How do We Know Miracles Really Happen?

How do We Know Miracles Really Happen?

How do We Know Miracles Really Happen?
How do We Know Miracles Really Happen?

Although Christianity is a historical religion, resting on a foundation of verifiable facts, it nevertheless recounts numerous supernatural events. For this reason, the answer to the question of whether Bible miracles are true alone determines the authenticity of the Christian faith. Why? Because the dual miracles of the incarnation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ encompass the entire fabric of Christianity. If these two unparalleled miracles did not occur, Christianity crumbles.

Both Jesus and the apostles recognized this. When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a “sign” of who He was, His response was, “no sign will be given…except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For 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” (Matt. 12:39–40).

In other words, the sign of Jesus’ divine messiahship, His incarnation as the Son of God, was His miraculous resurrection (Rom. 1:4). The apostle Paul agrees: “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:17–19, nasv).

Of the four evidences used by the authors of the New Testament to confirm the Christian message, miracles are the most convincing and important. (The other three are prophecy, natural theology, and inner experience.) R. C. Sproul is right, miracles “and they alone ultimately prove that Christ is the Son of God and that the Bible is the Word of God. All other ‘evidence’ is corroborative.”1

WHAT IS A MIRACLE?

A biblical miracle is a willful act of God, explainable only by His existence and power, and it has three specific ingredients: (1) it is perceivable by both believers and unbelievers; (2) it appears to either intervene or facilitate the normal sequence of natural laws through which God governs the universe; and (3) it is done for the purpose of executing a divine act, validating a religious truth, or illustrating a religious principle.

There are two kinds of Bible miracles: miracles in which God acts within natural laws, sometimes referred to as miracles of providence, and miracles in which God alters or interrupts natural laws, sometimes referred to as miracles of creation.

Miracles of providence occur when God interrupts the natural flow of history or nature but does so without actually violating natural laws. For example, 2 Kings 19:35 and Isaiah 37:36 record the account of the Lord destroying the 185,000 man army of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, after Hezekiah prayed for deliverance (2 Kings 19:20–35). By all qualifications, this was a miracle from God. Without divine intervention, Hezekiah would have been defeated, and Jerusalem would have fallen to the Assyrians.

This same account was reported by the early Greek historian, Herodotus. But he explained that the Assyrian army was infected by a sudden outbreak of a virulent plague caused by rodents. So although the event is miraculous in that it was a direct intervention of God, it nevertheless may have involved natural phenomenon functioning in a normal fashion but at just the appropriate time.

Similar examples are found in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which could have resulted from some catastrophic geological phenomenon (Gen. 19:24–25); the three-and-a-half-year drought that occurred in answer to the prayers of Elijah (James 5:17–18); the earthquake that opened the prison doors at Philippi (Acts 16:26); the tribute coin found in the fish’s mouth (Matt. 17:24–27); the parting and closing of the Red Sea as Moses raised and lowered his hands (Exod. 14:15–31).

In all of these cases, the events themselves can be accounted for by natural phenomena. For example, finding a coin in a fish’s mouth may be unique, but not a miracle. Fish have been known to swallow stranger things than coins. But for Jesus to say that at a certain time a certain fish will be caught that will have a coin in its mouth of the exact value needed to meet a particular financial need is much different.

Likewise, with the parting of the Red Sea, the miracle was not the mighty wind—perhaps someday science can artificially generate winds of that power—but the fact that the wind parted the water at the very moment Moses raised his hand and ceased blowing, allowing the water to inundate the Egyptians, at the very moment Moses lowered his hand. In both instances, the miracle was not how the events occurred, but rather the timing of the events and their relationship to religious truth.2

Miracles of creation are acts of God in which unique and extraordinary events occur that temporarily set aside or transcend natural laws. Examples here include Jesus changing water into wine during the wedding at Cana (John 2:1–9), His feeding the five thousand from only five loaves of bread and two fish (Matt. 14:15–21), and His raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:17–44).

Critics of these accounts have claimed that many events once thought to be miraculous, such as some healing miracles, can now be accomplished by modern medicine. Some have even argued that, in the future, science will likely be able to revive people who have died. The response to this is that miracles are not dependent on whether they can be explained or even duplicated. Like miracles of providence, the timing is the crucial issue. R. C. Sproul gives an appropriate response:

Suppose by the year 2000 scientists are able to revive dead bodies. This is not the same thing as saying that in A.D. 29 it was a natural phenomenon to revivify a dead body.…Because one could resurrect a body in A.D. 2000 by natural means does not imply that was the case two millennia earlier.

Manifestly, raising a body from the dead, as Christ’s body was raised, was something which could have been done—at that time in any case—only by the immediate exercise of divine power. Whatever scientists may be able to do in the future could hardly disprove a past miracle.…Science [does] not bring us any closer to the actual supernatural, miraculous character of the original events to which we refer.3

WHY ARE BIBLE MIRACLES NEEDED?

The fact that God used miracles as an instrument of revelation demonstrates they’re a necessary ingredient of the Christian faith. Liberal theologians have attempted to remove biblical miracles from Christian theology, but in doing so they have sacrificed the supernatural power of Christianity. Jesus without miracles becomes a mere man; the Bible without miracles, only the words of men.

It appears in Scripture that God has two primary uses for miracles.

MIRACLES AUTHENTICATE GOD’S MESSENGERS

As you’ll remember, special revelation is recorded in the Bible, and it contains very specific information about God not accessible from general revelation. For example, by special revelation we learn that salvation is through Jesus Christ. Although initially given to particular people at particular times in history, special revelation is nevertheless fitted for all. This means that the spiritual truths, divine promises, ethical principles, and instructions for an abundant life are available to all people.

The problem inherent in special revelation is how can God convince people who did not personally receive this revelation that it is genuine, that it really comes from Him. To do this, God must give evidence that His chosen messengers, those to whom special revelation was given and who recorded it in the Bible, have His authority. So special revelation depends on miracles to affirm that “the one who bears the revelation [proves] that he is actually from God.”4

Moses, for example, was chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt (Exod. 3:7–10). Pharaoh, understandably, wanted proof that Moses was really sent from God for that purpose (7:9). The miracles God performed through Moses authenticated to Pharaoh that Moses was divinely appointed to liberate the Hebrews (5:1). Likewise, the New Testament apostles performed many miracles to confirm they were empowered as messengers of God’s revelation (2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3–4). This was especially the case when they were planting the early churches (Acts 9:32–42).

MIRACLES AUTHENTICATE THAT JESUS IS THE DIVINE MESSIAH

Miracles played a major role throughout Jesus’ earthly life: His miraculous conception in the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35), the miraculous signs and wonders He performed to confirm His deity and divine power (John 5:36; 11:41–42), and, most explicitly, His resurrection from the dead (Matt. 12:38–40).

Jesus performed hundreds of miracles—most of them never recorded in the Bible (John 21:25). The miracles that were recorded serve a very specific purpose. They always had a religious message and were never done arbitrarily for amusement or display. Jesus’ miracles either met a serious human need that required, in first-century Palestine, a miraculous intervention (as in the case of healing) or confirmed His own identity and authority as the Son of God (John 10:37–38). There were times Jesus refused to perform miracles because they did not fall in one of these two categories (see Luke 23:8–9).

ARGUMENTS AGAINST MIRACLES

Over the past three centuries, there have been numerous arguments against the possibility of miracles, especially biblical miracles. The majority of these arguments can be categorized into the following four broad areas.

MIRACLES DO NOT “FIT” IN THE MODERN WORLD

The common intellectual arguments against miracles are philosophical and scientific, and we’ll work our way through those in a few moments. But the truth is, most people who reject miracles today do so because disbelief in them is inherent in modern society. People reject miracles, not because they have critically analyzed the evidence for and against them and consciously decided that miracles are impossible, but because our culture assumes the impossibility of miracles, and this assumption has become part of the essential character of our modern world view.

The prevailing faith in Western culture is secular humanism (the renouncement of religion and the elevation of man as the measure of all things). The philosophical foundation of secular humanism is naturalism. As explained in the previous chapter, naturalism is the belief that the universe is a closed system that functions according to eternal, unchanging natural laws and that nothing exists outside the material world.

Reality is what we can experience with our five senses. There is no supernatural. There is no knowledge beyond what humans can ultimately discover and comprehend, and all phenomena has a natural explanation.

Because miracles depend on the existence of a God who is active in His creation and naturalism rejects such ideas, the belief in miracles has all but vanished among secular scholars and scientists—the philosophical trendsetters in Western society. In short, miracles have been defined out of existence. If we get behind all the red tape against miracles, the real reason miracles are rejected by most people today is because our prevailing worldview assumes they are impossible. Of course, that’s not an argument, only a bias.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL CASE AGAINST MIRACLES

Whether one believes miracles are philosophically possible is largely determined by one’s belief or disbelief in the supernatural. If God exists, miracles are possible. God, as most people perceive Him, is all-powerful, all-knowing, and the creator of the universe. Nothing is impossible for God so long as it is not out of character with His nature (e.g., God cannot do evil because, by His nature, He is good). Philosophically, the question of miracles is mute if one accepts the existence of God. Miracles are possible in a theistic world.

The classic philosophical argument against miracles was made by eighteenth-century philosopher David Human in his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Since then, other philosophical arguments have been presented, but most are simply restatements of Hume’s reasoning. So we’ll focus our attention on his case against miracles.

According to Hume, the universe functions by unchanging natural laws. We know these laws are “firm and unalterable” because they are established by consistent human experience. No one has ever seen natural laws violated. This “uniform experience amounts to proof” that miracles cannot exist (e.g., that a dead man cannot rise from the grave).

Why? Because the relative probability of a miracle occurring, in light of this uniform experience, is so low as to be virtually impossible. Therefore, if anyone claims to have observed a miracle, it is highly probable that he is mistaken because the evidence against an alleged miracle will always outweigh the evidence supporting it. In fact, it would be a greater miracle if his testimony were correct than if the miracle he claims to have observed was actually true. Thus, when someone claims to have seen a miracle, the wise man will conclude that the observer was mistaken and the miracle, in fact, never occurred.5

Now, what is wrong with this argument? The fallacies are numerous, and we will look at the five most obvious.

First, it does not take a trained philosopher to see that Hume’s argument is circular. As C. S. Lewis observes, “We know the experience against [miracles] to be uniform only if we know that all the reports of them are false. And we can know all the reports to be false only if we know already that miracles have never occurred. In fact, we are arguing in a circle.”6

Second, Hume’s implication that the apparent uniformity of nature is due to unchangeable natural laws is a scientific assumption that has lost its mooring in light of current data in physics. It’s virtually impossible today to sustain the premise that natural laws are set and unalterable. We will look at this more closely when we examine the scientific case against miracles.

Third, Hume assumes it’s impossible to demonstrate the existence of a supernatural being. To Hume, every event must have a natural explanation. Beneath his whole argument is this presupposition. But presuppositions do not amount to fact, nor do they prove anything.

Fourth, Hume’s argument presupposes that any historical evidence for the miraculous is erroneous. He brazenly claims that anyone who witnesses a miracle (such as a dead man come to life) must be mistaken in spite of the strength of the evidence. This flies in the face of standard and accepted canons of historical investigation.

If Hume’s approach to miracles were applied to other areas of historical inquiry, it would effectively destroy most of the historical facts we take for granted. In fact, in the nineteenth century a logician named Richard Whately took Hume’s historical criteria for establishing an event as a miracle and applied it to the life of the French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte. With great satirical bite, Whately demonstrated that belief in Napoleon’s existence was as ill-founded as belief in miracles.

If, as Hume argued, miracles are unknowable, then so is the life of Napoleon Bonaparte.7 One wonders if the evidence for Hume’s existence would even be as great as the evidence for Napoleon. Perhaps Hume never lived either!

Fifth, Hume’s premise that uniform human experience is the criterion by which facts are ascertained is a philosophically weak argument. C. S. Lewis makes the point that “experience, even if prolonged for a million years, cannot tell us whether the thing is possible.” Experience can tell us what normally happens in nature, but it cannot tell us with absolute certainty what will happen. Even if no one has seen a dead man rise from the grave, it is still not proof that it will not occur. A miracle does not deny that nature adheres to general principles or natural law, but, as Lewis says, such “norm or rule … can be suspended. A miracle is by definition an exception.”8

There are many other problems with Hume’s philosophical position, but we don’t need to go into them here.9 Hume’s real problem with miracles appears to be more spiritual than philosophical. As the late Dr. Carnell observed, “Hume’s canons are … arbitrarily chosen by a prejudiced mind as devices to discredit the Christian Scriptures, rather than seriously thought out rules for historians to follow when sifting and screening the records of the past.”10

THE SCIENTIFIC CASE AGAINST MIRACLES

The conflict between Bible miracles and science centers on the latter’s insistence that miracles, including the miracle of creation, are not in harmony with the “facts” of science because there is no such thing as a supernatural entity capable of influencing or altering natural law. We have already answered this challenge in Chapter 2 by proving the existence of God. And, as explained above, if God exists, then miracles are possible in spite of the claims of science.

Nevertheless, an apologetic defense requires that we confront this argument on the scientists’ own turf. There are four areas of objective evidence that deny the claim that miracles conflict with scientific fact.

The first area concerns the limits of scientific inquiry. As we saw in Chapter 11, science can only prove things that are verifiable through repeatable observation and experimentation. Science can’t prove anything that happened in history. And Bible miracles are a matter of history, not of science. This means that the authenticity of a miraculous event requires historical investigation, not scientific.

Laws of nature are a description of what happens, not a handbook of rules to tell us what cannot happen. “In choosing his laws of nature, therefore, the scientist should first consult history, and after deciding by historical evidence what has happened, should then choose his laws within the limits of historical actuality. The non-Christian thinker, intent on repudiating miracles, proceeds by a reverse method.

He chooses his law without regard to historical limits, and then tries to rewrite history to fit his law. But surely this method is not only the reverse of Christian method, it is clearly the reverse of rational procedure as well.”11

The second area deals with the nature of natural laws. These laws which science faithfully accepts are not as steadfast and reliable as many scientists like to claim. For almost three hundred years after Isaac Newton (1642–1727), the physical world was thought to operate much like a machine. It was seen as orderly, predictable, and adhering to absolute natural laws. But today, this paradigm of nature is rapidly changing.

A new Ensteinian physics has emerged that is changing the old mechanical view of nature by revealing startling new information about the physical universe. The quantum theory has revealed, at least in the subatomic world, an unpredictable universe that is not responsive to alleged immutable natural laws. What science now holds is that natural laws describe the way nature generally behaves; they do not prescribe how nature must behave.

The third area of evidence challenges a common assumption in evolutionary science—namely, that the universe operates within a closed system. What this means is that no outside force (i.e., a supernatural force) exists which can add or subtract to existing natural laws or to the available energy that runs the universe. This assumption effectively rules out miracles, but it is also on trial, and its prosecutor is science itself.

The current big bang theory, widely accepted by science, claims that at some point in time the universe came into existence as a result of some tremendous explosion of an unknown cause. This could only happen if a force outside the universe, operating independent of known natural laws, fulfilled the role of this unknown cause.

Likewise, the second law of thermodynamics, which reveals that the universe is running down, also demands the existence of a force that operates outside known natural laws. If the universe is running down, it must have had a beginning. And if the universe had a beginning, natural laws cannot account for it. Thus something outside natural law and therefore outside the known universe must have created it. This makes a closed system impossible.

Finally, C. S. Lewis makes an interesting observation on the relationship between natural laws and miracles that is worth mentioning. He points out that nature must normally behave according to regular patterns for us to know a miracle when it occurs. In other words, God had to create an orderly universe, or we would not recognize when He intervened miraculously in human history. Says Lewis:

Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary. Belief in miracles, far from depending on an ignorance of the laws of nature, is only possible in so far as those laws are known. We have already seen that if you begin by ruling out the supernatural you will perceive no miracles. We must now add that you will equally perceive no miracles until you believe that nature works according to regular laws. If you have not yet noticed that the sun always rises in the East you will see nothing miraculous about its rising one morning in the West.12

Before we move on, let’s consider the concept of natural law within a biblical framework. In light of the evidence we’ve reviewed, it’s fair to say that any definition of natural law in harmony with biblical teachings would be the most accurate to reality. It would reflect the meaning given it by the very Being who created natural laws. Natural laws, then, can only be understood if they are seen as originating from the divine Mind.

The Bible teaches that the triune God is the creator (Gen. 1:1; Job 33:4; Ps. 104:30) and sustainer of the universe (Col. 1:16–17; Heb. 1:3). As such, God is free and capable to act as He chooses within or without His created natural laws. So what scientists once thought were unchangeable natural laws are in reality simply a general description, taken from our limited human experiences and observations, of God’s normal ways of controlling and sustaining the natural, ecological balances in the universe. Natural laws are not independent of God but represent God’s will imposed upon His creation.

MIRACLES OCCUR IN OTHER RELIGIONS

The final argument against miracles draws its strength from the assumption that because many religions claim to have had miraculous incidents, and because of the fallacious character of these miracles, Christian miracles are somehow disqualified—guilty by association. Although it is beyond the scope of this book to examine the miracles of other religions individually, we can compare the evidences supporting Christian miracles with the lack of similar evidence in non-Christian religions. This will help to determine if the miraculous claims in other religions are unauthentic and establish that Christian miracles are unique.

Let me quickly add that I am not saying God has never worked miracles in the lives of non-Christians. On the contrary, there appears to be valid historical evidence that miracles have occurred involving people other than Christians.13 The reason God chose to perform these miracles lies hidden in the mysteries of His sovereign will, but undoubtedly they play a part in His grand design to bring glory to Himself in the eyes of humanity.

But one thing is certain: such miracles—and they are few and far between—are never used to validate the claims of any false prophet. Nor has it ever been demonstrated that God has used a miracle to confirm religious truth contradictory to Christianity.

There are three major areas of comparison between biblical miracles and the purported miracles in non-Christian religions.

The first evidence that needs to be examined in order to authenticate a religious miracle is the reliability of the document in which the alleged miracle is recorded. In Chapter 3, we saw that the Bible, alone among the world’s many religious books, has been proven by the canons of historical and legal investigation to be divine revelation.

By comparison, all other religious writings in the world, without exception, are unable to verify their truth claims. Other religious documents are the words of men, not of God. They all fall under one of three categories: (1) collective philosophical conjectures, (2) the subjective inner thoughts and feelings of self-appointed gurus, or (3) undocumented and often incredulous experiences of so-called prophets. This being the case, the miraculous claims of non-Christian religions should be viewed with extreme skepticism.

The second evidence is a comparison of the kinds of miracles found in the Bible with those that supposedly occurred in non-Christian religions. For example, the miraculous stones (the “Urim” and “Thummin”) used by Joseph Smith to decipher the “reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics” in which the Book of Mormon was supposed to have been originally written are clearly occultic. Yet no Christian miracles involve occultic elements.

Pagan miracle claims are even more outlandish and bizarre. They do not reveal a God in harmony with His creation. Rather they expose a capricious, unstable god (or gods) who defies his own nature and our ability to comprehend him. As C. S. Lewis points out, “The immoral, and sometimes almost idiotic interferences [miracles] attributed to gods in Pagan stories, even if they had a trace of historical evidence, could be accepted only on the condition of our accepting a wholly meaningless universe.”14

On the other hand, if biblical miracles are real, they are precisely what one would expect if the God of the universe intervened in humanity in an historical, space-time context or altered the normal functions of nature for a specific purpose. Christian miracles are in harmony with the mind and actions of the God described in the Bible, and they always serve a specific purpose. Biblical miracles do not require a meaningless universe, nor do they demand a redefinition of reality. As the apostle Peter said, “We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16, nkjv).

The third evidence comes from a comparison of specific biblical miracles with their counterparts in non-Christian religions. You may be surprised to learn that some biblical miracles have parallels in pagan religions. But a close comparison shows a marked refinement and precision in the biblical accounts that are lacking in other traditions.

For example, the worldwide flood recorded in Genesis 6–9 is found in many religious traditions worldwide. A catastrophe of such significance and scope is bound to turn up in other ancient religions. The fact that other religions embrace a flood tradition is profound support for the historicity of the event. Indeed, a lack of nonbiblical confirmation of such a spectacular phenomena would cast suspicion on its authenticity.

Evidence for Miracles

Argument

Assumption

Answer

Against Miracles

   

Do not “fit” modern world

No such thing as miracles

Miracles can be investigated for truthfulness

Philosophical

God does not exist

Only works if no God; however overwhelming evidence God exists

Scientific

Miracles violate “facts” of science

Science can only confirm testable data; miracles are matter of history

False miracles found in other religions

Disqualifies Christian miracles—guilt by association

Biblical miracles are not fanciful, are in harmony with the nature of God, and sustained by historical evidence

On the other hand, we should not be surprised if non-Christian accounts of the flood contain many inaccuracies and are embellished with myths. Only the Judeo-Christian religion has God’s special revelation, and thus only the Bible preserves an accurate historic account of the Noahic flood.

All other accounts pervert this epic event. A comparison of the Genesis account of the flood and its closest parallel, the Babylonian Gilgamish Epic, shows a remarkable similarity—but also a remarkable dissimilarity—with regard to the latter’s fanciful version and mythical elements.

This same dissimilarity is found in other biblical miracles where parallel accounts occur among pagan or cultic renditions.15

ARE MIRACLES PROVABLE?

We have finally arrived at the only valid criteria for determining the factuality of any miracle—historical evidence. We have ruled out the claim that miracles are philosophically impossible. If God exists, and the overwhelming preponderance of evidence insists that He does, then miracles are not only possible but highly probable. We have also ruled out the claims that miracles are scientifically impossible. Natural laws are not absolutes; they are descriptions of nature’s general regularity. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and can intervene in His own creation in any fashion He chooses and at any time He chooses (Ps. 115:3).

MIRACLES ARE A MATTER OF HISTORY

If miracles cannot be ruled out by a simple appeal to philosophy or science, then they can be ruled out only by a lack of historical evidence. There is no other criteria by which miracles can be falsified. On the other hand, this also means that history just might confirm miracles instead of falsifying them. So the outcome of historical investigation is the deciding factor with regard to the historicity of Bible miracles; and it only requires concrete historical evidence to prove that biblical miracles have occurred.

The Bible is a religious book, but it is also an historical book. In Christianity, you cannot separate historical facts from spiritual truths without destroying the gospel message; the Bible’s spiritual subject matter is intrinsically and mutually bound to history. This is nowhere more evident than with the historic resurrection of Jesus Christ. A mythical resurrection is no resurrection at all.

History acknowledges that miracles are unique events. They are not the norm but rather defy the norm. However, this does not mean that miracles are antihistorical or nonhistorical. Moreover, because miracles are unique events does not mean that they must be approached differently than any other historical event. The same canons of investigation used to determine the authenticity of any historical happening can be used to determine the authenticity of miracles.

BIBLE MIRACLES ARE TRUE

How does an historian determine the authenticity of an alleged historical incident? There are three criteria by which a responsible historian works. I will apply these rules to the investigation of a miraculous event.

For one thing, an historian is unbiased in his approach. In the case of an alleged miracle, he does not allow his own presuppositions for or against miracles to influence his investigation. He holds to the conviction that in order to determine whether or not an event occurred depends on the evidence.

Furthermore, when examining an alleged miracle, the historian does not attempt to interpret it according to existing known phenomena. In other words, he does not try to make it fit with the natural laws we generally take for granted. He judges it according to its own merits.

And lastly, an historian seeks the best evidence available to support or disavow the alleged miracle. What kind of evidence is best? There is only one kind reliable enough to determine beyond reasonable doubt the historicity of any event: primary-source evidence (firsthand testimony).

This entails recorded documentation by qualified and honest eyewitnesses to the event. If an observer does not disqualify himself by contradictions, inaccuracies, or obvious biases, his testimony is considered valid evidence. The most convincing and irrefutable historical incidents, miraculous or otherwise, rely on this kind of documentation.

If we apply these rules of historical investigation to the miracles surrounding Jesus, we can conclude beyond doubt that they occurred exactly as described in the Bible. The New Testament Gospels fulfill the requirements of primary-source evidence. They were written by eyewitnesses to the events they recorded (Matthew and John) or by people who personally knew and interviewed the eyewitnesses (Mark and Luke). No document from antiquity equals the Bible when it comes to the attestation of sound historical investigation.

In light of the historical evidence confirming the authenticity of Bible miracles, we can agree with the Psalmist when he wrote that, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Ps. 53:1). The same applies to those who deny the possibility or historicity of miracles.

 

Why Are the Bible and Science in Conflict?

Do Christians Condemn People to Hell Who Have Never Heard of Jesus?

Why Should Christianity Be Accepted As The Only Way To God?

How Can One God Be Three?

Is the Resurrection a Fraud, Fantasy, or Fact

 

 

 

1 R. C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley, CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS, 161.

2 Ibid., 284.

3 Ibid., 283, 285.

4 Carnell, AN INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, 268.

5 David Hume, AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING (La Salle, NY: Open Court, 1955), 120–145.

6 C. S. Lewis, MIRACLES (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1978), 102.

7 Richard Whately, “Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte,” in ESSAYS IN PHILOSOPHY, ed. Houston Peterson (New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1959), 143–171.

8 Lewis, ibid., 46.

9 Nash, FAITH AND REASON, chap. 16.

10 Carnell, AN INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, 267.

11 Ibid., 258.

12 Lewis, MIRACLES, 47.

13 Ibid., 132–133.

14 Ibid., 133.

15 Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, HE WALKED AMONG US (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life, 1988), chap. 13.

Story, D. (1997). Defending your faith. Originally published: Nashville : T. Nelson, c1992. (151). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

How do We Know Miracles Really Happen?

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