Have you ever witnessed a miracle? Could it be explained any other way??
John 10:19-21 (NLT)
19 When he said these things, the people[a] were again divided in their opinions about him. 20 Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” 21 Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
When considering Jesus, given these 3 choices; possessed by a demon, a raving lunatic or God, which one do you think has the most evidence to support it?
It's one thing to believe that Jesus was the Christ based on the Bible, which many view as a "biased" text (I don't), but many from other belief systems don't view the Bible as the accurate historical document that so many archeologists and historians do. If you are looking for evidence that Jesus actually lived and died, we should look at a couple other sources:
Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 55 120 A.D.) was a Roman historian who lived through the reigns of over a half dozen Roman emperors. He has been called the “greatest historian” of ancient Rome, an individual generally acknowledged among scholars for his moral “integrity and essential goodness.”
Tacitus recorded at least one reference to Christ and two to early Christianity, one in each of his major works. The most important one is that found in the Annals, written about 115 A.D. The following was recounted concerning the great fire in Rome during the reign of Nero: "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired." source: http://www.garyhabermas.com/books/historicaljesus/historicaljesus.htm#ch9.
Jewish historian Flavius Josephus was born in 37 or 38 A.D. and died in 97 A.D. He was born into a priestly family and became a Pharisee at the age of nineteen. After surviving a battle against the Romans, he served commander Vespasian in Jerusalem. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., he moved to Rome, where he became the court historian for emperor Vespasian.
The Antiquities, one of Josephus’ major works, provides some valuable but disputed evidence concerning Jesus. Written around 90 95 A.D., it is earlier than the testimonies of the Roman historians. Josephus wrote :"At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was good and (he) was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."
If you look at this website you will find quotes and suppositions from historical text after historical text which proves that Jesus actually lived, was crucified and performed miracles.
Which of the following attributes of Jesus would you consider to be the strongest evidence for his divinity?
- He claimed to forgive sins (Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; 7:36-50)
- He accepted worship (Matthew 14:33; 28:9,17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38)
- He exorcised demons. (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 1:34,39; 9:14-29)
- He demonstrated control over the elements. (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; John 2:1-11)
- He healed the sick. (Matthew 4:23; 8:1-13; 9:1-8; 18-34; Mark 1:34; Luke 8:40-48; John 9:1-7)
- He was said to be without sin (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5)
- He had authority over life and death. (Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:49-56; John 11:1-44)
WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
If this is your first week, this is the point where you pick a question I asked and/or comment I made and answer and comment back. I love to be a part of a conversation! Feel free to wade in no matter what you believe! :)