Hello Dr. Oakes, I am studying the bible with a friend of mine that is Hindu. He is not very devout in his faith (he grew up in America most of his life and has never really grown into his beliefs). He was introduced to Jesus about a year and a half ago as a senior in high school playing football. Upon going through the book of john with him he has been very open to learning more about Jesus. We paused the studies for Christmas break and now he wants to keep learning. He also believes that Jesus and Ganesha are both God to him. My question is: How can I study with him to help him see that Jesus is God and lord?
I suggest you do a study of Jesus and completely put aside the question of Ganesh for now. My suggestion is that you do a study of the claims Jesus made about himself. There are two chapters in my book “Reasons for Belief” devoted to the claims of Jesus, to his miracles and to the fulfillment of prophecies. I strongly urge you to get a copy of this book as it goes into great detail to answer your question. It is available at www.ipibooks.com
A very short version (all of this is in the Book of John):
Jesus claimed to be the bread of life (John 6:25-59)
He claimed to be without sin (John 8:46)
He claimed to be eternal (John 8:54-59)
He claimed to be the source of resurrection (John 11:23-27)
And many more…. Please do you own study in John
Jesus proved the right to make such claims by
Making bread from nothing (John 6)
Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11)
By predicting his resurrection and by actually being resurrected. (John 2:19)
I would add to this a detailed study in the Messianic prophecies and their fulfillment, all of which are in detail in the book I mention above. You can find an outline at my web site. I am also attaching a version of this. This is very powerful stuff and will convince your friend unless he is not willing to look at the evidence.
After doing this, I would pass on to the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, also in the book above.
I believe that once you finish this study, Ganesh, the elephant-god of Hinduism will pale into insignificance to Jesus who was a real person who did real miracles, and whose claims were backed up by what he did and said. There is no comparison. Ganesh is not real. There is no evidence whatsoever that Ganesh is real. However, my approach would not be to “go after” Ganesh, but to build up Jesus.