Here Was a Man
So, do historians believe Jesus was a man or a myth?
Historians regard both Alexander the Great and Jesus Christ as real men. Yet the manuscript evidence for Jesus is far greater and hundreds of years closer to his life than the historical writings for Alexander are to his. Furthermore, the historical impact of Jesus Christ far exceeds that of Alexander.
Historians cite the following evidence for Jesus’ existence:
Archaeological discoveries continue to verify the Gospel accounts of people and places they record, the latest being Pilate, Caiaphas and the existence of first-century Nazareth.
Thousands of historical writings document Jesus’ existence. Within 150 years of Jesus’ life 42 authors mention him in their writings, including nine non-Christian sources. During that same time period, only nine secular authors mention Tiberius Caesar; only five sources report the conquests of Julius Caesar. Yet no historian denies their existence.
Historians, secular and religious, readily acknowledge Jesus Christ has influenced our world more than any other person.
After investigating the Christ-myth theory, the great world historian Will Durant concluded that, unlike the gods of mythology, Jesus was a real person.
Historian Paul Johnson states that all serious scholars acknowledge Jesus as real.
Atheist historian Michael Grant writes, “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.”
Perhaps the non-Christian historian H. G. Wells put it the best regarding Jesus Christ’s existence:
Here was a man. This part of the tale could not have been invented.
Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?
The eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ actually spoke and acted like they believed he rose from the dead after his crucifixion. No god of mythology or any other religion ever had followers with such fervent conviction.
But must we take the resurrection of Jesus Christ by faith alone, or is there solid historical evidence? Several skeptics began investigations into the historical record to prove the resurrection account false. What did they discover?
(Click here to discover: “Did Jesus rise from the dead?“)
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© 2012 JesusOnline Ministries. This article is a supplement to Y-Jesus magazine by Bright Media Foundation & B&L Publications: Larry Chapman, Chief Editor.