In “Mere Christianity” C.S. Lewis said that the words of Jesus are so bold that he could either be the Son or God, a lunatic, or a liar, but that there is no way he can merely be seen a “good moral teacher.” Considering Jesus’ radical claim that “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”, there is sound logic in this position.
Yet, in recent years there have been additional challenges to the bold words of Jesus that he is the “I AM.” Bart Ehrman has written popular books stating that Jesus was merely one of many failed apocalyptic preachers during this time in history. And, there have been many other books written that claim Jesus to be nothing more than a legendary figure such as King Arthur or Robin Hood. At a minimum, this view sees the story of Jesus as greatly exaggerated and unreliable. Finally, many in the scholarly community believe that the Gospels were written long after the events and that they were important primarily for the local Christian communities. This view doesn’t assume that all the stories are true, but that they were written because of their importance for the local community.
The single most important anchor for a Christ-follower is that we can rely on the story of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal the character of God to us. If we lose this understanding, everything is lost. Is there an evidence-based view of the Gospels that can give us confidence that the story and the words of Jesus are really true?