Within 60 to 100 years of Christ’s death, there are about half-dozen Jewish and Roman historians who corroborate the story of Jesus even though it is apparent from their accounts that they had not read the New Testament, which at that point was a collection of books and letters circulating among a few dozen churches. But their history corroborates much of the New Testament account of the life and teachings of Jesus and the history of Apostles.
That these pagans did not begin to write volumes about Jesus Christ soon after his death is a moot point.
First, few historical records from this period survived in writing. That is because durable vellum had not been invented and papyrus was a fragile medium that lasted only a few years until it deteriorated. Unless books were copied every 50 years or so, they disintegrated and were lost. The fact that so many writings about Jesus survived is an amazing phenomenon in itself and speaks of divine intention.
Second, there really were not more than a few thousand Christians in the whole world and probably less than 50 cities with churches in the entire New Testament period up until the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. Some say that all the New Testament was compiled by 70 A.D. forty years after Jesus death. Some say by 90 A.D. But most of the New Testament was written from 50 to 70 A.D. In the 20 years before that before that there was an oral tradition and a few letters that are recorded in the context of other writings later on. The Gospel tradition began immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus (c. AD 29) and continued in an unbroken oral tradition until the Gospels and Epistles were compiled from 50 to 70 AD.
Third, we know from some early Roman records and the book of Acts itself that the Christians were thought of as a Jewish sect, because most early Christians were Jewish up until the destruction of Jerusalem. It wasn’t until the early second century that Christianity began to swell to large numbers among important people and took in as members many Gentiles citizens of the Roman Empire.
The claim that there is a “lack of records” is false and would not be surprising even if it were true. The Jesus Myth relies on positivist thinking — that since we don’t have written accounts or official records by non-believing pagans then Jesus simply didn’t exist. It is more logical to say that all of the people who met Jesus and were sufficiently impressed enough to write about His life and teachings would have been His followers.
The person to read on the Internet on this topic is J.P. Holding. I first met J.P. when I started to do some research on the Jesus Myth. He has written more in refutation of the “Jesus Myth” than any writer I know. He is one of the foremost apologists on this issue. And I was surprised to find that J.P. lived less than 15 miles from my house.
When we first met, he basically confirmed my exact same thought: “These people are just stupid. They will sap you of your time. They will not listen to reason. And because of them, I have a new policy on my web site: No stupid people.”
Unkind though it may sound, it is true. Their arguments are stupid. Their research is wrong. They lack credentials. Even the most liberal scholars do not take them seriously. The Jesus Myth people are just plain dumB with a capital “B.”
The problem is that with the explosion of Blogs and now YouTube, documentaries and discussions of the Jesus Myth have proliferated. In fact, the “Jesus Mythologists” are the ones who have commented the most on my Real Jesus series on YouTube – even though the documentary does not deal at all with the heresy of the Jesus Myth – but rather the Jesus Seminar. Even the arch liberal Jesus Seminar theologians admit Jesus existed because it is so unlikely that He did not — even if one takes a modernist, positivist approach.
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)