Did Constantine Invent the Christian Doctrine of Jesus’ Divinity?

In the centuries prior to Constantine’s reign over the Roman Empire, Christians had been severely persecuted. But then, while entrenched in warfare, Constantine reported to have seen a bright image of a cross in the sky inscribed with the words “Conquer by this.” He marched into battle under the sign of the cross and took control of the empire.

Constantine’s apparent conversion to Christianity was a watershed in church history. Rome became a Christian empire. For the first time in nearly 300 years it was relatively safe, and even cool, to be a Christian.

No longer were Christians persecuted for their faith. Constantine then sought to unify his Eastern and Western Empires, which had been badly divided by schisms, sects, and cults, centering mostly around the issue of Jesus Christ’s identity.

These are some of the kernels of truth author Dan Brown uses in The Da Vinci Code, and kernels of truth are a prerequisite for any successful conspiracy theory. But the book’s plot turns Constantine into a conspirator. So let’s address a key question raised by Brown’s theory:  did Constantine invent the Christian doctrine of Jesus’ divinity? [Read more…]

Was the Supposed Resurrection Actually a Stolen Body?

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…]

The Matter of an Empty Tomb

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…]

Was Jesus Actually Dead?

“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…]

Was Jesus Married?

Did Jesus have a secret marriage?

Mrs. Jesus

Has history been wrong for 2000 years—was there a Mrs. Jesus Christ?

According to Harvard scholar Karen King, a tiny papyrus fragment, smaller than a business card, ignites the controversy about whether or not Jesus had a spouse. In the newly publicized fourth century fragment, Jesus supposedly refers to, “my wife.”¹ Just below that phrase, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”² [Read more…]

What Did Jesus Say About Himself?

God’s Perfect Solution

During his three years of public ministry, Jesus taught us how to live and performed many miracles, even raising the dead. But he stated that his primary mission was to save us from our sins.

Jesus proclaimed that he was the promised Messiah who would take our iniquity upon himself. The prophet Isaiah had written about the Messiah 700 years earlier, giving us several clues regarding his identity. But the clue most difficult to grasp is that the Messiah would be both man and God! [Read more…]

Is There Any Evidence that Jesus Existed?

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…]

Prophetic Scrolls Altered?

What if the Christian scribes who copied scrolls of Isaiah and the other Old Testament prophetic books altered them to make them correspond to Jesus’ life?

This is a question many scholars and skeptics have asked. And it seems possible, even plausible at first glance. [Read more…]

Is Christianity “too Jesus focused?”

The early Christians were accused by the Romans of stealing glory from Caesar, and by the Jews of robbing glory from God (Yahweh). Christianity is criticized by some as being “too Jesus focused.” But is that what the apostles thought? [Read more…]

Is the Designer an Absentee Parent?

The big bang theory has reopened scientists’ minds to the possibility that the universe was created by an intelligent designer. But if so, has that designer remained involved with the universe? Two discoveries, quantum mechanics and string theory, suggest the answer could be yes.

In 1925, Werner Heisenberg shocked the scientific community by showing that the subatomic world is unpredictable. In fact, it behaves unlike anything scientists had ever imagined and seems to betray common sense. This marked the start of the branch of physics known as quantum mechanics, which is the study of the behavior of microscopic particles. (A “quantum,” in physicspeak, is the smallest amount of any quantity, such as particles like electrons, quarks, and photons.)

What has fascinated scientists is that particles such as electrons, quarks, and photons can appear from nowhere and disappear just as quickly. No one knows why. [Read more…]