Jesus Crucified - Can You Trust The Bible? (Part 5)

Sermons & Study MaterialCan You Trust The Bible? (Part 5)

Can You Trust The Bible? (Part 5)

A Weak, Lame, Crucified, Criminal-God

The whole crucifixion of Jesus is one of the worst things to invent if you wanted to gain a following in those days. First, crucifixion was reserved for the worst criminals. Second, good luck convincing anyone that God got crucified by people. That would have made no sense in their culture where gods were considered way more powerful than humans.

Who would want to follow such a weak and lame loser god? You’re going to have to do a whole lot of explaining if you want people to join a movement whose master was crucified. Sounds like if you join that movement, you might risk getting crucified—which started happening.

Hey Everyone, Let’s Get Tortured And Executed For Our Made-Up Stories

How likely is it that someone would be ready to suffer a torturous death to maintain the illusion they invented, especially if they could avoid torture and death by admitting they lied? If there were 12 people involved in the scheme, how likely that at least one of them wouldn’t come clean to avoid torture and death? Personally, I have a hard time imagining that 12 people can keep a secret even when not faced with torture and death. Well, all the disciples were executed for their beliefs—except John, who was sentenced to exile. This makes it more plausible they were telling the truth and believed, as opposed to having lied to gain power and influence.

This sounds like the worst sales pitch. Why would the authors write it? The most plausible explanation is that they documented these unflattering accounts, because it was the truth. They knew the events were such common knowledge that lies would have been discovered easily.

Old Testament Writer’s Trustworthiness

Theoretically, you could make a case for not defending the Old Testament since we have proved the New Testament writers as trustworthy and one can teach the Old Testament from the New Testament. Furthermore, the most essential teaching, salvation, is clear throughout the New Testament. One of these instances is Rom. 3:23–24:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Every person has committed crimes against God—sin. God, being a just god, must punish sin and the default punishment for committing crimes against an infinite god is infinity in Hell. Since God is love, he volunteered to suffer our punishment. On the cross, Jesus, as an infinite being, absorbed infinity in Hell for all those who repent of their sins, ask God for forgiveness, and accept him as lord and savior.

But, because we like to be thorough, we’ll briefly cover the trustworthiness of Old Testament writers as well. In the case of the Old Testament’s writers, there is less detail available, because there are few records remaining from 3,000 years ago. However, the few records we have testify to the trustworthiness of the Old Testament’s writers.

For centuries, critics claimed the prophecies in the book of Daniel were so accurately describing historical events they must have been written around 160 B.C., after the events occurred. [22]

Since a mind hostile to God can not accept supernatural knowledge, the critic already assumes supernatural knowledge is impossible before analyzing the evidence. Here is an example:

We need to assume that the vision [of Daniel 8] as a whole is a prophecy after the fact. Why? Because human beings are unable accurately to predict future events centuries in advance and to say that Daniel could do so… is to fly in the face of the certainties of human nature. [23]

See how the scholar had formed his opinion before he analysed the evidence? It is likely he began with a belief or desire that the god of the Bible doesn’t exist. He interprets the evidence to support his biases.

I don’t want God to exist. If he doesn’t exist, he can’t give humans power to predict the future. Thus, Daniel’s prophecy must have been written after the events occurred.

By God’s grace, there are also many Bible believers who didn’t begin as such. However, they were convinced as they analyzed the evidence objectively. A typical attitude may be something like:

I’m not sure if the God of the Bible exists. Either way, I would like to find out since this could have a bigger impact on my life and possible afterlife than anything else.

Unfortunately, there exists a third group which is a mix of the biased unbeliever and unbiased believer, which is why we have many cults who don’t believe in Hell, for example. They believe in God and think they believe in the Bible; however, they begin with a premise that “their God” wouldn’t create such a horrible place as Hell nor allow no-fault divorce if people no longer love each other. Since these people have an attitude of cherry picking what they like in the Bible without reflecting on the possibility that, if the God of Bible does exist, it’s likely he would require us to rethink certain ideas where we might have an inclination to object to some of his ways.

Personally, I can’t even think of a friend of family member with whose ways I’ve sometimes objected, and they’ve objected with mine. What makes me think things would be different with God? Sure, I would like to think I’m perfect and thus me and God will see eye to eye, but that’s just not realistic. So, when I see something difficult or unpleasant in the Bible, it’s not for the Bible to adjust its ways to my thinking, but for me to adjust my thinking to conform with the Bible.

Stay tuned for part 6.


22  The first recorded critic of Daniel was Porphyry, a 3rd century A.D. philosopher. He wrote Against the Christians, in which he denounced the book of Daniel as a fake written in the Maccabean period (167–134 B.C.),

23  Towner, Daniel, Interpreter’s Bible, John Knox, 1984, p. 115, cited in [DLIOT:332] as quoted in:

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