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Credits: 0.5

Prerequisite: none

Recommended: 8th through adult

Welcome to EP’s Apologetics course! The purpose of the course is to give students an introduction to apologetics, which basically means a defense of the Christian faith. They will examine some of the most common areas of uncertainty and the most common objections surrounding Christianity and the Bible. This is a half-year course, consisting of 90 lessons. The course is primarily intended for Christian students 8th grade and older (and their parents); non-Christian students and parents are also welcome to take it and may find it helpful in examining their own objections to Christianity.

The course was created by David Giles (Mr. G), husband of Easy Peasy’s creator Lee Giles. The first part of the course is divided into the following topical sections: an introduction to apologetics; the existence of God; the reliability of the Bible; the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the uniqueness of Christianity; science and the Bible; “objectionable” things in the Bible; and “contradictions” in the Bible.  The second part of the course consists of various questions or objections that students respond to based on the topics covered in the first part of the course. 

For more details on the course, click here. (This is the transcript of the introductory video by Mr. G found in Lesson 1.) If you’re wondering what our theological positions are…we believe the Bible is true! 🙂

Here is an index of the topics of the lessons. (Also found in Lesson 1.)

Here is Mr. G’s email if you have any comments or suggestions: eplanguagelive@gmail.com

TO ADD TO MY EP: Find this in the Electives block. Anyone can create a free account to use My EP to track your course. You don’t have to be a “student.”

Introduction to Apologetics

Lesson 1 

  1. Watch this video of me, Mr. G, introducing the course. Here is a printed transcript of the content of the video.
  2. Here is an index of the topics of the lessons.
  3. Watch this very short introduction to apologetics. After you watch the video, answer the following questions. For these and all questions in future lessons, check with your parents on whether they would like you to write the answers, tell them the answers out loud, or answer in some other way. Also remember that your answers may be a bit different from the ones in the answer guide, and that’s OK. Answers are given for your reference, but you might say things in a different way or have different ideas.
    1. What is the basic Bible verse describing what apologetics is? Start memorizing this verse in whatever version you choose. In Lesson 4 you’ll recite it to someone from memory.
    2. Where do we get the English word “apologetics”? What does the word mean?
    3. According to the Bible verse about apologetics, how should Christians share their faith with others?
    4. I would just add here that apologetics is also for ourselves, to help us with our own doubts and questions.
    5. Check your answers to the above questions.
    6. Grading: We have not created a grading sheet for this course. There are some questions to be answered and some writing assignments. We’d rather you be “graded” by the effort you put in. If you don’t move forward your assignment until you’ve completed it, then at the end of the course, you have an A, successfully completing the course. If you move forward the assignments without completing them, then you haven’t successfully completed the course. If you want to track a grade, knock five points off your grade for every assignment you move forward without completing. One skipped assignment means a 95, two 90, three 85 (B), etc. Though, I would hope that if you are taking this course you desire to take this course, so  you will work on each assignment until you have completed it and then move on.

Lesson 2 

  1. Watch the video of Mr. G talking about what apologetics is and why it’s important. This is part 1; we’ll do part 2 in the next lesson. Here is the printed transcript of the content of today’s video.
    1. How do you feel about this first reason for learning about apologetics? Think of any questions or doubts you may have about the Christian faith and make a note of them.
    2. Look up James 1:5 and Matthew 7:7 in your own Bible and let them sink in. Have you ever asked God to give you wisdom, or teach you something? If not, maybe now would be a good time to start.

Lesson 3

  1. Watch the video of Mr. G talking about another reason for apologetics, and some of the limitations of apologetics. This is part 2 of the talk begun in the previous lesson. Here is the printed transcript of the content of today’s video.
    1. Look up 1 Corinthians 1:18 and 2:1-5 in your own Bible, and read these passages carefully.
    2. What are some limitations of apologetics? Check your answers.
    3. Have you ever met someone who was against the Christian faith? Were you able to talk with them about these things at all? What happened?

Lesson 4

  1. Today, before we go on to talk about the various topics we’ll be focusing on in this course, we need to take a few moments to make sure that everyone knows the most important thing — how to have a personal relationship with God. That’s really the whole point of everything we’re studying in this course. Even if you already have a relationship with the Lord, please watch this video of Mrs. Giles  sharing the good news about Jesus or read the text of it here. Think about where you are in all this. Is this a journey you’ve already begun? Are you interested, but wanting more information? Or would you like to begin today?
  2. This seems like a good time to make sure we all know the word gospel. This word comes from a Greek word meaning good news. “The Gospel” refers to the Christian message of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, who lived, died, and rose from the dead. This is different from the gospels (plural), which refers to the first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which tell about the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.
  3. Recite 1 Peter 3:15 to someone from memory!

Lesson 5

  1. Today, before we begin lessons on the existence of God, we’ll consider two important factors in the way every person interacts with the world around them: worldview and presuppositions.
  2. “Worldview” describes how a person views the world, all the thoughts and attitudes they have about the world around them. There are many different worldviews; they differ based on a person’s ethnicity, nationality, religion, education and many other factors. Watch this short video on the importance of apologetics in relation to three common worldviews encountered in the US (and other Western countries). Think about and answer the following:
    1. What are the three worldviews that fill our culture today?
    2. Give a brief definition or explanation of each of these worldviews.
    3. How do each of these worldviews present an obstacle to telling people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
    4. How can knowing and using apologetics help with this problem?
    5. Check your answers.
  3. “Presuppositions” are ideas that are assumed in advance to be true, or taken for granted. Watch this video in which Mr. G explains presuppositions and the role they play in apologetics issues. You can read the written transcript here.
    1. In the example of Person A and Person B, what do you think may have been some presuppositions that led Person A to react as he or she did? What about Person B?
    2. Can you think of any other areas of life where presuppositions play a role in interpreting information? Any areas where presuppositions do NOT play a role?
    3. Check your answers.

The Existence of God

Lesson 6

  1. Watch this video in which Mr. G introduces our next section on the existence of God, and points out some important things to keep in mind. You can read the transcript of the video here.
    1. What were the reasons mentioned as to why a person might believe or not believe in God when presented with evidence? Can you think of any other factors that might influence a person in this regard? Check your answers.
    2. Now’s a good time to look up the word empirical in a dictionary and make sure you clearly understand the meaning of the word.
  2. Watch this video on the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
    1. Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster analogy a fair analogy to belief in God? Why or why not?
    2. Is it fair to say there is no evidence for the existence of God?
    3. Check your answers.

Lesson 7

  1. Today we’re going to start looking at some arguments for the existence of God. Keep in mind that no single one of these arguments proves God’s existence; but put altogether, they provide powerful evidence that believing in His existence is much more reasonable than not.
  2. Read this short article on the teleological argument for the existence of God.
    1. What’s another name for the teleological argument?
    2. What would be a short summary of the teleological argument?
    3. Look at the five premises of Paley’s Watchmaker Argument. Do you agree with the logical steps of the argument? Are there any steps that you would not agree with?
    4. What is a particular strength of the teleological argument, which atheists have not been able to sufficiently counter or explain?
    5. What is a possible weakness of the teleological argument?
    6. Check your answers.
  3. The idea that the universe is “fine-tuned” in numerous and exceedingly precise ways in order to support life is the “fine-tuning” version of the teleological argument. Watch this short video on the “fine-tuning” of the universe. This is truly amazing. Please note that the video mentions “the number of seconds that have ticked by since time began” as a way to help us picture a huge number, since the producers of the video are assuming billions of years; but keep in mind that not all scientists agree on when time might have begun, and we really don’t know. We’ll talk more about this topic at a later point in the course…for now let’s focus on the point the video is making about the fine-tuning of the universe, which is true regardless of the age of the earth.
    1. What are the possible explanations of this fine-tuning which can be ruled out as implausible (meaning “extremely unlikely” or “not believable”)?
    2. What idea have some atheists come up with to get around the extremely low odds of the universe being fine-tuned?
    3. What is the best explanation for this fine-tuning?
    4. Check your answers.

Lesson 8

  1. Today we’ll be looking at the cosmological argument for the existence of God. Basically, in a nutshell, the argument says that whatever begins to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist; therefore, the universe has a cause.
  2. Watch this short video introducing the cosmological argument for the existence of God. It uses the word Kalam, which we’ll read about in the next article, to describe this particular version of the cosmological argument.
    1. What are the arguments against the possibility of something coming into existence from nothing without a cause?
    2. Name some scientific laws or recent discoveries that lead us to the conclusion that the universe must have a beginning.
    3. Think about the five adjectives used to describe the Cause of the universe. How well does the God of the Bible match those descriptors?
    4. Check your answers.
  3. Read this article on the cosmological argument for the existence of God.
    1. Summarize the Kalam cosmological argument in your own words.
    2. Explain the tree example in your own words.
    3. It’s important to get the wording of this argument right…it’s not that “all things that exist have to have a cause,” because that would mean that God, who exists, would have to have a cause. Rather the argument is worded “All things that begin to exist have to have a cause…”

Lesson 9 

  1. Today we’ll look at the so-called moral argument for God’s existence. Watch the video in which Mr. G talks about the very powerful moral argument and considers some objections to it. You can read the transcript of the video here.
    1. Does this argument have anything to do with the lifestyle of atheists? Check your answer.
    2. State the argument briefly in your own words.
    3. Briefly state each of the objections to the moral argument and why, in your own words, the objections are not convincing.
    4. Can you think of any other possible objections to this argument? Why or why not might this objection work?

Lesson 10

  1. Watch the video to hear Mr. G presenting a few more evidences for the existence of God. Here is the transcript of the video.
    1. Summarize the “eternity in their hearts” argument in your own words.
    2. Summarize the “esthetic argument” (also spelled as aesthetic) in your own words.
    3. Have you ever known anyone whose life was radically changed by a relationship with God? Has your life been changed?
    4. Have you or your family experienced miracles of any sort? If so, how do you and/or your family explain them or understand them?

Lesson 11

  1. Watch the first part of this talk by Tim Keller, a well-known Presbyterian pastor, on the reasons for believing in God and some objections people have to belief in God. The talk is to a diverse audience (at Google) of non-Christians and Christians. Today we will stop listening at 17:16. We will continue in the next lesson.
    1. What common misconception about technologically advanced societies and religion did many non-believers have until relatively recently? What places does he use as examples of how this is not what is happening?
    2. How and why does he suggest that believers deal with their doubts about Christianity?
    3. What are the three kinds of reasons for which people either believe or disbelieve in God?
    4. What, according to Keller, are the three rungs of the ladder, or the three steps of a person’s journey from disbelief in God to belief in God?
    5. What is the first (and the main) argument against the existence of God?
    6. What is the question that should be asked in response to this argument?
    7. Check your answers.

Lesson 12

  1. Watch the second part of the talk by Tim Keller on reasons for believing in God. You’ll start where we left off in the last lesson, at 17:16. You’ll watch today until 27:56. 
    1. What is the “Hitchens argument” against the existence of God? (Christopher Hitchens was a famous atheist author who died in 2011).
    2. Summarize Keller’s response to this argument in your own words. Note that he mentions Stalin, who was a dictator in the atheistic Soviet Union, and the Khmer Rouge, an atheistic Communist regime in Cambodia whose murderous policies led to the death of about 25% of Cambodia’s population.
    3. What is the problem with the famous story of the elephant and the blind men, which is often used to “show” that no religion has the whole truth?
    4. What is Keller’s response to an unbeliever saying, “Until you prove to me that there’s a God, there’s no God as far as I’m concerned”?
    5. Stop at 27:56. We’ll finish the talk in the next lesson. We won’t be watching the Questions and Answers time at the end.
    6. Check your answers.

Lesson 13

  1. Watch the remaining part of Tim Keller’s talk. You’ll start today at 27:56 and watch to 41:51 (the end of his talk before the question and answer time).
    1. Why does he say that it takes more faith to disbelieve in God than to believe? What two examples does he use to demonstrate his point?
    2. How can a person move from believing that God probably exists to being sure?
    3. Check your answers.

Lesson 14

  1. Today we’ll look a bit more closely at what is probably the biggest objection in many people’s minds to the possibility of a loving God: the existence of evil and suffering. If you are not familiar with the Bible story of the temptation of Adam and Eve and how evil entered the world, then start by reading Genesis chapter 3 in your Bible. Then, read this article for an introduction to the problem and what the Bible says about it.
    1. What, according to the article, is necessary for genuine love to exist?
    2. Did God create evil? If not, how did it get here?
    3. What is “the fall” of mankind? What is its result?
    4. Is evil here to stay?
    5. Why did God allow evil to happen?
    6. Check your answers.

Lesson 15

  1.  We’re going to hear a bit more about the problem of evil and suffering, and the objection to the existence of God that this problem raises for many people. Listen to the first part of this talk by Andrew Wilson, a British pastor. Listen up to 17:06 today; we’ll finish the talk in the next lesson. 
    1. What is the best answer to the question of why God allows so much suffering?
    2. List some reasons which are sometimes given for suffering. Are these reasons correct, or not?
    3. Which book of the Bible deals with the problem of suffering? What is its main “punch line”?
    4. What is the logical problem of evil?
    5. What is the problem with that argument?
    6. Check your answers.

Lesson 16

  1. Today we’ll listen to the rest of Andrew Wilson’s talk on suffering. Start at 17:06 and listen to the end. Note that the word “visceral” means something that comes from a sudden, deeply-felt emotion rather than from logic and reason.
    1. What are the two possible reactions to suffering in a person’s life?
    2. When the question is asked, “Why does God allow suffering,” what is the answer NOT?
    3. Why can we say that Christians are not just trying to “get God off the hook” (or explain away His responsibility) for suffering?
    4. Check your answers.

Lesson 17

  1. In the next four lessons, we’ll be considering a few of the objections to God’s existence raised in a short video by an atheist author, YouTuber and activist named Hemant Mehta, who calls himself The Friendly Atheist. Today we’ll look at two of the arguments together with responses by various Christian apologists.
  2. Watch this video for a response to the claim that “prayer has never fixed anything physically impossible.” These videos will also give you some lessons in logical thinking. You’ll need to know that “begging the question” means assuming something is true, even when that something has not been verified.
    1. How could you summarize the response given to Hemant’s claim that prayer has never fixed anything physically impossible?
    2. Even if Hemant could show that God has never fixed anything through prayer, what would that prove? What would it not prove?
    3. Check your answers.
  3. Watch this video for a response to the claim that “where you’re born determines what you believe.” He uses a lot of sarcasm in this video, but does have some good points.
    1. Summarize the response to this objection.
    2. Check your answer.
    3. Another thing I would add which is helpful to consider is that many people come to Christianity even when it’s considered contrary to their culture, in opposition to the religion they may have been brought up in, and against the values of their family and society, and sometimes at great personal risk. This happens today, for example, in Muslim countries, in China, in India, in Laos (a communist and Buddhist country), and many other places.

Lesson 18

  1. Watch this video for a response to the claim that “miracles always get debunked.” For this video you’ll need to know what “circular reasoning” is. This means that you assume what you are trying to prove; in other words, you begin with the conclusion you are trying to reach. It’s a logical fallacy and you don’t prove anything.
    1. Why is the statement that “miracles always get debunked” an example of circular reasoning?
    2. Check your answer.
  2. Watch this video for a response to the claim that “no game of hide and seek lasts this long.” In other words, the assumption is that God is not revealing Himself to people (because we can’t see Him?), and it’s been so long (since when?), and so the logical conclusion is that He’s not really there.
    1. What is his short and sweet answer to this “objection”?
    2. Check your answer.
    3. In this statement, Hemant (the atheist) is assuming that God is hiding (and so probably not even there) because he (Hemant) has not discovered Him. He’s assuming that others who have claimed to have met God or know Him are lying or fooling themselves. This is again based on circular reasoning, the prior assumption that God is not real.

Lesson 19

  1. Watch this video for a response to the claim that because God is invisible, He doesn’t exist.
    1. What other things are invisible, but do actually exist as seen by their causal relations to the real world (meaning they cause certain effects in the real world)?
    2. How does he answer the question “Does God cause anything in the real world?” or  “Does God stand in causal relationship to anything in the real world?”
    3. Check your answers.
  2. Watch this video for a response to the claim that “religious people sound crazy.”
    1. What is the basic response to this objection?
    2. What is the basic cause of something sounding crazy to someone else?
    3. What’s an example of a belief which is true, but which actually would sound crazy to some people?
    4. Check your answers.

Lesson 20

  1. Watch this video for a response to the claim that you can imagine a world without God, and it would look the same.
    1. What logical fallacy is going on here? Why is this a logical fallacy?
    2. Why do you have to assume atheism is true for this argument to even get off the ground?
    3. How does the apologist say the world would be different if Christianity didn’t exist?
    4. Check your answers.
  2. Watch this video for a response to the claim that since God doesn’t strike down an atheist, God must not exist.
    1. What is the problem with this “argument”?
    2. How is he suggesting that we “test” arguments against God’s existence?
    3. Check your answers.

Lesson 21

  1. Read this testimony of a former atheist scientist named Sy Garte.
    1. What kinds of thoughts or experiences started leading him towards God/Christianity?
    2. His thinking and wondering took him only so far. To help him make the leap of faith to actually come to Christ, it seems God gave him a special supernatural experience.
    3. What did Garte, a scientist, learn about the true purpose of science AFTER he became a Christian?
    4. Check your answers.

Lesson 22

  1. Today we conclude the section of the course focused on the existence of God. I hope you’ve seen that there are solid reasons and evidences for God’s existence, and that the objections of skeptics are often not as reasonable and logical as they would have us think. Keep in mind that there will always be responses and counter arguments from skeptics, and that there are responses to those responses by thinking Christians, etc. If a person does not want God to exist for whatever reason, they will always try to come up with some new objection.
    1. If you are dealing with someone like this, at some point it’s probably wise to stop trying to argue or convince them, and just love them, keep showing them kindness, and pray for them. Let God do the work in them that no one else can.
    2. If you are still struggling with doubts about God’s existence, my suggestion, in addition to reviewing the evidence for His existence, would be to ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
  2. So here is your assignment for today. Briefly summarize why you believe in God. You can write out your summary, or say it out loud to someone else, or record yourself saying it. It does not have to be long or complicated. The goal is for you to “give reasons for the hope that is in you.” You’re not trying to argue or win a debate, and you’re not even necessarily trying to convince someone else. Just share your reasons. It could include some of the evidences for God we’ve mentioned, and/or what God has done in your life. The important thing is that these are YOUR reasons, in YOUR words.
  3. OPTIONAL FURTHER READING: If you are interested in reading more from a former atheist on why common arguments against God’s existence don’t work, you can read this long article.

Lesson 23

The Reliability of the Bible

  1. Welcome to our next section, which focuses on the reliability of the Bible.
  2. First of all, we need to make sure everyone has a very basic familiarity with the Bible, so that stuff we talk about later will make sense. Read this short article summarizing the most basic things you need to know about the Bible before we begin this section. The video at the bottom of the page is optional. (If you know all this information already, please be patient. Things will get more advanced very soon!)
    1. Make sure you memorize those three important numbers in the first line of the article: 66 books, 40 authors, over a period of 1500 years (that number is approximate).
    2. What are the three original languages in which the Bible was written?
    3. What is the main subject of the Bible, according to the article?
    4. Can you explain what the “Canon of Scripture” is? (Note that we’ll talk in a later lesson about the “Apocrypha.” Don’t worry about that for now.)
    5. Note that the two main sections of the Bible are called the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word “testament” means a promise or agreement. The Old Testament focuses on the beginning of the world and mankind, and God’s interaction with His special people, the Israelites. The focus of the New Testament is on the life, death, and resurrection of the promised Savior, Jesus Christ, and the activities and teaching of the early followers of Jesus, who came to be called the Church.
    6. Check your answers.
  3. Take out your Bible and find the table of contents. Look over the names of the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. How many of these are familiar to you? Have you read any of the books straight through? Are there any you’ve never heard of before? If you’re not regularly reading your Bible on your own (separate from a school assignment), now would be a great time to start! This is not required for this course but I would encourage you to think about setting aside a little time each day to read the Bible for yourself. If you have no idea where to start, I’d suggest you start reading the Gospel of John, the 4th book of the New Testament.

Lesson 24

  1. Today we’re going to be talking about the inspiration of the Bible and exploring the question, “In what sense is the Bible from God?”
  2. Let’s start by looking at what the Bible says about itself. Look up the following key verses in your own Bible and think about what they are saying:
    1. 2 Timothy 3:16
    2. 2 Peter 1:21
  3. Watch this video in which Mr. G talks about the inspiration of the Bible. This is a foundation for the rest of this section. Here is the written transcript for the video.
    1. In your own words, summarize the ideas mentioned about the inspiration of the Bible which are NOT adequate, and explain briefly why they don’t work.
    2. Explain the meaning of “plenary-verbal inspiration” in your own words.
    3. Explain in your own words the image we get from 2 Peter 1:21 of how God worked through the writers of the Bible.

Lesson 25

  1. Today we’ll look at the big picture of how the Bible came to be in our hands today. Watch this video for a short overview.
    1. What are the three main sections of the Hebrew Bible?
    2. Looking at the timeline on the video, can you tell the approximate dates for the writings of each of these three sections? (We’ll talk more about dating the books of the Bible in future lessons).
    3. What famous leader brought the Greek language to the lands of the Bible?
    4. What was the Septuagint?
    5. Approximately when was the Canon of the New Testament officially recognized?
    6. When were the Old and New Testaments first put together as one book?
    7. What is the Vulgate?
    8. Who first worked on translating the Bible into English? How was it received?
    9. Check your answers.
  2. The video above mentioned that the Bible has been translated into over 2000 languages. Mr. G is working with his good friend Samir to translate the Bible into the Romani (Gypsy) language of North Macedonia. If you’re interested, you can read more about this work on our website.  You’ll notice that by clicking one of the two buttons at the top, you can choose whether you read the text in the Latin alphabet (similar to that used by English) or in the Cyrillic alphabet (used by Macedonian, Russian, and others). You can also click the white arrows in the black boxes to hear the chapter being read aloud.  The audio Bible is especially important for the Roma people, since many of them cannot read well.

Lesson 26

  1. Before we start looking in detail at how reliable the text of the Bible is, we need to get an introduction to the science of textual criticism. Please realize that this term does NOT mean we are criticizing the Bible or treating it as merely a human book. Textual criticism ultimately shows that the text of the Bible we have today is an extremely accurate reflection of the original texts, in spite of what some critics may say.
  2. Read this short introduction to textual criticism in general, and an overview of how it relates to the Old and New Testaments. In coming lessons we’ll look more in detail at the text of the Old Testament and especially the text of the New Testament.
    1. What is the main goal of textual criticism?
    2. Is it really possible to discover what the authors of the Bible, under the inspiration of God, originally wrote? If so, how? If not, why not?
    3. Give two reasons why textual criticism is important and necessary for both the Old and New Testaments.
    4. Do we do textual criticism differently for the Bible than for other books?
    5. Check your answers.
  3. Before we get into more details about the text of the Bible, we want to make sure everyone is clear on what we mean when we claim the the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant (meaning containing no errors), and how this relates to textual criticism. Watch this very short but helpful clip on the relation between the variations we see in different manuscripts and the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible.

Lesson 27

  1. Today we’ll look more closely at the text of the Old Testament. How did we get the text we have today? How accurate is it? Watch the video for a brief overview from Mr. G of the important things to know about the transmission of the Hebrew text from the original writers to the present day. Here is the written transcript of the video.
    1. Summarize in your own words what the Masoretic text is.
    2. Explain in your own words why the Dead Sea Scrolls were so important.
    3. Explain what the Septuagint is and why it is helpful in textual criticism.
    4. Explain in your own words about the Soferim.
  2. Watch this short video on the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which was probably the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century.
    1. What was Qumran and who were the Essenes?
    2. What was the basic layout of Qumran?
    3. What does the evidence suggest that the main occupation of the Essenes was?
    4. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves in the hills behind Qumran. The most famous of the scrolls found there is the Great Isaiah Scroll. What is the range of dates for this scroll?
    5. What is the important fact about prophecy demonstrated by the discovery of the Isaiah scroll?
    6. Check your answers.

Lesson 28

  1. Watch the first part of this video interview on the reliability of the Old Testament, with a focus on history and archeology. Only watch until 13:08. We will not be listening further after that point.
    1. What is a claim mentioned in the interview which you will hear from some scholars about the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament)? Why is this claim unfounded?
    2. In what two ways does the discovery of grain in the archeological site of Jericho demonstrate the accuracy of the story of the battle of Jericho from the book of Joshua?
    3. What response is given to the claim that the early history of the Old Testament could not be accurate because they didn’t know how to write so long ago?
    4. Check your answers.
  2. Note that there is a big divide in many areas related to Old Testament studies between scholars who believe in the inspiration of the Bible and scholars who do not. There are serious disagreements on areas such as who wrote the books, dating the books, the historicity of the books (meaning whether or not the history recorded there is true), and other areas. It basically comes down to presuppositions. Those who do not believe in a God who can inspire Scripture distrust what is recorded in the Bible, seek to find alternate explanations for miraculous events, etc. Those who do believe see the evidence matching up quite well with what we see in the Bible.
  3. Be aware of this divide when looking up articles on Old Testament topics in sources like Wikipedia. These are generally written by those who hold presuppositions against the Bible. Here is an example from the Wikipedia article on the Book of Genesis: “Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and most of Deuteronomy; however, modern scholars, especially from the 19th century onward, place the books’ authorship in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, hundreds of years after Moses is supposed to have lived.” This is the same unfounded claim we heard about in the interview above.
  4. OPTIONAL: If you’re interested in learning more about archeological discoveries which confirm the history we read in the Old Testament, you can watch this video on the Top Ten Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology relating to the Old Testament.

Lesson 29

  1. Today we’ll look at prophecies in the Old Testament which have been fulfilled as additional evidence for the reliability of the Bible. Listen to this very brief message for a quick overview of the different kinds of prophecies which have been accurately fulfilled.
  2. Remember how we learned about the Dead Sea Scrolls preserving Old Testament prophecies about the coming of Jesus well before His birth? This document contains a complete list of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus. Choose four of them (there are a lot!) and look up both the Old and New Testament verses quoted to see how they were fulfilled.
  3. There are many other prophecies in the Old Testament, besides the Messianic prophecies (those concerning the coming of Christ), which were accurately fulfilled. One major one concerns King Cyrus of Persia. If you’re interested, you can read about that prophecy and who King Cyrus was in this optional article.

Lesson 30

  1. In today’s lesson, before we move on to focus on the reliability of the New Testament, we’ll take a look at the Apocrypha, the “extra” books of the Bible which Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians include in their Bibles, but Protestants reject as Scripture. Let’s watch this video for an entertaining overview of the issue from a Protestant perspective but with fair explanation given to the Catholic position as well.
    1. What is the “narrative trajectory” of the Apocrypha?
    2. Summarize the reason(s) why Catholics would say the Apocrypha should be included in the Bible.
    3. Briefly summarize the reasons why Protestants reject the Apocrypha as Scripture. Note that we could add two additional reasons beyond what is mentioned in the video: (a) The Jews did not accept these books as part of the Old Testament, and (b) they contain errors, such as claiming that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Assyria, rather than king of Babylon.
    4. How important is the presence or absence of the Apocrypha in the bigger picture of the Old and New Testaments?
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 31

  1. Starting with today’s lesson, we turn our attention to the New Testament. Over the next seven lessons, we’ll be focusing on the reliability of the New Testament text. That might seem like a lot of lessons for one topic, but the reliability of the New Testament text is one of the most attacked aspects of the Christian faith (and also one that has a great deal of evidence behind it).
  2. In this lesson we’ll meet one of today’s most prominent and influential skeptics, a New Testament scholar (and atheist) named Bart Ehrman, who teaches religious studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His work attempting to disprove the reliability of the New Testament and of Christianity as a whole is well-known and commonly used by atheists and Muslims in their attacks against the Bible. We’ll be looking at some of his commonly-repeated objections in these lessons.
  3. We’ll start by watching this introduction to the reliability of the New Testament. This is the first of a really helpful, detailed series of videos on the topic.
    1. What are our sources for studying the early history of the New Testament text?
    2. If there was widespread changing of the text going on, would it be obvious? If so, how?
    3. Dr. James White, in the quote from his debate with Bart Ehrman, states there was never any Christian “Uthman,” referring to the Muslim caliph who standardized the text of the Quran around AD 650 and ordered all other versions destroyed. His point is that there was never any centralized control over the text, so claims that the text was purposely altered are without merit.
    4. How old is the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest extant (meaning still in existence) NT (New Testament) manuscript? How close to the originals is that?
    5. What is the flaw in Dr. Ehrman’s reasoning when he claims that the manuscripts we have are too late to be reliable?
    6. About how many variants (different readings) are there among the NT manuscripts? Why is this not the proof against the reliability of the text that skeptics make it out to be?
    7. Check your answers.

Lesson 32

  1. Today we’ll watch the next video in the series on the New Testament text. This one is about textual corruption, which refers to changes made in a text over time so that later copies are not the same as the original.
    1. How much of the text of the New Testament is “accurate,” meaning there is no doubt about what the original said?
    2. What is the response to the claim that “Since we don’t have 100% certainty, that means we can never really know what the New Testament said”?
    3. What is the basic response to the claim “The New Testament has been changed”?
    4. What did Dr. James White say about “multiple lines of transmission”?
    5. Check your answers.
    6. You can look up the “unresolved variants” if you want. The important thing to understand is that none of them affect what we teach or believe about God or important doctrines, but only our precise understanding of the particular passage. Still, the general range of meaning of each passage is clear even with the variants. My personal belief is that God is in charge even of these variants, and allowed them to remain for a reason.
    7. Two passages of the NT whose authenticity are debated are John 7:53-8:11 and Mark 16:9-20. The video casts doubt on whether they are authentic, but does acknowledge that a case could be made for their authenticity. My personal belief is that they are authentic. Footnotes in my study Bible point out concerning the John passage that the verses “are present in over 900 manuscripts of John,” and about the Mark verses it says “they are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.” The point made in the video is that no doctrine is affected, and that all this information on textual variants is openly available to Christians to investigate; nothing is “hidden.”
    8. The video says that “the purpose of the New Testament was… not to create an inerrant relic.”  The point he’s trying to make is that the Word of God is living and active and designed to pass on the message of Jesus Christ, which it does accurately, even though there are minor variants in the manuscripts we possess.

Lesson 33

  1. Let’s watch this next video in the series on the New Testament text. This one is about oral tradition. What happened in the years before the New Testament was written down? Can we trust that the teachings of Jesus were accurately transmitted?
    1. What’s the main problem with saying that it’s unreliable because it was passed on orally before being written down, and so changes could easily have been inserted?
    2. Note that the “Talmud” which is mentioned is a large text of Jewish religious law, different from the Bible but based on it.
    3. Give some reasons why we can say that passing down oral information in that culture was in fact reliable.
    4. What are the two main types of oral tradition? Which one best describes the teachings of Jesus (which would form the basis of the New Testament)? Why?
    5. Now would probably be a good time to learn the word “parsimonious” if you don’t already know it, since it has occurred twice already in these videos. Here it means to account for the evidence with a relatively simple, straightforward explanation, rather than coming up with a complicated one.
    6. What would be the response to the skeptics’ claim that it’s a huge problem that we no longer have the exact words of Christ? (Note that they can say this because Christ would have spoken in Aramaic in daily life, but the NT is written in Greek).
    7. Check your answers.

Lesson 34

  1. Watch the next video on the New Testament text. This one is about the dating and authorship of the books. It focuses particularly on the four so-called “gospels,” which are the books describing the life of Jesus. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
    1. Why do many historians date the books of the NT so long after the ministry of Jesus?
    2. How is their dating of the books based on a presupposition about Jesus? Note that their presupposition revolves around an event that happened in AD 70 (the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans), which is a long time (40 years) after the ministry of Jesus.
    3. Is there any evidence that the Gospels were actually written by the men they are attributed to? What are the two main types of evidence we see?
    4. Check your answers.
    5. This video is a bit longer than others and very detailed, but I would encourage you to watch till the end. We won’t have any more questions to answer, but just realize that critics often doubt and attack the authorship and early dating of the NT books, but there is plenty of external and internal evidence that they were written within the lifetimes of the Apostles by the men they are attributed to by Christian tradition.
    6. I want to point out a term that appears in this video and is important for discussions of apologetics: the synoptic gospels refers to Matthew, Mark, and Luke; the Gospel of John is considered to be a different category since it differs in some ways from the other three.

Lesson 35

  1. Watch this video about external evidence confirming the reliability of the New Testament. “External” refers to sources outside the text itself, such as references to Jesus in the works of other ancient writers, archeological finds, and looking at whether the NT account matches what we know about ancient history from other sources. This video is close to 20 minutes, so no questions…just sit back, enjoy, and realize that there is plenty of fascinating evidence that the events recorded in the NT are accurate!

Lesson 36

  1. Watch this video on the internal evidence confirming the reliability of the New Testament. “Internal” refers to clues within the text which point to its authenticity and reliability. We already looked at how the NT preserves a “controlled” oral tradition, and we saw there is internal evidence for an early dating of the books of the NT. This video goes over some other internal evidence.
    1. “Excessive non-theological verbiage” is the first piece of evidence. Excessive means too much, theological verbiage refers to words and language which directly try to teach the reader something about God. In other words, in the NT there are many verses that are not trying to teach anything, such as all the greetings, the verses about traveling and logistics, and mentioning who was related to whom. The fact that so many verses like this are there shows that they were unlikely to be made up later by people who were trying to create a myth or teach some new doctrine, as some critics claim. It shows that the text is authentic and this stuff mattered to the people to whom it was originally written. It also shows that the scribes who copied the manuscripts later on were faithful to carefully record the text, even though they could have just decided these kinds of verses weren’t important and left them out.
    2. The “criteria of embarrassment” is the next piece of evidence. This refers to the fact that when an author reports something that should be embarrassing to him or his cause, it is more likely to be accurate, since he could have just not mentioned it or made it sound better.
      1. What are three examples of embarrassing things in the NT which seem unlikely to be recorded there if they are not true?
      2. Check your answers.
    3. The third piece of evidence is “undesigned coincidences.” This means claims or facts mentioned by different account (like for example different gospels) which explain or confirm each other.

Lesson 37

  1. Today we’ll look at the last of the videos on the reliability of the New Testament (NT) text. This one is about how to answer some common objections heard from skeptics. It focuses on objections which have not yet been addressed directly in the series.
    1. Summarize the response to the claim that the NT authors were biased.
    2. Summarize the response to the claim that the NT authors were illiterate, and so could not have actually written the books bearing their names. In the section on this claim, we meet Dr. Bart Ehrman again. The fact that someone is a famous Bible scholar does not necessarily mean that person is thinking or speaking reasonably about a particular issue.
    3. Summarize the response to the claim that the NT is not reliable because it contains miracles.
    4. Summarize the response to the claim that the NT contains contradictions.
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 38

  1. As we get close to the end of our section on the reliability of the Bible, let’s learn more about the process by which it was decided which books would be in the Bible (the Canon of Scripture). This is an area that many people don’t understand well, and the process is often attacked by skeptics in an attempt to discredit the Bible. Listen to this video for an explanation.
    1. Briefly summarize how we got the Old Testament Canon.
    2. What is the time period during which the New Testament books were written (according to Bible-believing scholars)?
    3. What are the different “stages” of establishing/recognizing the NT canon?
    4. When is the first time we see a formal list of the exact same 27 books of the NT which we still have today? Does this mean that the canon was wide open before this?
    5. Check your answers.
    6. In the late 300s AD, the 27 NT books we have today were formally recognized at church councils.

Lesson 39

  1. Today we’ll talk about our last topic related to the reliability of the Bible. We’ll be investigating why there are four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) rather than just one. Some critics point to the fact of multiple gospel accounts that differ from each other in some ways as evidence that the NT is not reliable. Is that a valid objection? Watch this video on why having four gospels is a plus, not a negative thing, and how each one is unique.
    1. What is the first reason given for four gospels?
    2. Pay attention to the summary given in the video of the unique characteristics of each gospel and each gospel writer. Note that when it talks about the “deity” of Christ, that refers to the fact that Christ is God.
    3. What is the second reason given for four gospels?
    4. What is the third reason given for four gospels?
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 40

  1. Today we conclude our discussion of why the Bible is reliable, although we will be touching on related topics in coming sections of the course. Hopefully you’ve seen that the evidence for the divine inspiration of Scripture and the inerrancy of the original manuscripts, as well as the hand of God in preserving and accurately passing down the Scriptures to us, is very thorough and solid. Another evidence which we’ve not really mentioned, which is not quite as “scientific” but very real nevertheless, is the evidence of changed lives. So many people through the centuries have been affected by the Bible and its words in such a powerful way that it seems blind to say that it’s merely a human or corrupted book. I want to encourage you again, if you are not regularly reading the Bible for yourself, to begin today!
  2. So your assignment for today is to briefly summarize why you believe the Bible is reliable. You can write out your summary, or say it out loud to someone else, or record yourself saying it. It does not have to be long or complicated. The goal is for you to “give reasons for the hope that is in you.” Again, you’re not trying to argue or win a debate, and you’re not even necessarily trying to convince someone else. Just share your reasons as if you were asked by a non-believing friend in a casual conversation. You’ll want to include something about both the OT and the NT; you can talk about manuscripts, textual criticism, internal/external evidence, archeology, what the Bible means to you personally, etc. There is no right or wrong answer here. Everyone’s answer will be different.
  3. Here is a video done by Mr. G which you may want to refer a non-Christian friend to if they are at all interested in the Bible. It is a quick introduction to the Bible, intended primarily for people who are learning English or speak English as a second language. Towards the end it briefly addresses the claim that the Bible has been changed. The video was created mainly with Muslims in mind.

The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Lesson 41

  1. Today we start a new section on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s really important to focus on this subject; if His life, death, or resurrection is disproven then Christianity is just a myth.
  2. Our first task is to show that there is solid evidence that Jesus actually lived, and is not simply a mythical figure. Actually there is a theory or claim called mythicism, in which it is claimed that the historical Jesus never really existed. As we’ll see, this position is actually rejected by nearly all scholars, including non-Christians.
  3. Let’s start with this short video on the historical evidence for Jesus’ existence.
    1. First of all, we need to realize that the NT books are considered valid sources of evidence for Jesus’ existence, even by non-Christian scholars. And we have already shown numerous reasons why the NT books can be considered reliable.
    2. However, there is significant historical evidence for Jesus’ existence outside the Bible. There are a couple names you should especially try to remember: Tacitus, the Roman historian (lived 56-120 AD);  and Josephus, the Jewish historian (lived 37 – 100 AD).
    3. What is perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus existed, according to the video?  Check your answer.
  4. Now let’s watch this brief video interview with a Christian historian and New Testament scholar, Dr. Gary Habermas, on the historicity of Jesus.
    1. Note that Dr. Bart Ehrman, the atheist Bible scholar we met previously, believes that the life and death of Jesus is an indisputable historical fact. What evidence for the life of Jesus do we have thanks to Dr. Ehrman?
    2. How does the apostle Paul help us in knowing about the historical Jesus?
    3. Check your answers.
    4. I would point out that we have to be careful about saying something is true just because “nearly all scholars agree”; but in this case it is interesting to note that there are no scholars among those promoting “Jesus mythicism.”

Lesson 42

  1. Over the next two lessons we’re going to look a bit more at evidence for the existence of Jesus outside of the Bible itself. Today we’ll watch the first half of this video. Watch to 22:32. We’ll finish the video in the next lesson.
    1. What does the criteria of multiple attestation mean? What about enemy attestation?
    2. Name the three Graeco-Roman sources who describe the effect Jesus had on society. Were these three guys friendly towards Christians?
    3. Name the three Graeco-Roman sources who name Jesus directly. Was Jesus perceived as a miracle worker?
    4. Check your answers.

Lesson 43

  1. Today we’ll watch the rest of this video on the extra-biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus. You’ll start watching at 22:32 and STOP AT 32:40, before the discussion of the Jesus Myth Theory.
    1. Who was the famous Jewish historian who wrote about Jesus in the 1st century AD? Do historians believe that everything about Jesus in Josephus’ work was originally written by him?
    2. In how many places in the works of Josephus do we find mention of Jesus?
    3. The other Jewish source mentioning Jesus is the Talmud, the central text on Jewish law and doctrine. What two things about Jesus do we get from the mention of Him in the Talmud?
    4. Check your answers.
    5. The remainder of the video talks about the Jesus Myth Theory, or Mythicism, which we already heard about. The speaker talks about three main problems with the theory:
      1. It commits the logical fallacy called post hoc – assuming that the older thing caused the newer thing. The theory assumes that the story of Jesus is made up from earlier pagan myths.
      2. If you actually look at the original sources for the earlier myths people mention, there is almost no similarity to the Jesus story at all. “All things are similar if you ignore the differences!”
      3. The earliest Christians were religious Jews, who would reject paganism. It doesn’t make sense that they would be borrowing from pagan myths to form the basis of their new religion.

Lesson 44

  1. We’ve seen that the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth are very well-documented historical events. What about the resurrection? If Jesus did not really rise from the dead, then Christianity falls apart. Today we’ll watch the first part of this video, a talk on the evidence for the resurrection by Lee Strobel, a former journalist who wrote the famous book The Case for Christ. Today watch till 18:33.
    1. What is the first of the four “E”s to remember in making the case for the resurrection? Is there any chance historically or medically speaking that Jesus did not die on the cross?
    2. Check your answer.

Lesson 45

  1. Today we’ll continue the talk by Lee Strobel on the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. Start at 18:33 and watch till 32:02.
    1. What is the second of the four “E”s? Explain the significance of this word.
    2. What is the significance of the creed he mentions as evidence for the resurrection? A creed is a statement of the essence of Christian belief. Look up the creed and read it for yourself. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7.
    3. What personal contact did Paul have with Peter and James, the two apostles mentioned by name in the creed?
    4. What is the third “E”? Explain the significance of this word.
    5. Briefly tell what the three main evidences are which show the tomb was actually empty.
    6. Check your answers.

Lesson 46

  1. In this lesson we’ll finish watching our video from Lee Strobel on evidence for the resurrection. You’ll start at 32:02 and go to the end of the video.
    1. What is the fourth “E” word?
    2. Was it possible the eyewitnesses of Jesus after his death were just having visions or hallucinations?
    3. Check your answers.

Lesson 47

  1. Now that we’ve seen there’s good evidence that Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead, let’s think about Who Jesus was. Christians claim He is the Son of God, that He is divine (God). Let’s look at what Jesus Himself said about this. Let’s examine Who He claimed to be.
  2. First we’ll watch this short video addressing the question “Is Jesus God?”
    1. What’s the problem with saying that Jesus was just another good human teacher? (Note that “to claim deity” means to claim to be God.)
    2. Name at least one place in the Gospel of John where Jesus claimed deity, and look up the verse in your own Bible.
    3. What did Jesus do that only God could do?
    4. Did Jesus ever claim to be the Son of God?
    5. What are the three options on how to view the claims Jesus made?
    6. Check your answers.
    7. Read over the three-step reply given at the end of the video to the claim that “Jesus was a good moral teacher, but He wasn’t God.” Think about each one and the logical sequence we see there, so that you’ll be able to share these thoughts with anyone who makes this kind of claim about Jesus.
  3. If you have a friend who questions whether Jesus ever claimed to be God, you might want to refer them to this video done by Mr. G. It answers that question in a way that is especially helpful for people who don’t speak English as their first language or who are learning English. It was done primarily with Muslims in mind, who often will ask Christians, “Where in the Bible does Jesus say ‘I am God, worship me’?”

Lesson 48

  1. Today we’ll look in more detail at Who Jesus understood Himself to be. This is important, since some people will insist that Jesus never claimed to be divine. Let’s watch this video and we’ll look at each claim in turn.
    1. What was the first thing mentioned in the video that Jesus claimed to be? What is one important way in which He made this claim? Read about this event in Matthew 21:1-11 in your Bible.
    2. What is the second claim mentioned which Jesus makes about Himself? What is a parable he tells in which this claim is made clear? Read this parable in your Bible. It’s found in Matthew 21:33-46. Note that a parable is a story meant to teach a spiritual lesson.
    3. What is the third claim of Jesus about Himself, which is actually His most common way of referring to Himself? What Old Testament reference was He making in using this title? Read Daniel 7:13-14 in your Bible to see where this title comes from. Many people mistakenly assume this title simply means Jesus was human.
    4. Now read the account of Jesus’ interrogation before the high priest recorded in Matthew 26:57-68. Pay special attention to His inclusion of all three claims about Himself in verses 63 and 64. What was the reaction of those who heard him?
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 49

  1. Today, in our last lesson related specifically to Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection, we’ll be looking at the commonly-heard claim that the story of Jesus being the divine Son of God and rising from the dead developed over time, getting more “extravagant” as it evolved. This theory, of course, if true, undermines all of Christianity and its core beliefs. Let’s look at this detailed video addressing this question. In this video you’ll come across another famous atheist activist, Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
    1. Briefly summarize the Development Theory.
    2. What is the first problem with the Development Theory?
    3. If you find the stuff about the Greek word for “appear” confusing, just realize that skeptics try to argue from the original Greek that the creed is saying that Jesus only appeared in a non-physical sense; but this is not at all a correct understanding of the Greek word.
    4. What is the second major problem mentioned with the Development Theory?
    5. There are lots of holes in this theory, like many other theories skeptics come up with. If you take time to investigate, these kinds of theories usually boil down to a combination of presuppositions about what is true and possible, taking verses and events in the Bible out of context and ignoring other related passages, and jumping to conclusions about what certain passages “show” or “prove.”
    6. What is the fallacy being committed by those who promote the Development Theory? What in the world does that mean? Note that “to cherry-pick” means to choose in a very selective manner, choosing only the things that are most pleasing or most helpful.
    7. Check your answers.
    8. A big argument here against the Development Theory is that if you claim there is development from one gospel to the next, you should see development in all aspects. But that’s not the case; only in selected “cherry-picked” aspects can we see any kind of evidence of this, and even then, not so much…

Lesson 50

  1. Today we’re wrapping up the section on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Hopefully you’ve seen that there is nearly universal scholarly agreement that He lived and died, and even very solid historical evidence that He rose again. We saw that the most amazing aspects of the story of Jesus are consistently present even in very early accounts, so claims that the story developed or was changed just don’t hold water. As with the other sections on the existence of God and the reliability of the Bible, a further piece of evidence is not quite as “scientific” but no less powerful…there are numerous people in every century over the past 2000 years, in every part of the world, from many different cultures, who have claimed to have met Jesus and to have been transformed by Him.
  2. So your assignment for today is to briefly summarize why you believe that Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead. This is your story, so you can include personal details, but also try to include some of the evidences we learned about so that it’s objective, and convincing to other people. Present this summary to someone, either in writing or in person or by recording.
  3. Are you at a place where you believe all the facts about Jesus in your mind, maybe even “accepted Christ” as your Savior, but you feel like you still haven’t really met Him personally? I would encourage you to talk to Him. Tell Him that you want to know Him and follow Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. And then seek Him. Talk to Him and read your Bible every day. Obey Him as best you know how. Don’t give up. Remember that He promised, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

The Uniqueness of Christianity

Lesson 51

  1. We’ll now transition to another section of the course which I’ll call “The Uniqueness of Christianity.” We’ll be looking at how Christianity (meaning the belief in the God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world) is unique among world religions, as well as some related topics.
  2. First let’s look at the common claim among skeptics that the story of Jesus is similar to characters and events from ancient mythology and is really just derived from various pagan myths. Today we’ll watch the first half of this video by Dr. Mike Licona, a well-known New Testament scholar (and Christian) who specializes in the study of the resurrection of Jesus, on the question of whether early Christians borrowed from pagan myths. Watch to 13:34. 
    1. What is the consensus (agreement) of the vast majority of scholars on the question of whether Christians borrowed from pagan myths?
    2. What was the first reason why scholars say Christians did not borrow from pagan myths?
    3. What is the second reason Christians could not have borrowed from pagan myths?
    4. What is the third reason?
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 52

  1. Today we’ll finish watching the video by Dr. Licona on reasons why scholars don’t believe that early Christians borrowed elements of the Jesus story from pagan myths.  Start at 13:34 and watch to the end.
    1. What is the fourth reason why scholars do not accept the claim that the story of Jesus was borrowed? (Note: I DO NOT recommend the movie he is recommending. But he does make a good point in bringing the movie into the discussion.)
    2. What is the fifth reason?
    3. What is the sixth reason?
    4. Check your answers.

Lesson 53

  1. Today we’ll be talking about the relationship between Christianity and other religions. What makes Christianity unique among world religions, if anything? Let’s watch this talk by Dr. John Lennox, who is a mathematician at Oxford University in England, and a Christian apologist. I hope you enjoy his way of speaking 🙂
    1. What are the two “streams of evidence” he mentions which convince him that the Christian message is true?
    2. What does Dr. Lennox say that we need to first make sure we do before we begin any interaction with people of other religions?
    3. He talks about the three major “Abrahamic” (meaning they regard Abraham as a “father” of their faith in some sense), monotheistic (meaning believing in one God) religions. It’s important to realize what these are: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. How do these three religions differ in their teaching on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? What does this example demonstrate about world religions?
    4. How is Christianity different from every other religion?
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 54

  1. Today we’ll pause and deal with the accusation often leveled at Christians that they are being arrogant and narrow-minded when they claim that Christianity is the only true religion or that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.
  2. First let’s deal with two commonly-heard claims that are related to this issue. The first is  that all religions are basically the same. But to make this statement is to ignore what various religions teach. Most religions make claims which, if true, would invalidate other religions. Differences are much greater than similarities in many cases. Another claim that is commonly made is that there are many paths to God (as in many different religions all leading to God). The problem with this claim is that the way to God, the way of salvation, can be very different in different religions; and some religions are not even seeking to get to God. In Buddhism, for example, there is no God; in Hinduism the goal is spiritual enlightenment, not God; in Islam the primary goal is to make it to Paradise, which is  a place of rewards in the form of physical pleasures but where God is not considered to be present. Not only the path, but the goal is very often different in different religions!
  3. Second, let’s take a look at what Jesus says about the relationship between Himself and salvation. You’ll find that His claims are pretty exclusive.
    1. Look up John 14:6.
    2. Look up John 3:16-18.
    3. Look up Matthew 7:13-14.
    4. Look up Acts 4:12. These are the words of Peter, a disciple of Jesus and leader of the early church.
  4. Watch these two very short videos on the question of whether Christians are being arrogant when they make their claims about Christ and Christianity.
    1. First video
    2. Second video
  5. So your assignment today is to briefly respond to someone saying “You Christians are so arrogant to say that your religion is the only true religion.” What would you say? Make your response in writing or out loud to someone (or you can record yourself talking).

Lesson 55

  1. Today we’ll talk about a uniquely Christian belief which is described using the term “the Trinity.” In a nutshell, it is the belief that there is One God Who exists in three Persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Although the goal of this course is not to teach Christian doctrine, we’re going to take this lesson to discuss this topic since this belief is frequently the target of attack by non-Christians, particularly members of other monotheistic religions such as Islam. It is often claimed that the teaching is illogical and that it was just made up by later Christians, since you will not find the word “trinity” in the Bible.
  2. First of all, we need to make clear that we as humans are limited in our understanding of God. We can see what He has revealed in His Word, but we will never be able to completely fathom Who He is. Often the objections to the doctrine of the Trinity are based on the assumption that God should be completely understandable to my human mind. But like we saw when we discussed the problem of evil and suffering…why would we assume that, when He is God and I am not?
  3. Along those same lines, I would encourage you to be careful about using some of the common metaphors or illustrations out there in trying to explain the Trinity. “It’s like an egg…” It’s OK to use such illustrations to show how something might be three and one at the same time. But DON’T say “This is what the Trinity is like…” because most likely your illustration will be inaccurate in some way. God is beyond our cute little illustrations.
  4. Without further ado, let’s watch the first short video on the Trinity by the late Nabeel Qureshi, a former (Ahmadi) Muslim who became a Christian. He explains it well because it is an issue he struggled with as a Muslim.
    1. What is the basic definition of the nature of God as described by the word “trinity”?
    2. Explain why this is not a contradiction.
    3. How do we explain passages where Jesus seems to make Himself somehow “lesser” than the Father? How could they both be God?
    4. Check your answers.
  5. Now watch this short video by Dr. David Wood, a Christian apologist. He explains concisely how we arrive at the doctrine of the Trinity from the Old and New Testaments. If you are interested, I’d encourage you to take time to look up the verses he cites in the video.
  6. Today we wrap up our section on the uniqueness of Christianity.

Science and the Bible

Lesson 56

  1. Welcome to our next section, “Science and the Bible.” This section will be short, but I’ll give you a number of good resources you can check out if you’re interested in more in-depth exploration of this topic.
  2. Watch this video by Mr. G giving an overview of some issues related to science and the Bible, including some of the different ways that Christians approach this topic. Here is the written transcript of the video.
  3. If you haven’t already, talk to your parents and/or some other Christian adults whom you know and respect about their beliefs on the Bible and the origin of the earth and of humankind. Find out why they believe as they do.
  4. If you are not familiar with Genesis chapters 1 through 11, start reading it. You could cover a few chapters each day and try to finish by the end of this section (Lesson 60).
  5. Over the next few lessons, I’ll be referring you to several good resources for learning about scientific topics from a young-earth creationist perspective. It’s not hard to find resources from an old-earth creationist perspective as well if you feel that you want to investigate and compare different views. Consult with your parents on these issues.

Lesson 57

  1. Read this introduction to the theory of evolution from a Christian perspective.
    1. Do scientists generally accept evolution as fact? Has it been proven?
    2. What is natural selection? Has it ever been observed?
    3. What is micro-evolution? Is this an idea that conflicts with Christian beliefs?
    4. What is macro-evolution? What are some problems with it?
    5. Check your answers.
  2. Watch this short video of a talk with Dr. Rob Carter, a marine biologist and creationist, on the impossibility of evolution.
  3. If you would like more resources related to the young earth creationist perspective on different scientific fields, a good YouTube channel to check out is entitled “Is Genesis History?” Since this is YouTube, and I have not personally viewed all of the videos available on this channel, please check with your parents before exploring this material.

Lesson 58

  1. Let’s watch this very short video on whether the fossil record of dinosaurs shows any evidence of evolution. This is a talk with Dr. Art Chadwick, a molecular biologist and creationist.
    1. What does the fossil record show about different forms of dinosaurs?
    2. What does he say is the relationship between the data and the theory of evolution? (Note that the word “paradigm” means a set of assumptions, values, or a way of viewing reality.)
    3. Check your answers.
  2. Now we’ll turn our attention to the Great Flood described in Genesis 6-8, which young earth creationist scientists believe was a worldwide flood, as the text seems to clearly indicate. Listen to this video in which Dr. Andrew Snelling, a geologist, describes the evidences we see in the earth that the flood occurred exactly as described in the Bible.
    1. Summarize in your own words three of the evidences mentioned that you find most interesting.
  3. If you have any interest in paleontology (the study of fossils), I would encourage you to listen to at least some of this one-hour lecture by Dr. Kurt Wise, who has a PhD in Paleontology from Harvard University and who is a young earth creationist. He is speaking on why, as a paleontologist, he CANNOT believe that the earth is as old as is claimed by the scientific establishment.

Lesson 59

  1. Today we’ll talk a bit more about the Big Bang Theory, the leading theory about how the universe began. Read the first two sections (“What is the Big Bang Theory?” and “The Big Bang: the birth of the universe”) of this article to get a feel for what the theory is saying. You can continue reading after that point if you are interested. Note that this article is from space.com, a non-Christian site. This explanation is from a secular perspective.
    1. Does the article present the Big Bang as fact? Does it present the Big Bang as the only possible theory?
    2. Describe the Big Bang Theory briefly.
    3. Check your answers.
    4. If you read the article carefully, you’ll notice the language indicating the many aspects of the theory which are still unknown, unclear, mysterious, not directly observed, etc.
  2. Now let’s consider a young earth creationist perspective on the Big Bang Theory. Watch this video featuring Dr. Danny Faulkner, an astronomer.
    1. What does Dr. Faulkner compare the Big Bang Theory to? Why does he make this comparison? Note that cosmology means the study of the history and nature of the universe.
    2. What is one idea mentioned upon which the Big Bang is based? What does this idea state? Why does this not match the data that’s come in over the past 35-40 years?
    3. Check your answers.
  3. I want to point out that many Christians who hold to “old earth” and theistic evolution positions do accept the Big Bang Theory as true, but would say that God is the One Who brought it about.
  4. If you are particularly interested in astronomy, I would encourage you to check out the 4th Day Alliance, an organization dedicated to studying astronomy from a young earth creationist perspective. They have quite a few interesting articles on various astronomy-related topics by PhD astronomers who are also creationists.

Lesson 60

  1. Today we’ll wrap up our section on Science and the Bible. I’d like to share with you an abridged version of a paper written by my dad, Dr. John Giles, a physicist. In this paper he explains some of his perspectives gained over the years on creation and the Bible, in language a non-scientist can easily understand. I hope you’ll take the time to read it even if you and your family don’t hold to the young earth position.
  2. If you are interested in exploring any of the topics we’ve touched on more in depth, or maybe some other topics we haven’t mentioned, you should check out the following resources:
    1. Institute for Creation Research (young earth creationist perspective). Excellent resources from a staff of PhD researchers working in creation-related areas.
    2. Answers in Genesis (young earth creationist perspective). Lots of interesting articles. Parents, be aware that there are some articles available on this site having to do with current events; you may wish to supervise what your students are reading.
    3. A film-length documentary is available called “Is Genesis History?” from the YouTube channel mentioned earlier by the same name. It features a dozen scientists and scholars talking about different aspects of how Genesis and science go together.

“Objectionable” Things in the Bible

Lesson 61

  1. Welcome to our next section, called “Objectionable Things in the Bible.” We’ll be talking about some things we see in the Bible that many readers find upsetting and hard to understand, and which skeptics often point to in their attacks on the Bible and Christianity.
  2. Let’s start by watching this introductory video by Mr. G. Here is the written transcript of the video. You’ll find here some basic principles to consider whenever you encounter something upsetting or “objectionable” in the Bible. Over the next few lessons we’ll be looking at some specific things from the Bible and applying these principles.
    1. Can you remember the short version of the five basic principles?  You don’t have to remember the exact words as long as you’ve got the general ideas.
    2. Check your answers.

Lesson 62

  1. Today we’re going to dive right into what is one of the most “objectionable” subjects we see in the Bible, and one that is usually brought up by skeptics who want to attack the Bible and its portrayal of God. I’m referring to the violence in the Old Testament, specifically the violence performed by the Israelites, at the Lord’s command, against the groups of people who lived in the area of Canaan, the “Promised Land” given to the Israelites by God.
  2. We’ll take two lessons to cover this topic; today I just want you to read two passages from the Bible to get some background on this. In the next lesson, we’ll talk about how to understand this violence and how the four principles we learned in the previous lesson apply.
  3. First of all, read Deuteronomy 7:1-8 in your Bible. This chapter is where God gives the commands (through Moses) on how to treat the people living in the land of Canaan, and the reasons.
    1. Look at verse 2. What were the Israelites to do to these people?
    2. Look at verses 2 and 3. What are the three things the Israelites were NOT to do with these people?
    3. Look at verse 4. Why were the Israelites not to mix with the people of Canaan in any way?
    4. Look at verse 5. What would happen to the idol-related stuff belonging to the people of Canaan?
    5. Look at verses 6 and 7. What are some special things about the people of Israel?
    6. Check your answers.
  4. Now read Joshua 6:1-25 in your Bible, the story of the Battle of Jericho. The people of Jericho were included in the people of Canaan, the “Promised Land.”
    1. Did you notice what happens after the walls fall down? Most children’s Bible stories don’t mention this part.
    2. Do you think that the Israelites obeyed God in what they did to the people of Jericho?
    3. Check your answers.
    4. Note that Rahab and her family were spared because she had shown fear of God and helped the spies earlier. She is taken to live with the Israelites. It’s interesting to see that Rahab is in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5), meaning she married an Israelite; and she is praised for her faith and actions in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25. It seems the Lord made an exception for her to the “no intermarriage” rule because she honored God. It was not about ethnicity, but about idolatry versus worship of the true God.

Lesson 63

  1. Today we’ll talk more about the violence we see in the Old Testament, especially as it relates to the Israelite conquest of the land of Canaan. Watch this video by Mr. G. Here is the written transcript of the video.
    1. According to Mr. G, what is a WRONG approach to understanding the violence?
    2. What is the most basic thing to keep in mind about God and about the violence we read about which was commanded by God in the Old Testament?
    3. Check your answers.

Lesson 64

  1. Today we’ll talk about another topic in the Bible that some find objectionable or immoral: the subject of slavery. The Bible does not forbid slavery, but gives rules to the Hebrews in the Old Testament about how slaves are to be treated, and in the New Testament Christian slaves and slave owners are encouraged to love each other as brothers. We’re going to read/listen to four short lessons by Mrs. Giles on this topic to give us a better perspective on God’s heart in this matter.
    1. First, let’s read a bit of what the Bible says about slavery.  Read Exodus 21:1-11. Then read Ephesians 5:5-9.
    2. Now go to each of these links, in order, for the short lessons. You can read them, or listen to them, or do both at the same time.  No questions to answer today.
      1. Slaves part 1
      2. Slaves part 2
      3. Slaves part 3
      4. Slaves part 4
    3. Note that when Mrs. Giles says “His eye is on the sparrow,” that’s a reference to a line in a famous gospel song and refers to Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:29-31, where He talks about God’s concern even for a sparrow (and people are worth much more than sparrows).
    4. By the way, if you’re interested in listening to more of Mrs. Giles’ short lessons on each chapter of the Old Testament, you can check them out here: Good Morning, Lord. Quite a few of the lessons deal with difficult or “objectionable” things in the Old Testament and how God is our loving and good Father in all those things.

Lesson 65

  1. Today will be our last day in the “objectionable things” section. It is often claimed that the Bible devalues women or encourages oppression of women. Let’s look at some verses, and then we’ll hear from Mrs. Giles again on God’s heart on this topic.
    1. Read Leviticus 27:1-7. The book of Leviticus is full of laws governing the daily life of the Israelites. This passage has to do with special vows made to the Lord. The NIV translation explains it this way: “‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value…” (verse 1).  What do you notice about the differing money values given to men and women?
    2. Read Galatians 3:28. What does it say about male and female? What do you think that means?
    3. Listen to and/or read this short lesson by Mrs. Giles.
    4. Don’t forget to view everything through the lens of God’s love!
    5. OPTIONAL: If you’d like to, you can listen to an additional lesson by Mrs. Giles on the husband being the “head” of the wife and the wife’s obligation to “submit” to her husband (see Ephesians 5:22-33). This topic is upsetting to some, so I’d encourage you to listen to her perspective. I made this one optional since it’s directed specifically to wives.

“Contradictions” in the Bible

Lesson 66

  1. Today we’re going to begin our last section of the course, entitled “Contradictions in the Bible.” Skeptics love to claim that there are countless obvious contradictions throughout Scripture. Is that true? Have you ever come across things that seem contradictory in your own reading of the Bible? We’ll look at some specific so-called contradictions that are commonly brought up, and look at some principles to consider when thinking about supposed contradictions in the Bible.
  2. Let’s start watching this video talk by Pastor Mike Winger on contradictions in the Bible. We’ll listen to the introduction and the first two so-called contradictions. Please listen until 13:12.  
    1. What does he suggest should be the first thing you say when someone says, “The Bible is full of contradictions”?
    2. Briefly summarize a plausible answer to the first so-called “contradiction” of how many angels were at the empty tomb.
    3. Briefly summarize a plausible answer to the second so-called “contradiction” of whether Jesus was a carpenter or carpenter’s son.
    4. What does he say is needed in most cases to answer supposed contradictions?
    5. Check your answers.

Lesson 67

  1. Let’s  watch the rest of  the talk by Pastor Mike Winger on contradictions in the Bible. Start watching at 13:13, the third so-called contradiction, and watch to the end.
    1. Briefly summarize a plausible answer to the supposed contradiction of where Jesus was when He healed the blind man. It seems that one passage says He was approaching Jericho and one says he was leaving Jericho.
    2. What if you had lived before this archeological discovery had been made and so you didn’t know a solution to this question? Would it have made sense to throw out your faith in the Bible because of the contradiction?
    3. Briefly summarize a plausible answer to the question of what time Jesus was crucified, since different Gospels seem to give different times.
    4. The question of how Judas died illustrates an important principle to keep in mind about many of these supposed contradictions…both accounts are true! Just different perspectives or perhaps slightly different points in the events are being described.
    5. How would you briefly respond to the claim that Genesis 1 and 2 are contradictory?
    6. Check your answers.

Lesson 68

  1. We’re going to look at a few more commonly brought up supposed contradictions in the Bible in this follow-up message by Pastor Mike Winger. Some of these are broader questions that the types of things we saw in the previous two lessons, which mostly involved seeming discrepancies between different Gospel accounts. Pastor Winger will point out several times that skeptics often come with really bad or childish theology (theology is basically the study of and understanding of God and His characteristics). We’ll watch the first part today. Watch till 16:54. 
    1. How could you respond to the question of “Does God change?” when faced with the two “contradictory” verses he brought up? What clears up this kind of seeming contradiction?
    2. How would you respond to the question of “Is God good to all?” when faced with the verses brought up? Again, we’ve got to look at the context, the verses before and after the passage in question.
    3. In the next one, we meet Dr. Bart Ehrman again. Briefly, how would you respond to the charge that Jesus is in confusion and despair about his death in Mark, but confident and sure in Luke?
    4. Check your answers.
    5. Towards the end of today’s section of the video he gives a useful illustration of the kind of silly skepticism often applied towards the Bible.

Lesson 69

  1. Today we’ll continue with Pastor Mike Winger’s video on some big supposed contradictions in the Bible. Start at 16:55 and watch till 24:03.
    1. How could you briefly respond to the question, “Has anyone seen God?” given the seemingly contradictory verses about seeing God?  Check your answers.
    2. This is optional, but I’d encourage you to watch the rest of the video (or at least some of it), and think through each of the supposed contradictions he brings up. Even if you don’t remember all the details, at least you’ll be aware of these issues if you come across them in the future, either in conversation with others or in your own Bible reading. I would especially suggest listening to his explanation of supposed contradictions #8 and #9, having to do with numbers.

Lesson 70

  1. Today’s lesson is the last lesson we’ll be spending on Bible contradictions. Today, I’m going to ask you to look at two Bible passages and explain why there is a “contradiction.” I’d like you to do your best to look carefully at the two passages (in two different Gospels), including the context (the verses before and after), and think about what might be a reasonable explanation for the apparent discrepancy. AFTER you give it your best shot just by using the Bible, you can listen to the video segment below giving a solution.
  2. So imagine a skeptic is trying to discourage you from believing the Bible. They say, “Did Jesus, at his trial, answer His accusers, or not?” Here are the two passages they give to “prove” that there is a contradiction in the Bible. Look at them carefully and write (or say out loud) a reasonable explanation. Remember you can just use the passages and their immediate context. You don’t need any extra research.
    1. Matthew 27:11-14
    2. John 18:33-34
  3. After you’ve thought and responded, start at point 8:00 of this Mike Winger talk to hear the solution. How close were you? Even if you didn’t use the exact same words, I’ll bet you were able to quickly see that there was no real contradiction in the two passages. I’d encourage you to listen to some of the other “contradictions” addressed in this video. They all are commonly-mentioned ones related to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Responding to Objections

Lesson 71

  1. Today we begin the final part of the course. I’m going to be giving you some objections, or questions, or false claims, which we have heard already in the course, and you’ll be responding to them. I would suggest you write the responses, both because they should be a bit longer and more complete than the short answers you’ve been asked to give so far in the course, and also so that you’ll be able to save them and look at them later if you need to review your responses. I would encourage you to share the question and your response with someone as well, either by reading it aloud or by recording yourself reading it. This will help you remember your responses better, and the other person will benefit from hearing it too!
  2. I’ll be giving you one question/objection at a time, and you’ll have two or three lessons in which to think, go back to look at materials from earlier in the course, research a little if necessary, write, and present. I will give you hints as to where you can find some help for each topic in our previously-covered materials. And don’t forget to pray and ask God to give you understanding. I won’t give you a minimum length, but make sure you are answering the question as completely as you can.
  3. So here’s your first challenge. Someone says to you, “You’re just a Christian because you were born into a Christian family. How can you say your religion is better than anyone else’s?” 
  4. You’ll have THIS LESSON PLUS THE NEXT TWO LESSONS to prepare and present your response. Remember, these don’t have just one right answer. Feel free to add additional arguments or information beyond what we talked about in the course.
  5. Here are some hints on where to find discussion of this kind of topic if you’d like to review. Check Lessons 17, 53, and 54. Feel free to include thoughts outside of those found in these lessons as well, including your personal experiences.

Lesson 72

  1. Today you will continue to work on answering the question/objection: “You’re just a Christian because you were born into a Christian family. How can you say your religion is better than anyone else’s?” You should finish writing and try to present it to someone by the end of Lesson 73.

Lesson 73

  1. Today you’ll finish answering the question: “You’re just a Christian because you were born into a Christian family. How can you say your religion is better than anyone else’s?”
  2. Again, try to present it to someone else, since it will be helpful for you and for the other person.
  3. If you’re already finished and have nothing to do, go back and review some of the earlier materials in the course which you feel “rusty” on.

Lesson 74

  1. Today we’ll start working on answering our second objection: “There’s no evidence for God. Until you prove Him to me, I’m assuming He doesn’t exist.” 
  2. Again, you’ll have THREE LESSONS (including this one) to answer this objection and present it to someone. Make sure you pace yourself; try to spend about 20 minutes or more each day working on this. Don’t save it all until the end.
  3. Here are some places to look for some help on this: Lessons 6-10, 12, 13, 19. Note that you don’t need to re-watch everything in all of those lessons; you can just skim them again to remind yourself of the main ideas relevant to the objection we’re answering.

Lesson 75

  1. Keep working on answering the objection: “There’s no evidence for God. Until you prove Him to me, I’m assuming He doesn’t exist.” You’ll need to be done by the end of Lesson 76.

Lesson 76

  1. Today you’ll finish up answering the objection: “There’s no evidence for God. Until you prove Him to me, I’m assuming He doesn’t exist.” 
  2. Don’t skip presenting this to someone if possible! You don’t know how much it might help someone to hear what you have to say.

Lesson 77

  1. Today we’ll begin working on answering an objection relating to the Bible: “The Bible is too full of mistakes and contradictions for me to believe it’s from God.” 
  2. You’ll have THREE LESSONS to work on this one.
  3. This is a big topic, but don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to go into lots of detail, but try to address each part of the objection: mistakes AND contradictions. This kind of thing happens a lot; there are often several issues rolled into one when someone brings an objection. You should also try to mention something about variant readings in the manuscripts…remember the number 400,000 that people like to toss around?
  4. NOTE that you will have an objection to answer later on concerning whether the Bible has been changed, so don’t spend much time on that issue now.
  5. Here are some places to look for help: Lessons 24, 28, 29, 31, 35, 37, 39, and 66.

Lesson 78

  1. Today we’ll continue working on answering the objection: “The Bible is too full of mistakes and contradictions for me to believe it’s from God.”

Lesson 79

  1. Today we’ll finish up answering the objection: “The Bible is too full of mistakes and contradictions for me to believe it’s from God.”
  2. Try to present it to someone!
  3. If you’ve already finished this and have nothing to do, keep reviewing past material that you don’t feel as confident about.

Lesson 80

  1. Today we’ll begin working on answering the objection: “There is so much evil and suffering in the world. I can’t believe that there’s a loving God Who would allow all this.” 
  2. You’ll have THREE LESSONS to work on this one.
  3. Here are places you can look for help: Lessons 11, 14, 15, 16.

Lesson 81

  1. Keep working on answering the objection: “There is so much evil and suffering in the world. I can’t believe that there’s a loving God Who would allow all this.” You’ll need to be done by the end of Lesson 82.

Lesson 82

  1. Today we’ll finish answering (and presenting) the objection: “There is so much evil and suffering in the world. I can’t believe that there’s a loving God Who would allow all this.”
  2. Remember, if you’re ever talking with people who have suffered a lot, to first and foremost be compassionate and love them like Jesus would. They might feel angry at God and say a lot of wrong things, but don’t get mad. Pray for them and love them.

Lesson 83

  1. Today we have another objection to face relating to the Bible: “The Bible has been changed over time.”
  2. You’ll have TWO lessons in which to answer this one. Try to stick to the issue of whether the Bible has or could have been changed. Emphasize different points than you brought up in the previous objection relating to the Bible.
  3. You can find help for this topic here: Lessons 31 and 32. 

Lesson 84

  1. Today we’ll finish answering the objection: “The Bible has been changed over time.”
  2. Try to present your response to someone!

Lesson 85

  1. Today we’ll answer an objection you may hear about Jesus: “There’s really no evidence that Jesus even existed.”
  2. You’ll have TWO LESSONS to answer this objection.
  3. Check out Lessons 41, 42, 43 to help you with this one. Stick to the main points; don’t get bogged down with too much detail.

Lesson 86

  1. Today we’ll finish up answering the objection: “There’s really no evidence that Jesus even existed.”

Lesson 87

  1. Today we’ll answer an objection about who Jesus claimed to be. This is a common objection you’ll hear, pretty much word-for-word, from both skeptics and Muslims: “Jesus never claimed to be God. Where in the Bible did He say, “I am God, worship me?”
  2. You’ll have TWO LESSONS for responding to this objection.
  3. You can look at Lessons 47 and 48 for help on this one.

Lesson 88

  1. Today you’ll finish up answering the objection: “Jesus never claimed to be God. Where in the Bible did He say, “I am God, worship me?”

Lesson 89

  1. Today we will face our last objection: “If there really is a God, why have his believers done so much evil and violence in the world, oftentimes in the name of God?”
  2. If you can, try to finish answering this objection today. It can be pretty short. If you need to finish it up on Lesson 90, that’s fine too.
  3. Check in Lesson 12 for help on this one if you need it. Let’s assume this objection is talking about events that happened after Bible times. You don’t need to try to address the violence mentioned in the Bible. As always, feel free to include your own thoughts as well.

Lesson 90

  1. Congratulations! Today is the last lesson of this course. You’ve made it. Please watch this video from Mr. G with a few parting words of wisdom. Here is the transcript of the video.
  2. Take whatever time you need today to finish answering/presenting the objection from Lesson 89.
  3. Please answer the poll at the bottom of the page.
  4. Here again is Mr. G’s email if you’d like to share any suggestions for the course or let him know if/how you found it helpful: eplanguagelive@gmail.com
  5. I will be adding helpful resources in apologetics here:
    1. Answering Muslim objections to Christianity.
    2. A good source for many issues in apologetics: apologeticspress.org
    3. A site devoted to responding to the claims and conclusions of atheist Bible scholar Dr. Bart Ehrman: the ehrmanproject.com
    4. Here are some helpful articles dealing the false claims made in The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, a novel that has had a huge impact on a lot of people’s ideas about the Bible and Christianity. We have already covered some of these issues in this course.

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