1. Evidence of Changed Lives
Here's my story: http://jesusisthewaythetruththelife.com/node/2
1a. My experience matches what others experienced.
Later I found out that the changes I went through are the same as other people experienced when they were converted to Christ. Like me, other Christians would still sin after conversion, but it would start weighing on the heavily where it wouldn't before. Like me, they would want to consume the Bible, where they didn't care about it before. This video was the best description I've seen when people are born again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNFfgQtS528
2. Investigation of Gospel Records
J Warner Wallace is a (now retired) cold case murder investigator in Southern California. He was an angry atheist, hassling Christians for their beliefs. He decides to accompany his wife to church and winds up fascinated with the Gospels. He expected fables, but it read like the eyewitness accounts he was so familiiar with. So he investigated the Gospels using the same techniques he would use to investigate a cold case murder. What he found out changed his life. He wrote the book Cold Case Christianity detailing his investigation. Here are some of the points he covers:
Coming to the most reasonable conclusion: he says that most anything is *possible*, but what is reasonable?
Claims from the Gospel he investigated:
Jesus died on the cross and was buried
Jesus' tomb was empty and no one ever found the body
Jesus' disciples believed they saw him resurrected from the dead
Jesus' disciples were transformed following their alleged resurection observation
He invested these possible explainations for all the above:
The disciples were wrong about Jesus being dead
The disciples lied about Jesus' death and resurrection
The disciples were dilusional
The disciples were fooled by an imposter
The disciples were influenced by limited spititual sightings (as in, they only saw a vision of the resurrected Christ)
The disiples observations were distorted later
The disciples were accurately reporting the resurrection of Jesus
Some points from his consideration of these possibilities:
The Roman soldiers would have themselves be put to death if they allowed a person crucified to survive.
The apostles, as witnesses to the events of Jesus' life, are willing to die rather than recant. Is it reasonable that they would all chose to die for something they knew to be a lie?
There have been no known cases of mass hallucination where the people all shared the same hallucination.
The impostor explanation requires a whole new set of conspirators that would have to keep the story straight.
There were many groups of people who saw the resurrected Christ, making the spiritual sighting theory unlikely.
The first students of the disciples also said that Jesus was resurrected, making the theory that the disciples' observations were distorted later unlikely.
He went through a lot of pieces of evidence regarding each of these theories and had to throw them all out except the last one: The disciples were accurately recording the resurrection of Jesus.
All his cases have been prosecuted on the basis of circumstantial evidence only and he talks about the cumulative nature of circumstantial evidence. He builds a circumstatial case for the existence of God.
The universe had a beginning (causal evidence)
It has the appearance of being designed
Universe contains complex creatures with complex information systems. "Intelligence is the only known cause of complex functionally integrated information processing systems." quote form Stephen C. Meyer in Signature in the Cell.
Universe has objective morality
When investingating a murder case, there are some ways to test the validity of a witness: were they even there?, have they been honest and accurate?., can they be verified?, do they have an ulterior motive?
The early church fathers recognized the Gospels as eyewitness accounts of the Apostles.
The apostles repeatedly identify themselves as witnesses.
Things he would expect to see from real eyewitness testimony:
Testimony will be particular to the person's spatial location or emotional state of mind
Statements will be personal - using the person's own expressions
Their statements may contain areas of complete agreement.
Later statements may fill in the gaps and only focus on what hasn't been presented before.
If he finds a set of witness statements that all agree 100%, he knows they've gotten together to get their stories straight, so he doesn't like to see them agree totally.
Looking at it with these in mind, he found that the Gospel accounts appeared to be real eyewitness testimony. The Gospel accounts are "messy", focusing on different events and having some apparent contradictions. If they had cleaned up to remove all this by early church leaders, it wouldn't be consistent with reliable eyewitness accounts.
Or the book is excellent. You can't really get the idea from my scetchy summary here, but if someone wants to read the book, I can loan the ebook or I'd buy you a copy of the book. After all his investigation, he found that the Gospels had all appearance of truth and that is what convinced him to go from angry atheist to Christian.
3. Fulfilled prophecy
The Bible is the only book that is filled with detailed propecy that has actually come to pass. For example, there are over 300 detailed, specific prophecies about Jesus' first coming.
"The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies [by random chance] would be only 1 in 1017. That's 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000."
4. Accurate scientifically
Take for example the research of astrophycist Dr. Hugh Ross. He was raised in an atheistic atmosphere but was convinced from his study of the cosmos that a god must exist. He was challenged to check out all the different religions, and so began a study of the world's sacred books. He went through each, finding quickly that each was full of things he knew from science to not be true, contradictions, etc. He saved the Bible for last and went through it, one book for items that could be tested scientifically, one book for things that were wrong. Eighteen months later with the first book filled and the latter empty, he concluded the Bible was truth.
Probability that life came could come about by chance:
5. All ceation proclaims the glory of God
Psalm 19 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Even if you didn't have the Bible, you could know of His existence and magnificience just by opening your eyes and looking around you.
6. Archeological/historical evidence
Here are some examples of evidence from archeology that supports what is written in the Bible:
7. Congruity over 4000 years
The Bible was written down by 40 authors over a period of ~1500 years. Yet there is a consistency throughout, even though the authors lived in different times and places.
8, Evidence for a global catastrophe
Evidence supports the flood/Tower of Babel accounts in the Bible:
All of that adds up to having confidence that the Bible is true. The way a verdict is reached in court is coming to see that a preponderance of evidence points to one point of view. Men are released or can be sentenced to death on such evidence.