Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3. Jesus: Fact or Fiction? Part 1

We are going to examine Jesus' credentials here. There are several major questions that need answering:

1. Was the Biblical figure of Jesus an actual historical figure?

2. Was he actually the Son of God?

All of our lives hinge on the answers to these two questions.

If Jesus was a phony and all of Christianity is wrong, then we can either look into alternative religions seeking truth, or consign ourselves to godless atheism. If Jesus was not a phony and all of Christianity is right, then we have a major decision to make: will we follow him, or remain at a distance?

To answer the first question:

We have older documentation and earlier eye-witness accounts of Jesus' life than we have for any other religious leader of antiquity. There are many secular accounts of Jesus that confirm his historicity. Reliable sources like Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Thallus, Phlegon, Mara Bar-Serapion, and others, wrote of a man who claimed to be God and was killed for it. 

Unlike anyone else in history, Jesus fulfilled dozens of prophesies, including the location of His birth, key events of His ministry, and the circumstances of His death, all written centuries before He was born! To quote Josh McDowell "If you are not satisfied with 450 B.C. as the historic date for the completion of the Old Testament, take into consideration the following: The Septuagint--the Greek translation for the Hebrew Scriptures--was initiated in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.)." In order to be translated, the scriptures had to be originally written at least 250 years before Jesus' birth!

It was prophesied that Jesus would be
     Born of the race of Abraham
     More specifically Abraham's son Isaac
     More specifically Isaac's son Jacob
     Of the tribe of Judah
     Of the family line of Jesse
     Of the house of David
     Born at Bethlehem
     Presented with gifts
     He would be filled with zeal for God
     His ministry would begin in Galilee
     Perform miracles
     Enter the temple
     Enter Jerusalem on a donkey

There are so many more, that gall and vinegar would be offered to him, that he would commit himself to God, that his bones would not be broken, that he would be pierced (all this on the cross). Could Jesus have engineered all of this himself? Methinks he could hardly have worked out the "born in Bethlehem" part, the manner of his death, or the soldiers' casting lots for his clothes (also specifically prophesied). Coincidence? It is estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling even eight of the prophesies Jesus fulfilled is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. This is like painting a quarter red and then throwing it into a pile so large that it would cover the state of Texas two feet deep, and then asking a blind man to pick out the red quarter.

Come back for the next exciting installment!

Photo by midiman


  1. It would be a more valid argument for the existence of a historical Jesus if you provide citations from the secular accounts that confirm his historicity.

    I love your blog, btw.

    Reformed Theo-Blog:

  2. Good point! I've read some of their writings myself, but didn't include them here because of length constraints :)

  3. I really like this article Abby, and your writing in general. :) I'm glad you're starting writing these posts about Christianity to spread the Faith.

  4. Hi Abby
    I seen a post of yours on my sisters blog. How fun to see a homeschooler with such a wide range of blogs! I've been skimming them all. I am a homeschool mother praying my kids will be saved and have a serious foundation in Christ as they grow. Nice to visit!


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