1.1 In whose Jesus are we to believe?

"It is possible to fail in many ways...while to succeed is possible only in one way."

- Aristotle



Introduction to Divinity


Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.

- 1 Corinthians 15:12-14 NASB

"The many instances of forged miracles, and prophecies...ought reasonably to begat a suspicion against all relations of this kind."

- David Hume






The deity of Christ, as proclaimed throughout the Bible, has technically already been established if one accepts the first two steps in the line of reasoning shown above. Of course, it isn't quite that simple, is it?

Just as there are always more wrong solutions to a problem than right ones, false and conflicting representations of Jesus abound. There are countless people and organizations outside of mainline Christianity that say they, too, believe the Bible or "believe in Jesus". But if you were to inquire further, each would paint an altogether different picture of Christ than what has historically been recognized. Not every professed belief about Jesus is justified by Scripture.

Many groups deny Jesus' holy deity. Some emphasize their own publications to be even more authoritative than the Bible. Others simply market their own conception of Jesus as you would a new magazine subscription. And probably all claim theirs to be "new" and "more relevant". One local religious group even advertised itself in the newspaper with the incredulous slogan "Try our God."

To believe that the real characteristics of the Messiah Jesus are flexible matters solely for a church's rebranding team to decide is being forgetful of the mutually exclusive character of truth. If there was a real Jesus, then he had real characteristics. Let's find out what those are. Moreover, two things need clarification:

1) We must know for certain that the Bible conclusively exalts Jesus as Almighty God, and...

2) We must know what it really means to believe in Jesus.

Because Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Bible, we cannot stop short of accurately defining his person and his work. It is not an option to vaguely consent "yes, the Bible seems to be true", and then walk off without considering what the central figure wants to communicate to us, personally, here and now.

So to understand the real Jesus, the one fitting the Bible's description, and to understand him in the manner the biblical authors intended to communicate, we must identify Jesus beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Belief in the Bible is pointless if one, willfully or otherwise, misinterprets the Bible's most important point: that Jesus Christ is the fleshly incarnation of God whose death on the cross effected our salvation long promised throughout the Old Testament. Salvation is found in no other name than his.

1.2 Where do we begin?

Is Jesus our judge? Is the Bible his moral constitution by which his judgment of us will be guided?

We will begin identifying Jesus by calling attention to the historical non-biblical material that exists about him. This is expectedly less complete in terms of his life, character, and surrounding events, but it puts to rest any notions that he may not have actually existed outside of certain people's imaginations.

Then we will turn our attention towards the content of the biblical writings. Beginning with the Old Testament, we will see if Jesus fulfills the prophecies of the Messiah (Christ in Greek) that God promised would come.

Next, the New Testament will testify as to whether or not Jesus claimed to be that Messiah.

Last, we will look into the events and statements concerning his resurrection from the dead. Jesus' resurrection, above all else, is the greatest proof of his identity.


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NEXT: What do we know about Jesus - from non-biblical sources?

See also:

Do miracles really happen?

What is faith?

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The Gospel







An overview of the third of four divisions methodically evaluating the Bible.

In short, to affirm whether or not Jesus is the Messiah (or Christ) promised within the Old Testament writings, and whether or not the Messiah is actually God himself.