Fast Facts is a weekly email program where we provide our readers with relevant and practical resources to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15). We trust that these quick and helpful tools will give you greater confidence in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on The Bible’s Uniqueness

  • The Bible’s 66 books were written over a span of 1500 years by 40 different authors who lived on three different continents and wrote in three different languages. Yet this diverse collection has a unified storyline and no contradictions.
  • Hundreds of biblical prophecies have been fulfilled. (Some great examples are found in Daniel 2; Isaiah 13; Luke 21:5-6).
  • The Bible has been repeatedly confirmed as being historically, archaeologically, and geographically accurate.
  • The Old Testament we use today is 99% accurate when compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls dating from 200 B.C.
  • The New Testament we use today is 99% accurate when compared to more than 5,600 partial and complete NT manuscripts dating from the first three centuries A.D.
  • No other religious holy book in the world comes close to matching the Bible’s evidence for being the divinely inspired word of God.

For more on the amazing nature of the Bible please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, The Bible: is it the Word of God? available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Advent Apologetics – December 25th as the Date of Christmas

  • There is no historical evidence that Jesus was born on December 25th. However, while this date is improbable it is not impossible. A springtime date, though, better fits the gospel accounts of the birth of Christ. So, where does the December 25th date for Christmas come from?
  • Historical evidence shows Christians observing December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth as early as the 200’s A.D. However, the first official Christmas celebration occurred on December 25, 336 A.D. after Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity.
  • The most likely reason the early Church chose December 25th as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth was simply because of the metaphorical significance of the winter solstice to the arrival of the Messiah (i.e. the idea of light, new life, etc.).
  • It is also possible the Church chose December 25th as a rival to certain pagan religious practices in the Roman Empire that were centered on the winter solstice and the “birth” of their sun gods (Saturnalia, Mithra, Sol Invictus, etc.).
  • Some Christians become concerned when considering the possibility that our December 25th celebration of Christmas might have any association with pagan religious practices, even if as a rival.
  • However, while it is right to be concerned as Christians about syncretism with non-Christian religious practices, we must also remember that the Church has historically viewed the reshaping of culture as a positive endeavor.
  • When it comes to our celebration of Christmas on December 25th, like Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), we can affirm that, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of Him who made it.”

Give the gift of apologetics this Christmas! We’ve got some great resources, like the book, Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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