Historicity of Christ

Herod and Pilate

Those most likely to have benefited from the denial of Christ’s existence were the Jewish leaders in His day. But their denial of Him was not that He existed but in His claim that He was the only begotten Son of God and Messiah—the Savior of the world. Their official position on Jesus Christ was and is that He was a bastard and a sorcerer. The Biblical record that the Virgin Mary carried the child of the Holy Ghost and that the child in her womb had no earthly father had to be rejected by the Jewish leaders.
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Herod and Pilate

Article#: 847

Why such vociferous denial? Why such angst and bitterness against the Word of God found in the majority-text and against His Christ? Jesus spoke to His brothers, who in the early part of His ministry doubted Him. John 7:7 reads:

The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

The Lord speaks again in John 3:19:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The Word of God is light and absolute truth. It shows zero tolerance for the doctrines of men and their opinions. If you conform to the Words of God, you inherit eternal life, and if not, eternal damnation. If man accepts the fully provable Bible as truth yet refuses to adhere, he finds himself in an enormous glut of guilt and the fear of impending doom. What to do? Deny, deny, deny! Carnal man must convince himself it is not true. He will superficially challenge each tenet and surround himself with those of like spirit. The Word of God declares in II Timothy 2:13:

If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

The wise will believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ while they still have time. If you haven’t yet made your decision for Jesus Christ, click onto "Further With Jesus" on this website for easy how-to information. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:2 and 17-26:

2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

GOD SAID, Acts 12:21-23:

21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

MAN SAID: The accounts recorded in the Bible have no bearing in history or archaeology or any other scholarly text. It is simply not a credible book.

Now THE RECORD: Those most likely to have benefited from the denial of Christ’s existence were the Jewish leaders in His day. But their denial of Him was not that He existed but in His claim that He was the only begotten Son of God and Messiah—the Savior of the world. Their official position on Jesus Christ was and is that He was a bastard and a sorcerer. The Biblical record that the Virgin Mary carried the child of the Holy Ghost and that the child in her womb had no earthly father had to be rejected by the Jewish leaders. Otherwise, Isaiah 7:14 ("Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.") would have been fulfilled. And more than that, they had caused the crucifixion of their Messiah. Their position was and is that He was a fatherless child. The Jewish leaders in the days of Christ had to discredit the many mighty miracles performed by Jesus Christ as sorceries. If they were in fact real, it was the endorsement of God upon His Christ. Consequently, the Jews would have been guilty of His crucifixion. The Jewish leaders in the days of Christ did not deny His existence.

History fully supports the record of the Word of God. Acts 12:21-23: "And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."

The following excerpt is from the Biblical Archaeology Review:

In 44 C.E., the Jewish king Agrippa, king of Judea, stood in the theater of Caesarea, clothed in a garment woven of silver threads that glittered in the first rays of sunlight. To those who looked upon him, he seemed awesome and terrible. The spectators were the leading men of the kingdom. Everyone in positions of authority had gathered in Caesarea to celebrate athletic contests founded by Agrippa’s grandfather, Herod the Great, who had built the city two generations earlier. The king’s flatterers chanted with one voice, "Be merciful to us," adding, "for if before we feared you as a man, now and henceforth we confess that you are more than human." Agrippa did not reject this adulation, which dangerously approached idolatry, nor did he admonish his flatterers for their explicit impiety. Hence God punished him with a sharp pain in his belly, from which he died in agony five days later. That, at any rate, is the account of the contemporary Jewish historian Josephus, who may have witnessed the event in the Caesarea theater and later recounted the story in his Jewish Antiquities. [End of quote]

While the vain king spoke, the worms were eating his body. The Bible is a reliable history book.

Those in the denial business have rejected the reality of Pontius Pilate who tried Jesus Christ, but now they’re whistling a different tune. Author and archaeologist Yosef Porath, in a feature article in Biblical Archaeology Review, recounts the following:

Between 1994 and 2000, I led several rescue excavations in the vicinity of the theater on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. It was the Italian team, however, who found the famous Pontius Pilate inscription. When the Roman emperor Augustus deposed Herod’s son Archelaus in 6 C.E., Judea was reorganized as a sub-province of the province of Syria and was ruled by a governor called a prefect. Pilate held the office of Prefect of Judea from 26 to 36 C.E. and his official residence was in Caesarea. When the theater was remodeled in the third century C.E., the builders reused a stone plaque with an inscription on it in a small staircase in the new theater. It measures 32 inches by 27 inches. Unfortunately, the beginning of all four lines has been defaced, but enough is there to restore everything but the first word:"... the Tiberium, which Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of Judea, gave [and] dedicated." This inscription is the only archaeological confirmation of Pilate’s existence. The Tiberium, which is mentioned in the inscription, was a temple erected to the Emperor Tiberias. The inscription also demonstrates that Pilate’s title was Prefect, and not, as so often stated, Procurator.

Historians also include Pontius Pilate in their records. The following excerpt is from The Bible As History:

Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, which he wrote in the last part of the 1st century A.D., in referring to the early Christian community in Jerusalem, speaks of "Jesus who was called Messiah". Tacitus the Roman historian mentions Jesus specifically in his Annals, while explaining the meaning of the word "Christians": "Christ, from whom they derive their name, was condemned to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of the Emperor Tiberias." [End of quote]

Tradition records that Pilate, like Judas, committed suicide, and that his wife, Procula, became a Christian.

It is not the historians or archaeologists who deny Jesus Christ.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:2 and 17-26:

2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

GOD SAID, Acts 12:21-23:

21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.

22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

MAN SAID: The accounts recorded in the Bible have no bearing in history or archaeology or any other scholarly text. It is simply not a credible book.


Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

King James Bible

Holum, K.G., "Building Power," Biblical Archaeology Review, Sept.-Oct. ’04

Keller, W., The Bible As History, Bantam Books

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