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!
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.
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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.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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“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.
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What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
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