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The Premiere Christian Magazine for Southern Arizona

What do You Think About Jesus?

The most common responses to the Jesus question are:

“He was a good man. I admire Him a lot, but Jesus was not God.”
“He was a great teacher, but Jesus did not rise from the dead.”
“Jesus never did any of the miracles recorded in the Bible.”
“The real Jesus was nothing like the Jesus described in the Bible. The church changed the Bible at one of the church councils.”
“There is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. Jesus is a myth like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.”

As Christians, we need to be prepared to help people with any one of these responses.

“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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

These responses are often made by those who have reasonable questions about Christianity.  These repeated statements deserve to be examined by the facts that can help people learn who really don’t know.  Let’s deal with each statement one by one.

1) “He was a good man. I admire Him a lot, but Jesus was not God.”
One example where Jesus claimed to be God is in John 10:30-33: “I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”  Jesus claimed to be God so you have to accept that fact or reject Him as a liar. If He was a liar he was not a good man. If he wasn’t lying – He is God as He claimed.

2) “He was a great teacher, but Jesus did not rise from the dead.”
The resurrection of Jesus is unique. No other religion in the world claims anything similar to it. The resurrection of Jesus has more historical evidence confirming it than any other miracle in ancient history. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to over five hundred of His followers on multiple occasions. Jesus talked and ate with them. They not only saw Jesus: “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33 (NIV)

3) “Jesus never did the miracles recorded in the Bible.”
It is significant that Jesus’ enemies never denied that He performed miracles. Rather, they claimed that He did His miracles through evil means. If Jesus’ contemporaries affirmed that Jesus was a miracle worker, then the evidence for His miracles must have been overwhelming!  “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” John 10:37-38 (NIV)

4) “The real Jesus was nothing like the Jesus described in the Bible. The church changed the Bible at one of the church councils.”
This question cannot stand up against the overwhelming historical evidence that most of the many scripts that were written and exist today predate the first church council in A.D. 325. There are more than 14,000 Old Testament manuscripts, some date back as far as 400 B.C., and there are over 5,300 manuscripts of the New Testament, with nearly 800 of them written before 1000 A.D.  There are no variations or alterations between manuscripts. It might be possible to manipulate them over time if there were only a few manuscripts, but is would be nearly impossible to go all over the world, find all the known manuscripts and change them.  Through archeology we are still discovering new Biblical manuscripts today. They also are the same. The evidence is overwhelming that the Bible taught today is historically accurate as is the description of Jesus.

5) “There is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. Jesus is a myth like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.”
It is popular to say that the only ancient references referring to Jesus are found in the Bible. The truth is that many ancient historians refer to Jesus. For example, the Roman historian Tacitus referred to Jesus at least three times in his writings. Suetonius, who was on the staff of Emperor Hadrian in the early second century, wrote about Jesus. The Jewish historian Josephus, as well as the Jewish Talmud, mentioned Jesus.

Believe in Him or not, the evidence is overwhelming – Jesus is the real deal.

This article sponsored by www.everystudent.com

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February 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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