Posts Tagged by Greek

Tips that Atheists can use for Understanding the Bible

When I was a high school religion teacher I ran into a bit of trouble because, for the final exam, I expected the students to be able to recall facts from the Bible that we had covered that semester. Yes, I know. If it had been chemistry class, recalling chemistry facts covered in the semester would have been an obvious thing to have on the exam. I think the reason there was resistance to requiring that students know biblical facts is because a lot of people- even parents of kids in Christian schools- don’t actually think the Bible is true. To them, ‘religion class’ is absurd; the only thing one needs to know is that God loves you and accepts you for who you are.

That is essentially ‘Sunday School’ religion, and basically why so many people today are falling away from the faith. After all, it isn’t like its true or anything, right?

So, my title is meant to poke atheists (and get some web traffic 😉 ) but what follows can be useful to anyone, Christians included, who wish to actually understand the Bible. Unfortunately, many people don’t. This is largely because they don’t grasp the over-aching framework of the Scriptures. This is then coupled with the fact that what they do know consists largely of Sunday School versions of popular Bible stories at best or Disney re-tellings of those stories at worst. However, even people who buckle down to read the Bible straight through will likely fail to understand it if they don’t keep some important principles in mind. So, note: if you are an atheist whose knowledge of the Bible stems from nothing more than Sunday School from 1st grade to 8th grade… pay attention.

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Three words Christians abuse: church, worship, love

The title of this post does not do the matter justice.  The word ‘abuse’ is too mild, and it might be even more accurate to say that in actual fact the sweeping trend within Christendom is that there is outright plain ignorance on what these terms mean.  The charge only matters at all to those […]

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Fall 2009 Online Academy Offerings

The Fall 2009 session of Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is set to begin Nov. 2. This session includes several new courses and several new instructors. Two courses are available for free. All are listed below:

http://www.academyofapologetics.com/fall2009/

Nov 2nd – Basic New Testament Greek Part 1
Nov 2nd – Reliability of the New Testament Documents
Nov 2nd – Origins: A Survey [Creationism/Evolution/Intelligent Design]
Nov 4th – Jesus According to… [Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc…]
Nov 4th – Studies in Atheism
Nov 9th – The Death of Christianity [FREE!]
Nov.16th – Christ Promised in the Old Testament
Nov 23rd – Hitler and Christianity [FREE!]
Nov 30th – Study in Alleged Bible Contradictions
Nov 30th – Basic New Testament Greek Part 2

www.academyofapologetics.com

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Online Apologetics Academy Enrolling

The Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is enrolling now. Enroll in the “Introduction to basic Biblical Greek” course which starts Oct. 27. Beginning on Nov. 3 is the course on “The Reliability of the New Testament Documents.” Beginning on Nov. 17 is the follow up course, “The Formation of the New Testament Canon.” Also beginning on Nov. 17 is the course “Studies in Atheism.” www.academyofapologetics.com

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Online apologetics courses now enrolling: believe in the resurrection of Jesus but don’t know the evidence?

Believe in the resurrection of Jesus but don’t know the evidence for that belief?  Do you see that as a problem?  You should.  Confused about how the New Testament canon came to be and nervous that books like Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” might have something to it?  Arm yourself with the facts.  Afraid […]

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The Growth of the Early Church: A Testimony Believed. Martyrs for what they saw not what they believed.

The Growth of the Early Church: A Testimony Believed. This essay was written in response to challenges to demonstrate that the early Christians died because of their testimony, and their unwillingness to reject their testimony. In other words, they believed that they had actually seen certain events, and chose to die rather than deny what […]

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Apologetics Bulletin Inserts for Churches Concept

  The idea to produce bulletin inserts with apologetic content goes back several years with me.  I had to set the idea aside because of pressing financial concerns.   My beloved wife has always insisted that it is one of my better ideas, so she prompted me to re-consider.  Some friends ratified her view.  Also, increasing […]

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A Review of Anne Rice’s “Out of Egypt”

Also read my extensive review of Rice’s “Road to Cana.” Long time atheist Anne Rice (author of “Interview with a Vampire”) became a Christian a few years back and got it into her head that she wanted to write about Jesus’ life from a 1st person perspective… uh… Jesus’ perspective. Pretty brave, if you think […]

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A kick in the shins of Christian ‘Internet Bloggers’ too

Now, there is no doubt that such claims are being made by (here unnamed-I wonder who they might be?) Internet bloggers, but Strobel presented this argument by pointing out that it was initiated by scholars themselves! Named are Tom Harpur, Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy, and Hugh J. Schonfield! Who exactly is ‘this leading scholar’s analysis’ a sharp rebuke to exactly? It looks to me like the context should suggest Strobel here call out other scholars, but instead he singles out “popular-level authors and Internet bloggers.” Granted, some of these authors were popular level, but these all have some credentials. But what Internet bloggers were referenced exactly? It wouldn’t be-Carrier and Lowder, would it?

Now, I have no great love for Richard Carrier or Jeffrey Jay Lowder. I’ve never found their arguments to be compelling, but having read some of their essays I can see why people find them persuasive. And I certainly don’t have a problem giving scholars their due weight. They’ve worked hard, and it is true, I don’t know Aramaic. I don’t have access in most cases to primary sources. I depend on them to bring me the data. It does not follow though, that I depend on them to interpret the data. No, my real concern here is that the attitude expressed in my quotes (and a handful of others) does two things: 1. It undercuts thoughtful and hard-working Christians striving on the Internet to further the cause of Christ and 2. It does not appreciate the fact that the democratization of the Internet is an asset for us, and even if we preferred that people defer to sober scholars (that we agree with) the fact is that people are going to turn first to sources on the Internet, and only later will they possibly consult some of these more scholarly works.

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