There is an interesting story going around the Internet this week about a man in Italy who is suing a priest over the whether Jesus was a historical figure. There will be a trial. In this post-Christian western society we are a part of, it is clear that we one day may be beyond the Jesus Seminar and those like them that deny Jesus and His deity. What we may see coming is a challenge to what used to be conventional wisdom such as the fact that Jesus was a historical person. In the London Times in the UK the following story ran: Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest. Below is what the paper gives as evidence that Jesus existed.
- The Gospels say that Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached and performed miracles in Galilee and died on the Cross in Jerusalem
- In his Antiquities of the Jews at the end of the 1st century, Josephus, the Jewish historian, refers to Jesus as “a wise man, a doer of wonderful works” who “drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles”
- Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet. Many Jewish theologians regard Jesus as an itinerant rabbi who popularised many of the beliefs of liberal Jews. Neither Muslims nor Jews believe he was the Messiah and Son of God
- Tacitus, the Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120, mentions “Christus” in his Annals. In about 120 Suetonius, author of The Lives of the Caesars, says: “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, Emperor Claudius expelled them from Rome.”
Other links on this story are found here:
Now, this news not a surprise, of course. We see this sort of thing all the time. One day, it could be that the Holocaust along with Jesus are marked out of our history books. But, that would not make them untrue. In fact, I believe truth will win out. It is just that our culture is indeed in a post-Christian era. I predict that in 2006 both our spiritual hunger and the defamation of the historical Jesus will heat up. Let’s see. What do you think about this?