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:

*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."
*Spikes, Maryann. "McGrew's Undesigned Coincidences in the Bible."
*Williamson, Ben. "Discovered Undesigned Coincidences."
*McLatchie, Jonathan. "The Feeding of the Five Thousand: Did It Really Happen?"
*Wartick, J.W. "Jesus' Birth: How Undesigned Coincidences Give Evidence For the Truth of the Gospel Accounts."
*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.

*Blunt's Undesigned Coincidences and Paley's Horae Paulinae (1874). FREE. The two most important books on undesigned coincidences currently available. 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).
*McGrew, Lydia. Hidden in Plain View. This important work brings modern scholarship to this important argument.
*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)

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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