We have all been in a church at some point. Maybe your mind, like mine, has wandered at some point and you said to yourself: “The church building is real and the rituals are tangible, there is a real text, a budget, offices and equipment. But how do we know the original beliefs upon which these are founded weren’t fairy tales? How do we know the Bible is not a myth?”
In other words, how do we know the accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Red Sea, David and Goliath, Elijah calling down fire on the prophets of Baal, Jesus’ resurrection and many others really happened?
Well, we might first mention the Bible itself deals head on with the issue in II Peter 1:16: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” The verse is written with a sober authority that to puts the burden of proof on the skeptic to disprove it. How can Peter say we are not following cleverly devised tales?
“Tales” here as Peter uses the term means “cunningly devised fables”. The backdrop is the pagan mystery religions and the mythology of Greece and Rome. The wider audience which Peter addressed were Gentiles and were familiar with these “tales”. Many saw through the phony mystery religions and were fatigued by their empty sensationalism. This is one evidence why Christianity was different and took root so quickly. People were hungry for something true and reliable.
When people accuse the Bible as myth, they mean myth or legend in the fiction sense. But myth can mean someone has taken on legandary status because of original acts of heroism. When we say “Michael Jordan is a legend in the game of basketball”, we mean he is of mythical proportions in light of the great things he did. His reputation was based on actual history. So legend can be based on reality. Does that mean only some people today do some great things but nobody in antiquity ever did? And if they did some great things, how would we know if they weren’t recorded through the historical method? The Bible does just that as an accurate work of history, not just a “religious” manual.
Peter addressed those who were skeptical about the greatness of Christ in the 1st century, which resulted in very early testimony about the reliability of Scripture. And Peter had a credible advantage. He was an “eyewitness of His majesty” and could easily recount with persuasion event after event in refuting the myth issue. What Peter did from memory and experience, we do by study. A healthy faith is not necessarily without doubts. As one man quipped, “scholars aren’t necessarily smarter than the average layman- they just have a higher capacity for doubt and are in constant need of answers.”
Some will ask, “how reliable is eyewitness testimony? I mean, there’s nothing more subjective and biased than a human being!” I‘m not so sure. First, eyewitness testimony was the best known forensic science of the day. And it is still a prime form of evidence in prosecuting criminals, even better than circumstantial evidence. The truth always seems to come out, even in cover-ups among friends. People do lie, but if you talk to enough people about an event, you’ll get a pretty good picture of what happened. One expert said, “in a court of law, a reliable eyewitness that a suspect was absent from a crime scene overrules any circumstantial evidence”. Eyewitness evidence is the scientific equivalent of data and facts.
Second, people often bring up the credibility of the eyewitness because of a lack education or low social status, as though a drop out of society was more prone to lying. But education is no guarantee of integrity. Eyewitness testimony has nothing to do with intelligence. It’s simply an account of what somebody saw. In fact, the less intelligent, the less likely a sophisticated story is. We know the disciples were simple, unsophisticated and loyal citizens without cunning, selfish ambition to overthrow Rome.
In eyewitness testimony, you simply want to know what somebody saw. If your daughter was abducted from a store in the mall, and three people saw it, you couldn’t care a less what their IQ was- you just want to know what they saw. In the same way, the gospels are the accounts of the eyewitness to the events of Christ life, death and resurrection. The whole thrust of the Easter narrative in the New Testament, according to scholar N.T. Wright, “is about evidence, about eyewtinesses being called, about something that actually happened for which eyewitnesses could and would vouch…the authors would hardly call for an experience which continued unabated.”
Understanding What The Bible Is Helps Alleviate the Myth Charge
It would help to address the myth question if we simply understood what the Bible is. The Bible is an accurate history book, not just a religious text. Many who assault it don’t know it. The Bible is actually a collection of books written over 1,500 years by over 40 authors who were from all walks of life, most of whom didn’t know each other. It was truly a demographic affair, the accountability of variety. There is an amazing harmony of concepts in Scripture. The Bible was written by men of the highest integrity who kept their fingers on the pulse of the world events around them. In some respects, the Bible compiles the best wisdom of the ages as received in the human tradition. Lewis Sperry Chafer said, “the Bible is not such a book man would write if he could nor could write if he would.”
The Scripture has a variety of literature for every personality type and mood, containing poetry, narrative, history, law, parable, allegory, biography, diary, and apocalyptic. There is at one and the same time varied accountability and consistent testimony. Contrast that with Mohammed who after spending 15 years in a cave and encountering what are known as “the jins” (demons) in Arabic folklore, comes out and announces that he has now the final authority of God. No accountability or varied testimony; just one man who retools the exsiting Scriptures to his own liking, and spreads his new and simplified religion by coercion and bloodshed.
The Bible is read by more people and published in more languages than any other book. This doesn’t “prove” it’s the word of God, but this does show it’s unique. No other book knows anything approaching its constant circulation. As one expert said, “The Bible, compared with any other ancient writings has more manuscript evidence than any 10 pieces of ancient literature combined.”
Time Gap and The Telephone Question
A natural doubt is the time gap question. “Since the events in the Bible happened 2,000 years ago and more, how do we know that that the Bible hasn’t been corrupted over time? It’s like the telephone theory- you tell one friend a story and 20 friends later it bears little resemblance to the original”. This is fairly easy to answer. First, ethnologists and anthropologists who study the traditions of ancient cultures tell of the amazing consistency they have maintained over many centuries. Oral tradition for many tribes of the American Indian, for example, was passed down with great precision for generations. They were rigid peoples with unwritten customs that kept them from thinking too far outside the box. Some tribal languages had as many as twenty words to describe wind, rain, snow etc. When retelling the story, the Indian had to not only use any word for snow, but the correct word. The same for the Polynesian natives and others cultures around the world. If this is true for pagan cultures, it was even more so for the strict, stubborn Hebrew mind. Both the Old and New Testaments were borne out of Judaism.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Put The Skeptics to Death
The birth of higher criticism in the 1800’s resulted in the Bible getting pummeled as to it’s authenticity. By the mid 1900‘s, liberal scholars were doubting everything from Moses to Christ. But as things go, in 1947, a Bedouin shepherd boy named Mohammed (of all things), was looking for lost sheep in the hill country southeast of the Dead Sea as the story goes. He managed to throw a rock into a cave on the upper side of a cliff and heard the smashing of pottery, a sound that has reverberated through the corridors of history. In short, he found the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century and maybe of all time. The Dead Sea scrolls are great because they contain copies, in part or in whole, of every book of the Old Testament except Esther. The O.T. up till that time was based on the Masoretic Text. The Masoretes were a band of Jews who lived on the Sea of Tiberius (Galilee) from about 500 to 900 AD who kept meticulous copies of the Hebrew Bible.
Research on the scrolls confers that the Bible we used for centuries is amazingly accurate. For example, The Great Isaiah Scroll boasts a 99% accuracy with our Masoretic copy of today. Chapter 53 has 166 words, and there is only 1 word that is in question as a variant between the two. And the difference is not even substantive, something like “color” vs. “colour” or “honor” vs. “honour”. The scrolls effectively move back the date our Hebrew Bible by 1200 years to about the 2nd century BC. The DSS all but remove the assault of time in itself as an agent of corruption in the myth issue. By the way, skeptics who know just enough about the Bible to be dangerous will say “there are errors in the Bible, you can’t get around that fact.” True there are errors in Scripture, but many are scribal errors regarding words as described above, which affect no major doctrines.
Time and the telephone theory evaporate when one understands the rigidity of the Jewish mind. The Masoretes counted everything after a scribe completed a copy of a manuscript. Most everything that was countable was counted: the number of times each letter of the alphabet occurs in a book, the middle letter of the Pentateuch was highlighted, the ink was to be black not green, no word or letter was to be written from memory. The attention to detail secured the precision of the text so much that they actually preferred newer copies to older ones. And most importantly there was a social motivation. Copyists who made a mistake could be shamed or ex-communicated from the community. Accuracy was a must for the copyists of the Old Testament. Princeton scholar Robert Dick Wilson said, “that the Hebrew text was transmitted by copyists through so many centuries is a phenomena unequaled in the history of literature”. Time in itself is not necessarily a corrupting factor in accurately preserving ancient biblical manuscripts.
That’s the Old Testament. But what about the New Testament? With such fantastic claims of a resurrection, time and corruption are just as crucial of an issue. Most documents from ancient history- original or copies, have not survived to the present day. What has actually survived had to have a high degree of importance, activity, motivation and in some cases luck. It was very difficult to record, much less preserve, anything from antiquity. In the case of the New Testament, it was not luck. The odds that parchments, papyrus and oral tradition from many sources all having a high degree of consistency are very small if something didn’t happen to trigger them.
There are over 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the Greek New Testament in existence today. No other documents in ancient history approach the numbers of the New Testament. Something happened to spur this. The New Testament was written between 40-95 AD and the earliest manuscript is the Rylands Papyrus, or (P52), which is a fragment of John 18. From evidence, the text is dated to within 25-30 years from the original copy with no discrepancy. Other major codices are the Chester Beatty papyrus from about 200 AD, containing major portions of the New Testement. And the Codex Siniaticus with all of the N.T. and half of the O.T. covers a gap of time of 260 years from the originals to the copies.
“So what”? you might say. “That still sounds like plenty of opportunity for corruption”. To get an idea of how short a time this is for ancient documents, the 2nd best attested document of ancient history is Homer’s Iliad written about 850 B.C. There are 643 mss, and the earliest copy that has survived is from 400 BC, a gap of 500 years. The documents haven’t received near the amount of attacks as the N.T., though there is much more uncertainty about Homer than Christ.
“Histories” is a book written by Tacitus, a Roman historian in the first century. There are 4 and ½ copies that have survived, and these date 1,000 years after the originals! Even Shakespeare is more corrupt and uncertain than the N.T. and that’s only 600 years old. The point is, the basic assertions and existence of these secular people are widely accepted. Yet per occurrence, the N.T. has 3,800% greater quantity of documentary evidence!
In summarizing the wealth of evidence, Sir Frederic Kenyon, former Director of the British Museum, said that “in no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and date of the earliest manuscripts so short as in that of the N.T….And the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has been removed”. Scholar and theologian Gleason Archer affirmed this: “the N.T. is unrivaled among ancient writings in the purity of it’s text as actually transmitted”.
The time assault from skeptics is a bit hypocritical. For a culture who needs almost video like evidence before it believes anything, people readily accept the theory of evolution as to our origins- even though the time gap was exponentially greater than from our lives to the days of the Bible. How do you know chemical evolution is the best explanation for our origins? Were you there? Was anybody there to write down eyewitness testimony? That’s a lot harder to believe than credible eyewitness and textual evidence passed along to us in the historical documents of Scripture. Written history by humans is the most direct way to understand the past. The time assault for Scripture as myth has pretty much been eliminated.
The Basics of History
We’ve addressed whether the Bible could be corrupted with legendary material by time alone. But what about all of history? The process of trying to understand what happened in history is the historical method, originally set down by Aristotle and used to this day. He wrote, “the benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not abrogated by the critic to himself. Therefore, one must listen to the claims of the document under analysis and not assume fraud or error unless the author disqualified himself by contradictions of known factual inaccuracies”. In other words, though we want to be discerning, it’s arrogant for us to doubt an event just because we don’t like the assertion-if there are no other credible contradictions. Why? Because we weren’t there. It’s like our philosophy of jurisprudence, “a man is innocent until proven guilty”.
That’s how we build contours of history, by trusting the historical method. In the case of Christ, we have amazing consistency of testimony by people who witnessed his life. He’s not “disqualified by contradictions” to use Aristotle’s words, by sources other than the Bible. These outside sources, not necessarily amendable to the Christian cause, were forced to cough up statements about Christ here and there. Let’s look at some of these.
Flavius Josephus was a Jewish and Roman historian from the 1st century AD. In his Antiquities of the Jews, he writes: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it can be lawful to call him a man…He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle man among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day…and the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day”. Some scholars dispute the authenticity of this because it is so accurate.
Tacitus was a Roman senator, historian and governor of Asia at the turn of the 1st century. He alluded to the death of Christ, as well as Christians in Rome when he said, “Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign Tiberius…”.
Suetonius, was a Roman historian in 120 AD. He referred to Christ when he wrote, “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he (Claudius) expelled them from Rome”.
Pliny the Younger, Governor of Asia Minor in 112 AD, lawyer, author, was an important external witness. He tried to get Christians to “curse Christ, which a genuine Christian cannot be induced to do,” he wrote. He also reports that “They were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively to a hymn to Christ as to a god”. If Christ wasn’t real, these three men wouldn’t have said anything, because they weren’t sympathetic to the movement.
Tiberius Caesar was the Roman emperor at the time of Jesus’ death. Tiberius is mentioned by only ten sources within 150 years after his death. Contrast that with the fact that Jesus is mentioned by fourty-two sources within the same time period, and nine of them were secular!
The assault of Christ not being a real person, or some composite figure of history died out about 100 years ago. As one theologian said, “no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus.” The gospels are so accurate, that to read them, it’s as if one were encountering the Christ alive. The problems of time and distance is eliminated by scholarly advancement. That is why Christianity is a historical religion, not just an ideological religion like others. Christ is where history and theology intersect. World renowned scholar F.F. Bruce said, “The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar.”
The Assertions of History and the Historical Method
We can run ourselves ragged over what to believe from history. But it’s not always necessary. Nobody doubts Pharaoh Neco lost the battle at Carcemesh to the Babylonians in 605 B.C. Nobody doubts Alexander the Great defeated Darius the Persian. Nobody doubts Constantine founded Constantinople after many military victories. Nobody doubts Napoleon fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Nobody doubts Santa Anna lost to General Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto. Why? Because we have no reason to doubt these. And we trust the documents that have been passed down. At some point we have to trust the historical method. Major contours of history hang on much thinner wires than the events of Scripture and nobody doubts them! If we don’t believe in the authenticity of the Scriptures, we should doubt everything we know about the past. We have no reason to doubt a St. Ignatious, who gave one of the earliest external testimonies to Christ at the end of the 1st century: “He was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate, not merely in appearance…He really died and was buried and rose from the dead.” We have to give him the benefit of the doubt because that’s the assertion of history.
With testimony, logic, and the historical method, the life of Christ is even more substantiated. If we apply to the Bible the credence we would to other literary documents, Scripture is a slam dunk. Conversely, if you discount Scripture, then all of ancient history is a sham. Professor and philosopher John Warwick Montgomery was right: “to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to let all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no other documents of the ancient periods are as well attested… as the New Testament.”
The Concept of Death
The concept of death as explained in Scripture is one of the greatest arguments for Christianity, affirming a reality we all know. The Bible has the best balance on the concept of death, affirming it is an enemy yet not shying away from it in denial. The Scripture speaks with more sober reality about life, death, and the afterlife than any other writings, ancient of modern. As a result, Christians are experts in death more than any other category of people. If dying to self is a daily reality, the big one isn’t so scarry. Similarly, the existence of evil and a curse placed on the earth is the best explanation as to why we have problems. (It’s where the concept of cursing comes from, a curse). We may have economic problems, political struggles, inflation, international tensions, but these are all tangential to the real problem: the depravity of man and a curse placed on the earth. Man has some good, as an image bearer of God, but he is also depraved with something deeply wrong with him. Depravity is the best explanation as to why man suffers, has relationship problems, commits murder, adultery, steals, lies, or slanders, more than any psychology textbook. And it was in Scripture all along.
Resurrection is the Cornerstone of Christianity
Though Christ did many miracles, the impetus that launched Christianity was the tangible resurrection of Christ. The historicity of the resurrection retards the myth charge. Henry Morris, PhD, writes “the fact of the resurrection is one of the most certain facts in all history”. Jesus rose from the dead; he wasn’t revived or the body stolen. He died. And arose. There are four lines of proof for this. First, the Romans were experts at killing and death- they wouldn’t have missed one with a rather high profile case such as Christ. Second, Jesus did not ressucitate. The body was not stolen, because people didn’t mess around with dead people or tombs, for spiritual reasons and civil reasons. Severe punishment was dealt by Rome to those who did. Plus, there were 4 squads of loyal soldiers guarding the tomb. A stolen body was the only way the Jews could foresee a continued problem of Christ, and they prevented that.
Third, there is no evidence for people paying homage to shrine of Jesus, which would be expected for the most documented death in the ancient world. Fourth, Christianity never began as a philosophy or ethic, but it was an event based on eyewitness testimony. Rome and Israel both spent enormous resources trying to kill Christians. The easiest way to stop the movement would have been to produce the body. As one professor said, “A scientist can doubt the resurrection but not deny it, because to do so means he can prove it didn’t occur”. Wilbur Smith reminds us, “no founder of any world religion known to men ever dared to say he would rise again from the dead.”
We know Christ was real, definitely no composite figure of history. According to Otto Betz, “no serious scholar has ventured the non-historicity of Jesus.” If Christ didn’t die at the time he did, in the way he did, then when did he die? Under what circumstances? It’s like O.J. Simpson in reverse; if O.J. didn’t kill his wife, then who did? Why aren’t they out tyring to find the killer? Because everybody knows he did. Well, if Christ didn’t die then, how and when did he die?
The Supreme Pragmatic Effects of Christianity
The existence of the church, Western thought, progress, architecture, literary classics, science, democratic governments, charities, ministries, ethics, and social virtues were all set into motion because of the historicity of the resurrection. Writes Bernard Ramm, “From the Apostolic Fathers dating from AD 95 to the modern times is one great literary river inspired by the Bible. Statistically speaking the gospels are the greatest literature ever written”. The core of progress in the world today is Western thought, and the core of Western thought is Christianity with the emphasis that matter isn‘t evil. How can one be a thinking person and not see this pattern? The pragmatic differences of the evidence argues against the Bible as myth. According to another scholar, “as we look across the centuries, we see how His words have been passed into law, passed into doctrines, have passed into proverbs, and have never passed away. What human teacher ever dared to claim eternity for his words?”
The Trowel of the Archaeologist Vindicates Scripture
Another line of argument to deal with the myth issue comes from archaeology. Archaeology is a hard science, subject to evidence, as opposed to a soft science like sociology or psychology. Archaeology is “the systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of the remaining material evidence”. “Material” is important because Judaism and Christianity are historical religions, as opposed to the ideological ones. Actual events took place that spawned movements and the writings of Scripture. The trowel has been a friend of the apologist, defending the legitimacy of Scripture against the charge of myth. These are just a few of the hundreds of examples.
At Kitef Hinnom in 1979 were found two silver amulets with small scrolls packed tightly inside containing Numbers 6:24-26. They are the earliest known artifacts that document passages from the Hebrew Bible, dating to the 7th century BC.
For decades, liberal scholars assaulted the text because there had never been found an external artifact affirming King David, fueling the notions that the story of David and Goliath was a myth. That changed in 1993-94 with the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele dated to the 9the century BC, on which was written “the House of David”.
Going back earlier, Scripture says that Moses was educated and wrote the Pentateuch, but written language wasn’t supposed to have been developed that early. The Khirbet Qieyafa Inscription, dated to the 11th century, pushes writing back and greatly helps Moses as a possibility.
Shifting to the New Testament, there was no record of the Pool of Bethesda except in John 5:2. For years scholars argued this as a proof that John’s gospel was written by someone later than John. That changed when it was discovered in Jerusalem.
Other than Scripture, it was strange that Pontius Pilate didn’t have much reference in the annals of Roman history as a Governor of a Province. Excepts for a few minor artifacts, many doubted his existence at all until 1961 when a team of Italian archaeologists unearthed a stone in Caesarea with his name inscribed on it.
Luke received criticism because he used words and places in the book of Acts unknown to archaeologists. For example, his use of the term “politarch” was found nowhere else in Greek literature. But his accuracy was vindicated when more than 17 inscriptions were found in Thessalonica with the term on them. Luke has been vindicated as a first rate historian with the kind of attention to detail you would expect from a physician.
Each discovery in itself may not prove that Jesus rose from the dead, but it substantiates the credibility of the text. If the Bible has been verified on many names and places by archaeology in things that are incidental, why can’t it be trusted on the major issues of spirituality that it is trying to relay? Archaeology proves the Bible in no myth.
Dr. Nelson Glueck, outstanding Jewish archaeologist of the 20thcentury, said, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”
Using Half truths To Sell a Lie
One of the questions in the myth issue that skeptics ask is, “of course there is harmony between archaeology and Scripture. Any story teller would use details of the time period to add authenticity to the myth. Many authors research a setting before writing a novel about an area”. It’s amazing how the assaults come from the uninitiated. The details in the Gospels are too rich to be fabricated, there being too many details to get snagged if not true. Per detail, the Gospels are amazingly consistent. C.S. Lewis, Professor of Medieval English at both Cambridge and Oxford, was an expert on mythic material, and makes a legendary point on this:
“as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don’t work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. …there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with his finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art”.
With so much information out there, we have to trust somebody like Lewis who has done his research in this discipline and approached the issue of the Bible as myth from this angle.
Take the trial and death of Jesus. Many who get roped into the account were outsiders to begin with, verifiably incidental players in the drama. The events transcend collusion because of the conflicting constituencies involved. There were too many people with different backgrounds to collude in fabricating Jesus trial and death. Somebody would have been investigated and found a liar before it ever got recorded and passed down into history. Caiaphas the high priest (whose bone box has now been discovered in Jerusalem), or even Pilate, would have stopped rumors of a resurrection if it didn’t happen. If there were any attempts at myths, it was on the other side, to cover up the resurrection. The gospels were accounts that had occurred with many details strung together like a court reporter transcribing a homicide case from many witnesses.
Even here critics raise objections that early Christians who believed this stuff were nut cases, off their rockers. Actually, most of the early followers were skeptical, practical, common sense folk with no agenda towards selfish ambition. They weren’t cultists who were easily swayed by flowery legend or unrealistic talk of another world. The empty religions had fatigued them into a skepticism towards anything hokey. They were pragmatic hard working realists who were only interested in what worked.
As for the resurrection, there were many witnesses (I Corinthians 15). If there were lies beginning to circulate about what really happened with Christ, they would have immediately been squelched by the scores of people who actually saw Him. It’s like somebody trying to write a spurious biography about the life of Ronald Reagan and re-fabricate his words, deeds, and policies. There are too many people alive today who worked with him and knew what actually happened. The lies wouldn’t be solidified into mainstream history. F.F. Bruce, Rylands Professor at the University of Manchester, said, “It’s not as easy as some writers seem to think to invent words and deeds of Jesus in those early years, when so many of his disciples were about, who could remember what had and had not happened…The disciples could not afford to risk inaccuracies of the facts.”
Furthermore, resurrection was undocumented in recorded history. What group of uneducated people could make this up and get it to stick? Until Christ, belief in the afterlife was nebulous, ethereal and esoteric. It didn’t incorporate a “life after life after death” in physical bodily form. Pagan cultured did believe in life after death, but everybody knew once you died, you died- that was it. No coming back here. Resurrection adds reality and legitimacy to Christianity that no other world religion offers.
The Mutations Evidence
Then there is the mutations argument. That is, how do we explain almost overnight the morphing of the Sabbath going from a Saturday in Judaism to Sunday in Christianity? The Jews never surrendered their traditions so quickly. We know Christianity was birthed out of Judaism, and the disciples were Jewish. History shows a sudden contrast from Judaic to Christian principles. The Jews were so stubbornly traditional in their beliefs that they wouldn’t allow a corruption of rabbinic teachings unless something legitimate happened.
After I presented these arguments to the dear lady who promted this paper, she was convinced. With logic, archaeological, and external historical evidence, it’s safe to say the Bible is not myth in the fiction sense. Though each line of evidence doesn’t stand on all fours, when taken together they make for a good case that the Bible is not a myth. It doesn’t mean someone wants to accept Christ. That is always be a heart issue with moral ramifications. But there are sound arguments that eliminate the intellectual excuses people hide behind to avoid accountability to God.
Copyright by Scott Chandler. All Rights Reserved.