Resources to Help You Defend the Historicity of Jesus

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Historicity of JesusSkepticism related to Jesus of Nazareth generally takes one of two forms: those who don’t even believe He ever existed, and those who acknowledge Jesus as an historical figure but deny He is God. In a prior post I assembled all the articles here at defending the Deity of Jesus. The case for the Deity of Christ is centered on the Resurrection, but there are many other cumulative circumstantial factors to consider. Today I would like to point you to articles defending the historicity of Jesus from those critics and skeptics who claim Jesus never actually lived. All these resources are available as downloadable PDF files:

Jesus Was Not A Re-Creation of Early Mythologies:
Articles Related to the Claims Jesus Was A “Copy-Cat” Savior

How to Respond to Claims Jesus Is a “Copycat Savior” (Free Bible Insert)
Is Jesus simply a “copycat Savior”? This Bible insert will help you respond to objections Jesus was copied from prior ancient mythologies.

The Reasonable Expectations That Cause Mythologies to Resemble Jesus
Why does Jesus resemble (even if only faintly) some of the pre-Christian mythologies from antiquity? It may come down to reasonable expectations.

Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Some Pre-Christian Deities Are Similar to Jesus
Is it fair to conclude that Jesus is a myth just because there may be similarities between Jesus and the ancient mythological deities that preceded Him?

Jesus Is A Myth, Just Like President Kennedy
If we’re prepared to say Jesus is a myth just because he shares a few characteristics, we better be ready to say president John F. Kennedy was also a myth.

Why The Pre-Jesus Mythologies Fail To Prove Jesus Is A Myth
The more you examine the nature of the gods worshiped before Jesus, the more you will notice their dissimilarities to the historical Jesus.

Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Mithras Mythology?
Is Jesus simply a retelling of the Mithras mythology? How similar is Mithras to Jesus upon close examination? Do these similarities invalidate the historicity of Jesus?

Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Osiris Mythology?
Is Jesus simply a retelling of the Osiris mythology? How similar is Osiris to Jesus upon close examination? Do these similarities invalidate the historicity of Jesus?

Is Jesus Simply a Retelling of the Horus Mythology?
Is Jesus simply a retelling of the Horus myth? How similar is Horus to Jesus upon close examination? Do these similarities invalidate the historicity of Jesus?

Those Pre-Christian Deities Aren’t Much Like Jesus After All
When you study the claims of those who say Jesus is similar to ancient mythological gods, you’ll discover that pre-Christian deities aren’t much like Jesus.

Jesus’ Existence Was Confirmed By Others:
Articles Related to How Jesus Was (and Is) Described by Non-Christians

Is There Any Evidence for Jesus Outside the Bible?
The ancient non-Christian interpretations (and critical commentaries) of the Gospel accounts serve to strengthen the core claims of the New Testament.

Who Is Jesus, According to Other Religions?
If you’re interested in a quest for truth, it would be wise to start with the faith system best describing the man many other systems already acknowledge.

Jesus’ Identity Was Accurately Preserved:
Articles Related to the Accurate Transmission of the Story of Jesus

Why I Know the Story of Jesus Wasn’t Changed Over Time
How do we know that the story of Jesus wasn’t corrupted over time? What is the New Testament “Chain of Custody”?

Testing the Gospels From John to Hippolytus
We can be confident we have an unaltered record of Jesus’ life because it was faithfully cited and transmitted by those who had contact with the eyewitnesses

Jesus’ Historicity Was Not Nullified By Non-Canonical Authors:
Articles Related to How Jesus Was Described By Non-Canonical Authors

The Unsurprising Depth and Variety of Ancient Stories Written About Jesus
The non-canonical gospels exhibit the kind of legendary response we ought to expect if Jesus actually lived, worked miracles and rose from the dead.

What Motivated Early Non-Canonical Writers to Modify the Story of Jesus?
If we understand what motivated the authors of the late legendary stories of Jesus, we can expose the true foundations upon which their stories were crafted.

Why Shouldn’t We Trust What the Non-Canonical Gospels Say About Jesus?
The late non-canonical legends, distortions and stories about Jesus are just that: late, unreliable legends, distortions and stories.

The historicity of Jesus can be defended as a cumulative circumstantial case. Like other cases I’ve worked over the years, the evidence is powerful when considered collectively. I hope these resources, as I’ve assembled and organized them here, will help you defend the truth of the Christian worldview so you can become a better Christian Case Maker.

For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

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