Thousands of pages of material have been written the proof of Christianity. This study by no means is exhaustive. However, these proofs will help solidify faith in Jesus Christ, as well as the Bible.
Isaiah 53 (The entire chapter)
The prophet Isaiah wrote the book of Isaiah around 750 B.C. It is one of the richest books in the Old Testament in terms of prophecies about Jesus the Messiah. The book of Isaiah is one of the Old Testament books that were found in its entirety when the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were excavated in 1947. The Dead Sea Scrolls were a group of writings found in clay jars in caves near the Dead Sea. The writings were copies of many Old Testament books, as well as other literature copied by a group of people called the Essenes. They made these copies and stored them in the caves between 100 and 200 B.C.
When these writings were found, they were in excellent condition. When scholars translated the book of Isaiah, and more specifically Isaiah 53, they found that what we have in our modern Bible is virtually identical to the Isaiah 53 found in the Dead Sea scrolls – which were copied 100 to 200 years before Jesus was born. In fact, in the whole chapter of Isaiah 53, there were only 13 letters that differed – not words, but letters!
This is critical because when we see the following prophecies about Jesus in Isaiah 53, it proves beyond any doubt that they were indeed written well before Jesus was born.
-He was pierced for our transgressions.
-They crucified Him.
-The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
2 Corinthians 5:21
-God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us.
-He did not open His mouth.
-But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge.
-And who can speak of his descendants?
-Jesus had no children.
-Assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death.
-Two robbers were crucified with him, one on His right and one on his left.
-Joseph, a wealthy man, placed Him in his own tomb.
-Jesus will see His offspring and prolong His days.
-Through the multiplying of disciples, Jesus will see His offspring.
-After the suffering of His soul, he will see the light and be satisfied.
-He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.
-Poured out His life unto death.
-He gave up His spirit.
OTHER PROPHECIES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT
-A human son would be called Mighty God
Romans 9:5, 2 Peter 1:3
-His government will have no end.
-He will reign on David’s throne.
Zechariah 11:12-14 (Written ~ 450 B.C.), Matthew 27:4
-Buying God for 30 pieces of silver.
-Throwing the money into the temple.
-The money ending up with the potter.
Psalm 22 (written by King David around 1000 B.C.)
-This Psalm is written from the perspective of a man who is being crucified to death.
-David died of old age, not crucifixion.
-Additionally, in 1000 B.C. crucifixion was not a popular method of execution.
-They have pierced my hands and my feet.
-They divide my garments and cast lots for my clothing.
-He will be born in Bethlehem.
-He will be born of a virgin.
-At Jesus’ death, there will be an earthquake and an eclipse at noon.
God expressed many scientific facts in the Old Testament that humankind did not know until thousands of years later.
-Mankind did not know that the earth is round until Christopher Columbus sailed across the ocean.
-Before 1492, the common thought was that the earth was flat.
-God knew it was round because he made it.
-Humans did not know that the earth is surrounded by space until thousands of years later.
Job 36:27-29 & Jeremiah 10:13
-Humans did not understand the water cycle; rain falling to the ground, evaporating back into the atmosphere and then falling again as rain, until much later.
There is much history of Jesus and the early church written by Christians. Probably the most popular Christian historian was Tertullian, although his writings cannot be used as proof because he had an ulterior motive – to prove Christianity. So in order to get “real” proof, we must go to the non-Christian historians of the day. One of the most prominent historians of that time was a man named Flavious Josephus. He was a Jewish military commander, a historian paid by the Roman government and a Roman citizen. You can look up the complete works of Flavious Josephus on the Internet. He was born 37 A.D. His complete works cover 1,200 pages, however, he only writes 4-5 pages about Jesus and His followers. This makes it obvious that his motive was in no way to promote Christianity. Since Jesus and His followers were part of history, he felt obligated to report on them. In Book 18, Chapter 3, Verse 3 of his complete works volume, Josephus writes:
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
Obviously, in Josephus’ mind, Jesus was the Messiah. Some critics have said that if he states so clearly that Jesus was the Messiah, why didn’t he become a Christian. You only have to go to the many people alive today who would claim as fact that Jesus is God in the flesh but will not make the commitment to become Christians because the cost is too high. Being a Jewish general, paid by the Romans, Josephus’ cost to become a Christian was very high.
THE LIVES AND DEATHS OF THE APOSTLES
Many people have died for their faith. Some for Islam, some for David Koresh and even the Kamikaze pilots of WWII died for their faith. So, what makes the deaths of the Apostles so unique? The 12 Apostles lived with Jesus for three years. If they would have seen Jesus sin just one time, that would have discredited him and Christianity would have ended right then.
We can barely live with someone for 24 hours without seeing multiple sins, much less 24 hours a day for three years. Peter says in 2 Peter 2:16 that he was an eyewitness to Jesus’ majesty. Peter, as well as the other Apostles, saw Jesus die and then raise from the dead. He was an eyewitness to Jesus ascending into heaven, as well as many of His miracles. Because of what they had seen with their own eyes over a three-year period, they were willing to be poor, have their families targeted for death and preach fervently the message of Jesus’ resurrection and deity. Eventually, 10 of the 12 Apostles were martyred for their faith. Why would they all live like this and die like this if they really didn’t see Jesus do all of these things, or if they had seen Jesus sin?
If you ask the Muslim suicide bomber or the Kamikaze pilots why they were willing to die, they would claim that they just believe, without any eyewitness proof. Jesus didn’t write one word of the New Testament. Eyewitnesses who watched Jesus wrote the vast majority of the New Testament. Most of them died for what they wrote and believed. We know that these men were killed for their faith because historians tell us.
Josephus mentions the martyrdom of James and of John the Baptist in his historical records. Let’s compare this to the Muslim faith. Around 600 A.D., Mohammed claimed to have a vision from God. He spoke of this vision to his wife and she wrote it down for him. He claims that in his vision, God set him up as the main prophet. This vision later came to be known as the Koran. Mohammed wrote the whole volume and set himself up as the main prophet. There are no miracles and no eyewitness proof.
Let’s look at Buddhism. Buddha never claimed to be God or a great prophet. He was just a ruler that came up with some moral principles for his people to live by. If Buddha were to come back and see people praying to and worshipping his statue, he would probably be shocked.