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Bible: New Testament

Open Letter to Dr. Adam Francisco, Editor of the Global Journal of Classical Theology

In the summer of 2023 retired lawyer Robert G. Miller invited legal apologist John Warwick Montgomery, then-editor of the Global Journal of Classical Theology, to participate in a truly legal assessment the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, but Montgomery declined citing time constraints. So Miller turned to systematically inviting as many other legal apologists as he could think of to demonstrate the resurrection of Jesus. Unfortunately, he could not find a single lawyer who would even discuss the possibility of facing an actual opponent in a procedure closer to a real adversarial process in court. Miller therefore took the initiative by drafting an unopposed brief providing three independent reasons why apologists cannot prove Jesus' resurrection by legal principles, in addition to critiquing standard legal apologetic arguments for the resurrection of Jesus. In this follow-up open letter, Miller invites the incoming editor of the Journal to respond to his unopposed brief, either directly or by slating editorial board members to do so, or to at least issue a call for papers responding to the brief. Will legal apologist continue to skirt their 1 Peter 3:15-16 mandate to answer the call to anyone who requests it?

Will No One Answer the Call? Update to the Open Letter to Bradley J. Lingo, Dean of the Regent University School of Law

A month prior, retired lawyer Robert G. Miller challenged the Dean of the Regent University School of Law, or any legal apologist willing to take his place, to participate in a genuine adversarial debate with him emulating typical legal procedures, to be facilitated by Internet Infidels online. Since legal apologists regularly claim to be able to demonstrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead using legal argumentation, Miller's aim was to put this assertion to the test. Sadly, however, despite efforts to reach out to various legal professionals directly, to date no legal apologist has agreed to Miller's challenge. In this update, Miller informs readers of the next steps that he is mulling over in light of legal apologists' failure to show up.

Open Letter to Bradley J. Lingo, Dean of the Regent University School of Law

Within evangelical circles, legal apologetics denotes attempts to defend the Christian faith using legal arguments that would ostensibly "prove" certain central tenets of Christianity by the standards of the American legal system. Like other forms of apologetics, however, it is rife with buzzwords and relies on no identifiable criteria by which these tenets might be "proven" by established legal standards. Legal apologists also tend to respond to the arguments of fictional opponents to their "cases" for core Christian doctrines rather than engage real-world legal opponents. Since this has a more propagandistic than truth-seeking function, in this essay retired lawyer Robert G. Miller challenges the Dean of the Regent University School of Law—or any legal apologist for that matter—to accept his invitation to agree to initiate a real online debate with him by September 29, 2023 using long-standing legal standards to "prove" the central Christian doctrine that Jesus rose from the dead.

Purely Unreasonable Jesus

The famous parables of Jesus cursing a fig tree and chasing moneychangers from the Temple, widely touted by both believers and nonbelievers as morally warranted, illustrate a kind of unreasonable entitlement that reveals an unflattering side of the character of the New Testament Jesus. In this essay Stephen Van Eck tackles the tendency by believers and doctrinally influenced nonbelievers to hold to a pre-existing conception of a morally perfect Jesus that leads them to overlook otherwise blatant character flaws revealed through such parables. Van Eck also provides grounds for understanding the approval of abusive treatment portrayed at the hands of the New Testament Jesus as one historical root of anti-Semitism.

Courtroom Apologetics: You Call Them Eyewitnesses?

In "Courtroom Apologetics: You Call Them Eyewitnesses?" G. P. Denken critiques a genre of popular evangelical apologetics that he labels "courtroom" apologetics. Courtroom apologists are recognizable by the way that they season their arguments with courtroom jargon and analogies. Denken highlights three apologists who make their cases by relying heavily on the four "eyewitness" accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Though the apologetic authors seek verdicts from their jury of readers in favor of Christianity, Denken offers a rebuttal case in their imaginary trial. He discusses how these apologists have not only misidentified the Gospel authors, but ignored how their proposed authors could not have been eyewitnesses to many famous scenes in the canonical Gospels.

Did Jesus of Nazareth Rise from the Dead?

The resurrection of Jesus is a fundamental belief to Christians. But nonbelievers have to reconcile the fact that any resurrection occurrence would break the laws of biology with the fact that very early Christians had unshakeable beliefs that Jesus had risen from the dead. Two possibilities exist for those with a naturalistic worldview. Was the Resurrection a hoax to which they all subscribed, or did they genuinely believe in its reality? In this essay, Robert Shaw addresses this question with his characteristic sagacity.

Are the Americas Mentioned in the Bible?

The Pledge of Allegiance states that the United States of America is "one nation under God." Additionally, polling shows that an overwhelming majority of American evangelical Christians believe that the United States is "uniquely blessed" by God. But is there any mention of the Americas in the Bible, or were they ever mentioned by Jesus or any of the Old Testament prophets? This article seeks to answer this question.

Jesus as Model Husband: Christian Marriage Advice and Why my Wife Ain’t Down

A Christian friend gave Daniel June some solid advice on how he should be building up his marriage, and that advice inspired him to write this informal critique of the Christian bestseller This Momentary Marriage by John Piper. With a bit of humor, June argues that Piper's "Jesus-and-his-bride-the-Church" model of a modern marriage, where the wife is subservient to a husband who can do no wrong, is a completely absurd model on which to base any respectful modern marriage.

The Future’s Not Ours to See

In this article Robert Shaw examines some of the successes attributed to the authors of the Bible, and compares them to those of other secular prophets such as Nostradamus, in being able to precisely tell the future. Shaw looks at a number of ways in which these prophecies are given the appearance of fulfillment by those that advocate their validity. He then argues that the skill of being able to predict the future accurately is scientifically impossible.

The Titanic and Christian Apologetics

While it may at first glance seem a stretch to make a comparison between the Titanic and Christian apologetics, a fundamental truth exists within that comparison: namely, that so-called experts do make mistakes, and that it is unreasonable and potentially misleading to assume that they are always correct. It should be noted that experts designed, built and sailed the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage and that each of those disciplines had a hand in its ultimate destruction. Unfortunately, Christian tradition and its accompanying apologetics fare no better in their claims of unassailable accuracy in portraying the life of the historical Jesus.

Enigmas about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

What sense does it make that the resurrection of Jesus, the momentous event of the Christian faith, should take place without any witnesses? Why was the risen Jesus not seen by anyone other than his own followers? Why did the apostles "doubt" in the presence of the risen Jesus or go so far as not recognizing him? Since it is the most important event of the Christian faith, how can we explain the remarkable differences that exist among the various evangelists regarding what transpired on the resurrection day? How can we understand that certain passages should present the risen Jesus as a spiritual being who would go through walls, appear and disappear at will and who had the appearance of "a spirit," etc., whereas others state that he was flesh and blood?

Easter Quiz

Think you know the details regarding the New Testament Empty Tomb and Resurrection stories? Check your knowledge with this short, twenty-two question quiz. The answers may surprise you! You will likely find that the details are so inconsistent from one biblical source to the next that the picture that we are typically given of the events surrounding the alleged Resurrection is necessarily a composite of carefully selected verses which exclude other verses where the details differ.

Beauty is Not an Argument: The Three Moral Commands of the Gospels

The legitimacy of the three main commandments of the Gospels--"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," "Love your neighbor as yourself," and "Love God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind"--is accepted not only by believers, but the first is admired by many unbelievers as well. However, although they sound pretty, they do not pass philosophical scrutiny, and they must be rejected by a morally-minded and reasonable person.