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CASE FOR CHRIST

Who is This Jesus?

Case ChristWho is This Jesus? How Reliable is the Information about Christ?, and Can a Dead Man Come Back to Life?

Lee Strobel is a famous atheist who turned Christian when working for the Chicago Tribune. He sought to disprove God and discredit Christianity, and yet his journey brought him to faith. Yes, Strobel became a Christian while writing The Case for Christ.

This book demonstrates that Christianity is not just another religion to choose from, but a belief based on facts, history, and logic.

I believe anyone with doubts about Jesus Christ will view Him differently after reading his book. The Christian layperson will also benefit by learning answers to support her beliefs.

“You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.”                                                                                                                                     1 Peter 3:15-16

Case Christ

Strobel defends the historical reliability of the New Testament. He considers: (a) the eyewitness evidence, (b) documentary evidence, (c) corroborating evidence,

Eyewitness Evidence

When people begin religious movements, it’s often not until many generations later that people record things about them” For almost a century Christianity went unnoticed by most men and women in the Roman Empire. Non-Christians saw the Christian community as a tiny, peculiar, antisocial, sect of the lower strata of society

The books of the New Testament originally existed only as oral tradition. The disciples lived in an “oral culture, in which there was great emphasis placed on memorization”

The four gospels were in fact written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and therefore the canonical gospels are eyewitness testimony. This fact is confirmed by Papias (writing circa CE 125) and Irenaeus (writing circa 180); the authorship of the gospels was never in doubt among early Christians. If this claim were false, hostile witnesses would have happily shouted that fact from the mountaintops.

Documentary Evidence:

We have far more ancient copies of the New Testament than we have of, say, Homer’s Iliador Tacitus’s Annals of Imperial Rome.

The early church adopted three criteria in evaluating documents for inclusion in the New Testament:

(i) Was the book written by an apostle or by a follower of an apostle?
(ii) Did the book conform to what Christians already believed?
(iii) Had the book been continuously accepted and used by the church at large?

These criteria may have been “loaded from the outset, like dice that are weighted so they yield the result that was desired all along” Does that not speak of the direction from the Holy Spirit.

God has commanded us to not change His Word. As He is the author, He holds the eternal copyright. He allows us, nay, commands us, to copy and spread His Word to the entire world. However, He strictly forbids the addition or removal of anything from His Word.

 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”                                                                                                                                 Deuteronomy 4:2

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”                                                   Revelation 22:18, 19

Corroborating Evidence:

The references  of Josephus, a historian of Jesus’ day, corroborate the independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus. Continue reading CASE FOR CHRIST

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HOW REVOLUTIONARY WAS JESUS?

Was Jesus a Revolutionary?

Was Jesus, then, a revolutionary? Not in any sense that Lenin or Trotsky would have recognized. When people hear the words radical and revolutionary they instantly think of some aggressive, gun toting, anarchist that has motives to overthrow an earthly government, but that was not the intentions of Jesus. The word “radical” comes from a Latin word “radix” which simply means “to cut to the root” as in “radical surgery” to remove a cancerous growth. In this sense, Jesus was a radical with a radical message that was indeed meant to cut to the root of wrong and remove it from our lives.

THE ANCIENT WORLD BEFORE JESUS CHRIST

 The Mediterranean Sea was still a geographer’s main point of reference, if not the center of the world. In 2 A.D., a census of the Han dynasty showed that its people numbered around 57.5 million. The Roman Empire, which had around 45 million people in it at the time, did not know about any Chinese civilization.

map before Jesusmap before Jesus

If you want to know what it was like before Jesus Christ walked the Earth, all you have to do is read a few history books written before 0 AD. There was discrimination in Ancient Greece: Plato wrote in The Republic that it would be an ideal state that “every member of the community must be assigned to the class for which he finds himself best fitted.  Aristotle philosophized that people should be given goods and assets according to their merit.

Before Christ, except among the Jewish People, religion was a “blind search for God.” Life before Christ was filled with superstition, fear of the unknown and an attempt to make sense of a world and universe they could not possibly understand. Man made gods in his own image, usually celebrations of his vices or his needs.  Most of the stuff associated with the cave paintings is presumed to be associated with some form of shamanic practices, or more accurately nature worship or animism. 

Pre-Christian faiths were not uniform; their gods had no consistent meaning to all adherents, they had no central dogmas or tenets. The most famous god in Ancient Greek was Zeus.

Let us reflect at these times when slavery and subjugation of women was typical. From the dawn of human society every woman was in a state of bondage to some man, because she was of value to him and she had less muscular strength than he did.

Christianity women rights ancient history

No woman in Athens could own anything more than her own clothing, jewelry and personal slave. When she was ready to marry, her father or other guardian would choose a potential husband.  In the early days of the Roman Republic women were not even allowed to make suggestions, at least in public.

FATHER POWERS WERE LIKE PROPERTY OWNERS

Continue reading HOW REVOLUTIONARY WAS JESUS?

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