New Testament Archive

Do the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke contradict one another?

At first blush the genealogies of Matthew and Luke appear to be contradictory. In reality the genealogies are ingeniously constructed to highlight different aspects of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Matthew, writing to a primarily Jewish audience, emphasizes that Jesus Christ is the seed of Abraham and the legal heir of David, the […]

Do the Gospel accounts contradict one another?

During a prime-time television special titled The Search for Jesus, Peter Jennings asserted that according to some scholars, “the New Testament has four different and sometimes contradictory versions of Jesus’ life.” The Jesus Seminar scholars Jennings referenced, however, are famous for an idiosyncratic brand of fundamentalism that supplants reason and evidential substance with rhetoric and […]

Did Jesus make a crucial historical blunder in the Gospel of Mark?

One of the reasons cited by famed New Testament scholar and best-selling author Bart Ehrman for his transition from fundamentalist Christian to fundamentalist agnostic is that the gospel of Mark is riddled with factual and historical errors. A prominent example is that David and his men ate the showbread “when Abiathar was the high priest.” […]

Were Mark and Messiah mistaken about mustard seeds?

A tired old canard making the rounds these days is that the gospel of Mark and the God-man Messiah were both mistaken about the size of mustard seeds. The argument is typically framed as follows: Orchid seeds are smaller than mustard seeds. Thus when Mark records Messiah as saying that a mustard seed is the […]

Must women be silent in church?

The following words by the apostle Paul are frequently used to denigrate the Bible as sexist—“I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived […]

Can a woman be saved through childbearing?

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul says that “women will be saved through childbearing” (2:15). If this is the case, there must be more than one way to be saved. First, in the Jewish culture of Paul’s day, it was believed that if women died in childbirth it was a direct punishment for Eve’s […]

Can an unbeliever be saved by marrying a believer?

In his first letter to the Corinthian Christians, Paul says “the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her husband” (7:14). Does this mean that unbelievers are saved by virtue of being married to believers? First, if unbelievers can be saved through marriage, there would be […]

Does James teach salvation by works?

Critics of the Bible have long argued that the book of James contradicts the rest of Scripture in teaching “that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). Upon closer examination, however, the book of James, like the rest of Scripture, confirms that we are saved not by […]

Is baptism necessary for salvation?

Those who suppose baptism is necessary for salvation frequently cite Peter’s words in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized,” as evidence that belief plus baptism results in salvation. Scripture clearly does not support this view. First, as the book of Acts itself demonstrates, baptism is a sign of conversion, not the means of conversion. Indeed, […]

Gabriel’s Revelation

Synopsis In July of 2008 a flurry of academic journals and news sources reported a new archaeological artifact that might “shake our basic view of Christianity”—especially about first-century mes-sianic expectations and the resurrection accounts. The new find was a large stone tablet on which was written eighty-seven lines of Hebrew text in ink, but much […]