Archive for August 2010

Who is Jesus?

Lier, Lunatic or Lord

By

Jose de Carvalho

In amongst all the television documentary programs I have been evaluating there seems to be a common thread that is also common among intellectuals, namely an acceptance of the historicity of Jesus’ life and death; this is because it is futile to negate facts that are well attested in historical and legal sources. This includes the resurrection, as much as many find it hard to believe that it happened – that’s not relevant. The acid test is that there is proof by the authorities of the day and witnesses.  This post however is not about the historical, literary and legal testimony to support its validity – so I will move on…

 The problem for most is who is Jesus?

 Scholars have accepted certain facts: He was a good person, great moral teacher or a prophet. The dilemma though for most: He said He was God!!!!! So how can a good person go about deliberately deceiving so many about His identity? If you don’t believe He was God, then Jesus was a hypocrite and a liar, not moral at all, actually evil.

 If it is inconceivable for Jesus to be a liar, as many believe, then what? He said He was God, but many don’t believe that either.  Then He must have been a deluded lunatic – or in medical terms schizophrenic – because His lies cost Him His life. Many don’t believe this either, because His life’s testimony certainly does not attest to that of a disturbed man. He actually liberated others from these conditions through counsel and deliverance miracles.

 Like most I cannot conclude that He was a liar or a lunatic, the only other alternative is that He is who He said He was, namely the “Son of God”,The Lord.

 So you must make a choice

 “The evidence is clearly in favour of Jesus as Lord. Some people, however, reject this clear evidence because of the moral implications involved. They don’t want to face up to the responsibility or the implications of calling Him Lord”.

Works consulted:

McDowell J. and Wilson B. 1993. A Ready Defence. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Massacre of the Innocents

Massacre of the Innocents

By

Jose de Carvalho

I was watching a program on the History channel called “Cities of the underworld” that made reference to the “Massacre of the Innocents” (Matt 2:16). The narrator interviewed Prof C. Shemmaly, prime expert on the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the site where Christ was born, displayed the remains of children that were collected from several tombs around the city, providing archaeological evidence for this Biblical account.

 The interesting thing is that in a similar program previously shown on the same channel called “Jesus, the man behind the myth”, a Biblical historian questioned the validity of the nativity account, implying that it is not an historical fact, and that the martyrdom of the children was a metaphor akin to Pharaoh’s attempt to kill Mosses when he was a baby (Ex. 1:12).

Programs also differ on the birth site of Jesus.  The “Jesus, the man behind the myth” states that the census that took place at the time was not a good reason for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem, while in another National Geographic program called “Jesus the man from Nazareth”, L. Schiffman, a professor in Hebrew and Judaic studies at NYC, states that there was no census that he knows about at that time.

 I have dealt with the issue pertaining to the census in a previous post – see “Jesus, the man behind the myth” in” His life pilgrimage”.

 Regarding the Massacre of the innocents, which one is correct?

 Macrobius, a Roman Historian of the time in his penses mentions a quote from Augustus Caesar (Roman emperor 30 B.C. – 12 A. D.) that attested to the slaughter of the babes.

 It is high time that Bible scholars accept the fact that the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ is an attested historical fact by secular, Jewish, Christian and hostile authoritive sources and that the Bible is an historical reliable Book.

 Josh McDowell in his attempts to refute Christianity made the following observation: Before my research I had never realized there was so much positive historical, literary and legal testimony supporting its validity (1993:216). In a following work containing evidence from all of the above, he mentioned all the sources validating the life of Christ.  He concludes by concurring with the words of Otto Betz, “No serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus.” McDowell (1999:120).