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So, What if the Bible Really Is True?
davidlimbaugh.com ^ | 12/23/10 | david limbaugh

Posted on 12/23/2010 7:23:44 PM PST by lancer256

I'd like to challenge you to consider that the "good news" we celebrate during the Christmas season really is true.

You may choose to believe the Bible is merely a book of fables with nice moral lessons, but there is more abundant and accurate manuscript evidence for the New Testament than any other book from antiquity. Moreover, the number of witnesses to Christ's life, death and resurrection, as well as the nature of their testimony, is strong evidence of the reliability of the scriptural accounts, as are the corroborating secular testimony and archeological evidence.

In fact, the New Testament writers had every temporal motive to deny the resurrection occurred. Why would they fabricate and stand by a story that would lead to their being beaten, tortured and murdered?

So next time you read your Bible, consider that you're reading the inspired word of God and that Jesus really did say and do what the Bible reports, beginning with His claims about His own divinity:

(Excerpt) Read more at davidlimbaugh.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: apologetics; christ; christianity; christmas; davidlimbaugh; historicity; jesus; paul; petra; roadtoemmaus
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1 posted on 12/23/2010 7:23:52 PM PST by lancer256
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To: lancer256

The Old Testament is true and is supported by science. I´m more unsettled by the NT.

But Merry Christmas by all means!


2 posted on 12/23/2010 7:27:08 PM PST by onedoug
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To: lancer256

The entire Bible is true and there is no falsehood in it.


3 posted on 12/23/2010 7:29:45 PM PST by kingpins10
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To: lancer256

“So next time you read your Bible, consider that you’re reading the inspired word of God and that Jesus really did say and do what the Bible reports, beginning with His claims about His own divinity”
Amen!


4 posted on 12/23/2010 7:35:02 PM PST by sayuncledave (A cruce salus)
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To: lancer256

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying.” Tim Keller


5 posted on 12/23/2010 7:40:38 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
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To: lancer256

bttt


6 posted on 12/23/2010 7:43:31 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: lancer256; All

“So next time you read your Bible, consider that you’re reading the inspired word of God and that Jesus really did say and do what the Bible reports, beginning with His claims about His own divinity”

And then review Pascal’s “Great Wager” and place your “wager” (life) into God’s hands.

God bless and Merry Christmas


7 posted on 12/23/2010 7:44:03 PM PST by WorldviewDad (following God instead of culture)
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To: onedoug
“The Old Testament is true and is supported by science. I´m more unsettled by the NT.”

Does that mean that you don't believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior?

8 posted on 12/23/2010 7:49:36 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: lancer256
You may choose to believe the Bible is merely a book of fables with nice moral lessons...

"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

1 Cor 2:14

9 posted on 12/23/2010 7:50:43 PM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: lancer256

I believe.


10 posted on 12/23/2010 7:53:26 PM PST by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: onedoug

“I´m more unsettled by the NT.”

Mind if I ask why?


11 posted on 12/23/2010 7:54:01 PM PST by MichaelCorleone
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To: lancer256

Back the fall of 1962, after professing to become a Christian in May 1953, I seemed to be told; “Why have you defended the Bible, you have not read it.”

Then as I was pondering this; A voice seemed to say: “You have not even read one Book of the Bible have you?”

Further alone a voice seemed to ask: “Are you even sure you have read one chapter through?” [I confess this to my shame]
I had to say, No, I don’t believe I have.”

Then I purposed, to at least, read one book. I chose the book of James. I really don’t know why, except it seemed to be a small book.

My life, my values, my goals were radically changed as I continued to read all the other books. I could not wait to get home and read, and study more.

Now to this date,(47+ years later) I am fully persauded, the whole Bible is inspired by our God. And I believe it will never pass away, and as the Lord Jesus said; “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall never pass away.

Jesus said in John 6:63; “It is the spirit that quickened; the flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you they are spirit, and they are life.”

In 1 Peter 1:23 it reads; “Being born again, not of corrupt- ible seed , but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.”


12 posted on 12/23/2010 7:54:48 PM PST by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: SVTCobra03

The most contriversal words every said and seldom repeated in churches is. “I am the way the truth and the life noone comes to the father except through me” That means not john smith,budda,muhammed etc. only through jesus do you have a chance no other options. The single greatest day of my life was 22 years ago baptized into christ. Been happy ever since. acts 2,37-42


13 posted on 12/23/2010 7:54:48 PM PST by truthbetold11 (truthbetold11)
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To: lancer256

You literally are betting your life on what you believe. Please make sure that you make the correct decision.


14 posted on 12/23/2010 7:54:54 PM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
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To: MichaelCorleone
Hyam Maccoby, Revolution In Judaea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance
15 posted on 12/23/2010 8:01:38 PM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug
The Old Testament is true and is supported by science. I´m more unsettled by the NT.

You are right to be unsettled by the NT, for it is God revealed to man and he asks a lot of us. It is really difficult to wrap your mind around the concept of God born of flesh and living with mankind here on Earth if you really think about it, but there it is, believe it or not. I believe it.

16 posted on 12/23/2010 8:01:49 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (Had God not driven man from the Garden of Eden the Sierra Club surely would have.)
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To: onedoug

You either believe that Jesus was the Son of God (second member of the trinity) or he was a mythical character espoused my the “false” book we know as the New Testament. I choose to accept both Jesus and the NT.


17 posted on 12/23/2010 8:05:16 PM PST by doc1019 (Martyrdom is a great thing, until it is your turn.)
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To: truthbetold11

“The single greatest day of my life was 22 years ago baptized into christ. Been happy ever since. acts 2,37-42”

In the spring of this year at the age of 62, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and gave my life to Him. For the first time in my life, I have found peace and contentment. I eagerly await His return.


18 posted on 12/23/2010 8:05:16 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: SVTCobra03
In the spring of this year at the age of 62, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and gave my life to Him.

In the spring of this year at the age of 47, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and gave my life to Him. I've been told that our late-in-life conversions are rare.

19 posted on 12/23/2010 8:08:22 PM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: WorldviewDad
And then review Pascal’s “Great Wager” and place your “wager” (life) into God’s hands.

Given the choice, I'd rather trust the man who is inherently moral but has never heard of or believed in the Bible, than the so-called Christian who takes Pascal's sure-thing because he needs the external motivation.

20 posted on 12/23/2010 8:08:38 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: lancer256

Lk 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Lk 2:2 ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Lk 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Lk 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Lk 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Lk 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Lk 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Lk 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Lk 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Lk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Lk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Lk 2:12 And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Lk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Lk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Lk 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Lk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Lk 2:17 And when they had seen [it], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Lk 2:18 And all they that heard [it] wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
Lk 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart.
Lk 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


21 posted on 12/23/2010 8:11:22 PM PST by RaceBannon (RON PAUL: THE PARTY OF TRUTHERS, TRAITORS AND UFO CHASERS!!!)
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To: lancer256

What an excellent column for Christmastime! Thanks for posting it.


22 posted on 12/23/2010 8:13:56 PM PST by Rocky (REPEAL IT!)
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To: LetMarch
“I could not wait to get home and read, and study more.”

I know exactly how you feel. I read the entire bible in a very short period of time. Much of it while on vacation. I couldn't wait to get back to it each evening, reading into the early morning hours. I assume it would be like a great novel you just can't put down, except that I am not a book reader. I read it, I believed it, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I had never belonged to a church, and for most of my life had no faith. It is a “powerful” book. It has the power of God, and the saving grace of Jesus in it's pages.

23 posted on 12/23/2010 8:17:49 PM PST by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: onedoug

“The Old Testament is true and is supported by science. I´m more unsettled by the NT.”

If you are unsettled by the NT but believe in the Old Testament, how do you reconcile Isaiah and David’s references to Christ which happened just as the New Testament records?


24 posted on 12/23/2010 8:19:30 PM PST by taxesareforever (Release Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and let him and his family get on with their lives.)
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To: randog

“I’ve been told that our late-in-life conversions are rare.”

We are known as “Prodigal Sons” and I have found that we are in fact not so rare.


25 posted on 12/23/2010 8:26:15 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: lancer256
In fact, the New Testament writers had every temporal motive to deny the resurrection occurred. Why would they fabricate and stand by a story that would lead to their being beaten, tortured and murdered?

Too bad David Limbaugh is unfamiliar with folks like David Koresh, who had people willing to watch things done to their children and even die, yet still held to their beliefs into violent death. People believe things that are not true.

Plus, remember that Paul--who was responsible for making Christianity into what it became--was not a witness to the events on the road to Emmaus. There is much evidence for him suffering from a medical condition that could explain his experience near Damascus. Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9...which are we to believe? If we believe Acts 22:9, then others didn't hear the voice (of course, if we believe Acts 9:7, then there's the famous contradiction). So perhaps God worked through illness, or it was just an illness...the point is, Paul would be just as earnest whether God was behind it all or it was just a focal seizure (or another condition I suspect).

26 posted on 12/23/2010 8:27:13 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gamecock
“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying.” Tim Keller

Agree with the statement but confess my ignorance. Who is Tim Keller?

27 posted on 12/23/2010 8:29:37 PM PST by Graybeard58
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To: lancer256

Thank you, Lancer. In the midst of Christmas work, hurry, hurry, and worry we believers are often taken off track and easily forget just what it is we are celebrating. You’ve centered us with your post.


28 posted on 12/23/2010 8:29:56 PM PST by kitkat ( Obama: Hype and Chains.)
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To: Gondring

Not a good analogy. The Branch Davidians were invaded, and things happened fast. The 11 apostles spent years evangalizing knowing full well the potential consequences. Of course this doesn’t prove Christian theology, the proof of that is multifaceted, and much bigger than simple historical fact.

Yes people believe things that are not true, even at the risk of eternal damnation. As far as Paul is concerned, true it may have been illness, but many people have had similar religious awakenings. You can call them all illness if you want.....whatever.


29 posted on 12/23/2010 8:35:52 PM PST by HerrBlucher (Defund, repeal, investigate, impeach, convict, jail, celebrate.)
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To: SVTCobra03

“Prodigal Son”—how appropriate! What have you heard about these conversions—is this a recent phenomenon?


30 posted on 12/23/2010 8:36:10 PM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: Gondring

How’s that search for this “inherently moral” man goin’? Just askin’.


31 posted on 12/23/2010 8:41:07 PM PST by Aloysius88 (Merry CHRISTmas and God bless!)
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To: Gondring

How’s that search for this “inherently moral” man goin’? Just askin’.


32 posted on 12/23/2010 8:41:15 PM PST by Aloysius88 (Merry CHRISTmas and God bless!)
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To: Gondring
There is much evidence for him suffering from a medical condition that could explain his experience near Damascus.

Er, have you read St. Paul? That ain't no medical condition. One of the saints described his sentences as "peals of thunder."

33 posted on 12/23/2010 8:42:02 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: Aloysius88

Double-post. Just like a noob. My bad.


34 posted on 12/23/2010 8:42:10 PM PST by Aloysius88 (Merry CHRISTmas and God bless!)
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To: Graybeard58

Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC.

Look for him on YouTube, he has some great stuff there.

Also authored several books. My 2 favs are:

-The Reason for God-
-The Prodigal God-


35 posted on 12/23/2010 8:46:41 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
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To: Inyo-Mono
You are right to be unsettled by the NT, for it is God revealed to man and he asks a lot of us.

I knew a good man who was on transports in the Atlantic during WWII...he handled the frozen food going eastbound, and the frozen corpses headed back to the States. Using that great preparation for the real world provided by the the US military, he became an undertaker.

He kept a scrapbook through his long career--death becomes mundane to morticians--and he showed it to me. I was struck by how many suicides were conducted with hands in prayer, clasping a Bible and/or rosary. Obviously, many a person at the end of his rope (no pun intended!) was begging for strength from his Lord.

What does the Bible say about that?

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. --I Corinthians 10:13
If these people were praying for that "way to bear it" and avoid the temptation of suicide, weren't they doing exactly what they should have done, what would have been needed?

(Of course, here's the trick... I later found out that Early Christians committed suicide quite often, viewing it as a demonstration that they wanted to be with their Lord more than stay here. The prohibition against suicide actually came several centuries after Christ, in a financial/political move along with supporting priests who collaborated with the Romans, excommunicating priests who refused to eat meat broth, and other things that are core pieces of Christ's message </sarc>)

So yes, a lot is asked of us. But no more temptation than can be handled...else I Corinthians 10:13 is wrong.

36 posted on 12/23/2010 8:47:37 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: HerrBlucher
As far as Paul is concerned, true it may have been illness, but many people have had similar religious awakenings. You can call them all illness if you want.....whatever.

Mental illness is culturally defined. One culture's schizophrenic is another's shaman.

What we would call mental illness is present in both the OT and the NT. Does that mean that it wasn't something used by God?

I never said it couldn't be...but I merely pointed out the possibility that it wasn't.

37 posted on 12/23/2010 8:51:26 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: SamuraiScot

???


38 posted on 12/23/2010 8:54:02 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: faucetman

Thanks for sharing! I have a tract that asks: “Which Church Saves?”The answer of course is; “None of them , the Church does not save, Salvation is of the Lord!” The church is made up of saved people.
Our Lord, I believe made us to hunger and thirst for His eternal Holy Word!

Praise His righteous Holy name! (Psalm 150:6)


39 posted on 12/23/2010 8:57:15 PM PST by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: faucetman

Thanks for sharing! I have a tract that asks: “Which Church Saves?”The answer of course is; “None of them , the Church does not save, Salvation is of the Lord!” The church is made up of saved people.
Our Lord, I believe made us to hunger and thirst for His eternal Holy Word!

Praise His righteous Holy name! (Psalm 150:6)


40 posted on 12/23/2010 8:57:21 PM PST by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonymous)
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To: onedoug; LucyT
From a powerful sermon Dr. Scott used to give every year:

THE ISSUE IS: DID HE COME OUT OF THE TOMB?

You won't settle that by thinking about it; you research it. Now, to research anything you have to get a foundation in facts. Most people are fuzzy-minded; they argue a resurrection didn't occur because it can't occur, and anybody who says it did must be lying. Any other fact, you research it. If you're going to ask, "Did Scott preach this message within an hour on this specific Sunday?" you've got to assume that I was here and that I preached at all.

You've got to assume that the Cathedral exists. You've got to assume that that Sunday came and went. We don't have to discuss that; we take those facts for granted when determining if the message was less than an hour. Before we argue whether I preached an hour (or more), let's at least agree that I preached. You don't have to agree whether it was good or bad, but that I was here and my mouth moved and said things. That's known as the frame-of-reference – what's taken for granted.

And if someone says "Wow, I don't believe you were there!," then stop with debating clocks. It's much easier to prove I was here than to prove how long I preached, because you don't yet know when I started. Was it the preliminary remarks? Was it the first mark on the board? That's more debatable, but to prove whether I was here at all or not, that's a little easier. You need to approach the Resurrection the same way. There are certain facts that have to be assumed before you discuss the Resurrection. One is, did Jesus live at all? Why are we talking about whether He raised if we don't believe He lived? There was a time that was debated; not much anymore. For purposes of today and any meaningful discussion of the Resurrection, you've got to at least assume:

Fact 1. That Jesus lived.

If you don't believe that... Do you agree that it's probably easier to prove that He lived somewhere sometime than that He died and rose again? Do you agree with that? So give me the easier task. "Well, I'm not sure He lived, so don't give me that Resurrection bit." I have more time to do other things than that. Don't get into any argument about the Resurrection with somebody who doesn't believe Jesus lived. That's easy to prove; until that's crossed, don't get to the next one:

Fact 2. That He was crucified at the instigation of certain Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem.

Roman authorities ordered and carried out the execution. At the instigation of certain Jewish leaders (not all the Jews, they weren't to blame for that, His Disciples were Jews, just certain Jewish leaders), the Romans carried out the execution. Unless you believe that, there's no sense going to the Resurrection. The crucifixion's much easier to prove than the Resurrection.

Fact 3. That He was considered dead.

Notice I say considered dead, because a few people believe He recovered from the grave – resuscitated. He was considered dead: pierced with a sword, taken down from the cross, taken to a grave. Of course, one theorist has come up with a concoction that Jesus practiced this, and had people take Him to the grave knowing He was going to come out. He practiced on Lazarus first (so goes the theory) but of course Lazarus was stinking before He started practicing. Some of the theories stretch the brain more than just accepting the Resurrection, but at least He was considered dead. If you don't believe that, discussing the Resurrection is premature.

Fact 4. He was buried in a known, accessible tomb.

People of that day, and particularly the Jewish and Roman leaders who participated in the crucifixion events, knew where the tomb was and could get to it. You couldn't get into it because of the rock and guards, but the tomb's location was known and accessible.

Fact 5. He was then preached raised.

I'm at this point not saying He raised, but He was preached raised, that the tomb was empty, and that Jesus ascended. It's important to remember that the whole preachment included: empty tomb; raised from the dead; and ascending into heaven. All three of those claims were preached.

Now, if you don't believe He was preached with all those claims, I'm doing it today: But He was preached early on and in the same city where He was killed! If you don't believe that (that this series of claims were preached), that's easier to prove than the Resurrection.

Fact 6. The Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion were more interested in disproving His Resurrection than we would be today.

Common sense will tell you the Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion had more interest in disproving the Resurrection than someone 2,000 years removed, considering it intellectually with a lot of skepticism mixed in, because the Jewish leaders' reputations and bread and butter and lives were at stake. If they instigated His crucifixion, accusing Him of trying to set up a kingdom and accusing Him of blasphemy, and then all of a sudden it's true that He raised from the dead, they are going to be looking for new jobs. So common sense says they had more psychological interest in disproving the theory, and would put themselves out a little more than most people on an Easter Sunday would.

Fact 7. The Disciples were persecuted because of preaching the claims of His Resurrection.

They were horribly persecuted because of this preaching, starting with those Jewish leaders who first persecuted them – first they called them liars, then said they stole the body away. The whole Book of Acts tells of the Disciples' persecution for preaching the Resurrection.

Later, centuries later, Christians in general became a target for the evils in the Roman Empire and became scapegoats, and were punished for other reasons, but every record agrees that the earliest persecutions would have stopped immediately if the Disciples had quit preaching this Resurrection message, and the Ascension of Jesus. That's why they were persecuted, because the Jewish leaders had their reputations at stake. Thus,

Fact 8. The tomb was empty.

All this leads to the fact, common sense says, if the Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion (Fact 2), having the extra interest because their livelihood was at stake (Fact 6); and if He was buried in a known, accessible tomb (Fact 4), they would have gone immediately to that tomb and discovered the body. Therefore, it is axiomatic that the tomb was empty. The tomb became meaningless because it was empty! Centuries went by and the tomb was lost to history, because there was no body in it! Then, when the "relic period" began to grow, people got interested in his tomb, in which there had been no interest because there was no body in it, and tried to find it. And the whole church world still fights today over the classical site of the ancient historic churches, and Gordon's tomb that most of the Protestants identify with, just off from the bus station below the escarpment of a rock called "Golgotha" that has an Arab cemetery on top. The fight occurred because the tomb was lost to history; there was no body in it.

Now, these facts are easier to demonstrate than the Resurrection, but unless these facts are accepted, you can't deal with all the theories about the Resurrection. For example, the preaching has been so effective that all through the centuries people have come up with theories to explain it. Now, the reason that I do this every Easter is that I try to demonstrate that you don't have to park your brains at the door of the church when you come in, intelligent analysis is in order.

You don't just make people believe, but if you expose yourself to evidence, something happens inside and there will be a psychological reaction. My quarrel with people who deny the Resurrection and live a life style that pays no attention to it, is that I can ask them 15 questions and find they haven't spent 15 hours of their life looking at evidence for it.

If the Resurrection is true, this is the center of the universe. If the Resurrection is true, this is the central fact of history. You have to be a fool among all fools of mankind to think it's not worth at least 30 hours of study in your whole life. Furthermore, there are many intelligent people in the world who have looked and come away convinced. That's why I am doing this. Because the Disciples' preachments are so sincere in their nature, all kinds of theories have been broached to explain their belief, but the theories won't fly if you assume the eight facts previously stated.

Theory 1. The Disciples stole the body.
Theory 2. The Jewish leaders stole it.
Theory 3. The Roman leaders stole it.
Theory 4. The women went to the wrong tomb. You know, it was dark and they got lost like "women-walkers" – they didn't have women drivers, but women walkers. They went to the wrong tomb, and they believed He rose, and I mean, they ran screaming and crying out of the garden, "We went and He wasn't there!" They went to the wrong tomb; they went to an empty one waiting for somebody else.
Theory 5. It was all hallucinations. Glorified day dreams. They were sincere; they believed that this happened because they hadall these hallucinations.
Theory 6. Resuscitation theory. He was crucified and He was considered dead, and He was buried in a known tomb, but He wasn't dead, and in the coolness of the tomb He revived and came out wrapped in the grave clothes and, thank God, the guards were asleep, and He pushed that rock out of the way – and here comes Frankenstein!
Theory 7. The Disciples lied. They made the whole thing up. They'd bet on the wrong horse and they just couldn't live with it so they made up this whole story and it took them seven weeks to figure it out, and then they told it.
Theory 8. IT'S ALL TRUE. They are telling exactly what they experienced and what they saw. Now, just as you got the "startling alternate" when you consider the only Jesus in history, that He's either a madman, a nut, a faker, or He's what He said He was, and that requires a definition of divinity, you have a "startling alternate" here.

All these theories sound good in isolation. Even the first theory (the Disciples stole the body), which the Jewish leaders themselves concocted. But this theory on its face forces you to indict the Disciples as liars. You are thus again forced to a "startling alternate."

Shall I continue? There is more, much more!

41 posted on 12/23/2010 9:14:20 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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Continuing Dr. Scott's message:

I hate – I've always hated it when I was doing my degree in history – I hate a self-righteous objective historian: "I'm objective; I take no opinion." There's no such thing as a knowledgeable person that doesn't have an opinion. Knowledge forces an opinion; no exposure to facts keeps you neutral. Knowledge forces an opinion, and when you study the facts about Jesus listed above, there are only two options allowed. Either the Disciples lied or they honestly reported the truth. Let's examine each Theory and deduce the option:

#1 They stole the body (Theory 1), then they obviously lied (Theory 7).

#2. The Jewish leaders stole the body (Theory 2)?
These facts preclude that: they were more concerned than anyone to disprove the preachment (Fact 6), so why would they make the tomb empty? And if they had, they would have said, "Wait a minute; we took His body from the tomb." They couldn't even think of that story; they told the one about the Disciples (Theory 1), but even if that were tenable, the Disciples didn't preach just an empty tomb and simply the Resurrection. They preached a seen and living Jesus with whom they partook food; they preached the Ascension with equal vigor. So even if the Jewish leaders' taking the body would explain the empty tomb, the Disciples are still telling the add-ons of the encounters with the Resurrected body and the Ascension, so they have expanded and "made up" a lot of the story – in other words, they still lied.

#3. Roman leaders took the body (Theory 3)? With the controversies in Jerusalem, with the contacts the Jewish leaders had with the Romans, enabling them to get the crucifixion done, don't you think they would have exposed that fact, that officials of the Roman government took the body? But even if that explains the empty tomb, it does not alleviate the Disciples' responsibility for preaching a Resurrected body that they had encounters with, and the Ascension, so they're still lying.

#4. The women went to the wrong tomb (Theory 4)? It was a known accessible tomb (Fact 4). The Jewish leaders interest (Fact 6) would have taken them to the known tomb, and all they had to do to explain the wrong tomb theory was go to the tomb where the body is – and they would have done it.

#5. Hallucinations (Theory 5)? Well, the empty tomb (Fact 8) blasts that. If it had been just hallucinations, there would have been a body in the tomb. You have to couple it with spiriting the body away. So, they're still lying.

#6. Resuscitation (Theory 6)? Well, that Frankenstein coming out of the tomb doesn't quite measure up to the good Jesus that was preached. It might explain the empty tomb, but it doesn't explain the kind of Jesus that they had preached, doesn't explain the Ascension – they still made the rest of it up.

So no matter how you look at it, if you assume the eight facts which are much easier to demonstrate than the Resurrection, there are only two options, two conclusions, because it boils down to the veracity of the witnesses. That's why I have no respect for those who deny the Resurrection and have not read the classic, Sherlock's Trial of the Witnesses. He postulated a courtroom scene where all the witnesses were gathered and subjected to the kind of evidence of an English court. Or they haven't read Who Moved the Stone? by an attorney who set out to disprove the Resurrection and ended up writing one of the most convincing proof arguments.

You are faced with a "startling alternate": either OPTION 1 (which is Theory 7): these Disciples made the story up to save face and the whole thing is a lie, or OPTION 2 (which is Theory 8): They're telling what they truly experienced as honest men.

42 posted on 12/23/2010 9:18:10 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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The video is more complete than my poor notes. But here's the rest of what I've got. ... [I missed a couple of the intrinsic evidences for the truth of the New Testament.] Now, if you are having trouble distinguishing between "Facts," "Options" and "Theories," let me make it clear: There are eight facts which reduce eight theories to only the startling alternate theories 7 and 8, which become the only two credible theories, thus the only two remaining options, "Theories" 7, they lied, or 8, they told the truth! And when we come to that point, the entire Christian faith revolves around this question: were these Disciples who were the witnesses honest men telling what they saw, or conspirators who concocted a lie to save face? There are four reasons why I cannot believe they were lying:

Reason 1. Cataclysmic change for the better on the part of the witnesses.

Everybody agrees Peter was unstable, and even when with a group he could not be counted on mto stand. He fled in fear and he denied his Lord, he was always in trouble because of his extremes and his instability. After the Resurrection, he is the man that preaches to a mocking mob, he fulfills his destiny to become the Rock, he dies with courage requesting that he be turned upside down because he is not worthy to die in the position of his Master – a cataclysmic change that can be identified to a point in history, and that point in history is where they began to tell this story of the Resurrection.

John? He was self-centered to the extreme. He was one of the brothers called "Sons of Thunder." He wanted to call fire down from heaven on everyone that opposed him. He and his brother used their mother to seek the best seat in the kingdom. After they began to tell this Resurrection story, every scholar agrees John was a changed man. Instead of a "Son of Thunder," he's almost wimpish in his never-failing expression of love. He is known as the "Apostle of Love" – a total cataclysmic change.

Thomas is consistently a doubter: from start to finish, he's a doubter. He's a realist; he questions everything. When Jesus is going to go through Samaria and faces death, and tellsHis Disciples about it, Thomas then says, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." That's courage, but he thought Jesus would actually die; that's a humanistic view. When Jesus is discussing going away, building mansions in heaven, says, "Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," all the rest of them are surely shouting about the mansions.

Thomas is listening to every word. He says "We don't know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Now that's a consistent thumbnail sketch of a personality trait. Who is it that's doubting when the Resurrection comes? Same guy. "I won't believe 'til I touch Him, put my hands in the marks of death." The moment arrives. Jesus is there and says to Thomas, "Behold my hands and my side." He says, "It is more blessed to believe without seeing." That is an axiomatic truth, but He did not condemn Thomas. He just stated that fact, and then He offered to submit to the test, which is what we are doing today. He said, "Behold my hands and my side." And Thomas cried, "My Lord and my God."

It is significant that in the most philosophic area of the world, where the Vedanta philosophies have produced Buddhism and the Eastern religions that flow out of it, it is Thomas that pierces the Himalayas to die a martyr near Madras, India, to be the herald of faith in the most challenging philosophic area of the world at that time, and never again does he waver an instant in faith – a total change from a consistent doubter to an unwavering "faither."

Now, you can say, a crisis will change people, but a lie will seldom change people for the better; they'll get worse. These men are cataclysmically changed for the better; I don't think that telling a lie would do that.

Reason 2. Indirect evidences and internal consistencies.

There are indirect evidences of truth. Mark wrote to Gentiles; you can count it in Mark's Gospel, he has Christ referring to Himself as "Son of Man" more often than any other Gospel. Count it yourself.

Now if he was a liar, knew he was lying, trying to perpetrate a fraud, why would he have Jesus refer to Himself with a phrase that suggests humanity when his purpose is to try to represent Jesus as the Son of God? If he's a liar, he'd just have Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of God. But ironically, as God's little hidden evidences of honesty, in Mark's Gospel, written to Gentiles, designed to prove that Jesus was the Son of God, he had Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of Man more than any other Gospel.

Now, Jesus did refer to Himself as the "Son of Man" because Jesus was preaching to a Hebrew audience that read the Book of Enoch and read the Book of Daniel where the Son of Man was viewed as Messiah coming in clouds of glory to set up His kingdom. So it's quite proper for Jesus to refer to Himself as the Son of Man in a messiah mentality, but if you are writing to Gentiles who don't know anything about the Old Testament, and trying to perpetrate a lie that Jesus is the Son of God, unless you're just basically honest and telling the truth, you wouldn't have Jesus say "Son of Man" as often. Why not change what He said to serve your purpose? Inherent honesty. I could give you a dozen of those, but that is what historians call indirect evidence of honesty.

Let me give one more. In the New Testament world, women were thought incapable of being a credible witness. The Disciples knew that, so why would they present women as the first witnesses of the Resurrection? If they were telling a lie, they would know that their world would discount women witnesses. Liars would have avoided recording women witnesses.

More intrinsic evidence they were simply reporting what actually occurred. The fact that the Disciples waited seven weeks is used by those who say they were lying as the time needed for them to cook up the lie. If they are smart enough to tell a lie of this nature, my judgment is, they would have figured that out. They waited seven weeks because Jesus told them to wait. That's the action of honest men, even though waiting that long hurts their story – if they were going to make up a lie.

Reason 3. The Price they paid.

You don't pay the price these men paid to tell a lie. All of them, save John, died a martyr's death: Bartholomew flayed to death with a whip in Armenia; Thomas pierced with a Brahmin sword; Peter crucified upside down, St. Andrew crucified on St. Andrew's cross (from which it gets its name); Luke hanged by idolatrous priests, Mark dragged to death in the streets of Alexandria. These men paid beyond human belief for their "lie."

Reason 4. They died alone.

St. Thomas Aquinas' great – greatest, I think – proof of the veracity of the Disciples and the Resurrection is that they died alone. Now, as I do every year when I finish this message, I can conceive of a group of men trying to save face, telling a story, having bet on the wrong man, crushed by His failure (as they would view it), trying to resurrect Him with a lie. I can conceive of them staying together and group pressure holding together the consistencies of their lie, because they don't want to be the first one to break faith and rat on the others and collapse the whole thing.

Let's assume that Bobby Boyle and Jerry McIntyre and Richard Williams concocted this story. You don't have television, you don't have satellite, you don't have FAX, you don't have telephone, and as long as you stay together under great pressure, you don't want to be the one, Jerry, to let Richard and Bobby down.

But now separate you. You, Jerry, be Bartholomew in Armenia, and you, Bobby, be Thomas over in India. And Richard, you be Peter in Rome. You have lost contact with each other. You can't pick up a phone and call anybody; nobody knows where you are, and since you know you are telling a lie and you know you don't really expect the generations forever to believe it, and you, Jerry, in Armenia, are being flayed to death literally – that is, skinned with a whip, your skin peeled off of you – all you've got to do to get out is say, "It's all a lie," and "Forgive me; I'm leaving town."

Bobby wouldn't know it; Richard wouldn't know it. You could see them next time, exchanging stories together and saying, "Boy, I really tore them up there in Armenia. I told the story, and nobody could forget it the way I told it." Bobby and Richard wouldn't know you lied.

You, Bobby, you're going to be pierced with a sword in India; you are never going to see Jerry or Richard again. All you have to do to get out of the pressure is say, "It's a lie."

You, Richard, you're off in Rome; you're a little more exposed, but with your life at stake, all you have to say is, "Sorry. Maybe I dreamed it" and wiggle out and head to France.

As Thomas Aquinas said, it is psychologically inconceivable that these men, separated, each one paying the supreme price for their story and each one dying alone, that some one of the group wouldn't break away from his fellows and say, "Hey, it wasn't true!"

To die alone. And not one shred of evidence surviving 2,000 years of hard-looking critics, you will never find one record any where on the face of this earth where any one of these men ever wavered unto their terrible death in telling this story. Therefore, I came to the conclusion there's no way these men were lying. They were telling what they thought and experienced and saw as true.

I remember doing this with my professor Larry Thomas at Stanford, and he said to me, "Gene, I am convinced. These men believed what they were telling. Therefore, some one of these other eight facts must be wrong." Well, if you're honest and you say that, I've got you, because those other eight are a lot easier to demonstrate. What is the alternative?

IT'S TRUE, AND HE CAME OUT OF THAT GRAVE.

Well, if that is true, then what? All the rest of this is true, and I have a starting point for a faith ina God eternal. And I then have crossed over that threshold where I can now comprehend what Christianity is, for if I can believe that Jesus Christ came through those grave clothes, through that rock, through that door, and sailed off in the blue, then molecular displacement is nothing to Him – He can do it without creating an explosion. It is true that all things consist in Him, and He can control them.

Therefore, it's not difficult at all to believe that that same substance of God, placed in Mary, came forth as Jesus of Nazareth through the Holy Spirit. God says He places that same God-substance in us when we trust Him. That is the true born-again experience – a generator of life, a regeneration, a new creation that penetrates my cell structure and is placed in me as a gift from God when I connect by trusting His word.

That's the genesis of all Christianity, properly seen, that Christ is in us the hope of glory. I don't have to become some mystic or far-out freak to understand what Christianity is. I can now spend my life pursuing His words, including the authority He attaches to the Old Testament, and the promises that are written therein. And each time I grab hold of those and act on my belief, and sustain the action in confidence, that faith connection keeps in me a life substance the same as that which raised up Christ from the dead. That new life substance is as capable of changing my nature as radioactive material, invisible though it may be, can change your cell structure as you hold it.

God puts a life in us capable of regenerating, and that's why spirituality is the expressions of the spirit, and why righteousness is called the fruit of the spirit. It is that new life growing out through us which can only be maintained by faith in His word, but it was founded and based upon the solid rock of the provable quality of "He raised from the dead," and it gives me faith to believe that He will do the other thing He said, which is come again.

43 posted on 12/23/2010 9:21:21 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: Elsie; Godzilla; greyfoxx39; Colofornian; colorcountry; SZonian; caww; Vendome; CynicalBear; ...
Happy Christmas and Hallelujah ping!
44 posted on 12/23/2010 9:24:32 PM PST by MHGinTN (Some, believing they can't be deceived, it's nigh impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: MHGinTN
Thank you, MHG - Great posts.

Cordially,

45 posted on 12/23/2010 9:47:32 PM PST by Diamond (He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people,)
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To: MHGinTN; Elsie; Godzilla; greyfoxx39; Colofornian; colorcountry; SZonian; caww; CynicalBear

Merry Christmas!


46 posted on 12/23/2010 9:47:49 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously..... You won't live through it anyway.)
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To: MHGinTN

Great Posts.


47 posted on 12/23/2010 9:57:48 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously..... You won't live through it anyway.)
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To: Gondring

I’m a Christian, but I was once an agnostic. I understand how people can doubt Christianity or become even hostile to it. After all, I was once where many unbelievers are.

To me, atheists are irrational. They claim with absolute certainty that God does not exist while attacking Christians for believing. Neither side can prove their point of view, but Christians actually start from a stronger position: the universe exists and cause and effect is demonstrated throughout nature. So what’s the cause of the universe?

I’m a Christian now, but I still can’t prove the existence of God and wouldn’t even bother to try. No. My belief came from studying scripture and reaching the decision that Jesus was plausible. That may not seem like much, but Jesus said He was the Son of God. He himself didn’t leave the possibility open that He was simply a good teacher or even a prophet. He either was (is) what He claimed to be, or He was a madman. I believe He was telling the truth.

Of course some will say the Bible isn’t accurate, written by men and filled with errors. Again, one has to decide. Either the Bible is a reasonably accurate record or it’s not. If it’s an accurate record inspired by God, then that requires action on the part of the reader. The Bible itself doesn’t permit a middle ground. Either believe or not.

Myself? I choose to believe.


48 posted on 12/23/2010 10:00:09 PM PST by CitizenUSA (Coming soon! DADT...for Christians.)
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To: Vendome

Thank you Vendome...and may yours also be blessed and Merry.


49 posted on 12/23/2010 10:03:05 PM PST by caww
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To: MHGinTN

Thanks MHGinTn....and may you know and love Jesus more and more as we celebrate His birth. :)


50 posted on 12/23/2010 10:05:27 PM PST by caww
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