The New Testament presents us with 260 chapters that contain 203 eyewitness statements
There is no book in the New Testament that presents more eyewitness statements about Jesus; His claim to be God and Messiah, His miracles that prove He is God, His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead, and appearance to over 514 eyewitnesses over a period of 40 days—greater than the book of Acts.
203 Eyewitness Statements About Jesus In The New Testament
If we didn’t have the four Gospels that present the eyewitness testimony from the men who saw and heard Jesus, we could still prove all of the fundamental facts of these Gospels that concern Jesus, from the book of Acts.
Acts is the second book in a two part series, written by the highly educated, Greek speaking Physician—Luke. At the start of Luke’s Gospel about Jesus, He tells us that what he recorded was the result of interviewing the eyewitnesses who had been with Jesus since the beginning of His ministry, and their testimony about all they had seen and heard.
“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.”
“In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he 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.”
Luke states that his intent in writing both his Gospel, and the book of Acts, was to:
- Write an accurate account about the events that concern Jesus.
- Use the eyewitness accounts of the men who saw Jesus.
- Record the instructions that Jesus gave His disciples after His resurrection.
- Record the fact that Jesus had been seen alive for 40 days after His resurrection.
- Make a record that Jesus continually appeared to His disciples after His resurrection.
- Record that the post crucifixion appearances of Jesus, after His death, which prove He was alive.
- Record the journeys of Paul in Asia, carrying the eyewitness testimony of the men who saw and heard Jesus.
Matthew, Peter, and John, present their testimony about Jesus to us in three Gospels; Luke presents the testimony of the other eight Apostles who also saw and heard Jesus. Luke is the singular source for eyewitness testimony about Jesus from the Apostles who were with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry—noting all of the miracles He performed that were predicted for Messiah in the Old Testament. These miracles were for the purpose of validating Jesus as the Messiah described in 400 Messianic Prophecies, and these events were proof that Jesus is also Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament.
“Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. 2 Here are the names of the twelve apostles:
first, Simon (also called Peter),
then Andrew (Peter’s brother),
James (son of Zebedee),
John (James’s brother),
Matthew (the tax collector),
James (son of Alphaeus),
Simon (the zealot),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).”
There is also tremendous evidence that Luke, with his stellar ability in the Koine-Greek language, assisted Paul in writing the book of Hebrews.
The level of scholarship required to construct the book of Hebrews, could not be accomplished by any other writer from the first century, other than Paul. The idea that Luke was capable of this feat of Hebrew scholarship on his own, is preposterous. Luke was “a historian of the first rank,” according to noted archeologist, Sir William Ramsay,” but the beloved Physician did not possess the skills necessary to construct the Hebrew texts into a letter proving that Jesus was the fulfillment of these 400 prophecies. The source of the letter to the Hebrews must be the Hebrew scholar, Paul.
In the earliest reference to the authorship of Hebrews, Clement of Alexandria (150–215 AD), states that Paul wrote Hebrews in Hebrew and Luke translated his words into Greek.
Evidence That Paul Is The Author Of Hebrews
We know that Paul also spoke Greek (Acts 21:37) and he certainly had the capacity to write in Koine-Greek, although it seems his poor eyesight often hindered his writing. Paul accessed several amanuensis who were proficient in Koine-Greek, in writing many of his letters. Some of these may have been: Stephanas, Tertius, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Tychicus, Sosthenes, Epaphroditus, and Onesiphorus. I find no error in the idea that Paul was the true author of Hebrews, and Luke as his scribe, used his skill in Koine-Greek, to assist Paul. We see Luke’s proficiency in writing in Koine-Greek in his Gospel narrative of Jesus, and the Book of Acts.
The Acts of the Apostles
Chapter 1: The Promise of the Holy Spirit
1 “In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he 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.”
Luke notes and records the testimony of the eight other Apostles who had also been with Jesus since the beginning of His ministry. Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead, these men were with Him and saw Jesus alive. The testimony of the men who saw Jesus, spoke to Him, ate with Him, and received instructions from Him, is also described in the book of Acts.
Luke notes that the Apostles that Jesus chose, were selected for the purpose of being His witnesses, and recording a testimony of what they saw, so the world would know the truth of these events. Luke makes it clear that his intent in penning these two books, was to write and preserve a historical record for Jesus. This endeavor was successful, for we have the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, describing all of these events, in manuscript form that survive to the present day.
“Once when Jesus was eating with His Apostles, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But 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.” ~Acts 1:1-8
Luke records that Jesus had told these men whom He called to be His eyewitnesses, to write a record and, tell people about Jesus everywhere: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the the ends of the earth. Any doubt whether the Gospels and Acts were written by the men who saw Jesus—immediately after the events took place, is dispelled by Acts 1:8. Jesus told these men to act as witnesses and send their testimony, “to the ends of the earth,” so that every person would have an opportunity to hear about Jesus and be saved. There was no other way to complete Jesus command except to write down what they had seen and heard concerning Jesus, and send it out to the churches that already existed in Asia Minor. These churches then dispatched the testimony of the eyewitnesses, “to the ends of the earth,” and fulfilled Jesus’ command in Acts 1:8.
Jesus said: “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.” ~Revelation 1:11
Luke records that Jesus returned to heaven after having given the Apostles instructions about writing and sending their testimony to the world. Jesus went up to heaven from the Mount of Olives, and He will return at the Mount of Olives when He comes the second time to earth, physically, to establish His kingdom on earth.
“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “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!” ~Acts 1:9-11
Zechariah also records that upon Jesus’ return at the end of the seven year Tribulation, He will touchdown at the Mount of Olives:
“On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south.” ~Zechariah 14:4
Bart Ehrman Is Wrong That Acts 4:13 Proves Peter Was Illiterate
The combined eyewitness testimony recorded by Luke in the book of Acts, from the men who were with Jesus since the beginning of His ministry, is staggering:
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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!”
- 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.”
- Acts 2:32 Peter said: “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.”
- 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!”
- 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!”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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!”
- 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.”
- Acts 9:17 “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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!”
- 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.’
- 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.”
- Acts 22:15 “For you are to be Jesus’ witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.’”
- 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.”
- 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.”
There are no compilations of eyewitness testimony in the historical record, that present us with greater testimony, than the 203 eyewitness statements recorded in the 260 chapters of the New Testament. These are not “allegeded eyewitnesses,” as some critics assert, but matters of fact that have existed in the historical record for nearly 2,000 years.
These eyewitness accounts are never recorded in history as being in doubt by the early Christian church at any time after they were written, nor in the centuries subsequent to their publication. Early Christian Apologist, Origen, in compiling his extensive treatise in impeachment of the atheist Greek Philosopher, Celsus, never raises a single claim that the eyewitness narratives about Jesus in the texts he uses to refute Celsus, were in doubt.
Origen lived in Alexandria, Egypt, and near 248 AD, penned more than 2,000 treatises concerning many branches of theology. Origen focused on textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, homiletics, and even cosmology. Today, Origen is known as “the greatest genius the early Christian church has ever produced.” Origen validated the narratives of the New Testament as truthful eyewitness testimony, concerning events that really happened.
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Were The Gospels Written By Eyewitnesses?
- Were The Four Gospels Written Anonymously?
- Is The Bible Filled With Contradictions?
- Is The New Testament A Valid Historical Narrative?
- Historical Evidence That Proves The Resurrection Of Jesus
See Rob’s Video: “Evidence For Jesus’ Resurrection: In Acts 2 and 13, Peter And Paul Confirm Psalms 16 Was Written For Jesus:”
 1. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.14.2 2. The early Alexandrian exegetes Pantaenus and Clement accepted Pauline authorship, though Clement suggested that the stylistic differences in Hebrews are due to Luke translating Paul’s letter from the original Hebrew to Greek, a tradition that was incorporated into the glossa ordinaria and became the traditional opinion of the medieval Western church.
 William M. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1915, page 222: “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.”
 1. Paul was taught by the esteemed Gamaliel, and was a Pharisee and Hebrew scholar. There is confirmation in the New Testament that he both spoke and wrote Koine Greek. 2. Luke was a highly-educated, Greek-speaking Physician, who was able to write Koine Greek. 3. Mark is described as a Greek citizen, also able to write Koine Greek; likely the scribe for Peter, recording his testimony about Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. The leaders of the early Christian church chronicled Mark as a Greek-speaking Jew, who acted as the scribe for Peter. 4. Matthew was an employee of the Roman government as a tax collector. One of the requirements for every Roman tax collector was the ability to speak, read, and write Koine Greek in order to serve as a tax collector. How else could Matthew communicate with the people he was collecting taxes from?
 The first real debate over the reliability of the New Testament began in 248 AD. Greek atheist philosopher, Celsus, attempted to impeach the reliability of the New Testament texts by a massive effort called Logos Alēthēs. Origen became the first Christian Apologist, who successfully impeached all of the false assertions presented by Celsus, in hundreds of written documents known as Contra Celsum. In 248 A.D. Origen successfully confirmed the miracles of Jesus, His claim to be God, and His resurrection—against pagan philosopher, Celsus.
Origen lived in Alexandria, Egypt, and penned more than 2,000 treatises concerning many branches of theology. Origen focused on textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, homiletics, and even cosmology. Today, Origen is known as “the greatest genius the early Christian church has ever produced.” McGuckin, John Anthony (2004). “The Life of Origen (ca. 186–255)”. In McGuckin, John Anthony (ed.). The Westminster Handbook to Origen. The Westminster handbooks to Christian theology. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. page. 13. ISBN 9780664224721
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.(1)
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.”(1)
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.”(2)
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.”(3)
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.
(1) 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.
(2) Origen. The Complete Works of Origen (8 Books): Cross-Linked to the Bible (Kindle Location 6339). Amazon.com. Kindle Edition.
(3) Origen. The Complete Works of Origen (8 Books): Cross-Linked to the Bible (Kindle Locations 6344-6347). Amazon.com. Kindle Edition.
Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson
Please see, "Guidelines For Debate," at the right-side menu. Post your comment or argument here: