Faith or science cannot prove things which are not observable such as God’s existence or evolution. Millions are not crazy to trust inclinations of the heart that a loving Supreme Being exists. Neither should we judge millions of others who aren’t sure such a God exists. The Bible reports of a man Jesus who claimed to speak for God, backing it up with miracles and rising from the dead. If Jesus was a real historical person and the Bible reports accurately what He said and did, we can know more what God is like. Please see Gregory Boyd & Paul Eddy, Lord Or Legend, for further discussion.
- How reliable is our Bible according to what the writers originally penned, who lived during Jesus’ day and wrote down what He said? Nearly 25,000 manuscripts of the New Testament exist today, the earliest dating back to within 50 years when penned. The most reliable secular text, Homer’s Iliad, has 643 manuscript copies in existence today with a 400-year time gap between time penned and copies available. If claimed the NT isn’t historically reliable, all ancient literature must be questioned.
- If Jesus was more myth than reality, why was Jesus written to be the leader He was? The Jews were hoping for and expecting a leader to crush there oppressors, yet Jesus died at the hands of the Romans. Fictional, character descriptions usually exceed your expectations.
- If you are going to make up a movement, why are the leaders described in such flawed terms? One of the twelve disciples betrayed Jesus for a few bucks. Other disciples constantly doubted Jesus while Peter (aka “Upon This Rock…) denied knowing Jesus during tough times. Legends, rather than historical characters, aren’t weak but strong, invincible, heroes.
- Why was Jesus based on actual current history events as contrived legends are based on events once upon a time, long ago to avoid verification? It was written Jesus was born when Augustus was emperor and crucified when Pilate was governor. Jesus was referred to as James’ brother which could be confirmed at the time of writing (Gal. 1:19). Good Lord, if you are going to claim Jesus came back from the dead you don’t write being seen by 500 witnesses (I Cor. 15:6). Maybe Jesus did resurrect as confirmable by living, talking eyewitnesses.
- If Jesus didn’t actually live in the first century as a human being, why did the writer record that his readers were being persecuted from the same people that crucified Jesus (I Thess. 2:13-15)? Maybe Jesus lived during the same first century as the readers.
- Aren’t legends created to reinforce current beliefs? The Jews were very much a one-god people since Old Testaments days, unlike surrounding cultures who worshiped many gods. You don’t make up a person claiming to be God since they don’t reinforce current beliefs. Maybe Jesus was real and the writers wished to pen accurately Jesus’ words.
- Why would writers talked about Jesus’ disdain for rituals, unless Jesus truly spoke how certain practices made a mockery of the message of love? The Jews had many sacred traditions revered for centuries, claiming such rituals were necessary to be accepted by God.
- When making up stuff you don’t report your leader was crucified, that your hero was rejected by their family, and followers doubted Jesus’ claims including being God in flesh, unless you are reporting the facts. Jesus simply was not the stuff legends were made up.
The Bible is subject to interpretation, but much of Jesus’ message is agreed upon. Jesus encouraged forgiveness of others because our Creator forgives us. Jesus encouraged us to go extra miles in relationships because God would never think of loving us any differently. If you base many of your beliefs about God by what Jesus claimed about God, you can be reasonable confident you got the real story.