The Resurrection of Jesus
Today, the world is in possession of one of the most compelling and empirical pieces of evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, that has ever been discovered. Once regarded as a forgery or hoax, this ancient document has now been confirmed as authentic and bearing evidence of supernatural origin. Examined by Forensic Pathologists and some of the world’s best image analyzing equipment, the Shroud of Turin has revealed stunning evidence that this linen cloth bears the image of the Crucified Jesus Christ.
Those who have carefully examined and scrutinized the Shroud, entered their investigation as skeptics and unbelievers–concluding their studies with confirmation that this is in fact the burial shroud of the man described as “Jesus of Nazareth,” crucified in Jerusalem, during the period of time described by the writers of the New Testament.
The Resurrection changed the entire world
There is one event that has occurred in the history of the world that has more profoundly changed the entire course of mankind, than any other event: The resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today we continue to mark all time by the birth of Jesus Christ. I am writing this paragraph on April 9, 2013. In earlier times, this date would have been referred to as “The year of our Lord, 2013.”
The most profound event ever recorded, is still being celebrated today at Easter, in remembering Jesus resurrection from the dead.
There are in excess of two billion people on the planet at this very moment who claim to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation. They do so because of the time honored, history tested, record of the New Testament—which verifies that Jesus rose from the dead, just as He promised.
If the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax, why have such a large percentage of the population of the earth continued to believe in, and observe this event for over 2,000 years? These are intelligent, sincere people who place their eternal salvation in the hands of a Savior whom the solid record of eyewitness accounts are attested to, throughout ancient history, and are unimpeachable in their authenticity.
Because the claims of Jesus’ resurrection by the early Christian church have held such profound implications, the assertion of Jesus’ resurrection was under extremely close scrutiny from the very beginning. Over the course of the past 2,000 years, if there was even a fragment of proof to the contrary that Jesus had risen, it is certain that this evidence would have been brought forth early in the history of the church, and today the resurrection would stand as a hoax. Instead, we discover the records of history reveals that the writers of the first century who testified that their leader had risen from the dead—were never successfully countermanded or impeached.
The reason that this has born true for 2,000 years is that the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is overwhelming.
The New Testament describes over 500 eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after He had been brutally crucified.
1 Corinthians 15:3 (Paul writing) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
After Jesus was seen alive, a massive writing frenzy began in recording this event to substantiate the authenticity of its occurrence. If there had been a single dissenting vote against Jesus being seen alive after the resurrection, Paul intimates here in 1 Corinthians 15:3 that any of those 500 witnesses who are said to have seen Jesus alive—could have themselves—written in opposition, because Paul said: “The greater part remain to the present.”
There is not a single record from this early period of the Christian church which state that Jesus did not rise from the dead. No physical body of Jesus was ever produced, and not one of those whom Paul describes as being an eyewitness of Jesus resurrection—some 500 in total—ever wrote in opposition to Jesus’ resurrection having occurred. The reason: There was just too much evidence in favor of His resurrection. Jesus had been so widely seen alive by so many different people, over a period of 40 days, that it was impossible to deny He had risen.
The guarded tomb
One of the most compelling pieces of evidence from the resurrection of Jesus is the fact that the chief priests and Pharisees requested that Pilate make the tomb of Jesus secure. They stated that Jesus had told them that He would rise on the third day. Not believing that this was possible, they did not want anyone to have the opportunity to steal Jesus’ body from the tomb and later claim that He had risen.
Matthew 27:62- 66 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the soldiers who had been appointed to watch the tomb, reported to the chief priests and not to Pilate.
Matthew 28:11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. (NIV)
This indicates that the guard who was appointed to watch the tomb—came from the temple police, not the Roman soldiers. Had these men been appointed by Pilate to guard the tomb of Jesus they would have reported to Pilate after the body of Jesus was missing on the morning of the third day. The fact that these men were from the Temple guard requires that they had a much greater interest in the outcome of this event than the government of the Romans, who cared very little for Jesus or the Jews. The comment by Pilate “make it as secure as you know how,” was intended as a rebuke against the Pharisees. Pilate could see how utterly terrified the leaders of Israel were that Jesus body might be stolen and rumor of His resurrection should spread. Pilate observed the fear of the Pharisees when they delivered Jesus to him and their fear had not been abated by His death.
Should the body of Jesus be missing from the tomb on the third day—the Pharisees understood that the matter of Jesus of Nazareth would never be over. Because of their fear and the surety of making Jesus death the final page in His story, the leaders of Israel did precisely what Herod had chided them for—they made the tomb as secure as they could. The careers, lifestyles, and great positions of authority for the entire leadership of Israel, rested on whether they could remove the name of Jesus from the memory of the people, forever. We can have confidence that the leadership of the Jews sternly instructed the guard that their very lives were at stake should Jesus body be stolen from the tomb.
If this sentry happened to be from the guard of Roman cohorts, these men were under the threat of a swift death should the body of Jesus be taken by thieves while they were guarding the tomb.
Suffice it to say that there was no possibility that any of the men who were watching this tomb would be found asleep. Jesus was put to death by crucifixion—had these men been Roman soldiers and they were found derelict in their duty—allowing Jesus’ body to be stolen, all of the men of this guard would receive the same penalty that Jesus had received: Crucifixion.
We should understand that irregardless of the number of men who guarded the tomb, they did so vigilantly.
Finally, the entrance to Jesus tomb was protected by a very large stone, weighing from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. Moving such an object would be no small task, requiring several strong men and causing a great deal of noise in the process. The task of rolling such a stone into place from an elevated and sloped track, would be very easy. However, once this object had been set in place, rolling this large stone back uphill to open the tomb—would be extremely difficult.
Empirical evidence from Archeology:
Over the course of many years, the Shroud of Turin has come under great scrutiny and skepticism. Up until recently, it was the belief that the Shroud may have been a forgery.
Recent in-depth testing of the Shroud has revealed that it is definitely not a forgery and contains stunning evidence that is now being described as unobtainable by any technology, method, or procedure known to man today.
Forensic Doctors have intensely examined the Shroud of Turin for conclusions that can be drawn for the type of wounds and cause of death of the victim that is seen on the image of the shroud. Some of the stunning details that have been discovered on the Shroud reveal a man who was crucified and then covered with a linen both, front and back.
One of the wrists that is seen on the image of the shroud bears a large round wound—that medical experts claim was made from the piercing of the second wrist that is hidden by the hands that were folded over each other.
Spear wound in the side:
An upward thrust wound is visible near the thoracic cavity of the heart, that medical experts state was made after death. Examination of the stains near this area of the shroud indicate that there is the presence of both red blood cells and clear serum that came from this lesion.
The crown of thorns:
The presence of many small puncture wounds located around the perimeter of the forehead and scalp area.
Many linear wounds located on the entire upper torso and legs that are consistent with the very distinctive Roman Flagrum, that present the “dumbbell” type wounds, are seen on the shroud.
Beaten in the face:
Massive swelling from wounds inflicted over the face, indicating a severe beating.
Blood evidence of crucifixion:
Indications of blood that has streamed down both arms by gravity, that came from the outstretched arms of this crucified man—flowing from the pierced wrists, down the arms, onto the chest.
Both feet pierced by a single spike:
A large puncture wound to both feet that was caused by a large spike being driven through one foot over the top of the other.
First tests of the Shroud were faulty
Although faulty radiocarbon testing of the Shroud in 1988 first indicted that this burial cloth was from 1260-1390, recent discoveries have proven that the initial samples used in those tests were from repairs made to the shroud much later than the original linen material of the shroud. According to Dr. Raymond Rogers, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory:
“The dye found on the radiocarbon sample was not used in Europe before about a.d. 1291 and was not common until more than 100 years later. The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud.”
In samples taken from the original linen material of the shroud that were burned in a fire in 1532 at a chapel in France, Dr. Rogers—one of the original scientists who examined the faulty samples that determined the wrong age of the Shroud—states that he is certain the original linen material will most certainly be dated at the precise time that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem in 32 A.D.
“A significant amount of charred cellulose was removed during a restoration of the shroud in 2002. Material from different scorch locations across the shroud was saved in separate containers. The elemental carbon could be completely cleaned in concentrated nitric acid, thus removing all traces of foreign fibers, sebum from repeated handling, and adsorbed thymol from an unfortunate procedure to sterilize the shroud’s reliquary in 1988. In addition, the separate samples would give a “cluster” of dates, always a desirable procedure in archaeology. A new radiocarbon analysis should be done on the charred material retained from the 2002 restoration.”
“I think that I can come very close to proving that the Shroud of Turin was used to bury the historic Jesus.”
Although Dr. Rogers is a man of science, not a man of God, he was intrigued with the Shroud of Turin—determined to discover what its true nature and origin were.
“I don’t believe in miracles that defy the laws of nature.”
At the time of Dr. Rogers’ death on March 8, 2005, he had gone from complete skeptic to a believer that the Shroud of Turin was the burial cloth of the historic person, known as Jesus of Nazareth.
How the Shroud came to prominence:
In May of 1898, an Italian photographer by the name of Secondo Pia was permitted to take photographs of the Shroud of Turin. On May 28, 1898, after having taken several images of the Shroud, Mr. Pia was stunned by the results that lay before him. The negatives of the photos revealed a positive image, meaning that the image on the Shroud cloth was itself already a negative. Many of Secondo Pia’s peers believed that he had constructed an elaborate hoax, and accused him of committing fraud. In 1931, a second photographer, Guiseppe Enrie also achieved the same results by his own photographs of the Shroud. The images of both photographers revealed on two separate occasions, that the image on the Shroud of Turin was in fact a negative that occurred by a process that was unknown.
The image on the Shroud of Turin depicts a man who is about 6 feet tall, with a full beard and shoulder-length hair. He is muscular and tall, with pronounced wound around his head from small sharp objects. His face is severely beaten and swollen. Clear marks from a Roman Scourge are visible on his back, chest, and legs. A nail has pierced both hands at the place where the wrist meets the hand, between the “The Radial, Ulna and Carpal bones.” Placing the nail in this location would cause the thumb to turn inward. We notice from the Shroud that the thumb is not visible, having turned inward.
How the image was transferred to the Shroud:
One of the most interesting discussions concerning the shroud is how the image was transferred to the cloth. Scientific testing reveals that the human likeness of this crucified man was not intricately painted on the linen fabric. After thousands of hours of intense scientific testing since 1930, researchers have determined that the shroud was irradiated from the inside-out, resulting in a relatively high definition image. Scientists have stated that whatever the source may be for the radiation which caused the shroud image, we do not have the capacity today with any present technology to duplicate neither the energy required nor the image that was transferred to the cloth. Alexander Belyakov suggests that an intense but extremely short burst of energy—lasting just hundredths of a second, coming from inside the shroud—caused the image transfer.
Examination by a forensic pathologist:
Dr. Robert Bucklin is a world-renown forensic pathologist and medical examiner, and former Deputy Coroner of Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Bucklin systematically conducted an intense and thorough examination of the minute details of the wounds that are depicted on the image of the shroud. In my opinion, the following autopsy report by Dr. Bucklin is so compelling, it should be included here for your evaluation. It is clear from the following description that the person whom Dr. Bucklin is describing is Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago.
We should understand that due to the magnitude of evidence that the shroud contains, a detailed and descriptive autopsy was possible. The details of the blood stains and injuries to the body that the shroud contains were made increasingly visible by the supernatural process that was involved in irradiating the image onto the burial cloth. The New Testament scriptures indicated that when the disciples came to the tomb that Jesus had been buried in, on the morning of the third day, they observed that the burial cloth was still intact. Indications were that the body had come out of the burial cloth; it had not been opened and set aside as would normally been done when a body was taken out of such a cloth. Jesus’ body had come through the cloth covering—by some magnificent process. When Jesus burst forth through the grave clothes, His image as well as all of the elements of His blood and injuries—were all imprinted onto the cloth material that remained in the tomb.
John 20:3-7 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
When Peter arrived at Jesus’ tomb, he noticed something that stunned him. If someone had broken into the tomb and stolen the body of Jesus, the burial cloths that covered His body would have been thrown to the side in disarray. On the other hand, if Jesus’ body had been resurrected as He had predicted, then the burial cloths would be lying in their original positions undisturbed. From this description in John 20:3-7, it is apparent that the head cloth had retained the original shape of Jesus’ head, as He had laid under it in the tomb. This head cloth was still separate from the other longer burial cloth by a distance, equal to the space that would be normal between the neck and the upper chest where the covering of the body should have started. Peter’s momentary pause indicates that he was considering how the grave clothes could have remained in this orderly fashion, if Jesus’ body had been stolen. No robber would have taken the time to refold the grave clothes into their original position after they removed the body. When John enters the tomb after hearing Peter’s silence, he also sees the grave clothes in their original position, and “believes.”
Both Peter and John observed that the grave clothes looked as though Jesus’ body was still within, even though it was clear that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. He had been resurrected!
All of the following comments were made by Dr. Bucklin, evaluating the evidence that is found on the Shroud of Turin.
“I have presented a scenario, based on reasonable medical probability, as to how a forensic pathologist medical examiner would conduct an examination of the Shroud of Turin image and the conclusions that he would reach as the result of such studies.”
Qualification and medical background of Dr. Bucklin:
“For over 50 years as a Forensic Pathologist, I have been actively involved with the investigation of deaths which come under the jurisdiction of a coroner of Medical Examiner. During that time, I have personally examined over 25,000 bodies by autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.”
For most of that same period of time, I have had an abiding interest in the study of the Shroud of Turin from a medical view point. It seemed to be a natural decision for me to integrate my two interests and to try to record the results of what would have been done if the human body image on the Shroud of Turin were to be examined by a modern day Medical Examiner’s office.”
Overall impressions of the person whose image appears on the Shroud of Turin:
“The full body imprint, front and back, together with the individual characteristics of blood stains on the cloth, which represent specific types of injury, make it quite feasible for an experienced forensic pathologist to approach the examination of the Shroud image as would a medical examiner performing an autopsy on a person who has died under unnatural circumstances. It is the aim of this presentation to replicate such an autopsy examination using the image on the Shroud to delineate traumatic findings and to interpret the cause and the results of those injuries, as well as to present the most reasonable and probable cause for the death of the individual whose image is present on the Shroud of Turin.”
The first step in such an examination is to document physical features of the victim as accurately as possible. In the case of the image on the Shroud, it can be stated that the deceased person is and adult male measuring 71 inches from crown to heel and weighing an estimated 175 pounds. The body structure is anatomically normal, representing a well-developed and well-nourished individual with clearly identifiable head, trunk, and extremities. The body appears to be in a state of rigor mortis which is evidenced by an overall stiffness as well as specific alterations in the appearance of the lower extremities from the posterior aspect.”
Arrangement of the legs indicates a person who was crucified:
“The imprint of the right calf is much more distinct than that of the left indicating that at the time of death the left leg was rotated in such a way that the sole of the left foot rested on the ventral surface of the right foot with resultant slight flexion of the left knee. That position was maintained after rigor mortis had developed.”
After an overall inspection and description of the body image, the pathologist continues his examination in a sequential fashion beginning with the head and progressing to the feet. He will note that the deceased had long hair, which on the posterior image appears to be fashioned into a pigtail or braid type configuration. There also is a short beard which is forked in the middle.”
Injuries on the scalp consistent with the crown of thorns:
“In the frontal view, a ring of puncture tracks is noted to involve the scalp. One of these has the configuration of a letter “3”. Blood has issued from these punctures into the hair and onto the skin of the forehead. The dorsal view shows that the puncture wounds extend around the occipital portion of the scalp in the manner of a crown. The direction of the blood flow, both anterior and posterior, is downward. In the midline of the forehead is a square imprint giving the appearance of an object resting on the skin.”
John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.
Indications of severe facial beating:
“There is a distinct abrasion at the tip of the nose and the right cheek is distinctly swollen as compared with the left cheek. Both eyes appear to be closed, but on very close inspection, rounded foreign objects can be noted on the imprint in the area of the right and left eyes.”
John 19:3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
Note: The two objects that are seen covering the eyes of this crucified man are images from coins that were called the “Lepton,” which were produced under the rulership of Pontius Pilate, from 29 B.C. to 36 A.D.[16a] Upon microscopic examination of the cloth from the Shroud, a “staff” and the letters U. C. A. I. are seen imprinted over the right eye on this burial cloth, apparently transferred from the image that had been forged into the coin. In 1981 at the British Museum, two coins were discovered, from the time period of Pontius Pilate, in which the letters U. C. A. I. and the staff matched the image on the shroud of Turin—leaving no doubt that the image found on the Shroud of Turin came from one of these coins made during the rule of Pilate. One of the researchers for the Shroud who wrote extensively on the authenticity of the coin images found on the Shroud is Dr. Alan Whanger, who said this regarding the coin images:
“Not only does the image of the coin over the right eye and its congruence with the lepton that was owned by Father Filas help date the Shroud image with incredible accuracy to the first century and locate its origin in Palestine/Israel, but it serves an important function of providing evidence for the nature of the image formation. The pattern of the image on the Shroud is that which one would expect from electron corona discharge from the surface of the coin, which we feel is a die mate of the one that actually formed the image. This means that the image is formed in part by a high energy discharge that flows over the surface of all objects in the field and is discharged from irregular surfaces and high points on those objects. As has been shown by experimentation, highly accurate and detailed images can be formed on linen and film by means of corona discharge from coins, flowers, leather, and other materials. These images, in contrast to those produced by various artistic techniques, are very similar to those actually seen on the Shroud.”[16b]
The letters from this coin that are embedded into the cloth of the Shroud are only 1/32nd of an inch high; being so small, it is impossible that they were painted or dyed into the cloth. All of these facts, being empirical evidence for the date of the shroud originating from Pilate’s rulership, and are a certain confirmation that this Shroud did in fact cover Jesus of Nazareth after His death and during His resurrection. As this chapter progresses, I will present to you scientific evidence which proves the images observed on the Shroud were made by a supernatural process that is unknown by scientists today and cannot be reproduced by any known imaging process that is available anywhere.
Chest wound indicated piercing of the heart by a sharp object:
“Upon examining the chest, the pathologist notes a large blood stain over the right pectoral area Close examination shows a variance in intensity of the stain consistent with the presence of two types of fluid, one comprised of blood, and the other resembling water. There is distinct evidence of a gravitational effect on this stain with the blood flowing downward and without spatter of other evidence of the projectile activity which would be expected from blood issuing from a functional arterial source. This wound has all the characteristics of a postmortem type flow of blood from a body cavity or from an organ such as the heart. At the upper plane of the wound is an ovoid skin defect which is characteristic of a penetrating track produced by a sharp puncturing instrument.”
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
Chest indicates severe difficulty in breathing:
“There seems to be an increase in the anteroposterior diameter of the chest due to bilateral expansion. The abdomen is flat, and the right and left arms are crossed over the mid and lower abdomen. The genitalia cannot be identified.”
The hands were pierced, blood flow indicates arms were extended:
“By examination of the arms, forearms, wrists, and hands, the pathologist notes that the left hand overlies the right wrist On the left wrist area is a distinct puncture-type injury which has two projecting rivulets derived from a central source and separated by about a 10 degree angle. As it appears in the image, the rivulets extend in a horizontal direction. The pathologist realizes that this blood flow could not have happened with the arms in the position as he sees them during his examination, and he must reconstruct the position of the arms in such a way as to place them where they would have to be to account for gravity in the direction of the blood flow. His calculations to that effect would indicate that the arms would have to be outstretched upward at about a 65 degree angle with the horizontal. The pathologist observes that there are blood flows which extend in a direction from wrists toward elbows on the right and left forearms. These flows can be readily accounted for my the position of the arms which he has just determined.”
Psalms 22:16 … They pierced My hands and My feet.
Indications of piercing at the wrists caused medial nerve damage:
“As he examines the fingers, he notes that both the right and left hands have left imprints of only four fingers. The thumbs are not clearly obvious. This would suggest to the pathologist that there has been some damage to a nerve which would result in flexion of the thumb toward the palm.”
Both feet were pierced with a single object:
“As he examines the lower extremities, the medical examiner derives most of his information from the posterior imprint of the body. He notes that there is a reasonably clear outline of the right foot made by the sole of that foot having been covered with blood and leaving an imprint which reflects the heal as well as the toes. The left foot imprint is less clear and it is also noticeable that the left calf imprint is unclear. This supports the opinion that the left leg had been rotated and crossed over the right instep in such a way that an incomplete foot print was formed. In the center of the right foot imprint, a definite punctate defect can be noted. This puncture is consistent with an object having penetrated the structures of the feet, and from the position of the feet the conclusion would be reasonable that the same object penetrated both feet after the left foot had been placed over the right.”
The torso shows signs of severe beating, with an imprint of the device used:
“As the back image is examined, it becomes quite clear that there is a series of traumatic injuries which extend from the shoulder areas to the lower portion of the back, the buttocks, and the backs of the calves. These images are bifid and appear to have been made by some type of object applied as a whip, leaving dumbbell-shaped imprints in the skin from which blood has issued. The direction of the injuries is from lateral toward medial and downward suggesting that the whip was applied by someone standing behind the individual.”
John 19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
Indications that a heavy beam of wood was carried on the shoulders:
“An interesting finding is noted over the shoulder blade area on the right and left sides. This consists of an abrasion or denuding of the skin surfaces, consistent with a heavy object, like a beam. Resting over the shoulder blades and producing a rubbing effect on the skin surfaces.”
John 19:16-18 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him.
Cause of death: Crucifixion
“With this information available to him, the forensic pathologist can come to a reasonable conclusion as to the circumstances of death, including the posture of the deceased at the time the injuries were incurred. Chronologically, the whip like injuries to the back would have occurred earlier than other injuries which the pathologist has found. The individual would have been upright and with his arms above his head at the time the whipping occurred since no whip marks are found on the upper extremities.”
The position of the puncture defects in the wrist, coupled with the blood flow towards the elbows, and also associated with the punctures of the feet, permit the pathologist to conclude that the victim was in an upright position with his arms extended when the blood flow took place. A crucifixion type posture would be the most plausible explanation for these findings.”
Psalms 22:17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
The heart had ruptured:
“The wound in the right side, since is comprised of both blood and non-blood components, suggests to the forensic pathologist that the puncturing instrument released a watery type fluid from the body cavities as well as blood from the heart area. One potential consideration would be that there was fluid in the chest cavity which was released by the penetrating instrument and this was followed by blood issuing from an area as the result of the heart being perforated.”
Psalms 22:14 … My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.
Final determination that the deceased is Jesus Christ:
“It is the ultimate responsibility of the medical examiner to confirm by whatever means are available to him the identity of the deceased, as well as to determine the manner of this death. In the case of Man on the Shroud, the forensic pathologist will have information relative to the circumstances of death by crucifixion which he can support by his anatomic findings. He will be aware that the individual whose image is depicted on the cloth has undergone puncture injuries to his wrists and feet, puncture injuries to his head, multiple traumatic whip-like injuries to his back and postmortem puncture injury to his chest area which has released both blood and a water type of fluid. From this data, it is not an unreasonable conclusion for the forensic pathologist to determine that only one person historically has undergone this sequence of events. That person in Jesus Christ.”
John 19:35-36 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled…
Cause of death: Severe blood loss, asphyxia
“As far as the mechanism of death is concerned, a detailed study of the Shroud imprint and the blood stains, coupled with a basic understanding of the physical and physiological changes in the body that take place during crucifixion, suggests strongly that the decedent had undergone postural asphyxia as the result of his position during the crucifixion episode. There is also evidence of severe blood loss from the skin wounds as well as fluid accumulation in the chest cavities related to terminal cardio-respiratory failure.”
Psalms 22:14-15 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.
The above findings by a Forensic Pathologic, with over 50 years of experience, was confirmed by many others with similar credentials.
Dr. Frederick Zugibe – in 1998, also a medical examiner, conducted hundreds of studies using volunteers suspended from a cross. His conclusions are published in his book, “The Crucifixion of Jesus.
Professor Pierluigi Baima Bollone – in 2001, professor of forensic medicine in Turin, Italy. In his opinion, the forensic wounds and bloodstains indicated on the image of the Shroud of Turin are consistent with a man who was beaten and crucified, such as Jesus of Nazareth.
Professor Giulio Fanti – in 2010, a professor of mechanical measurements, concluded that the images of the Shroud of Turin was used to wrap the body of a man who was apparently crucified.
The Shroud contains an image unique in all of mankind:
The Image on the Shroud of Turin cannot be duplicated by any other photographic or other means known to man.
John Jackson, Pete Schmacher, and Eric Jumper conducted an extensive investigation of the Shroud of Turin in 1976. Using state of the art equipment of that day called a VP8 Image Analyzer that had been developed for NASA to create three-dimensional images of the moon, they found that the image on the Shroud of Turin was a three-dimensional image. Despite their efforts, none of the researchers at that time, or any time since, have been able to reproduce an image like the one on the Shroud of Turin.
“The Shroud of Turin induces a result through photographic imaging that is unique, compared to all other photographic results taken from other objects of the same acknowledged period as the Shroud, of prior periods, and to the present day. It is the ‘data’ existing on the Shroud of Turin, which induces the unique photographic results. Therefore, the Shroud image, itself, is unlike any other object or image known to exist.”
The Shroud image induces a response in the isometric display of a VP-8 Image Analyzer that is unique. Each point of the Shroud body image appears at a proper “elevation”. Is this due to the distance the cloth was from a body inside it? Is this due to the density of the human body at various points in the anatomy? Is it a result of radiant energy? These questions cannot be answered by the VP-8 Image Analyzer. However, the related theories can be rightfully posed. The isometric results are, somehow, three-dimensional in nature. The displayed result is only possible by the information (“data”) contained in the image of the Shroud of Turin. No other known image produces these same results.
If one considers the Shroud image to be “a work of art” of some type, then one must consider how and why an artist would embed three-dimensional information in the gray shading of an image. In fact, no means of viewing this property of the image would be available for at least 650 years after it was done. One would have to ask, (assuming this is a “natural result” in some style or type of art), “Why isn’t this result obtained in the analysis of other works?” Or, if this is a unique work, “Why would the artist make only one such work requiring such special skills and talent, and not pass the technique along to others?” How could the artist control the quality of the work when the artist could not “see” gray scale as elevation? Did the artist predict the outcome before the outcome could be defined? Would an artist produce this work before the device to show the results was invented?”
Conclusion: The Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ
“Therefore, it is most unlikely that the Shroud of Turin is a work of fabrication, or “trickery”, or “forgery”, of any type. No method, no style, and no artistic skills, are known to exist, that can produce images that will induce the same photographic and photogrammetric results as the Shroud image induces. This comparison includes photographic and photogrammetric studies of bas-reliefs, paintings, sculptures, etchings, and other forms of art. The Shroud image exhibits some properties of photographic negatives, some properties of body frame (skeletal, internal) imaging, and some properties of three-dimensional gray-scale encoding.”
It is “none of these”, and represents portions of “all of these”, and more. Much more will be uncovered in future investigations. The Shroud of Turin is, in my opinion and belief, the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.”
The Death Certificate of Jesus of Nazareth Discovered:
During a detailed examination of the Shroud of Turin in 1978, Dr. Barbara Frale discovered startling evidence of a certificate of death that had been included on the shroud. Other scholars who have examined the words on the shroud have described the writing as a later addition attached to the shroud by the church, perhaps hundreds of years later. Dr. Frale disputes this suggestion as being impossible, as the Christian church of that time would not have referred to Jesus as “the Nazarene”; they would have called Him “the Son of God.” The term “Nazarene” would indicate that Jesus was only a man who had originated from Nazareth in Israel. The term “Nazarene” came from the description that the Romans gave to Jesus and was likely included in His burial cloth to denote who had been crucified under their orders. Added to this fact, the descriptions on the cloth include the name of “Tiberius” and “Pilate,” who were the authorities in power at that time, being written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. This is substantial evidence of inclusion by the Roman authority at that period of history, not the church.
We should remember that Pilate ordered similar language attached to Jesus’ cross when He was put to death.
John 19:19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
In an interview conducted with Dr. Frale, she made the following comments regarding the inscriptions that have been discovered on the Shroud of Turin:
“The inscriptions are found around the face of the man of the Shroud. They cannot be seen through highly sophisticated equipment. The inscriptions are highly reminiscent of graffiti found in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, and in papyri from the era of Tiberius, the man who was emperor of Rome when Jesus was crucified.”
Those inscriptions are called ‘traces of transferred writing’, that is, traces of writing impressed on an object (in our case the Shroud) that has been in contact with a written text. The writing is in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Aramaic. Thanks to computerized reading systems, those traces have been deciphered.
Back in 1978 Piero Ugolotti, a chemist, had noted that on the negative of a photo of the Shroud strange signs could be seen that looked like letters. He turned to an expert in ancient languages, Aldo Marastoni, a renowned Latinist, and Marastoni confirmed the existence of Greek and Latin inscriptions all around the face on the Shroud. They are words of the type: ‘Nazarènos’ and ‘in nece (m)’, a Latin expression meaning ‘to death’. On the forehead there are the letters IBEP, which suggests the Greek word for Tiberius (TIBEPIO), as well as other words in Hebrew.”
The complete text of this death certificate reads:
“In the year 16 of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius Jesus the Nazarene, taken down in the early evening after having been condemned to death by a Roman judge because he was found guilty by a Hebrew authority, is hereby sent for burial with the obligation of being consigned to his family only after one full year.”
1. Greek: Jesus, “I esou s”) 2. Greek: Nazarene, “Nazarenos”, quì “NNazarennos” 3. Greek: Piercings “o psékia tho” 4. Latin: Murder, in/nece m” 5. Greek: I Follow, “Io eseguo, “pez o” 6. Greek: Tiberius, “T iber iou”) 7. Greek: Year 16, “L IS” (L=Anno; I=10; S=6) 8. Latin: Convicted/Guilty [Condannato] perché colpevole (in ebraico “mw ms” oppure “ky ms”) 9.Latin: The spring month of the Jewish calendar, the Passover period, Adar (in rosso sotto “Nazarennos”: in ebraico, è il mese primaverile del Calendario ebraico, periodo della Pasqua ebraica.
According to Dr. Frale, under correct burial procedure for the Jews at the time that Jesus was crucified, the Romans would only allow the family to take possession of the body of their loved one after a period of one year had passed. As a result of this requirement, a death certificate was attached to the burial shroud near the face—to properly identify the body for retrieval by the family after the year had passed.
Even the date on the shroud given for the time of death, under Tiberius Caesar—who became emperor after the death of Octavian Augustus in 14 A.D., is correctly indicated as the 16th year of Tiberius’ reign—this is confirmation of the gospel account of the New Testament for the death of Jesus on Nisan (April) 14, 32 A.D.
Jesus’ death and Resurrection were predicted by over 400 Old Testament prophecies:
1 Corinthians 15:3 (Paul writing) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures...
Paul writes that “Christ died according to the scriptures.” What scriptures was he speaking of? The prophecies of the Old Testament. There are in excess of 400 predictions that are recorded by various writers—describing a Messiah who will arrive on earth and be brutally killed on a cross, rising from the dead on the third day.
We have not only the New Testament record that Jesus rose from the dead, we also have a 1,500 year old record of the Old Testament, in which the resurrection was predicted in precise detail (beginning with Prophecy 1). All of these prophecies, Jesus fulfilled precisely as they were written. This is the purpose and subject of this book—to demonstrate the Old Testament prophecies declared by God, and specifically how the record of the New Testament reveals that Jesus fulfilled each one of these predictions.
We also have, in our possession, a great number of secular records from history—other than the New Testament—which further validate that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead. I have included a substantial record of these extra-biblical sources in the following chapter: “Jesus as a Matter of History.”
As early as the second century, Tacitus writes—in his Annals of the Roman Empire, 116 A.D. (Annals 15, 44)—that under Caesar Nero, Pilate ordered the execution of Jesus of Nazareth by crucifixion.
“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”
A surprising source for Jesus’ crucifixion comes from the Babylonian Talmud-Sanhedrin 43a, Soncino edition. The writings of the Jews confirm that a record of history was noted in their scriptures regarding the events described in the four gospel accounts of the disciples. 
“On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!”
About 93 A.D., Renowned Jewish historian Josephus wrote that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, in the “Antiquities of the Jews,” 18.3.
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, …. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles… And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross.”
Josephus also writes that Jesus rose from the dead:
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. 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 tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
Despite the overwhelming record of Jesus’ resurrection, there are many arguments against the authenticity of its occurrence. Modern Agnostic scholars, such as Dr. Bart Ehrman, state that the historical arguments for the resurrection of Jesus are unreliable because they were written by secondhand knowledge, not by eyewitness accounts. He states that these accounts “were written 35 to 65 years after Jesus’ death—35 or 65 years after his death, not by people who were eyewitnesses, but by people living later.” *
All ancient documents, which today are held in high regard, would fall under the same criticism that Dr. Ehrman uses to discount the reliability of the New Testament. If we use Dr. Ehrman’s argument that any document found written from 35 to 65 years after the events they describe, took place, as not being reliable due to the age gap between the occurrence of the events and the actual writing of these events, then all ancient historical accounts would have to be defined as unreliable.
For example, in Josh McDowell’s book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict,” he details the extensive research of noted Scholar FF. Bruce, in regards to the “gap” of time that frequently occurs between the writing of ancient documents and their original occurrence. Notice, in the following examples, how other secular ancient documents compare to the New Testament.
“…Caesar’s Gallic Wars (composed between 58 and 50 B.C.) there are several extant MSS, but only nine or ten are good, and the oldest is some 900 years later than Caesar’s day.
Of the 142 books of the Roman history of Livy (59 B.C.-A.D. 17), only 35 survive; these are known to us from not more than 20 MSS of any consequence, only one of which, and that containing fragments of Books III-VI, is as old as the fourth century (350 years).
Of the 14 books of the Histories of Tacitus (ca A.D. 100) only four and a half survive; of the 16 books of his Annals, 10 survive in full and two in part. The text of these extant portions of his two great historical works depends entirely on two MSS, one of the ninth century and one of the eleventh (800 years).
The extant MSS of his minor works (Dialogus de Oratoribus, Agricola, Germania) all descend from a codex of the tenth century. The History of Thucydides (ca 460-400 B.C.) is known to us from eight MSS, the earliest belonging to ca A.D. 900, and a few papyrus scraps, belonging to about the beginning of the Christian era.” *
The accounts of almost all ancient historical events were very often recorded much later than they occurred; much later, in fact, than all of the records of the New Testament.
The obvious reason for so many New Testament copies:
What is likely the case, in regards to the copies of the New Testament—when a significant event has taken place, the details are written in letter, which are distributed to the Christian churches who were known at that time.
This letter is copied with great care and precision and distributed to other churches, and the process is repeated many times. Eventually, over the course of several hundred years, the original writings are lost by time and decay. What remains are later copies which have survived. These are the documents that we have in our possession today. We know for certain that the records of the New Testament, written by Paul and the disciples, were distributed to the local churches—in a circular postal route in the region of Asia—which had been established. Often, many future copies of the original letter would retain the name of the church which first received the letter, as is in evidence by the titles that remain on many of the New Testament letters: “Ephesians,” written to the church at Ephesus; “Corinthians,” written to the church at Corinth; and so on.
The fact that so many copies of these letters exists, requires our acknowledgement that there was an original document that was written by those who had seen these events. These copies themselves are evidence for the historical reliability of the original event.
The fact that later copies of documents are written by persons other than the original eyewitnesses, does not discount their reliability; in fact, it confirms the authenticity of the document. The events described in these copies must have taken place in order for such a great number of copies to be in existence. This is especially true when there are such a vast number of very early copies of the original writings. The New Testament contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 24,000 copies of the original manuscripts. When these documents are compared with our current version of the New Testament, they are virtually identical in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. With consideration being given to punctuation and grammatical errors, no primary doctrine of the Christian faith and specifically the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—is in dispute today.
Dr. Ehrman continues:
“The Gospels were written by highly literate, trained, Greek-speaking Christians of the second and third generation. They’re not written by Jesus’ Aramaic-speaking followers. They’re written by people living 30, 40, 50, 60 years later. Where did these people get their information from?”
Dr. Ehrman raises the question: “Where did they get their information from?” This is precisely my point. These writers received their texts from older, previously written and distributed copies of the original letter which were distributed by the original writers. Notice that Dr. Ehrman admits that these later copies of the Gospels were written by “highly literate, trained, Greek-speaking Christians.” In other words, these copies have—as their source—the diligent work of very intelligent men who wanted to ensure that the original record of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were preserved accurately for all churches, all believers, and for all time.
The copies of the New Testament Manuscripts that we have in our possession today are reliable copies of earlier original documents. Although we may not know the names or identities of some of the writers of these copies, we know that the originals must have come from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as this was a part of the tradition of the later copies for the first written accounts.
Dr. Simon Greenleaf is considered one of the world’s leading authorities concerning the rules of admissibility for evidence that is presented in a court of law. His Treatise on the rules for such evidence, is still in use today. In regards to Dr. Greenleaf’s examination of the copies of the New Testament that we have in our possession, He said this:
“If it be objected that the originals are lost, and that copies alone are now produced, the principles of the municipal law here also afford a satisfactory answer. For the multiplication of copies was a public fact, in the faithfulness of which all the Christian community had an interest; and it is a rule of law, that: In matters of public and general interest, all persons must be presumed to be conversant, on the principle that individuals are presumed to be conversant with their own affairs.”
In other words, the copying of ancient documents is a well-known fact in the courts of justice for the United States. It is also well established that the documents that have been copied by the early Christian church have been proven to be of substantial value and immense importance. So much so—that the laws of evidence in all courts of justice would recognize any New Testament document that is a copy of the original—as a valid and a true representation of the events which they describe.
Dr. Greenleaf states that the New Testament documents are “entitled to an extraordinary degree of confidence.”
“The persons, moreover, who multiplied these copies, may be regarded, in some manner, as the agents of the Christian public, for whose use and benefit the copies were made; and on the ground of the credit due to such agents, and of the public nature of the facts themselves, the copies thus made are entitled to an extraordinary degree of confidence….”
The courts of the United States have frequently had to deal with documents that are copies of earlier records that have been lost or destroyed. In the case of the four gospels of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, they would all be received in any court of law as valid and accurate, “without the slightest hesitation.”
“If any ancient document concerning our public rights were lost, copies which had been as universally received and acted upon as the Four Gospels have been, would have been received in evidence in any of our courts of justice, without the slightest hesitation.”
This is exactly what we find when we investigate the writings of the New Testament. They have been used by the Christian Church for nearly 2,000 years. For 20 centuries the accounts of Jesus death and resurrection have been considered true and accurate. These documents have never been successfully impeached or considered an invalid record of the events they describe, in the history of the church.
The eyewitness accounts of the Gospels—preserved for us by thousands of copies—describe historical events of such profound magnitude, that the course of the entire world has been altered by it. Had the resurrection not occurred, the explosive growth of the Christian church would not have taken place during the first century.
It was because the record of Jesus resurrection was so substantial and held in such hight regard by those who read the testimony of the men who witnessed it, that so many people were willing to place their eternal destiny in Jesus hands.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ happened; and all of the circumstances surrounding that event were written by honest and reliable men, who recorded these events and distributed them to the local churches. These churches copied these letters and redistributed them to other churches, and so on. The men who said that they had seen Jesus alive, after being so brutally killed—were willing to die rather than recant the testimony that Jesus had risen. Every Apostle of Jesus, with the exception of John, was put to death because they would not deny that they had seen Jesus alive, after He was crucified. What more could we expect from any historical event that would be more significant than the written testimony of the four gospels which describes the events of Jesus Resurrection in stunning detail—sworn to truthfulness—enduring for 2,000 years?
See the chapter: Historical Evidence for Jesus Resurrection, for more details.
Corroboration by Old Testament prophecy
An often overlooked fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and whether or not this event actually took place is the corroboration of a Resurrection, as promised by the Old Testament prophecies of the Bible. I have listed eleven Old Testament references which describe the Old Testament promise of God that the Messiah would be raised from the dead. These predictions all come from the Psalms and the prophet Isaiah. When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the men who had been with Him for three and one half years—all began to search the scriptures for the details of those earlier predictions. They discovered that each part of Jesus’ actual resurrection was predicted by these Old Testament scriptures.
The following Verse from Psalms 2:7-8 is an example of how the disciples took a familiar Old Testament verse from the Psalms and attributed it to Jesus’ resurrection:
Old Testament Prediction:
Psalms 2:7-8 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Acts 13:29-33 “Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead.” 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” 34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” 35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm: “You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”
It was widely known that the Messiah would receive an earthly kingdom as a continuation of David’s reign. It is generally accepted that Psalm 2 was written by David after his victory over the Jebusites, as described in 2 Samuel 5:7-9. As David went before the Lord, in 2 Samuel 5:17-19, the Lord assured Him that he would have victory over the Philistines, Syria, and Phoenicia.
Obviously, Psalm 2 and specifically chapter 2:7-8 were written by David in response to that victory. David, also being a prophet of God, was writing concerning his future “Seed” who, would someday be King over the whole earth.
Confirmation of this fact is found in Acts 4, where Peter has been brought before Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, to be questioned about their declaration that Jesus was the Messiah. Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit, pointed to Psalm 2 as the confirming scripture for Jesus’ life and ministry as the promised Messiah.
Acts 4:6-8 “…Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel…”
Acts 4:25-30 “who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’ For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
Peter is quoting directly from Psalm 2, and this—by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is certain that it was the intent of the Lord that Psalm 2 was written about the Messiah. Although David was describing his own personal victory by the Lord—in Psalm 2—against the enemies of Israel, he was also acting in the capacity of a prophet of God in describing the future ministry and kingdom of the Messiah Jesus.
It is clear from Acts 13:29-30 that Luke also understood, that Psalm 2:7-8 was referring to the Messiah, who was described as crucified and resurrected from the dead. This was in order to have His sacrifice validated by God—so that He would be qualified as the Savior of the world and appointed the future king over the earth.
This is confirmation for us of the fact that the disciples had taken the specific Old Testament prophecies that spoke of the Messiah’s death and resurrection, and applied them to all the events that resulted from Jesus’ death and resurrection. In this way, we have further compelling proof for the resurrection. The disciples of Jesus used the Old Testament predictions of a resurrection from the dead, by the Messiah, as a substantial proof that what Jesus had accomplished by His resurrection—came by a long history of prophetic anticipation.
We not only have a New Testament record of Jesus’ resurrection, we also have a 1,500-year previous history of prophecies that describe what Jesus accomplished as He raised Himself to life three days after He was crucified.
Other Old Testament prophecies that describe the Messiah’s Resurrection:
Prophecy 69 Psalms 16:9-11; The Messiah’s body will not be left in Hades.
Prophecy 70 Psalms 17:15; David’s prayer confirming that he will someday see the Resurrected Messiah “face to face.”
Prophecy 85 Psalms 22:22; The resurrected Messiah will someday stand in the total congregation of all those He saved.
Prophecy 91 Psalms 30:3; The Messiah will be resurrected from the Grave.
Prophecy 100 Psalms 40:2-5; The Messiah being brought up from the “horrible pit.”
Prophecy 109 Psalms 49:15; The Messiah being redeemed from the power of the grave.
Prophecy 147 Psalms 117:17-18; The Messiah shall not die but live, the promise of a resurrection.
Prophecy 190 Isaiah 26:17-20; The Messiah’s resurrection will enable Him to resurrect all those who died trusting in Him, at a future Rapture.
Prophecy 260 Isaiah 53:10; In His resurrection, the Messiah could see all His future “seed,” those who would believe in Him because He was raised from the dead.
Prophecy 272 Isaiah 53:3; The Messiah’s resurrection is called “The sure mercies of David.”
This is one of the important details of this publication. The 365 Old Testament prophecies found in this book, which come from the Bible, describe the Messiah being killed and resurrected three days later. The fact that we have discovered thousands of copies of New Testament manuscripts which describe this event, and these writings line up with all of the prophetic predictions about the Messiah’s resurrection from the Hebrew prophets—further places a heavy weight of authenticity on the four gospels as credible and reliable accounts of what actually took place when Jesus died and was resurrected three days later.
Dr. Ehrman’s conclusions for the credibility of the New Testament account of Jesus resurrection as unreliable—are simply not true. More his own opinion than scholarly deduction, these thousands of copies of the original documents—written near the date of Jesus’ actual death and resurrection—are stunning proof that the events of the New Testament actually occurred, just as they are recorded. Added to these manuscripts are the many Old Testament prophecies that were written hundreds of years before Jesus’ death and resurrection, that perfectly lined up with the events which took place in 32 A.D.
All of the copies of the New Testament Gospels agree that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified at Jerusalem by the Roman authority, during the Feast of Passover. He was unjustly arrested for unprovable crimes, which He clearly did not commit. Among these charges was “blasphemy,” because He claimed to be the “Son of God.” Within hours of these charges being levied upon Jesus, He was savagely beaten and placed upon a cross, where He died. His body was taken by Joseph of Arimathea, prepared for burial in the customary fashion, and laid in Joseph’s tomb. The entrance to this tomb was sealed by a stone of some two tons, which would take several strong men to move. On the morning of the third day after He was killed, on the first day of the week, Mary and other disciples came to the tomb and found that Jesus’ body was not there. After this, Jesus appeared alive in a bodily form to all of the disciples and some five hundred eye witnesses at one time. The appearance of Jesus alive after He was killed was during a prolonged period of forty days. All of these events are well documented in the many Old Testament Prophecies contained in this book.
What inconsistencies are the critics speaking of when they assault at the reliability of the New Testament?
The above facts are incontrovertible, being found in all four of the Gospel accounts. The facts of these events are virtually certain, by the testimony of those who wrote and recorded these events. These writings were then distributed to the known churches in the region of Asia, and copied hundreds of times, and redistributed. Over the course of the past 2,000 years, these events have continued to be copied and distributed all over the world, until the advent of the modern printing press. Today, these events continue to be copied and distributed to people all over the face of the earth. When we compare our current New Testament to these early copies of the New Testament, they are 99.9 percent identical. The only variations between our current New Testament and the first copies are in spelling and punctuation and less than 40 questionable text—none of which call into question any emblem of Jesus death and resurrection. To the present day, no major article of the Christian faith, nor the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection are in dispute.
Again I ask, “What inconsistencies?” There are none, only the opinions of those who do not believe in the historical Jesus because of a priori bias. These unsubstantiated arguments for the facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection are not historical arguments; they are philosophical arguments that come from a misunderstanding of how the original testimony of Jesus’ death and resurrection were recorded and distributed by handwritten copies.
Based on the historical record, Jesus of Nazareth died and rose from the dead; this evidence is incontrovertible. The evidence for these events is greater than any other ancient historical events known to man.
Methods used in determining the age of Biblical Manuscripts:
When scholars examine ancient Biblical manuscripts from the New Testament, called “literary manuscripts,” they rarely have dates attached to them. In contrast, ancient texts that are known as documentary texts—which include contracts, wills, letters, receipts, petitions, or tax documents—very often have a date somewhere affixed. Documentary texts do not always contain a visible date explicitly stated; instead, such dates are discovered by something else in the document, such as a reference to an event, due date, or requirement that necessitates action by a certain time. These types of documentary texts are often the only way that a scholar may ascertain the correct date for literary texts. This process is known as “Paleography,” the deciphering and dating of ancient documents.
In a literary text concerning a New Testament document, there are two places that a papyrus or parchment may be written on:
The “Recto,” the right-hand page or front page The “Verso,” the left-hand page or the back of a page
If a Biblical literary manuscript is written on the “recto” or primary page of a parchment or papyrus, very often there will be a documentary manuscript on the verso or reverse side. When this occurs, the latest possible date for the entire document, including the Biblical text with no date, can be determined by the date from the documentary information on the reverse side. In the study of ancient Biblical texts, these latest dates are referred to as a “terminus ante quem.”
When Biblical scholars are trying to determine the writing of a literary document that have a date of 100 B.C. on the verso (opposite side), this date tells the scholar that the literary text must be dated earlier than 100 B.C. They may not know the precise age of the undated literary document, but it is reasonable that it is within 50 years of the verso.
Fortunately, several biblical manuscripts have been discovered which have a literary text on the Recto and a dated documentary text on the Verso. This enables paleographers to establish the “terminus ant quem,” (latest date) for the literary text of the New Testament manuscript. In most cases, paleographers will subtract 25 to 50 years from the latest date, in determining the time period of the literary text.
“The primary means of dating a New Testament manuscript, as an undated literary text, is by doing a comparative analysis with the handwriting of other dated documentary texts. The second method is to do a comparative analysis with literary manuscripts having a date based on the association with a documentary text on the recto or verso. Since several of the New Testament papyrus manuscripts exhibit a documentary hand, it is possible to find comparable dated documentary manuscripts.”
This procedure can be extended to determine New Testament documents which have no date on the Recto or Verso side of the manuscript. In this case, an unrelated document from what is believed to be the same time period is examined by microscopic examination and compared to the New Testament manuscript.
One of the most stunning discoveries in the field of New Testament reliability came from an Egyptologist in the late 19th century, by the name of Charles B. Huleatt. Three small fragments of papyrus from upper Egypt—found at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1901—contained twenty four lines from the gospel of Matthew Chapter 26:23 and 31. Dr. Carsten Peter Thiede, the director of the Institute of Basic Epistemological Research in Paderborn, Germany, discovered, by a scanning laser microscope, these fragments were certainly from the original gospel of Matthew that was written while Matthew was still alive, about 60 A.D.
How he did it:
When Dr. Thiede analyzed the fragments from Matthew’s gospel found in Egypt by what is described above as “comparative paleography,” he analyzed these fragments from the gospel of Matthew and compared them with four other well-known and reliable reference manuscripts from a commensurate and known time periods.
• Document one: 79 A.D., from the Herculaneum • Document two: 73-74 A.D., from Masada • Document three: 65-66 A.D., from the Egyptian town of Oxyrynchus • Document four: 58 A.D., from Masada
The style of handwriting from the first century is substantially different from the style of handwriting, just one hundred years later. In order to date a manuscript correctly, a handwriting style that is similar to the papyrus being analyzed must be found. For this reason, the four samples above—which came from similar areas of Israel, close to the same time period, were used. The conclusions from these careful comparisons revealed that many of the letters in these very early manuscripts bore a striking similarity to the letters in the Gospel of Matthew text that Dr. Thiede analyzed.
Because many of the letters and the style of writing were so close, Dr. Thiede concluded that these three papyrus fragments must have been written between the time of the crucifixion, at about 32 A.D, and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A. D. This places the date of the writing for Matthew’s gospel at the time that he would have been alive and witnessed the actual events that are recorded in his gospel account.
This means that Matthew is most certainly the true author of the gospel of Matthew.
When using the latest technology of the scanning laser microscope, Dr. Thiede could differentiate within one millionth of a meter in the layers of papyrus, and measure the actual height and depth of the ink used in the writing on the papyrus. This advance technique allows such precise analysis of ancient documents, that the actual angle of the stylus used to write on the papyrus can be determined. The scanning laser microscope can differentiate up to 20 separate layers of a papyrus manuscript at one time. It can even measure the exact height and depth of the ink used on the papyrus.
Upon completing this in-depth analysis, the computer then builds a three-dimensional image of each individual letter, or ink mark. These details are impossible to detect by the human eye or even by a conventional microscope. On one particular fragment of ink, describing the last supper in the gospel of Matthew, Dr. Thiede examined a portion of a letter that appeared to other experts to be damaged. In fact when examined, this portion of ink was measured at just 4.0 micrometers. All other ink portions on the manuscript were 12.1 micrometers. This revealed, with one hundred percent certainty,— this was a drop of ink, left by the scribe who wrote the text—not a part of a broken letter or a punctuation mark. This is conclusive evidence that this ink mark is an accidental blot of ink, left on the manuscript by the scribe who wrote it.
Up until Dr. Thiede’s laser microscope analysis of this papyrus, scholars believed that this portion of ink was a broken letter or a punctuation mark.
This revelation changes the way that we have traditionally read the part of the text in Matthew’s gospel, where he describes the last supper. When Jesus stated to the disciples, “One of you will betray Me,” it has been assumed that the men who were present began to ask one after another: “Lord, is it I?”
Matthew 26:21-22 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
By the analysis of this blot of ink on the papyrus fragment scanned by laser microscope by Dr. Thiede, experts now understand that in the moment of confusion—when Jesus made this statement that one of them would betray Him—all of the disciples were speaking up at the same time, “Lord, is it I?”—this gives far greater credence to the fact that this is exactly how the events took place and that what we have in the New Testament, as recorded by Matthew, is actually what occurred. In a moment such as this, it is unreasonable that the men took turns saying, “Lord, is it I?” Dr. Thiede’s incredible revelation of the text on this ancient papyrus further clarifies the meaning of the original text and conclusively proves that it had to have been written by Matthew himself or by his scribe, as he dictated the words to him.
Oldest New Testament fragments now dated during the time the events took place.
From the physical evidence found in Egypt, Dr. Thiede was able to determine that the gospel of Matthew fragments, discovered in Egypt, are the oldest New Testament documents ever found, and absolutely prove that the gospel of Matthew that we have in our possession today was written by Matthew himself—as he saw, heard, and recorded the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
This discovery takes all New Testament criticism from theory to actual physical evidence. No longer can any liberal scholar, such as Bart Ehrman, claim that the copies of the New Testament we have today were written too far after the events occurred, to be reliable.
The New Testament is completely reliable, completely accurate, and is a factual account of the actual events that took place in recording what Jesus of Nazareth said and did during His short 33 1/2 years on earth. This gives us great confidence in validating these 365 Old Testament prophecies by factually demonstrating their fulfillment—counterpart scriptures that are recorded for us in the New Testament.
Jesus based His claims on the Resurrection
The resurrection is the central and most important fact of the Christian church. Jesus based all of His claims to be God and the only Savior of the world on His promise of resurrection three days after He was crucified.
Matthew 20:17-19 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 Listen, he said, were going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead. (NLT)
The Old Testament predicts, at least eleven times, that the Messiah will be raised from the dead.
Prophecy 64 Psalms 2:7-8 Prophecy 69 Psalms 16:9-11 Prophecy 70 Psalms 17:15 Prophecy 85 Psalms 22:22 Prophecy 91 Psalms 30:3 Prophecy 100 Psalms 40:2-5 Prophecy 109 Psalms 49:15 Prophecy 147 Psalms 117:17-18 Prophecy 190 Isaiah 26:17-20 Prophecy 260 Isaiah 53:10 Prophecy 272 Isaiah 53:3
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that our central hope of eternal life is based on the fact that Jesus did raise from the dead. If He had not, then all of us would still be in our sins; and we would have no hope of eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:3-7 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the e apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 15:17-18 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! (NLT)
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ being an established fact of history—no person should have any hesitancy in accepting the gospel narrative of this event as factual, reliable, and certain.
NEXT: See the following articles which continue your discover of the facts regarding Jesus of Nazareth and the certainty that He lived, died, and rose from the dead.
The Historical Record of Jesus Life from Secular Sources Historical Evidence For Jesus Resurrection The Overwhelming Empirical Evidence for Jesus Death and Resurrection The New Testament Passes Every Literary Test of History Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Empirical Integrity of the New Testament
NOTES:￼  “Anno Domini”. Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-04. “Etymology: Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord” Online Etymology Dictionary”. Retrieved 2011-10-04. Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003, p. 782 “since AD stands for anno Domini, ‘in the year of (Our) Lord’.”  1. The Global Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. 2. The CIA’s World Factbook gives the population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 31.59% (of which Roman Catholic 18.85%, Protestant 8.15%, Orthodox 4.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 25.2%, Hindu 15.0%, Buddhist 7.1%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish 0.2%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01%. (2010 est.)  Expositor’s Bible Commentary, on Mark 16:3  J. Jackson et al., “Correlation of image intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D structure of a human body shape”, Applied Optics, vol. 23, n. 14, 15 July 1984, pp. 2244–2270  Bernard Ruffin (1999). The Shroud of Turin. Our Sunday Visitor. p. 14. ISBN 0-87973-617-8  Damon, P. E.; D. J. Donahue, B. H. Gore, A. L. Hatheway, A. J. T. Jull, T. W. Linick, P. J. Sercel, L. J. Toolin, C. R. Bronk, E. T. Hall, R. E. M. Hedges, R. Housley, I. A. Law, C. Perry, G. Bonani, S. Trumbore, W. Woelfli, J. C. Ambers, S. G. E. Bowman, M. N. Leese, M. S. Tite (1989-02). “Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin”. Nature 337 (6208): 611–615. doi:10.1038/337611a0. Retrieved 2007-11-18.  Busson, P. – Letter – Sampling error? – Nature, Vol. 352, July 18, 1991, p. 187. John L. Brown, “Microscopical Investigation of Selected Raes Threads From the Shroud of Turin”Article (2005) Robert Villarreal, “Analytical Results On Thread Samples Taken From The Raes Sampling Area (Corner) Of The Shroud Cloth” Abstract (2008)  1. Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of turin Raymond N. Rogers, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California, 1961 Cumbres Patio, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA, Received 14 April 2004; received in revised form 14 April 2004; accepted 12 September 2004 2. B. Hochberg, Handspinner’s Handbook, Windham Center, Norwalk, CT, 1980, pp. 1–4.  Ibid, Ray Rogers Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the Shroud of Turin.  See Discovery Channel’s “Unwrapping the shroud: new evidence” Re-Opens One Of Christianity’s Greatest Mysteries  Ibid.  1. Bernard Ruffin (1999). The Shroud of Turin. Our Sunday Visitor. p. 14. ISBN 0-87973-617-8. 2. John Beldon Scott (2003). Architecture for the shroud: relic and ritual in Turin. University of Chicago Press. p. 302. ISBN 0-226-74316-0.  Image of the Shroud of Turin is Public Domain, Illustration by Rob Robinson  J. Jackson et al., “Correlation of image intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D structure of a human body shape”, Applied Optics, vol. 23, n. 14, 15 July 1984, pp. 2244–2270  A. Belyakov, “Prospettive di ricerca in Russia sulla Sindone di Torino”, Atti del convegno di San Felice Circeo (LT) 24–25 agosto 1996, pp. 19–24  An Autopsy on the Man of the Shroud by Robert Bucklin, M.D., J.D. Robert Bucklin “The Shroud of Turin: a Pathologist’s Viewpoint”, Legal Medicine Annual, 1982 ; Frederick Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, 2nd edition, M. Evans Publ., 2005, ISBN 1-59077-070-6 [16a] Lepton. Judaea, Pontus Pilate, procurator under Tiberius at the time of the Crucifixtion of Christ, AE lepton, (1.66g) TIBEPOY KAICAP Lituus. / Wreath. Site: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/judaea/pontius_pilate/t.html [16b] 1. Mary & Alan Whanger, The Shroud of Turin An Adventure of Discovery, Providence House Publishers, Franklin, TN, 1998. 2. Francis L. Filas, The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from Coins of Pontius Pilate, 2d ed., Youngtown, AZ, Cogan Productions, 1982. 3. Robert M. Haralick, Analysis of Digital Images of the Shroud of Turin, Blacksburg, VA, privately printed at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1983. 4. Alan D. Whanger and Mary Whanger, Polarized image overlay technique: a new image comparison method and its applications, in Applied Optics, Vol. 24 No. 6, 15 March 1985 “Two coins found on the eyelids of the corpse of the man of the Shroud began with electronic processing of the Shroud’s image made by Prof. Tamburelli at the end of the 70’s, and with the publishing of an article, and afterwards a book, by the American Jesuit Professor Francis Filas . After having distinguished what seemed to be four letters “UCAI” near the arch of the man of the Shroud’s eyebrows, Filas and the Italian numismatics expert Mario Moroni identified these as part of the inscription of a lepton coin minted in 29 AD during Pontius Pilate’s governorshup of Judaea. “UCAI” was part of “TIBEPIOU CAICAPOC.” [16c] Illustration by Rob Robinson from the public domain images of the Shroud of Turin and the Lepton coins.  Frederick Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, M.Evans Publ., 2005, ISBN 1-59077-070-6  Pierluigi Baima Bollone, “Interpreting the Image on the Shroud”, in Gian Maria Zaccone, Le due facce della Sindone. Pellegrini e scienziati alla ricerca di un volto, Torino, ODPF, 2001, pp. 119–12  G. Fanti, R. Basso, G. Bianchini, Turin Shroud: Compatibility Between a Digitized Body Image and a Computerized Anthropomorphous Manikin, Journal of Imaging Science and Technology – September/October 2010 – Volume 54, Issue 5, pp. 050503-(8  Paper by Pete Schumacher in English.http://shroudnm.com/docs/1999-05-Photogrammetric-Responses-from-the-Shroud-of-Turin.pdf  Photogrammetric Responses From The Shroud of Turin Peter M. Schumacher  Ibid.  http://www.saintanthonyofpadua.net/messaggero/pagina_stampa.asp?R=&ID=485  Owen, Richard (21 November 2009). “Death certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican scholar”. The Times.  Image of the Shroud of Turin is public domain. Annotations on the Shroud were made by Dr. Barbara Frale.  From the annotations of Dr. Barbara Frale in her examination of the death certificate of the Shroud of Turin.  Owen, Richard (21 November 2009). “Death certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican scholar”. The Times. Retrieved 24 October 2010  Theissen 1998, pp. 81-83 Green, Joel B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke : new international commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.. p. 168. ISBN 0-8028-2315-7  Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer (Aug 24, 2009) ISBN 0691143188 page 141 and 9 Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 177-118  Theissen 1998, pp. 81-83  Flavius Josephus, Whiston & Maier 1999, p. 662.  A Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts March 28, 2006  McDowell, Josh (1999-03-02). Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 1 (Kindle Locations 1239-1247). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition  Chart by Rob Robinson 1. F.F. Bruce; “The New Testament Documents, are they Reliable?” Publisher: Wilder Publications (September 8, 2009) ISBN-10: 1604598662 SBN-13: 978-1604598667 2. Ibid, Data for this chart from Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict 1. Dr. Carsten Peter Thiede, the director of the Institute of Basic Epistemological Research in Paderborn, Germany 2. Thiede, Carsten Peter & D’Ancona, Matthew, The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996.  A Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts March 28, 2006  Simon Greenleaf. The Testimony of the Evangelists: The Gospels Examined by the Rules of Evidence (Kindle Locations 125-133). Kindle Edition.  Ibid, Simon Greeleaf.  Ibid, Simon Greenleaf.  Chapter 1, History of Christian Martyrs to the First General Persecutions under Nero, John Fox (2005-02-07). Fox’s Book of Martyrs (Formatted for Kindle with Active Links) (p. 1). Kindle Edition.  Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography, By Philip Comfort, pages 105-107.  Ibid, Philip Comfort.  Ibid, Philip Comfort.  Comfort, Phillip (2010-07-19). Encountering the Manuscripts (Kindle Locations 3017-3020). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.  Ibid, Philip Comfort.  Thiede, Carsten Peter & D’Ancona, Matthew, The Jesus Papyrus, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1996.  Ibid, Thiede, Carsten Peter  Ibid, Thiede, Carsten Peter  Ibid, Thiede, Carsten Peter  Ibid, Thiede, Carsten Peter  Ibid.  ibid.
Babylonian Talmud-Sanhedrin 43aCharles B. Huleattcomparative paleography