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JESUS CHRIST; FACT OR FICTION
by Daniel Dela Dunoo
5/28/2015 / Christian Apologetics
Quite recently, two Ghanaian music artistes, namely Mzbel and Black Rasta on separate platforms emphatically stated that Jesus Christ is a fictional character and not a historical figure as taught by the Church (and as contained in the New Testament of the Bible). They insist that the stories surrounding Jesus Christ as contained in the Bible were made up and claim they arrived at such conclusions through research. Their assertions were given much publicity in the Ghanaian news media and raised many eyebrows; the faith of some was ruffled and there were a variety of reactions.
Well, first and foremost, Mzbel and Black Rasta are not alone in their beliefs. They enjoy the company of millions the world over and are obviously entitled to their views. However, their views do not necessarily represent the facts.
The similarities logic
Black Rasta and Mzbel point to the stories surrounding some supposedly historical figure (s) that predated the birth of Christ whose stories have significant similarities with the Jesus of the New Testament. What is their conclusion? The Jesus of the New Testament was made up from the stories that prevailed about some supposed historical figures that predated the Christ. Without delving into the historicity or otherwise of the figures they allude to, I wish to state that to arrive at a definitive conclusion on such a premise is hollow and untenable. Why so? This classical illustration comes handy: Whoever is privy to the historical events surrounding Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, both assassinated during their terms in office as presidents of the United States of America will see obvious similarities. Those similarities are so obvious that many have documented it. Do the marked similarities between the events surrounding the life of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy suggest that they were fictional characters? To answer in the affirmative is to do gross injustice to documented historical facts. Several documented historical facts exist about Jesus in non-Biblical and non-Christian sources.
The historical facts
F. F. Bruce, Ryland professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, once stated, "Some writers may toy with a 'Christ-myth', but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the history of Julius Ceasar. It is not historians who propagate the 'Christ myth' theories." Otto Betz also states, "No serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus." These are striking and instructive comments from these notable scholars.
It is important to note that persons such as Mzbel who claim Christ is a mythical figure, by implication posit that the Bible is a book of fiction. It is worth-noting at this point that the historicity of Jesus is not only a Biblical fact but finds some expression in a massive body of non-biblical sources.
Cornelius Tacitus (born A. D. 52-54), a Roman historian in A. D. 112, Governor of Asia in his writings alludes to the death of Christ. Lucian of Samosta, a satirist of the second century, spoke scornfully of Christ, making reference to his crucifixion, death, teachings and his followers. Flavius Josephus (born A. D. 37) a Jewish historian, Suetonius (A. D. 120) a Roman historian, Plinus Secundus, governor of Bythynia in Asia Minor (A. D. 112) and many other pagan writers of the first and second centuries make mention of Jesus, his crucifixion and a few other aspects of his life.
Indeed one will note that none of these historians and writers were Christians. Some were actually antagonistic towards Christianity and so no conspiracy can be logically alluded to. Also worth-noting is the Jewish Talmud which obviously was not written by Christians. The Jewish Talmud makes mention of Christ. The Quran also makes mention of Jesus Christ on numerous occasions, including his virgin birth and some of the miracles he performed (Variations exists though).
Concerning the testimony of many independent secular accounts of Jesus of Nazareth, Encyclopaedia Britannica records: "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed the first time and on inadequate grounds by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries." This observation is quite conclusive.
Salmon P. Chase, a renowned lawyer and judge has this to say: "There came a time in my life when I doubted the divinity of the Scriptures and I resolved as a lawyer and judge I would try the book as I would try anything in the courtroom, taking evidence for and against. It was a long, serious and profound study and using the same principles of evidence in this religious matter as I always do in secular matters I have come to the decision that the Bible is a supernatural book, that it has come from God, and that the only safety for the human race is to follow its teachings." Will you dare do same?
For lovers of truth, I throw you a challenge if you doubt the historicity of Christ. I encourage you to conduct an independent and unbiased research on the subject. Read wide on opposing views and draw your conclusions thereafter. For some who dared to embark on this voyage with a sense of objectivity, many have become converts to Christianity, some of whom includes Professor C. S. Lewis, the award winning legal journalist Lee Strobell, Josh McDowell and many others. You may be next; you can never tell. Over to you!
Written By Daniel Dela Dunoo
(Freelance writer and Theologian)
I am a freelance writer/editor, blogger & a published author. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from the University of Wales, UK.
Email: [email protected]. Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com / http:theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com
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