Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jesus God?

In a word, yes. So how does one know that is the correct answer… In the gospel of John in the 1st chapter as John introduces Jesus Christ to his readers he declares the following:

the beginning was the word, the word was with God, the word was God, the word became flesh and dwelt among men Jesus repeatedly confirms this, one very notable moment is also recorded in the gospel of John where the pharisees (religious leaders of that time) ask are you greater than Abraham? To which Jesus replies “I tell you before Abraham was I AM” … Now on the surface this may not seem like an exclamation of being God, but the reason the pharisees reacted and wanted to kill Him for saying this is the phrase I AM is not just a phrase, but it is the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai when He said I AM that I AM (this name is talked about more in other answers to FAQ’s) So in essence Jesus declares to those present before Abraham was I AM. He is fully God by His own declaration, as well as by the introduction of John the apostle.

What about others though? Is there anyone else who declares Him to be God? Again the answer is yes. Every one of the disciples, many others confess this in the Bible, but what about in just plain history… again the answer is yes.

In early history after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead His followers worshipped Him as God, just as we do today, and they would rather die than to renounce His name.

This evidence in captured in writings from Roman governors, rulers, and the writings of Josephus. All of these writings we can put eyes on today and are accepted as true artifacts of history

There is so much more detail we could go into, and I would love the opportunity to share more with you but to answer the question is Jesus God, the answer would be yes.

Can I trust the Bible? Hasn’t it been changed over the years?

In short yes you can trust the Bible, and no it has not been changed over the years. Now here is some of the reasoning for those answers. We have available to us today 24,000 manuscripts of the Bible all dating back to the 8th century. Even more interesting these are in 7 different languages, and all say the same thing as our Bibles we hold today. Now this alone is a great evidence, but there is so much more. The reason this is such a great evidence is because we are talking about 24,000 manuscripts in 7 languages that date back to less then 800 years from the events that are recorded in it (when referring to the New Testament of the Bible) meaning they all pulled from a much earlier source to have so many, and so diverse of translations.

That said we have portions of the book of John that date back to the 1st century, meaning less then 70 years from the events it records. An even more compelling fact is that we have 5,000 manuscripts of the Bible that date back to the 4th century, again not any different from the Bible we have today. Then there is the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri discovered in 1930, it contains the four gospels, and the book of Acts on one scroll, another contains 8 of Paul’s epistles, and the book of Hebrews. This dates back to the year 200, just over 150 years from the events recorded in the New Testament.

Here are a few quotes for reference as well:

F.F. Bruce Professor at the University of Manchester said: “there is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.”

Sir Frederick Kenyon director of the British Museum said: “In no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest manuscripts so short as in that of the New Testament.”

This is just a very small amount of the evidence, there is still so much more, and it is indeed overwhelming. Again I would love the opportunity to help you discover even more… This is just the New testament we are referencing what about the Old Testament. The prophecies contained in it are astounding, and until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls many opponents argued the book of Daniel which puts times and dates to his prophecies could never have been a prophetic book. They believed it proved the Bible was a ruse, someone recorded history and made it look like they were prophesying it ahead of time because there is no way anyone could foretell so many events in chronological order, even assigning dates. This argument held until the Dead Sea Scroll discovery where there was a manuscript of the book of Daniel that was found that predated the prophecies recorded in his book. Did you know Alexander the great also fulfilled Bible prophecy? There is so much evidence for the Bible and its accuracy, and the proof that it has not been altered, rewritten, or changed in anyway. Again it is so much fun discovering this with an open mind and I would love to share more with you but to answer the question once again Can I trust the Bible? Hasn’t it been changed over the years? Yes you can trust it, and no it has not been changed. It literally is the most well supported historical document in all of antiquities.

Do I Need To Be Born Again?

In short yes. This is a phrase that comes from the gospel of John when Jesus and a pharisee named Nicodemus are talking in Chapter 3. Jesus says to Nicodemus “marvel not that I say you must be born again”. Jesus speaks of the promise of new life that comes from God. A life that is lead by the spirit of God, and that is offered to us through Jesus Christ. It is the forgiveness of sins, but not only that, a restoration of the connection with God that we were created to have. God’s plan has never changed, man was created to fellowship with God. We see this in His design at the Garden of Eden, and it was man that interrupted that fellowship through sin… but God has put on flesh in the form of Jesus (meaning Jehovah Saves) and taken our sin debt by dying on the cross for us. Jesus then resurrecting from the dead makes the way for us to follow through Him into a new life, the one we were created for in the first place. A life of fellowship with God, a life that defies explanation because there are not enough words to describe it. So therefore in Jesus we are born again into a new life. Our sins are gone, our past is over, and we are made righteous in Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus chose the analogy of being born again. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has past away the new has come. Do I need to be born again? The answer is yes

Is there any mention of Jesus in history outside of the Bible?

Yes there is. This is what I refer to often as the corroborating evidence. Let’s look at Josephus first, born in 37 A.D. and wrote most of his works by the end of the first century. He was considered a traitor by some for surrendering to the invading roman armies rather than die, which is what many of his colleagues also did.

In his writings more than once Josephus refers to “James the brother of Jesus” and even Jesus Himself. Even though Josephus was born after the crucifixion had happened.

From Josephus’s work here a re a few direct quotes:

“He (Ananias) convened a meeting of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, and certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law and delivered them up to be stoned.”

A direct quote

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call Him a man. For He was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews, and Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon hearing Him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned Him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love Him did not give up their affection for Him. On the third day He appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about Him. And tribes of Christians, so called after Him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

Josephus has been widely considered by historians and professors to be an accurate historical authority, and here we see mention of Jesus in his works.

There is also much corroborating evidence from Rome. Tacitus a Roman ruler wrote the following in 115 A.D. when describing the events of the year 64, “and Nero using the Christians as scapegoats to divert attention from him for the fires set that year”. “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 Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome… Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who plead 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.”

So here we see Jesus did exist, was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, and a great following arose after this.

How do you explain the explosion of a following of a man who was crucified?

They were called Christians, named after the one they follow.

Pliney the Lesser/Younger, Nephew of Pliny the Elder an encyclopedist who died in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79A.D. also is a good outside source. Pliny the younger was the governor of the area that is modern day turkey. He wrote to his friend Emperor Trajan, below is a quote from one of his letters to Trajan

“I have asked them if they are Christians and if they admit it, I repeat the question a second and third time, with a warning of the punishment awaiting them. If they persisted I ordered them to be lead away for execution; for, whatever nature of their admission, I am convinced that their stubbornness and unshakable obstinacy ought not go unpunished… They also declare that the sum total of their guilt or error amounted to no more then this: they had met regularly before the dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a God; and also to abstain from theft, robbery, and adultery… this made me decide it was all the more necessary to extract the truth by torture from two slave-women whom they called deaconesses. I found nothing but a degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths.”

The worship of Jesus, every type of people from noble persons to slave-women, from Judea, to Rome, to Turkey

Thales a Greek historian recorded an event in Greece where the sky became so dark during the day that stars appeared in the sky. This was recorded at the same time of the crucifixion of Jesus, the Bible says it was like night at mid day when He was on the cross, apparently this was a global event.

In the Talmud there are passages about Jesus who was a sorcerer and did many magical feats among the people to deceive them. There is no denial of the miracles of Jesus, because there were so many witnesses of them, instead just an attempt to explain them away.

If we didn’t have the New Testament, or it was considered to be questionable… We could still establish from accepted history, Jesus a Jewish man, a teacher, one who did great wonders. He had a large following, He was sentenced to die by Pontius Pilate, was placed in a tomb, there was an empty tomb, then there was an explosion of people who followed His teachings, who worshiped Him as a God, and were willing to die rather then deny His name.

If we go to early church leaders such as Ignatius or others we can find writings that have been catalogued back to the year 117A.D. filled with church doctrine and teaching that aligns with what is taught today.

Dr. Yamauchi Ph.D. and respected historian says, “I think the alternative explanations, which try to account for the spread of Christianity through sociological, or psychological reasons, are very weak… for me the historical evidence has reinforced my commitment to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who loves us and died for us, and was raised from the dead. It’s that simple.”

We have only scratched the surface of the mentions of Jesus outside of the Bible, but to answer the question, is there any mention of Jesus in history outside of the Bible? The answer is yes.