What Does the Bible Say About Apologetics?

The Domain for Truth

What Does the Bible Say About Apologetics?Many people get confused with the term apologetics.  When they hear the word apologetics, they think it means a person is being sorry for something.  But that cannot be the correct understanding because Christians should never apologize for the truth of the Bible’s message.  The word apologetics is derived from the Greek term apologia.  This word that is derived from the term apologia means, “defense.”  As a result, Christians are not supposed to apologize for their faith, but they are to defend or contend for the faith (Jude 3).  According to Kelly James Clark, “Apologetics is the art of defending a claim against objections.”  Christianity is concerned with the truth.  And since they are concerned with the truth, they are called to defend the faith from hostile objections.

When it comes to apologetics, the term appears 17 times in a noun (apologia) or verb (apologeomai) form in the New Testament.  They both can be translated defense or vindication.  Vindication means to prove that what you argue for is correct, reasonable, or justified.  When Christians defend or vindicate truths of Christianity, they use Scripture to justify, to make right, and to make the truth reasonable.

The term apologia not only appears in the New Testament world, but it was also used in pagan literature.  In the New Testament we see it being used when Paul was before a mob in Jerusalem.  And it was there in Jerusalem, when he said, “Hear my defense (apologia).”  But what sources do we have that indicates that the term was used in pagan literature?  For example, the term was used in the Apology of Socrates.  In this literature, we see that Plato gave an account of Socrates’ trial in Athens.  But let us investigate more in detail to see how this term was used in the New Testament.  Let’s see how Paul used it.  Paul used this in a variety of contexts: 1 Corinthians 9:3; 2 Corinthians 12:19; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Romans 2:15; 2 Timothy 4:16; Philippians 1:7; and Philippians 1:16.

In 1 Corinthians 9:3, you see Paul defending his apostleship from the Corinthian believers.  The Corinthian Church were rumbling or doubting his apostleship.  As a result, he felt the pressing need to defend it…


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