Category Archives: Journey of Faith

Proofs of God

It’s been six and a half years since my first book, Counting To God – A Personal Journey Through Science to Belief — was published. It “counts” through seven areas of modern science, seven areas where experimental evidence confirms the existence of God. I consulted with top scientists to make sure everything was correct. I did my best to present the overwhelming case, based on recent discoveries in the last few decades, that all life was created and designed, and this universe was designed. To date, no one has ever challenged me on any of the science; no one has ever suggested I got any of the facts or analysis wrong.

But I was told my book was not an easy read. “Put in more pictures,” said my minister. I worked on how to make the subject fun and enjoyable. The result is my new book – Proofs of God: A Conversation Between Doubt and Reason – recently published by Covenant Books. It is now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and on Ingram for retailers), although as of now the full details are not on the links. An e-book version should be out in the next month or so. Click here for the Amazon listing.

As the title suggests, it’s a dialogue between two characters – Doubt and Reason. They argue, they tease, they joke, they challenge. I hired a cartoonist/illustrator to create a dozen or so illustrations. Boxes highlight key quotes and concepts. I kept it short, 133 pages with large font. Over the internet, I found a cover designer in Eastern Europe (not sure exactly where she lives, but she did a great job).

Proofs of God

In my view, the book absolutely does prove the existence of God. I show, using numbers (no formulas, just simple powers of ten), common sense, and logic, that there is no explanation for the technology of life other than it was designed. I show the “cumulative selection” argument used to get around this is nonsense; I show why Darwin’s theory has no scientific basis and is plainly rejected by the evidence; and I show that life and this universe could not have arisen by chance. If you’ve ever wanted a short, easy-to-read book on the scientific evidence for God, this could be your book.

The publisher wanted to price it at $19.95, but I talked them down to $11.95. For that I had to give up on color illustrations, but the illustrations are still powerful. I will donate any profits to Christian causes. If you like the book, please help me by recommending it to others and please, please give me a good review on Amazon. It’s amazing how helpful good reviews can be.

Did I mention that it makes a good Christmas gift?

Thanks for reading,
Doug Ell

Is Genesis History?

Last month I gave a talk in Florida on the book of Genesis. The subject was whether key events in Genesis, including Adam and Eve and a global flood, actually took place. The 53 minute video is below if you are interested.

As you may know, my views are contrary to what you read in the newspaper. If you are not open to a different interpretation of the scientific evidence, you should not watch this video.

The Garden of Eden

Where was the Garden of Eden? I get asked that question sometimes when I give a talk. Over the years, I’ve changed my response.

The second chapter of Genesis records that “God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.” Genesis 2:8. In the garden was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9. “A river went out of Eden to water the garden,” and divided into four rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. Genesis 2:10-14.

Today the Tigris and Euphrates are major rivers that flow from Turkey through Iraq. Does this mean the Garden of Eden was in Iraq, or perhaps at the headquarters of the rivers in the mountains in Turkey? I think not.

The reuse of names from the Bible is common, so the reuse of old names proves nothing. Today, there is no place of Earth where one river divides into four. And one cannot ignore the Flood of Noah. The Flood obliterated the prior landscape; today, much of the Middle East is covered with two miles of sedentary rock; rock laid down by the receding waters of the Flood. Yes, the ark landed in the mountains of Turkey, mountains pushed up by the volcanic activity accompanying the Flood, as were all mountain ranges on Earth. But the Bible doesn’t say where the ark was built, and the ark was severely tossed during the months of the Flood. The Ark could have come from anywhere, and its landing place in the mountains of Turkey does not help locate where it came from, much less suggest the location of the Garden of Eden.

But the Bible does give a powerful clue. The more I study the Bible, and I certainly have a long way to go in that process, the more I find recurrent themes and patterns. These themes and patterns connect and unify the Bible. I am told there are 1800 connections between the Old and New Testaments, prophecies of things to come and references back to prior sections.

Of all these themes and connections, the most important relate to the life and death of Jesus. The overriding metanarrative of Christianity is Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Resurrection. The Fall came after Adam and Eve stole from the tree of God, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Redemption came after Jesus had died on the “tree” of man, on a wooden cross of suffering and death.

Is it possible both trees were located on the same spot? I think yes! God placed Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, five miles south of Jerusalem, where the sacrificial lambs for the Temple were raised. There is tremendous symbolism in this: Jesus, the “sacrificial lamb of God,” was born in the town where the sacrificial lambs of man were raised. Jesus was born in a manger, probably a cave, exactly as a newborn sacrificial lamb. Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes. Sacrificial lambs had to be perfect and, to protect the clumsy critters from injuring themselves, the shepherds would wrap them in swaddling clothes, probably scraps of used priestly garments.

If God went through all that trouble to connect the birth of Jesus with his mission to be the sacrificial Lamb of God, why wouldn’t he connect Jesus’ death? By dying on the “tree” of man, by giving himself to the tree of man, Jesus healed the break that occurred when Adam and Eve stole from the tree of God. If the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an apple, then in a sense Jesus put the apple back on the tree, he paid the price with his life.

Is it possible that both trees were located on about the same spot? Yes! Why would God choose any other place? No other location would so powerfully connect Jesus’ death to his mission.

If you demand scientific evidence for the location of Eden, you will find none. But if you look at the Bible as a whole, if you realize it is connected from the beginning to end, then I suggest only one place fits. I suggest the Garden of Eden was located below present-day Jerusalem.

Thanks for reading.
Doug Ell

Is Genesis History?

If you follow my posts, you probably know I love the new scientific evidence for the literal truth of the Book of Genesis – a real Adam and Eve, a real Noah, and a real Flood.

In January, I gave two 45-minute talks on “Is Genesis History?” You can view them here: http://trinityvero.org/is-genesis-history.

I discussed scientific flaws in the “old-earth” paradigm, and did my best to summarize the overwhelming new DNA, geological, and astronomical evidence. I also explained why I believe this issue is important to Christians.

I hope you enjoy the videos. I would appreciate feedback – what you like, what you don’t like or follow, what I could do better. I hope to speak on this subject in other places, and would appreciate suggestions on forums.

Modern science reveals God and the truth of the Bible. I urge you to share the good news. Together, we can bring hope and defeat the Atheist paradigm of a meaningless universe.

Thanks for reading.

Doug Ell

All The Writers

Flavius Josephus was an exceptional man. He lead a rebellion against Rome, yet convinced the Romans to let him live, and became the historian for General (and later Emperor) Vespasian. He was known for his intellect. Joseph Scaliger, one of the most brilliant and critical reviewers of history to ever live, a man who reconciled ancient calendars and histories, wrote:

Josephus is the most diligent and the greatest lover of truth of all writers; nor are we afraid to affirm of him, that it is more safe to believe, not only as to the affairs of the Jews, but also as to those that are foreign to them, than all the Greek and Latin writers; and this, because his fidelity and his compass of learning are everywhere conspicuous.

Josephus’ most famous work is The Antiquities of the Jews, which he wrote in his later years, when he was the Emperor’s historian. Antiquities is a history of the Jewish people. It follows the Old Testament, but with many added details. For example, after a description of the Flood, and Noah’s Ark coming to rest, Josephus writes: “The Armenians call this place (Apobaterion) The Place of Descent; for the ark being saved in that place, its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day.”

That is an astonishing statement—the name of the place where the Ark came to rest, and the claim that remains were still present. But I am even more astonished by Josephus’ next paragraph:

Now all the writers of barbarian histories make mention of this flood and of the ark; among them is Berosus the Chaledean; for when he is describing the circumstances of the flood, he goes on thus: — “It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischiefs.” Hieronymus the Egyptian, also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them, where he speaks thus: — “There is a great mountain in Armenia …”

The emphasis above is mine—all the writers. Josephus had access to all books in all libraries in the Roman Empire. These are non-Jewish historians, and he doesn’t just claim that some of them refer to Noah’s Flood and the Ark, he claims all of them do. He names prominent historians. Nicolaus of Damascus was the tutor of the children of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra; he wrote 144 books, almost all of which are now lost.

Few today, even religious people, accept the Flood of Noah. The unanimous testimony of all the ancient writers is ignored. The silent testimony of the geological record—of sedimentary rock (rock created from watery deposits) on every continent, often miles deep—is ignored. We are told that those layers of rock in the Grand Canyon were laid down tens or even millions of years apart—even though there is no erosion or plant debris between them.

But let’s get back to Josephus, and his statement that “all the writers” of ancient histories refer to the Flood? What are we to make of that? Why would Josephus lie? Why would he make up something? Why would the even more ancient historians he notes make up details about the Flood?

To a historian, credibility and accuracy are important, perhaps everything. I see no reason why Josephus would lie, nor do I see any reason why other ancient historians would lie. How can our modern world ignore Josephus, and ignore all the other writers of ancient histories?

The Flood was a real event, and Genesis records the true history of humanity.

Thanks for reading.

Caesar Proclaimed the Resurrection

My last post was prompted by an article from the Associates for Biblical Research. While poking around their website, I learned an astonishing fact.

In the late 1800’s, a French collector acquired an ancient stone from Nazareth. The stone, now in the Louvre in Paris, is a marble tablet about 24 inches by 15 inches. It contains an edict by Emperor Claudius (AD 41-54) ordering the death penalty for stealing bodies from Jewish tombs. Bodies?. Grave robbers steal valuables, not bodies. Why would stealing bodies from Jewish tombs, a pathetically trivial subject for the Empire, merit an imperial decree?

Below I quote the Book of Matthew. This comes immediately after the death of Jesus on the cross:

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”
So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

The scene is set. Jesus is dead. Powerful Jewish leaders, the chief Priests and Pharisees, post their top guards and make the “tomb as secure as [they] know how.”

Now back to Matthew.

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

This is the key event of the Christian faith. Jesus is risen. Matthew tells us the cover-up began immediately.

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

That’s the cover-up. Tell everyone a totally disorganized group of backwoods, uneducated disciples came in while the elite guards were sleeping, and not only were able to unseal a large stone but, even more amazing, were able to do it without waking the guards. Not a believable cover-up story, but that is the best they could come up with. The empty tomb was on public display; they couldn’t deny that.

As the Book of Ecclesiastes says, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Government propaganda lies are not new. Almost two thousand years ago, the Emperor of Rome, then the most powerful person in the world, tried to prop up this absurd story that uneducated peasants snuck by an elite guard and opened a sealed tomb while the guards were sleeping! Emperor Claudius probably issued the edict when he took control in 41 AD, at the request of his childhood friend, Jewish King Herod Agrippa I. That’s just eight years after the Resurrection. The authorities wanted to control the situation. Tensions between the Romans and the Jews were high, partly because just before his death Caligula (whose assassination brought Claudius to power) had ordered that his statute be placed in the Temple in Jerusalem. Also, the news of Jesus’s Resurrection had spread, Jesus had appeared to hundreds of people (500 at one time, according to St. Paul), and the Romans and Jewish leaders were trying to control what they perceived as a serious political threat. No doubt as news of the Resurrection spread travelers came to Nazareth to learn more about Jesus.

The cover-up continues to this day. Notoriously anti-God Wikipedia writes. “As the original location of the stone is unknown, no clear argument can be made for the stone to be a Roman response to the empty tomb story.” Seriously? They can’t figure out the argument? What else could the Roman edict be about? And exactly what difference does it make what spot in or near Nazareth the stone originally occupied? Nazareth was an absolute no place in the Roman Empire, a small backward town on the wrong side of the tracks. To find an edict from a Roman Emperor anywhere in the vicinity, with a message so clearly aimed at denying the Resurrection, is astonishing.

The Resurrection is the most documented event in the ancient world. It changed the world more than any other event. As Billy Graham said: “There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived.” Without the Resurrection, there is no reason why all (but one) of his disciples chose to suffer a brutal death rather than deny Jesus. No one dies for a lie. There is no other explanation for the growth of the Christian church.

Even Caesar proclaimed the Resurrection! He affirmed the most important event in history. He just didn’t mean to do it.

Thanks for reading.

Doug Ell

The Old Testament and the Chronology Back to Adam

I recently learned there are different versions of the Old Testament. One is the Masoretic Text, or MT. The MT was put into its present form in the 10th century by Talmudic scholars. Another version is the Septaugint, which means 70 in Latin, also known as the LXX. The LXX was created much earlier, perhaps around 250 BC by Hebrew scholars at the request of King Ptolemy II of Egypt. It is the first translation of the Bible, and is written in Greek.

Opinions differ on which is more reliable. The Orthodox Church leans toward the LXX. The New Testament contains quotes from the LXX. However, some believe the LXX omits parts of the books of Job and Jeremiah. The Old Testament in today’s Christian Bible is a translation of the MT.

The two versions have different chronologies going back to Adam. For the most part, the list of patriarchs is the same. For the most part, the life spans of the patriarchs are the same. The key difference is in “begetting” ages, the time elapsed from one generation to another. For example, in the LXX Seth is born when Adam is 230, and Adam lives another 700 years after Seth’s birth, for a total of 930 years. In the MT Seth is born when Adam is 130, and Adam lives another 800 years after Seth’s birth, again for a total of 930 years. If it were just Adam, you might think this a simple mistake. However, this exact 100-year difference in the space between generations appears for 12 patriarchs (six before the Flood, six after), and, in the case of Nahor, Abraham’s grandfather, there is a difference of 50 years. This is no accident. Someone or some group deliberately either added 1250 years to the time going back to Adam, or shortened that time by 1250 years.

Scholars have debated which chronology is accurate for two thousand years. Most ancient Christian scholars argued for the originality of the LXX’s primeval chronology, and that consensus lasted over 14 centuries until the Reformation.

The Winter 2018 issue of Bible and Spade, the magazine of Associates for Biblical Research, contains an excellent article on this conundrum by Henry B. Smith Jr. He concludes “the MT’s primeval chronology was deliberately reduced in the second century AD by 1250 years.”

Why? Smith provides a motive. Around 150 BC, an unknown author deceptively claiming to be Moses penned the Book of Jubilees. In Hebrew tradition a jubilee is a period of 49 years. Jubilees rewrites Biblical history into periods of 49 years. In Jubilees, Joshua enters and conquers Canaan on the 50th Jubilee since creation, or exactly 2450 years after creation. To make this work, the author had to do some serious cutting, and slashed 1250 years off the begetting ages.

Jubilees claimed to be a new revelation, originally written ages before on “heavenly tablets” that pre-dated the Torah. Jubilees was extremely popular, and considered authoritative in some early traditions. Smith suggests Jubilees induced Hebrew scholars to adopt lower begetting ages.

Jubilees proposed lower begetting ages than found in the LXX, and the MT authors ultimately adopted many of them. For the first five patriarchs, from Adam to Mahalalel, the MT slices exactly 100 years off the begetting age, as was done in Jubilees. However, for three of the next four patriarchs –Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech – the begetting ages were not reduced. Why not? Smith suggests that the authors of the MT realized that these additional reductions would result in patriarchs (other than Noah and his sons) living beyond the Flood.

One of Smith’s most compelling arguments is that the longer chronology in the LXX is affirmed by at least four independent ancient works. One of these is Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, who was a very careful historian. Smith writes: “All reliable external witnesses before AD 100 outside rabbinic influence unanimously testify to the longer chronology.”

This is deep subject, and I can offer only a glimpse of the issues and arguments. I have brutally oversimplified. There are many issues in the chronology back to Adam. However, the 1250-year difference in the begetting ages between the MT and the LXX is the most important. Some try to discredit the LXX, because in some later copies Methuselah lives beyond the Flood, but that has been shown to be a copying error from early versions.

Associates for Biblical Research uses archeology to confirm the biblical record. Smith’s article is important because under the MT chronology there isn’t enough time. If the Flood occurred around 2500 BC, as some might place it based on the MT, many of the dates established by archeological findings and historical records don’t work well. Smith dates the Flood at 3298 BC, and Creation at 5554 BC. These dates leave adequate time for repopulation after the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the spread of humanity.

I must note I find this post disturbing. I am suggesting the Bible in your house is not completely accurate. I don’t like that, and it doesn’t feel right. I am not telling you what to believe. My goal is to give you facts you may not be aware of, and let you decide.

This post doesn’t contradict in any way the enormous evidence of modern science that the universe and life were designed. This post doesn’t contradict in any way the overwhelming scientific evidence the Earth is young. In past posts I have touched on some of that, such as dinosaur “soft tissue,” Flood memories in societies around the world, and strong DNA evidence. With the LXX chronology, we get times that agree with the archeological and historical evidence.

Thanks for reading.

Doug Ell

Full Strength Christianity

Christianity is on the decline. A recent poll found the percentage of Americans professing to be Christians declined by 7. 8% between 2007 and 2014. I’m back from Europe, where I was able to visit churches and cathedrals. Some took a century or more to build; they represent the greatest architecture and art of the Middle Ages; they are increasingly empty.

To what do we attribute this loss of faith? Our “popular” media twists true science and often mocks belief. Our tax dollars are used to indoctrinate children in the Darwinian delusion that technology so advanced we cannot understand it (like the human brain) arose by accident. Our scientists invent nonsense theories, theories without a shred of evidence, to remove God from the creation of the universe and the creation of life.

Sadly, many churches share the blame. Many offer watered-down Christianity. Some acquiesce to the contradictions of “theistic evolution,” they embrace the Darwinian delusion of technology by accident, yet try to convince people God is in control. Some treat Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood, as fable. Some even question the divinity of Jesus.

This retreat can lead to spiritual death. I quote now from an Atheist. His starting premise is wrong, but his logic from that false premise is compelling:

The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve there never was original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.

Do you see my point? Without the metanarrative, the overarching theme, of Creation – Fall – Redemption, what is the purpose of the cross? How can Jesus be the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45) if there was no first Adam? The Christian faith is diluted to something like “please love your neighbor and do good things. ” Why get out of bed on Sunday for that?

Another way of looking at it, as a friend pointed out to me, is if you don’t believe that Adam and Eve were real people, at what point do you start believing the Bible? Until recently, I didn’t grasp this logical problem. I would not consider the evidence for Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood, just as many will not consider the overwhelming scientific evidence for the existence of God. I was afraid others might think me crazy. Now that my eyes are open, I am astonished by the evidence.

If you haven’t seen it, I recommend “Is Genesis History?” which is available on Netflix. It will answer many of your questions and concerns.

I have learned to embrace the Bible as the literal word of God. When my eyes were opened to the true evidence, I felt a great peace. When I learned I could trust the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, from sin to salvation, I was overjoyed.

I invite you to take Christianity full strength. Full strength Christianity can satisfy your soul. Overall, Bible-based churches with full strength Christianity are growing. This is great news. Modern science increasingly, with new discoveries every year, backstops full strength Christianity. In recent posts I’ve touched on DNA evidence of Adam and Eve, and memories of Noah and the flood. There is so much more that supports the literal truth of the Bible.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate the work of many of you to share the good news of true science. Together we can change the world.

Breakfast with Mary

I’m back from five wonderful days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The scenery was spectacular, and the total eclipse inspiring. Maybe someday I’ll post on how perfectly right everything has to be to get a total eclipse, and the evidence for God in that. Today I’ll share another spiritual experience, breakfast with Mary Neal.

Mary is an orthopedic surgeon in Jackson. She died in 1999 while kayaking in South America. Yes, DIED! She was underwater for perhaps thirty minutes, was with Jesus, and experienced Heaven. Many find that hard to accept. I assure you, if you were sitting across from Mary at breakfast, you would know it was true.

Mary wrote a book about her experience: To Heaven and Back. It was published in 2012, and became a New York Times #1 Best Seller. It is fantastic (I recommended it in Counting To God). The book describes miraculous things in Mary’s life. For whatever reason, Mary has a special connection with God.

Our breakfast was a blur, even though it lasted more than an hour and a half. Here’s what I remember:

  • Mary says they’re “death experiences,” not “near-death experiences.” She did die, and she came back.
  • Mary says God welcomes us at death in a personal way. She loves colors and flowers. Mary told me the colors and flowers God presented her in Heaven were beautiful beyond description. She thinks each of us will be greeted in a way we will find overwhelmingly wonderful.
  • Mary thinks suffering often has a purpose. It can bring us back to God.
  • Mary feels sorry for Judas. Somebody had to betray Jesus, to fulfill the prophecies, and Judas got the short straw.
  • Mary is not a fan of overly “literal” interpretations of the Bible. We discussed John 14:6, where (English Standard Version) Jesus says “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Some interpret this to mean that only Christians can be saved. Mary disagrees, as do I. Just three verses later Jesus states: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus then asks, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” The point is Jesus is God, there is no separation, so if you get to God you get to Jesus.
  • Like me, Mary isn’t sure what to believe about hell. We both think that God, being a perfect gentleman, will respect it if you absolutely refuse to let him into your life, although he will give you plenty of opportunities to change your mind. But if you always push him away, you will likely be by yourself after death, and that will be hell.
  • We discussed the stresses of modern life, and the pressures people put on themselves. Mary suggested we forget about the past, we can’t change it; if we are upset we should ask God for peace, and if we feel guilty or inadequate we should ask God to forgive us. We should do our best for the future, but not worry, only God is in charge. Mary said she lives a life of joy.
  • Mary compared our relationship with God to the relationship of a child with his/her parent. God created us, but in his image with the ability to choose, and knowing that, as we grow up, we will make mistakes. But God is a loving parent, and, no matter what we’ve done, still loves us. She says of course God knew Adam and Even would eat the apple. You can tell a child a thousand times not to touch the hot stove, but eventually they will want to see what happens.
  • We spoke of the wonder of biologic design (OK, I admit I brought this up), and how most people are stuck in this neo-Darwinian nonsense, despite overwhelming evidence of design.

Mary has written a new book, Lessons From Heaven, which will be released September 19, 2017. She sent an early version to me about a month ago, and I loved it. It goes into more detail about her experience in Heaven, and how we can all use the lessons she learned to find joy and peace. She also documents death experiences going back millennia.

It was a privilege to have breakfast with Mary. I love hearing or reading about death experiences, experiences of Jesus and Heaven. Some Atheists deny God by saying that, even if the universe is perfectly designed (which it is), and even if all creatures were designed (which they were), it must have been aliens! They would rather believe in little green men than a loving God. As Mary’s new book documents, millions of people have had death experiences, or other direct experiences of God. God is real.

Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of true science.

The Astronomy of Jesus

Two years ago I posted an item on the Star of Bethlehem. I love evidence for the truth of the Gospels.

This month I gave two talks at my church (Trinity Church, Vero Beach, Florida) on the Star of Bethlehem and the Astronomy of Jesus. Here is a video of the first, which focuses on the Star and when Jesus was born:

I like giving talks and interacting with people, and I also like that, when preparing, I learn wonderful things. Here’s a fact that blew me away – Marco Polo visited the tombs of the Magi (translated in the Gospel of Matthew as “wise men”)!

“In Persia is the city of Saba, from which the Three Magi set out… and in this city they are buried, in three very large and beautiful monuments, side by side. And above them there is a square building, beautifully kept. The bodies are still entire, with hair and beard remaining.”
–Marco Polo 1299 AD

This city is now called Saveh, and it is about 60 miles southwest of Tehran. The Magi traveled about 1200 miles to see Jesus.

My second talk focused on the date of the cross:

Multiple lines of evidence point to April 3, 33 AD. I learned that a Roman historian wrote that “on the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness” on the day that Jesus died. This great darkness is recorded in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) as taking place from noon to 3 pm, the hour that Jesus died. How stunning to find an independent Roman record of this “most fearful darkness”! The Roman record also notes the great earthquakes mentioned in the Gospels.

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!