People often ask about the proof about the existence of Jesus, did you know that we have eye witness testimony of the existence of Jesus? Yet why do so many people base their views on Jesus from writers from a different millennium? Do they have factual evidence to reject the testimony of eye witnesses? What are the claims of eye witness testimony in Scripture?
On Sunday night here in Melbourne, Channel Nine aired a television drama called “Howz that!” It is a re-creation of the events surrounding the 1970’s split between the Australia Cricket Board and the cricket players, leading to the creation of World Series Cricket. The interesting thing about the drama was the actors were portraying real people and their version of events. In the week after the show aired most of the media were asking the real people about their version of events. Whilst the show was exciting to viewers, nothing beats the testimony of a person who was actually there.
This got me thinking about the value of eye witness testimony to prove what happened at certain events. At the same time I was reviewing commentary of 1 John and realised the weight of eye witness testimony in the Epistle. So what is the eye witness testimony in the bible:
- The Epistle of 1 John claims to be from an eye witness of the life and ministry of Jesus. In the Epistle it claims that Jesus was the Son of God and really died on the Cross as an atoning sacrifice for sin.
- The Second Letter of Peter, 2 Peter, also claims to be an eye witness to the life and ministry of Jesus. Peter also claims to have seen and read the writings of Paul, and found them difficult to understand. See 2 Peter 3:15-16.
- The Gospel of Luke claims eye witness testimony of life and ministry of Jesus. The author, Luke, also claims eye witness testimony of the life and ministry of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles.
Some modern writers claim that the Old Testimony prophesies about Jesus are so vague that they could mean anything. Whilst I disagree with this perspective it still doesn’t change the fact that there are at least three written eye witness accounts of Jesus. We also know that these writings have been tested over the centuries and found to be as legitimate as any document from that period. If you want more on this see the work of John Dickson from the Centre of Public Christianity.
So it really comes down to the question “why do people reject the eye witness testimony of Jesus and get their understanding of Jesus from a 20th Century atheist?” We have to wonder if it is because the message of Jesus is too confronting for them. Perhaps the message of Jesus demands too much change in the way these people live their life. Just because a person don’t like a message doesn’t make it untrue.
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