The existence of God: Jesus a historical figure? (part 2)

“The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive in its practice,”

NarrowPathMinistries

Non-denominational, Independent, Bible believing Church

By Richard Simmons III, Op-ed Contributor| Thursday, June 03, 2021

Reblog by Lawrence Morra III

Zero Lift-Off    Only The Beginning

June 8, 2021

Excellent overview here my brother pointing out the sheer and to me obvious common sense that some people exercise in their speaking about Jesus Christ even if not true believers but to me they have hope at least in speaking to the truth much of which is obvious and some that must be discerned over time and with faith.  We’ve all heard that good things don’t come easy we must be willing to work for them.  Jesus stated clearly, “Seek and you will find.”  Even Sci-fi television with the popular X-Files motif states that “the Truth is out here.” I have quite a bit to add here in my attempt to help ring more understanding if possible but hopefully to at least inspire others to seek!

This line jumped off the page which I want to repeat, “Irish historian W.E.H. Lecky says this: “The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive in its practice,” how awe inspiring this one point is and when we actually conceptualize what Jesus Christ did and said even aside from the standpoint of His profound wisdom, virtue and clarity of righteousness I can’t see how people would doubt such around beauty out of hand and dismiss it.

Then these particular words written by such a prolific historian H.G. Wells; that again I repeat verbatim. “Mark Clark’s The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity listen to the words of the great historian H.G. Wells: “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”

Now what these men said brings me immediately to what my favorite scientist said on the matter as well. I wrote this or quoted these words many years ago and have often ever since because they certainly are worth repeating in any such discussion as this one.

I want to leave something I find very insightful by a man we all know was a remarkably brilliant person who I think even though his head was immersed in the world of science and theories he had a keen insight into God’s presence and reality like few people can achieve with our limiting cognitive faculties.; and his respect and love of God was present and genuine; therefore we can say God will judge accordingly, I know for myself Einstein was a good and respectful soul in this world, so I do wish him well. What follows I was writing about back at this mentioned date.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness.”-Albert Einstein – “The Merging of Spirit and Science”

This man the father of physics had said a few great one liners but two that stand out are these. He referred to God as the “Old One.” He speaking to other physicists was known to have said during a discussion about the Big Bang Theory in which one scientist said that with enough random events occurring in this pre-millisecond before it happened eureka the right combination occurred; Einstein just plainly said; “God doesn’t roll dice.”

And now once again I come back to specifically what you brought to this article with this very crucial line!

“I close with this question posed by Jesus himself in Matthew 16:15, “But who do you say that I am?”

Exactly; dear Lord, I say; who else could you be!

I decided to insert something that happened on Christmas day a few years ago that I think brings into focus something else mentioned in this fine article of yours about Jesus being a myth or a figure copied from some previous beliefs. Here in what I’ve quoted is the impetus for what I decided to share; “First, the myths that actually pre-date Jesus’ time bear virtually no resemblance to the particular details of Jesus’ life. A host of alleged similarities turn out to be nonexistent. Whatever parallels remain are usually far too general to be significant.

According to historian Tryggve Mettinger, the scholar who has done the most recent exhaustive study of this question, there simply is “no prima facie” evidence that the death and Resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct, drawing on the myths and rites of the dying and rising gods of the surrounding world.”

Here is a real experience I had that I hope will become more obvious why I mention it after you’ve had a chance to read it.

Leading up to Christmas and right on Christmas this phony and deceptive guy who was commenting on a post kept twisting truth like the Devil to make Jesus nothing more than some guy like Muhammad he said or even less actually. His denouncing Jesus and Christianity therefore on Christmas set me off onto my mission, as he would not stop it no matter how many important things I tried to explain to him.  He was a clever deceiver.  He did however stop after this piece I wrote to him on the post!

Aツaz Your own words; “live the way you want and not dictate as you are just a human and not a messenger of GOD, like Jesus and Muhammad were.” Muslim hoax” I am wondering how you equate a “hoax” with facts of an Islamic Empire”

Wonder NO MORE, Pay attention and learn of your blaspheming error! You have a huge inaccuracy that needs to be corrected!  Saying that Jesus is another prophet like Muhammad is blasphemous.  First Jesus was not a mere prophet but was God Himself and therefore the Redeemer and Savior of Mankind as he said. Muhammad was only a supposed prophet and there is irrefutable evidence in the historical text of the time he lived that points to his being an outright liar and heretic as well as a criminal and child molester along with his being a polygamist! The following statements are highly accurate and actually proven. To read more on this check out  “Sword and Scimitar” by Raymond Ibrahim.

“In 632, only months before he died, Muhammad apparently met for the first time with a Christian community as such. An official delegation of Christians, probably led by a bishop, came to Mecca from Najran in Yemen. After engaging the Christians in discussion, the Prophet is said to have realized that Christian teachings are indeed incompatible with Islam, after which the revelation followed that only Islam is acceptable to God as a religion. The Quran also says very specifically that those who refer to Jesus as God are blasphemers, and that ‘Christians saying that Christ is the son of God is an imitation of Jews, who earlier had said that Ezra is the son of God.’ According to the Quran Jesus was only a servant; Jesus the son of Mary was no more than an apostle of God. Quranic verses dealing with Jesus’ death have been interpreted differently by commentators, but generally they have been taken to mean that Jesus did not die by crucifixion. For Christians the Quran has thus served as a denial of Jesus’ incarnation and death on the cross and of the reality of the Trinity.” (Oxford University Press)

This was a Heretical attack directed upon God’s plan, which was foretold by all the previous prophets going all the way back to Abraham. This attack on Christmas Day and denial of what Jesus Christ said regarding who He was; to me makes such a person Anti-Christ and supportive of the Devil or all that is unholy. And Christianity is backed up with solid historical evidence and prophecy over much time by many prophets.

After this experience on Christmas Day which I never in my entire life had any such blatant Anti-Christ in my face attack, and of all things on Christmas Day activities, tells me that we are in the end times because the time is drawing near for God to return and such lashing out to me is a sort of barometer of the spiritual warfare that is taking place seen and unseen and how it is heating up!  Of course I could be off by many years but this is my hunch as there are so many signs; and I was attacked by evil several years ago to stop me from being the witness and faithful one to Jesus that I am trying to be for Jesus our Lord and Savior.  A woman of a Christian order told me back then when attacked that there was a reason I was suffering for Jesus, and it would become apparent at some point in the future, why I was being prepared!  Now I see in retrospect that God did want me to do something for Him, and it could be just to be doing as I am or maybe something more; like a priest told me recently, pray, wait and see!

After writing this and posting it back at the time I got some very good positive feedback that I addressed which follows.

Yes I agree and I also believe much of this evil we see happening around the world has been on the increase or gets much more visibility because the Evil One is working at a fever pitch to ruin mankind and destroy it!  Satan is real and the second coming is close at hand!  The Lord said be prepared and not be caught unawares!  He will come like a thief in the night!  Those that do these evils will be judged and those that follow Jesus in paths of righteousness will be given Salvation!

I truly appreciate that you understand how much I detest pain and suffering that is inflicted upon the innocent whether they be human or other animal beings while so many stand by doing nothing to change the equation!  We that are humans that allow any atrocities to continue unabated are guilty of at least indifference.

I want to add that if more people would pay attention to what really matters; what is going on right in front of them in their personal world, and Humans behaved as such to each other, things could take a turn for the better!

You ask Who and how are we to judge?  We as humans with high intellect capacity can set standards by which to live using morality as a bench mark tool, do the terms “have a heart” or “having a conscience” come to mind?   Otherwise, listening to your prescription we can have a world of” helter-skelter” and “devil may care” or “anything goes” if we follow your line of thinking, and that is what we have in some places around the globe already, even here in America.  We should seek improvement in human behavior!  We also can and should utilize the Holy Scriptures given to us by God to follow as a guide by which to live and treat all life!  The priest wasn’t condoning bad behavior; he was merely stating fact that some people don’t think right or properly and that is a problem they have and that we can’t change or do much about it, unless they want to change themselves!  The priest means we all have Free Will that God gave to all humans and how they use it is up to each one, they can’t be forced!

Regarding this brutal animal treatment.  You for example need to readdress your thinking processes and that is your problem and up to you alone to take care of it, your own responsibility!  Unless you break a specific societal law you can carry on the same way the rest of your life or you can make some adjustments and evolve yourself to a better standard of behavior, just like those people that eat dog or cat can!   Would any of them be persons you would enjoy being with and sharing your personal life; or having them over to watch your children playing with their puppy dog or kitten?  That would surely be sending some mixed messages to your little ones wouldn’t it!  Abhorrent behavior is easily recognized by children and what do you think would be their reaction to this post and any video of the dog and cat slaughter?  Disgusting and horrible, its adults that become wicked and soulless or lack conscience!  This Yulin slaughter is an unnatural and wicked idea or practice no doubt in my mind and that is not judging it is discernment or thinking properly! Asking myself what would Jesus say right now if He were here with me as I decide what to make of a certain action or behavior!  Jesus is in my heart and my conscience as well! We all know what kind of person has no conscience or feeling in their heart for others whether people or animals!; they are some of the most frightening diabolical people on earth!

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10).

We are to be “imitators of Christ.” Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd. all-creatures.org

Colossians 2:1-23 “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.” Amen and Amen.

God’s blessings to you all. May anyone lost find their faith in Him!

Brother in Christ Jesus,

Lawrence Morra III

The existence of God: Jesus a historical figure? (part 2)

By Richard Simmons III, Op-ed Contributor| Thursday, June 03, 2021

Jesus historian
“I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” – H.G. Wells, Novelist and Historian | Unsplash @jontyso
As hard as this might be to believe, there are some people convinced that Jesus was not a man of history but some type of mythical figure. They claim the Resurrection story was based on ancient myths of religious figures who rose from the dead. These mythological stories were written many years before the Christian myth was written.

However, there are no credible historical scholars who make this claim.

In the wonderful bookThe Story of Reality, Greg Koukl confronts this issue head on. He has read extensively from the trained historians who have gone back to the earliest records of these ancient accounts. Here is what those historians have discovered.

  • A close look at the primary sources shows two things that are startling given the popularity of this view. First, the myths that actually pre-date Jesus’ time bear virtually no resemblance to the particular details of Jesus’ life. A host of alleged similarities turn out to be nonexistent. Whatever parallels remain are usually far too general to be significant.
  • According to historian Tryggve Mettinger, the scholar who has done the most recent exhaustive study of this question, there simply is “no prima facie” evidence that the death and Resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct, drawing on the myths and rites of the dying and rising gods of the surrounding world.
  • Second, mythical accounts of the mystery-religion gods that actually do bear some resemblance to Jesus’ life unfortunately (for the theory) show up after his time. This fact creates a problem for the recycled redeemer view since it looks very much like those stories were copied from the Gospels, not the other way around. Clearly, the child cannot come before the parent. The “recycled” version must appear in the historical record after the one it allegedly came from, not before it.

It is also important to recognize the number of ancient historians, who lived during the time of Christ, and wrote of Him.

Historian Gary Habermas details a total of thirty-nine ancient sources documenting the life of Christ. Some of these were Christian historians, but many of them were not. To put this into perspective, there are only nine ancient sources that mention Tiberius Caesar. Only nine. Here we find an emperor of Rome who ruled for twenty-two years, yet there are only nine ancient sources that mention him while there are thirty-nine sources that speak of Jesus. Of these thirty-nine, several mention Jesus in just a paragraph or two while others write of him extensively.

These include Cornelius Tacitus, considered the greatest historian of the Roman Empire who was born in 57 A.D., and Justin Martyr, who lived from 65 A.D. to 110 A.D. and wrote extensively of Jesus. Then you have Flavius Josephus, touted as the greatest Jewish historian of antiquity and who wrote about the life of Christ. He was born in 37 A.D., just after Jesus’ death.

So abundant is the testimony pointing to Christ’s historical existence that Dr. F.F. Bruce, professor of biblical criticism at the University of Manchester in England, suggests that reputable historians could not possibly propagate this theory.

“Some writers may toy with the fancy of 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 historicity of Julius Caesar.”

Scott Appleby, a professor of Church History at Notre Dame, concurs:

“There’s no ‘real doubt’ that Jesus existed,” he said. “What Jesus of Nazareth did and what he means is a different question. But on the question of the existence, there is more evidence of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth than there would be for many other historical people who actually existed.

Not only did Jesus actually exist, but he actually had some kind of prominence to be mentioned in two or three chronicles.”

What I also find interesting is the number of religious skeptics who clearly are convinced that Jesus was a legitimate historical figure.

Will Durant, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who wrote the most successful work of history, the eleven-volume The Story of Civilizationconcludes his material on Christ this way:

“No one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them…”

The skeptic and famed Irish historian W.E.H. Lecky says this:

“The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive in its practice, and has exerted so deep an influence, that it may be truly said that the simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and to soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists.”

Most significantly, from Mark Clark’s The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity listen to the words of the great historian H.G. Wells:

“I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”

Finally, this last point needs to be given strong consideration. Today the world’s calendars are built around the birth of Christ. History is divided into events that took place before His birth and those that took place after His birth. This is clearly an indication of the extent to which Western culture was shaped by this man Jesus. It is quite obvious that something of universal importance began with the historical figure of Jesus. Truly, no one could have possibly invented the person of Christ.

I close with this question posed by Jesus himself in Matthew 16:15, “But who do you say that I am?”


This article, Part 2 of my 3-part series, is an essay from my newest book Reflections on the Existence of God. The book lays out, in short essays, much of the evidence for the existence of God that is available. We should seek to take the evidence offered and use it to make reasonable conclusions. What you will find is, as the evidence accumulates, it enables us to come to confident conclusions about God. Who He is. And, that He truly is.

Richard Simmons III

Richard E. Simmons III is a Christian author, speaker, and the Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership, a non-profit, faith-based ministry in Birmingham, Alabama.  His best-selling titles include The True Measure of a ManThe Power of a Humble LifeWisdom: Life’s Great Treasure, and his newest book, Reflections on the Existence of God.  Follow Richard on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @thecenterbham.  Tune in to Richard’s Reliable Truth Podcast on your favorite podcast app.

Get your copy of Reflections on the Existence of God on Amazon or at reflectionsontheexistenceofgod.comPreview Chapter 1 for free here!

https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-existence-of-god-jesus-a-historical-figure.html