The tomb was indeed empty. But it wasn’t the mere absence of a body that could have galvanized Jesus’ followers (especially if they had been the ones who had stolen it). Something extraordinary must have happened, for the followers of Jesus ceased mourning, ceased hiding, and began fearlessly proclaiming that they had seen Jesus alive. [Read more…]
No serious historian really doubts Jesus was dead when he was taken down from the cross. However, many have questioned how Jesus’ body disappeared from the tomb. English journalist Dr. Frank Morison initially thought the resurrection was either a myth or a hoax, and he began research to write a book refuting it.¹ The book became famous–but for reasons other than its original intent! [Read more…]
“Marley was deader than a doornail, of that there was no doubt.” So begins Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, the author not wanting anyone to be mistaken as to the supernatural character of what is soon to take place. In the same way, before we take on the role of CSI (crime scene investigator) and piece together evidence for a resurrection, we must first establish that there was, in fact, a corpse. After all, occasionally the newspapers will report on some “corpse” in a morgue who was found stirring and recovered. Could something like that have happened with Jesus? [Read more…]
Skeptics like Ellen Johnson [former President of American Atheists] cite the “lack of secular history” for Jesus as evidence that he didn’t exist.
Yet there is very little documentation for any person from the time of Christ. Most ancient historical documents have been destroyed through the centuries, by wars, fires, and pillaging, or simply through weathering and deterioration.
According to E. M. Blaiklock, who has catalogued most of the non-Christian writings of the Roman Empire, “practically nothing exists from the time of Christ”, even for great secular leaders such as Julius Caesar.¹ Yet no historian questions Caesar’s existence.
And since he wasn’t a great political or military leader, Darrell Bock notes, “It is amazing and significant that Jesus shows up at all in the sources we have.”²
So, who are these sources Bock mentions? Which early historians who wrote of Jesus did not have a Christian agenda? First of all, let’s look to Jesus’ enemies. [Read more…]
The argument against Jesus’ existence, known as the Christ-myth theory, began seventeen centuries after Jesus is said to have walked the rocky hills of Judea.
An important distinction between a myth and a real person is how the figure impacts history. For example, the Olympic Games originated on Mount Olympus in Greece, home of the temple of the Greek god Zeus. But Zeus has not changed governments, laws, or ethics.
The historian Thomas Carlyle said, “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”¹ As Carlyle notes, it is real people, not myths, who impact history. [Read more…]
After Jesus ascended, the apostles stunned both Jew and Roman by proclaiming Jesus as “Lord.”¹ And the apostles did the unthinkable and worshipped Jesus, even praying to him as if he was God. Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” as he was being stoned to death (Acts 7:59). [Read more…]
Earlier this month, The Christian Post reported that the American Atheists group had sponsored billboards in several states as a part of the group’s “You KNOW It’s a MYTH” campaign. The billboards display pictures of Jesus, Santa Claus and devil images and ask, “What myths do you see?”¹
The promotion of Jesus as a myth has long been a tactic of atheists. But what are the facts? [Read more…]
Christians from the very beginning worshiped Jesus as Lord. But did they mean, “God?” Early church fathers stated that the apostles taught that Jesus was fully man and fully God. But is that what the New Testament really teaches? Let’s look closer at how the apostles regarded Jesus.
Has the discovery of an ancient pottery shard in excavations near Jerusalem, undone the sensational claims of a PBS documentary entitled, “The Bible’s Buried Secrets”?
In that documentary, PBS shockingly concludes that the Hebrew Bible was written hundreds of years after Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and David. It cites scholars who state that the Bible couldn’t have been written until the 6th century BC because the Hebrew language hadn’t been developed until then.
The search for the “Historical Jesus” is a rather recent undertaking of so-called scholars and realists, who look to dissect the Biblical record and paint a real picture of the man, Jesus. For about the last 100 years, including most recently, the Jesus Seminar, intellectual debate has made its way into the mainstream media based on the supposed goal of “separating historical fact from mythology.” The problem is that the entire “Historical Jesus” movement is a product of the 20th Century philosophy of naturalism, in that all debate begins with a shared, yet concealed, presupposition – that anything outside the realm of natural explanation can never be backed by historical evidence. (read more)