Can I trust the Bible? - Part 3
Miracles, myths and legends
There are some pretty weird and wonderful stories in the Bible. Spooky supernatural happenings.
Jonah alive in a big fish. Jesus rising from the dead. No matter how incredible some Bible stories may seem, however, the people who reported these things clearly believed that they were reporting actual events, and not myths or legends.
Not only that, but the New Testament writers knew that relating such remarkable facts might cost them their lives. How many people do you know who would gladly be imprisoned, even murdered, for refusing to admit their stories weren't true?
The writers of the Bible defend the truth:
Contrary to the myths, legends, and mystery religions of the ancient world, the events recorded in the Bible were not done “in a corner”. A whole bunch of people saw them as they happened. Reliable people testified, in writing, to the authenticity of those events and signed their testimony in blood. And those writings, far from being effectively refuted and discredited, stood the test and were recognized as authoritative.
Peter himself answered the Myths and Legends Myths when he wrote;
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)
Luke thought he was writing fact and not fiction too:
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:1-4)
John, just like Luke, claims to be painstakingly preserving historical facts, not spinning a tale:
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:1-3)
Paul could confidently assert to government officials that events of Jesus’ life were public knowledge:
“[These things were] not done in a corner”, he said to King Agrippa in Acts 26:26.
Where were the objectors?
The people of Jerusalem had been there – they had been in the crowds that heard and watched Jesus. The New Testament documents could not say Jesus was crucified when thousands of people were still alive who knew whether he was or not. If there had not been a burial, if there had not been an empty tomb, if there had not been appearances after his death, and these public documents claimed there had been, Christianity would never have gotten off the ground.
But it did. Makes you think!