No Apologizing

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Tag Archives: Christ

Are Christians Sociopaths?


Are Christians, particularly Christians in America, sociopathic?

What started as an off the cuff remark I made during a recent sermon at my Church (Legacy Church, in Kansas City, MO) has begun to legitimately haunt me (you can hear the sermon here)…

Christian… Sociopath… These are two words that on the surface seem completely incompatible.  Acts 11:26 tells us that the term “Christian” was first used of disciples in the Antioch church.  This was initially used as an insult in that people were saying they were “little Christs”.  In other words, they were just like Jesus, who because of His great love for people, voluntarily died to pay for the sins of the world. On the other hand – the dictionary defines sociopath as “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” Another says that “Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.”

How can someone who is living a life that is reminiscent of a man whose critics admit was at least a good person and moral teacher exhibit behavior or attitudes that are patently selfish and apathetic to others? However, in spite of the apparent contradiction, I think if we are truly honest with ourselves, the answer is closer to “yes” than any of us who call ourselves a Christian would like to admit… And it tears me up inside… Let me allow this clip from Atheist Magician and Comedian Penn Jillette to begin to explain what I mean:

“How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” There is the rub… Way too many “Christians” fall in a daily routine and are comfortable to coast through life without a broken heart for their friends and family who, if what we believe is really true, are destined for an eternity without God… Well… to be honest that is the essence of selfishly living life “without concern for the effects of their behavior [or lack thereof] on others”, isn’t it???

We certainly shouldn’t be comfortable with it… But sadly I think that may just be the problem… our comfort.  Because we are relatively comfortable, especially in comparison to most of the rest of the world, we just get into auto pilot and unintentionally slip into apathy.  It’s not a conscious thing, but it occurs anyway… and it’s tragic.

Penn said “There comes a point where I tackle you… and this is more important than that.” Because people’s eternities are so important, our “social conscience” should remind us that we have a “moral responsibility” to love those around us enough to take the risk of offending them or losing a friendship to in a sense “tackle” them by sharing the truth about Jesus

Let’s pray to God for forgiveness for our sociopathic tendencies and begin to live a life that actually reflects our name-sake, Jesus… and refuse to scoot through life uncaring and unaffected by the many people we know who do not yet have a relationship with Him.

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Mother abandons daughter at bar


A mother of a developmentally disabled 19 year old girl took her to a bar, told her to go to the bathroom, and then left.  CLICK HERE for the full story.

My heart sinks reading something as disgusting as this.  My immediate thought is, why?  What possible reason could this woman have

Well….He has always been with you.

for leaving her own daughter at a bar and abandoning her?  Is it because of the stress in raising a child that is developmentally disabled?  Has a hard time learning?  Has a hard time listening?  Present unique challenges?  Can be frustrating?  I can probably list many more reasons that this woman would give as to why she would abandon her.

Folks, all I can think about is what a loving God that we have.  Look at those questions above.  Do you realize that we are these things to God?  And rather than taking us to the nearest bar and dropping us off, shunning us, and abandoning us, He did the opposite.  He sent His Son to die on the cross for us.  He did this when we abandoned Him, when we chose not to listen, when we chose not to love Him, when we choose to deny Him and who He is.  He sent His Son despite our learning/developmental disabilities.

Lets forget the fact for one second that this was a disabled 19 year old girl abandoned by her mother.  What about sons and daughters with no disabilities who are abandoned by their mothers and fathers, daily.  ALL OF US need to remember (including those who do the abandoning) that God has never, and will never abandon us.  I thank the Lord every day for this.  That while I am a hard headed, stubborn, lazy, ignorant, idolatrous and rebellious, that He never decided to say…Hey Robert, why don’t you go stare at that shiny car for  a while….I’ll be right here waiting for you when you are done….wink, wink.

Thank you God for being perfect in love and in grace.

Mourning the Death of Osama Bin Laden…


If you’ve read this blog at all you know that we are not fans of any religion or worldview that sets itself up against the God of the Bible. Nor do we back down from honest and straightforward debate with proponents of those worldviews.  I’m also not a fan of heinous acts perpetrated against our great nation and her people.  So it will probably surprise you that I have been grieved over the last few days by the death of Osama Bin Laden and I have been doubly heart-broken over the reaction the majority of our nation has had over this news.  Before you even think it, let me say that doesn’t make me a Muslim sympathizer and it makes me no less patriotic.

Look, let me explain:  I’m not saying that justice wasn’t served… because it was.  Nor am I claiming that he didn’t bring it upon himself… because he did.  And I’m definitely not saying that he shouldn’t have been stopped and dealt with… because he absolutely 100% needed to be.

What’s got my heart hurting is the fact that there is one more soul whose fate is sealed to be eternally separated from the loving God of this universe in a horrible place called Hell and people are rejoicing over it.  Regardless of what people may claim or wish or pretend, or what Rob Bell may imply, Hell is very real… it is very bad… and it is eternal.  So much so, I’d not wish it on my worst enemy – Even Osama Bin Laden… Even Hitler… Even the people who have directly, personally and deeply wounded me (both intentionally and unintentionally).

Again, please don’t misunderstand me here…  I am NOT a fan of Bin Laden… I detest and denounce what he has done… He was evil to the core and I realize the chances of him ever accepting Christ were slim to none… Well, given recent events, Slim is permanently out of town, so the chances are obviously zero now. But we have condemned Osama for his blatant disregard for the value on human life, but yet, by rejoicing his death aren’t we doing the same?

Some of you may call me a hypocrite because I am a proponent of capital punishment… And I definitely believe that Bin Laden should have been put to death (and unlike Mendenhall I do believe we have all the info we need to condemn Bin Laden’s actions and he would have undoubtedly been convicted had he made it to court)…. What I’m saying is that we need not rejoice over it.  There are often things that NEED to be done, but which should give us no pleasure in the doing of them… Burying the dead, disciplining your children, complicated and painful (but life-saving) surgery, chemo-therapy, etc. are all examples of things that have to be done that no sane person should rejoice over.  In fact, that last one may be the best example… Killing Bin Laden was chemo-therapy – it eliminated a cancer that needed to be dealt with, but is it cause for jubilant celebration? I submit to you no, it is not.

Consider this… 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  That “everyone” includes people we’d rather not have existed… Hitler… Stalin… Bin Laden… child abusers… rapists… your ex… EVERYONE.  Further food for thought is Ezekiel 33:11 which says, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’”

Does that mean everyone will believe and or that everyone will enter into Heaven? By no means, (God speaks about punishing the wicked in the Ezekiel verse – sorry Rob Bell, both God’s Love AND His Justice wins) but it does mean that we should value human life and desire, like God does that everyone come to know him… It means that we need to tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ… and it means we should grieve when people die without Him – even people as evil as Osama Bin Laden.  We need to love and pray for people as long as we and they are alive and let the Lord sort it out when we’re all dead (cf. Romans 12:19)… In fact Jesus Himself said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-45).

Getting to that place is hard… and it will require a revolution in thinking… but let me ask you this:  Can you bring yourself to care more about the Kingdom of God than the good ol’, US of A?  That’s where I believe God is leading me… How about you?

So yes, I grieve for Osama Bin Laden… as well as all who die without knowing Jesus. Do you?

WHY ARE YOU ACTING THAT WAY?!


The use of the Lords name has become as casual as casual day on Friday.  You cannot turn on a movie or a TV show where God or Jesus Christ is not used flippantly or

Sometimes...even I wonder

 frivolously.   For that matter some Kids movies are known to use God’s name in a flippant manner.  People who write these things, or say God in a way that is not reverent do so because to them…God’s name is no different saying “couch” or “chair”.  Take for example the movie Pulp Fiction.  God is said 34 times in a way that is not reverent at all. Jesus Christ… an additional 4 times.  I wonder when God or Jesus Christ is used in vain during this movie if anything is actually added to the movie.  This means that God’s name was taken in vain at least every 3 to 4 minutes.  While Pulp Fiction may be an extreme it is an illustration of how socially acceptable it has come to take the Lords name in vain.

Commandment 3 – You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.

Rather than dwelling on the obvious uses of God’s name in vain let’s focus on some things you probably haven’t considered.

As a Christian…are you taking the Lords name in vain when you say “I am a Christian”, and then act to the contrary?  I ask this question knowing full well that we are not perfect, and that we will make mistakes.  What I am talking about is willingly committing sin, either privately or for all of the world to see.   I would argue yes.  Consider this.  As Christian’s we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  We are Christ by name.  If we represent the name and we act in a way that is irreverent to that name… we have taken that name in vain.  It really is that simple.  So in this since it goes beyond the spoken word in into our actions. Yes…you can act a certain way…and take the Lord’s name in vain.

Take for example the common mistake of a Christian saying that God doesn’t belong in a work place, and then proceeding to act VERY un-Christ like.  It could be lying, or backstabbing someone, or demeaning someone in front of the office or what not.  Then this same person talks about Church or being a Christian or how passionate they are about Christ.  I am sure we have all seen this person, or you are thinking about someone in particular as you read this…I know I am.  The question then becomes…is that person taking the Lord’s name in vain?  Even allowing for grace, we are all going to sin, and make mistakes.  I am in no way advocating that we have to be perfect.  But never the less…these actions are taking the Lord’s name in vain. (check out this funny, yet powerful illustration, by BlueFish TV)

We as Christian’s must be cognizant of our own representation of God’s name – In fact, the word “Christian” literally means “little Christ.”  Others, who see us use God’s name in vain, usually call it being a hypocrite.  But the effect of these actions are on the level as dropping the worst, profane use of God’s name possible because the impact is the same.  The holy name of God is tarnished in the eyes of unbelievers.

TOP TEN posts for for our year!


Well, we have ended our first year of the No Apologizing Blog.  When we first started this blog we weren’t sure what was going to happen, thanks for coming out to view some of our top posts.  That being said here is the TOP TEN for the No Apologizing Blog: Read more of this post

The evidence that Jesus is real…The New Testament


By request we have decided to take a like at some of the overwhelming evidence for Jesus.  Not just the fact that he existed, but also that he was God in the flesh.  This can be a daunting task, so much so, a number of great books have been written on the topic.  One that is highly recommended by both KB and I is the book More than a Carpenter.  This is a great read that focuses on one man’s search to disprove that Christ existed, and ended up coming to Christ.    

To set this up…

Many atheists will say that either Christ didn’t exist (wasn’t even born), or will concede the point that He existed, but was not divine.  Most will tell you that the New Testament cannot be counted as historical evidence to support Christ.  This is a fascinating argument by atheists because the argument would undercut most, if not all historical events that were documented in antiquity.  The truth is that the historical events recorded in the Gospels, and the New Testament are the most documented events in antiquity.  Atheists choose to deny this truth…either out of ignorance or plain stubbornness.  We simply ask that atheists apply the same standards to the Bible as they would to other historical documents.

Now consider this for one moment.  The original dates of the New Testament writings were between 50 – 100 AD.  Some atheist’s will disregard the historicity of the

The New Testament...written in the same time frame as Band of Brothers.

 Gospels and Acts because they were not written at the time of Christ.  However, I would submit that this is simply a red herring.  Take for example the Events of World War II.  One of the most celebrated books about World War, Band of Brothers, was written in 1992.  Using interviews of the men, Stephen Ambrose was able to compile an excellent retelling of the events of Easy Company.  Band of Brothers chronicled the acts of the men of Easy Company.  It detailed some of their conversations, their emotions, and their actions.  I don’t believe there is anyone who would doubt that the events, or conversations documented in this book were not real.  But there is a catch.  This book was written some 40 years after the fact. 

Christ was crucified in approximately 33 AD.  If we were to apply the same time frame for Band of Brothers that would put that book being written at about 73 AD, which is smack dab in the middle of the time-frame when the New Testament was being written.  History books, in general, are written several years after the fact.  There are books being written about US Presidents… 200 years after the fact.  All are generally accepted as being historically accurate.  Remember, the New Testament was written within 20 – 70 years of the events it records.  This is the equivalence of reading a new history book about, Ronald Reagan’s Presidency (20 years), The Vietnam War (40 years), The Korea War (57 years), and World War 2 (65 years).

Keep in mind this is only a set up to future posts.  Our goal with this post was to demonstrate that the timing of the writing of the New Testament, is not that dissimilar to our current history books.

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Laminin: Chance or Design


So the last day or two I have been out looking at some atheist forums.  I wanted to see what atheists thought about laminin.  For a quick recap…Laminin is the glue that holds our body together, oh and the molecular structure is in the shape of a cross.  Anyway…back to the forums.  I went out to some atheist forums to see what they think.  Aside from the usual insults and superiority that most atheists had to offer the general consensus is that Laminin is merely a coincidence.

Chance or Design?

Chance or Design?

For an atheist to believe that laminin is a coincidence would make sense because it fits into their world view.  For an atheist everything in life would have to be the result of coincidence or chance.  There is no reason for things happening, they just happen.  This is their world view.  So it would make sense that they would look at something like laminin and believe that Christians see what they want to see, not what is real.

So is it chance….or design?  That is what it really comes down to.  For an atheist’s argument to hold true everything would have to be about chance.

When your eyes were created one million nerve endings left your eye to match with one million nerve ending in your brain.  This match up has to be perfect or you would not be able to see.  Think about the incredible statistic that allows you to see!  For every optic nerve there is a 1 in 1 million chance that it misses its match. That is just the beginning…I found this little tid bit…from here:

The 500 amino acids that make up an average-sized protein can be arranged in over 1 x 10^600 different ways (that’s the number ONE followed by 600 zeros)! This number is vastly larger than the total number of atomic particles that could be packed into the known universe. If we had a computer that could rearrange the 500 amino acids of a particular protein at the rate of a billion combinations a second, we would stand essentially no chance of hitting the correct combination during the 14 billion years evolutionists claim for the age of the universe. Even if our high-speed computer were reduced to the size of an electron and we had enough of them to fill a room measuring 10 billion light years square (about 1 x 10^150 computers!), they would still be exceedingly unlikely to hit the right combination. Such a “room” full of computers could only rearrange about 1 x 10^180 combinations in 300 billion years. In fact, even if all the proteins that ever existed on earth were all different, our “room” full of computers would be exceedingly unlikely to chance upon the combination of any one of them in a mere 300 billion years!

Chance or Design?

How about the ribozyme?  The ribozyme is an enzyme responsible for creating a chemical reaction.  Fairly important to the creation of life…meaning that it couldn’t happen without it.  Now let’s assume that each ribozyme is 300 nucleotides long and each position there could be  4 nucleotides present.  The chances of that ribozyme assembling are 4^300.  What to see what that number looks like?

4,149,515,568,880,990,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.00

That is 1 in that number above that the ribozyme would form.

Chance or design?

How about the probability of the occurrence of a universe in which life can form?  According to Roger Penrose the probability of the occurrence of a universe in which life can form is  1010123 .  Want to see what this looks like numerically?

1 chance in

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Keep in mind that according to mathematic principle a probability of 1 in 1050 means zero probability.

Chance or Design?

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Jehovah’s Witness…what are you going to do?


Okay….raise your hand if you have ever had a Jehovah’s Witness come to your door. I have TWO Jehovah Witness church’s within a couple miles of my house. They are always coming by…never when I am home. I am resolved to minister to them the next time they come by and I am there. The Way of the Master did a great video on Jehovah’s witness’s, and what they believe. Think about this…When a Jehovah’s witness comes to your door…it is a opportunity to witness to them!

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Dead Birds, Dead Fish…is there a meaning behind this?


So, if you haven’t seen the news…over the new years about 5,000 birds and 100,000 fish died in Arkansas.  The birds appeared to have died from internal injuries from a blunt force trauma, and there is no news on the fish.  The official explanation is that fireworks stunned the birds, and caused them to fall.  The unofficial explanation can span any number of theories.  Many are wondering if there are any biblical prophecies that would predict this.  Some want to tie it into the end of the world.  I however, think that is the wrong way to look at it.

*UPDATE**  Here is a map of the mass animal death’s. There are now reports of hundreds of birds dead in Texas, thousands of fish dead in Florida, and 40,000 dead crabs in England.

Sure it is a little creepy that 5,000 birds fell from the sky.  I was telling my aunt last night to imagine the shock of driving while that happened.  I thought about what my reaction would be.  I would probably just put the car into park, put the seat back and think….this is really happening.  That being said, I don’t believe that this has anything to do with the end of the world.  I could be wrong, because nobody knows, but there’s no biblical prophecy about it…  I can tell you though that there is a lesson to be learned.

Probably what is the most shocking of this story is the suddenness that all of this has happened.  Thousands of birds dead for no apparent reason…  Hundreds of thousands of fish dead…  How many times have we thought about something like this?  One moment these birds are roosting…the next dead.  One minute these fish are swimming, the next dead.

All life operates in this manner… including yours.

Take Luke 12:19-21.  In this passage Christ is teaching on the parable of the Rich Fool.  Here a Rich man had acquired all kinds of wealth.  So much that he ran out of room to store it.  He finally came to the conclusion that he needed to tear down a couple of buildings and build bigger ones where he could store more wealth.  Look at God’s response “‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ (Luke 12:20).

Also look at James 4:13-15:  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

So what does all of this mean?  You have no idea what will happen tomorrow.  One moment you could be driving to work, the next dead.  Nothing brings God’s Word close to home better than reality.

The point of Luke 12 and James 4 is not to say “live for today” or “Just Do It”.  To the contrary, Luke 12:20-21 provides you the key to all of this: “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’   21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Get rich with God today…. Not with just your money, but with you whole life.  Commit your life to Christ – Live for Him. It is the only way that you can be rich with God.  Tomorrow may never come.

If you need help or have questions please feel free to contact us.

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You KNOW it’s a Myth!


You KNOW it's a Myth

Atheist's may have this one right...for a change.

The above image is a snap-shot of a billboard put up near the Lincoln Tunnel by the American Atheist Society.  I may not agree with Atheist’s on 99.999999999% of things, but they may have inadvertently stumbled onto something with the “You KNOW it’s a Myth” billboard.  If you know us at all… you know our stance on Biblical reliability and authority, but hear me out here…

There is a lot about the Christmas story that is either presumed or assumed.  Much of this has to do with the story of the wise men.  From a biblical perspective, very little is known about the wise men.  However, much can be determined based on their actions.  This to me is the story behind the story of Christmas.  The story of the wise men provides a interesting backdrop to the birth of the Messiah, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Where did the Wise men come from? 

There is very little in the Bible that indicates where the wise men came from.  Tradition (as well as a popular Christmas carol) have them coming from the Orient.  From a biblical perspective this assumption is tenuous at best.  What we know from the Bible is that they simply were from the East…  nothing more.  That being said, in order to determine where they came from we have to look at historical circumstances.  For that let’s look at the Parthian Empire.  The Parthian Empire was a rival to the Roman Empire.  The “MU” to the “KU”, the “OU” to the “UT”. The Parthian Empire was the ruling empire of East Asia.  It’s boarders extended from the Euphrates river all the way to Modern day Pakistan.  The Parthian Empire is relevant because it was the ruling Empire for Babylon at the time of Christ’s birth and the Parthian Empire fought with the Romans in 40 BC for control over Palestine.  The Parthian Government was ruled by two assemblies; the Arsacids (royal family) and the Megistanes which consisted of Magi (priests) and wise men (influential Parthian of non-royal blood).  While there is still debate as to where the wise men, or Magi, came from, the Parthian Empire may provide the best possible place for a number of reasons that will be explored a little later on. 

Many speculate that the wise men came from Babylon.  This is entirely possible.  The interesting thing is, Babylon was located within the Parthian Empire.  One more interesting item of note:  The Parthian Empire was on the door steps of Palestine.

Who were the Wise men?

So who exactly are these wise men?  Most Christians probably pay no attention as to who they really are, and focus more on the fact that they were at the birth of Christ. 

Here is what we can gather from the Bible.  Depending on the translation you use you will see the word Magi, or wise men in Matthew 2:1.  While I do agree that some Magi (wise men) were pagan in nature there were some who were not.  Something to consider: while the Israelites were held captive in Babylon, Daniel was appointed to be the Chief Administrator over all of the wise men (Daniel 2:48).  Additionally, a large number of Israelites (Levites, and Bejaminites) stayed in Babylon after the exile.  The conclusion here is that there was a fairly large contingent of Israelites in Babylon for a long period of time that would extend from post exile (approx 537 BC), to Parthian Empire Babylon (247 BC) to the Birth of Christ (approx 4 BC). 

In a broader context one could look at it this way:  There is a high probability that there were Magi in Babylon (circa the Parthian Empire) that were very well aware of the prophecies of Daniel), as well as the prophecies.

Again, Some Magi were members of Parthian government.  It would be the equivalent of the Senate in the US.  These are men who were able to elect the King as well as depose the King.  Needless to say, the Magi carried a certain amount of gravitas wherever they went.  Remember, the Parthian  and Roman empires bordered one another and  had been at war for a number of years just prior to the birth of Christ.  As a result, Herod probably feared the Parthian Empire, because he was once replaced as King by  King Antigonus who was a vassal to Parthia.  When the Romans regained control of the area… Herod was restored to power. 

Why would the Magi come to Jerusalem and then Bethlehem?  

This question gets to the heart of the matter.  Why would these men travel to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem upon seeing a star?  There would have to be something incredibly compelling to travel nearly 1,000 miles to see the King of the Jews.  Ezra’s travel from Babylon to Jerusalem was 120 days (Ezra 7:8-9).  This is a pretty significant trip.  Overall, for the Magi, this would be a trip that lasted nearly 8 to 9 months.  Why would they do this?  What was so compelling to them that they would leave their homes, travel by caravan, to follow this star?  I would suggest that it is because of Numbers 24:17.  

Numbers 24:17 reads as follows: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel”.  The interesting thing about this passage is that Balaam was a sorcerer hired by Balak to curse the Israelites as they camped on his boarders, ready to conquer him.  Instead of cursing Israel, God took control over Balaam and he blessed the Israelites (Numbers 24:10-14).  Then Balaam dropped the bombshell in numbers 24:17.  Many speculate what the meaning of 24:17 is.  Some say that it relates to David’s kingdom.  If this is the case, then the prophecy was not fully fulfilled by David.  The Damascus Document is a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It is a commentary on scripture that dates back to 2nd century BC.  Part of the Damascus commentary focuses on Numbers 24:17.  And the star is the seeker of the Law who came to Damascus, because it was written a star has came forth out of Jacob and a scepter has risen out of Israel. The scepter stands for the prince of the congregation. At his coming he shall break down all the sons of Sheth.”  Numbers 24:17 had been interpreted to mean the coming Messiah.  If I’m correct, this is how the Magi would have read Numbers 24:17. 

Back to the motivation for the trip…  If these men were holdovers from the exile or shared the same office that Daniel had, there is a very good chance that the Magi would have to have been familiar with the prophesy of Numbers 24:17 in order to understand the meaning of the star over Jerusalem.  This is why they left seeking the King (Scepter) of the Jews.  Additionally, they may have known they were in the Messianic era because  Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy was coming to an end. If this is the case, they would have expected the Messiah to be born soon in order for the prophecy to hold true.

How many Magi came?

Most, if not all, nativity scenes show three Magi present.  Most Christmas stories tell of three wise men being present.  The reality is that Bible makes no mention of the number of Magi that came to Jerusalem (it only lists their three gifts).  In fact, men of the stature as described above would have required many attendants to come with them.  Given the value of their gifts to Jesus and the dangerousness of the road they likely traveled, the Magi more than likely would have needed an armed escort – especially if they were officials from the Parthian Empire.  This presents an interesting image of not just three but literally hundreds of attendants with any number of Magi travelling across the country side following a star.  This point is most notable as the caravan reaches Jerusalem and is seemingly able to get virtually an immediate audience with King Herod.

When did the Magi come?

Again, if you look at most nativity scenes, you would be under the impression that the Magi were present at the birth of Christ.  Again, this is not biblically supported.  As a matter of fact, the Bible (Matthew 2) clearly contradicts this notion.  Matthew 2:1 is the first indicator that the wise men were not at the birth of Jesus.  Additionally, take this into consideration; if the star appeared over Jesus at the time of birth we know at a minimum that it would be at least 120 days before the Magi could reach Jerusalem.  If you add on the time that it would take to identify the star, organize the caravan, plan the trip and get on the road, one could easily be looking at anywhere from 5-6 months total time before they reached Jerusalem.  Maybe another month before they reached where Jesus was.  This would make sense with King Herod’s order to kill all of the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16).

Based on the above information we can logically determine that (in regards to the “Three Kings” of carol fame) the Atheists have it right – Well, sort of… and purely by accident.  However, we should celebrate reason, rather than legend.  And reason dictates that the Bible is historically accurate and the final authority on all things theological and historical. This really is the little known story of Christmas.  If my historical theory holds true, then many of the idea’s surrounding the greatest story ever told would be a legend built off of this historical story.

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