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
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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.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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