The Expository Files.

The New Testament: History's Verdict 


From time to time, in a society governed by self and sin, the integrity of the New Testament is called into question. We should be ever prepared for such attacks and ready for an appropriate response. The following passage from a popular work on evidences may be helpful.

"When an event takes place in history and there are enough people alive who were eyewitnesses of it or had participated in the event, and when the information is published, one is able to verify the validity of an historical event (circumstanial evidence).

"William Lyon Phelps, for more than 40 years Yale's distinguished professor of English literature, author of some 20 volumes of literary studies, public orator of Yale says:

"'In the whole story of Jesus Christ, the most important event is the resurrection. Christian faith depends on this. It is encouraging to know that it is explicitly given by all four evangelists and told also by Paul. The names of those who saw Him after His triumph over death are recorded; and it may be said that the historical evidence for the resurrection is stronger than for any other miracle anywhere narrated; for as Paul said, if Christ is not risen from the dead then is our preaching in vain, and your faith is also vain.'

"Professor Ambrose Fleming, emeritus professor of Electrical Engineering in the University of Longdon, honorary fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, receiver of the Faraday Medal in 1928, . . . one of England's outstanding scientists . . . says of the New Testament documents:

"'We must take this evidence of experts as to the age and authenticity of this writing, just as we take the facts of astronomy on the evidence of astronomers who do not contradict each other. This being so, we can ask ourselves whether it is probable that such book, describing events that occurred about thirty or forty years previously, could have been accepted and cherished if the stories of abnormal events in it were false or mythical. It is impossible, because the memory of all elderly persons regarding events of thirty or forty years before is perfectly clear'."

From Evidence Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell, p.#189.

 By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 4.2; February 1997