Synopsis of Creeds and Facts
In this chapter we have investigated probably the strongest single category of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus. The data supplied by oral creeds that circulated before the actual composition of the New Testament and, often corresponding to these creeds, the facts that critical scholars admit as knowable history, together provide a formidable basis for knowledge about Jesus.
From these sources we find reports of some incidents of Jesus’ life but especially numerous details concerning his death and resurrection. Jesus was a real flesh and blood person (Phil. 2:6; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2) who was physically born in the lineage of David (Acts 13:23; Rom. 1:3–4; 2 Tim. 2:8) and came from the town of
86 It should be mentioned here that the New Testament asserts that the believer is given an assurance of this event (as well as other truths of God) by the witness of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 5:9–13). Believers need not rely on investigations of critical hermeneutical methodology, as was done here. Such processes can confirm what is already certified, however, or answer the questions of skeptics.
Nazareth (Acts 2:22; 4:10; 5:38). John preceded Jesus (Acts 10:37; 13:24–25), and it is implied that Jesus was baptized (Rom. 10:9). Jesus’ ministry began in Galilee, and was extended throughout Judea (Acts 10:37). Jesus both performed miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38) and fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies (2:25–31; 3:21–25; 4:11; 10:43; 13:27–37). He preached his message among men, resulting in people believing his testimony (1 Tim. 3:16).
On the night Jesus was betrayed, he first attended a dinner, where he prayed and gave thanks before the meal. Afterward, Jesus passed around both bread and drink, which he referred to as the sacrifice of his body and blood for sin (1 Cor. 11:23ff.). Later, Jesus appeared before Pilate (Acts 3:13; 13:28), where he made a good confession, which very possibly concerned his identity as the Messiah (1 Tim. 6:13).