The books of the Bible were selected in the year 325 at the Council of Nicaea, right? That’s what a lot of Christians seem to think. But is this story true? And, if it isn’t true, how did the tale of a council that created the canon begin in the first place?[Read More...]
Apologetics: Who Wrote the Gospels?
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 were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John really the ones who wrote the Gospels? If so, how do we […][Read More...]
Apologetics: Which Canon Contains the Right Books?
Believing What Jesus Believed About the Old Testament Canon Different communities of people who call themselves Christians use different Old Testaments. Here’s what I mean: Everyone agrees about thirty-nine of the texts in the Old Testament, but—if you attended Mass in a Roman Catholic congregation this weekend—the Old Testament readings would come from a canon […][Read More...]
Study: Read through the Greek New Testament in a Year
After a few years of using other Bible reading plans, I’m returning in 2020 to a plan that I’ve used in the past to read through the New Testament in Greek each year. The plan that I’ve found most useful for that is one from Denny Burk, which is based on a plan prepared by […][Read More...]
Timothy Paul Jones and Garrick Bailey: Three Chords and the Truth Live with Five Oaks Church
In this special episode of Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast, Timothy Paul Jones and Garrick Bailey join the student ministry at Five Oaks Church, a radical band of young believers who gather near the metropolis of Minneapolis in the wild and crazy land of Minnesota. Students from Five Oaks Church ask questions […][Read More...]
Apologetics: Jesus of Faith, Jesus of History, or Jesus of Eyewitness Testimony?
“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 […][Read More...]
History: How We Got the Bible in Six Minutes or Less
I need your help! Here’s the challenge: I’m working on a video that summarizes the history of the Bible in six minutes. Below, I’ve posted the script so far—and I’d be interested to know what you think needs to be included and what might be left out. The narration for the video is already six […][Read More...]
Apologetics: The Earliest Surviving Listing of the New Testament Canon
The claim has been repeated over and over that the first person to list the same twenty-seven books that we find in our New Testament today was Athanasius of Alexandria, in the year 367. When this claim comes from the lips of a skeptical scholar, it’s typically followed by a long leap to the conclusion that […][Read More...]
Apologetics: How Long Was the Canon in Question?
The Canon of the New Testament and the Categories of Eusebius The suggestion continues to be made by popular skeptics that the New Testament canon was in flux for hundreds of years. One scholar claims that no one came up with “a definitive list of books to be included in the canon that matched our list today” […][Read More...]
Apologetics: How the Meaning of “Canon” Changed from a River Reed to a Book We Read
Recently, I had a conversation with Jonathan Petersen at Bible Gateway about the origin and meaning of the word “canon.” Here’s an excerpt from our discussion: Jonathan: What is the definition of “canon”? TPJ: The meaning of the word canon as we know it today can be traced back to how the Greeks used a […][Read More...]
Apologetics: Constantine, the New Testament Canon, and the Conversion of the Roman Empire
Ariel Sabar has penned a devastating exposé of the forged fragment known as Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. The article is well-researched and well-written—but it also includes a couple of historical errors that seem to have become conventional wisdom in far too many news articles.[Read More...]
Church History: Who Decided Which Books Belong in My Bible?
Suppose that you became a Christian in the second century A.D. You’ve heard the story of a divine being who died on a cross and rose from the dead. Through baptism, you’ve openly identified yourself with his followers. Now, you want to learn more about this deity. Yet you quickly realize that some people who […][Read More...]
Apologetics: Why the Acts of Paul and Gospel of Peter Aren’t On Your Schedule for Reading the Bible in a Year
Perhaps you, like many others, are planning to read through the Bible this year. If you do, you’re likely to ask yourself at some point, “Weren’t there other Gospels and letters that didn’t make it into the Bible? Why am I reading these texts instead of those?” So what about those other Gospels? Well, from […][Read More...]
Apologetics: Why Some Books Made It Into the New Testament and Others Didn’t
It’s New Year’s Eve! Tomorrow, many of you will begin reading through the Bible in a year. Before you do, I want to plant a question in your mind: Why these books? Why spend the year reading through these ancient texts and not some other documents? What’s so important about these books that owe their […][Read More...]
Church History: How Did Christians Decide Which Books Belonged in the New Testament?
Video courtesy of Christianity.com To learn more about how Christians determined which texts were true and authoritative, read these articles: Who Decided Which Books Belong in My Bible? and Why No Baptized Lions or Talking Crosses Made It Into Your Bible. 30 Days through Church History: Day 8[Read More...]
Why No Baptized Lions Or Talking Crosses Made It Into Your Bible
From the first century forward, Christians viewed testimony that could be connected to eyewitnesses of Jesus as uniquely authoritative. The logic of this standard was simple: The people most likely to know the truth about Jesus were either eyewitnesses who had encountered Jesus personally or close associates of these witnesses. So, although Christians wrangled for […][Read More...]