Larry King once said that one of the people he’s like to interview would be Jesus Christ. I think that’s a good person to interview because finding who Jesus is should change a person. Personally, I believe every person who is alive needs ask themselves: was Jesus a historical figure? If so who was he? Are the claims made in the Bible about him true? How about what the Quran says about Jesus? What about the Agnostic Gospels?
Is Jesus the son of God or was he a great prophet? Did Jesus executed by crucifixion and then get resurrected three days later? Did he avoid dying on a cross by getting a disciple to take his place? Can the accounts of Jesus life in the Bible be completely trusted? How about what the Agnostic Gospels and the Quran say about the life of Jesus?
Let me get onto what I think, but before I do let me just say that my views right now are not necessarily views I will keep for my whole life. As a person, I am keen to keep on learning but as of now, I think the Jesus did exist. I think the writings of Josephus give good evidence that Jesus did live, and the agnostic Bible Scholar Bart Ehrman says that Jesus was a real person. So yes I think Jesus was a historical figure.
So if Jesus did exist what then? Was he a great man who lived and then died? Or did he die and on the third day rise again. The answer to that question really makes or breaks Christianity. If there was no resurrection then faith in Jesus is useless and the whole world should pity everyone who calls themselves a Christian. I think the way the Roman world reacted to Christians and the fact that Christians believed that Jesus was a part of a Godhead convinces me that the resurrection did take place. Nowadays we’re so accustomed to the image of the Cross and a man dying on it, yet in the ancient world to embrace it was shameful and foolish. But the fact that Christians did was quite telling.
I have to confess when it comes to the subject of the historical Jesus I don’t know enough. On my reading list are books on the subject written by scholars who are cynics and believers. At the end of the day, I need to know that the resurrection really did happen. I can’t just rely on the Bible to give the evidence of its claims as being true. It would be ridiculous for me to spend my whole believing in something that wasn’t true. I get frustrated sometimes when Christians respond to the questions of God’s and Jesus existence in simplistic and emotional ways. When such things happen I feel embarrassed to call myself a Christian and feel sorry for those who are asking the questions. I don’t believe people are born intelligent, I believe intelligence is something one gets when they have a desire to gain knowledge. So, therefore, I think Christians who are simplistic have chosen to be so.
In my next blog, I will explore further what the Bible has to say about Jesus. The parts I have issues with and parts I’m grateful for.