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by Tuesday, 12 July 2016 13:47

Q: Can You Address Doubts I have about the Resurrection?

Question:

These are the questions I have in mind.   They stem from a discussion I had with a friend of mine who likes Christianity (especially Bart Ehrman and the Gnostic Gospels) [Editor's note: we are not sure what the questioner means by this comment], but rejects the idea that Jesus was resurrected because:

  • It reminds him of the "Rising God" archetype JG Frazier discusses, which indicates it's part of a universal human myth making process.
  • Jesus' tomb can't be proven to have been empty, and if it is it's more likely someone robbed it.
  • Other historical figures have had supernatural stories added years later (like Siddhartha Guatanema).
  • There isn't any extrabiblical account of Jesus' divinity and the biblical one comes at least 20 years later and with a conversion agenda which makes it suspect.
  • The whole argument put forth by folks like Mike Licona and NT Wright that the early Christians' sincere belief in Jesus resurrection despite cultural beliefs going against that is evidence of it's authenticity bothers him because the same argument could be made hundreds of years from now by scientologists (thousands of people, despite cultural attitudes against it, chose to believe it so in the future historians could say that's proof of it's authenticity)
by Tuesday, 31 May 2016 20:01

Q: Did Daniel Get All the Historical Facts Wrong?

Question:

am happy to find your resourceful website and I hope you can help solve my puzzle.  Why did the book of Daniel get all the history wrong from verse 11:35 to the end? I tried to find answers in your power point but you list the historical facts just up to 11:35. This is puzzling to me because people claim the book of Daniel was not written in Daniel's time but much later at around 165 B.C.E. because all the facts from 11:35 to the end of chapter 11 were wrong. I hope you can help me on this.

by Monday, 02 May 2016 14:12

Q: Are Zechariah 2:8-9, 6:11-13 and 12:10-13:3 messianic prophecies? Is Joshua a figure of Jesus?

Question:

Could you answer a couple questions about Zechariah? Is chapter 2:8-9 referring to Jesus' sacrifice for all sin? Also, is chapter 6:11-13 referring to Joshua as a Jesus-figure? After all, isn't Jesus' real name in Hebrew Yeshua, which is a variant of Joshua? Is it a coincidence that it says his "name" is the Branch? If not, this is an amazingly accurate prophecy and I'm surprised I've never heard about it before.  On the other hand, 12:10-13:3 starts off seeming like a prophecy about Jesus but ends rather contrary to what Jesus taught. So I don't really know what to make of it. Also, I have trouble connecting 11:7-14 to the betrayal of Judas as is done in Matthew 27:9.  I have a lot of questions about Zechariah and I'd like to understand it better. Is there any resources you could offer me?
by Tuesday, 26 April 2016 22:19

Kingdom by Douglas Jacoby (Part III)

Hello, again! Let's get right down to business. We have already established that the kingdom of God is the future (heavenly) age breaking into the present age. (See Part I and Part II if you want to review.) That's why the kingdom of God may equally well be called the kingdom of heaven. It's cosmic; it includes the quick and the dead, angels and men. This certainly isn't a human institution -- nor is it the churc

In one sense the kingdom is the entire universe, since God is King of all creation. In another sense it is the sphere of obedience to the perfect will of God. We aren't "added to the kingdom" so much as that the Lord's reign is extended to us. The kingdom is an attitude, an orientation, a new world. It's also a government. And it is this last sense of "kingdom" that now needs fleshing out.

An alternative government?

Until the return of the King, we enjoy his kingdom, and strive to live in such a way as to please him. Our primary citizenship is not in Argentina, Belgium, or Canada, but in the kingdom of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Yet this kingdom is only dawning on our world; it has not come in its fullness. That's why we keep praying the Lord's Prayer, with its vital words "Thy kingdom come."

by Tuesday, 26 April 2016 20:10

Kingdom by Douglas Jacoby (Part II)

Hello! This is the middle lesson of three on the Kingdom of God. Last week, we saw that God has always had a kingdom. The Old Testament frequently affirms his sovereignty over the nations as King of Kings. In the New Testament, Jesus ascends to heaven and accedes to the throne.

We also distinguished two senses of kingdom: rule and realm. The former includes those who freely choose to obey the king; the latter is the scope of God's reign -- the universe! While the kingdom has always existed, at some times it is more obvious than at others. Today we examine the central proclamation of Christ and his followers: the kingdom.

Past, present, future

The Jews expected God to make his kingdom manifest when the Messiah returned and the new age was inaugurated. The age to come was to be marked by extraordinary political and economic prosperity. God's enemies would be vanquished, Israel would be exalted as top nation, and there would be no more sickness or death. Yet rejecting the Messiah (the King), they failed to realize that this kingdom was inaugurated by Jesus. (And although it's not always obvious, we are living in the Messianic age right now.)
by Tuesday, 12 April 2016 13:56

Q: Is There Evidence that Dinosaurs Lived Millions of Years Ago?

Question:

I have a question about reports in recent years (in technical, and in consumer oriented publications) of proteins, hemoglobin, collagen and various soft-tissue samples being found in various dinosaur fossils.  Are these kinds of compounds able to survive for millions of years within a fossil? It seems counter-intuitive. I have long been satisfied the Earth and universe are quite old, but I'm not a geologist, nor biochemist, and am puzzled how these kinds of finds fit with millions of years?   Thank you for any clarity if you have time.   References:   1. Smithsonian Mag, May 2006, Helen Fields, "Dinosaur Shocker", about RBCs and soft tissue, proteins in T.Rex fossils.   2. Schweitzer & Wittmeyer, "Soft-tissue preservation from Cretaceous to present", proceedings from the Royal Society B, 2007, p183-197.  3.  Nielsen-Marsch, "Biomolecules in fossil remains", in The Biochemist, June 2002, p12-14.
by Monday, 04 April 2016 13:16

Q: Is Matthew 2:23 (He will be called a Nazarene) a Biblical Error?

Question:

In Matthew 2:23 it is written that Joseph was told in a dream to go to Galilee and live in the town of Nazareth just as the prophets said that he will be called a Nazarene. I have heard that this is clear evidence of an error in the New Testament. Can you give any OT reference to this as my Bible does not have footnotes regarding this reference? 

by Sunday, 03 April 2016 17:25

Kingdom by Douglas Jacoby (Part I)

Who's on the throne?

Of course the Lord God is the one on the throne (Judges 21:25; 1 Samuel 8:7; Revelation 19:16)! There's never been a time when the universe has been left untended, so there's always been a kingdom -- frequently mentioned in the Old Testament (Psalm 103:19; Isaiah37:16; Jeremiah 10:10). And by virtue of his resurrection, Jesus Christ has been enthroned. A crucial, yet too-often skimmed, section of Peter's Pentecost message is Acts 2:29-36. Jesus began to reign after this series of events: Resurrection -- Ascension -- Accession. Because of his resurrection, he ascends to heaven to accede to the throne of God. Ultimately, according to Paul, Jesus will hand over the kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24).

by Friday, 25 March 2016 12:32

Q: Why is the Cleansing of the Temple in Different Time Frames in the Gospels?

Question:

Why is the cleansing of the temple at the beginning of John and at the end of the synoptics?  What were John's motivations for placing it earlier?  How do you harmonize the different gospel accounts amidst editing and audience?   I'm taking a class that is picking the gospels apart and I would like a good resource to help me see how they come together.
by Thursday, 24 March 2016 20:52

Church by Douglas Jacoby (Part III)

Members, membership, & dismemberment (?)

We're all baptized into the body of Christ, the church universal (1 Corinthians 12:13). Yet our membership has a local expression (Acts 2:41) -- recall that the basic meaning of church is assembly. Church is organic, not merely organizational. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul explains that the body is a unit, though made of many members. Each member is different and serves a different function, whether an eye, ear, hand, or foot. The foot does not easily serve as a hand, nor can a lost eye be recovered. Members are hardly interchangeable, nor are they replaceable. Here we find diversity, not similarity

Of course, in one sense all members are alike. We have much in common: Christ, determination to remain in his word, and commitment to the body of Christ. However, for the purposes of Paul's metaphor, it is our differences that matter. In most human organizations, all members are alike. (Think soldiers marching on the parade ground, or the mailman in uniform.) I recently re-joined a health club, L.A. Fitness. I have a membership number. If I drop out, someone else will take my number. That's because I'm no more significant to the organization than the monthly dues I pay. Not so with the church! If you quit, no one can truly replace you.