A question to readers

My reading list of late has included a couple of books by one Emmet Scott which have not only cast doubt upon, but completely destroyed, the canonical origin story of Islam. It is now clear that the story of Mohammed, the so-called "prophet" of Islam, is complete bunk, and any serious inquiry into the rather obscure origins of that political ideology, which masquerades as a faith, would lead one to the conclusion that the canonical Mohammed simply did not exist.

By comparison, my reading of the Bible has made it clear that the Bible is not merely a source of moral and spiritual enlightenment. It is also, in many ways, a historical document.

There is certainly very solid ground for a dispassionate observer to argue that many of the core events recorded in the Bible were distorted or exaggerated, or simply did not happen. Nevertheless, it is clear that even the most outlandish events described in the Bible have a core of truth to them.

One good example would be the story of the Exodus from Egypt. We know, based on archaeological evidence, that a mass migration from Egypt of some kind did indeed occur around very roughly the 15th Century BC. While perhaps historical licence was taken with certain events described in the story of Exodus- precisely how much is a matter of conjecture, as far as I can tell- it is clear that the Old Testament, from the Book of Genesis all the way through, is heavily steeped in real historical events.

The same, as far as I know, is to be said of the New Testament- even more so, in fact, given that the canonical New Testament consists of Gospels and epistles written within under 200 years of the Crucifixion, while authorship of the Old Testament appears to span something like 800 years (very roughly speaking).

The historicity of Jesus Christ, in particular, is of considerable interest to me. As I have pointed out before, the Resurrection is the keystone upon which the entire Christian faith is built. Now, based on observation and reading, I conclude that Christianity is indeed based on rigourous, axiomatic principles that are derived from the undeniable existence of a just and lawful Creator.

However, in order to fully examine these foundations, I am most curious to see how closely the historical Christ matches what we know of the Biblical Christ.

With this in mind, I pose a serious question to any knowledgeable reader who might happen to know of some good material on the subject: if you had to figure out whether Christ really was as He is described in the New Testament, where would you start?

This article provides some rather good references that seem useful to begin a search for the historical Jesus. If you have others that you have read and enjoyed, I would be willing to give them a go.

If you have reading recommendations, by all means please stick them in the comments below, or send me an email.

Comments

  1. With this in mind, I pose a serious question to any knowledgeable reader who might happen to know of some good material on the subject: if you had to figure out whether Christ really was as He is described in the New Testament, where would you start?

    Personally, I think your question meshes together with another question, can we trust the New Testament sources as reliable testimony of Jesus, who he was and his ministry. If the sources in the New Testament are reliable, then we can conclude that the Jesus they describe WAS the historical Jesus. Now I haven't read all of the particular books I mention, I have read other books by the authors and trust them as scholars.

    "What Have They Done With Jesus" by Ben Witherington III

    "The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth" by Ben Witherington III

    "Reinventing Jesus" by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace

    "The New Testament and the People of God" by N.T. Wright

    Personally, I really like N.T. Wright. I disagree with some of his politics and other interpretations of the Bible, but his scholarship in the origins of Christianity is great. I'm in the process of reading his massive tome "The Resurrection of the Son of God" as that deals with my particular interests but is also recommended.

    Here is also another list of books on the historical reliability of New Testament by a guy I trust in these matters.

    http://www.tektonics.org/books/nthistbooks.php

    Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Instead of an article or book or two, here is a link to an overview with examples, and sources of early historical documentation on Jesus Christ. Documentation is divided into three types, pagan, Jewish and Christian.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08375a.htm

    Also, from the same place, here is some discussion in regard to His resurrection: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12789a.htm

    ReplyDelete
  3. hmmm... way too big. I will link to it.

    https://dudequest.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/looking-at-jesus-from-a-non-supernatural-standpoint-book-of-luke/

    I wrote this post as a reply to you, I am not linking to a random article, but it was WAY too big to publish here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Luke was a historian and his synoptic (along with his authorship of Acts) is my favorite as far as ascertaining the authenticity of Christ.

    As Voddie Baucham says when saying why he believes the Bible: "It's a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses that record supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim that their writings are divine rather than of human origin."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WEll, Ironically, demystifying it actually makes it vastly more substantial, believable, and inspiring than the original supernatural version. I prefer a Christ without magic, a god as man that nevertheless makes himself accessible. Even his later parables versus his earlier ones showed him maturing and learning as a man even more than as a divinity... Love and fear is the natural response to the divine, but respect... respect is the most valued and hardest to acquire.

      Delete
  5. I'd be very skeptical of arguments claiming Mohammad didn't exist. Virtually the same kind of mindset tries the same kind of thing with Christianity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Respectfully, sir, I must disagree.

      The evidence surrounding the historical Christ is considerable, both within and beyond the Gospels, as readers above have noted and as I am sure you would agree. There are legitimate arguments and questions to be posed with respect to whether or not He performed all of the miracles that have been claimed within the New Testament, and a certain degree of informed scepticism is not only healthy but justified, in my opinion, about such things. Nonetheless, what I have seen and read thus far indicates that Christ did exist, that He was a prophet, and that His followers were fundamentally changed by what they experienced.

      No such assurances exist with Mohammed's existence. The archaeological, linguistic, numismatic, and cultural evidence that should exist around such an important figure, simply does not. Furthermore, as both Emmet Scott and Dr. Robert Spencer have made clear in their works, the entire timeline of Islam's origins simply does not make sense when viewed against the evidence.

      Delete
    2. Also, read James White's book on Islam, too. There's a section within dealing with Uthman's fiddling with the Koran.

      Delete

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Anonymous comments will be deleted.

Popular Posts