Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 179 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 2 today and our focus is on Did Christmas Really Happen or is it a Myth? Was Jesus’ Mom REALLY a Virgin?! . We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in   Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Today we celebrate Christmas in June. Luke 2 tells an absolutely amazing story – Jesus, the Son of God, was born to a virgin and His birth was announced by a chorus of angels. Could these events possibly be true, or are they just religious myths spouted off by religious fanatics who are credulous and would believe pretty much anything? It turns out that the evidence shows that Luke was a very careful historian, nailing many historical details. These facts, corroborated by archaeology, certainly lend credence to his more audacious claims. If somebody can be trusted to get the details right, it seems quite rational and logical to believe they would get the important things right too. Here’s journalist Lee Strobel on the reliability of Christmas:

“The general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian,” [Archaeologist Dr. John] McRay replied. “He’s erudite, he’s eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say.” In fact, he added, there have been several instances, similar to the story about the harbor, in which scholars initially thought Luke was wrong in a particular reference, only to have later discoveries confirm that he was correct in what he wrote. For instance, in Luke 3:1 he refers to Lysanias being the tetrarch of Abilene in about AD 27. For years scholars pointed to this as evidence that Luke didn’t know what he was talking about, since everybody knew that Lysanias was not a tetrarch but rather the ruler of Chalcis half a century earlier. If Luke can’t get that basic fact right, they suggested, then nothing he has written can be trusted. That’s when archaeology stepped in. “An inscription was later found from the time of Tiberius, from AD 14 to 37, which names Lysanias as tetrarch in Abila near Damascus—just as Luke had written,” McRay explained. “It turned out there had been two government officials named Lysanias! Once more Luke was shown to be exactly right.” Another example is Luke’s reference in Acts 17:6 to “politarchs,” which is translated as “city officials” by the New International Version, in the city of Thessalonica. “For a long time people thought Luke was mistaken, because no evidence of the term politarchs had been found in any ancient Roman documents,” McRay said. “However, an inscription on a first-century arch was later found that begins, ‘In the time of the politarchs…’ You can go to the British Museum and see it for yourself. And then, lo and behold, archaeologists have found more than thirty-five inscriptions that mention politarchs, several of these in Thessalonica from the same period Luke was referring to. Once again the critics were wrong and Luke was shown to be right.” One prominent archaeologist carefully examined Luke’s references to thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine islands, finding not a single mistake.10 Here’s the bottom line: “If Luke was so painstakingly accurate in his historical reporting,” said one book on the topic, “on what logical basis may we assume he was credulous or inaccurate in his reporting of matters that were far more important, not only to him but to others as well?”

From Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christmas pages 43-44.

Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.

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