Archive for September, 2019

“Archaeologists confirm the greatness of the biblical kingdom of Edom” – Over at Evangelical Focus it is reported that copper mines where discovered to indicate a stable kingdom prior to the monarchy of Israel as detailed in the book of Genesis.

In chapter 36 of Genesis, the descendants of Esau (Edom) are described as kings who “reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned”. Esau, being the father of the Edomites, is listed in that genealogy of chapter 36 of Genesis and up until now, there was no archaeological evidence to ratify this kingdom of Edom.

According to the Christian Post “researchers from the University of California and the Central Timna Valley Project at Tel Aviv University documented their work in a paper published last week, titled ‘Ancient technology and punctuated change: Detecting the emergence of the Edomite Kingdom in the Southern Levant.’ “

Genesis 36:31-39 lists the eight Edomite kings up to that time, delineating a long line of political leaders during the years in which Israel lived in slavery in Egypt. This finding of the Edomite kingdom developing a territory ruled by kings is concurrent with the passages in Genesis.

Resources:

Archaeology discovery: Evidence of biblical kingdom of Edom found” by Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post, Sept 24, 2019

Archaeologists confirm the greatness of the biblical kingdom of EdomEvangelical Focus, Sept, 26, 2019

Ancient technology and punctuated change: Detecting the emergence of the Edomite Kingdom in the Southern Levant” by Ben-Yosef E, Liss B, Yagel OA, Tirosh O, Najjar M, Levy TE., PLoS ONE 14(9) 2019.

Israeli Researchers Identify Biblical Kingdom of Edom” by Aron Reich, The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2019

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Post about other biblical archaeological discoveries from this blog include:

A Guide to Internet Archaeology

Ziklag

Clay Seal of King Josiah’s Aide Found

Ring of Pontius Pilate Discovered

Caiaphas Ossuary

The Prophet Isaiah

23 New Testament Figures Confirmed

History Has Gone to the Toilets-The Ancient Latrine of Lachish

Virtual Unwrapping of Levitical Scroll

City of Geza

Philistine Cemetery

Ancient Shopping List Provides Evidence of When Bible Was Written

Hezekiah Bulla

12th Dead Sea Scroll Cave Found!

Bethsaida

53 People in the Old Testament Confirmed Archaeologically

New ESV Archaeology Study Bible

Image result for stand to reason

Stand to Reason (STR), founded in 1993, is an apologetics ministry that equips Christian ambassadors with knowledge, wisdom, and character. STR trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, incisive, yet gracious defense for classical Christianity and classical Christian values in the public square. The president and founder Greg Koukl has assembled a team of speakers available for teaching and training which includes Alan Shlemon and Tim Barnett.

They have a load of short videos spanning various subjects that are a rich resource available to the church, Christians, and culture. Topics range from apologetics like the existence of God and reliability of the bible to ethics issues about homosexuality and abortion. They are short (most under 3 minutes with almost all of them under 5 minutes) and informative (they have great content, quotes, and facts on each issue) and great quality (top notch video production, many with animation and multi-camera set-up).

Here is a sampling of some of their great videos:

They also have a great website with the videos above, along with articles and other resources available. Definitely worth checking out.

Several books are about to hit the stores concerning apologetics this October and November. They look very interesting and worth keeping an eye out for them if your are interested in those topics.

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Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism

In Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism In this volume Elijah Hixson and Peter Gurry, along with a team of New Testament textual critics, offer up-to-date, accurate information on the history and current state of the New Testament text that will serve apologists. It is to be released on November 5 of this year.

Some of the chapter topics include:

  • Myths about Autographs: What They Were and How Long They May Have Survived
  • Dating Myths, Part One: How We Determine the Ages of Manuscripts
  • Dating Myths, Part Two: How Later Manuscripts Can Be BetterMyths about Autographs: What They Were and How Long They May Have Survived
  • Myths About Variants: Why Most Variants Are Insignificant and Why Some Can’t Be Ignored
  • Myths About Early Translations: Their Number, Importance, and Limitations
  • Myths About Modern Translations: Variants, Verdicts, and VersionsMyths about Autographs: What They Were and How Long They May Have Survived

The publisher has designated this book as an intermediate read. So it is not for beginners, but practicing apologists should definitely be picking up a copy to hone their understanding and presentation on the New Testament and textual criticism.

Jesus, Skepticism, & the Problem of History: Criteria and Context in the Study of Christian Origins is described by the publishers:

In recent years, a number of New Testament scholars engaged in academic historical Jesus studies have concluded that such scholarship cannot yield secure and illuminating conclusions about its subject, arguing that the search for a historically “authentic” Jesus has run aground. Jesus, Skepticism, and the Problem of History brings together a stellar lineup of New Testament scholars who contend that historical Jesus scholarship is far from dead. These scholars all find value in using the tools of contemporary historical methods in the study of Jesus and Christian origins. While the skeptical use of criteria to fashion a Jesus contrary to the one portrayed in the Gospels is methodologically unsound and theologically unacceptable, these criteria, properly formulated and applied, yield positive results that support the Gospel accounts and the historical narrative in Acts. This book presents a nuanced and vitally needed alternative to the skeptical extremes of revisionist Jesus scholarship that, on the one hand, uses historical methods to call into question the Jesus of the Gospels and, on the other, denies the possibility of using historical methods to learn about Jesus.

Divided into three parts the book covers the topics of: Part One: The Value of New Testament Historical Studies; Part Two: The Gospels and the Historical Jesus; and Part Three: The Book of Acts and Christian Origins.

Same chapters are:

  • New Testament Textual Criticism and Criteria of Authenticity in Historical Jesus Research by Daniel B. Wallace
  • The Historicity of the Gospel Miracles of Jesus by Craig S. Keener
  • Jesus’ Burial: Archaeology, Authenticity, and History Craig A. Evans and Greg Monette
  • Resurrection, Criteria, and the Demise of Postmodernism Michael R. Licona
  • External Validation of the Chronology in Acts Ben Witherington III
  • along with contributions by Craig L. Blomberg, Robert M. Bowman Jr., J. Ed Komoszewski, Robert K. McIver, Paul R. Eddy, Darrell L. Bock, Paul N. Anderson, Michael F. Bird, Ben Sutton, Larry W. Hurtado, and Nicholas Perring.

A foil to this volume might be Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity edited by Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne in which it claims that “scholars from different methodological frameworks have expressed discontent with this approach to the historical Jesus. In the past five years, these expressions of discontent have reached a fever pitch.”

A popular volume on apologetics is coming out by Mary Jo Sharp: Why I Still Believe: A Former Atheist’s Reckoning with the Bad Reputation Christians Give a Good God. Sharp is a former atheist from the Pacific Northwest, who thought religion was odd at best. Holding a Masters in Christian Apologetics from Biola she is an assistant professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University. It will be available November 5th.

Alister McGrath, the prolific writer and theologian of Oxford University is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion. Narrative Apologetics: Sharing the Relevance, Joy, and Wonder of the Christian Faith is coming out October 15. Since the Bible is a narrative, McGrath encourages believers to present the truth of Christian not only through systems, arguments, and talking points (methods that appeal to our mind and neglect our imagination and our emotions), but he shows how we can both understand and share our faith through the use of stories.

Dr. Tanya Walker, dean of the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics declares that this book is a “compelling call to resist a reductionist rationality and to enter into the ‘imaginative embrace’ of the Christian faith.”