Monday, August 31, 2009

In My Last Letter - Theophilus

I ended my last post on the trustworhiness of Luke, with, "Now, you can look at these confirmed facts and call it mythology. You can look at these confirmed facts and doubt that he was an eyewitness."

This is exactly what atheists do. TAM says that because Luke also documents “miracles” none of what he says can be trusted.

In fact, Luke reports 35 miracles in the same letter to Theophilus where he lists those 84 historical facts listed in the last post. Like the rest of his letter, none of Luke’s miracle accounts show any signs of embellishment of change in literary style. Just the same historical accounting of events that took place while Luke was travelling with Paul. Does it make sense that Luke would be diligent in non essential details like the weather and be guilty of careless fabrication in the essentials?

In my mind, only an anti-supernatural bias would allow someone to call Luke a liar. In reality, Luke is so firmly established by experts in historical work that it takes far MORE faith to doubt what he says than to believe him.

There is no difference in writing styles between the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Luke himself says in his first letter to Theophilus, “Since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus.” (Luke 1:3).

Doesn’t it make sense that a historian of Luke’s caliber, who has been found trustworthy where he CAN be tested should be given the benefit of the doubt in cases where no tests are available? Doesn’t that make sense? If Luke has been bang on in all 84 points where he was tested, shouldn’t we trust him in other areas, at least until proven false?

Now some might say, “Well that was Acts, Luke was a different letter, a different time, a different subject.” Not really, the point of both letters was to help Theophilus, based on historical facts, believe that Jesus really is the Messiah.
This post is going to get too long but let’s just look at the Gospel of Luke for a second. Luke names twelve historically confirmed leaders in chapters 1 - 3. These have been independently confirmed by extra Biblical sources. Listen to just one example of what atheists call mythology.

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar - when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene - during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

That is history, NOT mythology. What’s more, historical writers such as Luke do not make statements that can be refuted by a child. The fact is, all twelve historical figures that Luke names in his Gospel are all validated by non Biblical, non Christian sources and / or by archaeology.

As a physician Luke even mentions, accurately medical conditions of which he knew nothing about. Luke 22:44 talks about what we now know as hematohidrosis, the “sweating” of blood under extreme emotional conditions. There is no way that Luke would have recorded this if it hadn’t taken place.

Historical scholar, William Ramsay says of Luke, “Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness. Luke is a historian of the first rank . . . He should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”

Regardless of what atheists tell you, Luke can be trusted. Furthermore, if Luke is telling the truth, then so are Mark and Matthew because they describe the same events in the life of Jesus as does Luke. Logic demands that we trust Luke. Atheist bigotry is the only factor keeping that trust from happening.


salvage said...

So... what you seem to be saying is that because he said some stuff that was true everything he said must be true?

If I say "1+1 = 2, the Capital of France is Paris and right now in my living room is a giant singing giraffe named Gerald who is performing Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' while juggling flaming snowballs." would you believe my third statement because the first two are provable?

And once again you make the same silly circle; the Bible is true because the Bible says it's true. I could write down all of Gerald's details, his life story, how he is able to juggle with cloven hoofs but that wouldn't make it so now would it?

The Atheist Missionary said...

salvage, that is exactly what he is saying. By the way, I don't believe that Gerald is in your living room because he's performing his act in my office right now.

salvage said...

With all due respect AM Gerald is under exclusive contract to me and my living room and is right now doing "Comfortably Numb". He's good at the Water's bit but can't hit Gilmour's ethereal high notes quite right. Something about his neck I suspect.

What you are looking at is Edger, Gerald's evil twin who was thrown out of the zoo in the early days for claiming that The Who's "Tommy" is a superior work.

Obviously mad and evil, good luck with that!