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The Case for Jesus as the Son of God

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Title: The Case for Jesus as the Son of God


1
The Case for Jesus as the Son of God
2
Why do you believe the Bible?
  • Because your parents told you to?
  • Because your friend said so?
  • Because some pastor said so?
  • Because the Bible is true?

3
What is the proper basis for your belief in the
Bible ?
  • What is the proper basis for ANY belief ?
  • Evidence !!!

4
Jury duty and Christian Faith
  • Deciding whether the claim that the Bible is
    true is very much like deciding if someone is
    guilty of a crime
  • A jury must hear all evidence and decide if the
    evidence are trustworthy or not

5
Case Is Jesus the Son of God ?
  • The sign that confirm Jesus is the Son of God is
  • Jesus resurrection from the death
  • Nobody (not even prophets) has done this
  • Matt 164 A wicked and adulterous generation
    seeks after a sign. And there shall no sign be
    given to it, except the sign of the prophet
    Jonah.
  • 1Co 1514 And if Christ has not been raised,
    then our proclamation is worthless, and your
    faith is also worthless.

6
Types of evidence in a trial
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Is the eyewitness reliable ? Biased ?
  • Supporting testimony
  • Can you find a neutral party to confirm some part
    of the testimony ?
  • Material evidence
  • Any clues that say it really happen that way?

7
Evidence for Jesus is God
  • The Eyewitness testimonies
  • Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  • Are they reliable eyewitnesses ?
  • The Supporting testimonies
  • Jewish and Roman historians confirm many details
    about events in the Bible
  • The Material evidence
  • Archaeological evidence

8
Eyewitness Testimonies to Jesus
  • The 4 Gospels
  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Why should you believe any of these gospels ?

9
Why believe accounts are reliable
  • Memories fade
  • People who witnessed the event die
  • The 4 gospels were written very early after
    Jesus death and resurrection
  • Mark around 70 A.D.
  • Matthew around 80 A.D.
  • Luke around 80 A.D.
  • John around 90 A.D.

10
An even earlier date for Luke
  • A case can be made to date the Gospel of Luke
    before 60 AD (30 yrs after Jesus death)
  • Gospel of Luke written AFTER Acts
  • Acts ENDS without telling us about Pauls death
    in 66 AD
  • Act probably written BEFORE Pauls death in 66 AD
  • Gospel of Luke would then be written around 60 AD
    !

11
Even earlier testimonies to Jesus
  • Gospels were all written after Paul's letters !!!
  • Paul's conversion occurred around 32-35 A.D
  • Paul's first meeting with the apostles in
    Jerusalem occurred around 35-38 A.D
  • Paul's ministry probably began in the late 40's
    AD
  • Paul's letter probably written in the 50's A.D.
    (20 yrs after Jesus death)

12
The importance of Time of writing
Marks gospel
Jesus death and resurrection
30-33 A.D.
70 A.D.
40 years
  • There are still people ALIVE in 70 A.D. who were
    alive in 30-33 A.D.
  • If Mark was lying, he would be corrected for sure
    (compare to John Kerrys Purple Heart fairy tale
    and the Speedboat Veterans objection)

13
Writing Bible vs Julius Caesars bio
Jesus died
Earliest Surviving Copy Mark
Tacitus
Caesar died
Mark
30 A.D.
70 A.D.
350 A.D.
44 B.C.
60 A.D.
950 AD
40 yrs
Earliest Surviving Copy Tacitus
100 yrs
14
Writing Bible vs Alexanders bio
Jesus died
Earliest Surviving Copy Mark
323 BC
Plutarch
Alex died
Mark
30 AD
70 AD
350 AD
60 AD
950 AD
40 yrs
Earliest Surviving Copy Plutarch
400 yrs !!!
15
Why believe the Bible reliable
  • We have documented proof that the Bible is more
    reliable than historical documents on kings
    (Alexander, Julius Caesar)
  • Bible records what has happened after a shorter
    period time (memory fades)
  • Bible preserves the record for posterity better
    (that is important because if you lose the
    writing, the record will not get passed down)
  • In fact The Bible is the most reliable ancient
    document that we have today !!!

16
Why believe the Bible authorship
  • Suppose… Just suppose you were to invent
    Christianity as a new religion…from your own
    fantasy…
  • Who would you want as writers of the Gospels?
  • Have the most prominent disciples of Jesus write
    the gospels
  • Peter, Thomas
  • Well…What do you see in reality ?

17
Believing the Bible authorship
  • Matthew one of Jesus disciples who was a tax
    collector (a traitor to Jews !)
  • Mark follower of Peter he is not even a
    disciple of Jesus !
  • Luke follower of Paul he is not even a Jew
    (Greek) !!!
  • John one of Jesus disciples the youngest
    (inexperienced) disciple of Jesus

18
Believing the Bible authorship
  • If you want to invent a fake religion, you might
    as well make it look very good by having
    prominent disciples (like Peter or Thomas) to
    write the gospels
  • Great news there are gospels that are called
  • Gospel of Thomas
  • Gospel of Peter
  • Bad news these books have been removed from the
    Bible…

19
Gospel of Thomas (150 AD)
  • Note the late date of writing (less reliable) !!!
  • Gospel of Thomas is loved by gnostics
  • Gnostics emphasized the humanity of Jesus
  • A verse from gospel of Thomas
  • Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us,
    for females don't deserve life"
  • Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make
    her male.... For every female who makes herself
    male will enter the kingdom of Heaven"

20
Gospel of Peter (120 AD)
  • Some verses from this gospel (concerning Jesus
    resurrection)
  • ...they saw three men come out of the tomb, two
    of them sustaining the other one, and a cross
    following after them
  • ... The head of the two they saw had heads that
    reached up to heaven, but the head of him that
    was led by them went beyond heaven
  • The resurrected Jesus was HUGE

21
Why believe the Bible content
  • Suppose… Just suppose you were to invent
    Christianity as a new religion…from your own
    fantasy…
  • How would you portrait Jesus disciples the
    founders of the new Christian faith ?
  • As pure, brave, friendly… like Saints !!!…
  • All the usual good qualities ofcourse who would
    want to follow bad examples in life ?
  • What do you see in reality ?

22
Why believe the Bible content
  • How are the disciples described in the Bible…
  • Bickering and backstabbing
  • Mat 2021 And He said to her, What do you
    desire? She said to Him, Grant that these my two
    sons may sit in Your kingdom, the one on Your
    right hand and the other on the left.
  • Cowards
  • Everyone ran away when Jesus was arrested
  • Peter denied Jesus 3 times
  • Unbelieving Thomas !

23
Why believe the Bible content
  • Why are the disciples described in the Bible in
    such a bad light ???…
  • Because it was the truth
  • (The naked truth is not always pretty and clean
    !!!)

24
Why believe ? THE Evidence !!
EMPTY Tomb
25
Why believe The Empty Tomb
  • We have historical writing from non-Christians in
    the Jewish Talmud confirming Jesus death by
    crucifixion on Passover
  • It is taught On the eve of Passover they hung
    Yeshu (Jesus)… in Talmud Sanhedrin 43a
  • We have historical writings (many Pauls
    letters, gospels, etc) confirming the apostles
    teaching of Jesus resurrection What can we
    conclude ?

26
Why believe The Empty Tomb
  • Fact Jesus did die (from non-Bible source)
  • Jesus disciples were preaching He has
    resurrected
  • So whats the best way to make the apostles shut
    up on their preaching of Jesus resurrection ?
  • Show them the dead body of Jesus !!!
  • What did the Jewish Leaders did instead
  • Matt 2812-13 …they gave enough silver to the
    soldiers (who were guarding the tomb), saying,
    Say that His disciples came by night and stole
    Him away while we slept.
  • WHY couldnt they do it ? ? The Tomb was EMPTY
    !!!

27
Why believe the Bible Testimonies
  • Put your money where you mouth is
  • Talk is cheap (preaching the gospel is cheap)
  • Are you willing to back up your message with
    money ?
  • Some men are willing to give up their life for a
    false religion that they believe is true
  • NO (sane) man is willing to give up his life for
    a religion that he KNOWS is false !!!
  • If Christian faith is a lie, WHO would know ?

28
Why believe the Bible Testimonies
  • If the Christian faith is a lie, then those who
    started the Christian religion who know
  • Jesus 11 apostles (Peter, Matthew, John..)
  • Saul of Tarsus (Paul)
  • James (brother of Jesus) who was the head of the
    Church in Jerusalem
  • So if any one who knows whether the Christian
    religion is a lie, it would be these people !!!
  • Did they put their money where their mouth
    (faith) was ???

29
Why believe the Bible Testimonies
  • No sane person will die for a religion that they
    know is a lie
  • Peter was crucified (head down) in Rome.
  • Paul was decapitated in Rome around 66 A.D.
  • James (the brother of Jesus) was stoned to death
    in Jerusalem
  • What is even more amazing
  • Paul had once persecuted Christians (his own
    letters)
  • Before Jesus resurrection, James did not believe
    (John 75) (Try imagine if you were Jesus
    brother)

30
Why believe the Bible Testimonies
  • All the disciples, Paul and James needed to do to
    escape death was to deny Jesus !!!
  • Those who denied that they were or had been
    Christians…these I thought should be discharged
    (A letter by Pliny a Roman governor)
  • Why didnt they do it ?
  • Matthew 1033 But whoever shall deny Me before
    men, I will also deny him before My Father in
    Heaven.
  • If Jesus has not resurrected, they would know !
  • Do you think they believed that Jesus was still
    dead ?

31
Evidence from Neutral Parties
32
Supporting Evidence from Non-Christians
  • A testimony in a trial is strongest when the
    witness has nothing to gain from the outcome
  • Gospels are testimonies of Christians
  • Luckily, we find plenty of supporting evidence
    from non-Christian historians
  • Note these historians did not intend to write
    about Jesus. They wrote about Jesus because of
    the Christian movement spawn by Jesus
    resurrection

33
Some famous ancient historians
  • Josephus (37-100 AD), Jewish historian
  • Antiquities on the Jewish history
  • War on the Jewish-Roman war
  • Tacitus (110 AD), Roman historian
  • Annals History of Rome from begin till 66 AD
  • Suetonius (60 AD), Roman historian
  • Lives of the Caesars on Roman emperors
  • Pliny (70-100 AD), Roman governor
  • Wrote letters to his Emperor and friend
  • BTW we learn Roman history from writings by
    Tacitus, Suetonius and Plutarch

34
Josephus on Jesus
  • Jewish Historian Josephus (100 AD) on Jesus
  • Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise
    man…He drew over to him both many of the Jews and
    many of the Gentiles…. And when Pilate, at the
    suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had
    condemned him to the cross…
  • A neutral party confirms
  • Jesus lived (as historical as George Washington
    !)
  • Pilate lived
  • Jesus was crucified

35
Josephus on James and Jesus
  • Antiquities, Book 20, Chapter 9
  • Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the
    road so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges,
    and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who
    was called Christ, whose name was James, and some
    others, or, some of his companions and when he
    had formed an accusation against them as breakers
    of the law, he delivered them to be stoned...
  • Historical facts (confirms Bible)
  • Jesus lived and had a brother named James
  • Jesus was called Christ (Messiah) by His
    followers

36
Josephus confirms Pilate
  • Antiquities, Book 18 , Chapter 3
  • But now Pilate, the procurator of Judea, removed
    the army from Cesarea to Jerusalem, to take their
    winter quarters there, in order to abolish the
    Jewish laws.
  • Jewish Historian agrees with the Bible
  • Mat 272 And when they had bound Him, they led
    Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the
    governor.

37
Tacitus wrote about Jesus
  • Annals, Book XV
  • Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero
    fastened the guilt and inflicted the most
    exquisite tortures on a class hated for their
    abominations, called Christians by the populace.
    Christus, from whom the name (Christians) had its
    origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the
    reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our
    procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most
    mischievous superstition, thus checked for the
    moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the
    first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where
    all things hideous and shameful from every part
    of the world find their centre and become
    popular.

38
Tacitus on Christians
  • Annals, Book XV
  • Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who
    pleaded guilty then, upon their information, an
    immense multitude was convicted, not so much of
    the crime of firing the city, as of hatred
    against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added
    to their deaths. Covered with the skins of
    beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or
    were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the
    flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly
    illumination, when daylight had expired.

39
Method of taking census confirmed
  • Lukes description on the census was criticized
    as inaccurate in the past
  • Luk 21 And it happened in those days that a
    decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the
    world should be taxed.
  • Luk 23 And all went to be registered, each to
    his own city.
  • Critics said the way the census was taken was
    absurd and therefore wrong

40
Method of taking census confirmed
  • Archaeology proves Luke right !
  • A papyrus dated around 104 A.D. by C.Vibius
    Maximus, Prefect of Egypt
  • The enrollment by household being at hand, it is
    necessary to notify all who for any cause soever
    are outside their nomes (administrative divisions
    of Egypt) to return to their domestic hearths,
    that they may also accomplish the customary
    dispensation of enrollment and continue
    steadfastly in the husbandry that belongs to
    them.

41
Extreme accuracy of Luke
  • Luke mentioned minor details that was not
    important in the story which checks out
  • Acts 182--- There he became acquainted with a
    Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had
    recently arrived from Italy with his wife,
    Priscilla. They had been expelled from Italy as a
    result of Claudius Caesar's order to deport all
    Jews from Rome.
  • Luke did not even care to tell us WHY they were
    expelled from Rome… (clearly because it was not
    important because everyone KNEW why !!!)

42
Suetonius corroborates Luke
  • In Life of Claudius Suetonius wrote
  • As the Jews were making constant disturbances at
    the instigation of Chrestus, he Claudius
    expelled them from Rome.
  • Even this small detail CHECKS OUT !!!
  • If Luke was accurate in minor details, how
    accurate do you think he is with the main story?
  • Luke 13 Therefore, since I myself have
    carefully investigated everything from the
    beginning..

43
Testimony of a former atheist
  • William Ramsay in his book St. Paul the Traveler
    and the Roman Citizen
  • I began with a mind unfavorable to it Acts
  • More recently, I found myself often brought into
    contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for
    the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia
    Minor.
  • It was gradually borne in upon me that in various
    details the narrative showed marvelous truth

44
Biblical facts confirmed by Archeology
45
Biblical People found by Archaeology
Luke 31 And in the fifteenth year of the
government of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate
being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch…
TIBERIEUM (PON)TIUS PILATUS (PRAEF)ECTUS
IUDA(EAE)
46
Biblical People found by Archaeology
Act 136-7 And when they had gone through the
island to Paphos, they found a certain conjurer,
a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-jesus
who was with the proconsul of the country,
Sergius Paulus, a prudent man.
In 1877, an inscription was found near Paphos,
bearing Sergius Paulus's name and title of
proconsul.
47
Stones confirming Biblical events
  • That crucifixion was used by Romans in Jesus
    time to execute criminals

48
Closing
Heb 111 Now faith is the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
1Peter 315 be ready always to give an answer
to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope in
you, with meekness and fear
God did not ask us to have BLIND faith You have
just seen the overwhelming evidence to know the
Bible is factual !!!
49
For more information
  • Good book
  • The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
  • Church library has a copy of the audio book
  • My website
  • http//www.ichthus.info
  • Contains the Powerpoint of this presentation
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