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King James VI & I

King James VI & I

Biography
James Charles Stuart

King James VI or Scottland, Ireland and King Jmaes I of England

James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625), the only child of Mary, Queen of Scots, was King of Scots from 1567 and King of England and Ireland from 1603, being the first monarch of the House of Stuart to rule all three countries.  His descendants include Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Philippe of Belgium, Felipe VI of Spain, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Margrethe II of Denmark, Harald V of Norway, Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. This article deals with numerous descendants of James and his wife Anne of Denmark (Since he is not known to have had any illegitimate children).

James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625.

Born: June 19, 1566, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Died: March 27, 1625, Theobalds House, Goffs Oak, United Kingdom

Spouse: Anne of Denmark (m. 1589–1619)

Mother: Mary, Queen of Scots

Father: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley

Children: Charles I of England, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales
Spouse: Anne of Denmark (m. 1589–1619)
Spouse: Anne of Denmark (m. 1589–1619)
Edinburgh Castle
  Edinburgh Castle

In August 1589, James married Anne of Denmark by proxy and their actual wedding ceremony took place in Oslo, Norway, on 23 November of that year. Although James and Anne were close at the beginning of their marriage, they gradually drifted apart. She had been brought up a Lutheran and converted to Catholicism shortly after marrying James, which was unpopular among the people of Presbyterian Scotland (and, later, those of Anglican England).

By the time of her husband’s accession to the English throne in 1603, Anne was the mother of three living children (Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, Elizabeth and Charles), but had also suffered at least three miscarriages and stillbirths, and had another four children who died in infancy. Their second son succeeded James as King Charles I.

Children

Name Portrait Birth Marriages and Issue Death
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales Henry Prince of Wales 1610 Robert Peake.jpg 19 February 1594
Stirling Castle, Stirling Scotland
Never married
no children
6 November 1612 (aged 18)
Elizabeth of Bohemia Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia from NPG.jpg 19 August 1596
Falkland Palace, Fife, Scotland
Frederick of Bohemia
8 children. The current UK monarchy stems from her
13 February 1662 (aged 65)
Charles I of England Charles I (young).jpg 19 November 1600
Dunfermline Palace, Fife, Scotland
Henrietta Maria of France
5 children
30 January 1649 (aged 48)

 

  1. Henry Frederick STUART, Prince of Wales
    Birth 19 FEB 1594, Stirling Castle; Death 6 NOV 1612, St. James Palace, England. Notes: Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester. Died of Typhoid.
  2. STUART, Child
    Birth JUL 1595; Death JUL 1595–Stillborn
  3. Elizabeth STUART, “The Winter Queen”, Queen of Bohemia
    Birth 19 AUG 1596, Dunfermline; Death 13 FEB 1662, Leicester House, London, England. Notes: Married Frederick V, Elector of Palatine of the Rhine, King of Bohemia 1619-1620. Had 13 children.
  4. Margaret STUART
    Birth 24 DEC 1598, Dalkeith Palace; Death MAR 1600, Linlithgow
  5. Charles I STUART, King of Britain
    Birth 19 NOV 1600, Dunfermline, Scotland; Death 30 JAN 1649, Whitehall Palace, England; Burial , St. George’s, Chapel, Windsor, England. Notes: Acceded to English throne upon death of his father on March 27, 1625. Murdered by order of “Puritan” Oliver Cromwell and other insurgents. Trial of King Charles I ||| Last words ||| more links to information on Charles I on the King James VI & I index page.
  6. Robert Bruce STUART, Duke of Kintyre
    Birth 18 JAN 1602, Dunfermline; Death 27 MAY 1602, Dunfermline
  7. Son
    Birth MAY 1603, Stirling; Death MAY 1603, Stirling
  8. Mary STUART
    Birth 8 APR 1605, Greenwich Palace; Death 16 SEP 1607, Stanwell Park, Middlesex, England
  9. Sophia STUART
    Birth 22 JUN 1606, Greenwich Palace; Death 23 JUN 1606, Greenwich Palace
*King James VI & I is not known to have had any illegitimate children.

Geneaology from King James I
to Prince Charles and Princess Diana

(and subsequent descendants)

The following genealogical chart is used with kind permission from Yvonne Demoskoff (http://users.uniserve.com/~canyon/royalty.html). Thanks Yvonne! One can also see this page as a pdf at kjchart.pdf


This chart outlines the descent of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles from their common ancestor, King James VI & I. The names in red are five of the six godparents of their son Prince William. Please note that some information (such as full names and titles, in some cases) has been omitted for the sake of space.

(Copyright © 1998 Yvonne Demoskoff)

JAMES I of England and VI of Scotland (1566-1625) | |————————————————————————————————————————| | | Elizabeth Charles I, King of England | | | | Sophia James II, King of England | | | | George I, King of Great Britain (natural daughter:) | Henrietta | | George II, King of Great Britain James, 1st Earl Waldegrave | | |———————————————————————–| |———————| Frederick, Prince of Wales Louisa 2nd Earl Waldegrave 3rd Earl Waldegrave | | | | |———————| | | | | | | | | Augusta George III, King of Great Britain Louise Anne Horatia 4th Earl Waldegrave | | | | | | | | | | Augusta Edward, Duke of Kent Louise Horace 8th Earl Waldegrave | | | | | | | | | | Paul Victoria, Queen of Great Britain Christian IX, King of Denmark Adelaide William | | | | | | |——————————–| | | | Pauline Edward VII, King of G.B. Alice George I, King of the Hellenes 6th Earl Spencer 11th Earl Waldegrave | | | | | | | | | | | | Nicholas George V, King of G.B. Victoria Constantine I, King of the Hellenes 7th Earl Spencer 12th Earl Waldegrave | | | | | | | |—————| |————| | | | Sophie George VI, George, Alice Louis, Earl Paul I, King of the Hellenes 8th Earl Spencer Lady Susan Waldegrave | King of G.B. Duke of Kent | Mountbatten | | | | | | of Burma | | | | | | | | | Anastasia Elizabeth II, Alexandra Philip, Duke Patricia Constantine II, King Lady Diana Spencer | Queen of G.B. of Edinburgh | of the Hellenes | | | | | | Georgina |——————————-| Norton | | | | | | | Natalia Charles, Prince of Wales | |————————————————————————————| | | H.R.H. Prince William of Wales

updated April 9, 2011, H.R.H. Prince William of Wales married Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. They became known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

July 22, 2013, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce the birth of their first son, [the baby was eventually named George Alexander Louis] born at the Lindo Wing, St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. “The baby is third in line of succession after His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge. He is styled His Royal Highness Prince [name] of Cambridge.

(derived from www.dukeandduchessofcambridge.org/the-duchess-of-cambridge/biography. Quote taken from www.dukeandduchessofcambridge.org/news-and-diary/the-duchess-of-cambridge-has-been-delivered-of-son)

May 2, 2015, the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was born–a daughter, HRH Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. She is fourth in line for the British throne: (1st) Prince Charles (her grandfather) (2nd) Prince William (her father) (3rd) Prince George (her older brother) (4th) Princess Charlotte.

King James I of England
(VI of Scotland)
INTERESTING FACTS

  • King James I was a Christian who wanted the Bible in the hands of the common man. Specially commanded the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611 of the Bible.
  • King James was known for his wisdom. He was known as “Great Britain’s Solomon” while he was yet alive.
  • Fluent in Greek, Latin, French, English, and his native Scots. Schooled in Italian and Spanish.
  • Wrote extensively including Basilicon Doron (the Kingly Gift), Daemonologie, and tracts on varied subjects such as “Counterblaste to Tobacco” which condemned the use of tobacco. Counterblaste is considered the first anti-smoking tract. These and many other writings are found in The Workes of the Most High and Mightie Prince Iames (in Jacobean typography, the letter “I” can represent I or J), a massive collection of the king’s writings now online. In The Workes, one finds that King James was a contender for the faith of Jesus Christ and cared about the spiritual well-being of his kingdom. He even wrote Christian meditations for his people. His writings are still relevant today–King James has a message that Rome does not want you to hear.
  • William Shakespere was one of his subjects. Learning and writing thrived under the King’s reign.
  • Formed the foundation for what is now known as the British Empire by uniting warring tribes of Scotland and then enjoining the crowns of Scotland and England in 1603. He was the first to call his new kingdom, “Great Britain”.
  • King James was became King of Scotland in 1567 when he was 13 months old and acceded to the English throne in 1603.
  • Scottish reformation leader John Knox read the sermon when he was crowned King.
  • He endured racism as a Scot ruling over the English, nevertheless had the love and admiration of many subjects. Years after his death, detractors tried to sully his good name. Unfortunately, it continues today, yet KJV translators, yea the King himself had predicted such.
  • King James was sickly having crippling arthritis, weak limbs, abdominal colic, gout, and a number of other chronic illnesses. He also had physical handicaps which affected his legs and tongue. Coupled with numerous attempts on his life, he required constant attention and watchcare.
  • His mother was Mary Queen of Scots who was deposed in 1567 and executed in 1587 after 19 years in prison. His father, Lord Darnley, was murdered in 1567.
  • Roman Catholic clerics tried to kill him more than once. The King was born during the time of the Reformation and well knew popery’s atrocities. In 1536, popery burned William Tyndale to death for distributing the Bible and it was MUCH displeased with King James’ authorization of a Bible in English (see translator’s notes). Roman Catholic Nicolo Molin, an Ambassador said this of King James:

    “…He is a Protestant…The king tries to extend his Protestant religion to the whole island. The King is a bitter enemy of our religion (Roman Catholic)…He frequently speaks of it in terms of contempt. He is all the harsher because of this last conspiracy (Gun Powder Plot) against his life…He understood that the Jesuits had a hand in it.”

    King James said this in Basilicon Doron:

    “I am no papist as I said before…Now faith…is the free gift of God (as Paul sayeth). It must be nourished by prayer, which is no thing else but a friendly talking to God. Use oft to pray when ye are quiet, especially in your bed…”

  • He led a chaste life. Sir Henry Wotton (June 1602) said this of King James:

    “There appears a certain natural goodness verging on modesty…He wears short hair…among his good qualities none shines more brightly than the chastness of his life, which he has preserved without stain down to the present time. Contrary to the example of almost all his ancestors, who disturbed the kingdom with the great number of bastards which they left.”

    F.A. Inderwick wrote in 1891:

    “James had a reputation for learning, for piety, for good nature, and for liberality.”

    In 1603, Sir Roger Wilbaham wrote:

    “The King is of sharpest wit and invention…of the sweetest most pleasant and best nature that I ever knew, desiring nor affecting anything but true honor.”

  • King James loved literature and wrote extensively including the Basilicon Doron which contains instructions to his son on how to live and be a just king. King James’ advice to his son concerning chastity:

    “Keep your body clean and unpolluted while you give it to your wife whom to only it belongs for how can you justly crave to be joined with a Virgin if your body be polluted? Why should the one half be clean, and the other defiled? And suppose I know, fornication is thought but a veniall sin by the most part of the world, yet remember well what I said to you in my first book regarding conscience, and count every sin a breach of God’s law, not according as the vain world esteems of it, but as God judge and maker of the law accounts of the same: hear God commanding by the mouth of Paul to abstain from fornication, declaring that the fornicator shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, and by the mouth of John reckoning out fornication among other grievous sins that declares the commiters among dogs and swine.”

    Advice to his son on how to treat his wife.

    “And for your behavior to your wife, the Scripture can best give you counsel therein. Treat her as your own flesh, command her as her lord, cherish her as your helper, rule her as your pupil, please her in all things reasonable, but teach her not to be curious in things that belong not to her. You are the head, she is your body, it is your office to command and hers to obey, but yet with such a sweet harmony as she should be as ready to obey as you to command, as willing to follow as you to go before, your love being wholly knit unto her, and all her affections lovingly bent to follow your will.”

  • King James loved his wife, Queen Anne, and wrote beautifully of her. They had nine children together. Once, while out hunting, Queen Anne mistakenly killed King James’ favorite dog. Sir Dudley Carleton wrote in 1613:

    The queen shooting a deer mistook her mark and killed Jewel, the King’s most special and favourite hound; at which he stormed exceedingly awhile; but after he knew who did it he was soon pacified and with much kindness wished her not to be troubled with it for he should love her never the worse; and the next day sent her a diamond worth �2000 as a legacy from his dead dog….The Queen by her late pacification hath gained Greenwich.

  • King James is the founding monarch of the United States. Under his reign, we have the first successful colonies planted on the American mainland–Virginia, Massachsetts and Nova Scotia. King James ordered, wrote and authorized this Evangelistic Grant Charter to settle the Colony of Virginia:

    “To make habitation…and to deduce a colony of sundry of our people into that part of America, commonly called Virginia…in propogating of Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness…to bring a settled and quiet government.”

Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.edinburghcity.org.uk/attractions/castle-history/, http://scotlandsmary.com/james-i-vi/, https://www.jesus-is-lord.com/kinginde.htm, http://www.israelitesunite.com/king-james.html
What is your Verdict?

What is your Verdict?

VALIDITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
Copyright ©2012 Pastor Kevin R Airrington


Juries in the United States are asked every day to determine if there is enough evidence in a criminal trial to convict a person “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In this article I am going to ask you to weigh for yourself the historical and the physical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from about 29 a.d. and then, you judge for yourself if the Bible is a credible document.

About 2,000 years ago an event was supposed to have occurred and the Bible records evidence of that event.  Much of the evidence that is recorded in the Bible is supported by outside documents and first-century historians.  If the man we call Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead then the Christian faith and the New Testament are complete and entire frauds.  In short, prove the Resurrection to be false and the entire Christian religion would fall apart and Jesus would found to be a liar.

But if true, this single event, above any other in the history of mankind, provides something solid to believe in. It provides evidence of the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth more powerfully than anything that he ever said or did.  It proves that Jesus is who He claimed to be: the Son of God.

Any event that claims to be historical must satisfy certain tests of authenticity.  For example, we know that people and events were historical by the things that were said and not said about them in their own time and the time immediately following.

Examine within these few pages the arguments that demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was truly raised by God from the dead. You will then have a solid basis for faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and with your whole heart, soul, and mind lay hold upon the hope of eternal life.

If true, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the single most important event in the history of mankind, and therefore the one most crucial to establish as an authentic historical event. In fact, the Resurrection is the very linchpin of the Christian faith, holding together every claim and every blessing. If the Resurrection could be proven a fraud, Christianity would disintegrate as a total fabrication with little redeeming merit. Jesus would not even be an example of a “good moral teacher,” as some maintain, for his most important prediction—that he would be raised from the dead—would be found a lie.

As Christians, our very salvation depends in large part upon the reliability of the four historical records of the birthlifedeath, and especially the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.   The most important, most vital element for our salvation is a deeply held historical factual raised Jesus from the dead.   Romans 10:9 asserts: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  We are trifling with the bedrock of our salvation when we entertain doubts about the historical accuracy of any part of Scripture.  But most crucial are those parts that make historical claims upon which our salvation depends.

Therefore, those who argue that historically the resurrection is not provable and even unnecessary are contradicting the testimony of the apostolic witnesses.  The Apostle Paul’s entire ministry was built upon the foundation of the Resurrection, and it was his personal encounter with the risen Christ that caused him to develop a firm conviction in the reality of this event. In the following verses, I have highlighted in bold type Paul’s statements of the consequences to the Christian faith if the Resurrection of Christ did not, in fact, happen.

1 Corinthians 15:14-20

(14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

(16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

(17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

(18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

(19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Later in his life, Paul’s public testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his proclamation of the Gospel in Ephesus caused such uproar that the Roman authorities took him into protective custody lest he be killed by the Jews.  After several appeals according to Roman law, Paul found himself standing before King Agrippa, his last level of appeal before the Emperor himself.

Given permission to speak freely, Paul launched into a passionate account of his life, concluding with his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.  When Paul then verified the Resurrection from Old Testament prophecy, the governor, Festus, interrupted him and told him he was crazy. The truth of Paul’s brilliant reply remains emblazoned across the pages of human history.

Acts 26:25-26

(25) “But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

(26) For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.

Amen! And that is why, taken together, the following historical proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ present evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The Resurrection narratives have the ring of historical truth

The Resurrection narratives (Gospels) bear unmistakable signs of being historically accurate. The earliness of these accounts, at a time when hostile witnesses were present, would have made a fabrication unlikely and dangerous.  There is agreement on the main facts and great variety in the witnesses given, yet they are not a mere repetition of some standardized story with all the discrepancies worked out.  The accounts of Christ’s resurrection appearances are clearly independent of one another, as their surface dissimilarities suggest.  Deeper scrutiny, however, reveals that these appearances are non‑contradictory.  Henry Morris writes:

It is a well‑known rule of evidence that the testimonies of several different witnesses, each reporting from his own particular vantage point, provide the strongest possible evidence when the testimonies contain superficial contradictions that resolve themselves upon close and careful examination. This is exactly the situation with the various witnesses to the resurrection.1

2. The Apostle Paul’s life and ministry is a strong witness of the Resurrection

At the time Paul met the resurrected Christ, he was an ardent antagonist to the Christian faith.  A highly educated man, he was not easily persuaded of anything that appeared contrary to or inconsistent with the Mosaic traditions.  It could be said that he would have been the last person on earth to accept the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah based on the Jewish expectations of the time. The fact that he became so fully persuaded of the resurrection of Christ that he completely dedicated his life to his risen Lord is powerful evidence of the reality of the Resurrection.   Canon Kennett writes:

Within a very few years of the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus was in the mind of at least one man of education [the Apostle Paul], absolutely irrefutable.2

3.  The empty tomb is a historical given

No reputable New Testament historian doubts the historical fact that the tomb in which Christ was placed after his crucifixion was empty. Therefore, there are only three explanations for it. His enemies took the body, his friends took the body, or Jesus was raised from the dead. The first possibility is extremely unlikely, because his enemies would have certainly displayed his body if they could have, in order to humiliate his disciples, quell the rumors of his resurrection, as well as to cut short any new religious movement that threatened their Mosaic traditions.

It is equally unlikely that his friends would have taken his body, because after his crucifixion they were profoundly disappointed and discouraged and did not believe that he would be resurrected. It is absurd to think that under these conditions they would invent a scheme in which they would steal away the body to fabricate a story they obviously did not believe.

4. The disciples were devout Jews

The disciples were Jews who took seriously their Jewish privileges and obligations. Therefore, it is unthinkable that they would have been party to making up a new religion for personal gain. To a first‑century Jew, such an act was equivalent to lying against the God of Israel, as Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15:12‑19 (where he called it bearing false witness, contrary to one of the Ten Commandments). For a first‑century Jew, lying against God and perverting His revelation would mean risking one’s salvation and future participation in the Messianic Kingdom. Would such a person risk divine retribution for a few years of prestige as a leader of a new religion? The answer can only be an emphatic “no.”

5. The testimony of women

The presence of women at the tomb is strong evidence that the biblical record is true. Women had virtually no credibility in the firstcentury Jewish culture, and their testimony in a court of law was considered worthless. For example, if a man was accused of a crime that only women witnessed, he could not be convicted on that basis.  If the account of Jesus’ resurrection were a fable added later in an attempt to authenticate Christianity, why would the record have women be the first to see him and testify to the empty tomb, unless it had really happened that way? Women bringing testimony of his resurrection that is then denied by the male disciples makes the latter look bad, and these men were the first leaders of the Christian Church.  A fabricated story added later by the Church would certainly have painted their first leaders in a more favorable light.

6.  Jewish propaganda presupposes the empty tomb and the missing body

The Jewish Temple authorities paid those who had seen the tomb empty to lie and say that the disciples had stolen the body, and they even murdered many of those who preached about his resurrection. With such a powerful incentive to squash the new movement, they would have stopped at nothing to produce Jesus’ dead body if they could have. The fact that they did not means they could not because he was risen.

7. His enemies would have produced his dead body to silence the believers

If he did not rise from the dead, what became of his body?  If his enemies stole it and never showed it openly, that would have encouraged the very rumors of a resurrection that they were very anxious to prevent.  But the decisive proof that His enemies did not take the body is that they surely would have quickly produced it with great fanfare, for they stopped short of nothing to discredit the story.  As William Lane Craig argues:

This is historical evidence of the highest quality, since it comes not from the Christians but from the very enemies of the early Christian faith.3

8. There was no veneration of the tomb

If Jesus was not resurrected, why is there no record of his disciples venerating his tomb as so often happens to religious leaders?  Though God forbade it, the practice continued among the Israelites to the point that God Himself disposed of the bodies of Elijah and Moses lest their followers venerate their gravesites.

9. A non-Christian historian testifies in support of the Resurrection

Josephus, the firstcentury Jewish historian, wrote about Jesus Christ and the growth of Christianity as follows:

And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake him; for He appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him. And the tribes of Christians, so named from Him, are not extinct at this day.4

Though some have tried to dismiss this corroborating secular testimony as fraudulent, this is unlikely because Josephus’ writings were well received at the time of their writing by both Jews and Romans. He was even made an honorary Roman citizen.

There is no record of any objection being raised to this passage by early detractors of Christianity, and had this been a fraudulent and late insertion into the writings of Josephus, this fact would have been openly debated in the literature of the day. Because this did not happen, the silence of the critics is damning to their cause.5

10. No alternative explanations in the early non-scriptural sources

There is no alternative explanation for the rise of the Christian Church given in early historical sources that would even attempt to give the “real” story.  In the event that the story was fabricated, surely some critic would have attempted such an alternative explanation.  But the only adequate explanation for the rise of the Church that has ever been given is that the early Christians believed Jesus had been raised from the dead.

11. The biblical records of the Resurrection appearances give a unified witness

The Four Gospels and the Apostle Paul give a unified witness of eleven resurrection appearances.  Because these records are harmonious and noncontradictory, the burden of proof is upon those who would say that they do not tell the truth.

The eleven resurrection appearances, in their likely order, are as follows:

  1. To Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:11–18)
  2. To the other women (Matt. 28:8–10)
  3. To Simon Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5)
  4. To the two men on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13–35)
  5. To eleven of the disciples (except Thomas-Luke 24:33–49; John 20:19–24)
  6. To the twelve a week later (John 20:24–29; 1 Cor. 15:5)
  7. To seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1–23)
  8. To more than five hundred followers (1 Cor. 15:6)
  9. To James (1 Cor. 15:7)
  10. To all the Apostles [this could be speaking of the Ascension](1 Cor. 15:7)
  11. To the Twelve at the Ascension (Acts 1:3–12)6 

12. The idea of Christ’s new body was a totally foreign concept

The disciples had enough trouble believing that Christ would die and then be raised, and would never have even conceived of the idea of the Messiah having a different body.  It is virtually inconceivable that early Christians fabricated such a story, which even today sounds like science fiction to many doubters.

13.  Modern scholars and historians admit that there is strong evidence of his bodily resurrection

J. P. Moreland confirms this and quotes other scholars:

Almost no New Testament scholar today denies that Jesus appeared to a number of his followers after his death. Some scholars interpret these as subjective hallucinations or objective visions granted by God which were not visions of a physical being.  But no one denies that the believers had some sort of experience. The skeptical New Testament scholar Norman Perrin admitted: “The more we study the tradition with regard to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based.” Dunn, professor of divinity at the University of Durham, England, agrees: “It is almost impossible to dispute that at the historical roots of Christianity lie some visionary experiences of the first Christians, who understood them as appearances of Jesus, raised by God from the dead.”7

Thomas Arnold, former Professor of History at Rugby and Oxford, and one of the world’s greatest historians, made the following statement about the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died, and rose again from the dead.8

Simon Greenleaf is one of the most highly regarded legal minds ever seen in America. He was an expert on the laws of evidence, and the founder of the Harvard Law School. He analyzed the accounts in the Four Gospels of the resurrection of Christ in terms of their validity as objective testimonial evidence, and concluded:

It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.9

14. The conviction of his followers in the Resurrection

Those who first published the story that Jesus had risen from the dead believed it to be a fact.

They rested their faith not only on the fact of the empty tomb, but on the fact that they themselves had seen Jesus alive after his burialHe was seen not once or twicebut at least ten recorded times; and not just one at a time, but in groups of two, seven, ten, eleven, twelve, and over five hundred.

15. The martyrdom of his followers for their belief in the Resurrection

The firstcentury believers preached and acted with conviction about the truth of his resurrection, many of them even dying because of their belief. If his friends had stolen the body to make it look like he had been resurrected, they would have known that they were believing a lie, and men do not become martyrs for what they know to be false.

16. The unanimous testimony of eye-witnesses, who could not all have been deceived or deluded

Some critics say that the early Christians had a vision or a hallucination of Christ after his death, in the same way people today claim to have “seen” the pop icon Elvis Presley.  Could it not have been an ecstatic visionA dreamA fantasy of an excited imagination?  Perhaps an apparitionNone of these is at all probable, for different groups of people do not keep on seeing the same hallucination. Over five hundred people in a crowd would not all dream the same dream at the same time.

Some modern Christian apologists have argued that it is irrelevant whether or not Christ actually was physically raised, because his “spirit” went to be with God.  God then supposedly gave Christ’s followers a “vision” of Christ continuing to live “spiritually” at God’s side. Such a mystical and spiritualistic concept would not have satisfied the Hebraic mind of the disciples, however, who believed the dead to be dead until raised in a bodily, physical resurrection.  It would also have placed the Christian faith on a subjective, mystical basis without historical claims and would not account for the early disciples’ energetic witness of the bodily resurrection of Christ.

17. The unbelief of the disciples concerning his resurrection

With the exception of Joseph of Arimathea, the followers of Jesus did not believe that he would die and then be resurrected. They were not expecting the event, and when it happened they did not believe it at first. They considered it an “idle tale” (Luke 24:11 ‑ KJV). They did not believe it until they had to, when they were directly confronted by the risen Lord.  Henry Morris writes:

One thing is certain: the disciples could not have fabricated the story of the resurrection from their own imaginations. On the contrary, they somehow failed to anticipate it even after such an abundance of prophetic preparation for it, both from the Scriptures and from Christ. It took the strongest of evidences to convince them it had actually taken place.10

18. The idea of a resurrected Messiah was a hard sell to the Jews and absurd to the Greeks

The picture of Jesus was not in keeping with then current conceptions of what the Messiah would be like (a theocratic ruler who would deliver Israel from Gentile oppression) and it would have been hard to convince others of its truth.  The Greeks, with their doctrine of the immortality of the soul, thought the idea of a bodily resurrection absurd and unnecessary (Acts 17:32).  If the disciples had invented an event or a doctrine around which to build a new religion, it would have been more in line with the standard expectations of the day.

19. He could have gotten out of the tomb only by resurrection

The “swoon” theory has proposed that Jesus was not really dead when they buried him, and that he “came to” again. But in that case, weak and exhausted, encased in heavy grave wrappings; he could scarcely have moved, much less removed the heavy stone door (about 2,000lbs) and gotten out of the tomb.   Furthermore, the Roman authorities had sealed the door, and even if he had been successful in moving the stone, the guards would have rearrested him and further humiliated him. Since there is no record of such an event, it must not have happened, because his enemies would have made much of such a bizarre happening.

20. The very existence and growth of the Christian Church makes no sense if he was not raised

Some critics say that the resurrection was a later addition to the story of Christ, invented years later by the Church to glorify a dead hero.  But it is known, from historical records outside Scripture, that the sect known as Christians came into existence in the reign of Tiberius, and that the thing that brought them into existence was their belief that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The Resurrection was not a later addition to the Christian faith, but the very cause and incentive for itThey rested their faith, not on historical records, but on what they had seen with their own eyes. The records were the result of their faithnot the cause of it. Christianity hinges on the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection, for without it the entire faith is found fraudulent.  Had there been no resurrection, there would have been no New Testament, and no Christian Church.

21. The disciples had nothing to gain by fabricating a story and starting a new religion

His followers faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyrs’ deaths. In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie.  Religion had its rewards for them, but those rewards came from a sincere belief that what they were living for was true.

22. The unanimous testimony of the early Christian leaders

If the empty tomb and resurrection was a fabrication, why did not at least one of the disciples break away from the rest and start his own version of Christianity?   Or why did not at least one of them reveal the claim as a lie?  The Temple authorities were willing to pay good money to anyone who would provide such information.  Or if money was not alluring enough, what about the possibility of proving the Resurrection a lie in order to draw disciples away to follow some enterprising would‑be cult leader?  History has shown that this role is a popular one, and this would have been a golden opportunity.

Without the strong and persuasive evidence of the Resurrection, the continued unity of the early Christian leaders is inexplicable in light of the human tendency to want to promote oneself.  The assumption that they were all committed to the truth of their message is the only adequate explanation of their continued unity and the lack of any revelation of fraud.  Those who lie for personal gain do not stick together very long, especially when hardship decreases the benefits.

23. All of the alternate explanations proposed for the Resurrection lack credibility

In light of the evidence of the empty tomb, the Resurrection appearances and the rise of the Christian Church, a reasonable person should conclude that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a wellestablished historical fact.   In a court of law, such evidence would compel conviction unless contradictory evidence could be brought forward to introduce “a reasonable doubt.”   But all alternate explanations and theories are extremely doubtful and counter‑intuitive.

Therefore, Christians are being rational, sensible, and fully consistent with common sense when they rest their faith on this wellestablished historical event.  Not only is there compelling historical evidence to back the beliefbut extravagant benefits in the future are promised to those who believe it.  According to the Bible, the only sure promise of everlasting life for mankind, both individually and collectively, depends upon belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As Halley writes:

What a Halo of Glory this simple belief sheds on human life. Our hope of resurrection and life everlasting is based, not on a philosophic guess about immortality, but an historic fact.11

What is your Verdict?

From my research I have found 23 pieces of evidence proving the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We have more evidence of proof of the Resurrection than we do evidence that Abraham Lincoln ever lived.  Yet, you believe Abe lived, don’t you?

Maybe this article has helped you come to your own verdict and you are ready to offer the same kind of prayer that changed my life over 23 years ago.  Perhaps you are still skeptical; let me encourage you to continue in your research, but act quickly as the Bible says we are not guaranteed our next breath here on earth.  Hear me for just a moment, there is a lot riding on your verdict!  If Jesus really is the Son of God, then your eternal future depends on how you respond to Him.  John 8:24 says, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”  Those are strong words; I get it!  But please understand my friend, they are meant with the most concerning love for you.  Jesus paid it all for you.  He is opening the door to Heaven for all who will put their trust in Him.  The choice is yours.  The evidence is in; it is not disputable — what is your verdict?

1.  Henry Morris, The Defender’s Bible (World Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995), p. 1576.

2. New Bible Dictionary (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1975), p. 1087.

3. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics   (Crossway Books, Wheaton IL, 1994), p. 277.

4. Translated by William Whiston (originally published in 1737), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus (The Winston Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1957), p. 535.

5. For more on the authenticity of Josephus’ reference to Jesus, see Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1999), pp. 55–57.

6. Traditionally, Judas Iscariot is excluded from the number witnessing his ascension because of the record in Matthew 27:5 that seem to indicate that Judas went and “hanged himself” shortly after the crucifixion. It seems more likely, however, that Judas was received back into the company of the disciples in the period between his repentance and the Ascension, which he witnessed. After he saw Jesus ascend, and all hope of the restoration of a Davidic kingdom lost, Judas went and killed himself. His absence then precipitated the need to replace him, which became the first order of business after the Resurrection (see Acts 1:16–26). If Judas had killed himself before the Resurrection, it is logical to assume that Jesus himself would have been involved in choosing his replacement, since he chose the original 12. The fact that Judas was received back into the company of the disciples after his betrayal of Jesus speaks volumes about the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus, as well as the committed brotherhood of the disciples.

7. J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1987), pp. 171 and 172.

8. Thomas Arnold, Sermons on Christian Life (London, 1854), p. 324.

9. Simon Greenleaf, the Testimony of the Evangelists (New York: 1874), p. 28.

10. Morris, op. cit., The Defender’s Bible, p. 1574.

11. Henry H. Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1955 edition, p. 497. 

 

Other Information, Books, Booklets, and Articles available from:

Airrington Ministries: www.airrington.com

Save a VillageTM: www.saveavillage.org

For Further Evidence

Craig, William Lane, Reasonable Faith, Westchester, Ill Crossway, 1994

Geivett, R. Douglas, & Gary R. Habermas. Eds. In Defense of Miracles. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press 1997

Habermas, Gary, & Antony Flew. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987

Hanegraaff, Hank.  The Third Day. Nashville: W Group, 2003.

Morrison, Frank.  Who moved the Stone? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987

Wilkins, Michael, J. and J.P. Moreland, eds. Jesus Under Fire. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985

Wilson, Ian. Jesus: The Evidence. San Francisco: Harper 1988

Schonfield, Hugh. The Passover Plot. New York: Bantam 1965

Johnson, Timothy Luk. The Real Jesus. San Franscico: Harper 1996

Strobel, Lee. The Case For Easter. Grand Rapids:Zondervan 2003

 

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