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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reply to an Atheist wether Jesus was a Historical Figure

This post was written as a reply to an atheist that wanted me to prove that Jesus was a historical figure. I wanted to share it with you all.

I’ve finished reading Jim Walker’s paper, “Did the Historical Jesus Exist?” from nobeliefs.com/exist.htm. I looked up the references and persons quoted. I reviewed the paper in full. At first I thought you wrote the paper, and then it occurred to me that you did not. Which was not your fault, you never said you did. Just that you believed it. So it is sort of “You’re Bible”. Nowhere did Mr. Walker prove that Jesus never existed. You believe in hear-say evidence. Just as I do. The matter is ‘belief’. If I had realized that you were going by this hear-say, I would never had entered into this conversation with you and wasted so much time. The paper seems to be full of speculations. Like the persons could not have written the Gospels because the life span was only 30 years. If this was true then the Gospels would not have been accepted because of the stories of John the Baptist’s birth to an old couple. People took notice because she was past the age of giving birth not because she and Zeb were beyond the expected life span of a normal person. The story of Simeon the old man in the temple who was waiting for the birth of Christ is indeed possible. And Jesus telling Peter he would live to be an old man with John. How is that for speculation? The only truth between Walker’s and my argument is that the first century people believed them and most chose death instead of denial. And they believed when the truth of Jesus was well past the time of physical proof.

You wanted me to quote proof of His life. Here it is. I submit the names of the pagan and Christian historians listed as proof. It does not matter that they were later in history. I believe they are right and you believe they were wrong. The pagan historians had nothing to gain by speaking of Jesus. Pliny, Suetonius, Cornelius Tacitus (55 AD - 120AD Over 30 years old), Lucian of Samosata, Thallus, Phlegon, Mara Bar-Serapion and the Christian historians like Polycarp who was under the study of the Apostle Matthew. He later was instrumental in pointing out to other church leaders which text was of the disciples along with other leaders who sat under the teachings of other disciples. They in turn gave their lives instead of denying the truth just as their teachers. Knowledge, he gleaned from an eyewitness. You discount historians because they are not eyewitnesses of the events they report. Should we discount all of our other history books or believe the research the historians did. And if one historian was forced to choose death or deny what he has reported and he chose death. Wouldn’t you lean more in the direction of believing him? We should let the jury decide. The jury is in. More people that were aware of Him, even opposite religions and other atheists, believe He existed. Historians as a whole believe He existed.
And speaking of “Fakes, Frauds, and Fictions” Should I go into the Piltdown man and Nebraska Man being faked and one made up from the tooth of a pig. Come on guys.
You and Mr. Walker seem to lack enough knowledge of ancient customs of the time of the Bible or church history to interpret the Bible or Church historical events.
You all seem to push proof. Well, I agree that you cannot prove with archaeology. Although the oldest fragment of the book of Matthew was reported by the “The Times” of London in 1994 to have been found and proven to be written by a contemporary of Jesus. It was dated about 60 A.D. written in the Greek language of that day. Of course it cannot be proven that it is written by the Matthew, but it was written or copied by someone who could have known Jesus. Will we know for sure? No. Will you know for sure that he didn’t? No. So where does that leave us, by my faith that He did or your faith that He didn’t. It is—all faith.
Jesus left His disciples with an expectation that He would return to earth again. Therefore none of them felt a need to record on paper the events until later. We have history books dating, 100 and even 200 years old by people who did not experience what they wrote about but reported what others told them. Sort of what newspaper reporters do. We must choose to believe or not believe the reporter. If a person witnesses an event and waits 30 to 50 years to report it and then give his life before denying it, does that make his witness invalid? Like the fact that a person existed in history. I don’t think so.
I think your problem is how you perceive God or the lack of God.
Say you try to “will” yourself to believe just for a moment that God existed. You may see Him as an old man who creates a world and winds it up to let it run down and creates people with no purpose than to serve as a whipping post when they do badly. OR can you see a God that created a world for people that He loves. Saw how their sin was killing them, came down to live as a man and experience the pain of man, to offer Himself as a sacrifice for man to heal the gap in relationship between them. He had a free will also. He could have chosen not to die on the cross. He asked the Father if there was another way to fulfill the promise, but if not He would choose the Father’s will instead of His own. This is hard to understand by people who do not have Spiritual insight and revelation from God on how God can be a Father, Son and Spirit at the same time.
My point is that God is big enough to make sure the events of His life on earth could make it through time and in one piece. If He could not, then He wasn’t much of a God. I’m sure you will comment on this remark.
The church started small, governed by men locally in small groups. Jesus never intended for it to become some giant organization under the authority of one man that had the power over men’s life or death. Peter was not the first Pope. He had disagreements with Paul and it did not cost Paul his life. It was not until Constantine converted that this misguided church came into power. Jesus never said that a person could make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for forgiveness of sins, which lead to the Crusades. That was never part of God’s plan. He ordained no other works that a person could do to gain forgiveness of sins. All He asked was faith in Him.
Faith, which brings me back to the proof you wished to have. One of the main themes of the Bible is that God will only take faith in Him. Not in the works of men, not in man’s power and not in any evidence of archaeology. He will not allow it. It is faith or nothing.
Also the way you are trying to find proof is wrong. The Bible states, “That God is spirit and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and in Truth.” God is not made of physical matter and any amateur scientist knows you cannot measure anything that is not matter. Can you prove emotions? Can you prove thought? Since you cannot physically prove these in science does that mean you have no feelings or you do not think?
Of course not, I can read the emotion when you write. And I can tell you think. Can you prove there is wind? You cannot measure it, taste it etc….. You believe in these three because you see the results of them. Also I believe in God/Jesus because I see the results of His work.
He created an atom that is held together by a force that science cannot explain. It is there. Look what happens when you split one. You can win a lottery every year for the rest of your life before an atom puts it’s self together and forms a living organism. Science and engineering says a bumble bee should not be able to fly. But it does.
The greatest evidence of Jesus’ existence is the tidal wave of change that occurred from His life. If He did not exist, who made up His name? Who persuaded people to give their lives as a testimony to His life? Where in history did anyone else have this influence? You speak of other gods and their similarities to Jesus. Who today believes in the Greek gods? God is so big that He could easily insert into other cultures, like the cannibals of New Guina, things that could be used by missionaries to teach about the true God when Jesus chose to reveal Himself to them. As written about in the book,” Eternity in Their Hearts”.
There is a saying, “You can tell a tree by the fruit it bears”. Through the influence of Jesus, all individuals received equal worth. Before Christ, children were deemed worthless until a certain age. It was a common practice to throw babies into the river or leave them for the beast in the woods if a child was not wanted. Not until Constantine did this change. Through the years many graves are filled by the killing of people deemed worthless or less evolved by atheist governments. Planned Parenthood was formed to do away with the black race through abortion. If you do not believe this read the journal of the founder.
Also before Christ the poor were discarded to the wayside to die on their own. Through the influence of Christ, people following His ideas reached out to the poor and lifted them up with dignity. Not in any natural or man-made disaster have I seen the “Atheist Relief Society” rise up to take care of the needy. If there is such an organization I do not know of, please enlighten me if there is such a thing. Also, During the U.S. depression, atheists and evolutionists believed poverty came through heredity, and had poor children, orphans and others put into institutions and forcibly sterilized. This turned out to be wrong and became part of the hidden history of America.
The one good thing that came from the dark ages is that the Bible was preserved for over a thousand years without being altered. When God chose to reveal Himself and the Bible became public, education became important to many. The influence of Christ brought about the rise of colleges and institutions of learning. You seem to enjoy bringing up the “flat earth” teaching and assigning it to only Christians. You must not know that everyone at that time believed in the theory and it was popular all over the world, except where they believed the earth sat on a giant turtles back and other beliefs. The Bible was tucked away from common people and left them to ignorance by the leadership of the perverted church at the time. Otherwise they would have read in Isa. 40:22, “God sits on His throne above the circle or sphere of the earth….” written 2500 years before the discovery of secular philosophers and believed. You seem to use this in the hope that we Christians look stupid and unlearned. How silly is it that the early evolutionist believed maggots on rotten meat proved “spontaneous generation”. We accepted the round earth when proven, but you all seem to stick to the SG myth although you have not been able to produce it in a lab for over a hundred years now. It is interesting that most of your major colleges in the world were started by Christians trying to improve the education of others. Then the atheists took them over and our U.S. education system is going down the tubes, while Christian home schoolers and students of Christian schools continue to score higher on SATs. More times than their secular counter parts. This is provable with just a little research.
So through history we have seen the fruits of the influence of Christ and the influence of atheism and those using religion for the gaining of power.
This Christian believes that no matter what proof we come up with, you all will not believe. But don’t trust me. Open your heart to believe for just a little bit to do a real search if Jesus is real. I agree with what Physicist Robert Morris Page says,” The test of a hypothesis involves the establishment of conditions consistent with the hypothesis to produce results predicted by the hypothesis on the assumption that the hypothesis is true.” In short you must believe in the hypothesis you are testing if only for the sake of the test to have a true answer to the hypothesis. You are like the black smith that did not believe that a ship made of iron would float. Surly, if iron would not float neither would a ship covered with it he argued. And to prove it he tossed a horseshoe into a barrow of water in front of the town folk and it sunk. Seeing the proof of brilliance he grinned pointing to the truth of his hypothesis. A little old lady tried to question his finding and was scorned as an ignorant old lady that does not have the ability to think of such things. She left them but returned with her iron kettle. Tossing it in, it floated. She believed the hypothesis therefore truth was seen.
We have seen what atheism will bring about in the world and we are aware that if they come to power in our county we may be looking at near elimination of Christians and others who do not believe as they do, the under evolved. It happened in other countries, why not the U.S. Although after the fall of Russia’s government there appeared a church that could not be crushed. In China, the Christian church is growing stronger than ever. Africa’s Christians although suffering murder, torture and bondage to slavery have hung to their faith. There must be more to Jesus than physical matter that can be tested in a test tube or found written on a rock.
If atheists come to power and the time comes for me to choose Christ or die you may use this at my trial:
·         I am John Dewayne, aka Wayne Brooks, son of Frank Brooks from Dothan, Al. USA.
·         I believe in Christ the Savior of Mankind and God.
·         I believe He came to earth to live among us and to give His life to redeem us from our sins and save us from the penalty of it.
·         I believe He rose from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion and ascended into Heaven where He waits for the time when He will return to defeat the Antichrist and bring all believers to Himself. Leaving all non-believers to spend eternity without the presence of God.
·         I believe the book known as the Holy Bible to be the record of all the needed information to believe in Christ and comes from God.
With this confession I swear to live and not deny.

Your 7 day challenge http://www.myspace.com/7_day_atheist_challenge and statements of Jesus not existing seems to me just an attempt to gather data for your book and a chance to impress your Jesus Seminar buddies. The shameful thing is that Christians are not answering your challenge because they are not afraid or they have no proof. It is because most of them do not care if you believe or not. Well my whole motivation for getting involved with you is to just share the love of Christ with you this last time. It hurts me to think of you spending eternity alone without God with the arguments in your book going through your head over and over again thinking you are right. I know you’ve heard this all before. But I wanted you to hear it from me. I respect your choice and please forgive me if I have offended you in anyway. I do get to be a real smartass sometimes. Thanks for the education you’ve provided me. You’ve strengthened my faith in ways your will never know.
The good news for us is that in the end we both will get what we want, I will get eternity with Christ and you will get eternity without Christ. We both win?
I end with this and bid you fair well.

Notice: If any of this is used in any book out of context and without permission, I will sue you and use all the money to print Bibles for missionaries overseas. If you wish to reprint any of it for your blog, just ask and let me know which part. As long as you print it all in context, no problem.
(c) Wayne Brooks 2007

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2007

2 comments:

Daisy said...

this is deep.. really deep..

Wayne said...

Thanks for your comment