There are seven criteria to assess the reliability of a religion.
The Christian faith is put to the test. Three criteria have been discussed in part 3a of this movie.
In part 3b we explore the value of this faith by using the other four criteria. Will this faith survive?
Join me on the search for the code of a true religion and spiritual life…
Did the events described in the Bible really occur?
The historian C. Sanders defines three principles to determine whether events really took place in our history.
These principles are: 1. text criticism; 2. internal evidence and 3. external evidence.
4a. Text criticism
Text criticism is the study of how original texts have been handed down.
Do we have the original texts of the first authors of the Bible?
The reliability of the text of the Old Testament has been confirmed by the discovery of the dead sea scrolls.
There is none like the historical documents of the New Testament.
More than 5000 copies of copies, etc.. of the original written texts, called manuscripts are found.
The oldest manuscript found so far of the New Testament is called ‘P52’ and is a piece of the Gospel of John dated around 125 AD.
All of the manuscripts of the New Testament come from different regions and times and don’t differ significantly.
From a scientific point of view, we can be absolutely sure that we have the original text of the first authors of the New Testament.
4b. Internal evidence
Internal evidence deals with the ability of the authors to tell the truth.
Were the authors of the New Testament able to tell the truth?
The authors of the New Testament were eye witnesses or had spoken with eye witnesses.
The Gospel had been rapidly spread and accepted throughout the whole Roman empire in the first century.
This means that the first readers who knew about Jesus Christ considered the New Testament reliable.
4c. External evidence
External evidence deals with historical confirmation from other reliable sources.
Does external evidence confirm facts as stated in the New Testament?
Archeologist, Sir William Ramsay has proved that the New Testament was written in the first century AD.
Historians of the 1st and 2nd century AD like the Jew Josephus Flavius and the Roman Tacitus wrote about Jesus Christ called ‘Messiah’ in Israel.
Early church leaders of the 1st and 2nd century AD confirmed the reliability of the New Testament.
So, we have the original text; the authors were able to tell the truth and their reliability has been confirmed by reliable sources.
5. Real devine solution
Can we find a real divine solution in the Bible to our emptiness deep inside and our self-centered nature?
Since we have turned our backs to God we can feel an emptiness deep inside.
Since then we have lost our close union with God and have become self-centered.
Because of our nature we are not capable to perfectly obey God’s Law.
Therefore we are guilty whether we experience it or not.
We are not able to pay the debt of our sins.
The prophets of the Old Testament have foretold that God will change the nature and destiny of the people that will enter and live by His new covenant.
Jesus Christ came to receive Gods punishment for our injustice. He died instead of us at the cross, just as promised.
He rose from the dead to allow us to enter into His new covenant.
No religious leader has ever been raised from the dead, but Jesus has!
Which power can make such things happen? Only Gods power can!
If his opponents had the opportunity to show his dead body than they would have used it in order to eliminate this faith.
Hundreds of his followers however met the resurrected Christ at the same time.
Most of the apostles died as martyrs because they knew about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The message of early Christians and message today is good news!
If you really entrust yourself to Jesus Christ, your life will be changed and you will receive eternal divine life!
Do you want to accept the love of Jesus Christ or do you reject Him? It is your choice.
6. Peace and love
What about ‘Peace and love’?
A true follower of Jesus will become like Him and God will give that person peace and love. But it is a process.
Now, we have seen that the Bible meets all of the 6 criteria explored. I challenge you to figure out the 7th.
7. God’s voice
Can you hear Gods voice in the Bible?
Why don’t you start to read the Gospel and ask God to speak to your heart.
He is willing to convice you of His truth.
Thanks for watching part 3! I hope you have seen part 1 and 2 as well.
It is my desire that this movie helps you in your Search For Truth.