The resurrection of Jesus Christ is in many respects the most important fact in history. It is the mountainous evidence of Christian evidence, the foundation of the Christian faith. If it can be proven to be a historic certainty that Jesus rose from the dead, then Christianity rests upon an impregnable foundation. Every essential truth of Christianity is involved in the resurrection. If the resurrection stands, every essential doctrine of Christianity stands. If the resurrection goes down, every essential doctrine of Christianity goes down. Intelligent skeptics and infidels realize this. A leading skeptic has recently said that there is no use wasting time discussing the other miracles; the essential question is, Did Jesus Christ rise from the Dead? If He did, it is easy enough to believe the other miracles. If He did not, the other miracles must go. I am confident that this skeptic has correctly stated the case.
Before Torrey begins, Christian Apologist Edward D. Andrews take a brief look at how we can objectively look at the evidence. One reason for having this new way of looking at the evidence is the new atheist. The unbeliever of decades past was satisfied to believe that everything came about by chance, through evolution, and not concern himself with what others believed. This is no longer the case. Sadly, today’s atheist is more involved in leading the Christian down the path of doubt, while the Christian denominations are almost entirely inactive in evangelizing the unbeliever. Hundreds of atheistic books and videos are flooding the market in an attempt to discredit the Bible, the foundation of the Christian belief system. Another enemy of God’s Word is found in the agnostic. An agnostic teaches that it is hard to know whether God exists and that we are unable to accept the Bible as a revelation of that existence. Below we better define how we should view available evidence.
The burden of Proof
The burden of proof falls on the one making the claims. If the Christian is witnessing to another, he has the burden to prove what he says is so if asked for proof. However, if the critic is challenging the Christian, the burden of disproving lies with the critic. The closer the claim is to socially accepted knowledge, less proof is needed, while the further one moves from conventional knowledge, the more evidence is required. I believe that the legal burden of proof offers the best answers to the witnessing of others. It has been refined over the last 200 years to the point of evaluating a life that is held in its balance, just as everlasting life is held in the balance. Below we will list the levels of legal proof and some percentage and wording to indicate the degree of certainty needed. We have used different Bible objects for each one, but any criticism could be plugged into that particular burden of proof.
The modal verbs are might have been (30%), may have been (40%), could have been (55%), would have been (80%), must have been (95%), which are used to show that we believe the originality of a reading is certain, probable or possible.
Warrants Further Investigation
The letter [WP] stands for Weak Possibility (30%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the resurrection of Jesus Christ might have taken place in that it is enough evidence to accept that the resurrection might have been possible. We can say the resurrection might have taken place, as there is some evidence that is derived from external and internal evidence that carries very little weight but weight none the less.
The letter [P] stands for Plausible (40%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the resurrection of Jesus Christ may have taken place in that it is enough to accept the resurrection to be true and we have enough evidence for our belief. The resurrection may have taken place.
Conviction for Claim
The letter [PE] stands for Preponderance of Evidence (55%), which indicates that this is a higher-level proof that the resurrection of Jesus Christ could have taken place in that it is enough to accept as such unless another evidence emerges as more probable.
The letter [CE] stands for Convincing Evidence (80%), which indicates that this is an even higher-level proof that the resurrection of Jesus Christ could have taken place in that it is enough to accept the resurrection as substantially far more likely than not unless proven otherwise.
The letter [BRD] stands for Beyond Reasonable Doubt (95%), which indicates that this is the highest level of proof: the resurrection of Jesus Christ must have taken place in that there is no reason to doubt it.
It must be understood that feeling as though we have no reason to doubt is not the same as 100 percent absolute evidence of certainty. If one has doubts that affect their belief of certainty, it is not beyond reasonable doubt. This too must be qualified, because it is reasonable to have doubts about certain aspects of the whole that does not have all the answers as of yet, but it does not affect the level of certainty as a whole.
Evidentialism (a theory of justification according to which the justification of a belief depends solely on the evidence for it) only becomes self-defeating the moment one tries to raise the level of certainty to the absolute instead of beyond reasonable doubt (sufficient evidence). The argument against the use of evidentialism that the principle simply does not account for the way we come to have most of our beliefs is no real argument at all. A belief that cold weather makes you sick is not the same as believing there is an Almighty God, Creator. Each of us has hundreds of thousands of core beliefs that are accepted as fact until we come across something that tells us otherwise. The physics that keeps an airplane aloft are something that no one gives a second thought to as they climb into the 747, which weighs about 735,000 pounds (333,400 kg). Ironically, we are told to investigate before buying a car, or especially a house, as it is a big commitment. Yet, are we to equate the acceptance and commitment to Christ the same way we do that a chair will hold our weight, or our car will get us to work?
The Bible critic generally exaggerates the level of his evidence, presenting it in a sly fashion. At the same time, he will arbitrarily dismiss the Christian evidence, by declaring that all who believes in God and the Bible are foolish and naive. The simple principle to be observed here is to ask, ‘which is more likely to be true based on what you know.’ Of course, as one grows in knowledge, one’s belief is subject to change, i.e., it is either strengthened (reinforced), or it is cast aside. A Christian that falls away due to atheism or agnosticism (like Dr. Bart D. Ehrman) will after that require absolute evidence rather than evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. From that time on, God must then show him all that his doubting heart desires. The common expression being, “God if you just ____________, I will believe.”
The Bible critic runs around like a scavenger looking for an error, not reason. As they come upon a pebble of doubt, they throw it out as though it were a boulder of truth against God. Six months later, an archaeologist digging in Bible lands somewhere finds something that utterly and entirely removes this critic’s evidence. Does the critic even lean a little closer to God? No, because Christian evidence, no matter how weighty, does not exist on the critic’s agenda, which is to sow seeds of doubt regarding the Bible’s authenticity. Even if the Ark of the Covenant with the Ten Commandments and Aaron’s rod that budded were to be located, the critic would still maintain their stand because the unearthing of these objects does not meet their agenda.
For example, the Bible critic will argue from silence, saying ‘Belshazzar of the Bible has not been found in secular history, we have no evidence that he ever existed.’ Now, say a year later, a piece of a tablet is found that mentions Belshazzar (this has actually happened), and in connection with the historical account in the Bible. Well, that critic does not draw closer to where the evidence is pointing; he throws it out, dismissing it as though he never raised the argument, and runs to look for another. This same Bible critic then argues that Shalmaneser never existed, ‘there is no evidence to support his existence,’ he says. A short time later, archaeological evidence comes to light that supports Shalmaneser’s existence. Yet, this critic is off to his next claim without even a hint of doubting his doubt. Sadly this circle of madness just keeps going.
WHY WE KNOW THAT JESUS WAS RESURRECTED
There are three separate lines of proof of the truthfulness of the statements contained in the four Gospels regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
First, the external evidence for the authenticity and truthfulness of the Gospel narratives. This is an altogether satisfactory argument, but we shall not enter into it at this time. The argument is long and intricate, and it would take many days to discuss it satisfactorily. The other arguments are so completely sufficient that we can do without this, good as it is in its place.
Second, the second argument is based upon the internal proofs of the truthfulness of the Gospel records. This argument is thoroughly conclusive, and we shall proceed to state it briefly. We shall not assume anything whatever. We shall not assume that the four Gospel records are true history. We shall not assume that the four Gospels were written by the men whose names they bear. We shall not even assume that they were written in the century in which Jesus is alleged to have lived, died, and risen again, nor in the next century, nor in the next. We will assume nothing whatever. We will start out with a fact which we all know to be true, namely, that we have the four Gospels to-day, whoever wrote them. We shall place the four Gospels side by side and see if we can discern in them the marks of truth or of fiction.
Andrews brings to our attention that the Bible critic views every other ancient manuscript as archaeological artifacts except Bible manuscripts. Do not allowe them this easy way of dismissing our evidence. Early Christianity and textual scholar Larry W. Hurtado writes, “Prominent among the earliest physical evidence of Christianity is a body of manuscripts of canonical and extracanonical texts that continues to grow in number. Indeed, the very earliest of these manuscripts are the most ancient of identifiably Christian artifacts extant. In this book I want to draw attention to this evidence, and emphasize the particular import of these valuable (and too frequently overlooked) items for the study of the New Testament and the origins of Christianity.” (Larry W. Hurtado. The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins, p. 1)
The first thing we notice as we compare these Gospels one with the other is that they are four separate and independent accounts. This appears plainly from the apparent discrepancies in the four different accounts. These apparent discrepancies are marked and many. It would have been impossible for four accounts to have been made up in collusion with one another and so many and so marked discrepancies be found in them. There is a harmony between the four accounts, but the harmony does not lie upon the surface, but only comes out by a lengthy and thorough study. It is just such a harmony as would exist between accounts written by several different persons, each looking at the events recorded from his own standpoint. It is just such a harmony as would not exist in four accounts manufactured in collusion. In four accounts manufactured in collusion, whatever of harmony there was would have appeared on the surface, whatever discrepancy there was would only have come out by minute and careful study, but the case is just the opposite. The fact is, that the harmony comes out by minute and careful study; the apparent discrepancy lies upon the surface. Whether true or false, these four accounts are separate and independent from one another. The four accounts supplement one another, a third account sometimes reconciling apparent discrepancies of two.
It is plain that these accounts must be either a record of facts that actually occurred or else fictions. If fictions, they must have been fabricated in one of two ways, either independently of one another, or in collusion with one another. They cannot have been made up independently; the agreements are too marked and too many. They cannot have been made up in collusion; as already seen, the apparent discrepancies are too numerous and too noticeable. Not made up independently, not made up in collusion, therefore it is evident that they were not made up at all. They are a true relation of facts as they actually occurred.
The next thing that we notice is that these accounts bear striking indications of having been derived from eye-witnesses. The account of an eye-witness is readily distinguishable from that of one who is merely retailing what others have told him. Anyone who is accustomed to weigh evidence in court, or in historical study, soon learns how to distinguish the account of an eyewitness from mere hearsay evidence. Any careful student of the Gospel records of the resurrection will readily detect many marks of an eyewitness. Some years ago, when lecturing at an American University, a gentleman was introduced to me as being a skeptic. I asked him what course of study he was pursuing. He replied that he was pursuing a post-graduate course in history with a view to a historical professorship. I said: “Then you know that the account of an eye-witness differs in marked respects from the account of one who is simply telling what he has heard from others?” He replied: “Yes.” I then asked: “Have you carefully read the four Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Christ?” He answered: “I have.” “Tell me, have you not noticed clear indications that they were derived from eye-witnesses?” “Yes,” he replied, “I have been greatly struck by this in reading the accounts.” Anyone else who carefully and intelligently reads them will be struck by the same fact.
The third thing that we notice about these Gospel narratives is their naturalness, straightforwardness, artlessness, and simplicity. The accounts indeed have to do with the supernatural, but the accounts themselves are most natural. There is an absolute absence of all attempt at coloring and effect. The simple, straightforward telling of facts as they occurred. It sometimes happens that when a witness is on the witness stand that the story he tells is so artless, so straightforward, so natural, there is such an entire absence of any attempt at coloring and effect, that his testimony bears weight independently of anything we may know of the character or previous history of the witness. As we listen to his story we say to ourselves: “This man is telling the truth.” The weight of this kind of evidence is greatly increased and reaches practical certainty when we have several independent witnesses of this sort, all bearing testimony to the same essential facts, but with varieties of detail, one omitting what another tells, and the third unconsciously reconciling apparent discrepancies between the two. This is the precise case with the four Gospel narratives of the resurrection of Christ. The Gospel authors do not seem to have reflected at all upon the meaning or bearing of many of the facts which they relate. They simply tell right out what they saw, in all simplicity and straightforwardness, leaving the philosophizing to others. Dr. William Furness, the great Unitarian scholar, and critic, who certainly was not overmuch disposed in favor of the supernatural, says: “Nothing can exceed in artlessness and simplicity the four accounts of the first appearance of Jesus after His crucifixion. If these qualities are not discernible here, we must despair of ever being able to discern them anywhere.”
Suppose we should find four accounts of the battle of Monmouth, a battle during the American Revolutionary War. Nothing decisive was known as to the authorship of these accounts, but when we laid them side by side we found that they were manifestly independent accounts. We found, furthermore, striking indications that they were from eye-witnesses. We found them all marked by that artlessness, simplicity, and straightforwardness that carry conviction; we found that, while apparently disagreeing in minor details, they agreed substantially in their account of the battle—even though we had no knowledge of the authorship or date of these accounts, would we not in the absence of any other account say: “Here is a true account of the battle of Monmouth?” Now this is exactly the case with the four Gospel narratives; manifestly separate and independent from one another, bearing the clear marks of having been derived from eye-witnesses, characterized by an unrivalled artlessness, simplicity, and straightforwardness, apparently disagreeing in minor details, but in perfect agreement as to the great essential facts related, if we are fair and honest, are we not logically driven to say: “Here is a true account of the resurrection of Jesus?”
The next thing that we notice is the unintentional evidence of words, phrases, and accidental details. It oftentimes happens that when a witness is on the stand the unintentional evidence that he bears by words and phrases which he uses, and by accidental details which he introduces, is more convincing than his direct testimony, because it is not the testimony of the witness, but the testimony of the truth to itself. The Gospel stories abound in evidence of this sort.
Take as a first instance the fact that, in all the Gospel records of the resurrection, we are given to understand that Jesus was not at first recognized by His disciples when He appeared to them after His resurrection (e.g., Luke 24:16; John 21:4). We are not told why this is so, but if we will think a while over it we can soon discover why it is so. But the Gospel narratives simply record the fact without attempting to explain it. If the stories were fictitious, they would never have been made up in this way; for the writers would have seen at once the objection that would have arisen in the minds of those who did not wish to believe in the resurrection; that is, that it was not really Jesus whom the disciples saw. Why then is the story told in this way? For the very evident reason that the evangelists were not making the story up for effect, but recording events precisely as they occurred. This was the way it occurred, and therefore this is the way in which they told it. It is not a fabrication of imaginary incidents, but an exact record of facts accurately observed and accurately recorded.
Take a second instance. In all the Gospel records of the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection, there is not a single recorded appearance to an enemy or opponent of Christ; all the appearances were to those who were already believers. Why this was so, we can easily see by a little thought, but nowhere in the Gospels are we told why it was so. If the stories were made up, they certainly would never have been made up in this way. If the Gospels are, as some would have us believe, fabrications constructed 100, or 200, or 300 years after the alleged events recorded, when all the actors were dead and gone, Jesus would have been represented as appearing to Caiaphas and Annas, and Pilate and Herod, and confounding them by his reappearance from the dead; but there is no suggestion of anything of this kind in the Gospel stories. Every appearance is to one who is already a believer. Why is this so? For the very evident reason that this was the way that things occurred, and the Gospel narratives are not concerned with producing a story for effect, but simply with recording events precisely as they occurred and as they were observed.
We find still another instance in the fact that the recorded appearances of Jesus after His resurrection were only occasional. He would appear in the midst of His disciples and disappear, and not be seen again perhaps for several days. Why this was so we can easily discern. Jesus was seeking to wean His disciples from their old-time communion with Him in the body and to prepare them for the communion in the Spirit of the days that were to come. We are not, however, told this in the Gospel narrative; we are left to discover it for ourselves. It is doubtful if the disciples themselves at the time realized the meaning of the facts. If they had been making up a story to produce an effect, they would have represented Jesus as being with them constantly, as living with them, eating and drinking with them day after day. Why then is the story told as recorded in the four Gospels? Because this is the way that it had all occurred, and the Gospel writers are simply concerned with giving an exact representation of the facts as witnessed by themselves and by others.
We find another very striking instance in what is recorded concerning the words of Jesus to Mary at their first meeting, in John 20:17. Jesus is recorded as saying to Mary, “Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” We are not told why Jesus said this to Mary. We are left to discover the reason for ourselves if we can. The commentators have had a great deal of trouble discovering it. They vary widely from one another in their explanations of the words of Jesus. Go to the commentaries and you will find that one commentary gives one reason, and another commentary gives another, and another yet another. I have a reason of my own that I have never seen in any commentary, but which I am persuaded is the true reason, but I have never been able to persuade others that it was the true reason. Why then is this little utterance of Jesus put in the Gospel record without a word of explanation, and which it has taken eighteen centuries to explain, and which is not altogether satisfactorily explained yet? Certainly, a writer making up a story would not put in it a little detail without apparent meaning and without any attempt at an explanation of it. Stories that are made up, are made up for a purpose; details that are inserted are inserted for a purpose, a purpose more or less evident; but eighteen centuries of study have not been able to find out the purpose why this is inserted. Why, then, is it there? Because this is exactly what happened. This is what Jesus said; this is what Mary heard; this is what Mary told; and therefore this is what John recorded. We have here not a fiction, but an accurate record of words spoken by Jesus after His resurrection.
Why did Jesus tell Mary Magdalene to stop clinging to him? Mary Magdalene feared that Jesus was about to leave and ascend into heaven.
Another incidental detail that is introduced in the Gospel narrative, and which is decisive proof of its historical accuracy, is found in John 19:34. We are told that when one of the soldiers pierced the side of our crucified Lord with a spear, that straightway there came out blood and water. The reason for this we are not told. In fact, the writer could not have known the reason. There was no man on earth at the time who had sufficient knowledge of physiology to have told the reason. It was only centuries afterward that the physiological reason was discovered. “Medical experts disagree on what was pierced. The two most common theories are these: (a) The spear pierced Jesus’ heart, and the blood from the heart mingled with the fluid from the pericardial sac to produce the ‘flow of blood and water’. (b) By contrast, it has been argued that fluid from the pericardial sac could not so readily escape from the body by such a wound; it would fill up the chest cavity, filling the space around the lung and then oozing into the lung itself through the wound the spear made. In tests performed on cadavers, it has been shown that where a chest has been severely injured but without penetration, hemorrhagic fluid, up to two litres of it, gathers between the pleura lining the rib cage and the lining of the lung. This separates, the clearer serum at the top, the deep red layer at the bottom. If the chest cavity were then pierced at the bottom, both layers would flow out.” (D. A. Carson, The Gospel according to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991), 623.) Or, in popular language, it was “a broken heart.” When one dies in this way the arms are thrown out (of course Jesus’ arms were already stretched out on the Cross), there is a loud cry (such as Jesus uttered, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”), the wall that separates the serum from the blood is ruptured, and the serum and the blood flow together. When the Roman spear was driven into the heart of Jesus the serum (that is, the water) and the blood gushed out. This is the scientific explanation of the recorded fact, but John did not know this explanation. No one then living knew it, no one knew it for centuries afterward. Is it conceivable that a writer in fabricating an account of events that never occurred should have made up and inserted a fact that has a strict scientific explanation, fitting precisely into the various facts recorded, but an explanation which neither he nor anyone living at the time could possibly have known? How, then, does it come to be recorded in this way? Because this is precisely what occurred, and though John did not know the explanation, he observed the fact, and recorded the fact as observed, and left it for time and scientific discovery to conclusively demonstrate the historical accuracy of what he told. Beyond an uncertainty or doubt we have here no fiction, but an exact record of something that occurred and was observed precisely as recorded. Below, you will be given many more striking illustrations of the self-evident and indubitable truthfulness of the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Christ.
THE SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHFULNESS OF THE GOSPEL STORIES OF THE RESURRECTION
We did not assume that the four Gospels were true. We did not assume that the four Gospels were written by the men whose names they bear. We did not even assume that they were written in the century in which the events recorded were alleged to have occurred, nor the next century, nor the next. We started with the well-known fact that we have the four Gospels. Whether true or false and whoever may have written them, we certainly have them. We laid these four Gospels side by side and tried to discover from the study of them whether they were the record of events that actually occurred or whether they were fiction. The first thing that we discovered was that they were separate and independent accounts. We saw that they must either be a true record of facts or else fiction; that if fiction they must have been fabricated in one of two ways, either independently of one another, or else in collusion with one another. We saw that they could not have been fabricated in collusion, the apparent discrepancies were too numerous and too noticeable; we saw that they could not have been made up independently, the agreements were too marked and too many. Not made up in collusion, not made up independently, then not made up at all—that is, they contain a true relation of facts as they actually occurred. We saw, in the next place, that each of the Gospel accounts bore striking indications of having been derived from eye-witnesses. We noted, in the third place, their artlessness, straightforwardness, and simplicity. We saw that it often happens that when a witness is on the stand, the story he tells is so artless, straightforward, simple, and natural that it carries conviction regardless of any knowledge we may have of the witness or of his previous character. We saw that each one of the Gospel stories had these characteristics which were clear proof of the truthfulness of the stories recorded. We noticed, in the next place, the unintentional evidence of words, phrases, and accidental details. We saw that it often happens that when an eye-witness is on the stand that the unintentional evidence he bears by words, phrases, and accidental details is more effective than his direct testimony because it is not the testimony of the witness, but the testimony of the truth to itself.
Turn to John 20:24-25, “Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who was called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.’” How true this all is to life. It is in perfect harmony with what is told us of Thomas elsewhere. Thomas was the chronic doubter in the apostolic company, the man who always looked upon the dark side, the man who was governed by the testimony of his senses. It was he who, when Jesus said in John 11:15 that he was going again into Judea, despondently said, “Let us also go that we may die with Him.” It was he again who, in John 14:4, 5, when Jesus said, “Whither I go ye know the way,” replied, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?” And it is he that now says, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Is this made up, or is it life? To make it up would require a literary art that immeasurably exceeded the possibilities of the author.
Turn again to John 20:4–6: “So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher.” This is again in striking keeping with what we know of the men. Mary, returning hurriedly from the tomb, bursts in upon the two disciples, and cries, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid Him.” John and Peter spring to their feet and run at the top of their speed for the tomb. John was the younger of the two disciples. We are not told this in the narrative, but we learn it from other sources. Being younger, he was fleeter of foot and outran Peter, and reached the tomb first; but, man of retiring and reverent disposition, he did not enter the tomb, but simply stooped down and looked in. But impetuous older Peter comes lumbering along behind as fast as he can, but when once he reaches the tomb he never waits a moment outside but plunges headlong in. Is this made up, or is it life? He was indeed a literary artist of consummate ability who had the skill to make this up if it did not happen just so. There is also incidentally a touch of local accuracy in the report. When one visits to-day the tomb which scholars now accept as the real burial place of Christ, he will find himself unconsciously obliged to stoop down to look in.
Turn again to John 21:7: “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him (for he was naked), and did cast himself into the sea.” Here again, we have the unmistakable marks of truth and life. Recall the circumstances. The apostles have gone at Jesus’ commandment into Galilee to meet Him there. Jesus does not at once appear. Simon Peter, with the fisherman’s passion still strong in his bosom, says, “I go a-fishing!” The others say, “We also go with thee.” They fished all night and caught nothing. In the early dawn Jesus stands upon the shore, but the disciples do not recognize Him in the dim light. Jesus says to them, “Children, have ye aught to eat?” And they answer, “No.” He bids them cast the net on the right side of the boat and they will find. When the cast was made, they are not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. In an instant John, the man of quick, spiritual perception, says, “It is the Lord.” No sooner does Peter, the man of impulsive action, hear this, than he grips his fisher’s coat and throws it about his naked form, and throws himself overboard and strikes out for shore to reach his Lord. Is this made up, or is it life? This is no fiction. If some unknown author of the fourth Gospel made this up, he is the master literary artist of the ages, and we should take down every other name from the literary pantheon and place his above them all.
Take another illustration, John 20:15: “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’” Here is surely a touch that surpasses the art of any man of that day, or any day. Mary had gone into the city and notified Peter and John that she had found the sepulcher empty. They start on a run for the sepulcher. As Mary has already made the journey twice, they easily far outstrip her; but wearily and slowly she makes her way back to the tomb. Peter and John have been long gone when she reaches it. Broken-hearted, thinking that the tomb of her beloved Lord has been desecrated, she stands without, weeping. There are two angels sitting in the tomb, one at the head and the other at the foot where the body of Jesus had lain, but the grief-stricken woman has no eye for angels. They say unto her, “Woman, why weepest thou?” She replies, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” A footfall is heard in the leaves at her back, and she turns herself about to see who is coming. She sees Jesus standing there, but, blinded by tears and despair, she does not recognize her Lord. Jesus says unto her, “Why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?” She supposes it is the gardener who is talking to her, and says, “Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Now remember who it is that makes the offer, and what she offers to do; a weak woman offers to carry away a full-grown man. Of course, she could not do it, but how true to a woman’s love that always forgets its weakness and never stops at impossibilities. There is something to be done, and she says, “I will do it.” “Tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Is this made up? Never! This is life! This is reality! This is truth!
Take still another illustration, Mark 16:7: “But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.” “But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter.” What I wish you to notice here are the two words, “and Peter.” Why “and Peter?” Was not Peter one of the disciples? Surely he was, the very head of the apostolic company. Why then “and Peter”? No explanation is vouchsafed in the text, but reflection shows that it was the utterance of love towards the despondent, despairing disciple, who had thrice denied his Lord. If the message had simply been to the disciples, Peter would have said, “Yes, I was once a disciple, but I can no longer be counted such; I thrice denied my Lord on that awful night with oaths and cursings; it doesn’t mean me,” but our tender, compassionate Lord through His angelic messengers sends the message, “Go, tell His disciples, and whoever you tell, be sure you tell poor, weak, faltering, broken-hearted Peter.” Is this made up, or is this a real picture of our Lord? I pity the man so dull that he can imagine that this is fiction. Incidentally let it be noticed that this is recorded only in the Gospel of Mark, which, as is well known, is Peter’s Gospel. As Peter dictated to Mark what he should record, with tearful eyes and grateful heart he would turn to him and say, “Mark, be sure you put that in, ‘Tell His disciples and Peter.’ ”
Turn now to John 20:27–29: “Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou has believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Note here both the action of Thomas and the rebuke of Jesus. Each is too characteristic to be attributed to the art of some master of fiction. Thomas had not been with the disciples at the first appearance of our Lord. A week has passed by, another Lord’s Day has come. This time Thomas makes sure of being present; if the Lord is to appear he will be there. If he had been like some modern skeptics he would have taken pains to be away, but doubter though he was, he was an honest doubter, and wanted to know. Suddenly Jesus stands in the midst. He says to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.” Thomas’ eyes are opened at last. His faith long dammed back bursts every barrier, and sweeping on carries Thomas to a higher height than any other disciple had gone yet—exultingly and adoringly he cries, as he looks up into the face of Jesus, “My Lord and my God.” Then Jesus tenderly, but oh, how searchingly, rebukes him. “Thomas,” He says, “because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they” (who are so eager to find and so quick to see and so ready to accept the truth that they do not wait for ocular demonstration, but are ready to take truth on sufficient testimony) “that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Is this made up, or is this life? A record of facts as they occurred or a fictitious production of some master artist?
Turn now to John 21:21, 22: “Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me.” Let us get the setting of these words. The disciples are on the beach of Galilee, breakfast is over, Jesus has told Peter how he is to glorify Him in a martyr’s death. Jesus then starts to walk down the beach, and says to Peter, “Follow Me.” Peter starts out to follow, but looking back over his shoulder to see what others were doing he sees John also following. With characteristic curiosity he says, “Lord, if I am to die for Thee, what shall this man do?” Jesus never answered questions of mere speculative curiosity regarding others, but pointed the questioner to his own duty. On another occasion (Luke 13:23, 24), when one came to Him with the question, “Are they few that be saved?” He replied to the question by telling them to see that they are saved themselves. So now He points curious Peter away from questions that do not concern him regarding others to his own immediate duty. He says, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me.” Is this made up, or is this life and reality?
Turn to other verses in the same chapter, John 21:15–17: “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep.” What I wish you to note especially here are the words, “Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me?” Why did Jesus ask Peter three times “Lovest thou Me?” And why was Peter grieved because Jesus did ask him three times. We are not told in the text, but if we read it in the light of Peter’s thrice-repeated, threefold denial of His Lord, we will understand it. As Peter had denied his Lord thrice, Jesus three times gives Peter an opportunity to reassert his love, but this all, tender as it was, brings back to Peter that awful night when in the courtyard of Annas and Caiaphas he had thrice denied his Lord, and Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, “Lovest thou Me?” Is this made up? Did the writer make it up with this fact in view? If he did, he surely would have mentioned it. No, this is no fiction, this is simply reporting what actually occurred. The accurate truthfulness of the record comes out even more strikingly in the Greek than in the English version. Two different words are used for love. Jesus, in asking Peter “Lovest thou Me?” uses a strong word of a higher form of love. Peter replying, “Lord, Thou knowest I love Thee,” uses a weaker word, but a more tender word (I am fond of Thee). Jesus the second time uses the stronger word, “Lovest thou Me?” and a second time Peter replies, using the weaker word. In His third question Jesus comes down to Peter’s level, and uses the weaker word that Peter had used, and Peter replies, “Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee,” using the same weaker word.
Notice again the appropriateness of the way in which Jesus revealed Himself to different persons after His resurrection. To Mary He reveals Himself simply by calling her by name. Read John 20:16, “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” What a delicate touch of nature we have here. Mary, as we saw a few moments ago, is standing outside the tomb overcome with grief. She has not recognized her Lord, though He has spoken to her; she has mistaken Him for the gardener. She has said, “Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Then Jesus utters just one word; He says, “Mary.” As that name came trembling on the morning air, uttered with the old familiar tone, spoken as no one else had ever spoken it but He, in an instant her eyes are opened, she falls at His feet and tries to clasp them, and looks up into His face and cries, “Rabboni; my Master.” Is that made up? No, this is life, this is Jesus, and this is the woman who loved Him. No unknown author of the second, third or fourth century has produced such a masterpiece as this. We stand here unquestionably face to face with reality, with life, with Jesus and Mary, as they actually were.
To the two on the road to Emmaus, He made Himself known in the breaking of bread. Read Luke 24:30, 31, “And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him: and He vanished out of their sight.” They knew Him in the breaking of bread. Why? The evangelist ventures no explanation, but it is not hard to read between the lines and find the explanation. In each one of the Gospels emphatic mention is made of Jesus returning thanks at meals. There was something so characteristic in the way He returned thanks at meals, so real, so different from the way in which they had ever seen any other man do it, there was such an evident approach into the very presence of God so utterly unlike the formality and unreality of others at such a time, that the moment Jesus lifted up His eyes and gave thanks, their eyes were opened—and they knew Him. This too is reality and life, not fiction.
To Thomas, the man governed by the senses, He made Himself known by exhibiting the very print of the nails in His hands and the hole in His side. To John and Peter, He made Himself known as at the beginning in the miraculous draught of fishes. Everywhere in each minute detail the narrative has a consistency and a truth to life that makes the supposition of fiction impossible.
Take one more illustration. Read carefully John 20:7, “And the napkin that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” How strange that such a little detail as this should be added to the story with absolutely no attempt of saying why, but how deeply significant this little unexplained detail is. When I was studying in the theological seminary an upper classman came home one Sunday afternoon from his Bible class much disgusted. He had a class of working girls about twenty years of age. He said, “One of my scholars asked me a stupid question to-day; she asked me if there was any significance in the napkin being wrapped together in a place by itself. How stupid, as if there was any significance in that!” But in reality, it was not stupid working girl, but stupid theologue. There is the deepest significance in it. Jesus Christ is dead. For three days and three nights, from Wednesday evening at sunset till Saturday evening at sunset, His body has lain cold and silent in the sepulcher, as truly dead as any body was ever dead, but at last the appointed hour has come, the breath of God sweeps through the sleeping and silent clay, and in that supreme moment of His own earthly life, that supreme moment of human history, when Jesus rises triumphant over death and Satan, there is no excitement upon His part, but with that same majestic self-composure and serenity that marked His whole career, the same divine calm that He displayed upon storm-tossed Galilee when His affrighted disciples shook Him from His slumbers and said, “Lord, carest Thou not that we perish?” and He arose serenely on the deck of the tossing vessel and said to the raging waves and winds, “Be still!” and there was a great calm, so now again in this sublime, this awful moment, He does not excitedly tear the napkin from His face and throw it aside, but absolutely without human haste or flurry or disorder, He takes it calmly from His head, rolls it up and lays it away in an orderly manner by itself. Was that made up? Never! Never! We do not behold here a delicate masterpiece of the romancer’s art—we read here the simple narrative of a matchless detail in a unique life that was actually lived here upon earth, a life so exquisitely beautiful that one cannot read it with an honest and open mind without feeling the tears coming to his eyes.
But someone will say: “These are little things.” True, but it is from that very fact that they gain very much of their significance. It is in just such little things that the fiction would disclose itself. Fiction displays its difference from the fact in the minute. In the great outstanding outlines, you can make fiction look like truth, but when you come to examine it minutely and microscopically you will soon detect that it is not reality, but fabrication; but the more microscopically we examine the Gospel narratives, the more we become impressed with their truthfulness. The artlessness and naturalness and self-evident truthfulness of the narratives down to the minutest detail surpasses all the possibilities of art.
THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
We have been considering some of the internal proofs of the truthfulness of the Gospel story. We started out without assuming anything. We took the four Gospels without assuming them to be true, or to have been written by the men whose names they bear, or to have been written in the first century, or second, or third. We assumed nothing whatever, but simply laid the Gospels side by side to see what we could learn from a consideration of the documents themselves as to whether they were the record of facts that actually occurred or fictions. We first discovered that the four Gospels contained separate and independent accounts of the resurrection of Christ. We next saw that these Gospel stories must be either a record of facts that actually occurred, or else fiction; that if fiction, they must have been fabricated in one of two ways—either independently of one another, or in collusion with one another. We saw that they could not have been fabricated independently of one another, as the agreements were too marked and too many. We saw that they could not have been fabricated in collusion, the apparent discrepancies were too numerous and too noticeable. Not fabricated independently, not fabricated in collusion, we were therefore driven to the conclusion that they were not fabricated at all, but a true record of facts that actually occurred. We saw, in the next place, that each one of the four Gospels bore the clear marks of having been derived from eye-witnesses. We noted, in the next place, the artlessness, straightforwardness, and simplicity of the narratives, the entire absence of all attempt at coloring or effect, the certain mark of a true witness. We noted, in the next place, that it is often the case when a witness is on the witness stand that the unintentional evidence of words and phrases which he uses, and accidental details which he introduces, is more conclusive than the direct testimony of the witness, because it is not the testimony of the witness, but the testimony of the truth to itself. We then took up a large number of instances of this kind, conclusively showing that the Gospel stories could not have been made up; that beyond a reasonable doubt they were the accurate representation of things that actually occurred.
Now, we take up the circumstantial evidence for the resurrection of Christ. I presume you all know what is meant by circumstantial evidence. By circumstantial evidence we mean certain proven or admitted facts or circumstances which demand for their explanation the other fact which we are seeking to prove. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact, such as a fingerprint at the scene of a crime, or blood on the murder weapon. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly, that is, without need for any additional evidence or inference, such as witness testimony. A person can be executed in America based on circumstantial evidence alone. Eyewitness testimony is not as weighty as some might think. With enough circumstantial evidence, a finding of truth is certain. There is abundant evidence of this character as to the certainty of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. There are certain proven and admitted facts that demand the resurrection of Christ to account for them.
(1) Beyond reasonable doubt, the foundation truth preached in the early years of the Church’s history was the resurrection. This was the one doctrine upon which the Apostles were ever ringing the changes. Whether Jesus did actually rise from the dead or not, it is certain that the one thing that the apostles constantly proclaimed was that He had risen.
Why should the Apostles use this as the very cornerstone of their creed if not well attested and firmly believed? Furthermore, they laid down their lives for this doctrine. Men do not lay down their lives for a doctrine which they do not firmly believe. They stated that they had seen Jesus after His resurrection, and rather than give up their statement died for it. Of course, men may die for error, and often have; but in this case they would know whether they had seen Jesus or not, and they would not merely have been dying for error, but dying for a statement which they knew to be false. This is not credible. Furthermore, if the Apostles really firmly believed, as is admitted, that Jesus rose from the dead, they had some facts upon which they founded their belief. These are the facts they would have related in recounting the story, and not have made up a story out of imaginary incidents. But if the facts were as recounted in the Gospels, there is no possible escaping the conclusion that Jesus actually arose.
Furthermore, if Jesus had not arisen, there would have been some evidence that He had not. His enemies would have found this evidence. But the Apostles went up and down the very city where He had been crucified and proclaimed right to the face of the slayers that He had been raised, and no one could produce evidence to the contrary. The best they could do was to say the guards went to sleep and the disciples stole the body while the guards slept. Men who bear evidence of what happens while they are asleep are hardly credible witnesses. Further still, if the Apostles had stolen the body, they would have known it themselves, and would not have been ready to die for what they knew to be a fraud.
(2) Another known fact is the change in the day of rest. The early Church came from among the Jews. From time immemorial the Jews had celebrate the seventh day of the week as their day of rest and worship; but we find the early Christians, in the Acts of the Apostles, and also in early Christian writings, assembling on the first day of the week. Nothing is harder than to change a holy day that has been celebrated for centuries and is one of the most cherished customs of the people. What is especially significant about the change is that it was changed by no express decree, but by general consent. Something tremendous must have happened that led to this change. The Apostles asserted that what had happened on that day was the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and that is the most rational explanation, in fact, the only reasonable explanation of the change.
(3) But the most significant fact of all is the change in the disciples the moral transformation. At the time of the crucifixion of Christ, we find the whole apostolic company filled with blank and utter despair. We see Peter, the leader of the apostolic company, denying his Lord three times with oaths and cursings. But a few days later we see this same man filled with a courage that nothing could shake. We see Peter standing before the very council that had condemned Jesus to death, and saying to them: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, doth this man stand before you whole” (Acts 4:10). A little further on, when commanded by this council not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus, we hear Peter and John answering: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19, 20). A little later still, after arrest and imprisonment, in peril of death, when sternly arraigned by the council, we hear Peter and the other Apostles answering their demand that they should be silent regarding Jesus: “We ought to obey God rather than man. The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, and we are His witnesses of these things” (Acts 5:29, 32). Something tremendous must have happened to account for such a radical and astounding moral transformation as this. Nothing short of the fact of the resurrection, of their having seen the risen Lord, will explain it.
These unquestionable facts are so impressive and so conclusive that even infidel and Jewish scholars now admit that the Apostles believed that Jesus rose from the dead. Even Ferdinand Baur admits this. Even David Strauss says: “Only this much need be acknowledged, that the Apostles firmly believed that Jesus had arisen.” Strauss evidently does not wish to admit any more than he has to, but he feels compelled to admit this much. Schenkel goes further yet, and says: “It is an indisputable fact that in the early morning of the first day of the week following the crucifixion the grave of Jesus was found empty. It is a second fact that the disciples and other members of the apostolic communion were convinced that Jesus was seen after the crucifixion.” These admissions are fatal to the (rationalists) who make them. The question at once arises, Whence this conviction and belief? Renan attempts an answer by saying that “the passion of a hallucinated woman [Mary] gives to the world a resurrected God” (Renan’s “Life of Jesus,” p. 357). By this Renan means that Mary was in love with Jesus. After His crucifixion, brooding over it, in the passion of her love she dreamed herself into a condition where she had a hallucination that she had seen Jesus arisen from the dead; she reported her dream as fact, and thus the passion of a hallucinated woman gave to the world a resurrected God. But, we reply, the passion of a hallucinated woman was not competent to this task. Remember the make-up of the apostolic company. In the apostolic company were a Matthew and a Thomas to be convinced and a Saul outside to be converted. The passion of a hallucinated woman will not convince a stubborn unbeliever like Thomas, nor a Jewish tax-gatherer like Matthew. Whoever heard of a tax-gatherer, and, most of all, a Jewish tax-gatherer, who could be imposed upon by the passion of a hallucinated woman? Neither will the passion of a hallucinated woman convince a fierce and conscientious enemy like Saul of Tarsus. We must find some saner explanation than this.
Strauss tries to account for it by inquiring whether the appearances might not have been visionary. To this, we reply that, first of all, there was no subjective starting-point for such visions. The Apostles, so far from expecting to see the Lord, would scarcely believe their own eyes when they did see Him. Furthermore, who ever heard of eleven men having the same vision at the same time, to say nothing of five hundred men (1 Cor. 15:6) having the same vision at the same time? Strauss demands of us that we give up one miracle and substitute five hundred miracles in its place. Nothing can surpass the credulity of unbelief.
The third attempt at an explanation is that Jesus was not really dead when they took Him from the cross, that His friends worked over Him and brought Him back to life, and what was supposed to be the appearance of the risen Lord was the appearance of one who had never been really dead, but only apparently dead, and was now merely resuscitated. To sustain this view appeal has been made to the short time Jesus hung upon the cross, and to the fact that history tells us of one in the time of Josephus taken down from the cross and nursed back to life. But to this, we answer, first, remember the events that preceded the crucifixion, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, the awful ordeal of the four trials, the scourging, and the consequent physical condition in which all this left Jesus. Remember, too, the water and the blood that poured from the pierced side. In the second place, we reply, His enemies would have taken, and did take, all necessary precautions against such a thing as this happening (John 19:34). We reply, in the third place, if Jesus had been merely resuscitated, He would have been so weak, such an utter physical wreck, that His reappearance would have been measured at its real value, and the moral transformation in the disciples, for which we are trying to account, would still remain unaccounted for. The officer in the time of Josephus, who is cited in proof, though brought back to life, was an utter physical wreck. We reply, in the fourth place, if brought back to life, the Apostles and friends of Jesus, who are the ones who are supposed to have brought Him back to life, would have known how they brought Him back to life, and that it was not a case of resurrection, but of resuscitation, and the main fact to be accounted for, namely, the change in themselves, would remain unaccounted for. The attempted explanation is an explanation that does not explain. We reply, in the fifth place, that the moral difficulty is the greatest of all. If it was merely a case of resuscitation, then Jesus tried to palm Himself off as one risen from the dead, when He was nothing of the sort; He was an arch-imposter, and the whole Christian system rests on a fraud as its ultimate foundation. Is it possible to believe that such a system of religion as that of Jesus Christ, embodying such exalted precepts and principles of truth, purity, and love, “originated in a deliberately planned fraud”? No one whose own heart is not cankered by fraud and trickery can believe Jesus to have been an impostor, and His religion to have been founded upon fraud.
We have eliminated all other possible suppositions. We have but one left, namely, Jesus really was raised from the dead the third day as is recorded in the Gospels. The desperate straits to which those who attempt to deny it are driven are themselves proof of the fact.
We have then several independent lines of argument pointing decisively to the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Some of these taken separately prove the fact, but taken together they constitute an argument that makes doubt of the resurrection of Christ impossible to the candid man. Of course, if one is determined not to believe, no amount of proof will convince. Such a man must be left to his own deliberate choice of error and falsehood, but any man who really desires to know the truth and is willing to obey it at any cost must accept the resurrection of Christ as a historically proven fact.
There is really but one weighty objection to the doctrine that Christ arose from the dead, that is, that “there is no conclusive evidence that any other ever arose.” To this a sufficient answer would be, even if it were certain that no other ever arose, it would not at all prove that Jesus did not rise; for the life of Jesus was unique, His nature was unique, His character was unique, His mission was unique, His history was unique, and it is not to be wondered at, but rather to be expected, that the issue of such a life should also be unique. After all, this objection is simply David Hume’s exploded argument against the possibility of the miraculous revamped. According to this argument, no amount of evidence can prove a miracle, because miracles are contrary to all experience. But are miracles contrary to all experience? To start out by saying that they are is to beg the very question at issue. They may be outside of your experience and mine; they may be outside the experience of this entire generation, but your experience and mine and the experience of this entire generation is not all experience. Every student of geology and astronomy knows that things have occurred in the past which are entirely outside the experience of the present generation. Things have occurred within the last four years that are entirely outside the experience of the fifty years preceding. True science does not start out with an a priori hypothesis that certain things are impossible. It simply studies the evidence to know what has actually occurred. It does not twist its observed facts to make them accord with a priori theories but seeks to make its theories accord with facts as observed. To say that miracles are impossible and that no amount of evidence can, therefore, prove a miracle is to be supremely unscientific. Within the past few years in the domain of chemistry, for example, discoveries have been made regarding radium which seemed to run counter to all previous observations regarding chemical elements and to well-established chemical theories, but the scientist has not, therefore, said that these discoveries about radium cannot be true. He has rather gone to work to find out where the trouble was in his previous theories. The observed and recorded facts in the case before us prove that Jesus rose from the dead, and true science must accept this conclusion and conform its theories to this observed fact.
In the day of the great triumph of Deism in England, two of the most brilliant men in the denial of the supernatural were the eminent legal authorities, Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton. These two men, who were put forward to crush the defenders of the supernatural in the Bible, had a conference together. One of them said to the other that it would be difficult to maintain their position unless they disposed of two of the alleged bulwarks of Christianity, namely, the alleged resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the alleged conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Lyttleton undertook to write a book to show that Saul of Tarsus was never converted as is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, but that his alleged conversion was a myth, if Gilbert West would write another book to show that the alleged resurrection of Christ from the dead was a myth. West said to Lyttleton: “I shall have to depend upon you for my facts, for I am somewhat rusty in the Bible,” to which Lyttleton replied that he was counting upon West, for he too was somewhat rusty in the Bible. One of them said to the other: “If we are to be honest in the matter, we ought at least to study the evidence,” and this they undertook to do. They had numerous conferences together while they were preparing their works. In one of these conferences, West said to Lyttleton that there had been something on his mind for some time that he thought he ought to speak to him about, that as he had been studying the evidence he was beginning to feel that there was something in it. Lyttleton replied that he was glad that he had spoken about it so, for he himself was somewhat shaken, as he had been studying the evidence for the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Finally, when the books were finished and the two men met, West said to Lyttleton: “Have you written your book?” He replied that he had, but he said: “West, as I have been studying the evidence and weighing it by the recognized laws of legal evidence. I have become satisfied that Saul of Tarsus was converted as is stated in the Acts of the Apostles and that Christianity is true, and I have written my book on that side.” The book can be found to-day in first-class libraries. “Well,” said West, “as I have studied the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and have weighed it according to the acknowledged laws of evidence, I have become satisfied that Jesus really rose from the dead as recorded in the Gospels, and have written my book on that side.” This book also can be found in our libraries today. Let any man of legal mind, any man who is accustomed and competent to weigh evidence, yes, any man with fair reasoning powers, and, above all, with perfect candor, sit down to the study of the facts regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and he will become satisfied that beyond a reasonable doubt Jesus rose from the dead as is recorded in the Gospels. But suppose He did rise from the dead, what of it? We will take that question up in our article.
by R. A. Torrey and Edward D. Andrews
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Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?
Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?
Andrews, an author of over 100 books, has chosen the 40 most beneficial Proverbs, to give the readers an abundance of wise, inspired counsel to help them acquire understanding and safeguard their heart, “for out of it are the sources of life.” (4:23) GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS sets things straight by turning the readers to Almighty God. Each Proverb is dealt with individually, giving the readers easy to understand access to what the original language really means. This gives the readers what the inspired author meant by the words that he used. After this, the reader is given practical guidance on how those words can be applied for maneuvering through life today. GODLY WISDOM with its instruction and counsel never go out of date.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …
THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. …
This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer. So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.
DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.
What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?
Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.
What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?
A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.
Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”
THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.
The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …
Translation and Textual Criticism
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …
We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …
INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.
The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.
THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …
CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …
Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …
In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …
This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …
Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application. …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …
Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it! These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.
The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.
Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”
In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …