Jesus Christs Effect on History
Josephus, Jewish historian, became
a Pharisee at 19, later commander, of the Jewish forces in Galilee. Captured
by Romans and attached to their headquarters. Born: 34AD
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man
if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,
a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over
to him both many Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ,
and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had
condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first, did not
forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the
divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful
things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him
are not extinct at this day.
Pontius Pilate, Roman
governor of Judea who ordered Christ's crucifixion, first
Wrote to the Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar:
"And him, Herod, and Archelaus and Philip, Annas,
and Caiphas, with all the people, delivered to me, making a great uproar
against me that I should try Him (Christ). I, therefore, ordered Him
to be crucified, having first scourged Him, and having found against
Him no cause of evil accusations or deeds. At the time he was crucified,
there was darkness over all the world, the sun being darkened at midday,
and the stars appearing, but in them there appeared no luster; and the
moon, as if turned into blood, failed in her light."
Julian the Apostate, Roman Emperor from 361-363 A.D. and one of the most gifted
ancient adversaries to Christianity.
In his work against Christianity:
has now been celebrated about three
hundred years having done nothing in his lifetime worthy of fame, unless
anyone thinks it is a very great work to heal lame and blind people
and exorcise demoniacs in the villages of Bethsaida and Bethany.
But at the end of his life was forced to say:
Thou has conquered, O Galilean!
- He also affirms the authenticity
of all four gospels.
Samaritan-born historian, wrote A.D. 52.
His writings have disappeared and
we know of them only from fragments cited by other writers.
One such writer is Julian Africanus, A
Christian writer of about 221 A.D. who
Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains
away this darkness as an eclipse of the sun unreasonable as it
seems to me (unreasonable of course, because a solar eclipse could not
take place at the time of the full moon, and it was at the season of
the Paschal full moon that Christ died).
Jesus is not one of the group of worlds
great. Talk about Alexander the Great and Charles
the Great and Napoleon the Great if you will
Jesus is apart. He
is not the Great He is the only.
David Strauss, German theologian who applied Hegelian philosophy to the study
of the Bible.
Toward the end of his life
is historical, not mythical,
is an individual, no mere symbol
Luke is a consummate historian, to be ranked in
his own right with the great writers of the Greeks.
Bruce M. Metzger
Today no competent scholar denies the historicity
G. Wells, British writer, 1866-1946
In the reign of Tiberius Caesar a great teacher
arose out of Judea who was to liberate the intense realization of the
righteousness and unchallengeable oneness of God, and of mans
moral obligation to God
This was Jesus of Nazareth
Is it any
wonder that to this day the Galilean is too much for our small hearts.
Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French
"You speak of Caesar, of Alexander, of their conquests
and of the enthusiasm which they enkindled in the hearts of their soldiers;
but can you conceive of a dead man making conquests, with an army faithful
and entirely devoted to his memory? My armies have forgotten me even
while living, as the Carthaginian army forgot Hannibal. Such is our
I know men and I tell you, Jesus Christ is no
mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no
possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have
founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius?
Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour,
millions would die for him.
I search in vain history to find similar to Jesus
Christ, or anything which can approach the gospel. Neither history
nor humanity, nor ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am
able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary.
Renan, French historian, religious
scholar and linguist
All history is incomprehensible without Christ.
Whatever may be the surprises of the future, Jesus
will never be surpassed.
William E. Channing, American religious leader whose writings
and sermons led to the emergence of Unitarianism, 1780-1842
The sages and heroes of history are receding
from us, and history contracts the record of their deeds into a narrower
and narrower page. But time has no power over the name and deeds and
words of Jesus Christ.
P. Carnegie Simpson,
Concerning Christianity said:
Is a fact of history recognizable
as any other.
H. G. Wells, British writer, 1866-1946
When asked which person
left the most permanent impression on history, he replied that judging
a persons greatness by historical standards:
By this test, Jesus stands first.
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.
Christ is the most unique person of history. No
man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost
place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth.
Kenneth Scott Latourette, former President of American
In A History of Christianity:
It is evidence of His importance, of the effect
that He has had upon history and presumably, of the baffling mystery
of His being that no other life ever lived on this planet has evoked
so huge a volume of literature among so many people and languages, and
that, far from ebbing, the flood continues to mount.
As the centuries pass by, the evidence is accumulating
that measured by its effect on history, Jesus is the most influential
life ever lived on this planet. The influence appears to be mounting.
No other life lived on this planet has so widely
and deeply affected mankind.
George Bancroft, great American historian
I find the name of Jesus Christ written on the
top of every page of modern history.
One Solitary Life
Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village,
a child was born of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village where
He worked as a carpenter until He was thirty. Then for three years He
became an itinerant preacher.
This man never went to college or seminary. He never
wrote a book. He never held a public office. He never had a family nor
owned a home. He never put His foot inside a big city nor traveled even
200 miles from His birthplace. And though He never did any of the things
that usually accompany greatness, throngs of people followed Him. He
had no credentials but Himself.
While He was still young, the tide of public opinion
turned against Him. His followers ran away. He was turned over to His
enemies and sentenced to death on a cross between two thieves. While
He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property
He had on earth the simple coat He had worn. His body was laid
in a borrowed grave provided by a compassionate friend.
But three days later this
Man arose from the dead living proof that He was, as He had claimed,
the Savior whom God had sent, the Incarnate Son of God.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today the
risen Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of the human race. On
our calendars His birth divides history into two eras. One day of every
week is set aside in remembrance of Him. And our two most important
holidays celebrate His birth and resurrection. On church steeples around
the world, His cross has become the symbol of victory over sin and death.
This one Mans life has furnished the theme for
more songs, books, poems and paintings than any other person or event
in history. Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions
have been founded in honor of this One who gave His life for us.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that
ever sailed, all the governments that ever sat, all the kings that ever
reigned have not changed the course of history as much as this One Solitary
Daniel Webster, American politician., 1782-1852
All that is best in the civilization of today,
is the fruit of Christs appearance among men.
Will Durant, popular modern historian
When asked what he felt the apex of history was:
the three years that Jesus of Nazareth walked