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 You are in / Foolish Faith / Read Book Online / Chapter 7 / Resurrection Reasoning - Part 6
"The alleged bodily resurrection of Jesus, if true, was very consequential concerning mankind's most fearful and important questions."
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Chapter 7:
The Unrivaled Resurrection
What do some of the world's greatest lawyers say about the event that changed history from BC to AD?

Resurrection Reasoning - Part 6

Ultimately, given the things Jesus said, it must logically follow that He was either a liar, a lunatic, or truly God — for the New Testament records the following about Jesus: He claimed that God was His Father, and He claimed to be one with His Father (Matt. 11:27; John 5:16–18; John 10:30). He claimed to be the I AM (“I AM” is a name for God in the Old Testament; see John 8:51–58; Exod. 3:14). He claimed to come forth from God (John 3:13, 8:23, 42). He claimed to be the only access to God, His Father (John 14:6–7). He claimed to be able to forgive sins (Matt. 9:2–7). He claimed to be the judge of all mankind and to dishonor Him was to dishonor God His Father (John 5:22–23). He claimed to have had glory with His Father before the world began (John 17:5). He accepted worship (Matt. 14:33; John 20:28–29). The authenticity of these sayings of Jesus is quite certain, as they would have proved fatal to any fabrication or myth: most of these sayings are blasphemous to Jewish tradition today, and would have been also in the first century. Since the Apostles were trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was the prophesied Savior (or Messiah) of the Old Testament, it would have been impossible to make their case by attributing to Him such blasphemy. Indeed, the Gospels show that it was precisely these “blasphemous” claims that infuriated the Jewish leaders (John 8:58–59; Matt. 9:2–3), ultimately resulting in Jesus’ crucifixion.

Thus, Jesus was either telling the truth or not, as the following flowchart illustrates:

The issue with these three alternatives is not which is possible, for it is obvious that all three are possible. Rather, the question is, “Which is more probable?” To conclude logically that Jesus was a liar or lunatic, however, doesn’t coincide with what is known either of Him or the results of His life and teachings. Everything about Jesus’ life indicates that He is a perfect model of sanity and decency. Indeed, scholars, non-Christians, and even atheists throughout history have acknowledged the moral superiority of Jesus. As the worldrenowned Canadian agnostic Charles Templeton states, “Jesus was a moral genius. He was the intrinsically wisest person that I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my readings. . . . There’s no question that He had the highest moral standard, the least duplicity, and the greatest compassion of any human being in history.”[46]

There are yet two more factors that must also be accounted for: (1) some people have claimed to be God, but most have not; and (2) some people are regarded as sages (i.e., they possessed great wisdom), but most are not. These points seem strange, but their significance is clarified in the following four possible combinations: (1) There are those who have not claimed to be God and are not regarded as sages — this accounts for most people who have ever lived; (2) There are those who have not claimed to be God but are regarded as sages — examples would be people such as Moses, Socrates, and Plato; (3) There are those who have claimed to be God but are not regarded as sages. These people have generally been regarded as insane — David Koresh would be an example; (4) There are those who have claimed to be God and are regarded as sages. Only one person in history fits this category — Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus imposes himself upon mankind and forces each person to a decision about who he or she thinks He is. (See chart below.)

    Claimed To Be God
    No Yes
Regarded as
No Most People Insane
Yes Moses,

In the end, the latest critical attempts to undermine the traditional, literal interpretation of the Gospels have been shown to be highly unfounded. Although gaining popularity in the media, radical New Testament critics have unfortunately misconstrued the facts surrounding the historical resurrection of Jesus. Conservative and even many liberal scholars today have been able to show that the latest historical and archaeological research tends only to strengthen the conclusions of some of history’s greatest lawyers.

Concluded Tom Anderson, former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association and one of today’s top ten trial lawyers, “You see, my four-month study was motivated to find a loophole, any loophole, in the truths of Christ. Finding none frightened me."[47] Similarly, Simon Greenleaf, who produced possibly the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure, concluded that it is “impossible that the Apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus Christ actually risen from the dead.”[48] And Sir Lionel Luckhoo, whose 245 consecutive murder trial victories earned him a place in The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful lawyer,[49] concluded that “the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”[50]


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