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Question of the Week 18 - What proves Jesus is God?

Breakpoint Parents Guide 1

The answer begins: Christ's bodily resurrection from the dead affirms Jesus' claim to be God. The Resurrection establishes Christ's authority and thus validates his teachings about the Bible and himself. As we alluded to earlier, the apostle Paul minces no words about this: "If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless." Paul may be considered rash for staking the case for Christianity on the bodily resurrection. But Paul was absolutely certain about Christ's resurrection. He had encountered Jesus face-to-face on the road to Damascus and had talked both with the apostles who were with Jesus and many of the five hundred eyewitnesses who saw the resurrected Lord. The Resurrection resolves Jesus' claim to be Messiah and God.

The BreakPoint answer concludes: The Watergate cover-up proves that the twelve most powerful men in modern America couldn't keep a lie and that twelve powerless men two thousand years ago couldn't have been telling anything but the truth.

The rational here is that the story in the Bible about the resurrection was like one written by news reporters and because no competing news source of the time was able to discredit the Biblical story, the Biblical story must be true.

The Bible was not a news chronicle of events over time. The books in the Bible are stories involving some people along the way. These stories have been written to preserve the Jewish cultural history so any historical events have been encased in stories, some having more mythical content than factual.

Paul claims to have seen Jesus face-to-face but this meeting is long after the death of Jesus. No matter his conviction, there is no practical proof that this apparition was actually Jesus.

As historians and archeologists investigate the Middle East and relate their findings to the books in the Bible, it is so important to note that the New Testament was not written during the life of Jesus. It was written some years later, after the Jews had been banished from Jerusalem by the Romans, which was their reaction to the Jewish uprising whose critical participant was the brother of Jesus, James.

Many of the stories about Jesus are now being interpreted in the context of that time. For example the Roman Emperor Augustus also had a special birth, with its own mythical story having divine intervention because the god Apollo in the form of a serpent impregnated his mother. Also the very story of a god rising from the dead and ascending into heaven is similar to the mythical story of Saturn. That ancient myth went like this: Saturn, the 'father of the gods,' gave birth to his own son, Jupiter. Saturn died, descended into the underworld, but then rose again and ascended into heaven, where the planet resides today.

For many years, without any scientific research into the life and times of Jesus, it would have been rather easy for Christians to believe the Biblical stories. However now those ancient stories (both in the Bible and in other ancient writings of other cultures) are being seen to contain myths that were important to the respective authors.

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created - Dec. 2004
last change - 12/31/2004
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