The Historical Jesus

Q. I was watching a secular Archeologist’s TV program and he said, not once, but several times, and seemed to emphasize it each time, that the only secular reference to Jesus as a real, historical person, is found in the works of Josephus. I don’t believe that is so, but I find it difficult to think that a man of his public stature and profession would make such a claim. So, please tell me the facts. Is this man ignoring other secular references to our Lord so as to make such a statement “true”? Or, are there no others of the time who wrote about Jesus?

A. In my experience non-believers often make outrageous claims about Jesus without backing them up and no one ever questions them. Some do it out of ignorance, but I’m convinced others do it with malicious intent. In the past it took a lot of effort to prove them wrong. But these days, if you search the web, you will soon discover that numerous ancient secular texts either refer directly to Jesus or to His followers. And according to Wikipedia nearly every modern scholar of antiquity holds the view that the historical existence of Jesus is beyond dispute.

But even if this archaeologist was correct, why is that important? Do you really believe that historical accounts are pure and unbiased? It’s really not in the best interests of the secular world to offer proof that someone actually exists when they’ve always denied Him. The fact that Josephus even mentioned Jesus is remarkable, especially when you consider that He was Jewish and wrote for the Romans.

The secular world doesn’t deny the existence of Jesus, but they do deny the meaning and purpose of His existence. It’s a telling commentary on the perverse nature of their wisdom that having rejected the Christ, so many will accept the anti-Christ. Jesus said, “I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me. But if another comes in his own name, you will accept him (John 5:43).

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