Historicity of Christ

Jesus Christ — History Shouts Yes!

One commentator asserted that there is more historic accounting of Jesus Christ than that of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Did the virgin-born Jesus Christ ever live? Did He preach the gospel? Did He heal the sick and raise the dead? Was He crucified, and did God raise Him from the tomb on the third day? Does history say yes? Do logic and the testimony of men say yes? The answer, of course, is absolutely YES!
Recommend To A Friend
Audio Options: MP3

Jesus Christ — History Shouts Yes!

Article#: 1277

Prepare for departure. I Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Many are unaware of this truth, and many who are aware of the Word of God concerning the great taking up of the church do not view it as a literal event. But be assured, the Bible teaches this principle of resurrection as a very real and literal event. I Corinthians 15:51-53:

51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Great trouble shall grip the earth during the time of Christ’s return for the church. Jesus calls it the great tribulation. Matthew 24:21:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

The terrible days of God’s judgment are fast approaching. Time is running out for decisions. If you are visiting GodSaidManSaid today and are not yet born again, or you have been born again but are preoccupied with the world, you must move quickly. Jesus speaks of the end days in Luke 21:34- 36:

34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

If you would like to make your peace with God — if you would like to have all your sin and shame erased — if you would like to be born again, then today is your day of salvation. Click onto "Further With Jesus" for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God. If we have ever run the race, it’s time to run it now. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Matthew 1:18-25:

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:62-64:

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

GOD SAID, Mark 3:22:

And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

GOD SAID, Galatians 3:13:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

MAN SAID: There is not one shred of evidence that Jesus Christ ever lived. 

Now THE RECORD. This is GodSaidManSaid feature article #542, and it will be archived on this site under the category of "The Historicity of Jesus Christ." Each feature, which is posted in text and streaming audio, confirms the full veracity of the Word of God. Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one. Thank you for coming. May peace be multiplied unto you (I Peter 1:2).

They are akin to holocaust deniers — those who wishfully claim that Jesus Christ never existed are kin to the holocaust deniers. One commentator asserted that there is more historic accounting of Jesus Christ than that of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Did the virgin-born Jesus Christ ever live? Did he preach the gospel? Did he heal the sick and raise the dead? Was he crucified, and did God raise him from the tomb on the third day? Does history say yes? Do logic and the testimony of men say yes? The answer, of course, is absolutely YES!

One of the most obvious proofs of Christ’s place in history is that of the Jewish people who have considerable interest in this issue. Their official position on Jesus Christ, by necessity, is that he was a bastard (fatherless child) and a sorcerer. By necessity, because if he was born of a virgin, then they would have instigated the crucifixion of their messiah, for the Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 reads:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

By necessity, because if the great miracles Christ performed were not acts of sorcery, then those miracles were the seal of God upon the ministry of His Christ, and again the Jewish leadership would have instigated the crucifixion of their messiah. The official position of the Jewish authorities in the time of Christ did not deny his existence. They denied his credentials as the messiah and his ministry. 

In a previous GodSaidManSaid feature, we reported on the record left in the Jewish Babylonian Talmud concerning Jesus Christ. In McDowell and Wilson’s book, Evidence for the Historical Jesus, they expand on that subject. A few paragraphs follow:

It has been taught: On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out, in front of him, for forty days (saying): "He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf." But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.

The Munich manuscript of this baraitha [Jewish writings] (from the AD 70-200 period) reads: "Yeshu the Nazarene." "Yeshu" translates through Greek to English as "Jesus." Says Morris Goldstein, "The exaction of the death penalty on the eve of Passover is strong verification that Jesus, the Christ of Christianity is meant."

The word hanged also referred to crucifixion. Both Luke 23:39 and Galatians 3:13 use it this way. This baraitha also agrees with John 19:14 in putting the crucifixion "on the eve of Passover."

Following the baraitha, Ulla, the late third-century Amora, comments:

Would you believe that any defence would have been so zealously sought for him? He was a deceiver, and the All-merciful says: "You shall not spare him, neither shall you conceal him." It was different with Jesus, for he was near to the kingship. [End of quote]

Keep in mind that the position of the Jewish leadership, by necessity, was that Jesus Christ was born out of wedlock, and not in fact virgin-born, or as mentioned earlier they would have crucified their messiah. Again from Evidence for the Historical Jesus, we find the following under the heading, "Healing in the Name of Yeshua ben Pantera:"

It happened with R. Elazar ben Damah, whom a serpent bit, that Jacob, a man of Kefar Soma, came to heal him in the name of Yeshua ben Pantera; but R. Ishmael did not let him. He said, "You are not permitted, Ben Damah." He answered, "I will bring you proof that he may heal me." But he had no opportunity to bring proof, for he died. (Whereupon) R. Ishmael said, "Happy art thou, Ben Damah, for you have gone in peace and you have not broken down the fence of the Sages; since everyone who breaks down the fence of the Sages, to him punishment will ultimately come, as it is in Scripture: ’Whoso breaketh through a fence, a serpent shall bite him.’"

This and other passages refer to Jesus as "ben Pantera." Scholars have debated at length how Jesus came to have this name attached to his. Strauss thought it was from the Greek word pentheros, meaning "son-in-law." Klausner and Bruce accept the position that panthera is a corruption of the Greek parthenos meaning "virgin." Klausner says, "The Jews constantly heard that the Christians (the majority of whom spoke Greek from the earliest times) called Jesus by the name ’Son of the Virgin,’...and so, in mockery, they called him Ben ha-Pantera , i.e., ‘son of the leopard.’"

The theory most sensational but least accepted by serious scholars was dramatized by the discovery of a first-century tombstone at Bingerbruck, Germany. The inscription read, "Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, an archer, native of Sidon, Phoenicia, who in 9 C.E. was transferred to service in Germany." This discovery feuled the fire of the theory that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary and the soldier, Panthera. Even Origen writes that his opponent, Celsus, in c. AD 178, said that he heard from a Jew that "Miriam" had become pregnant by "Pantheras," a Roman soldier; was divorced by her husband, and bore Jesus in secret.

If "Pantheras" were a unique name, the theory of Mary’s pregnancy by the Roman soldier might be more attractive to scholars. But Adolf Deissmann, the early twentieth-century German New Testament scholar, verified, by first-century inscriptions, "with absolute certainty that Panthera was not an invention of Jewish scoffers, but a widespread name among the ancients." Rabbi and Professor Morris Goldstein comments that it was as common as the names Wolf or Fox today. He comments further:

It is noteworthy that Origen himself is credited with the tradition that Panther was the appellation of James (Jacob), the father of Joseph, the father of Jesus.... So, too, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus, Epiphanius the Monk, and the author of Andronicus of Constantinople’s Dialogue Against the Jews, name Panther as an ancestor of Jesus.

Jesus being called by this grandfather’s name would also have agreed with a statement in the Talmud permitting this practice. Whereas Christian tradition identified Jesus by his hometown, Jewish tradition, having a greater concern for genealogical identification, seems to have preferred this method of identifying Jesus. Goldstein presents more evidence to argue the case convincingly.

This passage indicates that teaching and healing were part of the ministry of Jesus’ disciples, and therefore of Jesus’ ministry as well. Notice the evidence of controversy between rabbis as to whether healing in Jesus’ name might be permissible. The episode probably occurs in the early second century and indicates the widening separation of the Jewish authorities from Christian Jews. By AD 135, some Jewish Christians would come under harsh treatment for failing to support the rebellion of Israel’s "Messiah," bar Kokhba.

This Tosefta passage supports the previous baraitha, which said Jesus "practiced sorcery," and it agrees with the New Testament narratives describing the Jewish response to the healing activity of Jesus and his disciples. [End of quote]

Do the Jews deny the historicity of Jesus Christ? In the July 8-14, 2011 issue of The International Jerusalem Post, one of Israel’s foremost newspapers, we find the following excerpt under the heading, "Ossuary bearing inscription from Second Temple era authenticated:"

Researchers from Bar-Ilan and Tel Aviv universities published a study last week confirming the authenticity of a recently obtained ancient ossuary with unique historical implications that was plundered by antiquities robbers.

The 2,000-year-old ossuary, a stone chest used for secondary burial of bones, belonged to a daughter of the Caiaphas family of high priests.

The front of the ossuary bears an Aramaic inscription from the time of the Second Temple saying "Miriam Daughter of Yeshua Son of Caiaphas, Priests of Ma’aziah from Beth Imri."

The high priest Yehosef Bar Caiaphas is known for his involvement in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus,... [End of quote]

Matthew 26:3-4:

3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.

The Bible is the accurate truth of all subjects it addresses, and especially that of Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, the savior of the world, and the very Lord of Glory. Embrace him while there is still time. 

GOD SAID, Matthew 1:18-25:

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:62-64:

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

GOD SAID, Mark 3:22:

And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

GOD SAID, Galatians 3:13:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

MAN SAID: There is not one shred of evidence that Jesus Christ ever lived. 

Now you have THE RECORD. 




References:

Authorized King James Version

McDowell, J., and B. Wilson, Evidence for the Historical Jesus, Harvest House Publishers, 1993, pp61-64

Morris, M., "Ossuary bearing inscription from Second Temple era authenticated," The International Jerusalem Post, July 8-14, 2011

 

Visits: 5603