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I read Martin Short’s autobiography this weekend. I’ve had the impression that Short is one of those celebrities who seems like a regular guy; he’s led a pretty normal life despite his celebrity. A family man, married for 30 years. I enjoyed reading the book.
C.S. Lewis is well known for being an apologist and writer. But first, he was a literature scholar. His remarks about claims that the Gospels were legend draws from his experience. He wrote this essay in 1959, and the original title was "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism." It is still a quite timely and apt observation on the current Biblical critics:
The first time I heard C.S. Lewis' Trilemma challenged was nearly 20 years ago. A local college professor invited Greg to speak to his philosophy class each term. The professor was a skeptic, but was happy to expose his students to good thinking even if he didn't believe what the Bible taught about Jesus. After one class period, he chatted with Greg and presented his challenge to the Trilemma. It was incomplete, he said. There is a fourth possibility: The Gospels are legends.
It's funny that many secularists believe that Christian myths about Jesus evolved over time until they were written down generations later. This is the thesis in Bart Ehrman's latest book. It's not accurate. It's funny because there are things believed by some of the same secularists that actually are myths that evolved over time to create the impression that Christianity is a science stopper and anti-intellectual.
I realized something about Bart Ehrman’s books reading his latest, How Jesus Became God. Most of his books are the same premise applied to different topics. Ehrman’s fundamental premise is that the New Testament documents, and most critically the Gospels, were written late, long after the eyewitnesses were gone. He thinks that they record oral tradition that changed over time before being committed to writing. So we have no authoritative or reliable record of Jesus.
In the fall of 2012, Harvard historian Karen King announced she'd been given a fragment of a manuscript that mentioned Jesus' wife. It's in the news again because studies have indicated it's not a modern forgery. But whether or not it was a forgery isn't the main issue. The date of the manuscript is what's relevant, and even in 2012 when the announcement was made, it was considered to be a few centuries after Jesus – and long after the New Testament documents were written. So it presented no authoritative rival to those documents about Jesus.
Darwinists will sometimes point to the high percentage of genes that humans and chimpanzees share as evidence of common descent. But it's not simply the similarities that matter, it's the qualitative differences in what the genes do that offers contrary evidence. Dr. Fazale Rana reports on a recent study from the Salk Institute that indicates that the similarities in genes humans and chimpanzees share is very significant because of other differences in how genes are expressed.
A caller to the radio program asked about answering a historical challenge to Luke 2 that Bart Ehrman has raised. I have to confess, I wasn't aware of this apparent problem, and researching it has actually been quite fascinating. Ehrman mentions it in this week's Newsweek magazine. Part of the key to the answer is what the Greek text of Luke 2 actually says, as opposed to what we've come to think it says.
Greg is sick so no broadcast or podcast. Sorry! Back next week, God willing.
A frequent objection to a Designer of the universe and life is junk DNA. Darwinists claim that this DNA that has no apparent purpose is leftover residue from epochs of evolution, and they claim that a Designer would not have been so wasteful. New studies are finding, however, that this DNA isn't junk, and actually has a purpose. A recently published study finds that it regulates the other genes that have a more obvious purpose. One person described this DNA as the operating system for the rest.