There is a common statement I have heard during my interviews and debates with atheists over the last 40 years, that, “there is no evidence for God.” It is reasonable to assume that if a Being like God does exists, there would be evidence of His Being.
I was not raised in a Christian home. My parents didn’t take me to church and they didn’t talk about God. I was an atheist for all practical purposes until I was in my late teens and I picked up a Bible and began to read the New Testament for the first time. I had never heard the story of Jesus and when I read the words that were reported to have been spoken by Him in these narratives, I was immediately impressed. If a man like this did live and He said and did what is written of Him, this would change everything for me.
It was the massive record of literary, scientific and historical evidence that I found in those years after that first reading of the Gospels that finally convinced me that the God of the Bible is real and He is the only true God that exists. I spent the next 45 years gaining an education, doing research, writing, lecturing, and teaching this evidence to whoever wanted to hear it, in various places around the world.
I am always surprised when persons who claim to be intelligent, tell me “there is no evidence for God.” I know that either they have never looked for the evidence, or they choose not to find it. A person would have to be an imbecile to not acknowledge the evidence that exists as conclusively proving that God does exist.
I have written extensively on the historical evidence for Jesus as a genuine person of antiquity who emphatically claimed to be God, and the fulfillment of all that the Old Testament prophets wrote regarding a Messiah who would come. See the following publications”
- You Are My Witnesses: The Men Who Saw Jesus
- How Intelligence Acted Upon The Universe: Observable Facts Of Science
- The Prophecies Of The Messiah: The Words Of The Prophets Are Fulfilled
There is a 1,400 year period of time before the New Testament was written, where a man exactly like Jesus was predicted, and everything that He said and did was recorded in the 66 books of the Old Testament. Early in the first century the 27 books of the New Testament were written, confirming that all the prophets had predicted in the Old Testament, had been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Paul wrote the book of Romans for the express purpose of eliminating all excuses for why a person will not believe in the God of the Bible. He starts with the atheist and his claim of no evidence and states that God has provided all the evidence that any person will need to believe:
- The existence of the universe, earth, and human life.
- The human conscience that resides within every person.
- The word of God that He has left the world that reveals Him to us.
- The arrival of Jesus on earth as the Eternal Creator/God.
- The fulfillment of 400 Messianic Prophecies by Jesus.
- The singularity between Jesus and all other gods and religions.
- The reality of sin, death, and human nature.
The atheists disputes these evidences and states that they do not prove God exists at all. When we examine these seven points of evidence, we find that the atheist is wrong, there is tremendous proof that God must exist.
1.The existence of the universe, earth, and human life, prove God exists:
I have written extensively in hundreds of essays and four books, that the universe does prove the existence of God. The universe does not exist as the result of a natural process alone, but was forethought, engineered, and fine-tuned to exact a specific outcome. There are 209 Physical Constants that scientifically prove that the universe could not have come into existence by accident, but required intelligence, in essence, an advanced Being who was capable of creating the universe we observe.
In order to achieve a universe where 209 specific and constant parameters are fine-tuned which allow human beings to live on earth, a Being would have to know ahead of time, what these Constants must be. As the universe begins, the fundamental constant of Gravity and Electromagnetism were precisely balanced and the exact moment they must occur in order for the universe to continue and expand in such a way that matter could form stars, galaxies, and planets later on. I detailed this process in an essay that proves these fine-tuned constants could not occur by accident, but were caused and ordered by the Being described in the Bible.
The Bible repeatedly states that God created the universe in such a way that a scientific examination of its parameters, proves that only the God of the Bible could create such an environment, specifically ordered to allow man to exist on earth.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. ~Genesis 1:1
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. ~Psalms 19:1-4 (NLT)
Paul’s indictment against the atheist in Romans 1 is clear and specific:
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. ~Romans 1:20 (NLT)
We have God declaring that He created the universe in Genesis 1, David’s statement that the existence of the Universe speaks to us in evidence that God created the universe, and Paul declaring that the existence of the universe eliminates the atheists excuse that there is no evidence for God.
In my 45 years of research, writing, publishing and teaching the science of the universe, I have never seen any evidence that the universe could exist with the 209 Physical Constants that make human life possible on earth, by any natural process. I have seen many statements of conjecture and speculation that seek to explain how these fine-tuned constants exist, but they have all failed, and cannot provide us with evidence that the universe exists as a result of chance.
If the universe did not occur by chance or random events, it was caused. This requires intentional actions of a Being that has adequate intelligence and engineering skills to cause such an environment to exist.
- Why The God Of The Bible Is The Only Credible Source For The Universe
- Is The Universe Ordered; Does Everything Have A Purpose?
- Scientific Evidence For God: A Fine-Tuned Universe
- How The Physical Constants And Fine-Tuning Of The Universe Prove God Exists
- Noted Phd’s And Scientists Who Believe God Created The Universe
- How The Physical Laws Of The Universe Prove God
- Evidence For Fine-Tuning Of The Universe: 209 Physical Constants That Make Life On Earth Possible
- The Universe Proves God Exists: 1,978 Quantifiable Characteristics Required For Life On Earth
- How God Created The Universe: Science And The Bible In Symmetry
- Accidents And The Universe: Can Complexity Result From Chance?
- The God Of The Bible Is Intricately Involved In Every Part Of The Universe
- Empirical Evidence Presented By The Universe, Proves God Exists
2. The human conscience that resides within every person, proves that God exists:
One of the compelling pieces of evidence that Paul places in the book of Romans is the facts of a human conscience that tells us what is right and wrong.
Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. ~Romans 2:14-15 (NLT)
There is a difference between natural law and the law of human nature. Natural law is a physical law tested by scientific experimentation and found to be true, absolute, and universal.
We all understand the law of gravity because to disobey this law can very quickly cause our death. We may not like the law of gravity and climb to the top of a tall building, seeking to defy the law of gravity we jump, only to discover suddenly, and too late, that this law is true.
The Law of nature, or the Moral Law, is defined by our ideas of ethics and morality. What is interesting about the moral law is that we don’t have to be taught this principle, every human being knows it already. This is the point that Paul makes in Romans 2:14-15, above.
It is the natural law because it is our human nature to know what is right and what is wrong.
How is it that the morality of some people is claimed as right, and the morality of other people is said to be wrong? Was it moral for the Nazis to exterminate six million Jews? Most people would say no. Most people would say this is unjust and immoral. The question is, where did they get that opinion, what is their standard for believing that what Hitler did was wrong?
If a person does not believe in God, where do they get their ideas of right and wrong? How do they know what is just and what is unjust?
Most atheists have a strong feeling that there is right and wrong. They don’t just believe that it is their own sense of right and wrong, but a standard that most people also believe. The problem for the atheist is they cannot conclusively tell us where this standard comes from. If God doesn’t exist, then there should not be any universal standard of right and wrong.
We don’t learn this awareness of right and wrong from our parents, although good parents reinforce this fact. We don’t learn right and wrong from society because even a small child knows that his actions are wrong, before he has knowledge of what society or his parents teach. A three or four year old child will take something that is not his and hide it from his parents. When discovered with this item, he will lie and say he doesn’t have it. He knows instinctively that it was not his, it was wrong to take it, and he hides in because his conscience tells him his actions were wrong. He wants this thing despite his knowledge it is wrong to take it. Then he lies to his parents to hide his wrongful action.
Children know these things from birth. They were not taught them, the knowledge of good and evil is inside us at birth.
If matter is all there is, and human beings exist only because of random mistakes in the development of the universe, then our lives are really meaningless.
If there is a God, why is the world so unjust? What many atheists don’t consider is “why do I think it is unjust? Where did I get the standard that the world is unjust?”
This is the weakness of the atheist rationale that no God exists.
Aristotle said that there was a higher law, a natural law, that was greater than the laws that human beings enact for each other. Plato described a society that would be ideal as one where cities and the way people behave, are established in harmony with the natural laws.
Thomas Aquinas said that the natural law in which good is to be done, and promoted, and evil is to be avoided, is given by God, and known by all and applicable to all.
The light of reason has been clearly placed in every person that guides us in all of our words and deeds.
Every person knows the difference between right and wrong. It is part of who we are, our nature as human beings. A person doesn’t have to be a Christian to know that what Hitler did was wrong. Most people understand that killing innocent people is wrong. In other words, a person can be an atheist and still be a moral person.
The question is where does our desire for morality come from?
In scientific law, the laws of physics, can an object chose on its own, to obey or disobey the laws of gravity or motion? Of course not, this is impossible.
These physical laws of gravity and motion must be followed. Is this also true for the laws of nature; can we chose not to keep them? If we don’t keep them, what proof is there that these moral laws really exist?
Can’t our good behavior that some things are right simply be the result of our conscience, instinct, or taught by parents or teachers?
Isn’t this a good reason why people know what is right and wrong, rather than a natural law, universal, and known to all people that has been created and placed in us by God?
Why do other cultures have different beliefs and standards for morality? What makes us think our morality is right and others are wrong? It is not the differences in what people think is right or wrong, but that all people everywhere, believe there is a difference between right and wrong.
Every culture defines the limits of what is right and wrong. The real question is where did this awareness come from?
In our human experience of life, it is difficult, if not impossible, to account for this awareness, naturally. How did we evolve with this universal awareness of right and wrong, strictly by biology?
The point is that the presence of this awareness of right and wrong by every person, known as the conscience, is an indication that there is a moral law-giver.
There are laws within us that are not relative, but universal. We know inherently that we are accountable to these laws because of how we feel when we do right or wrong. Paul wrote in Romans that this conscience either accuses us or excuses us when we do right or wrong.
We are also conscious of the fact that we break this law, we know it when we don’t follow our conscience. We understand we have done wrong because the resulting guilt tells us—convicts us that what we have said or done, was not right. This is true of both atheists and Christians, and every other person or religion in the world.
There is no accounting or rational explanation for these very real parts of human life, if we merely evolved by a natural process, No natural process could produce a universal awareness of a moral law, a conscience to tell us we are wrong, and guilt to convict us that we have not acted properly.
Why do some people have different opinions over what is right and wrong? the answer is really quite staggering. We don’t. We might disagree superficially, but not in the fundamental facts of what is genuinely right or wrong.
For example, almost universally, all people, for all time, have agreed that being selfish is not a right or desirable quality for human beings. Most people agree that it is better to have actions and desires that are bigger than just ourselves or our own life. Whether these other things are our family, children, older parents, or your city or nation, these things may vary from culture to culture around the world. The thing that is always universal is that fundamentally, all cultures agree that selfishness is wrong.
Every culture has its own ideas about what is socially acceptable for how we dress, adorn ourselves, or alter the look of our bodies. What is interesting is that in a majority of cultures around the world, they agree on how far is too far in personal modesty, depending on a particular situation.
If our sense of right and wrong does not come from instinct or culture, it must be the result of an unseen power that is moving and directing the universe. This is proven by an internal law that every person has, which compels us to do what is right. When we violate this internal law, we feel bad, by the same law.
Even though we have this self awareness, because God has placed a knowledge of good and evil inside us, we are nowhere close to knowing who this Eternal Being is.
Understanding that the natural law does exist, we must ask where this law came from? We can find some answers in other religions, like Hinduism, but none provide us with such a complete result as the God of the Bible. The Bible defines our awareness of His natural law, in the form of our conscience, because He created us in His image and likeness, meaning that we know what is right and wrong.
In the book of Romans, chapter 2, where Paul defines our knowledge of right and wrong because when we see other people do things that are wrong, we notice this and feel a sense of injustice has been committed. At the same time, those who see people doing wrong, forget that they also do the same wrong things, but they don’t condemn themselves.
Once we are honest about the knowledge we have regarding right and wrong, we begin to understand that this natural law that God created in us, is firm, unyielding, and eternal. The power behind this law is expressed in the book of Romans where Paul describes the laws of sin and death. If we sin, we will die, if, however, we turn to Christ, our sins are forgiven and we are no longer guilty.
3. The word of God that He has left the world, reveals that God exists:
It is also a common belief amongst atheists and critics of the Bible, that the Bible is no different from any other religious book or writing. Whenever I hear this statement I know that the person saying this has not investigated these facts for themselves. Often atheists learn their alleged facts from other atheists. It is rare when a person who claims that God does not exist, actually inquires themselves as to whether or not the statements and claims they read online or in books by atheists, are actually provable.
As a researcher, writer, and lecturer of that facts that concern the Bible, it was important to me from the beginning that I could prove the Bible is true. In my 45 years of scholarly study and publishing, I have learned that the Bible is not only singular amongst all other religious books and writings, it is the only texts that really tell the truth about the human condition.
One of the fundamental facts of the Bible that allows us to have confidence in what it says, was given to us by empirical evidence. The God of the Bible understood that we are intelligent beings because He made us like Himself. He knew that we would need proof that the Bible is really true, and is His word with His promises. For this reason He gave us a testable, empirical method whereby we could have confidence that the Bible is true.
And if you say in your heart, “How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?” —when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not listen to him. ~Deuteronomy 18:21-22
The test for whether a word spoken by someone who claims to be a prophet of God is valid, is determined by their fulfillment. If any word or part of the prophecy fails, the person who spoke the prediction is called a false prophet; and no one should listen to that person. If, however, the words that are spoken in each of these prophecies come to pass exactly as they were written, then we can have confidence that God is the original source of these predictions.
If I told you about things that are going to happen in the world in precise and specific detail and every one of these details came to pass, documented in the pages of history, would this give you confidence in what I said?
In the Old Testament scriptures, the God of Israel gave them a testable method to use in determining whether what a prophet wrote or said, was from Him or from another source. It is by predictive and fulfilled prophecy that we have confidence that the Bible is the only reliable set of documents, that prove they are the word of God. Sixty-six books written by forty authors over a period of more than one thousand five hundred years, yet containing one unified message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”
No other publication in the history of mankind has the record of predictive and fulfilled prophecy that is contained within the Bible. One hundred percent of every prediction that God has made in the Bible has been fulfilled with precision by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was the intent of God that by fulfilled prophecy, we would understand that the words of the Bible are from God, not from man.
And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. ~Joshua 23:14
God, who… calls those things which do not exist as though they did… ~Romans 4:17
The test for whether a word spoken by someone, who claims to be a prophet of God, is a true prophecy is whether the words they speak come to pass exactly as they said. Only someone with knowledge of every event that would take place in the history of the world could accurately predict future events with one hundred percent accuracy.
Objection To Prophecy: “The Predictions Were Written After They Occurred.”
This objection is based primarily upon a misunderstanding of the historical evidence for the Old Testament. Critics claim that prophecies such as Daniel which describe, with incredible accuracy, the four global kingdoms of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans in vivid detail were written after the fact.
When we examine the historical record, we discover that Daniel wrote these predictions hundreds of years before they were fulfilled.
Alexander the Great (the third kingdom) was one of the world’s greatest and most prolific conquerors. Upon the completion of his conquest of the Babylonian empire, he began a far-reaching campaign to make the Greek language the primary spoken and written language of the known world. As a result, the Hebrew language of the Jews fell into disuse.
Between 285 and 246 B.C., Ptolemy II Philadelphus commissioned seventy Hebrew scholars to translate the Hebrew scriptures into Greek. Their completed translation is known today as “LXX” and contains the complete text of the Book of Daniel, as well as all the prophets who wrote the 400 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament.
For this reason, we know that the prophecies of Daniel, which described the most important prophecy of the Old Testament, written near 700 B.C., predicted the precise date for the arrival of the Messiah. These predictions were a part of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament that was written almost 300 years before Jesus arrived.
Today, upon a comparison between the Septuagint with our modern translations of the Old Testament scriptures, we find that the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, and all the prophets who predicted the specific details of the Messiah are virtually identical.
For this reason, criticism that the prophecies of the Messiah are not valid because they were written after the fact is fully impeached by the record of history.
Of the 131 prophecies found in the Book of Isaiah which vividly describe the Messiah, all of these predictions were penned between 285 years and 700 years before Jesus was born. When Jesus arrived, He fulfilled every word of Isaiah’s prophetic description of the Messiah. This large body of prophecy found in the Book of Isaiah is directly applicable to the entire life of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the coming Messiah—from His birth, through His death, and resurrection from the dead.
The descriptions of the Messiah written by David in Psalm 22, where he communicates a Messiah who will be pierced in His hands and feet by crucifixion, was written more than 1,000 years before Jesus was born.
Dozens of other Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah were written from 1,000 to 1,500 years before Jesus arrived and fulfilled each one perfectly.
All Of The Prophecies Of The Bible That Have Been Confirmed, Are Verified By Scholars
Not one prophecy of the Bible has ever failed to be fulfilled exactly as God has spoken. Only a transcendent being with infinite knowledge, who lives outside of time, could tell us what will happen hundreds or thousands of years before the events they describe take place.
It is for this reason that we should trust only the words of the Bible, and not the words of men who do not speak for God. The Bible claims that “Holy men of God” spoke, as the Spirit of God gave them understanding. The test for whether or not God spoke the things that are written is whether these things actually came to pass over the process of time.
The entire foundation of the Bible is that God has spoken His prophetic word for the purpose of identifying the correct Messiah when He arrives. For this reason, God gave the world more than 400 predictions that describe every aspect of the Messiah’s life, death, and resurrection. This premise will be explored in detail in the fourth and fifth point of this essay.
According to Deuteronomy 18, if even one word of all that God has spoken fails to be fulfilled, then the prophet who spoke these words is a false prophet, and no one should listen to him. Conversely, if any word of God that He has spoken regarding any event He has predicted ever fails, then God’s word is not true, and we should not listen to Him. These are bold and brazen statements, but this is the reality God has laid before us. Either His word is true, or it is not. The truthfulness of the Bible can only be proven by whether or not God has kept all of His promises.
The claim made by God is that every word He has spoken will come to pass.
Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. ~Joshua 23:14
For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass… ~Ezekiel 12:25
God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. ~Romans 4:17
4. The arrival of Jesus on earth as the Eternal Creator/God.
Amongst the evidences for God that exist in the world today, the most compelling is the arrival of God on earth in the person of Jesus, the Messiah. For this reason, the Deity of Jesus has also come under intense criticism and scrutiny. In my opinion, this is a very good thing. When something is genuinely true, it can stand up to any amount of examination and scrutiny.
Many modern atheists often assert that Jesus never claimed to be God, likely because they have heard other atheists state this in their books, articles, or during public debates. It is really quite easy to prove that Jesus clearly claimed to be God, in all four of the Canonical Gospels, and the writers of the entire New Testament also confirm that they believed Jesus to be God, and that He proved this conclusively to them.
The Gospel of John contains specific statements by Jesus that He claimed to be God. The Synoptic Gospels contain statements by Jesus where He attributes the words and works He was saying and doing, to a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah, which states that the Messiah will be God.
These instances seemed veiled to the untrained, but to those of us who are educated and know the scriptures well, these instances are very clear to us that Jesus claimed often to be Yahweh-God.
Jesus Confounded The Leaders Of Israel
When the Pharisees gathered before Jesus to question Him, it was with the intent of publicly discrediting Him before all those who were listening. Instead, these men were themselves confounded. The text that the Pharisees used to trap Jesus was a well-known verse from Psalm 110:1a.
In this portion of scripture, The LORD God is saying to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies my footstool.” The Pharisees believed that they already knew the answer to this question when they asked Jesus: “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah) Whose Son is He?” The Pharisees believed that the Messiah was the Son of David.
The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ~Psalms 110:1a
Matthew Records This Event In His Gospel
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He 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.
When Jesus asks this question of the religious leadership of Israel, no one was able to answer Him. This is because it was generally accepted by the Jews that Psalms 110:1 was speaking of the Messiah who will also be God. If by David’s words, the Messiah is both a son and Lord, He must also be God and man.
The idea that God could be dwelling within the person of Jesus Christ was a reality that was totally unacceptable to the leaders of Israel. Yet, this is precisely what David was predicting when he penned Psalms 110:1.
Understanding this is true, how is it that a New Testament Scholar could miss this critical piece of evidence in stating that Jesus never claimed to be God? This is precisely what Bart Ehrman and the Jesus Seminar participants assert.
Here before the Pharisees, Jesus meticulously demonstrates from the Old Testament that His identity as God and Messiah is precisely what David predicted: A man who is both Messiah and God.
Jesus made it very clear that He was God in human flesh. He repeatedly stated that He and God were one and the same. He claimed to have been with Abraham who lived 1,500 years before (John 8:58).
The Pharisees picked up stones to kill Jesus because He said that He is God (John 10:30-33). The entire purpose of the Pharisees in seeking to crucify Jesus was because He had committed blasphemy, declaring that He was God in human flesh (Matthew 26:63-66).
How is it today that some Liberal Theologians write books declaring that Jesus never claimed to be God?
You will discover, there are many untruths that have been told about what Jesus really said and did. The purpose of this book is to provide you with evidence which validates that everything we have read in the Gospels about Jesus is true.
Doing What God Would Do
If God exists and He should come to earth and prove that He is real, we would expect to see certain abilities to confirm He is God.
When we examine Jesus we see that He opened the eyes of the blind, commanded a disabled man to walk, caused a man to speak who was mute, walked on the surface of the sea, and raised Lazarus from the dead. There are 40 supernatural depictions of Jesus’ power as God found in all four Gospels. These are revealed in this book.
Critics claim that Jesus did not have these abilities but were, instead, attributed to Him by his followers. These manuscripts bear no marks of forgery or embellishment. There are no controverting statements from anyone during this period of history when these miracles were recorded which state that Jesus did not have the power to do these things. In fact, we find just the opposite. There are nearly 25,000 surviving manuscripts today which declare that Jesus said and did the things written about Him in the New Testament.
With their own words, these men stated that their purpose in writing this narrative was because they wanted to preserve a truthful historical account of what Jesus said and did, so that those who read their words would have an evidentiary basis to believe.
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. ~John 21:24
We proclaim to you, Jesus, who existed from eternity, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. …We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard… ~1 John 1:1-3 RCR
It is interesting that John, who wrote these words, survived until 90 A.D. He discipled Polycarp, who was a member of the group who determined which Gospels of the 30 that were under consideration should be included in the New Testament. Polycarp was told by John that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were the other writers who had written true and accurate testimonies about Jesus. It is for this reason that we know today who wrote the true narratives of Jesus and who did not.
New Testament Evidence Of Authenticity
Today there are 24,593 copies of the New Testament that have survived for over 2,000 years. There are no other ancient writings that exist from any other secular or religious source, in greater numbers, than those of the New Testament. The time of writing for these accounts of Jesus are closer to the occurrence of the actual events, than any other secular or religious documents that have survived time and decay.
The way that we can tell whether an event was real and the people who are described by these writings are genuine is by the number of manuscripts that survive a great expanse of history.
Today there is no other ancient event in the history of the world that has 24,593 surviving copies of the original manuscripts, other than those of the New Testament.
The basis of all claims in opposition to New Testament reliability is predicated upon two ideas:
- Jesus did not claim to be God.
- He was made God by the Gospel writers.
In the opening statement of his book, “How Jesus Became God,” Atheist Theologian, Bart Ehrman, makes the following observation:
“JESUS WAS A LOWER-CLASS Jewish preacher from the backwaters of rural Galilee who was condemned for illegal activities and crucified for crimes against the state. Yet not long after his death, his followers were claiming that he was a divine being. Eventually they went even further, declaring that he was none other than God, Lord of heaven and earth. And so the question: How did a crucified peasant come to be thought of as the Lord who created all things? How did Jesus become God?”
From this premise that Jesus was nothing more than a crucified peasant, Ehrman expresses his opinion that Jesus cannot be God. The entire book is dedicated to the principle that Jesus never claimed to be God Himself, it was the writers of the four Gospels who made Him God.
Here is the problem with Ehrman’s hypothesis:
These ideas are not supported by the evidence of history, nor the text of the 24,593 extant copies of the New Testament we have today.
First, we must remember that the very reason Jesus was arrested by the religious leaders of Israel was for blasphemy.
In the words of the Pharisees, Jesus was crucified because He, being a man, claimed to be God.
In John 10:30-33, Jesus told the Pharisees, “I and My Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
The term, I and my father are one, is a clear statement where Jesus is claiming that God, whom He claims is His Father, and He are one and the same. We understand what Jesus meant by this statement in seeing how the Pharisees responded; they pick up stones to kill Jesus for Blasphemy.
Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin In Matthew’s Gospel
Matthew describes Jesus before the high priest as He is questioned about His true identity. The high priest uses an ancient Hebrew imperative to interrogate Jesus by placing Him under oath: are you the Christ, the Son of God?
There is no ambiguity regarding what is being asked or asserted concerning Jesus. The high priest is demanding an answer from Jesus because it was well known by this time that He had, on several occasions, claimed to be the Son of God.
And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”Jesus said to him, “It is as you said.
Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” ~Matthew 26:62-66
Jesus answers in the affirmative that He is the Son of God, just as the high priest has said. Then Jesus uses two confirming scriptures from Daniel chapter 7 where the prophet describes the Messiah as the Son of Man, coming with the clouds.
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. ~Daniel 7:13-14
Daniel is the first to use the term Son of Man to describe the Messiah, and the only writer to use the phrase, coming with the clouds, in the Old Testament.
John also writes in the Book of Revelation, that Jesus will be coming with the clouds when He returns.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him (Zechariah 12:10). And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. ~Revelation 1:7
The term clouds is used in Hebrews 12:1 to describe those who are in heaven as witnesses, watching our progress here on earth. John said that when Jesus returns, these cloud of witnesses will be coming with Him to reign over the earth as Messiah.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. ~ Hebrews 12:1
Here, Jesus applies both of Daniel’s terms, clouds and Son of Man, to Himself. Jesus also confirmed to the Pharisees in Matthew 26:62-66, above, that He is the Son of God.
By these three declarations to the Pharisees, that He is the Son of God, The Son of Man, and Coming with the clouds, Jesus is confirming three things:
- He is God.
- He Is Messiah.
- He Is coming again to rule over the kingdom promised to David that will never end.
There is no mistake in what Jesus has told the Pharisees. We see by the response of the high priest in tearing his garments, that he clearly understood that Jesus was claiming to be God. It was upon this declaration that the high priest pronounces “blasphemy,” and declares that Jesus should be put to death.
Did you also notice here that in addition to Jesus saying He is God and the Messiah, we also see that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would be God?
Does this exchange between Jesus and the high priest look to you like it was fabricated? How is it that these simple men who penned the four Gospels had the ability to construct such an elaborate myth, even using the prophets of the Old Testament to play a part in their deception?
As this book progresses, you will see that in order to accept Ehrman’s theory that the disciples of Jesus made up the story that He is God, we would have to believe that the writers of the Old Testament were also in on this deceit.
The text written by Matthew contains references to Old Testament prophecies by Daniel, with allusions to Zechariah. John must also be in on the deception because he used the term “clouds” in describing the return of Jesus in the book of Revelation.
We see that Luke is a part of the conspiracy because he begins His gospel by referencing the prophecies of 2 Samuel 7:14, Isaiah 9: 6a, Isaiah 9: 6b, and Isaiah 9: 6c.1a
When the angel Gabriel told Joseph that the Son whom Mary carried in her womb was the Son of God, he said He will fulfill Daniel’s prophecy, David’s prophecy, and Isaiah’s prophecies of Messiah; and the promise of God that David would have a future descendant who will be the Son of God and Messiah who will reign forever.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” ~Luke 1:31-33
How wide, how far this deception Jesus’ Gospel is, even the entire Old Testament is involved!
This description by Jesus that He is God as He is before the Pharisees is in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s Gospels.
You can see here that the hypothesis of Dr. Ehrman is beginning to unwind. This book presents stunning evidence to support Jesus as the only True God and why we can have confidence in the New Testament as a reliable source.
Mark’s Testimony That Jesus Claims To Be God:
The Gospel of Mark echoes the very same details of Matthew and Luke, with the text of Daniel, describing Messiah as coming with the clouds of heaven.
And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think? And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. ~Mark 14:60-64
Jesus confirmed that He is the object of Daniel’s prophecy, the Son of Man (Messiah), coming with the clouds of heaven. The statement of Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Power, is a further confirmation of His identity. Only Messiah can sit at the right hand of God, according to the Prophecy of Psalms 110:1
The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies Your footstool. ~Psalms 110:1
When we arrive at chapter 12, “How Do We Know Jesus Is God,” Jesus uses this prophecy from Psalms 110:1, to confirm that He is both God and David’s descendent.
Luke’s Narrative Where Jesus Claims To Be God:
Luke is the third Gospel which confirms the text where the leaders of Israel accuse Jesus of blasphemy for claiming to be God.
As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe.
And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth. ~Luke 22:66-71
We have only begun our search for answers as to the true identity of Jesus and already we can see compelling evidence that today’s Liberal Theologians have not told us the truth about Jesus.
There is no possibility that the writers of the New Testament conspired with those of the Old Testament to fabricate a false narrative that Jesus is God. It is clear from this brief look at the text, that the Old Testament Prophets predicted a Messiah who would be God, and Jesus came into the world as the fulfillment of their prophecies.
John’s Presentation That Jesus Is God:
Throughout John’s Gospel his intention is to prove that Jesus is God, by the inclusion of many facts.
John begins his gospel differently from Matthew and Luke who give us a Genealogy of Jesus for the purpose of verifying that He is qualified to be the Messiah.
John does not give us a genealogy for Jesus because God doesn’t have one. John’s purpose is to prove to us that Jesus is God and His true origin is from eternity where He has always existed as God.
Jesus did not begin at Bethlehem where He was born; He came out of eternity to take the body of a man so that He could die for us.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. ~John 1:1-3
John defines who the “Word” is, in verse 14:
The Word Becomes Flesh
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory… ~John 1:14
There is no clearer definition for Jesus’ origin than stating that He has always existed and is the Creator of all that exists.
- Evidence That Jesus Clearly Declared He Is God
- The Stunning Difference Between Jesus And All Other Gods And Religions
- Are Critics Right, Did Jesus Never Claim To Be God?
The facts of history, as they are recorded in the Old and New Testaments, predict a Messiah who would be God, and record the fact that Jesus clearly claimed to be both Messiah and God. For a person to claim that there is no evidence that God exists, but ignore, diminish, or exclude the historical evidence that states that Jesus claimed to be God, and the men who followed Him, believed He is God, is disingenuous.
- Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?
- Historical Evidence That Proves The Resurrection Of Jesus
- How Forensic Evidence Proves The New Testament Is Historical And Reliable
See Part 2: “Seven Evidences That Prove The Existence Of God.”
 It was the intent of God that by fulfilled prophecy, we would understand that the source of the words contained in the Bible are from God, not from man.
Isaiah penned 131 prophecies which describe extensively, the Messiah’s suffering and the extreme torture. Robert Clifton Robinson. “The Prophecies of the Messiah” (Kindle Locations 9822-9823).
 Before the canonization of the New Testament, there were some 30 gospels of Jesus Christ that were under careful consideration. All but Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which are a part of our New Testament today, were excluded—after having been examined thoroughly for accuracy and authenticity. Scott Kellum writes: Their individual status as Scripture is usually not debated. …There are about 30 known Gospels that appeared before the year 600Kellum, L. Scott; Köstenberger, Andreas J.; Quarles, Charles L (2009-08-01). The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown (Kindle Locations .739-742 B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.
 Irenaeus, heard Polycarp speak in his youth, as well as Tertullian, who stated that he was a disciple of John the Apostle (Tertullian, De praescriptione hereticorum 32.2). Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and John had ordained him as the bishop of Smyrna.
 “Honest Men: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death, And Resurrection of Jesus.” 2015, Robert Clifton Robinson: “The primary way that we know that John is the author of this gospel is by the external evidence of the early Christian church. Irenaeus described John as the author of this gospel in his writing; “Against Heresies,” and stated that he survived until the time of Emperor Trajan, who reigned from 98-117 A.D.”
 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 1). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Bart Ehrman, Contradictions in the Bible, Defending the Gospel, Forgiveness of Sin, How Salvation Occurs, Messianic Prophecies, No one is "good", One Way to Heaven, Origin of the four Gospels, Origin of the Universe, Physical Constants, Reasons For Unbelief, Reliability of the Bible, Religion vs. Relationship, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Salvation through Jesus, Science and the Bible, The Condition of the Heart, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Importance of the Bible, The Resurrection, To die for the world's sins, What is required for Heaven?
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