Suppression Of Evidence: The Atheists’ Failure To Disprove Jesus

In legal matters where evidence proves a case, some prosecutors improperly seek to prevent evidence from being seen through dishonest methods.

Saints Rising From The Dead C.1250

Concerning Jesus in the first century, the evidence that proved He is God who came to earth, was massive. The leaders of Israel did not want Jesus to be received by the people because they feared His acceptance would deprive them of their coveted positions of power, authority, wealth, and position.

Today we see the same attempts by people who deny the historical, eyewitness testimony for Jesus, in their efforts to suppress the truth regarding the existence of God. The purpose of Jesus coming into the world was to fulfill the 400 Messianic Prophecies for the Messiah, and to demonstrate that God exists. The arrival of Jesus on earth settles the issue of God’s existence for the honest seeker of truth. For people who will never accept evidence for God, no amount of proof is sufficient.

The reality of evidence suppression began in the first century, and it has continued through every generation

After Lazarus was dead four days, Jesus raised him to life. Evil men knew this evidence proves Jesus is God. Instead of repenting from their unbelief, these men tried to get rid of the evidence by killing Lazarus. This is what atheists attempt today, but it is ineffective, as the narratives about Jesus are documented by eyewitnesses.

“When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.” ~John 12:9-11

Suppression of evidence didn’t work during the time that Jesus was here and demonstrated by 40 miracles He is God, and it does not work today. In the presence of massive extant manuscript evidence that validates these historical events, the modern atheist is left with no other means of disproving Jesus, except denial of the eyewitnesses.

Some atheists believe that by simply saying the eyewitness testimony found in the 260 chapters of the New Testament are merely “alleged eyewitnesses,” this suppresses the evidence. In order to make a valid claim that something is merely alleged, there would need to be evidence of allegation. In matters of history where people were present and they saw and heard what they wrote, it is not possible to prove their testimony is merely an allegation.

An allegation is an assertion. It is predicated upon the opinion of the one making the claim that what someone wrote or said is not proven. Concerning the surviving texts of the New Testament in which multiple persons make 203 statements as eyewitnesses concerning the events that surround the appearance of Jesus on earth, it is impossible to prove these statements are alleged rather than truthful testimony.

Co-founder of the Harvard School Of Law, Simon Greenleaf argued many years ago, and his legal arguments remains true today; “the burden of disproving evidence lies squarely on the shoulders of the objector.“[1] 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.”[2]

In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the court noted that “[S]ince the scientific revolution of the 16th an[d] 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. . . . In deliberately omitting theological or “ultimate” explanations for the existence or characteristics of the natural world, science does not consider issues of “meaning” and “purpose” in the world.”[3]

Greenleaf successfully argued that testimony of religious or supernatural origin, does not automatically define testimony as unreliable.

Science is not an all encompassing reservoir of knowledge. By its very nature it is always learning and acquiring knowledge that was formerly unknown. Regarding realities that were formerly viewed as supernatural a century ago, today, these realities of the physical laws are understood as natural and within the physical laws of the universe.

One example is found in the text of John 20:26-28. 

“And after eight days Jesus disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst.” 

We notice that the text does not state that Jesus walked through the walls. John writes that Jesus suddenly appeared before the disciples in the room which they occupied. Quantum Physicists who have examined this text state that in order for Jesus to appear suddenly in this room without going through a physical structure, this would require access to a sixth dimension.

When you or I move from the dimension of length to width, we are able to freely move without encountering a physical barrier. In the same way, when Jesus moved from a sixth dimension to our three-dimensional world, He did not need to pass through a closed door or a wall. Jesus suddenly appeared from an unseen dimension.

What was it that enabled Jesus to accomplish this supernatural event? It is apparent that human beings are not merely physical beings, but also entities that survive physical death. Death of the physical body opens access to physical laws of the universe that are otherwise inaccessible. In the case of Jesus’ death and resurrection, as it is reported throughout the New Testament, He had access to the sixth dimension after He rose from the dead, and could appear in a room without accessing a physical door or window.

This is compelling evidence that the physical laws of the universe have parameters that we do not currently understand. What is viewed today as supernatural, are actual quite natural when we acquire knowledge for how the physical laws exist in relationship to dimensions of time and space we don’t yet fully comprehend.

Science today is often defined by naturalistic causes and is asserted as the only method that allows us to know what ultimately exists in the world.[4] In conflict with scientific thought is the evidence that leads us into the primacy of facts that are the end result of a search for evidence. The primary goal of any study is to follow the facts to the natural conclusions they bring us to.[5]

Historical Evidence Documented By Eyewitnesses, Is The Highest Form Of Reliable Evidence

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

Today we have in our possession, 24,593 extant New Testament manuscript copies of the early first century autographs. These ancient texts that have been under critical examination for over 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. There are nearly complete manuscript copies of the entire New Testament dated between 175-225 A.D. If we have manuscript copies of the New Testament that have survived time and decay from 175, it is certain that the original autographs were written early in the first century. Only one secular Roman manuscript has survived for Tacitus that proves the early Roman Emperors. [7]

Historical Events Are Validated By Meeting Certain Requirements: The New Testament Meets These Requirements

Every event of history is validated by methods that help us have confidence in past events as genuine and reliable. Regardless of whether they are religious or secular, all history is validated by the same processes

  1. When was the source written or produced?
  2. Where was it produced?
  3. By whom was it produced?
  4. From what pre-existing material was it produced?
  5. In what original form was it produced?
  6. What is the evidential value of its contents?

The first four are recognized by historical experts as higher criticism; the fifth, as lower criticism; and, together, they are recognized as external criticism.

With the above six in mind, the following eight are the basic principles for determining whether any narrative is historical and Reliable:

  1. Human sources may be relics or narratives that consist of statements or a letter.
  2. Any source may be forged or corrupted. For this reason, there is a preeminent need to verify the originality of the source.
  3. The closer the source is to the event for which it alleges to describe, the greater the trust that is given for an accurate historical description of what actually happened.
  4. An eyewitness is more reliable than secondhand testimony or hearsay.
  5. If there are several independent sources while telling the same story, the credibility of the narrative is increased exponentially.
  6. The tendency of a source which has a clear bias, is motivation for the creation of false narratives. Internal evidence within the narrative that would detract from the story and make it less attractive are indications of balance and truthfulness.
  7. If the witnesses to a story have no personal benefit or direct interest in proving the story other than to tell the truth, the narrative is more credible.
  8. If the witnesses recall slightly different details of the events, even placing them in a different order, while telling the same story, this is evidence of truthful narratives.

When we apply these methods to any event of ancient history, we may be able to determine if the events are genuine events of history or contrived.

When we apply these rules for analysis to the New Testament manuscripts, we find that they meet and exceed every requirement for valid historical events.

All attempts at suppressing the historical evidence for Jesus fail because the evidence is so immense and the testimony incontrovertible. The writers of the New Testament present us with letters exchanged between men who saw and heard what they wrote. They tell us that when Jesus appeared in Jerusalem and called them to follow Him, they didn’t understand who He was at first. These men tell us that even though they saw Jesus perform miracles that no mere man was capable of, it was not until after He was crucified and rose from the dead, they genuinely believed He was God.

They tell us that they wrote their testimony down in a form that could be distributed to the world, so that every person would know what happened. Jesus made it clear to these men that He called them to be His eyewitnesses, and that they should write what they saw and heard, and send it out to the known world.

These men state that they wrote what they saw and they know that what they wrote is the truth: “This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe. These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures.” ~John 19:35-36

An example that reveals the truth of the testimony we find in the New Testament, is the manner in which the writers composed their testimony. When Jesus came into Jerusalem and instructed His disciples to get the foal of a donkey and bring it to Him, they didn’t understand at the time, what Jesus was doing.

“As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me.” ~Matthew 21:1-2

Jesus rode this donkey into Jerusalem on the exact day that the prophet Daniel predicted the Messiah would arrive in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. Palm Sunday was the day that the Passover Lamb of the Old Testament was brought to the leaders of Israel for inspection of defects. Four days later on Passover, the Lamb was offered for sins.

Jesus fulfills several of the Old Testament Messianic Prophecies on Palm Sunday:

After Jesus had returned to heaven, as described in the first chapter of Acts, verse 8, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to bring to the remembrance of each man that had seen Him, all the things that had taken place (John 14:26). These men began to realize that all the miracles Jesus had been performing, were to prove that He is God and Messiah. These men wrote down what they remembered and we have the record of these events today. See the 400 Prophecies

“The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted,

“Praise God!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
Hail to the King of Israel!” (Fulfillment of Psalms 118)

Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said:

“Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem.
Look, your King is coming,
riding on a donkey’s colt.” (Fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9)

Jesus disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.” ~John 12:12-16

It is impossible to suppress the massive evidence for Jesus and the events that took place. The whole world and all of history, is filled with this evidence


[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).
c. TESTIMONY, supra note 5, §§ 3, 27, 48.
d. Essay:
[2] Id. §§ 28, 33, 41
[3] For example, in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area Sch. Dist., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005), Id. at 735.
[4] Q & A on Naturalism, CENTER FOR NATURALISMhttp://www.centerfornaturalism. org/faqs.htm (“Science is the basis for naturalism.”).
[5] Ronald J. Allen, From the Enlightenment to Crawford to Holmes Address at the Association of American Law Schools Evidence Conference, 39 SETON HALL L. REV. 1, 4 (2009).
[6] STROBELsupra 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. STROBELsupra 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 WILSONsupra note 17, at 23.

Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson

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