Beyond reasonable doubt

Is there enough evidence to believe and justifiably prove a risen Christ?

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(Credit: Getty Images)

The timeless battle. The age-old struggle. And before you think I’m talking about the war in heaven, I’m not. This is something else that knowingly and unknowingly guides our lives and our decision-making; something that can have us split fairly down the middle.

Let me introduce you to our contestants:

In the corner to our left, ladies and gentlemen, we have The Head! To the right is his fierce opponent, and tonight’s heavyweight champion, The Heart!

Isn’t that how it’s always been? Our hearts vs our heads? Fact vs feeling? It’s a choice we’re daily asked to make.

Choosing to follow Jesus is much the same in many ways. I’m just going to say it: being a Christian who believes in an all-powerful, invisible God doesn’t honestly make much sense. There. I’ve gotten it off my chest.

I choose to follow God because, as a teen, I was convicted in my heart of His presence, power and love in my life. But all around me in high school during my philosophy class I was bombarded with opinions from my peers that what I quietly believed wasn’t rational, logical or true. It didn’t make “logical” sense to my peers that I believed in a bearded guy in the clouds, I didn’t work on Saturday and *gasp*, I didn’t eat bacon!

I had no witty responses or memorised facts and stats in my back pocket—I’m no scholar! So I sat tight, trying to make peace with myself, though I couldn’t prove anything. That’s where the whole faith and belief aspect comes in. Right?

I know I’m not the only one to have felt this small crisis of faith when asked for hard facts to “prove” God, and where I would give anything for something “tangible”. In fact this is no new struggle; Christians have been struggling with this very same thing for nearly 2000 years.

The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 wrote encouragement to a church in Corinth who were questioning and asking for proof that Jesus had indeed resurrected from the dead. They were seeking real evidence besides blind belief. God never wants us to do anything without first using our brains to reason and think. He is the Creator of intellect, reason and logic, and He cares about our human search and need for proof that He actually exists.

Paul immediately points those questioning to real life witnesses who saw and talked with Jesus after He had been raised to life. These first-hand witnesses were open to being questioned and cross-examined. Eventually Matthew, Mark, Luke and John would go on to write accounts corroborating the story of Jesus. However, for those in Corinth—and for us sometimes in 2019—perhaps Jesus’ best mates were in on the secret to hoodwink everyone with an elaborate made-up story! Or at the very least you may wonder if they are simply too biased to be reliable.

Is there enough evidence to believe and justifiably prove a risen Christ? Renowned American scholar Dr Darrell Bock points us straight to the 5800+ different independent Greek historical writings and 8000+ existing Latin manuscripts all confirming the story of the New Testament. That’s cool, but so what? Is that enough evidence to base a whole faith on?

"He is the Creator of intellect, reason and logic, and He cares about our human search and need for proof that He actually exists."

Well, famous thinker Plato can lay claim to just seven historical manuscripts. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle boasts only five manuscripts. The history and account of Julius Caesar, who needs no introduction, comes down to a total of just 10 reliable manuscripts.

But the New Testament alone boasts more than 14,000 historical manuscripts!

Jesus was alive. Jesus is alive. What He did then and what He is doing now is supported by more writings than any other person from antiquity. Jesus is the real deal. God has empowered, encouraged and provided us with historical evidence of Jesus’ work and life; evidence that is accepted and supported by Christian and non-Christian scholars and historians alike.

The verdict is in and it’s unanimous: the head and heart can finally be unified. This is the point where faith and fact can shake hands. This is the moment when our head and our heart can put down their boxing gloves and hug it out in the ring, raising their hands in “unified” victory.

Be sure to subscribe to Waymaker.TV and watch this month’s What Do You Think episode entitled “Unanimous”, a short video presentation where you will hear some of the best scholars offer their thoughts and research on the evidence that Jesus Christ did in fact rise from the dead.


Natalia Melville is a freelance artist and writer with a bachelor’s degree in Film and TV Production.