The Historical Jesus

History Bears Witness Of Jesus

Imagine that you are standing near the tomb of a deceased loved one. Gathered with you are hundreds of people who are weeping in great sorrow. Some are falling to the ground in emotional collapse, others wailing in their distress. You hear a loud shout, “Lazarus, come forth.” Suddenly a form appears at the entrance of the burial chamber, still wrapped in the strips of cloth used in preparation for his burial.

What would you do if you saw and heard things so astounding that your mind told you that they could not happen? What if you had to tell people what you had seen and heard but you knew that no one was going to believe them?
You would try anyway.

Placing ourselves in the first century alongside the simple men who were with Jesus when He said and did the things that are ascribed to Him, we must ask ourselves what we would do. It would be expected that these men would feel compelled to try and remember every small detail of these events.

In the tradition of the Jewish people they would tell and retell the events over an over again until they had them fixed in their minds. Others would hear these recollections and repeat them in the hearing of those who saw and heard them. When these new believers had the accounts precisely in their minds, they would be permitted to go out and tell others and train their new converts in the precise retelling of this story.

This was how the oral tradition of the Jews was conducted. It was the manner in which accuracy was achieved in recording events of significance. The Jews were accustomed to this process and precise in their attempts and making a detailed record of events in their minds.

The Pharisees taught that when God gave Moses the law on Mount Sinai, He gave him two laws. The written law, called “the Laws of Moses,” as recorded in the Old Testament; and the “secret law,” also called “the oral law.” Moses passed these oral traditions down to the elders of Israel—vocally, as they were prohibited from writing them. These secret laws would not be revealed until a need arose—at the proper time; this is, according to the Mishna.⁠[1]

Moses received the oral law from God on Mount Sinai and delivered it to Joshua, who delivered it to the elders of Israel, followed by the Judges. The Judges gave these oral traditions to the Prophets and the Prophets delivered them to the sopherim of Ezra’s day.[⁠2]

By the time Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the traditions of the elders had developed the same authority as the Word of God. Although these men had precisely recorded in their minds the words that God had given, they began to also add their own traditions—encompassing hundreds of new laws. This is how the traditions of men, over time, came to outweigh and overrule the Words of God.

Internal Evidence

When evaluation is given to any text of ancient literature it is the internal contents of these works that reveals the authenticity of their words. We can tell from simply reading the text what the thoughts and intents of the writers were at that time. Because there is such a great deal of the New Testament that still exists today, we can understand that these were documents that were considered extremely important to the people who received them at that time. If we think them not reliable or false stories about fictitious events, we must ask why so many copies of these documents were made and distributed all over the known world at that time.

Any work of literature which is later found to by untrue is quickly revealed as such and not copied or preserved in any great number.

Only when an event of such magnitude or importance as is warranted preservation and distribution is repeatedly copied and sent to other locations. The reasons are obvious. People understand that what they are reading came from reliable sources and that the writers who recorded the events understood them as truthful. This is precisely what we see in reading the New Testament. These men were clearly not seeking fame or fortune but only to be faithful stewards of events that the whole world should know.

Critics of the New Testament as reliable accounts of actual events assert that the writers did not tell us the truth and therefore we cannot trust the integrity of these accounts.

When we actually read the New Testament we come away with an entirely different impression. There are many places in the twenty-seven books of the New Testament where the writers make a special point of emphasizing their honest and sincere effort to write about the true events of that time.

Jesus Authenticates The New Testament As Scripture

Liberal New Testament Scholars Who Do Not Believe Jesus Is God

Today the New Testament is under assault by critical New Testament scholars who assert that the traditional Jesus we have come to know, never existed. In the view of these scholars Jesus was a real person of history, but not in the manner that the New Testament presents Him. In essence, these scholars would have us believe that more than 80 percent of all that Jesus is alleged to have said was embellished by the writers of the four gospels.

Liberal agnostic scholar, Dr. Bart Ehrman directs his criticisms towards a variety of areas regarding the historical Jesus that he claims are questionable. Dr. Ehrman primarily directs his criticism against the claim that Jesus is God, and possessed supernatural abilities.

“JESUS WAS A LOWER-CLASS Jewish preacher from the backwaters of rural Galilee who was condemned for illegal activities and crucified for crimes against the state. Yet not long after his death, his followers were claiming that he was a divine being. Eventually they went even further, declaring that he was none other than God, Lord of heaven and earth. And so the question: How did a crucified peasant come to be thought of as the Lord who created all things? How did Jesus become God?” —Bart D. Ehrman, “How Jesus Became God.” 1

The remaining text of “How Jesus Became God,” is an effort to explain why Dr. Ehrman no longer believes that Jesus is God and that the writers of the New Testament lied when they stated that He is God.

This claim is made because Dr. Ehrman believes that he is more qualified and in a better position to determine the validity of the four gospels than the men who examined these documents near the first century and determined that they are reliable.

The primary difficulty that many other scholars find with Ehrman’s hypothesis is that he determined what his conclusion would be before he ever wrote his first book. It is very difficult to arrive at a sincere and unbiased conclusion when you have already decided that something cannot be true before you begin. True fact-finding and reliable conclusions are reached when the investigator is willing to set aside all of his prejudices and follow the evidence where it leads.

When an author does not believe that Jesus is God nor capable of performing the miracles that are attested to Him, in advance of the things he writes, this bias does not leave the reader with any confidence that he has told us the truth. Upon reading a majority of critical assessments by authors in opposition to the reliability of the New Testament, we find that their works are a result of their need for support in their atheist or agnostic position; not to present a valid priori that is evidential and contrary to the 2,000 year history of New Testament authenticity.

Beginning with a conclusion that Jesus could not be God, Ehrman spends the balance of his time writing opinions to support his posterioric argument that miracles by any human being are impossible, therefore the New Testament cannot be reliable.

There are many errors that are made by Dr, Ehrman’s criticisms but the fundamental blunder that has caused all of his subsequent errors is a misunderstanding of the true nature and identity of Jesus.

Examining The Evidence

Beginning with an assumption that Jesus is no normal man, based upon the things that are said about Him, we go on to investigate why He appears at a specific period of history and what He was trying to accomplish. When we actually read the four gospels which describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we find that it is not the conventional hero’s narrative. What were the writers seeking to accomplish?

Before Jesus is born, His mother is found pregnant by an unknown source, while she is betrothed to Joseph. Mary claims that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, leaving us with our imagination that the eyes of all who hear her excuse are rolling in disbelief.

Jesus is born into utter poverty, while the storyline requires us to believe that He is the King of Heaven, Creator of all that exists.

Jesus lives an unremarkable childhood for one who is alleged to be God. He works with his hands in Joseph’s carpenter shop, making useful things from wood, not very glorious.

At 30 years of age, Jesus still has no home or possessions of His own. He is not married, nor has He attended any significant Rabbinical school. He wanders about the country calling fishermen a tax collector and other unlikely men to follow Him.

These men are not the kind of people that most of us would choose for a global movement that will bring news of God’s arrival on earth. We learn later that Jesus chooses these men with all of their many faults, on purpose. These who are called “Apostles,” will oppose Him, deny Him, and later abandon Him altogether, cowering in fear for their lives when He is arrested and crucified. Not one really understand who Jesus is until after He is raised from the dead. None of these men understood that Jesus was doing all that they say so that He could fulfill the words of the Hebrew prophets.

Jesus heals every sickness and disease; turns water into wine; forgives sins, and raises to life the decaying bodies of the dead. Every event that surrounds the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus makes no sense until we step back and look at the whole picture through the lens of the Old Testament.

A Messiah Vividly Described

Everything that Jesus said and did, was predicted by the Hebrew Prophets, over the course of 2,000 years.

We discover that there is a very long and detailed history of Hebrew scriptures which predict and anticipate the arrival of just such a person as Jesus of Nazareth.

When we compare what Jesus said and did with what has been described for the Messiah, we find that they are virtually identical. These hundreds of requirements that Messiah must fulfill, are accomplished by Jesus with extreme precision.

There are in excess of 400 specific prophecies describing the One who will be Messiah. Many of these predictions are documented in my book: “The Prophecies of the Messiah.”

When we make a careful examination of what has been written by these ancient Hebrew prophets, we see that it was the intent of God to provided us with a means whereby we could accurately validate anyone who would claim to be the Messiah He promised.

Once scientists and mathematician calculated that the odds that Jesus could fulfill just 8 of the 400 prophecies that He fulfilled is 1017 . This number is equal to all the seconds of time since the universe began—to the present day.

What we find is that Jesus of Nazareth is the exact representation of who the Messiah is supposed to be. We find that we cannot simply examine the text of the New Testament to determine if the testimony about Jesus is true, we must also examine the entire Bible; for it is all written for Him and about Him.

In Acts chapter 17, after traveling through Amphipolis and Appollonia in Asia Minor, Paul went to the synagogue of Thessalonica and for three consecutive Sabbaths reasoned with the Jews there about how Jesus is the true Messiah. The way that he accomplished this was by demonstrating from the Old Testament that Jesus had to suffer crucifixion and rise from the dead because this was what the Hebrew prophecies demanded.

In order to believe Dr. Ehrman’s assertion that Jesus could not be God, nor capable of the miracles that are ascribed to Him, we would also have to accept that the entire Old Testament is in error or invalid as it has established hundreds of years before Jesus arrived that the Messiah would be God and the worker of miracles.

According to multiple places in the Hebrew scriptures, the Messiah will not only be a man, He will also be; fully God.

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” —Psalms 45:6

Hebrew Scholar, Paul confirms that this Psalm was written specifically for Jesus:

But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.” —Hebrews 1:8

It is clear that Paul believed that Psalms 45:6 was written for the Messiah and specifically, Jesus Christ. Paul’s quotation of Psalms 45:6, in context with Hebrews 1:8, defines for us accurately; who Jesus is:

  1. The subject of Psalms 45:6 is God.
  2. Paul quotes Psalms 45:6 in applying it to Jesus Christ in Hebrew 1:8.
3.

From this It is clear that Paul asserts that Jesus is God.
The first line of the Bible declares that God created the heavens and the earth:

“In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” —Genesis 1:1

Paul writes that it is Jesus is who created all things that are in heaven and earth:
Colossians 1:16 For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Since the subject of Genesis 1:1 is God as the Creator and Colossians 1:16 states that all things were created by Jesus, we understand that the Creator is Jesus.
While Jesus was amongst the men who had followed Him for three years, one of these individuals posed a question for Jesus:

Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. —John 14:8-9

Jesus tells Phillip in the presence of all the disciples that if we have seen Him, we have seen God for Jesus and God are one and the same.

When we examine the original Greek text of Hebrews 1:3, we see that Jesus is described by terms that can only be applied to God.

(Jesus), who being the 1. brightness of His glory and 2. the express image of His person. —Hebrews 1:3

1. Jesus is the “the Brightness of His Glory.”

From the Greek words: Apaugasma tees Doxees, – The Outshining of the Glory of God. This is the same expression that would be used to describe the shining of the sun. Jesus is the literal Glory of God Himself in all of His outshining Glory.
…the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. —1 Timothy 6:15-16

2. Jesus is the “Express Image of God.”

In Greek: “The Hupostaseoos” – the Character of God’s Substance which makes God who He is. Jesus has the exact character, nature and image of God. Jesus is a perfect representation of what God is like. The idea behind this Greek word, Hupostaseoos, comes from the imprint that a seal would leave after being pressed into wax. Jesus is an exact imprint of God. He is the exact image and essence of what the Father is. Even so, Jesus is Himself a totally separate and distinct person.
In Exodus chapter 3, Moses asks the Lord what His name is. His reply? “I AM.”

Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” —Exodus 3:13-14

When we examine the New Testament, we see that Jesus told the Pharisees that He existed before Abraham was born, as “I AM,”

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” —John 8:56-58

From the words that Jesus speaks to the Pharisees, it is clear that He is claiming to be the voice of God that Moses heard from the burning bush on Mount Sinai:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. —Exodus 3:1-2

Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” —Exodus 3:13-14

The words I AM are the eternal name for God, as established by the Old Testament. In the Hebrew language, I AM is Ehyeh asher ehyeh. This term is usually translated into English as  I am that I am, but it can also be translated as I-shall-be that I-shall-be. The idea behind this name is that the Lord will become whatever you need. I AM… whatever you need in your life… I will become… whatever you need in your life…

There is no ambiguity in what Jesus said. The leaders of the Jewish Sanhedrin understood well what Jesus was claiming. If we have any doubts about whether they understood Jesus claim to be God, we notice that in response to Jesus assertion that He is I AM, they pick up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.  —John 8:56-59

This happened once again in John chapter 10 when Jesus claimed that He and God were one and the same:

“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” —John 10:30-33

Only One God

In the Hebrew Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), God is proclaimed as One: Hear O’ Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

By Jesus’ statement in John 10:30 (above), “I and My Father are one,” He is declaring that He is equal to God. This expression also distinguishes Him as a separate person from the Father and the Holy Spirit—as a basis for the Trinity. Throughout the narrative of the New Testament, Jesus is defined as a separate and distinct person whom the Bible repeatedly describes as God. There was no mistake in the hearing of the leaders of Israel. Jesus was not simply describing His agreement with the Father as one in thought and purpose. Jesus was declaring that He is the Eternal God. According to Leviticus 24:16, this was clearly blasphemy and demanded immediate action on their part.

And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall be put to death. — Leviticus 24:16

It was because of Jesus claim to be God that the Jews picked up stones to kill Him. If it was not the intention of Jesus to convey His assertion that He is God, He would have quickly stated that they had misunderstood Him.
Caiaphas

During Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas He is questioned about His true identity. In the text of Mark chapter 14, the High Priest presses Jesus for an answer regarding who He is. Caiaphas asks Jesus specifically if He is the Son of God, equal to God. Jesus said “I AM,” once again, using the eternal name for God.

But Jesus kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:61-62

The Sanhedrin eventually condemn Jesus to death based upon evidence that He had claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah.

There are 51 places in the Old Testament scriptures where the Messiah is described as God coming to earth as a human being. It should come as no surprise to any New Testament scholar that Jesus would have claimed to Be God, and support this assertion by meeting the requirements set forth by the Old Testament. Jesus understood that He was coming into the world to demonstrate that God had ket His promise to send the world a Savior.
One of the critical errors of Dr. Ehrman and other liberal New Testament scholars is their treatment of the New Testament as though it exists independent of the Old Testament scriptures.

Amongst these errors:

  • Forgetting the Hebrew roots and history that are imperative for a correct understanding of the four gospels
  • Not considering the importance and relevance of Hebrew prophecy in authenticating the true identity of Jesus
  • Not understanding that every word and work that Jesus said and did during His time on earth was carefully determined by Him long before He was born, for the specific purpose of validating that He is the Messiah.
  • Ignorance to the scriptures of the Old Testament which specifically describe the Messiah as a worker of miracles.
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

Jesus said to return and tell John the things that you hear and see. It was by the miracles that Jesus performed that His identity was validated. Only the true Messiah who was Himself God, could do the things that Jesus has done.

The Old Testament is very clear that the Messiah will have a ministry of healing to validate His identity.

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. —Isaiah 35:5-6

The Blind See

  • Predicted by Isaiah 29:18 In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
  • Predicted by Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
  • Fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew 9:29-30 Then Jesus touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened.

The Deaf Hear:

  • Predicted by Isaiah 29:18 
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book…
  • Predicted by Isaiah 35:5 
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
  • Fulfilled by Jesus in Mark 7:32-37 
Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

The Lame Walk

  • Predicted by Isaiah 35:5-6: Then the lame shall leap like a deer…
  • Fulfilled by Jesus in Luke 5:17-25: Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

Jesus Met Every Requirement

Can you imagine a person coming into to 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.

The appearance of Jesus of Nazareth on the earth was for the purpose of providing the proof that the world demands that God does exist. Every attribute that we would expect of God, Jesus has displayed for us in the pages of the four Gospels.

  1. Jesus is perfect in every regard, without sin as attested to by the men who were with Him every day for nearly four years.
  2. Jesus never lies. Everything that He said during His time on earth was the truth—in confirmation with everything that God had already said in His word.
  3. Every sickness, infirmity, and disease, Jesus healed, in fulfillment of the requirements for the Messiah found in the Old Testament.
  4. Jesus exhibited power over the physical laws of the universe, not in violation of these laws, but to suspend their power. He commanded Lazarus who had been dead four days, to come out of the tomb alive. Lazarus eventually died again. When Jesus returns to earth the second time, all sickness and death will be suspended by the same command He exhibited during His first arrival as Messiah.
  5. Jesus displayed permanent power over death by His own resurrection and this event was witnessed by more than 500 eyewitnesses who saw Him alive over a 40 day period of time. There is not a single existing document that substantiates that Jesus was not seen alive as the four gospels attest.
  6. Jesus demonstrated powers that only God could possess by walking across the surface of the water, commanding a storm to calm, and turning water to wine. These abilities require knowledge and mastery over the laws that govern the natural laws of the universe. Only the author of such laws would have the technical knowhow to alter, modify, or suspend their natural course.
  7. In Mark 2:3-12, Jesus displayed the ability to forgive all sins. This is the most important attribute of God that Jesus displayed. In retaining this authority, Jesus provided proof for all those who place their trust in Him that their sins are also forgiven. It is because of sin that we are prohibited from eternal life with God. By the removal of our sins, we are fully fit for heaven where every creature that dwells in the presence of God is perfect. This story is described in detail in the chapter: “Questions,” under the subtitle: “Jesus was a Master Logician.”
People rightfully demand evidence for the existence of God that is observable, yet when they are presented with Jesus who displayed all of the attributes that we would expect of God, they reject Him.

We must ask precisely what a person is searching for in the record of mankind to prove the existence of God? If a Being is described by history who claimed to be God and then presented all of the evidence that would prove His claim, what would the people who saw these events do? What would you do if you saw and heard someone who presented these abilities?

I think we would all agree that the people who saw these things would want others to know what happened. They were aware that what they would write would be so fantastic that they would likely be accused of fraud. If you had seen these things and knew that it was likely that people would not believe that you wrote, what would you do? If it was me, I would try. I would write down everything that I saw and heard and try to let as many people as possible know what had happened.

This is precisely what the historical record indicates.

After Jesus appeared on earth and healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, commanded the paralyzed to walk and the dead to raise, a massive writing frenzy took place. How do we know this? Evidence.

Today, there are 24, 593 copies of the New Testament that are still in existence. From these ancient manuscripts we can completely reconstruct the entire New Testament. These manuscripts came from many different locations all over Asia, by multiple writers. When we compare the text of these early copies to our present New Testament we find that they are virtually identical in every important event and doctrine of Christianity.

Critics have argued that these are merely copies, not the original documents. This is true, there are no original autographs for any ancient document in existence today, secular or religious. No one claims that secular manuscripts are not authentic because they exist today as copies. Only the New Testament is subjected to this impossible requirement.

The facts are that all original manuscripts for every writing of antiquity have been lost to time and decay. These original autographs were written on animals skins or other perishable materials that could not survive the environment and thousands of years.

When we compare the existing manuscripts of the New Testament with the existing manuscripts of secular literature we find that secular manuscripts number in the hundreds while the New Testament manuscripts exist in the tens of thousands.

We must ask as intelligent people, why there are so many copies of the New Testament if there never were any original documents? In order for this massive number of manuscripts to survive for over 2,000 years, they must have been so important that their preservation was a certainty.

We must also ask why there are so many extant copies of the New Testament which describes all of the events that took place with Jesus, if these events never happened? By the sheer numbers that have survived history, we must deduce that there was a certainty at that time that Jesus had done all that is written of Him. This is what the evidence suggests and to these conclusions we must rest.
There is simply no evidence that what is written of Jesus, in the miracles He performed or His resurrection from the dead, that appear not true. In fact, to the opposite; we have nearly 25,000 written manuscripts that have survived 2,000 years which prove that Jesus said and did everything that is written of Him.

It is a fact of history that all events which are myth and not true are later found to be untrue by the passage of time. As these events are examined based upon the evidence, it can easily discerned that they are lies. These facts are usually understood by the relative small number of copies of these documents and a limited distribution of their material.

In the case of the New Testament, we see just the opposite. A massive writing; a massive distribution; a diligent and guarded protection of these documents by the original stewards for two centuries. There has never been a set of manuscripts equal to those of the New Testament, who have survived in such great number and by such tremendous attestation, as those which account for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.

 


NOTES:
1 All of this information is available in the Tractate Avot, Tractate Berachot, Tractate Sanhedrin, Tractate Yevamot and Tractate Eruvin.
2 Tractate Avot 10:1