"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
The evidence that Jesus is real…The New Testament
January 17, 2011Posted by on
By request we have decided to take a like at some of the overwhelming evidence for Jesus. Not just the fact that he existed, but also that he was God in the flesh. This can be a daunting task, so much so, a number of great books have been written on the topic. One that is highly recommended by both KB and I is the book More than a Carpenter. This is a great read that focuses on one man’s search to disprove that Christ existed, and ended up coming to Christ.
To set this up…
Many atheists will say that either Christ didn’t exist (wasn’t even born), or will concede the point that He existed, but was not divine. Most will tell you that the New Testament cannot be counted as historical evidence to support Christ. This is a fascinating argument by atheists because the argument would undercut most, if not all historical events that were documented in antiquity. The truth is that the historical events recorded in the Gospels, and the New Testament are the most documented events in antiquity. Atheists choose to deny this truth…either out of ignorance or plain stubbornness. We simply ask that atheists apply the same standards to the Bible as they would to other historical documents.
Now consider this for one moment. The original dates of the New Testament writings were between 50 – 100 AD. Some atheist’s will disregard the historicity of the
Gospels and Acts because they were not written at the time of Christ. However, I would submit that this is simply a red herring. Take for example the Events of World War II. One of the most celebrated books about World War, Band of Brothers, was written in 1992. Using interviews of the men, Stephen Ambrose was able to compile an excellent retelling of the events of Easy Company. Band of Brothers chronicled the acts of the men of Easy Company. It detailed some of their conversations, their emotions, and their actions. I don’t believe there is anyone who would doubt that the events, or conversations documented in this book were not real. But there is a catch. This book was written some 40 years after the fact.
Christ was crucified in approximately 33 AD. If we were to apply the same time frame for Band of Brothers that would put that book being written at about 73 AD, which is smack dab in the middle of the time-frame when the New Testament was being written. History books, in general, are written several years after the fact. There are books being written about US Presidents… 200 years after the fact. All are generally accepted as being historically accurate. Remember, the New Testament was written within 20 – 70 years of the events it records. This is the equivalence of reading a new history book about, Ronald Reagan’s Presidency (20 years), The Vietnam War (40 years), The Korea War (57 years), and World War 2 (65 years).
Keep in mind this is only a set up to future posts. Our goal with this post was to demonstrate that the timing of the writing of the New Testament, is not that dissimilar to our current history books.