Tomb of Jesus Found?

The location of the tomb of Jesus in Israel just might be known. I first considered this an exaggeration when I heard of it, but I have found out that there is at least something to take into serious consideration.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is possibly the true and literal place where Jesus was buried, and was viewed as this area from at least the beginning of the 4th century AD. Jesus was buried outside of the old city of Jerusalem. The tomb located in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located outside of the old city of Jerusalem. This tomb was also closed with a large rock (technically, this was typical of ancient tombs of 1st century Israel). Inside this tomb, there is stone benches for visitors to be seated on. According to the gospels, when the women entered inside the tomb, they saw “a young man seated in a white garment” (Mark 16:5). Hmm… I’d recommend reading more by clicking here.

The tomb is also empty. Just sayin’.

Why Historians Know Jesus Was Crucified

Jesus Christ, one of the most influential figures in all of human history, met His end at the hands of the Romans, whom crucified Him. His crime was calling Himself the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One, and He paid dearly for it. Indeed, this is a record of history written by Christians, Jews and pagans alike, and is has been established in the frame of history beyond a reasonable doubt. Indeed, it is a fact, and so I decided to put together exactly why it is universally recognized as one of the most well-established historical facts in all of ancient history, by every single expert on the planet. Indeed, the great historian E.P. Sanders says this;

I shall first offer a list of statements about Jesus that meet two standards: they are almost beyond dispute; and they belong to the framework of his life, and especially of his public career… Jesus was born c 4 BCE near the time of the death of Herod the Great; he spent his childhood and early adult years in Nazareth, a Galilean village; he was baptised by John the Baptist; he called disciples; he taught in the towns, villages and countryside of Galilee (apparently not the cities); he preached ‘the kingdom of God’; about the year 30 he went to Jerusalem for Passover; he created a disturbance in the Temple area; he had a final meal with the disciples; he was arrested and interrogated by Jewish authorities, specifically the high priest; he was executed on the orders of the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate.

E.P. Sanders correctly notes that the crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of Pontius Pilate is virtually beyond dispute, and indeed, this fact is affirmed by all credible historians in the entire field. Therefore, it is important to know why scholars hold this opinion. Here, we will be reviewing the overwhelming historical data and evidences to affirm the veracity of the crucifixion narrative.

The first thing to look at is the gospel narratives, however, we will not yet look at what they say about the historicity of the crucifixion. First, we will examine their reliability.

Indeed, it is now understood in scholarly circles that the four gospels are generally pretty reliable historical sources, and the data that has brought historians to this conclusion is nothing less than overwhelming. The genre that the gospels were written in is ancient biography. Craig Keener, professor of the New Testament thus remarks;

Through most of history, readers understood the Gospels as biographies, but after 1915 scholars tried to find some other classification for them, mainly because these scholars confused ancient and modern biography and noticed that the Gospels differed from the latter. The current trend, however, is again to recognize the Gospels as ancient biographies.

Likewise, Richard Burrige, professor of Biblical Interpretations also remarks;

In recent years, many genres have been proposed for the Gospels, but increasingly they have been again seen as biography. The work of Charles Talbert and David Aune has contributed greatly to this development, while my own work has attempted to give a detailed argument combining literary theory and classical studies with Gospel scholarship

So, why exactly have historians come to this conclusion? This conclusion is based off of a wealth of resources, to say the least, and one especially is the overwhelming historical confirmation of the gospel narratives. Countless figures of the New Testament, especially important ones like Peter, John, and Paul are well attested in historical records, and sometimes themselves wrote. For example, Paul is credited with at least seven epistles bearing his name, including Romans, Galatians, Philemon, Phillipians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, and 1 Thessalonians (and he wrote as many as thirteen). So for example, the historicity of Paul is well beyond dispute, as we have his very writings. Clement of Rome (70-96 AD) tells us about the martyrdom of both Paul and Peter. He says;

Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. -1 Clement, V

The apostle John is even mentioned as a known baptizer by Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews 18.5.2! Countless other of the early disciples, if not every single one of them, are all historical and well known. The gospels record not only the historical figures of the gospels, but countless other historical figures, including the Roman emperor of the time Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1), Lysanius, the tetrarch of the time of Jesus (Luke 3:1), the high priest of the time of Jesus Caiaphas (John 11:49), and countless others. Other cities recorded in the New Testament, such as Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum, etc, have all been found confirmed in and before the time of Jesus, despite being small cities. The gospel narratives record that an earthquake erupted during the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27:54). In 2012, a scientific report published to the International Geology Review titled An early first-century earthquake in the Dead Sea confirmed that a major, 6.3 magnitude earthquake took place sometime between 26-36 AD, the exact time of the crucifixion of Jesus. The gospel narratives are overwhelmingly substantiated by countless historical facts, and are simply embedded into historical narratives.

In fact, the author of the Gospel of Luke has even been confirmed to have been a historian! Sir William Ramsay, one of the foremost scholars of his time said “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy… [he] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.” To know why historians acknowledge this, one will need to try to look into the overwhelming compilation of historical details confirmed from the smallest aspects of the Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts (both written by the same author) available, and perhaps they can start by reading about 84 confirmed historical details in the last 16 chapters of Acts alone by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek. The Gospel of John, which is traditionally dated to the 90’s AD is so familiar and well versed in the archaeology of Jerusalem before 70 AD, that renowned scholars including James H. Charlesworth have come to the belief that the Gospel of John was originally written before 70 AD, but enlarged into its current form later in the 90’s AD.

This brings us to the first reason why we can consider the crucifixion a historical fact, beyond potential dispute. The story of the crucifixion of Jesus simply emerges from historical reality, it is filled, detail by detail, with confirmed facts and simply woven into historical reality, especially that of the 30’s AD. Let’s see exactly how it does so. The beginning of the crucifixion narrative begins when he is first tried before the authorities of his time, the high priest Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate.

Mark 26:57-58: Those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. Meanwhile, Peter was following Him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the temple police to see the outcome.

As previously noted, Caiaphas has already been historically confirmed to have been a high priest during the time of Jesus, and he was specifically so in the 30’s AD, not a period later on. Secondly;

Mark 15:2So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You have said it.”

According to the gospels, Jesus was tried before the procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate has also become a historically established figure, and is known to have reigned over Judea between 26-36 AD. As we’re seeing so far, the crucifixion narrative is immersed in the historical reality of the 30’s AD. Later on, we are told exactly where Jesus was crucified:

Mark 15:22: And they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Skull Place).

According to the crucifixion narrative of the Gospels, Jesus was crucified in a place called Golgotha. Golgotha has been found in the site where the biblical requirements of its location have been called for, and it was an ancient site of crucifixion. The gospels tell us that Jesus carried His own cross (John 19:17), but it becomes apparent that because of the extreme torture he had undergone before, he was no longer able to carry it, and thus a man named Simon from Cyrene had to carry the cross of Jesus for Him. Nevertheless, we are told by the gospel narratives that Jesus was initially carry His own cross, and it’s a well known Roman method during crucifixion to force the victim to carry his own cross before he is actually crucified. In Plutarch’s Moralia, section 554, he writes “every criminal who goes to execution must carry his own cross on his back” — confirming this practice mentioned in the gospels. The crucifixion narratives write that after the crucifixion, a Jew, likely an admirer of Jesus (Joseph of Arimathea) requested permission from Pontius Pilate to bury the body of Jesus. That Jews were concerned with burying their fellow Jews after their death, even their enemies, is confirmed by the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who recounts  “We must furnish fire, water, food to all who ask for them, point out the road, not leave a corpse unburied, show consideration even to declared enemies” (Against Apion II.29). To recount as well, we’ve also previously seen that the gospels record an earthquake during the time of the crucifixion, one that has been confirmed.

In other words, as we can see, the crucifixion narratives document an account that is filled to the brim with historicity, especially history known from the time of the crucifixion of Jesus (c. 30-33 AD). This is important for two reasons. One, ancient fictions do not contain significant historical details, especially when they are talking about events that happened decades earlier — when historical accounts try to create fictions of events that have transpired decades ago, they usually get those details wrong. However, the gospel writers, even though they write decades later, all easily get the right emperor, procurator and high priest of the time. Secondly, if the gospel authors were inventing a fiction, they do not embed historical detail and historical customs into them, especially at a significant scale. However, the complete contrary is to do with the gospel accounts when they speak of the narrative of the crucifixion, they clearly outline the practices of crucifixion that occurred to Jesus, a region where crucifixion actually happened, and Jewish practice that was applied to Jesus after His crucifixion.

The reality is that, because almost every single thing about the crucifixion narrative of Jesus is historical for a fact, the evidence speaks that it is most certainly true that the crucifixion itself was not invented, rather the authors of the gospels were doing nothing more then writing the history as it happened. As we’ve seen earlier, the gospel accounts contain significant historical accuracy, and thus there is not the slightest reason for us to belief that Jesus crucifixion, which is immersed in historical data, was some kind of fiction all of a sudden popping out.

Jesus’ crucifixion is recorded by countless figures. For one, all four gospel narratives record it, and as we’ve seen, the gospels are historically reliable accounts (and again, Luke’s account was written by a historian, because the Gospel of Luke was written by a historian). Matthew and Luke likely have some dependency on Mark, but John is correctly recognized as a completely independent account, therefore we have at least two independent sources from the gospel narratives both confirming the same thing: Jesus was crucified. Secondly, Jesus’ crucifixion was recorded by an even earlier source, Paul. In the Book of Galatians, Chapter 3, Paul records “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” Paul’s writings were first written in the 50’s AD, and are also independent of the gospel narratives as well, as well as being a very early, and reliable source about the crucifixion of Jesus, especially by a man who lived contemporaneously with Jesus Christ.

The crucifixion of Jesus is also noted in the writings of the historian Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.3.3). Although it is popular on the internet to try to claim that historians believe this is a forgery, actual historians have, contrary to these internet myths, concluded that the passage contains nothing more than a partial interpolation, whereas the account of crucifixion is well enough recorded in the original. Secondly, the crucifixion of Jesus is also recorded in the ancient Roman works, especially that of the historian Cornelius Tacitus. In Annals 15.44, Tacitus tells us about a group of people called Christians, whom were persecuted under the Roman emperor Tiberius. Tacitus then tells us that this group originated from a man known as Chrestus (a variant spelling of Christus, or Christ, in the time of Tacitus) had been executed and crucified in the reign of Tiberius, by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Tacitus information came almost certainly, directly from the Roman records themselves, as Tacitus almost certainly had access to them and most of his documented information came from such sources, or similarly reliable sources. Indeed, Tacitus always tells his readers whether or not the information he is recording comes from an unreliable resource, and in the case of Jesus, Tacitus makes no such disclaimer at all.

The execution of Jesus at the least, without precise notion to the crucifying part of this execution, is perhaps also noted by Mara Bar Serapion, who says “What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?” Mara Bar Serapion is generally thought to have written about 74 AD by scholars, and here, the Jews executing their ‘wise king’ (a well-known mockery title of Jesus by the Romans) most-likely means Jesus Christ Himself.

In other words, we have considerable attestation to the crucifixion of Jesus from sources throughout the New Testament, even ranging to many sources outside of it, be they Jewish (Josephus), Roman (Tacitus), or pagan (Mara Bar Serapion). It seems to have been a universally recognized historical fact from its inception, a detail only possessed by events that happened in the reality of history. Most events we know of ancient history are usually based on one account, but historians are usually very happy when they have two ancient accounts of an event. But of course, most are based on one. However, the accounts we have for the crucifixion of Jesus exceed much, much more than just two. Therefore, this is indeed one of the reasons why historians consider it one of the indisputable facts of history, right up there with events such as the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the reign of emperor Constantine and the expansion of the Egyptian empire that was undergone during the reign of the king of Egypt, Rameses II. In other words, as E.P. Sanders notes, indisputable.

We are not done, though. Another major reason for why we know that the crucifixion of Jesus happened was recounted by Bart Ehrman in his debate with the insane mythicist Robert Price, where Price was understandably demolished and most of the time hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. Ehrman revealed an overwhelming fact: That the crucifixion of Jesus would never have been invented, had it not happened in reality. For decades, centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus, many Jews mocked the Christians for believing in a man that had been crucified. The writer Lucian of Samosta, who wrote somewhere between 165-175 AD was a well-known mocker of the Christians, calling Jesus a “crucified sage”. That Jesus, whom was thought to be quite literally God to the Christians, was crucified couldn’t even have comprehensibly have been made up. Indeed, a truly mythical account would have claimed that, rather than being killed, Jesus was actually caught up into heaven and escaped death by the Romans (such as the Islamic account of the life of Jesus). Indeed, the Christians believed Jesus was the Messiah of the Old Testament, and according to contemporary Jewish thought of the 1st century AD, the Messiah would have come as a king on Earth who was going to destroy the Roman allegiance, and establish an eternal Jewish kingdom based in Jerusalem. This never happened with Jesus, Jesus was instead crucified. No Jew would have possibly made this up about their own Messiah. It was humiliating, and that was the way it was meant to be: Crucifixion was invented to humiliate the person being killed. Jesus was crucified. And that is the humble fact of Christianity.

Was Jesus’ Body Stolen from the Tomb?

Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans, under the reign of the Pontius Pilate, the fifth prefect of Judea. Shortly thereafter, Joseph of Arimathea acquired permission from Pilate that he would be able to take down the dead body of Jesus from the cross, and bury it. And so Joseph did. Several days later, the tomb of Jesus was discovered to be empty by a group of Jesus’ women followers, including well-known women in the New Testament such as Mary Magdalene, a women whom Jesus cast out seven demons from. Indeed, nowadays, a substantial majority of historians accept the historicity of the empty tomb. Indeed, after conducting an analysis on the recent trends of New Testament scholarship in Resurrection research, the eminent scholar Gary Habermas notes the following;

…while far from being unanimously held by critical scholars, it may surprise some that those who embrace the empty tomb as a historical fact still comprise a fairly strong majority.

This is not surprising, of course. There is overwhelming historical evidence for the empty tomb. So, we shall now go in and refute a rather popular hypothesis, the hypothesis that the body of Jesus was stolen from the its burial tomb, or purposefully removed from its burial place by some person. This claim is put forth in order to explain away the historicity of the empty tomb without invoking the historical Resurrection of Jesus.

Indeed, what can we say about this claim? Aside from there being zero explicit historical evidence to support such a notion, there is strong evidence from history to show that this would not have possibly happened, and that comes from an artifact known as the Nazareth Inscription. It likely dates to either the reign of Julius Caesar, or perhaps Augustus — at about 30 BC – 30 AD. This is what it says:

EDICT OF CAESAR

It is my decision [concerning] graves and tombs—whoever has made them for the religious observances of parents, or children, or household members—that these remain undisturbed forever. But if anyone legally charges that another person has destroyed, or has in any manner extracted those who have been buried, or has moved with wicked intent those who have been buried to other places, committing a crime against them, or has moved sepulcher-sealing stones, against such a person I order that a judicial tribunal be created, just as [is done] concerning the gods in human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat with honor those who have been entombed. You are absolutely not to allow anyone to move [those who have been entombed]. But if [someone does], I wish that [violator] to suffer capital punishment under the title of tomb-breaker.

Image result for caesar augustus nazareth inscription

According to the Nazareth Inscription, not only did 1) destroying the body in a tomb 2) removing a body from a tomb or 3) moving a body from a tomb to another location become illegal, but if someone is charged with doing such a thing, they would face capital punishment, i.e. execution. Indeed, this means that in the time of the death of Jesus, it was illegal to steal the body of Jesus and doing so would result in a sentencing of death. This highly removes the probability that anyone would even think of intentionally ceasing Jesus’ dead body from its tomb, especially the disciples themselves. The last thing a disciple of Jesus would do after being devastated by Jesus’ crucifixion, is steal His body and risk death.

Secondly, we must also consider that there is also no motivation for any person to actually steal the body in the first place, and so historically speaking, there is absolutely no warrant for suggesting this hypothesis in the first place. Thirdly, no scholar actually thinks that the body of Jesus was stolen from the tomb, and fourthly, the Gospel of Matthew entails that there existed a guard at the tomb of Jesus in the morning after the burial specifically so it would not be stolen (Matthew 27:62). So it seems to me that the historical evidence is quite overall weighty to establish that indeed, the body of Jesus was not stolen from the tomb. Therefore, Christians can be very happy and comfortable in taking up the position that the empty tomb is not due to some tomb-breaker or grave-bandit, but rather due to the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Isaiah 53 Confirms Christianity

Christianity, the worlds greatest religion. Not only is the Christian faith more widespread then all other religious beliefs that have existed throughout history, but it is also the one true religion as well. Much confirmation has come to Christianity, especially from history and archaeology. Indeed, I’ve done a number of posts on the archaeological and historical confirmation of the Bible (see here and here for some examples). But one of the more well-known forms of complete confirmation of the proposition of Christianity and the Lord Jesus are biblical prophecies.

Biblical prophecies are what God foretells in the books of the Bible. And indeed, God declares to us that He tells the end from the beginning.

[Isaiah 46:10] Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.

I believe the greatest prophecy in the entire Old Testament is a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah. This prophecy is the prophecy of Isaiah 53, the suffering servant prophecy. Contrary to popular thought, scholars agree the prophecy actually starts in Isaiah 52:13, not Isaiah 53:1 (but I will refer to the entire thing as Isaiah 53 later on). Considering that, we shall now quote the passage and behold one of God’s ultimate confirmations of Christianity through Jesus. A long prophecy, just to warn you.


[Isaiah 52:13-Isaiah 53:12] See, My Servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were appalled at You—His appearance was so disfigured that He did not look like a man, and His form did not resemble a human being—
so He will sprinkle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, For they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard. Who has believed what we have heard? And who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to? He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him. Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. He was taken away because of oppression and judgment; and who considered His fate? For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was struck because of my people’s rebellion. They made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man at His death, although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully. Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him severely. When You make Him a restitution offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, and by His hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished. He will see it out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities. Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.


Indeed, a miraculous prophecy written more than half a millennium before Jesus was born. The Book of Isaiah foretells many things about Jesus.

  1. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be rejected by man, Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.”
  2. This prophecy predicts the crucifixion of Jesus, Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities;” (another prophecy that speak of Jesus’ crucifixion is Psalm 22:16)
  3. This prophecy predicts that Jesus will be oppressed and detained, Isaiah 53:7 says “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.”
  4. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be buried by a rich man (whom we know as Joseph of Arimathea), Isaiah 53:9 says “They made His grave with the wicked and with a rich man at His death,”
  5. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be sinless in His life, Isaiah 53:9 also says “although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully.”
  6. This prophecy predicts Jesus will be considered a criminal, Isaiah 53:12 says “because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels;”
  7. This prophecy predicts Jesus will die for our sins, Isaiah 53:12 also says “yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.”

There is absolutely not a figment of doubt that the Isaiah 53 prophecy miraculously references to Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus was born. The false prophecies of Nostradamus are inconceivable vague, but the words of Isaiah are so unimaginably specific and clear that they speak of Jesus, that no other man in the history of humanity fulfilled such prophecy.

And in fact, to prove this refers to Jesus by anyone’s conception, there is a popular video I found by PuritanPictures where a Christian finds a random Atheist, reads the Isaiah 53 prophecy without telling him that it predates the life of Jesus, asks him who it is talking about, and he answers that it speaks of Jesus! I will post this video on the bottom of this post.

Indeed, and here is a video of random Jews in Israel even being convinced that this speaks of Jesus!

This removes any doubt about the miraculous nature of this prophecy. Some of the disbelievers wish to challenge this, however, and luckily for me there are no logical responses to this prophecy. So, I will now rebuke and rebut all the weak claims against it and its nature. If you go around, these are the objections you will hear.

  • Isaiah 53 was actually written after Jesus
  • Isaiah 53 was never meant as a Messianic prophecy until after Jesus came
  • Isaiah 53 is actually talking about Israel, not Jesus (???)
  • Isaiah 53 can’t be talking about Jesus because it contradicts Jesus
  • Isaiah 53 is written in past-tense, and so couldn’t have been a prediction of Jesus

Let’s address all of them now.


Some people, believe it or not, actually conceive that the Book of Isaiah was not written until after Jesus lived. This is false, though. The Book of Isaiah was actually composed in the late 8th century BC, perhaps between 730 – 701 BC. There are numerous historical synchronisms in the Book of Isaiah to this period of time, which removes all doubt as to when it was written. For example, in Isaiah 7:1, the Book of Isaiah speaks that it is recording events contemporaneously to the reign of King Ahaz. King Ahaz is an ancient king whom we now know existed, and died at about 715 BC. We have found the personal seal of King Ahaz. It dates to the 8th century BC.

Ahaz's seal from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection, London

Furthermore, Tiglath-Pileser III, an Assyrian king, also mentions King Ahaz in his annals, and Tiglath-Pileser III reigned between 745-727 BC. So we have a very good reconstruction of when King Ahaz lived, and therefore when the events of Isaiah were first written. Furthermore, in 2015, the Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar discovered the royal bulla of King Hezekiah, the son of King Ahaz, which reads “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah”, and dates to between 727 – 698 BC. Finally, the oldest full manuscript of the entire Book of Isaiah is known as the Great Isaiah Scroll, which dates to about 150 BC, more then a century before the birth of Jesus. And it contains Isaiah 53. We have an actual manuscript of this prophecy that was penned more then a century before Jesus was even born. So in other words, we know with certainty that this prophecy does in fact predate Jesus. What about the next objection?

As explained earlier, there are some people who posit that Isaiah 53 was never actually believed to be a Messianic Prophecy before Jesus came, and was just twisted by later Christians into such a thing in order to figment a prophecy of Jesus as being the Messiah. This of course, is historically inaccurate. The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) have established that Isaiah 53 was believed to be about the Messiah before Jesus was born. We have already spoken of the Great Isaiah Scroll, which is part of the DSS and dates to about 150 BC (before Jesus was born). Here is an image of the text of Isaiah 53 found in the Great Isaiah Scroll.

Here is a very fine explanation I found to explain the highlighted part of this text.

52:14 includes an obscure hapax legomena מִשְׁחַת that appears in 1QIsaa as משׁחתי which pointed would be מְשַׁחְתִּי məšaḥtî, “I anointed”. This, in conjunction with the added definite article on ʾadam, results in a text which Hengel translates: “I have anointed his appearance beyond that of any (other) man, and his form beyond that of the sons of humanity [the human]”. This has other textual overtones bringing the passage into an explicit connection with “anointing”.

The word Messiah is Hebrew for “the anointed one”, and so the concept of the Messiah was an anointed figure by God, and this view of the Messiah has been implemented into the Great Isaiah Scroll manuscript of Isaiah 53. In other words, manuscripts of Isaiah 53 that exist before Jesus was born contain Messianic overtones, therefore abundantly establishing that Isaiah 53 was regarded as Messianic prophecy before the lifetime of Jesus. This in fact helps further establish Jesus as the fulfiller of this prophecy.

Therefore, we shall now address the third, and perhaps strangest objection of them all. Indeed, some proclaim that this prophecy speaks not of Jesus, but is actually a text about Israel!

This is how the modern rabbi’s and modern Jewish teachers will explain away the Old Testaments references to Jesus. This explanation was also only invented for the sole purpose of combating the claims of Christians, and has no legitimacy. For example, Isaiah 52:14 literally says the servant is a human being, and that this human was beaten so badly (Roman whipping of Jesus?) that his face was disfigured and he no longer even resembled a human being afterwards. In other words, because the prophecy speaks of a human being, it couldn’t possibly be about Israel, which is a country. Isaiah 53:9 says “He had done no violence”, which could not possibly apply to Israel, because Israel’s history is filled with violence and war with the Canaanite’s and Philistine’s. Indeed, Isaiah 53:12 says “because He submitted Himself to death” — someone is going to need to explain how the geographical region of Israel exactly died if they want this to apply to Israel! This should establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Isaiah 53 has nothing to do with Israel. For a compilation of several more reasons as to why Isaiah 53 has nothing to do with Israel (such as the use of pronouns in Isaiah 53), read this very concisely written article listing ten full reasons. Indeed, we should take a look at the simpler explanation, and conclude it can only be talking about the Jesus. An important thing for modern Jews to consider is that all the ancient Jews and rabbi’s believed that Isaiah 53 was talking about the Messiah as well, which is very important to consider. The concept of this applying to Israel is a modern day invention that is incompatible with the text.

For the next objection, we have people who don’t think Isaiah 53 lines up with Jesus. They go to painful lengths to try to find discrepancies between Isaiah 53 and Jesus. Here are just a few of them, with rebuttals included.

  • Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” — but Jesus was not rejected, he had so many followers! Although he did have followers, he was obviously rejected. He had an entire crowd of Jews at his trial with Pontius Pilate demanding he be put to death, not to mention the very fact that he was put to death which seriously proves he was rejected.
  • Isaiah 53:7 says “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth.” — but Jesus spoke during the trial with Pontius Pilate (John 18:34-19:11)! This is a strange objection considering Isaiah 53:7 is talking about the actual whipping, beating and crucifixion of Jesus, not the trial that had occurred beforehand.
  • Isaiah 53:10 says “He will see His seed, He will prolong His days,” — this verse says Jesus would have descendants and children, but He didn’t! This verse actually does not say Jesus would have any actual children of His own, this is clearly speaking of His spiritual progeny. Galatians 3:26 tells us in Christ we are all children of God.

Isaiah 53 is so clearly talking about Jesus that it is slightly funny to see people trying to find discrepancies between the accounts.

Lastly, there are those people who claim Isaiah 53 is written in past tense, and therefore is not referring to events in the future, such as the acts of Jesus. Actually, it contains both past-tense and future-tense elements, showing that all uses of past/present/future tense are obviously literary. Some cases of future tense in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 includes the following phrases;

  • He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted (Is. 52:14)
  • so He will sprinkle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, For they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard (Is. 52:15)
  • Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the rebels; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels (Is. 53:12)


There is only one logical conclusion, and that is the Isaiah 53 miraculously foretells of our Lord Jesus Christ. It speaks of a man who will be crushed for our iniquities, of a man who will die for our sins and bear our transgressions. It speaks of a man who will be considered a criminal and submit to death for us and to save us, and by His wounds we are healed and forgiven of our sins. It tells us this man will be pierced, clearly speaking of the coming crucifixion of Jesus, the cross Jesus was nailed and pierced into. This prophecy predated Jesus by centuries and was considered a Messianic prophecy from the start, and that it speaks of Jesus is undeniable. This prophecy proves Christianity is true. God gives us no excuse not to believe once we have seen and been given the evidence, and when Jesus knocks on our door, He awaits our answer. We must repent, and accept salvation which is the gift of God, something we are given and do not earn. And evidence did God give for our faith.

[Isaiah 53:5] But he was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

Josephus On the Historicity of Jesus

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 many 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 from him, have not disappeared to this day. –  Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII.3.3

This quote is perhaps, the most famous passage in all the works of the first century historian Josephus. The reason it is so is because it provides an extensive account of Jesus that doesn’t exist in almost any other ancient non-Christian text in the world, and is amazingly early as well. The attestation of Josephus is perhaps the nail in the coffin for mythicism. Mythicism is laughed at by all respected historians in the world, but it must still be crushed as internet populists tend to believe whatever they are told. This single phrase in the works of Josephus perhaps can single handedly dismiss the entire nausea of mythicism… But is it authentic?

Historians in fact believe that this passage is not fully authentic. The reason is quite simple. Josephus, in this passage, recounts Jesus as the literal Messiah (Christ), say that He rose from the dead, was prophesied and did many miracles, and in the phrase “a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man” — we have an implication of Jesus being more then just a man. This would be an impossible saying of Josephus, because not only was Josephus not a believer in Jesus, Josephus was the very type of Jew condemned in the New Testament, a Pharisee! But it also obviously isn’t fully forged, either. Historians have already figured out that the passage in question is only partially interpolated and in its original form does mention Jesus, in fact, as we will see, we probably know what the original form of this passage was later on.

As I mentioned earlier, the passage of Josephus here is obviously not a forgery and that is because it is simply filled with Josephan language.

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 many 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 from him, are not extinct to this day. –  Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII.3.3

The phrase in the beginning of this passage says “Now there was about this time..” — this phrase is used hundreds of times in the writings of Josephus to introduce new topics, and so is markedly Josephan. Secondly, Josephus references Jesus as a “wise man”, and this title is found nowhere in early Christian texts to refer to Jesus. Rather, Josephus personally uses the phrase “wise man” to refer to several people, such as Solomon and David. Furthermore, Josephus here refers to Christians as a “tribe”, which is a phrase that is not used by Christians to refer to themselves — this term is a term used by Josephus to reference other sects, nations or distinctive groups. In fact, if this was a Christian forgery, one must ask, as the scholar John Meier did, why did it reference Christians as a group that should have gone extinct? Finally, as Tim O’Neill puts it, “with the sole exception of Χριστιανῶν (“Christianon” – “Christians”) every single word in the passage can be found elsewhere in Josephus’ writings” — so the evidence is clearly heavily stacked in favor of partial authenticity, especially considering the fact that this quotation of Josephus is found in all surviving manuscripts of the works of Josephus.

As noted earlier, this is exactly the position that historians take. Louis H. Feldman surveyed 52 scholars between 1937 to 1980 and found that 39 of them favored partial authenticity. After surveying 13 books on this passage since the year 1980 on this passage, Peter Kirby seems to find an increasing trend of favoring partial authenticity when he concludes “In my own reading of thirteen books since 1980 that touch upon the passage, ten out of thirteen argue the (Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.3.4 passage) to be partly genuine, while the other three maintain it to be entirely spurious. Coincidentally, the same three books also argue that Jesus did not exist” — which quite conclusively shows the view of academia on the subject.

So what did the original passage say?

I will now cite the text of Josephus as quoted by the 10th century Arab writer Agapius and the 12th century writer Michael the Syrian.

“Similarly Josephus the Hebrew. For he says in the treatises that he has written on the governance of the Jews: ‘At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned Him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that He had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that He was alive; accordingly, He was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.’” (Agapius, Kitâb al-‛unwân 2:15–16)

“The writer Josephus also says in his work on the institutions of the Jews: ‘In these times there was a wise man named Jesus, if it is fitting for us to call him a man. For he was a worker of glorious deeds and a teacher of truth. Many from among the Jews and the nations became his disciples. He was thought to be the Messiah. But not according to the testimony of the principal [men] of [our] nation. Because of this, Pilate condemned him to the cross and he died. For those who had loved him did not cease to love him. He appeared to them alive after three days. For the prophets of God had spoken with regard to him of such marvellous things [as these]. And the people of the Christians, named after him, have not disappeared till [this] day.” (Michael the Syrian, Chronicle 10:20)

In these quotations, I did two things. I bolded the interpolated text and I italicized the text that differs from the standard Josephan text. As you can see, the bolded texts are what scholars consider added on to the original text and not what Josephus originally wrote. However, the more interesting parts of these two quotations is when, although the general text reads that Jesus “was the Christ”, these two quotations from Agapius and Michael render it “was thought to be the Christ” — which likely represents the original, as Josephus would not have declared Jesus as the actual Christ, but simply say in a commentary about him that he was believed to be the Christ. Furthermore, the standard text says “he appeared to them alive after three days”, whereas the quotation of Agapias simply reads “he was reported to have appeared to them” — which also likely represents the original of the text, as Josephus would not have declared that Jesus actually rose from the dead, but mentioned that those who became His disciples reported that He had risen from the dead. Finally, rather than the phrase “he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure” in the standard text, the quotation of Agapias says “And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous” — which is again, much more likely the original text as it removes all miraculous terminology from the phrase we have. In other words, because of these quotations we have of the works of Josephus, it seems that we have even further heavy evidence of partial authenticity, as it seems that we can pinpoint exactly where the interpolations were made. An objection might be made that the quotations of Agapias and Michael are very late (10th and 12th centuryes AD), however the earliest manuscript of Josephus postdates Agapius and hardly predates Michael anyways. All the evidence shows very clearly that the Josephus text is partially authentic, and based on our examination of the text, we can put together a likely original in the following manner;

At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned Him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that He had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that He was alive; accordingly, He was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.’ And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day. – Authentic Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII.3.3

In this text that we reconstructed based on the available evidence we have, there is no sign whatsoever of interpolation or forgery, and the text retains immersed in Josephan language In a summary of all the overwhelming evidence for the partial authenticity of this passage accepted by the majority of modern scholars,

“We can now be as certain as historical research will presently allow that Josephus did refer to Jesus.” – James Charlesworth, PhD, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature

There’s one great thing about Josephus to note, though. Josephus actually references Jesus twice, not once, and he does so the second time in the following passage;

…Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent… – Antiquities of the Jews, XX.9.1

Just to note, I cut off most of the full quotation because it was too long. Aside from that, this passage is held nearly unanimously amongst historians to be completely authentic, as there isn’t a figment of evidence to indicate it is an interpolation or forgery, or any section of this passage for that manner. Edwin Yamauchi says “Few scholars have questioned the genuineness of this passage.” In fact, Origen, an author from 250 AD quotes Antiquities XX.9.1 three times, in Contra Celsum I.4, Contra Celsum II:13 and Commentarium in evangelium Matthaei X.17, so there can be little doubt about the authenticity of this passage considering the overwhelming evidence of its authenticity, and the practical non-existence of evidence to suggest a forgery or interpolation. Apart from the complete debunking of Richard Carrier’s (a mythicist blogger who failed to achieve a career in academia) fanciful attempt to explain away this set-in-stone attestation of Josephus that is supported by all textual evidence, all manuscript evidence and very early quotations from Origen, there is no question regarding the attestation of Jesus in the works of Josephus, and this of course plunges the blade into mythicism. Funnily enough, some internet mythicists like to ignore the works of Josephus because they aren’t contemporary to the lifetime of Jesus, even though Josephus talks about events as early as 40 BC and no one, historian or mythicist alike, doubts the veracity of those passages and subjects in Josephus. As Maurice Casey, whom is an Atheist concludes,

“This view [that Jesus didn’t exist] is demonstrably false. It is fuelled by a regrettable form of atheist prejudice, which holds all the main primary sources, and Christian people, in contempt. …. Most of its proponents are also extraordinarily incompetent.” – Maurice Casey, PhD

James, the Lord’s brother and Mythicism

Jesus is the worlds most influential man to ever live. Indeed, His message and teachings have become greatly widespread and have won over billions of followers, and in fact the religion Jesus brought forth now  composes the largest religious worldview on Earth. This man is simply beloved of His believers, and even those who do not believe in Him find great respect for Him and what He has done for the world. Historians are amazingly interested by Him, many through their analysis and study of His life have come to the belief that He is God and the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament. Thousands of scholarly works have been published on Jesus, and the historicity of early Christianity and the New Testament quantify as the largest and most important field in historic academia. But mythicists will have none of it.

Mythicists are people who don’t believe Jesus ever existed. Apart from mythicism being universally rejected by historians on historical grounds because of the heavy historical attestation of Jesus that these people seem to be ignorant of, one of the larger problems for these trolls is the fact that we have people who literally knew the family of Jesus, which would be impossible if He didn’t exist. Indeed, the mere existence of the family of Jesus is a conundrum for mythicism. Even Paul knew the family members of Jesus, as he notes to us in Galatians.

[Galatians 1:19] But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

Paul, as an early Church leader (who was later killed for the faith) knew quite a lot of acquaintances of Jesus, and he tells us a verse earlier that he had first met Cephas (Peter) before seeing James. In fact, it’s so hilariously easy to show the fault in mythicism that one of the worlds prominent historians named Bart Ehrman (who is not a Christian) said this when he was being interviewed by a radio show host (who just so happened to be a mythicist himself):

Paul says things about Jesus that are off-the-cuff comments where he’s not making a point… And see, that’s very important to historians — in other words historians want to find disinterested comments and Paul has disinterested comments, where he says things for example about James, ‘the brother of the Lord’, which is just an off-the-cuff comment because everyone he’s writings to knows who he’s talking about so he just makes the off-the-cuff comment, so that’s very important information… And he makes an off-the-cuff comment about the twelve disciples… So the whole point is that you’ve got a disinterested comment from somebody who actually knew these people!

Earlier in the discussion, Ehrman was having fun pointing out that no serious historian takes mythicism seriously. I’d highly recommend seeing the funny full 7-minute clip here where Ehrman slaps around this host. So, what’s the point of all this about mythicism being false because people like Paul knew the very family of Jesus like His brother James?

Well, in order to get around reality, some mythicists like to completely re-interpret entire passages in order to explain away facts and information that entirely invalidates their position, such as the aforementioned passage in Paul’s epistle Galatians. So, they will say here that when Paul calls James the “brother of the Lord”, he means brother in a spiritual sense, not a brotherly sense. That is to say, all the followers of Jesus were brothers in a spiritual sense. On its face, this response may sound actually coherent, but someone who starts to dig just a little bit realizes why this claim is atrociously false in perhaps every potential manner. So, for this post, we’re going to go over several reasons why we know James was the actual brother of Jesus. When we say brother, that is to say that Mary had not only Jesus, but several other kids — and James was one of them. Mary would have had these children with Joseph, whom the Bible tells us was the husband of Mary. Indeed, the Bible tells us Mary had many children (Jesus was the first).

Let us beat this horse to death and allow ourselves to examine a few evidences why we must understand that Jesus had legitimate brothers, and thus entirely invalidating mythicism from any historical potential, and we wont even go into the historical records on the historicity of Jesus (this will be done in future posts). One thing to point out is that the context of the Galatians quote above allows us to understand that a spiritual brother interpretation of this passage is not valid at all. We shall now take a look at the context.

[Galatians 1:18-19] Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, and I stayed with him 15 days. But I didn’t see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

Here, we see Paul contrast James, who is a brother of Jesus, with Cephas who is a simple apostle of Jesus. Paul is clarifying to us the distinctive position and title that James held by contrasting him with a simple apostle, and thus Paul’s statement that James was the “brother of the Lord” cannot bear an interpretation that this was meant in some spiritual brotherly sense, because Cephas in this passage was also a spiritual brother, yet was contrasted with James who was an actual brother. This contrast Paul makes shows that a spiritual interpretation of the verse is entirely invalid. Anyways, there is another saying in Paul’s letters that throws a boulder at anyone remaining to say that James was not an actual brother of Jesus.

[1 Corinthians 9:5] Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a Christian wife like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas?

It is almost unbearable to read this and see just how Paul makes it so abysmally evident for all of us to see that the term brother is not to be used in a sense where it is spiritually applied to every apostle, as Paul makes an entire outright distinction between the apostles of Jesus and the brothers of Jesus. So it seems that Paul understood James as an actual brother of Jesus, that is to say he was the son of Joseph and Mary. The horse is dead. But there is one thing I love doing — and that is beating the dead horse (not literally! I promise.. I mean spiritually!)

[Mark 6:3] Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t His sisters here with us?” So they were offended by Him.

The Gospel of Mark (also see Matthew 13:55-56) gives us an understanding of the family of Jesus, which included four sons apart from Jesus and several sisters. That means that Jesus did in fact have actual brothers and sisters that existed within a physical sense. This saying in Mark’s Gospel is shared to us in Matthew’s Gospel. So the Bible makes it very clear that James was the brother of the Lord in a literal manner. There is more evidence as well, though. There are two historical records that we are going to look at now. One very early 1st century historian of Palestine was a man named Josephus, and Josephus tells us something very interesting — a confirmation that is very important that simply cannot be ignored. Josephus’ wrote a work called the Antiquities of the Jews, and he writes the following in Jewish Antiquities 20.9.1.

…Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent… [Emphasis added.]

Just to note, I had to dis-include about half of the quotation of Jewish Antiquities 20.9.1 (that’s Book 20, Chapter 9, Line 1) because it was too long of a passage, however if anyone wants to read the full thing then you can either click on the link provided above or click here. Anyways, what is made apparent is that the early historian Josephus tells us that Jesus had a brother whom was named James. What Josephus tells us makes it incontestable that the spiritual interpretation of James in Galatians 1:19 is a crashing attempt at history. This is the first historical record we wanted to see, and now let us discuss the second one. It’s a box.

This isn’t just any box though, it dates to 70 AD at the very latest (likely much earlier). Take a closer look at this box, it has an inscription on it written in the Aramaic language. Do you want to know what the Aramaic inscription says?

James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus

This truly shoots down any doubt at all. This inscription was authenticated by two world-class paleographers named André Lemaire from the Paris-Sorbonne University and Ada Yardeni of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Norman Geisler summed up the data on this inscription very nicely for us all. Only 1.71 people at the time would have been named James with a father named Joseph and a brother named Jesus, as well as the fact that inscriptions like these almost never mention the persons brother unless that figure were very important — making it almost doubtless that this is referring to the Biblical James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus. This inscription tells us that James was an actual brother of Jesus, and we know this because we are also told in the inscription that his father is Joseph, so this is talking about family. This shows James was the brother of Jesus, not a regular follower and Paul knew him. As I said earlier in the blog, the mere existence of Jesus’ family is a conundrum for mythicism. Let us sum up why we know James was the brother of Jesus.

1. Paul tells us James and Jesus were brothers, and contrasts James the brother of Jesus with a follower of Jesus who isn’t an actual brother

2. Paul makes a very clear distinction between what we know as an apostle of Jesus and a brother of Jesus

3. Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56 say James was a biological brother of JesusnoJesus, and not a mere follower

4. The early historian Josephus verifies James was an actual brother

5. An early Aramaic inscription verifies James was an actual brother

So, the epistles of Paul, two Gospels, the early historian Josephus and even an extraordinarily early Aramaic inscription have all confirmed to us that James was the true, legitimate brother of Jesus. In fact, all these sources are so plenteous that James being the brother of Jesus can be literally considered one of the most historically valid facts of ancient times. Paul knew and met with this person, meaning there is no possible way that Jesus was not a true historical figure if His very family existed and was known — and so as we have just saw with our own very eyes, mythicism was shot down in its entirety. A great thanks to the historian Ehrman for first bringing me to the knowledge of what Paul has to say about this. I also got to go over two very early historical records talking about the life of Jesus, being the first century Jewish historian Josephus and a remarkably early and authentic inscription on an old box, so we truly can have no doubts or issues regarding the historicity of Jesus. I will go into greater lengths regarding the documentation of the historicity of Jesus in future posts — but this should be good for now! Blessings to all readers.

Jesus Claimed To Be God… Again

Since some time ago, one of my first posts on this blog was titled Jesus Claimed To Be God — where I provided a very lengthy post to show that Jesus did in fact put the claim of God upon Himself. However, upon further research, I realized that the debate on this issue was a lot deeper, and a lot further than my initial blog on this topic had entailed to discuss.  For example, I read Tim O’Neill’s objections to this idea (Tim is an atheist historian) as well as watched the debate between Bart Ehrman and Justin Bass (both have a PhD). I’ve already posted a full rebuttal to Tim’s post (and it can be found by scrolling under Tim’s answer), however it’s time for me to fully update this on my blog. This new post will serve as a further defending the claim that Jesus claimed to be God. We will respond to both the arguments of those who deny that Jesus claimed to be God.

Jesus as God in Paul’s epistles?

Believe it or not, some people actually believe Paul did not view Jesus as God. Scholars and textual critics only view seven of Paul’s letters as definitely authentic and were certainly written by Paul — the book of Romans, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon and Phillipians. Although the other six contain obvious references of Jesus as being divine (Titus 2:13, Colossians 2:9), they are argued to be pseudonymous by the majority of Scholars and thus not authentic to Paul’s name and thereby do not reflect Paul’s views. Although I disagree that they are pseudonymous, I will not reference them in discussion of Paul’s views. Here, we will see that Paul obviously viewed Jesus as God.

Let us see that Paul’s texts that clearly establish Jesus as God, and how those who deny this wish to respond are able to respond.

Phillipians 2:5–7: Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

A very obvious reference to Jesus as God, correct? The dissidents argue otherwise. Here, they say that the Greek word for the word ‘nature’ is μορφῇ (which is correct) — but they also claim that this Greek term does not mean ‘nature’, it merely means ‘shape’. Thus, Paul says the following:

Phillipians 2:5-7: Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, being in the very shape of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Then, the claim is put forth that this does not mean Jesus is God, it really (somehow) means that Jesus is taking on human likeness in some pre-existing celestial form. Unfortunately for these people, although they wish to pertain to this rather fanciful interpretation of this obvious verse, they are wrong. The Greek word μορφῇ does not only mean shape, μορφῇ can mean both shape and form. 3444. μορφή (morphé) — form, shape — in other words, translations like the HCSB are correct when they translate Phillipians 2:5-7 to say the following:

Phillipians 2:5–7 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,

Saying that the phrase “Jesus existed in the form of God” doesn’t actually mean “Jesus existed in the form of God” will always be a rather simple attempt to explain away this clear-cut phrase from Paul here. Paul here very clearly places Jesus as God. It only gets worse from here though. These people that attempt to completely re-interpret these straight forward statements will not like the fact that the Greek word μορφῇ is exercised elsewhere in the Biblical Greek literature, such as Mark 16:12.

Mark 16:12: After this, Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them as they walked along in the country.

The Greek word μορφῇ here is used very obviously, and we can see that this Greek word means taking on a physical form, so when Paul says “Jesus exists in the form of God”, he means that “Jesus literally exists in the physical form of God”. So it seems to me there is no possible way to put forth a plausible view where the text in Phillipians 2:5-7 does not amazingly clearly interpret Jesus as God. This itself can drive the position of these dissidents into the ground, but there is more.

[Romans 9:5] The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.

Another very clear verse, right? It says the Christ (Jesus) is “God over all”, right? Not to the deniers. The deniers rightfully point out that there is great debate over how this verse is to be translated and where the punctuation goes, as punctuation didn’t exist in the first century when Paul wrote Romans. Thus, it is up the modern Greek scholars to determine where the puncutation in Biblical verses are to be placed in light of the verses context. So these are the contending translations of the verse:

” … from their race… is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever”

” … from their race… is the Christ, who is over all. God forever be blessed!”

” … from their race… is the Christ. God who is over all be forever blessed!”

The deniers will tell you that only the first one views Jesus as God, but this is again false. As you can see, the second translation says “Christ, who is over all”. If Paul views Jesus as being over all things, or as being the highest being, then Paul views Jesus as God. So, two translations put Jesus as God and one doesn’t. But is the third translation really plausible? Notice, the translation has the unbearably long phrase “God who is over all be forever blessed!” — is this an accurate translation? No where else in Paul’s literature is such phraseology used, giving us good reason to believe that such a translation is false, it is in error. Therefore, all viable translations clearly put forth that Jesus is God.

Now, we will see other Pauline verses that make it extraordinarily obvious that Jesus is God. Firstly, we see Paul recording that people pray to Jesus.

[1 Corinthians 1:2] To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours.

I didn’t know Paul thought people could pray to someone other then God? Now, take a look at this verse which is an elephant in the room to anyone claiming Jesus isn’t viewed as God by Paul:

[Phillipians 2:10–11] so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Paul tells us that at the return of Jesus, ALL PEOPLES IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH AND UNDER THE Earth will BOW down to Jesus, and will CONFESS that Jesus is Lord. It gets amazingly worse for these people when the word translated as ‘Lord’ is κύριος, which means one who exercises absolute ownership. 2962. κύριος (kurios) — lord, master — if Jesus wasn’t God, then why does the entire world bow down on the mark of His name? This becomes increasingly more troublesome when we see this phrase in Phillipians 2:10-11 correlate with the following Old Testament text.

[Isaiah 45:23-25] By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance. It will be said to Me: Righteousness and strength is only in the Lord.” All who are enraged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. All the descendants of Israel
will be justified and find glory through the Lord.

We now see that what Paul is actually doing in Phillipians 2 is literally correlating an Old Testament text on the almighty Yahweh where Yahweh receives divine homage DIRECTLY with Jesus. This is a type of evidence in the Pauline epistles for the defenders of the idea that Paul portrays Jesus as God fascinates even myself. Seriously. But the problems get much more enormous for anyone continuously denying this. Paul views Jesus and God as the same person. For example, did Paul preach the Gospel of God?

[Romans 15:16] “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

Or did Paul preach the gospel of Christ?

[Galatians 1:6–7] I am astonished how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is not even a gospel. Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ.

I can give many more examples, such as when Paul first says the churches belong to God (1 Corinthians 11:16) and then says the churches belong to Christ (Romans 16:16), or when Paul says the Spirit is of God in Romans 8:9 but then says the Spirit is of Christ in the exact same verse Romans 8:9. Paul even tells us the only way to be saved is to call on Jesus name (Romans 10:13) and to say that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9) ! The Greek word used for ‘Lord’ is κύριος which is used multiple times to reference God the Father. The evidence shows it is amazingly obvious that Paul viewed Jesus is God. There is more to go through, but this should be pretty clear by now. The Pauline epistles do in fact portray Jesus as God, as this is what Paul believed as well as Jesus and the early Christians. Because Paul is the earliest author of any Christian writings we have, his view that Jesus is God says quite an enormous amount regarding the earliest belief of Christians and the earliest theology of Christianity.

Christ, Son of Man, Son of God, divine phrase or Messianic phrase?

Some of these people like Tim O’Neill argue that the phrases Christ, Son of God, and Son of Man being titles of Jesus does not make Jesus as God in any way. Tim says this in his answer:

“Christ”, “Son of God” and “Son of Man” are all titles of the Jewish Messiah and the Messiah was not considered to be God.

Though he is right about ‘Christ’, which simply means the ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew or ‘the anointed one’ in English, he is dead wrong about the other two. There is no evidence found in the Old Testament that the phrase Son of God or Son of Man are mere terms used upon the Messiah that do not invoke divinity or being God in any way. Both terms are used on Jesus, such as Jesus being called the Son of God in Mark 1:1 or being called the Son of Man in Matthew 20:28. Although there is no evidence these terms only refer to a being aside from God, there is undeniable evidence that the phrase Son of Man in the Old Testament refers to God.

[Daniel 7:13-14] I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

The Son of Man is a figure authority over all peoples of all nations of all languages, whom is forever served by all the world, and possesses an everlasting kingdom in His dominion that will never cease. This figure is obviously God. I have a feeling Tim might go wild about the verses saying that He is given this authority, but this is because God is the Father and Jesus is the Son, and thus authority belongs to the Father by nature. Since when does a regular human control absolute authority over all humanity for eternity? I can find no place in the Old Testament where this is said to be due to anyone but God Himself — but I did find Zechariah 14:9, which tells us that it is Yahweh that is king over all the Earth — so it seems that the Son of Man is… Yahweh? Jesus proclaimed to be the Son of Man, therefore Jesus proclaimed to be Yahweh?

The funny thing that I’ve come to notice is that Tim O’Neill is one of the very only people who seriously believe that the phrase Son of Man does not refer to God. Others like Bart Ehrman fully accept it — but now you may be asking yourself, if Bart Ehrman himself viewed Jesus as not claiming to be God, what does Bart Ehrman do with Jesus’ claims to be the Son of Man if he views it is a term for God? Well, easy! He simply says that the Gospel authors made up every single phrase in the New Testament of Jesus (more than 80) where Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man. More on this later. In fact, if anyone is still denying that Jesus clearly claimed to be God such as in the Synoptic Gospels, perhaps they can take a look at the following few verses:

[Mark 14:60–64] Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus, “and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Jesus affirms He is the Messiah, Son of the Blessed One and the Son of Man all at once, and in response the High Priest rips off his robes and declares that Jesus must be put to death because He committed blasphemy. In Jewish Law, you can only commit blasphemy in this context by claiming to be God.

Let’s go back to the term Christ — Jesus claimed to be the Christ, or the Messiah. These people will sometimes say that the Messiah was never to be a God figure according to the Old Testament… But the Old Testament will now challenge them on this.

[Isaiah 9:6–7] For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, And the government will rest on his shoulders; And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

The Old Testament tells us that the figure who reigns on the throne of David, a son that will be persecuted and will establish an eternal kingdom (this sounds frighteningly like the Messiah) will also be called Mighty God and Eternal Father. So Jesus claiming to be the Messiah is Jesus claiming to be the one who is called Mighty God and Eternal Father, correct? It seems so. Thus, all three terms — Christ, Son of God and Son of Man establish that Jesus claimed to be God.

Jesus as God in the Synoptic Gospels of Luke, Mark, and Matthew

Remember, in the view of those who claim Jesus did not claim to be God, John’s Gospel when saying Jesus is God doesn’t count because it was written too late! Let’s ignore the fact that John the Elder wrote the Gospel of John, a man who directly knew Jesus. Let’s also ignore all the times Jesus calls Himself the Son of Man in the Synoptic Gospels as well, as well as Mark 14:60-64 in which we’ve already made note of. Let’s also put aside Paul’s letters for now. Even aside from all this, Jesus is still clearly shown as God and declares to be God in all the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus says He will literally judge the world on His throne.

[Matthew 25:31–32] “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Who, aside from God alone, is going to sit on their throne and judge the world? We also see the very nice term ‘Son of Man’ appear again. Needless to say, the Old Testament obviously says God judges the world (Amos 5:18–20, Psalm 9:7–8). Anyways, Jesus calls Himself the Lord of the Sabbath.

[Mark 2:27–28] Then Jesus told them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Needless to say, the Old Testament proclaims that the Sabbath belongs to God only (Ezekiel 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12). Jesus says that He is the Lord of David.

[Matthew 22:41–45] While the Pharisees were together, Jesus questioned them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they told Him. He asked them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls Him ‘Lord’: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet’? “If David calls Him ‘Lord,’ how then can the Messiah be his Son?”

Jesus tells us only the Father knows Him, and only He knows the Father and to whom anyone Jesus wishes to reveal the Father to.

Matthew 11:27: All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

Jesus tells us He is wherever His followers gather, basically saying He can exist anywhere He pleases.

[Matthew 18:20] For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”

Peter tells Jesus He is literally God’s Son, and Jesus blessed him for it.

[Matthew 16:13-17] When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.

Jesus is declared to be the “Holy One”, that is called Son of God.

[Luke 1:35] The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

We can go forwards — Jesus further declares the Father hands Him authority over earth and heaven and so forth. The Gospels contain tens of references to Jesus as the Son of Man in all the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Jesus is obviously portrayed as God. All this and all these verses together make an overwhelmingly compelling case to Jesus being God as portrayed in the Synoptics. These are not the claims of a mere human being, a human Messiah, or even the mightiest prophet. These are the claims to be put forth onto God and God alone.

Book of Hebrews says Jesus is God?

In discussion on Jesus claim to be God, the Book of Hebrews always seems to be ignored. The Book of Hebrews is an amazingly early text of the New Testament (written 64 AD). This is a very great document in order to understand the earliest interpretation of Jesus amongst the Christians, and lo’ and behold, it says Jesus is God.

[Hebrews 1:7-8] And about the angels He says: He makes His angels winds, and His servants a fiery flame but to the Son: Your throne, God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of justice.

Finally.. Let’s discuss the Son of Man again.

You’ll recall I said earlier that some people who deny Jesus claimed to be God simply think that Jesus proclaiming Himself to be the Son of Man was ‘made up’ by the Gospel authors. Not only is this the obvious dying breath of someone whom has a failing argument and has to come to terms with the facts that all the Gospels, Pauline letters and earliest Christian texts like the Book of Hebrews and the writings of Ignatius portray Jesus is God — also has absolutely no evidence in support of it. In fact, all the evidence seems to support that Jesus did claim to be the Son of Man based on these sayings. The idea that Jesus historically claimed this passes many historical criterions. For example, it passes the criterion of multiple attestation (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John say Jesus said Himself as the Son of Man), it passes the criterion of early attestation, and it also passes the criterion of dissimilarity. You’ll realize the term ‘Son of Man’ appears almost absolutely nowhere in the New testament apart from the sayings of Jesus — perhaps twice at best. This shows that it is not being made up, as the criterion of dissimilarity shows that this saying of Jesus is unique to Jesus’ quotations, and thus Jesus’ quotations are more likely to be His own (as a fictional quote from John would sound a lot like John’s own writing). All the historical evidence seems to clearly favor the authenticity of this saying, and thus we can have no doubt that Jesus claimed to be God.

Jesus Claimed To Be God

It’s a well known Christian doctrine that Jesus was God, and part of the Trinity. However, dissidents from both Islam and Atheism have come to claim that the historical Jesus did not actually claim to be the Son of God, God in the flesh. Rather, they propose — He merely claimed to be an apocalyptic prophet and the Messiah. As decades passed by, His theology evolved over time much like how Hercules (a once real historical figure) was deified after his death into a God. Therefore, the Christian doctrine bears no historical validity on who Jesus was! Unfortunately for these sappy conspiracy theorists, it is simply false that Jesus did not claim to be God.

We will start with the Gospel of John. The evidence for the divinity of Jesus in the Gospel of John is, on its face, irrefutable and undeniable.

[John 1:1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So, it is simply not debatable that the Word mentioned in John 1:1 is in fact God. A few verses later, it is made abundantly clear who the Word is.

[John 1:14] The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

There you have it, the Word is Jesus Christ, and Jesus is God. There are a few other verses in John’s Gospel which simply eliminate any possibility of Jesus somehow not claiming to be God, and this being the clear view of Jesus’ followers. Such would include the following claims made by Jesus:

 [John 20:30-31] Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.

[John 14:6-7] Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

[John 10:25-33]“I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.“The Father and I are one.” Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which of these works are you stoning Me for?” “We aren’t stoning You for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because You—being a man—make Yourself God.”

[John 14:8-9] Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

[John 8:58-59] Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.” At that, they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple complex.

In case you are not entirely sure where Jesus claims to be God in John 8:58-59, it’s when He says “I am”, which was how God identified Himself in Exodus 3:14 in the Old Testament. That’s also why the Jews tried to stone Him for saying it — because He made Himself equal with God. In fact, the Jews are outright said to be trying to kill Jesus, our Lord, for making Himself equal with God in John 5:16-18.

So really, John makes it indescribably clear that Jesus was God. However, this is where critics like Bart Ehrman jump in, and claim that John is the latest of the four Gospels, and thus obviously evolved from the other Gospels, and then Bart Ehrman claims that the other Gospels are the ones that do not identify Jesus as being God. Now despite this being irrelevant because of the extensive historical documentation that shows the author of John was indeed the historical John the Elder, meaning that the author of this Gospel was not writing of a developed theology, rather a first-hand experience and following of Jesus, let us play along with the claims of these deniers.

So, do the other Gospels make it explicitly clear that Jesus is the Son of God? Yes. Let us see some examples of Jesus clearly saying and being clearly said to be God or equal to God in the rest of the four Gospels.

[Matthew 11:27] All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.

[Matthew 28:19] Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

[Matthew 16:13-17] When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.

[Mark 1:1] The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 [Mark 14:60-64] Then the high priest stood up before them all and questioned Jesus, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus, “and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

In fact, all the Gospels, aside from John, even record God the Father in heaven declaring that Jesus is His Son.

[Matthew 3:17] And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!

[Luke 9:35] A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen: Listen to Him!”

[Mark 1:11] And a voice came from heaven: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

It is thus extraordinarily evident that all the Gospels record Jesus as God. Wait a minute! What about the rest of the New Testament? The Gospels are just four books of the New Testament, in which there are twenty-seven! Surely, if Jesus was God, all these other books would also record Jesus is God, correct?! Correct.

[Hebrews 1:7-8] And about the angels He says: He makes His angels winds, and His servants a fiery flame but to the Son: Your throne, God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of justice.

[Titus 2:13] while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

[Romans 9:5] The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.

 [2 Peter 1:1-2] Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

[Colossians 2:9] For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ,

[Phillipians 2:5-6] Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.

[James 1:1] James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the 12 tribes in the Dispersion.

[Revelation 22:12-13]“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

[Revelation 17:14] “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

[Phillipians 2:10-11] so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(these verses are written by Peter, James, the author of Hebrews, Paul, and John)

So, outside of the Gospels, Jesus is declaring Himself as Alpha and the Omega (which is a title that was used to describe God the Father), and Jesus was being declared as the King of kings and Lord of lords (which was another title used to describe God the Father).

Hold on! Surely, if Jesus, the prophesied Messiah was God, it would be attested to in the Old Testament as well? For if the coming Messiah, redeemer of all men was God, this MUST be something told to us in the Old Testament! Is this not true?

The question now is, does the Old Testament make it clear Jesus is God? Yes. For one, the Old Testament says the following about the coming Messiah:

[Isaiah 9:6-7] For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, And the government will rest on his shoulders; And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

Furthermore, it is a well known fact that Jesus references Himself as the Son of Man, at least 80 times in the New Testament (despite conspiracy theorists on this issue like Bart Ehrman). Now, it may seem as if the title ‘Son of Man’ shows Jesus is not God, however we should not rest on our own understanding of the concept of the Son of Man, instead we must go to the Old Testament to understand who the Son of Man actually is.

[Daniel 7:13-14] I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

So, according to the Old Testament, the son of man is clearly a God-like figure, who approaches the Ancient of Days (the Father), and is given authority to rule a divine kingdom, eternally. This figure is clearly God! And Jesus CONSTANTLY references Himself as the Son of Man, over 80 time in the Bible, meaning Jesus is claiming to be in all four Gospels the figure of the Old Testament who will be given authority and dominion over all peoples of all nations of all languages, for all eternity. This is a clear case of Old Testament confirmation of the divinity of Jesus. Furthermore, the Old Testament possesses the full theology of the Trinity, so there’s that too. Continuing, we are told in the Old Testament that only God has the ability to forgive sins, as well as this being reiterated in the New Testament.

[Isaiah 43:25] “It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more.

[Mark 2:7] “Why does He speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Although this, Jesus moves on to claim that He has the power to forgive sins as well, meaning He is God as Jesus is claiming a task of God upon Himself.

[Mark 2:10] But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He told the paralytic,

The Old Testament obviously says Jesus is God. It is true that Jesus is the divine Son of God. The evidence for this continues piling up. Dissenters of this irrefutable Biblical concept also claim Jesus did not say to be worshiped, however Jesus accepted and received worship all the time.

[Matthew 2:11] Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

[Matthew 28:9] Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They came to Him, grasped His feet, and worshiped Him.

This shows Jesus is God, as when an angel was worshiped, the angel stopped the person from worshiping him and said only God is to be worshiped.

[Revelation 22:8-9] I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

However, Jesus accepted all worship. This would mean in accordance with the Book of Revelation (the final book of the New Testament) that Jesus is God. Now, I can cite many other verses in the Gospels and New Testament to continue proving that Jesus is God, such as Matthew 14:33, John 20:28, and 1 Timothy 3:16, but the point has been made obvious, Jesus is and claimed to be God. Now, we will look at the historical evidence for this claim and see that the earliest Christian writers outside of the authors of the New Testament, all thought Jesus was clearly God.

Clement of Rome, whom according to the historical evidence wrote as early as 70 AD, says this:

[1 Clement: Prologue 1] The Church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the Church of God sojourning at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied.

As early as 70 AD, historical Christians have quickly recognized Jesus as God. This was likely before John even wrote his Gospel. Let us see some other writers. Polycarp, writing in 130 AD, says this in the Martyrdom of Polycarp, Chapter 14, Verse 1:

So they did not nail him, but tied him. Then he, placing his hands behind him and being bound to the stake, like a noble ram out of a great flock for an offering, a burnt sacrifice made ready and acceptable to God, looking up to heaven said: “O Lord God Almighty, the Father of Your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers and of all creation and of the whole race of the righteous, who live in Your presence;

Justin Martyr, writing from anywhere between 100-165 AD, in First Apology writes:

For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water.

Ignatius of Antioch, writing in 96 AD, says this:

We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin.  For ‘the Word was made flesh.’ Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts.

Irenaeus, writing in 180 AD, says in his book, Against Heresies, Book 1, Chapter 10:

The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: . . . one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,’ and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all

Other early Christian writers like Tertullian in 200 AD and Origen in 180-250 AD, Mathetes in 160 AD, the Shepard of Hermas as early as 80 AD, Tatian in 170 AD, Athenagoras in 177 AD, Theophilus of Antioch in 180 AD, amongst many others all record Jesus as being God.

So, as we have seen, the New Testament without doubt makes Jesus as God, the Old Testament says Jesus is God, and all the earliest Christians in the historical record think  Jesus is in fact God. It’s a common myth that Jesus’ divinity was made up in the Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD. In reality, people who claim this have no idea what actually happened at the Council of Nicaea — every single one of the hundreds of people that were present at the Council, except three Arians (whom were heretics) accepted the divinity of Jesus. If you want to know what really happened at the Council of Nicaea, click here. To be fair, there was indeed one early Christian who didn’t think Jesus was God — that would be Marcion. Although to be even more fair, Marcion was declared a heretic by almost the entire early Church. Some heathen also try to spuriously use some verses in the New Testament to try to claim Jesus says He was not God. One such example is:

[Luke 18:18-19] A ruler asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God.

Contrary to the claims of the heathen, Jesus in no way denies His being God here. Rather, Jesus is simply instructing this man that if he were to call anyone good, it would be the same as calling them God. That is all Jesus was saying. In fact, this proves Jesus is God, because Jesus IS GOOD! Indeed, Jesus is entirely sinless (1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5), and thus Jesus is good. In fact, Jesus even called Himself good, which decimates this argument and shows Jesus is God.

[John 10:11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Some other heathen try to claim Jesus is not God, because of instances like when Jesus said only the Father knows the day and the hour and not Himself, when Jesus said that the Father was greater than Him, or when he had to eat and sleep (in which God doesn’t need to do), or that when He died for our sins (and God cannot die). However, all these people forget that according to the Bible, Jesus was temporarily lowered from Godhood to manhood when He came to Earth (Hebrews 2:91 Timothy 3:16), He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), and while temporarily lowered, He was temporarily below God, and thus did things like pray to the Father. However, after He rose from the dead, He ascended back into Heaven, at the right hand of the Father as God (Mark 16:19), and at the Ascension, once He ascended back into heaven, He was then again fully God and ceased doing all these things. In fact, Jesus even told us to pray to Him in His name, and we see people praying to Jesus in the Holy Bible.

[John 14:14] If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

[1 Corinthians 1:2] To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—both their Lord and ours.

Also remember you can also pray to the Father (Psalms 116:41 John 5:142 Chronicles 6:24Jeremiah 29:12). Anyways, this argument against Jesus being God entirely ignores that these things only applied to Jesus while He was temporarily man, but no longer any more from now and forever on. Some claim that Jesus becoming man shows He is not God, because God does not change (Malachi 3:6), however Christians have already solved this problem for centuries with the knowledge of Hypostatic Union, which is to say, Jesus was both fully God and fully man at the same time whilst on Earth. However, the heathen are not done here — they then claim the idea that Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time is a self-contradiction! Saying Jesus is God and man is like saying a square circle can exist,  right? No. Remember, according to the Trinity, God is one being, three persons. Jesus is fully God in being, fully man in person, so there is no contradiction.

In conclusion, Jesus is God. The New Testament says so, the Old Testament says so, all the early Christians say so, Jesus says so, and we’ve seen all the arguments against this fail. Next time you hear someone claim that Jesus is not God, remember the following verse from the Holy Bible.

[1 John 2:22] Who is the liar, if it is not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.

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