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 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. The New Testament mentions over 500 people saw Jesus alive on a single occasion, which rules out a mass hallucination. Corroborating irreligious sources like historians Tacitus and Josephus, Roman politician Pliny the Younger, Greek satirist Lucian, and Roman philosopher Celsus with 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?
During Jesus' life on earth, He fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies, all written hundreds of years before his birth.
Main prophesies included the fact that He was born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, in the line of Abraham and David; He was rejected by His own people; His hands, feet and side were pierced, but no bones were broken; and He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
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 did not just say these things, He backed up His words with actions. He healed the sick and the disabled and performed many miraculous signs that caused people to flock to Him and the religious leaders of the time to hate Him.
Jesus claimed honour that is only due God, even the angels refused to be worshipped (see Revelation 22:8-9).
He 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 also to follow Him (see Matthew 10:38).
The biggest miracle of all – proof beyond doubt – was Jesus' own resurrection, which He predicted beforehand (see John 2:19, 21).
Rising from the dead after three days sealed in a tomb was confirmed by all four Gospel writers.
Among others, the Apostle Paul wrote that Jesus was seen by more than 500 eyewitnesses, most of whom were still alive at the time of writing the accounts and could have contradicted him if untrue (see 1 Corinthians 15:4).
Many who believed and trusted in Jesus after witnessing His life, death and resurrection for themselves were persecuted and killed for the faith in Him during this time.
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.
In short, Jesus turned the world upside down and it has never been the same since.
You may still have doubts or questions, and that is okay, but do not hold to the clichés – find answers for yourself. There is more to it than you might think. •
Adapted from an original article by David Limbaugh - a writer, author and attorney, more on his work and books at www.DavidLimbaugh.com.