Biography The Case For Faith Pdf


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The Case for Faith. A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity. Lee Strobel. INTRODUCTION: THE CHALLENGE OF FAITH. Billy Graham. Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for the Real Jesus,. (Grand Rapids, Mi: produced as a PDF for the reader to view. Three particularly. Faith drained them of the guilt that had oppressed them. Faith replaced .. As I systematically documented in The Case for Christ, the eyewitness evidence, the.

The Case For Faith Pdf

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Editorial Reviews. Review. Award-winning reporter and author Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ) once again uses his investigative skills to address. Case for Faith Student Edition by Lee Strobel. Some other books in case you wanna dig deeper: *The Case for Christ and The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. In The Case for Faith Revised Edition, a six-session, video-based study, former atheist Lee Strobel discusses hard questions while addressing the most common .

Probably the most common group of such changes are harmonizations between the Gospels. The further we get from the original text, the more the copyists harmonized so as to rid the text of any apparent discrepancies. But such harmonizations are fairly easy to detect. Just the opposite is the case. No cardinal or essential doctrine is altered by any textual variant that has plausibility of going back to the original. The evidence for that has not changed to this day.

But seriously, does my salvation depend on that?

The Case for Christ

Most Christians have never even heard of that verse or will ever perform an exorcism. Ehrman and another scholar I mentioned earlier, Gordon Fee, have argued that those verses are not authentic because the manuscripts either put this after verse 33 or verse I should emphasize that all the manu- scripts have the wording in one place or the other.

My point is simply that this passage does not alter any essential doctrine. I hesitated, figuring I was being set up. A manuscript from the fifth century, however, has the number as Okay, no big deal, since it was only one manuscript. But five years ago at Oxford they found the earliest manuscript of Revelation chapter No doubt, it says Jesus bent down and began using his finger to write something in the dirt.

Once they were gone, Jesus said to the adulteress: Has no one condemned you? Go now and leave your life of sin. They read this as an independent story and ended up putting it in at least half a dozen different locations in John and Luke. Actually, a group of manuscripts put it in Luke instead of John.

My answer is an unquestionable no. Is it historically authentic? Did it really happen? My answer is a highly qualified yes — something may have happened with Jesus being merciful to a sinner, but the story was originally in a truncated form.

Sure enough, there are rules at the top and bottom of the story in order to delineate it, as well as a note in the center of the page that says: She was the seventh such fatality in Kentucky since In fact, the state felt compelled to pass a law making it a misdemeanor to handle reptiles as part of religious services.

None of them, however, noted that this verse — and, in fact, the whole last twelve verses of Mark — were not part of the original Gospel but were added at a later date and are not consid- ered authentic.

And then in the tex- tual critic Constantin von Tischendorf went to Mount Sinai and brought back Codex Sinaiticus. One group says Mark wrote an ending to his Gospel but it was lost. A page could be lost fairly easily from a codex, because the binding is like a book, but the ending of the Gospel would have been secure on a scroll.

Some put these verses in smaller type or otherwise bracket it. To date we have found a grand total of four manuscripts that have it, all from the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, plus four others that have it as a marginal note in a later hand. And, by the way, you only find it in the King James Version. Are there any ways in which our understanding of Jesus is sig- nificantly altered by textual variants?

For instance, Ehrman contends that in Mark 1: I asked Wallace about this issue — and I was taken aback by his response. Everybody else felt that righteous indignation had a place in life — and Jesus was one of them. In Mark Did Jesus express anger and indignation at times? Hebrews 2: Hebrews 5: They pray on behalf of other people! So Ehrman is connecting dots that are illegitimate to connect. While scholars can- not pin down every single word with absolute confidence, there was no dispute over the fundamentals.

As for Jesus, there was nothing that would compel a new perspective on his life, character, miracles, or resurrection. I glanced at my watch; it was getting late. Still, I believe its widespread popularity — with millions of copies being sold — made it worth addressing.

Wallace rolled his eyes, but I pushed ahead. Do these authors know anything about history at all? Dio- cletian did not destroy all the Christian manuscripts.

He did destroy several, but mostly in the East and South. As far as having no manu- scripts prior to the fourth century — well, we have more than four dozen in Greek alone that are prior to the fourth century. And these manuscripts have numerous passages — John 1: No historian would ever even entertain that kind of stupidity. We really need to wrestle with the issues, because our faith depends on it. And second, we need to quit turning Jesus into our buddy.

When I teach textual criticism every year, my students spend about a third of their workload transcribing manuscripts — and invariably they marvel at how little the manuscripts deviate. But the vast majority of differences involve a spelling error or a moveable nu. Do we have all the essentials? Do we have all the particulars? Nothing produced by Ehrman even came close to changing the bibli- cal portrait of the real Jesus in any meaningful way. In fact, Bruce M.

He died in , ten years later. What was fascinating to me was how much his remarks during our interview reflected what Wallace was now telling me years later. From God to Us: How We Got Our Bible. Moody, Komoszewski, J. Ed, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B.

Reinventing Jesus. Kregel, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. Fourth edition. New York and Oxford: Patzia, Arthur G. The Making of the New Testament. Wegner, Paul D. The Journey from Texts to Translations. Grand Rapids. Jesus is dead. Carrier1 Jesus was placed into a common grave, and covered over.

In a very short time only some unmarked bones remained. Even the bones were gone before too long. Nature rather efficiently reclaims its own resources. Retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong 2 O utside a Chicago hospital on a humid summer night, a gunshot victim was unloaded from an ambulance and wheeled on a gurney into the emergency room. The teenager gestured toward his abdomen as he was rolled past reporters. A reporter on the streets of Chicago soon develops more than a passing acquaintance with death.

Often the people directly embroiled in an unfolding tragedy — the car accident, the gang fight, the conve- nience store robbery gone awry — are too bewildered and disoriented to fully comprehend their predicament. But from the detached perspec- tive of the reporter, the grim outcome is much more foreseeable. And when death finally does seize its victims, when their eyes stare blankly, then all hope is gone. The idea that it could somehow become reani- mated, especially after three days, could never quite get past my jour- nalistic skepticism when I was an atheist.

As I documented in The Case for Christ, it was my investigation of the historical evidence that eventually convinced me that the resurrec- tion of Jesus really happened. Do any of these updated objections, I wondered, manage to crack this central pillar of Christianity?

Religious studies professor Bart D. Skepticism about the resurrection was bolstered by a pre-Easter television documentary — followed by a popular book — which claimed that the burial site of Jesus and his family had been acci- dentally uncovered by an Israeli construction crew in The discovery threatened to amplify doubts about whether Jesus really had returned from the dead in bodily form.

At the forefront of the most recent challenges to the resurrection have been Muslims, who clearly understand that discrediting the res- urrection means nothing less than disproving the truth of Christianity. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI in a videotape to urge all Christians to convert to Islam, which, he said, correctly believes that Jesus was never put to death, never rose from the dead, and was not divine.

A prominent Hindu leader declared in a speech that Jesus never died on the cross. Sudarshan, leader of a nationalist Hindu organization in India. In , Prometheus Books published an ambitious page anthology called The Empty Tomb, in which such skeptics as Michael Martin and Richard Carrier set forth their alterna- tive explanations for the Easter event.

Price is emphatic in the introduction: He publicly ordered Jesus crucified to placate the religious authorities who wanted him dead, but at the same time he conspired to ensure that Jesus secretly came down from the cross alive. Tabor, who holds a doctorate in biblical studies from the University of Chicago and is currently chair of the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, offered his own theory in The Jesus Dynasty, a book that New Testa- ment professor Arthur J.

In a stunning assertion, Tabor even revealed where Jesus might be buried — in Galilee outside the city of Tsfat. Wright, the Bishop of Durham in England, who has taught at both Cambridge and Oxford universities, offered his page seminal book The Resurrection of the Son of God in His conclusion: Sometimes the clash between resurrection skeptics and supporters became more direct.

Resurrection expert Gary R. Habermas, author of The Historical Jesus, and William Lane Craig, who has doctorates from the University of Birmingham in England and the University of Munich, are among the Christian apologists who have clashed with atheists in debates on the issue in recent years. An Atheist and Theist Dialogue.

This was a reprise of a famous debate between the pair in the s, after which four independent judges declared Habermas the victor and one called the contest a draw. Concluded one previously skeptical judge: Fact or Figment? Does history really support the reality of the resurrection, or have scholars suc- ceeded in establishing that the post-mortem appearances of Jesus are the product of hallucinations, legends, or wishful thinking?

Even skeptics know that a lot is banking on the answer, as I saw in my interview with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. We met in the living room of his opulent Los Angeles mansion, Hefner clad in his trade- mark pajamas and silk smoking jacket, to discuss matters of faith for a television program. Everything comes down to that. The cross either unmasked him as a pretender or opened the door to a supernatural resurrection that has irrevocably affirmed his divinity.

I picked up the telephone to call one of the emerging authori- ties on the resurrection of Jesus, whose provocative books include an imaginary debate on the issue between the apostle Paul and the prophet Muhammad. I invited him over to my house for a chat. Once and for all, I was determined to get to the truth about the most current challenges to this cornerstone doctrine. Six-foot-three and lanky, Michael Licona was once a second- degree black belt and award-winning instructor in tae kwon do, a modern Korean martial art that is a lethal form of one-on-one combat.

While a ruptured disk has sidelined his fighting in the ring, Licona has morphed into a respected and accomplished participant in another kind of mano a mano contest, this time involving intellectual clashes over the historical claims of Christianity.

In recent years, during his extensive travels to university cam- puses and appearances on national television and radio programs, he has debated such formidable opponents as Shabir Ally, the fierce defender of Islam; atheistic street-fighter Dan Barker; up-and-coming skeptic Richard Carrier; and liberal professor Elaine Pagels of Princeton.

Licona was mentored by Habermas, with whom he coauthored the award-winning book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. A Christian-Mus- lim Debate on the Resurrection, in which he envisions the Christian apostle and the founder of Islam in an intellectual showdown over this key tenet of Christianity. He even used the format of a novel, titled Cross Examined, to creatively present evidence for the resurrection.

Instead, however, his renewed investigation of the evidence for Christianity and a number of other major world religions, as well as his in-depth study of atheism, ended up solidifying his conviction that Christianity rests on a firm historical foundation. Since , Licona has been the director of apologetics and inter- faith evangelism for the North American Mission Board of the South- ern Baptist Convention, where he trains leaders, develops resources, and consults on world religions, cults, and apologetics.

Licona stopped by my house near the Santa Ana Mountains, set- tling into a couch in my family room while I sat down in a couch adjacent to him. California sunshine poured through the windows. He was casually dressed in blue jeans without a belt and a blue button- down shirt with thin white stripes.

Although Licona has a pleasant and friendly demeanor, his eyes appear ever-sharp and observant, seemingly ready to detect any errant thought or lapse in logic.

Before we began, he set up his laptop computer, loaded with sophisticated historical research tools, on the coffee table in front of him — just in case.

And if God exists and he wants to raise Jesus from the dead, then I would think that could be the most probable explanation. Is he or she going to allow for the existence of God and the possibility that he could raise some- one from the dead? Licona considered the question for a moment. Even philosopher Antony Flew, when he was an atheist, said the resurrection is enormously more likely if God exists.

And if he does, then he could certainly have raised Jesus from the dead. Is that legitimate? Therefore, he says women cannot conceive children without a natural father.

Well, how does he know that? He quickly thought of an illustration. We know that ancient biographies were intended to be regarded as history to varying degrees.

There were still preliminary issues to examine. In other words, we have ancient texts, artifacts, and other effects that have come down to us and we try to infer from them what their causes were. Historical conclusions are like temporary workers waiting to see whether they will one day be awarded a permanent position. Despite the conflicting witnesses, British and American investigations concluded that the Titanic went down intact, based on the preponder- ance of the evidence at the time.

Later, when explorers discovered the sunken Titanic, they found it had indeed broken in two and then sank. When a historian says something occurred, he means that given the evidence at our disposal today, this is the best explanation. Licona put down his water glass, unbuttoned the cuffs of his shirt, and rolled up his sleeves as if he were getting ready for a lengthy discussion.

First, historians must identify all the relevant sources. We also want to examine the apostolic fathers, who were the next generation after the apostles. So their writings can give us a window into what those apostles taught.

Case For Faith 4.pdf - The Case for Faith Essay#4 Write an...

This means assigning the greatest weight to reports that are early, eyewitness, enemy, embarrassing, and corroborated by others. Their imaginations are very good — and I mean that in a positive sense — but I believe their meth- ods are sometimes questionable and their results unrestrained. What does that do to their revisionist theories, which rely on a much earlier dating of these sources? He gestured toward me. First, there must be very strong historical evidence supporting them.

Or let me put it another way: This serves as a check on bias. He has identified minimal facts that are strongly evidenced and which are regarded as historical by the large majority of scholars, including skeptics.

We try to come up with the best historical explanation to account for these facts. First of all, because all four Gospels report it. Hold on! And in the ancient world to be hung on a tree many times referred to a crucifixion. Galatians 3: You saw The Passion of the Christ, right? Even though not all of the film was historically accurate, it did depict the extreme brutality of Roman scourging and crucifixion.

Witnesses in the ancient world reported victims being so severely whipped that their intestines and veins were laid bare.

Still, two of them died. So even under the best of conditions, a victim was unlikely to survive crucifixion. It is very doubtful that Jesus was privy to such conditions. It was their job.

Lee Strobel

They were good at it. Jesus was crucified and died as a result. The scholarly consensus — again, even among those who are skeptical toward the resurrection — is abso- lutely overwhelming. To deny it would be to take a marginal position that would get you laughed out of the academic world. FACT 2: Acts confirms this. So in other words, Paul knew the apostles and reports that they claimed — just as he did — that Jesus had returned from the dead.

Scholars have identified several places in which this oral tradition has been copied into the New Testament in the form of creeds, hymns, and sermon summations. This is really significant because the oral tradition must have existed prior to the New Testa- ment writings for the New Testament authors to have included it.

For example, we have creeds that laid out basic doctrines in a form that was easily memorized. One of the earliest and most impor- tant creeds was relayed by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian church, which was written about AD First Corinthians After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. That would be within five years of the crucifixion. In fact, this creed has been one of the most formidable obstacles to critics who try to shoot down the resurrection. Actually, these are apparently summaries of the preaching of the apostles, since most of them can be read aloud in five minutes or less. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay. Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

Wallace came to mind.

Mark predicts the resurrec- tion in five places,33 and he reports the testimony of the angel to the resurrection, the empty tomb, and the imminent appearance of Jesus in Galilee. Most scholars believe Mark is the earliest Gospel, but we have an even earlier report about the resurrection: This clearly spells out various post-Easter appearances by Jesus — including at one point to five hundred people.

He was referring to Paul and the other apostles when he said: Paul, oral tradition, and written reports. This is some- thing the disciples believed to the core of their being. We find this in multiple accounts inside and outside the New Testament. Liars make poor martyrs. They were on the scene and able to ascertain for sure that he had been resurrected.

So it was for the truth of the resurrection that they were willing to die. But I do know that as a his- torian that they must have seen something. Still, skeptics have raised some fresh objections in recent years. Rather than sidetrack Licona at this point, however, I decided to wait until he finished describing his five minimal facts. At that point, I could cross-examine him in more depth. Again, liars make poor martyrs. So we can be confident that Paul not only claimed the risen Jesus appeared to him, but that he really believed it.

He says he was transformed by a personal encounter with the risen Christ. So his conversion is based in primary evidence — Jesus directly appeared to him. Saul was a most unlikely candidate for conversion. His mind-set was to oppose the Christian movement that he believed was following a false Messiah.

They were sort of taunting him! Not to one of his half-brothers, who would be the natural choice, but to John, who was a believer. Why on earth would he do that? I think the inference is very strong: Again, this is an extremely early account that has all the ear- marks of reliability. In fact, James may have been involved in passing along this creed to Paul, in which case James would be personally endorsing what the creed reports about him. We know this from Acts and Galatians.

But something occurred to me as he was telling the story of James. Sin- cerely, I have really struggled with that. Set your brother straight. FACT 5: Per- sonally, I think the empty tomb is very well supported if the historical data are assessed without preconceptions.

Basically, there are three strands of evidence: In fact, several weeks after the crucifixion, Peter declares to a crowd right there in Jerusalem: The Roman or Jewish authorities could have simply gone over to his tomb, viewed his corpse, and the misun- derstanding would have been over.

In other words, what were the skeptics saying? That the disciples stole the body. This is reported not only by Matthew, but also by Justin Martyr and Tertullian.

Why would you say someone stole the body if it were still in the tomb? This is an implicit admission that the tomb was empty. On top of that, the idea that the disciples stole the body is a lame explanation. Are we supposed to believe they conspired to steal the body, pulled it off, and then were willing to suffer continuously and even die for what they knew was a lie?

Not only were women the first to discover the vacant grave, but they are mentioned in all four Gospels, whereas male witnesses appear only later and in two of them. They were certainly considered less credible than men. In fact, it could hurt them. William Ward of Oxford Uni- versity put it this way: Shortly after Jesus died from cru- cifixion, his disciples believed that they saw him risen from the dead.

They said he appeared not only to individuals but in several group settings — and the disciples were so convinced and transformed by the experience that they were willing to suffer and even die for their conviction that they had encountered him.

They completely changed their opinions degrees after encountering the risen Jesus. In fact, even enemies of Christianity admitted it was vacant. Where did the body go? Now we need restrained results.

We have to ask ourselves: My conclusion, based on the evidence, is that Jesus did return from the dead. No other explanation comes close to account- ing for all the facts. That makes future disconfirmation unlikely.

Making his case from the lips of liberal and disbelieving scholars served greatly to heighten the credibility of the Easter event. I was reminded of the conclusions of historian N.

Daftar isi

Wright, author of the page Jesus and the Victory of God and a visiting professor at Harvard University: Any real scientist will tell you that science observes what normally happens; the Christian case is precisely that what happened to Jesus is not what normally happens.

For my part, as a historian I prefer the elegant, essen- tially simple solution rather than the one that fails to include all the data: Having studied the most current — and most compelling — objections of Muslims, atheists, and other resurrection doubters, I knew that there was another side to the story. How strong was it? How would Licona respond? Would his evidence emerge unscathed or disintegrate under scrutiny?

You want answers?

I want the truth! The prosecution may have presented a persuasive case during the first part of the proceedings, but sometimes the persistent questioning of a witness can reverse the entire outcome of a trial. Kaffee was trying to prove that his clients were merely following the orders of the ambitious base commander, Colonel Nathan R. With more intensity, Kaffee repeats: He is immediately arrested — his career destroyed — but not before he lunges at Kaffee and threatens to kill him.

I learned quickly as the legal-affairs editor of the Chicago Tribune never to reach con- clusions based on hearing only one side of a case. Unchallenged, these facts appear to point convincingly toward the verdict that Jesus returned from the dead and thus authenticated his claim to being the unique Son of God. But what happens when these facts are subjected to cross-examination?

How would Licona respond to the alternate theories that have been advanced in the last few years by respected scholars, popular authors, and Internet gadflies? That the resurrection is actually more wishful thinking than historic reality? Licona and I reconvened in my family room. His eyes seemed to take on a heightened intensity as he watched me shuffle through my list of prepared questions.

Finding the fourth surah, I read aloud verses — They put him in a tomb, Allah healed him, and he was taken to heaven. In other words, the question does not concern what God can do, but what God did. So I guess the test has been passed. You do we worship, and Your aid do we seek. Show us the straight way. The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who do not go astray.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the L ORD are right, giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the L ORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the L ORD are sure and altogether righteous.

By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. Licona turned to face me. Granted, the Arabic surah has a poetic rhythm; however, so does the Hebrew psalm, which is actually a song. It really comes down to what language sounds best to you, sort of like choosing between McDonalds and Burger King.

Also, consider the criterion of embarrassment: Consequently, there are good historical reasons for believing Jesus did actually predict his imminent and violent demise.

How would you disprove that? But the question is: Where does the evidence point? What seems to be the most rational belief? We could understand it if he deceived his enemies who were trying to kill Jesus. If Jesus never clarified matters with his disciples, then he deceived them too. Why would you deceive your followers if you knew this was going to spawn a new but false religion?

Opening it up, I prepared to question Licona about its eye-opening allegations that seek to refute the crucifixion. Yet here was a leading Jew — the legitimate king no less — telling his people to pay the tax. How could Pilate try, let alone condemn, such a man who, on the face of it, was supporting Roman policy? Pilate would himself be charged with dereliction of duty should he proceed with the condemna- tion of such a supporter.

In fact, the Gospels indicate Jesus died pretty quickly. They would be wonder drugs! Part 2—The Cross-Examination the risen prince of life? Baigent has nothing to back up his wild claims.

Look at the writings on the resurrection by legitimate scholars over the past twenty years: This is almost in the cat- egory of denying the Holocaust! In reply, Pilate uses the word ptoma for body, which means a corpse.

Says Baigent: I pointed at him. In fact, in Acts 9: After she dies, he says they washed her soma, or her body. In Luke The Gospel makes it clear that Jesus was dead. Mark They surely thought he was dead. Session 4, "Evil and Suffering, Part 2," asks what purpose there is in evil and suffering and if it can be used for good.

Session 6, "The Power of Faith," teaches what it means to have faith in God and how it is different than any other religion. Watch Trailer. The Case for Faith Apologetics. By Lee Strobel , Garry D. The Case for Faith, Session 1. The Challenge of Faith Duration: How could a loving God torture people in Hell?

Other objections to Christianity are that it is offensive to say that Jesus is the only way to God and that Christian history is full of violence and oppression. Also, if one has doubts, that person cannot be a Christian. Strobel lays out the arguments through interviews with these figures one by one. Evil and suffering exist not because of God, but because of man using his free will, or choosing not to render help when needed.

The people killed in the Bible through acts of God were not innocent, but truly terrible people who had rejected repeated attempts made by God to get them to change their lives before it was too late. Otherwise, those people would have committed genocide against the Israelites.

Hell is real, and it is a place of suffering. However, it is not brought on by God.A guy may want to be a bishop, but he must meet cer- tain specified qualifications.

Yet are these variants really significant — and do they jeopardize the message of the Gospels and their depiction of Jesus? Surely the Jesus that emerges from many of these documents looks radically different from the Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Orthodox Christology also embraces fully the humanity of Jesus.

But if it was written in 71 or 72, as some have speculated, that would be an odd statement to leave in place. My definition of inerrancy is that the Bible is true in what it touches. That the disciples stole the body.

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