By Jay Rogers
Published September 2008
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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- The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)
- Myth #1: The "historical Jesus" is different from the Jesus of the Bible
- Myth #2: The New Testament was written 100 years after Jesus
- Myth #3: There was no virgin birth and Jesus was not born in Bethlehem
- Myth #4: Jesus did not claim to be God
- Myth #5: The Gospels contradict one another and contain fiction
- Myth #6: The Miracles of the New Testament were invented
- Myth #7: Jesus never really rose from the dead
- The Real Jesus - Part One
- The Real Jesus - Part Two
- The Real Jesus - Part Three
- A New Comprehensive Approach to the Gospels
- Countering Bible Contradictions
On June 26, 2000, ABC television aired The Search for Jesus, a two hour-long special hosted by Peter Jennings. The program took viewers to Israel and interviewed locals, Christian pastors, clergymen and laymen, but Jennings focused mainly on seven experts in the field of researching the historical Jesus.
Four out of seven experts interviewed by Jennings hailed from the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who make it their life cause to disprove the divinity of Jesus. The other three “experts” interviewed in the program were also skeptics.
There were a few voices of genuine faith in the Jesus of the Bible. But most of the so-called experts were liberal theologians, that is, those who do not believe the Bible to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God. Absent from the program were the great number of well-known and credible historians who have a deep, committed faith in the inerrancy of scripture and the deity of Jesus Christ.
Liberal Theology: The so-called “Higher Criticism”
The Search for Jesus relied almost solely on a school of thought called liberal theology or the Historical Critical Method. At the end of the 19th century, a school of liberal theologians arose in Germany. They were called the higher critics. Their proclaimed goal was to isolate the “historical Jesus” from the “God-man” who has been worshipped and adored by the Church for two millennia.
The divinity of Jesus Christ was presumed to be a myth. His many miraculous works were deemed to be legend. The circumstances of His life, His teachings and works were brought into doubt. The effect of these apostates has grown to the current day as they have stripped layer upon layer from the Jesus of the Bible, until they now have a common man.
The claims of the higher critics are nothing new. In the first and second centuries, early Christians had to deal with ridicule and abuse from Jewish rabbis and intellectual skepticism from Greek scholars and philosophers.
Throughout the early centuries, bold apologists for the Christian faith, such as Irenaeus, Tertullian and Justin Martyr, wrote volumes of practical wisdom defending the Gospel from the attacks of pagan critics. Succeeding centuries gave the Church many other brilliant experts in apologetics. But once Christianity had taken hold of the western world, a new breed of skeptics arose out of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.
“Voltaire, the noted French infidel who died in 1778, said that in one hundred years from his time, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history. But what has happened? Voltaire has passed into history, while the circulation of the Bible continues to increase in almost all parts of the world, carrying blessing wherever it goes” (Sidney Collett, All About the Bible).
“Only 50 years after Voltaire’s death, the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to produce stacks of Bibles” (Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible) a great irony of history!
The early American patriot, Thomas Paine, published Age of Reason, a popular book ridiculing Christianity. Although Paine was a Deist and not an atheist, he popularized the theory that the books of the Bible, especially the Gospels, were full of contradictions. This view continues to be popular among scholars even to this day.
In the 1800s, rationalists such as Hermann Samuel Reimarus and David Strauss published sensational works denying the supernatural miracles of the Bible. The philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, who coined the phrase, “God is dead,” is said to have lost his faith around the time he was reading Strauss’s Life of Jesus Critically Examined.
The Jesus Seminar: Liberal Theology Repackaged
Most recently there was the Jesus Seminar, a council of liberal theologians who meet twice a year in an attempt to debunk the accuracy of the Gospels. Many of their “discoveries” are simply repeats of what the liberal theologians of the 19th century said. Strangely, these opinions are rigidly held even though 20th century archaeology and textual criticism has refuted many of their claims.
The Jesus Seminar’s attempt to debunk the Gospels as invented history is not based on a thorough examination of the Bible’s manuscripts. Unbiased examinations reveal ample evidence that the Gospel accounts are, in fact, historically accurate. But these “experts” are undaunted by facts. Even today, the skeptics continue to spread the error of a “historical Jesus.”
Archaeological Evidence for the Validity of the Bible
Liberal scholars up until the time of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 assigned a later date to many books of the Old Testament. They rejected the early date of books that accurately predicted the coming of the Messiah, because so many of the prophecies were fulfilled to the letter.
Since liberals rejected the supernatural in scripture, they presumed there must have been a later date to the writings that accurately described the life of Jesus.
For instance, the second half of Isaiah was deemed to contain forgeries by second century Christians because it contains so many prophecies accurately fulfilled by Jesus’ life and mission.
Then one of the main pillars of liberal theology fell in 1947 with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls including a complete Isaiah scroll.
In his prime time special, Peter Jennings does note that Qumran exists.
[Caves of Qumran]
With the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, we now have an Old Testament in complete form that existed at least 150 years before Christ. All of the books of the Hebrew Bible except Esther are represented in the Dead Sea Scroll collection. Jennings fails to mention this in his documentary.
Jennings fails to mention that the Dead Sea scrolls give us evidence that the Hebrew Bible has been virtually unchanged over thousands of years, including the famous Isaiah scroll that contains many remarkable prophecies about Jesus the Messiah.
[Photo of the Isaiah scroll on display]
For many years, the Higher Critics held that the Bible both the Old Testament and the New Testament had been altered and changed over the years. Therefore, the critics tried to eliminate the myths and discover the historical Jesus.
“The Search for Jesus” rejects or ignores all of the archaeological evidence that supports the claims of the Bible. Throughout the special, Jennings ignores the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus. He also neglects to examine the overwhelming evidence that the New Testament has come down to us in virtually unaltered form.
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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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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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