A Problem No Skeptic Can Explain
The writers of the Gospel accounts — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — quite definitely affirm that Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God, and that he performed miracles to authenticate that affirmation.
Further, they allege that even though Jesus was put to death on the cross, after three days he came out of the grave, thus, forcefully demonstrating that he is Jehovah’s beloved Son, and that his authority must be respected. There is really no dispute about what the record claims.
How do skeptics address these historical records? Generally speaking, they assert that the New Testament writers fabricated the accounts. The writers knew that Jesus did not do these things; they simply invented the stories.
Will this charge stand up in the light of logical inquiry? Let us think about it for a moment.
Logically speaking, either there is existence after death or there is not. If there is post-death existence, there either is accountability for one’s earthly conduct, or there is not. The “law of the excluded middle” demands one or the other. If there is no post-earthly existence, it matters not what one does in this life. If, however, one believes that he will be held accountable for his earthly conduct in eternity, he will be more inclined to act in a morally responsible way in this life.
Now, reflect upon the implications of this principle in light of the charge that the New Testament writers lied about the events in the life of Christ.
If they believed in eternity and accountability before God, why would they falsify the records regarding Jesus, knowing that such lies would exclude their entrance into heaven? Lying is conceded to be unethical universally, and, according to the Scriptures, liars will be excluded from heaven (Rev. 21:8).
On the other hand, if the Gospel writers did not believe in eternal accountability, and so, they callously fabricated the documents that affirmed Jesus’ divine nature, why would they have subjected themselves to the persecution that accompanied Christianity, since “this life” would be all they believed they would ever enjoy?
The infidelic theory makes no sense at all. This is a problem that no skeptic can explain. The New Testament documents are reliable!
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.