Open your Bible to the table of contents and take a look at the list of books in the New Testament. There, you'll find the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John leading the list. But did this quartet of early Christians actually have any connection with the books that bear their names? Were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John really the ones who wrote the Gospels? If so, how do we know?
“The more I probed the Bible,” Reza Aslan declares in the introduction to his bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, “the more distance I discovered between the Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus of history” (xix).
The result of this discovery—at least in Aslan’s estimation—is that the New Testament Gospels should be treated as texts that convey something other than “history.” Continue reading.
The witch’s knife plunged deep into the lion’s heart, and the majestic creature quivered and died. For a few seconds, complete silence descended on the movie theater. A slight sniffling beside me broke the stillness, and that’s when I heard my 9-year-old daughter whisper a rather profound word of wisdom to her friend—wisdom that reminds us of an important truth about the New Testament Gospels.Continue reading.
This weekend, millions of Americans will once again endure the filing and, in some cases, the payment of taxes.
Taxation has never been particularly popular among Americans, having once incited several dozen Bostonians to dress up as Mohawk braves and toss tea into a harbor. Continue reading.
At least once or twice every year—usually around Christmas and Easter—popular magazines and blogs seem to go out of their way to locate some shocking fact that supposedly debunks what Christians believe about Jesus. In most cases, these supposedly-shocking data are recycled from one of the many failed quests for the historical Jesus that have ebbed and flowed since the nineteenth century.
But this pattern of false claims about Jesus isn’t anything new!