1/22/18

Bible Reading January 22, 23 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading January 22, 23
(World English Bible)
Jan. 22
Genesis 22

Gen 22:1 It happened after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" He said, "Here I am."
Gen 22:2 He said, "Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of."
Gen 22:3 Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.
Gen 22:4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off.
Gen 22:5 Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship, and come back to you."
Gen 22:6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together.
Gen 22:7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, "My father?" He said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
Gen 22:8 Abraham said, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they both went together.
Gen 22:9 They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood.
Gen 22:10 Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.
Gen 22:11 The angel of Yahweh called to him out of the sky, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" He said, "Here I am."
Gen 22:12 He said, "Don't lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
Gen 22:13 Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
Gen 22:14 Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh Will Provide. As it is said to this day, "On Yahweh's mountain, it will be provided."
Gen 22:15 The angel of Yahweh called to Abraham a second time out of the sky,
Gen 22:16 and said, "I have sworn by myself, says Yahweh, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
Gen 22:17 that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your seed greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your seed will possess the gate of his enemies.
Gen 22:18 In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice."
Gen 22:19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.
Gen 22:20 It happened after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah, she also has borne children to your brother Nahor:
Gen 22:21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram,
Gen 22:22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel."
Gen 22:23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
Gen 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Jan. 23
Genesis 23

Gen 23:1 Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years. This was the length of Sarah's life.
Gen 23:2 Sarah died in Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
Gen 23:3 Abraham rose up from before his dead, and spoke to the children of Heth, saying,
Gen 23:4 "I am a stranger and a foreigner living with you. Give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight."
Gen 23:5 The children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him,
Gen 23:6 "Hear us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the best of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb. Bury your dead."
Gen 23:7 Abraham rose up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.
Gen 23:8 He talked with them, saying, "If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,
Gen 23:9 that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me among you for a possession of a burying-place."
Gen 23:10 Now Ephron was sitting in the middle of the children of Heth. Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying,
Gen 23:11 "No, my lord, hear me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the children of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead."
Gen 23:12 Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land.
Gen 23:13 He spoke to Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, "But if you will, please hear me. I will give the price of the field. Take it from me, and I will bury my dead there."
Gen 23:14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him,
Gen 23:15 "My lord, listen to me. What is a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver between me and you? Therefore bury your dead."
Gen 23:16 Abraham listened to Ephron. Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the current merchants' standard.
Gen 23:17 So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all of its borders, were deeded
Gen 23:18 to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city.
Gen 23:19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan.
Gen 23:20 The field, and the cave that is in it, were deeded to Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the children of Heth.



Jan. 21, 22
Matthew 11

Mat 11:1 It happened that when Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Mat 11:2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples
Mat 11:3 and said to him, "Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?"
Mat 11:4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:
Mat 11:5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
Mat 11:6 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me."
Mat 11:7 As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Mat 11:8 But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king's houses.
Mat 11:9 But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
Mat 11:11 Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.
Mat 11:12 From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come.
Mat 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 11:16 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions
Mat 11:17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you didn't dance. We mourned for you, and you didn't lament.'
Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'
Mat 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."
Mat 11:20 Then he began to denounce the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they didn't repent.
Mat 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
Mat 11:22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
Mat 11:23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day.
Mat 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, on the day of judgment, than for you."
Mat 11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.
Mat 11:26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.
Mat 11:27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
Mat 11:28 "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Jan. 23, 24
Matthew 12

Mat 12:1 At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
Mat 12:2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath."
Mat 12:3 But he said to them, "Haven't you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him;
Mat 12:4 how he entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
Mat 12:5 Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless?
Mat 12:6 But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.
Mat 12:7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Mat 12:9 He departed there, and went into their synagogue.
Mat 12:10 And behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?" that they might accuse him.
Mat 12:11 He said to them, "What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won't he grab on to it, and lift it out?
Mat 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day."
Mat 12:13 Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other.
Mat 12:14 But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him.
Mat 12:15 Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all,
Mat 12:16 and commanded them that they should not make him known:
Mat 12:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
Mat 12:18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations.
Mat 12:19 He will not strive, nor shout; neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
Mat 12:20 He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory.
Mat 12:21 In his name, the nations will hope."
Mat 12:22 Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
Mat 12:23 All the multitudes were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?"
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."
Mat 12:25 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
Mat 12:26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Mat 12:27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
Mat 12:29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.
Mat 12:30 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn't gather with me, scatters.
Mat 12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Mat 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.
Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.
Mat 12:34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Mat 12:35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things.
Mat 12:36 I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."
Mat 12:39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.
Mat 12:42 The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.
Mat 12:43 But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn't find it.
Mat 12:44 Then he says, 'I will return into my house from which I came out,' and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Mat 12:45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation."
Mat 12:46 While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him.
Mat 12:47 One said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to you."
Mat 12:48 But he answered him who spoke to him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
Mat 12:49 He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers!
Mat 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."

Jesus called them sons of thunder by Roy Davison

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/024-sonsofthunder.html

Jesus called them sons of thunder
What would you expect from two brothers who were called ‘sons of thunder’?
“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, ‘Sons of Thunder’” (Mark 3:14-17).
The following incident might indicate why Jesus called them sons of thunder. “When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, ‘Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ And they went on to another village” (Luke 9:51-56 NASV).
These sons of thunder, James and John, wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy those people who had refused hospitality to Jesus.
Through the ages many have destroyed others in the name of religion. During the crusades people who falsely claimed to be Christians murdered thousands of Moslems. In the middle ages the Catholic church murdered Protestants who dared to reject the authority of the Pope. Some Protestants murdered other Protestants they considered to be heretics.
Much grief is caused in the world today by this same godless attitude. Deceived, warped souls blow themselves up along with innocent men, women and children in the name of their religion.
Followers of Christ are of a different spirit, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Jesus rebuked James and John. They still had much to learn.
They also showed that they did not yet understand the spirit of the Messianic reign when they wanted to rule at the right and left hand of Jesus.
“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.’ And He said to them, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able.’ So Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.’ And when the ten heard it,they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’” (Mark 10:35-45).
What do we know about James and John? With their father, Zebedee, they were fishermen who worked together with Peter and Andrew (Matthew 4:18, 21; Luke 5:10). Their mother, Salome, was a witness of the crucifixion and visited the tomb (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; Mark 16:1).
James and John, along with Peter, were with Jesus when He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mark 5:37) and also when He was transfigured on the mountain (Mark 9:2). Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Jesus privately for clarification about the destruction of the temple (Mark 13:3, 4). In Gethsemane Jesus took Peter, James and John with him when He went farther into the garden to pray (Mark 14:32, 33). After Jesus was arrested, John went with Him into the courtyard of the high priest (John 18:15).
No details are known about the activities of James in the early church, but he must have served prominently since he was the first martyr among the apostles. He was killed with the sword by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:2). This was probably about ten years after the church was established.
John and Peter are often mentioned together in the early days of the church (Acts 3:1, 3, 4, 11; 4:13, 19; 8:14; Galatians 2:9).
John lived to an old age. According to tradition he was the only apostle who was not martyred. He served churches in Asia Minor (currently Turkey) and for a time was exiled to the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9) 
John penned the Gospel of John, the three Letters of John and the Revelation, which are the later books of the New Testament. He wrote the most New Testament books other than Paul.
This ‘son of thunder’ who at one time wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy people, is now known as the apostle of love because He emphasizes love in his writings. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11). He calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20) and he admonishes his fellow believers, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
Are we improving as followers of Christ? Are we becoming more like Him? Are we growing up in all things unto Him? (Ephesians 4:15). Are we growing up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ? (Ephesians 4:13). Are we farther along than we were a year ago?
Do we know what kind of spirit we have?
Through the influence of Christ, two sons of thunder learned to have a different spirit: a “spirit of faith” (2 Corinthians 4:13), “a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1), a “spirit of wisdom” (Ephesians 1:17), “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4).
Following their example, let us learn to have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16): a spirit of faith, gentleness, wisdom and love. Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=3789&b=Matthew

“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True”

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

What did atheistic author Mike Davis allege was the “smoking gun” that proved to him once and for all that “Christianity could not possibly be true”? What “sealed the issue” and led him to believe “Jesus was wrong...and no more deserving of our belief than any other guy”? When did the case against the Bible and Christianity become “closed”? In chapter one of his book, The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity, Davis explained that Matthew 24:34 was the deciding factor.
In Matthew 24:34, Jesus stated: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” According to Davis, since “Jesus tells his listeners that the judgment day will come before the generation he’s speaking to passes away,” and since that generation passed away 1,900 years ago, Jesus “could not have been divine” and the Bible is “untrustworthy” (2008, pp. 1-2). In actuality, what Davis confesses ultimately “proved” to him that the Bible and Jesus are unreliable is nothing more than a misinterpretation of Scripture. Jesus was not mistaken in His comments in Matthew 24:34—Jesus’ generation did not pass away prior to witnessing the things Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:4-34. But, Jesus did not foretell in those verses what Davis assumes He foretold. Davis and many others believe that, prior to verse 34, Jesus was describing events that would take place shortly before Judgment Day at the end of time. The fact of the matter is, however, Jesus was prophesying about the coming destruction upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and not the final Judgment.
When the disciples went to show Jesus the temple buildings (Matthew 24:1), Jesus said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (24:2). Later, when Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked Him three questions, beginning with “when will these things be?” (24:3). In verses 4-34, Jesus revealed several signs that would indicate Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem, including the temple, was near. [NOTE: “The fall of the Hebrew system is set forth in the sort of apocalyptic nomenclature that is characteristic of Old Testament literature, e.g., when the prophets pictorially portray the overthrow of Jehovah’s enemies (cf. Isaiah 13:10-11; 34:2ff; Ezekiel 32:7-8)” (Jackson, n.d.); cf. Matthew 24:29-31; see Miller, 2003.] In verses 35-51 (and all of chapter 25), Jesus answered the disciples’ last two questions: “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). To summarize, in Matthew 24:4-34 Jesus foretold of the coming destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, while in 24:35-25:46 He commented on His future return and final Judgment of the world.
How sad it is that so many atheists and skeptics believe they have disproven the Bible and Christianity, when, in reality, they have simply twisted the biblical text to mean something God never intended (cf. 2 Peter 3:16). The fact that Mike Davis highlights Matthew 24:34 as the verse that once and for all proved to him the Bible is unreliable should tell us something about the extreme weakness of the skeptic’s case against Christianity.

REFERENCES

Davis, Mike (2008), The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament (Outskirts Press: Denver, CO).
Jackson, Wayne (no date), “A Study of Matthew 24,” http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/19-a-study-of-matthew-24.
Miller, Dave (2003), “There Will Be No Signs!” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1838.

Harvard & the Origin of Life by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1569

Harvard & the Origin of Life
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Harvard University has launched an ambitious project designed to ascertain how life began on Earth. Known as the “Origins of Life in the Universe Initiative,” the university has promised the researchers several years of seed money, and has asked the team to plan for a new faculty and a collection of multimillion-dollar facilities. David R. Liu, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard, explained: “[M]y expectation is that we will be able to reduce this to a very simple series of logical events that could have taken place with no divine intervention” (Cook, 2005, emp. added).
Unbelievable! What a change has come over this “Ivy League” institution of higher learning. The Founders of Harvard would be outraged and heartsick. The original constitution of Massachusetts articulated plainly their view regarding the origin of life: they believed in the God of the Bible and the truth of the Christian religion. The constitution read:
Article I. Whereas our wise and pious ancestors, so early as the year one thousand six hundred and thirty-six, laid the foundation of Harvard College, in which university many persons of great eminence have, by the blessing of God, been initiated in those arts and sciences, which qualified them for public employments, both in church and state: and whereas the encouragement of arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America—it is declared, that the President and Fellows of Harvard College...shall have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy, all the powers...which they now have or are entitled to have (Constitution..., emp. added).
The 1636 rules of Harvard included the following declaration:
Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17.3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him (Prov. 2,3). Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein (as quoted in Pierce, 1833, p. 5, emp. added).
The Founders of Harvard believed that the central purpose of life is to follow the Word of God and Christ. They believed that all knowledge and learning depend upon this central pursuit. They believed that the Bible was the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge. They therefore believed that life—rather than emerging by evolutionary processes over millions of years—was created by God, the Creator. They never would have dreamed that at the school they created a multi-million dollar project would one day be launched for the expressed purpose of ascertaining the origin of life. They surely never could have predicted the extent to which the university they created has strayed from its original purpose and principles. If they were alive today, they no doubt would insist that the faculty be dismissed or the university’s doors be closed.

REFERENCES

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, [On-line], URL: http://www.mass.gov/legis/const.htm.
Cook, Gareth (2005), “Project on the Origins of Life Launched,” Boston Globe, August 14, [On-line], URL: http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/08/14/ project_on_the_origins_of_life_launched/.
Pierce, Benjamin (1833), A History of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA: Brown, Shattuck, & Co.).

Conveniently Redefining Design by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2450

Conveniently Redefining Design

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


According to the General Theory of Evolution, about 14 billion years ago “all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded” (Hurd, et al., p. 61). As a result of the alleged explosion of a period-sized ball of matter, billions of galaxies formed, and eventually planets such as Earth evolved. Supposedly, the evolution of galaxies, and every planet, moon, and star within these galaxies, all came about by non-purposeful, unintelligent accidents. Likewise, every life form that eventually appeared on Earth purportedly evolved by mindless, random chances over millions of years. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to reproduce asexually, while others “just happened” to develop the capability to reproduce sexually. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to walk along vertical ledges (e.g., the gecko), while others “just happened” to evolve the “gift” of glowing (e.g., glow worms). Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to make silk (e.g., spiders), which pound for pound is stronger than steel, while others “just happened” to evolve the ability to “turn 90 degrees in under 50 milliseconds” while flying in a straight line (e.g., the blowfly; Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:82). Allegedly, everything has come into existence by random chances over billions of years. According to the General Theory of Evolution, there was no Mind, no Intelligence, and no Designer that created the Universe and everything in it.
Ironically, though atheistic evolutionary scientists insist that the Earth and all living things on it have no grand, intelligent Designer, these same scientists consistently refer to amazing “design” in nature. Consider an example of such paradoxical language in a recent National Geographicarticle titled, “Biomimetics: Design by Nature” (Mueller, 2008). The word “design” (or one of its derivatives—designs, designed, etc.) appeared no less than seven times in the article in reference to “nature’s designs.” Evolutionary biologist Andrew Parker spoke of his collection of preserved animals as “a treasure-trove of brilliant design” (Mueller, 2008, p. 75, emp. added). After interviewing Parker, National Geographic writer Tom Mueller noted how the capillaries between the scales of a thorny devil lizard are “evidently designed to guide water toward the lizard’s mouth” (p. 81, emp. added). He then explained how “[i]nsects offer an embarrassment of design riches” (p. 75, emp. added). Mueller referred to nature’s “sophistication” and “clever devices” (p. 79), and praised nature for being able to turn simple materials “into structures of fantastic complexity, strength, and toughness” (p. 79). After learning of the uncanny, complicated maneuverability of a little blowfly, Mueller even confessed to feeling the need to regard the insect “on bended knee in admiration” (p. 82). Why? Because of its “mysterious” and “complicated” design. Brilliant and well-funded scientists around the world admit that living things perform many feats “too mysterious and complicated to be able to replicate.” They are “designed,” allegedly, with no “Designer.”
But how can you get design without purpose, intelligence, and deliberate planning? The first three definitions the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives for “design” (noun) are as follows: “1a:a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group...b:deliberate purposive planning... 2:a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down; 3a:deliberateundercover project or scheme” (2008, emp. added). After defining “design” as a drawing, sketch, or “graphic representation of a detailed plan...,” the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language noted that design may be defined as “[t]he purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details” (2000, p. 492, emp. added). A design is preceded by “deliberate purposive planning,” “a detailed plan,” or an “inventive arrangement.” A design is the effect, not of time, chance, and unintelligent, random accidents, but of the purposeful planning and deliberate actions of an inventor or designer. A designer causes a design to come into existence. Thus, by definition, design demands a designer, and one with some measure of intelligence.
Whereas National Geographic highlights the field of biomimetics and encourages readers to “learn from what evolution has wrought” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added), mankind would do better to mimic the actions of a noble inventor/designer from the mid-1800s. Samuel Morse, who invented the telegraph system and Morse Code, sent the very first telegraph from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland on May 24, 1844 (“Today...,” 2007). His message consisted of a brief quotation from Numbers 23:23: “What hath God wrought!” (emp. added). Samuel Morse unashamedly testified to what everyone should understand: design demands a designer. Morse’s code and the telegraph system were the immediate effects of a designer: Samuel Morse. But, the Grand Designer, Who created Morse and every material thing that Morse used to invent his telegraph system, is God. Morse recognized this marvelous, self-evident truth.
National Geographic purports that nature “blindly cobbles together myriad random experiments over thousands of generations” in order to produce complex, living organisms that the world’s “top scientists have yet to comprehend” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:90). We, on the other hand, choose to believe that, just as a painting demands a painter, and a poem a poet, the world’s amazing designs, which continually stump the most intelligent scientists on Earth, demand an intelligent Designer.

REFERENCES

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General ScienceA Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2008), [On-line], URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary.
Mueller, Tom (2008), “Biomimetics: Design by Nature,” National Geographic, 213[4]:68-91, April.
“Today in History: May 24” (2007), The Library of Congress, [On-line], URL:http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may24.html.

Did Paul Write About Jesus as a Historical Person? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=2836

Did Paul Write About Jesus as a Historical Person?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


In his book, The Pagan Christ, Tom Harpur claims that the story of Jesus was mythical. To bolster his assertion that there never was a real human named Jesus as depicted in the gospel accounts, Harpur alleges that the apostle Paul, whose writings were penned before the gospel accounts, never mentioned Jesus as a historical figure. Harpur wrote: “The earliest writings in the New Testament, which make up more than one-quarter of its total content, are the letters of the Apostle Paul. What is absolutely striking about them is their virtual silence on the whole subject of a historical Jesus of Nazareth” (2004, p. 166). Harpur believes this claim to be of such force that “[t]here is no question that this is the datum that ultimately stares down the proponents of historicity.... Paul never once mentions the man Jesus, in the full historical sense” (pp. 166-167).
Harpur, anticipating the fact that many who read Paul’s writings see that the apostle mentioned Jesus, wrote:
Of course, a critic will argue that Paul does occasionally speak of Jesus by name. This is quite true. But today, most Bible theologians agree that even when he does so, he is not talking about a man of flesh and blood, a historical person, any more than the Egyptians were when they spoke of Iusa millennia earlier.... Yes, Paul does talk about “this Jesus whom we have seen,” and at times he gives the impression he has an interest in an actual person, but closer examination shows that he really is speaking always of mystical visions of an exalted, spiritual being whom he calls Christ (pp. 167-168).
Is it true that Paul only mentioned Jesus “occasionally” and never referred to Him as a flesh and blood human being? Certainly not. In fact, it is amazing that Harpur could make such an outlandish, unscriptural claim and still have his book published by anyone familiar in the least with Paul’s writings.
The fact of the matter is Paul often spoke of Jesus in terms that cannot be understood correctly in any way other than as a historical, flesh-and-blood human being. Paul used the name “Jesus” 218 times in his writings (Strong, 2001, p. 453), not counting other names for Jesus like Christ or Lord. For Harpur to say Paul “occasionally” mentioned Jesus is outright dishonesty. Paul used the name Jesus five times in the first eight verses of Romans, seven times in the single-chapter book of Philemon, and 22 times in the brief, four-chapter book of Philippians. An honest account of Paul’s writings shows that they are replete with Jesus’ name, containing it an average of two and a half times per chapter.
Not only did Paul repeatedly mention Jesus, but he specifically stressed that Jesus had come in the flesh as a real human being. For instance, in 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul wrote: “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” To elucidate what he meant by the word “man,” Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (emp. added).
Any attempt to turn Paul’s phrase “in the likeness of men” into some sort of spiritual, mystical appearance is doomed to failure. Furthermore, Paul more specifically mentioned that “the likeness of men” that he discussed in Philippians meant human flesh. Paul wrote to the Romans about “Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3, emp. added). The apostle further mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:13 that Jesus “witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate” (emp. added).
Harpur’s major contention is that Paul did not mention details about Jesus’ life such as His birthplace in Bethlehem, His mother’s name, or His specific miracles. Yet, if the guiding hand of God produced the New Testament documents, it makes perfect sense that such information would not be repeated in Paul’s writings, since it was so thoroughly documented in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In truth, the fact that Paul repeatedly alludes to Jesus in the flesh, but does not reiterate the various details of the gospel accounts, shows that Paul coincides with the Gospel writers, but was independent of them as well. Why would God need to record for the fifth time the various miracles and facts about Jesus’ life in the writings of Paul? Paul consistently dealt with many of the events in Jesus’ life such as His death, burial, resurrection, trial before Pilate, birth according to the seed of David, and the overarching fact that He took on the form of a human. Harpur’s complaint that Paul did not mention enough of the details that are recorded in the gospel accounts is a criterion that he and his fellow skeptics have arbitrarily chosen and that proves nothing.
Harpur’s false assertion that “Paul was a mystic, and he knew only the mystical Christos, Christ not ‘after the flesh’ but after the spirit” (p. 172) lacks scholarly integrity and biblical foundation. The obvious truth is that Paul saturated his writings with the name of Jesus and repeatedly stressed that Jesus had come in the flesh as a historical human being. The details he left out of his writings accord perfectly with what one would expect from divine inspiration, and show that, while he acknowledged the historical Jesus, his writings serve as testimony independent of the gospel accounts.

REFERENCES

Harpur, Tom (2004), The Pagan Christ (New York: Walker).
Strong, James (2001 reprint), The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Nelson).