Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The facts of the Gospel

     In this unit I will be displaying various evidence for Christ.
1. Jesus existed Extra biblical evidence, archaeology and accounts of Jesus Christ proving him to be a factual historic person.
2. Cosmic Christ universal signs that Jesus was the messiah
4. Hebrew Messiah: Selected Bible prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ
5.  The truth of the Gospels: maintaining the historic integrity of the gospels in various issues
6.  Son of God: passages which give witness that Jesus understood himself and admitted to being Divine
7. Lord, liar or Lunatic?
8. The Resurrection
9. The other miracles
    The points are all sturdy, though not exhaustive. A reader may reject the contention of this unit but I know of no way to truly and fully rebut the arguments here.  Specifically in the order of the presentation.

Jesus existed

   Traditionally the historicity of Jesus was universally accepted even among atheist scholars the fact that Jesus was a real historical person was not placed in doubt.  However, now there is a movement among critics known as "Jesus Mythicism". The likes of Michael Martin, Richard Carrier and Robert Price have championed this cause.  However, the task of erasing Jesus of Nazareth from history is just as daunting in the field of History as is removing the round globe from science!  Yes, I would argue that "Jesus Mythicism" should be understood as a conspiracy theory in the same vein as flat earth!
  Both of these viewpoints rely not on evidence but upon conspiracy theory and Ad Hoc argumentation more than anything else.  The usefulness of Empirical Data is at stake.  After all when all history was divided over the chronology of one man(B.C. Before Christ A.D. latin: the year of our Lord) if we can't be certain of his history the verification of other Historical facts is up for grabs.
Thus far Christian scholars have simply rested upon the popular scholarship which has already been verified in literature. Yet I intend to address some of these arguments more directly and also add some research of my own that has traditionally not been classified in this debate since mythicism is setting forth a new framework.

 The contemporaries problem  The argument that there were no contemporary authors in Jesus day who gave testimony to the existence of Christ.  What they mean is that they make the writings of the Gospels and all Christians suspect in their testimony to Christ's existence by assuming a late date for the writing of the Gospels.  Then they add to that presupposition by doubting the authorship of the gospels.  At which point they deny the inspiration of scripture.  Since the Scriptures are inspired repackaging them as the word of man causes greater problems and all Christian knowledge is up for grabs.
Destruction of records at the Temple in 70 AD.
"Overlooking the Temple compound, the fortress provided a perfect point from which to attack the Temple itself. Battering rams made little progress, but the fighting itself eventually set the walls on fire; a Roman soldier threw a burning stick onto one of the Temple's walls. Destroying the Temple was not among Titus' goals, possibly due in large part to the massive expansions done by Herod the Great mere decades earlier. Titus had wanted to seize it and transform it into a temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor and the Roman pantheon. The fire spread quickly and was soon out of control. The Temple was captured and destroyed on 9/10 Tisha B'Av, at the end of August, and the flames spread into the residential sections of the city.[5][7] Josephus described the scene:
As the legions charged in, neither persuasion nor threat could check their impetuosity: passion alone was in command. Crowded together around the entrances many were trampled by their friends, many fell among the still hot and smoking ruins of the colonnades and died as miserably as the defeated. As they neared the Sanctuary they pretended not even to hear Caesar's commands and urged the men in front to throw in more firebrands. The partisans were no longer in a position to help; everywhere was slaughter and flight. Most of the victims were peaceful citizens, weak and unarmed, butchered wherever they were caught. Round the Altar the heaps of corpses grew higher and higher, while down the Sanctuary steps poured a river of blood and the bodies of those killed at the top slithered to the bottom.[9]"

     Now obviously Josephus kept the major records which coincidentally included Jesus, John the Baptist and James. But the contemporaries at the time of Christ would have easily been burnt with the temple. And there were other occasions for the destruction of such records.

 "The dispersion of the Jewish people is traditionally dated from the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, an event considered by the Romans to be a victory of such significance that they commemorated it by erecting the triumphal Arch of Titus, which still dominates the Roman Forum. The Roman historian Cassius Dio records that in a subsequent revolt in 135 CE some 580,000 Jewish soldiers were killed; and following that revolt the Emperor Hadrian decreed that the name "Judea"2 should be replaced by "Syria Palestina" - Philistine Syria or "Palestine"3."

Messiah Contenders

Acts 5:34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 and said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go."
There were several Jewish "messiahs" in the time of Jesus. Wikipedia also mentions:

Simon of Peraea (c. Unknown – 4 BCE), a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans

Athronges (c. 3 CE),[11] a shepherd turned rebel leader.

Simon bar Kokhba (died c. 135), founded a short-lived Jewish state before being defeated in the Second Jewish-Roman War.

Simon Magus (early 1st century), was a Samaritan, and a native of Gitta; he was considered a god in Simonianism; he "darkly hinted" that he himself was Christ, calling himself the Standing One.

Dositheos the Samaritan (mid 1st century), was one of the supposed founders of Mandaeanism. After the time of Jesus he wished to persuade the Samaritans that he himself was the Messiah prophesied by Moses.[24] Dositheus pretended to be the Christ (Messiah), applying Deuteronomy 18:15 to himself, and he compares him with Theudas and Judas the Galilean.[24][25]

     Among these contenders, supposing that Christ were a myth or at least corrupted by mythology, you wonder why the followers of these men never claimed their messiahs to be resurrected.  Look how successful the Christians were! If the Christian church could pull off the hoax then why couldn't they?

   So now that we had this historical glitch through the burning of records,  it would be good to have an outside  reference  to Christ or of his contemporaries outside of Israel.   This would be fantastic evidence in the sense that there is no rational justification that such evidence would exist.  But I would contend that such evidence nevertheless exist!

British visit with Joseph of Arimathea
   Seeing as the records of Jerusalem were destroyed at the contemporary time period, could there be an external witness to the existence of Christ that was contemporary to the period even though not Israeli?   I believe the accounts of Joseph of Arimathea accomplish a contemporary witness! Let's take time to deal with this subject.
"Precisely how or when the first Christian community in Britain received its start is impossible to tell. A heroic missionary story of the spread of the Gospel to this northwestern limit of the Roman Empire has been lost beyond recovery.  Quite naturally, later centuries witnessed the growth if a number of legends explaining the appearance of the first christians, the most beautiful being the charming medieval tale of Joseph of Arimathea and his companionsThe famous glastonbury thorn tree, miraculously springing from Joseph's staff, supposedly mark's the spot where his company ended their journey to the Holy Land.  However fanciful the legend may be, it does bear witness to the antiquity of a christian settlement at Glastenbury.  Here in the Southwestern part of England were perhaps the first witnesses to the faith of Jesus Christ.  By 200AD there is clear evidence of a community of Christians in Britain, as yet neither large nor strong; but nonetheless as later events reveal, firmly rooted among the people." Powel Mills Dawley ch.3"Christianity in England" page 93 Chapters in Church History
   Even the notoriously ecumenical historian Powell Mills Dawley has to admit that the only given origin of the ancient British church is involving Joseph of Arimathea. Though he does not openly, the facts of his statement point this out.
  Now in stating this, it must be clear that the claim is that Joseph of Arimathea was said to be a missionary in England, though not the first bishop a position which would be held by Aristobulos. A missionary evangelizes and starts a church while a bishop Pastors a church.
"It is widely thought that the Church in England was founded by St Augustine, sent here in AD 597 on a mission by Pope Gregory. Nothing could be further from the truth! After being in this land for just under three years, he sent a letter back to Gregory, in which the following words appear: –“In the Western confines of Britain, there is a certain royal island of large extent, surrounded by water, abounding in all the beauties of nature and necessities of life. In it the first neophytes of catholic law, God beforehand acquainting them, found a church constructed by no human art, but by the hands of Christ Himself, for the salvation of His people.” [this is referring to Augustine of cantebury.]
   So Augustine of Cantebury discovered an organized version of Christianity was already present and claiming a legend of Christ.
   One mythicist made the claim that Joseph of Arimathea was also fictional. Based upon the claim that "Arimathaea"  was a fictional city.  However, the NT, written in Greek has several "Greekisms" that is things altered by the greek language.
1Samuel 1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:"
   Ramathaim sounds like the corret town for Joseph's origins.  Mt Ephraim being the region is named after Ephraim which is named after the son of Joseph. Joseph of Egypt had the same success in the world of the gentiles as Joseph of Arimathea his likely descendant. In fact, it fits his persona. Joseph of Egypt is a brother left out and succesful among the gentiles.  Ephraim named after Joseph's Son also is known to stick out among the tribes and be successful dealing with the Gentiles.  Hence Joseph of Arimathea in scripture and legend exemplifies his ancestors and appears their classic son.

  Scripture concerning Joseph of Arimathea Matthew 27:55-58=
55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.
57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: 58 he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathæa, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid."
Luke 23: 47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: 51 (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathæa, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
john 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathæa, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."

 So the first observation of these gospel records is that Joseph emerged with Jesus women disciples from Galilee, Jesus hometown.  Bible commentator Matthew Henry notes that Mary the mother of James the less
"was the wife of cleophas or alpheus sister to the virgin Mary" Matthew Henry's commentary(one volume) pg. 1405
   He is notorious as a rich man. Typically, interpreters assumed that Joseph was a member of the Jerusalem San Hedron.citing as proof Paul's account.
Acts 13: 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. 30 But God raised him from the dead:"
   If we isolate the account that would give the impression. But we see 2 parties "rulers" and those that dwell at Jerusalem. John writes his account later and reveals Joseph to be a secret disciple so this information was likely hidden from Paul. and we are told of another party, Nicodemas. And If we take a second look at Joseph we start to see more than meets the eye.
  Joseph's high social standing allowed him to approach Pilate at  a time when he was busy and in the middle of a large public spectacle.  Also, we must ask how it is that Joseph acquired his wealth.
  As in most societies, Joseph would have needed to be related to Jesus in order to have any right to his remains.

The "honourable counsellor" title in the greek is mentioned by A.T. Robertson"A councillor of honourable estate (euschmwn bouleuth). A senator or member of the Sanhedrin of high standing, rich ( Matthew 27:57 )".
 Joseph seems possibly to be of high standing but could also be more associated with Pilate as a senator.
     The sepulcher was Joseph's and was new and thus the implication is that Joseph was responsible for cutting out the rock.  It is quite an undertaking for this man to hewn out a rock like that. But if he were an experienced minor he would have the tools and skills to accomplish the task.
All across Cornwall they have ancient engravings of a boy on a cross.  Could these be memorials to a visit from a young Christ?

John 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
      Something we must keep in mind regarding Jesus is that there is a missing gap of time from his boyhood experience teaching at the temple and His next sighting at 30 years of age getting baptized. Now when we couple this with the fact that John his cousin does not even recognize him, it implies that Jesus must have been gone during this time. After all the gospel writers have no material on him and they were all in Israel, it would make perfect sense that he took a a leave of absence.
"A Jew who undertook the burial of Jesus and whom later legend connected with the Holy Grail.and Glastonbury"
"The oldest tradition in the New Testament describes him as bouleutos ("member of the council") Mark xv,43; cf. Luke xxiii, 50-53) a word suggesting membership in the town council in Jerusalem, not of the San Hedron whose members voted unanimously for Jesus to be put to death. In any case he held high office and according to Matthew xxvii: 57-58 was a rich man who persuaded Pontus Pilate to deliver the body of Jesus into his hands."
"In the Apocryphal Gospel of Peter(2nd century, he is a friend of Jesus and of Pilate."
"A mid 13th-cenutry De antiquitate Glastoniensis ecclesiae by William of Malmsbury relates that Joseph went to Glastonbury in England as head of 12 missionaries sent thither by the apostle Phillip."
Encyclopedia Britannica Joseph, saint
William of Malmsbury, who was fully aware of Glastenbury records and traditions as they were known in 1135, "....
"The earliest mention of the medieval legend that St, Joseph of Arimathea came to Glastonbury is in the mid 13thcentury addition to William Malmsbury's book"
Encyclopedia Britannica 1969 Glastonbury

Of that part of Europe nearest to the west, I am not able to speak with decision. I by no means believe that the barbarians give the name of Eridanus to a river which empties itself into the Northern Sea; whence, it is said, our amber comes. Neither am I better acquainted with the islands called the Cassiterides, from which we are said to have our tin. The name Eridanus is certainly not barbarous; it is of Greek derivation, and, as I should conceive, introduced by one of our poets. I have endeavoured, but without success, to meet with someone who, from ocular observation, might describe to me the sea which lies in that part of Europe. It is nevertheless certain that both our tin and our amber are brought from those extreme regions.”HERODOTUS

The reason for Herodotus’s assertion was simply that Cornwall had almost the world monopoly of tin production, and archaeological evidences show clearly that the Tin Islands were exporting the metal as early as 1500 BC. Biblical “ships of Tarshish” (a name given to ocean-going vessels, and used in the same way that Victorians spoke of “East-India-Men”) operating mainly from the Phoenician port of Tyre were the main agents in transporting this valuable metal to different parts of the world.
Using modern equipment, capable of determining very precisely the isotopic content of different metals, it has been shown that lead used in drainpipes in the area of Solomon’s Temple came from the Mendip Hills in Somerset. This type of analysis is made possible because lead samples from different locations contain varying amounts of the isotopes of lead, resulting from the decay of radioactive materials. Similarly with tin, the Temple was adorned with plenty of bronze, and this alloy was made by adding tin to copper in the smelting. The presence of tin causes copper to become much harder and less easily tarnished. It was British tin that was used by Solomon, and the date was about 1000 BC. Sir Edward Creasy, (1812 – 1878) the English barrister, professor, and historian, said in one of his books, as a result of his research,
The British mines mainly supplied the glorious adornment of Solomon’s Temple.” Concerning the port of Tyre, and the evident wealth of the Phoenicians as traders, we can refer to the prophet Ezekiel, writing in about 600 B.C.

Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.” (Ezekiel 27:12)
  It is obvious That Israel at least through the Phoenicians of Tyre had a long standing trade relationship with Britain. And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands[b] mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.
By William Blake

A. There exist an ancient Church in Glastonbury that was prior to the roman catholic Church.
B. We know there is folklore describing Joseph of Arimathea as the missionary of the Glastonbury Church.
C.  We know there are traditions of Joseph of Arimathea traveling a particular trade route through France to get to this destination and the folklore of the French is in Accord with this frame.
D. The Bible does not speak to Joseph being a tin man nor does it say Jesus went to Britain.
E. These assertions however are plausible due to Jews doing business with Tarshish over tin through Phoenicia since the time of construction of Solomon's Temple. Jesus having missing years where Joseph, his father, apparently past away, a tradition of Joseph of Arimathea being the great uncle enabling Joseph the roman legal right to ask Pilate for the body of Christ.  Thus Joseph taking custody of the young man on a trip to Britain(Cornwall) where he had been doing business in Tin.  Joseph later escaping persecution and starting the church in Glastonbury.
F.  We have scientific confirmation of this tale in 3 areas.  The Glastonbury tree is a Palestinian breed.  Tin in the temple is British tin.  Glastonbury was no longer an island but the tale predicts the high tide that allowed Joseph to sail their which is confirmed by archaeologists.
G. Malmsbury had access to the Glastonbury records that have since been destroyed and he was on record speaking of Joseph of Arimathea there.
H.  Joseph of Arimathea though important is such a minor character in the NT Story why pick him as the legendary founder of the church and why make him a tin man?
I. All along the countryside in Southwest England(Cornwall) are ancient monuments to a boy on the cross metaphorical of a young Jesus who accompanied Joseph on his journey and was the later subject of his mission.
J.  We know that that King Agaragus, the 1st century Welsh king of that time donated 12 hides of land in Glastonbury to a party of refugees which were never to be taxed and were not many centuries.
                Joseph of Arimathea, The Garden Tomb, The Great Stone of Mt. Nebo, The Shroud of Turin, The sudareum of Oviedo
"The first thing to note is that the small hill known as "Gordon's Calvary" is the northernmost part of the mount called Moriah in the Bible. It was to this mount that Abraham brought Isaac to sacrifice him (Gen. 22), symbolic of the sacrifice of Christ to come. The site was later purchased by David and used by Solomon to construct his temple. The temple itself was located about midpoint on the north-south line of the hill. Significantly, sacrificial animals, whose deaths symbolized that of Christ, were slain to the north of the temple altar (Lev. 1:11). If Jesus was crucified at "Gordon's Calvary," then he died on the northernmost part of the hill where that altar was situated. "
"The first bits of evidence are traditionary. The southern cliff of the quarry runs just underneath the northern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. Cut into this cliff is a large cave (partly natural) which was enlarged by quarrying operations. It has long been called "Solomon's Quarries," based on the tradition that this is where Solomon obtained stone for building his temple. It has also been termed "Zedekiah's Cave," from a tradition that King Zedekiah hid here from Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 587 BC. If either of these stories is true, then the quarry and the resultant skull-shaped cliff predate Christ. French scholar Charles Clermont-Ganneau discovered, in the first of the quarrying chambers inside the cave, a drawing of a winged sphinx in Assyrian style (now in the Louvre in Paris). This would date it to the Israelite period and would imply that the quarry dates back at least to 600 BC ."
Isaac Sachs, "Solomon's Quarries," published by the Jerusalem municipality (n.d.), p. 13.
In the coffin bed we see that the foot rest was extended a coupe inches as if it were a last minute adjustment.  Joseph of arimathea was apparently shorter 5'8" while the foot rest extends it to 5;11".
The great Stone of Mt. Nebo
"If we look at them, we can find something quite interesting. There appears to be an additional stone in the channel acting as a stopper. And you can also see that the stopper is at an angle. This would suggest that the stopper in this channel, in these old photos, was indeed used to stop the stone from rolling forward.  And we can see that the stone is much closer than the larger stone to the right.

 This original stopper reveals some new evidence. By its position, we can establish the diameter of the stone that was there in this tomb.
 Let's now put the Great Stone from Mount Nebo on a photo of the garden tomb. The stone fits perfectly. And the stone proves that this stopper has been at its original place since it was laid there by Joseph of Arimathaea."

Researcher                 shows the following facts from his investigation from the stones.  here are excerpts of these points.
"The GREAT Stone is in one piece as stated in the bible. The Angel rolled the stone open."
"The GREAT Stone is the same rock as the garden tomb."
"The GREAT Stone has the same marks as the garden tomb."
"The garden tomb had a Byzantine church."
"The GREAT stone was found at a Byzantine Monastery"
"Mark 16:4 states it is a very great stone.
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great."
"The Greek language states the stone was VEHEMENT TREMENDOUSLY"
"Dear Sir,
The stone was a rolling door found near the Mount Nebo and put there to protect and show it.
Fr. Carmelo Pappalardo
Francisca Archaeological Institute on Mount Nebo"
Read more:
"When I measured the large stone it was around 15'' wide give or take a few centimeters. I say this cos the stone has wear and tear and damage on it, so the size varies depending where you put the tape. However I believe 15'' is a good guide. Now what is the size of the channel at the garden tomb where the stone sits in and rolls down to the door. It starts at 15'' also. and extends up to about 18''."
  So the Great Stone of Nebo fits the Garden tomb as opposed to the one at the church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Shroud of Turin

"A point of argument against the Shroud of Turin being Jesus’ actual burial cloth is that it can be
traced with certainty only from about AD 1355.  Before then, existence and provenance is much more uncertain."
   So where was the shroud?  A popular hypothesis states that it was the "cloth of Edessa" and that it was carried over the centuries into Constantinople upon which a crusader took it to Leery, France where he started a chapel there.

"April 10 (or 16), 1349: The Hundred Year War had been raging between France and England for over eleven years and the Black Death had just finished ravaging most of Europe when Geoffrey de Charny, a French knight, writes to Pope Clement VI reporting his intention to build a church at Lirey, France. It is said he builds St. Mary of Lirey church to honor the Holy Trinity who answered his prayers for a miraculous escape while a prisoner of the English. He is also already in possession of the Shroud, which some believe he acquired in Constantinople." France

I would humbly offer an alternative hypothesis.
    Joseph of Arimathea was the owner of the true shroud.  He took it with him as proof of what had been done. He would go through France often in his trade routes and at some point he distributed it to french believers who left it in Leery just a few miles from the siene river one of his routes.  it was then discovered by that crusader who built the chapel there.  What is significant is that Leery was a purely insignificant town and one of the reasons for it's initial rejection I believe was no one knew it's origin.  But perhaps the Catholic church did now this origin.  As the legends of Joseph of Arimathea were common.  Yet the catholic church wanted the history of england to emphasize Augustine of Canterbury as the founder of British Christianity in 600AD in order to reinforced the dogma of the Roman Catholic church being the original historic christian church.
"When one speaks about the Shroud's authenticity, it is necessary to come to an understanding and to distinguish two authenticity levels. One of them guarantees that the object in question is not itself a fake, an imitation of something else, a handwork made to deceive. Also at the hypothesis that it is medieval, the Shroud would always remain an unicum. We don't have in the world any cloth with vaguely similar characteristics to those that are observed on the Turin relic. It is a linen sheet that has wrapped a dead body for about 30-36 hours and on which blood stains have been impressed through contact transferring on it 700 small and large wounds and, by vertical projection of the figure, the frontal and dorsal image of a naked body, with the wounds of a very abundant scourging (about 120 hits with two scourges), of a helmet of thorns that have perforated the skullcap in fifty or so points, of blows and hits on the face, of the transport on the shoulders of a large piece of wood, of a crucifixion with nails in the wrists and in the feet, of a lance transfixion to the right flank after death. We haven't adequate scientific answers yet about the physical and chemical mechanism that produced such an image.

If, assuming the completely unlikely hypothesis that it is medieval, the Shroud would always remain still authentic in itself and not a forgery. It would be however, the most mysterious object that came to us from the Middle Ages. And at the state of the facts, indeed prodigious. Evidently, we are not so much interested in this authenticity level. But if science shows that that sheet is dated back to the first century, the Shroud and evangelical data convergence is so high that there is an astronomic probability level that that Man is Jesus of Nazareth. His capital execution had quite unusual details - like the thorns helmet, the lance hit instead of the crurifragium, a single sepulture with a sheet instead of the common grave of executed men - so much so that already the agnostic Ives Delage, at the beginning of this century, stated that there is a possibility in ten billion that that Man is not Jesus. Other statisticians speak about a possibility in 200 billion."

"I have approached the question of height from the design point of view - an image which describes a 3D object and vice-versa, including the problem of foreshortening. I have also analyzed body type, muscle structure and proportion. I determined the height to be 5'11½" to 6'1", give or take 1" for linen stretch and shrinking, both of which are possible. Because of the body type, even with shrinkage, the man cannot be under 5'11½". I lean more towards 6'0". Whether Jews in Jesus's time were smaller or larger is not relevant here. Jews were not small to start with, judging by the finds in the 1st century cemetery excavated near the wall of the Temple in the sixties."
Isabel Piczek
noted monumental artist, theoretical physicist and Shroud historian

The Sudarium of Oviedo

"Much less known, but still quite puzzling, is a related and smaller piece of cloth now known as the Sudarium of Oviedo. Some contend that this fabric was the piece of cloth that was wrapped around Jesus’ head as he lay in the tomb (or while he was dead on the cross). There is actually a biblical basis for this belief: in chapter 20 of the Gospel of John it explicitly says that there was a cloth, separate from the burial shroud, that was used to wrap around Jesus’ head.
As with the Shroud, the Sudarium of Oviedo has a colorful history and has its believers and its skeptics. The first mention of its existence occurred in 570CE when the enigmatic sixth-century pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza claimed the cloth was housed in a monastery near Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was apparently not a safe place for the relic, and it was taken from that city in the 610s just ahead of the invading Persian armies. It was then carried to Spain by way of Northern Africa. It eventually found permanent housing in the northern Spanish town of Oviedo.
Unlike the Shroud, there is no “photographic image” of a human head on the cloth, but some believers have stated that the bloodstains on the Sudarium match up to apparent wounds on the head of the image on the Shroud. Using a method called Polarized Image Overlay Technique, scientists have matched more than 100 bloodstain locations on the Sudarium with identical bloodstain sources on the Shroud. It is also purported that the position of the stains on the cloth shows that the person whose head it covered died in an upright position."

      What is important here Is that Joseph of Arimathea was a recognized historical figure of the day who had an impact on the ancient British People and brought proof of the gospel tot the people of western Europe.  He traveled near the location where the shroud of Turin was first spotted and if authentic the shroud would have historically been his property anyhow.  Regardless of debate over the shrouds date, The Sudarium of Oviedo was spotted as early as 8oo years prior to that and it has 100 matching blood stains!  The Garden tomb is next to skull hill which has cave from the era of solomon centuries before christ.  The Great Stone of Nebo is a rolling stone door that Matches the Garden tomb instead of the Holy Sepulcher.  SInce all these objects match even though they are separated by  many and at times thousands of miles from each other, matching on details unknown to the public. It gives physical credibility to the gospel!

"The fame of our Lord's remarkable resurrection and ascension being  now spread abroad, according to an ancient custom prevalent among the rlers among the nations to communicate novel occurrences to the emperor that nothing might escape him, Pontius Pilate transmitted to Tiberius an account of the circumstances concerning the resurrection of our Lord from the dead, the report of which had already spread throughout all Palestine. 2 In this account,he also intimated that he ascertained other miracles respecting him and having now risen from the dead, he was believed to be a God by the great mass of the people.
Tiberius referred the matter to the Senate, but it is said they rejected the  proposition in appearance because they had not examined the subject first, according to an ancient law among the Romans, that no one would be ranked among the gods unless by a vote and decree of the Senate ; in reality however, the salutary doctrine of the gospel needs no confirmation and cooperation among men."
"This is the testimony of Tertullian a man who made himself accurately acquainted with the laws of the Romans, and besides his eminence in other respects, was particularly distinguished among  the eminent men of Rome."

book 2 chapter 2 sect. 1-2,4 pg.37-38
  So basically,  Pilate was so freaked out by the resurrection of Christ, that He not only told Tiberius Caesar about it but was even convincing enough for Caesar to recommend that Jesus be placed among the pantheon of gods.  This is very important because these are unbelievers who are acting in concert with a real resurrection.  Now skeptics will reply that Tertullian must be lying.  Because Christians have to be liars.  But Tertullian was a respected Roman Lawyer at a time prior to Christians having any safe status.  If Tertullian was lying about this event His audience could have easily debunked him. Not only so, but they could have also arrested, persecuted or killed him for such action.  Yet Tertullian did have access to such information so thus he relayed it without penalty.

Margaret Y. MacDonald (3 October 1996). Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 14 June 2012. Celsus calls Jesus a sorcerer. He argues that the miracles of Jesus are on the same level as: 'the works of sorcerers who profess to do wonderful miracles, and the accomplishments of those who are taught by the Egyptians, who for a few obols make known their sacred lore in the middle of the market-place and drive daemons out of men and blow away diseases and invoke the souls of heroes, displaying expensive banquets and dining tables and cakes and dishes which are non-existent, and who make things move as though they were alive although they are not really so, but only appear as such in the imagination.' though an enemy of Christianity and close to the time period does not Question Christ existence and even admits to the supernatural reputation. This gives two witnesses of the supernatural nature of Christ from enemies.

Phlegon (reported by Origen)
 Now Phlegon, in the thirteent  or fourteenth book, I think, of his chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of the future events (although falling into confusion about some things which refer to Peter, as if they refer to Jesus), but also testified that the result corresponded to his predictions.  So that he also, by these very admissions regarding foreknowledge, as if against his will, expressed his opinion that the doctrines taught by the fathers of our system were not devoid of divine power." Origen 36.    Another admission of supernatural power from an enemy.

I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be passed by without examination, so that these men may neither be harassed, nor opportunity of malicious proceedings be offered to informers.  If, therefore, the provincials can clearly evince their charges against Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course, but not by mere petitions, and mere outcries against the Christians.  For it is far more proper, If anyone would bring an accusation, that you should examine it."
    So why is it that Hadrian has ordered toleration, if not rights for practitioners of Christianity?  This
is rather odd when we realize Hadrian's office is that of Caesar.  He is himself at this period worshiped as a deity himself and also as acting "Pontifex Maximus" is in charge of religion in Rome.  The Christians were outlaws seeing as they served a messiah who was subject to Roman Execution and apparently thwarted their efforts.  Toleration of this system is frankly Embarrassing to His sovereignty and the sovereignty of Rome.  So what is his motive? Let us look at the testimony of his clerk Suetonius.

“As the Jews were making constant  disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled   them from Rome”. (Life of Claudius, 25:4)1 This is packed into a context of a list of deeds which Claudius was administrating judgements of all the tribes in Rome.  We know that Paul had already been spreading the Gospel to Rome and that Christians had roman converts since the day of Pentecost.(acts 2:10)  Skeptics have noted the misspelling of Christ would therefore not be Christ.  However as we shall see from tacitus this is more likely and slur for the sake of ridicule as their was bigotry against Christianity.

“Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.”   (Lives of the Caesars, 26.2)
And here we see the reference of christianity having a mischeivious superstition as opposed to a religion or philosophy.  So any considerations given to the christians are really because they are compelled to by law or logic and definitely not based upon favor.


"But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently to get rid of that report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.  Christus from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the World find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.  Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths.  Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired.
  Nero offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car.  Hence even for the criminals, who deserve extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed.
The annals book 15. 44   Great books 14 pg. 168

"Most writers, however, agree in stating that once a disease, which horribly disfigured the body, broke out over Egypt: that king bocchoris, seeking a remedy, consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to cleanse his realm, and to convey into some foreign land this race detested by the gods.  The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert. sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moyses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, foresaken as they were of both, but to trust to themselves, taking for their heaven sent-leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery."
Tacitus, The histories  book 5: 3 Great Books pg.. 295

    Notice that Tacitus misspells Moses' name and also has a bigoted interpretation of the Jews.  It is no wonder that he would also be bigoted against Jesus Christ and Christians.


There are several Talmudic passages that are said to be referring to Jesus. The following are among those considered the most controversial, contested, and possibly the most notable.[50][51][52]

Our rabbis taught Jesus the Nazarene had five disciples, and these are they: Matthai, Naqqai, Netzer, Buni, and Todah.[53][54][55][56
The master said: Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and deceived and led Israel astray.[57][58][59][60]
"Jesus son of Stada is Jesus son of Pandira?"
Rav Hisda said, "The husband was Stada and the lover was Pandera."
"But was not the husband Pappos son of Yehuda and the mother Stada?"
No, his mother was Miriam, who let her hair grow long and was called Stada. Pumbedita says about her: "She was unfaithful to her husband."[61][62][63][64]
On (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover, Jesus the Nazarene was hanged and a herald went forth before him forty days heralding, "Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and instigated and seduced Israel to idolatry. Whoever knows anything in defense may come and state it." But since they did not find anything in his defense they hanged him on (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover.
Ulla said: "Do you suppose that Jesus the Nazarene was one for whom a defense could be made? He was a mesit (someone who instigated Israel to idolatry), concerning whom the Merciful [God] says: Show him no compassion and do not shield him (Deut. 13:9). With Jesus the Nazarene it was different. For he was close to the government.[54][65][66][67]

Specific references

Sanhedrin 43a[68] relates the trial and execution of a sorcerer named Jesus (Yeshu in Hebrew) and his five disciples. The sorcerer is stoned and hanged on the Eve of Passover.[69]
Sanhedrin 107[70] tells of a Jesus ("Yeshu") "offended his teacher by paying too much attention to the inn-keeper's wife. Jesus wished to be forgiven, but [his rabbi] was too slow to forgive him, and Jesus in despair went away and put up a brick [idol] and worshipped it."[71]
In Gittin 56b, 57a[72] a story is mentioned in which Onkelos summons up the spirit of a Yeshu who sought to harm Israel. He describes his punishment in the afterlife as boiling in excrement.[73][74]
Some scholars claim that the Hebrew name Yeshu is not a short form of the name Yeshua, but rather an acrostic for the Hebrew phrase "may his name and memory be blotted out" created by taking the first letter of the Hebrew words.[75]
In addition, at the 1240 Disputation of Paris, Donin presented the allegation that the Talmud was blasphemous towards Mary, the mother of Jesus (Miriam in Hebrew), and this criticism has been repeated by many Christian sources.[76] The texts cited by critics include Sanhedrin 67a,[77] Sanhedrin 106a,[78] and Shabbath 104b.[79] However, the references to Mary are not specific, and some assert that they do not refer to Jesus' mother, or perhaps refer to Mary Magdalen.[80]
   In the Talmud's blasphemies of Christ they unwittingly give testimony of his existence.  Some of the Talmud dates before christ and they should have known if he was a myth.

Pliny the younger
 Christians faced execution.  the pagan Pliny relates his report of apostate Christians who confessed the ancient christian lifestyle.
"Others who were named by the anonymous informer at first confessed themselves Christians, and then denied it; true, they said, they had been of that persuasion but they had quitted it, some three years, others many years, and a few as much as twenty-five years previously.  They all worshiped your statue and the images of the gods and cursed Christ.
  "They affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to perform any wicked deed, never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to make it good;"Josh Mcdowell He walked among us: Evidence for the Historical Jesus pg. 46
   So here we see those who denied Christ admitting that Christians were people who believed in the deity of Christ who had pledged themselves to lead righteous lives. Pliny would torture Christians and never receive a different testimony about the early church.


on James and John the baptist
"[18.115] So Herod wrote about these affairs to the emperor Tiberius, who became very angry at the attempt made by Aretas, and wrote to Lucius Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to make war upon him, and either to take him alive and bring him to him in bonds, or to kill him and send him his head. This was the charge that Tiberius gave to the governor of Syria. 
[18.116] Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God as a just punishment of what Herod had done against John, who was called the Baptist.
[18.117] For Herod had killed this good man, who had commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, righteousness towards one another and piety towards God. For only thus, in John's opinion, would the baptism he administered be acceptable to God, namely, if they used it to obtain not pardon for some sins but rather the cleansing of their bodies, inasmuch as it was taken for granted that their souls had already been purified by justice."
  Josephus affirms the existence of John the baptist who played the key role in affirming that Jesus was the Son of God.

"Festus was now dead, and albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the San hedron of judges and brought before them the brother of Jesus who was called christ, whose name was james, and some others [or some of his companions] and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned."
423 chapter IX section 1
One common objection is why would Josephus give Jesus the title of Christ if he were not a christian?

Jesus son of damneus  424 chapter IX  section 1
Jesus son of Gameliel 424 Chapter IX section 4
   Because Jesus was a common name in that era. in the very same section josephus references one and then another high priest named Jesus.  So obvious Josephus is identifying him as Christ because this identifies him.  After all these references are a mere page away

pg. 379  book 18 chapter 3 section 3
"Now, there was  about this time, Jesus a wise 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 principle men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared alive to them on the third day, as the divine prophets had foretod these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named after him are not extinct at this day."
  Now we have no manuscripts of Josephus without this endearing testimony of Christ. Typically the argument is that Josephus would never say this because he was not a christian.   But that is presumptuous.  There was not a strict split of Talmudic Jews and Christians like we have today.  Accepting that Jesus is the messiah is not the only essential doctrine in Christianity.  Perhaps Josephus accepted Jesus as Christ without accepting "Pauline Christianity".
   On top of this if Josephus found miraculous evidence of Christ as we see in the gospels why would he not he not come to this conclusion?

Cosmic Christ

ursa minor: little bear/Little dipper, little lamb
draco: The Serpent/dragon
hercules: mythological son of God, stepping on the heel of the serpent
This matches Genesis 3:15 and typologies in Bible prophecy. God's throne in Heaven would be seen as the north and Lucifer was cherubim doing priestly worship there. Lucifer fell from grace.  The little bear in Arabic is recubba meaning little sheep.  A little sheep is a little lamb.
Ezekiel 28:13-14. ob 26:7,9,13, Isaiah 14:13, Rev. 12:1-5, 5:6, Genesis 3:15

virgo:  The virgin
Obviously the virgin birth of mary

Libra: scales: The judgement
Obviously we think of judgement as in the end times though there are many types of jufgment

Scorpio: The poison death of sin
Sin/iniquity is a poison in the since that it infects humanity, killing it from the inside out.

Saggitarius:The archer demonic war
eph. 6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Capricorns goatfish
Apostasy of the church. goats as in the sheep and the goats. matthew 25

Aquarius water pourer
Pentecostal revival outpouring of the holy spirit

Pices the fishes:
The great commission gathering fish/believers

Aries the ram: The sacrifice for sin of a leader
Taurus the bull: The sacrifice for sin of a group
Numbers 15:6-8

Gemini the twins:  The dual natures
The flesh of this life vrs the glorified eternal flesh

Cancer the crab:  The gathering

Leo the lion:  The reign of the Lord

  Today we have a cosmos slightly altered and interpretations are looser and debatable.  however, enemies of the faith have done us a favor.   Because they have gathered testimony from all sorts of nations and pagan religions and historic figures given messianic attributes.  But where did they get these?  They based their religions upon the zodiac; therefore the Zodiac successfully promised a messiah!!
"Later Christian traditions about Jesus were probably influenced by Greco-Roman religion and mythology. Much of Jesus's traditional iconography is apparently derived from Mediterranean deities such as Hermes, Asclepius, Serapis, and Zeus and his traditional birthdate on 25 December, which was not declared as such until the fifth century, was at one point named a holiday in honor of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus. At around the same time Christianity was expanding in the second and third centuries, the Mithraic Cult was also flourishing. Though the relationship between the two religions is still under dispute, Christian apologists at the time noted similarities between them, which some scholars have taken as evidence of borrowing, but which are more likely a result of shared cultural environment. More general comparisons have also been made between the stories about Jesus's birth and resurrection and stories of other divine or heroic figures from across the Mediterranean world, including supposed "dying-and-rising gods" such as Tammuz, Adonis, Attis, and Osiris, while the concept of "dying-and-rising gods" has received criticism."
    So if God designed the constellations and the contellations gave society these signs then we have God giving us signs of the messiah!
Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. "
  Now it is important to notice that the wise men aka Magi were likely pagans from Persia. While they could have had access to daniel the biggest and most obvious implication is that they were skilled in astrology and knew there were signs of the coming Messiah!  So indeed God placed signs in the sky to all mankind to prepare them for the coming of Christ.

Jesus is my Guru!

   One of my favorite Christians artist and ministers was a fellow named Keith Green. Keith Green was a Jewish young man raised in California during the 1960's.  He lived in a pluralistic culture and he was exposed to the various worldviews.
  If we are going to accept a supernatural World.  We have to be honest about the spiritual power and authority that has been bestowed upon Jesus Christ.  He is equivalent to God among all the orthodox denominations of Christianity.  He is a prophet of God among the Muslims.   He is an angel among the Jehovah's witnesses.  He is a deity among the Hindus as well as the Mormon church.  The New Ager's consider Christ to be the ultimate stage of spiritual evolution.  He was considered a great Rabbi and teacher among the Jews and atheists.
The point is.  In a supernatural reality, the world has come to recognize the spiritual authority of Jesus.  So if you are going to start a spiritual journey why not consider the person with the greatest spiritual reputation ever?
Bob Marley confesses Christ
   Bob Marley was beloved by all and is a music legend today.  How hard would it be to admit that the greatness which you achieved on the earth was actually a great lie?  Yet Marley did that indeed because Christ was the one whom he could trust eternity with.  This is but one of millions of testimonies of the saving power of Christ!

A star is born!
"A firm persuasion had long prevailed through all the East,3 that it was fated for the empire of the world, at that time, to devolve on some one who should go forth from Judaea."

      Here the ancient Roman Historian Suetonius is admitting that there was expectations in the eastern world of a emperor to come out of Judaea during the time of Christ which would have sparked interest from the magi.

"In the book called the “Ch'ien-han-shu”, we find the following reference:

“In the second year of the period of Ch'ien-p'ing, second month, a hui-hsing appeared  in  Ch'ien-niu  for more than days”

The second year of the reign of Ch'ien-p'ing meant the year 5 BC and the second month, in the Chinese calendar, implied the month that ran from March 10th to April 7th. A hui-hsing is a broom star and Ch'ien-niu is the Chinese constellation that included Alpha and Beta Capricornii. Thus the complete translation should read:

“During the interval  between March 10th April 7th of 5 BC, a comet appeared close Alpha  and  Beta  Capricornii  and was visible for more than 70 days”"
   So at the time of Christ birth a star was seen by Chinese astrologers and it was temporary.
  There is a similar record among Koreans.  The Persians are the typical candidate for the magi, but if the Chinese could see it then the Persians could have as well.
   There is argument over how to interpret this star as an actual star, comet or supernova, as well other candidates for the star.  But these are interpretations.  The observation is the same. There was a celestial light recorded at the time of Christ's birth.

Thallus Africanus and the darkness of the crucifixion.
"" Julius Africanus, writing circa A.D. 221, states concerning the darkness at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, 'Thallus, in the 3rd book of his histories, explains away this darkness as an eclipse of the sun_ unreasonably, as it seems to me.' Africanus was correct on objecting to Thallus.  A solar eclipse cannot take place at the time of a full moon, 'and it was at the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died.'Josh Mcdowell He walked among us: Evidence for the Historical Jesus pg. 35   Julius Africanus,Chronography 18, 1.

  Here we see an observation that the sky indeed turned dark at the death of Christ. Not only that, but the alternative was being refuted!
 Because you can not have an eclipse at the same time as a full moon!

So now we have physical non-Christian observations of stellar phenomena at the time of Christ's birth and death!

Tiberius Petitions Jesus in the pantheon

"The fame of our Lord's remarkable resurrection and ascension being  now spread abroad, according to an ancient custom prevalent among the rlers among the nations to communicate novel occurrences to the emperor that nothing might escape him, Pontius Pilate transmitted to Tiberius an account of the circumstances concerning the resurrection of our Lord from the dead, the report of which had already spread throughout all Palestine. 2 In this account,he also intimated that he ascertained other miracles respecting him and having now risen from the dead, he was believed to be a God by the great mass of the people.
Tiberius referred the matter to the Senate, but it is said they rejected the  proposition in appearance because they had not examined the subject first, according to an ancient law among the Romans, that no one would be ranked among the gods unless by a vote and decree of the Senate ; in reality however, the salutary doctrine of the gospel needs no confirmation and cooperation among men."
"This is the testimony of tertullian a man who made himself accurately acquainted with the laws of the Romans, and besides his emminence in other respects, was particulary distinguished among  the eminent men of Rome."

book 2 chapter 2 sect. 1-2,4 pg.37-38
   Now if this is true then we have a testimony coming from Pontius Pilate that Jesus had risen from the dead. Not only did he come to believe this but he was able to convince Tiberius Caesar. They were not Jews and did not have the Jewish Worldview so they decided to inaugurate Christ as a deity in the pantheon. Pilate not only had Christ crucified but was in charge of searching for the Body to stop the future protests and destruction.

Hebrew Messiah

Genesis 3:15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
   Here we see early on the "seed" of the woman sounds a lot like the virgin birth.  We see that the Messiah will conquer the serpent.  Yet, He shall be bitten, which a serpents bite is deadly so it predicts a death.  The bite is at the heal and Jesus' feet was nailed upon a cross.

Gospel in the geneologies?  Just look at the Hebrew translation of the 1st geneology.
Adam= Man(mankind)
Kenan= sorrow
Mahalaleel= The God who is to be praised
Jared= Shall come down
Enoch= teaching
Methuselah= his death shall bring
Lamech= despairing
Noah= rest
     Mankind appointed mortal sorrow. The God who is to be praised shall come down teaching his death shall bring the despairing, rest.

Genesis 49:
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
  This is a type of prophecy upon Judah and his line.  That his descendents would have the monarchy of Israel until "shiloh" come.  Shilo means peace, "unto him"  Reveals this peace to be a person.  And person will gather the people.   The passage is a good prophetic point to seal the the rest of the Ta'anach to the Torah.  Also it shows that the davidic kingdom will hit a climax with the man of peace.  Of course the phrase prince of peace comes to mind.  Especially since we are dealing with a royal lineage!

Deuteronomy 18:
15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; "
  Isaiah 2:
1The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.And it shall come to pass in the last days,that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains,and shall be exalted above the hills;and all nations shall flow unto it.And many people shall go and say,Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,to the house of the God of Jacob;and he will teach us of his ways,and we will walk in his paths:for out of Zion shall go forth the law,and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.And he shall judge among the nations,
and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

   This very important because it exposes a gap between the First and second coming of the Messiah.  If the messiah is a prophet then He will prophecy of a future.  We noticed that this prophet is on the same level as Moses. (like unto me)  Moses was superior to the other Prophets because he gave the Law from which they would operate from.  So the Messiah will bring about a New Covenant and/or Testament.  In Isaiah we see that the LORD will be teaching from Jerusalem. This was at least partially fulfilled in the beatitudes/Sermon on the Mt.  he will teach peace as the prophecy indicates "neither shall they learn war anymore."

psalm 2:
I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
    This prophecy is fulfilled with Christianity as a Jewish religion based upon acceptance of the Messiah has reached gentiles all around the world!
Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
   Here we see the Messiah(Holy One) rescued from sheol.
This obviously points us to resurrection

Isaiah 7:
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
  Here we have the virgin birth predicted.  Some have argued that the Hebrew "Almah" could be translated "young woman".  Yet young women were typically virgins and this was supposed to be an uncommon sign, which would be a virgin birth.  Also the name "Immanuel" means "God with us"

Isaiah 9:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
  Here the Son of God is also known as the everlasting Father and the Mighty God.  Reinforcing the deity of the messiah 800years before Christ.

Micah 5:
But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah,
though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,
yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;
whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
    The Messiah must be born in Bethlehem which is a very small community.  So the chances of the messiah lower massively.
    One complaint from Jews and Arians is that the messiah is not god or eternal.  but "from everlasting" means eternity past.  Therefore Messiah is indeed deified and incarnate.

Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

Hosea 11
:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him,
and called my son out of Egypt."
     Matthew fulfills this prophecy in a round about way.   Jehovah is a father and he loves Israel as a Son.  Yet  Israel was not fulfilling his duties as a Son.  The Jews had physical long ago left Egypt but Egypt had not escaped the hearts of these Hebrews. So Jesus spent his time in infancy with the Egyptians as a refugee. And He came back to Israel as a sign that He would be the more faithful Son of God.

Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."

psalm 69:
19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap."
  When Jesus was on the cross,  his insides were rupture from tremendous stress.  The roman guards offered him intoxicated vinegar.
john 19:
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth."

Psalms 72:
17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun:
and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
Matthew 28:
20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Luke 2:
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28 then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,31 which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;32 a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."
  It is important to note that this Jewish Messiah would be a light and teacher to the gentiles.  That is what christ has accomplished and we have actual manuscripts from the 1st-2nd century before this was ever hoped to come true.  But figure that this would come from the ancient Hebrews and 1st prophesied by them gives it the supernatural type of probabilities.

Zechariah 9:1 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
   The people of Jerusalem welcomed him as the Davidic messiah.  This was on palm sunday.

The prophetic curse of Judas

Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take."
   So this is the fulfillment of a prophecy in psalms.
Psalms 109:
Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.Let his days be few; and let another take his office."
   Which is how Judas was around Christ.  But this fulfills more predictions when discuss the field of blood.

Matthew 27 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me."
      What is interesting here is that apparently it was the priest who were enemies of Christ chose to  fulfill this bible prophecy from two prophets!!

Jeremiah 19: and go forth unto the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the east gate, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell thee, and say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle. Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; they have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.

Zechariah 11:And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord. 1And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at "of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.

Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:

zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

psalm 22:
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint:
my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."
The concept of crucifixion was not known in the hebrew world when David wrote this in 1000BC.  But Christ hung (bones out of joint) his heart burst (like wax melted) strength is dried (carried cross after flogging) tongue was cleaved to jaw (dehydration) the dogs compassed (rome was named after romulus the wolf god/dogs) assembly of the wicked (the jews had a fixed mistrial) pierced hands and feet an execution that only fits the description of crucifixion.

Isaiah 53: 1 W
ho hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

  vs. 3 despised and rejected. Christ was hated.  "we esteemed him not" Jesus was a homeless bachelor.
vs. 4 Jesus healed thousands of people and ministered to allsorts of problems.  Yet Jesus was crucified and shamed cry out "Father why has thou forsaken me?"
vs. 5 wounded for ourtransgressions  the Jews had a corrupt relationship with Rome.  Christ
"his stripes" alludes to Jesus wounds by "a cat of nine tails"
vs. 6 "
the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
This points to the christian doctrine of penal substitution.
vs. 7  Jesus was quiet on trial
vs. 8 Jesus was imprisoned and excuted
vs9 grave with the wicked crucified with thieves, yet Pilate found no fault in him.
vs 10 his soul and offering for sin.  His soul was a pure and therefore sinless sacrifice.
vs 11 "my righteous servant shall justify many"  Jesus is the savior and millions have been saved by him.
vs 12: "a portion with the great" He was buried in the tomb of a rich man. Joseph of Arimathea

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here..42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
   So Jesus is condemning the pharisees for their words against him.(36-37)  They tested Jesus to show them a sign.(38) He pointed out there evil, in fact their evil motives on the issue.  We must remember that The jews had as many signs as the gentile world that the Messiah was present and they saw his miracles. Yet they were not like Nicodemus conversing with him privately but challenging him in public in hopes of ensnaring him.  he did however offer them one special sign.  The sign of jonas(h).  Now a sign is a typed of prophecy that is more symbol than message.  What is the sign of Jonah?  Jonah died in the belly of a whale(fish). Some Christians assume he survived but..
jonah 2:
and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice."
Hell here is called hades or sheol which mean the realm of death.  in the Hebrew Jonah is swallowed by a fish. 
jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."   Most likely this was a whale-shark in which case jonah had no air and died.  However Jonah was resurrected on the beach.
Jonah 3:
And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, "   ..... So Jonah rose from the dead. 
Jonah was a prophet who was dead three days and nights in the belly of a whale. He came to a comepletly heathen nation and condemned them without the offer of salvation within 40days.  The whole Godless city rented in  less than 40 days to a GOD with whome they were unfamiliar.
Jerusalem was fully aquainted with God and the prophets.  They would be fully acquainted with Christ and his miracles and then of course the resurrection.  They were offered salvation and in a space of exactly 40yrs as opposed to only 40days  they failed to repent as a whole and the temple was then destroyed. This sign predicts the gospel and justifies the destruction of temple simultaneously!

The truth of the Gospels

"The gospels were seen as historical narratives, reporting what Jesus said and did based on eye-witness testimony" "Importantly, it did not require faith to see the gospels in this way; there was as yet no reason to think otherwise." "But over the last two hundred years among historical scholars, both within and outside the church, this common image of Jesus has dissolved." Marcus Borg The Meaning of Jesus:  Two Visions chapter 1 pg. 3
    Marcus Borg is part of the infamous "Jesus Seminar" a group of liberal scholars who cast doubt upon the majority of the gospels as genuine.  Even with his liberal presuppositions, He still understood that it is if left to it's context was eye witness historical observations.  It is the naturalistic worldview pushes them to create the alternative version of history.

Archaeologically proven)" I may fairly claim to have entered on this investigation without prejudice in favor of the conclusion which I shall now seek to justify to the reader.  On the contrary, I began with a mind unfavorable to it, for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced me.  It did not then lie in my line of life investigate the subject minutely; more reently I found myself brought into contact with the book of Acts as an authority to topography, antiquities and society of Asia minor.  It was gradually born upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.  In fact beginning with a fixed idea that the work was essentially a second century composition, and never relying on it's evidence as trust worthy for first century conditions, I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations."
"Luke's history is unsurpassed in respect of it's trustworthiness"
Sir William Ramsay
(gathered from Evidence that demands a verdict Vol. 1 Josh Mcdowell pg.70-71)

Greek Manuscript total: 5,856 [2]
*Earliest manuscript: AD 130 [3] (John Rylands Papyrus: P52)
Non-Greek Manuscripts (Armenian, Latin, etc.): 18,130+
Total Manuscripts23,986
  This is the current count updated by Sean McDowell  in regard to his father's work.  While more have been found, some have been lost and others have been reconsidered as fragments of the same manuscripts.  The number of greek manuscripts has grown while the total number slightly shrank.
The massive amount of  copies easily dwarfs the number ancient manuscripts.

"A better more cumbersome, way to describe the situation would be something like this: 100% of the MSS. agree as to, say, 80% of the text; 99% agree as to another 10%; over 95% agree as to another 4%, over 90% as to another 3%: only 3% (or less) of the text do less than 90% of the MSS agree."  Wilbur Pickering The identity of the New Testament Text

Whereas much of history is taken on faith from surviving individual manuscripts we have so many multitudes of agreeing manuscripts both in the original manuscripts and an assortment of translations and in quotations by the earliest church leaders that basically close to 100% of the text is impervious even to doubt! The Bible is the Bible and the text says what it says.

Dates not so late 

"We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after circa A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today." William F. Albright  Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands. pg.136
New York, Funk and Wagnalls, 1955.

It is often assumed that the gospels written at a later date.   But actually critics early on wanted to give the gosepls a late date to make them out to be a mythology.  However, this was not possible as Ignatius and others were quoting the gospels at the beginning of the 2nd century.  So the Gospels were dated as late as possible as opposed to as early as possible.
   Here are reasons however, used to justify a later date of the gospels that have convinced even conservatives.  However, I give arguments as to why they still not satisfactory.   I dialogued with an anonymous individual who worked in textual criticism.
"For example, Craig Keener notes the following reasons to Date Matthew after AD 70;
“Especially the following evidence seems to favor a date after a.d. 70:
(1) More than Mark or Luke (but much less exclusively than John, who writes in the 90s), Matthew particularly engages Pharisaism, which became a dominant element in early Syro-Palestinian Christians’ primary opposition mainly after 70. Indeed, Pharisees may have been much less hostile toward law-keeping Jewish Christians in the 60s (cf. Acts 23:6–9; Jos. Ant. 20.200–3).
   Paul  was a pharisee and his exploits in the book of Acts shows more antogonism from pharisees with the exception of acts 22.   Phariseesm had been around since the period of the maccabees The Gospel give obvious motivation against christ in their monopoly of the temple.
In fact this theory mocks the integrity of Paul , Who claimed to be a pharisee and persecutor of Christians within 10 years of the crucifixion.

(2) Matthew reflects a Jewish worldview closer to that of the rabbis than any other writer in the New Testament (although many other parts of the New Testament are equally Jewish). But the rabbinic movement began achieving prominence only after 70 (and even then, most common Galileans seem to have remained unaware of most of its views).

      Based on?  This is quite subjective.   Matthew was a jew at the same period as the rabbis that is why they are similar.  More importantly Rabbis had been around  since the diaspora and synagogue system prior to the 1st century.

(3) Matthew and Luke both probably depend on Mark, which probably derives from the mid-60s and may have addressed the church in Rome. The early church was well networked, so Mark may have circulated and become a standard work among many (cf. Lk 1:1) quickly; nevertheless, Matthew must have read and assimilated Mark, then invested a great deal of time arranging, drafting, and polishing his own Gospel. All this evidence suggests a date sometime after 70. (This argument of course falters if, with many conservative scholars, one dates Mark before the 60s. Contrary to accepted scholarly tradition, we lack definite reason to date it to the 60s or early 70s, and our assumption of a date for Mark no earlier than the mid-60s largely represents deference to consensus. Evidence for dating Mark before the 60s, however, seems to me no more definite.)

     "Probably" is not definitive,  if the critics have the burden of proof then this needs solid evidence.  Matthew does not claim to be based on gospel sources and being an apostle Matthew was an eye witness.
Scholars such as Bruse Metzger make Mark an exception to the prophecy rule thus, there is no rule about the destruction here. (Oxford Annotated reference Bible)
Mark is based upon the preaching of Peter who died in 65.  It would be assumed that this was done upon the approval of Peter prior to this.  However, archaeologist have claimed that Peter Died in Caesarea Phillippi.  Thus Peter would have been done in his campaign in Rome and some claim Mark to have ended up in Alexandria Egypt.  Therefore. Mark could have been written between the 40's and 50's.

(4) Matthew more clearly separates the disciples’ questions about the temple’s destruction and the world’s end for his readers than Mark does (Mt 24:3//Mk 13:2–4), even though Matthew’s Jewish readers would have been more familiar with the traditional prophetic perspective that arranged events according to their kind rather than according to their timing.”

Matthew is obsessed with His Jewish Audience understanding that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. As a result this gospel is constantly referencing OT texts.  When Jesus Prophecies he will be focused on separating end times prophecies over and apart from first coming prophecies. The Lord wanted to express the prophecies more specifically there.
He also notes, “Other supporting evidence, such as the fire of Matthew 22:7, offers some support but is not as critical to the discussion.”
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city."
  This part of a parable of Christ.  One has to assue that Matthew is not recording the words of christ at all.  It is not even claiming to be historical but instead a parable.

And again;
“The weight of some of the strongest arguments, including the situation the Gospel addresses, initially suggested to me a date as late as the mid-80s, making it (in my opinion) later than both Mark and Luke, but with a polemic less developed (and with opponents less powerful and less targeted) than in the Fourth Gospel in the 90s. Yet because I believe some post-70 bitterness toward Gentiles informs the need for stressing the Gentile mission (especially for those who would place this Gospel or its author in Antioch, a home of that mission), and because I believe other recollections of the trauma of 70 remain quite relevant to the church (including perhaps false teachers claiming a false parousia during the war), I am inclined to lower the date by perhaps half a decade and guess that Matthew was written in the late 70s.”

Robert Stein (NAC) argues for a date between 70-90 AD for Luke;

I notice that theological moderates like to hail Stein as conservative.  And in several aspects he may well be.  However, Stein has been willing to "go off the reservation" on several occasions and I believe this is one of those times.  We see the typical  Jesus did not prophecy insinuation here.

If Luke used Mark, then Luke-Acts would have been written after 65–67 and thus after the events of Acts 28. The Lukan use of Mark would suggest a date of 70–90 for the Gospel.
Such a date fits well three additional pieces of evidence found within the Gospel.

The first involves the “many” accounts Luke referred to in 1:1. A later date would fit the existence of many accounts of Jesus’ life more easily than an earlier one.
The second involves certain prophecies concerning Jerusalem’s destruction in Luke which seem to look back at the events of a.d. 70. This in no way requires that these prophecies must be vaticinia ex eventu, or prophecies after the events; but it does appear that Jesus’ prophecies concerning Jerusalem’s destruction were written in light of the knowledge of that destruction. Passages such as 13:35a; 19:43–44; 21:20; 23:28–31, while not requiring a post-70 date, probably are best understood as having been written after the event.

The third piece of evidence involves the positive light in which the Roman government is portrayed. See Introduction 7 (4). This would suggest a date some years after the Neronian persecution in the midsixties and before the persecution under Domitian in 95–96
    Not seeing any justification Mark waiting to 65 Ad. The positive light of Roman government would push the pre-neronian dating and not post.  If I were writing about Germany in 1950 I would not put a positive spin on their government but I could in 1920.  At least according to this logic.

     It is amazing how many evangelicals bow before the speculation of late dating!

The problem is that Textual Critics have "The Burden of Proof"  We have church history records which give us the authorship of the Gospels. 
We know that luke was not shy of recording deaths like Stephen, yet the book closes with Peter and Paul alive. thus placing Acts and therefore Luke and therefore Mark prior to their deaths in the 60's. 
We can not simply make up theories to override the facts, that is simply conspiracy theory.
The major argument assumes that the apostles did not record the Gospels objectively and thus would write down prophecies after the fact.  Presupposing that these documents are artificial is based upon ones worldview and is not at all based upon facts.  Then once the bias is assumed fact ,they take the next step and doubt the authorship of the gospels!  The emperor has no clothes.

Mark's Resurrection
Mark and the resurrection) many modern Christians have given up on Mark's account of the resurrection thanks to the reinforcement of new popular bible versions.  However the evidence against Mark's account of the resurrection is actually weak.  Here are a few points..
A. the extreme majority of Greek manuscripts and contain Mark 16:9-20
B. Codex Alexandrinus an Alexandrine manuscript containsMark 16:9-20
C.  Alexandrine patriarch athanasius quoted it.
D. V and S  were both missing books and large passages of the bible.
E. Sinaiticus has a blank page were the text should have been
F. The vast majority of ancient translations contain mark 16:9-20
G.  Irenaus quoted mark 16:19 as the end of Mark for prophetic fulfillment of psalm 110 in chapter 6 of "Against Heresies" written prior to construction of codexes vaticanus and sinaiticus.
H. the manuscript of 16 may be abrupt, but not compared to the gospel which is consistently fast past.

"With the exception of the two uncial manuscripts which have just been named, there is not one codex in existence, uncial or cursive, (and we are acquainted with at least 18 other uncials, and about sux hundred cursive copies of the gospel), which leaves out the last twelves verses of St. Mark.
  The inference which an unscientific observer would draw from this fact is no doubt, in this instance, the correct one.  He demands to be shown the Alexandrine (A), and the Parisian Codex (C), neither of them probably removed by much more than fifty years from the date of the codex Sinaiticus, and both unquestionably derived from different originals; and he ascertains that no countenance is lent by either of those venerable monuments to the proposed omission of this part of the sacred text.  He discovers that the codex Bezae (D), the only remaining very ancient manuscript authoritty- not withstanding that it i observed on most occaisions to exhibit an extraordinary sympathy with the vatican (B)- here sides with A and C against B and x.  He inquires after all the other uncials and all the cursive manuscripts in existence, (some of them dating from the tenth century,) and request to have it explained to him why it is to be supposed that all these many witnesses, belonging to so many different patriarchates, provinces, ages of the church, have entered into a grand conspiracy to bear false witness on a point of this magnitude and importance?  But he obtains no intelligible answer to this question." Oxford scholar Dean John Burgeon  cited from Jay P.Green, ed., Unholy Hands on the Bible, vol. 1, An Understanding to textual criticism, Including the complete works of John W. Burgeon, Dean of Chichester(lafayette, Ind.:Sovereign Grace Trust Fund,1990), c40-c41.

Matthew as the 1st Gospel

"Eusibius indicates that it was Papias bishop of Heiropolis in phrygia c. A.D. 130. who first associated Matthew with the Gospel.  Papias said "Matthew compiled the oracles" Baptist Study Edition Matthew date In his [Origen’s] first book on Matthew’s Gospel, maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows:4. Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language.5. The second is by Mark, who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a son, saying, ‘The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, salutes you, and so does Marcus, my son.’ 1 Peter 5:13
Eusebius, Church History, Book 6
5. Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner:6. The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Mark had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it.
Eusebius, Church History, Book 6
josephus had another jesus predict the destruction of the temple*

The fantasy of the Gnostics 

At times people have been able to promote the earliest Christian Heresy known as Gnosticism.  The famous "Divinci Code Novel".by Dan Brown relied heavily upon the story of the gnostics.  However it was quite controversial because there was a great deal of fictional embellishment even though it clamed factuality.  Christians were not the only ones offended by this.  Even atheist scholar Bart Ehrmann had to lead a few seminars debunking it.

  But the Gnostics play a bit of a foil for the critics. Because when we speak of an event eventually evolving into a mythology, the gnostics are in the correct chronology for such an occurnece as opposed to the earlier gospels.
     "Take the best known, and one of the longest, of the Nag Hammadi documents: a collection of sayings of Jesus known as the Gospel of Thomas.  This is the book that has often been suggested could and should be treated as at least equal and quite possibly superior, to the canonical gospels as a historical source for Jesus himself.  Th version we have like most of the Hammodi material is written in coptic, a language spoken in Egyt at the time.  But it has been demonstrated that Thomas is a translation from Syriac, a language quite like the aramaic that Jesus must have spoken... But the Syriac traditions that Thomas embodies can be dated , quite reliably, not to the first century at al but to the second half of the second century.  That s over a hundred years after Jesus own day-- in other words seventy to a hundred years after the time when the four canonical gospels.  Sayings have, in many cases, been quietly doctored in Thomas to express a different point of viewpoint."
N.T.Wright 2006 (A case for the divinity of Jesus by Dean L. Overman pp.191-192)
    And remember that we he is still giving the benefit of later dates for the gospels.  The gnostic gospels were written centuries later and they were not written as historical document but Gentiles of another religious worldview. So they are the myths for the critics and the gospels are the word for the historians.

Son of God

    Some such as Barth Erhmann have made the claim that Jesus never claimed to be divine.  Well I and many students of scripture would whole heartedly disagree.  However it can be said the Jesus implied this fact much more than he openly confessed it.  Why would he be hesitant?
Here is a reason.
Daniel 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: "
   Gere the anti christ boasts of his deity in bible prophecy.  Thus in order to fulfill Biblical prophecy one must not be antichrist in blasheming claqiming to be God.
 Yet the messiah is God!
Isaiah 9:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
   So Jesus can be honest about his divinity

 " Son of man" How could this be a divine title?  It never made sense to me.  But I could see Jesus saying it.  As if he apealed to the irony of his humanity.
Matthew 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 but found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death."
   Obviously, the Priest were convinced that Jesus had indeed declared himself to be God by quoting the passage.
  Let's look....

Daniel 7:
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
  Obviously, the priest were right in seeing this as a statemen t of divinity.   However, it is apparent this is the same prophet who described the blasphemy of the anti-christ!  So if Daniel admits that the messiah is divine, wouldn't the question need to be reviewed as to whether Jesus was actually the Christ?
 Yet we must not forget that this a clear admonition that Jesus did understandhimself to be divine.

My father's business
Luke 2: 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?"
Obviously Jesus was not about Joseph's business, So he was speaking of God the Father.  Thus he was aready claiming to be the Son of God even as a child.

Did Jesus claim to be Divine?
John !4:Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
   In this passage, Jesus is in an intimate setting with the apostles where he is at liberty to openly declare his deity in a way that did not appear prideful. But here Jesus not only admits his deity, in fact Jesus is arguing for his deity to his disciples!  So Jesus definitely claimed to be divine.

Before Abraham was "I am" 
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
    Here it is obvious that Jesus has claimed to his preexistence.  But the turn of the phrase is rather odd. It is not odd if Christ is alluding to the Deity Jehovah.  In the context there was a question of pre-exstence which was actually supposed to force a confession denying eternality and yet Christ gives is stunning reply.
Exodus 3:
14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you."
  Not only does Jehovah stand for "I am that I am" But the shorter term I am is also referred here "'I am' hath sent me".  But we als for get Christ own name.
Jesus means Jehovah save and his title immannuel

I am the bread of life
John 6: 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
This put christ as the source of eternal life.

I am the light of the world
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
  This is implying that esus is the source of goodness and knowledge

I am the door for the sheep
john 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep."
Christ is Lord over the saints

I am the good shepherd
John 10:I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine."
The saints follow christ and have security in him.

I am the resurrection and the life
john 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
Christ weilds power over the forces of death.

I am the way, the truth and the Life
John 14:Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
 Jesus is the only way, He is Sovereign.

I am the true vine
John 15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."
Jesus is our source of Life.

  These attributes can only be accurate if Jesus is deified. But more so due to the fact the ego ami "I am" to the name of God Jehhovah.  Thus he is claiming Deity.

   When we look at these confessions Christ is attributing religious fulfillment in the worship of himself.  All the OT Prophets and NT apostles had fatal flaws, murder stealing etc.  They were all honest about there issues even though they accomplished so much good.

Lord, Liar or Lunatic?

Now in recent times there has been some confusion regarding this argument.  It is not designed to address the existence of christ or validity of the gospels.  It is addressing Jesus' claims of divinity. Supposing Christ claimed to be Divine as was already demonstrated; was christ right. or insane or lying?  When we see the argument for what it is, there are only these thee possible outcomes.


God complex

"Do you know anyone who feels as though they're God, above everyone else, and want to be subjected to special treatment, ALL the time? Some people tend to forget that we're not the creators of the world, and hence, we aren't God.
Sure, we're all cool in our own ways, sure, we've all achieved totally awesome goals, and sure, we know how to make our friends feel great, but hey, we're not God! You know that, I know that, but some of our fellow human beings don't, and that is precisely why they suffer from the God complex.
Before I get into the characteristics of someone with a God complex, and how to deal with someone who's a faux God, let's stop to understand what this complex really is.
Definition of the God Complex
The God complex is a psychological illusion, and is exactly what the name suggests―a personality flaw in human beings, especially those with great power, who perceive themselves to be omniscient and omnipotent, and treat others as mere mortals. Although closely associated with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, this complex is a personality flaw not classed as a personality disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
A person having a God complex will always believe that he is perfection personified, and will expect to be treated that way, too. According to him, he will be forever incapable of ever making a mistake, and will never accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong. The rules embedded in society's mindset will never be important for a person with this complex, as he'll deem himself to be above these "petty" things of the mortal world.
Though people with the God complex seem so sure, and so in love with themselves, some experts suggests that they actually suffer from a low self-esteem, and are insecure about almost everything, which is why they constantly require attention and admiration from others around ..them.Characteristics of People with a God Complex.  There's a very thin line between plain old arrogance and a God complex. While it may be pretty hard to distinguish between the two, we can certainly try to identify the characteristics of a person with a God complex. You can try to identify someone with this complex if they seem to possess the following traits.
Extremely arrogant: People having this complex are arrogant to the point that it becomes very annoying for others. These people believe they are the best at everything, and everyone else is très inferior to them.
Judgmental: This complex makes people very judgmental. They constantly scrutinize others' actions, and label them as bad, or not up to the mark. They cannot stand from not judging everyone and everything apart from themselves, and this judgment is almost always negative.
Cannot tolerate criticism: Similar to narcissists, people with a God complex are absolutely allergic to criticism. They cannot tolerate anything that even mildly contradicts their beliefs or actions.
Need to influence: These people feel the uncontrollable need to influence people, and any given situation. As a result, they are shrewd and manipulative, and feel free to "use" people as and when they please.
Addicted to power: More than often, people with this complex are those with a lot of power over others. They feel the ever-increasing need for more power, and to exercise that power in every way possible. They cannot bear to relinquish control, in any situation.
Professions More Likely to Cause a God complex
Some professions are more likely to cause a God complex than others, as they involve one person exerting a lot of influence on a large number of people. These professions include among others:Doctors.Politicians, Bureaucrats, Celebrities.
Research suggests that in the case of several people, the God complex affected them AFTER being exposed to a lot of power over a period of time. Hence, it is likely that people get this complex after having spent a considerable amount of time in that particular profession.
How to Deal With Someone Who Has a God Complex
Now that you know what this complex is, it is easier to understand why certain people behave the way they do. However, the question now is, what are you going to do about it? You cannot change a person, but you can certainly deal with them as far as your own interactions are concerned.
Ignore: You should definitely ignore the actions of someone with a God complex, if you can. We agree, it is not possible in every situation, because at times, there are such people either in your family, or at your workplace, or in your social circle. What you can do in such a case is tune out when the person starts to annoy you. Be the bigger person, and simply ignore whatever the person the saying.
Leave: If you're in an intimate relationship with some who has such a complex, you should really consider leaving before it gets out of hand. You need to be in a relationship that respects you, and doesn't constantly undermine you. If your partner displays the aforementioned traits, you need to leave before he/she gets worse. Remember, staying is going to hurt you more in the long run than leaving right now.
Confrontation: There might be times when you simply HAVE to deal with such a person, say at the workplace, when your colleague is overly critical of you, and is constantly breathing down your neck, and not in a good way. Confront them. Remember, they're not exactly victims of a mental disorder, this is different than narcissism. However, confront them in person, and with a few witnesses around. Sometimes they might lash out if someone says something against them, and you don't want that to happen without having any witnesses around. Don't send them hate emails or messages!
Set the limits: Draw a firm line between the two of you. Limit your interaction to what is absolutely necessary, and leave it at that. The person should know what he can say to you, and when, and how. He should also be completely aware that he cannot insult you or manipulate you whenever he wants.
Get help: Get in touch with the concerned authorities about this person, and make sure they know what is going on. They may be able to deal with the situation, and the person, better than you can.  A God complex is a strange psychological concept, isn't it? It should be taken care of before it can turn into narcissism, or worse. The next time you get annoyed by someone who's displaying the aforementioned characteristics, you can simply shrug the feeling off. Because now you know that the people who consider themselves to be God-like and better than everyone else, are said to have a lower self-esteem than most of us." The first option to lunatick option would be that Christ proclaimed himself a deity because he had a God complex.  Essentially this would suppose Christ to be a narcissist.  As we see in the psychological profile Jesus would have been very arrogant and self interested.
Was Jesus a narcissist when he would heal the lepers?  When he healed an old woman of humiliating issues? Was He a narcissist when he turned down an offer of monarchy?
A man with at one time thousands of followers and yet he decided to remain homeless.  A narcissist could not humble himself to death upon a cross.

Messiah complex

The term "messiah complex" is not addressed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), as it is not a clinical term nor diagnosable disorder, however, the symptoms of the disorder closely resemble those found in individuals suffering from grandiose delusions or delusions of grandeur. This form of delusional belief is most often reported in patients suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophreniaBipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood.[3][4][6] The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania,
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to understand reality.[2] Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hearing voices that others do not, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation. "
  Now one who claimed Jesus to be manic may find solace in a few stories of christ expressing emotion. Like when he was weeping before he healed lazurus or when he grabbed a a whip and terrorized the temple merchants.  However various circumstances warrant emotional responses.
Jesus wept at the death of a friend, that is hardly unusual.  As Messiah, Jesus had a right to correct corruption in a temple dedicated to God the Father.  Zeal for the Law of God in his temple was practically customary.  One of the greatest moments of celebration for the jewish people was Hanuka.  When Gentile Greeks dominated Israel they assumed that they could enter the temple and desecrate it by sacrificing and unclean pig to Zeus.  The natural response of the supposedly conquered Jews was a violent overthrow lead by judas of Maccabeus!  Jesus response was relatively tame by comparison.
       But Christ Christ typically demonstrated an amazing amount of self controll.  Whether dealing with the crazed demoniacs,  or the questioning scribes and saducees, the challenge of the pharisees and the interrigation of the San Hedron even going through death on the cross he weathered the storm and did not loose control.  The teachings of Christ were not simply revered by the churched followers.  They were the inspiration of peaceful societies.  Even a non-christian Mahat MaGhandi was inspired by the teachings of Christ to promote pacifism.  Not only so but the rev. Martin Luther used the same christocentric passive resistence methods to forever change the course of the united states.  If Christ was simply a delusional demoniac like the hundreds that he had healed he would be treated as such.

So if Jesus was not insane in claiming to be divine the next assumption is that Christ was a liar.  If he were lying about his deity he would vastly evil.  Because he let millions die over this issue.  So this would be a very high level of wickedness.
However even stunch non-christian critics find difficulty in assuming Christ to hve been a wicked man.  Why would he give such a deception knowing that it would not benefit him?
Some could argue that he was creating a myth that would give people an object of faith and inspire people to right living.  However as soon as he was exposed all of that is shattered and backfires against all the morality which it supported.   Why would he teach and act honestly and hang it on a lie?

"The whole trial of Christ abounds with illegalities.  To mention only a few, it maybe pointed out that it was held at night, there was a lack of a definite charge, an interrogation of the accused was made, and there was haste in condemnation... Christ was then brought before Pilate(matt. 27:11), who against his own convictions and through fear of a charge of disloyalty to Caesar yielded up the One whom he had declared guiltless.
" Joseph P. Free Archaeology and Bible History pg. 297-298
    Even Pilate and Herod were not want to Charge Christ with the crime of lying.  The Trial of Jesus failed to truly pin the charge that Christ was a Liar.

The Resurrection

At this point, if we assume that Jesus existed and thought himself divine, then we are left with only a few alternatives to the Resurrection being true.

Swoon theory) Jesus survived the crucifixion

  This is attractive in the since that it agrees that Jesus was executed and agrees to the post crucifixion appearances.
  However, this makes no sense of the facts of Christ's execution.  Jesus had been scourged and beaten with a cat-of-nine tails, then marching towards exhaustion, then the crucifixion and ending with a spear in his side.  Then his body was stuffed with about 75lbs of spices.  His tomb was sealed by a "great stone" several thousand pounds straped and nailed in.  Even if Christ was able to survive all this how would he walk and move the stone with nails driven through his wrists and ankles?

Conspiracy theory) The disciples stole the body.

The apostle did not even have the courage to observe the crucifixion.  The Roman centurion's were especially tough. They were ancient version of the Green Beret and Special ops.

myth theory) The disciples created a myth of Jesus Resurrection
We know that the apostle Paul was beheaded in the mid 60's.  His first letter to the corinthians is placed in the mid to late 40's. So it was written around 15yrs after the resurrection.  His conversion is placed about 10 yrs prior.  Paul says that the gospel was delivered to him.  So the gospels if a myth had only 6 yrs to develop.  But how did a crew of mostly illiterate fishermen develop such a myth?.

hallucination theory) in Distress there were mass hallucinations.
  Now, we have testimony from expert psychologists that hallucinations are not like the flu, they don't catch a group of people.

However if it were even possible that 500 witness had been "infected" with hallucinations.  How does that explain the empty tomb?

    The most popular argumentation for the resurrection is through the work of Dr. Gary Habermas.  Gary argues a minimalist approach to the resurrections.  By Giving in to the demands of critical scholarship he is still able to make a plausible case for the resurrection.  In fact he quotes not only liberal scholars but even Atheists who admit the strength of his arguments.
"After a survey of contemporary scholarly opinions regarding the more general issue of Jesus’ christology, Raymond Brown argues that the most popular view is that of moderate conservatism.[2] It might be said, with qualification, that similar trends are exhibited in an analysis of the more specific area of recent scholarly positions on Jesus’ resurrection. When viewed as a whole, the general consensus is to recognize perhaps a surprising amount of historical data as reported in the New Testament accounts. In particular, Paul’s epistles, especially 1 Corinthians 15:1-20, along with other early creedal traditions, are frequently taken almost at face value.
For the purposes of this essay, I will define moderate conservative approaches to the resurrection as those holding that Jesus was actually raised from the dead in some manner, either bodily (and thus extended in space and time), or as some sort of spiritual body (though often undefined). In other words, if what occurred can be described as having happened to Jesus rather than only to his followers, this range of views will be juxtaposed with those more skeptical positions that nothing actually happened to Jesus and can only be described as a personal experience of the disciples. Of course, major differences can be noted within and between these views."[2]. Raymond Brown, An Introduction to New Testament Christology (New York: Paulist, 1994), 4-15, 102.
"First, after a hiatus since their heyday in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, recent trends indicate a limited surge of naturalistic explanations to the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. Almost a dozen different alternative theses have emerged, either argued or suggested by more than forty different scholars, with some critics endorsing more than one theory. In place of the resurrection, both internal states of mind (such as subjective visions or hallucinations[36]) as well as objective phenomena (like illusions[37]) have been proposed.[38] The vast majority of scholars, however, still reject such proposals.
A second research area concerns those scholars who address the subject of the empty tomb. It has been said that the majority of contemporary researchers accepts the historicity of this event.[39] But is there any way to be more specific? From the study mentioned above, I have compiled 23 arguments for the empty tomb and 14 considerations against it, as cited by recent critical scholars. Generally, the listings are what might be expected, dividing along theological “party lines.” To be sure, such a large number of arguments, both pro and con, includes very specific differentiation, including some overlap."[37] Goulder also raises this question.
[38] I have categorized these natural hypotheses, naming two alternative proposals (the illumination and illusion options) that have so far eluded any recognized designations. For details see Habermas, “The Late Twentieth-Century Resurgence of Naturalistic Responses to Jesus’ Resurrection,” 179-196.
[39] For example, Craig, Assessing the New Testament Evidence , 373-374; cf. Kremer, Die Osterevangelien--Geschichten um Geschichte, 49-50

The scourging
"The adjudged criminal was usually first forcefully stripped of his clothes, and then tied to a post or pillar in the tribunal.  Then the awful and cruel scourging was administered by the lictors or scourgers.  Although the Hebrews limited by their law the number of strokes in a scourging to forty, the Romans set no such limitation; and the victim was at the mercy of his scourgers."
"The brutal instrument used to scourge the victim was called the flagrum.  Of this device Mattingly comments: 'It can readily be seen that the long lashing pieces of bone and metal would greatly lacerate human flesh'" gathered from Josh Mcdowell in Evidence that demands a verdict pg. 203-4Bullying
The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. Flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used in bundles for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding, the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body. 

After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. Already having adhered to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, its removal causes excruciating pain just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, and almost as though He were again being whipped the wounds once more begin to bleed.  In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments."

 "The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa.
 In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance."
" Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock, until the 650 yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed."


" The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms to tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” is nailed in place. 

The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves.

As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.  At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen."
 Jesus experienced hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins -- a terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.  One remembers again the 22nd Psalm, the 14th verse: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Spear)  A spear to the heart is entirely capable of killing all by itself.
"Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.” That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium."
The cord.  Wrapped around the stone was a cord to seal the tomb.  this functioned as a security device so that no one would meddle with the stone.

The fact that the tomb was guarded
  Some have argued that jesus tomb was simply guard by the temple guard.  But the pharisees had approached by for the elite forces of the Roman guard.
 matthew 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch."
 "The Roman Guard would have consisted of 16 soldiers for an important political prisoner like Jesus.  These guards were typically arranged four on each side of whatever they were to protect.  At night, four guards would have been placed directly in front of the entrance to the tomb, with the other 12 sleeping "face in" a cemicircle in front of the four that were at watch.  Guards slept in shifts so that there would always be a minimum of four on watch at a time.  As noted earlier any guard who deserted his post or fell asleep would face crucifixion." Ralph Muncaster Examine the evidence pg 389

The women
luke 23: 54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
  The women were the first to see evidence of the resurrection.  Women in that culture were seen as ignorant and unreliable.  Some of this is due to the fact that they were illiterate.  However the sexism of the age would not have looked favorably on female witnesses.  Why would they use female witnesses unless the women did see that the body was gone and christ had risen.

The twelve

"it was IMPOSSIBLE that the apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not JESUS CHRIST ACTUALLY RISEN FROM THE DEAD, . . ."Simon Greenleaf, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice, p.29.Simon Greenleaf was an agnostic harvard law professor who based upon the evidence alone accepted the evidence for the resurrection.

             How did a group of illiterate fisherman develop such ingenius documents as the gospels
If the disciples were liars, then why did they not lie to get out of execution?

James the brother of Jesus
Many siblings may look up to their sibling.  But deify them? James and his brother Jude were half brothers of Jesus and suspect of his claims to be Messiah. If the disciples stole the body or created a myth how would James be so willing to accept it to the point of persecution?

The Apostle Paul: It is pretty well accepted universally that Paul was a historical character. Because 1. He was self identified as the author of his epistles
2. He has been claimed by many scholars to be the organizer of Christian Theology
3.  He was recognized by the apostolic church fathers as well as the apostles.
4. His life coincides with the customs of the 1st century.

Paul began his historical activities as a persecutor of Christianity.

Paul's testimony as a Jew.
Paul's Testimony as a Roman
Paul's Testimony as an apostle

1 corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
500 witnesses
1 corinthians 15:after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep."
   What is significant here is not simply the number of witnesses, for which Paul is reporting; but the tag at the end. "but some are fallen asleep".  Paul was giving an open challenge for those in his day who doubted the resurrection and the Greek culture which he was speaking who did indeed deny the Resurrection.   He also was giving them asurance of what they would find.  If Paul did not know that they would find several hundred eye-witnesses to Christ resurrection, he would not have explained that some of his witnesses have died.  That would only make sense if they were all dead.
   But how would Paul have the occaision to find so many witnesses for christ? 
Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judæa and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison."
  So Paul was in Jerusalem imprisoning Christians. Obviously when you are capturing and making arrest you have a an easy time counting prisoners. 
acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
 Obviously, with 3,000 converts in the city, it is quite fathomable 500 were around at the time of the crucifixion and able to report an eye-witness of Christ resurrected.  Also that number grew, as jerusalem was a thriving metropolis, later almost one million jews died in the time of the temple destruction. So it would be safe to estimate that there were nearly a million jews in the city.  Jesus had been appearing 40 days and once in front of 120 people at his acension.  Also Christ had beenin front of crowds of  upto an estimated 20,000 peope.  SO 500 witnesses is actually a conservative estimate.

The other miracles

The skeptics have asserted the right to dismiss the miracles of Christ out of hand.  Howeve,r now that we have made the cumulative case A. Jesus was definitely real and documented. B. Jesus was foretold by the other prophets. C. Jesus was understood to be divine. D. Jesus predicted and overcame death and his resurrection is the only plausible account.
Then there is no reason to deny the record of the miracles by the divine Son of God.

turning water into wine john 2:1-11
Jesus heals a nobleman's son  John 4:46-54
Catching huge load of fish Luke 5:1-11
Jesus heals a demoniac Mark 1:23-26: Luke 4:33-36
Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39
Jesus cleanses a leper Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 5:12-16
Jesus heals a paralized man Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12;Luke 5:17-26
Jesus heals an immobile man John 5:1-16
Jesus restores a man with a withered hand Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-11
Jesus heals the Centurians servant matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
Raises the widow's son to life at the village of nain Luke 7:11-16
Heals a demoniac Matthew 12:22-37;Mark 3:11; Luke 11:14-15
Stops the storm Matthew 8:23-27; 14:32; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
Cast demons out from 2 men of the Gergesenes country Matthew 6:28-34
Jesus cast 2,000 demons out of legion in the Gaderenes mark 5:1-2, Luke 8:26-39
Raises Jairus daighter from the dead matthew 9:18-26: Mark 5:22-43; luke 8:41-56
Jesus cures the woman of constant bleeding Matthew 9:20-22; mark 5:25-34: Luke 8:43-48
Gives two blind men sight Matthew 9:27-31
Heals a demoniac Matthew 9:32-32
Walks upon water Matthew 14:22-33;mark 6:45-52;john 6:16-21
Jesus heal the daughter of a syro-phoenecian woman Matthew 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30
Feeds more than four-thousand people Matthew 15;32-39, mark 8:1-9
Restores a deaf and mute man mark 7:31-37
Restores a blind man mark 8:22-26
Heals an epileptic boy Matthew 17:14-21; Mark9:1,4-29; Luke 9:37-43
temple tax pay appears in fishes mouth Matthew 17:24-27

heals ten lepers Luke 17:11-19
opens the eyes of a born blind man john 9
Raises Lazurus from the dead John 11:1-46
exercises spirit of sickness from woman Luke 13:10-17
Cures a an of dropsy Luke 14:1-6
Restores sight to 2 blind men Matthew 20:29-34: Mark 10:46-52; luke 18:35-43
curse/kills a fig tree Matthew 21:17-22; Mark 11:12-14,20-24
re-attaches the ear of malchus Luke 22:49-51
The second catch of fish John 21:6

The variety of miracles here.  Over illness, death, storms, gravity, moleculer composition not to mention his unmentioned prophetic powers and his power over spirits.