Proof Jesus Actually Existed

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Proof Jesus Actually Existed

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Our modern culture is replete with new ideas about the Bible—especially about its main character, Jesus of Nazareth. Popular movies and vocal detractors gush out the latest historical relativism, spawned by the widely popular theory of evolution that dominates science curricula. Historical relativism says we can't know for sure what happened in the past, so we're merely left with differing opinions or interpretations of these events. Some have expressed this kind of thinking as "You've got your truth, and I've got mine."

A trustworthy source

A good place to start when it comes to proving that Jesus really existed is to prove that the Bible can be trusted. Written by about 40 different authors over a span of some 1,500 years, this work consistently reflects the mind of God. As time marches across its pages, its themes of love, law, mercy, obedience and a God who wants every human being to be saved remain constant. The harmony of all these principles through multiple authors over a span of 1,500 years makes it unique in the world's literary history.

In addition to the way the Bible was written, there is much more proof that what the Bible says is true. Fulfilled prophecy—accurate news about people and nations far in advance of actually happening—prove that the writing of the Bible was guided by One who was supreme in power and intelligence, able to bring to pass what He foretold. On another front, archaeological discoveries have repeatedly verified portions of the Bible that were previously considered fables by unbelievers.

Still another powerful testimony of Jesus' existence and ministry is the fact that the apostles were eyewitnesses of Jesus' death and resurrection. These men wrote of their experiences and gave their lives in service to Jesus and the ministry He instructed them to fulfill—all suffering persecution and most, in the end, dying as martyrs for what they obviously knew to be true. Would they have shown such devotion to a lie?

Details of these proofs and more verification can be found in our free booklet Is the Bible True?

Examine the evidence

In addition to the Bible's internal proof of its authenticity, Lee Strobel provides further evidence in his book The Case for the Real Jesus (2007) that the Jesus of the Bible did indeed exist.

Addressing the challenges of modern revisionist history such as those offered by the liberal scholars of the Jesus Seminar (who question the authenticity of Jesus' sayings and even the authors of the Gospel accounts), Strobel quotes one of the most prolific Bible scholars, Dr. Craig Evans (author or editor of more than 50 books about the Bible).

When asked about the conclusions of the Jesus Seminar and the claim of 16 additional gospels not included in the Bible, Evans states: "This is a product of a modern agenda—a politically correct, multicultural agenda motivated by sympathy for a marginalized group. It's the attitude that says diversity is always good, truth is negotiable and every opinion is equally valid. The question is 'What really did happen in the first century? What is the evidence? What are the facts?'" (p. 34).

Strobel then convincingly answers six challenges to the real Jesus in his well-documented book as he brings credible scholars to the table to challenge the detractors.

In one instance, Strobel quotes Daniel Wallace, Ph.D., a renowned expert on textual criticism, who states: "Quite simply, we have more witnesses to the text of the New Testament than to any other ancient Greek or Latin literature. It's really an embarrassment of riches!" (pp. 82-83). In several languages, including Greek, Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian and so on, we have 25,000 to 30,000 early handwritten copies of the New Testament attesting to its authenticity.

To prove to yourself the validity of the Bible, I suggest that you pick up a Bible and read what it says instead of just reading what others say it says. You will find some startling claims and learn about the meaning and purpose of life. (To help you understand what you read, we offer many free booklets and an online Bible commentary)

We live in a world growing increasingly more cynical about truth. Almost 2,000 years ago, the Bible revealed an amazing challenge from a Roman leader to a Carpenter from Galilee. "Pilate therefore said to Him, 'Are You a king then?' Jesus answered, 'You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.' Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?' And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, 'I find no fault in Him at all'" (John 18:37-38).

The proof that Jesus is real is readily available for those willing to look. Why not prove for yourself that what the Bible says is true and start building a relationship with this King? VT