Elysia McColley

Jesus, Messiah

By Elysia McColley For the disciples of Jesus and the early church, the crux of their faith was that Jesus was the Messiah. The moniker “Christ” is the Hellenized form of the Hebrew word “Mashiach” (Messiah), so every time we refer to “Jesus Christ,” we are calling Him the Messiah. “Messiah” literally means “anointed one.” Throughout the Old Testament, when an individual was anointed, he or she became set apart for a holy, consecrated purpose. Consider when the prophet Samuel anointed Saul and later David to become king. Those two … Read More »

The Son of God and the Qur’an

By Elysia McColley According to the Qur’an, Jesus is not the Son of God. Muslims generally deny that He could possibly be God’s Son, based on the following verses in the Qur’an, as well as hundreds of years of Muslim theology: They [Christians] say, ‘God has taken a son.’ Exalted is He! Rather, to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him. Surah 2:116 The Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of God.’ That is their statement from their mouths; they … Read More »

Jesus, the Son of God

By Elysia McColley One of the most important beliefs of the entire Christian faith is that Jesus is the Son of God. This belief is so central to Christian ethics, theology, and apologetics that all points of doctrine can disintegrate without it. When confronted with the idea that maybe Jesus was not the Son of God, Christians can become defensive and shut down any dialogue with the person that disagrees. The issue at stake here isn’t that we want to defend our faith; 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared … Read More »

Was the Bible Corrupted? Part 3: The Septuagint

By Elysia McColley Read “Was the Bible Corrupted? Part 1: Abrogation” Imagine that your family’s ancestry is Scottish, but you have lived your entire life in the United States. You only speak English, and the English that you speak is a different dialect than the English that many Scots speak. You decide one day that you want to connect more with your heritage, so you and your family take a trip to Scotland. When you arrive, you are surprised to realize that in addition to different dialects of English, there … Read More »

Was the Bible Corrupted? Part 2: Peshitta

By Elysia McColley Read “Was the Bible Corrupted? Part 1: Abrogation” Last week, we looked at evidence that the Old Testament has been passed down reliably at least since 250BCE via the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew text. This week, we are going to look at the New Testament, particularly at a version of it that may be even older than the Greek manuscripts that most scholars use: the Peshitta, or Aramaic (Syriac) New Testament. The primary language of the Mediterranean during the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry … Read More »

Was the Bible Corrupted? Part 1: Abrogation

By Elysia McColley One criticism of the Bible is that it is corrupted, meaning that the document we have today is not the same as the document that existed 2000 years ago. There are many different ways to approach the topic of Biblical corruption, and I will address some of them through a series of blog posts. I want to begin by pointing to some truths that we need to be aware of as we approach the question of whether or not the Bible was corrupted. If God is omnipotent, … Read More »

Meet Our Next Contributor Elysia McColley

By Elysia McColley – PhD student in Christian-Muslim Relations at the University of Edinburgh. The gospel is universal, but the ways that we understand it are usually quite particular to our own cultures and the challenges that we face in our own lives. This lesson was one of the first that I learned when I moved to the Middle East and realized that my own worldview, which was heavily shaped by Western culture, was, in many ways, not enough to understand the culture in which I now lived. When I … Read More »