Section 1 .. Choose Life

003white  Index to Choose Life       >      Part 6: Why Jesus Is Without Equal  


Choose Life That You Might Live

Part 6: Comparing Jesus With Other Religious Leaders...
Why Jesus Is Without Equal
It seems within the bounds of common sense that if God were to send a messenger/savior to mankind He would have at least given us some way to distinguish the true messenger from the false (and potentially dangerous) one.

Carol Brooks

List of Chapters
For a slightly longer description of each chapter, please go to the Main Index

Part 1: Spiritual not Religious. The question is how do you know that the spiritual path you are on will lead somewhere you want to be? What does it offer you in the long run... beyond this life?
Part 2: Religious Pluralism. It is tragically true that few of those who believe that all spiritual beliefs are valid paths to God seem to have made an in depth study of various religions to see if their claims are based on fact, or fairy dust.
Part 3: Faith and The Bible. Christianity is perhaps the only religion that does not demand 'blind faith' from its followers.
Part 4: God And His Bible. There is far more evidence in favor of the Bible being true, than there is for any of the other 'holy books which usually consist of endless streams of often mind numbing philosophy, with little or no framework or context. The evidence includes the Bible’s humanly impossible authorship, its archaeological and scientific accuracy and  fulfilled prophecy.
Part 5: Alleged Old Testament Discrepancies. The charges are usually careless, overconfident and unsubstantiated.
YOU ARE HERE 001orange Part 6: Why Jesus Is Without Equal.  Many so called holy men claim to to be divine or divinely inspired - to have had mystical visions or experiences. So what?
Part 7: The Reliability of The New Testament. If we applied whatever criteria liberal scholars use to dismiss the Gospels, to the evidence for other historical people and events, we would have to dismiss as myth everything we think we think we know about the ancient past.
Part 8: New Testament Differences and Discrepancies  Most alleged 'mistakes' arise from understanding too little about the Bible.
Part 8 b:The Resurrection Accounts The so-called contradictions are trotted out without a single reference to the possible solutions that can very plausibly and naturally explain them.
Part 9: The Bible, Then And Now. People commonly reject the Bible because they believe the original text has been changed significantly since it was first written, and therefore, it is a corrupted book. But is there any truth to the charge?
Part 10: Historical Corroboration. Were any of the Gospel accounts substantiated by non-Christian sources?
Part 11: Archaeology and The Bible. Does archaeology confirm, or undermine, the New Testament accounts?
Part 12: Is The Evidence Insufficient or Too Obscure? A far more sensible way to look at it is... the more severe the consequences, the fewer risks we should take.
Part 13: The Message of The Bible. The Heaven Jesus was sent to tell us about is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there. In fact, the Bible's description of the coming kingdom is far more practical than that of our theologians. '
Part 14: The Warning of The Bible. We are all under the death penalty. If dying once sounds terrible to you, how does doing it twice sound? which is exactly what the Bible says will happen if...
Part 15: Who Is and Isn't a Christian. Since the word originated with the Bible, only the Bible has the right to define what a "Christian" is.
Part 16: Myths and Misconceptions that stem from knowing too little about Biblical Christianity.,


The answer to the question of who Jesus is should not be filed under 'differences of opinion' and left at that simply because if Jesus was not who he claimed to be and not who the Bible says He is then we can safely ignore His teachings as the product of the devious mind of an out and out charlatan or the ranting of one who was vastly deluded or insane.

On the other hand, if His claims are true then every one of us needs to sit up and pay close attention to everything He said because not doing so will have disastrous consequences.

What Were The Claims Made By The Founders Of Most Religions Based On?
Anyone can claim to be divine or be divinely inspired. The claim to authority made by the founders of most religions is generally based on mystical visions or experiences they profess to have had and/or their own wisdom. The problem being that these leaders sometimes expressed self-doubt, uncertainty, and a lack of knowledge in some very important areas. And that was not all. They also contradicted each other on crucial issues.

What Jesus Claimed About Himself
Jesus made the most extravagant assertions of all -He did not profess to be a prophet, a messenger sent from God, nor a manifestation of God. He claimed to be God. Also it is well worth mentioning that He practiced the righteousness that He preached. As the New Testament tells us He lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). Except for the Pharisees who expected Him to live by their rules, no one found fault with Him including Pilate.

The Million Dollar Question -
How Can We Distinguish The True Messenger From The Counterfeit?

The fact that most of the major religions of the world anticipate the arrival of a divine incarnation or physical manifestation of their god makes them very susceptible to the machinations of a treacherous imposter. Thus a charismatic leader who promises (and seems to deliver) utopia will be accepted nay, even welcomed by much of the world. It seems within the bounds of common sense that if God were to send a messenger/savior to mankind, He would have at least given us some way to distinguish the true messenger from the false and potentially dangerous one. Grandiose claims and philosophical diatribes are simply not good enough. If a person professes to be God or a messenger of God they need to substantiate their claim with evidence of some kind. Jesus certainly did!

Jesus Backed His Claims by Working Miracles
In sharp contrast to other religious leaders everything that Jesus said and taught was supported by physical evidence.

Only Jesus Was Foretold Centuries in Advance
God gave us a simple but foolproof way to tell who His Messiah was - through the prophets and hundreds of years before He was bon, God gave us details about Jesus' birth, the miracles He worked, His betrayal, death, and resurrection.

Moses' Messianic Prophecy
In a very specific prediction Moses told the Jews that in the future God would raise up another prophet who in some way would be "like" himself, and those that did not listen to this prophet would be held accountable by the Lord Himself.

The Seven Feasts of Israel
 Considering they have tremendous significance, the Seven Feasts of Israel are not mentioned nearly enough. Not only did they celebrate a historical event in Israel's past but they were also a prophecy of future events. Four have already come to pass.

Among All Religious Founders, Only Jesus Made Prophecies That Were Fulfilled
None of the other religious founders made prophecies. Jesus did - very expressly stating that the purpose behind doing so was this - when His words came to pass we would know He was who He claimed to be.

Also Very Significantly

 Only Jesus Died For Us
While you are sure to hear many, many long and philosophical discourses have you heard of any religion besides Christianity that tells you of a God who willingly came down to earth by pay the price of their sins to save those who would be His people?

Only Jesus is Alive
The fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead is the crux of the Christian faith. If this never happened, we might as well take everything he said, write it down on little bits of paper, and stuff them into fortune cookies.

What Were The Claims Made By The Founders Of Most Religions Based On?
To reiterate some of what was said in the chapter Faith and The Bible... The claim to authority made by the founders of most religions is generally based on visions or experiences they claim to have had and/or their own wisdom. However, I am sure that most people would agree that

    1) Righteousness, humility, wisdom, and compassion do not necessarily mean everything the person says is absolutely true - much less that they are inspired of God. Even the best of people can do not always get everything right. 

    2) Teachings that sound positive, profound, enlightened, or wise does not mean they necessarily originated with God. 

    3) Eloquence whether written or spoken is no proof of Divine inspiration. (Actually it sometimes seems to me that the more convoluted the language, the more people attribute it to the "wisdom" of the speaker and hang on to every word).

Bearing the above in mind on what basis should we take Mohammed and Joseph Smith's word for it that they were visited by angels? Can we simply trust that Bahá’ullah's visions were actually inspired of God and that Guru Nanak and the other gurus were manifestations of God (The Sikh holy book says "To save the world the Lord incarnated himself." [Adi Granth 1409:8]).

Should we also simply take Gautama Buddha's word for it that he had achieved "nirvana" and that this is the pinnacle of spiritual achievement? Similarly, Shintoism has to stand on the merits of its own teachings. Since both Lao Tzu the father of Taoism and Confucius the father of Confucianism claimed to know the truth based on their own acquired wisdom, are we to simply trust that they were incapable of error?

    (Confucianism is more an ethical and philosophical system than a religion. The Analects of Confucius, also known by its Chinese name as the Lunyu (lit. "Selected Sayings"), is the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius' followers. In it he says he is "A transmitter and not a maker" (7.1). How do we know this is true? And, if it is, who was transmitting through him?)

Are we not leaning towards gullibility if we simply 'believe' that the New Age channeler is not only in contact with a spirit, but that it is actually a benevolent spirit rather than one that is simply pretending to be. See Overview of The New Age

Additionally, it is amazing as to how many of the founders of various religions were unsure about some crucial matters.

Many Of Them Expressed Uncertainty
What should cause the thinking person to pause and reflect is the fact that several religious leaders expressed self-doubt, uncertainty, and a lack of knowledge in some very important areas. Their own fate for instance.

The Qur'an clearly states that the Muslim prophet Muhammad was naught but a messenger. (Sura 3:144. Surat 'Ali Imran). In Muhammad's own words...

    I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God." (Sura 18:110)

    Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?" (Sura 17:93. Surat Al-'Isra')

And that Muhammad would die...

     "Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die" (Sura 39:30 Surat Az-Zumar).

It is no wonder he was uncertain about his own future

    Say, "I am not something original among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner."

Interestingly, any doubts Muhammad had were to be referred to "those who have been reading the Scripture before you", i.e. the Jews and the Christians...

    So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters. And never be of those who deny the signs of Allah and [thus] be among the losers. (Sura 10:94-95. Surat Yunus)

This advice is repeated in Sura 21:7, which says

    "...the apostles We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration. If ye realize this not, Ask of those who possess the message."

Please pay careful attention to the wording. The verse does not say 'those who possessed the message', but 'those who possess the message'. In other words, at the time of this revelation in the seventh century the Qur'an considered the Bible to be the Word of God... not 'corrupted' as Muslims later claimed.

Guru Nanak thus describes the Muhammadan (Muslim) rulers and the state of India in his time: (Emphasis Added)

This age is a knife, kings are butchers ; justice hath taken wings and fled. In this completely dark night of falsehood the moon of truth is never seen to rise. I have become perplexed in my search; In the darkness I find no way. Devoted to pride, I weep in sorrow; How shall deliverance be obtained ? [Mâjh ki Wâr.] [01]

If he was actually a manifestation or even a messenger of God why he did not know how deliverance was to be obtained?

Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism
The Tao Te Ching or The Book of The Way ascribed to the sage Lao Tzu, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It is a short text of around 5,000 Chinese characters in 81 brief chapters, which strongly influenced  Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism. Lao Tzu is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. In chapter 20, he says

    The people are bright and certain, Where I am dim and confused; The people are clever and wise, Where I am dull and ignorant; Aimless as a wave drifting over the sea, Attached to nothing. [02]

Zarathusthra (Zoroaster), religious reformer and founder of Zoroastrianism is said to have received a vision from Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord who appointed him to preach the truth. He is believed to have composed the Gathas - 17 hymns which are the sacred texts in the Zoroastrian faith

    This I ask You, tell me truly, Lord. Are the things I speak forth indeed true? (Gathas: 9-6)

    This I ask You, tell me truly, Lord. Who is the foremost creator and parent of righteousness? Who made the sun and the stars in their paths? Who makes the moon wax and wane? I am, Wise One, eager to know all this and more. (Gathas: 9-3) [03]

Neither of these appears to be rhetorical questions. Did Zoroaster not know who created and controlled the solar system and, more alarmingly, whether or not he was teaching truth?

I don't know about you but I would be very unwilling to follow anyone who claimed to be "dim and confused...dull and ignorant", did not know whether what he taught was the truth (seriously?), had no idea how "how deliverance was to be obtained" (which I thought was the point of it all) and/or had no clue as to what was to be done to him?

None of which go very far in inspiring confidence.

And that is not all. Most of these religious leaders had vastly different beliefs and often flatly contradicted each other. In fact, they do not even agree on the most crucial of questions... whether or not there is only one God and if so, what He is like, what He expects from us, how we relate to Him, etc. etc. etc.

The only logical conclusion one can draw is that all these men could not possibly be messengers, prophets, or manifestations of the same God. In light of which, how can we know which one of them was truly divinely inspired? Especially since all we have to go on is what the founder of the religion said (something that no one can prove or disprove) and whether the teachings seem to work in our own lives.

See The Contradictory Claims Made by These Religious Leaders In Chapter 2 - Religious Pluralism

What Jesus Claimed About Himself
The problem is further compounded by the fact that the New Testament has Jesus making the most extravagant claims of all including,

A) Not to be of this world (John 8:23) but to have existed in heaven before He was incarnated as a man (John 3:13, 6:33, 6:62 and 17:5).

B) To have a unique relationship with God the Father, that is...

    a) to be the only one to have seen the Father (John 6:46),

    b) to have exclusive knowledge of the Father.

    c) to have learned directly from the Father (Matthew 11:27 and John 8:38).

    d) to always please the Father (John 8:29).

    e) In fact Jesus claimed to be one with God (John 10:30),

C) To have fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah (Luke 24:44).

D) To be able to raise himself from the dead (John 2:19-21 and 10:17-18).

E) He would return in 'the glory of the Father' (Mark 8:38)

However His most extravagant claim was that He was God not just a prophet or a messenger. See The Deity of Jesus Christ. Was He Lord, liar, or lunatic?

A this point it seems appropriate to mention what His contemporaries made of His character.

The New Testament tells us that Jesus lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). Except for the Pharisees who expected Him to live by their rules, no one found fault with Him including Pilate, the governor of Judea appointed by Caesar, who told the chief priests and the crowds that he found no guilt in Jesus (Luke 23:4). He only allowed Jesus to be crucified because the Jews told him that he was no friend of Caesar if he released Jesus because anyone who made himself out to be a king opposed Caesar. (John 19:12)

Judas, one of the original twelve disciples who betrayed Christ, tried to return the bribe money to the chief priests and elders saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." (Matthew 27:3-4). In fact, He was apparently so overcome with guilt that he hanged himself.

One of the two thieves who were crucified alongside Jesus rebuked the other for jeering at Christ for not saving Himself from the cross. Noting that the truth often emerges when someone is facing death, this man certainly believed that Jesus had done no wrong. 

    "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." (Luke 23: 40-41). T

At the moment Jesus breathed His last, several inexplicable things took place... darkness fell over the whole land for three hours because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. This convinced even a Roman centurion who glorified God saying "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matthew 27: 54).

In complete contrast....

Islam... Muhammad needed forgiveness
The Qur'an itself tells us that Muhammad needed forgiveness for his faults and was rebuked by Allah who apparently told him,

    "And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful". (Sura 4:106 Surat An-Nisa')

    So be patient, [O Muhammad]. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth. And ask forgiveness for your sin and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord in the evening and the morning. (Sura 40:55. Surat Ghafir) (Also See Suras 47:19; 48:2; 110:3)

Muhammad's god repeatedly threatened his messenger with a double portion of hell if he ever compromised with the pagans who would have tempted him to change the 'revelations'. And, even worse, it seems that Muhammad almost did. Emphasis added in the following quote

    That is from what your Lord has revealed to you, [O Muhammad], of wisdom. And, [O mankind], do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity, lest you be thrown into Hell, blamed and banished.

And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you in order to [make] you invent about Us something else; and then they would have taken you as a friend. And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little. Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death. Then you would not find for yourself against Us a helper [Sura 17:73-75. Surat Al-'Isra')

All of which brings us to...

The Million Dollar Question...
How Can We Distinguish The True Messenger From The Counterfeit?
This is crucially important because most of the major religions of the world anticipate the arrival or return of a divine incarnation... a physical manifestation of their god.

The Bible tells us that in the days immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ we shall find similar conditions to the days of Noah when our world will be invaded by evil in disguise. This makes it crucial that we are able to identify an impostor who isn't whom he appear ir claims to be. See The Days Of Noah.

This is why grandiose claims and philosophical diatribes are simply not good enough. If a person professes to be God or a messenger of God they need to substantiate their claim with evidence of some kind. 

And this Jesus did ... in spades.

Jesus Backed His Claims by Working Miracles
In sharp contrast to other religious leaders everything that Jesus said and taught was supported by physical evidence. When John the Baptist sent men to ask Jesus if He was "the Coming One" or whether they were to look for another, Jesus did not make any profound sounding statements or chide John for his lack of faith. His reply was simply to point them in the direction of the miraculous works He had done... "

    Go and tell John the things which ye have seen and heard; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good tidings preached to them.” (verse 22)

Jesus' point was that He was doing exactly what the prophets predicted would be accomplished by the Messiah at the coming of the Kingdom - unequivocal proof given to the nation of Israel that he was the long-awaited Messiah sent from God. (See The Three Stage Emergence of The Kingdom) His miracles demonstrated His power and authority over

    Nature: Jesus walked on water (Matthew 14:25), multiplied bread and fish (Matthew 14:15-21), and calmed a storm (Mark 4:35-41).

    Illness: Jesus instantaneously healed incurable diseases such as blindness (John 9), leprosy (Luke 17), deafness (Mark 7) and paralysis (Matthew 9:2-7 and Mark 2).

    Death: Jesus raised several people from the dead including the ruler's daughter in Matthew 9:18-26, the widow's only son in Luke 7:11-17, and Lazarus in John 11.

    Demons: There are several instances when Jesus forced demonic entities to relinquish possession of someone's body.

Besides which, many other miracles went unrecorded. As the book of John says "... there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written." (John 21:25). Certainly the miracles caused many to believe. For example,

    Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did". (John 2:23)

    When the Pharisee Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, he said, "We know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him" (John 3:2).

    When Jesus fed thousands from five loaves of bread and two fishes, the people said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world" (John 6:14).

Also note Peter's words to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for the feast

    Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know (Acts 2:22 NASB)

John also made it clear that some of the miracles were recorded so that those who did not see these signs and wonders for themselves would believe that Jesus was the Son of God.

    Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31 NASB)

What is particularly telling is the fact that some of the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by "Beelzebul the ruler of the demons" (Matthew 12:24) and when He was hanging on the cross, they mockingly said 'He saved others; now let him save himself'. (Matthew 27:42). In other words, people who were not at all friendly or sympathetic to Jesus admitted that He cast out demons and raised people from the dead. (See John 11:43-48)

Mohammed claimed to be only a human messenger, thus performed no miracles.
Although it places the incident of Moses and the burning bush hand in Egypt rather than Mt. Horeb the Qur'an says that Moses responded with miracles when challenged by the Pharaoh. (Sura 7:103-108).

It is interesting that the Qur'an also says the miracles performed by Jesus  (specifically mentioning healing the blind and the leper, and bringing forth the dead) was "clear proof" to the children of Israel. (Sura 5. V. 110). Verse 111 then enjoins the reader to "believe in Me (Allah) and my messenger Jesus". Additionally, the Qur'an says when the disciples asked Jesus if His Lord could send down to them a table (spread with food) from the heaven? Allah replied saying

    Indeed, I will sent it down to you, but whoever disbelieves afterwards from among you - then indeed will I punish him with a punishment by which I have not punished anyone among the worlds." (Sura 5:112-115. Surat Al-Ma'idah)

But here is what I find fascinating. Sura 5 actually curses those who disbelieve what Jesus said...

    Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. (Sura 5:78. Surat Al-Ma'idah)

But this same Jesus, said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man came to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). Am I missing something here?

On the other hand, when the people told Mohammed that they would not believe him unless he performed a miracle such as causing a spring to gush forth from the ground, ascending into the sky, or making Allah and the angels appear, Mohammed said he was only a human messenger [Sura 17: 90-93. Surat Al-'Isra']. This in spite of the fact that Mohammed admitted that "Allah is able to send down a sign" (sura 6:37).

So why didn't Muhammad perform miracles? Simply because, as the Qur'an itself says, he was only a "warner", which implies that warners weren't equipped with signs and wonders...

    And those who disbelieved say, "Why has a sign not been sent down to him from his Lord?" You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide. (Sura 13:7. Surat Ar-Ra`d )

    But they say, "Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord?" Say, "The signs are only with Allah , and I am only a clear warner." (Sura 29:50. Surat Al-`Ankabut). Also See Suras 7:188 and 11:12.

And there is more - much more.

Only Jesus Was Foretold Centuries in Advance
As said, it seems within the bounds of common sense that if God were to send a messenger/savior to mankind He would have at least given us some way to distinguish the true messenger from the false (and potentially dangerous) one. And, so He did. In fact God's method was pretty foolproof... He simply told us about the Messiah beforehand.

This is important because only the Supreme Being can consistently and precisely predict the future in detail -something that is well beyond the scope of both men and false gods. In the book of Isaiah the Lord says He is the first and the last and there is no God besides Him. He challenges the idol gods to

    "Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods".

And since this is impossible for them, He then went on to say

    "Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination." (Isaiah 41:3-4)

Virtually all facets of Jesus' life was foretold hundreds of years in advance... including His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. However, in spite of the claims made by many of the religious leaders to be messengers of God, not a single prophecy exists which foretells any of their births or missions, lives or deaths.

The Old Testament that was completed some 400 years before Jesus was born contains a large number of very significant prophecies made over several hundred years all of which were fulfilled in Jesus' thirty years life span - many in a single day.  In fact, although a historical record of God's dealings with the nation of Israel, the entire Old Testament was squarely focused on the Redeemer who was to come. As Jesus Himself told the Jews of His day...

    You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me" (John 5:39 NASB).

    Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke 24:44 NASB)

The prophets spoke of the coming Messiah with such certainty that they often used the perfect tense (sometimes called the prophetic perfect) not to signify that the event had already happened, but that it would unfailingly be fulfilled in the future. In the eyes of the prophet the coming event they foretold was as good as accomplished.

That these prophecies were not written after the fact is proved by the 1947 accidental discovery of ancient scrolls found in a number of caves along the Dead Sea in the Qumran desert. Called the Dead Sea Scrolls they were the property of the Essenes, a sect of Jews who lived a monastic life in the desert devoting themselves to studying and copying the Scriptures, while awaiting the return of the Messiah. As tension built up between the Jews and the Romans the Essenes hid their precious scrolls in caves where they survived for about two thousand years, although the community itself did not.

These eleven caves contained nearly 1,100 ancient documents including several scrolls and more than 100,000 fragments dating back to as early as the third century B.C. The well preserved twenty-four foot long Isaiah Scroll found in cave 4 dates back to 100 B.C.

An additional detail worth remembering is that the entire Hebrew Bible was meticulously preserved through the centuries by people who, for the most part, rejected the idea of Jesus being the savior.

See Are The New Testament Documents Reliable?

And The Dead Sea Scrolls

Prophecies Concerning The Birth of Christ 
1.) The prophet Isaiah said that the Messiah would be born to the lineage of Jesse whereas Jeremiah narrowed it down to Jesse's eighth and youngest son, David.

    Prophecies Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-2 NASB)

    Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious. (Isaiah 11:10 NASB)

    "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5 NASB)

    Fulfillment: See Matthew 1

2.) The prophet Micah said Jesus would be born in the small village of Bethlehem and described Him as one who eternally existed before being incarnated as a man,

    Prophecy: "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity." (Micah 5:2 NASB. written circa 710 b.c )

    Fulfillment: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:1-2 NASB)

3.) Isaiah also emphasized that the Messiah was to be supernaturally conceived without benefit of a human father. Born of a virgin in other words.

    Prophecy: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.  (Isaiah 7:14 NASB)  Note: the title, "Immanuel" means God with us.

    Fulfillment: The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:30-34 NASB)

4.) Daniel: However, one ancient prophet went much further. In an awesome display of foreknowledge that could only come from God Himself, Daniel pinpointed the year in which the Messiah would appear. (All Emphasis Added)

Prophecies Concerning The Miracles Christ Performed
The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would heal the blind, the deaf, and the lame.

Prophecy: Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah. (Isaiah 35:5-6 NASB)

Fulfillment: (Among many other verses)
And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.  (Matthew 21:14 NASB)

And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. (Matthew 15:30 NASB)

But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. (Luke 5:15 NASB)

The Prophecies Concerning Christ's Betrayal, Crucifixion, Death, and Burial
Some 500 years before Christ, Zechariah specified HOW the Messiah would arrive in Jerusalem just prior to his trial and crucifixion. He said the Messiah would come into Jerusalem riding on, of all things, a donkey.

Prophecy: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

Fulfillment: As recounted by Matthew in the 21st chapter of his gospel, this is exactly what happened. Some complain that Jesus orchestrated this event to fulfill the prophecy which, one has to admit, is certainly possible. However, Jesus could not have manipulated the fulfillment of the next prophecy also made by Zechariah, who said that the Messiah would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver; the money would be thrown on the floor of the Temple; and that it would be used to buy a potter's field.

Prophecy: I said to them, "If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!" So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. Then the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them." So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Zechariah 11:12-13 NASB.)

Fulfillment: Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?" And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. (Matthew 26:14-15 NASB)

    Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood." And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter's Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. (Matthew 27:3-8 NASB)

Prophecies: While we do not know exactly when it was written, King David, who lived from about 1037 BC - 967 BC was the author of Psalm 22. In other words, more than a thousand years before it happened King David described the Messiah's death in painful detail down to the piercing of his hands and feet, the taunting of the crowds, and the casting of lots for his clothing. Isaiah gave additional details of the crucifixion of the Messiah

    They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots. (Psalms 22:13-18 NASB)

    All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, "Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him." (Psalms 22:7-8 NASB)

    But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5 NASB)


    And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. (Matthew 27:29-30 NASB)

    And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots.  (Matthew 27:35 NASB)

Prophecy: They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. (Psalm 69:21)


    Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.  (Matthew 27:48 NASB)

    After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, "I am thirsty." A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. (John 19:28-29 NASB)

Isaiah said the Messiah would be executed with criminals, and then buried in a rich man's grave.

Prophecy: His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. (Isaiah 53:9 NASB)

Fulfillment: When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. (Matthew 27:57-60 NASB)

Also See Questions Skeptics Ask About Messianic Prophecy...
Could there be validity to their claim that Christians read Jesus back into the Old Testament?

Prophecies About The Resurrection
The most straight forward and unambiguous of the resurrection prophecies was the one made by David so many centuries ago...

    For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.  (Psalms 16:10 NASB)

Both Peter and Paul quoted this verse. Peter when he spoke to the crowd in Jerusalem on Pentecost

     "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. "And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He Was Neither Abandoned To Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. (Acts 2:29-32 NASB)

That day about three thousand souls received his word and were baptized; (Acts 2:41 NASB)

Paul much later in Antioch

    that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'You are my Son; today I have begotten You.' "As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings OF David.' "Therefore He also says in another Psalm, 'You will not allow your Holy One to undergo decay.' (Acts 13:33-35 NASB)

These words had quite an effect on the people of the city.

    Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. (Acts 13:43-44 NASB)

See Section on The Resurrection

Moses' Messianic Prophecy
Moses, chosen by God to liberate the Jews from slavery,not only worked great miracles in Egypt but led the Jews through forty years of wandering in the wilderness finally taking them to the edge of the promised land. Most importantly, it was Moses who received the law from God on Mt. Sinai and was the only person we know of that God spoke to "face to face". [See Has Anyone Ever Seen God?]

In a very specific prediction, Moses told the Jews that in the future God would raise up another prophet who would in some way, be "like" Moses. Those that did not listen to this prophet would be held accountable by the Lord Himself.

    The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him... 'I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 'It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15. 18-19 NASB)

Not only does Christianity recognize this prophecy as a clear reference to the Messiah but the Jews did so as well. Note the dialogue that took place between John the Baptist and the priests and Levites from Jerusalem (John 1:19-23) who asked John whether he was Elijah come to announce the advent of the Messiah or whether he was the "the Prophet"... a clear reference to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18.

Similarly, many of the people Jesus spoke to at the Feast of Tabernacles were astonished at His teachings and thought He had to be either the Messiah Himself, or "the prophet" (John 7:40-41).

    After Jesus found and instructed Phillip to follow Him, Phillip found Nathanael and told him that they had found the one of whom Moses wrote ( John 1:43-45]

The parallels between Jesus and Moses include

 In Moses' time Pharaoh, fearing the numbers of the Hebrew slaves, ordered the death of all new born male babies. Similarly, just after Jesus was born Herod fearing the rise of another ruler, ordered the death of all male children under the age of two.

 Both spent their early years in Egypt miraculously protected from those who sought their lives.

 Both Moses and Jesus authenticated their mission and teachings with signs and miracles.

 Both Moses and Jesus were mediators of blood covenants:

 Moses stretched his hand over the Red Sea causing it to part, Jesus calmed a storm by rebuking the winds and the sea  (possibly the Sea of Tiberias).

 Both fasted for 40 days and faced spiritual crises on mountain tops.

 Moses appointed 70 elders to help him deal with the people. Jesus appointed 70 disciples to go into the villages and towns.

 Moses' brother Aaron became the first high priest of the temple. Jesus' brother James became the head of the Jerusalem church.

 Moses promised that another Prophet would come; Jesus promised believers that His Father would send them the Holy Spirit.

 Neither Moses' nor Jesus' body remained where it was interred.

See Moses' Great Messianic Prophecy For Details and Bible References

The probability of all these prophecies being coincidentally fulfilled in one person is quite simply mathematically impossible. However, there is more.

The Seven Feasts of Israel:
While most Christian apologists refer to the above prophecies (and other similar ones), few mention the Seven Feasts of Israel, which I find very convincing and close to impossible to refute. In fact, it is these Seven Feasts that not only gave us the exact circumstances and timing of Jesus' death, resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, they also provide us with a road map of events to come.

God introduced the Seven Feasts as the children of Israel were encamped at Mount Sinai after being rescued from slavery in Egypt. Although these feasts are referred to in more than one place in the Bible, it is only in Leviticus 23 that all seven are listed in chronological order. They are called "the feasts of the Lord" which simply means that they were instituted by the Lord Himself, which gave them much solemnity and importance. They were "holy convocations" that took place at "appointed times".

    Note: The feasts are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year. However, the date shifts on the Gregorian calendar because the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the Gregorian calendar used by most of the western world.

The prophetic significance of these special days is one of the most fascinating Biblical studies. The feasts that were related to Israel's agricultural seasons and thus fall into three groups... spring, summer and fall Feasts not only celebrated a historical event in Israel's past but at the same time were a prophecy of future events. They sum up God's plan of salvation for mankind.

The first four feasts have already been fulfilled, the first two by Jesus Christ on the actual feast days according to the Hebrew calendar... He was sacrificed on Passover, and resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. The third... The Feast of Unleavened Bread carried great significance in light of His sacrifice, while the Fourth, Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks (what we now call Pentecost) was also fulfilled on the exact day...

While we certainly do not know exactly how the other three feasts will be fulfilled what we can be absolutely certain of is that they will be fulfilled exactly as the others were... on the actual feast day.

Besides which, it is important to note that the Feasts that symbolize a sequence of events, were given by God in a set chronological order. Therefore the events that they symbolize will take place in the same exact order. I have read way too many interpretations of the Feasts that jump backwards and forwards between them in an effort to make them fit into pre-conceived end time scenarios. What we need to do is make the order of the Feasts our guideline to coming events instead of scrambling them to fit our ideas. See The Seven Feasts of Israel

Among All Religious Founders, Only Jesus Made Prophecies That Were Fulfilled
In turn, Jesus Himself was a prophet. As previously mentioned, the test of the prophets of the Old Testament was that their predictions be accurately fulfilled. Echoing this, Jesus very expressly stated that he prophesied because when His words came to pass we would know He was who He claimed to be.

    From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.  (John 13:19 NASB)

Please note that none of the other religious founders made prophecies. Here are some that Jesus made...

His Words Would Endure:
Although not exactly a 'flamboyant' prophecy the following is a very strong indication of who Jesus really was. In His words...

    Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:35. Also See (Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33).

Think about it for a moment. Jesus was an ordinary carpenter from a village the people of the day turned their noses up at. He had no formal education, never held office, never wrote a book and, after His earliest years in Egypt, never ventured beyond the borders of His very small country. His few disciples were peasants and fishermen. Besides which, those in power (the political and religious leaders of the nation) seemed determined to silence Him.

Unless he had delusions of grandeur, an ego the size of the Grand Canyon, and/or was a raving lunatic, no ordinary man would make the absurd statement that His teachings would survive His own short life-span, much less outlast heaven and earth. But considering that Jesus' words have not only survived two thousand + years it should should surprise no one that they will outlast the earth itself.

His Instructions to His Disciples:
Additionally, Jesus told His disciples to follow Him and He would make them "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Sometime later He instructed them to "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Both of these seemed ridiculous instructions to give untrained, uneducated, unsophisticated, and politically naive peasants. He then followed it up with what seemed like an outrageous prophecy...

    But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

So what happened? After losing their leader and probably very fearful for their own lives the disciples faded into the background - neither seen nor heard from until the power of God's spirit suddenly converted them into the fearless and outspoken driving force behind the global spread of Christianity.

John also records Jesus as making a very strange statement to the crowd listening to Him. He said... "And I, if I am lifted up (Gk. hupsoo) from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."  In the very next verse John explains that, by these words, Jesus was indicating "the kind of death by which He was to die". (John 12:32-33 NASB).

Obviously death by crucifixion was one of the most terrible ways to die. It seems hardly imaginable that a man in agony on a cross would "draw all men" to Him. Yet, this prophecy has been remarkably fulfilled. The cross has become, not a symbol of a hideous death but one of God's love towards men, in that His only begotten Son gave His life that we might live. It is a symbol of hope... of the victory of life over death. And, just as Jesus prophesied, it has drawn men and women from every corner of the earth to Him.

Some of Jesus' very specific prophecies include....

He Would Be Betrayed By One Of His Disciples
On the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jesus told His disciples that one of them would betray Him. (Matthew 26:21-22)

    As they were eating, He said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me." Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, "Surely not I, Lord?" And He answered, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. (Matthew 26:21-23 NASB)

This was literally fulfilled by Judas Iscariot.

    While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:47-48 NASB)

All Of His Disciples Would Leave Him After He was Arrested
One prophecy that, at the time, must really have upset the disciples was when

    Jesus *said to them, "You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, 'I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.' "But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." (Matthew 26:31-32 NASB)

This was literally fulfilled when Jesus was arrested and all the disciples left Him and fled.  (Matthew 26:56 NASB)

Peter Would Deny Him Three Times
Much to Peter's horror, Jesus predicted that He (Peter) would thrice deny Him.

    But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away." Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Peter *said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You." All the disciples said the same thing too. (Matthew 26:33-35 NASB)

Sadly, this was exactly what happened.

    Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man!" And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:74-75 NASB).

He Would Suffer Because Of The Religious Rulers and Be Crucified in Jerusalem
Jesus not only predicted that His death would take place in Jerusalem, but it would be by crucifixion on the Passover in Jerusalem, after suffering at the hands of those in authority

    From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. (Matthew 16:21 NASB)

    You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion. (Matthew 26:2 NASB)

All of which were fulfilled to the letter

    Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him,  (Luke 22:63 NASB)

    There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem. (Mark 15:40-41 NASB)

    It was the third hour when they crucified Him. The inscription of the charge against Him read, "The King of the Jews." (Mark 15:25-26 NASB)

He Would be Resurrected on The Third Day:
When the Jews of Jesus' day asked for a sign of His authority, Jesus referred to them to His coming resurrection..

    The Jews then said to Him, "What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" What the Jews did not realize at the time is that Jesus was not speaking of the physical temple down the road, but the temple of His body. (John 2:18-21 NASB)

    From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. (Matthew 16:21 NASB)

Not only did the women find an empty tomb when they went to the grave site...

    The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. (Matthew 28:5-6 NASB)

    ... but He was resurrected on the third day, by the Jewish method of counting days... from sundown to sundown.

See Section on The Resurrection

The Temple In Jerusalem Would Be Destroyed
Jesus had just emerged from the temple and was about to leave when His disciples came up to point out the beauty of the buildings. Jesus' response?...

     "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." (Matthew 24:1-2, Luke 21:5-6 NASB)

This happened exactly as predicted. After a siege of several months Titus invaded Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and reduced the city to rubble. The Romans pretty much dismantled the temple, leaving few stones standing on another.

In Contrast, The "Prophet" Muhammad Made No Prophecies
"Seal of The Prophet"?
The Quran says that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets:

    Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things. (Yusuf Ali. Surat Al-'Ahzab 33:40 http://quran.com/search?q=seal+of+the+prophets)

The phrase "Seal of the Prophets" comes across as a rather impressive spiritual symbol that Muslims take to mean that Muhammad is the last of the prophets. In reality it was a physical something shaped like a button or an egg on Muhammad's back and visible to all.

    My aunt took me to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! My nephew is- ill." The Prophet touched my head with his hand and invoked Allah to bless me. He then performed ablution and I drank of the remaining water of his ablution and then stood behind his back and saw "Khatam An-Nubuwwa" (The Seal of Prophethood) between his shoulders like a button of a tent. (Sahih al-Bukhari 5670. Vol. 7, Book 70, Hadith 574 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5670 )

    I stood behind him (Muhammad) and saw the seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, and it was like the “Zir-al-Hijla” (means the button of a small tent, but some say '‘egg of a partridge.’ etc.) (Vol 1, 4:189)

Yet, in spite of this "seal" Mohammed was quite clear that he could not see "the unseen".

    Say, "I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe." (Sura 7:188 Surat Al-'A`raf)

    Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. ( (Sura 31:34 Surat Luqman)

    Say, "I do not know if what you are promised is near or if my Lord will grant for it a [long] period."[He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone(Sura 72:25-26 Surat Al-Jinn)

Muhammed Forgot The Date Of The Most Momentous Happening In His Life.
Muslims consider Laylat Al Qadr to be the most holy night of the year. Traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan, it is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam. 1) the night Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to Muhammad and 2) The night when God forgives all sins.

Whoever stands (in prayer) during the Nigh of Al-Qadr with faith and expecting reward (from Allah), he will be forgiven for his previous sins." (Fath Al-Bari 4:294, and Muslim 1:253) [04]

    Yet, Muhammad said he knew it occurred on one of the "odd nights of the last ten nights" (of Ramadan) but had forgotten the exact date. [05]

However, when all is said and done the most important factor is that ....

Only Jesus Died For Us

It is very true that most religions have some teachings in common. Many of the founders taught against any form of racial or class prejudice. Guru Nanak was fearlessly outspoken against political repression, injustice and inequality. Baha'ullah "outlined a framework for the reconstruction of human society at all levels: spiritual, moral, economic, political, and philosophical". [06] Buddhism teaches that a person must develop both wisdom and compassion in order to be a truly balanced and complete individual. [07] As Keith E. Johnson says...

    There is an ethical core which all religions share in common. Some formulation of the Golden Rule, for example, is found in Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Taoism, Islam, and Buddhism. In addition, each of these traditions produces a similar ethical/moral transformation in the lives of its followers. Certainly it would be difficult to prove that one religious tradition is more effective than others in transforming the lives of its followers. [08]

    (Note: This very true... on the surface. However, I believe the Christian 'born again' experience changes more than we could possibly imagine. Fascinatingly, it is science that has given us some clues as to what this transformation may entail. See Original Sin and Epigenetics.

However, although many religions speak of and teach compassion and justice, have you ever heard of one in which God would not set aside His own justice, but had so much compassion for us that He Himself bore the sentence that justice demanded? See Chapter The Message of The Bible.

Additionally, and this point is crucially important - Not only did Jesus die for us, but He didn't stay dead.

Jesus is Alive
In his booklet Exploring Christianity - Religions the Rev. Dick Tripp tells the story of someone who was converted to Christ. When his friends asked him why he became a Christian. He answered,...

Well, it's like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions, and you didn't know which way to go; and there at the fork were two men, one dead and one alive. Which one would you ask the way to go?" ...Of the four major world religions that are based on a personality, rather than on a philosophical system, only Christianity claims that its founder came back to life after death. [09]

The fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead is the bedrock of Christian faith. As Paul said, if Christ were not resurrected then their preaching was a waste of time, and our faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14). Let me put it another way - if Jesus didn't rise from the dead then we might as well take everything else he said, write it down on little bits of paper, and stuff them into fortune cookies.

See Section on The Resurrection

Including Alleged Discrepancies in the Gospel Accounts of The Resurrection

And Why the Resurrection is the Crux of the Christian faith in Chapter 13 The Message of The Bible.

Founders of Other Religions
It is not difficult to find out where most of the founders of various religions were buried. You can copy and paste the URLs into your browser. The links are provided solely to show the actual photographs of the tombs and shrines of various religious leaders. It does not mean that I endorse or even agree with the information in the connected articles.r

    Muhammad is buried in the "Mosque of the Prophet" in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. Muhammad's grave lies within the confines of what used to be his wife Aisha's and his house. (SEE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mescidi_nebevi.JPG)

    Buddha died in the village of Kushinigar in Northern India, close to the Nepal border. He was cremated and his relics distributed, finally finding their home in various Stupas across Asia. [12] (SEE http://www.thomasriddle.net/buddhist_sites/kushinigar/pages/01_kushinigar-where_buddha_died.htm). One tooth is said to be housed in a temple, in Kandy, Sri Lanka (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_the_Tooth#mediaviewer/File:Zahntempel_Kandy.jpg)

    Bahá'ulláh, died in Bahjí near Acre, Israel. A shrine built there contains his remains and is therefore considered a very holy place for Bahais.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shrine_of_Bah%C3%A1%E2%80%99u%E2%80%99ll%C3%A1h.jpg).

    Bahá'u'lláh's forerunner, the Báb, who is one of three central figures of the Bahá'í Faith, is buried on Mount Carmel, in Haifa, Israel. The Shrine of the Báb is considered to be the second holiest place on Earth for Bahá'ís, after the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Acre. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shrine_Bab_North_West.jpg)

    Joseph Smith and his brother were initially buried under the unfinished Nauvoo House in of Nauvoo, Illinois. They were later disinterred and re-buried under an out-building on the Smith homestead. Joseph's wife Emma was also buried in the same spot. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Joseph_Smith#mediaviewer/File:JosephSmithGrave.jpg)

    Confucius, founder of Confucianism, is buried in his home town of Qufu in Shandong Province, China. Confucius' grave is located in a large cemetery where more than 100,000 of his descendants are also buried. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qufu#mediaviewer/File:Confuciustempleapricotplatform.jpg

    Guru Nanak: The guru's body was said to have been placed under a sheet. However, the next morning when the cloth under which the Guru's body lay, only the flowers placed there by Hindus and Muslims remained. There was no trace of a body.

    Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. Upon his death, Hubbard was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. [10]

    Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, the central figure of the Rastafari movement, is interred at Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holy_Trinity_Cathedral_Addis_Abeba_2.JPG)

    There is no consensus as to where Zoroaster lived, much less where he died or what became of his remains.

Please Note The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was built by the Roman emperor Constantine as two connected churches over two different sites... 1) the traditional site of Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, is in one corner. 2) A rotunda, on the other side contains the remains of a rock-cut room that someone identified as the burial site of Jesus. This rotunda is however called the Anastasis ("Resurrection")

But, is there any evidence at all that Jesus is no longer in the place where the disciples buried Him? Let's see what the first century writers had to say about this event.

    Luke summed it up in the opening chapter of his second book.. The Acts of The Apostles. In his words "The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:1-3 NASB)

    Speaking to the Roman centurion, Cornelius Peter stated they were witnesses, not only of all the things Jesus did but that they "ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead". (Acts 10:39-41 NASB)

    In his letter to the Corinthians Paul did not appeal to circumstantial evidence to prove the resurrection of Christ, but mentions some of those whom the risen Lord appeared to... Peter, the other disciples, his brother James, the apostles, five hundred others and to Paul himself. (1 Corinthians 15:4-8 NASB). (For reasons unknown the women that Jesus first appeared to were not mentioned) About the 500 witnesses the fact that Paul said "most of the 500 "remain until now" is compelling evidence of the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. He was telling the Corinthians "The witnesses are mostly alive. Go ask them!

Many skeptics object to the resurrection on the grounds that there is absolutely no evidence that a dead person has ever come to life in any country and in any age.


It is a never ending source of amazement that in our infinite wisdom we think that something cannot possibly be true simply because we haven't found any tangible evidence for it.

The point is, only God Almighty can raise someone from the dead and He certainly did not (and does not) spend His time running around raising people who have already been buried. Besides which, anyone who believes a Supreme Deity should not have any difficulty in believing that such a Being could not only create, but also resurrect. For God, this is not a 'miracle', but all in a day's work - so to speak.

In any case, that Jesus was resurrected from the dead is the whole point and hope of the Gospel message. He was the first to be permanently raised, and will be followed in due course by believers. (Even the few people who were miraculously resurrected by the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, and His disciples eventually died).

Although they variously claimed to be messengers, prophets, or manifestations of God, none of the founders of the various religions backed up their claims by any supernatural means... no prophecies, no miracles, no nothing. And, once again, please remember that eloquence is not proof of divine inspiration.

Although Jesus made the most mind boggling claims of all, they were supported by the many miracles He performed, the prophecies He Himself made and, above all, by His resurrection from the dead which was witnessed by many living at the time. He also fulfilled a large number of prophecies made hundreds of years before He was born that specified where He would be born, what His mission would be, how He would die, and that He would be resurrected from the grave. They also told of the miracles He would do to substantiate His claims.

Additionally, all the founders of other religions were born of a natural union between their human fathers and mothers. The Messiah was supernaturally conceived without benefit of a human father - born of a woman who was yet a virgin.

As Greg Koukl pointed out, 99.9% of everything we know comes not because we have discovered it for ourselves, but from someone else. For example, all our knowledge about the universe, the microscopic world, distant lands, history etc. comes from one or another source - a person or group that has a great deal more expertise in and familiarity with the subject. Thus the key issue is the reliability and credibility of the source. He goes on to say that

    "...a good case can be make that Jesus was that kind of authority. First He made certain claims about the nature of the universe, about Himself, and about God. He then worked miracles, cast out demons, raised the dead, predicted his own crucifixion, death and resurrection, and then self-consciously raised himself from the dead. Now if Jesus, in fact, did those things, I think He's earned the right to speak authoritatively about spiritual things" [11]

And, since Jesus had the right to speak authoritatively about spiritual matter, perhaps we should bear in mind His very unambiguous statement...

    "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. ( John 14:6)

In other words, without Jesus, you, me, and everyone else, isn't going to be forgiven our sins and enter into the Father's coming kingdom (a utopia that man can only imagine) for all eternity. In short, without Him... we're toast.

See The Message of The Bible   and   The Warning of The Bible Chapters 13 and 14 of this article. Also Salvation

Continue To Part 7: The Reliability of The New Testament
Everything we assume to be factual history is based (just as the Gospels are) on historians. However, we would be forced to dismiss as myth every single thing we think we think we know about the ancient past if we applied whatever criteria liberal scholars use to dismiss the Gospels to the evidence for other ancient historical people and events. So what is the excuse for many scholar's policy that what's sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander? The question is whether or not the New Testament records fulfill the historian's requirements of internal, external and transmissional reliability. HERE

Footnote I
Since the concept of a coming world teacher... a messiah who sets up a golden age on earth can be found in many world religious systems as well as in the literature of the occult it is easy to see how a charismatic leader who promises (and seems to deliver) utopia will be accepted nay, even welcomed by much of the world. Most of the major religions of the world anticipate a physical manifestation of their god. For example,

     The Jews look for the coming of the Messiah.

     Buddhists speak of the Maitreya who, according to scriptures, will be a successor of the historic Sakyamuni Buddha. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya refers to a time when the Dharma (right way of living) will have been forgotten by most on earth. See The Maitreya

     In Hinduism, Kalki is the final incarnation of Vishnu foretold to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the current epoch. It is believed that the sword wielding Kalki astride a white horse, is the harbinger of the end time. He will usher in Satya Yuga (the era of truth, or the golden age).

     Some Muslims look to the coming of Imam Mahdi or the 12th Imam. According to the Shiite version of Islam the 12th descendant of Mohammed, known as the 12th Imam or the Mahdi, went into hiding in 941- some 1300 years ago. Shiites believe he will reappear when the world has become full of oppression and tyranny.

     Some even anticipate the return of the serpent god Quetzalcoatl.

     Perhaps most ominous of all is the fact that a large portion of the New Age movement believes the present phase of human existence is one of transition, and there is a new age dawning. However, the utopian age will only come about under the leadership and guidance of a world leader/teacher. They contend that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius, Jesus, and many others were "Christs" but one, greater than all of them... the "Lord of the World", also known as Sanat Kumara, will soon come to usher in a New Age. And his coming will be preceded by the Ascended "Masters" who will walk openly among men.  See Overview of The New Age

However, although Jesus promised He would return to set up the Father's kingdom here on earth, we have been warned that His return will be preceded by what the Bible calls the "anti-christ", who will lead thousands if not millions of people astray. In fact, when asked what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age, Jesus' first words were to caution believers not to be misled by false Christ.This warning obviously has to include the most dangerous one of all... the antichrist. See The Antichrist

    As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. (Matthew 24:3-5 NASB)

 Endnotes (Chapter 6)

[01] Max Arthur MacAuliffe [1842-1913]. The Sikh Religion, Volume 1. Chapter 1. Oxford University Press [1909]

[02] Peter A. Merel Director, Softlife Pty Ltd. Tao Teh Ching version 1.8. Last Modified: January 1993.
http://www.drshirley.org/relg402/tao-teh-ching.txt.  OR see https://wiki.c2.com/?TaoChia

[03] The Gathas ("Hymns") of Zarathushtra. http://www.avesta.org/gathas.htm

[04] Tafsir of Surah Al Qadr (The Night Of Power) http://navedz.com/2014/07/21/tafsir-surah-al-qadr-night-power/

[05] Bukhari. Hadith 1:777. http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/bukhari/bh1/bh1_779.htm

[06] Bahá'u'lláh. An Introduction to the life of Bahá'u'lláh. http://bahaullah.com/bahaullah-history.html

[07] Buddhist Studies. Basic Buddhism. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda07.htm

[08] Keith E. Johnson. Do All Paths Lead to the Same Destination? http://www.leaderu.com/wri/articles/paths.html

[09] Dick Tripp. With So Many Religions, Why Christianity? February 25, 2016. http://christianity.co.nz/2016/02/religions/

[10] Find A Grave. L. Ron Hubbard http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3476

[11] Greg Koukl. Testing Religious Truth Claims. http://www.str.org/articles/testing-religious-truth-claims#.U86ErdLn8Vs


    Index To
    Choose Life