One argument I’ve heard in defense of the Bible is one that emphasizes that Jesus is not a liar or a lunatic, so therefore he must be exactly who Christianity says he is.
Here’s a link with that argument:
Now, I come from a childhood that included a desire to become a magician, so I have always kept an eye open to magic – or should I say, illusion. I find optical illusions particularly enjoyable! But sadly, one element of learning about magic is that you have to learn that there is no such thing as magic. Everything that happens, happens within the boundaries of what is possible in the universe. Maybe Jesus was tapped into some universal truths that we are far from understanding. Maybe you really can feed thousands with a couple loaves of bread?
Another thing I learned about magicians, besides their ability to entertain with illusions, is their desire to bring understanding to deceptions. One of the best known Magicians in recent history was Harry Houdini, and he was known to be a debunker of psychics.
Not all magicians are necessarily illusionists either. Some do magical stunts with their scientific knowledge and abilities to endure extreme conditions. Things that are beyond the beliefs of most people, but are actually possible with the proper training. David Blaine would be a good example of this type of magician.
Anyways, back to the options of Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. Here’s the breakdown of the options from the website I linked earlier:
I find this to be a very limited perspective.
I had a challenging time finding an acceptable understanding of the Bible coming from a background of magic-awareness. It resulted in a lot of research and a lot of reflection on things I’ve learned in the past. Some historical understanding of the time-frame of when the New Testament was written in relation to Jesus’ life was also very helpful.
Alright, I’ll get to the point.
My alternative is that Jesus had a much more in-depth understanding of things than the people of the time. He knew that sharing his ideas and understandings would get him into trouble, so he orchestrated himself a magical way out that would both emphasize his teachings and allow him an escape.
Okay, so Jesus might have been a little deceptive in order to share his knowledge and also survive. I think that is absolutely forgivable. Especially considering the ideas that he was able to share that have been passed along for around 2000 years!
Unfortunately, his escape does cause some issues and has actually become an undeserving focal point for much of Christianity.
I don’t think it was an escape of certainty either. He put himself at a huge risk of dying if he wasn’t able to endure the torture of being on the cross.
I feel for Judas. If there is truth to this scenario, it means that Judas actually believed in Jesus the most.
As for the feeding thousands with bread and other miracles – evidence as to when the books of the Bible were written points to them being written several decades after the events occurred. That gives plenty of time for word of mouth of the amazing things he did to snowball into greater miraculous claims.
If you are unsure, do some fact-checking on movies about famous people from the 20th century. Chances are, some events are not completely accurate in the movie in order to bring a greater WOW sense to the retelling of the story. Just imagine how dramatically that could happen when stories have been word-of-mouth for a number of decades.
And remember, Chuck Norris once made a lame man run for his life!