Keeping the Resurrection in Mind as You Celebrate Christmas

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Keeping the Resurrection in Mind as You Celebrate Christmas

tree cross tomb medThis picture is something I drew a couple of years ago to remind us, as we celebrate Christmas, that we shouldn’t lose sight of Easter. The birth of Christ is a great thing to celebrate, as God became flesh when the second person of the Trinity was born as a human baby. It’s amazing that God would love us enough to humble himself and become one of us. But as we think of that little baby lying in the manger, let’s never forget why he came. He was born as a human baby all so that he could die on the cross for the sins of humanity. What’s more, Jesus proved who he was by rising again from the dead, showing that the penalty for our sins has been paid in full. We’ve looked at the evidence for the resurrection at length on the blog this past year. I encourage you to explore it if you haven’t.

While it’s good to remember and celebrate Jesus’ birth, the Bible never tells us to remember this.  On the other hand it does tell us to remember his death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, 2 Timothy 2:8).  This is the heart of Christianity.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,“.

So I want to wish you a joyous Christmas season, as you celebrate Jesus’ coming for us, and as you do so, I pray that you will remember why he came and that God will give you opportunities to share that with others.  Please pray the same for me.

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of the Demanding Sayings of Jesus

Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Reliable Documents, Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament Writers Told the Truth | Leave a comment

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of the Demanding Sayings of Jesus

How do we know that the writers of the New Testament wrote the truth and weren’t just making it up? Because not only did they include embarrassing details about themselves and Jesus, they also included some very demanding sayings of Jesus.


If the New Testament writers were making up a story, they certainly didn’t make one up that made life easier for them.  This Jesus that they wrote about had some very demanding standards.

The Sermon on Mount, recorded in Matthew chapter 5, does not appear to be a human invention.  Jesus said…

  • “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”
  • “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commit’s adultery”
  • “I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who ask you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
  • “I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
  • “Be perfect… as your heavenly Father is perfect”
  • “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

All these commands are difficult or impossible for human beings to keep and seem to go against the natural best interested of the men who wrote them down.  They are certainly contrary to the desires of many today who want a religion of spirituality that has no moral demands.

Consider the extremity and undesirable implications of these commands…

  • If thinking about a sin is sinful, then everyone – including the New Testament writers – is guilty
  • To set such a stringent standard for divorce and remarriage does not appear to be in the earthly best interests of the men who recorded this saying
  • To not resist the insults of an evil person is to resist our basic human instincts, it also sets up an inconvenient standard of behavior for the apostles, who were undergoing persecution when this saying was written down
  • To pray for our enemies goes well beyond any ethic ever uttered and commands kindness when hate is natural
  • To not accumulate financial wealth contradicts our deepest desire for temporal security
  • To be perfect is an unattainable request for fallible human beings
  • To not judge unless our own lives are in order counters our natural tendency to point out fault in others

These commands are clearly not the commands that people would invent and impose on themselves.

Frank Turek and Norman Geisler say, “Who can live up to such standards? Only a perfect person. Perhaps that’s exactly the point.”

I know that I can’t live up to them and I have a very hard time believing that someone would decide to make up a religion and in doing so, invent a standard that they could never keep.  If I was making it up, I’d make up something manageable that I could keep and look good at.  I wouldn’t make up something that shows how bad of a sinner I am.  Thankfully I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins so that my eternal destiny isn’t based on what I can do, but instead, when I place my faith in Christ and accept him as my savior, my eternal destiny is based on what Jesus has done.

Source: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of Embarrassing Testimony About Jesus

Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Reliable Documents, Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament Writers Told the Truth | Leave a comment

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of Embarrassing Testimony About Jesus

How do we know that the writers of the New Testament wrote the truth and weren’t just making it up? Because not only did they included embarrassing details about themselves, as we saw last week, they also included embarrassing details about Jesus as well as difficult sayings made by him.


In addition to being honest about themselves they were honest about Jesus. You might not have thought of the Bible saying anything embarrassing about Jesus but consider these details that the writers included.

Embarrassing Details


  • is considered “out of his mind” by his own family
  • is not believed by his brothers
  • is thought to be a deceiver
  • is deserted by most of his followers
  • turns off “Jews who had believed in him” to the point they want to stone him
  • is called a drunkard
  • is called demon-possessed
  • is called a madman
  • had his feet wiped with the hair of a prostitute (an act which could have been perceived as a sexual advance)
  • is crucified by the Jews and Romans despite the OT saying “anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse” (Dt 21:23)

These are details they would have wanted to leave out, yet they included them.  They certainly aren’t details they would have made up.
The best explanation for them is that these things actually happened and the writers of the New Testament were committed to honestly recording what happened, even when it wasn’t helpful.

Difficult Sayings

They also included difficult sayings of Jesus.


  • declares “The Father is greater than I” (John 14:28)
  • seems to predict incorrectly that he’s coming back within a generation
  • says about his second coming, that no one knows the time, “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son”
  • seems to deny his deity by asking the rich young ruler, “Why do you call me good?… No one is good – except God alone” (Luke 18:19)
  • is seen cursing a fig tree for not having figs when it wasn’t even the season for figs
  • seems unable to do miracles in his hometown, except to heal a few sick people

If the writers of the New Testament wanted to prove to everyone that Jesus was God, then why would they make up difficult sayings that seem to argue against his deity?

Jesus also rather morbidly says, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you”. (John 6:53)  After this, John says, “From this time on many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66)

Why would you make that up?  There are reasonable explanations for these difficult sayings, but it doesn’t make sense that they’d make them up.  If true, they’d want to leave them out, but to me it seems they included them because they were committed to being completely accurate and truthful.

Source: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of Embarrassing Testimony

Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Reliable Documents, Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament Writers Told the Truth | Leave a comment

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Is the New Testament True? The Evidence of Embarrassing Testimony

How do we know that the writers of the New Testament wrote the truth and weren’t just making it up? We’re going to be looking at several pieces of evidence for this off and on over the next few months.  Today we start with the fact that the New Testament writers included embarrassing details about themselves.


Principle of Embarrassment

The principle of embarrassment says that any details that a writer includes that are embarrassing to him or her are probably true. We understand this.  If you were to make up a story and try to pass it off as true, would you invent details that make you look bad? A writer’s natural tendency is to leave out any details that are embarrassing to them, not to invent and include them. And so when a writer includes embarrassing details about themself, you can be pretty sure they’re true.

So if you and your friends were going to make up a story and tell everyone it was true, would you make yourselves look like dim-witted, uncaring, rebuked, doubting cowards? Of course not, but that’s what we find in the New Testament.

Frank Turek and Norman Geisler point this out and say,

“The people who wrote down the New Testament are characters (or friends of characters) in the story, and often they depict themselves as complete morons.”

If this isn’t obviously true to you, I encourage you to read the New Testament more, especially the Gospels. They show themselves as…


Numerous times they fail to understand what Jesus is trying to teach them.


They fall asleep on Jesus twice when he askes them to pray for him in his hour of greatest need. When he dies on the cross they make no effort to give him a proper burial.


Peter was the first leader of the church, yet we read of Jesus rebuking him, even calling him “Satan”. Paul also rebuked Peter, opposing him to his face.


All but one of the disciples hides when Jesus goes to the cross.  Peter denies even knowing Jesus three times, even though he said he never would. Meanwhile, while the men hide in fear, brave women stand by Jesus, even following him to the cross, and they are the first to discover the empty tomb.


Despite being told in advance by Jesus, multiple times, that he would rise from the dead, they are doubtful when they hear of it. Some even doubted after seeing him.

If you were writing and making up the New Testament, would you include these details about yourself? It makes you look bad. It makes he leaders of the new church, that you want people to follow, look bad.

What Would We Read if it Had Been Made Up?

  • They would have left that all out.
  • Instead of cowards we would see bold believers who opposed the crucifixion.
  • They, the men, would have declared it to the fearful women.
  • Jesus would have congratulated them for their great faith.

But we read something very different, don’t we? It seems to me that the writers of the New Testament were committed to writing the truth, even though the truth sometimes made them look bad.

Source: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Turek and Geisler

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What Can We Tell About The Intelligent Designer?

Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Design | Leave a comment

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What Can We Tell About The Intelligent Designer?

I’ve written several posts now that talk about how what we see in the universe, and what we see on this planet and life on it in particular, points to an intelligent designer behind it.  From the incredible fine-tuning needed for life (against all odds) to the information found in our DNA, all of our experience and observation tells us that there must have been an intelligent designer behind it all, that brought it all about.  So is there anything about this intelligent designer that we can tell?  From what we see and know, what must this designer be like?



Just from the evidence and logic we can tell that this designer must be

  • Self-existent and outside of time, space and matter
    Since the designer created time, space and matter out of nothing (as both the Bible and the Big Bang Theory indicate) then the designer must be outside of time, space and matter.  The designer had to be in existence before time, space and matter came into being to cause them to come into existence.
  • Unimaginably powerful
    It would take a very great power to create everything out of nothing.
  • Supremely intelligent
    To create everything with the incredible fine-tuning and intricacy we see, the designer had to be amazingly intelligent.
  • Personal
    As the universe did not exist and the designer chose to bring it into existence, that means the designer made a choice.  That’s a characteristic of a person.  An impersonal force has no ability to make a choice.

Sounds Like God

As Frank Turek and Norman Geisler say, “These characteristics of the First Cause are exactly the characteristics theists ascribe to God. Again, these characteristics are not based on someone’s religion or subjective experience. They are drawn from the scientific evidence we have just reviewed…”

As they noted, these are the characteristics that Theists describe God with. This is the description of a Theistic God. A Pantheistic God does not fit the evidence. Pantheism says that God is impersonal and that he is the universe, that he is a part of space, time and matter.  But as we saw, something that is a part of space, time and matter could not have brought space, time and matter into existence.  This means that pantheistic religions do not fit the evidence.

Naturally atheism doesn’t fit the evidence either, as it says that there is nothing outside of space, time and matter. And so there is no cause for the universe under atheism. Only theistic religions actually fit the evidence of the universe’s existence.

Which Theistic God?

The evidence of the universe points to a Theistic God.  So what are the theistic religions?  The major theistic religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  So then why do I believe in Christianity? I may go into this more in a future post, but when you take this and you add to it the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, then I believe that Christianity is the world view that best fits the reality of the scientific and historic evidence.

On top of that, when I placed my faith in Christ and asked him to be my savior and come into my life, my life was never the same again. I found forgiveness for my sins, a purpose to live for, and an amazing love that’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. And so while it’s not as though I never have any doubts, I can’t get away from the conclusion that Christianity is true. What do you believe?


Source: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist

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Does Science Point to a Creator or is it just God of the Gaps?

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Does Science Point to a Creator or is it just God of the Gaps?

th_FSM3dSome have said that Creation Science or the ideas of Intelligent Design aren’t science at all, they’re just religion masquerading as science.  They say that it’s just “God of the Gaps”, that wherever Christians see a gap that science can’t yet explain that we just put God in that gap and say, “See, it has to be God.” Mocking Intelligent Design, some have even said that believing that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything is just as reasonable and scientific.  But is that true or is there actually scientific evidence that positively points to a Creator?  (That is, unless we’ve unfairly ruled him out beforehand, out of bias, something which wouldn’t be very scientific.)


Positive Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer

Rather than plugging God in somewhere we don’t yet know something, like saying, “We don’t know how this works so it must be God.”, I believe that God is the best explanation for what we do know.  I believe that, given the scientific evidence we have, that God is the best explanation.

rotary_skeletonWhat do I mean? Our consistent, scientific observation tells us that complex machines always come from a designer and complex information always comes from an intelligent mind.  Nature and natural processes do not make complex machines or devices.  If you’re walking in the woods and you see a watch on the ground, do you think, “Wow, the forest made this!” or do you think, “Someone was here and lost their watch.”?  What’s more, natural processes do not produce complex information/messages.  If you’re walking on the beach and you see the words, “John loves Mary” written in the sand, do you think, “Wow, the waves did that!” or do you think, “Someone was here and wrote that.”?

I’m sure that every one of us would be certain that both of those things were produced by intelligent agents.  Why? Because we’re unscientific, religious nuts?  No, because consistent observation over time (science) tells us that those kinds of things don’t come about any other way.  Let’s look a little more in depth at each.

Complex Machines Come from Intelligence

As we’ve learned more and more about the amazing complexity of a single cell in our bodies, we’ve learned that they contain tiny molecular machines.  Stephen Meyer and Scott Minnich have said this about them.

“Molecular machines display a key signature or hallmark of design, namely, irreducible complexity. In all irreducibly complex systems in which the cause of the system is known by experience or observation, intelligent design or engineering played a role the origin of the system. … Indeed, in any other context we would immediately recognize such systems as the product of very intelligent engineering. Although some may argue this is a merely an argument from ignorance, we regard it as an inference to the best explanation, given what we know about the powers of intelligent as opposed to strictly natural or material causes.”

Complex Information Comes from Intelligence

Of complex information Stephen Meyer says this.

[W]e have repeated experience of rational and conscious agents — in particular ourselves — generating or causing increases in complex specified information, both in the form of sequence-specific lines of code and in the form of hierarchically arranged systems of parts. … Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source — from a mind or personal agent.

 When we see the code from a computer program that accomplishes something, we know it was written by an intelligent person.  Evolutionist Carl Sagan expressed, in his novel Contact, that, in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, if we received a string of prime numbers, that would prove the existence of intelligence out there.

DNASo now consider the amazing amount of information in the DNA that is present in every one of our cells.  Atheist Richard Dawkins, professor of Zoology at Oxford University, admits that the information in just the cell nucleus of a tiny amoeba is more than all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica combined, and the entire amoeba has as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of Encyclopedia Britannica.

So if we’re certain that the simple message “John loves Mary” or a string of prime numbers must have come from an intelligent mind, I think it’s a solid scientific conclusion to be certain that information equal to 1,000 sets of encyclopedias must have come from an intelligent mind, an intelligent designer.  Everything we observe tells us that it couldn’t have come about simply by natural processes.

The Best Explanation Given the Evidence

You can decide for yourself, but I believe that, between material causes only and an intelligent creator, that a creator is the best explanation, given the evidence.  We’re not just plugging God into gaps in our knowledge.  We have good reasons to believe that God is behind it from what we observe.

To me, that’s positive scientific evidence.  For that matter, isn’t hoping and assuming that in the future science will fill the gaps in our knowledge just a “science of the gaps”?  As Greg Koukl says, we should follow the evidence where it leads.

Sources: Stephen Meyer, Scott Minnich, Casey Luskin, Greg Koukl, Frank Turek, Norman Geisler

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Implications of The Big Bang Theory

Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Design | Leave a comment

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Implications of The Big Bang Theory

Today when you mention the Big Bang Theory, most people probably think of the hit TV comedy, but of course it’s also the theory that all of the universe came into existence with a powerful explosion.  Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity led to this idea. It was a Belgian priest, Georges Lemaître, who also held a doctorate in physics, that took Einstein’s theory and applied it to the universe itself and found that the universe is either expanding or contracting. Up to this time the prevailing scientific idea was that the universe was static and eternal. Einstein even rejected the implications of his theory at first because he didn’t like them. So whether you accept the Big Bang Theory or not, I think it’s good to know some of the implications of the theory that many do accept.


The Universe Had a Beginning

As I said, many scientists thought that the universe was eternal and unchanging, the theory of general relativity however showed that it must be expanding or contracting and Edwin Hubble, in 1929, observed by telescope that the universe is expanding. And so as Lemaître pointed out, this means that, if you turn the clock back, everything came from a tiny speck that erupted at some point in the past.  That means that the universe isn’t eternal, it had a beginning. Einstein could no longer support his wish for an eternal universe, he had to admit that it had a beginning. There was a beginning to space and time.  Sound familiar?

The Big Bang Theory Supports One of the Oldest Arguments for God’s Existence

It supports the Cosmological Argument, cosmos being the Greek word for world or universe. This argument is the argument from the beginning of the universe.  It goes like this:

  1. Everything that had a beginning had a cause
  2. The universe had a beginning
  3. Therefore the universe had a cause

Since the universe (space, time and matter)  had a beginning, it hasn’t just always been here, it had to have a cause, and that cause had to have been outside of space,time and matter. A cause for the universe outside of space and time, sounds like a creator God to me, and I’m not the only one.


Evidence of a Creator?

Robert Wilson, one of the 1978 winners of the Nobel Prize for physics, who originally believed the universe was eternal, acknowledged that the facts are consistent with the Bible. When science writer Fred Heeren, asked him if the Big Bang evidence is indicative of a Creator, Wilson responded, “Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.”

George Smoot, astrophysicist and 2006 Nobel prize winner (who by the way, has appeared as himself on TV’s Big Bang Theory), said, “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

So whatever you may think of the Big Bang Theory, it actually provides some good evidence for a creator.

Sources:, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

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Have Other Habitable Planets Been Found?

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Have Other Habitable Planets Been Found?

Over the past few years researches have claimed to have found numerous habitable exoplanets, that is planets outside our solar system that could possibly support life.  But do we really know that other habitable planets have been found or does our amazing planet that allows life still stand as unique in the universe?  The idea of all sorts of planets out there with life on them is exciting, especially to someone like me who’s excited about introducing my younger daughter to the original Star Wars trilogy later tonight.  But when you consider the odds of so many factors coming together just right for life to exist, it’s not likely that many, if any, other planets like ours will be found.

DesignNow, first, I want to be clear that I don’t think that finding other habitable planets either proves or disproves Christianity, atheism or other world views. Certainly there’s nothing in the Bible that states that there couldn’t be other life sustaining planets or even life elsewhere. So where does this tie in to world views? Well, if atheistic naturalism is true, that a life sustaining planet like ours just came about by random chance, and life on this planet also came about without any intelligent agent directing it – if the odds against that happening on it’s own aren’t really that great, then you’d expect that it all happened multiple times in multiple places in a universe as large as ours.  Right? If it’s easy enough to come about by chance, you’d expect that it happened plenty of times in plenty of places. And so we put research and resources into looking for life elsewhere. But what’s really being said when researchers claim to have found a habitable planet?

What Does “Habitable” Mean?

tatooine sunset

Astrophysicist, Dr. Jeff Zweerink points out that, “Almost without exception, the term ‘habitable’ simply refers to the presence of liquid water on the exoplanet (even though we lack the ability to make this measurement). Yet assessing a body’s true habitability requires far greater knowledge of the exoplanet’s composition, atmosphere, and history than we currently possess. A wise response to ‘habitable’ planet announcements accounts for these research limitations and recognizes that life likely requires far more than just liquid water.”

He says that the term “habitable” conjures up images of “serene meadows or lush islands surrounded by deep blue oceans.”  We hear “habitable” and we imagine these planets have life or could support it, if transported there. But, while our ability to learn things about such planets has grown by a lot, there’s a lot we still can’t know. We can’t detect the presence of liquid water, continents or the atmosphere of these planets.

What Can We Know?

What can we know about exoplanets? Using the transit technique we can tell a planet’s size and orbit.  If the same planet is detected by the radial velocity technique, astronomers can also learn it’s mass and eccentricity (how circular it’s orbit is). Using other powerful telescopes has allowed partial measurement of the atmosphere of a few dozen planets.  Additionally the direct measurement technique provides some additional information from the light emitted directly from the planet but this only works for planets relatively far from their host star.

We can know some things but not enough

The bottom line is that we just can’t know enough at this point to be calling planets out there “habitable”.  Zweerink says it’s like determining an athlete’s NBA potential based on height and weight alone.  While you might be able to rule some candidates out relatively well with this information alone, there’s a lot more that goes into making someone a good basketball player. Likewise, there’s a lot more that goes into making a planet habitable and, while we will continue to make progress in this field,  we just don’t know enough to make that call yet.



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How to Share the Evidence

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How to Share the Evidence

Since I started this blog at the beginning of the year I’ve shared a lot of evidence for the Christian faith. I’ve shared a lot of reasons for the hope that I have in Christ. Today I want to talk a little about how we who have hope in Christ are to go about sharing the evidence with others. This is because how we share the evidence is as important as the evidence itself.

1 Peter 3:15, which the name of this ministry and blog is based on says,



It says that we’re to be prepared to defend our faith and to share the reasons, but it also says how we are to go about doing that. We are to do it with gentleness and respect. So what does that mean? What does that look like?

Be Humble

First, I think it means we are to be humble.  We shouldn’t come across as “know it all”s. There are things we don’t know. There are valid questions people still have about Christianity and they’re not all easy to answer. I believe there are answers but they aren’t all easy ones.  We’re all still learning and the people we talk with can help us to learn more about our faith.

This also means that we don’t belittle the people we talk with or those who hold other views.  We can point out weaknesses that we might see in other positions, but let’s not laugh at and belittle those who hold those positions.  We are to show respect to everyone.

Be Loving

It also means to be loving.  The motive for our sharing should always be love for others.  My intention in sharing the evidence on this blog is not to give Christians ammunition to use on people. We’re not looking to win arguments.  We’re just looking to share the reasons for the hope we have in Christ so that others too may see God’s love for them in what he has done for us.

Be a Good Listener

We need to prepare so we know what we’ll say to people and how to answer questions, but it’s also important to be a good listener.  If someone states another view, we should listen sincerely and ask questions to clarify what they’re saying.  You could say, “That’s interesting, how did you come to that conclusion?”  It’s ok to ask them for evidence for their theories and ideas. Maybe they’re thought it through and maybe they haven’t.  By being good listeners and asking questions, we might give them something to think about and they might give us some things to think about as well, which we aren’t threatened by.

Don’t Give Too Much Information at Once

This one is just a very practical one.  Don’t overwhelm people with too much information at once.  We should learn all we can so we can share, but let’s just share a little bit of information at a time and see how the person responds before giving them more.

Don’t Overstate

Don’t say, “I can prove that Jesus rose from the dead” or “I can prove that Christianity is true.”  Don’t set the standard too high.  We aren’t looking for 100% certainty.  There are very few things in life that we can know with 100% certainty.  With most things, we deal in probability.  None of us knows with 100% certainty that we put a man on the moon, but from looking at the evidence, I think the probability is high that we did.  So say something like, “I think the evidence presents a strong case. See what you think.”  Present the evidence and let them evaluate it for themselves.

Be Prayerful

Finally, be prayerful.  God has to be at work or nothing is going to happen.  I believe it’s Biblical to present evidence, but it’s only God who can open someone’s heart and mind to accept it.  Ask God to help you to prepare and ask him to use any opportunity you have to share with someone.

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Did Jesus Claim to Be God? – The Evidence

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Did Jesus Claim to Be God?

Did the historical Jesus really claim to be God as Christians say? The last two weeks we looked at what the New Testament says.  This week we’ll look at some evidence to see if the claims of deity go back to Jesus himself or if they were added by the church later on.

Things of God

Son of God

We saw that, according to the New Testament, Jesus’ two favorite titles for himself were Son of God and Son of Man.  We saw that both were claims to be deity.  But did the historical Jesus really use these title for himself or did the church put those words in his mouth later on? Let’s look at the evidence for each of the titles, starting with Son of God.

Did Jesus really call himself the Son of God, claiming a special connection to the Father, as we saw last week, or is it reasonable that the church put those words in his mouth? Gary Habermas points out that when you look at Mark 13:32 in particular, it seems very unlikely that the church put the words in Jesus’ mouth. In the passage Jesus is talking about end times events and the verse says,

 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Here Jesus is speaking of himself as the Son, the Son of the Father, the Son of God, and he says that he  doesn’t know when the end is going to come, only the Father knows. So if you were the church and you wanted to make Jesus claim to be God, when he didn’t do so himself, and so you made up and inserted such claims, why would you insert this claim? It’s problematic. Why would you have him say, “Yeah, I’m God, but I don’t know something, only the Father does.”

Why would you invent a claim that could make Jesus sound limited and maybe less than the Father? If you were making it up, why wouldn’t you just have Jesus say, “But about that day or hour no one knows except the Father and the Son”?  Why invent a problematic claim.  To me it seems more reasonable that this claim is included in the New Testament because Jesus himself made it and the New Testament authors were committed to recording what he said, even if it might seem problematic.

Son of Man

So what about the title, “Son of Man”, which we saw was equally a claim to deity?  How do we know the church didn’t just make up and insert the Son of Man phrases in the New Testament? For one, as I mentioned last week, you need to have a reason why the Jewish leaders had Jesus crucified.  If it wasn’t because of his claims to be God, including the use of Son of Man in Mark 14:61, what was the reason?

Further, though,  how do we know the church didn’t insert the words into Jesus’ mouth? In the gospels the title Son of Man is Jesus’ favorite title for himself.  He uses it more than any other. So how do we know the church didn’t just put this title in his mouth? Because, as Habermas points out, the church, the writers of the letters that make up the rest of the New Testament, never use this title for Jesus. If the church decided “We need to make Jesus claim to be God. Let’s insert into the gospel accounts Jesus claiming to be the Son of Man.”, if they decided that and did that, then why didn’t they ever use that title for Jesus in their own writings?

Wouldn’t you be consistent?  Why would you have Jesus claim to be the Son of Man but never have him referred to as such in the New Testament letters to the churches?  Looking at the whole New Testament, it’s not a title that the church used of him.  It seems that one person referred to Jesus as the Son of Man, Jesus himself.

What Does the Evidence Support?


If someone would rather believe that Jesus didn’t make the claims to be God himself, it’s easy to say that the church just made it up. But when you consider the evidence, does it support that idea? I believe it’s more reasonable to believe that Jesus made the claims himself and that’s why he was crucified and the church faithfully recorded his claims and his words in the New Testament, even when some of his statements were difficult.

What do you think?

Source: Lecture on the Historical Jesus by Gary Habermas


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