As noted previously, there are many world religions with many different beliefs, but no matter how well-intentioned they cannot all be right, but rather, are in fact mutually exclusive. Only Christianity is deeply rooted in actual historical lifetime events and actions of an individual person that actually walked on earth. The following outlines all the evidence that supports the life and Lordship of Jesus Christ, including archaeology, historical events, the reliability of the bible, numerous documented miracles and prophecies, the resurrection, the subsequent actions of the Apostles, and much more. No matter what your current beliefs, please review this material with an open mind. You can also view the thought-provoking video HERE.
The numerous miracles that Jesus performed were well documented and were based on extensive eye-witness testimony from numerous Christian and non-Christian sources.
Some of His most notable miracles include turning water into wine, walking on water, calming a stormy sea, feeding 5,000 men and their families, raising Lazarus from the dead, curing the blind and the lame, and causing the disciples nets to fill with a great many fish.
It is very noteworthy that the numerous hostile witnesses and enemies of Jesus did not question His miracles actually happened. Examples include the chief priest and Pharisees who did not dispute numerous miracles such as the raising of Lazarus, etc.
There are many non-Christian sources verifying the overall existence, life, and reputation of Jesus such as the Antiquities, Josephus, the Talmud, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Thallus.
There were well over 100 very specific messianic prophecies in the old testament about Jesus
(according to Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, there are 191 predictions in the Old Testament about the coming of Christ) that were made between 800 and 167 years before his birth, and that were precisely fulfilled by Jesus. Examples include:
The odds are so astronomical that all these prophecies could be fulfilled randomly that they are impossible. Mathematician Peter Stoner did the math and concluded the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled was one chance in a hundred million billion. He also computed the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion. For more details see https://tinyurl.com/usjorcz .
After the resurrection, the Apostles and others experienced an incredible transformation which motivated them to go to the far reaches of the earth to spread the word of the gospel. This transformation was further inspired by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Per commentary by John Gill
"Through this baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, the apostles became more knowing, and had a greater understanding of the mysteries of the Gospel, and were more qualified to preach it to people of all nations and languages” (See https://tinyurl.com/yxnbhglo ). The Apostles then defended the resurrection before the intimidating Jewish Sanhedrin - they were convinced beyond any doubt in their minds. Many of them would not waiver and gave up their lives in defense of the truth they witnessed.
According to tradition and the Bible, eight of the Apostles died as Martyrs . For example Peter and Andrew were crucified (Peter upside down) by the Emperor Nero, Andrew is said to have been tied and then nailed to a cross for two days in Greece; according to legend (as reported by National Geographics), Matthew was stabbed in the back by a swordsman sent by King Hertacus; the Marthoma Christians in India claim Thomas died when pierced by four soldiers; and James, the son of Alphaeus, was stoned to death when preaching in Jerusalem (as reported by Josephus, a non-christian historian). See https://tinyurl.com/y6bjnfdp and https://tinyurl.com/yy7hpfgx . Who would be willing to suffer and die such horrible deaths for something that was a lie?
In addition to all the above, the following supports the conclusion that Jesus Christ is God:
Self-Declaration - Jesus declared Himself to be the Son of God as evidenced by numerous historical records including the Dead Sea Scrolls and non-biblical period historians such as Josephus. Biblical declarations include John 8:59, Mat 22:44, Heb 1:10-12, Mat 26:65- 66, Rev 1:8, Rev 22:13. As author C.S Lewis stated, Jesus was either a lunatic, a madman (or something worse), or he was God. See full quote and additional C S Lewis quotes at https://tinyurl.com/y2xet5n7 .
Biblical Declarations - made by the Prophets of the Old Testament and authors of the New Testament utilizing the word 'Theos' to name or identify Christ and 'Kyrios' to address Christ as Lord.
Biblical Prophecies - as noted above there are numerous specific claims to events and circumstances forecast by Old Testament writers correlating those claims to the existence of a Messiah sent by God.
Individual Specific Revelations - Jesus and the words of scripture are the revelation of God, which overwhelms individuals with life changing spiritual manifestations when one truly believes.
The Bible has an amazing continuity from beginning to end, in spite of the fact that there are dozens of different authors over hundreds of years.
Archaeological evidence supports the historical accuracy of the four gospels. For example, Cohn Hemer painstakingly identified 84 facts in the final 16 chapters of Luke’s book of Acts that have been archaeologically verified.
Over 25,000 sites in biblical lands have been discovered by Christians and non- Christians, establishing the accuracy of numerous bible details – examples include Hittites, Moses' Handwriting, Sodom & Gomorrah, Floors of Ancient Homes, and many, many more.
There are over 5,600 known partial & complete manuscript copies of the New Testament. If one adds over 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts and 9,300 other early versions, the total number of copies approaches 25,000.
There are over 80,000 New Testament quotations in the separate writings of the early church disciples and apostles. With these, all but eleven verses of the bible could be reconstructed within 150-200 years from the time of Christ.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947, date back about 1,000 years earlier than other old testament manuscripts. This copy was essentially the same as all the other copies of the bible. This proves the accuracy of the copy writers of that time.
All the copies are extraordinarily consistent. With 99% of minor variants of no significance and the remaining 1% not of doctrinal significance.
The records of the New Testament are vastly more numerous, dated much earlier, and are considerably more accurate in their text compared to other ancient writings.
The New Testament was also written very close in time to the actual events. The original Gospels date AD 40 to AD 70, within 15-20 years of the events of Jesus life. This was extraordinarily short compared to many other historic events.
The Gospel writers had extensive accurate knowledge of the areas, names, and events they wrote about, making it clear they were there or relied on people that were there.
Undesignated coincidences in each of the Gospels - as well as with other non-Christian writers (such as Josephus) providing new or complementary information about various events - suggest separate, credible eyewitness testimony from four different sources.
Trusting the Bible for all the above reasons is critical as it is the definitive source of revelation about why and how we were created, God's character and will, how God expects us to live our lives, confirmation of why things are the way they are, and a hope for the future of those who believe.
See the following for additional information on Bible Reliability:
One final important note. In today’s modern culture the Jesus of historic Christianity has come under increasingly fierce attack. From college classrooms to bestselling books to the Internet, scholars and popular writers are seeking to debunk the traditional Christ. They’re capturing the public’s imagination with radical new portraits of Jesus that bear scant resemblance to the time-honored picture embraced by the bible and the church. Lee Strobel's book “The Case For the Real Jesus” (see link in Footnote below) very clearly addresses these questions and, after an extensive evaluation, the author concludes “my journey yielded a fresh and powerful affirmative case for the overall reliability of the four Gospels, Jesus’ fulfillment of the messianic predictions, and his resurrection. For me, it was further confirmation that the traditional view of Christ is amply supported by a firm foundation of historical facts.” Similarly Anne Rice concludes: “What gradually came clear to me was that many of the skeptical arguments—arguments that insisted most of the Gospels were suspect, for instance, or written too late to be eyewitness accounts—lacked coherence…. Arguments about Jesus himself were full of conjecture. Some books were no more than assumptions piled upon assumptions. Absurd conclusions were reached on the basis of little or no data at all.”
The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel (Book & DVD’s): https://tinyurl.com/y2jen976
The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Faith-Journalist-Investigates-Christianity/dp/0310339294
Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace: https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective-Investigates/dp/1434704696
Immerse: Messiah (Immerse the Reading bible): Volume 1 https://www.tyndale.com/sites/immersebible/messiah/
The 10 Things You Should Know About the Creation vs. Evolution Debate by Ron Rhodes: https://tinyurl.com/y3ws4pvl
Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics by Ron Rhodes: https://tinyurl.com/y5pqj2y2
Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know; Wayne Grudem: https://www.amazon.com/Christian-Beliefs-Twenty-Basics-Should-ebook/dp/B000S1M0FY
The Case for Jesus; Biblical & Historical Evidence for Christ; Brant Pitre: https://tinyurl.com/y5bru7n9
The Case For The Real Jesus by Lee Strobel: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Real-Jesus-Journalist-Investigates/dp/031024210X (See Conclusions in particular)
What Does The Bible Say About; Ron Rhodes: https://www.amazon.com/What-Bible-About-Easy-Understand/dp/0736919031
Can we trust the Gospels; Peter J. Williams
Movie: Kingdom in Time: https://tinyurl.com/y67twe9f
Latin Vulgate: https://vulgate.org/
Christianity According to the Bible by Ron Rhodes: https://smile.amazon.com/Christianity-According-Bible-Separating-Cultural-ebook/dp/B00ADJSPI2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1595344892&sr=8-2