In three quick points: Jesus who. A great prophet. A being created by God.
Have you ever heard of Tacitus?
Tacitus, a writer and Roman administrator who lived during the time of Jesus eyewitnesses, is accepted by historians as being a trustworthy source of Roman history. This notable historical figure, Tacitus, had this to say about Jesus,
“Nero….inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius.” –Tacitus, Annals, 15.44
There are dozens of historical accounts of the man Jesus, by notable historical figures just like the one above, which was written by Tacitus in the Annals, a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero. The Annals are considered by modern day historians as an important source for modern understanding of the history of the Roman Empire during the 1st century AD.
The Annals by Tacitus are held in such high esteem that the rejection of Jesus existence would be asinine especially if you consider the countless other non-Christian sources that mention Him. It would force historians to reject the existence of well known historical figures and unrefuted highly esteemed ancient writings.
No reputable historian or learner disputes the existence of Jesus. If one believes Tiberius Caesar Augustus existed, one ought also to believe that Jesus the Christ also existed during his reign. For there are far more mentions of Jesus in the three year span of his ministry than there are of Tiberius Caesar who reigned for over 20 years.
A Great Prophet?
While on earth this historical Jesus forgave sins, allowed people to worship Him as God, was crucified on a cross, and purportedly rose from the dead. The historical Jesus was more than just a great prophet.
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse” –C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis logical deduction is one of the most compelling arguments ever penned in favor of this absolute truth; that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus having called himself the Son of God would have to be the Son of God or a crazy person. What other option is there?
Historical figures at the time of Christ recorded Jesus followers as having testified to seeing Jesus ALIVE after he was crucified. These Jesus followers believed so strongly that Jesus was God in the from of mortal man, they were willing to die gruesome deaths. who would die in such ways for a lie? Would you?
A being created by God?
Are you calling the Son of God a liar?
Jesus claimed to be the Messiah AND the Son of God. Modern false religions make all sorts of claims. They claim Jesus was just a great prophet. Earlier we established in light of who Jesus said he was how lunatic that would be. They claim Jesus was created by God. This claim is inconsistent with the belief that Jesus is the Son of God for we know that Jesus claimed to in-fact BE God. All logical reason points to a real historical Jesus who is both the crucified and risen Son of God, God himself, and the coming promised Messiah of the Jewish Torah.
When speaking to the Pharisees Jesus had this to say about himself, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am!” -John 8:58
This was a clear reference to the “I Am” of the Old Testament who met Moses at the burning bush and the Pharisees knew it. They were so outraged by His claim to be God that they tried to stone Him. Having known the Torah the Jews understood that a claim to be “I am” was a claim to be WITHOUT BEGINNING OR END! That is to say, one who was NOT created by God but was God Himself.
Using C.S. Lewis line of reasoning, we can deduce that Jesus is the Son of God, God Himself, and the coming King prophesied in the Torah; or he was a ranting lunatic, and you have just been made dumber for having read this article.
Who do you say Jesus is?
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Lee Strobel – The Case For Christ
C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity
Dean Hardy, Stand Your Ground: An Introductory Text for Apologetics Students (Wipf & Stock, 2007)