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The case for christ - www.glasgowchurch.org.uk

The case for christ - www.glasgowchurch.org.uk



Presentation on the case for Christ, loosely based on the book by Lee Strobel. Looks at the evidence of Jesus actually being who he said he was....

Presentation on the case for Christ, loosely based on the book by Lee Strobel. Looks at the evidence of Jesus actually being who he said he was.
Presentation given at the Glasgow Church of Christ - www.glasgowchurch.org.uk



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  • Read common responses the talk about below The gospels are essentially biographies of Jesus - however, they are not biographics like we have today. - they don’t give equal portions to a person’s life. – eg. We don’t found an account of Jesus’ birth or childhood in Mark In acient hebrew and greek, there wasn’t even a symbol for quotation marks – recording someone’s words verbatum wasn’t important – but it was important to capture what the essece of what someone was saying. If you wanted to give a fake biography credibility – you would choose people who are close to someone - In the case of Jesus - Peter, Mary, James Who wrote the Gospels? matt, mark, luke and John Mark – companion of Peter Luke – companion of Paul - neither Mark or Luke were one of the 12 apostles Matthew – was an apostle – but he was a tax collector – a profession hated by the Jews. These are not the obvious people who would write accounts John – only gospel written by one of the inner three - also the one who authorship has been most challenged - Style is different Only a handful of the major stories we find in the others are found in John - The last few verses of John some say it suggests that some one other than John wrote it. - possible that some else edited and added the last few verses themselves - or that John chose to end the gospel in the way that he did - Either way, I don’t have an issue with it. One of the biggest weight of evidence of the gospels’ authorship is the fact that the early church fathers excepted them as the names we give them today. Few scholars seriously doubt the authorship of the gospels. It is accepted that the people who’s
  • Josephus – a Jewish historian – commissioned to write history by the Romans - Not sympathetic to the Christian movement, but his evidence is very important which we will talk about later
  • Explain the NT figure The total contains the following classifications of manuscripts: Fragments of papyrus – Reads from the Nile delta dried in a lattice - they were cheap – the prefered medium of the early church - fragile – this is why we only have fragments 2. Parchments – animal skins which are stretched and dried - from the four centruy on wards - more expensive – by product of Christianity being accepted by the Roman empire - grand bibles were commissioned 3. Quotations of the early church father - it has been said that if we only had the quotations of the church fathers we could reconstruct the entire NT 4. Lectionaries – Scriptures not written in books of the bible, but in an order to be used in early church services The figure is constantly going up. Either through new discoveries or through examining uncategorised ancient manuscripts. You can also add over 8000 latin vulgate manuscripts
  • Figures are dates between the earliest surviving manuscripts and the time they were written Plato’s republic is a base text which every philosophy student studies. Each of these are regarded as historically accurate and authentic by classical scholars
  • Text of the Papyrus: said to him the Jews, "To us it is lawful to kill no one," so that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said signifying by what sort of death he was about to die. He entered again into the Praetorium Pilate and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you king of the Jews? a King I am. I for this have been born and (for this) I have come into the world so that I should testify to the truth. Everyone being of the truth hears my voice. Says to him Pilate, "What is truth?" and this saying, again he went out to the Jews and says to them, "I nothing find in him a case."
  • Codex Sinaiticus Dates to around 325 AD Contains all of the new testament and a good proportion of the OT On public display in the british library Each page has been scanned and published on line Greek is clear – English translation is online Consistent with mordern English Bibles. Differences in manuscripts can easily be explained
  • All the Gospels were written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses to the events Jesus was cruxified around 30AD The earliest gospel written about 55AD Only 15 years after the events took place Easily discredited if statements within the gospels were false The eyewitness would have testified to the gospel being false if the basic facts were wrong. They would have gained no following within the first century No one would have believed it It would have gained no footing in the first century Contain embarrassing facts about the leaders The apostles most the time look come across as moppets within the gospel If the gospel’s were fabricated, you would expect the leaders of the movement to be look pretty good. - Jesus rebukes them a number of times for having little faith - for hindering children coming to him - Peter is called Satan - they all fall away after Jesus’ arrest - one of the 12 betrays him Yet – these are the people (with the except of Judas) who are the pillars of the movement when the gospels are being distributed If you are going to make it up, this isn’t what you would make up. Picture Taylor Prism – OT Arch – in real life about 40 cm tall Records the exploits of the Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701BC Details his victories against Israel How he captured and destroyed 46 Jewish Cities But the prize – Jerusalem is not among them – instead it states that the King of Israel Hezekiah was caged up like a bird It implies that Jerusalem was not captured 2 kgs 19:35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
  • Different accounts of the same stories because different facts being emphasised Geneology of Jesus different in Matt and Luke - matt – goes through Joseph – not his real father, but his legal guardan - luke – mary Harder because in geneology at that time, generations were missed out and spellings of names changed Swine into pigs Mark and Luke – Gerasa Matthew – Gadara Possilbe that Gerasa was the place in the province of Gadara Matthew and John record Jesus walking on water - Matthew also mentions Peter walked on water John doesn’t mention peter walking on water - Only two people have every walked on water and peter only mentioned one of them - John is a writing a book about Jesus, not Peter – his focus Jesus Mark and Luke don’t even mentioned it at all. Plausible explanations offer a valid explanation of the apparent contradictions Not all explanations are air tight – but all are plausible. There are no proved contractions within the gospels
  • The gospels weren’t written be the people who claim to have written them The people are unlikely candidates for the gospel The early church accepted them as the writers Legends written many years after the events The first gospel appeared within 15 years of the events and final gospel within 60 years – too short for legends to appear - 15 years ago – 1994 Kurt Cobain – lead singer of Nivana died – shot himself in the head Apartheid ends in SA – Nelson Mandela becomes president Ayrton Senna killed at the San Marino grand prix - These things are still in people minds today – we can’t make legends about them – they would be discredited instantly 60 years ago – WW2 started. My mother still remembers it – many people are still around who remember the events. The gospels were written within living memory The Bible has been changed over the centuries We have so many manuscripts dating to the early second century – the Bible hasn’t been changed of the century’s. The Bible we have today is faithful to the original text The Bible is full of contradictions There are a few apparent contridictions, but all have plausable explainations Make up stories The embarrassing stories don’t fit with that The archaeological evidence doesn’t point to it
  • Point 2 John 10:30-33 (New International Version) 30I and the Father are one." 31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" 33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." Point 3   6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know[ b ] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."  Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Jesus is a liar, a lunatic or Lord Something not open to us is Jesus being an Ordinary Jew – Ordinary Jews didn’t get crucified. Can you name any other ordinary Jews from 2000 years ago (except for followers of Jesus) Over 20,000 words are given to Jesus in En Brittanica – more than Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed or Napoleon – Certainly not Ordinary
  • Point 2 The things that Jesus said were just not of those of a madman - Highly profound statements - Answer to the questions when leaders were trying to trap him - giving taxes - good samaritain - prodigcal son Backing up miracles – Point 5 The man through the roof Jesus first said – “your sins are forgiven” – “so that you might believe – I say get up pick up your mat and walk”
  • Point 1 Deciever – He claimed to be the way to heaven, but if a liar then he has lead millions astray However, if he is a deceiver, the way of life taught was very good. – follow it will have great friendships, a better employee/employer , a good marriage, great advice for raising children. Point 2 – no notes Point 3 Only personal gain was a small band of followers He died for the cause Compare with Muhammad Gained Political power Early islam largely spread by warfare Coverts were converted often by the sword. Point 4 Never comprised his standard – we see the apostles messing up all the time – but not Jesus Never compromised his standards for others – the rich young ruler
  • Explain what the Talmud is - Jewish religious text containing discussions between rabbis on Jewish law, ethics, customs and history - written around 200AD Josephus – a Jew Pharisee who became a roman historian - Mentions John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus and Jesus - Was not a Christian and didn’t personally believe that Jesus was the Christ – by acknowledges that people thought he was the Christ About this time came Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is appropriate to call him a man. For he was a performer of paradoxical feats, a teacher of people who accept the unusual with pleasure, and he won over many of the Jews and also many Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned him to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease to follow him, for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvellous things concerning him. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day. On the whole scholars agree that this is genuine and written by Josephus, but may have parts added by later scribes e.g. “About this time came Jesus, a wise man” – probably genuine – not a Christian phrase – “ if indeed it is appropriate to call him a man” - a possible insertion Look at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus#Pliny_the_Younger
  • Archaeology Archaeological evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilate found in 1961 Pontius Pilate's historical authenticity was in doubt until 1961, when an inscription was found "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea, has presented the Tiberium to the Caesareans", thus proving his existence Archaeological evidence has confirmed the Roman census when Jesus was born Scripture critics also believed that the circumstances of Jesus' birth were concocted to fulfill the prophecy in Micah that states the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. They doubted that there had been a census (Luke 2:1-3) which caused Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem. A Roman edict was later discovered in Egypt, which stated: "The enrollment by household being at hand, it is necessary to notify all who for any cause soever are outside of their administrative districts that they return at once to their homes to carry out the customary enrollment..." Other discovered documents confirmed that this census was taken every fourteen years. Luke had stated that Quirinius was the Governor of Syria at the time of Jesus' birth, however secular records showed that Saturninus was the governor at that time. An inscription was later found in Antioch which showed that Quirinius indeed was governor of Syria at the time. Doubt in Luke’s historical accuracy has been removed by archaeology Luke refers to “politarchs” in Thessalonica in Acts 17:5 which is translated as City Officials (NIV). Doubt in Luke was because this term was not used in any known Roman document. If Luke couldn’t be trusted with the minor details, how could he be trusted with the major details? However, a 1 st Century was found on an arch “In the time of the politarchs…” – on display in the British Museum. Then 35 other archaeological references to politarchs were found – some from Thessalonica from the same period – Luke was proved to be right. No archaeological discovery contradicts the bible Archaeology confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible – no archaeological discovery contradicts the bible
  • . EDICT OF CAESAR 2. It is my decision [concerning] graves and tombs--whoever has made 3. them for the religious observances of parents, or children, or household 4. members--that these remain undisturbed forever. But if anyone legally 5. charges that another person has destroyed, or has in any manner extracted 6. those who have been buried, or has moved with wicked intent those who 7. have been buried to other places, committing a crime against them, or has 8. moved sepulcher-sealing stones, against such a person, I order that a 9. judicial tribunal be created, just as [is done] concerning the gods in 10. human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat 11. with honor those who have been entombed. You are absolutely not to 12. allow anyone to move [those who have been entombed]. But if 13. [someone does], I wish that [violator] to suffer capital punishment under 14. the title of tomb-breaker.
  • Found in the Koran & popular in 19 th Century (Extra infor Koran – Surah IV:156-157) Some musilms believe that Jesus fled to india and there is a shrine there today of Jesus’ alleged burial place The swoon theory keeps appearing in literature to this day Fainted or drugged on the cross The swoon theory Fainted with exhaustion Maybe drugged with the wine vinegar (Mk 15:36) Pilate surprised at how quick he died (Mk 15:44) Taken down – laid in a cold and damp tomb which revived him Left the tomb an escaped Swoon theory not supported by medical evidence of Jesus’ crucifixion found in the gospels Medical evidence - Luke mentions that Jesus started sweating blood - Extreme anxiety – break down the capillaries in the seat glands -> small amount of bleeding into these glands – sweat comes out tinged with blood. - Effect is that the body would be extremely sensitive. - not the best preparation for a Roman flogging - Roman flogging - Romans were experts in torture - They had perfect crucifixion and flogging - whipp – tassles contains metal balls for bruising – bone for tearing the flesh - All over the back, shoulders, buttocks and legs - 40 lashes were estimated to kill someone, so they did it 39 times - Eusebius – writing in the third century described a roman flogging “The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews and bowels of the victim were open to exposure” - often people would died from the flogging or at least enter Hypovolemic shock Hypovolemic shock Hypo – Low vol – volume emic – blood Happens when someone has lost a lot of blood. 4. Symptoms 1. Heart races to pump what blood is there 2. low blood pressure causing fainting or collapse 3. Kidneys stop producing urine 4. Person becomes very thirsty as the body to tries to replace fluids Evidence in the Gospels – remember that this condition was not know about at the time – therefore a made up story at that time would not have had details to match the symptoms 1. Jesus staggered up the road and collapsed a number of times – he could not long carry is cross – Simon roped in 2. On the Cross – one of the quotes we have is “I thirst” – again evidence of hypovolemic shock Crucifixion The nails would have crushed nerves Funny bone – pain – pliers on the nerve Death by usually by suffocation Excruciating – literally means “out of the cross” – new word – other words could not describe the pain enough Jesus probably suffered heart failure – given the hypovolemic shock, the time it took for him to die and the record in John about a solider thrusting a spear in his side and water and blood coming out seperately. John thought it was strange to see both water and blood come out, but medically, this is to be expected for this type of death (although it is a clear fluid, rather than water) Jesus was dead on the Cross – not faking it in any shape or form. Roman solider would exchange his life for an escaped prisoner Roman guards didn’t let their prisioners escape
  • Appearances Mary Magalalene (jn 20:10-18) Other women (matt 28:8-10) Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (lk 24:13-32) 11 disciples and others (lk 24:33-49) 10 apostles and others – thomas absent (jn 20:19-23) 11 apostles inc thomas (jn 21:1-14) Disciples (mat 28:16-20) Apostles on the mount of olives (luke 24:50-52 and Acts 1:4-9)
  • James, Saul plus 10 Apostles died because of their faith The apostles, James and Paul died knowing that they Jesus ressurected If they died for something not true, then they died knowing it wasn’t true – 100% They were sincere in their belief – not out of faith – but out of sight Not true of Muhammad – we only have Muhammad testamony that an angel appeared to him – no one wittnessed it. You can have sincere faith – but still be wrong. The apsotles, Paul and James saw it with their own eyes and died because of when they had seen. Image " Alexamenos worships his god ." From 60-200AD Guard room in rome Jesus is shown as having an ass’ head
  • If the resurrection really happened, then it has really implications in your life God has a plan for your life Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Found out about the plan Reponse card Bible study Church

The case for christ - www.glasgowchurch.org.uk The case for christ - www.glasgowchurch.org.uk Presentation Transcript