Here’s an intriguing idea I stumbled upon today. It’s probably been argued a thousand times before, but I hadn’t thought of it before. The internal evidence provided in the account of Acts 2 actually proves that Luke’s account is authentic.
I’ve been studying the Epistle of 1 Clement recently (c. 96 A.D.) looking specifically at the number of New Testament passages he quotes. Clement lived in Rome prior to the deaths of Peter and Paul and claims to have known the Apostles. This is significant. If these New Testament books were “forgeries” — as the skeptics claim they were — then men such as Clement of Rome would have known that they were not authentic. Yet Clement quotes these books along side of the Old Testament scriptures in a matter-of-fact manner as though they had the same authority.
You may be familiar with the argument for the authenticity of the New Testament that cites the numerous quotes by the Church Fathers. It’s an argument that has a lot of merit, since Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius and other first century contemporaries of the Apostles could not have quoted from the New Testament books as authentic source documents unless these books had been in circulation since the time of the Apostles.
Here’s a tangential tack to that argument. Apparently, a fan of Jesus Seminar fellow John Dominic Crossan thinks I’ve misrepresented him in my rebuttal documentary, The Real Jesus. He says that the idea Crossan presents is that the resurrection story developed gradually. However, in my representation of his book, The Historical Jesus, I say he thinks it must have occurred in several days.
The video is either ill informed or disingenuous when it claims that Crossan makes the assertion that 1 or 2 of the disciples created the resurrection story a few days following Jesus’s death to gain credibility. In fact, Crossan hypothesizes that the development of the story to years and was not some crass political move, but a sincere attempt to give hope to a small, committed movement.
The longer the period of time in its concoction, the more unlikely the story was to have been believed so widely. If it really were just a story concocted to give hope to a small group of committed believers, then it must arisen within 10 days of Jesus ascension. According to Acts 2, Pentecost was the first time that the message of the resurrection was preached.
But Crossan probably thinks Pentecost didn’t really happen either. The idea is absurd, since the Acts of the Apostles reports that Jews from all over the world (Acts 2:5) were converted to Christ at Pentecost. Later these men returned to their home cities and founded churches among Jewish converts to Christ who also made converts. These fledgling churches were close-knit communities and the details of their founding could not have escaped common knowledge.
If the story of the mass conversion of thousands of new believers at Pentecost is not historically authentic, then first and second century Christians from churches all over the Roman world would have known the account of Acts 2 to be false the first time the book was received and read. They would have seen immediately if the account was historically authentic or not simply due to the fact that the events of Acts 2 could not be corroborated by the known existence of such “men from every nation under heaven” in their locale.
Thus Acts validates most of the New Testament simply because it is not just a story about what Jesus did in a far away land in isolation with his disciples. Acts chronicles so many accounts in so many places that if it were false, it would have been rejected due to the lack of eyewitnesses who would have still been alive when the next generation of Christians read it.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)