Throughout the course of human history there have been numerous false religions started. All of these religions and sects have one thing in common: within a short period of time they are discovered as frauds. Many cease to exist, others go on and continue to deceive the unaware, but remain exposed for their errors.
Biblical Christianity, the type that we see exhibited in the pages of the New Testament, has survived intact with no successful assaults against its foundation—the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ—for two millennia.
In the fifth chapter of the book of Acts, Peter and the other Apostles, are arrested for preaching Jesus at the Temple. They are told to stop telling the people that Jesus is the Messiah. These men refuse, stating “we must obey God rather than men.”
The leaders of Israel arrest these men once again and bring them before a distinguished council for examination. Noted Hebrew scholar, Gamaliel, advises the group to just let the followers of Jesus go. His reason is based upon the long past history of the Jews. Many such false teachers had arisen over the course of the Jewish history. All of these men were later discovered as frauds, or the factions simply disbanded and were never heard from again. Gamaliel tells the leaders of Israel that these Christian leaders who are spreading the Gospel of Christ in Jerusalem and the world may be just one more radical group. Just release them and wait to see what happens.
History records precisely what has taken place. The more time that has passed, the greater the scrutiny against the New Testament narratives of Jesus has grown, the stronger the Christian church has become. All throughout the 2,00o year history of the Christian church, persecution has only strengthened its influence and cause its numbers to flourish.
People are intelligent beings. They can read the New Testament for themselves and see that the story of Jesus and the events that took place in the four Gospels, the Book of Acts, and Paul’s letters to various church outposts which were distributed throughout Asia Minor, are sincere, accurate, and believable.
I have rarely met an atheist or critic of the New Testament who has really studied the text of the New Testament for themselves. A majority of critics against the testimony of Jesus in the New Testament, have not launched a serious, diligent study into understanding the story that is being revealed.
The narratives about Jesus are not written as a story to be believed, but as a record of events which took place.
The persons writing the letters described themselves as “eyewitnesses,” of events that even they did not believe until after they saw Jesus alive after He had been brutally killed.
These narratives exist as personal letters between those who are eyewitnesses or scribes of eyewitnesses, telling what they saw and instructing and strengthening believers in churches around the world.
Personal letters are known as one of the most reliable relics of ancient history for their reliability. People who write correspondence to other people are not frauds seeking to spread myths.
Anyone who reads the text of the New Testament for themselves and devotes a couple of months to studying the narratives, finds that they are filled with testimony that appears genuine, and written for the purposes of encouragement, instruction, and sometimes—rebuke.
Ancient myths that remain today as myths, are written in a completely different fashion. Either the author tells the reader that his story is a myth, or the myth itself is discovered not long afterwards as contrived and remains in this state throughout history. No genuine myth has ever survived for more than a few hundred years before it was discovered as a myth.
The Christian Gospel about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, has survived for nearly 2,000 years and has been more thoroughly examined than any ancient text in the history of the world. This is true because of the extraordinary claims that it makes. These assaults against the New Testament narratives of Jesus, began immediately after the books were being assembled and commentaries were being written about them.
Early Christian Apologist, Origen, launched one of the greatest defenses against the assault of atheist philosopher, Celsus, called “Contra Celsum,” near 248 A.D. Origen is described as the greatest Christian genius of the early Christian church. Origin authored nearly 2,000 treatises addressing numerous branches of theology, which include, textual criticism, biblical exegesis and biblical hermeneutics. All of the assaults against the truthfulness and reliability of Jesus’ Gospel were impeached by Origen, 1,700 years ago.
All throughout the nearly 2,000 year history of the Christian church these assaults, intense scrutiny, and critical assessments, have continued. Not once has any assertion that the text is not true, reliable, or accurate, ever been successful.
If Gamaliel were here today he would say that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been proven true by the long expanse of time, testing, and trial. At the end of Gamaliel’s speech he warned the leaders of Israel that should they continue their assault against the men who were preaching Jesus as God and Messiah, they may find themselves fighting against God Himself.
But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while. Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men!
My advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!” ~Acts 5:34-39 (NLT)
The small army of people who continue to assault the narratives of Jesus’ Gospel are experiencing the same failure that history has reproduced thousands of times. A battlefield littered with the corpses of those who have attempted to disprove what can cannot be disproven.
God sent His Son to earth as the Messiah He promised in the Hebrew scriptures. Jesus fulfilled over 400 of these prophecies. As these prophecies foretold, Jesus died and rose again. He performed miracles as Isaiah and other prophets predicted for the Messiah—demonstrating that He is both God, and Messiah.
The Christian Gospel is an anvil that has worn out the hammers of many critics.
Other Articles On This Subject:
- Answering The Claim: “There Is No Evidence For God”
- First Century Manuscript Evidence For Jesus
- Biblical Inerrancy And The Errors Of Critics
- New Testament Reliability: Eyewitnesses And Liars
- Atheism Will Never Win The Battle Of Hearts And Minds
- Evidence Of New Testament Reliability: Reliance Upon The Old Testament
Categories: Common errors of Atheists, God's Sovereignty, How Salvation Occurs, Jesus is God, Jesus is the Messiah, New Testament Manuscripts, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, The Atheists inability to understand the Gospel, The Claims of Jesus, The Crucifixion of Jesus, The Historicity of Jesus, The Nature of God, These Things Were Written