Research Articles: New Testament Era

Archaeological and historical articles dealing with events from the Intertestamental and New Testament Era, circa 400 B.C. - 150 A.D.

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Ancient Harbors of the Sea of Galilee 9/25/2014 - by Gordon Franz MA

Jesus spent much time on and around the Sea of Galilee with His fishermen-disciples. These disciples, who gave up all to follow Him (Lk 5:11), were good sailors. They knew the lake and its harbors well. The Gospels often refer to their maritime activities and the harbors they used. Now, for the first time in recent history, information on the harbors used by Jesus and His disciples has come to light. Sixteen harbors and anchorages have been identified and surveyed by the late Mendel Nun, a fisherman from Kibbutz Ein Gev (Nun 1989a). I am deeply indebted to him for sharing his wealth of knowledge concerning the lake and its history.

Some Ruminations on the Shroud of Turin 7/24/2014 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Because the Shroud of Turin has received much public attention in the news, on television and on the Internet, it needs little introduction. However, there has not been much truly recent news about the Shroud in the popular media, so I thought it was time to see if anything had slipped under my radar.

The 2014 Season at Khirbet el-Maqatir 6/23/2014 - by Scott Stripling DMin

Listen to this two-part radio interview with Dr. Scott Stripling about the 2014 excavation season at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

Digging Up Joshua's Ai: Week One of the 2014 Season 5/24/2014 - by Gary Byers MA

Week one of the 12th season of excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir is over. It is Saturday and we didn’t have to get up at 3:45AM, eat breakfast at 4:15 and be on the bus at 5:00! But the first 5 days of digging were worth it, producing some AMAZING results.

The Byzantine Church at Khirbet el-Maqatir: Does Its Structure Resemble the Temple? 4/30/2014 - by Leen Ritmeyer PhD

On February 8, 2014, a symposium was held at Houston Baptist University in conjunction with the new archaeological exhibit, " Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site." In this video, Dr. Leen Ritmeyer presents, "Does the Byzantine Church at Khirbet el-Maqatir Reflect the Sacred Architecture of the Temple in Jerusalem?"

The Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Part 2 4/20/2014 - by Gary R Gromacki PhD

“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty” (1 Cor 15:14). For Christians the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation of our faith. Apart from the resurrection, there is no gospel, no good news for a despairing world.

The Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Part 1 4/14/2014 - by Gary R Gromacki PhD

INTRODUCTION: Something happened over 1,970 years ago that changed the course of world history. This event turned men of fear into men of faith. This event explains the existence of the Church and changes in the lives of millions of believers. It is an event that Christians remember each Sunday as they gather together for worship. This event is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ritual Purity at Khirbet el-Maqatir's First Century Village and The First Jewish Revolt against Rome 4/3/2014 - by Scott Stripling DMin

On February 8, 2014, a symposium was held at Houston Baptist University in conjunction with the new archaeological exhibit, " Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site." Dr. Scott Stripling presents: "Ritual Purity at Khirbet el-Maqatir's First Century Village and First Jewish Revolt against Rome"

"How Beautiful are the Feet" on the Via Egnatia 2/19/2014 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Apostle Paul quoted Isaiah 52:7 in the tenth chapter of his epistle to the Romans. He wrote: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” (10:14-15, NKJV). In Isaiah’s day, as well as Paul’s day, the most common form of transportation was walking and Isaiah said the feet that carried the gospel of peace were beautiful!

Is It Time to Throw Away Your Bible?: "Bart Ehrman and The Reliability of the NT" 2/12/2014 - by ABR Staff

We presently live in a culture of great skepticism and confusion. Many scholars, scientists, historians and forces within culture believe the Bible is an outdated, irrelevant book, filled with fables, stories, and mythological constructs that are not based on reality. Members of the ABR staff gathered together in a roundtable discussion to talk about some of the criticisms presently being leveled against the Bible. In this 11 part series (on a 2 DVD set), find out why you can trust the Bible.

Luke The Physician: with "Medicine for the Souls" 1/23/2014 - by Gordon Franz MA

Eusebius (AD 260-340), considered to be the Father of Early Church History, described Luke the Physician in these terms: “Luke, who was by race an Antiochian and a physician by profession, was long a companion of Paul, and had careful conversation with the other Apostles, and in two books left us examples of the medicine for the souls which he had gained from them” (Eccl. Hist. 3.4.6; LCL 1:197).

Titus: Blessed Are The Peacemakers (And Administrators) 11/4/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

As the Lord Jesus sat on a hillside over looking the Sea of Galilee, He instructed His disciples with some of the most profound words ever uttered by human beings (Matt. 5:1-7:29). He began His discourse by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs in the Kingdom of Heaven” (5:3). He went on to say, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (5:9).

Loving People, Loving Truth: Jesus Speaks to His Church 10/28/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

New Testament Scripture displays an important panorama of passages, some hortatory and some didactic, calling the believer in Christ to be a student of written revelation and to confront false teachers and false teaching whenever it is manifested in the church. Typically this is seen in the training of individuals who will stand in spiritual leadership in the local assembly of believers: Elders must "be able to teach" (1 Timothy 3:2); Teachers will "incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1 NASB), as they stand as guides and shepherds to God's flock.

The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part 4: To Little Lirey 9/5/2013 - by John Long

This final part of the Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History addresses the means by which it left Constantinople in the east (in or not long after 1204) and reappeared about 150 years later in the little village of Lirey, France. The relic’s “good” history is acknowledged by almost all to begin about 1355 when a minor French nobleman with an outstanding reputation, Geoffrey de Charny, is believed to be the cloth’s first certain owner...

The Household of Stephanas: Firstfruits of Achaia 8/29/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Sometimes I will see this little ditty on the marquee of a church: “The family that prays together - stays together.” There is a lot of truth to that statement. I suspect that it was true of the household of Stephanas. Not only did they pray together, but they also poured their lives into serving the church at Corinth together.

Apollos: Eloquent and Mighty In the Scriptures 7/11/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Dr. Luke described the itinerant preacher Apollos as an “eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24). It is a rare combination to find a preacher who is both eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures. Usually a preacher is one or the other, or neither! Several examples of ones who are both are Charles Spurgeon, Charles Stanley and Chuck Swindoll. I guess if your name is Charlie you have a leg up on the competition!

"He Began to Send Them Out Two by Two..." 6/26/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Several reasons for a high attrition rate among missionaries are discouragement and loneliness on the mission field. An individual or couple may go out for a few years and when they return home for furlough, decide not to go back to the field again for these reasons. One wonders if following a Biblical pattern of mission might avoid some of these problems on the field. This paper will examine one aspect of Jesus’ instruction for mission. It is: He sent them out two-by-two in order to preach the gospel.

Epaphroditus: A Gambling Veteran 6/17/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers to imitate (follow) him as he followed the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:1). Paul, in his epistle to the church at Philippi, set forth several examples of believers who had the mind of Christ – the lowliness of mind, and esteemed others better then themselves (Phil. 2:3, 5). Paul intended for the Christians at Philippi to imitate these examples: one of whom was one of their own - Epaphroditus.

Aquila and Priscilla: A Godly Marriage for Ministry 6/12/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

When the apostle Paul penned the epistle to the Ephesians in AD 62, Aquila and Priscilla were back in Rome after living and serving the church in Ephesus for several years. I am sure; however, they were not forgotten by the saints there. Perhaps the Apostle Paul had Aquila and Priscilla in mind as an example of a Spirit-filled husband and wife when he penned Ephesians 5:18-33.

"Reinventing Jesus": Book Review 5/10/2013 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

As one who spends most of his time investigating the archaeology of the Old Testament, "Reinventing Jesus: How Contemporary Skeptics Miss the Real Jesus and Mislead Popular Culture" is a much appreciated primer on the historical evidence for the New Testament. It also functions as a comprehensive presentation and refutation of the major objections commonly heard in today’s post-modern landscape...

Mutiny on the HMS Corinth: Under-Rowers for Captain Jesus 4/12/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

On April 28, 1789, eighteen sailors from the crew of the HMS Bounty, led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, mutinied against Lieutenant William Bligh because he was allegedly cruel to them, but more than likely the mutineers were smitten by the beauty of the women on the islands of Tahiti and Pitcairn.

Passion Week Archaeology 3/29/2013 - by Joel Kramer

A powerful and moving video from Joel Kramer...

The Shroud of Turin's Earlier History: Part Three: The Shroud of Constantinople 3/28/2013 - by John Long

Part 1 of this survey began an admittedly sympathetic summary of Ian Wilson’s theory (updated) that Jesus’ NT burial shroud was quietly preserved from antiquity, but only gradually introduced into Christian traditions as The Holy Image of Edessa. This was a famous cloth on which Jesus supposedly imprinted his face and sent to 1st century King Abgar V in Edessa (modern Urfa in Turkey.

Refuting Contemporary Attacks on the Resurrection: Part Three with Gordon Franz 3/25/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Part Three of Gordon Franz's discussion refuting many of the popular and contemporary attacks on the Resurrection of Jesus.

Refuting Contemporary Attacks on the Resurrection: Part Two with Gordon Franz 3/21/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Part Two of Gordon Franz's discussion refuting many of the popular and contemporary attacks on the Resurrection of Jesus.

The Shroud of Turin's Earlier History: Part Two: To the Great City 3/20/2013 - by John Long

The Shroud of Turin's Earlier History is a four part review of the historical evidence for the Shroud of Turin from the 1st century to the beginning of the 15th. In Part 1 a mysterious picture slowly emerges from antiquity as a cloth on which Jesus supposedly imprints his face and sends to a king in the northern Mesopotamian city of Edessa. But during the 8th through 10th centuries additional evidence suggests that this is a large, folded cloth depicting Christ's full, bloodied body.

Refuting Contemporary Attacks on the Resurrection: Part One with Gordon Franz 3/19/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Part One of Gordon Franz's discussion refuting many of the popular and contemporary attacks on the Resurrection of Jesus.

The Shroud of Turin's Earlier History: Part One: To Edessa 3/14/2013 - by John Long

If Biblical Archaeology is defined loosely as “the study of the ancient things related to the Bible,” then surely the sindon, linen used to wrap Jesus’ body in death, has to be of interest. Most informed Christians now know that there is a serious candidate, the Shroud of Turin.

The Mustard Tree 3/6/2013 - by Joel Kramer

The tree in this video, many believe, is the mustard tree mentioned in the Gospels.

Cornuke's Faulty Computer Model of Paul's Shipwreck on Malta: An Exercise in Digital Guesswork 2/21/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

This article is dedicated to my Maltese and American friends searching for the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck on Malta. St. Paul’s Day – February 10, 2013

John the Baptist: the First Believer in Christ to be Martyred 2/20/2013 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Three early martyrdoms are recorded in the New Testament: John the Baptist in ca. AD 31, Stephen in ca. AD 35 and James the apostle in ca. AD 44. There would be countless others that would follow in their train. In this article I would like to briefly consider the history and archaeology associated with the first Christian martyr, John the Baptist.

The Prophecy of Jesus and The Temple 2/8/2013 - by Scott Stripling DMin

Dr. Scott Stripling discusses the prophecy of Christ in Matthew 24:1 in this video clip, foretelling the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.

ABR Discovers a Baptistry in the Khirbet el-Maqatir Monastery 1/4/2013 - by Scott Stripling DMin

Dr. Scott Stripling discusses the discovery of a baptistry in the Khirbet el-Maqatir monastery. Early Christians would have been baptized in this facility by immersion. December 2012.

Josephus (not Luke) Misdated Quirinius’s Census 12/18/2012 - by Jared M Compton

John Rhoads argues in a recent article that it was Josephus, not Luke, who misdated Quirinius’s census. Jared Compton offers a brief review of Rhoads' thesis.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Five 11/6/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical context and archaeological background surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Five consists of a summary and a question and answer session.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Four 11/2/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical context and archaeological background surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Four continues with more of the relevant Biblical texts and houses from the 1st century AD.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Three 10/30/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical context and archaeological background surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Three continues with more of the relevant Biblical texts.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part Two 10/26/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical events surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part Two includes a further discussion of the relevant biblical texts.

Follow Me 10/25/2012 - by Joel Kramer

Another great video clip from ABR Associate and Friend, Joel Kramer.

The Christmas Story: How Well Do You Know It? Part One 10/19/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers discusses the historical events surrounding the Birth of Christ. Part One includes an introduction to the relevant biblical texts.

Brief Reflections on the So-Called "Jesus Wife" Fragment 9/24/2012 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

A Harvard study on a papyrus fragment apparently making mention of Jesus and a "wife" was recently published. ABR Director of Development, Henry Smith, writes this brief commentary for ABR supporters and web visitors.

Fishers of Men 9/24/2012 - by Joel Kramer

Living in Israel for the past five years, I have spent time with both shepherds and fishermen. Today's video short brings to life Matthew 4:18-19 where we learn that Peter is a fishermen on the Sea of Galilee who leaves everything to follow Jesus.

Text and Tell: The Excavations at Bethsaida 9/14/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

This article outlines the debate over the location of Bethsaida.

Benedict's Anchor: Was It From the Shipwreck of the Apostle Paul on Malta? 9/13/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

On Saturday, April 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI visited the island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. On his stop at the Church of St. Paul’s Grotto in the city of Rabat, he was shown an inscribed lead Roman anchor stock that had been discovered five years earlier off the coast of Malta.

Why the Shipwreck of Paul Was Not on the Munxar Reef on Malta 8/7/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

Reasons Why the Apostle Paul and Dr. Luke Were Not Shipwrecked on the Munxar Reef off Malta...

New Light on the Book of Daniel from the Dead Sea Scrolls 7/31/2012 - by Gerhard Hasel PhD

This article was originally published by Dr. Hasel in 1992, and was reproduced in Bible and Spade with permission. Though the article is 20 years old, it has still significant information about the Book of Daniel found amongst the Dead Seas Scrolls. Most importantly, the existence of Daniel in the DSS disproves the skeptical position that Daniel was originally written in the 2nd century BC. This position has been taken by skeptics to avoid the detailed prophecies in Daniel that ultimately came to pass, strong evidence for the divine authorship of Scripture.

Outstanding Finds Made at Khirbet el-Maqatir: May 28–June 8, 2012 7/17/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The tenth excavation season of the ABR-sponsored dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir was conducted from May 28 to June 8, 2012, under the direction of the author.[1] The following report provides readers with the most up to date information from our excavations in Israel as we continue to uncover evidence related to the events of Joshua chapters 7-8.

Going for the Gold: The Apostle Paul and the Isthmian Games 7/16/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

A sport shoe company ran an advertisement during the 1996 Olympics, with the line, “You do not win the silver medal, you lose the gold!” That line caught the essence of athletic competition. The athlete enters the competition with the goal of winning the event, not losing it.

Book Review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology: Part II 7/12/2012 - by Rodger C. Young MA

Book review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology, by Andrew E. Steinmann. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. Hardback, 421 + xxxviii pages. Part II.

Book Review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology: Part I 7/9/2012 - by Rodger C. Young MA

Book review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology, by Andrew E. Steinmann. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. Hardback, 421 + xxxviii pages.

Not So Fast!: "Brother of Jesus" Might Be Authentic, But Not "James, The Son of Joseph" 6/28/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

After a trial of more than five years with 138 witnesses, more than 400 exhibits and a trial transcript of 12,000 pages, Judge Aharon Farkash of the Jerusalem District Court cleared the defendants of all forgery charges in the case of the James Ossuary. Still, the trial details leave us with concerns about the total authenticity of this artifact. ABR Staff member Gordon Franz interviewed one of the trial witnesses and conservator, Orna Ohen, in 2008.

The Temple of Caesar Augustus at Caesarea Philippi 4/17/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Lord Jesus was in the region of Caesarea Philippi when He asked His disciples: “Who do men say that I am?” What prompted Him to ask this question? I believe the geography and archaeology of the area gives us a clue. Jesus and His disciples walked the Roman road from Bethsaida toward Caesarea Philippi when they came across a beautiful temple built to honor Caesar Augustus, a mere mortal man who was deified by the Roman Senate upon his death, but a man who was venerated as a deity in life in the Eastern Roman Empire.

The Battle of Philippi: The Battle that Changed the Course of Western Civilization 10/28/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

There are few events in world history that are “game changers,” that change the course of human history and civilization. December 7, 1941 stands out because it was a “day that will live in infamy.” That was the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor which led the United States into World War II.

"The Lost Shipwreck of Paul": A Critique of the Video 9/6/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

Robert Cornuke, a retired police officer and now president of the BASE Institute, has recently released a video (August 2011) about his adventures on the island of Malta. In the video he located old divers and spear fisherman on the island who claimed they found four lead anchor stocks off the Munxar Reef of St. Thomas Bay in 90 feet of water during the 1960’s and 70’s.

The Physical Resurrection a Historical Fact: Part Three 8/18/2011 - by Rene Lopez PhD

Dr. Rene' Lopez, author of the book, The Jesus Family Tomb Examined: Did Jesus Rise Physically?, has graciously granted permission to ABR to publish Chapter 10 of this important and well-researched book. This is the third part of a three part online article. Concerning this book, Dr. Darrell Bock writes: "This work by Rene A. Lopez covers the issues ranging from every angle: archeological, historical, and theological. Rene has gone through the many discussions these claims have generated, giving them a close look. He is well equipped to guide one through the myriad of questions these claims have raised. This is the book to get on the Jesus Tomb claims. In it, you will be able to assess what the discussion is about. I commend the book with enthusiasm. I think you will discover a great deal in the process."

The Physical Resurrection a Historical Fact: Part Two 8/8/2011 - by Rene Lopez PhD

Dr. Rene' Lopez, author of the book, The Jesus Family Tomb Examined: Did Jesus Rise Physically?, has graciously granted permission to ABR to publish Chapter 10 of this important and well-researched book. This is the second part of a three part online article. Concerning this book, Dr. Darrell Bock writes: "This work by Rene A. Lopez covers the issues ranging from every angle: archeological, historical, and theological. Rene has gone through the many discussions these claims have generated, giving them a close look. He is well equipped to guide one through the myriad of questions these claims have raised. This is the book to get on the Jesus Tomb claims. In it, you will be able to assess what the discussion is about. I commend the book with enthusiasm. I think you will discover a great deal in the process."

Martyrium of Apostle Philip Found 8/4/2011 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

For more than fifty years an Italian archaeological mission has excavated at the ancient site of Hierapolis, Turkey, 250 km. east of Izmir in the western section of the country.

The Physical Resurrection a Historical Fact: Part One 8/4/2011 - by Rene Lopez PhD

Dr. Rene' Lopez, author of the book, The Jesus Family Tomb Examined: Did Jesus Rise Physically?, has graciously granted permission to ABR to publish Chapter 10 of this important and well-researched book. This is the first part of a three part online article. Concerning this book, Dr. Darrell Bock writes: "This work by Rene A. Lopez covers the issues ranging from every angle: archeological, historical, and theological. Rene has gone through the many discussions these claims have generated, giving them a close look. He is well equipped to guide one through the myriad of questions these claims have raised. This is the book to get on the Jesus Tomb claims. In it, you will be able to assess what the discussion is about. I commend the book with enthusiasm. I think you will discover a great deal in the process."

Spiritual Lessons from the Pool of Siloam (Part 5) 5/20/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Question and Answer session with Rev. Gary Byers about the Pool of Siloam, and the miracle associated with the blind man of John 9.

Spiritual Lessons from the Pool of Siloam (Part 4) 5/17/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers explains the archaeology and history of the Pool of Siloam, and the miracle associated with the blind man of John 9.

Spiritual Lessons from the Pool of Siloam (Part 3) 5/2/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers explains the archaeology and history of the Pool of Siloam, and the miracle associated with the blind man of John 9.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Part 2 4/22/2011 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

ABR Director of Development, Henry B. Smith Jr., discusses the Resurrection of Jesus and the Nazareth Inscription.

More on Simcha Jacobovici and the Nails from Caiaphas' Tomb 4/21/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici held a news conference in Jerusalem. In it, he claimed that two nails, excavated more than 20 years ago, were the ones hammered into the hands of Jesus at His crucifixion. The nails, which had “disappeared” soon after the excavations, were recently rediscovered in the labs of Tel Aviv University and are now in his possession. In an interview with Bloomberg News (April 12, 2011), he claimed: “Do I know 100 percent that these nails were used to crucify Jesus? No, I think we have a very compelling case to say: these are them.”

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Part 1 4/20/2011 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

ABR Director of Development, Henry B. Smith Jr., discusses the Resurrection of Jesus.

Simcha Jacobovici and the Nails From Caiaphas' Tomb 4/14/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, a news conference was held in Jerusalem by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici. In it, he claimed that two nails that were excavated more than 20 years ago were hammered into the hands of Jesus at His crucifixion. They had “disappeared” soon after the excavations but were recently rediscovered in the labs of Tel Aviv University and are now in his possession. In an interview with Bloomberg News (April 12, 2011), he claimed: “Do I know 100 percent that these nails were used to crucify Jesus? No, I think we have a very compelling case to say: these are them.”

Spiritual Lessons from the Pool of Siloam (Part 2) 4/11/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers explains the archaeology and history of the Pool of Siloam, and the miracle associated with the blind man of John 9.

Spiritual Lessons from the Pool of Siloam (Part 1) 4/1/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers explains the archaeology and history of the Pool of Siloam, and the miracle associated with the blind man of John 9.

The Demoniacs of Gadara 3/7/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

The account in the Synoptic gospels of the demoniacs of Gadara is a pivotal event in the Galilean ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This event is recorded in all three Synoptic gospels (Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39). This paper will examine several “problems” relating to this account and then an attempt will be made to place it in proper perspective in relation to the whole of the Lord Jesus’ ministry.

Why Were The Sailors Afraid Of The Syrtis Sands (Acts 27:17)? 1/5/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

On the Apostle Paul’s ill-fated journey to Rome, the ship he traveled on was blown off course soon after leaving the Cretan anchorage of Fair Haven (Acts 27:8-12). Dr. Luke, who accompanied the Apostle Paul on this voyage, records the details of the storm that hit during their voyage.

The Christmas Myth as Displayed by the American Atheists 12/21/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

At the beginning of this Christmas season (2010), I was going into New York City to do some research at the New York Public Library. As usual, I took public transportation into the city (it’s less stressful than driving and you don’t have to worry about parking). As we were approaching the Palisades in the bus lane to the Lincoln Tunnel, I saw out the left-hand side of the bus a billboard that caught my attention. It had what looked like a scene from a Christmas card. I thought to myself: “That’s nice; somebody is wishing us a joyous Christmas.” As the bus got closer, I saw the three wise men riding their camels in the starlit night toward an open-sided shelter with a gabled thatched roof next to a couple of palm trees; a donkey was tied to the stall, a bright star overhead, and Mary and Joseph watching over the new-born Baby Jesus. Then I saw the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON!” It was signed by the American Atheists and said they were “Reasonable since 1963.” Their web address was also given.

Christmas Reflections 12/9/2010 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, KJV).

King of Kings 12/8/2010 - by Scott Lanser MA

"He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thought..." Luke 1:51

Biblical Archaeology at Capernaum: Part Three 10/7/2010 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers, in his humorous and engaging style, examines the details of the story in Mark 1, including archaeological excavations uncovering Peter's house and the Synagogue at Capernaum...

Biblical Archaeology at Capernaum: Part Two 9/27/2010 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers, in his humorous and engaging style, examines the details of the story in Mark 1, including archaeological excavations uncovering Peter's house and the Synagogue at Capernaum.

Biblical Archaeology at Capernaum: Part One 9/24/2010 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers, in his humorous and engaging style, examines the details of the story in Mark 1, including archaeological excavations uncovering Peter's house and the Synagogue at Capernaum.

Shechem: Its Archaeological and Contextual Significance 6/25/2010 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent example of the importance of context in developing a passage. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.

Who Framed Jesus? Putting the Recent Discovery Channel Special in Perspective 5/14/2010 - by Scott Lanser MA

In March of this year we were treated to yet another edition of information media’s relentless infatuation with reinterpreting and redefining the Bible with its insufferable post-modern spin. The Discovery Channel’s, Who Framed Jesus? was released just in time to throw a wet blanket on anyone who might actually believe the Bible’s account of the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Paraded before us was the predictable mixed bag of scholars and pseudo-scholars, who, in the typical fashion of those who have rejected the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, offered their mush-minded opinions of what must have “really” been the cause of Jesus’ supposed “framing”...

“Meat Offered to Idols” in Pergamum and Thyatira 4/6/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

This article deals with understanding the phrase “meat offered to idols” in two of the letters that the Lord Jesus addressed to the seven churches. Dr. Charles A. Kennedy has set forth, in my opinion, the best explanation for the phrase “meat offered to idols.” The phrase should be understood as a memorial meal for the dead that sometimes degenerates into an immoral affair. If this understanding is correct, the interpretation will help clarify the message of the letters to the churches at Pergamum and Thyatira...

Is the Resurrection Historically Reliable? 3/31/2010 - by Jared M Compton

Is the Resurrection historically reliable? The writers of Scripture, particularly Paul and the gospel writers, seem to have thought so....

Resurrection: Reason to Believe or Wishful Thinking? 3/28/2010 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

At Easter you may have unique opportunities to share your faith with others who otherwise pay little attention to the Christian creed. Are you prepared to provide them reason to believe?

Thinking Clearly About the "Jesus Family Tomb" 3/26/2010 - by Michael S Heiser PhD

According to James Tabor, after John was executed by Herod, Jesus went to Jerusalem and confronted the Jewish religious leadership with their corruption, demanding a return to righteousness and the kingdom of God. Jesus expected God’s help and protection in this mission, but was instead crucified. Jesus did not rise from the dead—an idea Tabor argues developed much later...

From The Mailbox 3/18/2010 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

We frequently find that skeptics and atheists visit our website, read something that sets them off, and post a diatribe to the Comments area. Most of the time these remarks are never published, since they represent emotional outbursts rather than an honest wrestling with facts. But once in a while, even if we do not make the comments public, we nevertheless send a personal reply to the writer...

Silver Coins in Syria and Rejoicing in Heaven 3/17/2010 - by Gary Byers MA

A March 2, 2010 press release by the official Syrian news agency, SANA, and a March 4, 2010 AP article by Albert Aji provide information about the discovery of 252 silver coins from the time of Alexander the Great. A man in the Manbej area of northern Syria found them while digging the foundation for a new house. Youssef Kanjo, head of the excavations department at the Aleppo Department of Archaeology and Museums, confirmed there were 115 silver drachmas and 137 silver tetradrachmas found in a bronze container...

“Searching for Paul’s Shipwreck on Malta”: A Critique of the 700 Club’s February 26, 2010 Program 3/2/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

On Friday morning, February 26, 2010, on CBN’s 700 Club program, Chuck Holton submitted a report about a man who believes he found an “amazing Biblical discovery” on Malta. This nine-minute video segment featured Robert Cornuke presenting his theory about the location of the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Malta...

The King and I: Opening The Third Seal, Part 3 2/11/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

This is the third and final article in a series on the background to Revelation 1:9. This article examines some modern prophetic interpretations of events related to opening the Third Seal. Drawing on ancient and modern agricultural practices in the region, the author offers some fresh insights into the phrase “do not harm the oil and the wine.”

Interrupting Ehrman: Critiquing His Latest Polemic Against the Faith 2/4/2010 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The indefatigible skeptic is at it again...His most recent polemic is entitled: Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them). Easily identified and refuted by committed Christian scholars and apologists who take Biblical authority seriously, this book targets the unsuspecting layman in the pew. And THAT makes it worth critiquing...

The Resurrection of the Jerusalem Saints at the Feast of the Firstfruits 2/1/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

I would like to examine Matthew 27:51-54 in light of what we know of Jewish burial practices in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, and then ask two questions, “What happened to these resurrected saints?” “What is the prophetic significance of the veil of the Temple being torn in two from top to bottom and the saints being resurrected?”

The King and I: Exiled To Patmos, Part 2 1/28/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

Second in a series on the Book of Revelation, this article examines the physical and historical evidence for the Aegean island of Patmos. The author draws from both ancient sources and his own exploration of the island to provide a greater understanding of the Book of Revelation.

The King and I: The Apostle John and Emperor Domitian, Part 1 1/18/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

Emperor Domitian, the self-proclaimed “Lord and God” and ruthless dictator, reigned from AD 81 to 96. He was the son of Emperor Vespasian and the brother of Titus, the conquerors of Jerusalem in AD 70. Late in life, Domitian become very superstitious. In fact, on the day before he was murdered...

Golgotha: A Reconsideration of the Evidence for the Sites of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Burial 1/11/2010 - by Joan Taylor

Currently, the most popular alternative site to traditional Golgotha, located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, is the area of Gordon’s Calvary, with the so-called ‘Garden Tomb,’ but scholarly endorsement of this locality has never been very strong. Generally, the current consensus holds that Golgotha was located in the vicinity of the traditional site, somewhere north of the first wall of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, and west of the second wall, though specificity is impossible. In this article, I would like to consider how specific we might be about the localizations of Jesus’ death and entombment...

The Ultimate Sign: Isaiah 7 12/17/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

In Isaiah chapter 7, God demonstrates His faithfulness to a promise that He made with King David concerning the Davidic dynasty by giving the ultimate sign to the House of David. The sign would be a virgin born Son named Immanuel, God with us. As we examine this passage carefully, we will see from the historical context that Matthew is not taking verse 14 out of context in order to “proof-text” the virgin birth of Jesus. Moreover, the context is clearly pointing to the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus as the fulfillment of this passage in Isaiah 7. The Lord Jesus Christ is the sinless Immanue and God manifest in human flesh.

The Slaughter of the Innocents: Historical Fact or Legendary Fiction? 12/8/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

In the December 2008 issue of National Geographic there was a well illustrated article on the recent excavations at the Herodian. This was the final burial place of Herod the Great, located 5 ½ kilometers southeast of Bethlehem as the angels fly. In the article, the author made this bold statement, reflecting current historical and theological understanding: “Herod is best known for slaughtering every male infant in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Jesus. He is almost certainly innocent of this crime” (Mueller 2008:42). Was Herod the Great really innocent of this crime, or did this criminal act actually happen?

Jesus Celebrates Hanukkah! 11/17/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that commemorates the purification and rededication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus on Kislev 25, 165 BC (usually in December). Three years prior, Antiochus IV, the Seleucid (Syrian) king, defiled the Temple by erecting an idol to Baal Shamen (the Canaanite counterpart for the Greek god Zeus), sacrificing a pig on the altar in the Temple and proclaiming himself to be a god...

The Pastor and the Christmas Story 11/8/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

It was my 12th year as pastor of the same church. I had done a Christmas series of messages every December each year. Over the last couple of years it became increasingly difficult to come up with a new take on the old story. You might not have considered it before, but finding new material for every Christmas is not an easy task for a pastor – especially after being in the same church for a dozen years!

In Quest of the Temple Mount 11/3/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

In a sense, this book is the culmination of Leen Ritmeyer’s life and career. Of the April 1984 International Congress of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, when his collaborative work with Benjamin Mazar was presented, Ritmeyer wrote, “At this defining moment in my life, I realized the unraveling of the mysteries of the Mount had become my personal quest (p. 12)”.

Once More: Quirinius's Census 11/1/2009 - by Jared M Compton

For those of us with a high view of Scripture, the fact that Luke’s record is indeed part of Scripture suggests that conclusions that claim the Bible is in error are not only premature but are, in the end, simply wrong. Further evidence will only demonstrate this more conclusively...

Away In a Manger But Not In a Barn 10/26/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

We all know the Christmas story…or do we? I would like to suggest a slightly different view on the subject, based on a careful reading of the Biblical text and insights from archaeology.

Rethinking The Crucified Man From Giv’at Ha-Mivtar 10/15/2009 - by John J Davis ThD

The 1968 discovery of the remains of a crucified man in a cave at Giv’at ha-Mivtar in Israel created considerable interest among both Biblical and archaeological scholars...

New Discoveries Relating to the Apostle Paul 10/8/2009 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

Any visitor to the imperial city of Rome cannot help but notice its antiquity on display. Indeed, the prominence of Christian monuments is a testament to the rise of the early church during the first centuries after Christ’s death and its continued development over nearly two thousand years. The best known of these is St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. But lesser known are those relating to the Apostle Paul...

The Nazareth Inscription: Proof of the Resurrection of Christ? Part II 7/28/2009 - by Clyde E. Billington PhD

As was seen in Part One of this study, the textual evidence strongly suggests that the Nazareth Inscription was written by the Emperor Claudius. Claudius had an excellent...

The Nazareth Inscription: Proof of the Resurrection of Christ? Part I 7/22/2009 - by Clyde E. Billington PhD

The Nazareth Inscription is a Greek inscription on a marble tablet measuring approximately 24 inches by 15 inches. The exact time and place of its discovery is not known...

The Jesus Tomb Unmasked 3/29/2009 - by Joel Kramer

In 1980, a tomb was discovered in Jerusalem. Recently, the documentary, The Jesus Family Tomb, claimed that two bone boxes found in the tomb contained the bones of Jesus Christ and his wife. But what does the evidence REALLY say? Was Jesus married? Have his bones really been found? See for yourself in this cutting edge video from Sourceflix.

Easter Readings 3/29/2009 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

It is inevitable...predictable...almost certain. Each year, some unbelieving scholar or entertainer seemingly comes out of nowhere with an erroneous theory that supposedly debunks the historical and bodily resurrection of the Son of God. The Da Vinci Code, the Gospel of Judas, Bloodline, The Jesus Family Tomb, liberal theologians, and even some so-called 'evangelical' scholars...on and on the list goes of those who, year after year after year, fecklessly attack the central doctrine of the Christian faith.

The Imperial Cult and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus 3/23/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

Paul writes that the Lord Jesus was “born of the Seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” It was the covenant promise of God to David and the bodily resurrection that set Him apart from all the Roman emperors...

Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead 3/20/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

There are two incidents recorded in the Gospels when a disciple requested a “leave of absence” in order to “bury” his father (Matt. 8:21-22; Luke 9:59-60). Although the requests appear reasonable, Jesus gave a seemingly harsh reply in each case: “Follow Me, let the dead bury their own dead.”...

Jesus and the Sea of Galilee 3/6/2009 - by Todd Bolen

According to the gospels, Jesus’ earthly ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee. While important events occurred in Jerusalem, the Lord spent most of the three years of His ministry along the shore of this freshwater lake. Here He gave more than half of His parables and here He performed most of his miracles...

Gods, Gold And The Glory Of Philippi 2/13/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Apostle Paul’s visit to Macedonia marked the first time he set foot on European soil. However, this was not the first time the gospel was proclaimed in Europe...

The Angelic Proclamation to the Shepherds 12/23/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

I would like to draw back the curtains on the Drama of World Redemption and take a peek at what was going on behind the scenes...

Who Is Immanuel? 12/17/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Incarnation is at the heart of the Christmas message. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tm 3:16). The only way the Second Person of the triune God could take on human flesh without being tainted by Adam’s sin was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin...

Mary's Magnificat: The Mercy of God 12/11/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

I would like to tell you a story that is true. I am not making it up...

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem 12/7/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

During the Christmas season, we are inundated with images of Bethlehem from Christmas cards or Sunday School material that depicts somebody's imagination of what Bethlehem looked like 2,000 years ago. Some Christmas cards...

Incomprehensible 12/7/2008 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

As the pages of redemptive history unfold, they reach a culmination in the early pages of the Gospels, at the birth of Jesus Christ, the mysterious incarnation of the Lord of Glory...

The Manger and the Inn 11/8/2008 - by Kenneth Bailey PhD

Our understanding of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus are usually formed by our exposure to the traditional Christmas story. Upon further examination of the Biblical references, archaeological evidence and 1st century cultural context, the details surrounding Jesus' birth may be quite different than we have traditionally thought...

A Brief Comment on the Census in Luke 2 10/16/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The issue of the Luke 2 census has been debated for decades, but there are solutions to the apparent Bible problem...

For Young Archaeologists: Herod the Great 9/18/2008 - by Lisette Brody

Herod the Great was the first Herod to rule over all of Israel. Among his list of accomplishments are numerous fortresses, buildings and cities he erected, including rebuilding the great Temple in Jerusalem, and expanding the Temple Mount where it stood...

Ehrman on Abiathar: Is the Bible Ever Mistaken? 6/17/2008 - by Daryl Witmer

It seems possible that Bart Ehrman’s mission in life would have been altered had he only realized that resolving the “Abiathar problem” was not so impossible to solve — that it certainly didn’t require anyone to conclude that either Mark or Jesus or both had made a mistake. Other intellectually credible resolutions have been proposed...

BLOODLINE: Serious Documentary or Hollywood Hoax? 5/26/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

Incontrovertible proof to refute Christianity?

What is the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls? 5/21/2008 - by Will Varner PhD

The Dead Sea Scrolls have demonstrated that the Old Testament was accurately transmitted during this interval. In addition, they provide a wealth of information on the times leading up to, and during, the life of Christ...

The Parable of the Two Builders 2/6/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

When Jesus preached a sermon, told a parable, or gave a discourse, He always used object lessons that were familiar to His hearers in order to illustrate His point...

Greatest Fish Stories Ever Told 12/5/2007 - by Gordon Franz MA

As the calm waters reflected the slowly rising sun over the Sea of Galilee, a lonely figure walked from Capernaum along a path near the rocky shore of the lake. On this spring day, He noticed the flowers...

Divine Healer: Jesus vs. Eshmun 11/28/2007 - by Gordon Franz MA

This article addresses itself to the background of the third miracle or sign, the incident which took place at Bethesda (John 5). When did the event take place? Where did it take place? How do the archaeological discoveries shed light on this passage? And what are the practical and theological implications of this event?

Three Woes! 8/15/2007 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The center of Jesus' Galilean ministry was an area now called the "evangelical triangle." At the points of this triangle were the towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum...

The So-Called Jesus Family Tomb 'Rediscovered' in Jerusalem 3/17/2007 - by Gordon Franz MA

On Monday morning, February 26, 2007, I heard this opening statement by Matt Lauer on the NBC Today show: "Is this the tomb of Jesus? A shocking new claim that an ancient burial place may have housed the bones of Christ and a son. This morning a Today exclusive that could rock Christianity to its core."...

The Tyrian Shekel and the Temple of Jerusalem 11/1/2006 - by Gordon Franz MA

Every year, a Jewish man, 20 years old and older, paid a voluntary half shekel Temple tax to the Jerusalem Temple. This tax, instituted by Moses (Ex 30:11–16), was paid in either the Tyrian shekel...

After the Hype: The Significance of The Gospel of Judas 6/14/2006 - by Gary Byers MA

The Judas Gospel comes from a well-known genre of ancient literature called Gnostic Gospels. We know of about 50 of these ancient texts from discussions by early church fathers who rejected them as heretical...

Latest Developments on the Shroud of Turin: Part II 4/19/2006 - by John Long

The results of the 1988 radiocarbon dating were shocking to many Shroud watchers...

Latest Developments on the Shroud of Turin: Part I 4/12/2006 - by John Long

ABR subscribers and readers may have noticed that interest in the Shroud of Turin continues in scientific and historical researches, books, articles, conferences, TV documentaries, etc.

Fact and Fiction: Checking the Da Vinci Code History 3/6/2006 - by David Witmer

Daniel Brown’s 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code, has sold over 36 million copies in 44 languages and has been a best seller for months. Has the real truth about Jesus been repressed? Is Christianity a fraud?...

The Cave of John the Baptist: The Stunning Archaeological Discovery that Redefined Rabbinic Judaism 2/22/2006 - by Gary Byers MA

The title of this article is a take-off on the book 'The Cave of John the Baptist: The Stunning Archaeological Discovery that has Redefined Christian History', by archaeologist Shimon Gibson. I am sure his title will sell a lot more books...

Does "The Lost Shipwreck of Paul" Hold Water? 12/19/2005 - by Gordon Franz MA

Mr. Cornuke’s investigations on the island of Malta led to the conclusion that the shipwreck occurred on the eastern end of the island of Malta, rather than the traditional site at St. Paul’s Bay on the northern side of the island...

The Historical Basis of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code 11/28/2005 - by Gary Byers MA

There is none! But that doesn't make for much of an article, and I have some really important things to say about this book. This article is not a book review, but a response to the novel because of the impact it has had on the general public...

The Star of Bethlehem 10/17/2005 - by William Geating

Many possibilities have been suggested to explain the astronomical phenomena known as the "Star of Bethlehem" as recorded in Matthew 2:1-12 . Is there a scientific explanation for this "Star of Wonder" that remains true to the Scriptural account?

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Jesus spent much time on and around the Sea of Galilee with His fishermen-disciples. These disciples,...
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