Is The Garden Of Eden A Real Place Or Just A Myth?

The Bible declares that God “planted a garden eastward in Eden” but there is no archaeological evidence that any such place existed, is this just a myth? 

The Bible mentioned that “the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.” (Genesis 2:8). 

If Genesis is true, then where is Eden located? and why is there no archaeological evidence for its existence? 

Fortunately, the Bible described the location of Eden and named its rivers as follows: “now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.” (Genesis 2: 10-14). 

River Gihon is on the land of Cush which is currently Ethiopia and there still exists the Nile river. The other rivers still exist too. By looking at the maps, we will find that the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris which is Hiddekel already exist in Iraq. We can therefore extrapolate that the garden of Eden was in Iraq.  But what about the Pishon river? 

Titus Flavius Josephus (AD 100) a very well-known roman historian stated that the “Pishon, which denotes a multitude, running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges. Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea. Now the name Euphrates, or Phrath, denotes either a dispersion, or a flower: by Tiris, or Diglath, is signified what is swift, with narrowness; and Geon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the east, which the Greeks call Nile.” (Antiquities of the Jews – Book I) 

Hence, it is clear that the Garden of Eden was in the land between the Ganges river and Nile river. The core of the garden is in Iraq where the two rivers Tigris and Euphrate exist. This conclusion is supported by several points, including: 

1- The ethnicity of the country is very ancient. 

2- The lands of Iraq are among the most fertile lands in the world. 

3- Archaeological documents indicate that the plains of Iraq, located to the southwest of Babylon, were called Aden. 

Yet why can’t we find traces of Eden? The answer is that this part of the world already has archeological traces of ancient life, geographical evidence of rivers are mentioned, and the historical evidence of Titus Flavius Josephus. We would not expect any archaeological evidence, since there is no indication that Adam and Eve made pottery or built durable buildings. 

Why Are Alternative Theories About The Resurrection False?

Many skeptics proposed alternative theories to explain the Resurrection of Jesus, but their theories are so contrived and illogical when compared to the claims of Christianity that their very weakness actually helps build confidence in the truth of the Resurrection. 

 There are 7 alternative theories for the resurrection as follows: 

  1. The Wrong-Tomb Theory, 
  1. The Hallucination Theory, 
  1. The Swoon Theory, 
  1. The Stolen-Body Theory, 
  1. The Moved-Body Theory, 
  1. The Relocated-Body Theory, and 
  1. The Copycat Theory 

  1. The Wrong-Tomb Theory: 

This theory was suggested by British biblical scholar Kirsopp Lake who proposed that the women who informed the disciples about the missing body of Jesus went to the wrong tomb that morning! 

If this is true, then the disciples who went after to check for the body of Jesus must have gone to the wrong tomb as well!  

We can be certain, however, that the Roman guard stationed at the tomb to prevent the body from being stolen, would not have been mistaken about the location. So how could the women and the disciples have been mistaken about the location of the tomb, while at the same time seeing the Roman guards there?  

Also, if this theory is true, then why didn’t the Jewish authorities produce the body from the proper tomb, thus nipping this rumor of the resurrection in the bud? 

  1. The Hallucination Theory: 

The hallucination theory explains the appearances of Jesus after the Resurrection to His disciples are mere hallucinations that they kept experiencing for a while. For the skeptics, there is no real evidence that Jesus resurrected from death because the disciples were simply deluded. 

But could it really be that the disciples have just had hallucinations, and all of their testimonies on the resurrection of Jesus are false?  

Jesus appeared to His disciples over a forty days period, and in most instances He appeared while they were gathered together. In one instance, Jesus appeared to five hundred people at the same time. And that’s not all! Jesus not only appeared to His disciples, but He ate and traveled with them.  

One of the disciples of Jesus, Thomas, had similar doubts and refused to believe that Jesus was alive despite what his friends told him. He insisted that ​​unless he saw the nail marks in the hands of Jesus and put his finger where the nails were, and put his hand into Jesus’s side, he would not believe. 

A few days later, Jesus appeared to His disciples and dealt with the doubts of Thomas. He asked Thomas to touch His wounds from the crucifixion. Thomas couldn’t help but believe and worship Jesus.  

How then could all the disciples experience the same hallucination while also experiencing it together? How could it be that these hallucinations also involved physical interactions with Jesus and not only visions? And can the hallucination theory explain the fact that most of the discples endured torture and martyrdom because they stuck to their claim that Jesus became alive after death?  

Another issue with this theory is that if all disciples were hallucinating, why didn’t the Jewish and Roman leaders reveal the actual body of Jesus and refute the claims of the disciples early on? 

  1. The Swoon Theory: 

Nineteenth-century German rationalist Karl Venturini popularized the swoon theory which was promoted several centuries ago, and is often suggested even today. It claims that Jesus didn’t really die; he merely fainted from exhaustion and loss of blood. Everyone thought he was dead, but later he was resuscitated, and the disciples thought it to be a resurrection. 

This theory does not regard the due diligence of the Roman soldier who had to check that Jesus was dead while He was hung on the cross. In Roman law, a soldier would be punished by execution if he let a criminal escape. Therefore, in order to remove any doubt, the soldier pierced the side of Jesus with a spear. 

It would also be impossible to explain multiple events that occured after the resurrection if Jesus had just revived from a swoon. For one, how did Jesus roll the stone of the tomb to get out while He was in such a weak condition? And how did the terrified disciples transform into courageous apostles for the faith if they had only seen a faltering Jesus who barely survived injury.  

German theologian David Friedrich Strauss, himself no believer in the Resurrection, deals a deathblow to any thought that Jesus could have revived from a swoon: 

“It is impossible that a being who had stolen half-dead out of the sepulcher, who crept about weak and ill, wanting medical treatment, who required bandaging, strengthening and indulgence, and who still at last yielded to his sufferings, could have given to the disciples the impression that he was a Conqueror over death and the grave, the Prince of Life, an impression which lay at the bottom of their future ministry. Such a resuscitation could only have weakened the impression which He had made upon them in life and in death, at the most could only have given it an elegiac voice, but could by no possibility have changed their sorrow into enthusiasm, have elevated their reverence into worship.” 

  1. The Stolen-Body Theory: 

Another theory maintains that the disciples stole the body of Jesus while the guards slept. The depression and cowardice of the disciples make a hard-hitting argument against it. Can we imagine that they suddenly became so brave and daring as to face a detachment of select soldiers at the tomb and steal the body? They were in no mood to attempt anything like that. 

Commenting on the proposition that the disciples stole Christ’s body, J. N. D. Anderson says: 

This would run totally contrary to all we know of them: their ethical teaching, the quality of their lives, their steadfastness in suffering and persecution. Nor would it begin to explain their dramatic transformation from dejected and dispirited escapists into witnesses whom no opposition could muzzle. 

  1. The Moved-Body Theory: 

Another theory says that the Roman or Jewish authorities moved Christ’s body from the tomb. This explanation is no more reasonable than the stolen-body theory. If the authorities had the body in their possession or knew where it was, why didn’t they explain that they had taken it, thus putting to an effective end the disciples’ preaching of the Resurrection in Jerusalem? If the authorities had taken the body, why didn’t they explain exactly where they had put it? Why didn’t they recover the corpse, display it on a cart, and wheel it through the center of Jerusalem? Such an action would have utterly destroyed Christianity. 

John Warwick Montgomery comments: 

“It passes the bounds of credibility that the early Christians could have manufactured such a tale and then preached it among those who might easily have refuted it simply by producing the body of Jesus.” 

  1. The Relocated-Body Theory: 

In The Empty Tomb, Jeffrey Jay Lowder describes an interesting hypothesis, namely, that the body of Jesus was temporarily stored in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea on Friday night before being relocated to a criminal’s tomb. The tomb of Jesus was empty not because He resurrected, but because the body was simply relocated. Thus, the disciples mistakenly believed He was resurrected. This hypothesis has gained a considerable following on the Internet. 

The “relocation hypothesis” gains support from the fact that reburial was common in ancient Palestine. But it’s important to note that the reburial procedures of the Jews differed significantly from the theory proposed here. The Jewish tradition was to bury a body for one year, and then after the flesh deteriorated and only bones remained, they would remove the bones and place them in an ossuary. 

The problem for the relocation of the body of Jesus is the complete lack of historical support, either in biblical or non-biblical sources. None of the New Testament Gospel accounts suggest that the body of Jesus was reburied. Mark 16:6, where the young man at the tomb says, “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” undermines this view. 

The relocation hypothesis actually faces a more significant problem. Dr. Michael Licona 


“At best, even if the reburial hypothesis were true, all it accounts for is the empty tomb. And interestingly, the empty tomb didn’t convince any of the disciples—possibly with the exception of John—that Jesus had returned from the dead. It was the appearances of Jesus that convinced them, and the reburial theory can’t account for these.” 

If the body of Jesus was simply relocated, why didn’t a relative uncover the body when the disciples began proclaiming the resurrection? Why wouldn’t an authority produce the body and stop Christianity in its tracks? Some have suggested that by this time the body of Jesus would be unrecognizable, but given the climate of Palestine, the body would have been recognizable for a considerable amount of time. 

  1. The Copycat Theory: 

“Nothing in Christianity is original” is one of the most commonly used lines of many critics today. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries many scholars believed that the central claims of Christianity were plagiarized from Greco-Roman mystery religions. Jesus was considered another “dying and rising” god in the tradition of Osiris, Mithras, Adonis, and Dionysus. While this theory has experienced a surprising resurgence on the Internet and in popular books, it faces near universal rejection by contemporary scholars. Here’s why. 

While parallels between Jesus and the mystery religions may appear striking on the surface, they collapse under scrutiny. Osiris, for instance, is considered by many to be a dying and rising god from ancient Egypt. According to the myth, Osiris was killed by Seth and resuscitated by Isis. But rather than returning to the world in a resurrected body, Osiris became king of the underworld—hardly a parallel to the historical resurrection of Jesus. This is why Paul Rhodes Eddy and Greg Boyd, authors of The Jesus Legend, conclude that “the differences between Christianity and the mystery religions are far more profound than any similarities. While there certainly are parallel terms used in early Christianity and the mystery religions, there is little evidence for parallel concepts.” 

Unlike the historical Jesus, there is no evidence for the reliability of any of the alleged parallel stories in the mystery religions. Jesus of Nazareth ate, slept, performed miracles, died, and returned to life. These accounts are supported by a reliable historical record. In contrast, the dying and rising gods of the mystery religions were timeless myths repeated annually with the changing seasons. 

The most recent scholarly treatise on dying and rising gods was written by T. N. D. Mettinger, professor at Lund University. In The Riddle of Resurrection, Mettinger grants the existence of the myths of dying and rising gods in the ancient world, which, he admits, is a minority view.  Yet his conclusion puts the nail in the coffin of the copycat theory: 

“There is, as far as I am aware, no prima facie evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct, drawing on the myths and rites of the dying and rising gods of the surrounding world. While studied with profit against the background of Jewish resurrection belief, the faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus retains its unique character in the history of religions. The riddle remains.” 

What is your evaluation and decision? What do you think about the empty tomb? After examining the evidence from a judicial perspective, Lord Darling, former chief justice of England, concludes that “there exists such overwhelming evidence, positive and negative, factual and circumstantial, that no intelligent jury in the world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true.” 

Can Humans Be Gods?

Humans like you and me are mortals.
This means, that eventually we will die someday.
That does not mean we have a great potential to do amazing things in our lives.
But that means that we are finite and have limited control over our lives.

On the the other hand a god is defined by oxford dicitonary as
a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

So this means what makes a god is what follows:

A has powers that are above human power
B control over nature
C is above death

Other wise , then he /she is a mere mortal ,
Just like us.
Hence he is not worthy of worship.

So if someone claims to be a god , then dies and is reincarnated again and again.

He is then stuck in a loop that even he can’t escape. How can he help us or even help us?

The only one Who DID manage to have all the three aspects of God is Jesus.

A he had power to heal people ,
there are many instances that he healed people with different diseases even created new organs for them , fed them and helped them.

B he had power to command nature

He walked on water , turned water to wine, ordered animals

C He had power over death

Jesus had power over death ، he raised many deads back to life.

And not just that…he is the only one who raised himself from the Dead.

He is that powerful

Since he is the only God that ever did this.

So he is the only god who can help us and deserves worship.

Are Homosexuals “Born That Way” – Bailey and Pillard’s Study On Identical Twins

The second scientific study the media have used to propagate the idea that homosexuality is genetically determined is the finding of a prevalence of homosexuality among twin and adopted brothers by homosexual psychiatrist Richard Pillard and psychologist/gay rights activist Michael Bailey.  

The two researchers recruited the subjects for their study through homosexual publications that cater exclusively to the homosexual population. Thus, their study did not represent a randomized, non-biased selection. Nevertheless, they found that, of the brothers who responded, 52 percent of identical twins, 22 percent of fraternal twins, 11 percent of adoptive brothers, and 9 percent of non-twin brothers were homosexual. Bailey and Pillard theorized that the reason there was such a high percentage of homosexuality among identical twins was because of their identical genetic makeup. But here we also encounter problems.  

Half of the identical twins were not homosexual; they were clearly heterosexual. How could this be, if they shared the same genes that supposedly predetermine homosexuality? In Perpetuating Homosexual Myths, Richard A. Cohen noted, “If a homosexual orientation is genetic, then 100 percent of all identical twin brothers should have been homosexual, but only half were. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that environmental factors, not genes, cause homosexuality.” Even Dr. Simon LeVay admitted that neither Bailey and Pillard’s study on twins nor his own brain research has proven that homosexuality is genetically determined. “At the moment it’s still a very big mystery. Not even my work nor any other work that’s been done so far really totally clarifies the situation of what makes people gay or straight….In fact, the twin studies, for example, suggest that it’s not totally inborn, because even identical twins are not always of the same sexual orientation.

Are Homosexuals “Born That Way”?

Gay activists frequently claim that homosexuals are born that way. For them, their sexual orientation is akin to something like eye color, inevitable and unchangeable, and therefore society must accept homosexuality as normal. Afterall, it is unfair to expect people to change their biologically influenced behavior.  

However, research attempting to show biological or genetic cause-and-effect for homosexuality dates back almost a century, and over the years, no research has ever proven a physical basis for homosexuality. The attempts were so persistent that homosexual activist Dennis Altman eventually admitted: “They are impressed with the considerable efforts of biologists, endocrinologists, and physiologists to prove this foundation; I am more impressed by the inability of many years of research to amount to no more than ‘suggestions'”. 

When neuroscientist Dr. Simon LeVay was at the Salk Institute, he studied a certain group of neurons in the hypothalamus structure of the brain (called INAH3 or interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus). He examined 41 cadavers, 19 of which were allegedly homosexual men, 16 of which were assumed to be heterosexual men, and six of which were assumed to be heterosexual women. Dr. LeVay found that some of the neurons in the hypothalamus region of the brain of heterosexual men were larger than those he found in homosexual men. He theorized that if homosexual men had smaller neurons, then possibly these smaller neurons were responsible for causing these men to be homosexual. Likewise, if heterosexual men had larger neurons, then possibly these larger neurons caused them to be heterosexual. LeVay assumed that if the size difference in neurons could be shown to be true 100 percent of the time, this would be evidence that homosexuality is biologically based.  

However, at least seven scientific reasons were put forth by critics who rejected his theory 

  1. Dr. LeVay’s own chart, published in Science magazine, revealed there were flaws in his hypothesis. It even contradicts his theory. John Ankerberg had the privilege of interviewing Dr. LeVay at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, so we have his recorded comments on tape concerning this. Dr. Ankerberg said, “Look, you have three of the nuclei of the homosexual men which are actually larger than those of the heterosexual men. If your theory is valid, this should not be. Second, you have three of the heterosexual men with smaller nuclei than those of the homosexual men.” Ankerberg then asked, “Is that true?” And LeVay said, “Yes, that’s true.” So Dr. Ankerberg asked, “How could it be then, that the Associated Press reported that you ‘had always found that the nuclei were larger in the heterosexual men and smaller in homosexual men?’” Dr. LeVay admitted this was false. 
  1. No scientist has ever proven that the particular region of the hypothalamus under discussion causes sexual orientation. Consider the comments of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, who specializes in working with male homosexuals. His books “Healing Homosexuality: Case Stories of Reparative Therapy” and “Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality” gained him worldwide respect as an authority in same-sex attractions. Dr. Nicolosi emphasizes, “We’re talking about a general area of the brain that has to do with emotions, including sexuality; but in this particular nucleus, we have no clear understanding of what function it serves at this point.” So it would seem that 1) whether the neurons are large or small is not a firm indicator; and 2) no one really knows if they are even related to sexual orientation. 
  1. Even if the anterior hypothalamus area of the brain could be shown to relate to sexual behavior, it still would not answer the question of cause and effect. In other words, what if homosexual behavior itself causes minute organic alterations in the body, which are only a posteriori assumed to be a contributing cause to homosexuality? Scientific studies have indicated that behavior itself might cause the size of the neurons to fluctuate, rather than the neurons causing specific homosexual or heterosexual behavior. Dr. Kenneth Klivington, former assistant to the president of the Salk Institute where Dr. LeVay did his study, pointed to “a body of evidence that shows the brain’s neural networks reconfigure themselves in response to certain experiences.” So the relationship between cause and effect—what affects what—is not clear. Therefore, the difference in homosexual brain structure—assuming further studies confirm LeVay’s “finding”—may be a result of certain behavior and/or environmental conditions. 
  1. The sexual orientation of the people that Dr. LeVay studied could not be verified. When Dr. Ankerberg and Dr. LeVay discussed the fact that three heterosexual men had smaller nuclei than the homosexual men, LeVay said, “Well, maybe some of those individuals were bisexual.” Ankerberg responded, “But if it’s ‘maybe,’ then you don’t really know,” and indeed, Dr. LeVay confessed he really didn’t know. Some may even have been homosexuals “in the closet” who passed themselves off as heterosexuals. Because all the individuals studied were dead, we simply don’t know. 
  1. The next problem with Dr. LeVay’s study involves the possibility of researcher bias. Dr. LeVay is openly gay and has publicly acknowledged this. He is also on record as stating that he set out to prove a genetic cause for homosexuality after his homosexual lover had died of AIDS. He was even quoted in an issue of Newsweek as asserting that if he did not find the genetic cause for homosexuality he sought, he would abandon science altogether. Newsweek further quoted him as saying he is seeking to “… [promote] the idea that homosexuality is a matter of destiny, not choice” because “it’s important to educate society” along the lines of biological influence. In fact, LeVay opened his own school for homosexuals and lesbians in Los Angeles to help get the message out. (Due to declining enrollment, LeVay’s Institute of Gay and Lesbian Education was closed in 1996.) In all fairness, isn’t it at least possible that a scientist with such a personal agenda might subject himself to researcher bias? 
  1. The interpretation of data and methodology used by LeVay are also questionable. Other scientists have pointed out that the measurement Dr. LeVay used is suspect. Should the alleged influence of the nuclei be evaluated only by size—or, instead, by volume, actual cell count, density, or some other (or all three) criteria? Further, what do scientists do with each of these criteria? What does the data mean? The truth is that no one knows.  
  1. LeVay’s study faces the problem of almost all research attempting to prove biological determinism: lack of replication. This seems to be the Achilles’ heel of all such endeavors, for it appears that almost invariably other scientists discover they are unable to replicate the findings of the initial study, which means that the initial study has proven nothing at all. No matter how widely the results are heralded as “scientific evidence,” the “evidence” is either found to be elusive or, if replicated, subject to other interpretations that undercut a biological theory. Concerning Dr. LeVay’s work, there is no replication of his findings in any other scientific study. In fact, at least one study by Dr. Schwab in The Netherlands flatly contradicts it. 
Does The Bible Say That The Sun Was Created After The Earth?

In Genesis 1, the Bible states that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). It also states that on the third day, God “let the dry land appear… and called the dry land Earth” (Gen 1:9,10). However, on the fourth day, the Bible states that God “made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also…” (Gen 1:16). Science has already proven that the sun and the stars are older than the earth. So, obviously, the Bible contradicts science, right? Well, not if we interpret what the Bible actually states rather than what we think it states. 

The Bible doesn’t state that the sun was created on the fourth day. If we read the first verse in Genesis carefully, it states that God made Heavens and Earth IN THE BEGINNING. That was even before the first day when God “divided the light from darkness” (Genesis 1:4). On the fourth day, the Bible states that God “made the two great lights” (Genesis 1:5), notice that it didn’t say “created”, but rather, “made”.  

So what does all of this mean? 

God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, and the heavens included everything: sun, stars, galaxies, and planets, and the earth itself. In the creation narrative, there was heavy mist covering the earth which made it dark as it obstructed sunlight. On the fourth day, God made the sun, the moon, and the stars visible to the earth, but all of them were already created in the beginning (Genesis 1:1). 

Did Jesus Really Exist?

Few scholars hold the view that Jesus never lived. However, this idea is persistent and appears from time to time. For such scholars, the books of the New Testament are late with the exception of Paul’s epistles. Since Paul didn’t meet Jesus physically, it is possible that Jesus never existed at all and Christianity started without any contact with a historical Jesus who supposedly died about 30 AD because only in later documents is His sojourn on earth assigned to a specific time and place. 

However, there are five main problems with this view. 

First, Paul mentions a historical Jesus and exhibits sufficient interest in the life of the historical Jesus. This includes the preservation of eyewitness testimony to these facts. In 1 Corininthians, Paul incorporates a very early Christian creed that is much older than the book in which it appears. He states : 

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:3-7).  

Such early traditions appear frequently in the New Testament and consist of oral teachings and proclamations that were repeated until recorded in the book itself. These creeds, then, predate the New Testament writings in which they occur. This particular tradition records the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of Jesus.  

In addition, Paul not only met some of these witnesses personally, but he explains that his message concerning these facts is identical with their eyewitness testimony. He said that  “after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him for fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.” (Galatians 1:18-19). He also stated that the entire faith is based on this witness of the resurrection of Jesus “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.” (1 Corinthians 15:14-15). It was crucially important for Paul that this information is very close to the actual events, and therefore cannot be dismissed as late material or as hearsay evidence. 

Second, Paul demonstrates evidence that Jesus lived in the first century AD. He refers to Jesus’ contemporaries Cephas and the twelve (1 Corinthians 15:5); the apostles, the brothers of Christ, and Cephas (1 Corinthians 9:5); James the brother of the Lord (Galatians 1:18-19); the apostles Peter, James and John (Galatians 2:8-9); and Peter alone (Galatians 2:11). Further, Paul points out that most of the 500 people who saw the resurrected Jesus at one time were still alive when he wrote the book of 1 Corinthians, about AD 55-57. 

Many explanations of skeptics, therefore, can be categorized as “pettifogging”, where they raise a smoke screen instead of dealing directly with the material that goes against their hypothesis. 

The third main problem is that skeptics rely on ancient mystery religions to explain the existence of Christianity without a historical Jesus. Such a reliance on the development of legends was a popular thesis in the late 19th century, but has been dismissed later by the majority of researchers, and for good reason. Read more on Jesus and ancient myths in this article 


Also read more on why alternative theories to the resurrection are false in this article (

Fourth, the hypothesis that Jesus never existed relies on late dating of the Gospels to 90 AD at the earliest, with no links of Jesus’ death to Pilate before that date. Such dates for the Gospels may have been popular in the nineteenth century, but are abandoned today by the vast majority of scholars, and for good reason. Most critical scholars date Mark about AD 65-70 and Matthew and Luke about AD 80-90. Some scholars even accept dates earlier than these. 

For historical evidence outside of the New Testament on the crucifixion of Jesus at the time of Pilate, please read this article (

The fifth main problem is the lack of application of normal historical methodology to the Gospel material. If we apply to the New Testament the same sort of criteria as we should apply to ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject the existence of Jesus than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. 

In conclusion, few scholars have asserted that Jesus never existed or have attempted to cast almost total doubt on his life and ministry. When such efforts have occurred, they have been met by rare outcries from the scholarly community.  

Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?

Many Protestants think that they have an absolute assurance of their salvation, also called the doctrine of “eternal security” or “once saved, always saved”. For them it makes no difference—as far as salvation is concerned—how you live or end your life. You can announce that you’ve accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, and, as long as you really believe it, you’re set. From that point onwards there is nothing you can do, no sin you can commit, no matter how heinous, that will forfeit your salvation. You can’t undo your salvation, even if you wanted to. “To deny the assurance of salvation would be to deny Christ’s perfect redemption,” argues one Protestant theologian who continues by stating that “no wrong act or sinful deed can ever affect the believer’s salvation. The sinner did nothing to merit God’s grace and likewise he can do nothing to demerit grace.” In an extreme case, Martin Luther has instructed another reformer, Philip Melanchthon, to sin boldly!: 

God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness…No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.  

(Weimar ed. vol. 2, p. 371; Letters I, “Luther’s Works,” American Ed., Vol 48. p. 281- 282) 

Such instructions by Luther to sin willfully goes against the Word of God which sets a rule to know if we are abiding in Jesus or not: 

Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 

(1 John 3:6-9) 

So, is the doctrine of eternal security supported by the Bible?  

The simple answer is, no, the Bible doesn’t support eternal security. A believing Christian can lose their salvation.  

Many confuse the verses on “salvation” referring to the redemption that Christ accomplished for us objectively with “salvation” in the wider meaning that entails our individual appropriation of Christ’s redemption. The truth is that in one sense we are all redeemed by Christ’s death on the cross—Christians, Jews, Muslims, even animists in the darkest forests (1 Tim. 2:6, 4:10; 1 John 2:2)—but our individual appropriation of what Christ provided is contingent on our response. The entire New Testament teaches that our response to Christ’s redemption by believing in Him, repenting, and having faith that acts with love is essential for our salvation. 

Jesus stated that “every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away” (John 15:2). By saying a “branch in me”, He was clearly referring to believers in Him. Afterall, you don’t cut branches that aren’t attached. If a believer doesn’t bear fruit while having the ability to bear fruit, then they will be cast away, meaning that they will perish. Many Protestant theologians try to play mental gymnastics to twist the meaning of “He takes away” to mean that God will expose the unfruitful branch to more light so it can bear fruit. This interpretation, however, is not reasonable for many reasons. First, it hardly leaves any contrast or distinction between a fruitful branch that is pruned with an unfruitful one that is in a way pruned too! It is also a very nuanced interpretation that is not supported by any of the Church fathers, even any theologian before the reformation movement in the 16th century. This interpretation is also not aligned with the contextual understanding of the parable. In the parable of the sower, Jesus also stated that some will “believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13). 

St. Paul told St. Timothy that “if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). From this verse we understand that a believer can be worse than an unbeliever if they don’t provide for their families.  

St. Paul even went on to say that “it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” (Hebrews 6:4-6). He stressed the same idea when he stated that “if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26–29). St. Peter reiterates the same doctrine “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2 Pet. 2:20–22).  

The Bible is full of instructions to believers to hold on to their salvation, complete their salvation, and endure till the end. Salvation in the wider sense is not an instant, it’s a journey until death. Jesus said, “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Mattew 24:13; 25:31–46). St. Paul said, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” (Rom. 11:22). St. Paul instructed believers to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). He also  stated that our salvation is conditional upon endurance, “by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2). This is not the language of self-confident assurance. Our salvation is something that remains to be worked out. St. Paul was also concerned that some believers in Corinth might turn back to their sinful lives. He warned them to “not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). St. Peter also admonishes the believers to hold onto their faith, “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:18) and “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Why would the devil bother to deceive us if we have already been surely saved? St. Peter also encouraged the believers to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10). The need for diligence to make our election sure doesn’t align with the understanding that our election is certain and eternally secure. 

Finally, if salvation is guaranteed to believers on their first instant of believing, then the rest of Scripture is really irrelevant, or optional at best. In fact, the whole spirit and central message of Jesus’s preaching is to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17), not just believe, get saved, and enjoy the rest of your life regardless of any sins that you commit. Jesus emphasized the necessity of a faith acting in love for salvation as evidenced by the story of the withered fig tree. Jesus approached the tree seeking to find fruits, but it only had leaves, so He cursed it (Matthew 21:18-19). 

Objection 1: Some Protestants might ask: what about Jesus promising that “all that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (Jn. 6:37). Doesn’t that secure our salvation?  

Reply: Well, nothing in this verse establishes eternal security. It simply reveals that Jesus promised not to cast anyone who comes to Him, meaning anyone who believes and repents from their sin. Notice that the tense of the verbs in the verse doesn’t say that everyone the father gave me will always come to me. This promise is not for those who don’t truly and continually believe. If they don’t believe, repent and bear fruit, then they are not coming to Jesus, even if they were true believers at one point. They simply fell away. This verse means that we can be certain that Jesus will accept us any time we repent, not just once and for all even if we remain in our sin after we believe in Him. 

Objection 2: What about the verse where Jesus said “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:38-39). Doesn’t that mean that we have eternal security? 

Reply: Nothing in this verse refers to eternal security or the unconditionality of our salvation. It means that we can be certain of our salvation if we were given to Him by the Father, but only by  remaining in Jesus we can know that we were truly given to Him by the Father. Otherwise, how do we know if we are among the ones given to Jesus by the Father? It is only through remaining in Jesus till the end of our lives. Also, the reference to the will of the Father means the will of desire not decree. Jesus wanted Jerusalem to be gathered but they didn’t want out of their free will (Matthew 23:37). Jesus also said in John 17:12 that Judas was given to Him, but Judas was lost. It is also God’s will that all be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), but that won’t happen. 

Objection 3: But Jesus said that “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29). Doesn’t that mean that we can be certain of our salvation?  

Reply: Yes, we can be certain of our salvation, if we are among His sheep. Being a sheep means continuing to hear, know, and follow Jesus. Also, Jesus never says that He will never let the sheep stray. He promised that the devil can’t take us away from Him, but we can still freely leave Him. It is definitely possible for the sheep to stray as indicated in the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 16). 

Objection 4: What about the verse in Hebrews stating: “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). 

Reply: The verse doesn’t support eternal security. The promise here applies to “those who come to God through Him,” not those who abandon Him. The context of this verse is contrasting the priesthood of the Old Testament with Jesus’s redemption which is eternal unlike the office of the levitical high priest who was replaced because of death. It means that the sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient for eternity to redeem any sin that we repent of.  

Objection 5: But we got the slea of the Holy Spirit and guaranteed inheritance as St. Paul stated: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)  

Reply: The seal, like a deposit of faith, means that God is committed and able to save us if we remain in Him, not just unconditional inheritance. St. Paul clarified later in the same epistle that “no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:5-6). Regarding this verse, Irenaus from the second century commented that “those who disobey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons” (Against Heresies 4.41.3). 

Objection 6: Also, some may ask how can we understand that “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).  

Reply: Places where Scripture speaks of our ability to know that we are abiding in grace are important and must be taken seriously. But they do not promise that we will be protected from self-deception on this matter. In fact, the same verse instructs us to “continue to believe” which is far from a single moment of truth that leads to eternal salvation. In other words, if we continue to believe, we can know that we have eternal life in Jesus. This is a rule emphasized by St. John as he wrote that “by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:3-4) 

Objection 7: Apostates were not true christians in the first place. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (1 John 2:19). 

Reply: If “true Christians” never fall away, then we can’t know if we are that kind of Christian until death. Merely trying to explain that someone wasn’t really a true believer in retrospect hardly supports eternal security. It still leaves every believer with the possibility of falling away at some point in the future and necessitates enduring until the end of our lives before we can claim that our salvation is secured. Otherwise, any Christian still fall and someone would simply explain that they weren’t really Christian! Also, some apostates were false professors of the faith, but not all of them. Some were genuine believers with genuine faith, but fell away due to temptation or persecution. As Jesus explained, “the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” (Luke 8:13) 

In conclusion, many false doctrines can be supported by Biblical verses taken out of context, not in light of other relevant verses, and not referring to how early Christians, the disciples of the apostles, understood the Bible. As Saint Augustine said: “if you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” Therefore, we can claim that we are already saved by Christ’s redemption (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but we’re also being saved (1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and that we have the hope to be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul instructed, we are working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).  

What Is The Orthodox View On The Solus Christus Doctrine?

Solus Christus, the teaching that “Christ alone” is the means to salvation, was formulated in response to the strongly mediatorial understanding popular among sixteenth-century Roman Catholic clergy that only through the clergy can man approach God.  

Solus Christus and Priesthood 

The fear is that a fallible human being would presume to stand between a believer and God, that a priest could actually prevent someone from having access to salvation. This idea is similar to Donatism which was a Christian sect leading to a schism in the Church, in the region of the Church of Carthage, from the fourth to the sixth centuries AD. Donatists argued that Christian clergy must be faultless for their ministry to be effective and their prayers and sacraments to be valid. But instead of a denial of the efficacy of the sacraments from a particularly wicked priest, Protestants denied priesthood altogether because of the fallibility of the clergy. In the sense that the Reformers usually meant it, that salvation is possible only in and through Christ.  

Solus Christus is acceptable to Orthodox and Catholic doctrine but not the  accompanying rejection of the clerical role, and most especially in serving the sacraments. Some reformers emphasized the “priesthood of all believers” to the exclusion of the sacerdotal priesthood, thereby pitting the laity against the clergy. Orthodoxy also believes in the priesthood of all believers, but not in the eldership (the meaning of the presbyterate) of all believers. Ancient Israel had a similar notion for all believers: “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6, NKJV) yet Israel still retained a sacrificial priesthood to carry out the temple worship. The clergy has a role to play in salvation as the ministers of the sacraments, as the ones who are icons of Christ in offering up the sacrifice, but it is not an absolute role. God may save someone despite the wickedness of a priest, and we regard all believers as icons of Christ and members of the royal priesthood.  

Solus Christus and Saints 

Solus Christus, was also a response to the intercession of departed saints, since “Christ alone” has everything to do with salvation. Orthodox and Catholic churches don’t see departed saints as people who speak to God because we can’t. They are fellow believers whom we call alongside us to pray with us and for us.  We believe that departed Saints are alive in Paradise and are the triumphant members of the same one church in which we are militant members. We are all members of the Church, which is the one Body of Jesus Christ. The triumphant become invisible members because of the death of their bodies, and the ones still in material flesh are the visible ones. In God’s sight, we are all a visible holy family. Saints departed from earth, but did not leave the church; their love toward their brothers did not cease by their departure and dwelling in Paradise. Their prayers for the salvation of all the world never cease. They pray for us, and we venerate them as they are our holy and dear friends. The intercession of Saints doctrine is based on Scripture. We ask for the intercessions of the saints, as Jacob did when he asked for the intercessions of his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac “Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you” (Gen. 32:9, NKJV). Moses asked for the intercession of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ So, the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” (Exod. 32:13-14, NKJV). We Believe the Saints are not dead and they have special privileges in front of God as Our Lord and Savior taught “nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” (Luke 20:36-38, NKJV). 

Is Salvation Only By Faith?

In the New Testament, Paul wrote to the Romans that “a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). He also stated that “the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24). He also mentions in his letter to the Ephesians that “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2: 9,10). Yet, we also find a seeming contradiction in James as he states that “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).  

So, are we justified by faith only, or by both faith and works?  

The above verses by Paul in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians were addressed to the Jewish congregation who were maintaining the necessity of circumcision and other rituals of the law as means to salvation. We can see from the context that the Galatian Jews attributed redemption to their own deeds not to God. “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:2). The same issue was repeated with the Romans “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith” (Romans 3:27). Paul had to put things in order according to the words of Jesus who said “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Paul wanted to establish the necessity of faith for justification but surely it doesn’t say that good works are not necessary for justification, only the “works of the law” 

But how about the Ephesians verse, where Paul says that our salvation is “not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2: 9)? In this verse, Paul is not stating that we are saved by faith alone. Rather, through the redemption of Christ, which is the gift of God, we are saved. That does not preclude the necessity of good works as fruits of our faith. In fact, right after this verse, Paul states that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10) 

But then, where do we find in the New Testament that works are necessary for salvation? 

In the Same Epistle to the Galatians, Paul is talking about righteous works that are the fruits of the Spirit or Sinful works that are works according to the sinful nature of the flesh, and those will result in not inheriting the kingdom of God. He stated “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness.. that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-25). Paul himself puts it clear that our works are directly related to our inheritance of the kingdom of God. In the Book of Revelation chapter two, Christ mentioned several times to the bishops of the seven churches that “I know your works” as well as in chapter 22 where Jesus states that He is “am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” Jesus taught his disciples on numerous occasions about the necessity of works to inherit the kingdom of heaven. For example, in the parable of the tree without fruits, He teaches “very tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:19). He also teaches that “every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away” (John 15: 2), and that “not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 7: 21)