There are thousands of pages of material that have been written as a proof of Christianity. This short study by no means is exhaustive. However, if you are anything like me, these proofs will help you to solidify faith in Jesus Christ as well as the Bible.
The book of Isaiah was written by a prophet, Isaiah, around 750 BC. It is one of the richest books in the Old Testament in terms of prophecies about Jesus the Messiah.
The book of Isaiah is one of the Old Testament books that was found in its entirety when the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were excavated in 1947. The Dead Sea Scrolls were a group of writings found in clay jars in caves near the Dead Sea. The writings were copies of many Old Testament books as well as other literature copied by a group of people called the Essenes. They made these copies and stored them in the caves between 100 and 200 BC. When these writings were found they were in excellent condition. When they translated the book if Isaiah, and more specifically, Isaiah 53, they found that what we have in our modern Bibles is virtually identical to the Isaiah 53 in the Dead Sea Scrolls copied 100 to 200 years before Jesus was born. In fact, in the whole chapter of Isaiah 53, there were only 13 letters that differed, not words, but letters!
This is critical because when we see the following prophecies about Jesus in Isaiah 53, it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was indeed written well before Jesus was born.
- Isaiah 53:5 – He was pierced for our transgressions.
- Matthew 27:35 – They crucified him.
- Isaiah 53:6 – The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us.
- Isaiah 53:7 – He did not open His mouth.
- Matthew 27:17 – But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge.
- Isaiah 53:8 – Jesus had no children
- Isaiah 53:9 – Assigned in the grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death.
- Matthew 27:38 – Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
- Matthew 27:57-60 – Joseph a wealthy man placed him in his own tomb.
- Isaiah 53:10 – Jesus will see His offspring and prolong his days.
- Matthew 28:18-20 – Through the multiplication of disciples of Jesus he will see His offspring.
- Isaiah 53:11 – After the suffering of his soul he will see the light and be satisfied.
- Matthew 28:2-6 – He is not here; He has risen just as He said.
- Isaiah 53:12 – Poured out his life unto death.
- Matthew 27:50 – He gave us his spirit.
Other Prophesies from the Old Testament
- A human son would be called Mighty God (Romans 9:5, 2 Peter 1:3)
- His government will have no end. (Revelation 11:5)
- He will reign on David’s throne (Acts 2:29-30)
Zechariah 11:12-14 (Written 450 BC)
- Buying God for 30 pieces of Silver (Matthew 27:4)
- Throwing the money into the temple (Matthew 27:5)
- The money ending up with the Potter (Matthew 27:7)
Psalm 22 (Written by King David about 1000 BC)
This Psalm is written from the perspective of the man that is being crucified to death. David died of old age, not crucifixion. Also, in the year 1000 BC, crucifixion was not a popular method of execution.
- They have pierced my hands and feet (Matthew 27:35)
- They divided my garments and cast lots for my clothing (Matthew 27:35)
- Micah 5:3 – Born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1)
- Isaiah 7:14-15 – Born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25)
- Amos 8:8-9 – At Jesus’ death there will be an earthquake and an eclipse at noon. (Matthew 27:45-51)
Many scientific facts were known by God in the Old Testament but were no known by man until thousands of years later.
Isaiah 40:22 – Man did not know that the earth was round until Christopher Columbus. Before 1492 the common thought was that the earth was flat. God knew it was round when he thought of making it.
Job 26:7 – The earth being suspended on nothing was not known for thousands of years.
Jeremiah 10:13 & Job 36:27-29 – The water cycle of rain, vapor back to the sky and rain again was not known until much later.
There is much history of Jesus and the early church written by Christians. Probably the most popular Christian historian was Tertullian, (however, his writings cannot be used as proof because he had an ulterior motive to prove Christianity; according to many non-Christians). So in order to get “real” proof we must go to the Non-Christian historians of the day. On of the most prominent historians of that time was a man named Flavius Josephus. He was a Jewish military commander and a historian paid by the Roman government and a Roman citizen. You can look up the complete works of Josephus on the internet here. He was born in 37 AD. His complete works cover 1200 pages, however, he only writes 4-5 pages about Jesus and his followers. This makes it even more obvious that his motive was in no way to promote Christianity, but since Jesus and his followers were part of history, he felt obligated to report on them. In book 18, chapter 3, verse 3-10 of his complete works, Josephus writes:
One of the most prominent historians of that time was a man named Flavius Josephus. He was a Jewish military commander and a historian, paid by the Roman government and a Roman citizen. You can look up the complete works of Josephus on the internet here. He was born in 37 AD. His complete works cover 1200 pages, however, he only writes 4-5 pages about Jesus and his followers. This makes it even more obvious that his motive was in no way to promote Christianity, but since Jesus and his followers were part of history, he felt obligated to report on them. In book 18, chapter 3, verse 3-10 of his complete works, Josephus writes:
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and man of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.”
Obviously, in Josephus’ mind, Jesus was the Messiah. Some critics have said that if he states so clearly that Jesus was the Messiah why didn’t he becomes a Christian. You only have to go to the many people alive today who would claim as fact that Jesus is God in the flesh, however, will not make the commitment to become Christians because the cost is too high. Being a Jewish general, paid by the Romans, to Josephus; the cost of becoming a Christian was very high.
The Lives and Deaths of the Apostles
Many people have died for their faith. Some for Islam, some for David Koresh, even the Kamikaze pilots of WWII died for their faith. So what makes the deaths of the Apostles so unique? The 12 Apostles lived with Jesus for 3 years. If they would have seen Jesus sin one time that would have been enough to discredit him and Christianity would have ended right there. We can barely live with someone for 24 hours without seeing multiple sins, much less 24 hours a day for 3 years. Peter says in 2 Peter 2:16 that he was an eyewitness to Jesus majesty, and the Apostle John in 1 John 1:1-4 describes Jesus as one which he had seen and touched. Peter and John, as well as the other apostles, saw Jesus raise people from the dead, they also saw Jesus die, be buried and rise again. They were eyewitness to Jesus ascending into heaven, as well as many other miracles.
Because of what they had seen with their own eyes over a three-year period, they were willing to be poor, have their families be targeted for death, yet still they preached fervently the message of Jesus’ resurrection and deity, and eventually, all but two of them were martyred for their faith in Jesus. Why would they have all lived like this only do die if they really didn’t see Jesus do all of these things, or if he was not who he claimed to be? If you ask a Muslim suicide bomber or the Kamikaze pilots why they were willing to die, they would claim that they just believe, without any eyewitness proof.
Who Wrote the Bible
Jesus didn’t write one word of the New Testament or any of the miracles written in it. The vast majority of the New testament was written by eyewitnesses of His majesty. Most of whom died for what they wrote and believed. We know that these men were killed for their faith because of what many historians have written. Josephus mentions the martyrdom of James and John the Baptist in his historical accounts.
Let’s compare the way the Bible was written to the Muslim faith. Around 600 AD, Mohammed claimed to have a vision from God. He spoke this vision to his wife and she wrote it down for him. He claimed that in his vision, God set him up as the main prophet. This vision later came to be known as the Koran. Mohammed wrote the whole volume and set himself up as the main prophet. There are no miracles and no eyewitness proof.
Now, let’s look at Buddhism. Buddha never claimed to be God or a great prophet. He was just a ruler that came up with some moral principles for his people to live by. If Buddha were to come back and see people praying to and worshipping his statue he would be shocked.
In conclusion, Jesus was either Lord, lunatic, or a liar. For me, it takes more faith to believe that he is Lord than to believe the lack of evidence on the other side. You make your own decision. My hope is that you will take the time this Easter holiday season and consider the God-man Jesus. I challenge and encourage you to dig deeper into the Bible and get to know the evidence for yourself, then you can come to your own conclusion.