Robin Martens is the pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church. Photo: Submitted

Robin Martens is the pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church. Photo: Submitted

FAITH: How do I know I have the truth? (Part 6)

A column from Robin Martens, pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church.

Submitted by Robin Martens, Kinnaird Park Community Church

From the Historical Reality of Jesus: A part from the Triune God — who has revealed himself in many ways in space and time, and definitively in his Son, by the power of his Spirit — there would be no way to make any real sense of, much less benefit from, the astounding supernatural, historical fact of Jesus.

Here are but a few snapshots of the many historical facts supporting the supernatural message of Jesus in the Christian Bible.

(1) There is no doubt Jesus existed, he is not an invention or embellishment.

Edwin Yamauchi, a leading expert on ancient history, said: “We have better historical documentation for Jesus than for the founder of any other ancient religion.” One expert documented thirty-nine ancient sources that corroborate more than one hundred facts concerning Jesus’ life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection. (“The Corroborating Evidence: Is There Credible Evidence of Jesus outside His Biographies?” in The Case for Christ.)

(2) The gospel accounts are very reliable sources on Jesus.

Craig Blomberg, a foremost authority on the gospel accounts of Jesus, of Denver Seminary, said: “I once thought that the Gospels were merely religious propaganda, hopelessly tainted by overactive imaginations and evangelistic zeal.” What Blomberg discovered was “a convincing case that they reflect eyewitness testimony and bear the unmistakable earmarks of accuracy.” (“The Eyewitness Evidence: Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted” in The Case for Christ.)

Bruce Metzger, a world-class scholar (d. 2007), regarding the preservation of the biblical text, said: “The modern New Testament is about 99 percent free of meaningful textual discrepancies.” (“The Documentary Evidence: Were Jesus’ Biographies Reliably Preserved for Us?” In The Case for Christ.)

John McRay, a professor of archaeology, said: Without question “archaeological findings have enhanced the New Testament’s credibility. No discovery has ever disproved a biblical reference.” (“The Scientific Evidence: Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus’ Biographies?” in The Case for Christ.)

(3) There is strong historical evidence in support of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

For brevity’s sake consider the “minimal facts case” by Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona (Habermas and Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus): (a) Jesus died by crucifixion. (b) Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them. (c) Church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed. (d) Skeptic James, brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed. (e) The tomb was empty. These facts are broadly accepted by Christian and non-Christian scholars alike.

Habermas and Licona ably show that inferring Jesus rose bodily from the dead is the only explanation that fully accounts for all five facts.

What are we to make of this brief sampling from the abundant historical proof for the Jesus of the Bible? The only suitable conclusion is that God the Father sent his beloved Son Jesus Christ into the world in the full measure of the Holy Spirit to reveal himself definitively to us and to do whatever was required in holy love to reconcile us to himself. (Romans 1:4, Acts 1:1-11, 17:30-31, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Luke 1:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 1 John 1:1-4.)

Robin Martens is the pastor of Kinnaird Park Community Church.

RELATED: FAITH: How do I know I have the truth? (part 5)



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