Are the Gospel Writers Credible?

by Wayne Jackson

The writers of the Gospel accounts — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — quite definitely affirm that Jesus Christ claimed to be the Son of God and that he performed miracles to authenticate that affirmation. Further, they allege that even though Jesus was put to death on the cross, after three days he came out of the grave, thus, forcefully demonstrating that he is Jehovah's beloved Son and that his authority must be respected. There is really no dispute about what the record claims.

How do skeptics address these historical records? Generally speaking, they assert that the New Testament writers fabricated the accounts. The writers knew that Jesus did not do these things; they simply invented the stories. Will this charge stand up in the light of logical inquiry? Let us think about it for a moment.

Logically speaking, it is the case that either there is an eternity wherein one will give an account for the deeds of his life, or else there is no existence after death. The logical "law of the excluded middle" — a thing either is or it is not — demands this.

Now, reflect upon the implications of this principle in light of the charge that the New Testament writers lied about the events in the life of Christ. If they believed in eternity, why would they falsify the records regarding Jesus, knowing that such lies would exclude their entrance into heaven? Lying is well-nigh universally conceded to be unethical.

On the other hand, if Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not believe in eternal accountability, and so callously fabricated the documents that affirmed Jesus' divine nature, why would they have subjected themselves to the persecution that accompanied Christianity — since this life would be all they believed they would ever enjoy?

It makes no sense at all. This is a problem that no skeptic can explain. The New Testament documents are reliable!

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