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OK, first, let's look at who King Jesus was NOT...
JESUS WAS NOT A WICCAN HIGH PRIEST...
This fantasy was published in a book i the 1980's titled King Jesus. It's a work of fiction and should be treated as such. Wicca did not exist until circa 1939-1949. It would have been impossible for Jesus to have been a Wiccan. While some have noted the similarities between the 12 Apostles + Christ equal a coven of 13. But let's not forget the idea of a coven consisting of 13 witches originated in the Middle Ages, and was thought to have used the number of 13 members to mock Christ and the 12 Apostles. The "sabbat cakes" and wine some Wiccan covens use can be traced to Leland's spurious book, Aradia, The cakes and wine in Aradia are obviously meant to mock Christian communion. So if there are any similarities between Wicca and Christianity, they were born out of parody, not tradition!
JESUS WAS NOT THE SON OF A ROMAN SOLDIER...
The incident often cited, first by celcus and then by others, of a Talmudic reference to Jesus being the result of a Roman soldier raping Mary is false. The Jesus cited in the Talmud was Jesus Ben Strada, and furthermore Pantera did not live until 100 years after the time of Christ! Obviously Pantera lived too late to be Christ's father.
JESUS DID NOT TELL PEOPLE "DO WHAT YE WILL"...
A lot of people love to cite how he saved the adulteress from stoning as some kind of proof He allowed people to do anything. Christ was not saying by this incident adultery was OK. He was saying hypocrisy is wrong. He didn't tell the woman to keep comitting adultery, but rather told her, "Go and sin no more". He told Nicodemus to keep the Commandments. He told people to live moral lives based on traditional morality. No Jesus wouldn't approve of shacking up, gays, drug use, casual sex, or getting drunk every weekend.
JESUS WAS NOT A HOMOSEXUAL....
There is absolutley no evidence to support the idea He was a homosexual. Period. Homosexuality was forbidden by the Torah and punishable by death! Furthermore, while the Gospels did not record Jesus condemning homosexuality overtly, he also did not list every possible sin. For instance, he doesn't condemn bestiality, but there's no question Christians and Jews consider it a sin. Jesus didn't have to list every sin that was already mentioned in the Torah. Furthermore, Jesus condemned homosexuality indirectly by affirming the Old Testament view of Sodom and Gomorrah:
Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day.
Mat 11:24 But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Luk 10:12 I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Luk 17:29 but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all:
And the New Testament rea Christians believed homosexuality was indeed the reason those cities were condemned as recored in Jude:
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, having in like manner with these given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
JESUS WAS NOT MARRIED....
Some people remained unmarried in Christ's day. The Essenes had entire communities of unmarried people. Jesus was never married to Mary Magdelene. An Apocryphal book written centuries after Jesus (a fake book) called The Gospel of Philip mentions Peter asking Jesus why He loves Mary Magdelene more than them. This is offered as proof by some that He was married. HELLO...if he was married to her, they wouldn't have needed to ask! Did any of your Dad's friends ask your Dad why he loved your Mom more than them???
In Christ's day it was the custom of Rabbi's to wait until their 50's to marry. Jesus was 33 when He was crucified and resurrected, so He didn't marry because he was too young.
It was not uncommon for people in a religious vocation not to marry at all in Christ's day. The Escenes were an entire sect of Judaism that practiced celibacy. Paul was also celibate and advised other Christians to do so if they could. Thre's no reason to think Jesus had to be married!
JESUS WAS NOT A GNOSTIC....
Gnosticism arose centuries after Jesus. It is not the "original Christianity". Books like The Gospel of Thomas came centuries after Jesus. Gnosticism is a rebellion against orthodox Christianity and tried to combine Christianity with Paganism.
JESUS DID NOT TRAVEL TO SOUTH AMERICA...
The "Quetzocoatl" winged serpent idol that originated 400 B.C. is not Jesus. There was a leader who lived 800 A.D. who called himself "Quetzocoatl"...he also wasn't Jesus. They both lived in the wrong century.
AND YES, JESUS ACTUALLY EXISTED.
Just because no original writings of Jesus have ever been discovered doesn't mean he wasn't a real person. No one has ever found an original writing made by Plato, Socrates, Bhuddah, or Mohammed, but no one questions these people were real. Using the same logic that the "Jesus never existed" crowd use, we might as well doubt that Socrates existed. His biography on Wikipedia states Socrates was "an enigmatic figure known only through other people's accounts. It is Plato's dialogues that have largely created today's impression of him". And yet no one doubts Socrates was an actual person.
Let's see how plain we can make it.
Jesus was an umarried, non -homosexual, non-Pagan, non-Wiccan, Galiean, Jewish man who traveled around Israel and nearby areas, but not South America, North America, China or India. He actually existed. He believed in the Torah...including the 10 commandments. His followers believe He was God incarnate.
Question: "Who is Jesus Christ?"
Answer: Who is Jesus Christ? Unlike the question, "Does God exist?", very few people have questioned whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel almost 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus' full identity is discussed. Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet, or a good teacher, or a godly man. The problem is, the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.
C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following: "I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse .... You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He was? First, let's look at Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “We are not stoning you for any of these, replied the Jews, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus’ statement to be a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example. Jesus proclaimed, “I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!” Again, in response, the Jews take up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus announcing His identity as “I am” is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He hadn’t said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?
John 1:1 says that “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh.” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The Apostle Paul describes Him as, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The Apostle Peter says the same, “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus’ full identity as well, “But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.” Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
So, as C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain the words of Jesus away, modern “scholars” claim the “true historical Jesus” did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God’s Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a “scholar” two-thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself (John 14:26)?
Why is the question over Jesus’ true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! Jesus’ deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus’ deity is why He proclaimed, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
WHAT DOES THE AUTHOR OF THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE SAY ABOUT IT??
C.S. Lewis was a professor of Medieval literature at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities before he died in 1963. God’s sense of humor is revealed in the fact that He anointed this great intellectual to become the most popular Christian communicator of this century. His book, Mere Christianity, has been the number one best selling Christian book since it was published at the end of World War II.Lewis is known as the foremost defender of the Christian faith in this century. His books, The Problem of Pain and Miracles, established his reputation as a great Christian apologist. I highly recommend all these books to you, including his books, The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce.
What most people do not know about Lewis is that he was an atheist in his early years and did not come to have a faith in Jesus until he was 32 years old. Here are excerpts from a letter he wrote when he was 18 years old. As you read the following excerpt from that letter, consider how many 18 year olds you know who could write such profound thoughts:
You ask me my religious views: you know, I think I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity is not even the best. All religions, that is, all mythologies, to give them their proper name, are merely man’s own invention . . .
Thus religion, that is to say mythology, grew up. Often, too, great men were regarded as gods after their death — such as Hercules or Odin: thus after the death of a Hebrew philosopher Yeshua (whose name we have corrupted into Jesus), he became regarded as a god, a cult sprang up, which was afterwards connected with the ancient Hebrew Yahweh-worship, and so Christianity came into being — one mythology among many." [From The Letters of C.S. Lewis by W.H. Lewis]
In his book, Surprised by Joy, Lewis tells how he became a Christian, mainly through the reading of both secular and Christian books. The first step came in 1929 when he was 31 years old.
He had been reading some Christian books over and over again (books by Donne, Browne, Spenser, Milton, Johnson and Chesterton) when he decided to go to town on the bus (Lewis never learned how to drive!). He got on the bus an atheist. As he rode along, "he reconsidered Hegel’s philosophy of the absolute and festooned it with Berkley’s notion of the spirit. What resulted was a philosophical construct he called God." When his stop came, he got off the bus believing that God did indeed exist.
The first thing that happened to him was a consciousness of sin. He looked inside himself and was appalled by what he saw: "A Zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds." He wanted to pray. But to whom? He did not yet know the God he believed existed. Nonetheless, "I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England."
A year later at age 32 Lewis spent an evening discussing mythology and Christianity with some intellectual friends who were Christians, one of whom was the writer, J.R.R. Tolkien. They challenged him as he had never been challenged before to think critically about Jesus. After the meeting broke up, Lewis could not go to sleep. He continue to wrestle with the concept of Jesus as God in the flesh. By 3:00am he had decided to accept Jesus as his Savior. Twelve days later he wrote these words to Tolkien: "I have passed on from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ — in Christianity."
As Lewis reasoned about Jesus and His claim to deity, he kept asking himself, is He God or was He simply what most people say, that is, "a great moral teacher"? He suddenly came to a conclusion that has convicted millions since that time:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must take your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else he was a madman or something worse." [Mere Christianity]
Jesus Christ - Fact or Fiction?
Anyone who wants to take Christianity seriously might as well begin with the most elementary of questions: did Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian church, actually exist? After all, if he did exist and the claims about him are true then Christianity is worth a closer look. If, however, it is all a myth as some have claimed, then it is all a hoax and a deception. Christians and non-Christians, we owe it to ourselves to find out. Below we will look at the witness of history to establish the historicity of Jesus.
The New Testament contains considerable information about Jesus: (a) he was born in Bethlehem; (b) he was conceived of a virgin; (c) he worked as a carpenter until he was thirty; (d) he ministered for three and a half years performing numerous miracles, healing the sick and even raising the dead; (e) he was crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate; (f) he was raised from the dead. Are any of these corroborated by non-Christian writers? Let’s have a look. We will examine three lines of evidence: (1) evidence from ancient historians (mostly pagan); (2) evidence from ancient Jewish rabbis; (3) the witness of the New Testament.
1. Evidence from Ancient Historians about Jesus
Tacitus was a Roman historian born around AD 52. In the book Annals xv.44 he writes the following concerning the emperor Nero and the great fire in Rome:
“To suppress the rumor [that he himself had started the fire], he [Nero] falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus [a variant of the Greek Christos from where we get the word Christ], the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also.”
It is evident that Tacitus was not at all friendly to Christians or to Christianity. Nonetheless, his account concurs with the New Testament on several important points: (a) Jesus Christ was an actual historical person; (b) he was crucified by Pontius Pilate; (c) the early Christians faced persecution but remained steadfast in their faith.
Lucian was a Greek satirist who lived in the second century AD. Of Jesus the founder of Christianity he wrote in his book The Passing Peregruis:
“…the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world…”
Josephus was a Jewish historian who wrote in Greek at the end of the first century AD. In his work Antiquities xviii.33 we read:
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.”
In an Arabic manuscript of Antiquities the above passage appears in a slightly different format:
“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”
Whichever of the above two versions is considered the more authentic, it is evident that here we have strong non-Christian evidence to the historical existence of Jesus and his death when Pilate was procurator. Josephus has another interesting passage in Antiquities xx.9.1, relating to James a brother of Jesus:
“…he [the High Priest in Jerusalem] assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.”
Seutonius was a Roman historian who lived in the second century AD. In his work Life of Claudius 25.4 he wrote:
“As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [another spelling of Christos, the Greek root from where the word Christ derives], he expelled them from Rome.”
In the British museum there is a manuscript, part of a letter written some time after AD 73 by Mara Bar-Serapion, a Gentile Syrian, to his son.
“What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise me: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; He lived on in the teaching which He had given.”
Thalles the Samaritan
Thalles was a Samaritan historian who wrote in AD 52 and mentioned Jesus. His writings have been lost, but a portion of what he wrote survives in a quotation in the writings of Julius Africanus. With regards to the darkness that enveloped Jerusalem on the day of the crucifixion Julius comments:
“Thalles, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun – unreasonably, as it seems to me” (unreasonably since an eclipse cannot occur during full moon).
2. Evidence from Jewish Rabbinic Writings
There are several Jewish writings that acknowledge the existence of Jesus. The most important are the Talmud and the Toledot Yeshu. The Babylonian Talmud is a collection of sayings of Jewish rabbis. It was completed in the fifth century AD but contains traditions and sayings going all the way back to the time of Jesus and even before. In rabbinic sayings Jesus is at times referred to as Ben Pantera or Ben Stada. “Ben” is Hebrew for “son”. “Pantera” is probably a corruption of the Greek “parthenos” which means “virgin”. Ben Pantera therefore is a corruption of “son of a virgin” and an indirect testimony to the mystery of the birth of Jesus. The derivation of Ben Stada is harder to pinpoint but perhaps is also related to the mystery surrounding his birth. Here is a sample of some of the more relevant passages from the Talmud:
“On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu [Jesus]” (Sanhedrin 43a).
Here Jesus is called “Yeshu” which is the Hebrew version of the name.
“The Rabbis have taught: Always let the left hand repel and the right hand invite, not like Elisha who repulsed Gehazi with both hands, and not like Rabbi Joshua ben Perachyah, who repulsed Yeshu the Nazarene with both hands. . .” (Sanhedrin 107b).
Here Jesus is called “the Nazarene” testimony that he was from Nazareth, like he gospels indicate.
“Jesus practiced sorcery and had corrupted and misled Israel” (Sanhedrin 107b).
“There is a tradition: Rabbi Eleazor said to the sages, has not the son of Stada brought magic spells from Egypt in an incision on his skin?” (Shabbath 104b)
A word of comment is appropriate here. According to the record of the gospels, the rabbis accused Jesus of performing the miracles he performed through sorcery: “But the Pharisees said, by the prince of the devils he casts out devils” (Matthew 9:24). There was a Jewish tradition that Egypt was the land where sorcery was most developed: “Ten measures of sorcery came down into the world. Egypt received nine measures, and all the rest of the world one” (Kiddushin 49b). The above quotations therefore support the gospel record both in that Jesus was accused of using sorcery and in that he came from Egypt.
“Rabbi Abbahu has said, if a man says to you, ‘I am God’, he lies. If he says, ‘I am the Son of Man’, he shall rue it. If he says, ‘I ascend to heaven,’ then this should apply to him, ‘he has said it and will not be able to do it’” (Taanith 65b)
The reference to Jesus here is too obvious to need any elaboration.
“You shall have no son or disciple who burns his food publicly, like Jesus the Nazarene” (Sanhedrin 103a).
Here is another reference to Jesus. The phrase “burns his food publicly” is probably a reference to apostasy. In the view of the rabbis, the teaching of Jesus was an apostasy from their faith.
In the Talmud we even find a reference to the resurrection of Jesus: “Resh Lakish has said, woe to him who recalls himself to life by the Name of God” (Sanhedrin 106a).
Perhaps the clearest Jewish text regarding Jesus is the Toledot Yeshu, which outlines some of the events in the life of Jesus. It acknowledges the miracles Jesus did but rejects that he was the messiah. It was written around the 6th century AD. Here are some of the more interesting statements.
“Miriam gave birth to a son and named him Yehoshua, after her brother. This name later deteriorated to Yeshu. On the eighth day he was circumcised. When he was old enough the lad was taken by Miriam to the house of study to be instructed in the Jewish tradition”
“Yeshu proclaimed, ‘I am the Messiah; and concerning me Isaiah prophesied and said, 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ He quoted other messianic texts, insisting, ‘David my ancestor prophesied concerning me: 'The Lord said to me, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.’”
“He started out toward Jerusalem and, arriving at Knob, acquired a colt on which he rode into Jerusalem, as a fulfilment of the prophecy of Zechariah.”
“Then the Sages selected a man named Judah Iskarioto and brought him to the Sanctuary.”
“Yeshu was taken prisoner to the synagogue of Tiberias, and they bound him to a pillar. To allay his thirst they gave him vinegar to drink. On his head they set a crown of thorns.”
“Yeshu was put to death on the sixth hour on the eve of the Passover and of the Sabbath.”
“On the first day of the week his bold followers came to Queen Helene with the report that he who was slain was truly the Messiah and that he was not in his grave; he had ascended to heaven as he prophesied. Diligent search was made and he was not found in the grave where he had been buried. A gardener had taken him from the grave and had brought him into his garden and buried him in the sand over which the waters flowed into the garden.”
“The disciples went out among the nations--three went to the mountains of Ararat, three to Armenia, three to Rome and three to the kingdoms buy the sea. They deluded the people, but ultimately they were slain.”
The parallel of the above to the gospel narratives is so close that further comment is unnecessary.
3. The New Testament
Last but not least is the witness of the New Testament. It is the most important for a number of reasons.
First, it was written within a very short time after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The gospel of John, the Revelation and the three epistles of John were the last to be written and they date from around AD 90-95. By contrast, the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, the thirteen epistles of Paul, and the epistles of Peter, James and Jude were all written before AD 70, i.e. within forty years of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Second, those who wrote the New Testament were closely connected with the events they describe. Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus and therefore eyewitnesses. Mark wrote his gospel based on the memoirs of Peter who was also a disciple. Luke was not an eyewitness, but as an established scholar research well the accounts of others before he wrote down the gospel that bears his name. With regards to the Acts of the Apostles, Luke was a companion of Paul in some of his travels so what he accounts is first hand experiences. Paul had not known Jesus before the crucifixion, but was very well acquainted with the apostles in Jerusalem with whom he spent time learning about Jesus. Finally, James and Jude were brothers of Jesus who had known him from childhood and therefore themselves eyewitnesses.
Third, the historical details that appear in the different writings of the New Testament are accurate and in full agreement with what we know about those times from other writings outside the New Testament. There are literally hundreds of examples that could be mentioned – the cities of Palestine, Asia Minor and Greece fit perfectly with how we know them from outside sources; the names of important figures like Pilate, the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, the family of Herod, Felix and Berenice, Quirinius and Festus and so on, these are all historical persons we also meet outside the New Testament. It is only natural to conclude that the New Testament accounts that are so accurate in their description of the geography of the area or in the mention of historical figures we know from elsewhere are also accurate in what they say about Jesus.
Finally, we know that the New Testament writings have not been “doctored” by subsequent editors but have been handed down through the ages exactly as they were written. Today there are nearly 15,000 extant manuscripts, partial or complete, of different parts of the New Testament, dating from as early as AD 120, i.e. within twenty-five years of the composition of the gospel of John and the Revelation. By comparing the different manuscripts scholars have been able to confirm the high accuracy with which the New Testament text was transmitted from generation to generation. When we open our Bibles to read, we can therefore be confident that whatever we read of Jesus is what the ancient authors wrote.
We have seen that both pagan and Jewish writers had no doubts about the existence of Jesus – they mention him repeatedly in their writings. Naturally, both pagans and Jews viewed Jesus and his claims with some suspicion or even hostility since Christianity threatened their system of beliefs and as such referred to him at times in derogatory terms. Yet they never questioned his existence but rather corroborate not only that he existed, but also the main events of his life and death, as we know them from the gospels.
We have also looked briefly at the witness of the New Testament and have concluded that everything it narrates is placed within a valid historical context and as such we have no reason to question the historicity of the statement it makes concerning the life and death of Jesus.
It is precisely because the nature of the evidence is so overwhelming that Jesus is indeed a historical person that no serious historian or ancient scholar will dispute it.
I know some people will say, "I don't like the idea of only one religion being true". This is nonsense. Nobody really believes every religion is true. Even Universalists believe only in Universalism. Nobody can believe every religion is true. For instance, how do you reconcile Judaism, with its belief in one God, with Hinduism, with its hundreds of dieties? How do you reconcile the Buddhist concept of thousands of reincarnations until nirvana with Christianity's belief of one life on earth? How do you reconcile Wicca's refusal to acknowledge the existence of Hell, with the Zoroatrian belief in a Hell? How do you reconcile Christ's teaching that He was "the way, the truth and the light" with Taoism's belief that Lao Tze's teachings are the way (the Tao)? Or how do you reconcile Islam's belief that only Islam is the way with these two?
Questions: "Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?"
Answer: Jesus is never recorded in the Bible as saying the exact words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “We are not stoning you for any of these, replied the Jews, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus’ statement to be a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!" Again, in response, the Jews take up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Why would the Jews want to stone Jesus if He hadn’t said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?
John 1:1 says that “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh.” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, "...Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood." Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28 declares that God purchased the church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!
Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior - Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, "But about the Son He says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom."
In Revelation, an angel instructed the Apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9,17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation had. There are many other verses and passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.
The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected - proving His victory over sin and death.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE BOOK "136 BIBLE CONTRADICITIONS...EXPLAINED" AS A ZIPPED .pdf FILE RIGHT NOW BY CLICKING HERE!
You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to Read it. It's also free.
MERE CHRISTIANITY BY C.S.LEWIS You're probably familiar with C.S. Lewis. He's best remembered for the Chronicles of Narnia, which was inspired by the Gospel of Christ. Unlike LaVey, Lewis really did have a doctorate, and was a college professor to boot! Lewis lost his faith early in life and became an atheist, and later rediscovered Christianity through his friend J.R.Tolkien (of Lord of The Rings fame). Mere Christianity is perhaps is best non-fiction work. In it he presents a thinking person's Christianity, showing you don't have to ditch your brain to be a Christian!
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY OF THE NEW ENGLISH BIBLE (NET BIBLE)! The NET Bible is in modern English, making it easier to read and understand. It also shows you see for yourself the Greek and Hebrew words that were used in the translation, so there's no more speculation to what a word might or might not mean. IT'S FREE!
What will you be giving up to be a Christian?
"I've been forced to give up coffee - the acid was responsible for a minor ulcer and I can no longer take any chances with my health. This was my solitary vice - now it is gone. I do not drink, do not smoke, do not use recreational drugs and have nothing remotely resembling a sex life!"
--LORD EGAN of The First Church of Satan
While occultists make out they're swingers, the truth is they're not. No occultist lives a Hugh Hefner like existence. If you read the Famous Occultists section of this website, you'll see what I mean.
The idea of having sex with anyone, anywhere, anytime you want...let's face it, it doesn't actually happen. Getting anyone to fall in love with you with magic...it doesn't happen. The idea of money spells actually working and getting the sorcerer millions of dollars...it just doesn't happen. Revenge on all your enemies through magic? Yeah, right. If that were true I'd be a toad by now.
The truth is, most Christians have more of "a life" than occultists do. Look around at some of them.
What would most occultists give up to be Christians? Nothing, since they don't really have anything to begin with.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE REAL KING JESUS?
It's easy to become a Christian...and the only thing you'll be giving up is a lot of sillly superstition. My life is so much happier and better and more fulfilling since I chucked the occult and accepted Jesus! No more smelly oils and talismans. I have what Christians call "the peace of God that passes all understanding". When Pagans threw Christians to the lions during the Lion Times, they went to their deaths singing hymns. Some Pagans watching the brutality would see this and wonder what it was the Christians had that they didn't.
You don't have to be afraid of hexes or curses. They will simply have no power over you. No jinxes, no "ojo malo".
I gave up nothing to become a Christian (other than worthless occult books and related items). Look at your own life...do you really have magic powers? Do you really possess some "arcane knowledge". Do you really cast spells that work...no. I realized all occultism is worthless, I hope you realize it too.
If it is your sincere desire to ask Jesus to come into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, then talk to God from your heart:
Here's a Suggested Prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to purchase a place in Heaven for me. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."
Yes, it's simple. No planetary hours. No worry about what herb to use with what candle. God is powerful, and He can make it as simple as He wants.
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MERECHRISTIANITY BY C.S.LEWIS You're probably familiar with C.S. Lewis.He's best remembered for the Chronicles of Narnia, which was inspiredby the Gospel of Christ. Unlike LaVey, Lewis really did have adoctorate, and was a college professor to boot! Lewis lost his faithearly in life and became an atheist, and later rediscoveredChristianity through his friend J.R.Tolkien (of Lord of The Ringsfame). Mere Christianity is perhaps is best non-fiction work. In it hepresents a thinking person's Christianity, showing you don't have toditch your brain to be a Christian!
YOUCAN DOWNLOAD THE BOOK "136 BIBLE CONTRADICITIONS...EXPLAINED" AS A .pdfFILE RIGHT NOW BY CLICKING HERE!
a "mass of contradictions" as some critics claim? Or are these claims
simply unfounded? These booklet refutes 136 purported "contradictions"
of the Holy Bible. It's your absolutley FREE! Download it now.
THEPROBLEM OF PAIN by C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewiswas more than the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, he was also acollege professor, and Theologian. One of the things Lewis had toconfront before he left atheism for Christianity was the problem ofpain. The classic �problem of evil� is usually stated: "If God weregood, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if Godwere almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creaturesare not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both." Lewis answers by showingthat thosewho say this do not know what "almighty", "good", or "perfectly happy" really mean. This book is typical of Lewis, well written, wellthough-out, and relatively easy to follow. Downloadyour freecopy now.
BLINDSIDED: A JEWISH AGNOSTIC FINDS THE MESSIAH. Read Stephen Katz's sincere story of how he lost faith in the Judaism of his youth and became an agnostic. College is a place where some people lose their faith, but irnonically, it's where Stephen Katz found it! Read how he came to the conclusion Jesus is the Messiah of the Jews!
As a little girl, Susan experienced the loss of her father. After the funeral Susan asked the Rabbi a straightforward question. "Rabbi, is my daddy in heaven?" He paused, not expecting the question...but his smile seemed reassuring. "Susan, your father's memory will live on in the life you lead. You can be his legacy." It was a nice thought, but it didn't satisfy me. "Rabbi", I went on, "...you didn't answer my question. Is my daddy in heaven now?" He was a little more serious at this point and looked straight into my eyes and said, "I wish I could give you a definite answer, Susan, but I can't. We don't know for sure what is beyond the grave. We can only hope. And remember, your father was a good man." The rabbi's second attempt to answer the question troubled me even more." " Loss to Life is the story of Susan Perlman, a Jewish believer in Jesus from Brooklyn, New York, and how she discovered the Messiah.
The Richard Harvey story twists through the halls of England¡¯s finest academic institutions, turns with the author as he pursues nearly every religion under the sun and dramatically takes off as he discovers the great transforming truth! There is only one problem: That truth and his Jewish roots seem to stand in conflict with one another. But I¡¯m Jewish! is the unlikely adventure of one of England¡¯s newest and most fascinating mission leaders. As Richard Harvey¡¯s story unfolds you will see how he and his wife, Monica, became Jews for Jesus and why today he is resolute in telling his Jewish people that they too can be both Jewish and Christian!
ARE THE CELTS SOME OF THE 10
LOSTTRIBES OF ISRAEL?
Downloadthis free ebook and decide if the Devil is the Prince ofEvil. It will answer many of your questions, such as if Godcreated aDevil, and if the Devil is real, not merely a fable or ametaphor.
AuthorC.S.Lewis (of the Chronicles of Narnia fame) once wrote that whilehe was anatheist he was mad at God because he didn't exist.Many people don'tunderstand how God can "allow" suffering. This bookin .pdf format willhelp answer your questions.
Alongwith genocide ofwomen,Hinduism has also encouraged child molestation of young girls,murderof women by men without punishment...and even worse. Iwon'tdescribe here how Hindu men sometimes dispose of the bodies ofthewives they murder. YOU CAN READTHE BOOK GENOCIDE OF WOMEN INHINDUISM By Sita Agarwal (who is afeminist and atheist) HERE AVAILABLEAS A FREE DOWNLOAD.
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