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“Evidence” “Science” “Proof”
Alyeska said: “I don't see enough evidence that God exists therefore [therefore] I don't believe in him.” This is part of the problem; people believe that evidence only constitutes “scientific” evidence. Someone else said that what I posted didn’t constitute “scientific evidence that the Deity exists,” therefore, God, apparently, doesn’t exist. When people hear the word “evidence,” they seem to correlate it to the “scientific method,” or, empiricism. I will illustrate from a previous debate a few years back. Ralson said: Atheist to Christian: "Prove to me that God exists." Christian to Atheist: "Prove to me that God does not exist." Now, the atheist can never have all knowledge and be everywhere in the past to present all at once. So the atheist can never disprove God’s existence. However, the theist, with only one percent of one percent of total knowledge, can prove God’s existence. How? You might ask. Because there could be enough positive evidence in what we do know to prove a point. It may not be a hundred percent proof, but it would be a preponderance of evidence. However, Alyeska needs negative evidence to prove your point (the ball is in your court), and this you cannot attain because you are neither omnipotent nor omniscient [God, in other words… you would have to be that which you are trying to deny]. The question then is: What evidence do you need? Or better yet: What kind of evidence? Can Science help? Lets see… the scientific method merely shows that if miracles did occur in the past, that science (as currently defined) could not prove, or disprove, their occurrence. You cannot find out what Napoleon did at the battle of Austerlitz by asking him to come and fight it again in a laboratory with the same combatants, the same terrain, the same weather, and in the same age. You have to go to the records. We have not, in fact, proved that science excludes miracles: we have only proved that the question of miracles, like the innumerable other questions [of history], excludes laboratory treatment. And Christianity claims to be a historical belief. The resurrection of Jesus was an historical event, one that cannot be repeated in the laboratory. So how, then, do we deal with the historic claims of Christianity? Like any other historical event, we go to the records. "What are the distinctive sources for our beliefs about the past? Most of the beliefs we have about the past come to us by the testimony of other people. I wasn’t present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I didn’t see my father fight in the [S]econd [W]orld [W]ar. I have been told about these events by sources that I take to be reliable. The testimony of others is generally the main source of our beliefs about the past…. So all our beliefs about the past depend on testimony, or memory, or both.” (Philosophy for Dummies, by Tom Morris, pp. 57-58) “In advanced societies specialization in the gathering and production of knowledge and its wider dissemination through spoken and written testimony is a fundamental socioepistemic fact, and a very large part of each persons body of knowledge and belief stems from testimony.” (The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, edited by Robert Audi[2nd ed.], p. 909) “But it is clear that most of what any given individual knows comes from others; palpably with knowledge of history, geography, or science, more subtly with knowledge about every day facts such as when we were born..” (The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich, p. 869) So when Shadow Warchief says, “I haven't seen a single shred of evidence for the existence of God,” is he defining what evidence is and how we get knowledge about past events, and then going to the sources to see if they are credible or not? From this past conversation the point is made that evidence isn’t always empirical. And until recently, and still in most cases, eyewitness testimony is the end all in swaying minds in the court. In fact Texas is trying to pass a law

2 that if three people are witness to a murder they get a fast lane to the electric chair. In other words, eyewitness testimony is powerful. This is what the Gospels purport to be. In fact, there are four witnesses to the events to the life of Jesus. Most reject these eyewitness testimonies on the premise that miracles are impossible; this, however, is neither the empirical nor the historical methods in action. Now we all know that one of the reasons people lie is to get fame or fortune – usually both. So one hypothesis is that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the other disciples “created” the Christian religion for gain. This would require that twelve men conspired together to create a false story; they lied in other words. People have died believing a lie to be true, however, I know of no one dying, willingly, for a cause that they knew to be a lie, let alone 11 men. I can trust the apostle’s testimonies because they died martyrs’ deaths because of two things believed: A. The resurrection of Christ; B. And their belief in him as the Son of God (which in Jewish culture was claiming to be God, which Jesus clearly did) They were tortured and flogged, and they finally faced death by some of the cruelest methods then known: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Peter – crucified Andrew – crucified Matthew – the sword John – natural James, son of Alphaeus – crucified Philip – crucified Simon – crucified Thaddaeus – killed by arrows James, brother of Jesus – stoned

10. Thomas – spear thrust 11. Bartholomew – crucified 12. James, son of Zebedee – the sword. Remember that Clement of Rome, Ignatius (martyred), Papias, and Polycarp were contemporaries of some of the apostles. In fact, John discipled Polycarp (martyred) who discipled Iranaeus (suffered as a confessor for his faith) who discipled Hippolytus. (List taken from More Than a Carpenter, and He Walked Among Us: Evidence for the Historical Jesus, by josh McDowell.) So, in a court of law, profit or fame is no motive for the continued lie – being that they died for the “supposed” lie. The Romans could have easily put a stop to this growing movement by simply getting a confession from one of the twelve or subsequent church fathers that this whole thing was a hoax. The Roman authorities could have produced Jesus body as well to end this quickly spreading “cult.” However, Paul states emphatically that over 500 witnesses saw Jesus alive after his death on the cross. There are other items of interest showing that the testimony of the gospels is true and trustworthy. Most simply reject it out of hand due to a prior commitment to a materialist belief, that is, all that exists is matter (and some would say motion [dialectical materialist]). Another interesting item that historians make note of is that at least four generations for a myth to get started from the actual historical point. For instance, people may say that Elvis is not dead, however, there are eyewitnesses still

3 alive today that can confirm that he is indeed dead. And if someone today said that he is Elvis, it can be refuted. The same applies to Jesus’ day and the gospel accounts. All of the contemporary attacks against the gospels place the date of their writing at about A.D. 190 to A.D. 300. However, tomb stone inscriptions dating to about A.D. 41 have inscriptions about Jesus’ deity, thus doing away with the theory that the myth of Jesus being God was a late evolution (myth) created by the early church late in the second-century. Almost all historians – secular and Biblical – date I Corinthians 15 at no later that A.D. 55, with a date closer to A.D. 47. This was taken from an earlier “formula” (well-known, passed on saying) placing the earliest creed of the Christian faith at about A.D. 40. Allusions to Luke were turned up in some Nag Hammadi papyri that are dated to A.D. 49, not to mention the Magdalene papyri (of Matthew) dating in at A.D. 55. Within the first 250 years the New Testament alone has over 24,000 manuscripts, papyri’s and fragments of the gospel record. By contrast Caesar’s “Gallic Wars” has a total to date of 10 copies (not whole ones either). The spread between the New Testament being written (earliest allusion to Luke is A.D. 49, the earliest creedal formula [I Corinthians 15] is A.D. 47, and the earliest fragment of Matthew is a Coptic version dated to A.D. 55. It was taken from an earlier Greek copy that predates A.D. 55) and the time the event happened is less than 20 years; by contrast, the “Gallic Wars” is 1,000 years. The same holds for Livy, Plato, Tacitus, Homer, Herodotus, etc.!) I will post here a paper I wrote for a friends class, I it long, but was meant to disprove the professors belief that Christ being worshipped as God was a late myth dating to the middle/end of the second to third-century. The professor believed as well that the New Testament was written at the end of the second-century. Two propositions easily refuted, I will include part of the introduction here, and then post the a portion of the paper: “The paper, as a whole, is merely a positive response to claims made inside a classroom full of unsuspecting students who will undoubtedly – at least for some – walk away from this class with a negative view of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Thinking all the while that a learned woman of religious history has proven her points by history and the facts. As one reads my paper, they will come to realize that this is in fact not the case, and that many will falter in there faith on college campuses not because of the facts of history, but because of a rewriting of them and the driving bias behind such rewriting.”
Nag Hammadi Understanding the political motives behind modern feminism and its attacks on the Christian faith will help shed some light on how the modern feminists endeavor to interpret religious history and theology. A feminist author that has delved into the early Gnostic tradition and writings is Elaine Pagels. She uses this understanding of Gnostics to attack, and ultimately reject, Christianity. She states that, for one thing, the Christian faith is patriarchal and should be rejected for that alone, this will all be dealt with herein. For many, many years, all that was understood about Gnosticism came through primarily the writings of the early church fathers, more specifically, Irenaeus 1 (died about A.D. 200), Tertullian (died about A.D. 220), Hippolytus 2 (died about A.D. 236),3 and Origen (died about A.D. 254). This is no longer the case, as the Gnostic writings have recently come to light again due to an interesting archaeological find at Nag Hammadi (300 miles south of Cairo in the Nile River region of Egypt, in 1945).4 The 52 surviving5 Coptic writings are firmly placed from A.D. 350-400, based on the type of script and papyrus utilized. However, some of these documents were most probably taken from earlier Greek versions that are, as of yet, not to be found. It is here where the scholarly consensus on the dates of these earlier Greek versions comes to an end.

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It is worth noting that Irenaeus was discipled by Polycarp, who was in turn discipled by the Apostle John. Hippolytus was discipled by Irenaeus… this direct lineage to an apostle is important because the early church fathers were in possession of not only written records of the disciples but were also contemporaries of persons who personally knew the apostles and forwarded their understanding of the gospels and who Jesus was (is). Josh McDowell & Bill Wilson, He Walked Among Us: Evidence for the Historical Jesus, Here’s Life Publishers, San Bernardino: CA [1988], p. 89. 3 Trent C. Butler, gen. ed., Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville: TN [1991], Gnosticism 4 Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, College Press, Joplin: MS [1996], p. 101. 5 The Nag Hammadi codices were found by an Arab peasant, though, they remained obscure for several years due to several bizarre occurrences, including murder, black market sales and the destruction of some of the findings. footnote #4.

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The Gospel of Thomas, one of these documents found at Nag Hammadi, is, by far, the most well known “gospel” of Gnostic tradition. This popularity can, in part, be attributed to the Jesus Seminar6 and more recently the movie Stigmata. Some scholars theorize that the date of the Greek version that predated the Coptic version of the Gospel of Thomas is around A.D. 140-200. This date is important to some because of various theories promulgated by the likes of Marcus Borge, 7 Robert Funk,8 John Dominic Crossan,9 Elaine Pagels,10 and others. Why this early date is important to these authors mentioned is that they all demand a late date for the canonical Gospels and the theological understanding of who Jesus was understood to be. As an example, in Pagels book The Gnostic Gospels, the thesis is put forward that the second-century church had a panoply of documents and theologies to choose from, saying in effect that both the Gnostic and orthodox traditions circulated alongside each other. She goes on to say that because canonical, ecclesiastical, theological issues and views hadn’t been settled yet, a struggle ensued and the orthodox views won out over the others and became predominate. Pagels makes the point that rather than distinguishing itself as the superior historical and theological view, orthodoxy achieved victory largely on political and social grounds. Thus Pagels asks: Why were these texts buried – and why have they remained virtually unknown for nearly 2,000 years? Their suppression as banned documents, and their burial on the cliff at Nag Hammadi, it turns out, were both part of a struggle critical for the formation of early Christianity. The Nag Hammadi texts, and others like them, which circulated at the beginning of the Christian era , were denounced as heresy by orthodox Christians in the middle of the second century. We have long known that many early followers of Christ were condemned by other Christians as heretics, but nearly all we knew about them came from what their opponents wrote attacking them.11 Is there a response to this controversy? Only for those interested in a historical search and not so interested in their presupposed biases or ideologies. One supposition that is current between all the authors mentioned above is that the Biblical Gospels were written around the same date as the supposed Greek versions of the Gnostic writings. For instance, “…the Gnostic holy books must be assigned such an early date that Christianity itself may be seen as no more than a ‘branch of gnosticism.’”12 A late date for the Christian documents is the one joining influence between all those who put a heavy emphasis on the Gnostic documents. However, this can easily be shown to be a mistaken belief. This brings us to another interesting archaeological find, which involves some caves at Qumran, a small area off the shores of the Dead Sea in Palestine. 13 The Dead Sea Scrolls, as they are popularly known, has shed some light on just how early the Biblical Gospels were circulating. Without going into much detail, I will lay out some of the reasoning (evidence) behind the rejection of
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A very scholarly response to the Jesus Seminar is the book edited by Michael J. Wilkins & J. P. Moreland, Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, Zondervan, Grang Rapids: MI [1995]. 7 The God We Never Knew, Harper, San Francisco: CA [1997]; The Lost Gospel Q: The Original Sayings of Jesus, Ulysses Press, Berkley: CA [1996]. 8 The Gospel of Jesus: According to the Jesus Seminar,: Polebridge Press, Santa Rosa: CA [1999]; The Acts of Jesus: What Did Jesus Really Do? Harper, San Francisco: CA [1998]; Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? Harper, San Francisco: CA [1996] 9 The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, Harper, San Francisco: CA [1993]; Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, Harper, San Francisco: CA [1995]. 10 The Gnostic Gospels, Vintage Books, New York: NY [1989]; The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters,: Trinity Press International, Harrisburg: PA [1992]. 11 Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, Vintage, New York: NY [1989], p. xviii. 12 Andre Nataf, Dictionary of the Occult, Wordsworth Editions, Bordas,: Paris [1988], p. 37. 13 Douglas Groothuis, Jesus In an Age of Controversy, Harvest House, Eugene: OR [1996], p.152.

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the Gnostic tradition and writings while accepting the “superior historical and theological view” that orthodoxy rightly deserves. This, then, would deal a deathblow to the various interpretations about the importance of Gnosticism, not the least of which is the thesis that orthodoxy “achieved [its] victory largely on political and social grounds,” which seems hard to swallow considering the emphasis in placing women in positions of authority, thus challenging the patriarchy in Orthodox Judaism and Roman culture (this will be elucidated on shortly) Too Young to Date Not only did the Dead Sea Scrolls yield portions of, and even entire books from the Old Testament, the scrolls offered up some New Testament fragments as well. 14 (The following chart uses the numbering system established for manuscripts, for example, “7Q5” means fragment 5 from Qumran cave 7:) Mark 4:28___7Q6?___Dated to A.D. 50 Mark 6:48___7Q15___A.D. ? Mark 6:52,53___7Q5___A.D. 50 Mark 12:17___7Q7___A.D. 50 Acts 27:38___7Q6?___A.D. 60 Romans 5:11,12___7Q9___A.D. 70[+] 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1-3___7Q4___A.D. 70[+] James 1:23,24___7Q8___A.D. 70[+]15, 16 There are also illusions to the Gospel of Luke in 4Q246, which date to A.D. 49. 17 A little-known papyrus of Matthew has opened the trained eye as well. The Magdalen Papyrus, named after the university that houses it, corroborates three traditions: that St. Matthew actually wrote the Gospel bearing his name; that he wrote it within a generation of Jesus’ death (dated to A.D. 60); and that the gospel stories are true.18 This portion of Matthew is a Coptic translation; the original Aramaic version pre-dates this, obviously, placing Matthew around A.D. 50. Not to mention that almost all Bible critics place Paul’s first epistle at A.D. 52-57, 19 and the creed in that epistle (1 Cor. 15:3) is dated about ten years earlier than that, “Paul had not invented it but had been the one who transferred to them what he had received” (4:1).20 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 reads:

“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me —that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles. After that, he was seen by more than five hundred of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.” (NLT)21
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Jeffery L. Sheler, Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discoveries Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures , Harper, San Francisco: CA [1999]. 15 Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, Grand Rapids: MI [1999], p. 188. 16 Grant R. Jeffrey, Jesus: The Great Debate, Frontier Research, Toronto: Ontario [1999], pp.66-68. 17 Grant R. Jeffrey, The Signature of God: Astonishing Biblical Discoveries, Tyndale House, Wheaton: IL [1996], pp. 100-103. 18 Carsten Peter Thiede & Matthew d’Ancona, The Jesus Papyrus: The Most Sensational Evidence on the Origins of the Gospels Since the Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Galilee Doubleday, New York: NY [1996], back cover. 19 Norman Geisler & Paul Hoffman, Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe, Baker Books, Grand Rapid: MI [2001], p. 158. 20 Carson, D. A. (1994). New Bible commentary : 21st century edition. Rev. ed. of: The new Bible commentary. 3rd ed. / edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970. (4th ed.) (1 Co 15:1). Leicester, England; Downers Grove: IL, USA: Inter-Varsity Press. 21 Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (1 Co 15:3-7). Tyndale House, Wheaton: IL [1997].

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“Handed on to you … what I had received” (NRSV) is the language of what scholars call “traditioning:”22 Jewish teachers would pass on their teachings to their students, who would in turn pass them on to their own students. The students could take notes, but they delighted especially in oral memorization and became quite skilled at it; memorization was a central feature of ancient education. The early Christian community had already memorized, codified, and passed on creeds within about ten years of Jesus death, this is very important. Evidence of this comes also from early Christian tombs with reference to who Jesus was understood to be, further confirming the Gospels. 23 One tomb I wish to focus on, as an example (there are many others 24), is one found by professor Sukenik as reported in American Journal of Archaeology: “When the ossuary with four crosses on its sides was found there was not the slightest possible doubt as to the antiquity of the cross [marks], because it was clear that these [ossuaries] had not been touched from the moment they had been placed inside until the day we took them out…. I noticed the inscription on one of the ossuaries in which the name ‘Jesus’ was clearly discernable, followed here not by the usual [second] name, but by a description or an exclamation.” 25
After the name “Jesus,” the exclamation or dedication read “y’ho,” meaning “Jehovah” or “the Lord.” The full inscription of the ossuary reads: “[To] Jesus, the Lord.” In light of the A.D. 42 date for the sealing of this tomb, the presence of this dedication to “Jesus, the Lord” attests to the Christians’ acceptance of Jesus Christ as God within ten years of the death and resurrection of Jesus. These are merely a few of the many evidences for an early date for the Christian faith. This is important because most historians observe that in order for a historical event to be metamorphosed into myth, it needs to be at least three to four generations removed from the time it occurred whereas the New Testament is within one generation of the actual event. New Testament Documents vs. Ancient Documents The earliest partial copy of Caesar’s The Gallic Wars, which historians accept, dates 1,000 years after it was written. The first complete copy of the Odyssey, by Homer, dates to 2,200 years after it was written. When the interval between the writing of the New Testament and earliest copies is compared to other ancient works, the New Testament proves to be much closer to the time of the original. There are over 5,500 Greek copies of the Gospels; this is far and away the most we have of any ancient work. Many ancient writings have been transmitted to us by only a handful of manuscripts, but these are accepted as reliable commentary on the events they describe ( Catullus – three copies, the earliest copy being dated at 1,600 years after it was written; Herodotus – eight copies, the first being dated to 1,300 years later). 26 Not only do the New Testament documents have more manuscript evidence and close time interval (which no other writing of antiquity shares) between the original writing and its earliest copy, but they were also translated into several other languages at an early date. Translation of a document into another language was rare in the ancient world, so this is an added plus for the New Testament as one could compare for errors between the many versions and copies. This ability to compare and search

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Craig S. Keener, IVP Background Commentary New Testament, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove: IL [1993], 1 Cor. 15:3. See for instance: Josh McDowell, More than a Carpenter, Living Books, Wheaton: IL [1977]. Chapters 1 & 2; Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, Nashville: TN [1999], chapters 5-10. 24 Grant R. Jeffrey, Jesus: The Great Debate, Frontier Research, Toronto: Ontario [1999], pp.79-92. 25 Quoted in the Jerusalem Christian Review, vol. 7, issue 6 26 Josh McDowell, More than a Carpenter, Living Books, Wheaton: IL [1977], pp. 47-49

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for grammatical errors within the plethora of early New Testament text is nonexistent in other ancient documents27 – Homer’s Iliad [somewhat] excluded. The number of copies of the versions of the Greek New Testament is in excess of 18,000, with possibly as many as 25,000. This is further evidence that helps us establish the New Testament text. Even if we did not posses the 5,500[+] Greek manuscripts or the almost 25,000 copies of the versions, the text of the New Testament could still be reproduced within 250 years from its composition! How? Merely by the writings of the early Christians in commentaries, letters, and the like. These ancient writers quote the biblical text, thus giving us another witness to the text of the New Testament. John Burgon has catalogued more than 86,000 citations by the early church fathers that cite different parts of the New Testament. Thus we observe that there is so much more evidence for the reliability of the New Testament text than any other comparable writings in the ancient world. We can reconstruct the entire New Testament just with these early quotes, except for eleven verses. They were quoting from manuscripts that were written prior to their citing them, obviously then, exemplifying the plethora of widely distributed copies of the early Gospels. 28

The information above does away with the belief of modern critics (like those of the “Jesus Seminar”) who say that Mark was the first gospel written about A.D. 80, ending with John in about A.D. 180. This does away with the gospel of Q as well the belief that Christ – worshipped as God – was a late myth. Some of the reasons that the gospels are accepted as trustworthy eyewitness accounts are as follows: • • • • The changed demeanor of the apostles from cowardly to bold witnesses to the resurrection after meeting the resurrected Jesus; The fact that they died horrible deaths, showing that they really saw the resurrected Jesus, as they had nothing to gain by doing so and everything to lose; The early dates of the gospels, thus not allowing time for a myth to start; The early church was Jewish and was based primarily in the immediate vicinity of the death of Jesus. All the Roman government or local officials needed was a body (or confession) to stop the insane claims of His followers; The fact that the early church fathers lived at the same time as these 500 [+] witnesses who saw the resurrected Christ and his ascension ( believers: Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Papius, Polycarp, Quadratus.) (Non-believers [some were contemporaries]: Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, Emperor Trajan, Talmudic writings [A.D. 70-200], Lucian, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Gospel of Truth, the Acts of Pontius Pilate.) Even if we did not have the New Testament or Christian writings, we would be able to conclude from such non-Christian writings as Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger that: 1) Jesus was a Jewish teacher; 2) many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms; 3) he was rejected by the Jewish leaders; 4) he was crucified under Pontius Pilot in the reign of Tiberius; 5) despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by A.D. 64; 6) all kinds of people
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F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Leicester, England; InterVarsity Press [1943/1998]. Some good books that elucidate on this matter are: John Warwick Montgomery, History and Christianity: A Vigorous, Convincing Presentation of the Evidence for a Historical Jesus, Bethany House, Minneapolis: MN [1964]; Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith, Bethany House, Minneapolis: MN [2001]; Gary R. Habermas, The Verdict of History: Conclusive Evidence for the Life of Jesus, Thomas Nelson, Nashville: TN [1988]; Norman L. Geisler & Paul K. Hoffman, Why I am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe, Baker Books, Grand Rapids: MI [2001]; William Lane Craig, Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston: NY [1989]; Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, InterVarsity Press, Wheaton [1987]; Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, Nashville: TN [1999]

8 from the cities and countryside – men and women, slave and free – worshipped him as God by the beginning of the second century (100 A.D.) (Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, by Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland [general editors], pp. 221-222) • Every turn of the archaeologists spade confirms the Bible more and more – the New Testament alone has over twenty-five thousand archaeological sites alone. Persons, places, and things have been shown to be accurate in these documents… adding top the validity of their testimony as historical documents. The first witness’ to find Jesus rose were women. Women’s testimony on any issue was not admissible during this time in history and culture. If the apostles were to fabricate a story and want it to be taken as true, the last thing they would have done were use women as the bearers of this truth.

All these and other evidences prove that the New Testament is a reliable history of actual events… and the only reason to reject them is a commitment to a presupposed bias, such as philosophical naturalism.

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