Tuesday, November 3, 2015


What is an "undesigned coincidence"? 

"Notable details, often mentioned in passing by different authors, turn out on examination to fit like pieces of a puzzle, together presenting a fuller and more credible story....As in a jigsaw puzzle ins and outs, straights and curves fit, sky blue with a touch of cumulus, together in an unforeseen way to present an intelligible picture." (p.98 of Jesus Is No Myth by David Marshall)

Yet another description is given in this 2 1/2 minute video by Jonathan McLatchie:

My Class: 
"Undesigned Coincidences"
*MP3 Audio (45 minutes)
*PowerPoint Slideshow: When you click on this link, you will note the option at the top to "Open with Google Slides" or you may open with MS PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress (which is free).
*Class Handout
*I recommend opening the audio and using the PowerPoint Slideshow as you listen (and/or the handout).
*"Peter's House" by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor: the article I mentioned that tells why Peter and Andrew moved from Bethsaida to Capernaum for a tax break on their fishing business.
*The entire 16-week course may be found here: "HOW TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST THAT CHANGES THE WORLD (Apologetics 101: A Cumulative Case)"

*McLatchie, Jonathan. "What Are Undesigned Coincidences?" The "One Minute Apologist" interviews McLatchie (2 1/2 minutes)
*Putnam, Cris. "Undesigned Coincidences (evidence for the historicity of the Gospels)" (9 1/2 minutes)

*Owens, Larry. "Undesigned Coincidences - An Introduction, Part 1." Part 2.
*McGrew, Tim. "John James Blunt." A very brief article introducing Blunt (& Paley's) relationship to the argument from undesigned coincidences.
*McGrew, Tim and Z.E. Kendall. "Undesigned Coincidences in Scripture" a page from the CAA Catechism at the Christian Apologetics Alliance website.

*McGrew, Lydia. "Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Consequences in the Gospels and Acts." 
*McGrew, Tim. "Internal Evidence for the Truth of the Gospels and Acts" (1 hour)
*McGrew, Tim. "Timothy McGrew interviewed by Apologetics315." (53 minutes)
*Turek, Frank. "Elaborate Testimony, Part 1" (3 minutes); "Elaborate Testimony, Part 2(7 minutes); "Elaborate Testimony, Part 3(6 minutes); "Elaborate Testimony, Part 4(6 minutes); "Elaborate [Extra Biblical] Testimony, Part 1(8 minutes); "Elaborate [Extra Biblical] Testimony, Part 2(6 minutes); "Elaborate [Extra Biblical] Testimony, Part 3(13 1/2 minutes)
*McLatchie, Jonathan. "Can We Trust the New Testament?" (1 hour 5 minutes)
*Smith, Scott. "Undesigned Coincidences" (42 minutes)
*YouTube Query of Undesigned Coincidences will give you a few more.

*McGrew, Tim. "Are There Internal Marks of Truth in Scripture?" (39 minutes)
*"Do Undesigned Coincidences Confirm the Gospels" A debate on the Unbelievable? radio program between Tim McGrew and Bart Ehrman (over an hour). In this debate, Ehrman tries to make a parallel between Jesus and Baal Shem Tov. See a response here.

Articles (& Book Chapters)
*Cooper, Brad. "Why Peter Objected to Eating Animals That God Had Made Clean"
*McGrew, Tim. "Undesigned Coincidences" (a 6-part series of blog articles): 
  Part 1Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6
*McGrew, Tim. "Tim McGrew Replies to Ed Babinski's Critique of His Discussion of Undesigned Coincidences."

*McGrew, Tim. "Undesigned Coincidences: The Ring of Truth" (summary of Frank Turek's interview with Dr. McGrew on CrossExamined).
*McGrew, Lydia. "A New Undesigned Coincidence Discovered."
*McGrew, Lydia. "An Undesigned Coincidence Involving John 6."
*McGrew, Lydia. "Unexplained Allusions: The Sons of Thunder."
*McGrew, Lydia. "What We're Reading: Horae Paulinae."
*McGrew, Lydia. "Paley's Horae Paulinae on Aquila and Priscilla."
*McGrew, Lydia. "He Is Risen!"
*McGrew, Lydia. "Follow Up to Part II of Ehrman-McGrew Radio Debate."
*McGrew, Lydia. "Undesigned Coincidences in the Old Testament: The Revolt of Libnah."
*McGrew, Lydia. "Evidence & the Artless Author" chapter XI of The Mirror or the Mask, p.255-299. 
*McLatchie, Jonathan. Yes, Richard Carrier, There Are Undesigned Coincidences (6-Part Series). The link will take you to Part 6, but you will find the links to the other 5 articles at the beginning there.
*McLatchie, Jonathan. "The Feeding of the Five Thousand: Did It Really Happen?"
*McLatchie, Jonathan. "The Nativity Defended." 
*McLatchie, Jonathan. "Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences: The Ring of Truth."
*Wallace, J. Warner. Cold-Case Christianity. p. 183-191.
*Marshall, David. Jesus Is No Myth. Chapter 8, p.98-110.

*Wartick, J.W. "Jesus' Birth: How Undesigned Coincidences Give Evidence For the Truth of the Gospel Accounts."
*Spikes, Maryann. "McGrew's Undesigned Coincidences in the Bible."

*Williamson, Ben. "Discovered Undesigned Coincidences."

*McGrew, Lydia. Hidden in Plain View. This important work brings modern scholarship to the argument from undesigned coincidences and does so in a way that is helpful to scholars yet accessible to everyone.
*Blunt's Undesigned Coincidences and Paley's Horae Paulinae (1874). FREE. The two most important books on undesigned coincidences bound together in a single volume. Blunt's Undesigned Coincidences is divided as follows: Part I: The Veracity of the Books of Moses (p.1-109); Part II: The Veracity of the Historical Scriptures (p. 110-219); Part III: The Veracity of the Prophetical Scriptures (p. 220-253); Part IV: The Veracity of the Gospels and Acts (p.254-361).
*Birks, T.R. Horae Apostolicae (1850). FREE (at title link): You will need to scroll all the way to the  bottom of this page to find the PDF file to download. Look for the red Adobe icon just  inside the bottom border. Or you can read it online here.
*Howson, John Saul. Horae Petrinae: Or Studies in the Life of St. Peter (1883). FREE.
*McGarvey, John Williams. Evidences of Christianity (1886). FREE (at title link). "Part III, ch. 7. McGarvey’s textbook contains a chapter discussing nineteen undesigned coincidences among the Gospels. He draws material from Blunt, but he also adds some of his own. The whole book provides excellent material for further study." (from a handout by Tim McGrew)

*McGrew, Lydia. "Undesigned Coincidences and Coherence for an Hypothesis." A pre-publication version of an article submitted to the journal Erkenntnis. "A detailed analysis of the probability-theoretic basis for undesigned coincidences, explained in secular terms....Author's accepted manuscript version archived with publisher's permission..." (as stated in the footnote on p.257 of The Mirror or the Mask by Lydia McGrew)

Jesus feeding the crowd of 5000 men (heads of household) plus women and children--an account in all four of the Gospels for which there are undesigned coincidences (Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9; John 6). Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

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