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DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Is the Bible reliable? Ask the eyewitnesses

The eyewitnesses to Jesus' birth and resurrection were imperfect by the standards of their day. But that only adds to the credibility of their testimony.

Paul McKibben B&w.jpg
Rev. Paul McKibben

The life of Jesus and the impact of His life hinge on two major events: first, His miraculous birth, and second, His being raised from the dead.

If a person was to make up those stories, you would stage it to be authenticated by reliable witnesses. But in the Bible, both of these events were first witnessed by people who did not have credibility in their culture.

His birth was first witnessed by the shepherds, who were not respected in that day, and His resurrection by a woman, Mary, whose testimony was not valid in court.

J. Warner Wallace, in his book “Cold Case Christianity,” points out that this makes it more believable. The way the gospels are written, with all the weaknesses and failures of Christ’s followers, gives it an authenticity that you don’t find in fiction.

“They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished” (Luke 2:16-18).

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“She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. ‘Dear woman, why are you crying?’ Jesus asked her. ‘Who are you looking for?’ She thought he was the gardener. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’ ‘Mary,’ Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is Hebrew for ‘Teacher’)” (John 20:14-16).

Anyone writing a story to be accepted would not use witnesses with no credibility. So, witnesses for Jesus’ birth and resurrection are evidence that the gospels are accurate eyewitness accounts. The gospels tell it like it is, even if it might not make the best story.

There Is other evidence for Jesus’ life that shows the gospels are accurate eyewitness accounts. The fifth century Jewish Talmud (writings and discussions from first and second century rabbis) has the following: “Jesus practiced magic and led Israel astray.”

The good news is this: There is evidence for Jesus' birth, resurrection and life that shows the gospels are accurate eyewitness accounts. The bad news is that if these accounts are true and you reject Jesus, there will be eternal consequences to that choice.

The Bible is God's warning to us and shows us His provision for salvation and eternal life with Him. The historical and other evidence that give the Word authenticity are just more reasons to believe it.

This article was drafted by Craig Clark and adapted by Pastor Paul McKibben of Grace Community Church of Osage.

Related Topics: FAITH
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