Why believe in an obscure carpenter from a backwater town in Israel, who never travelled out of his small country, lived 2000 years ago, and who proclaimed himself to be the only way to God?
Lets briefly examine the evidence for Jesus’ deity.
Jesus himself – Jesus himself offered proof of his deity in three ways:
a)His miracles – raising of Lazarus, healing the blind man, etc
b)His resurrection – It was predicted in the Old Testament that Jesus would rise from the dead. There were numerous witnesses after the resurrection that saw Jesus. The disciples were so convinced that Jesus was alive they were willing to die for their belief (see below).
c)His fulfillment of prophesy – born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem, would cleanse the temple, from the line of David, among others.
From:Geisler and Brooks When Skeptics Ask
Biblical sources – eyewitnesses to Christ’s life, death, and, resurrection could have refuted the stories of the miracles, resurrection, or post resurrection appearances. None did.
Non-biblical sources – Here is a list of non-Biblical sources about Jesus: Cornelius Tacitus – he mentions that Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate; Lucian of Samosata – states that Christians worship a man who was crucified; Suetonius – mentions Christ and Christians; Pliny the younger – talked about killing Christians and that he could not make a true Christian deny Christ; Thallus (referenced by Julius Africanus) – he was looking for a natural explanation of the darkness that fell over the land during Christ’s crucifixion. He did not doubt that Jesus existed or was crucified; Phlegon (referenced by Julius Africanus) – also mentions the darkness at the time of Christ’s crucifixion; Mara Bar-Seraplon – he mentions a wise king of the Jews who was killed. From: McDowell The new evidence that demands a verdict.
Disciples – went throughout the world preaching the good news and most died a horrible death because of their preaching. One does not die for a lie.
How the 12 disciples died:
Peter – crucified upside down
Andrew - crucified
James - beheaded
John - exiled, died of old age
Matthew - speared to death
Bartholomew - beaten then crucified
Philip - crucified
Thomas - speared to death
Simon - crucified
James - stoned to death
Thaddaeus - stoned to death
Judas - suicide by hanging
So, we have Jesus’ claims, biblical and non-biblical sources confirming that Jesus existed and performed miracles. None of those present denied the events that took place. And we also have the disciples lives as proof.