Who is Jesus?
"There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more."1
So, the man the Church identifies as Jesus actually did live in first century Palestine. It seems we have more historical evidence for him than other ancient figures whose existence we don't doubt, such as Alexander the Great.2 However, beyond secular historical evidence, four notable writings of strong provenance3 transcribe first century oral eyewitness accounts of Jesus life and of his death by Roman crucifixion.4 The authors sometimes explain events or statements described.
While most people find it easy to accept that Jesus lived and died as an historical fact, many find it hard to believe the claim of these four eyewitness records that Jesus came back to life again.5 Yet sceptics cannot explain how eyewitnesses willingly accepted imprisonment, torture and death rather than NOT tell of this never-before-in-human-history event. Supreme confidence in its truth compelled them on a perilous, passionate pursuit of a once-dead-but-now-living Jesus. The event powerfully convinced them of Jesus’ identity as the long-promised ruler of Israel commissioned to transform the world.6 Their conviction drove them to spread the “good news” throughout the Roman empire with extraordinary impact.
With fellow Christians in every culture since these first century events, Liberty’s twenty-first century folk also witness to a living Jesus by following Him – together. Sceptics might see it as blind religious stupidity. However, beyond very substantial evidence – both historical evidence of Jesus’s resurrection as well as contemporary evidence of his rule in their lives and others’ – each testifies to a compelling witness within their spirit of the reality of the entire biblical account of Jesus;7 so enthralling as to induce a clench-fisted, elbow flexing, shoulder extending, “YES!”. Each is captivated to follow the resurrected Jesus who declared “all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” 8 as His title “Christ” implies.
1 Richard A. Burridge; Graham Gould (2004). Jesus Now and Then. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8028-0977-3.
2 “The detailed life of Alexander the Great,… which most historians believe can be reconstructed with a fair amount of accuracy, depends on Arrian and Plutarch's late first and early second-century biographies of a man who died in 323 B.C.”, Craig L. Bloomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, Apologetics, Available at: https://www.namb.net/apologetics/the-historical-reliability-of-the-gospels-1>. [08 Feb 18]
3 Gary R. Habermas, Recent Perspectives on the Reliability of the Gospels, Article ID: JAR011,
CRI, Available at: http://www.equip.org/article/recent-perspectives-on-the-reliability-of-the-gospels/>. [08 Feb. 18]
4 The first four “books” of the second part of the Christian Bible, the New Testament, viz., the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
5 Raphael Lataster, Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’, the Conversation, December 15, 2014, Available at:https://theconversation.com/weighing-up-the-evidence-for-the-historical-jesus-35319 [26 Jan 18]
6 Acts 2:14-36, New Testament, the Bible
7 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, New Testament, the Bible
8 Matthew 28:18, New Testament, the Bible
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