Mark Zaveson sent me an e-mail this week that centered on a discussion concerning the Bible and the accuracy of the scriptures. The authorâ€™s intent was to review and promote a book whose author attacked the common historical revisionism that is around concerning Jesus specifically and the Bible in general.
In the course of the narrative in Gospel of Luke there are several natural divisions. One of these is found in chapter nine. By this point the multitude had looked with wonder and awe upon the mighty works of Jesus and the miracles he performed. He had raised the dead, healed those stricken with palsy, a man with a withered hand and a woman who had only sought to touch the hem of his cloak. Demons had been cast out and all other sorts of sicknesses healed. In 9:43 the record states all were astonished at the majesty of God. The people knew the source of the power at work. At this point, Jesus turned to his disciples and stated the following: You lay into your ears these sayings; for the Son of Man is about to be given over into the hands of men.
From that point he began to prophesy to his disciples concerning his death. He repeated the warning many times, over several days and in different ways – today, tomorrow and the following day I must walk, for it is not fitting that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.
Jesus wrought all sorts of miracles the likes of which had never been seen, either before or since. He then predicted his own death, was arrested and brought up on false charges of sedition and heresy, taken and crucified he died in Jerusalem just as he had prophesied. Three days later the same recorders state that his body had disappeared from the tomb where it had been placed. That he arose.
What do you say about these things? Was it the truth, or was it an amazing fabrication and conspiracy concocted by the likes of a poor carpenter, some fishermen, a tax collector and other commoners?
Does the testimony of the gospels stand?
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Peter, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
(1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 11)