JESUS OF NAZARETH- Introduction
Skeptics! They never cease to amaze me! They have no problem believing that Plato, Aristotle, and Caesar existed, but somehow or other they have the temerity to claim the Jesus Christ of Nazareth never existed.
JESUS OF NAZARETH- Jesus the Historical Figure
It needs to be clearly understood that Jesus Christ is, in fact, an historical figure. According to the New Testament, Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem in Judea. He was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus, and he was, of course, put to death by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. Each of the 27 books of the New Testament mention Him, and, of course, they refer to him in a historical context. In fact, most of the New Testament writers actually claim to be eyewitnesses of His life, death, and resurrection. The Apostle John, for example, gave empirical testimony about his encounters with Jesus when he said, “We’ve heard Him, we have seen Him with our eyes, and we touched Him with our hands…” (1 John 1:1) That, of course, is exactly what we’re proclaiming to you. The New Testament Gospels are not legendary, they are straight forward historical accounts of Christs’ life.
JESUS OF NAZARETH- Attested to by Distinguished Historians
Now, in addition to all of this, the biblical data is attested to by such distinguished Roman and Jewish historians as Josephus, Tacitus, Secundus, and a host of others. All of these historians mention that Jesus was a real person who lived during the first century. Many were also conversant with the basic facts of His life, death, and His claims of His resurrection.
JESUS OF NAZARETH- Beyond Dispute
Jesus’ historical existence is beyond dispute. In fact, the Encyclopaedia Britannica commits over 20,000 words to Jesus, and says with respect to his historicity that it wasn’t until the end of the 18th Century that it was disputed for the very 1st time — and that on inadequate grounds. Without his physical existence, without his death and resurrection, we have no hope either in this life or the life to come. The whole idea that Christ was a myth is itself a myth.On the historicity of Jesus Christ, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.