Saturday, July 22, 2023

Twelve Points That Prove Christianity - In the New Testament Jesus Claimed To Be God, Proved To Be God, Therefore Jesus Is God.


    We have pursued a series that lays out twelve points that cumulatively build a case to proving the truth claims of Christianity. The outline we have been following, originally devised by the late author and Christian apologist Norman Geisler, is as follows

1. Truth about reality is knowable.
2. Opposites cannot both be true.
3. The theistic God exists.

4. If God exists, then miracles are possible.

5. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God.

6. The New Testament is historically reliable.

7. The New Testament says that Jesus claimed to be God.

8. Jesus’ claim to be God is confirmed by miracles.

9. Therefore, Jesus is God.

10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.

11. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.

12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).

    We have considered the first six points in previous posts. In today's post we are going to combine points seven, eight, and nine that deal with the historicity and claims of Jesus Himself. The way Geisler lays out these particular points gives us a short logical argument, with two premises and a conclusion.

Premise #1 In the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God.

Premise #2 Jesus is proved to be God.

Conclusion: Therefore Jesus is God.

    The reader only need remember that each of the prior six points build on top of one another as a cummulative case. As I accept one point, the next point after it follows. Up to this point in our series, we've arrived at demonstrating the reliability of the New Testament. As we get to the final three points in this twelve point system, issues such as Biblical inerrancy and the ultimate conclusion of the Bible being the Word of God will come into view. To bridge the distance between mere "reliability" to "inerrancy", we must see how Jesus treated the Scriptures and understood Himself. As far as I can tell, the purpose of points seven, eight, and nine provide this very bridge.

Let's look then at these points and offer some brief examples of them in the Gospels. I would encourage readers to consult each of the verse references below to observe what Jesus taught about the Bible so as to draw their own conclusions. 

Premise #1 In the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God.

A. Direct statements (Mark 14:61-62; John 8:58).

B. The titles He used for Himself (“Son of Man”, over 80x, only in the Gospels; Son of God; Lord). See for example Mark 14:62-63.

C. Equating Himself with the Father (John 5:25-29; 10:30)

Premise #2 Jesus is proved to be God.

D. His actions and claims (John 2:5-7).

E. His knowledge of the future (Mark 14:16).

F. His miracles attest His identity, teachings, and claims, see for example Matthew 11:1-6; John 5:36.

G. His fulfillment of prophecies (Matthew 21:5 and Zechariah 9:9)

Conclusion: Therefore Jesus is God.

    In today's post we considered points seven, eight, and nine of the twelve point case for proving Christianity. We took those points and laid them out in the form of a logical argument. We also gave same verse references in the Gospel accounts that demonstrate Jesus' claims and actions. By establishing what Jesus had to say about Himself, coupled with what we've already demonstrated about the reliability of the Gospel records in previous posts, we are poised to consider what will be Jesus' attitude towards the Biblical documents in the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment