203 Eyewitness Statements About Jesus In The New Testament

One of the assertions made by critics of the New Testament, is the idea that what is written in the Synoptic Gospels, was penned long after Jesus appeared on earth. Atheists often write that men who never saw Jesus, created the narratives about Jesus, late in the first century. These adversaries of the New Testament say these men were not eyewitnesses, and a majority of the things attributed to Jesus—He never said or did. The problem with these statements, is that the actual 24,593 extant manuscript copies of the New Testament from the historical record, documents that these men saw and heard what they chronicle. The entire New Testament is a compilation of 27 letters that record 203 instances of eyewitness testimony in the 260 chapters of the New Testament.

Not once in the entire record of antiquity is there any evidence that proves the writers were not eyewitnesses, and they wrote late in the first century.

The Writers of the New Testament Say They Are Eyewitnesses

If we conduct a personal investigation concerning the Canonical Gospels of the New Testament, we quickly discern that we are reading testimony from men who were present when Jesus said and did the things recorded in these texts. These men state repeatedly that they saw and heard Jesus and there is no ambiguity in what they meant:

  1. Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?
  2. Peter: 1 Peter 1:16: “We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes.”
  3. John: 1 John 1:1:”We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands.”
  4. James, Paul, all the Apostles: 1 Corinthians 15:7: “Then Jesus was seen alive by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”
  5. Mary Magdalene: John 20:18: “Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!”
  6. Peter: Acts 5:29-32: “But Peter and the apostles replied… We are witnesses of these things…”
  7. John: 1 John 1:2-3: “This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.

Myth: Eyewitness Testimony is not Reliable:

I have heard this assertion on hundreds of occasions. Atheists pass this false information to each other, and they will tell you that even if the men who wrote their testimony about Jesus did see Him, their testimony as eyewitnesses is not reliable.

In matters of criminal law, eyewitness testimony is not considered reliable. However, in matters of historical events, the testimony of an eyewitness is one of the highest levels of confirmation for literary historical events.

Legal Analysis Of The Four Gospels As Valid Eyewitness Testimony

In just these seven New Testament citations, we can fully impeach the atheist assertion that the writers of these narratives about Jesus, were not eyewitnesses. In this essay I will present 203 (formerly 134) of these eyewitness statements from the writers of the New Testament.

The Legal Standard For Valid Evidence

Atheists often assert that eyewitness testimony is not reliable. They are simply misinformed. In matters of criminal cases, an eyewitness is not always reliable. Concerning events of history, an eyewitness is considered by literary critics as the highest form of valid evidence.

Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?

According to current and former legal standards for what constitutes valid and reliable evidence in a court of law, one of the world’s greatest legal scholars, Simon Greenleaf, said the following: “the testimony of the evangelists; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as recorded in the four canonical gospels, would stand as credible, factual evidence in a court of law.”[1]

Today, atheists and critics of the four Gospels have established standards for religious-based sources that is higher than those required for secular questions.[2] Co-founder of the Harvard School of Law, Simon Greenleaf, argued: “the burden of disproving evidence lies squarely on the shoulders of the objector.”[3] Greenleaf argued that the reader of any texts of a historical source should be approached with “a mind free from all pride of opinion, not hostile to the truth sought for, willing to pursue the inquiry, and impartially to weigh the arguments and evidence, and to acquiesce in the judgment of right reason.”[4]

Contrary to modern critics who state that the methods Greenleaf used in 1864 in determining whether the testimony of the four Gospels can be classified as legal and viable eyewitness testimony, Professor of Law Nancy J. Kippenhan writes that Greenleaf’s conclusions are a foundational work still cited by those who approach Christian apologetics on the basis of evidence.[5a]

An eyewitness is more reliable than secondhand testimony or hearsay

A majority of the texts for the New Testament were written by eyewitnesses. The writers are careful to tell the reader that they were not convinced that Jesus was God at first, but only believed after they saw Him alive after His brutal crucifixion. Various writers make clear and specific statements that what they are writing is truthful and they are not lying:

2 Peter 1:16-18: “We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father (on the high mountain).” 

1 John 1:1-3: “We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 

1 John 4:14 “Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” 

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 

The requirements for valid eyewitness testimony has been met by the surviving manuscript copies of the New Testament. In the absence of any impeaching evidence during the entire 2,000 year history of the New Testament, the testimony of the men who penned these texts, remains reliable and trustworthy to the present day.

The reason that atheists are so persistent to impeach the time and source of the New Testament, is because these documents record Jesus as crucified, dead and risen. If these documents were written late in the first century, by men who never saw Jesus, this would render these narratives irrelevant in proving that Jesus is God and Messiah. The extant manuscript copies of the New Testament are the largest, earliest written, body of historical evidence for any event of antiquity. There is no other event in antiquity that presents us with the surviving manuscript evidence we have for the New Testament.

It is possible by the timeline of events found in the New Testament, to date the preliminary completion of the Synoptic Gospels by 44 AD. When Paul departed for Asia in 45 AD, he was carrying the written testimony of these three Gospels with Him. There was no possibility that Paul could prove to people in Asia Minor that Jesus is the true Messiah, unless Paul had the written testimony of the men who saw and heard Him crucified and risen on the third day.

It was this written testimony that had been delivered to all of the Christian churches in Asia, that enabled Christians to never deny that Jesus had risen from the dead. During a period of 250 years, ten Roman Emperors executed over five million Christians simply because they refused to deny that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The Romans and Jews were both hostile towards Jesus and His followers. They had no interest in preserving a record of His death and resurrection, yet this is exactly what they accomplished by their adversarial writings about Jesus.

From the first century, when the events described by the New Testament were taking place, Romans and Jews wrote about Jesus and His followers and, without realizing, it preserved a secular, historical, non-biblical record that corroborates the death and resurrection of Jesus.

All of the primary events of Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection are described in detail in the secular, contemporaneous writings of the Romans and the Jews. 

The Resurrection of Jesus caused major difficulties for the Roman government. The fervent belief of first century Christians that Jesus had risen from the dead was a primary concern for the Roman Emperors.

The belief that Jesus had risen from the dead was considered insanity by the Roman Emperors. Should they allow this mental illness to spread throughout the provinces of the empire, Roman Emperors believed this insanity would destroy the very fabric of Roman society.

Records in the Roman archives present us with letters between governors and emperors, describing the resurrection of Jesus and how dangerous it was to the Roman way of life.

In response to this threat, ten Roman emperors executed over five million Christians during the first 250 years of Christianity.[5b]

The facts—demonstrated by the actual surviving manuscript evidence of the New Testament—proves the writers saw and heard Jesus, and these records were completed by 44 AD.

The New Testament exists today in the largest body of ancient manuscripts ever to survive time and decay. Contrary to critics, who state that these texts have been altered or are inconsistent with each other, we find that all 24, 593 manuscript copies tell us the same primary details about Jesus’ miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection. 

These manuscripts are written in fourteen different languages and come from all over the world, yet maintain a uniformity in their text, telling the same story. The only way this would be possible is if the texts were considered so important that preserving what was written was paramount. There are no other ancient texts in all of antiquity that exhibit this distinctive preservation of a singular story in so many surviving manuscripts.

When we examine the entire body of New Testament manuscripts, we find that they are all  consistent with the primary details of Jesus found today in our modern New Testament.

The New Testament records 203 citations, that these men saw and heard what they are writing about Jesus.

John states the purpose for which he wrote his testimony about Jesus

“The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.” ~John 20:30-31

  1. John declares that the disciples saw Jesus
  2. John said these things were written so that people might know the truth and believe
  3. John tell us the reason he did not place his name on his Gospel”

John 7:18 “Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.

This verse is something that John said, Jesus said, to all of the disciples. It apparently made a tremendous impression upon these men when they set out to write a testimony about what they had seen and heard. They didn’t want Jesus story to be about them. They were writing to document the most important events in the history of the world. They made it all about Jesus.

In modern literary forensics, a writer who intentionally omits his name from what he is writing, when he is writing about another person he considers more important, is the highest form of evidence that this person is telling the truth.

Fourteen times John says, “we know.” This is a declaration by John that what what is written in the 27 letters that comprise the New Testament, are based upon firsthand knowledge. The entire purpose for these men writing what we now read today in our New Testament, was to preserve a written testimony and place it into the historical record.

Luke Said That He Personally Interviewed The Eyewitnesses From The Early Disciples

Luke 1:1-4 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.”

  1. Luke said many people set out to write account about Jesus
  2. They used eyewitness reports
  3. Luke said he carefully investigated everything from the beginning
  4. Luke said this is an accurate account
  5. Luke did this so Theophilus can be certain this is the truth

This Essay Documents Eyewitness Statements By The Writers Of The New Testament Who Say They Saw Jesus:

  1. Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?
  2. Peter: 1 Peter 1:16: “We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes.”
  3. John: 1 John 1:1:”We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands.”
  4. James, Paul, all the Apostles: 1 Corinthians 15:7: “Then Jesus was seen alive by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”
  5. Mary Magdalene: John 20:18: “Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!”
  6. Peter: Acts 5:29-32: “But Peter and the apostles replied… We are witnesses of these things…”
  7. John: 1 John 1:2-3: “This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.
  8. Mary Magdalene: John 20:11-17 “Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in… She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.”
  9. Mary Magdalene/ Salome: Matthew 28:9-10 “Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb…And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him.”
  10. Peter: Luke 24:34 “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
  11. Two Disciples on the road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-32
  12. Ten Apostles together at once: Luke 24:33-49
  13. Eleven Apostles together at once: John 20:26-30
  14. Seven Apostles at once: John 21:1-14
  15. Twelve Apostles at once: Matthew 28:16-20
  16. Over 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus alive: 1 Corinthians 15:6
  17. James: 1 Corinthians 15:7: “Then Jesus was seen by James and later by all the apostles.”
  18. Eleven Apostles: Acts 1:4-9 “During the forty days after Jesus suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
  19. Paul: Acts 9:3-6: “As Paul was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
  20. Mary Magdalene: Mark 16:11 :But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.”
  21. Paul: Acts 9:17 “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road”
  22. Paul 1 Corinthians 15:8 “I also saw him.”
  23. Paul Acts 22:12-21 “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.”
  24. Paul: Acts 23:11 “That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
  25. Paul: Acts 26:12-18 “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me.”

Co Founder of Harvard Law School, Simon Greenleaf, and the Evidence

Simon Greenleaf, in his publication of Testimony of the Evangelists, finds that the canonical Gospels are credible evidence in spite of their supernatural implications. This is due primarily to the massive evidence we have today to validate the narratives in these texts.

Today, we understand that there are 24,593 extant New Testament manuscript copies of these ancient texts that have been under critical examination for 1,800 years.[6] Noted New Testament scholar, F. F. Bruce, describes the evidence for the New Testament as superior to any other ancient event in the history of the world.[7]

Are Greenleaf’s Conclusions For the Gospels Valid Today?

It is a valid question to ask whether the criteria Greenleaf used in 1864 would satisfy jurists today with the same conclusions. Do the conclusions of Greenleaf for the four Gospels meet the demands of evidentiary inquiry in our present world, that would be acceptable in courts of justice?

When we utilize our current Federal Rules of Evidence and apply these to the canonical Gospels, we find that they would be judged precisely the same as Greenleaf concluded in 1864.[8] According to these rules that determine whether testimony is valid in proving facts, the narratives in the four Gospels would be admitted into the courts of justice in America today.

According to these guidelines, the four Gospels meet the necessary requirements of the “Ancient documents” hearsay exception.[9] In examination of the credibility for the witnesses as the authors of the four Gospels, the Federal Rules of Evidence also finds that these witnesses are reliable.[10] When we investigate the content and context of the testimony given by the four Gospel writers, and assess the reliability and credentials of these authors, we find them to be credible witnesses according to the Federal Rules of Evidence.[11]

In the final analysis of the four canonical Gospels, according to all the rules set forth by the Federal Rules, these testimonies would be admissible and credible in a court of law.[12] The rules and methods used by Simon Greenleaf in his analysis of the four Gospels were valid when he wrote this treatise, and they are still valid today according to our current rules of law for evidence and witnesses.

“Evidence is generally admitted for consideration unless the opposing party makes an objection, at which time the burden shifts to the opposing party to provide specific grounds for the objection and to demonstrate that the offered evidence should not be admitted.”[13]

In these matters, “the benefit of the doubt is given to the party presenting the evidence, thus erring on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion, in order to consider the greatest amount of relevant information possible in the quest for the truth of the matter.”[14]

In matters of past inquiry, as well as today, the burden rests upon the objectors. Also regarding that in all times any evidence related to religious questions has been “unjustly presumed to be false until it is proved to be true,”[15] rather than accepted as truth until explicitly impeached.

According To Legal Scholar, Simon Greenleaf:

“[a] proposition of fact is proved, when its truth is established by competent and satisfactory evidence.”[16] Such evidence is the “amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind, beyond any reasonable doubt.”[17] The facts attested to in the Gospels “are cognizable by the senses, [and] may be said to be proved when they are established by that kind and degree of evidence which . . . would . . . satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man.”[18]

In viewing the claims of the canonical Gospels by the same standards as other evidence, Greenleaf also noted:

[T]he narrative is more likely to be true than false; and it may be in the highest degree more likely, but still be short of absolute mathematical certainty. Yet this very probability may be so great as to satisfy the mind of the most cautious, and enforce the assent of the most reluctant and unbelieving. . . . If it is such as usually satisfies reasonable men, in matters of ordinary transaction, it is all which the greatest sceptic has a right to require; for it is by such evidence alone that our rights are determined, in the civil tribunals; and on no other evidence do they proceed, even in capital cases.[19]

Upon examination by current and past legal standards for valid testimony, the New Testament meets and exceeds every standard established. The texts reveal that these men are telling the truth, and the testimony they write concerning Jesus, is true, bearing no marks of false testimony or contrivance.

Legal Analysis Of The Four Gospels As Valid Eyewitness Testimony

The First Eyewitness In The New Testament

A surprising first eyewitness to Jesus is found in all four Gospels. John the Baptist states that God sent him to baptize, and when Jesus first came to the Jordan river, he didn’t know He was the Messiah. John said that God had told him in advance that the one whom he sees the Holy Spirit descend upon, He is the Messiah.

When Jesus came to John and requested that He be baptized, John said that when he baptized Jesus, He saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Him. John certifies that Jesus is the true Messiah, the Son of God, because he saw these things happen.

“Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Son of God.” ~John 1:32-34

203 Eyewitness Statements In The 260 Chapters Of The New Testament:

The following are the citations throughout the New Testament where the writers use keywords to describe their eyewitness testimony about Jesus: “Witness, Witnesses, Seen, and Saw, 203 statements:

  • Personal, with their own eyes
  • Persons who saw with their eyes

Witness

  1. John 1:8 “John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about (Jesus) the light.”
  2. Acts 1:22 “From the time Jesus was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
  3. Acts 22:15 “For you are to be Jesus’ witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard”
  4. Acts 23:11 “That night Jesus appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
  5. Acts 26:16 Jesus said to Paul: “Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future.”
  6. 1 Peter 5:1 “And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ.”

Witnesses

  1. Luke 24:48 Jesus said: “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.
  2. John 5:31 Jesus said: “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another (John TB) who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true.”
  3. Acts 1:8 Jesus said: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  4. Acts 2:32 Peter said: “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.”
  5. Acts 3:15 Peter said: “You killed (Jesus) the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!”
  6. Acts 5:32 Peter said: “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross. Then God put him in the place of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior. He did this so the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. We are witnesses of these things.”
  7. Acts 10:39 Peter said: “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him to life on the third day.”
  8. Acts 10:41 Peter said: “God raised Jesus to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere.”
  9. Acts 13:31 Paul said: “The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the one the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets’ words that are read every Sabbath. They found no legal reason to execute him, but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway. “When they had done all that the prophecies said about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead! And over a period of many days he appeared to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people of Israel.”

Seen

  1. Matthew 2:9 “After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”
  2. Matthew 11:4 “Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”
  3. Matthew 17:9 “As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
  4. Mark 2:12 Peter said: “Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!
  5. Mark 5:16 Peter said: “A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.”
  6. Mark 9:9 Peter said: “As they went back down the mountain, Jesus told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”
  7. Mark 16:11 Peter said: “After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn’t believe her.”
  8. Mark 16:14 Peter said: “Still later Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.”
  9. Luke 2:20 “The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”
  10. Luke 2:30 “Simeon was there. He took the child (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people.”
  11. Luke 5:26 “Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”
  12. Luke 7:22 “Then Jesus told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”
  13. Luke 8:36 “People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed.”
  14. Luke 10:23 “Then when they were alone, Jesus turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it.”
  15. Luke 19:37 “When Jesus reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.”
  16. Luke 24:23 ““Then some women from our group of his followers were at Jesus’ tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
  17. John 1:14 “So (Jesus) the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
  18. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God (before). But (now, Jesus) the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us”.
  19. John 3:32 “John TB “Jesus must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else…he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!”
  20. John 4:45 “At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.”
  21. John 6:36 Jesus said: “But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me.”
  22. John 9:37 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.”
  23. John 12:17Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it.”
  24. John 14:7 Jesus said: “If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
  25. John 14:9 “Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?”
  26. John 14:11 Jesus said: “Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.”
  27. John 15:24 Jesus said: “If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father.”
  28. John 20:18 “Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.”
  29. John 20:25 “One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!
  30. John 20:29 “Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
  31. Acts 4:20 “But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
  32. Acts 9:27 “Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.”
  33. Acts 22:15 Paul said: “I was blinded by the intense light… A man named Ananias…came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him! “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.”
  34. Acts 26:16 Paul said: “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future.”
  35. 1 Corinthians 9:1 Paul said: “Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?”
  36. 1 Corinthians 15:5 Paul said: “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.”
  37. 1 Corinthians 15:6 Paul said: “After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.”
  38. 1 Corinthians 15:7 Paul said” Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”
  39. 1 Timothy 3:16 Paul said: “Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
    Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.”
  40. 1 John 1:1 “We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.”
  41. 1 John 1:2 “This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life.”
  42. 1 John 1:3We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.”
  43. 1 John 4:14 “Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”
  44. Revelation 1:11 Jesus told John:  “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
  45. Revelation 1:19 Jesus said to John: “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.”
  46. Revelation 22:6 “Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.”

Saw

Regarding texts from number 79 forward, the witness of the statements in the Book of Revelation is crucial to the issue of whether the New Testament is valid eyewitness testimony. Although not all of the statements in Revelation are not directly about Jesus, they are in a general sense, dictated by Him. John states repeatedly that he saw these things with his eyes, confirming that the testimony in the New Testament is eyewitness testimony, and was not written by people who never saw the events.

  1. Matthew 2:2 “Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
  2. Matthew 2:10 “After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!”
  3. Matthew 2:11 “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”
  4. Matthew 3:16 “Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John…After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Jesus. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
  5. Matthew 9:8 Jesus said: “So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen.
  6. Matthew 9:9 “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.”
  7. Matthew 9:11 “Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
  8. Matthew 14:26 “About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
  9. Matthew 14:30 “So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.”
  10. Matthew 17:8 “As Jesus spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” 6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.”
  11. Matthew 21:15 “The blind and the lame came to Jesus in the Temple, and he healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”
  12. Matthew 21:20 “Then Jesus said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
  13. Matthew 21:32 Jesus speaking: “For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.”
  14. Matthew 27:24 “Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”
  15. Matthew 28:4 “Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
  16. Matthew 28:17 After the resurrection: “Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!”
  17. Mark 1:10 “As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
  18. Mark 2:16 “But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw Jesus eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”
  19. Mark 5:6 “When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him….When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”
  20. Mark 5:15 “People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid.”
  21. Mark 5:22 “Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
  22. Mark 6:49 “Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror.”
  23. Mark 6:50 “They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!”
  24. Mark 9:8 “Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.”
  25. Mark 9:14 “When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them.”
  26. Mark 9:15 “When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.”
  27. Mark 9:20 “So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.”
  28. Mark 15:39 “When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how Jesus had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
  29. Mark 15:47 “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.
  30. Mark 16:4 “As they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.”
  31. Mark 16:5 “When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.”
  32. Mark 16:9 “After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw Jesus was Mary Magdalene.”
  33. Luke 5:27 Luke calls Matthew a disciple “Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him.
  34. Luke 7:39 “When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
  35. Luke 8:34 “There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs. So Jesus gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned. When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran.”
  36. Luke 8:35 “People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid.
  37. Luke 8:36 “Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed.”
  38. Luke 9:32 Luke, about Peter “Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him.”
  39. Luke 9:43 Luke says Jesus is God “As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father. Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.”
  40. Luke 9:54 James and John “As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.”
  41. Luke 17:15 “As Jesus entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.”
  42. Luke 18:15 “One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.”
  43. Luke 18:43 “As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.”
  44. Luke 22:49 “A crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!”
  45. Luke 23:48 “When all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.”
  46. Luke 23:55 “As Jesus’ body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed.”
  47. Luke 24:12 “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.”
  48. John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
  49. John 1:32 “Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon Jesus.”
  50. John 1:34I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
  51. John 6:2 “A huge crowd kept following Jesus wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick.”
  52. John 6:14 “When the people saw Jesus do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”
  53. John 6:19 “They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified.”
  54. John 6:22 “The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them.”
  55. John 6:24 “So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him.”
  56. John 8:56 Jesus speaking “Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”
  57. John 11:32 “When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
  58. John 11:45 “So they rolled the stone aside…Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.”
  59. John 19:6 “Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!” When they saw Jesus, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
  60. John 19:33 “So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs.”
  61. John 20:5 “Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in.”
  62. John 20:8 “Then the disciple (John) who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.”
  63. John 20:12Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.”
  64. John 20:14Mary turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.”
  65. John 20:20 “As Jesus spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!”
  66. John 21:20 Peter sees John “Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”
  67. Acts 1:11 Angels speaking to the disciples “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!
  68. Acts 3:9 “Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded!”
  69. Acts 4:13 “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.”
  70. Acts 7:55 Stephen “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”
  71. Acts 9:35 “Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.”
  72. Acts 10:11 “The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, nd he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners.”
  73. Acts 13:12 “Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.”
  74. Acts 14:11 “While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet…Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!”
  75. Acts 22:9 Paul said: “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked. “And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’ The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me. “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ “And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’”
  76. Acts 22:18 Paul said: “After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance. I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’”
  77. 2 Peter 1:16 Peter said: “For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes”
  78. 1 John 1:1 “We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.”
  79. Revelation 1:2 “This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
  80. Revelation 1:17 “When I saw Jesus, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last.”
  81. Revelation 4:1 “Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice (of Jesus) I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.”
  82. Revelation 4:2 “And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and One sitting on it.”
  83. Revelation 5:1 “Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals.”
  84. Revelation 5:2 “And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?”
  85. Revelation 5:6 “Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders.”
  86. Revelation 6:2 “I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head.”
  87. Revelation 6:5 “When (Jesus) the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.”
  88. Revelation 6:8 “I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave.”
  89. Revelation 6:9When (Jesus) the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony.”
  90. Revelation 7:1 “Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree.”
  91. Revelation 7:2 “I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God.”
  92. Revelation 7:9 “I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before (Jesus) the Lamb.
  93. Revelation 8:2 “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.”
  94. Revelation 9:1 “Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.”
  95. Revelation 9:17 “And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow.”
  96. Revelation 10:1 “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, surrounded by a cloud, with a rainbow over his head. His face shone like the sun, and his feet were like pillars of fire.”
  97. Revelation 10:5 “Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand toward heaven.”
  98. Revelation 12:1 “Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”
  99. Revelation 12:3 “Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads.”
  100. Revelation 13:1 “Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.”
  101. Revelation 13:3 “I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast.”
  102. Revelation 13:11 ” Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon.”
  103. Revelation 14:1 “Then I saw the Lamb (Jesus) standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
  104. Revelation 14:6 “And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people.”
  105. Revelation 14:14 “Then I saw a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.” (Jesus called Himself the Son of Man, 77 times in the NT).
  106. Revelation 15:1 “Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion.”
  107. Revelation 15:2 “I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast…”
  108. Revelation 15:5 “Then I looked and saw that the Temple in heaven, God’s Tabernacle, was thrown wide open.”
  109. Revelation 16:13 “And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.”
  110. Revelation 17:3 “So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast…”
  111. Revelation 18:1 “After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor.”
  112. Revelation 19:11 “Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True (Jesus), for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.”
  113. Revelation 19:17 “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared.”
  114. Revelation 19:19 “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse (Jesus) and his army.”
  115. Revelation 20:1 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand.”
  116. Revelation 20:4 “Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
  117. Revelation 20:9 “When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison…He will gather them together for battle…And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth.”
  118. Revelation 20:11 “And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide.”
  119. Revelation 20:12 “I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.”
  120. Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.”
  121. Revelation 21:2 “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
  122. Revelation 21:22 “I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
  123. Revelation 22:8a ” I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things.”
  124. Revelation 22:8b “And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me.”

See

  1. Matthew 9:29 “They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?” “Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” Then their eyes were opened, and they could see!”
  2. Matthew 13:16-17 Jesus speaking to the disciples: “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.
  3. Matthew 15:1 “Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.”
  4. Matthew 16:28 Jesus: “I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
  5. Matthew 20:34 “Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.”
  6. Acts 1:10 “Jesus said: And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them.
  7. Acts 2:16 “Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd… what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel…people of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.”
  8. Acts 2:33 Peter said: “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.”
  9. Acts 7:56 “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”
  10. Acts 8:6 Philip: “Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.”
  11. Acts 22:13 Paul: “A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!”
  12. Acts 22:14-15 Paul: “Then Ananias told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.”
  13. Romans 1:13 Paul “I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles.”
  14. Romans 15:21 Paul: “I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand” (Isaiah 52:15).
  15. Hebrews 2:9 Paul: “What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.”
  16. Revelation 1:11 Jesus to John: “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
  17. Revelation 1:12-19 John: “When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven golden lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like (Jesus) the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.  “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.”
  18. Revelation 17:6 John: “I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.”

The Preceding Are The 203 Eyewitness Statements Found In The New Testament

This is the historical, eyewitness evidence that has existed since these events first took place. These men didn’t know or understand that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, until after He had risen from the dead. It was upon Jesus’ resurrection that these men set out to write down all the things they could remember about what He had said and done.

Near the time of Jesus’ departure from earth, He told His disciples that after He was crucified and had risen from the dead, He would send the Holy Spirit to live in each believer, and He would “bring to their remembrance, all things concerning Jesus.” The Holy Spirit reminded the men who saw and heard Jesus, what had happened, so that they could write an accurate account of all they saw and heard.

Jesus expected these men to immediately write down what had happened, and send these letters out to the churches that existed at that time. We see Jesus saying this to John in Revelation chapter 1:11

Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

After He had risen, Jesus told these men that He called them to be His witnesses, and tell the whole world what they had seen and heard. The only way this was possible was by the use of letters sent out by couriers to the churches. These churches copied the letters and sent them to places further and further away, until news reached the known world.

Jesus told His disciples: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus commanded these men who saw and heard Him, to send their testimony to every place in the known world. This is exactly what they did, we have the evidence this is true, in the extant 24,593 manuscript copies of the New Testament. These surviving manuscript copies of the New Testament come from all over the world, written in 14 different languages.

We have nearly complete copies of the entire New Testament, dated from 175-225 AD. Original Papyrus autographs are only known to survive for up to 200 years, due to the harsh conditions of the first century. Since we have nearly the entire New Testament from 175 AD, it is certain that these original Papyrus autographs, were penned early in the first century.

The New Testament Is A Reliable, Eyewitness, Historical Narrative, Of True Events, Concerning Jesus. He Proved He Is God By His Words And Miracles That Only God Is Capable Of


NOTES:

[1] a. Nancy J. Kippenhan, Assistant Professor of Law, Liberty University School of Law (B.S., M.B.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; J.D., magna cum laude, Widener University School of Law). b. Simon Greenleaf, LL.D. (1783–1853) was appointed Royall professor of law in the Law School of Harvard University from 1833 until 1846, and later succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane professor of law in 1846. John Henry Wigmore, Preface to SIMON GREENLEAF, A TREATISE ON THE LAW OF EVIDENCE (16th ed. Little, Brown & Co. 2001) (1842).
[2] TESTIMONY, supra note 5, §§ 3, 27, 48.
[3] Id. §§ 28, 33, 41.
[4] 9. Id. § 1.
[5a] 1. “A rational defense for the existence of God . . . [using b]oth reason and scientific evidence . . .” Louis Hoffman, Postmodernism Dictionary, POSTMODERNISM AND PSYCHOLOGY,http://www.postmodernpsychology.com/Postmodernism_Dictionary.html (last visited Oct. 9, 2010).
2. Seee.g., PAMELA BINNINGS EWEN, FAITH ON TRIAL 52 (1999); JOSH MCDOWELL, EVIDENCE FOR CHRISTIANITY 263 (2006); LEE STROBEL, THE CASE FOR CHRIST 58 (1998).
[5b] 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
[6] STROBEL, supra note 11, at 81; see also Preface to IAN WILSON, JESUS: THE EVIDENCE 6-7 (1996). (This edition incorporates the “considerable number of discoveries relating to Jesus that there have been since 1984, such as the discovery of a fishing boat of his time; of the bones of the high priest Caiaphas; and of what may be the oldest known fragments of a gospel text”).
[7] a. STROBEL, supra note 11, at 82 (citing F.F. BRUCE, THE BOOKS AND THE PARCHMENTS 178 (1963)) (“There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.”); see also WILSON, supra note 17, at 23.
[8] Federal Rules For Evidence. (2009).
[9] Federal Rules For Evidence. 803(16); TESTIMONY, supra note 5, § 9; see infra Table 1 (comparing Greenleaf’s evidentiary principles to corresponding modern rules).
[10] Compare TESTIMONY, supra note 5, §§ 12–25, with People v. Farrell, 34 P.3d 401, 406-07 (Colo. 2001) (considering factors to assess reliability of hearsay testimony). While such reliability tests do not overcome a criminal defendant’s right to cross-examine witnesses against him, Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), these “indicia of reliability” continue to demonstrate what it means for a witness to provide credible testimony. See also infra note 168, 174.
[11] TESTIMONY, supra note 5, §§ 12-14 (analysis of Matthew as author), §§ 15–17 (Mark), §§ 18–22 (Luke), §§ 23–25 (John), §§ 29–44 (examining the credibility of the authors and the reliability of their testimony); see also infra Part II.B.1-2.
[12] TESTIMONY, supra note 5, § 48.
[13]  Federal Rules For Evidence. 103(a)(1); TESTIMONY, supra note 5, §§ 8–10
[14] a.Nancy J. Kippenhan, Assistant Professor of Law, Liberty University School of Law.
b. Relevant evidence means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.”); see also FED. R. EVID. 402 (“All relevant evidence is admissible . . .”); FED. R. EVID. 403 (favoring admission, but excluding evidence “if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice”). See United States v. Dennis, 625 F.2d 782, 797 (8th Cir. 1980) (“In weighing the probative value of evidence against the dangers and considerations enumerated in Rule 403, the general rule is that the balance should be struck in favor of admission.”).
[15] See, e.g., TESTIMONY, supra note 5, §§ 10, 28, 33.
[16] Id. § 27.
[17] Id. (emphasis added).
[18] Id. (emphasis added).
[19] Id. § 41.



Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Atheists, Bible, Christian Progressives, Exegesis and Hermeneutics, Eyewitnesses, God's Sovereignty, Jesus is the Messiah, New Testament Apologetics, New Testament Manuscripts, Reliability of the Bible, Reliability of the New Testament, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Studying the Word of God, The Claims of Jesus, The Existence of God, The Four Gospels, The Historical Crucifixion of Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Historicity of Jesus, We must repent

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7 replies

  1. “An eyewitness is more reliable than secondhand testimony or hearsay”

    Agreed, but we don’t have eyewitness accounts. We have *claimed* eyewitness accounts.

    Consider some of the noncanonical gospels that include attributions. “I Simon Peter and Andrew my brother took our nets and went to the sea” is from the Gospel of Peter, and “I Thomas, an Israelite, write you this account” is from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Now *that’s* a claimed eyewitness account, far more than you find in Mark or Matthew, for example.

    So then can we be certain that Simon Peter wrote the gospel of Peter and that Thomas wrote the Infancy Gospel of Thomas? Of course not. Similarly, in the canon, a claim of eyewitness testimony is just words on paper until you can show that it’s history.

    Like

    • Hi Bob, Thanks for posting your comments

      “An eyewitness is more reliable than secondhand testimony or hearsay”

      Agreed, but we don’t have eyewitness accounts. We have *claimed* eyewitness accounts.

      Where did you get the idea that these are “claimed eyewitness accounts”?

      In forensic examination of manuscript copies from antiquity, the first place we look for evidence of authenticity is the extant documents themselves.

      The writers of the 260 chapters of the New Testament state they, “saw Jesus with their own eyes.”

      There are 203 of these eyewitness statements in the 260 chapters of the New Testament narrative. The seven below make it clear that there is no “claimed” eyewitness testimony, there is eyewitness testimony stated as fact, by the men and women who saw Jesus.

      Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?
      Peter: 1 Peter 1:16: “We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes.”
      John: 1 John 1:1:”We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands.”
      James, Paul, all the Apostles: 1 Corinthians 15:7: “Then Jesus was seen alive by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”
      Mary Magdalene: John 20:18: “Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!”
      Peter: Acts 5:29-32: “But Peter and the apostles replied… We are witnesses of these things…”
      John: 1 John 1:2-3: “This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.

      Any assertion of “claimed eyewitness” accounts is impeached by the texts themselves. The evidence from the manuscript copies for the New Testament leave no ambiguity that these men saw and heard what they are writing.

      If you have evidence that proves these men did not see and hear what they have recorded, I would like to see these documents.

      I realize that as an atheist yourself, you have read the opinions of atheist and progressive scholars who allege these eyewitness accounts are merely a claim, but this assertion comes with no evidence to prove it is true. These are merely the conjecture of atheists who don’t believe that God exists in the first place.

      The “claimed” statements of atheists like yourself that these men never saw or heard Jesus, is where the problem resides. There is no evidence anywhere this is true. The extant manuscripts impeach every assertion of non-eyewitness, or claimed eyewitnesses.

      Consider some of the noncanonical gospels that include attributions. “I Simon Peter and Andrew my brother took our nets and went to the sea” is from the Gospel of Peter, and “I Thomas, an Israelite, write you this account” is from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Now *that’s* a claimed eyewitness account, far more than you find in Mark or Matthew, for example.

      The “non-canonical gospels, as your refer to them, are known frauds that were written from 200-600 years after the Synoptic Gospels, were competed by 44 AD.

      These alleged, late-date gospels are in direct conflict with the facts that are presented in the true four Gospels that tell us the facts concerning Jesus.

      There were more that 30 fraudulent gospels that were first considered in their content, but rejected due to their late writing and contradictory accounts.

      The fact that these forged gospels contain some truth or similar texts to the true Gospels, does not render the entire text credible. This artifacts of some truth, is the reason they were rejected. It’s sort of like the father who tells his kids that he is making brownies for him and his friends and he put a tiny amount of a special ingredient, not much, just a little, dog poop.

      Truth within falsehood, renders the entire texts as dog poop, if you get my meaning?

      So then can we be certain that Simon Peter wrote the gospel of Peter and that Thomas wrote the Infancy Gospel of Thomas? Of course not. Similarly, in the canon, a claim of eyewitness testimony is just words on paper until you can show that it’s history.

      Once again, the gospel of Peter is a known forgery. Peter did not write this gospel, and Thomas never wrote a gospel. This is why we don’t find them included in the Canon.

      It is interesting that you seem to ignore Peter’s true Gospel, dictated to Mark, but insist that a later gospel that has been known as a fraud since it was first discovered, is a viable gospel. Could this be due to the contradictory statements made in these other Gospels that, in your mind, refutes the true Gospels?

      In your comments, and in those that I initially reviewed from your book, it is your opinion and view of the major points you make, and not evidence, that rules the day. I noticed in your 50 criticisms of the Bible, you allege the points you make, but in the first few I read, I didn’t see any evidence to support these objections.

      Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but you must know that all of these objections have already been raised many times by atheists since Celsus, and summarily impeached.

      I will not have the time to review all of your 50 points, so perhaps you could give me the 10 best that you think are most viable, and I can write a review at my website?

      Opinions over evidence, is an avenue that atheist scholars use in their “higher criticism” of the New Testament. It is the opinions of these atheist an progressive scholars, that determines their conclusions. Bart Ehrman has written at least seven New York Times Best Sellers, of which I own most of them. I found almost no evidence in his books that actually proves the assertions he makes.

      Impeaching Bart Ehrman

      I also found this same failure to include evidence in the comments of Phd, professors, Baden and Bowen:

      Impeaching The Poor Scholarship Of Yale Professor Joel Baden

      Impeaching Dr. Josh Bowen And “The Atheist Handbook To The Old Testament”

      The evidence that exists from the historical record, proves the four Gospels we have in our possession, are the only true Gospels.

      Like

      • » Where did you get the idea that these are “claimed eyewitness accounts”?

        We begin by assuming that of the gospels. They are nothing more than writings that claim to be eyewitness accounts. Are they actually history? Sure, maybe, but that must be shown. If you simply accept remarkable claims because you’ve read them, let me know and I’ll put together some nonsense for you to read.

        » The writers of the 260 chapters of the New Testament state they, “saw Jesus with their own eyes.”

        And the Loch Ness Monster stayed in my guest room just last night. You’ll call that a remarkable claim but keep in mind that you’re the one making the supernatural claim.

        » The seven below make it clear that there is no “claimed” eyewitness testimony, there is eyewitness testimony stated as fact, by the men and women who saw Jesus.
        Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?

        That verse is a claim that Paul saw Jesus. Nothing more. I need it to be history (or likely so).

        » The evidence from the manuscript copies for the New Testament leave no ambiguity that these men saw and heard what they are writing.

        I need more than just words on paper, particularly with claims as remarkable as those in the Bible.

        » If you have evidence that proves these men did not see and hear what they have recorded, I would like to see these documents.

        I don’t, but that’s not my job. I’ll listen to an argument that a claim of a man rising from the dead is true, but the burden of proof is not mine.

        » you have read the opinions of atheist and progressive scholars who allege these eyewitness accounts are merely a claim, but this assertion comes with no evidence to prove it is true.

        I guess this is the impasse, that you say the burden of proof is mine. But help me understand your way of doing things. Tell me that you believe me when I say that Nessie stayed with me last night. After that, maybe that’ll help me see how to accept your interpretation of the Bible

        » The “non-canonical gospels, as your refer to them, are known frauds that were written from 200-600 years after the Synoptic Gospels, were competed by 44 AD.

        Mainstream scholars say that Luke wasn’t finished until about 80 CE.

        Yes, I know they’re frauds, but they seem to pass the test of authenticity that you put forward: they’re words on paper making supernatural claims. That’s good enough for you to say that Luke is authentic. Why can’t I say that the gospel of Peter is authentic by the same logic?

        » Truth within falsehood, renders the entire texts as dog poop, if you get my meaning?

        Yes, I understand. I’m afraid there’s a lot of poop in the Bible—God’s support of slavery in Lev. 25:44-46, to take just one example of God’s immorality.

        » It is interesting that you seem to ignore Peter’s true Gospel, dictated to Mark, but insist that a later gospel that has been known as a fraud since it was first discovered, is a viable gospel.

        We don’t know that Mark wrote Peter’s gospel. It doesn’t say that in gMark. But the gospel of Peter and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas do say who wrote them.

        You’re the one who wants to let the gospels speak for themselves, right? I’m simply trying to apply your test to other documents to see if you will consistently accept its results.

        » it is your opinion and view of the major points you make, and not evidence, that rules the day.

        All I’m trying to do here is apply your own tests to canonical gospels and noncanonical gospels to see if you consistently accept the results.

        » I noticed in your 50 criticisms of the Bible, you allege the points you make, but in the first few I read, I didn’t see any evidence to support these objections.

        Please point out a few of the problems. But first, read the relevant section in the Notes in the back of the book.

        » I will not have the time to review all of your 50 points, so perhaps you could give me the 10 best that you think are most viable, and I can write a review at my website?

        How about 1, 4, and 13.

        Like

      • » Where did you get the idea that these are “claimed eyewitness accounts”?

        We begin by assuming that of the gospels. They are nothing more than writings that claim to be eyewitness accounts. Are they actually history? Sure, maybe, but that must be shown. If you simply accept remarkable claims because you’ve read them, let me know and I’ll put together some nonsense for you to read.

        Assuming is of no interest to me. This is how mistakes are made. I rely on historical evidence. This is the nature of the New Testament and there is no evidence these texts are anything but historical, eyewitness accounts. You reject this, and this is your opinion. I get that, but the evidence proves otherwise.

        » The writers of the 260 chapters of the New Testament state they, “saw Jesus with their own eyes.”

        And the Loch Ness Monster stayed in my guest room just last night. You’ll call that a remarkable claim but keep in mind that you’re the one making the supernatural claim.

        The Loch Ness monster is a known hoax. There is no evidence it exists. The New Testament presents us with 24,593 extant manuscript copies, big difference.

        » The seven below make it clear that there is no “claimed” eyewitness testimony, there is eyewitness testimony stated as fact, by the men and women who saw Jesus.
        Paul: 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes?

        That verse is a claim that Paul saw Jesus. Nothing more. I need it to be history (or likely so).

        It’s not a claim, its a statement made by men who saw and heard Jesus. You don’t believe these men, and this is the issue.

        » The evidence from the manuscript copies for the New Testament leave no ambiguity that these men saw and heard what they are writing.

        I need more than just words on paper, particularly with claims as remarkable as those in the Bible.

        Words on paper is the primary method that we use today in validating events from antiquity. Eyewitness who present their testimony is the highest form of viable evidence in proving events of history. Again, you don’t believe this, and this is why you are an atheist. It’s not there is no evidence; it’s that you don’t believe the evidence.

        Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?

        Legal Analysis Of The Four Gospels As Valid Eyewitness Testimony

        » If you have evidence that proves these men did not see and hear what they have recorded, I would like to see these documents.

        I don’t, but that’s not my job. I’ll listen to an argument that a claim of a man rising from the dead is true, but the burden of proof is not mine.

        There is no evidence the eyewitness accounts for Jesus, are fraudulent. This is the point. People who rely on evidence to prove history. I believe the men who penned the New Testament, you do not. This settles the issue for me.

        » you have read the opinions of atheist and progressive scholars who allege these eyewitness accounts are merely a claim, but this assertion comes with no evidence to prove it is true.

        I guess this is the impasse, that you say the burden of proof is mine. But help me understand your way of doing things. Tell me that you believe me when I say that Nessie stayed with me last night. After that, maybe that’ll help me see how to accept your interpretation of the Bible

        The testimony of the men who wrote the New Testament, is the evidence. This claim does not originate from me or any other believer. Every person who considers the issues concerning Jesus, must decide if they believe their testimony.

        If Nessie exists, show me evidence that proves she exists. It’s not just eyewitness testimony from one or two persons; it’s the testimony of many who saw Jesus; people like Paul who gave up everything to follow Jesus, when He formerly had a prestigious position as a Pharisee, with wealth, and respect. The only way Paul’s testimony makes sense, if if he really saw Jesus with his eyes, risen, as he states eight time in the New Testament. Without Paul, it would be difficult for me to believe the other witnesses.

        » The “non-canonical gospels, as your refer to them, are known frauds that were written from 200-600 years after the Synoptic Gospels, were competed by 44 AD.

        Mainstream scholars say that Luke wasn’t finished until about 80 CE.

        Yes, I know they’re frauds, but they seem to pass the test of authenticity that you put forward: they’re words on paper making supernatural claims. That’s good enough for you to say that Luke is authentic. Why can’t I say that the gospel of Peter is authentic by the same logic?

        There is no evidence Luke finished his narrative about 80. This is the speculation of some scholars. There is tremendous internal evidence in the New Testament, it was finished by 44 AD. I document this in several of my books.

        Luke is unique in that he tells us at the beginning that he interviewed the eyewitnesses who were with Jesus from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Luke was a highly educated, Greek speaking Physician, who was meticulous in his historical documentation of the events that took Place.

        One of the world’s greatest archeologists and historians is Sir William Ramsay. Notice how Dr. Ramsay describes the accuracy and detail of Luke’s historical references as existing, without a single error.

        “I began with a mind unfavorable to (the accuracy of the New Testament) but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.”

        Dr. Ramsay believed at the onset that the accounts described in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were inaccurate. Over 100 years ago he undertook an expedition to Asia, to try and refute the New Testament—only to become so overwhelmed by the evidence, that he became a follower of Jesus Christ.

        “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”

        Since Luke’s description of cities, names, places, and customs are perfect in their historical accuracy, it is certain that the accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are also accurate and reliable
        .
        The fact that Luke has been confirmed as a scholarly historian of specific details regarding the history of the first century, it is certain that he also recorded the specific events of Jesus’ ministry with the same precision. Luke’s integrity as a historical scholar demands that we accept, with confidence, his testimony of Jesus’ resurrection, which is the foundation of the entire Christian church.

        One of the criticisms of Luke’s account of Jesus’ life is found in his description of the census, that he says was ordered by Caesar Augustus.

        “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.”

        Because no previous archeological discovery had ever verified that such a census took place, Luke was regarded as having embellished this story. A later discovery regarding the taxes of the kingdom of the Roman government revealed that the taxpayers were enrolled every 14 years by the use of a census.

        Archeology has uncovered facts that verify Caesar Augustus did conduct the precise census described, during the period of time Luke specified—near the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem.

        Further, an inscription discovered in Antioch describes Quirinius in 7 B.C., who was the governor of Syria on two occasions—7 B.C. and 6 A.D.—a fact that is confirmed by the Jewish historian, Josephus.

        An archeological discovery in Egypt uncovered a Papyrus that specifically describes the details of this census spoken of by Luke, under Caesar Augustus:

        “Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing for any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”

        In his book, Archeological Confirmation of the New Testament, Dr. F. F. Bruce describes a problem that was present in Luke’s description of the Tetrarch of Abilene in Luke 3:1:

        “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.”

        Previously there was no record of anyone called “Lysanias” as the tetrarch of Abilene during the time Luke specified he was there. In recent history, an archeological discovery made in Damascus, Syria describes a person called the “Freedman of Lysanias the Tetrarch.” Scholars date this inscription between 14 A.D. and 29 A.D.8 This is the same period of time in which Luke had written in his gospel describing Lysanias.

        An interesting discovery in 1910 by Sir William Ramsey debunked the secular record of Cicero of the Romans, who described Iconium as being in Lycaonia. Luke describes Lystra and Derbe as being in Lycaonia.

        “…they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.”

        This secular record was erroneously held as more reliable and accurate than the Biblical record in past history. Today we know that the Bible was correct all along. This continues to be a common error that is frequently repeated today.

        The facts bearing witness—the Bible is always right in matters of history, and the secular record is consistently wrong. This truth has been confirmed by archeological discoveries over the entire course of human history all over the world.



        » Truth within falsehood, renders the entire texts as dog poop, if you get my meaning?

        Yes, I understand. I’m afraid there’s a lot of poop in the Bible—God’s support of slavery in Lev. 25:44-46, to take just one example of God’s immorality.

        I find just the opposite. I find that atheists refuse to accept evidence, then insist there is no evidence.

        » It is interesting that you seem to ignore Peter’s true Gospel, dictated to Mark, but insist that a later gospel that has been known as a fraud since it was first discovered, is a viable gospel.

        We don’t know that Mark wrote Peter’s gospel. It doesn’t say that in gMark. But the gospel of Peter and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas do say who wrote them.

        You’re the one who wants to let the gospels speak for themselves, right? I’m simply trying to apply your test to other documents to see if you will consistently accept its results.

        Yes, we do know that Mark was the scribe who recorded Peter’s testimony. This is well attested in the historical record.

        The following is from my book: “New Testament Apologetics

        Papias Describes Mark As The Scribe Of Peter

        Papias wrote that while Mark and Peter were in Rome, Mark acted as the scribe for Peter in composing the Gospel of Mark. In a five-volume work called “Interpretation of the Oracles of the Lord,” Papias describes the Apostle John telling him that Peter dictated the words of Mark’s Gospel:

        “And the elder used to say this, Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said and done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had followed him, but later on, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement of the Lord’s oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.”

        In the chapter “The Gospels Were Written Anonymously,” there is an extensive section documenting the historical evidence that Papias did, in fact, know the Apostle John, subtitled: “Did Papias Know The Apostle John?”

        Irenaeus Stated That Mark Obtained His Text From Peter’s Teaching

        Irenaeus also reported that Mark had penned Peter’s Gospel, as a scribe, adding the following detail:
        “Matthew composed his gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul proclaimed the gospel in Rome and founded the community. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, handed on his preaching to us in written form”

        Justin Martyr Said That Mark’s Gospel Came From Peter

        One of the first Christian apologists, Justin Martyr, wrote:

        “It is said that he [Jesus] changed the name of one of the apostles to Peter; and it is written in his memoirs that he changed the names of others, two brothers, the sons of Zebedee, to Boanerges, which means ‘sons of thunder’….”

        Justin Martyr said that Mark’s Gospel was really the memoir of Peter, which describes the sons of Zebedee as “Sons of Thunder.” Mark is the only Gospel that uses this term, describing James and John in this manner.

        Clement Wrote That Mark Recorded Peter’s Words

        In his book “Hypotyposeis,” Clement describes a tradition of the elders regarding the Gospel of Mark:
        “And so great a joy of light shone upon the minds of the hearers of Peter that they were not satisfied with merely a single hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought Mark, who was a follower of Peter and whose gospel is extant, to leave behind with them in writing a record of the teaching passed on to them orally; and they did not cease until they had prevailed upon the man and so became responsible for the Scripture for reading in the churches.”

        Eusebius Said That Mark’s Gospel Came From Peter

        Eusebius wrote that the actual words for Mark’s Gospel were written down from what Peter had said while he was teaching at Rome. Eusebius was not simply repeating what Papias had already stated, but is writing as an independent source to validate Mark’s Gospel as coming from Peter directly.

        “The Gospel according to Mark had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it.”

        This text is extremely important because it tells us that Peter was well aware of what Mark had written concerning his words, and he did not object to what Mark had written for him.

        Tertullian Confirms Peter’s Words As Recorded In The Gospel Of Mark
        One of the early Christian Apologists, Tertullian, refuted the assertions of Marcion, in his publication “Against Marcion.” In this book, Tertullian describes Peter as the true author of Marks’s Gospel.

        “While that [gospel] which Mark published may be affirmed to be Peter’s whose interpreter Mark was.”

        » it is your opinion and view of the major points you make, and not evidence, that rules the day.

        All I’m trying to do here is apply your own tests to canonical gospels and noncanonical gospels to see if you consistently accept the results.

        The tests for which Gospels were reliable, was made by men who were in a position to know whether they were reliable, near the first century. No scholar today has more knowledge about what is reliable, greater than these men.

        » I noticed in your 50 criticisms of the Bible, you allege the points you make, but in the first few I read, I didn’t see any evidence to support these objections.

        Please point out a few of the problems. But first, read the relevant section in the Notes in the back of the book.

        I will, Bob, when my schedule permits. I have had the past two days to do other things, but I am beginning a new class on Apologetics soom and have a lot to do in preparation for these students.

        » I will not have the time to review all of your 50 points, so perhaps you could give me the 10 best that you think are most viable, and I can write a review at my website?

        How about 1, 4, and 13.

        I will review these and get back with you. Thanks for the discussion. I may not be able to answer you again for awhile.

        Like

      • » Assuming is of no interest to me. This is how mistakes are made. I rely on historical evidence.

        And what does history give us? 4 gospels with claims. How do you jump from those claims existing to those claims being actual historical events? Surely we need more than just words on paper.

        » This is the nature of the New Testament and there is no evidence these texts are anything but historical, eyewitness accounts.

        It’s not my job to show that the New Testament books aren’t historical; it’s yours to show that they *are*.

        » The Loch Ness monster is a known hoax. There is no evidence it exists. The New Testament presents us with 24,593 extant manuscript copies, big difference.

        Cut that down to 5000 manuscripts in the original Greek. Now cut that down to the handful that come from the first couple of centuries after the autographs were written. That’s not much.

        Quiz: what is the average time gap between the originals of the four gospels and our oldest Greek manuscripts. Measuring on a chapter basis, it’s 200 years. No, our record of the New Testament isn’t that reliable. More here: https://onlysky.media/bseidensticker/long-time-gap-from-original-new-testament-books-to-oldest-copies/

        » It’s not a claim, its a statement made by men who saw and heard Jesus. You don’t believe these men, and this is the issue.

        Correct! People 2000 years ago wrote down supernatural claims. I will need much more than this to believe that those supernatural claims are true.

        » Words on paper is the primary method that we use today in validating events from antiquity. Eyewitness who present their testimony is the highest form of viable evidence in proving events of history.

        Eyewitness testimony is *terrible* evidence. Imagine a courtroom or the witnesses to a shooting. Ask a bunch of claimed eyewitness to an event, and they’ll give you many different claims. I’m sure you know of the many biases that plague our imperfect minds. Minds are unreliable.

        » Again, you don’t believe this, and this is why you are an atheist.

        You don’t believe it, either. At least not from claims from some other religion—Mormonism, Scientology, Raelianism, and so on. You sound just like me when you’re criticizing these religions. I’d like you to be consistent and apply the same skepticism to Christianity.

        » There is no evidence the eyewitness accounts for Jesus, are fraudulent. This is the point.

        (1) You haven’t shown that these eyewitness accounts are actual history.

        (2) The point is that you have the burden of proof. Suppose I show you a rock. “This is a weird looking rock,” I say. “I think Martians put it in my yard last night. If you disagree, show me the evidence that this didn’t happen. In the absence of that, I’m entitled to hold my belief.”

        This is how the burden of proof is not supposed to work.

        » I believe the men who penned the New Testament, you do not. This settles the issue for me.

        And I’m consistent in the evidence bar I need for supernatural claims. I think you have one for Christianity and a much higher one for all other religious beliefs and supernatural claims.

        » The testimony of the men who wrote the New Testament, is the evidence.

        Right. And when I consider equivalent evidence from other religions, I reject it. As I suspect do you.

        » There is no evidence Luke finished his narrative about 80. This is the speculation of some scholars.

        This is the consensus of New Testament scholars today.

        » Since Luke’s description of cities, names, places, and customs are perfect in their historical accuracy, it is certain that the accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are also accurate and reliable.

        How does that follow? Luke correctly identifies geographical features and place names, so therefore *everything* he says in the same document must be true?! Apply that logic to the King Arthur story. Suppose I find accurate names of places and people. Does that mean that Merlin really was a shape-shifter?

        » The fact that Luke has been confirmed as a scholarly historian of specific details regarding the history of the first century, it is certain that he also recorded the specific events of Jesus’ ministry with the same precision.

        Seriously? You really want to be bound by this algorithm for finding true history—as long as it has a couple of accurate geographical or place names, any supernatural claims are true?

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        » Because no previous archeological discovery had ever verified that such a census took place, Luke was regarded as having embellished this story. A later discovery regarding the taxes of the kingdom of the Roman government revealed that the taxpayers were enrolled every 14 years by the use of a census.

        The ridiculous part of the story is the going to your ancestral home part. No census cares about where your ancestors came from; they care about where you are *now* so they know where to go to collect the tax.

        » Archeology has uncovered facts that verify Caesar Augustus did conduct the precise census described, during the period of time Luke specified—near the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem.

        Tell me more. Where does this come from?

        » “Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing for any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”

        Please point me to this claim, preferably in a place I can look up (not a book, in other words). I see it quoted on the internet, but I’d like to see the original source. “Josh McDowell said so” means nothing to me.

        » This secular record was erroneously held as more reliable and accurate than the Biblical record in past history.

        Is this true for the Exodus? Millions of Israelites living in the dry conditions of the Sinai for decades should’ve left a big mark. I’ve heard that mainstream scholars reject a literal Exodus.

        » Papias Describes Mark As The Scribe Of Peter

        Papias said lots of stuff. Read about what he said about Judas here: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Papias_of_Hierapolis#:~:text=Judas%20was%20a%20terrible%2C%20walking%20example

        Is this history or was he just transcribing oral legends close to a century after the fact?

        » Clement Wrote That Mark Recorded Peter’s Words

        Clement of Alexandria in 180 CE? Not a reliable record.

        » Eusebius Said That Mark’s Gospel Came From Peter

        You mean the Eusebius from the 4th century?

        » The tests for which Gospels were reliable, was made by men who were in a position to know whether they were reliable, near the first century. No scholar today has more knowledge about what is reliable, greater than these men.

        Show me that your approach is more sophisticated than “I read it, so that settles it.” Because that’s all I’m getting.

        » I will, Bob, when my schedule permits.

        No rush.

        Like

      • » Assuming is of no interest to me. This is how mistakes are made. I rely on historical evidence.

        And what does history give us? 4 gospels with claims. How do you jump from those claims existing to those claims being actual historical events? Surely we need more than just words on paper.

        The New Testament is a historical narrative. This is the nature of the 27 letters, and this has long been settled by scholars other than atheists and progressives. It is not possible to define the New Testament by anything other than a historical narrative.

        I wrote an essay on the facts that define literate from antiquity as valid historical narratives.

        Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?

        » This is the nature of the New Testament and there is no evidence these texts are anything but historical, eyewitness accounts.

        It’s not my job to show that the New Testament books aren’t historical; it’s yours to show that they *are*.

        No, it’s not my Job. This “job” has been settled long ago by a body of New Testament preeminent scholars. It is only atheists scholars and the new progressive scholars, who have redefined the New Testament as religious myths and exaggerations in the last 100 years.

        » The Loch Ness monster is a known hoax. There is no evidence it exists. The New Testament presents us with 24,593 extant manuscript copies, big difference.

        Cut that down to 5000 manuscripts in the original Greek. Now cut that down to the handful that come from the first couple of centuries after the autographs were written. That’s not much.

        Quiz: what is the average time gap between the originals of the four gospels and our oldest Greek manuscripts. Measuring on a chapter basis, it’s 200 years. No, our record of the New Testament isn’t that reliable. More here: https://onlysky.media/bseidensticker/long-time-gap-from-original-new-testament-books-to-oldest-copies/

        The evidence shows it is closer to 150 years, but if I stipulate 200 years, do you know that this is the shortest time from the events to the Manuscript copies of any event in antiquity? There are no secular events that have just 200 years between events and manuscript copies. The closest is over 600 years, the average, 1,000 years. I have a chart that illustrated this in two of my books. If this is your criteria for validity of manuscripts from antiquity, then everything outside the New Testament, also fails a validity test.

        The 24,593 extant manuscript copies are a combined work that demonstrates that the texts are uniform in their fundamental narratives about the important details of Jesus life, miracles, claim to be God, crucifixion, resurrection, and seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses over a period of 40 days.

        We have nearly the entire New Testament dated from 175-225 AD. Since we have manuscript copies from 175, it is certain the original autographs were penned early in the first century.

        The time Gap between the events and the writing of the autographs, is just 12-14 years. The events happened in 30-32 AD. The Synoptic Gospels were written by 44 AD. It is quite easy to prove an early writing for the Synoptic Gospels from the forensic evidence found in the extant manuscript copies.

        I documented this timeline in my book: “New Testament Apologetics.”

        » It’s not a claim, its a statement made by men who saw and heard Jesus. You don’t believe these men, and this is the issue.

        Correct! People 2000 years ago wrote down supernatural claims. I will need much more than this to believe that those supernatural claims are true.

        According to the legal standard for what constitutes valid evidence, the religious nature of a text is not treated any different from secular documents.

        See my essay: Legal Analysis of the Four Gospels: Legal Analysis Of The Four Gospels As Valid Eyewitness Testimony

        » Words on paper is the primary method that we use today in validating events from antiquity. Eyewitness who present their testimony is the highest form of viable evidence in proving events of history.

        Eyewitness testimony is *terrible* evidence. Imagine a courtroom or the witnesses to a shooting. Ask a bunch of claimed eyewitness to an event, and they’ll give you many different claims. I’m sure you know of the many biases that plague our imperfect minds. Minds are unreliable.

        Only in matters of criminal trials is eyewitness testimony considered unreliable. In matters of historical events, an eyewitness is considered the most reliable form of evidence.

        I document this in two essays:

        Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?

        Legal Analysis Of The Four Gospels As Valid Eyewitness Testimony

        » Again, you don’t believe this, and this is why you are an atheist.

        You don’t believe it, either. At least not from claims from some other religion—Mormonism, Scientology, Raelianism, and so on. You sound just like me when you’re criticizing these religions. I’d like you to be consistent and apply the same skepticism to Christianity.

        If you spend decades studying the religions of the world, you learn that no other religion has the literary and historical documentation for the events described in the New Testament. The Mormon Bible is a known forgery. Under trial, Joseph Smith was found to not know one word of ancient Hebrew that he claimed, when translating the gold plates into the text that make up the Mormon Bible.

        Scientology was a self-confessed money making sceme by L. Ron Hubbard who said: “If you want to become rich, create a new religion.”

        All other religions, even the Quran, was fabricated from multiple sources. This is well known today in literary scholarship

        » There is no evidence the eyewitness accounts for Jesus, are fraudulent. This is the point.

        (1) You haven’t shown that these eyewitness accounts are actual history.

        (2) The point is that you have the burden of proof. Suppose I show you a rock. “This is a weird looking rock,” I say. “I think Martians put it in my yard last night. If you disagree, show me the evidence that this didn’t happen. In the absence of that, I’m entitled to hold my belief.”

        This is how the burden of proof is not supposed to work.

        I don’t have to show evidence, the writers of the New Testament wrote the historical narratives about Jesus. These are the extant evidence. According to legal standards, this evidence presented by the eyewitnesses, must be impeached by the opposing party, you!

        Do you have any evidence that the testimony from the men who say they saw Jesus and heard Him, are lying? If not, then their testimony is valid, historical, and remains unimpeached.

        » I believe the men who penned the New Testament, you do not. This settles the issue for me.

        And I’m consistent in the evidence bar I need for supernatural claims. I think you have one for Christianity and a much higher one for all other religious beliefs and supernatural claims.

        Supernatural claims has nothing to do with the validity of events. If men and women, consisting of eyewitnesses who were there and say they saw these events happen, write a testimony, it’s up to the opposing party to prove they lied.

        The opening statement of the Bible is, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is the greatest miracles of all. The same God who spoke the universe into existence, spoke to the tomb of Lazarus and raised him from the dead after witnesses said his body was in an advance form of decomposition.

        Jesus spoke to a storm and it ceased; He spoke to demons and they fled; he spoke to sickness and disease and people were healed. Only God could do this things. The people who saw these things said they didn’t believe Jesus was God at first. It wasn’t until after He rose from the dead, and they saw Him alive, they believed. They wrote what they saw.

        We must decide if we believe their testimony. I believe them; you do not.

        » The testimony of the men who wrote the New Testament, is the evidence.

        Right. And when I consider equivalent evidence from other religions, I reject it. As I suspect do you.

        That’s your choice. I have examine all of the evidence I could find in the last 47 years, and I believe what is written about Jesus is true.

        » There is no evidence Luke finished his narrative about 80. This is the speculation of some scholars.

        This is the consensus of New Testament scholars today.

        The internal forensic evidence in the text itself demonstrates that there was a tremendous urgency by Jesus to quickly write and send out the testimony of what these men saw. There is no evidence anywhere these Gospels were written late in the first century. This is mere conjecture and speculation by atheist and progressive scholars, who don’t believe God exists in the first place.

        » Since Luke’s description of cities, names, places, and customs are perfect in their historical accuracy, it is certain that the accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are also accurate and reliable.

        How does that follow? Luke correctly identifies geographical features and place names, so therefore *everything* he says in the same document must be true?! Apply that logic to the King Arthur story. Suppose I find accurate names of places and people. Does that mean that Merlin really was a shape-shifter?

        All I know is the one of the world’s greatest Archeologist, William Ramsay, went to Asia with the idea that Luke had lied in his gospel and Acts, and Ramsay came home convinced that Luke, “Was a historian of the first rank.” I believe Ramsay, I believe the texts of the NT.

        » The fact that Luke has been confirmed as a scholarly historian of specific details regarding the history of the first century, it is certain that he also recorded the specific events of Jesus’ ministry with the same precision.

        Seriously? You really want to be bound by this algorithm for finding true history—as long as it has a couple of accurate geographical or place names, any supernatural claims are true?

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        Ramsay presented the world with this evidence. You should read his books. I have.

        » Because no previous archeological discovery had ever verified that such a census took place, Luke was regarded as having embellished this story. A later discovery regarding the taxes of the kingdom of the Roman government revealed that the taxpayers were enrolled every 14 years by the use of a census.

        The ridiculous part of the story is the going to your ancestral home part. No census cares about where your ancestors came from; they care about where you are *now* so they know where to go to collect the tax.

        Now you are guessing. Sorry, I have no tolerance for guesswork. I rely on evidence. The evidence proves Luke told the truth.

        » Archeology has uncovered facts that verify Caesar Augustus did conduct the precise census described, during the period of time Luke specified—near the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem.

        Tell me more. Where does this come from?

        Two reliable source, one from another preeminent archeologist:

        1. John Elder, “Prophets, Idols and Diggers.” Indianapolis, New York: Bobbs-Merrill,1960. Pages 159, 160.
        2. Joseph Free,. “Archaeology and Bible History.” Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, 1969, Page 285.

        » “Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing for any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”

        Please point me to this claim, preferably in a place I can look up (not a book, in other words). I see it quoted on the internet, but I’d like to see the original source. “Josh McDowell said so” means nothing to me.

        The two references I gave you above, are great sources. Elder is the best, known for his extraordinary archeological skill.

        Why not books? You don’t read or do research by books? Do you rely on internet articles and Wikipedia? These are the least reliable sources.

        » This secular record was erroneously held as more reliable and accurate than the Biblical record in past history.

        Is this true for the Exodus? Millions of Israelites living in the dry conditions of the Sinai for decades should’ve left a big mark. I’ve heard that mainstream scholars reject a literal Exodus.

        They did leave a huge mark. I document this in my new book: “Proving The Pentateuch.” 1,119 pages of evidence that proves Moses and the Exodus.

        » Papias Describes Mark As The Scribe Of Peter

        Papias said lots of stuff. Read about what he said about Judas here: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Papias_of_Hierapolis#:~:text=Judas%20was%20a%20terrible%2C%20walking%20example

        Is this history or was he just transcribing oral legends close to a century after the fact?

        Yes I know about the alleged problems with Papias, what he said at first, was corrected by him later, and it confirms that Mark was the scribe of Peter. Read books!

        » Clement Wrote That Mark Recorded Peter’s Words

        Clement of Alexandria in 180 CE? Not a reliable record.

        » Eusebius Said That Mark’s Gospel Came From Peter

        You mean the Eusebius from the 4th century?

        » The tests for which Gospels were reliable, was made by men who were in a position to know whether they were reliable, near the first century. No scholar today has more knowledge about what is reliable, greater than these men.

        Show me that your approach is more sophisticated than “I read it, so that settles it.” Because that’s all I’m getting.

        So this is how it’s going to be? I tell you where to find evidence, and you tell me it’s not reliable. I think we have finished our discussion, Bob

        » I will, Bob, when my schedule permits.

        No rush.

        Like

      • » The New Testament is a historical narrative. This is the nature of the 27 letters, and this has long been settled by scholars other than atheists and progressives.

        Right—conservative Bible scholars say that it’s totally trustworthy, and every other category of historian rejects supernatural claims. Supernatural tales told about Caesar Augustus, Alexander, and more are rejected by historians. They bring the same unforgiving criteria to the question of whether the gospels’ supernatural stories are historical.

        » It is not possible to define the New Testament by anything other than a historical narrative.

        Not some combination of oral history, legend, and mythology? That sounds more like the bin I’d put it in.

        » I wrote an essay on the facts that define literate from antiquity as valid historical narratives.
        Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?

        I’ll take a look. Thanks.

        » No, it’s not my Job. This “job” has been settled long ago by a body of New Testament preeminent scholars. It is only atheists scholars and the new progressive scholars, who have redefined the New Testament as religious myths and exaggerations in the last 100 years.

        How do you suggest I respond? Can you point me to enough evidence to convince me that the New Testament is historical? Or do you recommend I take it on faith? I can see how the latter would work, not the former.

        » The evidence shows it is closer to 150 years, but if I stipulate 200 years, do you know that this is the shortest time from the events to the Manuscript copies of any event in antiquity?

        An interesting claim. Let’s take that as a fact. So what? 200 years is an enormous time gap when I’ll bet you’ve found errors in a newspaper or online article about something that happened the previous day. We know how legend creeps into stories. Just like me, I’m sure you’ve heard of the unremarkable origin of UFO stories that were embellished with time. Or urban legends.

        When we read a supernatural tale, is it likelier that it happened just like that or that it’s some sort of confabulation?

        » There are no secular events that have just 200 years between events and manuscript copies. The closest is over 600 years, the average, 1,000 years. I have a chart that illustrated this in two of my books. If this is your criteria for validity of manuscripts from antiquity, then everything outside the New Testament, also fails a validity test.

        The historians’ rule of thumb is that the supernatural components of a story didn’t really happen. That doesn’t prove that none did, but it sets the bar very high for supernatural claims. And when historians read about Augustus or Alexander, they scrub out the supernatural. Historians apply it uniformly and without bias, and the New Testament comes out the other end with the miracles labeled “didn’t happen.”

        » The 24,593 extant manuscript copies are a combined work that demonstrates that the texts are uniform in their fundamental narratives about the important details of Jesus life, miracles, claim to be God, crucifixion, resurrection, and seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses over a period of 40 days.

        As I mentioned, it’s not 24,000 but 5300 Greek manuscripts. And it’s not 5300 but only the handful from the second and third centuries, up to the codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus in about 350 CE.

        » We have nearly the entire New Testament dated from 175-225 AD.

        For 22% of the New Testament chapters, the oldest source is Sinaiticus, written in 350 CE.

        » Since we have manuscript copies from 175, it is certain the original autographs were penned early in the first century.

        Where did this come from??

        » The time Gap between the events and the writing of the autographs, is just 12-14 years. The events happened in 30-32 AD. The Synoptic Gospels were written by 44 AD.

        I believe the mainstream consensus is more like 70 or 80 CE for Matthew and Luke, and John more like 90. Must we agree to disagree?

        » According to the legal standard for what constitutes valid evidence, the religious nature of a text is not treated any different from secular documents.

        What do these legal standards say about the supernatural? Or, if such standards don’t exist, show me that you’re evenhanded with your acceptance of supernatural claims. Show me that Christianity and other religions get the same treatment.

        » Only in matters of criminal trials is eyewitness testimony considered unreliable. In matters of historical events, an eyewitness is considered the most reliable form of evidence.

        So on the most important question of all, you lower your standards?

        Consider Alexander. How do we know that he really conquered Persia 2300 years ago? We have historical records, but probably more important are coins with his likeness, statues of him, and the two dozen cities named after him.

        » The Mormon Bible is a known forgery.

        And yet the Mormon documents are far better historical records according to the ways you critique the Bible! The gap from events to documentation, the gap from originals to our oldest manuscript copies, and the number of documents are far better for Mormonism than for Christianity. Don’t cite those arguments unless you’re willing to declare that Mormonism has the much stronger case.

        » I don’t have to show evidence, the writers of the New Testament wrote the historical narratives about Jesus. These are the extant evidence.

        And just last night, I wrote a historical narrative about how the Loch Ness monster visited me last night. There you go–unimpeachable evidence.

        » According to legal standards, this evidence presented by the eyewitnesses, must be impeached by the opposing party, you! Do you have any evidence that the testimony from the men who say they saw Jesus and heard Him, are lying? If not, then their testimony is valid, historical, and remains unimpeached.

        Do you have any evidence that the testimony from Goldilocks who says she was woken by three bears? If not, then that testimony is valid and historical.

        » Supernatural claims has nothing to do with the validity of events. If men and women, consisting of eyewitnesses who were there and say they saw these events happen, write a testimony, it’s up to the opposing party to prove they lied.

        You keep saying this, and I keep being amazed. This is a ridiculous claim—if you insist that the evidence bar for Christianity is so low, you must accept the same low bar for every nutty claim, religious or otherwise. Do your own fans agree with you? Maybe you should write a post, laying out your thinking, and see if they agree.

        » The opening statement of the Bible is, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is the greatest miracles of all.

        Sure, except that it looks like mythology. Showing that it’s actually history would be a big job.

        » They wrote what they saw. We must decide if we believe their testimony. I believe them; you do not.

        Does it matter to you if the evidence is strong? Do you believe in proportion to the quality of the evidence?

        » That’s your choice. I have examine all of the evidence I could find in the last 47 years, and I believe what is written about Jesus is true.

        Do you have the same bar of evidence for Christianity as for other religions?

        » There is no evidence anywhere these Gospels were written late in the first century. This is mere conjecture and speculation by atheist and progressive scholars, who don’t believe God exists in the first place.

        What explains it then? Are the scholars who give Luke a date of 80 CE just hacks? Are they biased, with some anti-Christian agenda?

        Bob: “The ridiculous part of the story is the going to your ancestral home part. No census cares about where your ancestors came from; they care about where you are *now* so they know where to go to collect the tax.”

        » Now you are guessing. Sorry, I have no tolerance for guesswork. I rely on evidence.

        Have I gotten this basic fact of a census wrong? OK, then tell me how they work. Explain why the Romans (who were very good at collecting taxes efficiently) would send you back to the home of some ancestor for a census.

        » The two references I gave you above, are great sources. Elder is the best, known for his extraordinary archeological skill.
        Why not books? You don’t read or do research by books? Do you rely on internet articles and Wikipedia? These are the least reliable sources.

        I have no problem with books, but it’s a hassle trying to get them through interlibrary loan.

        Like

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