My life growing up was a struggle. When I walked into college, I carried a heavy burden of years of hurt and bitterness.
I was mad at my father for beating my mother. I was angry at a man who worked on our farm and sexually abused me from ages 6 to 13. All of this led to me to really despise God, religion and anything to do with the church. I was the last person in the world who you would expect to become a Christian.
When some young believing students at school challenged me to investigate the evidence for Christianity intellectually, I was shocked. Specifically, they challenged me to investigate the evidence for the resurrection. I thought it was joke. In fact, I thought it would be easy to marshal the evidence disproving the claims of Christ. Since I like a good challenge, I accepted their offer.
I left the university and traveled across the United States, Europe and the Middle East to study ancient manuscripts and gather the evidence against Christianity. After months of study, I returned to a small library in England. I leaned back in my chair, cupped my hands on the back of my head and said “It’s true. It really is true.”
I returned to the university and couldn’t sleep. The evidence for Christianity was stronger than all the years of my pain and skepticism that kept me from believing it. I knew that if I was going to be honest, I could not remain a skeptic. The historical evidence really indicated that Jesus died, was buried, and rose on the third day.
Needless to say, my research had taken quite an unexpected turn. I set out to disprove the historical resurrection of Jesus but ended up becoming a follower of Christ. I first published my research in 1972 in the book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” which has since been printed over 4 million times in 44 languages.
The historical evidence for Christianity today is like a tsunami. And yet, the amount of evidence we have engulfs the kind that led me to believe in Christ over five decades ago. The textual, archaeological and manuscript evidence is increasing regularly.
The waves keep crashing as more and more things are being discovered. Because of this, my son Sean and I recently teamed up to revise “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” with all of the latest discoveries that bear upon one verdict: Jesus Christ has risen from the dead in confirmation that he is God.
This is obviously a radical claim to make today. After all, many smart people disagree with me. How do we know the claims of Christ are not “fake news?”
My challenge for you is to consider the evidence for yourself. According to the Apostle Paul, if Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is false, and Christians are to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). But if Jesus did rise, then Christianity is true. The evidence is there, if you are willing to consider it. After 50 years of studying it, I can tell you that this tsunami has not let up.