The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Family

April 18, 2006

4-16 Apparently So parenting column by Craig Harris

Today is Easter Sunday; the day we Christians celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. But did he really rise again? If he didn't, then he was a liar — or a madman. If he didn't rise again, then our faith is useless and there is no life after death. The whole Bible is a lie, in fact, if Jesus didn't rise again.

So, is there any real evidence that the resurrection of Jesus actually happened — or is it just a myth? I want to share some of the solid evidence that Jesus’ resurrection really did happen:

l First, the reliability of the Scriptures. Did you know that we have more than 25- thousand manuscripts of the Greek New Testament? That is a huge amount. Some manuscripts date to within 100 years of the autographs (the original writings) and all agree with each other. (Yes, there are minor differences, but there are so many copies available we can look at them and get a very accurate picture of what the New Testament writers said.) What this means is that the Bible is extremely reliable as an historical document.

l Second, we have writings of historians outside the Bible that corroborate the stories within it. These historians, like Pliny the Younger, Ptolemy, Tacitus and Josephus, not only mention kings, governors, dates and places found in the Bible, they also mention the disciples and Jesus himself.

l Third, the empty tomb. The Gospel writers all mention that the tomb was empty Easter Sunday morning. If there had been a body there, the Romans or Jewish leaders could have shown it and that would have ended Christianity right then and there. Remember, the tomb was well guarded. Also, in the Bible, women saw the empty tomb first — that would never happen in Jewish fiction of that day, so it must have been true!

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