Evidence for Jesus

 EVIDENCE FOR JESUS: 
WAS JESUS' LIFE, DEATH, & DEITY REAL?

 INTERNAL EVIDENCE (inside the Bible) 

Attests to Jesus’ Deity, Existence & Death

Scriptural Consistency, Prophetic Claims, Eyewitness Accounts, Internal Consistency, Corroborating & Circumstantial Evidence Archaeological Congruence & Evidence, Scientific Evidence, Jesus' Claims of Deity, Disciples Claims of Deity Jesus Predicts His Death & Resurrection – Mk 8:31-33, 9:30-32; Mt 20:17-19


Prophecies and Fulfillment of Christ

  1. Offspring of a Woman – Genesis 3:15, Luke 2:7, Revelation 12:5
  2. Offspring of Abraham – Genesis 18:18, Acts 3:25, Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:34
  3. Offspring of Isaac – Genesis 17:19, Matthew 1:2, Luke 3:34
  4. Offspring of Jacob – Numbers 24:17, Genesis 28:14, Luke 3:34, Matthew 1:2
  5. Descended from the Tribe of Judah – Genesis 49:10, Luke 3:33, Matthew 1:2-3
  6. Heir to the Throne of David – Isaiah 9:7, 11:1-5, 2 Samuel 7:13, Jeremiah 23:5, Matt1:1,6, Luke 1:32-33
  7. Born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4-7
  8. Time of Birth – Daniel 9:25, Luke 2:1-2, 2:3-7
  9. Born of a Virgin – Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:26-35
  10. Slaughter of Infants – Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew 2:16-18
  11. Escape into Egypt – Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:14-15
  12. A PROPHET, LIKE MOSES – Deuteronomy 18:15, John 1:45, 16:15, Acts 3:19-26
  13. Ministry in Galilee – Isaiah 9:1-2, Matthew 4:12-16
  14. Priest Like Melchizedek – Psalm 110:4, Zechariah 6:12-13, Hebrews 6:20, 5:5-6, 7:15-17
  15. Rejected by Jews – Isaiah 53:3, Psalm 2:2, John 1:11, 5:43, Luke 4:29, 17:25
  16. Characteristics – Isaiah 11:2, Psalm 45:7, Luke 2:52, 4:18
  17. Triumphal Entry – Zechariah 9:9, Isaiah 62:11, John 12:13-14, Matthew 21:1-11
  18. Betrayed by a Friend – Psalm 41:9, Mark 14:10
  19. Sold for 30 Pieces of Silver, Potter’s Field – Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:15, 27:6-7
  20. Judas’ Position Replaced – Psalm 109:7, Acts 1:18-20
  21. False Witnesses’ Accused Him – Psalm 27:12, Matthew 26:60-61
  22. Silent When Accused – Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 26:62-63
  23. Struck and Spit Upon – Isaiah 50:6, Mark 14:65
  24. Hated Without Cause – Psalm 69:4, John 15:23
  25. Suffered Vicariously – Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:16-17
  26. Hands and Feet Pierced – Psalm 22:16, John 20:27
  27. Crucified With Sinners – Isaiah 53:12, Matthew 27:38
  28. Mocked and Insulted – Psalm 22:6-8, Matthew 27:39-40
  29. Given Gall and Vinegar – Psalm 69:21, John 19:29
  30. Hears Prophetic Words Used As Mockery – Psalm 22:8, Matthew 27:43
  31. Prays for His Enemies – Psalm 109:4, Luke 23:34
  32. Side Pierced – Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34
  33. Soldiers Cast Lots for His Clothes – Psalm 22:18, Matthew 15:24
  34. Not a Bone to Be Broken – Psalm 34:20, John 19:33
  35. Buried With the Rich – Isaiah 53:9, Matthew 27:57-60
  36. Resurrection – Psalm 16:10, Matthew 28:9
  37. Ascension into Heaven – Psalm 68:18, Luke 24:50


Do you know the odds of Jesus fulfilling just 8 prophecies? It is 1 in 10 to the 17th power (1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000).


Do you know the odds of Jesus fulfilling just 48 prophecies? It is 1 in 10 to the 157th power, (or 1 in 10,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). 


Consider the odds for all 300+ prophecies (www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html )

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. 


That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. 


You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” 

- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


The Bible was written over a span of 1500 years by forty different human authors in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), on hundreds of subjects. And yet there is one consistent, non-contradictory theme that runs through it all: God’s redemption of humankind.”

Hank Hanegraaff in “Bible Reliability”

http://www.equip.org/articles/bible-reliability-m-a-p-s-to-guide-you-through-bible-reliability/


Is Jesus Really God’s Son?

Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit. (Proverbs 12:17 ESV) 


If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV) 


but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15 ESV) 


  1. Baptism – Mark 1:9-11
  2. I AM Statements – Mark 14:62, John 4:26, 8:58, 18:6, Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 4:45
  3. Immanuel – Matthew 1:23
  4. See God – Matthew 5:8
  5. Seen Me, Seen Father – John 14:7
  6. Image of the Invisible God – John 1, Col 1:15-16
  7. Father and I Are One – John 10:30
  8. Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End – Revelation 1:8, 22:20
  9. Making Self Equal with God – John 5:18
  10. Shares God’s Glory – John 17:5-6
  11. He Is the New Temple – John 2:18-19
  12. He Is the Law Giver – Matthew 5-7
  13. Great High Priest – Hebrews 4:14


Was Jesus More Than Just a Good Man?

  1. Virgin Birth – Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:26-35
  2. Fulfillment of Prophecies – Ps 22, Isaiah 53:1-12
  3. Angels Worship Him – Hebrews 1:6
  4. Reception of Worship – John 9:38, 20:28
  5. Transfiguration – Matthew 17:1-13
  6. Claim of Disciples – John 20:28-29 – Thomas
  7. Without Sin – Hebrews 4:15
  8. Forgives Sin – John 9:2-6
  9. Raising Others from the Dead – John 11:1-46
  10. 10.Resurrection and Ascension – Mt 28:1-15, Acts 1:4-11, Luke 23 & 24


EXTERNAL EVIDENCE (outside the Bible) 

Attests to Jesus’ Deity, Existence & Death

Manuscript & Bibliographical Evidence, Eyewitness Accounts, Corroborating & Circumstantial Evidence, Archaeological  Evidence, & Scientific Evidence

Below quotes from: Paul Maier in Did Jesus Really Exist? & Joseph and Josephus www.4truth.net ,also: The Case for the Real Jesus by: Lee Strobel


“there is more evidence that Jesus of Nazareth certainly lived than for most famous figures of the ancient past” Paul L. Maier, The Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History, Western Michigan University


The Manuscript & Bibliographical Evidence: Ancient Works vs. Bible


Author

Work

Date Written

Earliest Manuscripts

Time Gap

Number of Manuscripts

Homer

Iliad

800 BC

c. 400 BC

400

1,757

Herodotus

History

480–425 BC

10th C

1,350

109

Sophocles

Plays

496–406 BC

3rd C BC

100-200

193

Plato

Tetralogies

400 BC

895

1,300

210

Caesar

Gallic Wars

100-44 BC

9th C

950

251

Livy

History of Rome

59 BC–AD 17

Early 5th C

400

150

Tacitus

Annals

AD 100

1st half:850, 2nd: 1050 (AD 1100)

750–950

2 + 31 15thC

Pliny, the Elder

Natural History

AD 49–79

5th C fragment: 1; Rem. 14–15th C

400 (750)

200

Thucydides

History

460–400 BC

3rd C BC (AD 900)

200 (1,350)

96

Demosthenes

Speeches

300 BC

Some fragments from 1 C. BC. (AD 1100)

1,100+ (1,400)

340

New Testament


AD 50–100

AD 130 (or less)

40

5,795

NOTE: This does not even show the Old Testament manuscript evidence (Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Massoretic, etc) or the thousands of other New Testament manuscripts available in other languages and ancient time periods (24,000+ total NT manuscripts, 5795 Greek mss, 8,000-10,000 Latin mss, 8,000 Ethiopic, Slavic & Armenian).

www.equip.org/articles/the-bibliographical-test-updated/#christian-books-2

www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/bib-docu.html


“We have more than 14,000 manuscripts and fragments of the Old Testament of three main types: (a) approximately 10,000 from the Cairo Geniza (storeroom) find of 1897, dating back as far as about AD. 800; (b) about 190 from the Dead Sea Scrolls find of 1947-1955, the oldest dating back to 250-200 B.C.; and (c) at least 4,314 assorted other copies. The short time between the original Old Testament manuscripts (completed around 400 B.C.) and the first extensive copies (about 250 B.C.) — coupled with the more than 14,000 copies that have been discovered — ensures the trustworthiness of the Old Testament text. The earliest quoted verses (Num. 6:24-26) date from 800-700 B.C.” 

www.equip.org/articles/bible-reliability-m-a-p-s-to-guide-you-through-bible-reliability


 "The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established." -Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, The Bible and Archaeology

former director and principal librarian of the British Museum


CHRISTIAN HISTORICAL EVIDENCE

Early Church Fathers (ccel.org) all of the early church pastors and leaders establish consistency of the message and personal testimony and witness of the apostles and disciples of Christ


Justin Martyr (early Christian convert): “Born of pagan parents around A.D. 100 in Nablus (between Judea and Galilee), Justin tried and abandoned various philosophical schools until he found in Christianity the one true teaching. As a native of the Holy Land, Justin mentions sites associated with Jesus, such as the Bethlehem grotto in which he was born, and even such details as Jesus working as an apprentice carpenter in the shop of his foster father Joseph, where they specialized in producing such agricultural implements as yokes for oxen and plows.” (Paul Maier in http://www.4truth.net/fourtruthpbjesus.aspx?pageid=8589952895)


JEWISH HISTORICAL EVIDENCE

Sacred Jewish Writings spell Jesus’ name accurately in Amaraic (the spoken language of the day, “Yeshua Hannotzri”—Joshua (Jesus) of Nazareth), writing of his arrest warrant in the Mishna (earliest collection of writings in the Talmud) “He shall be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and lured Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf. Anyone who knows where he is, let him declare it to the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.”

The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) “confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.”


Jewish History: Flavius Josephus a famous Jewish historian mentions "Jesus who is called the Christ" twice in his Jewish Antiquities. In the second of these, he tells of the death of Jesus' half-brother James the Just of Jerusalem (20:200). In the longest first-century non-biblical reference to Christ, 

Josephus writes:  “At this time there was a wise man called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. Many people among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have reported wonders. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day.” (18:63)


SECULAR HISTORICAL EVIDENCE

Cornelius Tacitus, “one of the most reliable source historians of first-century Rome, wrote in his Annals a year-by-year account of events in the Roman Empire under the early Caesars. Among the highlights that he reports for the year A.D. 64 was the great fire of Rome. People blamed the emperor Nero for this conflagration since it happened ‘on his watch,’ but in order to save himself, Nero switched the blame to ‘the Christians,’ which is the first time they appear in secular history. Careful historian that he was, Tacitus then explains who ‘the Christians’ were: ‘Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus’ (15:44). He then goes on to report the horrors that were inflicted on the Christians in what became their first Roman persecution.”


“Tacitus, it should be emphasized, was not some Christian historian who was trying to prove that Jesus Christ really lived, but a pagan who despised Christians as a ‘disease,’ a term he uses later in the passage. Had Jesus never even existed, he would have been the first to expose that pathetic phantom on whom such cultists placed their trust. Were no other references to Jesus available, this passage alone would have been sufficient to establish his historicity. Skeptics realize this, and so have tried every imaginable means to discredit this passage—but to no avail. Manuscript analysis and computer studies have never found any reason to call this sentence into question, nor its context.”


Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus also recorded events of the first century in his famous Lives of the Twelve Caesars. He, too, regarded the Christians as a sect "professing a new and mischievous religious belief" (Nero 16) and doubtless cited "Chrestus" (Claudius 25). 

Pliny the Younger “was the Roman governor of Bithynia—today, the northwestern corner of Turkey—and about the year 110 he wrote the emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.), asking what to do about the Christians, a ‘wretched cult’ whom he mentions eight times in his letter. Christ himself is cited three times, the most famous instance referring to Christians ‘...who met on a fixed day to chant verses alternately among themselves in honor of Christ, as if to a god...’ (Letter No. 96). Trajan's response, interestingly enough, suggests that Christians not be hunted out. (Ibid., No. 97). But again, if Christ were only a mythical character, these hostile sources would have been the first to emblazon that fact in derision.”


Below references are from: www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-exist.html

Julius Africanus “quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).”


Lucian of Samosata “was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves to be immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion, and renunciation of material goods.”


Mara Bar-Serapion “confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of His followers.”


“Then we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus. … In fact, we can almost reconstruct the gospel just from early non-Christian sources: Jesus was called the Christ (Josephus), did “magic,” led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus), but claimed to be God and would return (Eliezar), which his followers believed, worshiping Him as God (Pliny the Younger).” 


ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE


bibleplaces.com – photographs & descriptions of archaeological sites that evidence and corroborate the Bible

blog.bibleplaces.com – ongoing discoveries and archaeological updates


“TOP TEN BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLGY DISCOVERIES”

from the Biblical Archeology Society by James Brashler, Jane Cahill West, Ze’ev Meshel, John Monson, Hershel Shanks, Suzanne F. Singer, Lawrence E. Stager, James F. Strange

(Available from http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/free-ebooks/ )


  1. The Nag Hammadi Library - Codices Shed New Light on Early Christian History
  2. The New ‘Ain Dara Temple: Closest Solomonic Parallel
  3. The Tel Dan (“David”) Stela
  4. Mona Lisa of the Galilee
  5. “Yahweh and His Asherah” The Kuntillet ‘Ajrud Ostraca
  6. St. Peter’s House: Has the House Where Jesus Stayed in Capernaum Been Found?
  7. The Siloam Pool: Where Jesus Cured the Blind Man
  8. Ashkelon’s Arched Gate: When Canaanites and Philistines Ruled Ashkelon
  9. Jerusalem’s Stepped-Stone Structure: Jerusalem in David and Solomon’s Time
  10. Jerusalem’s Babylonian Siege Tower: Remains of the Babylonian Siege


More Amazing Archaeological Discoveries

A Common Flood Story, The Code of Hammurabi, The Nuzi Tablets, The Existence of Hittites, The Merneptah Stele, Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically, Shishak’s Invasion of Judah, The Moabite Stone, Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, Burial Plaque of King Uzziah,  Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription, The Sennacherib Prism, The Cylinder of Cyrus the Great 

(Available from: http://www.equip.org/articles/biblical-archaeology-factual-evidence-to-support-the-historicity-of-the-bible/ )


RESOURCES FOR FUTURE STUDY


What does God say through the Bible?

www.gotquestions.org –  almost 400,000 answers to life, spiritual, and Bible questions.


Is Christianity True?

  • I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, shows how there is more evidence for Christianity than evolution/naturalism
  • The Case for Christ – by Lee Strobel – simply explains much of the evidence for Christianity
  • Scientific Facts in the Bible: 100 Reasons to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in Origin by Ray Comfort
  • The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell


Creation vs. Evolution

  • www.evolutionvsgod.com – A 38-minute video, with over 1.7 million views, of interviews with atheist professors and scholars concerning their beliefs in evolution.
  • answersingenesis.org - Provides answers to questions about the Bible regarding issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth
  • www.reasons.org - explains scientific discoveries and shows how they continue to evidence the truthfulness of Scripture
  • Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion & Naturalism by Alvin Plantiga


Archaeological Evidence

bibleplaces.com – blog.bibleplaces.com -   www.biblicalarchaeology.org/free-ebooks


Comparison of Christianity with other World Religions

www.4truth.net – A reasoned approach to Christianity


Additional Resources

  • Life's Ultimate Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy by Ronald H. Nash
  • Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig
  • Who Made God? And Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith by  Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler
  • Reasons for Faith: Making a Case for the Christian Faith Norman L. Geisler and Chad V. Meister

Was Peter Married? Is Priestly Celibacy Biblical?

  



WAS PETER MARRIED?  
IS PRIESTLY CELIBACY BIBLICAL?


The Catholic Blog - Helping people find answers to the most common questions about Catholicism with answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. (www.catholic.blog )


“Was Peter married? Is priestly celibacy biblical?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.’” (CCC 1579)
  • “In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries…married men can be ordained as deacons and priests.  This practice has long been considered legitimate” (CCC 1580)
  • “Celibacy is a sign of this new life of the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.” (CCC 1579)


“Was Peter married? Is priestly celibacy biblical?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • Matthew 19:12 “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” (ESV)
  • Matt 8:14 “when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever.”
  • Mark 1:30 “Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, &immediately they told him about her.” (ESV)
  • Luke 4:38 “And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 9:5 “Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?” (ESV)
  • 1 Timothy 3:2 “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” (ESV)
  • Titus 1:6 “if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.” (ESV)
  • 1 Timothy 4:3 "who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (ESV)


“Was Peter married? Is priestly celibacy biblical?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • Does Matthew 19:12 sound like a voluntary choice among believers or a mandate for all priests?
  • Is celibacy is a “sign of this new life of service”, then why wasn’t Peter single?
  • Why does the encouragement of 1 Corinthians 9:5 encourage marriage in the example of Peter and Jesus’ brothers?
  • In the Biblical descriptions of qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9) for overseers, bishops, elder, or pastors, are there ever any encouragements or mandates for singleness?  Why do these passages both reference the church leaders as being married?
  • If the Catholic Church is reconsidering its position on this issue, was it wrong in the past?  What other issues may they have not spoken from the unchanging revelation of God?
  • Does the warning of 1 Timothy 4:3 apply to the Catholic Church? For priestly celibacy? For lenten fasting?


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What Does the Bible Say About False Teachers?


 WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT FALSE TEACHERS?

Ephesians 4:11-14 “that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”


Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (ESV)


What is a prophet? How can I recognize a true prophet from a false prophet?  A prophet is a messenger of God who carries a message directly and personally related and is held to 100% consistency with Scripture and 100% fulfillment of any predictive statements. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18: 15-22)


What is the difference between a prophet and a teacher?  Both roles include the element of teaching, but a prophet claims a direct encounter with God (dream, vision, meeting, voice, event, etc.) where God revealed or spoke a particular message to him.


How can I recognize a true teacher from a bad teacher? A bad teacher from a false teacher?  A bad teacher may misunderstand issues in Scripture or just do a poor job at instructing and exhorting people.  A false teacher teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ(1 Timothy 6:3) and goes against sound doctrines(Titus 1:9) specifically with an understanding towards who God is, what salvation is, and what the Scriptures say. 


Isnt it wrong to publicly call out preachers, teachers, Christians, etc.?  The issue of opinionsbetween Christian brothers is different from the issue of false teachings.”  Paul warns not to quarrel over opinions(v.1) in Romans 14, pointing out the dangers of passing judgmenton a brother in Christ and how it can destroy the work of God(v.20).  However, God commands us to judgethose inside the church when their lifestyles (1 Corinthians 5:9-13) do not line up with Gods Word.  God also commands us to watch out for and confront false teachers who teach a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ.(1 Timothy 6:3).  Pastors are specifically tasked to 1) "give instruction in sound doctrine" and 2) "rebuke those who contradict it" (Titus 1:9).


Should a false teacher be called out by name? If so, when?  When a specific false teaching or teacher is affecting a body of believers (i.e. family, small group, church, denomination, region, nation), that false teaching and teacher must be named and confronted.  Paul does this with both false teachings (1 Timothy 1:3-20 ; 6:2-10, Jude 1, 2 Peter 2, & many more) and with particular names (Alexander, Hymenaeus, & Philetus in 1 Timothy 1:20 and 2 Timothy 2:17)


What are some examples of false teachings? What are some characteristics of false teachers?

There are many examples of false teachers with common descriptions (Galatians, 2 Peter, 1 & 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 John, Jude) that they may look and sound like Christians but that their teachings and lifestyle are not consistent with Scripture.


How can you call them false teachers when some of these people have doctrinal statements on their website and do many good things in getting the Bible and gospel into the hands of so many?  Christianity is not a salvation of works and although some good fruitsmay seem exist in these ministries, they only mask the lies.  The ends of a ministry (salvations, missions, good works) do not justify the means (a false gospel).


When false teachers lead people to Christ, are these converts false believers?  Not necessarily.  If these believers have understood the gospel falsely, then their trust and faith in Jesus may be out of a greater love of Jesusgifts rather than Jesus.  Even if they have become true followers of Jesus, they need to study the Word of God, test their teachers, and be extremely cautious before recommending a teacher to someone else. 


Is it possible for false teachers to turn to truth and become true teachers?  Yes, until we die, it is possible for anyone who is separated from God to turn to Him in salvation.  Pray for their repentence and turning to the true Gospel of Christ.


If I have been following a false teacher, should I be embarrassed or ashamed?  What does God want me to do in response to realizing that I was following a false teacher?  If you find that you have been following a bad or false teacher, repent of believing the lies that you heard/read and put on God's truths.  If you have led or encouraged others towards those teachings/teachers, guide them into the truth.


I still dont believe ______________ is a false prophet/teacher, so how does this message matter for me?  What should I do next?  If you haven't been convinced from this outline, you need to be very concerned about your understanding of God, the Gospel, and His truths.  Invest some time in reading the Scriptures to make sure you understand the teachings of God and not be misled by the traditions of men. Even if you havent become convinced that he teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is false, you need to begin to listen very closely to what you hear and read in the future.  You need to make sure that who you listen to is trustworthy and is teaching the whole counsel of God accurately. 


Matthew 15:1–9 “Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, [2] “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” [3] He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? [4] For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ [5] But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” [6] he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. [7] You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: [8] “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; [9] in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (ESV)


Mark 7:1–13 “[7] in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ [8] You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” [9] And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! … [13] thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (ESV)


Galatians 1:13–16 “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. [14] And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.” (ESV)


False Teachers: Watch Out!

(2 Peter 2, ESV)


Believers Mature At Different Paces

3rd Level Issues: Allowable Individual Differences “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. …So then each of us will give an account to God.” (Romans 14:1-12)


Less Faithful Teachers: Believing Christians, in Error

2nd Level Issues: Denominational Differences “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1)


False Teachers Misrepresent God & the Gospel

1st Level Issues: Christian vs. Non-Christian: Essential Teachings  “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20)

  • Who is God? What is the Gospel? What are the Scriptures?


  1. PREPARE! Their Presence is Guaranteed but is not Obvious to All – v.1


  1. WATCHFalse Teachers Are Characterized by:

False Words – v.3 ; Speaking Ignorantly – v.12 ; Endorse Sin – v.2, 13-15, 18 ; Greedy  v.3, 14 ; Proud w/no accountability – v.10, 18 (Jude 8) ; Make Empty Promises – v.19 ; Rely on Experience/Dreams (Jude 8) ; Speak Flippantly To Satan/Demons (2 Pet 2:10-13; Jude 8-10) Have Some Scriptural Knowledge, But Wander from It – v.20-22


  1. CORRECT & WARN  Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3) 
  • Their Teachings Are Dangerous – v.1-3 – “destructive heresies”
  • False Teachings  Are Characterized by: (Example, Pergamum, Revelation 2:12-17)

Positive Thinking (self-focused prayers, name it/claim it, declarations)

Partial Truths (highlight the “positive”/easy, ignore the “negative”/difficult)

Promises (worship the gifts, not the giver)

Health, Wealth, & Prosperity (worldly-focused: good things into god things)

Legalism (works based salvation, self-righteousness)

License (freedom to sin) “pervert the grace of our God into sensuality” (Jude 1:4)

False Religions “deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4)

  • Their Punishment Is Guaranteed – v.1-10 (Jude)


The Lord Knows How to Rescue the Righteous

(v.7-9) The Righteous Are... “distressed  by the sensual conduct of the wicked”...”as that righteous man [Lot] lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard”


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