Saturday, February 04, 2006

know his voice - day 35

Today is a make-up in the Know His Voice reading project so there is no scheduled reading today for you. If you're current with your reading, you have now completed your reading of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). So, if you'd like a break from reading, today is your day off. Tomorrow we'll begin the final week of phase one of this project, the reading of John's Gospel.

I will warn you, though, the last two days of this coming week's reading will be the most time-consuming of the entire year's project (John 13-17 on Friday and John 18-21 on Saturday), so if you want to go ahead and get one day ahead in your reading, set off with John 1-3 today.

Or if you're current in you're reading, confident next week is a crowded schedule for you and you're looking for something interesting and meaty to read and chew on, now would be a good time to read William Lane Craig's excellent article entitled "The Evidence For Jesus." Craig is the Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology and is internationally known for his well-reasoned, careful work in the field of apologetics. The article's abstract reads:
"Five reasons are presented for thinking that critics who accept the historical credibility of the gospel accounts of Jesus do not bear a special burden of proof relative to more skeptical critics. Then the historicity of a few specific aspects of Jesus' life are addressed, including his radical self-concept as the divine Son of God, his role as a miracle-worker, his trial and crucifixion, and his resurrection from the dead."
From there, Craig draw special attention to the five following facts: (1) there was insufficient time for legendary influences to expunge the historical facts, (2) the gospels are not analogous to folk tales or contemporary "urban legends", (3) the Jewish transmission of sacred traditions was highly developed and reliable, (4) there were significant restraints on the embellishment of traditions about Jesus, such as the presence of eyewitnesses and the apostles’ supervision, and (5) the Gospel writers have a proven track record of historical reliability.

If you've ever wanted to examine some of the questions regarding the historicity of Jesus and his ministry in detail, this is the article for you.