By David Limbaugh

Nativity stable: more than a fable

It has become cliché to hear people say that the Bible is just a book of fables with nice moral lessons. Yet did you know there is more abundant and accurate manuscript evidence for the Bible's New Testament than any other book from antiquity? Look it up.

Moreover, the number of witnesses (over 500 at once) to Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection, as well as the nature of their testimony, is strong evidence of the reliability of the scriptural accounts. Corroborating secular sources like historians Tacitus and Josephus, Roman politician Pliny the Younger, Greek satirist Lucian, and Roman philosopher Celsus and archaeological evidence only strengthens this case.

Okay, so maybe there is proof that Jesus was a real historical figure but surely He did not do all the miracles the Bible claims He did?

Consider this, the New Testament writers had every temporal motive to deny Jesus' resurrection occurred. Why would they fabricate and stand by a story that would lead to their being beaten, tortured and murdered? Paul himself – the writer of a great portion of the New Testament – murdered Christians for their faith before his miraculous transformation after meeting Jesus for himself, and he was beaten for his faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Investigate, also, that during Jesus' life on earth He fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies, all written hundreds of years before his birth.

What about those who believe that Jesus was powerful but was still just an angel or a prophet?

Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sins, He claimed to be God. At one point He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to God the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you will also know My Father...The one who has seen Me has seen God the Father" (John 14:6-8). While standing trial Jesus later confirmed His deity to the high priest, knowing this would lead to His crucifixion (see Mark 14:62).

Jesus backed up His words with actions. He healed the sick and the disabled. He also raised people from the dead, saying He would give us things that only God can give. "For just as God the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it" (see John 5:21).

Jesus told us not just to follow His teaching but to follow Him (see Matthew 10:38).

The biggest miracle of all was Jesus' own resurrection, which He predicted beforehand (see John 2:19, 21).

You may have doubts or questions, which is okay. I implore you to find answers for yourself. There is much to discover.

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