Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World that Rejects the Bible - J. Warner Wallace (2023)


Can the truth about Jesus be uncovered--even without a body or a crime scene? Join cold-case detective and bestselling author J. Warner Wallace as he investigates Jesus using an innovative and unique approach he employs to solve real missing person murder cases.

In Person of Interest, Wallace carefully sifts through the evidence from history alone, without relying on the New Testament. You'll understand like never before how Jesus, the most significant person in history, changed the world.


- Join a cold-case detective as he uncovers the truth about Jesus using the same approach he employs to solve real murder cases
- Marvel at the way Jesus changed the world as you investigate why Jesus still matters today
- Learn how to use an innovative and unique "fuse and fallout" investigative strategy that you can also use to examine other claims of history
- Explore and learn how to respond to common objections to Christianity

In Person of Interest, Wallace describes his own personal investigative journey from atheism to Christianity as he carefully considers the evidence. Creative, compelling, and fully illustrated, Person of Interest will strengthen the faith of believers while engaging those who are skeptical and distrusting of the New Testament.





Tamahee's disappearance was what we call a no homicide case where a homicide is assumed to have occurred, but a body is never found.

Tammy and her husband, steve moved into our city in april of 2000, not long afterward.

Her husband, steve called our agency and reported her missing.

He claimed tammy drove off in anger after an argument and still hadn't returned.

Our officers trusted steve's version of the story.

The result this case wasn't investigated as a murder, no photographs of the home, no one called csi to collect evidence.

No interviews were conducted with friends or family, not a single piece of evidence was booked under the case number detectives at the time simply expected tammy would eventually return.

No one ever called to report that she hadn't time passed, detectives, retired and the case went cold for years.

By the time another generation of detectives decided to follow up on tammy's disappearance.

They found a completely remodeled home new paint, new floors.

Everything from the past had been replaced and everything looked pristine.

However, tammy had not returned.

She never came home, never tried to call steve, never wrote him to ask for a divorce tammy hayes completely banished no contact, no credit history, no sightings in or out of state steve remained a person of interest, but detectives were frustrated by the lack of evidence.

The case went cold.

I avoided going to jurors with my wife for three years, she'd been trying to make it happen ever since we moved and so far I'd managed to get out of it.

God didn't matter to me because I didn't think he existed and the bible didn't matter to me because I didn't think it reported anything true.

I was similarly disinterested in the loch ness monster or bigfoot and grimm's fairy tales as a thoughtful non-believer.

I consider jesus in the bible equally fictional and irrelevant, but I love my wife, so I told her I'd at least be willing to go to george at least occasionally she wasn't a christian, but she believed in god and wanted to raise our kids with a similar belief.

I didn't like that idea, but I eventually agreed to attend a church service.

The pastor that morning came in the stage and started preaching from a bible.

I remember thinking he was surprisingly normal.

He talked with charm and confidence referencing the new testament passages, as though they were true, but I remained unimpressed until he said something that grabbed my attention.

He said jesus was the smartest man who ever lived.

That was quite a bold claim and he doubled down on it.

He said the teaching of jesus transformed the world, because jesus is god incarnate, jesus who is, god became a man.

I thought about that statement.

All the way home this pastor acted like jesus mattered, like jesus, was something more than an ancient fairy tale, told by uneducated, unscientific people in an uninspiring era.

At one point, he even said that jesus claimed he was god.

If that were true, why would anyone think jesus was the smartest man who ever lived? I was more inclined to think that jesus was just crazy, but, despite my doubts, I purchased the bible to see why this pastor thought jesus was so smart.

I spent the next eight months trying to determine if the gospels were anything more than irrelevant fiction.

I analyzed their claims using every tool I possessed.

As a detective, I tested the gospels as eyewitness accounts.

I investigated the early history of christianity evaluated the nuanced differences between the new testament texts.

I even applied forensic statement analysis to the writings of matthew, mark luke and john, and eventually I started to investigate jesus as if he was a person of interest in a no-body homicide case.

Look, I didn't have the body of jesus and I didn't have a crime scene to provide me with any physical evidence.

There weren't any fingerprints or dna results or videos from a security camera, but none of that mattered.

I'd investigated other similar cold cases.

As a detective, I knew I could determine the truth about jesus.

Despite these deficiencies when I reopened the tammy hayes case, not a single piece of physical evidence existed, no photographs, no crime scene, no notes and to make matters worse.

We didn't have tammy's body, we weren't even sure she was dead.

Resolving this case seemed like an impossibility, but my experience told me that impossible cases were still solvable.

Why did tammy disappear? Was she killed by her husband? Was there an investigative strategy I could use to determine the truth? Was jesus truly the smartest most interesting and most transformative man who ever lived? Was he truly god, as he claimed to be? Was there a way to make the case for his existence and his impact, even without a body or any evidence from the new testament? Was jesus christ, a work of fiction, just another ancient sage or some ancient teacher, or was he history's uniquely divine person of interest, something terrible happened to tammy hayes on the day she vanished if she was killed, an explosion of anger occurred? In that moment, it was as though a bomb was detonated.

Tammy's disappearance didn't happen out of the blue.

There was a reason: tammy disappeared when she did.

For example, if steve killed his wife, it was likely the result of an increasingly hostile sequence of events that preceded her disappearance.

If steve killed tammy, there would be a fuse burning in the relationship leading up to the explosion of her disappearance.

If we investigate this fuse, we might find evidence of any growing anger between them or planning or preparatory steps.

Steve might have taken prior to tammy's disappearance.

If steve was responsible, evidence from the fuse should point to him.

You see, every explosion begins with a fuse and that results in a fallout steve's life would inevitably have been different following the explosion.

If he killed her, we should find the evidence of his involvement in the debris we can solve this case, based on the fuse leading up to tammy's disappearance and the fallout that points to her killer or killers.

Following her disappearance during the next year, our cold case team identified and interviewed dozens of people who knew tammy and steve at the time of tammy's disappearance.

This painstaking process revealed a series of fuse events and fallout responses.

Each interview brought us closer to answering our questions.

One thing: I've learned from investigating cases over the years is that less significant crimes can be committed with a smaller degree of preparation.

It's easier to plan a shoplift, for example, than it is to plan a burglary of the same store.

After it's closed, it's even harder to plan a successful murder.

It takes time for the evil desire to mature time, to plot out the manner of death time to obtain the right weapon, formulate a successful alibi and dispose of the body.

The more consequential, the crime, the longer the fuse when a high impact event occurs like the disappearance of a woman, it inevitably leaves a mark.

It takes a while for the fuse to burn and the debris is difficult to miss.

If someone killed tammy, I expected the fuse to reveal more than who caused tammy's disappearance.

I expected the evidence of the fuse to explain why the killer chose that night in may of 2000.

Why didn't he kill tammy in january or june or september? Why 2000, instead of 1999? Was there a deadline unique to the killer like if steve are only real person of interest was responsible for tammy's disappearance, shouldn't the nature and timing of the fuse match? The growing anger, the intensifying pressure that steve may have been experiencing was there a unique deadline he was facing in a crime as tragic as murder.

The fallout will be significant killers who seek to hide their victims.

Bodies are particularly active after they commit the murder.

It's often difficult for killers to carry on as if nothing happened, they tend to speak, behave unusually or inadvertently reveal their involvement.

All these behaviors are important aspects of the fallout.

Would we find that steve demonstrated some of these behaviors? If only one person was involved in tammy's disappearance, then the fallout should uniquely point to one suspect.

If her husband's deet was guilty, then the debris should implicate him, and no one else has the person of interest if steve killed tammy, virtually every aspect of his world could eventually have been impacted.

His future romantic relationships, the way he parented his kids, the topics he discussed with friends, the kinds of movies he preferred where he lived, how much alcohol he drank every aspect of steve's life would tell us something about his involvement or lack of involvement.

The fallout of steve's life would help us to understand what happened and if steve was involved in tammy's disappearance.

If that pastor, the one who spoke of jesus so confidently was correct.

If jesus was as influential and powerful as the pastor claimed, then the explosive appearance of jesus should indicate a pivotal point in human history, even as a committed atheist.

I already recognized that the birth of jesus divided history into two epic periods bce before the common era and ce the common era, something about jesus initiated a new historical epoch.

His appearance was an explosion that divided human history into two eras.

This explosion was preceded by a fuse and created its own fallout.

If I investigated both sides of the timeline, even without referencing the new testament documents, I might be able to determine if jesus was history's unique person of interest.

If jesus was who christians claimed, I would expect the views leading up to his appearance to be long.

Impactful events, after all, have longer fuses.

The events building toward the appearance of jesus should span centuries.

I knew the fuse would also act as a timer if jesus was something more than human, wouldn't the timing of his appearance be significant.

Was there a reason why he didn't arrive centuries earlier or decades later? Was there a historic deadline that determined his appearance? If that pastor was right about jesus, wouldn't I find significant fallout following the life and teaching of jesus.

He clearly impacted our calendar, but if he's the divine person of interest the pastor described, where was the ripple effect more than that, the evidence in the fallout should point uniquely to jesus as the cause that eventually divided human history.

This evidence should identify jesus specifically, and we should be able to reconstruct the description of jesus robustly from nothing more than the debris of jesus, even without the descriptions offered on the pages of christian scripture.

Finally, if jesus truly was the smartest most transformative and influential man in history, how did his fallout impact diverse aspects of our world if jesus was more than a mere human shouldn't? I find evidence in unexpected places.

Was that pastor right about jesus? Does jesus still matter today even to those who reject the bible, the fuse and fallout of history should provide us with an answer.

The evidence of history should tell us if jesus is humanity's most important person of interest.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated: 19/01/2024

Views: 5233

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.