It seems that Christian apologetics very much rests on the historical veracity of the resurrection. That is, if we can verify the resurrection, than we have an objective rationale to believe in the Christian faith.

Let's assume for a moment that William Craig is correct that there is good evidence for the resurrection. Even so, does this conclude that Jesus was in fact who he said he was, i.e. the son of God?

Deuteronomy 13:1-4 reads as follows:

"If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner and he gives you a sign or a portent, saying, “Let us follow and worship another god”—whom you have not known—even if the sign or portent that he named to you comes true, do not heed the words of that prophet or that dream-diviner. For the LORD your God is testing you to see whether you really love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. Follow none but the LORD your God, and revere none but Him; observe His commandments alone, and heed only His orders; worship none but Him, and hold fast to Him."

And the resurrection served as a sign:

"Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:38-40)

As far as a Pharisee Jew is concerned, Jesus is certainly a god "whom you have not known"; Jesus and the Trinity were completely unknown to the Jews. Thus his sign should be disregarded.

Now you might be tempted to respond that Jesus is indeed that same God that they knew, but he just didn't come out of the closet as Jesus until later. The question would then be: how are we to know that Jesus is, in fact the same god? For that Christian apologetics has turned to the resurrection as evidence.

But the verse clearly states: " even if the sign or portent that he named to you comes true, do not heed the words" thus excluding supernatural signs as evidence! (In fact, in Exodus 7:11 even Pharoah's sorcerers were capable of performing supernatural feats.)

So we are back to square one; first we need evidence that Jesus was indeed the son of God. Then and only then, does the historicity of the resurrection have any relevance to affirming Jesus. Without prior evidence, it seems justifiable to write Jesus off as a false prophet.

Now many are quick to point out that Jesus claimed to be that very same god of the OT and even admonished Israel for not revering the god of the OT. Nonetheless, this doesn't prove that he is that very same god. Where are we to look for that verification? The resurrection? But that may just be another "sign" or "portent".

It seems that the only acceptable form of validation must come from the Old Testament itself i.e fulfilled messianic prophecies. That is, the historicity of a supernatural feat has no place in the debate between Christians and Jews.

Please note what I'm NOT saying:

  1. Christianity therefore must be false
  2. Deuteronomy 13 by definition must exclude Jesus
  3. The purpose of the resurrection was to serve as a "proof"

What I AM saying:

The Resurrection in and of itself can be evaded on supernaturalistic grounds.

  • 3
    @BigMouth Reasonable people consider the whole picture. Similarly, just like the original audience of Jesus, when evaluating whether Jesus's claim as God is credible or not, we will need to look from different angles. I think when you say resurrection is "irrelevant", it is too strong, leading to tunnel vision. Christians evaluate resurrection along with many other factors in making the decision to trust what Jesus says: his miracles, his interpretation of the Scriptures, apostle's martyrdom, testimony of the Holy Spirit, miracles post resurrection, etc. Sep 10 '19 at 18:20
  • It seems that this question was posed to William Lane Craig over here: reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/… I'm personally very unimpressed with his answer. I've written a response to WLC, we'll see if he responds. It can be viewed here: drive.google.com/file/d/1PVBV2_SRBis0BTe0riF6xHqTICRJ41NQ/…
    – Big Mouth
    Jan 2 '20 at 22:51
  • Part of Deut 13:2 warns if the prophet says let's go after other gods. Could you point out the Scriptures where Jesus said let's go after other gods?
    – SLM
    Jan 6 at 17:20
  • By telling the jews to worship him, he has asked them to follow other gods. To assume otherwise is to assume christian doctrine pre facto, something that an argument from resurrection isn't allowed to presuppose.
    – Big Mouth
    Jan 31 at 20:03

For mainstream Christian denominations (including Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, mainline Protestants, and Evangelicals), Resurrection is NOT the key to Jesus's identity. Rather, the resurrection shows the VICTORY of Jesus over the power of death due to His obedience to God the Father. If you read the four Gospels, the speeches in the book of Acts, and the letters of Paul, the identity of Jesus as the promised Messiah was determined based on the PROPHECIES in the Hebrew Bible (called the Old Testament by Christians now). There are overwhelming details in the prophecies that matched the details of Jesus's birth, ministry, suffering, and the manner of his death on the cross. See my answer to another question for a list of key Bible verses that Christians deem to point to Jesus.

Your charge that Jesus taught His disciples to worship another god is not true because Jesus worshiped the same God that Abraham and Moses worshiped. The writings in the New Testament consistently show that when the 12 apostles spread the good news (that God the Father has finally sent the messiah as He promised) and established churches throughout the Roman Empire, they exhorted the church members to worship the same God the Father as well (Example, see Romans 12-13:10 where Paul instructed the church in Rome to live in the manner pleasing to God the Father; Jesus was barely mentioned and out of focus).

Of course Christians also worship Jesus as Lord, because Christians believe that the essence of Jesus is the same as the essence of God the Father. But yes, the Pharisees in Jesus's generation didn't believe that it was God the Father who sent Jesus, so understandably this led to the charge that Jesus was a false prophet and more seriously that Jesus blasphemed God by claiming that He shared God the Father's essence. Even the famous missionary Paul (a Pharisee who studied under the famous Rabbi Gamaliel) also hunted down Christians before his conversion (possibly so the land was not polluted with their "sins" which could have led to the anger of God the Father). After Paul became Christian, the religious authorities in Jerusalem wanted to kill him too, just as they killed Jesus for blasphemy; see Acts 21:26-22:23.

I agree with you that the Resurrection on its own is not enough to determine Jesus's identity. So if you notice, in the Gospels Jesus explained, especially after his resurrection, how the prophecies pointed to Him (see for example Luke 24:13-53). Notice also how verse 53 says that not only Jesus's disciples worshiped God the Father for sending Jesus, they worshiped IN THE TEMPLE, where every Jew throughout the Roman Empire believed to have the presence of the God of Abraham, Jacob, David, etc. It is clear then, from the very beginning, how the earliest disciples never wavered from associating the God of Jesus with the God of their ancestors. The resurrection (along with the miracles which Jesus performed prior to his death) was simply to AUTHENTICATE that Jesus was who He said He was. If we believe the Gospels to be roughly historically accurate (i.e. not Legend), then we are left with the famous trilemma when considering Jesus's claim of who He is.


After further reading such as here, I can see how my answer above will not be sufficient for you, because Judaism's own presuppositions judge a priori (using Deut 13:1-5) how:

  1. Christian's God the Father is considered a different God than Judaism's God, although both Paul and Jesus emphatically credit the God of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Isaiah with all the miracles and the sending of the Messiah.

  2. "God is not allowed" to update the Torah, so therefore Christian teaching of how Mosaic law has been superseded by the New Covenant is considered heretical outright, although according to Christians the laws that Christians are supposed to keep with the help of the New Heart (given by God) are purer and more universal.

  3. Even if Jesus performed greater miracles than Elijah and Elisha to show that the power came from God the Father, Judaism will reject it as irrelevant, and uses Deut 13:1-5 to regard the miracles as lies and as coming from the devil, just as how the Pharisees claimed Jesus's power came from the devil, as in when Jesus healed a demon-possessed man.

As a result of the a priori rules above, it becomes a lot more complicated to make Christian teaching acceptable to adherents of Judaism. But I did find a blogger who in fact responded to a similar charge (that resurrection is irrelevant). I hope his answer helps!

On further reflection, I believe the root cause between the diverging interpretations of Deut 13:1-5 is simply a different hermeneutics when reading the Scriptures, especially because in Judaism there is Oral Torah and other authorities which significantly changes one's reading of the same passage. Yes, within Christian mainstream there are internal differences on how to interpret certain passages of Scriptures (also due to differences in hermeneutics), but they are VERY minor when compared to how Judaism reads the Hebrew Bible. Case in point: how very different Jewish interpretation of the prophetic verses commonly used by Christians to show as predicting Jesus. Another Jewish interpretation of the prophetic verses can be found here. (Both links are taken from the posts of JPH who initiated the "resurrection is irrelevant" discussion on the aforementioned blogger's site).

At this point I'm just satisfied to agree to disagree. God bless you!

  • @GratefuDisciple This is the one answer here that seems to take me at my points, I would upvote it if I could. A few comments: "Your charge that Jesus taught His disciples to worship another god is not true" I specifically preempted this: "Now you might be tempted to respond that Jesus is indeed that same God that they knew, but he just didn't come out of the closet as Jesus until later. The question is how are we to know that Jesus is, in fact, the same god?" I'm not charging that he can't be the same god, just that I have no evidence (from the resurrection at least) that he is.
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 11 '19 at 14:44
  • You write: "I agree with you that the Resurrection on its own is not enough to determine Jesus's identity. So if you notice, in the Gospels Jesus explained, especially after his resurrection, how the prophecies pointed to Him" Bingo. This is my whole point. When WLC is debating a naturalist, the verification of the resurrection is a clear and concise checkmate, there is simply no wiggle room for supernaturalism. But when going down the prophecy route (when speaking with a Jew), it becomes a lot less black and white; many interpretations are subjective, etc..
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 11 '19 at 14:48
  • @Big Mouth You wrote: The question is how are we to know that Jesus is, in fact, the same god? I propose the following way (other ways are possible), taking the next step only after we're satisfied with the previous step: 1) Jesus's God is Israel's God, 2) Israel's God said Jesus is His Son, most notably in Transfiguration reported in Luke 9:28-36, 3) Israel's God resurrected Jesus as authentication (the only power who can do this), 4) Jesus ascended to heaven Sep 11 '19 at 16:39
  • 1
    As a Jew, I have no way of knowing #2 without granting the NT authority. As to #3, I don't concede that point. How do you know this? why is it an exception and by what standard? I think logically I'd have the right to stick to a general understanding of "sign" and "portent" but I digress...
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 11 '19 at 16:45
  • @Big Mouth The reason I gave up is that I can predict how that way doesn't satisfy you since Orthodox Judaism's interpretation of Deut 13:1-5 is such that they "bind God's hand" from doing steps 2 and 3, claiming that the true God wouldn't contradict his own commandments in Deut 13:1-5. But if we start with God's freedom and by the relativity of the Mosaic covenant (as separate from Abrahamic and New covenant, for example), then what's preventing Israel's God from doing this? Sep 11 '19 at 16:47

Its hard to understand why you should think for a minute that Jesus taught anyone to follow any other god than the God of the Jewish Tanakh (ie the Old Testament). If you can add to your question to show how Jesus's teaching differs from the Tanakh then that would be helpful. As far as the Christian is concerned nothing Jesus taught contradicts the Tanakh, when the Tanakh is rightly understood: if you think it does then please tell us how.

Having said that, the Apostle Paul tells us that what the prophets of the Old Testament promised was that one day would be proclaimed "the gospel" (Romans 1:1,2). Now the gospel is a message. So what was promised was a new message from God. This is confirmed by the prophet Jeremiah:

Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt .... for I will forgive their iniquities, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

The Apostle Paul further states that this gospel is concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:3,4).

According to NT the resurrection is sufficient proof He is the Son of God

According to the Apostle the resurrection declares Jesus is the Son of God.

The resurrection by itself shows that Jesus is from God, and that everything he said during his life was true, otherwise God would not have given a plain demonstration of his approval of Jesus by raising him from the dead. What the resurrection, by itself, cannot do is demonstrate that Jesus of Nazareth is that promised Messiah of the Old Testament. In order to demonstrate that the resurrection must fulfil the prophesies of it in the Old Testament.

This is my point, the Gospel is not "just" that Jesus is the Son of God: it is that he is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament; and the resurrection, like many other events in the ministry of Jesus, is prophesied in the OT and fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus.

When Paul preached to the Greeks in the midst of the Areopagus at Athens he felt no need to prove his beliefs by any reference to the Old Testament. And he finished his message saying:

The times of this ignorance God overlooked/winked at: but now he commands all men everywhere to repent: because he has set a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained. And of this he has given assurance (some versions say "proof") unto all men by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30,31)

The Old Testament, then, is not necessary to prove the resurrection, Paul made no use of it in his sermon. But the resurrection must not contradict the OT, as Isaiah says:

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20).

It is not correct to claim that "In and of itself, the resurrection proves nothing. You must bring independent proof from outside the New Testament so as no to be guilty of circular logic." Paul brought no evidence from the OT. If it is circular logic to restrict to the NT alone then why isn't it circular logic to restrict to NT and OT alone? The NT has sufficient evidence within itself to prove it is the Word of God. But as Isaiah 8:20 shows what is needed is to show that the resurrection, and the NT and the OT all agree together, that the NT does not contradict the OT.

NT and OT are two witnesses

We do not have the NT as a solitary witness for the messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth, we have the OT also as an independent witness, that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses everything might be established (Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16). And in that the Jews in the main reject Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, the witness of the Tanakh is strengthened because there has obviously been no collusion between Christians and Jews in the making or preservation of the OT, seeing the two peoples oppose each other in this matter. The OT and the NT are thus two witnesses which are entirely independent.

Resurrrection is no proof to the rebellious

Of course, the resurrection is no proof to those who do not want to believe: nothing is. Jesus ended one of his parables with a man claiming:

"'But if someone goes to them from the dead then they will repent.' But he said to him 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone should rise from the dead'" (Luke 16:30,31).

Resurrection in the Tanakh/ Old Testament

Jesus brings us to the same God, because he, his death, and his resurrection fulfil the prophesies of the Tanakh:-

The resurrection is found in many places in the Tanakh such as here:

After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD... (Hosea 6:2,3).

Just as it was through suffering, the loss of a rib, that Adam gained a bride, so through suffering the Messiah would gain his Bride.. all those who would believe on him. And as Adam was raised out of his sleep to enjoy Eve, so Christ was raised out of death to delight in his Bride. And Eve was made because it was not good that man should be alone (Gen 2:18) because man was made in the image of God (Gen 1:26), from which we conclude that there is more than one person in the Godhead.

The Gospel according to Moses

In the last fourteen chapters of Genesis, chapters 37 to 50, we have the life and ministry of Joseph. He was envied by his brothers (Genesis 37:11, Matthew 27:18), the children of Israel, because he was the favourite of his father; because they envied him they sold him for 20 pieces of silver into slavery (27:28, Matthew 26:15); by this, in a figure, they killed him so that Jacob said "Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces" (37:33). When Joseph was 30 years old (41:46, Luke 3:23) he was raised from the prison and he was elevated to the second highest position in Egypt (41:40, Matthew 28:18, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28); and Joseph used his position of power, not to get revenge on his brothers but, to save all the children of Israel from death. And when their father died Joseph's brothers came trembling to him for mercy: what Joseph said could equally come from the mouth of Jesus, "But as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore, fear ye not: I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spake kindly to them." (Genesis 50:20,21). The life of Joseph is a true history but it is also a gospel allegory, including salvation for the people of God by a figurative death and resurrection.

The Gospel according to Mordecai

The book of Esther is also the gospel in the form of an allegory. Just as Esther saved her people, the Jews, by her willingness to die, saying if I perish, I perish (Esther 4:16), so Christ saves his people by actually dying. As she suffered having requested that the Jews of Shushan neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day and promising I also and my maidens will fast likewise (Esther 4:16) and afterwards went into the secret place to intercede for her people, so Christ also suffered and was in the grave three days and three nights before his ascension to intercede in Heaven for his people. And just as Esther was related both the to the Jews and the King (by marriage), so Christ is related both to us, being made a man, and to the Father, being of the same nature, God made flesh. And just as Esther had neither mother nor father, so Christ had neither father nor mother, his human nature having no human father, and his divine nature having no divine mother. It was not the worthiness of the Jews that delivered them, rather it was the beauty of Esther; and it is not our worthiness that saves us, rather it is the spotless beauty of our Messiah.

And note that the time of the call to fasting "three days, night and day" by Esther (Esther 4:16) was at the time of Passover exactly the time when Christ was "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40, Mark 14:14) for Passover was always upon the 14th of Nisan (Exodus 12:6) and Haman's letter for the destruction of the Jews, upon which Mordecai immedately acted, was sent out 13th Nisan (Esther 3:7 & 3:12). It is quite possible then that Esther's fast began the same day of the year as the crucifixion and that Esther appeared before the King to intercede for the Jews on what Christians today call "Easter Sunday" or "Resurrection Sunday".

A gospel allegory in the book of Samuel

In the book of Samuel we have another picture of the resurrection. David is in a lot of trouble, his men are threatening to kill him, after he and his men return to Ziklag on the third day (1 Samuel 30:1) to discover that all their wives and children have been taken captive. But David and the people are all delivered in an unexpected way: a stranger whose name we even do not know, a suffering servant, who was despised and rejected, is brought back from the edge of death, when they gave him something to eat and drink his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights (1 Samuel 30:12,13). (The word "spirit came again" (KJV) probably means his "breathing returned to normal", his breathing had been very shallow, he was very close to death.) It was through this man, and through what this man said, that deliverance came. The same with Jesus of Nazareth: even though he might have seemed to be a nobody and a stranger to the Jews, yet it is through his resurrection, and the Gospel message that he gives, that deliverance comes to those who believe in him.

In summary, notice that in each of the three above cases not a single life was lost, every single life that was in danger, namely all the sons of Jacob and their families, all the followers of David and their families, and all the Jews in Esther's time, were delivered from death.

Pictures from the OT

When Adam and Eve sinned God promised them a Saviour, Genesis 3:15, who would bruise Satan's head but be bruised in the heel himself in the process. It was by faith in this promise of God that those before the time of Abraham were able to be saved, and call upon the name of the LORD (Gen 4:26).

Abraham was promised that this Saviour would be one of his descendants. And Abraham believed God's promises and this was what made Abraham righteous before God. And, as a token of the covenant He made with Abraham, God gave him the sign of circumcision to him and his descendants. God was pleased with Abraham because of Abraham's faith which he had before he was circumcised: Abraham believed God and He accounted it to him for righteousness (Gen 15:6). Circumcision, then, should act as a reminder of how Abraham pleased God.

David was promised one of his descendants would sit on his throne forever:

And when thy days be fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, which shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

This King would be from David's own body. He would live forever. No one today, in fact no one since the destruction of the Jewish public records in Jerusalem by the Romans (in either the first of second century), can actually prove they are a descendant of David.

David prophesied: The stone the builders rejected has become the head of the corner (Psalm 118:12) i.e. the builders are the Jewish religious authorities: the one rejected by them would be the Messiah.

And David prophesied that the Messiah would be resurrected physically soon after death:

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices, my flesh also shall rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, neither will you let your Holy One see corruption [bodily decay]. Psalm 16:10

Isaiah tells us that a virgin will conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Immanuel which means 'God with us' (Isaiah 7:14).

Isaiah also tells us a child will be born And his name will be called... Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah also prophesies:

He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned ereryone to his own way; And the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent so he opened not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgement, and who will declare his generation (offspring)? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And they made his grave with the wicked - but with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief. When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days [ie he shall be resurrected after his suffering], and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the travail of his soul [ie he shall see the souls saved as a consequence of his death, because he will be resurrected] and be satisfied.

By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:3-12)

Isaiah also tells us what God said to his Messiah:

It is too small a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you to be a light to the Gentiles; that you should be my salvation to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).

And David prophesies, speaking of the Messiah's death:

They have pierced my hands and my feet (Psalm 22:16).

This reading is the reading of Psalm 22:16 in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Hebrew of the Masoretic Text translates as "Like a lion are my hands and my feet", which makes very little sense. Either the text was changed to "they have pierced" before the time of Christ or the Masoretic Jews changed it to "like a lion" sometime between 100 BCE and 1000 CE. The Christian view makes most sense, the Jews changed it because they didn't like "they have pierced my hands and my feet" because it points to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.

Early in this long post reference was made to Jeremiah who had said that when the Messiah comes a new covenant will be made by God, not like the covenant made with them when He brought them out of Egypt, in which the LORD says I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Now if God has forgotten the sins of his people then why do they need to continue offering sacrifices? The implication of this is that the sacrificial system with its bulls and goats, etc, will no longer be needed. This is the argument of the author of the letter to the Hebrews 10:1-18, especially 10:16-18.

Daniel tells us that after the Messiah has come the city [of Jerusalem] and the Temple will be destroyed, and this shall be until the consummation [until the day of judgement] (Daniel 9:26-27). In other words the Temple will never be rebuilt: the sacrificial system of the Tanakh is no longer needed because the True Sacrifice, the Messiah, has been sacrificed.

[In addition, the law of God required that anyone wanting to serve as a priest in the Temple had to be able to prove their descent to be of the tribe of Levi, and if anyone could not prove it they were not permitted to serve in the Temple (Ezra 2:59-63). No one alive today can prove they are descendants of the priesthood: therefore even if the Temple in Jerusalem were to be rebuilt, no one would be able to serve in it. It seems plain to me, then, that the meaning of Daniel 9:27 "even until the consummation" is that the Temple will never be rebuilt, and the "consummation" is intended the Day our Lord comes to finally take his betrothed, the people of God, for his bride on the Last Day (Isaiah 54:5, Revelation 19:7).]

As you know the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE. So we need to find the Jewish Messiah before 70 CE.

Daniel tells us the Son of Man shall come in the days of the Empire of iron, the Roman Empire (Daniel 7:13,14).

In fact, Daniel tells us that 490 years after a decree to rebuild Jerusalem shall six very important things happen (Daniel 9:24). The decree of Artaxerxes (in Ezra 7) was given in 458 BCE. And 490 years after 458 BC is 33 C.E. when Christ was crucified; (there was no year zero).

In 1956 Richard A. Parker and Waldo Dubberstein published the second edition of their book on chronology calling it "Babylonian Chronology, 626 B.C. to A.D. 75" which has become the standard work on chronology for the period. In that work the dates for every new moon were recorded using Julian Calendar dating. The date for the departure of Ezra on the first of Nissan 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:9) is recorded in their book as 8th April 458 B.C.

In late 2006 (or early 2007) Pastor Derrick Walker in Oxford, England, realised that if you change the date from the Julian date in Parker & Dubberstein's book to the more accurate Gregorian date (where the length of a year is almost exactly the same as that of the solar year) then Ezra left Babylon to return to Jerusalem to rebuild under the decree of Artaxerxes on 3rd April 458 BC. (Later Rodger C. Young (rcyoung.org) and Pastor Steve Rudd (www.bible.ca) made the same discovery.) And 3rd April 458 B.C. is 490 years to the resurrection on 3rd April AD 33 (Gregorian) to the exact day.
When you go on a long journey which will take many hours then you tend to leave early in the morning. So not only was the day 490 years to the exact day, but probably it was close to the exact hour as well! Jesus resurrection is prophesied in the OT to the exact day and maybe the exact hour!!

If this is the intended interpretation then Daniel 9:24 is not directly pointing to the crucifixion: rather, it is pointing to the resurrection, as the sign demonstrating the efficacy of the crucifixion. (AD 33 is one of the few possible years of the crucifixion because in that year Passover fell on a Friday.)

Finally, after three days and three nights Jonah was spewed out of the great fish/whale (Jonah 1:17). He then went to Ninevah to tell them that in 40 days they were going to be destroyed. It is not correct to say he told them to repent. They asked him how he smelt so bad of fish, and maybe why he looked so strange, having been in a fish's belly for three days. He told them what had happened to him and why he had been in the fish... because of his rebellion against his God. We know the Ninevites learned these things about Jonah because Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites (Luke 11:30), meaning a sign of death and resurrection.

The Ninevites said: "We are in big trouble. Yet Jonah found mercy at the last hour by his repentance. It won't do us any harm to repent either. Who knows? Maybe God will have mercy upon us too, even though God has not promised mercy upon our repentance." So they repented, and God relented. For the Jews, it is the eleventh hour: but God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, offers forgiveness upon your faith in Jesus Christ and repentance back to God.

Jesus of Nazareth fulfils Daniel 9:26: he came before the destruction of the Temple. He fulfils Isaiah 49:6 because he is worshipped throughout the world as the Messiah. And he fulfils 2 Samuel 7:13,14 - he is a descendant of King David both through his mother (Luke's Gospel) and through his adopted father (Matthew's Gospel).

Both Luke and Matthew must have examined the public records in Jerusalem showing the ancestry of Jesus: the only thing Jesus's enemies, the Jewish religious authorities, had to do to show Jesus was not the promised Messiah was to demonstrate from those records that he was not a descendant of David. In that they never made that claim, and we instead only hear a deafening silence from them in this matter, then a very likely scenario is that they did indeed examine those public records and found precisely the same evidence as that found by Matthew and Luke.

Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah of the Tanakh, he rose from the dead the third day as the Tanakh prophesied.

The section I had near the beginning I will give again:

Resurrrection is no proof to the rebellious

Of course, the resurrection is no proof to those who do not want to believe: nothing is. Jesus ended one of his parables with a man claiming:

"'But if someone goes to them from the dead then they will repent.' But he said to him 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded even if someone should rise from the dead'" (Luke 16:30, 31).

The problem with many unbelieving Jews is not that they struggle with Deuteronomy 13:1-11... its that they don't believe Moses, Moses book(s), or even any of their own Old Testament. Moses said God made the world in 6 days and rested the 7th day: they believe in the Big Bang. Moses said God made all the animals after their kinds... but they believe in evolution. Moses said God lead them out of Egypt about 1446 BC.. they believe the writings of Moses were finished some time around 500 bc or even later and most of Moses works are historically entirely unreliable. And they certainly do not believe in a worldwide flood when all humanity was destroyed by the righteous wrath of Almighty God, or in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sexual immorality and greed.

Moses said there are two covenants to pay attention to not one (Deut 29:1)... but they only know the one covenant made at Horeb (Sinai), which is a covenant saying "Do all these good things and you shall live, but if you fail in one detail you shall be cursed"; they have no clue what Moses means by another covenant "made in the land of Moab" (Deut 29:1). This covenant is the covenant of grace, peace and everlasting life in which God will remember our sins no more if we turn back to God as beggars pleading mercy and peace on account of the sacrifice a fully sufficient Messiah, (who is "Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1)).

In this section of Moses writings he speaks of the Son of God coming down from Heaven, living a sinless life to be a perfect sacrifice for the sins of his people, dying, being resurrected from the dead, and giving salvation to all who believe in Him and trust in His sacrifice for their sin, and helping them to live for God and love God, by the pouring out of God the Holy Spirit into their hearts and lips (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).

I suspect many Jews know so very little about their own Book because: What is the point of studying a book which "so obviously isn't true"?

The real problem is some people prefer the comfort of the approval of friends and family rather than seeking of the truth, rather seeing the than the praise of God. But Jesus asks us all even now "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet to lose his own soul?" And Jesus repeats the warning found at the end of the book of Isaiah, that those who prefer to proudly disbelieve and carry on in their own wilful rebellion will at the last Day of Judgement be looked upon by the Children of God:

"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me; for their shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh." (Isaiah 66:24, Matthew 5:27-30, Mark 9:43-48).

To all the Jews who do not believe in Jesus, I say, give your own book, the Old Testament, the Tanakh, a fair chance - study it as if it is actually true, pray God would open your eyes and hearts, and make sure you read with a willingness to believe it, and may God, the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless you.

  • I don't believe this answers my question. Why is it hard to believe he is not the same God? Because he is a God I have never known - the most simple and obvious reading of the verse. I specifically preempted this in my original post. But the main point remains: Why do theologians like WLC think the resurrection is so consequential (as a "proof")? Although there may be no good naturalistic explanations, there are good supernaturalistic explanations
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 10 '19 at 13:25
  • But why is he not the God of the Tanakh? What evidence do you have that he is presenting a different god to the God of the Tanakh? So far I can see no actual evidence. And can you give a supernatural explanation which does not require Jesus to be at least from God? Sep 10 '19 at 13:58
  • 1) I do not need proof that he isn't the God of the Tanakh (Although we can go down that road as well). The burden of proof is on the one wishing to change the status quo. 2) Yes, I another explanation; he is a false prophet. All the resurrection would prove is that a man was capable of a supernatural feat. That does not prove we should follow him, this is the core of my question: Why do Christians think proving the resurrection proves their faith?
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 10 '19 at 14:01
  • 1
    The Tanakh says the Messiah will rise from the dead. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. Jesus rose from the dead. No one else rose from the dead who claimed to be the Messiah. Therefore Jesus is the Messiah. In addition, if Jesus is not the Messiah then no one is the Messiah. Sep 10 '19 at 14:15
  • You are now resorting to the OT to demonstrate Jesus's authenticity. The debate of Jesus as the Messiah, the presence of Jesus and the Trinity in the OT are all worthy and important conversations. But this exactly proves my point: In and of itself, the resurrection proves nothing. You must bring independent proof from outside the New Testament so as no to be guilty of circular logic.
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 10 '19 at 14:54

The form of your logic seems to be as follows


Scripture teaches believers should not follow other gods, gods whom they have not known.

Deuteronomy 13:1“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4“You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.


Jesus is a God who is not recognised by Jews according to the description of God given in the Old Testament. In other words, he is a god whom they have not known.


Jesus is not God, even if you use resurrection as a criteria, because miracles are not the criteria, as pointed out by Deuteronomy 13.

The problem with the logic is that the teaching in Deuteronomy 13:1-4 is not about unknown gods, but about how to identify false prophets. The criteria is not that their predictions should come true, but that they should do not lead worshipers astray. Your second premise, that Jesus was not recognisable as God, based on the Old Testament description that the Jews believed had authority, has no relevance to the first.

The Resurrection falls in a category known as a great work of God. Abraham was saved from Pharaoh not because of his own efforts at survival, but because of a great work of God in giving Pharaoh a dream. When Abraham was saved on several occasions by similar great works of God, Abraham learnt two important lessons, lessons that Israelites who experienced similar great rescues did not learn. Abraham intuited that God required him to trust Him to be saved from danger. Second, these rescues were connected to the promise that the world would be blessed through him and his descendants. They were situations in which the great works of God would be displayed, so that those witnessing them would be motivated to serve God, like Abraham served God.

So when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as an offering, Abraham thought that the event was just another opportunity to display God's great work, believing that God would raise his son back from the dead.

Hebrews 11:19He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

You see similar parallels in the great works God empowered Moses and Christ with.

Exodus 4:1Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’” 2The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” 3Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. 4But the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5“that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”

John 9:1As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

So when you ask for baptism in the name of Christ, you are asking for God to give you Holy Spirit experiences that reveal the protection of God. When you receive these experiences, you are supposed to have a stronger faith, a different spirit.

Numbers 14:22“Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it 24But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.

Then, learning obedience from suffering, like Abraham and Christ, you are supposed to voluntarily expose yourself to dangerous situations, pick up crosses, so that God's great works can be displayed in your life, even as Christ picked up crosses daily in confronting the Pharisees, and finally in the eponymous act of the crucifixion.

Hebrews 5:8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

In other words, the world is blessed when people are motivated to follow God, when they see His great works of saving you, when you live selflessly.

John 15:13Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

All Scriptural references from the NASB.


So we are back to square one; first we need evidence that Jesus was indeed the son of God. Then and only then, does the historicity of the resurrection have any relevance to affirming Jesus. Without prior evidence, it seems justifiable to write Jesus off as a false prophet.

I think you're getting this backwards. Let me start with the resurrection and work back to why Jesus was the Son of God. I think it will clear things up for you.

The resurrection is a massive stumbling block. Psalms 118:22 says

The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.

I believe they're not just referring to Jesus there. 118:23 says

This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.

The problem with the resurrection is its premise is absurd. Nobody comes back from the dead. This law is inviolable. If someone claims they will come back from the dead, you generally wouldn't believe them because we have no verifiable instances of it. Yet Jesus made the bold claim he would bodily rise from the dead. If you're looking to make up a religion, this is the worst possible way to start. Jesus could have merely said he would rise spiritually and created a false religion easily enough.

The real question here isn't "Is Jesus the Son of God?", but "How do you make a demonstrably false premise into a successful religion?" In all seriousness, the resurrection is the lynch pin of Christianity. It should be easy to take it out, which takes all of Christendom with it. Nobody has done it yet. Here we have three giant thinkers who took that challenge on: C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel. Three determined atheists, yet all three became not just believers, but defenders of that belief. Why?

The resurrection only really works as a basis for a religion if it's true. If you don't scrutinize it too hard, or just ignore the evidence, you can just give it a cursory dismissal, but people who have made a deliberate study of it continually come to the conclusion it's true. I could expound here, but let's (for argument's sake) say it's true.

Why come at it from this angle? Because if it's true, the next question is "Who has the power to raise the dead back to life?" We see that from the God of the Old Testament

  • The Widow of Zarephath's son 1 Kings 17:17-22
  • The Shunnamite's Son 2 Kings 4:32-37
  • Unnamed man who touched Elisha's bones 2 Kings 13:20-21
  • Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones Ezekiel 37 (it's more an allegory, but God literally rebuilds the bodies of the dead in this vision)
  • Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, believing that Isaac would be resurrected Hebrews 11:19 (NT, but written by Jews so likely steeped in Jewish tradition)

As far as the power to resurrect, we have the God of the Old Testament and... uhm... nobody else.

This brings me to the real kicker here: if Jesus did rise from the dead, and he is not God, who exactly is he, and how did he get this power that nobody else has?

Which brings me to your other point

In fact, in Exodus 7:11 even Pharoah's sorcerers were capable of performing supernatural feats.

I think you missed the point of that account. Initially, Pharoah has his magicians doing the same tricks, implying Moses is no better than the other sorcerers. But as the plagues go on, you'll note they stopped being able to copy God, until finally, we have the death of the firstborn, a devastating blow nobody could match. Yet all of them pale in comparison to resurrection. This was a miracle that nobody could ignore, but more importantly, nobody could match. In other words, it was a miracle only the God of the Old Testament could do. We don't need to prove Jesus was God first. Only God could have done this.

  • Thanks for your response. I don't think you're really addressing my question. I agree that the resurrection may have happened. But God was very clear; "even if the sign or portent that he named to you comes true" (13:3) and the resurrection served to be just that: "... teacher we wish to see a sign from you...just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, aso will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:38-40). Why is the resurrection any different? By what standard?
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 11 '19 at 9:14
  • The difference is that after Jesus was bodily resurrected, he did not die again. Other resurrected persons (i.e.Lazarus) subsequently died again and have stayed dead. I think the point is that Jesus was no mere mortal - it is his divinity that is distinctive. Machavity is right in pointing out that only God could have raised Jesus from the dead. And Jesus also had the power to raise people from the dead (i.e. Lazarus). Wonder how any mere mortal could have done that. Hmmm....
    – Lesley
    Sep 10 '20 at 10:17

I will start by stating that this is a very good question, that I am glad that a Jew dared to post it in CSE, and that I upvoted it. I am familiar with the subject because I discussed it extensively last year with a Noahide in a forum on classical theism, and recently I consolidated and expanded my posts on the subject and published the result as part of a broader paper in Academia.edu [1].


First of all, it is necessary to address an issue that is implicit in these expressions used in the question: "that same God that they knew", "the same god", "that very same god of the OT", etc.: By "God" we refer to the one absolutely infinite (in perfection, not in spatial extension), absolutely simple, eternal and immutable Subsistent Being, Who created from nothing and sustains in existence everything that exists outside Himself. This must be the starting point, and it is from this starting point that one then determines whether the super-human entity which interacted with the Israelites was God (always meant in the above sense from here onward) or a lesser, created entity.

Clearly the entity identified himself as God when he gave his name in Ex 3:14-15, both in its 1st person form, "Ehyeh", "I Am", and in its 3rd person form, "Yahweh", "He causes to be" (assuming hiphil stem from theophoric names). But that self-identification does not prove, just by itself, that the entity talking to Moses was indeed what it claimed to be. Moreover, neither the plagues nor any other sign or wonder performed by the entity on route to Mt. Sinai, in Mt. Sinai, or on route to Canaan proves, just by itself, that the entity performing those signs or wonders was indeed God. Which is why I have been referring to the entity in lower case till now.

In order to ascertain that the entity self-identifying as "I Am" and guiding the Israelites out of Egypt was indeed God, one must have previously adopted the postulate that God will not allow a created super-human entity, i.e. a demon, to deceive human beings by performing signs or wonders while posing as the one true God. Thus, while God may allow demons to perform signs or wonder to lead idolaters to worship one or more of the gods of a polytheistic pantheon, because none of those gods is conceived as the one and only absolute Subsistent Being that created and sustains in existence everything outside Himself, it is against God's philosophically knowable goodness towards humans that He may allow a demon to perform signs or wonders to lead people into believing that the demon itself is the one and only God. (A well-known purported revelation supposedly superceding Christianity, claimed to come from the one and only true God, poses no problem as it did not involve any God-exclusive miracle, as defined below.)

The philosophical basis for postulating that God would not allow that people be deceived in a wholly undetectable and unsurmountable way is that such a course of action would be incompatible with the care He shows for people by creating ex nihilo each spiritual soul when the person is conceived. The reasoning goes like this:

  • Ability for abstract thought implies that each human being has a spiritual soul.

  • A human spiritual soul cannot emanate from God since He is immutable and absolutely simple (and so cannot let fall drops/sparks which forget that they are part of Him!) It also cannot proceed from the parents' spiritual souls or emerge from matter. Therefore it must be created ex nihilo directly by God, Who alone has the power to create ex nihilo. (In terms of the 3rd- and 1st-Person forms of the Name, "He causes to be" presupposes "I Am".)

  • The fact that God creates ex nihilo the spiritual soul of each human person when that person is conceived implies that God cares about human beings, so that He will not allow that they be deceived in a wholly undetectable and unsurmountable way.

As an aside, I reject Marcionism and gnosticism, in both its Sethian and Valentinian flavors, and their views of the God of the OT as a lesser demiurge, either evil or just ignorant, purely on philosophical grounds of classical theism:

  • Contra Marcionism and gnosticism, only the Subsistent Being can create ex nihilo.

  • Contra gnosticism, the Subsistent Being is absolutely simple and immutable, not a pleroma within which changes go on and from which parts get out and then back in.

The point of the above is to show that one must start from a solid philosophical position in order to be able to discern correctly whether a sign or wonder is intended to lead people to the one true God or away from Him, and that the reservations on the value of Jesus' resurrection as proof that He is indeed what He claimed to be can also, and much more strongly, be raised on the value of the signs and wonders performed in the Exodus, because those signs and wonders provide much less apologetic evidence than the resurrection of a man, as any angel can kill but only God can bring back to life. Therefore a Jew questioning the apologetic evidence of Jesus' resurrection (assuming that it was factual) leaves himself with no principled reason to accept the apologetic evidence of the signs and wonders performed in the Exodus (assuming again that they were factual).

1. Definition of Revelatory Epistemological Position (RELP)

RELP: The set of criteria that a person holds to be appropriate for determining whether a purported medium of divine Revelation is actually so. (Or in the case of a particular sign or wonder, whether it certifies that the associated revelation comes from God or it does not).

To note, the contents of divine Revelation according to a revelatory tradition can include a consequent revelatory epistemological position. Thus for any revelatory tradition T there are two related revelatory epistemological positions:

  • The antecedent epistemological position which is required for a person to be able to arrive to explicit propositional faith according to tradition T: R4T-ARELP (Required for T - Antecedent Revelatory Epistemological Position);

  • The consequent epistemological position which is part of explicit propositional faith according to tradition T: T-CRELP (T - Consequent Revelatory Epistemological Position).

2. Statement of the antecedent epistemological position required for Christianity

The Required for Christianity - Antecedent Revelatory Epistemological Position (R4C-ARELP) must necessarily include the following:

A first postulate based on infinite divine goodness:

ARELP.P1. God will perform a miracle that requires the exercise of God's own exclusive power (as opposed to allowing an angel to exercise its own natural power) - in scholastic terms, a miracle which can happen only if God performs it directly as its only cause, not as its primary cause cooperating with a natural secondary cause, whether material or angelic, - hereafter called "a miracle which only God can perform", only to lead people to truth and good.

plus two corollaries of P1:

ARELP.C1. The possible instances of the "sign or wonder" supporting the claims of the false prophet predicted in Deut 13:1-5 do not include miracles which only God can perform, but are limited to the works that an evil angel can perform by its own natural power when allowed by God.

ARELP.C2. If God performs a miracle which only He can perform through the intervention of a prophet P, God will be certifying in front of everyone that all that P has said and done as prophet so far has God's "seal of approval" and therefore is true and in accordance with God's will, respectively.

plus a second postulate based on metaphysics:

ARELP.P2. The resurrection of a human being is a miracle which only God can perform, regardless of whether God performs it through the intervention of a human being, such as prophet Elisha (2 Ki 4:32-35).

plus two further corollaries from P2 and C1 and C2, respectively:

ARELP.C3. The possible instances of the "sign or wonder" supporting the claims of the false prophet predicted in Deut 13:1-5 do not include the resurrection of the false prophet himself to a glorious state.

ARELP.C4. If God resurrects a prophet P to a glorious state, God will be certifying in front of everyone that all that P has said and done as prophet up to his death has God's "seal of approval" and therefore is true and in accordance with God's will, respectively.

plus a third postulate based on infinite divine wisdom and goodness:

ARELP.P3. If God confers his "seal of approval" to the words and deeds of a prophet P by resurrecting him to a glorious state, He will also provide the means to ensure that the words and deeds of said prophet can be known with accuracy and certainty along time and across space. Because it would be against divine wisdom and goodness for God to give us certainty that whatever P said and did was true and good while not giving us certainty about what P actually said and did!

3. Study of a possible Jewish Consequent RELP which is incompatible with the R4C-ARELP

A possible Jewish consequent revelatory epistemological position would be incompatible with the antecedent revelatory epistemological position required for Christianity if and only if it comprised the following two postulates:

J-CRELP.P1. The Torah (or TaNaKH) contains, explicitely or implicitely, all truths about God and his design, so that any proposition about God or his design which is not in the Torah (or the TaNaKH) and cannot be deduced from it is necessarily false and points to a false god.

J-CRELP.P2. The possible instances of the "sign or wonder" supporting the claims of the false prophet predicted in Deut 13:1-5 include any miracle that only God can perform, and specifically the resurrection of the false prophet himself to a glorious state.

Calling a generalized version of P1 "Revelation Completeness", RC, and a generalized version of P2 "Full Divine Power at the service of lie", FDPsl, there are four possible combinations of the affirmation or negation of each postulate:

(¬RC, ¬FDPsl): The I-CRELP of Biblical Israel, according to Christianity

(RC, ¬FDPsl): The C-CRELP of the Church after the death of the last Apostle, according to Christianity

(¬RC, FDPsl): Not allowed because of undecidability

(RC, FDPsl): The possible J-CRELP studied in this section

Next I will show why negating RC (P1) at the same time as affirming FDPsl (P2) leads to undecidability. If one negates Torah (or TaNaKH) completeness, then the Nicene doctrine of a consubstantial Trinity and the Chalcedonian doctrine of the Incarnation of a divine Person are compatible with the Torah (or TaNaKH) and therefore can be the actual case. But even if a divine Trinity is the actual case, the claim by a concrete individual that he is the incarnated Son of God can be true or not, so that in the latter case he would be an impostor and a false prophet. But if one holds FDPsl, a miracle of any kind performed through the intervention of that individual, or even to that individual such as resurrecting him to a glorious state, can be interpreted either as certifying the truth of his words or as supporting the claims of a false prophet. Therefore it is impossible to decide whether a concrete individual claiming to be the incarnated Son of God and showing miracles of any kind in support of his claim is really the incarnated Son of God or an impostor.

3.1. Demonstration that the Biblical Israelite faith does not imply J-CRELP.P1 but actually implies that it is false

1.1. It neither is in the Torah (or TaNaKH) nor can be inferred from it.

1.2. It is intrinsically null regarding further revelation of truths or addition/deletion/change of commandments by God Himself.

1.3. It is positively contradicted regarding further revelation by Isaiah 48:6b-7:

I proclaim to you new things from this time, even hidden things which you have not known. They are created now and not long ago; and before today you have not heard them, so that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’ (Is 48:6b-7)

1.4. It is positively contradicted in practice regarding commandments by Ezekiel chapters 40-48.

3.2. Demonstration that the Biblical Israelite faith does not imply J-CRELP.P2 but actually implies that it is false

2.1. It neither is in the Torah (or TaNaKH) nor can be inferred from it.

2.2. It is most illogical per Deut 4:34-35, which states that the signs and wonders performed by YHWH to free Israel from Egypt are the evidence on the basis of which Israel may know that YHWH is God, the only God:

Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. (Deut 4:34-35)

If the signs and wonders performed by YHWH to free Israel from Egypt are the evidence on the basis of which Israel may know that YHWH is God, the only God, it can be most reasonably inferred that the sign or wonder that YHWH will provide to support the claims of the false prophet of Deut 13:1-5 will NOT involve a greater degree of exercise of divine power than the degree involved at the signs and wonders performed at the Exodus. It is most illogical to think that YHWH will provide MORE apologetic evidence for Israel to believe in a false god than the apologetic evidence He provided for Israel to believe in Himself!

From the above, and from the fact that the signs and wonders performed at the Exodus - the plagues, including the death of all Egyptian firstborns, the parting of the waters, the fire, smoke, lightning and thunder at mount Sinai, - are all events that can be produced by an angel, good or evil, out of his own natural power if allowed to do so by God, it follows that the sign or wonder that YHWH will provide to support the claims of a prophet enticing Israel to go after other gods will be restricted to that kind of events and will not include any miracle which only YHWH can perform.

2.3. Independently from the previous point, it is most illogical regarding the specific signs and wonders performed by Jesus per Isaiah 26:10-11,19; 29:13-14,18-19; 35:2c-6a; 42:6-8. Because it is most illogical to think that God, having promised in the TaNaKH that He Himself would perform specific kinds of signs and wonders to show his own glory, would perform the very same specific kinds of signs and wonders to support the claims of a false prophet enticing Israel to go after false gods!

2.4. Independently from the above points, it is most illogical regarding the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus per Isaiah 51:9-10; 52:10; 53:1 and the rest of chapter 53.

Recalling that the OT expression for the divine power is "God's arm", the prophet starts by asking the arm of the LORD to wake up:

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon? Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; Who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over? (Is 51:9-10)

The prophet does not seem to be asking the arm of the LORD to awake in order to do wonders at the service of falsehood and evil, does he? Because he is asking the arm to awake "as in the days of old", when the Lord did wonders to lead his chosen ones to truth and good. The answer to the prophet's request is in the next chapter:

The LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. (Is 52:10)

Clearly, that "the LORD has bared his holy arm" means that He has performed a work that only He can perform. And the purpose of that work is that "all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God", not to support the claims of a false prophet.

The specifics of that work are detailed in the next chapter, beginning with another mention of God's arm:

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (Is 53:1)

Which begins the fourth song of the Servant of YHWH, Who "was cut off out of the land of the living" (53:8), "was assigned a grave with the wicked, but was with a rich man in his death" (53:9), and yet "if He would render his soul as an offering for guilt, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days" (53:10), "out of the anguish of his soul he shall see light and be satisfied" (53:11). This prophecy about "the Righteous One", the Servant of the LORD, being executed, buried and risen from the dead is the revelation of what specifically the LORD would do when He "bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations".

3.3. Conclusion

I have demonstrated above that both postulates J-CRELP.P1 and J-CRELP.P2 are false in the framework of the Biblical Israelite faith. Thus, since the Nicene doctrine of a consubstantial Trinity and the Chalcedonian doctrine of the Incarnation are compatible with classical theism and with the Torah or TaNaKH, once J-CRELP.P1 is abandoned, ascertaining the historical truth of the resurrection of Jesus is all that a Biblical Israelite needs to ascertain the truth of Christianity.

[1] https://www.academia.edu/39982502/Proposal_of_a_conceptual_framework_for_the_epistemic_path_to_faith_and_application_to_the_path_from_Judaism_to_Christianity

  • 2
    To summarize(?): if YHWH showed it was Him delivering the Israelites from Egypt by lesser miracles then it is inconsistent to suggest that the greater miracle of Jesus rising from the dead was performed without YHWH's intervention: rising from the dead is something which can only be done by the power of YHWH Himself. So all we need to know is "Did Jesus really rise from the dead?" Friend, I'm so glad you didn't write any of the Gospels! Sep 18 '19 at 15:36
  • Bravo. Voted +1 because 1) the answer describes the care that God took in revealing himself to Israel vis-à-vis competing deities to show his superiority 2) anticipates and rejects other explanation of this superhuman God (Marcionism and gnosticism), 3) integrates the still viable St. Anselm philosophical demonstration of Jewish & Christian God as the only one worthy of the name 4) showing how God raised Jesus as operating WITHIN the Jewish framework of revelation Sep 18 '19 at 16:41
  • @Andrew Shanks. Yes, this philosophic demonstration was not needed in the Gospels, but as Christianity became more high profile among the philosophically sophisticated Gentiles, the church fathers and the monks in late antique & medieval era responded to the legitimate need to make Christianity a "world class" religion that can stand up against any kind of tests leveled against a religion that claims allegiance not only to uneducated fishermen but to the top intelligentsia who became the mover and shaker of Christendom. Avoiding the homework would be irresponsible. Thanks Johannes! Sep 18 '19 at 17:38
  • @Andrew Shanks, your summary is not correct. Jews do hold, in agreement with Christians, that rising someone from the dead can only be done directly by God. The problem is that some of them, like Big Mouth, also hold that God may exercise his own exclusive power to any degree in support of the claims of the false prophet predicted in Deut 13:1-5, even to the point of resurrecting the false prophet himself if he had predicted the event before dying.
    – Johannes
    Sep 18 '19 at 19:32
  • @GratefulDisciple, thank you! As an additional comment, the discussion that prompted my study of the subject took place in a forum of classical theism that had been set up by readers of the blog of Thomist philosopher Edward Feser, and the Noahide counterpart held absolute divine simplicity as well. So the discussion had a philosophical background.
    – Johannes
    Sep 18 '19 at 19:38

To establish the identity of Jesus as prophet, priest, king, messiah and God, three witnesses were required: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

All three witnesses affirmed Jesus' identity at the time he was baptized, in Matthew 3:

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

John the Baptist served as the witness of the Word. He was the Elijah who was to come prophesied by Malachi. Likewise, Jesus was the Prophet spoken of by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:

15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.

Note the similarity of the words spoken by Moses and those spoken by God from heaven at the baptism: Listen to him!

Of course the Holy Spirit that landed on Jesus enabled him to drive out evil spirits and promote holiness among the people. The healing ministry was substantially the continuation of the Holy Spirit's witness to Jesus' identity.

Finally, we get to the father. The beginning of the Father's witness in Matthew is at the baptism, and the conclusion is the resurrection. The resurrection is the Father's witness to the Son's identity.

So the resurrection alone is necessary but not sufficient to establish Jesus' identity.

In walking with two disciples on the way to Emmaus after his resurrection, Jesus emphasized the witness of the Scriptures in establishing his identity. However, the only way for the Scriptures to point to Jesus is for his actions to be consistent with those Scriptures. The most prominent action that set him apart from all other prophets was rising from the dead. Without the resurrection, you cannot connect Jesus to the Word.

To sum up, it is important to realize from the two Moses quotes (the OP's and the one in this answer) that Moses explained how to recognize a false prophet for a reason: he did not want the people to miss the true prophet who was to come. Thus at the transfiguration, Moses was present. He could spot a false prophet and a true prophet, and he certified that Jesus was a true prophet.


1 Kings 17 has the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. Her flour and oil did not run out during the famine because of a miracle proclaimed by Elijah. Then her son died:

“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the LORD, “ LORD my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “ LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.” (1 Kings 17:19-24, NIV)

The widow distinguished between the miracle of provision and resurrection. Only the latter convinced her that Elijah was a true man of God.


Undoubtedly, the question is an important question as it underscores the cardinal objection of the majority of Jews to accept Yashua as the Mashiach [Jesus as the Messiah/Christ].

Many deep theological issues related to the comments in the aforesaid question have been addressed adequately by several answers prior to my response. Here I would like to add to all the above a little more clarity from my understanding.

Resurrection is the final piece in the puzzle that not only authenticates Jesus’ claims but also fulfils what the O.T. predicted and paves the way for the eternity of God's people.

If Jesus’ resurrection took place in isolation of all the prior witnesses God was providing then we have a reason to scratch our heads and wonder what it all means and why anyone should believe what Jesus claimed. However, that was not the case. The following are some of the witnesses God had been providing the Jews of Jesus’ time in order to authenticate Jesus, His claims, and His mission:

(1) Miracle in His birth [virgin birth]

(2) Angelic annunciation [to Mary, Joseph, and shepherds]

(3) Forerunner’s proclamation [John the Baptist]

(4) Miracles performed [healings, raising the dead, commanding the nature etc.]

(5) Prophecies fulfilled [from Psalms, Isiah, Daniel, Zechariah]

(6) God’s voice from Heaven [at baptism and on mount transfiguration]

(7) Resurrection

Some Jews did believe and were willing to die for the truth Jesus had claimed and proclaimed!

The final piece of the puzzle, resurrection of Jesus, proves that Jesus has fulfilled the O.T. prophecies about the resurrection, which is in the plan of God of the Bible. The following are some of the important prophesies from the O.T. pointing to the resurrection:

(1) “Therefore, my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” (Ps.16:9-10 = Acts 2:23-32)

(2) “He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken.” (Is.25:8 = 1Cor.15:53-57)

(3) “But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.” (Is.53:10-12 = Lk.23:32-34; Jn.12:24; Phil.2:5-11)

Thus the resurrection of Jesus confirms that the O.T. prophesies about the coming servant/Son/Messiah of God are true and Jesus is the Christ.

But, the main charge of the question in this discussion is that Jesus introduced another god to the Jews of his time! This charge is both misleading and misrepresenting the N.T. message.

According to the O.T. [Prov.30:4; Is.9:6-7; Daniel.7:13-14; Micah.5:2]:

The Messiah [Christ] is the ruler/king of God’s Kingdom.

The Messiah [Christ] is a divine Being or Son of God, by extension God, in human form and nature.

As per the O.T. teaching, God/YHWH is One I.e. Apart from YHWH there is no other God who is like Him or equal to Him in any sense. However, the Bible doesn’t support the idea that God/YHWH is a simple single singularity. Rather, it portrays the picture of God/YHWH as a complex Being who appeared in different forms culminating in the form of the Son of God, who is the Christ/Messiah.

Israelites of the O.T. did not know God/YHWH exhaustively. But for them the Angel of the Lord, the Word of the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord, the glory of the Lord and the presence of the Lord are all one and same God/YHWH.

The following are the important areas that the N.T. teaches about Jesus...

Jesus’ identity: He is the Word of God, who is part and parcel of God, took on human form and nature to become the Messiah [Jn.1:1,14; Phi.2:5-11]

Jesus’ mission: Reveals the Father [Jn.1:18]; Gives us understanding of the true One [1Jn.5:20]; Does the will and work of the Father [Jn.4:34].

Jesus’ message: Repent [Mk.1:15; Acts.17:30-31]; Turn to God [Acts.3:26]; Do the will of the Father [Matt.7:21]; Honor the Son even as you honor the Father [Jn.5:23].

Did Jesus introduce a new or different god and thereby fail the test of Deuteronomy 13?

No, absolutely not! Rather, Jesus Himself being the ‘Word of God’ who had been familiar to the Israelites of the O.T. [Gen.15:1; 2Samuel.7:4; Is.38:4; Jer.2:1 = Jn.1:1,14; Rev.19:13] fulfilled the miracle and promise of God about the beginning of the death of ‘the Death’ in His death and resurrection.

  • 2
    Good point that Jesus did not introduce a new or different god. The Jews wanted to stone him to death for the blasphemy of claiming divinity - that God was his father and that before Abraham turned up, Jesus (as the eternal and uncreated Word of God) was the great I AM - a title ascribed to God alone. There has only ever been the One Being of God. Jesus is part of that Being.
    – Lesley
    Sep 10 '20 at 10:24
  • 1
    Absolutely, Lesley! Jesus although He existed in the form [morphe] of God emptied Himself [of His divine prerogatives] came into this world as a perfect human being. Yet, occasionally He did reveal His deity in different ways. One of them was using the name of God i.e.YHWH, as the eternal 'I AM.' Apart from John 8:58, which you alluded to, He also used it in John 18:5-6. Sep 10 '20 at 13:28

Now, Jesus was, according to the Scriptures, a prophet, for as He said,

"For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49).

Now, by the Old Testament Law, God gave the Jews a test to see if a prophet was from Him, saying

When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deut. 18:22).

Now, how was it that the Jews were to test if Jesus was telling the truth about His claims of being the Son of God? If what He predicted came to pass. What did He predict, among other things?

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

Here, the Scripture explains explicitly: He predicted His ressurection, and it came to pass, fulfilling the test of Deut. 18:22 and proving His statement in John 12:49. Now, you may ask, how do we know that He did not speak for a foreign god, or that He was a foreign god? The Scriptures first say about other gods,

Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.” (Isaiah 44:8)


Behold, you are [nothing], and your work amounts to nothing. (Isaiah 41:24a)

Thus, God says there are not other gods who exist, and they cannot work anything. There is no room for a pantheon in Scripture. Thus, Jesus, if He was resurrected, must have been resurrected by God.

Now, you may say, what about demons? Well, if Jesus spoke for demons, or was a demon, then He would have been a false prophet. If that was the case, then what He predicted would not have come true, for God guarantees this in the aforementioned quote from Deuteronomy. But, what He predicted did come true. This is a contradiction, and thus Jesus did not speak for demons/was not one, and in general was no false prophet.

Thus, the Resurrection proves that Jesus was a prophet of God, because it allowed everyone to see that what He predicted came true, and thus His claim of speaking for God was true. Thus, because He claimed to be the divine Son of Man (and therefore claimed to be the Jewish God [but not the Father]), He was the Jewish God.

Now, you may finally say, this contradicts what the Jews think and thought about God! But, this isn't a problem: God throughout history has revealed more and more information about Himself, His will for humanity, and the future through His prophets. Jesus revealed the true nature of God: a Trinity.

Thus, we can agree with Paul in confidence, who says of the Resurrection

"His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 1:2b-4)

  • Deuteronomy 18 says that if his sign fails he is certainly a false prophet: "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken" Deuteronomy 13 raises the bar even higher: "even if the sign or portent that he named to you comes true, do not heed the words" So how do we know if the successful prophet is legit or not? God says: "gives you a sign or a portent, saying, Let us follow and worship another god whom you have not known" Jesus was a god we have not known.
    – Big Mouth
    Sep 11 '19 at 16:10

There is a very simple answer to your question. Jesus was condemned to death. Why?

At the Sanhedrin trial (and elsewhere), Jesus claimed divinity when he answered the charge of being God's Blessed Son. The chief priest tore his clothes in anger and said "what more do we need to hear?" This can be found in Mark 14:61-62, Luke 22:67-70, John 8:48-59 (specifically verse 58), etc etc. Fun side fact - the chief priest rending his clothes was a violation of Leviticus 21:10.

Jesus claimed equality with God, divinity, in being God's son, the Messiah. He expands on this pretty clearly directly to the Sanhedrin, when He states that He will be seated at the Right Hand of Power in Heaven. There is no ambiguity here.

Now, if this is a false claim, under the Law (Lev 24:12-16), Jesus certainly should face death.

However, if Jesus was in fact raised from the dead, then His claim(s) must have been true. God would be of two opposing minds to command a blasphemer to death and then raise him from the dead. God would literally be working against Himself and contradicting Himself. The Resurrection is a sign of justification. Therefore, Jesus's claims to divinity that landed him the death penalty at the hands of men were true. This assumes that you accept that there is not any other power than God capable of raising the dead, or giving life.

If you want to tackle the question as to whether or not any other power than God's power can raise someone from the dead, I would logically break it down this way applied specifically to the scenario at hand:

  • A blasphemer meets his death as commanded by God in Leviticus 24:13-16.
  • Some other power than God returns this blasphemer to life.
  • This other power is greater than God because it can thwart God's Law, purpose and decrees.

So, in order for a condemned, guilty person to be brought back to life by someone other than God, we must erode God's omnipotence and remove all attributes that would belong to a Maximally Great Being, which would thus rob Him of the essential attributes of God in such a scenario. I think we can all agree that none of us want to assert any of this to be true.

So, while the Resurrection was not exclusively meant as a "proof", there can be many facts inferred from it. I assert that Jesus's claims to divinity are true because of the Resurrection, given the circumstances of His death. Were He unjust, God would not have raised Him from the dead. Isaiah 53:5-6, Isaiah 53:9-12:

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

The last verse is striking. How can God divide "a portion with the great" to the dead? "He poured out his soul unto death". Even Isaiah 53 demands Resurrection as God's divine purpose.

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