In the Footsteps of Jesus ~ Secrets of The New Testament ~ FREE Article for Kids

In the Footsteps of Jesus - Secrets of the New Testament - free apologetics article for kids A4; free printable

GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED! ABSOLUTELY!

One of my favourite packages for my kids was The Secret of the Missing Scrolls, a fun, mystery apologetics adventure describing the ultimate treasure hunt, to teach them that God’s Word CAN be trusted. This is the sequel… enjoy!

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BIBLE VERSES

Your word is true from the beginning… Psalm 119:160

Your word is truth. John 17:17

Your word is very pure… Psalm 119:140

You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Psalm 138:2

I rejoice at Your word, as one that finds great treasure. Psalm 119:162

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel… that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures… 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

…how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:12-22

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DID YOU KNOW:  Of all the major world religious leaders, only Jesus Christ claimed to be God!

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QUOTES BY FAMOUS SCHOLARS

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” C.S. Lewis, Oxford University

About the New Testament: ‘No other ancient book has anything like such early and plentiful testimony to its text, and no unbiased scholar would deny that the text that has come down to us is substantially sound.’ Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, British Museum (pdf)

Looking at the scrutiny placed on the New Testament compared to other ancient works: ‘No classical scholar would listen to an argument that the authenticity of Herodotus or Thucydides is in doubt because the earliest manuscripts of their works which are of any use to us are over 1300 years later than the originals…’ Dr F.F. Bruce, Ryland’s Professor Manchester University, England

About the dates and authenticity of the Gospels: ‘…evidence of an even more striking character has been acquired within the last thirteen years. This is chiefly from a small scrap of papyrus received by the John Rylands Library from Professor Grenfell in 1920, but first identified and published by Mr. C. H. Roberts in 1935. It is a tiny fragment, measuring only about 3½ by 2¼ inches, bearing on both sides of it portions of a few verses of the Fourth Gospel, ch. xviii. 31-33, 37, 38; but its importance lies in the fact that papyrological experts agree in assigning the date of its writing to the first half of the second century. Small therefore as it is, it suffices to prove that a manuscript of this Gospel was circulating, presumably in provincial Egypt where it was found, about the period A.D.130-150. Allowing even a minimum time for the circulation of the work from its place of origin, this would throw back the date of composition so near to the traditional date in the last decade of the first century that there is no longer any reason to question the validity of the tradition’. Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, British Museum (pdf)

… But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome… Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed. Tacitus, Roman historian, first century

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. Josephus, Jewish historian, first century

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FUN FACTS

Okay, so we know from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that the Old Testament we read is accurate. What about the New Testament? Here are some fun facts…

  • Jesus Christ was a real historical figure who died—and rose again—in April 32 AD.
  • The Bible is not the only historical document that records details about Jesus Christ. For example, among other details, the Roman historian, Tacitus, records the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by Pontius Pilate; and the Jewish historian, Josephus, also records the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by Roman authorities.
  • Christian, non-Christian AND anti-Christian historical records ALL agree that Jesus Christ (and His followers) claimed that He was God. That is why He was executed.
  • No teacher would be considered ‘great’ for claiming to be God. There are only 3 possibilities – He was lying; He was mad… or He was telling the truth.
  • Of all the major world religious leaders, only Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
  • The New Testament was handwritten by eyewitnesses. People who were there. People who saw what happened. People who walked and talked and ate with Jesus. People who were cruelly tortured and killed simply because they had seen Jesus alive again – and told others about it! Plenty of people in history have died for something they believed in; but nobody would willingly die for something they did NOT believe in. All it would have taken for them to save their own lives was one word; but they refused to deny they had seen the Risen Christ.
  • Scholars believe that the New Testament was completed before 100 AD—that’s less than 70 years later!
  • Much of the New Testament started out as letters to other people telling them about it. When those letters were copied by scribes, they used the same extremely strict rules as they did for copying the Old Testament. Scribes were named heretics if they could not produce originals. Manuscripts were always carefully checked and verified.
  • Many papyrus documents containing parts of the New Testament have been discovered, varying from small scraps to larger collections of nearly perfectly preserved pages. The earliest fragment of the New Testament ever found is dated between 100200 AD. If you went to the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, you could see it! Make sure you include a photo for your child so they can see it for themselves! This small scrap of papyrus only measures 8.9 x 6.0 cm, but it is one of the library’s most famous artefacts and has provided a wealth of valuable information to scholars. It has writing on both sides, so would have been part of a codex (a book with turning pages). One side of the fragment contains Greek text from John 18:37-38. The other side contains text from John 18:31-33. Scholars believe each page was about 210 x 220 mm with room for eighteen lines on each page, so that would make the Gospel of John alone about 130 pages long.
  • How do scholars test ancient manuscripts? First, they work out the time span from when it was originally written—to the time of the oldest copy that is still around. Next, they look at how many copies are still around. So how does the New Testament compare to other historical records? Other historical works are accepted without question, even if their earliest copies are more than 1000 years older than the original. If the New Testament was a secular document, it would not even be questioned.
  • There is plenty of evidence that the Bible is God’s Word—and that Jesus Christ is God the Creator. No other figure or religious leader in history has done the great miracles He did – clearly demonstrating His power over nature and showing us exactly who He was – then rise from the dead as an encore. But this is exactly why He came. The Bible is all about Jesus! How God took on human form to become our ‘Kinsman Redeemer’ (i.e. human; related to Adam; and therefore related to all of us, Adam’s descendants), the long-awaited Messiah first promised to Adam and Eve—fulfilling hundreds of highly specific prophecies that were in ‘black and white’ hundreds of years before the Messiah was even born—lived a perfect life—paid the penalty of death for our sin and rebellion against Him—was buried—then rose again—so we could have a relationship with Him forever. It cost Him everything. It costs us nothing. All we have to do is accept it.

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THINK SPOT

‘… all who enter into a relationship with God must come “through the Cross,” by believing in Jesus Christ who took our sins to the cross, died, was buried, and arose triumphant over death on the third day. That is the Good News…’ Franklin Graham

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SECRETS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT ~ ARTICLE FOR KIDS ~ FREE PRINTABLE (A4)

Phew. That was a lot of preliminary information, but I hope that you found it as fascinating as I did. It makes it all the more ‘real’ doesn’t it, when you can actually see things for yourself. It makes history ‘pop’. As always, my articles are designed to give glory to God and are ready for you to download and print. Just click on the picture or the download button below the picture to make sure you download the article in full resolution. There is room to draw or slip in a photo of some scribes hard at work, and this photo is the one that I used on mine and looks great. Alternatively, you could add a photo of one of the early New Testament papyrus documents discovered or the earliest fragment; and there is room to show both sides.

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In the Footsteps of Jesus - Secrets of the New Testament - free apologetics article for kids A4; free printable

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LAMINATE / BINDER

If this article is for your own children or homeschool students, you may like to laminate it to keep it looking nice and/or put it into a binder with some FREE colouring pages, puzzles, posters and craft activities to make your own DIY Activity Book for your kids. They’ll have fun choosing their own pages to put in it while absorbing an incredibly important message that God’s Word can be trusted.

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OTHER LANGUAGES

This article is also available French. For my sponsored children who are NOT ENGLISH or FRENCH speaking, I also send my articles to them but make sure I include all relevant text in the letter so that it gets translated. (Note: under the 2016 Compassion letter writing guidelines this may no longer be necessary, but I’ll leave that to up to you). If you would like to do this for your child, scroll down to the bottom of this post where you are welcome to ‘copy and paste’ any of my text. Add a short note and some hugs and kisses and your letter is done.

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RELATED LINKS

New Testament Overview ~ FREE colouring pages, puzzles, crafts and creative ideas to go with this article for kids

The Secret of the Missing Scrolls for Kids – pt1pt2pt3pt4pt5 – pt6pt7 – pt8

The Secret of the Missing Scrolls

Bible Treasure Theme for Kids – pt1pt2pt3

treasure gold and coins

A royal baby is born ~ FREE article for kids  it was the BIGGEST ROYAL COUNTDOWN EVER ~ and it lasted some 4000 years! It was promised in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3); and literally hundreds of tiny details ~ just like enticing news snippets ~ were released along the way as they were given to many different prophets. And ALL of these tiny, extremely specific details were fulfilled in only ONE historical figure… the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Royal Baby Article SAMPLE

Genealogy of Jesus Christ ~ FREE article for kids  Why are there two family trees of Jesus Christ in the Bible? Why is Joseph listed in both family trees? What is the ‘seed of the woman’ that is mentioned in Genesis chapter 3? Isn’t it the man who provides the seed? What is the virgin birth all about? Why did Jesus have to be born of a virgin? If Jesus is the King of kings, what happened to His throne? Didn’t the Angel Gabriel promise that Jesus would rule on the throne of King David? So where is He now?

Genealogy of Jesus Christmas free printable Article for kids

More FREE articles for kids  giving glory to God as designer

Butterfly article for kids giving glory to God as designer; free printable Snowflake article for kids giving glory to God as designer; free printable Panda article for kids giving glory to God as designer; free printable

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ARTICLE TEXT

In the Footsteps of Jesus ~ Secrets of The New Testament

Okay, so we know the Old Testament that we read is accurate. What about the New Testament? Here are some fun facts!

  • Jesus Christ was a real historical figure who died—and rose again—in April 32 AD.
  • Scholars believe that the New Testament was completed before 100 AD—that’s less than 70 years later!
  • The earliest copy of the New Testament ever found has been dated between 100-200 AD. If you went to the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, you could see it!

The Bible is all about Jesus! How God took on human form—fulfilling hundreds of prophecies—lived a perfect life—paid the penalty of death for our sin and rebellion against Him—was buried—then rose again—so we could have a relationship with Him forever. It cost Him everything. It costs us nothing. All we have to do is accept it.  

The New Testament was handwritten by eyewitnesses. People who were there. People who saw what happened. People who walked and talked and ate with Jesus. People who were tortured and killed because they refused to deny that they had seen the risen Christ. Much of the New Testament started out as letters to other people telling them about it. When those letters were copied by scribes, they used the same extremely strict rules as they did for copying the Old Testament. Manuscripts were always carefully checked and verified. 

Imagine someone wrote a book about something that happened 70 years ago, and it was wrong. What would happen? You may not have been around back then, but there would still be many people alive who were and would know what really happened. They would tell everyone and the book would be a disaster! The author would certainly never be willing to die for it.

If your town was completely destroyed and you were writing a letter to someone, would you mention it? Of course you would! The Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in 70 AD. It was a major disaster. However, it is NOT mentioned in any of the New Testament letters. That is just one reason why scholars believe that most of the New Testament was completed before 70 AD—less than 40 years after the resurrection.

How do scholars test ancient manuscripts? First, they work out the time span from when it was originally written—to the time of the oldest copy that is still around. Next, they look at how many copies are still around. So how does the New Testament compare to other historical records? Let’s have a look at this chart. Other historical works are accepted without question, even if their earliest copies are more than 1000 years older than the original. If the New Testament was a secular document, it would not even be questioned.  

There is plenty of evidence that the Bible is God’s Word—and that Jesus Christ is God the Creator. No other person in history has done great miracles like He did—clearly demonstrating His power and who He was—then rise from the dead. When people refuse to believe in Jesus, it just may be a problem in their heart. Maybe they do not WANT to believe.

Quotes by Famous Scholars

Looking at the scrutiny placed on the New Testament compared to other ancient works: ‘No classical scholar would listen to an argument that the authenticity of Herodotus or Thucydides is in doubt because the earliest manuscripts are over 1300 years later than the originals…’ Dr F.F. Bruce, Ryland’s Professor Manchester University, England

About the New Testament: ‘No other ancient book has anything like such early and plentiful testimony to its text, and no unbiased scholar would deny that the text that has come down to us is substantially sound.’ Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, British Museum, England

The Word of God

The Bible —The book that changed the world

God’s Word can be Trusted!

The New Testament was written  by people  who walked and talked with Jesus

DID YOU KNOW: Of all the major world religious leaders, only Jesus Christ claimed to be God!

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And when you write to your sponsored child, don’t forget to tell them about our awesome Creator who created them with their very special blend of talents and abilities – just as they are… precious, beautiful and worthy – not because of who they are, but because of who He is and what He has done for them…

Tell them about Jesus!

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2 thoughts on “In the Footsteps of Jesus ~ Secrets of The New Testament ~ FREE Article for Kids

  1. Pingback: New Testament Overview ~ Links | Paper Gifts for Estefany

  2. Pingback: FRENCH ~ In the Footsteps of Jesus ~ Secrets of The New Testament ~ FREE Article for Kids | Paper Gifts for Estefany

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