Is The New Testament True?
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome back. This is Salt and Light Commission! And this is the last and final part to the 4 part message on How To Prove Christianity Is True. It has been a joy to write this content and get it out to the public. But this is the final part. I decided to write this series, because in recent years Christianity has been under attack. And not through terrorism or other religions, directly, but through our schools, universities, and even our family and friends. They confront us on why we believe in what we believe and we can’t hold up no other point than, “because I was told so.” That type of defense is not a good defense for your faith and could ultimately break your faith down to you thinking the bible is a book of fairy tales.
But what we have learned so far is that truth exist, and you can know it. It is relative not subjective. We know that a god exists. He is timeless, spaceless, immaterial, powerful -to create the universe out of nothing, personal – to choose to create, and Intelligent – to know how to create. We know that miracles exist. And if they do exist then any writing recording a god overpowering the natural laws to perform a miracle is not to be automatically dismissed as a fairytale. Now we need to see if the New Testament is true, because all we have determined now that a god exists, but is the New Testament reliable enough to show us that Jesus rose from the dead like it claims? If that is true, then this disproves all other gods from the monotheist worldview and proves the Christian God is true, because the Christian God contradicts the others.
There are many ways to get into this, but for the sake of time let’s look at a couple. Let’s start with early testimony. We all know that the longer you take to write down an event from the time of the event, details get fuzzy to the point you may all together forget what happened. With the New Testament accounts the details were written down close to the actual event.
An undisputed fact is that the Jewish Temple and pretty much Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. In 30 AD Jesus predicted this would happen. This is recorded in Mark 13:1-4, Mathew 24:1-2, and Luke 21:5-7. What’s interesting is since this is a profound predict, surely this would be recorded in the New Testament to prove that His prediction came true. This would be something good to note, to promote the idea that Jesus is God. But all the New Testament never mentions it; not the gospels, not Acts and not the letters of the apostles. Why? That’s because the New Testament, mostly all of it, was recorded and completed BEFORE the destruction of the temple in 70 AD occurred. Which means, even though we might not have the original writings, we have a copy that is was written within 40 years of the actual events by the eyewitness. And remember, this is a copy, the original maybe younger than 40 years. That’s pretty early testimony.
Then we have the Quran 600 years after the New Testament contradicting the eyewitness’ accounts. So, we got people who weren’t there and weren’t born yet telling the people that were born and were alive at the time, that they are wrong about what they saw and what they heard. Does that make logical sense?
MANY MANY COPIES
I mentioned earlier that we don’t have the original manuscripts of the New Testament. We have copies and as copies were copied over from the originals, humans made errors. Typos if you will. So different variants were created inadvertently. So now we have found nearly 6,000 copies of the New Testament which contains these different variants. And that’s a lot of copies. It seems like a win for a skeptic, that would say the bible has been corrupted and changed from the original meaning. But the number of copies is a good thing because with the variants we can piece together what the original message said, by comparing the copies to one another. Consider this example. 4 text messages to my wife exampling my agenda but fighting with auto correct and typos:
Message A: “Hey Bun I’m going to be working date tonight til about 6:30. I’ll stop by Target and get the baby’s pampers and formula. It will be late, so I will wish your car tomorrow, it will cost $.
*I notice errors I send it again.
Message B: “Hey Hun I’m going to be working late tonight til about 6:3. I’ll stop by Arget and get the babies pampers and formula. It will be fate, so I will wash your cart tomorrow, it will cost $30.
*I notice errors I send it again.
Message C: “Hey Hun I’m going to be walking late tonight til about 6:30. I’ll stop by Target and get the baby’s lampers and dormula. It will be late, so I will wash your car tomorrow, it william cost $30.
*I notice errors I send it a final time.
Message D: “Gey Hun I’m going to be working late tonight til about 6:30. I’ll stop by Target and get the baby’s pampers and formula. It will belate, so I will wash your car tomorrow, it will cost $300.
*I don’t send it anymore.
More copies actually help recreate the original idea of the message. My wife can clearly piece together what I was trying to say to her in this example.
Original Message: “Hey Hun I’m going to be working late tonight til about 6:30. I’ll stop by Target and get the baby’s pampers and formula. It will be late, so I will wash your car tomorrow, it will cost $30.
It’s also interesting to note that the 400,000 variants or clerical errors in the New Testament, less than 1% of those affect the meaning of the text and none of the errors change the Core Christian Doctrine.
With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. We have New Testaments documents dating back to the first century AD. When compared to the newer manuscripts that we copied our bibles from very little clerical error are found. But the message remains the same, no matter the errors. In 2 Samuel 10:18, it said the Syrians had 700 chariots. In 1 Chronicles 19:18, it said they have 7,000 chariots. Well, which was it? A zero was either added or taken away, we don’t know, but does it change the fact that the Syrians had a lot of chariots? No. We just don’t know the exact amount, but it doesn’t affect the story. Is it Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus? These are the variants skeptics point out. Does the order of His name and title affect the gospel message? Of course not. God can preserve His word; we have proved this. Let’s move on.
Even if the book we have now is completely corrupted; it wouldn’t change the fact that, there were thousands of Christians before one word of the New Testament was written. Why? Because our faith comes from an event, not pages in a book. Peter, the apostle, said, “if the Resurrection of Jesus Christ never happened then we are wasting our time.”
HISTORICAL PEOPLE & ARTIFACTS
In the New Testament, it names a lot of official people and the official positions, what’s interesting is all these people have been verified to actually have lived and have sources outside the bible to verify where they were at that time in the story. If this was a fiction story, the writer would be painting himself into a corner, because since he was mentioning real people in the narrative, that information could be checked out and verified if true or not true. But he had no fear of fact checking, because he was telling the truth as it stood.
There is an account in Act 27:27-41 were Paul on prisoner transport ship ran into rough seas and was in danger of running aground in the country Malta. The ship was measured to be in 90 feet deep waters. They crew threw anchors in the sea to hold their position until morning. At daybreak they saw land and wanted to sail towards it. Instead of rising the anchors out of the water, they cut the anchors and left them in the sea.
In 1971, a team of drivers from Malta found four 1st century Roman style anchors in about 90 feet of water off the coast of Malta. Exactly how the bible described it! You can read the full account in chapter 27 of Acts or click HERE to be taken to it
NO REASON TO LIE
The Jewish writers of the New testament had no motive to invent a Messiah and claimed this messiah was God in the flesh. They already thought by being Jewish they were God’s chosen people. Why invent a story that would ultimately cause them to be accused of blasphemy unless it were true? And let’s not forget that the tomb of Jesus was empty. The staple of the Christian faith. This is not just a Christian claim, Jesus’ enemies admitted the tomb had no body in it. All they had to do was open the tomb and present the body of Jesus, to squash the Christian movement. The Jews couldn’t do that, because Jesus’ body was truly gone. And the guards falling asleep on post is ridiculous. Roman guards know the penalty of falling asleep on duty. Death. If my life depends on staying awake, I’m drinking some coffee for sure. I’m not going to fall asleep. For more on this click HERE to read my recent post about this.
I’M SO EMBARRASSED
Another way we know the New Testament is true, is because of all the embarrassing details about the writers and the subjects. There are accounts in the bible where the people wanted to stone Jesus. People thought He was demon possessed, and some people left His teaching because it was too difficult to follow. If I’m trying to invent a new religion, I’m going to make my central figure look good. Everyone is going to love Him and embrace His teaching.
The Disciples are Afraid
Peter denies Christ in a few hours after saying that he will never leave Him. I would omit that from the story if it was me. The disciples were not present at the crucifixion of their Lord, because they were afraid the Jews would arrest and kill them too. They hid while letting the women go to the crucifixion, to bury Him, and ultimately discover the tomb to be empty. If a man was writing the story they wouldn’t say that they were afraid, while the women were brave. Furthermore, if a woman was actually the writer and she was trying to make herself look good, she wouldn’t put herself or any woman at the empty tomb’s discovery, because during the 1st century a woman’s testimony was not credible without a man present.
The disciples went on record to not understand Jesus’ predicts and parables from time to time. Many times, Jesus predicted his death and told them He would resurrect, and they either didn’t understand or forgot. I wouldn’t write that. I would write, that I waited at the tomb on the third day to greet Jesus as He walked out because we remembered what He said.
And there are numerous accounts like these throughout the gospels and Acts, but why? Why include these embarrassing details? Why invent this? Because It’s not invented, that’s exactly how it happened.
So, with the invention of the new religion the Apostles became very wealthy, became very famous, took many wives, and lived out their lives to a grand old age being very comfortable. Is that had it happened? Tradition tells us no, not even close. I have included 2 charts on what the Apostles got for spreading Christianity.
Dr. Frank Turek said it like this. “People will die for a story they believe is true, but no one will die for a story they know is a lie.” Radical Muslims do that former all the time, because they believe when they get to Heaven God will give them 72 beautiful virgins to marry for eternal physical pleasure. They believe this and will die for it, but it’s not true. Jesus contradicts this and says there will be no marriage in Heaven. Death separates husband and wife…sad but true.
The apostles believed the latter. All they had to do, was admit the story was a lie, but they couldn’t do that. Why? Because it really did happen, and they were not willing to risk spending eternity with Christ by denying Him in the present.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
TRUE OR FALSE
So, is the New Testament true? Based on what we have walked through today I would say yes. It’s too much to imply otherwise unless you have some predetermined motive for denying the truth. With the New Testament being true we have confirmed the Old Testament to be true as a bonus, because Jesus quoted from the Old Testament on many occasions, and New Testament says Jesus cannot lie.
You have to have admit that the evidence presented here and in the last 3 parts is a compelling argument for the existence of God and Jesus being God. Jesus rose from the dead, you can deny it, but it’s not wise. If God could do a great miracle by creating everything we see and can’t see out of nothing, surely the same God can walk on water, heal the blind, heal the lame, predict the future, and rise from the dead. That’s easy in comparison.
I hope you put your trust in Jesus today. I call you to repent of your sins and you will be saved. He is truth, His life is truth, and His word is truth. Be blessed. Remember you are the salt and light of the world.