Josh McDowell grew up the son of a wife-beater. He was sexually abused for seven years beginning at the age of 6 by a man who worked on his family’s farm. Suffice it to say, he didn’t believe in God when he entered college.
“When some young believing students at school challenged me to investigate the evidence for Christianity intellectually, I was shocked,” said the best-selling author of “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” which sold 4 million copies in 44 languages.
“Specifically, they challenged me to investigate the evidence for the resurrection. I thought it was joke. In fact, I thought it would be easy to marshal the evidence disproving the claims of Christ. Since I like a good challenge, I accepted their offer.”
He took the challenge so seriously that he left the university and traveled across the United States, Europe and the Middle East to study ancient manuscripts and gather the evidence against Christianity.
“After months of study, I returned to a small library in England,” he wrote. “I leaned back in my chair, cupped my hands on the back of my head and said, ‘It’s true. It really is true.'”
When he went back to college, he could not sleep.
“Needless to say, my research had taken quite an unexpected turn,” he recalls. “I set out to disprove the historical resurrection of Jesus but ended up becoming a follower of Christ.”
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But now McDowell believes the evidence is even stronger than it was in 1972 when that book was first published. So, with the collaboration of his son, it has been updated and revised with the latest discoveries he believes show even more proof of the resurrection.
“The historical evidence for Christianity today is like a tsunami.” he says. “And yet, the amount of evidence we have engulfs the kind that led me to believe in Christ over five decades ago. The textual, archaeological and manuscript evidence is increasing regularly.”
McDowell admits it’s a radical claim to make in 2018.
“My challenge for you is to consider the evidence for yourself,” he says. “According to the Apostle Paul, if Christ did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is false, and Christians are to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). But if Jesus did rise, then Christianity is true. The evidence is there, if you are willing to consider it. After 50 years of studying it, I can tell you that this tsunami has not let up.”
Working with Campus Crusade for Christ and founding the youth outreach Josh McDowell Ministry, Josh McDowell has shared the gospel with more than 25 million people in 125 countries. He is the author or co-author of 148 books, including his first and his latest of the same title, “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.”