How We Can Know That Christianity Is True

imagesCAFXI34IMaking the case for Christianity is hard enough with someone genuinely interested in learning. But for those “skeptics” among us, and their numbers seem to be ever increasing, it’s hard to get to the meat of the subject because of all the presuppositions they bring to the table.

One common assumption is that religion is something that evolved within us, some expression of a social need that helps people make sense of the world, even though it has no actual truth to it. As one friend of mind put it:

I do still think it is an opiate of the masses. My experience is that the average Christian is spoon fed rhetoric that they spew forth, with little understanding, when it is convenient for them.

Sadly, I have to agree with her, to a greater degree than I would like. In fact, I believe this is why secularism is on the rise and why recent studies show that 75 percent or more of students lose their faith while in college. Christians have failed to articulate the basis for their faith, and have been relegated to the realm of wishful thinking as a result.

To rephrase her comment a bit, some believers, to put it bluntly, say stupid things. And many have not taken the time to learn the facts that support their faith, or how to separate core doctrine from much of the wishful thinking that passes for theology. The whole “prosperity gospel” is a great example. Most rational people know that material wealth is not a product of prayer, however sincere the proponent of such theology may appear. We all know, from experience, that there is no correlation between wealth and theology, and if there were, it would probably prove the opposite – that living a God-centered life would make it at least a bit less likely that one would accumulate massive wealth. This is not to say that God could not – or on occasion does not – answer a person’s prayers, but simply that a desire to pray for prosperity is not a proper reason for becoming a following of Christ.

So, my skeptical friend may be right that many Christians are getting it wrong. My response to her is not to defend those believers, but instead to say “so what?”

That some people misunderstand authentic doctrine, or attempt to misuse it for improper purposes, does not prove that faith in Christ is false. I may pretend to be a knowledgeable mechanic and give you bad advice on how to keep your car running smoothing. I could put on a lab coat and attempt to give medical advice. The examples go on and on – stacking up examples of bad mechanical or medical advice would say nothing about the validity of a belief that auto mechanics can make cars run or doctors can use medicine to heal; it says something about the person giving the false advice, and perhaps about the person who, often uncritically, accepts it. For example, belief by the masses that men went to the moon, or that they faked the landings, would not tend to prove or disprove the landings. One would have to consider the evidence. And even if the proponent of the “faked landing” made better arguments than those on the other side, the truth of the matter would not depend on the quality of the argument; it would instead depend on the quality of the evidence.

To conclude that Christianity is false, then, one has to evaluate the evidence for Christ’s life, death and resurrection, and find it lacking. If, by contrast, he did live, suffer crucifixion on the cross and then return in a resurrected body, then belief and trust in him would make perfect sense, since his acts would authenticate his words. Making the case for the Christian faith is beyond the scope of a short blog post, but many others have done so, demonstrating that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are indeed historical events. While much of what we know is based on the testimony of “believer’s” – those who personally witnessed these events and underwent changed beliefs and lives – their credibility was greatly enhanced by their willingness to face torture or death rather than deny the truth of what they had experienced. Moreover, there are other “non believers” who also corroborate Jesus’ life and crucifixion, as well as the transformative effect his life had on human history. But the case is much broader still, for it also encompasses the prophesies written before the time of Jesus that were fulfilled by him, lending additional support to his claim of divinity.

Interested readers should consider pursuing the topic with an open mind, without presuppositions about why people seek to develop spiritually. There are many good resources: “The Historical Jesus” or “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus,” both by Gary Habermas; “The Case for Christ,” and other “Case for” books by Lee Strobel, or “Reasonable Faith,” by William Lane Craig, as starting points.

And most recently, “Cold Case Christianity,” by the founder of the PleaseConvinceMe website, former cold case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace, whose unique perspective on the “evidence” is well worth the effort.  

Post by Al Serrato

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  1. zilch says:

    Very nice post, al. I actually agree with much of what you say. For instance:

    “Most rational people know that material wealth is not a product of prayer, however sincere the proponent of such theology may appear. We all know, from experience, that there is no correlation between wealth and theology, and if there were, it would probably prove the opposite – that living a God-centered life would make it at least a bit less likely that one would accumulate massive wealth. This is not to say that God could not – or on occasion does not – answer a person’s prayers, but simply that a desire to pray for prosperity is not a proper reason for becoming a following of Christ.”

    Amen to that. I well understand the pull of greed, so it’s no surprise that many Christians, as well as all the rest of us, want more and more. You are certainly right about there not being a correlation between (at least) Christian theology and wealth- wasn’t Jesus pretty clear about this? You know the passages. Selling the idea that Jesus was a laissez-faire capitalist, and that He would not provide healthcare, for instance, is one of the most unholy achievements of certain conservative parties and movements. And rational atheists will agree: if we want to live in a peaceful and loving society, we can’t continue taking more and more from the poor.

    Your friend says:

    “I do still think it is an opiate of the masses. My experience is that the average Christian is spoon fed rhetoric that they spew forth, with little understanding, when it is convenient for them.”

    Yes, religion is, at least sometimes and partly, an opiate of the masses, and like opium, it’s popular for two reasons: it’s fun, it makes you feel good, and it’s profitable, at least for dealers and televangelists. But of course the same is true of politics and TV series, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling good or being profitable- unless it goes too far, to addiction and destruction.

    Of course, I disagree with you, al, about the truth of Christianity. But as long as you behave nicely, that doesn’t bother me.

    cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

    • William says:

      Hey zilch we meet again.

      I have a couple of questions. Why say that christianity is false with such confidence? Are you that confident in your belief to do away a faith that billions of people have put their trust in over the centuries? Is it that simple?

      • zilch says:

        Hey al!

        I think I’ve already said why I think Christianity is false on this blog: because I don’t see any evidence for the existence of gods in general, lots of evidence that people make up religions all the time for understandable reasons, and there are lots of passages in the Bible that don’t fit the real world.

        And as far as the beliefs of billions of people go, it’s quite easy to believe billions of people are wrong. After all, there are about 1.6 billion Muslims, who must all be wrong by your beliefs. Or is truth a popularity contest? Most people used to believe that the world was flat. Was the world flat back then?

        As I’ve said, there are reasons people want to believe in God that are very powerful: desire to live after death being the top one I suspect, closely followed by a desire to do the right thing, the desire for ultimate explanations and justice, and many more. That’s all fine, but I want to know the truth, the way things are, and so far, the world seems to be godless.

        cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

        • William says:

          Zilch you say “because I don’t see any evidence for the existence of gods in general,” I really don’t think this is a true statement. Can science refute Jesus ressurrection? Let’s think about that for a second, can science really do that? I personally don’t think so.

          You also say “but I want to know the truth,” but can science tell you the truth about God? Often times we make a drastic mistake when we place truth concerning the divine In the hands of science. Science isn’t suppose to do that. At least that’s what the atheists think. I typically don’t agree.

          • zilch says:

            Science doesn’t need to refute Jesus’ resurrection, any more than science needs to refute, say, that Santa Claus drops down chimneys. Do you believe everything anyone says? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

            As far as placing truth regarding the divine in the hands of science goes, whose hands are better? Should I place truth regarding Allah in the hands of Muslims?

            Trouble is, anyone can, and many do, claim to have knowledge of the divine, but they can’t all be right, can they?

            While I would not say that everything reduces to science, and also admit that science is flawed, science does have a much better track record than religion at successfully describing the way things are in the world, and what we can do with those things. The fact that we are able to hold this cyberconversation is a fruit of science, not religion. No matter how fervently you believe in your God, there are many others who just as fervently believe in their own, different, God.

            cheers, zilch

  2. William says:

    Zilch I agree with basically everything you said. I do believe just because someone can claim divinity it doesn’t mean it’s true. But Christ claimed divinity and it showed in his resurrection. And Allah never actually did claime divinity it was actually an angle who claimed it for him. How do the Muslims know he even exist if no one ever hurd from him or seen him. How did they know mohhamed was telling the truth or rather how did they know the angle was telling the truth? Jesus on the other hand has revealed himself to men on earth before and after his resurrection. History confirms his existence. If jesus is God than one could only go to the library and see the christian God in the pages of history, and also read his own words unlike Allah who spoke through an supposed angle.At the end of the day the resurrection is an (historical)debate not a science debate. That was my argument.

  3. William says:

    Excuse my spelling im typing on this crazy cell phone lol I mean angel not angle lol

  4. al says:


    Thanks for weighing in. I think we’re at an impasse, as usual. There is abundant evidence of God’s existence, as long as you define evidence correctly and not in the narrow sense in which you seem to use it. By imposing presuppositions on the evidence, you will never follow where it leads. Even something like the desire for eternal life is itself part of the proof; a small part, of course, but part of the cumulative case.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree on the “behaving nicely” caveat, although I must say I don’t know why that should matter if I’m the product of randomness and have no ultimate destiny. Why shouldn’t I behave any way that pleases me?

    • zilch says:

      William- if I were to judge religions purely on what they claim, then your argument would be worth considering. But in the absence of any evidence of truth for religion, it doesn’t matter any more than arguing if Thor is stronger than Ganesha, or Batman than Spidernan.

      al- yes, we’re at an impasse. But my definition of evidence is not narrower than yours: it’s simply focused more on the real world and less on what people say or write. And there’s no evidence I can see that the Bible, or the Koran, etc, are not just what people said and wrote. There’s no substantiation in the real world for the truth of religion as far as I can see, except for anecdotal evidence.

      I don’t doubt the sincerity of your belief, and I can see that believing in God often does great good, so that’s fine with me.

      Desiring eternal life is pretty much a no-brainer, at least in animals that have evolved far enough to realize they will die and to conceptualize wishes about their future. As Michael Shermer said, when asked what he thought about the afterlife, “I’m in favor of it”. Who wouldn’t be, if it were at all pleasant? Not a proof of God at all.

      And as for why atheist should behave nicely: why should, say, bonobos behave nicely? Because they’re social animals. We are social animals too, and we have developed our genetic social heritage much further with our cultural social heritage. Again, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that it’s nice to enjoy the blessings of living in a working society, and that you need to behave nicely to make that possible. If that’s not enough incentive to not, say, steal, which it isn’t for some people, then there’s the added incentive of keeping your butt out of jail- or your neck out of the noose.

      Religion is an added feature which extends the carrots and sticks of secular powers indefinitely, to Heaven and Hell. Also not surprising that it works, even if it’s not supported by evidence from the real world, since it appeals so strongly to our hopes and fears.

      Anyway, thanks for the nice reception here. Cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

  5. William says:

    Zilch this is my concern for atheists “there is no evidence in the real world” but what are you using to define the evidence? Please don’t tell me science. Because science has no debate in the spirit world at least that’s what the atheists say. So of course you wont find any evidence there.

    The heart of the christian faith is the resurrection. And historians can’t refute the resurrection because it was an act of God. And most historians do not study God’s actions. They can only give a plausible idea on what could have happened and not what did happen. Its not that historians can’t study God’s actions they just don’t choose to. Their not made for that. College has deemed them to act a certain way. And this weakness is due to their inevitable weakness concerning the supernatural. Thus most historians have evidence, staggering evidence I should say but yet they have been trained to force it away because it deals with the supernatural.

    But how can you look at history with a bias heart and closed mind? Look any main stream historian agrees that something happened on that early sunday morning. But again because they have trained themselves not to look at the supernatural they scream delusional, the body was stolen, they even dare to defy medical evidence by saying oh he wasn’t dead and he stayed in the cool of the grave for three days some how with his flesh hanging off his bones and his flesh ripped away by imprints of rugged nails in his body. And even after the sharp spear that pierced his side he somehow rolled the stone back and limped his way to the desciples and they believed him. Child please. But this is my favorite one: Jesus had a twin brother lol. In what world?! And they got that information from a late 2 or 3 century manuscript. What a hypocritical argument. They tell us not to use late second or early third century manuscripts as evidence concering jesus historicity but yet they do this themselves. they go through extreme pressure and absolute oblivious claims as the ones above to deny the resurrection without any shred of evidence what so ever.

    Christianity is not some non-intelegent way of thinking. Christianity is not some religion that only those who’s elevators doesn’t reach the twelfth floor can understand. Some of the greatest minds to have grace the earth has ventured out to refute the old Nazarene and fell at his feet in utter worship.

    Some of these great thinkers are men like: lord Littleton and dr Benjamin Gilbert West, Frank Morrison a lengendary lawyer, Thomas Arnold a historian,lord lindhurst an Attorney General, and dr Simon greenleaf profesor of law, Harvard and many more who’s come to Christ not based of fear of dying but because the evidence was correct. Me personally I didn’t give Christ my life because I wanted to live a moral life. I was happy with my sin but when I discovered the evidence I knew I had to come face to face with the living Christ. And if he did live I had to pay extreme attention to him if he was who he said he was.

    • William says:

      Zilch you say your evidence ” it’s simply focused more on the real world and less on what people say or write.” But this can’t be further from the truth. You yourself said “I don’t doubt the sincerity of your belief” how did you come up with that idea? Arnt we writing to each other? And yet you believe what I say. Although you’ve never seen me before yet you believe what I write. I could have lied about being a christian but why would I go through debating with such a great guy.:) but the substantial evidence agrees: I have sincerity in my writings, we are on a christian forum and website and this is what christians do, debate with atheists lol. You believe my sincerity because we spent time writing each other, I showed you my passion in my writing, I gave you testimonies about my life. Sincerity can be felt and not always seen. Just like you don’t doubt my sincerity in my writings I don’t doubt the desciples sincerity in their writings neither. Thier lives and the evidence surrounding their lives back their writings up. Besides all of us believe that christopher columbus existed but how do we know that? My guess is by some historical writing or document. At the end of the day we all believe in someones writings as long as the substantial evidence agrees.

  6. zilch says:

    William- thanks again for taking me seriously. But I don’t think we’re going to say much of anything new on this topic. I don’t believe in the Resurrection because it is only reported in the Bible. Historians, mainstream or not, will agree- there are no contemporary accounts of the Resurrection outside the New Testament. Caesar and Christopher Columbus are both mentioned in hundreds if not thousands of contemporary documents, and they are not all part of one religious story, but receipts, court records, histories, etc. Jesus is only mentioned in the Bible until after His death, when people started reporting what Christians believed, and Christians started writing about their beliefs.

    And we both know that religious texts are full of stories that can’t all be true. Did Enkidu fight the Bull of Heaven? It says so in Gilgamesh, which is quite a bit older than the Bible. If you don’t believe that, why should I believe the Bible? I’m naturally skeptical of stories about stuff that doesn’t seem naturally possible, aren’t you?

    I certainly don’t mean to imply that “Christianity is some non-intelligent way of thinking”. And I know there have been and are lots of brilliant Christians. One of my best friends, Stefan, is a Christian, and he’s even smarter than me, which makes him pretty smart!


    But someone can be plenty smart and still be wrong. There are also plenty of Jews and Muslims who are smarter than me, but they’re wrong, right? The final arbiter of truth is if it fits the real world or not, not whether billions of people believe it.

    Again, thanks for being so civil, William.

    cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

    • William says:

      Great debate zilch thanks for a freindly debate. As we well know sometimes debates can get out of hand but you and I kept it cilvil and freindly and that’s how it should be.

      I’m confident that one day you’ll see the truth. Your heart is in the right place. You desire truth and I since that. I believe your mind is opened or you wouldnt be on a christian website. Your a good guy zilch, much respect.

      But I know I have my view and you have yours and I respect that. I don’t agree but I respect it. My argument is not with the contradictions of the bible seeing that this theory is only according to ones own interpretation
      and opinion. My argument is with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That according to a lot of great historians it is historicly accurate. And have yet to be refuted. There are many accounts of Jesus resurrection outside of the bible. Such as the church fathers who’s testament and words are so accurate and precise that it can rewrite the entire new testament word for word. And some of the leading apostolic fathers were puples of the apostles. They knew the eye witnesses. They walked with the apostles themselves.

      Please understand that the bible isn’t just one big gigantic book. But are books of ancient material from different times and locations. Historians do not look at the gospels as a book but as individual manuscripts of the ancient world. So according to history there are at least five books Mathew, mark, Luke, john, and acts. And thousands of other manuscripts documented in history around the first and second century that speaks of Christ resurrection. The problem is not wether there are any other scources outside of the new testament. that argument is irrelevant when we have the earliest scources dating only a couple of years after the resurrection such as mark’s gospel and the creed of the early church in first Corinthians 15:3-5; should I look for later scources to determine history when I have earlier scources that have already done that?

      These gospels aren’t just stories but a vibrant belief that took thousands of peoples lives on the streets of Rome and almost every area in the middle east. So when historians give me an intellegent reason to doubt these early accounts then I’ll do that. Ok maybe not lol. Jesus is more to me then history. If they had a good reason (wich they didn’t) I would have doubted in my year of salvation but not now. I know him. I mean I really do know him! I’ve never been so much in love with anyone than i am with him today. I’ve never seen him but I’ve hurd him in my heart. I’ve felt his touch of glory im shivering to even think about it. I’ll tell you the truth if Jesus is wrong than I’ll go to hell with him because he’s worthy of it! I know you say im crazy. I’ll except that. I’ve been saved since I was seventeen and im now 28 and he’s all I’ve known. He’s my everything. Nice debate zilch.

      • William says:

        Thallus .Pliny the Younger ;Tacitus (56-120AD)Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD)Phlegon (80-140AD)!Lucian of Samosata: (115-200 A.D.)Celsus (175AD) (Josephus70ad)

        They all show documents of Jesus historicity. Besides, the site that we are on pleaseconvinceme website has many of articles that shows outside writers other than the gospels. You should check them out (like the one above)their great recourses!
        Cheers zilch 🙂

        • zilch says:

          Trouble is, William, all these sources are merely repeating what Christians believe. Do you think it impossible that people can simply be wrong in what they believe? What about the seven hundred people that believed Jim Jones spoke the words of Jesus, and drank that Kool-Aid? People end up believing wrong stuff all the time.

          cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

          • William says:

            is, William, all these sources are merely repeating what Christians believe.”

            Zilch I could care less if “all of these scources are only repeating what other christians believe” I quoted these scources not to prove who Christ was but to give an account that contemparary writers around the first and early second centuries outside of the bible knew that Christ was a person that someone believed in around that time. So the christian faith wasn’t just a made up fairytale that was created centuries later.

            Lets put this in a more logic term here. If Josephus who wrote around 70ad was only repeating christians (wich I agree with)doesn’t that place his testimony before him and before the destruction of the temple that also happened in 70ad? Doesn’t this fit around the dating of some of the gosples? And the eye witness timeframe? Doesn’t this put the christian faith as a early to mid first century religion before 70ad and not some early or late second century religion as some suppose?

          • William says:

            “What about the seven hundred people that believed Jim Jones spoke the words of Jesus, and drank that Kool-Aid?”

            Are you seriously compareing jim Jones with Jesus Christ? Those who believed that a man could do what jim Jones promised were nuts lol. I wouldnt have believed Jesus Christ nither had he not risen from the dead lol

            You must understand zilch when Jesus died the apostles didn’t believe that Jesus Christ was going to rise from the grave. Infect they were saddened to the fact that their beloved promised messiah would never return again. They wasn’t expecting resurrection lol. They only believed when Jesus promised resurrection came true and not before it as the case was with Jones when his disciples believed before the promise had ever happened lol. Jim Jones was selling wolf tickets while Jesus promised and performed.

          • William says:

            Zilch you say”Do you think it impossible that people can simply be wrong in what they believe?”

            Yes absolutly they can be wrong. But what if their is great substantial evidence to back up their claims? And they were willing to put thier lives on the line for what they believed? Jim Jones disciples didn’t die for something that happened. They died for something that didn’t happen yet. They had blind faith. However, The disciples of Jesus did die for what had already happened and could be proven by just looking inside the empty tomb and by the miracles they did. Two different cases. One case equals evidence the other only blind faith.

  7. al says:


    I’m still confused: you say there is no evidence but then make an exception for what you call anecdotal evidence. You say our definitions are the same, but then say the Bible is simply what people wrote or said. But what people wrote or said is evidence. Hearsay, perhaps, but a form of evidence nonetheless.

    Evidence is anything that tends to prove a fact at issue. Here, the issue is the existence of a supernatural creator. Whatever has a tendency in reason to prove or disprove God’s existence would be considered “evidence.” Can we agree on this? I know you want to focus on “real world” stuff, but the definition of evidence cannot shift if we are to employ the only tool we have for getting at the truth – reason. Can I get you to commit to this?

    • zilch says:

      Yes, al, you are perfectly correct: what people say or write is also evidence, even if it’s only hearsay evidence. I didn’t clarify. Normally, hearsay or anecdotal evidence, what someone else tells you rather than what you see with your own eyes, or can at least theoretically test for yourself, can be accepted as good evidence for everyday phenomena. If you tell me you have a car in your garage I will believe you. But if you tell me you have a dragon in your garage, I will not believe you, without some very very good evidence indeed. Probably in the end I would only really be convinced by seeing the dragon with my own eyes- and even then, I’d want X-rays to rule out a robot. Wouldn’t you do the same, al?

      Jesus is the dragon in the garage. I understand how cool it would be to have a dragon in your garage, but I don’t see any, so I think it’s probably just wishful, or fearful, thinking.

      I might be wrong. But I might be right.

      cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

      • zilch says:

        Oh, and to answer your concrete question: yes, I’ll respect whatever reason can produce as evidence for or against God. I will add one caveat: as I’m sure you know, the word is not the thing. Our words can mislead us sometimes, when they have meanings that don’t have referents in the real world. We must ensure, as Plato demanded, that our words “carve Nature at the joints”: that is, that they are not just chasing their own tails.

        cheers, zilch

      • William says:

        Zilch what are you saying? Just because I can’t test what im herring directly than its not real evidence but hearsay evidence? Is that what your saying?

        A lot of people don’t understand christian apologetics correctly. We know all of this is hearsay but not in the way you use it. Our hearsay revolves around substantial evidence. We don’t need direct evidence to prove a case zilch and you know that. All we need is for the substantial evidence to agree with the claims. And the gospels has many of substantial evidence only if
        You look at them not as just one big book. You must look at them as historical separate documented manuscripts thats written by different authors around the same time and agrees with each others view of the resurrection.

        Zilch, If the dragon was in my garage and (HUNDREDS) of people was there with me, heard, and saw the great red dragon for over a (MONTH), if we eat with him, talked with him, saw him fly in mid air and smelled his hot breath, and saw the fire come out of his mouth i’ll definitely question my reason.

        But what if your friend steven claimed before he died that had the secrete to overcome death. But you didint believe him. And then after he sadly passed away he was in your garage and you along with HUNDREDS of people saw him, heard him, felt his fleshy body, and eat with him for over a MONTH. And after he left, you receive a call telling you that the hole town is going crazy because your friend isn’t in the grave anymore and he’s missing, some claiming that he isnt dead anymore. Would you not believe?

        • William says:

          At the end of the day I haven’t heard one great arugument that has refuted the resurrection. All I hear are weak rebuttals. If the resurrection of Jesus is so comic book why haven’t there been one ancient manuscript in history in the first century that gave an intellegent evidence against it to refute it. But yet there are at least six manuscripts in the first century and probably more that has given great substantial evidence concerning the resurrection. Men has believed in the resurrection for two thousand years yet no one has given us concrete historical evidence to refute it what so ever. There are no historical documents from the first century that proves that he didn’t rise from the grave. Yet there are enough documents from the first century at least that has substantial evidence of his resurrection. I don’t think we need to prove what history already claims evidence for even if it is an impossible claim(Evidence and proof are not the same). But I think you guys have the burden of proof on you to refute what history has claimed evidence for. Lets flip it if he didn’t rise, do what you ask us to do and show us some historical concrete evidence from the first century that proves your claims. Yes we are the ones who says he’s risen but your the ones who says he didn’t. So where’s your historical evidence? And please do not give a logical opinion such as it doesn’t make since or its not in the real world. Only historical evidence from the first century.

          • zilch says:

            William- as I’ve already said, I don’t need to refute the Resurrection, any more than I need to refute Enkidu fighting the Bull of Heaven, or the dragon in your garage. The burden of proof is on those claiming something happened, especially so when that something defies common sense and physics. There are of eyewitness accounts for alien abductions: does that mean I have to accept that they happen too?

            cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

  8. Daniel Baek says:

    I have been listening to the podcast and I have a general question that might be premature, but I was wondering how you can use today’s investigation techniques on events that happened 2000 years ago in another culture? I know some things may apply, but people thought differently back then.

    • Daniel says:

      Many people say “bible is unreliable, bible is reliable”. I was trying to look into which is correct, but I couldn’t really find anything. Is there anyone that knows well known scholars, both christian and non christian that can send me links to what well known scholars all agree and even disagree on main evidences of how reliable the bible is and the reasons why?

  9. William says:

    Again I’ll say this one more time to all atheists who’s on this site, is there any historical documented evidence you have that came from the first century that can nullify the Jesus resurrection?

    Again, zilch your defying Jesus resurrection by scientific methods and you can’t do that. That’s not science nature. The resurrection was an act of God and science according to atheists can’t study God. Yes according to science or natural elements the resurrection is impossible. But since it happened by a spiritual power it doesn’t need physics to explain. Besides if he does exist he would be over physics wouldnt he? Jesus was God and not a normal man. Science doesn’t have a fight in historical fatcs. That fight is only left up to historians not scientist.

    Zilch what makes a reliable eye witness? People claiming to seeing aliens in the sky is not enough evidence. Or someone writing folklore stories about a man and his bull and expecting you to believe it without any evidence what so ever thats not enough evidence either.The eye witness must either have direct evidence or substantial evidence that collaborates with their claims. Zilch you know that. 🙂 and the new testament has great substantial evidence.

    • zilch says:

      William- we’re at an impasse here- both of us are repeating ourselves. Sorry, but I can’t accept eyewitness alone for the Resurrection, because if I did that, I’d have to accept them for alien abductions, Hindu miracles, bending spoons telepathically, and all that stuff, which can’t all be true, and most of which is demonstrably false. My standards for truth are higher than that.

      Thanks again for the courteous debate, cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

      • William says:

        Again, my atheists friends im still looking for historical documented arguments from the first century doing the time of Christ that can nullify the documents we have from the first century concerning jesus resurrection. Are your arguments based on historical documents and eyewittness accounts because ours are?

  10. William says:

    Zilch you are a very patient atheist. 🙂 I like that about you. I know ive been of a little pest lately :). But im a passionate person on what i believe to be true. I hope no harm done. I wish you many blessings on you and your family.

    My last post on this subject is not intended for you zilch but if you want to weighin you can :).

    This post deals with the evidence that eyewitness accounts are reliable when it is established on evidence.

    Dragons, aliens, cookie monsters, spoon slayers, spiderman, superman, and any other super figures made by men can easily be refuted by the men who created them. Comic book heroes are just what they are “comic book heroes” they are in a book and not in real life. There is no historical records for them, no eyewitness that they existed. These figures are only a creativity of ones own mind. These are nothing but petty arguments and have no place in a skeptical debate. And even if you do find a super figure who only a couple of eyewitnesses claims to exist it still doesn’t make it true without the proper evidence surrounding thier claims.

    Below I’ve listed 5 qualities that can help solidify an eyewitness claim. In no way am I saying this is an complete study on eyewitness accounts. And im not a investigator nither to do this any kind of justice lol. but any investigator can validate that these 5 points are valuable in the court of law.

    So What makes a reliable witness?
    1.Honesty: a dishonest person has no place in the court of law
    2.The lighning of the event: a dark setting isn’t good for the vision.
    3How close they looked at the person: no eyewitness with bad vision can be considered a good eyewitness exept for exeptions. One of the greatest causes of conviction is mistaken identity.
    4.How long they looked at the person.
    5.How long as it been since the event happened: one of the greatest weakness in a eyewitness case is a bad memory.

    When compareing these 5 qualities the disciples would account as great witnesses in court.
    1. Honesty:There is no reason to question the disciples honesty in the gospels. Anyone can tell that they were sincerelly people. And that they truly believed that Jesus was alive.
    2.the lightning: when the first witnesses saw him it was in the morning. So the sun was out.
    3.the distance of the witnesses view of the person: they saw him so close that he told them not to cling on him! It is even implied that tomas put his hands in Jesus nail wounds.
    4. How long they looked at the person: the apostles spent 40 days eating dinner with Jesus. That’s a long time wouldn’t you think. On top of that hundreds of people saw him and were still alive even after the coversion of the apostle Paul.
    5. How long had it been since the event happened and the apostles claimed that jesus was alive: the apostles claimed resurrection only days after the resurrection. That means thier memory was still fresh.

    Plus the empty tomb, the rolled back stone, the shroud, the amazing change in the apostles character, such as a sudden boldness and confidence in the face of absolute death all has substantial evidence to connect with thier claims. But most of all the greatest substantial evidence that agress with thier direct evidence is the conversion of the apostle Paul.

    To be a true sceptic you must give a intellectual argument based on why you disagree with the eyewitness accounts. And you can’t prove or negate the resurrection 2, 000 years ago by just using scientific methods. Something happened on that day but what was it. Thier must reasons for your doubts or your convictions. Unless your doubts has no reason behind them. Unless your doubt has just empty value to it. Science only observes information that it can observe and not the one’s they can’t, Such as the supernatural, such as the resurrection.

    Sorry for the bad explanation for the investigation methods. The great site were on can explain more then I could ever give justice to. Lol

  11. zilch says:

    William: the trouble is, there’s no proof the Bible contains eyewitness accounts of the Resurrection, or indeed of anything at all. As I’m sure you know, people make up stuff all the time.

    And don’t worry- you’re not bugging me. You’ve been unfailingly polite.

    cheers from cool Vienna, zilch

    • William says:

      Zilch why do you say there’s no proof the bible contains eyewitness accounts when one Gosple writer clearly claims that he was an eyewitness, john’s gosple. mark’s gospel is clearly a story from peter who wad an eyewitness, and Luke recieved his gospel from eyewitnesses. How do we know that’s true because it agrees with the gospel account of the only gospel that claimed eyewitness, john’s gospel. Luke claims he received his story from eyewitnesses so his resurrection account should line up with John’s resurrection account, he was an eyewitness. Me personaly, It doesn’t matter who wrote the Gospels. The question is where did they get their story from? And was it true. If Harry, bob, and jim were writers for the eyewitnesses than so what. As long as they got the story correct and were true to the witnesses accounts. And according to john’s gospel they did. Paul knew the eyewitnesses, he eat, slept, and ministered with them. And his story of christ ressurection agrees with harry, bob, and jim’s Gosples. Paul life, and epistles are great substantial evidence concerning the Gosples. Paul himself saw the risen lord so he to experienced the resurrection. Infect he saw him on more than one occation. Theres no doubt paul believed he saw jesus. His life shows that.

      But Proof is not the argument here. You can’t prove anything that happened in history. can you prove Christopher Columbus existed and founded America? The only thing you can do is search out evidence such as documents, “receipts, court records, histories, etc” and use them to verify the claims. And based on the evidence you go from there. This is exactly what historians do when considering Jesus resurrection and historicity.

  12. Lance Montgomery says:

    The question most plaguing me is: how do I prevent the comments from narrowing to the point where every 4th or 5th comment is one looooong column with rows each containing a single word?

    • zilch says:

      Lance- very good question. Maybe if we don’t reply to any individual message, but just reply to the post in general.

      William: we’ve been through this. How do you know that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses? People write stuff all the time that isn’t true, don’t they? And as I said- there are hundreds if not thousands of contemporary documents about Columbus, and zilch for Jesus, outside of the Gospels and other NT writings. No contemporary accounts of the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Sermon on the Mount, the trial, the eclipse: all just in the New Testament. I don’t see how that is any different from, say, the signatures of those eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen Joseph Smith’s tablets of gold.

      I think we’re repeating ourselves now. cheers from sleety Vienna, zilch



    A christian is a man who seek for the presence of God and found it in Christ.


    Exodus 33:14-15 (N.I.V)
    14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
    15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.


    Exodus 13:21 (N.I.V)
    By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

    Therefore a Christian is someone who serves God directly, through the manifestation of his presence in Christ and his Spirit of holiness, not through angels or prophets.

    Don’t get me wrong, angels and prophets, can be used by God a times, but don’t glorify them, don’t worship them, only worship God presence through his Holy Spirit, and that is the only way to God.


    Colossians 1:15-17

    New International Version (NIV)

    The Supremacy of the Son of God
    15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
    17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

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