Evidential Argument for the Truth of Christianity Why this information is important 1.Objective truth 2.Persuasive value
Evidential Argument for the Truth of Christianity Why this information is important 1.Objective truth 2.Persuasive value 3.Moral value Presuppositions: 1.Reason works 2.We can know truth about the past
1.Jesus of Nazareth lived and died in first- century Palestine. A.Ossuaries Bone cases dating from 40 CE with writing on them “Jesus save” “Jesus help me”
B.Documentary evidence 1.Josephius Antiquities of the Jews 18.63f (93 CE) 2.Tacitus Annals 15.44 (117 CE) 3.Suetonius Claudius 25.4, Nero 16.2 (120 CE) 4.Talmud “Sanhedrin” (200-600 CE) 2.The gospels are reasonably historically accurate. A.Written by eyewitnesses or record the testimony of eyewitnesses
B.Written close in time to the events they record C.Accurate when we compare them to other contemporary documents 3.Jesus thought he was God. A.He claimed to forgive sins (Mk 2:10). B.He said “I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:30). C.At his trial he answered yes to the question, “Are you the Christ, the Son of God?” a divine title (Mt 26:63).
4.Jesus either was God or he was not; he either knew his state or he did not. Being Jesus is God Jesus is ~God Knowledge Jesus does not know who he is Jesus knows who he is
5. Jesus could not have been merely a good human moral teacher because no good human moral teacher is a liar or a lunatic. 6. Jesus said he would prove he was God by rising from the dead (Mt 12:40). 7.Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate and died on the cross (Jn 19:33-34).
8.On the third day after Jesus died on the cross, his tomb was empty. 9. Jesus was seen alive by more than 500 people (1 Cor 15:6). 10.His disciples came to believe he was God. A.They did not expect him to die. B.They did not expect him to rise from the dead. C.They were Jews to whom the idea of a God- man was incredible. 11.The explanation that he rose from the dead is the most reasonable explanation of the data.
Objections: A.Hume’s law Experience X Evidence = Credibility Which have you experienced? a. People lying b. People rising from the dead Lying 100% X 11 apostles=100% Resurrection 0% X 11 apostles= 0%
Since the experience of some one rising from the dead is 0, the disciples lying, or any natural event, is more credible than the resurrection.
A'.Answer to Hume’s question: Logical fallacy It explains too much It proves no unique event is ever credible. Every unique event has an experience factor of 0. Experience X Evidence = Credibility 0 X ∞ = 0
B.Colson’s conspiracy 7 11 Great Little Prison Execution < 1 year > 60 years
C.Lessing’s ugly ditch “There is an ugly ditch between the accidental truths of history and the eternal truths of reason.” History Reason (Physical) (Metaphysical)
You can’t use physical evidence to prove a metaphysical claim. So even if you can prove Jesus rose from the dead (an historical truth from the physical world) it does not prove that Jesus is God (a meta- physical claim). C.Lessing’s ugly ditch “There is an ugly ditch between the accidental truths of history and the eternal truths of reason.”
12.If Jesus told the truth when he claimed he would rise from the dead, it is reasonable to believe he told the truth when he claimed to be God.
13.If Jesus is God of the universe, he should be God of my life.