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Jason Hartman hosts Attorney Daniel Buttafuoco, author of the book Consider the Evidence: A Trial Lawyer Examines Eyewitness Testimony in Defense of the Reliability of the New Testament. The discussion centers around apologetics and the defense of the Christian faith. Daniel discusses how the New Testament is reliably giving us different examples of evidence. The two talk about the importance of asking the right questions when it comes to religion and why most of us aren’t doing so. Daniel ends with a piece of evidence that sheds truth on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One piece of evidence that the resurrection is a true story.
Jason Hartman 0:00
Hey, I’d like to introduce someone whose voice you’ve heard on the show before. And that is Chad, and we have a fantastic little YouTube raffle for you, Chad. What’s it all about?
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Jason Hartman 1:10
Okay, so that’s really easy. Just go to youtube.com slash Jason Hartman real estate, subscribe to the channel, and then watch any video you like and make a comment below the video of one thing you learned include the hashtag JH live, and that will enter you in the raffle to win a free ticket to meet the masters or a $500 travel allowance. This ends on March 4, so be sure to get it done before March 4. We look forward to seeing you at meet the masters. Thanks for joining us, Chad.
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Welcome to the Solomon Success Show where we Explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible as it relates to business and investing false prophets and get rich quick schemes are everywhere. Let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source, the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman 2:25
It’s my pleasure, welcome, Daniel. But uh, Foucault He is the author of consider the evidence, a trial lawyer examines eyewitness testimony in defense of the reliability of the New Testament. fascinating topic. Daniel, welcome. How are you? It’s good to be on the show. Thank you. Yeah, it’s good to have you. You’re coming to us from New York and I guess you litigate cases in about 20 states. You’ve got your own plane. And yeah, you fly all over doing various litigations, right?
Daniel Buttafuoco 2:51
That’s correct. We are a medical malpractice and personal injury law firm. When we have 23 employees and we go wherever the action is. So if there’s a serious issue recourse or malpractice case anywhere? We’re willing to go there. Even Hawaii, I’ve been to Hawaii, I’m
Jason Hartman 3:06
that’s a long way from New York. You know, you always start off a trial with consider the evidence when you’re talking to the jury, right or the judge. What evidence do we have about the reliability of the new testament to the Bible?
Daniel Buttafuoco 3:19
Well, it’s true that every trial starts off with an admonition to the jury in jury selection, that they should only consider the evidence during the trial. And that’ll also be repeated when the judge gives the preliminary instructions. And what I’m trying to do is apply that same principle to religion. We have a lot of debates in the public sphere, a lot of competing ideologies. And the only reason to believe anything is because it’s true. And so I’m making the case that Christianity is actually historically true. That is based solely on evidences based on 25 years of me researching this in the process, I got a master’s degree in theology. It all started from a debate I had with a fellow trial lawyer about 25 years ago and Which we were discussing the faith, he was an atheist. And I felt that I didn’t do an adequate job in presenting the case of Christianity. And I was surprised during my travels in my research and my schooling, find out exactly how much corroborating evidence and primary evidence there is for the Christian faith. It’s very much unlike other faiths in that the Christian faith is not based on legend and superstition is based on what purport to be historical facts and where they can be corroborated, they are corroborated. I think the average person doesn’t know this. They just lump all religions together and say, you know, all religions are basically the same what’s not true I mean, Islam, for example, says that Christ has never crucified Christianity very much thanks on everything. Thanks everyday on Christ being crucified and one of us is wrong. One of us is incorrect. So the hooves us to actually find out what the truth is. And there are actually Roman sources that corroborate the crucifixion. There are Jewish sources that corroborate the crucifixion and of course, the New Testament itself is that I will witness accounts of witnesses, which they paid with their lives for their testimony, who all went to their death, saying that, you know, we’ve seen the crucified and risen Christ. So you have to consider the evidence and no matter what endeavor you’re at in life, and I want people to consider the evidence when it comes to the Christian faith,
Jason Hartman 5:16
you know, I would think that most people, their skepticism arises more out of not out of the historical accounts, if you will, but more out of the, shall we call it godly or heavenly or metaphysical things like Christ rising now I’ve been to the tomb in Israel. And so the after three days, Christ rose right, and there’s a little sign there. I took a picture in front of his head that he’s not here. He has risen. I put that on my facebook at Easter a couple of times that picture, but what evidence is there for these more supernatural things?
Daniel Buttafuoco 5:50
Well, this it definitely takes faith to believe in the supernatural aspect of the claims that are being made in the New Testament takes faith to believe that dead people rise from the dead and that they send it down. Haven’t. But it doesn’t take faith to believe that these apostles and these writers were there when these things happen, doesn’t take faith to believe that john was at the crucifixion. It does take faith, a lot of faith of gigantic leap of faith to believe that Muhammad would have anything to say about the crucifixion since he wasn’t born for 600 years. So, you know, we have to decide what the definition of faith is, you know, that only God can give faith. So I’m not trying to take away from that. What I’m trying to say is it’s not a crazy blind leap of faith in the dark to believe the Christian faith. Christian faith is very much solidly grounded on evidence. That is where the Bible can be proven where it can be corroborated, it stands taller never once been proven wrong. And he claimed in consistencies or explained, any historical accuracies that were thought to exist have always proven to be in favor of the Bible with new discoveries. I can give examples I do in the book about the Hittites about conscious pilot about other things. Yes, we do need face Absolutely. But what I want people to do is actually to read the head historical accounts and then decide if they believe it, then decide, you know whether or not it’s the story rings true. But if you just disregard it out of hand and say, you know, this is a legend, this can’t possibly happen. You make a priori assumptions that say, We don’t believe in this because dead people don’t rise from the dead. So you dismiss it before you even start? Well, then you’re coming to the table with what’s called an a priori assumption, and you’ll never believe it no matter what the proof is. And I always say things like, no matter how much evidence you have, for somebody committing a murder, if you put the guy’s mother on the jury that’s being charged with the murder, she’s never gonna convict him. Right? He just people ultimately believe what they want to believe. No amount of evidence is gonna convince some people you had a video of Jesus rising from the dead people would say it was Photoshop, right? Yes. The bottom line is, is that let’s read the New Testament. Let’s discuss it, let’s analyze it but let’s not dismiss it out of hand. And let’s not say all religions are equal in the same because clearly they’re not okay. A priori is a legal term. What is To sign up for an audience, it means you come in already with a preconceived notion. And that would make you ineligible to sit on the jury. If you come in with a preconceived a priori notion that no way could my son have committed this murder, then you would not be allowed to sit on the jury. Now, in the case of somebody closely related to the defendant, you wouldn’t even need to admit that you just by virtue of the relationship, you would be ineligible. So what I’m saying is we need to come to Christian faith, Christian doctrine, Christian history with an open mind, and we ought to consider the evidence exactly what the title of the book says. And there’s plenty of evidence, I have so much evidence that I couldn’t cleaning, unpack it into one book, I had to make it readable. The fact is that these arguments, these principles, this evidence has been around some cases for hundreds of years, maybe even thousands of years. problem is it’s all being talked about in the stratosphere by scholars who are talking to one another, never filters down to the rank and file Christian trial lawyer. my skill set is to break down the complex topics medicine, engineering law, in this case, theology and history, and to break it down for the average person to understand because the average person is losing confidence in the Christian faith because of the sins of Christian leaders, and for the fact that a lot of people aren’t even taught the Bible of these things anymore. So the book is meant to be an easy to read source for people who want to understand why they believe the Christian faith and whether they should even consider the Christian faith. Church. Sure,
Jason Hartman 9:27
I’d love to get your opinion on this. I’ve always believed this that, you know, you’ll hear people bash religion and not not necessarily just speaking of Christianity, but maybe mostly because that’s my familiarity. They’ll say, Oh, well, you know, Christians are a bunch of hypocrites or look at what the leaders did or you know, this, that or the other thing right now use that as an rather silly excuse, I believe, and just talking about the role of faith in society just as a societal concept, rather than a person. Belief whether you believe or not, right? I think it plays a good part in society. And you see these totalitarian regimes that we’ve had throughout history, sadly, and when people only can have faith in a government, that’s just a disaster if you ask me, you know, because with the government, you know, you can get away with things. But if there’s a higher power, always watching, and I think that keeps people better behavior, and they always ask the wrong question to right. They always say, Well, look how bad this so called Christian is, but they never asked themselves about how you can’t hear the dogs that don’t bark. The real question is, how much worse might they be if they didn’t have any religion in their life?
Daniel Buttafuoco 10:41
Well, that’s a great point. I mean, the fact of the matter is and why that argument works is because it’s often true Christians often, many times are hypocrites. We have problems in the Catholic Church.
Daniel Buttafuoco 10:50
Everybody’s a hypocrite though who isn’t it?
Daniel Buttafuoco 10:52
Well? That’s correct. They’re looking at the wrong person. If you’re looking at a televangelist how to be a Christian, are you looking at some kind of preacher looking in the wrong direction, you need to look at Jesus. The Bible says he’s the author of a finisher of our faith. He lived the perfect life. And I witness accounts of who Jesus was and what Jesus did. Christianity is actually lived one person at a time. It’s not lived by brands, denominations or anything like that. We’re all individually going to stand before God someday and give an account for what and who we are. So the idea that you can skate by by saying, well, the guy next to me is worse than I am. That doesn’t fly. It’s no excuse to look at dead people and say, well, therefore the whole thing is a sham. There are plenty of bad people in the church. As I said earlier, you’re just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, you can stay in a garage all day long. It doesn’t make you a car, right? So So the bottom line is you have to be serious about your faith. And I think if you know what the faith is all about, and you know why we should believe it’s true, you know, the reasons for why we believe these things, then you’ll come to a better understanding of the Bible and what God expects of us and why you should believe these things and I want people to be able to defend their own faith and not just to believe it blindly but to know why they believe these things. Yeah, good point.
Jason Hartman 12:07
So Daniel, with your background as a lawyer for so many years, can you compare the way people use these various arguments when it comes to faith to whether or not those arguments would fly in a court of law?
Daniel Buttafuoco 12:20
Well, sure, you brought up earlier about somebody claiming that they can’t be a Christian, because there’s a lot of hypocrites in the church. But that’s really a bogus argument just the same way. You can’t go into court, guilty of a crime of murder, say and say, Well, you know what, you know, you can’t convict me because Joe also as a murderer, that type of reasoning doesn’t fly. I mean, as I said earlier, we’re all individually responsible for God for who we are and what we do. And so I just want people not to focus on what other people have done or not done, but to focus on the writings of the New Testament, and to consider the evidences for the Christian faith, which are venerable and many is lots of evidence for the Christian faith. It exists to this day. I’ll give you an example. Actually, the fact that every Sunday is considered the Lord’s Day. It shows that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most celebrated event in the history of the world. Every Sunday 2.2 billion people as of today celebrate that event. And as I count of Easter, and other times, and it’s 2000 years after the historical event happened. So something clearly happened in the first century, something of a great magnitude because the early Christians were all Jews, they would never have changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. It had to be something monumental, and the only thing that fits the bill is exactly what they claimed it was, which is the resurrection of the Messiah. And there’s lots of other things like that in the Bible that really points to the historicity or the truthfulness if you will, of the Christian faith,
Jason Hartman 13:48
good stuff. So any other examples you want to share before you go?
Daniel Buttafuoco 13:51
Yeah, look at look at James, you know, and the Bible records the good, the bad and the ugly. That’s the other thing that gives it the indicia of truth, you know, in a court of law when negative Information is recorded, whether it’s a document or by testimony, it’s usually a sure sign that the account is true. Why would anybody admit something? Unless it actually happened if it’s a negative thing? So when you have the Paul fighting with Peter, for calling Peter a hypocrite, right there in the New Testament, Peter, arguably as the first pope, according to some people, why would that be in there unless it was true. But we have another instance where Jesus calls Peter, Satan does get thee behind me, Satan, why would that be in there? unless it was true? You have witnesses, first witnesses of the resurrection, the most important event in world history in the key component of the Christian faith. First witnesses to the resurrection are women, which is fine women, they great witnesses, but in the first century, it was illegal for a woman to be a witness. So why would you have them as witnesses and one of them a prostitute and unless, unless that was actually the way it happened? Then you have Mary and James Jesus brother, confronting Jesus because they thought he was out of his mind. Right You have Mary, the mother of Jesus. His brother James and the other brothers and sisters confronting Jesus saying he’s beside himself, he’s out of his mind. And since they went to take charge of them, and Jesus brushed them off, and so clearly they didn’t believe in them. And then later James becomes a martyr to the church to the faith. He becomes the leader of the church in Jerusalem, and becomes martyred for the face and his belief that Jesus was indeed everything he claimed to be. So how did James go from being a skeptic thinking Jesus was crazy to becoming a martyr? believing that Jesus indeed was God in human form? What happened? He had to have experienced something dramatic. And it does say in the Bible, that if the Jesus rose from the dead He appeared the James, which would change your mind, wouldn’t it when you read the Bible with that kind of eye? You see, there’s a lot of clues in there as to the dramatic events happening and that they actually have very interesting give out your website and tell people where they can find out more and of course they can get the book and all the usual places. Yes, the book was sold out twice on Amazon consider the evidence. Also on consider the evidence booking.com our own website, I can be reached my last name is but a few cold not related to any other areas like Joey Coleman own trial lawyer, I wrote the test for the trial lawyers in 1990. The National Board of trial advocacy, we have many cases I’m on the internet people can find me my website. It’s all over the internet if you type in Daniel, but if you go, and so I’m very happy to be here. And thank you for having me.
Jason Hartman 16:26
Fantastic, Daniel. Thanks for joining us.
Daniel Buttafuoco 16:28
All right, well, God bless.
Jason Hartman 16:32
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