The Truthfulness of the Eyewitness Accounts as Presented in the Bible


By W. R. Miller


In Chinese


 


A religion that claims to be true must be based upon truth.  Christianity not only claims to be true, it claims to be based upon actual historical events.  For Christianity to be true, it must be based upon actual historical events.


These events are chronicled in the Bible, a collection of over 60 documents spanning over 1,500 years, written by over 40 authors including shepherds and kings, fishermen and doctors, soldiers and lawyers.  They all testified of their experiences with the supreme Creator of the universe, and how, even today, one can have a relationship with the Creator.


For those willing to investigate their testimonies, the following questions arise:  Did the Prophets and the Apostles report their experiences accurately, or were they mistaken, or did they want to mislead their readers?  How can we accept their testimony as true?  Why should we trust them?


Skeptics contend, “You can’t quote the Bible to prove the Bible.  That’s circular reasoning!”

Which is like saying, “You can’t quote an encyclopedia to prove an encyclopedia.  That’s circular reasoning!”


Webster’s College Dictionary
defines “encyclopedia” as “n. a book or set of books containing articles on various topics, usually in alphabetical arrangement, covering all branches of knowledge or all aspects of one subject.”  Encyclopedias contain articles written by multiple authors, purporting information that can be verified.


Webster’s College Dictionary
defines “Bible” as “n. 1. The collection of sacred writings of the Christian religion, comprising the Old and New Testaments.”


That’s right.  Just like an encyclopedia, the Bible is a set of books, of accounts written by multiple authors, purporting information that could be verified.  How so?  That is what this essay will demonstrate.


The books of the Bible were written by over 40 independent sources, which could be verified, or disqualified, by contemporaries with the means, motive, and opportunity to do so.   When we study the books of the Bible, we should apply the same standards as we would any historical document.

“All Christianity asks of men on this subject, is that they would be consistent with themselves; that they would treat the evidence of other things; and that they would try and judge its actors and witnesses, as they deal with their fellow men, when testifying to human affairs and actions, in human tribunals,” writes Simon Greenleaf, one of the founders of Harvard Law School.  “Let the witnesses be compared with themselves, with each other, and with surrounding facts and circumstances; and let their testimony be sifted, as if were given in a court of justice, on the side of the adverse party, the witness being subjected to a rigorous cross-examination.” [1]


The writers of the Biblical accounts invited critical analysis, as revealed in 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; and Revelation 2:2.  They wanted people to believe their testimony was true.  It was imperative they provided accurate, objective and truthful information, because lives were at stake.  Not just their lives, but the lives of those who received their message.


This essay isn’t a philosophical discussion.  This is an examination of the historical record and whether or not it’s valid.  Keep in mind that, while the evangelists professed the truth, they also reported historical facts.  So while the Bible addresses philosophical issues, it also reports facts which, by definition, are synonymous with truth.


Webster’s College Dictionary
:

True: “adj. 1. Being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact: a true story. 2. Real; genuine; authentic: true gold. 3. Sincere: not deceitful: a true interest in others. 4. Loyal; faithful; steadfast: a true friend. 5. Being or reflecting the essential or genuine character: the true meaning of his statement. 6. Conforming to or consistent with a standard, pattern, etc.: a true copy. 7. Exact; precise; accurate, correct: a true balance. 8. Such as it should be; proper: to arrange things in their true order. 9. Properly so called; rightly answering to a description: true statesmanship. 10. Legitimate or rightful: the true heir. 11. Reliable, unfailing, or sure: a true sign. 12. Exactly or accurately shaped, formed, fitted, or placed, as a surface or instrument. 13. Honest; honorable; upright. 14. Conforming to the type, structural standards, or norm of a particular group: The lion is a true cat.

Truth: “n. 1. The true or actual state of a matter: to tell the truth. 2. Conformity with fact or reality;  verity: to check the truth of a statement. 3. A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths. 4. The state or character of being true. 5. Actuality or actual existence. 6. An obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude. 7. Honesty; integrity; truthfulness. 8. (often cap.) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience. 9. Agreement with a standard or original. 10. Accuracy, as of position or adjustment.”

 

Fact: “n. 1. Something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact. 2. Something known to exist or to have happened. 3. A truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: scientific facts about plant growth. 4. Something said to be true or supposed to have happened. 5. An actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence.”  (Bold emphasis mine.)


This essay assumes the Scriptures we have are reliable copies of the originals.  For those who wish to explore why the copies we have are reliable, check out the articles at the following links:

Are the Biblical Documents Reliable? by Jimmy Williams

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/bib-docu.html

 

The Historical Reliability of the New Testament Text--Part One

http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/editors-choice/EC0802W2.htm

 

The Historical Reliability of the New Testament Text--Part Two

http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/editors-choice/EC0902W2.htm

 

The Historical Reliability of the New Testament Text--Part Three

http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/editors-choice/EC1002W2.htm

 

The Historical Reliability of the New Testament Text--Part Four

http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/editors-choice/EC1102W2.htm

 

Textual Trysts: The Textual Reliability of the New Testament

http://www.tektonics.org/lp/nttextcrit.html

Professor Greenleaf states,  “In examining the evidence of the Christian religion, it is essential to the discovery of truth that we bring to the investigation a mind freed, as far as  possible, from existing prejudice, and open to conviction.  There should be a readiness, on our part, to investigate with candor to follow the truth wherever it may lead us, and to submit, without reserve or objection, to all the teachings of this religion, if it be found to be of divine origin.” [2]

So, what proof is there that the writers of the Bible were trustworthy, and what they reported is accurate and true?  Following the outline, each heading will be demonstrated by a list of Scriptures.  In this manner we let the eyewitnesses of the events speak for themselves.

Outline

 

Introduction: The Prophets and the Apostles.

 

I. The Moral Imperative.

A. The prophets and the apostles knew the law regarding false witness.

B. The prophets and the apostles knew the consequences for disobeying the law.

C. The prophets and the apostles knew the rewards for obeying the law.

D. The prophets and the apostles knew God Himself was a witness to their actions.

E. The prophets and the apostles appealed to reason.

F. The prophets and the apostles appealed to the truth.

G. The prophets and the apostles appealed to the truthfulness of their testimony as eyewitness accounts.

H. The prophets and the apostles risked their lives proclaiming the truth.

 

II. Divine Confirmation.

            A.  God ordained the authority of the prophets and the apostles.

            B.  Jesus confirmed authority to the prophets and the apostles.

            C.  The Holy Spirit confirmed authority to the prophets and the apostles.

 

III. Confirmation by Miracles.

A. The truthfulness of the prophets and the apostles were confirmed by supernatural miracles.

B. The prophets and apostles warned of counterfeits, and encouraged testing.

 

IV. Legal Confirmation.

A.  The testimony of the prophets and the apostles was confirmed by other prophets and apostles.

B.  Prophets confirmed Mosaic authorship of the Law.

C.  Apostles confirmed Law and the Prophets.

D.  The Rulers of the People and the Synagogue confirmed the Law and the Prophets.

E.  The People confirmed the Law and the Prophets.

F.  Jesus confirmed the Law and the Prophets.

1.  Jesus believed all the Hebrew Scriptures to be authoritative.

2.  Jesus denounced those who were unfamiliar with the Hebrew Scriptures.

3.  Jesus believed the Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

4.  Jesus believed the Hebrew Scriptures were prophetic.

5.  Jesus referred to the Hebrew Scriptures as the Word of God.

6.  Jesus quoted from each of the divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures.

a.  The Law.

b.  The Prophets.

c.  The Writings.

7.  Jesus acknowledged the Passover seder, and the covenant God made with Israel.

G.  Jude confirmed 2 Peter as authoritative.

H.  Peter denounced false prophets and equated Paul’s epistles with Scripture.

I.   Paul confirmed Luke’s testimony as Scripture.

J.     Paul acknowledged Luke as an Eyewitness.

K.  Paul acknowledged other apostles and prophets.

L.     Paul acknowledged as an apostle.

            1.  Acknowledgement by the other apostles.

            2.  Acknowledgement by God in the use of miracles.

M.  As an Apostle, Paul had authority.

N.   Paul claimed all Scripture is God-breathed.

O.   The prophets and the apostles regarded Scripture as the Word of God.

P. What God says, the Bible says.  What the Bible says, God says.

 

V.  Historical Confirmation.

A.  Prophets confirmed specific historical events and persons in the Hebrew Scriptures.

1.  The Creation of Man.

2.  Eden.

3.  Adam’s sin acknowledged.

4.  Noah.

5.  God grants the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham.

6.  Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7.  The sin and destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

8.  Jacob wrestles with God.

9.  Hosea refers to Jacob and Rachel and Moses.

10.  Jacob buys land for 100 pieces of silver.

11.  The bones of Joseph.

12.  Dividing the Red Sea.

13.  Daniel refers to Moses.

14.  Micah refers to Moses, Aaron, Miriam.

15.  Micah refers to Balaam, Balak.

16.  Observance of the Passover.

17.  Mosaic legislation on carrying the Ark of the Covenant with poles.

18.  Independent references to manna.

19.  Samuel recalls the Amakite treachery.

20.  Amos refers to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness and the Amorites.

21.  The Bronze Serpent.

22.  Jephthah, a Hebrew judge, recalls the Exodus and the conflict of Ammon.

23.  Rahab the harlot.

24.  Joshua refers to the Torah / Pentateuch.

25.  Nehemiah quotes from Deuteronomy.

26.  Israel’s faithfulness to the Lord in the days of Joshua.

27.  Fulfillment of 1 Kings 13:31.

28.  Jeroboam’s Golden Calves.

29.  Elijah is acknowledged.

30.  Prophecy of the Exile from the books of Moses.

31.  Jonah the Prophet.

32.  Historical records from Adam to David acknowledged.

33.  The genealogy of Ruth acknowledged.

34.  God’s judgment upon Moab.

35.  Independent references to the Canaanite god Baal.

36.  Daniel refers to Jeremiah the Prophet.

37.  Daniel endorses Scripture.

38.  Ezekiel refers to Noah, Daniel and Job.

39.  The prophecy of Micah.

B.  Jesus confirmed specific historical events and persons in the Hebrew Scriptures.

1.  The creation of Adam and Eve.

2.  Jesus acknowledged the concept of marriage.

3.  Noah and the Genesis Flood.

4.  The Patriarchs.

5.  Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

6.  Moses and the burning bush.

7.  David eating the showbread.

8.  The Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon.

9.  The Exodus.

10.  Tyre and Sidon.

11.  Elijah, Elisha, the widow of Sidon.

12.  Jonah the Prophet, The great fish, Nineveh.

13.  The murders of Abel and Zechariah.

14.  Daniel the Prophet.

15.  Jesus accepted prophecy from the Hebrew Scriptures.

C.  Matthew confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

D.  Luke confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

E.  John confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

F.  Stephen confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

G.  Peter confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

H.  Paul confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

I.  The writer of Hebrews confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

J.  James confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

K.  Jude confirmed historical events and people from the Hebrew Scriptures.

L.  Jesus, Matthew, Mark,  Luke, Peter, James, John confirmed afterlife appearances of Moses and Elijah.

M.  Paul confirmed the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

1.  Paul confirmed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2.  Paul confirmed the Lord’s Supper.

3.  Paul referred to Jesus’ prohibition of divorce and remarriage.

4.  Paul proclaimed the resurrected Jesus Christ.

5.  Paul acknowledged the power of Jesus Christ.

6.  Paul confirmed Jesus’ prophecy regarding His return.

7.  Paul acknowledged the gospel of Jesus Christ.

8.  Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ.

9.  Paul preached the same doctrine of salvation as Jesus and the other Apostles.

a.  Jesus.

b.  Other Apostles.

c.  Paul.

d.  Results.

10.  Paul urged his readers to follow the example of Christ.

a.  Paul affirmed the beatitudes.

b.  Service to others.

c.  Other examples.

 

VI.  Prophetic Confirmation.

A.  The Jewish Authorities, and the people, anticipated the Messiah from prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures.

B.  Jesus confirmed prophecies concerning Himself.

C.  Matthew confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

D.  Mark confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

E.  Luke confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

F.  John confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

G.  Philip confirmed prophecies about Jesus.

H.  Apollos confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

I.   Paul confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

J.  Paul confirmed prophecies of the Holy Spirit.

K. Writer of Hebrews confirmed prophecies of Jesus.

L.  Peter confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

M.  James confirmed prophecies concerning Jesus.

N.  Other eyewitness accounts concerning Jesus and prophecy.

 

VII.  Confirmation by Nonbelievers and Hostile Eyewitnesses.

A.  Satan cited Scripture as authoritative.

B.  Many people witnessed the miracles and acts of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the prophets and apostles.

1.  The population of the children of Israel during the Exodus.

2.  Miraculous feeding of over 100 people.

3.  Miraculous feeding of over 5,000 people, plus healings.

4.  Followed by the miraculous feeding of over 4000 people, plus healings.

5.  Regional healings involving great multitudes.

6.  Jesus exorcises a man with an unclean demon, spreading fame.

7.  A great multitude witnesses the healing of the epileptic.

8.  Acknowledgement of Lazarus’ resurrection; a great multitude praises Jesus when He enters Jerusalem.

9.  Approximately 120 disciples, post-Resurrection.

10.  Approximately 3000 people become Christians, post-Resurrection.

11.  Over 5000 people become Christians, post-Resurrection.

12.  The ministry of Paul and Barnabas adds multitudes of believers.

13.  Over 500 witnesses to the resurrected Christ.

C.  The truthfulness of the testimony of the prophets and the apostles were confirmed by adversaries with the means, motive, and opportunity to refute them.

1.   Pharoah Siamon (Unnamed in 1 Kings) and Queen Tahpenes. Contemporary of King Solomon.

2.   Pharoah Shesonk I/Shishak.  Contemporary of King Rehoboam.

3.  Pharoah Shabaka (Unnamed in 2 Kings).  Contemporary of King Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, king of Judah and the prophet Isaiah.

4.  Tirhakah, King of EthiopiaContemporary of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah.

5.  Pharoah So.  Contemporary of Ahaz king of Judah and Hoshea, son of Elah and king of Israel in Samaria.

6.  Pharoah Necho II.  Contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah, Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and the prophet Jeremiah.

7.  Pharoah Apries/Hophra.  Contemporary of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and the prophet Jeremiah.

8.  Naaman, Syrian commander.

9.  Nebuchadnezzar, King of Neo-Babylonian Empire (605 – 562 B.C.)  Contemporary of King Zedekiah, Pharaoh Necho, Jehoiachin, and the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel.

10. Herod Antipas the tetrarch, ruler of Galilee and Perea.  (4 B.C. – A.D. 39)

11.  The Jewish Authorities.

12.  Nicodemus.

13.  Annas, the High Priest.

14.  Gamaliel I.

15.  Caiaphas, the High Priest.

16.  Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea.

17.  Saul/Paul of Tarsus.

18.  Proconsul Sergius Paulus.

19.  Porcius Festus.

20.  King Herod Agrippa II.

 

VIII. Confirmation of Objective Testimony.

A.  The prophets and the apostles included testimony that indicated their own sinfulness and skepticism.

1.  Adam.

2.  Abram.

3.    Moses.

4.    Samson.

5.    David, King of Israel.

6.    Solomon, King of Israel.

7.    Disobedient prophets.

8.   Elisha, the prophet.

9.    Jeremiah, the prophet.

10.   John the baptizer.

11.   The disciples of Jesus Christ.

a.   The disciples testify of their own lack of knowledge and understanding.

b.   Fear, lack of faith.

c.   Lack of faith.

d.   Pettiness.

e.    Judgmental.

f.    Fallible.

g.   Weak.

h.  Disloyal.

(I.  Judas betrayed Jesus Christ.

(II.  The disciples abandoned Jesus Christ.

(III.  Peter denied Jesus Christ.

i.   The disciples were skeptical of Christ’s resurrection.

B.  The prophets and the apostles testified of those who disbelieved in spite of the miracles.

C.  The prophets and the apostles testified of those who disbelieved in spite of the message.

 

Conclusion:  Therefore, the testimony of the prophets and the apostles is true.

 

Appendix 1

Acceptable in a Court of Law: The Eyewitness Testimony of the Evangelists

Appendix 2

            A. Are the testimonies biased evidence?

            B. Were the Scriptures deliberately altered to fit prophecies?

Appendix 3

Objections to Truth

            A.  Was there intent to deceive?

            B.  Was the Gospel incomplete or not fully revealed?

Appendix 4

Affirmation of the Apostles

            A.  Jesus gave them understanding in matters of doctrine and fulfillment of prophecy.

            B.    The Holy Spirit gave them understanding in matters of doctrine and prophecy.


Conclusion:

Therefore, the testimony of the prophets and the apostles is true.

The Bible is a reliable and trustworthy account of historical events, of God’s interaction with mankind, of mankind’s depravity apart from God, and how God’s love can reconcile the individual through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Because we can trust The Bible, we can trust what The Bible says about God.  Through its collective accounts, The Bible declares itself to be the Word of God.  As the Word of God, it is authoritative.

Because we can trust The Bible, we can trust what The Bible says about Jesus Christ.  From the testimony of the eyewitnesses, Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the Son of God.  As the Son of God, He is authoritative.

Because we can trust The Bible, we can trust what The Bible says about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  From the testimony of the eyewitnesses, Jesus conquered death and proved he was the Son of God.  As the Son of God, we can trust Him.

Because we can trust Jesus Christ, we can trust the gift of salvation the Jesus offers.

For whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (John 3:16.)

You can trust Jesus Christ, and you can trust that He loves you very much.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  (John 15:13.)

Romans 5:6-8

6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

All Have Sinned

Romans 3:9-26

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10As it is written:
        “There is none righteous, no, not one;
        11There is none who understands;
        There is none who seeks after God.
        12They have all turned aside;
        They have together become unprofitable;
        There is none who does good, no, not one.” [Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20]
        13”Their throat is an open tomb;
        With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; [Psalm 5:9]
        “The poison of asps is under their lips”; [Psalm 5:9]
        14”Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” [Psalm 10:7]
        15”Their feet are swift to shed blood;
        16Destruction and misery are in their ways;
        17And the way of peace they have not known.” [Isaiah 59:7, 8]
        18”There is no fear of God before their eyes.” [Psalm 36:1]

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all [NU-Text omits and on all] who believe. For there is no difference; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

 

Romans 5:1-21

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have [Another ancient reading is, let us have peace] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-- 13(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Cf. Genesis 3:1-19.

1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

 

Appendix 1

Acceptable in a Court of Law: The Eyewitness Testimony of the Evangelists


Are the New Testament documents acceptable as evidence in a modern court of law?  This was a question examined by Simon Greenleaf  (1783-1853), one of the greatest authorities on common-law evidence in Western history.


Greenleaf  authored the three-volume text, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence (1842), which, according to Dr. Wilbur Smith “is still considered the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature on legal procedure.” (In Wilbur M. Smith, Therefore Stand: Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1972), p. 423)

 

The London Law Journal wrote of Greenleaf in 1874, “It is no mean honor to America that her schools of jurisprudence have produced two of the finest writers and best esteemed legal authorities in this century-the great and good man, Judge Story, and his eminent and worthy associate Professor Greenleaf. Upon the existing law of evidence (by Greenleaf) more light has shown from the New World than from all the lawyers who adorn the courts of Europe.” (Irwin H. Linton, A Lawyer Examines the Bible: A Defense of the Christian Faith (San Diego: Creation Life Publishers, 1977), p. 36.)

 

Further, “Dr. Simon Greenleaf was one of the greatest legal minds we have had in this country. He was the famous Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, and succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law in the same university. H. W. H. Knott in the Dictionary of American Biography says of him: “To the efforts of Story and Greenleaf is ascribed the rise of the Harvard Law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States.”

 

Greenleaf wrote The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice, a volume in which he examined the legal value of the apostles’ testimony to the resurrection of Christ. He observed that it was impossible that the apostles “could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.”

 

Greenleaf concluded that the resurrection of Christ was one of the best supported events in history, according to the laws of legal evidence administered in courts of justice.

 

His treatise is available online – though without the footnotes – at http://www.bibleteacher.org/sgtestimony.htm, http://www.myfortress.org/simongreenleaf.html, or http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/greenleaf.html


The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice
was recently published in its entirety by Kregel Classics, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995.  The volume also included “An Account of the Trial of Jesus,” by Greenleaf; “The Jewish Account of the Trial of Jesus,” by Joseph Salvador, a skeptic; “The Trial of Jesus Before Caiaphas and Pilate,” a refutation of the previous essay by M. Dupin; and “The Various Versions of the Bible” by Constantine Tischendorf.


What do other legal authorities think of the Resurrection? Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon discovered the following:

Lord Darling, a former Lord Chief Justice in England, asserts: “We as Christians are asked to take a very great deal on trust; the teachings, for example, and the miracles of Jesus. If we had to take all on trust, I for one should be skeptical. The crux of the problem of whether Jesus was or was not what he proclaimed himself to be must surely depend upon the truth or otherwise of the resurrection. On that greatest point we are not merely asked to have faith. In its favor as a living truth there exists such overwhelming evidence, positive and negative, factual and circumstantial, that no intelligent jury in the world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true. (In Michael Green, Man Alive! (Chicago, IL: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, 1969), p. 54.)

 

John Singleton Copley (Lord Lyndhurst, 1772-1863) is recognized as one of the greatest legal minds in British history. He was Solicitor General of the British government, Attorney General of Great Britain, three times the High Chancellor of England and elected High Steward of the University of Cambridge. He challenges, “I know pretty well what evidence is; and I tell you, such evidence as that for the Resurrection has never broken down yet.” (In Wilbur M. Smith, Therefore Stand: Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1972), p. 425, cf., p. 584.)

 

Hugo Grotius was a noted “jurist and scholar whose works are of fundamental importance in international law,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. He wrote Latin elegies at the age of eight and entered Leiden University at eleven. (q.v., “Hugo Grotius,” Encyclopedia Britannica Micropaedia, Vol. 4, p. 753 and references.)  Considered “the father of international law,” he wrote The Truth of the Christian Religion (1627) in which he legally defended the historical fact of the Resurrection.


J. N. D. Anderson, in the words of Armand Nicholi of the Harvard Medical School (Christianity Today, March 29, 1968), is a scholar of international repute, eminently qualified to deal with the subject of evidence. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on Muslim law, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of London, Chairman of the Department of Oriental Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London.7 (In Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, rev. ed. 1979), pp. 201-202) In Anderson’s text, Christianity: The Witness of History, he supplies the standard evidences for the Resurrection and asks, “How, then, can the fact of the resurrection be denied?”8 . (J. N. D. Anderson, Christianity: The Witness of History, (London: Tyndale Press, 1970), p. 90.)

Anderson further emphasizes, “Lastly, it can be asserted with confidence that men and women disbelieve the Easter story not because of the evidence but in spite of it.” (J. N. D. Anderson, Christianity: The Witness of History, (London: Tyndale Press, 1970), p. 105.)


Sir Edward Clark, K.C., observes: “As a lawyer, I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the events of the first Easter day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling. Inference follows on evidence, and a truthful witness is always artless and disdains effect. The gospel evidence for the resurrection is of this class, and as a lawyer I accept it unreservedly as a testimony of truthful men to facts they were able to substantiate.” (In John Stott, Basic Christianity (London: InterVarsity Fellowship, 1969), p. 47.)

 

Irwin H. Linton was a Washington, D.C. lawyer who argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In A Lawyer

Examines the Bible, he challenges his fellow lawyers “by every acid test known to the law…to examine the case for the Bible just as they would any important matter submitted to their professional attention by a client….” (Irwin H. Linton, A Lawyer Examines the Bible: A Defense of the Christian Faith (San Diego: Creation Life Publishers, 1977), pp. 13, 196.)

 

He believes that the evidence for Christianity is “overwhelming” and that at least “three independent and converging lines of proof,” each of which “is conclusive in itself,” establish the truth of the Christian faith. (ibid., p. 192.)

 

Linton observed that “the logical, historical…proofs of…Christianity are so indisputable that I have found them to arrest the surprised attention of just about every man to whom I have presented them….” (ibid., p. 120.)  He further argues the Resurrection “is not only so established that the greatest lawyers have declared it to be the best proved fact of all history, but it is so supported that it is difficult to conceive of any method or line of proof that it lacks which would make [it] more certain.” (ibid., p. 50.)

 

And that, even among lawyers, “he who does not accept wholeheartedly the evangelical, conservative belief in

Christ and the Scriptures has never read, has forgotten, or never been able to weigh--and certainly is utterly

unable to refute--the irresistible force of the cumulative evidence upon which such faith rests….” (ibid., p.

45, cf., pp. 16-17.)

 

He concluded the claims of Christian faith are so well established by such a variety of independent and converging proofs that “it has been said again and again by great lawyers that they cannot but be regarded as proved under the strictest rules of evidence used in the highest American and English courts.” (ibid., p. 16.)

 

From “The Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Part 2:  Could the Evidence Stand Cross-Examination in a Modern Court of Law?” by Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon, available online at:

http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/apologetics/AP0302W3.htm

 

See also

 

Chuck D. “Holy Hearsay! A Pushback to Skeptics Who Use the ‘Hearsay’ Argument”

http://www.tektonics.org/gk/hearsay.html

 

Glenn Miller.  “Question...How does the memory research of Elizabeth Loftus on eyewitness testimony affect the credibility of NT documents?”

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/loftus.html

 

The Historical Resurrection of Jesus Christ,

http://hometown.aol.com/Summersmr/Resurrection.html

 

Donald L Hudgel.  “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ:  Is it a Fact?”

http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/resurct1.html

 

 

Appendix 2

 

A.  Are the testimonies biased evidence?

 

Glenn Miller.  “New Testament Bias,”

http://www.Christian-thinktank.com/nuhbias.html

 

Glenn Miller.  “On Alleged ‘Creativity’ in the Early Church,”

http://www.Christian-thinktank.com/stil21.html

 

Glenn Miller.  “Did the NT Writers Just “Rip Off” OT Stories?”

http://www.Christian-thinktank.com/qotripoff.html

 

Glenn Miller.  “Did the Christians just OUTLIVE those who ‘knew better and were silent’?”

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qconspr.html

 

 

B.  Were the Scriptures deliberately altered to fit prophecies?

 

Glenn Miller.  Micah 5.2: The Bethlehem Issue

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fabprof3.html

 

Glenn Miller.  Does Micah 5 speak about the birth-place of the Messiah, or only His birth-family? http://www.christian-thinktank.com/micah5.html

 

The Bethlehem Prediction of Micah 5

http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/q1208/point1.html

 

Bethlehem - Messiah’s birthplace

http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/bethlehem.htm

 

Was Matthew wrong when he thought that Micah meant the town of Bethlehem, rather than the person  named Bethlehem?

http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/q35.htm

 

The Messiah Pages: Everything you wanted to know about the Messiah but felt too embarrassed to ask.

http://www.shalom.org.uk/Messiah/Messiah_pages.htm

 

“Did the Messianic Jewish Believers use the OT deceitfully or ignorantly in the New Testament?”

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/baduseot.html

 

“Tis the Season to be Grouchy,”

http://www.tektonics.org/qt/singert01.html

 

 

Appendix 3:  Objections to Truth


A.  Was there intent to deceive?

Skeptics point to the following verses in an attempt to indicate the Apostle Paul’s lack of integrity.  The questions then arise:  Why would he knowingly violate the law (The Ninth Commandment), knowing the punishment for disobedience, and the judgement of God and his fellow apostles?  The answer, of course, is that when presenting the gospel message, Paul told the truth.


Responses by J. P. Holding follow each verse cited in contention:


1.   
1 Corinthians 9:20-22

20and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, [NU-Text adds though not being myself under the law] that I might win those who are under the law; 21to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, [NU-Text reads God's law] but under law toward Christ [NU-Text reads Christ's law]), that I might win those who are without law; 22to the weak I became as [NU-Text omits as] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.


J. P. Holding:   “Is Paul being a chameleon and a charlatan? No more so than the teacher who learns the dialect of a student in order to be more effective teachers to them. Is it being a “chameleon” and being “opportunistic” to absorb local customs and behaviors for the sake of viable communication? Not at all. This was especially so in the ancient world. As Malina and Neyrey note in Portraits of Paul, it was natural and expected for persons to submit themselves to and for the good of the group by meeting their expectations for behavior . The “chameleon” insult is a product of anachronism by a  Western mindset and in no way reflects any idea that Paul would lie or make up stories.

2.    Romans 3:7

7For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?


J. P. Holding:   “Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?”“ This is a verse I have seen skeptics quote time and time again and argue as Smith has, that it means that “Paul’s  contempt for reason is further illustrated by his willingness to deceive if it will hasten the spread of Christianity.” Okay, Skeptics, I give up. How do you folks get this out of this verse? Paul is in the middle of an extended “diatribe” with an imagined opponent, and is here presenting an argument he supposes might be made in light of his previous ones. I don’t see any contempt for reason, or  willingness to deceive. One of you fellows out there want to provide a detailed exegesis, please? (No takers yet, and it’s been years.)”

3.    Philippians 1:18

18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.


J. P. Holding:  “A Jewish anti-missionary site saw some alleged significance here thinking that they could prove Paul a liar, but the word “pretence” here is prophasis, which means an outward showing. It does not reflect lies in content, but lies in motive, and that is what Paul accuses opponents of his of doing, not himself--just as you may get a true Gospel  message unwittingly from a charlatan. Is eternal life not more of a concern than the bad habits of the preacher?”

4.  Jeremiah 8:8

8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.


J. P. Holding:  “This verse is often abused by Muslims (and others) to suggest that the OT text was tampered with. See answers off-site here, here, and here.”

5.  Jeremiah 14:14

14And the LORD said to me, "The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.


W. R. Miller:  How do we know when a prophet is telling a lie?  When the lie is exposed by other prophets or apostles, or by the Scriptures, or by God Himself.  See
I. The Moral Imperative, II. Divine Confirmation, III. Confirmation by Miracles,  and IV. Legal Confirmation.


6.  Jeremiah  23:31

31”Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’

and


7.  Jeremiah 23:36

36And the oracle of the LORD you shall mention no more. For every man's word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.


W. R. Miller:  Here the Lord is speaking of false prophets, as one can see from reading the whole of Jeremiah 23, in the context of the entire chapter: http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?passage=JER+23&language=english&version=NKJV&showfn=on&showxref=on


Did the prophets and the apostles distort the Hebrew Scriptures to create a semblance of fulfillment?  Did they wantonly violate the Ninth Commandment?  The following online essays address the specific charges:

“The New Testament twists and mistranslates the Hebrew Bible.”

Did the Messianic Jewish Believers Use the Old Testament Deceitfully or Ignorantly in the New Testament?

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/baduseot.html

 

Three “Weird” Fulfillments in Matthew

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fabrach.html

 

The Infancy Events of Matthew 2

http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/ds/q1208/point4.html

 

“The so-called messianic prophecies are in the past tense; they are not about the future Messiah at all.”

Are the Messianic Prophecies in the Past Tense?

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/qa/HebrewTenses.htm

 

“The genealogies of Jesus show that he can’t be the Messiah”

The Genealogy of the Messiah

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/library/issues/05-06/genealogy.htm

 

The Problem of the Curse on Jeconiah

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/answers/qa/jeconiah.htm

 

Problems in the Genealogies of Jesus

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fabprof4.html



B.  Was the Gospel incomplete or not fully revealed?


Skeptics point to the following verses that, to them, indicate the Holy Scriptures are incomplete and/or cannot be trusted.  Upon closer examination, the skeptics are looking at these verses out of context.  To wit:


1.  John 16:12

12”I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”


W. R. Miller:  A critic claims this verse indicates “
Jesus states that his message is incomplete,” presumptuously assuming the “many things” is the Gospel.  The critic ignores the fact that, later, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would fully reveal the Gospel to the apostles.  All the critic had to do was continue reading the verses that followed:

John 16:13-15

13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. [NU-Text and M-Text read He takes of Mine and will declare it to you]


Luke 10:21
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

1 Corinthians 2:10
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Galatians 3:23
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed
.

Ephesians 1:9
having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

 

Ephesians 3:1-7

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles-- 2if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

 

Colossians 1:26
the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.

1 Peter 1:12
To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us [NU-Text and M-Text read you] they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.

See also Appendix 4.


2.  Ephesians 6:19

19and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,


W. R. Miller:  A Muslin apologist believes this verse demonstrates “Paul even states the Gospel is unclear and incomplete.”  The gospel is no mystery to Paul, as stated in the verses listed above.  Paul is asking for the saints to pray for him regarding the delivery of the Gospel message, not in the message itself.  Read the surrounding verses in context:

 

Ephesians 6:18-20

18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- 19and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


3.  I Corinthians 13:10

10But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.


W. R. Miller:  A Muslim apologist believes this verse demonstrates “Paul even states the Gospel is unclear and incomplete.”  Again, this belief is out of context with the surrounding verses of I Corinthians 13: http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?passage=1COR+13&language=english&version=NKJV&showfn=on&showxref=on

 

 

 

Appendix 4: Affirmation of the Apostles


A.  Jesus gave the apostles understanding in matters of doctrine and fulfillment of prophecy.

Despite the disciples’ shortcomings, Jesus corrected them during His ministry, and gave them full understanding of doctrine and fulfillment of prophecy after His Resurrection.


Matthew 13:10-17

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
11He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
        “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
        And seeing you will see and not perceive;
        15For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
        Their ears are hard of hearing,
        And their eyes they have closed,
        Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
        Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
        So that I should [NU-Text and M-Text read would] heal them.’ [Isaiah 6:9, 10]
16But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

 

Matthew 13:34-35

34 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, 35that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
        “I will open My mouth in parables;
        I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” [Psalm 78:2]

 

 

Mark 4:10-12

10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12so that
        “Seeing they may see and not perceive,
        And hearing they may hear and not understand;
        Lest they should turn,
        And their sins be forgiven them.”

 

Isaiah 6:8-10

8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
        “Whom shall I send,
        And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
9And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
        “Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
        Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
        10”Make the heart of this people dull,
        And their ears heavy,
        And shut their eyes;
        Lest they see with their eyes,
        And hear with their ears,
        And understand with their heart,
        And return and be healed.”

 

See also Matthew 13:10-17; Luke 8:9, 10.


Mark 4:33-34

33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.


John 2:13-22

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten [NU-Text and M-Text read will eat] Me up.” [Psalm 69:9]

18So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; [NU-Text and M-Text omit to them] and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.


See also Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48.


See also II. Divine Confirmation.  B.  Jesus confirmed authority to the prophets and the apostles.

 


B.  The Holy Spirit gave the apostles understanding in matters of doctrine and prophecy.

After Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit provided guidance to the disciples.


John 14:25-27

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


1 Peter 1:3-12

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8whom having not seen [M-Text reads known] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
10Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us [NU-Text and M-Text read you] they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.

 

Acts 1:4-8

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses [NU-Text reads My witnesses] to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 

Acts 1:15-17

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples [NU-Text reads brethren] (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16”Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”

See also Mark 16:19, 20; Luke 24:50-53.


Acts 2:1-4

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Acts 4:31

31And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.


Acts 9:17
17And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, [M-Text omits Jesus] who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”


Acts 10:44-47

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Then Peter answered, 47”Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

 

Acts 11:4-18

4But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: 5”I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. 6When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 7And I heard a voice saying to me, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I said, “Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ 9But the voice answered me again from heaven, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ 10Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
18When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

 

Acts 15:6-11

6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 7And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ [NU-Text and M-Text omit Christ] we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”


Acts 19:1-7

1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
3And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7Now the men were about twelve in all.

 

Romans 9:1-4

1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen [Or relatives] according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

 

Colossians 1:24-27

24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which [M-Text reads who]  is Christ in you, the hope of glory.


Ephesians 3:1-13

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles-- 2if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make all see what is the fellowship [NU-Text and M-Text read stewardship (dispensation)] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; [NU-Text omits through Jesus Christ. ] 10to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.


1 Thessalonians 1:5
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.


Titus 3:4-7

4But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

2 Peter 1:16-21

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, [Or We also have the more sure prophetic word. ] which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, [Or origin] 21for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God [NU-Text reads but men spoke from God. ] spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.


See also Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.


1 Corinthians 2:1-16

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony [NU-Text reads mystery] of God. 2For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human [NU-Text omits human] wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9But as it is written:
        “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
        Nor have entered into the heart of man
        The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” [Isaiah 64:4]
10But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy
[NU-Text omits Holy] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” [Isaiah 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ.


Cf. Isaiah 64:4
For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.


Cf. Isaiah 40:13

Who
has directed the Spirit of the LORD
, Or as His counselor has taught Him?


See also Section II. Divine Confirmation.

 

Footnotes

1. Simon Greenleaf.  The Testimony of the Evangelists: The Gospels Examined by the Rules of Evidence.   New York: J. C. & Co., 1874.  Available online (without footnotes) at this location and also here. Back to text.


2. Greenleaf, ibid. Back to text.


3. Dr. Norman L. Geisler.  “Bible: Evidence for,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Books, 1999, p. 91. Back to text.


4. Sources: NIV Study Bible and New King James Version. Back to text.


5. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 610.  Even the unbelieving Jewish scribes identified this as a prediction of the Messiah and directed the inquiring magi to Bethlehem. Back to text.

 

6. F. F. Bruce, M.A., D.D., F.B.A.  The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?, Fifth edition, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1960), Available online at http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/ffbruce/ntdocrli/ntdocont.htm or http://www.bible.ca/b-new-testament-documents-f-f-bruce.htm

Chapter 4: “The Gospels,” pp. 45-46, online at http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/ffbruce/ntdocrli/ntdocc04.htm

or http://www.bible.ca/b-new-testament-documents-f-f-bruce-ch4.htm.  Back to text.

 

7.  Bruce, ibid.  Chapter 6: “The Importance of Paul’s Evidence,” online at http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/ffbruce/ntdocrli/ntdocc06.htm or http://www.bible.ca/b-new-testament-documents-f-f-bruce-ch6.htm.  Back to text.

 

8.   Flavius Josephus.  Antiquities of the Jews, Book XX, ix.2, translated by William Whiston, available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-20.htm.  Back to text.

 

9.  Bruce, ibid.  Chapter 9: “The Evidence of Early Jewish Writings,”online at http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/ffbruce/ntdocrli/ntdocc09.htm or http://www.bible.ca/b-new-testament-documents-f-f-bruce-ch9.htm.  Back to text.

 

10. Flavius Josephus.  Antiquities of the Jews, Book XIX, 8. 2, translated by William Whiston, available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-19.htm or http://exodus2006.com/jos-ant19.htm or http://www.doig.net/JA19.html.  Back to text.

 

 

Special thanks to James Patrick Holding, Tekton Ministries, and Glenn Miller, Christian Thinktank.