The New Testament Exhibition Of Jesus’ Miracles: Evidence Of Truth And His Identity

It is a fact of the New Testament that these texts present us with the best and most conclusive evidence that the narratives about Jesus are true. In determining the validity of all events of antiquity, it is the extant manuscript evidence that exists, which begins our search for truth. Within ancient manuscripts are clues and forensic evidence that helps us determine whether the narratives are true or contrived.

Contrary to the opinions of biblical critics, we can prove or disprove the Bible, by the Bible. If we find that events, people, places, and narratives are not accurate, we can quickly eliminate these texts as reliable artifacts of true events. In the case of the Bible, through countless examinations and intense criticism, there has never been found a genuine inaccuracy or untruth.

Robert D. Wilson, Ph.D., was an American linguist and Biblical Scholar, who was fluent in 45 ancient languages and dialects and had memorized the entire Old Testament in Hebrew. Dr. Wilson was able to recite, from memory, every word of the Hebrew scriptures without missing a syllable.[1]

Dr. Wilson demonstrated that the secular accounts of 29 ancient kings from 10 different nations were inaccurate. At the same time, he also firmly established that the names of these kings, as they are recorded in the Old Testament scriptures, matched the artifacts of Archeology empirically.[2]

During his long career, Dr. Wilson stood the higher Old Testament criticism, which asserted that the Hebrew Bible was “inaccurate on many points and not historically reliable.”

Today those who have criticized the Bible for being inaccurate have eaten their own words. The secular record has been proven inaccurate by discoveries of modern archeology, while the Biblical descriptions of archeological artifacts have been proven true.[3]

Previous claims that certain references in the Bible such as the depiction of King David, Pontius Pilate, and the ancient Hittites—once claimed by critics of the Old Testament as myths—have been proven by archeological discoveries to be absolutely accurate.

Professor Wilson said:

“I have come to the conviction that no man knows enough to attack the veracity of the Old Testament. Every time when anyone has been able to get together enough documentary ‘proofs’ to undertake an investigation, the biblical facts in the original text have victoriously met the test.”[4]

Today no credible scholar disputes the accuracy of Biblical accounts of ancient cities, cultures, or people. They are beyond dispute and without impeachment.

Nelson Glueck is considered one of the world’s greatest archeologists. His work in the discovery of over 1,500 ancient sites led him to the firm conclusion that every reference in the Old Testament scriptures, that refers to an ancient city, civilization, or people, were entirely accurate in every regard. In the words of Dr. Nelson Glueck:

“It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”[5]

The evidence presented to us by the archeological record of ancient history demands a conclusion that the Bible is perfect in all its descriptions of the historical events it reports. Dr. Wilson describes the record of Biblical precision—which accurately describes names, cities, and events of history—as a marvel unequalled by any other literature of antiquity.

“That the Hebrew writers should have transliterated these names with such accuracy and conformity to philological principles is a wonderful proof of their thorough care and scholarship and of their access to the original sources. That the names should have been transmitted to us through so many copyings and so many centuries in so complete a state of preservation is a phenomenon unequaled in the history of literature.”[6]

Those who purport to be “experts” or scholarly authorities regarding the inaccuracies allegedly found in the Bible should go back to school, and learn the important study of Paleography and the ancient languages in which the Bible was written.[7]

“Before a man has the right to speak about the history, the language, and the paleography of the Old Testament, the Christian church has the right to demand that such a man should establish his ability to do so.” —R.D. Wilson

Many critics allege inaccuracies, conflicts, discrepancies, and contradictions, but upon examination of the examiners who make these claims, we find that these individuals either didn’t understand the context, history, and premise of these texts, or they blatantly lied about the texts.

The New Testament Meets Every Essential Criteria For Valid Historical, Eyewitness Narratives

There have been no other texts from antiquity that have been subjected to greater scrutiny, than those of the 27 books of the New Testament. From early in the first century the reliability of the New Testament narratives about Jesus were under criticism by atheists and unbelievers.

The First Christian Apologist, Origen

Some people have the idea that the term “apologist is one who seeks to apologize for the Christian faith. In fact, the Apologist is defined as one who presents evidence to defend the truth of the particular subjects they are upholding.

The first apologists were seen early in the second century. As Jesus’ church began to grow, and people heard the incredible accounts of how He had risen from the dead, various heresies also arose.

These adversaries were the first critics of the four Gospels. They twisted the words of scripture, much like critics do today. It was about this time that the Christian church developed their Creeds, to solidify the fundamental principles for what people believed about Jesus who had died and rose again.

Fortunate for us today, the early writings of the four Gospels were well known, and there was no doubt about their authorship or authenticity from the beginning. Critics such as Lucian (a writer), Galen (a physician), and Celsus (a philosopher), enjoyed some scope of influence. We know about Celsus from the writings of Origen, who argued vigorously against Celsus’ ideas:

  • Jesus is not God.
  • There are secret teachings about Jesus that the church has hidden.
  • God cannot be eternal and yet be known.

From these objections, and the writings of the first Christian Apologists, we can conclude that intellectual criticism of the Christian faith was very common by the second century.

In 248 A.D. Origen successfully confirmed the miracles of Jesus, His claim to be God, and His resurrection—against pagan philosopher, Celsus.[8]

In Origen’s defense of Jesus, called Contra Celsum, this early Christian apologist refuted all of the same criticisms being brought by Bart Ehrman and the Jesus Seminar participants today. Over 1,750 years ago, Origen refuted the ideas that Jesus was not capable of miracles, He didn’t claim to be God, and His resurrection never happened.

From the beginning, just after Jesus had healed the sick, raised the dead, calmed the sea, and risen Himself from the dead, critics rose up to deny these things had happened. Men like Origen successfully defended these false ideas, with evidence from the near historical record which existed at that time. Origen’s work in 248 A.D. became the most impactful of all early Christian apologetics works.[9]

New Testament scholars today regard Origen’s book that refuted the attacks against Jesus’ deity and resurrection, which are being made once again today, as effectively neutralized as a threat. Over 1,750 years ago, Christianity received “unprecedented academic reputability.”[10]

In Chapter 67 of Origen’s rebuttal of Celsus’ denial of Jesus’ Deity, Contra Celsum, he writes:

For we assert that the whole habitable world contains evidence of the works of Jesus.”[11]

In Chapter 68, Celsus denied that Jesus was capable of miracles and that He rose from the dead. Origen writes in defense and describes the arguments made by Celsus:

“But after this, Celsus, having a suspicion that the great works performed by Jesus, of which we have named a few out of a great number, would be brought forward to view, affects to grant that those statements may be true which are made regarding His cures, or His resurrection, or the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves, from which many fragments remained over, or those other stories which Celsus thinks the disciples have recorded as of a marvellous nature.”[12]

Using the same text we have today in our New Testament, Origen defines the testimonies of those who saw Jesus perform miracles and risen from the dead as valid testimony. Even at this very early date in history, there were already denials of Jesus’ miracles and resurrection.

The Historical, Eyewitness Accounts of the Men Who Saw and Heard Jesus, Are Reliable

When we examine the manner in which these texts describe the power of miracles that Jesus showed His disciples while on earth, these descriptions of miracles could not have been fabricated.

Of course it is possible that someone might state that miracles took place, while these statements are lies. If, however, we conduct a forensic examination to determine whether there is evidence of fraud in these statements, we can prove their truth or deception. The manner in which these miracles are recorded in the Gospel accounts, can tell us whether these narratives were fabricated, or they really happened.

In the case of Jesus and the miracles recorded for Him in the New Testament, we find:

  • Four different narratives that have many of the same miracles, with slightly different details.
  • Some miracles are included in some narratives, but not in others.
  • A large number of miracles in several different situations.
  • Miracles performed in violation of Jewish Sabbath Law.
  • Miracles in three different categories.

This diversity of miracles and their descriptions, eliminates the chance that these narratives are contrived. These many miracles are far too diverse for any fraudster to have fabricated these events, early in the first century.

“In contradistinction to the inquisitorial method is that which presumes a man to be innocent until he is proven guilty. As applied to documents it proceeds on the presumption that a document is to be presumed to be what it purports to be until it shall be proven that it is not.”[13]  ~Renowned Hebrew Bible Scholar, R.D. Wilson

Jesus exhibited His power as God in three different categories of miracles:

  1. Power over every sickness and disease
  2. Power over nature and the physical laws
  3. Power over death

It is important to note that despite the massive evidence for the miracles of Jesus in these three categories, Jesus never once used His power for Himself.

Though Jesus experienced many moments where His ability to perform miracles would have benefitted Him greatly, or rescued Him from extremely difficult and treacherous circumstances, we don’t find Him using His great power for Himself.

  • Hunger
  • Thirst
  • Rescue from harm
  • Terrible suffering
  • Death

No one seeking to fabricate a mythological story about Jesus, would think to exclude Him, the prime subject of the fraud, from using His own power to benefit Himself. This could only be present in the narratives, if it was an actual truth of Jesus’ life.

When Jesus was in the desert for 40 days and experienced extreme hunger and thirst, He did not use His power to satisfy His own personal need for food and water.

When threatened with harm or death, Jesus never used His power to destroy His enemies or those who claimed power over Him—even to put Him to death. Pilate warned Jesus that He had the power to set Him free or crucify Him. Jesus informed Pilate that He would have no power over Him unless it had been given to Him by the Father (John 19:11).

It is not possible that a contrived, fabricated, or embellished attempt at falsifying the narratives of Jesus, could create such an elaborate accounting of three different types of miracles for Jesus

Within these three categories: power over sickness and disease; power over nature; power over death, in several different situations, many people today consider these powers of Jesus as, miraculous, and impossible.

Jesus performed so many different miracles, in so many different situations, that these powers cannot be rightly defined as, “miracles,” because for Jesus, they were quite normal. We humans define a situation where something happens that is not possible in the normal physical realm, as a miracle. For Jesus, everything that He did to exhibit His power, was a normal part of who He is, as God.

Jesus said that the miracles He performed, proved He is God:

“But I have a greater witness—my teachings and my miracles.” ~John 5:36

Examine carefully the following three charts that record the three categories of Jesus’ miracles, and the places in the New Testament texts where they occured. This is forensic evidence within the extant manuscript documents of the first century eyewitness accounts, which prove that he men who saw Him, have told us the truth concerning Jesus. This documentation proves that there is no possibility the New Testament is a fabrication. These various and vast events of miracles can only be seen and understood by studying the following charts. At the time these events took place, the writers didn’t realize that there were so many miracles, in so many different situations, revealing the identity of Jesus:

Miracles Jesus Performed That Demonstrate His Power Over Sickness And Disease:

Miracles Jesus Performed That Demonstrate His Power Over Nature:

Miracles Jesus Performed That Demonstrate His Power Over Death:

The identity of Jesus is made clear by the things that He has done. John the Baptist wanted to know if Jesus was the Prophet, Priest, and King who was foretold by the scriptures. He asked Jesus, “Are You the Coming One?”

“And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 1. The blind see and 2. the lame walk; 3. the lepers are cleansed and 4. the deaf hear; 5. the dead are raised up and 6. the poor have the gospel preached to them.” ~Matthew 11:2-5

According to the prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament, the Messiah will have a ministry of healing to validate His identity.

Isaiah 35:5-6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.

New Testament Fulfillment:

“Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”~Matthew 11:1-6

“Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened.” ~Matthew 9:29-30

“Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.” ~Matthew 15:30

Jesus Met Every Requirement

Can you imagine a person coming into the world who has the power to heal every sickness and disease of mankind as well as raise a person from the dead simply by speaking to them or touching the afflicted person? The only human being who has ever possessed these abilities is Jesus of Nazareth, as evidenced by the New Testament.

One of the proofs that are required of the Messiah is His ability to heal any sickness or disease. In order for Jesus to properly be assigned the title of Messiah, He must demonstrate His power over the infirmities of mankind. In every occasion when an individual came to Jesus for healing, He was able to restore their body and heal them. The men who followed Jesus for three and one-half years wrote that they saw Jesus heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind, make the lame walk, raise the dead, and preach the gospel to everyone.

These men were simply seeking to tell us the truth about what they had seen. They did not write for any other purpose than to make Jesus known to their world and to all those who would come after them. Their record is reliable, accurate, and trustworthy. We have absolutely no reason whatsoever to doubt the sincerity of these men, nor fear that any of their words or testimony is not true.

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NOTES:

[1] This includes all the Biblical and cognate languages, i.e., Hebrew, Aramaic, the Sumerian/Babylonian dialects, Phoenician, Assyrian, Ethiopic, the various Egyptian and Persian dialects.
[2] Nelson Glueck: Biblical Archaeologist and President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jonathan M. Brown, Laurence Kutler, Hebrew Union College Press, 2006.
2 “A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament,” by R. D. Wilson, “Is Higher Criticism Scholarly,” and “Which Bible,” by David Otis Fuller, who studied under Dr. Wilson at Princeton Theological Seminary.
[3] 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. Acts 14:6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.
[4] Quoted in R. Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.
[5] Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert, 1960, pageg 31.
[6} “A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament,” by R. D. Wilson.
[7] Paleography is the study of ancient writing systems and the deciphering and dating of historical manuscripts.
[8] Olson, Roger E. (1999), The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, ISBN 978-0-8308-1505-0, Page 101.
[9}Olson, Roger E. (1999), The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, ISBN 978-0-8308-1505-0, Page 101.
[10] Olson, Roger E. (1999), The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, ISBN 978-0-8308-1505-0, Page 101.
[11]Origen. The Complete Works of Origen (8 Books): Cross-Linked to the Bible (Kindle Location 6339). Amazon.com. Kindle Edition.
[12] Origen. The Complete Works of Origen (8 Books): Cross-Linked to the Bible (Kindle Locations 6344-6347). Amazon.com. Kindle Edition.
[13] Wilson, Robert Dick. A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament . Read Books Ltd.. Kindle Edition.



Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson

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1 reply

  1. Thank you brother.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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