In the minds of some critics, the New Testament Gospels of Christ are a fabrication. Those who oppose God often quote alleged scholars who say that the narratives of Jesus are very similar to other ancient texts which were also made up.
The failure of these ideas is understood when we actually read the New Testament and learn that what is written about Jesus in the 27 letters of the New Testament, are really just a continuing story of the entire Old Testament.
The Bible begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”
When we arrive at the New Testament we discover the identity of God who made the heavens and the earth: “For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
After Adam sinned against God, in the first prophecy of the Bible found in Genesis 3:15, God promised to send the world a Savior. In the pages of the New Testament we learn that Jesus is this Savior.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:10-11
The Law of God was given through Moses who stated that God would send a Prophet like him who would be the Savior of the world.
I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. ~Deuteronomy 18:18
The men who walked with Jesus and knew Him, stated that He is this “Prophet” whom Moses spoke of:
Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’ “Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.” ~Acts 3:22-26
God took Abraham out into a starlit night and told Him that one of His descendants would come into the world and redeem all those who would believe. Later when Jesus stood before the leaders of Israel, He said that He is the One whom Abraham saw.
(Jesus Speaking) Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” ~John 8:56-58
Jesus calls Himself by the eternal name for God, “I AM,” the name that God called Himself by when He spoke to Moses in the book of Exodus.
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” ~Exodus 3:13-14
This statement by Jesus in John 8:56-58, means that He was present in the Old Testament, speaking to Abraham personally. This is one of the important points of proving the reality of Jesus in the New Testament; we can also prove that Jesus was present in various places throughout the Old Testament before He was born in Bethlehem in the New Testament.
Since Jesus existed from eternity, and we can validate Him as being present throughout the Old Testament, there is no possibility that the New Testament narratives were contrived. This also invalidates the theory that the four Gospels are a fictional romance-type novel, as Pervo and MacDonald assert. Jesus is present in the Old Testament, predicted for a later arrival on earth by 400 prophecies, and then appears on earth as recorded by the New Testament. There is perfect congruity between the Old and New Testaments in proving the existence of Jesus.
David’s Future Descendent
David was promised a kingdom that would never end through a coming Messiah who would be God Himself, living within the body of a man. When Jesus stood before the Pharisees and leaders of Israel, He claimed to be this Messiah, who is also the “Son of David.”
Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “He is the son of David.” Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’ Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” ~Matthew 22:41-45
Jesus asks the Pharisees, “If the Messiah is David’s son, then why did David also call Him “Lord?” In other words, how could the Messiah be both a human being (David’s son) and also Lord (God’s Son)?
These men knew and understood that this verse of scripture that Jesus referred to was about the Messiah. Only the Messiah could sit at the right hand of God. Jesus believed these verses from Psalm 110:1 were inspired by God and were true—as did these leaders of Israel. Jesus asked these teachers of the law how Messiah could be both God and a human being?
“If the Messiah is David’s son, how can He also be David’s Lord?”
This is precisely what this prophecy from Psalms 110:1a is predicting.
The Pharisees didn’t have an answer. They were bewildered, but not Jesus. The obvious answer to this question is that the Messiah will be both David’s Lord (God) and His, Son (a future human descendant), a fact that Jesus made repeatedly concerning Himself.
The reality that Jesus is both David’s son and his Lord is confirmed by Jesus’ question which He asks of the Pharisees. For those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God, this is one of many places where He clearly asserts that He is God.
Jesus Was Claiming That The Messiah Who Is Predicted In The Entire Old Testament, Is Him!
From this brief synopsis we can see that the story of Jesus did not begin in the pages of the New Testament. It began with the first page of the Bible, in the Old Testament, and continued throughout the entire Old Testament.
If the narratives of Jesus in the New Testament are written to deceive us into believing that Jesus is God and Messiah when He is not, then the Old Testament was also written to deceive the world because it tells the exact same story.
Are we to believe that 40 authors, over a 1,500 year period of time, wrote 66 books, all about the same person, for the express purpose of deceiving the world?
Of course, this is preposterous! Any person who sincerely believes that the entire Bible was written for the purpose of deception, and its 40 authors conspired together to accomplish this, is living in a fantasy world. This is not possible. The idea the 40 men could communicate with each other over 1,500 years and contrive a myth, is not possible.
What is possible is that God, who made the universe, wanted to reveal Himself to the world. He wrote a communication to us through unique men who penned the 66 books of the Bible. God promised to send us a Savior in the Old Testament, and He kept His promise in the New Testament.
Jesus is the fulfillment of over 400 Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah.
You Can Read This Story In Three Books:
- The Prophecies of the Messiah
- The Messianic Prophecy Bible
- These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death, And Resurrection of Jesus.
Almost 45 years ago I began my own research into whether or not the Bible is true and discovered that what we find in the New Testament, came from was said in the Old Testament. Everything that Jesus said and did, all of the miracles He performed, were all predicted by the Old Testament prophets.
God told the world that when we see a man who has the power of these miracles, arrives on earth, we know that He has kept His promise to send us a Savior. Everyone who believes in this Savior will receive the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life.
The New Testament is simply the final chapter in a story that began with the creation of the world, the fall of man, and God’s promise to send us a Savior. Jesus is the fulfillment of all that God promised. The narratives of Jesus in the New Testament cannot be compared to ancient Greco-Roman literature or any other fictional stories. If a person really believes this idea, then they must explain how it is that 39 books that were written before the 27 books of the New Testament, are the source from where the New Testament originated.
Those who assert that the New Testament is really just a fictional novel from an ancient time, say these things out of their ignorance of the facts. The New Testament was written in answer to the story of the Old Testament, not as a novel or myth. Anyone who reads the Bible with understanding can see this.
The reason why people write to impugn Jesus and seek to cause those who read their books to not trust the Bible, is because they themselves do not believe that God exists, or that Jesus is who He is portrayed as in the New Testament. These ideas are thoroughly impeached by simply reading what the men who saw and heard Jesus during the time that these events took place, wrote about Jesus.
The men who walked with Jesus, saw Him and heard what He said, stated that everything Jesus said and did, was predicted by the Old Testament prophets. Notice how Jesus explained this to John the Baptist when he asked if Jesus was the “Prophet whom Moses wrote about.”
When John was arrested by Herod and sentenced to death, John began to have doubts about whether Jesus really was the Messiah (if you are the Messiah, why am I in prison?). John the Baptist sent word to Jesus through one of John’s disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah whom the Prophets foretold.
Jesus’ response tells us a great deal about His identity:
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” ~Matthew 11:2-5
Jesus was reminding John that the Messiah would have a ministry of healing to validate His identity. John should know that Jesus is the Messiah because He is performing miracles exactly as the Messiah was predicted to accomplish through the prophet Isaiah:
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert. ~Isaiah 35:5-6
When we examine the narratives about Jesus we find that the miracles Matthew recorded that Jesus performed, were the same miracles that Isaiah 35:5-6 predicted for the Messiah.
From this we see that the claims of critics like Bart Ehrman, Richard Pervo, and Dennis MacDonald, are flawed. These men allege that the incidents of Jesus performing miracles are isolated cases that are limited to uneducated men who made up the miracles of Jesus in order to make Him God.
The facts are, the Old Testament scriptures predicted that the Messiah would perform miracles as proof that He is God. Jesus was simply performing what had been written for Him.
We have, not only the testimony of men who saw Jesus perform miracles, but also the prophets of the Old Testament who said that the Messiah would perform miracles.
These prophets had been told by God to write prophecies for the Messiah that would describe Him as, the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing, in Isaiah 35:5-6. When we examine the text of the New Testament, we see Jesus doing precisely what Isaiah wrote. These men had written their predictions hundreds of years before Jesus arrived.
Jesus Said That The Old Testament Prophets Predicted HIs Miracles And Still People Would Not Believe
As we consider whether the story of Jesus in the New Testament is true, we must also ask why the Old Testament predicted everything that Jesus said and did. In fact, Isaiah wrote that when the Messiah comes and performs miracles that only God would be capable of, people will still not believe in Him.
But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?” But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said, “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts—so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.” Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. ~John 12:37-41
Notice that John writes here that Isaiah wrote this prophecy specifically for Jesus. This is confirmation that the Old Testament was actively preparing the world for the arrival of Jesus, hundreds of years before He came. This is also evidence that the four Gospels were not written as fictional novels as some modern Liberal Theologians and scholars assert. Here we see clearly that the four Gospels were written specifically as the fulfillment of all that the Old Testament had predicted for the Messiah.
The New Testament Is True, Because We Have The Old Testament As Historical Confirmation For These Events
In order to believe that the New Testament was written as a fabrication, we would also have to believe the entire Old Testament was a fabrication, intended to deceive the world into believing the world would receive a Savior.
By the engineering genius of God, He determined that there would be a very long period of time in which He would write His story and involve 40 men in this story, so that there would be no possibility that anyone would believe it was all a well designed myth.
No myth in the history of the world ever has the body of written text, 66 books in all, to confirm the assertions of their story. God intentionally designed the story of Jesus so that it would begin 1,500 years before He arrived on earth and have a body of over 400 predictions, which He would fulfill perfectly to support the story of Jesus.
People who believe this is all a fantasy, are themselves, living in a world of fantasy.
The New Testament is the true story of the Savior that God promised the world.
Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Alleged Contradictions, Bart Ehrman, Claims of Interpolation, Defending the Gospel, Dennis MacDonald, Literary authenticity of the New Testament, Messianic Prophecies, Messianic Prophecy Bible, New Testament Criticism, Reliability of the New Testament, Richard Pervo, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus