Two apostles and two prophets wrote the Gospels so that those who read may believe. The gospel writers wrote all four gospels to bear witness of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, and thus prove the Son of God is Jesus (Luke 1:1–3; John 19:3; 20:31; 21:24). What we have in the Scriptures are a number of prophetic predictions and multiple eyewitnesses of the fulfilling of these predictions. While these witnesses did not see God, they saw Christ and God’s miraculous working through Him (John 10:25, 37–38). Truly, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).
The Apostles oversaw the recording of the gospel testimonies for our examination of these eyewitness reports. As far as evidence, there is nothing stronger than witnesses of the same event. What greater proof is there other than the unchanging records of eyewitnesses? Forensic and trace evidence can only prove and disprove testimonies of such reports.
Isaiah and the other prophets wrote predictions of the Christ and His church 700 years before Christ. Moses prophesied of Christ 1500 years before, and David prophesied 1000 years before Christ. The Dead Sea Scrolls (2nd c. BC) and the Septuagint (3rd c. BC) prove that these writings were already in existence, and only with prejudice can someone disregard these predictive prophecies.
Isaiah gave such prophecies. He foretold of a descendant of Jesse for which God’s Spirit would descend upon Him who would slay the wicked by the breath of His lips (Isa 11:1–5; cf. 4:1). All the nations will come to this Branch (Isa 11:10). He is God’s Anointed (Isa 61:1–3). This is the One who judges between the nations and brought forth the Law from Zion (Isa 2:2–4). When Israel and Judah no longer have kings, Isaiah predicted that a sign would come of a Son being born of a virgin (Isa 7:14). This is the coming King and Messiah over Israel and the Nations (Isa 9:6–7; cf. 28:5–6).
Predictions of God Coming in the Flesh
This one is the Christ who spoke of Himself before He was born saying that God and the Spirit sent Him (Isa 48:16).
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isa 9:6–7).
People can read the words of Christ 700 years before He was born and read Yahweh speaking of God and the Spirit sending Him. In Isaiah 48, God said that God and His Spirit had sent Him. God declared,
“’Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me.’ Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel:” I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go” (Isa 48:16–17).
Jesus had been speaking throughout Isaiah. Therefore, Christ is God come in the flesh. In Isaiah 48:12 and 13, Christ said,
“I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand laid the foundation of the earth, And My right hand has stretched out the heavens” (cf. 42:1–9).
No other words like this exist among the holy books of other religions. With copies of Isaiah from the 2nd c. Dead Sea Scrolls and the 3rd c. origin of the Greek Old Testament (LXX), these words were preexisting Jesus’s coming in the flesh and the eyewitness records of Christ found in the Christian Scriptures.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6; cf. 7:14; 10:1–2).
Birth of the Messiah in Isaiah
Are the words of Jesus and His apostles worth attention and honest consideration? God declared,
“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (48:18).
Isaiah has shown Christ speaking seven centuries before His birth. God said that God and the Spirit have sent Him (Isa 48:16–17). Further into Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus said,
“Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft; In His quiver He has hidden Me” (49:1–2).
Christ is speaking of being called from His earthly mother’s womb before He was conceived. This is just how the angel spoke to Mary, Jesus’s mother (Luke 1:30–33).
Isaiah’s Predictions of Salvation to the Nations
God did such a great thing by sending Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh and born of an earthly mother. Therefore, God saw that sending His Son must be greater than saving just Judah and Israel. God spoke more about forming Christ in the womb to be His Servant in Isaiah 49:6,
“It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Nations, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Because God was to send Christ to be a light and salvation to the nations, He said in Isaiah 49:8,
“In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;”
Christ is the covenant to the ends of the earth and to all nations. Therefore, God called for the heavens and the earth to rejoice with singing.
“Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted” (49:13).
Ah I see; only interested in preaching AT people, not talking WITH them.
“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2 Cor. 13:1b).
Another little verse from the Bible that is factually incorrect. Did you have a point here?
But can I take then that you also believe in UFO abductions, the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot etc. etc? As they all have multitudes of witness testimonies to “establish” them as well, actual eyewitness testimonies as well, not just stories of witnesses seeing them.
All testimonies of the same event considering UFOs, monsters, evolution, and beings from other dimensions should be consider. Yet, what testimonies are there to examine of the same UFO other than seeing a mysterious light or the same of a shadowy body beneath a loch? Yet the eyewitness records of living years with the most influential person in history, you disregard.
Of course they should all be “considered.”
There have been innumerable such eyewitness accounts, for far more than just the vague sightings; groups of people giving detailed testimonies of experiences of being taken on board etc.etc. As well as of the ‘miracles’ of various swamis and the like. Obtaining corroborating claims from “the mouth of two or three witnesses” for damn near any wild claim is child’s play. Which is why it is no way near enough to be of any value whatsoever.
The records you promote are just stories, handed down through who knows how many interpretive copies and translations, with no real hint that they were ever first told by an actual eyewitness claimant or were purely fabricated. And I don’t just “disregard” then, I examine them and find them to be lacking where it counts.
Yet, you cannot produce 2 or 3 of these outrageous claims of UFOs and monsters. Where are these accounts to be examined? These do not exist. These are frauds.
What you are proposing is a complete undermining of the judicial system? You are proposing that the testimonies in police reports, legal investigations, and casebooks are not valid in proving any event. Add to that any such cases proved now are invalid 2000 years from now.
Maybe in your wisdom and instead of tearing down, you should affirm a standard of evidence. What kind of evidence proves anything? How do you hear of that evidence through reports?
The Truth is that you need to put the confirmation of truth by 2 or 3 witnesses to the test. Show that 2 witnesses can give a detailed report of the same events that they never really witnessed and that their testimonies can stand without contradiction after being thoroughly cross-examined.
>>Yet, you cannot produce 2 or 3 of these outrageous claims of UFOs and monsters. Where are these accounts to be examined? These do not exist. These are frauds.<>What you are proposing is a complete undermining of the judicial system? You are proposing that the testimonies in police reports, legal investigations, and casebooks are not valid in proving any event. Add to that any such cases proved now are invalid 2000 years from now.<>Maybe in your wisdom and instead of tearing down, you should affirm a standard of evidence. What kind of evidence proves anything? How do you hear of that evidence through reports?<>The Truth is that you need to put the confirmation of truth by 2 or 3 witnesses to the test. Show that 2 witnesses can give a detailed report of the same events that they never really witnessed and that their testimonies can stand without contradiction after being thoroughly cross-examined.<<
A couple of stories that don't contradict one another is still hardly enough. Perhaps if you could establish that they were entirely independent testimonies, and that includes having no access to other stories of the same claimed event to copy from, then you might BEGIN to make a case. But if the claims are extraordinary the evidence has to be pretty damn strong. This isn't some relatively trivial claim like they saw this guy buy a carton of milk or even rob a bank!
I still think that you (and other apologists who play this same game) go on insisting that claimed witness testimony from a couple of people is good enough because you simply don't have anything better, no actual evidence.
By the way, as you brought it up: Your so called witness testimonies would be laughed out of court as pathetically weak hearsay.
Well said brother. I’m going to be using some verses from Isaiah 11, 12, 58 and 62 as I preach through John 7 tomorrow. It’s there when one allows their eyes to be enlightened by faith. Reject the scriptures and one can never see beyond Jesus’ physical appearance (John 5:38, 46-47).
“And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21
It’s no wonder that people still react today the same way that the people reacted the very day that Jesus said what He did (Luke 4:28-29).
Yes. The fact that Jesus said this in Luke 4 right after being baptized is amazing. I can’t help but to believe.
Sorry, I don’t see it. How exactly is that even remotely amazing?
There will always be haters of God and the truth Scott, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. For those people your words are falling on deaf ears and all they will do is mock and hate. For us who can see the truth, thank you for all your encouraging words.
True. Thank you brother.
I don’t hate God Charlie. I do dislike poorly made arguments though, no matter what they are trying to be used to argue for. A careful reading of what I wrote will show no signs of mockery or hate.
All you are demonstrating here is fully in line with what I said above: This only impresses those who ALREADY believe. He is “preaching to the choir”, as no one else could possibly be impressed by such poor attempts at argument.
It is a well known observation in philosophy that those who already accept a given conclusion are far more likely to fail to see the flaws in an argument that ends with that conclusion.
After standing in such a pure light of Truth, there is no going back. As Hume recognized, all the Truth of the Gospels rest upon multiple eyewitness testimonies fulfilling centuries old prophetic predictions of the Christ. From Moses to John the Baptist, we seek that Messiah of which they testified. Jesus used the defense of more than two witnesses to prove Himself (John 5:31ff, John 8).
In like manner, Jesus gave detailed predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke 17, 19, and 21. From Acts, we know that Luke was written before Acts, and Acts ends before the death of Paul in 65 AD and thus the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Therefore, we know that Jesus’ detailed predictions were truly fulfilled.
No going back you say. The hopelessly overcrowded Clergy project suggests otherwise. And do you mean David Hume, the agnostic?!
The rest is stories, just stories. Which only seem to impress ‘true believers’, not serious historians etc.
You can’t be serious, Charlie. Haters of truth come in many forms. If you’re stuck on the theology to which you and Scott seem to ascribe then I would doubt that you’re genuinely seeking Truth. In fact it is the Truth that finds you when you’ve surrendered your ideas of what you think Truth is. Learn to let go of your indoctrination and just maybe the Truth will find you.
There is a certain aspect of theistic indoctrination that seeks to equate “Truth” with “God” (the core of the religion being indoctrinated in, not just that character alone), such that any thought of seeking the truth is assumed to be “seeking God” and/or any conclusion that fits into the indoctrinated and assumed ‘god model’ already set firmly in their minds. Making the word “truth” lose any real meaning. Instead it sets up an automatic confirmation bias; not seeking “the truth whatever it might be” but “the Truth that God is real – and fits the image as described in my religion, and the rest of reality conforms to that assume ‘Truth’.)
When you see it in practice to the fullest extent it is a decidedly sad sight indeed.
One particularly sad part of this is the realization that if the ‘true believer’ happens to be correct (their belief is accurate) they are far less likely to actually find out, not with this mindset blocking any real learning and discovery.
You display an extremely low standard for what counts as evidence (and even proof), at when it comes to what you already believe (and preach.)
By way of analogy: The Hobbit also contains eyewitness accounts, such as of Bilbo meeting Smaug the dragon, and prophecy and its fulfillment. But that adds no real credence to any claims that the story (or characters therein) are real or true.
What both sources, The Hobbit and the Bible, have are STORIES of people experiencing events.
You say “The testimonies of these eyewitness are recorded for our examination. As far as evidence goes, there is nothing stronger.” This I take it is meant as a claim that nothing is of a stronger truth-value than eyewitness testimony, but it is more accurate to read this as an admission that (claimed) eyewitness testimony is unfortunately the best you can muster.
Other ‘historians’ throughout history have made the mistake, and been called out for it (directly or after the fact); of just recording the stories (“eyewitness testimonies”) of anyone with a story to tell and just taking their word for it, with many a tall tale becoming recorded as fact.
Hel, even today you could find innumerable eyewitness testimonies, with the testifiers being alive to tell you in person, and verify that it really is their own testimony, not just stories written as such with unknown/questionable authorship, of their UFO abduction, monster sighting… experiences. By your own standards described in this entry, should you not give those as much, if not more, credence than your cherished Bible stories? But you won’t of course, as your sole concern is confirmation bias, grasping at any straw to support your ALREADY held (and cherished) beliefs. It’s all rather sad when you think about it.
Lol. Thank you for an observable “satire” of false assertions. The average reader can see right through these points.
I have no interest in such content free mocking comments.