Presentation on theme: "Lake Pointe Hot Topics How do we Know Jesus is God? Sept 27, 2014 Allen Hainline What can we learn about Jesus from outside the Bible? How does the resurrection."— Presentation transcript:
Lake Pointe Hot Topics How do we Know Jesus is God? Sept 27, 2014 Allen Hainline What can we learn about Jesus from outside the Bible? How does the resurrection show the divinity of Jesus? How do we know Jesus was raised? How can we explain the evidence for Jesus being God to skeptics?
Motivation Many uninformed skeptics claim that the view that Jesus was God was a later legendary development Most cults get this wrong Growing movement among atheists that Jesus never even existed
Outline What can we learn about Jesus from extra-Biblical sources? How do we respond to claims that Jesus never even existed? What does the Bible say? Did Jesus really understand Himself to be God? How does the evidence for the resurrection confirm the divinity of Christ? Credits: Rich Deem, J Warner Wallace, Frank Turek
Secular Sources Pliny the Younger, governor of Pontus/Bithynia from 111-113 A.D. wrote (Letters 10.96-97) to Emperor Trajan: “They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust...”
Archeology 3 rd Century church in Megiddo, Israel: “Akeptous, the God-loving, offered this table for (the) god Jesus Christ, as a remembrance”
Early Attestation of Jesus Being Worshipped Alexamenos Graffito This piece of graffiti, from near the Palatine Hill in Rome and rather roughly dated to late in the second-century AD, was apparently drawn by one Roman soldier to mock the faith of a fellow soldier who was a Christian. It shows a man standing by a crucifixion victim with the head of a donkey. The Greek caption reads: “Alexamenos worships [his] God”. 9
10 Early Christian Artifacts Near Jerusalem Skeptics claim Christianity grew legendarily Oxford historian indicates 2 generations insufficient for legends Refuted by early Christian worshippers near Jerusalem and empty tomb Findings from Ossuaries (Bone Boxes) – Ossuaries used primarily prior to 70 AD – 3 archaeologists led excavations finding Christian ossuaries Clermont-Ganneau, Bagatti, Sukenik Sukenik (atheist Jew) dated site prior to 50 AD “World’s greatest authority on Jewish ossuaries” “All our evidence indicates that we have in this tomb the earliest records of Christianity in existence. It may also have a bearing on the historicity of Jesus and the crucifixion.” Christian symbols found (crosses, chi-rho, etc.) Critics questioned early use of symbols such as crosses Herculean cross cannot have been later than 79
Other Ossuary Evidence Ossuaries found that correspond to NT figures: – Caiaphas the High Priest – Sapphira of Acts 5 – Lazarus and Martha of Bethany – Alexander son of Simon of Cyrene (carried Jesus’ cross) – Matthias, Joseph Barsabbas (replacement apostles -Acts 1) – Simon bar Jona with cross in Christian tomb – James son of Joseph brother of Jesus? Controversial but skeptics agree patina for “Jesus” portion ancient 11
Nazareth Decree Found in Nazareth in 1878 –Imperial decree proclaiming death penalty for grave robbers Probably from time of Emperor Claudius circa AD 41 –Inscription dovetails with Cladius’s trouble with the Jews as described by Seutonius Probably inspired by growing movement that believed in resurrection of Jesus –And Jewish story that body stolen from tomb Some scholars skeptical of connection to Jesus but the timing and location seem significant –Consider that Nazareth was too tiny to even be mentioned by Josephus despite references to 50-60 other towns –Estimated 50 houses in 1 st century Nazareth Based on number of tombs 12
The Essentials of Apologetics – Why Jesus: The Historical Jesus “From the very nature of the case, the best historical sources were included in the New Testament. People who insist on evidence taken only from writings outside the New Testament don’t understand what they’re asking us to do. They’re demanding that we ignore the earliest, primary sources about Jesus in favor of sources that are later, secondary, and less reliable, which is just crazy as historical methodology.” – William Lane Craig
Jesus shares the HANDS of God: – H onors: Jesus shares the honors due to God – A ttributes: Jesus shares the attributes of God – N ames: Jesus shares the names of God – D eeds: Jesus shares in the deeds that God does – S eat: Jesus shares the seat of God’s throne Source: Bowman and Komoszewski - Putting Jesus in His Place Jesus shares the HANDS of God: – H onors: Jesus shares the honors due to God – A ttributes: Jesus shares the attributes of God – N ames: Jesus shares the names of God – D eeds: Jesus shares in the deeds that God does – S eat: Jesus shares the seat of God’s throne Source: Bowman and Komoszewski - Putting Jesus in His Place
Jesus Shares the H onors of God Jesus equated himself with the Father such that he believed people’s view of God the Father should match people’s view of him To know Jesus is to know God: “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 14:7) To see Jesus is to see God: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) To encounter Jesus is to encounter God: “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11) To welcome Jesus is to welcome God: “Whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me” (Mark 9:37) To honor Jesus is to honor God: “That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (John 5:23) To hate Jesus is to hate God: “He who hates me hates my Father as well” (John 15:23) To come to Jesus is to come to God: “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) To love Jesus is to love God: “He who loves me will be loved by my Father” (John 14:21) To obey Jesus is to obey God: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23) Source: Kenneth Samples (Without a Doubt, 105-106)
Jesus Accepted Worship (without rebuke) Who worshipped Jesus?Reference AngelsHebrews 1:6 Disciples Matthew 14:33 Matthew 28:9 Matthew 28:17 Luke 24:52 Wise men Matthew 2:2 Matthew 2:11 LeperMatthew 8:2 RulerMatthew 9:18 Woman of CanaanMatthew 15:25 Mother of Zebedee's childrenMatthew 20:20 Blind manJohn 9:38
Jesus Shares the Attributes of God Jesus’ ClaimVerse Came from heavenJohn 3:13, 8:23 Heaven is “my kingdom”Luke 22:30, John 18:36 Before AbrahamJohn 8:58-59 Before the world beganJohn 17:5 All authority... in heaven and on earth Matthew 28:18, John 17:10 Supreme judgeJohn 5:22 Separates the sheep from the goats Matthew 25:31-33
Jesus Shares the Names of God: the “Son of God” ClaimantVerses AngelsLuke 1:35 SatanMatthew 4:3, 6, Luke 4:3, 9 DemonsMatthew 8:29, Mark 3:11, Luke 4:41 John the BaptistJohn 1:34 MarthaJohn 11:27 Saul (Paul)Acts 9:20 Ethiopian EunichActs 8:37 JesusMatthew 27:43, Luke 22:70, John 19:7
Son of God = God! For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:5-6) Word translated "LORD" is yhwh, the personal name of God Jesus Shares the Names of God: Messiah/Christ = God
Jesus Shares the Names of God: The Son of Man A clear reference to Daniel 7: "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
Jesus Shares the Names of God: The “I Am” "I Am" is an allusion to God's personal Name revealed God says to Moses, "This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I Am' has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14 In his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asks them..."Who is it you want?" "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "I am" Jesus said. When Jesus said, "I am," they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:4-5)
Jesus Shares in the D eeds of God Miracle-working "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you" (Luke 11:20) "Jesus sees his miracles as bringing about something unprecedented - the coming of God's kingdom...And that's a not-too-thinly veiled claim of transcendence.“ Ben Witherington Authority in teaching – such as extending and adding to ten commandments in Sermon on Mount – “you have heard” … “but I say to you” Choosing 12 Disciples for a renewed Israel - where does Jesus fit in? Jesus forms the group - just as God in the Old Testament formed his people and set up 12 tribes of Israel Judging: "I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9) Forgiving sins – Jesus tells paralytic “your sins are forgiven” Mark 2
Jesus Shares the S eat of God Revelation 4-5 presents three cycles of worship that culminate in chapter 5 with the worship of God and the Lamb together. Revelation forbids angel worship even while it encourages Christ worship. Christ is worshiped in the very throne room of God. Jesus is at God’s right hand when he receives worship. All creation worships Jesus. (See Revelation 5:13) Acts 7:56 Jesus stands at the right hand of God
Jesus is God (Review) Jesus shares the HANDS of God: H onors: Jesus shares the honors due to God A ttributes: Jesus shares the attributes of God N ames: Jesus shares the names of God D eeds: Jesus shares in the deeds that God does S eat: Jesus shares the seat of God’s throne Source: Bowman and Komoszewski - Putting Jesus in His Place
Summary of Early Evidence for Proclamation of Jesus’ Deity 1.Biblical Jesus presents the characteristics of God The Bible says Jesus is God Jesus claims He is God 2.Writings of early church leaders 3.Secular writings 4.Archeological evidence Earliest records of all kinds have Jesus being worshipped!
Two Alternatives False True Three Alternatives Never made such claims Knew claims were false Did not know claims were false LegendLiarLunatic Lord Two Alternatives AcceptReject Who was Jesus? Was Jesus God?
Resurrection – God’s Declaration that Jesus is the Son of God Rom 1:3-4: “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord”
4 Key Historical Facts Agree to by virtually all NT scholars –Among skeptics, liberal, conservatives etc. 1.Crucified and buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb (90+%) 2.Empty Tomb (75%) 3.Appearances of Risen Christ (90+%) 4.Transformation of the Disciples (90+%) Agree to by virtually all NT scholars –Among skeptics, liberal, conservatives etc. 1.Crucified and buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb (90+%) 2.Empty Tomb (75%) 3.Appearances of Risen Christ (90+%) 4.Transformation of the Disciples (90+%) 32
N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “That is why, as an historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.” Questions?