Many atheist New Testament scholars have described Jesus as a fabrication. Some admit He was a real person but He never claimed to be God. Modern atheist scholars assert that Jesus was made God by the writers of the New Testament.
Whenever we are endeavoring to discover the truth about any event that has taken place during the recorded history of the world, we must first study carefully what was written at the time these events took place. It is in the texts of ancient manuscripts that we find clues to the truth of all ancient narratives.
Surprisingly, there are 24,593 surviving ancient manuscript copies of the New Testament. We have nearly complete copies of all 27 books, dated from 125-225 A.D. There are no surviving original autographs for any works of antiquity of this age, primarily because the material used to record these original works have been destroyed by time and decay. In this regard, the New Testament presents us with the largest extant body of historical manuscripts from the first century, of any other event that has taken place in all of antiquity.
Regarding the time when these events took place and how soon after the writers placed these narratives on papyrus, the evidence we have today demands that these writers recorded these events early in the first century. If we have surviving manuscript copies from 125-225 A.D., the original autographs must certainly have been penned early in the first century.
Many people discount the New Testament as contrived, but these conclusions are made without real knowledge of the text. When we examine the 27 books of the New Testament, we discover that these documents are really just personal letters written by the authors to people in churches at various parts of Asia Minor. Historians understand that personal letters originating from antiquity are rarely fabricated but are, most often, genuine by their very nature.
The topics of all 27 of these letters are about the same person, Jesus, the man for whom the four Gospels are written—described as performing miracles, executed by crucifixion under the Romans, seen raised from the dead by the writers of the New Testament. Even if we did not have the Gospels, we could still validate the entire primary content of those texts by the other 23 letters of the New Testament that have survived time and decay.
I have spent the past four decades gaining an education, researching the ancient New Testament manuscripts and secular resources that describe Jesus; writing, teaching, and publishing the true facts of the New Testament.
I began my journey of discovery as an atheist 45 years ago. I was a drummer for a touring rock band in the 70s and had all of the things that people in the world say will make a person happy. The problem was that I was not happy, though I had achieved many successes and had a promising future of fame and fortune.
I was not raised in a religious home. We never went to church or talked about God. I didn’t know anything about Jesus or the Bible, and I could not have cared less about church or religion.
I picked up a Bible one day and began to read the story about Jesus. I had never heard of anyone like the person described in these pages—much less, ever seen a man like Jesus, in the world. If this person really existed, said and did all the things that are written of Him, He would be the most unique person ever to have lived. I was fascinated by what I read, and I wanted to know the truth.
My curiosity propelled me into the four and one half decades of scholarly study that has been my life’s work.
A few of the discoveries that I made early in my research were the ideas I learned from other atheists, that there are similar myths of persons like Jesus before the New Testament was written. Upon a thorough investigation, I discovered that these early myths bore no resemblance to the specific details of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, as it is described in the New Testament.
There were many other alleged early persons and events that were said to be the original source of the Jesus’ story, but upon examination of the facts they all turned out to be nothing more than hearsay and conjecture.
There was so prima facie evidence anywhere in the historical record that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus was a mythological construct, or that the narratives found in these 27 letters originated from an earlier myth or legend.
There are several mythical narratives of mystery religions in the historical record, some resemble the narrative of Jesus, but they all occurred after the time of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament.
In my early research, and while still an atheist, I was under the impression that the Jesus story was simply a recycled redeemer account that has been repeated several times throughout history. In fact, many new religions have been created as imitations of the narrative of Jesus in the New Testament.
There are also a surprising number of ancient secular historians who lived during the same period that the events described by the New Testament were recorded. In this book I have an extensive list of 122 secular sources that cite Jesus in Jerusalem, crucified and allegedly resurrected from the dead.
None of these secular sources were sympathetic towards Jesus, as they recorded their critical statements about Him in their ancient texts. The purpose for writing about Jesus was largely due to all of the problems He created in the Roman Empire and amongst the Jews who lived during that time. The people who believed in Jesus and began telling others about Him, stated that He was crucified and rose from the dead. This incredible story became the source of great concern for the Romans and Jews—necessitating the recording of these events in the Annals of Rome and the Jewish Talmud—caused by Jesus and His followers.
Over five million Christians are recorded in the historical record as executed simply because they believed fervently that Jesus had risen from the dead.
The Roman government was very tolerant in the religious beliefs of the nations they conquered. The one exception to this rule was Christianity. The idea that a man had risen from the dead was impossible for the rulers of Rome to accept.
The Romans did not believe that Jesus had risen, but they could not deny the impact that those who did believe in His resurrection had on their society. Jesus’ resurrection was considered so dangerous that, if allowed to continue, Roman society would be destroyed.
The recording of these facts in the Roman archives of history validates that Jesus was in Jerusalem during the same period of history that the New Testament places Him there, but also that Christians believed Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead, just as the New Testament records.
The Christians of the first 250 years, after the New Testament scriptures had spread throughout the Roman Empire, believed the written testimony recorded in letters like 1 Corinthians 15, which declares that the faith of those who believed in Jesus depended completely upon the historical eyewitnesses who saw Jesus crucified and risen from the dead.
If Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave…But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
Early believers were so confident of these facts concerning Jesus’ resurrection, that a majority would never renounce Christ or the certainty that He had risen from the dead. This belief was intolerable for the Roman Government. History records that the resurrection of Jesus was so firmly believed by early Christians, that the Romans determined to eradicate those who believed in Jesus from every corner of the Roman Empire.
These facts of history exist as evidence that there was a firm belief in the resurrection of Jesus and that Christians were so certain Jesus had risen from the dead, they would not deny what the writers of the New Testament had recorded. By the end of the first century, these facts of Jesus’ resurrection had been distributed to every nation of the Roman Empire. It was the eyewitness testimony of men who saw Jesus crucified and risen from the dead that made it impossible for early believers to deny. These facts are placed indelibly into the historical record.
Because these records exist in the Annals of Rome, the existence of Jesus and many of the things He said and did are also found in the secular records of the Romans and religious texts of the Jews.
When I learned these facts of the historical record several years ago, I began publishing these findings in my books and essays.
It is also important to recognize that there were numerous ancient historians who lived during the time of Christ and wrote about Him. This book contains many secular citations that describe many of the same facts of the New Testament.
For those who say that there are no contemporaneous sources for Jesus, they are simply wrong. Those who say such things are either willfully ignorant of these ancient writers, or they ignore these facts because they impeach atheist assertions.
I have learned over many years that there are no shortage of valid historical sources to validate the narratives of the New Testament, only honest New Testament scholars who will include these facts in their books.
The writings of Tiberius Caesar are considered accurate and reliable sources for genuine events of antiquity with just nine sources. The New Testament has thirty-nine extra-biblical sources, and are considered by critics as fabrications. The reason this has happened is obvious: resistant bias against any evidence that proves the New Testament is true.
Today, no reputable historical or New Testament scholar suggests that Jesus and the narratives of the New Testament cannot be corroborated by contemporaneous sources. Those who seek to impeach the New Testament narratives of Jesus are themselves impeached by the historical evidence that exists.
When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the men who had been with Him for three and one-half years—all began to search the scriptures for the details of those earlier predictions. They discovered that each part of Jesus’ actual resurrection was predicted by many Old Testament prophecies. The fact that the large body of Old Testament scriptures speak of a resurrected Messiah, is corroborating evidence that a resurrection was expected of the coming Messiah. Every detail of these prophecies was fulfilled by Jesus and recorded in the New Testament by eyewitnesses, who saw Him alive after He was crucified.
In 2012 I published “The Prophecies of the Messiah,” documenting the 400 Hebrew Prophecies Jesus fulfilled in the narratives of the New Testament. In these 400 Messianic Prophecies, there are ten prophecies that state the Messiah will be raised from the dead. See: “Prophecies of Messiah’s Resurrection.”
If we had nothing more than the New Testament which details the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we would still have all the historical authority necessary to prove that Jesus rose from the dead. The New Testament was written by diligent, honest, and sincere men, who wanted to preserve a record of events they considered so important, that every person on earth should know what happened. We have absolutely no reason to doubt that these narratives about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, are anything less than factual. The body of evidence presented in this book fully validates the conclusion that the New Testament Gospels were written by eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after He was brutally crucified and died.
When we add the 400 Old Testament Messianic Prophecies to the New Testament testimony of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection—all fulfilled by Jesus—we cannot possibly detach the resurrection from the four gospels as a myth, nor consider their testimony as anything less than an absolute certainty of history.
 Atheist New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman: How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 1). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
 You Are My Witnesses: The Men Who Saw Jesus, Robert Clifton Robinson, 2019, Kindle Edition.
 See: “You Are My Witnesses: The Men Who Saw Jesus,” 2019, by Robert Clifton Robinson, Teach The Word Publishing, Amazon Kindle Edition.
 1.Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, December 19, 2011, ISBN: 1459633199, Kindle Edition
2.Chuck Smith, “The Tribulation and the Church,” The Word For Today, Publishers, August 5, 2011, Kindle Edition.
3. Maurice M. Hassatt, “Martyr.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IX, Robert Appleton Company, 1910
 1 Corinthians 15:14-20 (NLT)
Categories: Atheists, Agnostics and Skeptics, Christian Killed For Believing the Resurrection, Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, He Is Risen, Jesus is God, Literary authenticity of the New Testament, New Testament Criticism, New Testament Manuscripts, Resurrection Proven by Secular Sources, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, Tacitus as a credible witness, The Four Gospels, The Historical Crucifixion of Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Historicity of Jesus, The Resurrection, The Resurrection of Jesus