This is a quick summary of the Bible’s reliability by a famous and well-respected former atheist. Please check out his website (http://www.leestrobel.com) for hundreds of FREE high quality videos investigating the critical aspects of our faith.
My favorite “fake” “unconfirmed” quotes are those beginning with “Jesus said,” followed by anything enclosed in quotation marks, since the earliest gospel was written between 70 and 117 years after his supposed death and there were no eye-or-ear-witnesses to any of it.
But no matter. That’s what “faith” is all about. Unquestioning acceptance of hearsay as fact. And viciously attacking all who won’t play along with that pretense.
I responded with this:
I wanted you to know that the gospels were all finished before 100 AD. Patrick Zukeran of Probe Ministries reports:
The Rylands Papyri that was found in Egypt that contains a fragment of John, and dates to A.D. 130. From this fragment we can conclude that John was completed well before A.D. 130 because, not only did the gospel have to be written, it had to be hand copied and make its way down from Greece to Egypt. Since the vast majority of scholars agree that John is the last gospel written, we can affirm its first century date along with the other three with greater assurance.
A final piece of evidence comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls Cave 7. Jose Callahan discovered a fragment of the Gospel of Mark and dated it to have been written in A.D. 50. He also discovered fragments of Acts and other epistles and dated them to have been written slightly after A.D. 50 (Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2002), 530.)
I also earlier mentioned on another post about William Ramsey’s findings concerning the historical accuracy of the Book of Luke. Of course, two of the most amazing finds are the Ossuary of Caiaphas and the Pilate Inscription. Both were very instrumental during the original Easter week.
Ossuary of Caiaphas
Did this ossuary contain the bones of Caiaphas, high priest during the time of Jesus?
This beautifully decorated ossuary found in the ruins of Jerusalem, contained the bones of Caiaphas, the first century AD. high priest during the time of Jesus.
On the side (as seen above) and the back of the ossuary is inscribed Caiaphas’ name (“Yosef bar Caifa”).
(see Matt 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:13-14, 24, 28; Acts 4:6; Josephus, Ant. 23.25, 39). It was a custom in ancient Israel to store the bones of the dead in ossuaries. They gathered the bones about a year after burial.
Caiaphas, who’s name means “searcher” was appointed high priest (after Simon ben Camith) by the procurator Valerius Gratus, under Tiberius, 18 A.D.. He continued in office from A.D. 26 to 37, when the proconsul Vitellius deposed him. He was the president of the Jewish council (Sanhedrim) which condemned the Lord Jesus to death, Caiaphas declaring Him guilty of blasphemy.
Caiaphas was the official high priest during the ministry and trial of Jesus (Matt 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:13, 14, 24, 28; Acts 4:6).
It was Caiaphas who, unknowingly, made the incredible prophecy concerning God’s plan of sacrificing Jesus for the sins of the nation and even the whole world:
John 11:47-54 “Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.”
Matthew 26:3-5 “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
Matt 26:57-68 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end. Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
John 18:19-24 “The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”
The Jewish High Priests from 200 B.C to the Reign of Herod the Great
1. Simon II the Just, 220-190 B.C.
2. Onias III, 190-174 B.C.
3. Jason/Jeshua,175-172 B.C.
4. Menelaus, 172-162 B.C.
5. Alcimus, 162-156 B.C.
6. Jonathan, 153-142 B.C.
7. Simon, 142-135 B.C.
8. John Hyrcanus I, 134-104 B.C.
9. Aristobulus I, 104-103 B.C.
10. Alexander Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C.
11. Hyrcanus II, 76-67 B.C.
12. Aristobulus II, 67-63 B.C.
13. Hyrcanus II, 63-40 B.C.
14. Antigonus, 40-37 B.C.
The Jewish High Priests from Herod the Great to the Destruction of Jerusalem
15. Ananel, 37-36 B.C. (Appointed by Herod the Great)
16. Aristobulus III, 35 B.C.
17. Jesus, son of Phiabi, ? -22 B.C.
18. Simon, son of Boethus, 22-5 B.C.
19. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 5-4 B.C.
20. Joseph, son of Elam, 5 B.C.
21. Joezer, son of Boethus, 4 B.C.
22. Eleazar, son of Boethus, 4-1 B.C. – (Appointed by Herod Archelaus)
23. Jesus, son of Sie, 1 – 6 A.D.
24. Annas, 6-15 A.D. (Appointed by Quirinius)
25. Ishmael, son of Phiabi I, 15-16 A.D. (Appointed by Valerius Gratus)
26. Eleazar, son of Annas, 16-17 A.D.
27. Simon, son of Kamithos, 17-18 A.D.
28. Joseph Caiaphas, 18-37 AD.
29. Jonathan, son of Annas, 37 A.D. (Appointed by Vitellius)
30. Theophilus, son of Annas, 37-41 A.D.
31. Simon Kantheras, son of Boethus, 41-43 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa I)
32. Matthias, son of Annas, 43-44 A.D.
33. Elionaius, son of Kantheras, 44-45 A.D.
34. Joseph, son of Kami, 45-47 A.D. (Appointed by Herod of Chalcis)
35. Ananias, son of Nebedaius, 47-55 A.D.
36. Ishmael, son of Phiabi III, 55-61 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa II)
37. Joseph Qabi, son of Simon, 61-62 A.D.
38. Ananus, son of Ananus, 62 A.D.
39. Jesus, son of Damnaius, 62-65 A.D.
40. Joshua, son of Gamal iel, 63-65 A.D.
41. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 65-67 A.D.
42. Phinnias, son of Samuel, 67-70 A.D. (Appointed by The People)
Some dates cannot be known for certain.
I went to see the movie “The Conspirator” the other night and I really enjoyed it. Since then I have been digging up facts about the trial and the people involved in the trial.
The southern widow’s Maryland house was a crucial stop on the escape route for assassin John Wilkes Booth the night he shot the president.
As she mounted the gallows on a broiling summer day in 1865, Mary Surratt was shaded from the sun by an umbrella. She and three men, all convicted of conspiring to kill President Abraham Lincoln, were about to be hanged in a prison courtyard in Washington, D.C.
The umbrella is one of many fascinating details in Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator,” which focuses on the trial of the first woman executed by the U.S. federal government.
Director Redford and screenwriter James Solomon deserve credit for making a historical drama that largely sticks to the facts. The depiction of Surratt’s trial by a military tribunal is based on Solomon’s exhaustive research into the court transcripts and other written accounts of the trial.
Accuracy, however, doesn’t always produce a stirring story. “The Conspirator,” which is being released on the 146th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, is a talky, often ponderous film that’s better suited to the History Channel than your local multiplex.
The movie offers a sympathetic portrayal of Surratt, a widow who owned the Washington boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators plotted to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward.
The case against Surratt was relatively weak, mostly based on her son John’s involvement with Booth and the fact that the conspirators met under her roof. She denied knowing anything about the Lincoln plot and refused to turn against her son, who fled the country after the assassination. But the military court — Gitmo analogies are sure to be made — wanted a swift, sure resolution.
Surratt is played with quiet dignity by Robin Wright, looking as stern as a Sunday school teacher. The other central character is her unlikely attorney, Frederick Aiken (a bearded, studious James McAvoy), a Union war hero who reluctantly agreed to defend a Southern sympathizer accused of plotting to kill the president.
Redford quickly sets the stage with cross-cut scenes of Booth shooting Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, co-conspirator Lewis Powell savagely stabbing Seward in his bed (he survived) and their partner George Atzerodt getting drunk and failing to carry out his assignment to murder Johnson. The momentum stalls during the courtroom scenes, which are robotically enacted like a 19th- century version of “Law & Order.”
“The Conspirator,” from Roadside Attractions, opened yesterday across the U.S. Rating: **1/2