The Case for Christ
- The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith
- The Case for a Creator
3. Documentary Evidence
There are a mountain of manuscripts for Christianity. Compared to other documents from antiquity, nothing compares to the sheer number in Christianity. The earliest known preserved documents for other beliefs are centuries removed from the time of their events. In Christianity, the earliest still remaining papyrus' was from approximately 98 A.D. which is within decades of the events written about. It preserved a portion of John's gospel. Many prominent paleographers concur to its age. And since then, original papyrus' were preserved in large numbers. There are 99 of them that are specifically recounted as being the oldest. On page 60 of The Case for Christ, Bruce Metzger states, "More than five thousand [New Testament Greek manuscripts] have been catalogued," he said with enthusiasm. There is no runner-up by comparison.
What is the conclusion? Documentary-wise, the most reasonable conclusion is the Jesus of history was true.
4. Corroborating Evidence
The historian, Gary Habermas, details in The Verdict for History (Nashville: Nelson, 1988), "a total of thirty-nine ancient sources documenting the life of Jesus, from which he enumerates more than one hundred reported facts concerning Jesus' life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection," noted Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ (Michigan: Zondervan, 1998) on page 90-91.
And, "what's more, twenty-four of the sources cited by Habermas, included seven secular sources and several of the earliest creeds of the church, specifically concern the divine nature of Jesus." The best explanation for this widespread acknowledgement of the Jesus of history is that Jesus must have really existed.