Over the years, there have been a number of articles online and
in the print media otherwise concerning the historical proofs of Jesus
Christ. Although not an intentional object of personal research on my
part, in the course of pursuing other historical research, I have stumbled on
numerous evidences that have existed and are available for anyone interested in
That’s by way of introduction for this morning’s coffee break. Good
Morning, Everyone! Blessings on you and your day ahead!
discussion is going to depart somewhat from my previous writing style and
perhaps be a little more to the point – clinical, some might say – but this is
a topic that all of us can take advantage of for the sake of those doubters and
skeptics who question the authenticity or historicity of Jesus Christ.Pour your cup of coffee, and let’s get started.
number of years ago, I stumbled onto a would-be historian and wannabe scholar
by the name of Hugh Schonfield who did a book titled
something like, “In Search of Historic Jesus.” It didn’t take long to
realize that this man was out to prove that the divine Jesus, the Son of God, didn’t
exist, and that he – Schonfield – had an anti-God,
anti-Faith agenda behind his writings. He made the outrageous supposition
that “the early Church fathers may have rewritten some of the New Testament
books and influenced others to rewrite the story of Jesus” despite a total
absence of any historical or documentary proof to support such a thesis.
wannabe historian, Gary R. Habermas, took it even a
step farther with his claim that “the Gospels represent
the teachings of the early church and not those of Jesus himself.” These
kinds of spurious claims are johnny-come-lately
efforts of liberals and leftists who neither know, nor have a relationship with
Jesus Christ, nor have they ever even made an effort to personally put Jesus’
claims to the test.
said, let’s examine some of the historical evidence that does exist.
years ago, my father made reference to a volume of historical documents he had
looked at when he was studying in Bible College. He later obtained a copy
and sent it to me. The book was titled, The Archko
Volume, and represented the culmination of many years of effort of two eminent
scholars, Drs. McIntosh and Twyman of the Antiquarian
Lodge in Genoa, Italy. Published in 1887, the work provided copies of
writings and works taken from the Talmud and the Sanhedrin contemporary to the
time of Christ, along with a copy of “Acta Pilati,” which was a report sent by Pontius Pilate – the
Roman procurator or governor of Judaea – to Caesar detailing the arrest, trial
and crucifixion of Jesus. Some of the other documents included Gamaliel’s interview with Joseph and Mary concerning
Jesus. Gamaliel, you may remember, was the
Pharisee at whose feet Paul the apostle sat while he was yet a Pharisee, being
instructed in the ways of the sect.
Archko Volume also includes some documented reports
of Caiaphas, the High Priest who presided over the Jewish trial and judgment of
Jesus prior to His being brought before Pilate, as well as his report to the
Sanhedrin concerning the resurrection of Jesus.
to the testimony of the two researchers and archeologists who came up with the
documents, the sources of these documents were ancient libraries in
Constantinople and the Senatorial Docket in Rome.
you read these documents, it provides an interesting perspective and an
otherwise not-considered view of others who either participated in or observed
events and people who were involved in some way with Jesus Christ.
of the things often overlooked by those who seek to authenticate the historical
Jesus is the fact that what we now refer to as the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke
and John) were written as personal testimonies of men who walked and talked
with Jesus. These were eyewitness accounts. What makes them all the
more intriguing is the fact that they were written at different times, in
different places, and in three different languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic),
and yet they agree with each other. Each of the writers has a distinct
personality and a perspective that differs from the others; and that
personality comes through in the writing style. Nevertheless, there is
synoptic agreement between Matthew, Mark and Luke.
writes from a totally different perspective as Jesus’ best friend, and the
majority of what he writes details the final week of Jesus’ life and what He
taught before He was crucified.
let’s step away from the accepted canon for a moment and look at the works of
historians who were contemporary to the time.
Judaeus of Alexandria, Egypt was a contemporary of
both Jesus and the apostle Paul. While he does not mention Jesus by name
specifically in his works, he does outline some of the events and individuals –
such as Pilate and Herod – who took part in the trial, judgment, and
crucifixion of Jesus, and details certain events that could only have taken
place with Jesus.
Josephus was a Jewish historian who doted on the history of his people.
Born during the reign of Caligula in or about 37 AD, he provides convincing
evidence of Jesus Christ. All the more interesting is the fact that at
age 19, he joined the Pharisees, and apparently remained one for his entire
life. He also became a Roman citizen, and was commissioned by Flavian to write a history of the Jews in 67 or 68
third published work, The Antiquities of the Jews, which was issued in 93 or 94
AD was primarily an apology or defense of Judaism. What makes it of such
interest to us is the fact that in the course of issuing this work, he gives
credence to Jesus Christ, (see Antiquities XVIII, 3) reporting events that
some modern historians have suggested that Josephus’ works were tampered with
by the early church fathers and altered in such a way as to give favorable
treatment to Jesus Christ, there is no evidence to support that thesis.
What is clear is that Josephus fell from favor with his erstwhile sect of the
Pharisees because of his reports on Jesus Christ, and that Judaism today still
essentially rejects his works as authentic as a result. Josephus himself
notes toward the end of his writings that he was not held in favor among the
Jews in the way he was 20 or 30 years prior.
take our historical review the next step. Near the end of the first
century, and throughout the second and third centuries, we find the works of
Clement of Alexandria, Ignatius, and Polycarp (who was a disciple of
John). Each of them share their individual testimonies and
experiences. Not intending to be historians, but teachers and apologists
for Jesus Christ, they nevertheless give us an insight into the developments of
Christianity and how it impacted the world of their day. Though none of
them were personal witnesses to the life of Christ, they were the product of
those who had walked and talked with Jesus Christ. Each of them died
because of their witness and testimony.
is another historical evidence of Jesus Christ that most intending historians
seem to miss completely: the evidence contained in what Jesus is reported to
set aside for a moment the fact that what is reported in the four Gospels is
incorporated into the New Testament, and consider the statements on their own merit.
indeed Jesus was a historical individual, and the statements attributed to Him
are true and factual, they can be put to the test.
made some statements and some phenomenal promises that no one else in history
has ever made.
AM the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh to the Father, but by
me.” Is that actually true? How about this one? “I am the
Door. By me if any man enter in he shall be saved.”
Whoaa! Buddha never
said anything like that. Mohammed never said anything like that.
Confucius never made any such claim. So, if Jesus was the only one to
make such claims, then everything else He said stands or falls on those
then, do you put those statements to the test?
let’s begin with promises He made to “them that believe.” If those
promises can be proven to work, we have a basis for believing the rest of what
He says.Take a look at Mark 16:17, 18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name
shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take
up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they
shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
there was His instruction to his Disciples, (Matthew 10:8) “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out
devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
how about, “Verily, verily, I say
unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and
greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And
whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”(John 14:12-14)
kinds of promises were made to those who came into fellowship, commitment, and
union with Him. Were they true? Could they be put to the test?I don’t have space to tell you in a journal like this
of all the hundreds and perhaps thousands of times I have seen every one of
out demons? More times than I can possible count, with visible displays
that would curl your hair.Speaking with new
tongues? Let’s don’t go there. It is impossible to recount the tens
of thousands of personal experiences and the folks I have seen, known, laid
hands on, etc., who have received this experience.
up serpents? Here is one of those Hebrew metaphors couched in the Greek
text of the New Testament that some folks have misapplied with some deadly
results. “They shall take up serpents” is a Hebrew metaphor that is used
on several occasions throughout both Old and New Testaments; and it means “to
take on wily, deceitful men who seek to gain the advantage over you in
arguments.” Once again, it is impossible to recount the number of times I
have seen this promise fulfilled.
about, “If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them..”? This
has both literal and metaphorical applications, and it speaks of the protection
provided by the Lord when someone seeks to kill you, or you ingest something
poisonous without your knowledge. I can’t tell you how many times I had
to apply this promise in a very literal sense living in the arctic. The
only water we had was contaminated. There were viruses visible to the
naked eye, and we simply didn’t have the filtration equipment to cleanse the
water. We knew we were there at the instruction of the Lord, and that we
could claim that promise. As far as I know, we never got sick or
contracted some disease as a result of drinking otherwise deadly water.
It was a daily sign that followed our existence for so long as it was needed.
of course, there is the most common evidence of all: “They shall lay hands on
the sick, and they shall recover.” Maybe there are diseases that I haven’t
prayed for at some time in the past that folks have contracted, but I assure
you that they are few and far between. Apart from the fact that I have
personally experienced instantaneous healings for my own body, it would be
impossible to recount the number of people I have laid hands on or prayed for
who have been healed.
promises are to “them that believe.” These are not religious
promises. These promises are not evidenced in other religions.
These are the here and now, everyday proofs available to anyone who accepts
Jesus Christ, believes on Him, repents from their past and walks with Him on a
provide the greatest proof of the historical Jesus one can ever consider.
They aren’t historical – at least from the standpoint of something that
happened once a couple of thousand years ago. They are available in the
past, the present and the future as evidence of a living Jesus Christ who
indeed rose from the dead as He said He would, and as we have eyewitness
are the kinds of evidence that would stand up in any court of law as
irrefutable proofs that Jesus was a historical person, that He did live and
die, and that He rose again as the Son of God, providing us with ongoing proofs
that He is alive now and forever!
you need personal proof of the historical Jesus, it is available to you in
your coffee. Meditate on these things. When you’re done, don’t just
think, “Oh, well, that was interesting,” and go on down the road without making
a personal decision concerning Jesus Christ. Make that decision,
now! And get ready for a lifetime of adventures that will fill more books
than you can write.
I remind those of you
in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call takes place on Mondays at 7:00
PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number has changed to (712) 775-7035. The new Access Code
is: 323859#.For Canadians who have
difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400.If someone answers and asks what your
original call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by
conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference
number is (605) 562-3140, and the access code
is 308640#. We hope to make
these gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you
miss the live call, you can dial
(605) 562-3149, enter the same access code and listen in
on you! Have a Spectacular Day!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
Coffee Break articles are copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for
reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted
–provided proper attribution and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee
Break archives are available at http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com. Coffee Break
articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: Subscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to Unsubscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.
MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should
you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry,
please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or