Question for those who say 'Jesus never existed, "which is a myth'…?
Where is the 100 Christians Rome recently (about 64 AD), who were tortured and killed by Nero? Incidentally, a non-Christian Roman historian Tacitus called a source for this … Jeffries: Can you be swindled out torn apart by wild dogs or wolves … burned at the stake … crucified? The "weak-minded people had" something that obviously are: .. the conviction of their beliefs along the way reallt not answer the question as a "myth" with someone? upallnite: If Jesus was a name common. "Christ" was not. Tacitus tells us that Christians executed …. Nero Jesuit. The last sentence above should say no "Jesuit."
"" Question for those who say 'Jesus never existed, "which is a myth'…? Where is the 100 Christians in Rome recently (about 64 AD), who were tortured and killed Nero? "" First, many people have died for their faith, even if you think his faith was foolishness. The sincerity and willingness to die for what you believe does not mean that what one believes is true. Second, there are many people who have lived in Last year 3000 +, which undoubtedly exists, but whose faith is centered in the myth, unless of course you believe that Zeus and Jupiter, Hercules and Dionysus, among many others mythological gods, and those who followed him, were real?
Europe: Ben of London, United Kingdom Eiffel Tour in Paris, France Colosseum, Rome Rome, Italy Asia Spotlight: Angakor Angakor Wat, the Taj Mahal Combodia, Agra, India, Great Wall of China, China in Africa: Pryamid Giza, Giza, Egypt Statue of Liberty Americas New York City, USA Macchu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza, Australia, Mexico and the Pacific, the Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
Eiffel Tower – France Taj Mahal – India enjoy life (Enjoy life – FRENCH)! 1 1 1 1 1 1 1! BYE AND TAKE CARE (hello and goodbye – FRENCH)> 2> 2> 2> 2> 2> 2>
Werther-Massenet/Leibowitz/Rome Opera House Orchestra-The great Scenes from Werther (RCA, 1962) 1/10
It would be very unfair, especially in the face Current anti-Semitic propaganda and anti-Israel in the international community, to write about issues of civil rights Israel without presenting a factual context. The State of Israel, contrary to popular opinion, not the opponent to all human rights and citizens in the Middle East, not far away.
Israel is not way associated with the executions of child offenders in Iran, or the horrible practice of female circumcision is practiced in Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Jordan and the Emirates Arab Emirates, or the ruthless campaign of terror Iran to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The recent genocide in Sudan and the fighting between Yemen and Saudi Arabia has no absolutely nothing to do with Israel. Similarly, the war of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war between Egypt and Yemen, where the Egyptians used chemical weapons and the use of Saddam Hussein's poison gas against its Kurdish citizens have absolutely no connection with Israel. Indeed, Hussein tried to conquer Kuwait because of Israel. In fact, genocide and ethnic cleansing in recent years in Algeria, the cruel murder of thousands of El Hamma in Syria by their own government, diversion and destruction of Libya Pan Am flight a few decades ago, none of these horrible abuses of human rights have nothing to do with Israel whatsoever.
The main problem in our region, which includes 22 countries, from Afghanistan to Somalia, Morocco and Turkey, radical Islam, which actually began more than 300 million Muslims back in the Middle Ages. Throughout the region, with an area larger than the United States, and massive oil and natural resources, has a GDP lower than the nation of Italy. The differences between those with and those without, in this sad reality, are simply stunning. Status of women rights is deplorable. Millions of children are exploited, abused and brainwashed by hate activist. Minority religions such as Christianity and Judaism are tolerated, but have virtually no rights, public performance, background and freedom to share their faith. In the heart of this terribly dysfunctional region, a small fledgling democracy called Israel has somehow managed to not only survive, in fact, is booming.
The fact that there are more Israeli companies traded on the NASDAQ that all of Europe combined, more than India, China, Korea and Japan combined, and that Israel has the fastest growing economy business amid economic crisis global international is pretty impressive. But that is nothing short of a miracle that this tiny Jewish nation, located in the center of most chaotic regions the world, managed to build a strong and democratic society, which places the highest value the sanctity of life, human freedom and religious freedom.
We're not saying that Israel is a utopia. If it were, there would be no need for the defense of civil rights organizations such as the Jerusalem Institute of Justice. Anyone who has lived in this country, even for a relatively short amount of time, Israel knows that, like any other nation, has serious weaknesses and struggles.
In our opinion, the Civil Rights in Israel challenges have developed as a result of three important phenomena in society. Phenomenon is the prevalence and even deepen, a collective mentality forged by the universities of Israel as a "siege mentality." The second phenomenon has more to do with the development organic history of political realities, namely the disproportionate political power granted to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector in Israel, despite their numbers relatively small society in general. The third phenomenon, which is not a challenge to be exclusively by Israel, is underway, unconventional attempt ethics and frankly evil radical Islamic elements in the area to infiltrate, undermine and ultimately destroy the fabric of the equality of all Western democracies. We very briefly on how each of the above phenomena has been developed and coalition, and how their combination has created a situation of systematic discrimination in some cases illegal in Israel.
A siege mentality is a common factor in groups of people who have a collective history of persecution and constant existential threats. It would be superfluous to list all attempts to eradicate the Jewish nation, from the pharaohs ancient Egypt, the Roman emperors, popes, the Inquisition and the leaders of the Third Reich nation after nation, people after people leader after leader persecuted, harassed, persecuted and brutally murdered countless Jews spread over several millennia.
The fact that this historical reality left in the collective mentality of a group of people is the sense they are under constant siege. This mentality is unfortunately reinforced by the Israel's current reality. Undoubtedly, genocidal tyrants still find a platform for the international community to show their anger against anti-Semitism, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, corona current list.
The siege mentality is so strong in Israeli society, which on several occasions the flow of new or unusual within Judaism, not movements or speak foreign companies are perceived as an existential threat, a "time bomb", or try to extinguish the Jewish people. There are organizations in Israeli society developed in the introduction and expansion of the siege mentality.
Although Messianic Judaism, for example, is currently less than 0.2 percent of the Israeli population, are not called "anti-missionary organizations that raise tens of millions of dollars a year to" mission combat. "These organizations play in the constant siege mentality exaggerate the size of the Messianic Jewish movement and the presentation of its members as deviant individuals for the sole purpose of converting Jews as possible in a foreign religion: a clear and present danger to the extent in question.
The political power of ultra-religious
Disproportionate political power ultra-religious Jewish factions in Israeli politics is direct result of the structure of our coalition Government-system.
Israeli democracy is both fascinating and admirable. It never ceases to amaze students political science to see how these heterogeneous democratic system still works. After an election, usually have between ten and thirteen parties represented in Parliament. They may be right-wing parties, the Left parties, parties of Russian immigrants, Arab communist parties, the ultra-religious parties, the national-religious parties, and the parties with the sole purpose of separating religion and state.
In fact, there are Arab members of Israel's parliament who do not believe in the legitimacy of the existence of State of Israel. However, these members are allowed to express this opinion in State Parliament as to undermine. In this sense, Israel is probably the most democratic world.
After each election, a coalition government is formed by creating a political settlement of various parties representing at least 61 of 120 seats in parliament. Traditionally, the political map is divided into three political blocs, blocking a large block on the left, a large block on the right, and relatively small ultra-religious.
For the past three decades, it was impossible to block the right or the left block to take enough seats to create a coalition government on their own. In the 2009 elections, for example, the line was an impressive victory, but there was still about 7 places to reach a majority of 61 seats, hence the need to integrate ultra-religious parties in the coalition government. Without them there would any government, and for this reason they are commonly called the "swing vote", a term used to describe the relatively large amount of force.
The ultra-religious parties in general, to join government right or left, provided you can get more money for their schools and maintain control key ministries in the government, including the Ministry of Interior, a position he had most of the past 30 years.
The Ministry of Interior Israel is responsible for the administration of many basic civil rights, which affect the lives of all citizens from the moment of birth when they die, ie birth registration, the granting of citizenship, address registration and voting areas, recognition of religious conversions, the allocation funds to religious institutions, licensing of firearms and the recognition of marriages, burial rights management and registration of death.
To complicate matters further, even if Israel Declaration of Independence his code of laws and previous court upholding the right to freedom of religion, most civil rights in Israel are managed based solely on religious affiliation. These rights include the granting of citizenship, recognition of conversions religious, allocating funds to institutions recognition of religious marriage, and administration of human burial. You can see why the ultra-religious parties prefer to keep this portfolio.
Just outlined all the citizens belonging to a particular religion, a representative may grant or deny These rights of a citizen's civil rights. Therefore, the vexed question of "Who is a Jew" goes beyond theological discourse in Israel and has profound implications the life of every Israeli citizen. Maintaining its position within the Department of Interior, ultra-religious parties actually keeps a monopoly in Israel, in addition to deciding who is a Jew in all respects.
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that this reality is not only civil of religious minorities in Israel flows. If we take the issue of marriage as a particular case, there are approximately 350,000 Israeli citizens who can not marry in Israel, as they fall within the definition of being Jewish orthodox (ie, the strict maternal inheritance) and does not fall within the definition of religion or any other (Eg, one having a Jewish father and Christian mother.) For this reason, about 11,000 Israeli citizen per year to fly abroad, including Cyprus, to married, so after his return, his own government does not recognize their marriage.
Security threats unconventional
It is reasonable to say that in recent times Israel and most of the security threats in the Western world have become unconventional in every sense of the word. Identity Theft sophisticated suicide attacks, the abuse of freedom of expression, freedom of press and freedom of religion for activists, intentional against civilians, soldiers dressed as civilians hiding in the houses of worship and hospitals, to massive amounts of weapons smuggling merchant ships, the radical Islamic expansion Gross has made a mockery of the conventional rules of participation.
The most difference between Israel and most Western countries, however, Proximity difference. This nation of about 6,000,000 Jews is surrounded by some 300 million Muslims, millions of whom live within their own borders. This situation, obviously has not helped distribute or moderate mentality existing security of Israel.
sophisticated war requires sophisticated defense mechanisms, and Israel, pragmatic reasons, is far from the international community to adapt to this new reality. By using advanced intelligence tactics, and administrative references Israel is able to monitor suspect poses a threat to security and prevent reeked havoc in Israeli society.
Unfortunately, no system advanced profiles, surveillance and prevention, no matter how sophisticated, can be 100% of the time, and a small percentage of innocent civilians are condemned to suffer from time to time. It is a disadvantage in all of us by questionable methods practiced by Islamic terrorists in our modern societies.
The case in question
Excellent illustration of the problems of civil rights caused by the convergence of these phenomena is the question of refusal of the Ministry of Interior Service Regulations (DSR). DSR, which has been condemned by the Supreme Court in 2004 and is still in practice today, was created to protect Israeli security threats both inside and outside its borders.
If, for example, an Arab woman who is a resident of Jerusalem This is married to a Jordanian suspected by the security forces of Israel to be a terrorist Defence Ministry may notify the Secretary of the Interior on their suspicions. According to the RSD, the Home Office must make public the records of the above and to retain the services until such time that the file is deleted by the department Legal Interior Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence.
This method, in theory, may prevent suspected terrorists from infiltrating in Israel to obtain citizenship through marriage. Unfortunately, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice has handled many cases that was used against the DER innocent citizens in Israel in recent years simply because of their religious affiliation.
In most cases, against "the so-called" missionary organizations "Have written letters to employees in the Ministry of Interior, who were appointed by the ultra-religious factions over this office, accusing some Jewish citizens Messianic be a "threat to the existence of the Jewish state" due to missionary activity. Regardless of the fact that Messianic Jew in history the State of Israel has never been charged, tried, or convicted of illegal missionary activities (which in Israel is actively proselytize a minor under 18 years or bribe someone to change their religion), regardless of whether the employees are not authorized to apply the RSD based notifications from non-governmental sources, the inevitable result is still occurring.
Many Messianic Jewish citizens were denied basic services of the Interior Department, to deny entry country, to refuse to register a newborn child, by refusing to renew a passport, denied citizenship to a spouse (and, unfortunately, the list goes on and on) because his record has been characterized prescribed by a denotation to the terrorists.
The Secretary of the Interior Ministry, like the vast majority of society Israel, in general, suffer from a siege mentality, and see their position as an opportunity to protect the nation of Israel of "others." No matter how well intentioned they are, are susceptible to the propaganda of the ultra-religious extremists that create phobias in increased perception of threat to Jewish existence. They made the same report to the representatives of the ultra-religious parties that appointed them to their posts, and always looking for ways to encourage citizens to comply with its narrow definition and distorts what who is a Jew and deny those basic rights that do not fit inside. To complicate matters, these same ultra-Orthodox parties have at their disposal very sophisticated systems to be created for the profile, monitor and prevent the infiltration of radical Islamic terrorists in Israel.
Civil Rights Defence
The good news, as mentioned in the beginning of this article is that Israel is a strong democracy. We have an excellent independent judicial system that respects the rule of law, and a free and independent press. This means that the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, and other civil rights groups in Israel, has all the tools necessary to achieve justice in cases of discrimination.
Thank tools at our disposal, we have successfully managed over 350 cases of discrimination in past 5 years, including 15 victories in the High Court of Justice. We fought the unequal enforcement of immigration laws, prevented the termination of parental rights citizenship and residence, freedom of religion protected and prevented from unfair dismissal on grounds of religious affiliation.
Our goal is to make Israel a stronger democracy. There is a war between Western democracy, where the values of life and human dignity, and radical Islamic fundamentalism, which thrives of oppression and terror. Israel is at the forefront of this war and no matter where you live, your success as the only democracy in the Middle East have a profound impact on peace and security of you and your children.
For more information on the Institute of Jerusalem of Justice, Civil Rights in Israel and how it can help strengthen democracy in Israel, please visit our website: href = "http://www.jij.org.il/"> www.jij.org.il.
If you or someone you know, face to an issue of civil rights in Israel, you are welcome to turn the Jerusalem Institute of Justice Assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org .
About the Author
Calev Myers works as a partner at Yehuda Raveh & Co. Law Offices. The firm was established in the 1940’s by Mr. Gideon Hausner who served as the Attorney-General of Israel and as a cabinet minister. Today, the firm has grown into one of the leading law firms in Israel which benefits from over 60 years of experience in the areas of civil and commercial law.
Myers serves as General Counsel to over 60 non-profit organizations in Israel focusing upon education, humanitarian needs, social justice and civil rights, and grants ongoing representation to significant high-tech, telecommunications and media companies. He has served as Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Knesset Social Welfare Lobby, and works together with Knesset Members and Government Ministers to carry out humanitarian projects for impoverished sectors of the Israeli society.
Myers currently serves as Founder and Chief Counsel of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, a non-profit organization which advances civil rights, freedom of religion, the protection of refugees and victims of human trafficking, and carries out significant humanitarian projects on behalf of the weakest sectors of the Israeli society.
He also serves as the Co-Founder of the Israel Now initiative, a movement which mobilizes Judeo-Christian partners around the world to advance the public relations of Israel, and moral clarity in the international community with regards to issues in the Middle East.
Rome Total War Online Battle #1696: Macedon vs Rome
The Colosseum was constructed between 70-72 AD for the Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian Dynasty. In fact its real name is the Flavian Amphitheatre, it got its nickname due to the colossal statue of Nero that used to stand out front of the building.
In its day the grand elliptical amphitheatre could hold up to 50,000 people, over its four floors; spectators who came to watch the gladiatorial contests, executions, mock battles and sporting event or two.
In the early medieval era the Colosseum was made redundant and was no longer in public use. It was later re-established as a space for housing, workshops and religious quarters. The Colloseum has had many guises throughout the century including a fortress, a quarry and a Christian shrine.
Now the Colosseum is just an impressive shell; in 847 the south-side of the building was destroyed by an earthquake, fires have also ravaged the building and parts of stone work were used to construct other monuments, including St. Peter’s Basilica.
Nevertheless the Colosseum is still one of the world’s largest remaining examples of a Roman amphitheatre and it is considered one of the greatest works of Roman Architecture and Engineering still standing today.
If you can deal with the large volume of visitors and the tourist attractions that are set up to pull in the crowd – these include gladiators who you can pose with for your very own Roman photo, then a visit to The Colosseum is an essential part of the Roman sightseeing schedule.
Finally if you are in Rome around Easter then you may even get a chance to experience the Good Friday ‘Way of the Cross’ torch lit procession, led by the Pope, the procession starts in the area by the Colosseum.
About the Author
Steffen Hansen is living in Spain and is the owner of www.globalcitybreak.co.uk which are specialized in holiday apartments in a wide range of Europen cities.
Triangular UFO over Rome, italy april 6,2009 SAME DAY AS EARTHQUAKE
The story of Jesus’ resurrection is a compelling one, but is it true? How can we in the twenty-first century account for this Gospel story?
Could it have been a mass hallucination? That’s not a likely answer. Too many people saw the resurrected Jesus over too long a period of time to dismiss it as a mass hallucination. Besides, hallucinations don’t have physical bodies to touch, and they don’t eat and carry on prolonged conversations. Moreover, mass hallucination does not explain the empty grave. No, mass hallucination is not a satisfactory answer.
Some speculate Jesus was still alive when taken down from the cross. He had merely fainted and gone into a coma. Aroma from the burial spices revived him in the tomb. He got up, rolled back the stone, and walked away.
Somewhere along the way, he happened to find some clean clothes. Dressed in his new apparel, he ran into Mary Magdalene and her friends. They were startled, so much so, they ran off and spread conflicting rumors about his return from death.
Then Jesus dropped in on his disciples. They misinterpreted the entire event thinking he was a ghost. Jesus attempted to convince his friends he was still a man. He even had them touch his crucifixion wounds. Despite his efforts, they would not be persuaded. Eventually he gave up and set out for some unknown destination where he lived the rest of his life anonymously. He never taught, preached, or performed another miracle. And no one ever discovered his true identity.
It’s a wonder, Hollywood hasn’t picked up on this idea and made a film about “The Great Deception.” Maybe they have and I missed it.
That theory has a few holes in it, large gaping holes at that. It is rather apparent that Jesus did die on the cross. That’s what the soldiers breaking legs said, and that’s what the soldier with the spear made sure of. That is also what the centurion reported to Pilate.
These men were familiar with death and they were well-acquainted with crucifixion. They could tell the difference between an alive and a dead man. Furthermore, they knew how to make sure a man is dead. In other words, the crucifixion detail knew its grisly task.
But just for the sake of argument, let’s say Jesus wasn’t dead, even after the spear thrust in his side. In that case Joseph and Nicodemus placed an unconscious, badly damaged, bleeding body in a cool tomb and wrapped spices around him. But he still wouldn’t have a chance. Shock would more than likely kill him; if not, he would certainly bleed to death. Those large nail holes through his wrists and heels would render his hands and feet useless. He wouldn’t be able to move himself, to say nothing of the heavy stone at the entrance. No, the “swoon theory” doesn’t work.
Let’s go back to Friday. Friday evening before 6 pm, Joseph rolled a heavy stone closing the entrance to the tomb. Inside is Jesus’ disfigured dead body wrapped in linen and covered with seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes. Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene, her companions, the apostles Peter and John, and even the guards and the chief priests all seem to agree: The body is missing. So what happened to Jesus’ body? There are only two possible answers. Either someone removed the corpse, or Jesus arose from death.
Someone Stole the Corpse
Let’s consider the first possibility. Someone took Jesus’ body away. Who would want it? Certainly not the religious or civil authorities. They were the ones who had the tomb secured, specifically so no one would tamper with the body. What about the disciples or maybe even grave robbers? Could they have stolen the body? No. The sealed tomb and guards were adequate protection against theft.
But didn’t the chief priests and soldiers claim, “the disciples stole the body while the guards were asleep”? (Matthew 28:12-13) That’s what they said; but it doesn’t make sense. How would the guards have known the disciples took the corpse if they were asleep? And how could the disciples have rolled back a sealed, or even an unsealed, heavy stone without awaking the guards?
Remember the chief priests spoke of shielding the guards should Pilate hear that they slept on duty? (Matthew 28:14) Those were Roman soldiers. The usual punishment for a Roman soldier who fell asleep at his post was death. Considering those consequences, it’s very unlikely they were all asleep at the same time.
If they had been asleep, they would be the last ones to admit it. What’s more, why should the same Jewish leaders who asked for the guard detail be eager to cover-up for the guards who went to sleep on their requested assignment? The most that can be said for it is that it is an awkward story that doesn’t pass scrutiny. Nobody got past the guards and the sealed tomb to steal the body.
Disciples Bribed Guards and Took Corpse
If that idea doesn’t fly, let’s try something more plausible. Maybe the disciples bribed the guards and got Jesus’ body out with the help of the Roman soldiers. Certainly, the Jews proved the soldiers could be bought for a price.
Bribing the Roman guards has its own set of problems. The first problem is the disciples themselves. They were frightened and disillusioned. They were not in a frame of mind to bribe the guards for Jesus’ corpse. Even if they had been, the disciples were not noted for their wealth. And the guards risk their own lives by taking a bribe of that sort. It follows they would require a very large payoff to take such a gamble.
Let’s face it, offering a bribe to the guards would be risky business. If negotiations with the soldiers broke down, the guards might well decide to turn the disciples over to the chief priests. After all, the chief priests did have money, and they would definitely be interested in anyone who wanted Jesus’ body.
There would probably be a nice fat reward for nabbing those disciples. And equally appealing, the guards would not be placing themselves in jeopardy. Would the disciples take such a risk? Apparently not, they seemed to prefer the safety of staying behind locked doors. (John 20:19)
Let’s not forget, the disciples and the guards were not the only ones involved in this story. The chief priests play a part too. What do you think the Jewish leaders would do if they really believed the apostles had Jesus’ body? Those chief priests showed they understood Jesus when he said he would rise on the third day. They also knew the importance of preventing that deception. (Matthew 27:62-64)
I suspect they would have hunted down Jesus’ followers and bribed or tortured them one by one until someone talked. And someone would talk. One of them would tell the chief priests where to find the body. The Jews would exhibit the corpse, and the rumor about his resurrection would quickly fade. But none of this took place. That fact leads us to believe the Jews knew the disciples did not have the body of Jesus.
Effect of Seeing the Resurrected Jesus
The most remarkable thing about the claims of seeing Jesus is the effect it had on the one making the claim. We have already looked at Paul’s conversion. He did a complete flip flop. Paul went from being the number one persecutor of Christians to becoming the number one spokesman for Christianity. And it happened overnight. What reason did he give for the sudden change? He tells us the reason; he saw the resurrected Jesus. That’s the road to Damascus Experience.
The effect on the other apostles is no less dramatic. In my earlier article “Apostles: Legendary Heroes or Real Men?” we took a look at the way the Gospels depicted the apostles. They weren’t zealots; they were just normal men with normal flaws and shortcomings. Sometimes they were quarrelsome; sometimes they were petty; and often they were just ignorant of things Christ expected them to know.
Occasionally, they were cowards. At a critical moment, they deserted their master. Peter even denied knowing Jesus three times. And after Jesus’ death, his disciples were leaderless and frightened. Afraid of the Jews, they stayed behind locked doors.
Suddenly, these frightened little men do a complete about-face. Paul and the apostles spearhead the Christian movement. These men rapidly spread the Good News across Palestine, through Europe, and into Africa. They are fearless and tireless in converting both Jews and gentiles to Jesus Christ.
No longer are they afraid of the Jews. In fact, they seem to welcome persecution. They count it as a blessing that they are considered worthy to suffer for Christ. They teach and preach the Good News of Jesus and his resurrection. Beatings don’t stop them; prisons don’t stop them; even death doesn’t slow down the spread of Christianity. Others praise them for the way they face death and step in to take their place.
What happened? What turned those demoralized, fearful men into dynamic heroes in such a short time? They say they saw the resurrected Jesus. In him they found their reason for living and even a cause worth dying for.
If they are telling us the truth, that is, Jesus actually arose from the grave and appeared to them, their reaction is logical. They are willing to follow the One who conquered death and promised eternal life. On the other hand, if the resurrection story was a hoax, it doesn’t make any sense at all.
Apostles Didn’t Take the Body.
Look at it from the disciples’ point of view. Say they had somehow gained possession of Jesus’ body and concealed it from the authorities. Next, they fabricated the story of Jesus’ resurrection. And from that point on, the disciples dedicated their lives to spreading what they knew to be a lie. They knew for a fact that Jesus was nothing but a fraud. Likewise, they knew that there was no real hope for life beyond the grave.
Yet the disciples faced suffering, abuse, and even death all to perpetuate a cynical hoax. Not one of them cracked. They never admitted their deception, and no one else uncovered it. Does that sound reasonable? No, not a bit of it! Real people just don’t act that way.
You have heard it said, there are two things you can count on in this life: death and taxes. I will give you a third. No man, past or present, is willing to die for what he knows to be a lie. There’s no exception. Then again, men throughout history have shown they are willing to face death for what they honestly believe to be the truth.
The apostles weren’t fools. They were practical men who were not easy to persuade. There was no doubt in their minds they were seeing and talking to the resurrected Christ. Christ’s victory over death inspired them to face abuse, hardship, and death. The turnaround in the lives of Paul and the apostles is the most clear-cut evidence we have of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Science, History, Natural Laws, and Jesus
I have heard people say they cannot accept the story of Jesus’ resurrection because it has no basis in science. But surely that is not a reasonable objection. We accept a wide variety of information everyday which has no scientific backing. For instance, we accept or reject stories in the newspaper or television based on our estimate of the news media’s reliability. We can’t very well hook them up to a lie detector to see if they are telling the truth.
Tell me, how do you know if your friend is telling you the truth? I suspect you don’t shove him in a test tube, pour in a few chemicals, and shake him up to see if he’s lying. No, you accept or reject what he says based upon his past honesty.
Likewise, you either trust your spouse or you don’t depending upon your estimate of his or her past behavior. Very unscientific it’s true; but that is the only reasonable way you can make most decisions in life.
Someone might say, “Oh, but those are personal matters. We would not expect to apply scientific analysis to friends, family, or even our tastes in newscasters.”
Where should we require scientific proof then? How about geography? I have never been to London, England. But I believe there is such a place. I accept it based upon authority: authority of maps which show the city, books which tell about the city, teachers who assure me London exists, and eyewitnesses who have been there. It is not a scientific method, but we all accept it anyway.
Now consider history. How do we know there was ever a Julius Caesar, a Napoleon, or a Lord Horatio Nelson? In so far as that goes, how do we know the Spanish Armada was defeated or that the Battle of Waterloo ever took place?
We “know” and accept it based on authority, the authority of history books which tell us those men lived and those battles took place. The people who wrote our history books never saw those men nor witnessed those events either. Caesar, Napoleon, and Nelson all died long before our current historians were born.
The only reason we know of those famous men and long ago events is because they were recorded by eyewitnesses of their day. Written firsthand accounts have been passed down to our present generation. That too is not a scientific method. But this isn’t science; it’s history. And that is the way we document historical events. If that were not acceptable, we would be forced to discard all history before the age of photography.
Then we turn to Jesus Christ. He too was a historical character. We know that the same way we know Caesar, Napoleon, and Nelson were historical figures. Numerous eyewitnesses, both friend and foe, saw and heard him, and some wrote about him.
Jesus lived and died. Scholars and historians agree; that much is not an issue. Jesus was a great moral teacher too. Again, we find widespread agreement. That is not an issue either. Then we get to Jesus’ miracles, and here is where we find the skeptics. “Miracles,” they say, “run counter to the laws of nature. Therefore, by definition, they cannot be true.”
If nature and the laws of nature were all that existed, then miracles (defined as exceptions to the law of nature) should not occur. On the other hand, if God created the universe and established the “laws of nature,” it’s reasonable to believe that he has the power and authority to supersede his own laws, if he so chooses. That is exactly what Christians believe he did to prove the deity of Jesus and to establish his church.
There is another problem with questioning Jesus’ miracles. Namely, the same four sources who give us Jesus “the great moral teacher,” are also the ones who present “Jesus the miracle worker.” Why accept the teachings and reject the miracles reported by the same men?
We have, in fact, good reason to believe Jesus did perform miracles. Matthew and John were themselves eyewitnesses to Jesus “miracles, signs, and wonders.” Mark records Peter’s eyewitness accounts. And Luke passes on the firsthand reports of other eyewitnesses. These are credible witnesses. They saw Jesus’ miracles.
Many others at the time saw Jesus perform miracles. At Pentecost, Peter appeals to the crowd’s knowledge of Jesus’ power to convince them that he was both Lord and Christ. And it worked. Three thousand of them were added to the Christian movement that day. Even Jesus’ enemies did not question the fact that he performed miracles. They merely questioned the source of his power.
We have reviewed the evidence. We know the story. It’s time for our decision. Long before Jesus’ birth, Hebrew prophets detailed the life, death, and resurrection of the coming Messiah. The prophecies were specific and to the point. Coincidental fulfillment was (and is) out of the question.
The translation of the Hebrew text into the Greek Septuagint around 275 B.C. assures us those prophecies proceeded Jesus by several hundred years. Jesus intentionally carried out and completed each prophecy pertaining to the Messiah. Others unintentionally played their roles in the prophecies related to the Messiah. No one before or since has come close to these prognostications. Old Testament scriptures clearly point to Jesus as the Christ.
Jesus was a real historical man who claimed he was (and is) the Son of God. He said he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He offers us no other alternative. He emphatically said, “No one sees the Father except through me.”
Jesus backed up his claims with his authoritative teachings, his numerous miracles, and his resurrection from death. No one before or since has made claims of that sort. And certainly no one else has offered such convincing proof of divinity.
Testimony from church bishops in A.D. 130 and 177, plus comparisons of papyrus documents of the period, and internal evidence from the Gospels themselves all argue for early dates for Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We have good reason to believe these three Gospels were first century reports from men close to the original sources.
The oral tradition proceeded the written Gospels by twenty to thirty years or less. Matthew and John may well have relied on their own recollections for most of their books. Furthermore, the Gospels were composed during a period when many people of Jesus’ generation were still alive and could remember the “real” Jesus. The Gospel writers would have lost all credibility with their readers if they contradicted public knowledge of the events.
Textual critics assure us that the Gospel stories are basically the same today as when the authors composed them. In fact, the reliability of the New Testament text compares favorably with that of other ancient writings.
The supernatural element was not a later addition of the Gospels. We find it was an intricate part of the original story. Peter used the Jews’ knowledge of Jesus’ miraculous powers as well as his resurrection to convert them to Christianity. Paul spoke of Jesus’ resurrection in an attempt to persuade King Agrippa.
The early writers Irenaeus and Tertullian say that John the apostle wrote the Gospel that bears his name. John’s detailed realism leads us to believe his Gospel is to a large extent a report on events and conversations he witnessed himself. Luke’s meticulous historical approach reads like a report of actual events. His style and content support his claim of objectivity. He investigated eyewitnesses and reported what they had to say.
But the basic integrity of all four Gospels is evident throughout their works. These narratives have that certain odd, nitty gritty quality about them which is often found in real stories. They are not smooth nor good enough to be fiction. The authors frequently include puzzling or even damaging bits of information. They don’t seem to embellish their accounts, and they certainly don’t cover up their blemishes.
And then there is that mysterious missing body and the five hundred people who claimed they saw the resurrected Jesus. Mass hallucinations do not explain the empty grave, nor the numerous individuals who reported they saw him, nor the physical body that welcomed the skeptic’s touch.
Jesus died from crucifixion. His disciples did not remove his body. The inactivity of the chief priests leads us to believe they understood the body was beyond recovery. The disciples dramatically turned from cowards into courageous spokesmen for the risen Christ. The early church claims Matthew, Mark, and Luke all died martyrs’ deaths. The apostles too, say sources ranging from obscure to credible, paid the ultimate price for spreading the word of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Here is how they are said to have died:
Peter – Early Christian apologists Tertullian and Origen tell us Peter was crucified upside down in Rome under Nero in A.D. 64.
Andrew – According to extracanonical tradition, Andrew suffered crucifixion in Achaia.
Matthew – John Foxe in the Book of Martyrs states Matthew died as a martyr in the city of Nadabah in A.D. 60.
John – Exiled to the Isle of Patmos by Emperor Domitian but believe to have died a natural death.
James, son of Alphaeus – Tradition says James was crucified in Persia.
Philip – Tradition says he died by crucifixion.
Simon the Zealot – Tradition says he died by crucifixion.
Thaddaeus – Tradition says he was killed by stones and clubs.
Thomas – Tradition says he was martyred in India.
Bartholomew – According to Eusebius, he died as a martyr by being drowned.
James, son of Zebebee and older brother of John – He was put to death by a sword in A.D. 44 under orders of Herod Agrippa I.
Other early martyrs:
Stephen – Stoned by the Jews in A.D. 36.
James, brother of Jesus – Stoned in A.D. 62.
Paul – Beheaded somewhere between A.D. 62 and 68.
These men were eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ. They say the miracle worker from Galilee did what he set out to do: He defeated death. He kept his word. In their minds, Jesus proved beyond reasonable doubt that he was (and is) the Son of God. That was their testimony, and they were willing to die for it. Such are credible witnesses.
Who among us is willing to die to perpetuate a hoax? A logical assumption is that the martyrs: Stephen, James, Peter, and Paul died firmly convinced they were telling us the truth about Jesus and his resurrection. A blind faith? No, a reasoned faith. For Christianity was established by credible eyewitnesses willing to die for their testimony.
Note: All Scripture References are taken from the New International Version.
About the Author
Jerry Boone, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, United States email@example.com Mr. Boone is a sailor, author, and webmaster of http://merechristianity.us His works include: Mere Christianity.us and SAFETY LINE – EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, an apologetic study published 1998.
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