for your scholarship and determination.

I knew this film was wrong but I can't believe that they are putting this garbage out and calling it evidence.

I think they are in for the money.

Margaret

Very well thought out and written! Thank you!

We are definately living in the times of Peter 3. Keep your eyes upon Jesus.

Many blessings.

danutz

You don't need to get bent out of shape or try to shoot down this movie's "claims" because it states clearly that it doesn't "claim" anything. It just presents some powerful evidence. I applaud the filmmakers for opening the discussion.

The lost tomb of Jesus

Shelton Clough

Chris,

Thank you so much for the great information.

Is it possible to get the actual Powerpoint Presentation so that it can be used.

Matt

This was very nicely put together. Im just curious where you got the probabilities for the part at the very end that was "for fun"?

Matt

Chris Rosebrough

The ending stats are based upon logical options and geographical probabilities. I admit in the podcast that I tried to keep the probabilities VERY conservative.

The reason for this excercise was to demonstrate that their stats cut both ways.

I could have added more assumptions and their probabilities. Such as...

What are the probabilities that a poor family from Nazareth would have the means to own a wealthy family tomb in Jerusalem?

Thabi

Chris, in the second paragraph of your posting you state that Paul claimed to be an eye witness to the resurrection of Christ. Please cite the reference that establishes that claim. I don't ever recall hearing this. I could be wrong here but according to scripture, as I remember it, no one but the Angels and (probably) the guards surrounding Christ's tomb actually witnessed Christ's resurrection. With all due respect, I think that your statement is misleading. Paul did communicate with Christ in vision -- that was the genesis of his conversion. But he did not witness the resurrection nor the physical presence of the resurrected Christ before His ascendency into heaven. Had Paul (at that time, Saul) actually been there, or had he actually seen Christ after the resurrection but before Christ ascended, that would have been major news.

Chris Rosebrough

Thabi,

You ask a great question and I'd be happy to answer it for you. The passage in question is found in 1 Corinthians 15:8 I'll reproduce it in context for you below.

1Cor. 15:1   Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Notice that Paul includes himself among the list of people to whom the risen Jesus had appeared. In fact, many argue that being an eye witness to the resurrection of Jesus was one of the requirements of being an Apostle.

This is most likely why Paul says that he was "untimely" born because the Risen Jesus appeared to Paul after Jesus Ascended to Heaven.

Stil, Paul himself numbers himself among the witnesses of the resurrection.

Austin

Good work on the Podcast. Two things:
1. the first of the two Greek names on the ossuary they infer was that of Mary Magdalene is "Mariamene," not "Mariamne."
2. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala, aka Magadan, not Migdol.

R. Kirk Kilpatrick

For info on hyped "chevron and circle" and a history of sensationalism from Talpiot:

http://confirmedword.blogspot.com/

Chris Rosebrough

Austin,

You are correct. Too bad I can't edit my podcast as easily as my website.

Mike B.

Chris:

I am not a believer -- or, at the very least, and generous to myself, I am not an *extreme* believer. Still, having said that, I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed your point-by-point take-down of Simcha Jacobovici's travesty of a documentary.

The first time I heard of Jacobovici was when he participated in the dreadful documentary correlating the Tanakh's Exodus with the Santorini eruption. Chris Heard of Higgaion did a superb job of tearing down the documentary in much the same point-by-point fashion you have here.

My only quibble -- and it really is a quibble, a quibble based on my status as an almost-non-believer -- is with your treatment of poor Philip and his "gospel."

The Bible -- both the Tanakh and the Christian testament -- is filled with supernatural occurrences, from talking asses to flaming bushes to virgin births and resurrections. While I can appreciate your tone of beggared belief when speaking to your audience on your podcast, surely there's room for a talking goat and a dragon.

Thabi

Chris,

Thank you for your answer. I think that we both agree that Paul did see Christ (a rather blinding experience for him, as he tells it!) See Acts 9:1-8.:

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Paul does not say that he was an eye witness to the resurrection (unless you define being an eye witness to the resurrection as seeing Christ at any point after the resurrection which would mean that anyone today who claims that Christ has appeared to them is also an eye witness to the resurrection. Is that what you mean?) Again, no one was at the tomb at the time of the resurrection except for the guards and the Angels. Had any of Jesus' followers been there, there would have been no need for Christ to tell Mary Magdalene,who was His first missionary and rightly an apostle herself, to tell the others of his resurrection (depending on the Gospel you are reading, it may have been more than one woman who first saw Christ and was sent). Also, Peter or other disciples (again depending on which Gospel you are reading) would not have then gone racing to the tomb to see for themselves. See: Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18. Does it matter? Part of me is reluctant to quibble with other believers over the fine points, potentially at the expense of the big picture (especially when your original posting is about something else). But then, the fine points are important because, otherwise, false theology becomes an issue (and in that way my remark is related to your posting: accuracy about the ossuaries is very important to theology, as is accuracy about what Paul meant when he said that Christ appeared to him). Paul's conversion is a remarkable source of inspiration. Part of the conversion story is that during the time following Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, Paul was Saul, a leading persecutor of those who followed Christ. Placing him at the tomb at the time of the resurrection negates the story of how Saul came to Christ and became Paul, a new creature, as it were, serving as an example to all who believe that they are too far outside of the circle of Christ's love warrant His redemption. This is vitally important. Again, with all due respect, yes, Christ appeared to Paul, as Paul states. But not at the resurrection.

Benjamin Lewis

Chris:

Any chance you can post a script of the podcast?

John R.

To whom it may concern:

Is this the entire text of the Acts of Philip:

http://www.gnosis.org/library/actphil.htm


John R.

tin

this is great stuff, i am preparing a program on this for my fellowship this week, and this site provided a lot of great info and anaylsis. thanks!

i had to bookmark this site.

one question:

there's an argument on that Jesus family is too poor to afford the upper-middle class family tomb ... any idea what that family tomb would cost in today's equivalent? just want to have a better idea.

thanks again! keep up the great work.

tin

this is great stuff, i am preparing a program on this for my fellowship this week, and this site provided a lot of great info and anaylsis. thanks!

i had to bookmark this site.

one question:

there's an argument on that Jesus family is too poor to afford the upper-middle class family tomb ... any idea what that family tomb would cost in today's equivalent? just want to have a better idea.

thanks again! keep up the great work.

Kevin Byrd

Chris:

I appreciate how passionate you are about this topic but honestly I don't think the film makers were attacking Christianity.

I got from the film that they just wanted people to explore the idea that Jesus could have been a family man. I don't even think that it was definitive that the IAA took bones out of the box labeled Jesus Son of Joseph and buried them again was it?

And maybe you can point out the biblical passage where it expressly states that the once dead flesh of Jesus was brought back to life and risen.
It says he was risen but it doesn't exactly say that his "meat" was reanimated.

And doesn't Jesus himself several times in the new testament point out that there is a difference between the earthly body and the body that will enter the kingdom of heaven?

And just so that there is no need to get all cranky about my post. I am just pointing this out because I think you are taking this documentary as an attempt to destroy your religion. I don't think that is the case at all. I think the film makers wanted to make a point that they believe it is possible that Christ could be seen in a more domestic light because it might actually inspire more people to look into the life and teachings of Jesus.

It's possible that the film makers are of the opinion that showing the possibility of Jesus as a man with a wife and a family, that it might make him more accessible to the generations of non comformists who resist the teachings of Jesus simply on principle that they don't believe in "poof" magic.
That option is just as likely as the idea that they are trying to destroy Christianity.

The film makers were at least keeping an open mind to more possibilites.
And I don't think that is a bad idea in any circumstance.

Thanks.

Chris Rosebrough

Kevin,

I don't want to debate whether or not the film makers were attacking Christianity. We won't be able to come to an agreement on that.

What I do think would be a profitable discussion is whether or not Jesus' 'meat' as you called it rose from the dead.

Let me provide you with 2 very clear passages.

The first is taken from the Gospel of Luke 24:33-39. The verses you will want to focus are 38 and 39. Here is what it says.

Luke 24:33   They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Luke 24:36   While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Luke 24:37   They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

Seems pretty obvious to me that Jesus was going out of his way to make sure his followers didn't make the mistake of thinking that he'd only 'spiritually' risen from the dead.

The second is from Gospel of John 20:24-28

John 20:24   Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

John 20:26   A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

John 20:28   Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Again it seems pretty clear that Jesus' body had been raised from the dead. He proved it by letting Thomas put his finger in the nail and spear marks.

By challenging the physical resurrection of Jesus with evidence that was as flimsy as theirs there is no way that the film makers were trying to do Christianity a favor.

Chris Rosebrough

Tin,

You ask a great question. I am not sure how would could figure out how much a tomb like that would cost. I'd love to see what scholars can come up with on that.

Chris Rosebrough

John R,

The online version that you point to does not contain the missing pieces that Bovon discovered in 1979.

The English translation of Bovon's Actes de l'apôtre Philippe is supposed to be released soon.

I know from scholarly articles and reviews written about Bovon's discovery that Mariamne is not explicitly refered to Mary Magdalene in Bovon's text either. However, Bovon is one the most outspoken scholars that claims that Mariamne COULD be Mary Magdalene.

Check out this article http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/0500113.html

Kevin Byrd

Chris:

Groovy points. I didn't remember John 20:24.

But then again, I won't try to give the impression that I know the new testament well at all.

I can understand your point of view on the issue if you feel that the foundation of your faith is based on Jesus coming back to life after his death.

What stand do you take on people who call themselves Christians and believe in the teachings of Jesus but who may be of the mind that the resurection of Jesus was a proximal exaggeration.
That the bible and even the new testament can't be taken literally?
They follow the teachings of Christ but don't believe in the "magic" parts?

Chris Rosebrough

Mike B,

That is a perfectly reasonable quible. There is a talking donkey and a talking snake in the Old Testament.

In my defense, I will say this. I agree that miracles and supernatural occurences in holy books should not automatically rule them out as being credible. The Acts of Philip I was taking issue with the fact that the talking leopard and talking goat needed to be converted to Christianity.

Chris Rosebrough

Kevin,

Let me answer that question this way.

I believe the New Testament documents are historically accurate. I have many objective reasons to believe this as a historian and theologian.

History tells us that of the remaining 11 disciples (Judas betrayed Jesus and hung himself) that all but 1 of them died a martyrs death. They all went to their graves refusing to recant their stories or stop preaching it.

What was their story? That Jesus Christ proved that He was God in human flesh by raising himself 3 days after Pontious Pilate had him crucified.

I personally find it more difficult to believe that they would be willing to suffer and die for a myth or a spiritual story. I don't think that is the best explanation of the evidence at hand.

I understand that in today's technological, post-modern age that these types of claims seem so passe. We like to think that we are smarter than that.

Believe me, I'd like to be able to say it was just a myth or a story myself. My life would be a lot easier. But, I am compelled by the evidence to believe that the men who wrote the new testament are telling exactly what they saw, heard and experienced.

I believe their story and Christians throughout history have done the same for the last 2000 years.

For me there is a lot of comfort knowing that God himself would come to earth and die for my sins. If Jesus had not risen bodily there would be no way for me to know with any confidence that my sins had really been atoned for.

Without the bodily resurrection I don't know how anyone can have any confidence that what they claim to believe as a Christian is true.

Kevin Byrd

Chris:

OK I can understand that.
I wish you all the best with it.

I just hope you take into consideration that Jesus followed the law of the land during his lifetime and expects all of his followers to do the same.
Give unto Ceaser what is Ceasers and the rest to G*D, right?

I'm prett sure thats in the book right?

Margo

Chris,

I have had a number of very interesting conversations based on the movie and rebuttal, I even heard the claim that this tomb was first found in the 50s.
I really wasn't going to comment on it any more, because people will believe what they want, regardless of which arguments are out there and what logic/reason says (this is true REGARDLESS of which side you are on in this particular debate).

However, I feel compelled to comment on something you mentioned in your most recent response to Kevin. I don't think the fact that the disciples were willing to die a martyr’s death makes their teachings more valid than any others. After all, those delivering ANY minority religion to a convinced majority are destined to die such a death. How many Jews died because they continue to believe that the Messiah has not yet arrived? How many Muslims have died, because they refuse to consider that Muhammad was not a Prophet? And as if it's not enough that people were killed by the majority religion for taking a minority stance on a FUNDAMENTAL issue, how many Christians have been killed by other Christians, because they didn't agree on some of the technicalities?

Early Christians were not the only martyrs, but that's not going to get you to believe that the other martyrs' minority stances are any more valid.

Margo

Michelle

Chris,

You have access to a large audience of Christians. So I thought perhaps you could help me to spread the word about a Prayer Campaign: "PEACE IF We Pray." It stands for "Pray Earnestly for Children (God's) of Eastern Islamic Faith." We could use your prayers and the prayers of your readers/fellow Christians.

God Bless!

Michelle

lc

Chris, Your comment about having the confidence in the truth of what one claims is their belief, is a thought provoker...one that I hope people focus on real close. I have been blessed by GOD so far beyond my "worth" I should never be able to disagree with His preserved word in my actions, let alone disputing GOD's ability to preserve His word. As you know ,the Bible is both literal and parables. And GOD is clear which is which. So in complete agreement with you, I understand what you mean by "confidence". I have known people who believe Christ as having a spiritual only resurrection. Also people who think Genesis is a parable to explain the fall of man. I know that if I was faced with martyrdom how I'd "like" to stand well. But wow, not without GOD's Holy Spirit could I endure. And like I said, GOD blessed me beyond faith. In a previous post, someone mentioned martyrs other than christian. There are people that gave their lives thinking Hitler was going to purify the human race. This world never has and never will lack cult followers, that will follow to the death. So if one believes that the Apostles would die for lie, then you have to believe they promoted a cult. If they believed their own "story" and didn't know they deceived themselves, they would still have promoted a cult, albeit unknowingly. This is what I don't understand about disputing GOD's word or it's meaning. Anything that man adds or takes away, diminishes GOD's word to a cult for them to believe. Where does confidence start? I would say that Paul said it clearly in 2nd Timothy 2:18 regarding Christ's present resurrection (this clearly states that Jesus has no earthly remains), 2nd Peter- 3:15 thru 18 especially shows what type of person twists the inspired given, preserved word of GOD and their demise. ANY of us could fall, and would, except for our diligence in keeping the gift of our GOD-given faith. In my worst frustrations and temptations, GOD has always led me back to peace with my confidence in His every promise and Word.

lc

Chris, Your comment about having the confidence in the truth of what one claims is their belief, is a thought provoker...one that I hope people focus on real close. I have been blessed by GOD so far beyond my "worth" I should never be able to disagree with His preserved word in my actions, let alone disputing GOD's ability to preserve His word. As you know ,the Bible is both literal and parables. And GOD is clear which is which. So in complete agreement with you, I understand what you mean by "confidence". I have known people who believe Christ as having a spiritual only resurrection. Also people who think Genesis is a parable to explain the fall of man. I know that if I was faced with martyrdom how I'd "like" to stand well. But wow, not without GOD's Holy Spirit could I endure. And like I said, GOD blessed me beyond faith. In a previous post, someone mentioned martyrs other than christian. There are people that gave their lives thinking Hitler was going to purify the human race. This world never has and never will lack cult followers, that will follow to the death. So if one believes that the Apostles would die for lie, then you have to believe they promoted a cult. If they believed their own "story" and didn't know they deceived themselves, they would still have promoted a cult, albeit unknowingly. This is what I don't understand about disputing GOD's word or it's meaning. Anything that man adds or takes away, diminishes GOD's word to a cult for them to believe. Where does confidence start? I would say that Paul said it clearly in 2nd Timothy 2:18 regarding Christ's present resurrection (this clearly states that Jesus has no earthly remains), 2nd Peter- 3:15 thru 18 especially shows what type of person twists the inspired given, preserved word of GOD and their demise. ANY of us could fall, and would, except for our diligence in keeping the gift of our GOD-given faith. In my worst frustrations and temptations, GOD has always led me back to peace with my confidence in His every promise and Word.

lc

oops, sorry it posted twice. guess I felt twice as strong when I hit the button. it came up twice as a preview. computers are not my forte'.

Sir_Real_Gone

I imagine that (adam and eve were real to) no dinosaur's either. Scopes monkey trial was a sham. We all know that adam and eve didn't walk the earth before the dinosaur's were extinct. How do you actually qualify "creation" thats the sham. Evaloution is reality. Whats to say he was more than man nothing but the but the babblings of a book.

Kelly

People have been advocating a "spiritual-only" resurrection of Jesus for a long, long time. They were first called Gnostics. Only instead of being materialists who viewed the miraculous or the supernatural as childish magic tricks, their belief was actually hyper-spiritual-- they thought that dragging all that flesh and blood into the picture made it all less spiritual and more worldly. We still hate the flesh and blood stuff today in our culture, and there are still Gnostics out there, but most of them who deny the physical resurrection of Jesus are materialists. And yes, a materialistic worldview is completely incompatible with Christianity. Why? Because "Jesus's teachings" weren't, at their essence, just a nice bunch of moral platitudes. You don't get murdered for suggesting (as Douglas Adams once wrote) that people just be nice to each other for a change. You get run out of town and murdered by claiming to be God and saying that you're going to be killed and raised to life on the third day (Matthew 26:59-66). It's handy to try to make Jesus into a guy who just said nice things, but that's just not the impression you get of him by actually reading what he said. Quite a lot of the time he was both offensive and exclusive.

To suggest that Jesus, or any of the Bible's authors, just meant that he would "spiritually" resurrect on the third day is nonsensical. If something happens on the third day, it's something definite and physical. First-century Jews would not have been saying, "Oh, I get it now... Jesus meant that his moral teachings would arise in our hearts three days after his death and carry us on to new heights of spiritual maturity" or some such modern, Oprah-esque blather. Either they were right (and not lying as eyewitnesses), or they were wrong about the resurrection, but let's have none of this modern romantic nonsense.

And Margo-- Chris was not just referring to a random group of martyrs when he speaks of the apostles' willingness to die for their confession of Christ. Certainly many people will die for things that aren't true. But not so many will die for things that aren't true that they KNOW to be a lie and are propagating as a known lie. At least some of the conspirators at least will eventually cave under the huge pressure, persecution, and duress-- yet these didn't. These people all claimed to be eyewitnesses. These same people also claimed that if Jesus had not *physically* risen from the dead, the faith of all Christians is in vain and they are to be the most pitied of men (1 Corinthians 15). This, I think, is what Chris is speaking of as compelling.

lc

Sir real gone, dinosaur proof is in the Bible. I hope you don't live up to your title. Scopes is still a sham and proved we are desperate to find a presumed missing link rather than realiize and appreciate GOD and His love for us, that He created us, with His purpose, to gain His wisdom, for our eternal happiness in His Kingdom. You may not believe in a creator, but imagine for a moment : A creator creates with freewill. If man were able to create everything from nothing, we'd have humans as pets or robots owned by the superior half of the population. GOD created us with the ultimate love. To allow us to love and truly walk with Him. Man didn't create GOD and could not have thought Him up. We have a hard time admitting anything greater than ourselves, let alone imagining benevolence and wisdom beyond our capacity to gain on our own. I truly pray that, at your most keenest skeptic moment, that GOD Blesses you with His presence, in whatever will become your testimony to others. There is nothing moore passionate than a reformed skeptic. You are in my prayers.

lc

To many people's unwelcomed surprize, the fact that Jesus IS exclusive, will only be apparent to them after it's too late. The Bible is clear that some will profess to Him, that they've proclaimed, healed and done their good works, in His name, only to be turned away. It's not just important to "be nice" and all is well. If we didn't have to love one another as Jesus loved us, we could resort to our own imaginings of what being "good" is. Talk about loving someone to death! Left to our own devices, that's just where it leads us. The gnostic theme dies hard because it empowers one to be self-deluded. It allows one to change doctrines into something of their own desire of being in control over GOD's authority. Kind of like " I think, therefore I am". Gnostic thinking goes well beyond that. A good mantra for that would be " I think, therefore I make the self-serving rules, as I AM .

John R.

Chris,

I did a seminar last on this issue as well... Inspired by your podcast. Thanks for your help. (I hope I pronounced your name correctly...)

http://anvilfire.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-podcast-on-lost-tomb-of-jesus.html

Joe Johnson

Chris,

Thanks for you work on this. I haven't had many people bring up the supposed body discovery, but a couple did and I hadn't done any homework yet. Your podcast helped catch me up on the issues.

What amazes me is that anyone could think Christianity could exist if there was no bodily resurrection of Christ. If there was a body in that tomb - or any tomb - we're all lost.

Margo

IC,Despite your apparent insistence on reducing all other religions to a cult, you really kind of made my point for me. None of the martyrs were promoting something they would have ever considered to be a lie. Regardless of whose “story” is ultimately true, the fact that these individuals don’t KNOW that it’s not true makes their plight and demise as martyrs just as legitimate as that of the apostles.
God DID create us with free will, and being all-knowing, he knew that this free will would lead us to different interpretations of His word. If he had not wanted this to happen, he would have not created us with free will, or made sure there was no ambiguity whatsoever, so there would be no room for varying interpretations. But if that was the case, we would not need “faith.” And finally, God DID create us with the ultimate love. Unfortunately, that bit about free will applies here too, and most of us apparently choose not to use that gift of love.

That being said, I think it’s cute how you don’t consider slavery to be the same as having “humans as pets” and the "superior half of the population" doesn't control everyone else in the same way as they would a pet.

Kelly, I realize that Chris is not just referring to a “random” group of martyrs, but just because that group of martyrs happened to be part of the story they were telling doesn’t mean all the other martyrs were not killed for the same general reasons. I was not referring to those who die for something they KNOW to be false, but as IC established, there are plenty of occasions where people don't KNOW that the cause they die for is (or is based on) a lie.

We will not know which of the martyrs died for what is true and what is false until we reach the afterlife. We may THINK we know based on their accounts, the written Word, the scientific evidence, or whatever other reasons we have for believing, and believing (or having FAITH) is what we should do. But until judgment day comes, maybe we should spend more time practicing what we preach, rather than arguing over semantics.

Kelly

Margo-- I'm not sure I'm fully following you. Chris was saying that those 11 apostles either died a martyr's death for something they knew to be false, or else they were telling the truth about what they had claimed to see with their own two eyes. How does that compare, evidentially, with a modern-day person who is killed because they hold to a faith in Mohammed as prophet? Either those apostles saw the resurrected Christ and were perpetually lying about it, and then faced death for their pointless lying, or they were telling the truth.

And I disagree with your particular assessment of free will, as though it's a wonderful thing that each individual would tend towards botching and misinterpreting God's Word. I consider that to be a prime example of a will enslaved to sin-- through every fault of our own, we have turned from God's ways to follow our own private fancies. Ambiguity and everything else that causes discord in our lives is the result of sin, not the result of God somehow gifting us with blindness. (Adam and Eve had faith in a pre-sin world; faith simply being a relationship of trust with God.) As for us being created with "the ultimate love," I can't begin to guess what you mean by that...

lc

Margo, Though you may tell me I'm arquing semantics, I'll risk it here. Most pets and all robots are slaves to their masters will. If we could create, then some masters would try to be benevolent, most would be cruel. You say what GOD would do, if He wanted us to believe, in just one way. I don't claim to know the mind of GOD. I just do the best, with all His help, to obey His word. If that comes across as intolerant or perhaps just close minded, to those around me, I can't help that. My Bible is very clear in stating that, there is only one truth, way and light. And that is our Lord Christ Jesus, as preached by the apostles. My Bible is also very clear that GOD doesn't accept various beliefs. The Gospel was taken to the gentiles as a way back for the jews because they had rejected Jesus as the Messiah. GOD will reject the jews, muslims, christians and all religions, except for HIS one true church. At judgement day, there will be no jew, gentile, male or female. We will be as the angels. And eveytime I see "will be as" in the Bible, it points to a comparison. So what we truly are in the new beginning, I wouldn't hazard to guess. I do know what the Bible says about the gate being narrow. There's only one way to get in. and no matter what belief those around me have, I do not condem or otherwise cause them any harm. I'm always there to help where I can, it's a tough world here. However, I will not give : an alcoholic a drink, a bigot's remark to go unchallenged nor will I agree that all or most differences in religion are "ok'd" by GOD. I would never try to tell anyone they "must" believe as I do. I ask them to read what GOD left for us and to never stop praying. GOD gave us freewill. We can use that freewill to obey GOD or not. And we are obligated to obey GOD, in HIS one way to believe, to share in His kingdom. It would be forced freewill if we were under the Law. GOD judges us by faith. GOD is very clear that our manner of faith is what matters. Jesus and the apostles preached that "one way only"gospel.

Rev. Phil Gagnon

Thank you, Chris for your efforts to give a reason for the hope within all who are known by Christ Jesus and in doing a wonderful job on your blog, especially the work on the Lost Tomb of Jesus. Well done! I was wondering if it is possible to get a copy of your powerpoint presentation re: the Lost Tomb? Again, great work and thanks again for your energy and work in apologetics, it's so good to see believers take a stand for the truth rather than fitfully wring their hands in surrender to the culture of dissent and tabloid Christianity. From your Evangelical Lutheran brother in Christ, grace and peace and keep up the good work for it is not in vain!

Crux Probat Omnia

Rev. Phil Gagnon, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

Kevin B

Theres a lot of comments here and i haven't read them all, so it's possible that my question may have already been answered. Anyway. I'm not a christian, so i would like to know how finding jesus's body disproves your religion? i know he was resurrected, but surely he had to eventually die again someday right? or did he ascend to heaven or something and take his body with him?
Thanks in advance and please excuse my ignorance.

lc

Kevin B, Yes it would make the apostles liars. Though some may tell you it doesn't affect christianity for Jesus' remains to be here on earth, it would mean He didn't ascend to heaven in the manner He explained beforehand and that men who were killed for their testimony, flat out lied about what they saw. I hope and pray for you that God helps you move to knowing the truth. We are here for a reason Kevin and God will answer if you are asking Him from your heart. And He left us a record of His word for everyone to learn why He created us, why we have freewill, why we struggle with Him and ourselves and how to overcome all obstacles that prevent us from being in Him and Him in us. The answer is Jesus. And if what God's word says isn't true, then God would be a liar. There are many religions and variants of christianity that claim different things. That is man's doing, not God's. God will lead you to His way. And I truly hope you become as David, a man after God's heart.

Kevin B

lc, thanks for the prompt response and kind words.

lc

Kevin B, I thank God you are seeking! If the truth always is more important than what you want something to be, God will always be your guide. You won't accept any less. God knows us, we have to want to know him. God bless you with all you need to know His truth.

Ian

Thank you so much for the power point slide. Is it possible to get access to this to use in a bible class I am teaching? [email protected]

- God Bless & keep up the good work.
-Ian

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