Ramified natural theology and evidence for Christian claims about Christ
This chapter discusses and evaluates the evidential force of Biblical material which bears on the divinity of Christ. It includes matters to do with Jesus’ life and teaching, including the miracles he is said to have worked; prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah, apparently fulfilled in Christ; the reasons for his death and the meaning attributed to it; and his purported resurrection. The chapter steers a course here between a naïve literal acceptance of all the Bible says and a total scepticism, taking account of historical-critical study, but essentially providing good reasons for the overall integrity, in particular of the gospels. The Biblical writers effectively invented a 'Christ of faith' as a substitute for the 'Jesus of history' (these terms were first introduced by Reimarus) who died a failure with his expectations of Messiahship in tatters, as supposedly evidenced by his cry of dereliction on the cross.