Mention the names of great religious leaders in history like “Mohammed” or “Buddha” in conversation at a Capitol Hill reception or over drinks at Bullfeathers and hardly anybody raises an eyebrow. Reactions are often quite different when “Jesus” is mentioned.
Those reactions can range all the way from worshipful reverence or respectful nods to outright laughter, derision, anger or even bitter cynicism. Whatever they are, they won’t be boring. Jesus is different. Unlike the other great religious leaders in history, Jesus claimed to be God.
But it’s not uncommon to hear the objection that He really never claimed to be God, that was actually a later invention by the disciples or early church leaders, or Dan Brown or somebody. So what does the evidence say?
NBC “Dateline’s” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace, a former atheist, explains: