2Heard the latest news? …never even existed!” “A new movement is leaving their leader’s name card all over the world, whose members are willing to die for him, but the leader himself…”…never even existed!”Can you believe that?Well, that’s just what militant critics would have you believe about Jesus Christ!
3First Question: Is the Bible Historical? In other words: IS the Bible actually a factual history book… …or just a myth?
4An Amazing Clay TabletIn the summer of 2007 visiting professor Michael Jursa, an Assyriologist, was searching through the museum’s collection of thousands of cuneiform tablets, when he came across a name … Nabu Sharussu Ukin
5Who Was Nabu Sharussu Ukin? This small clay tablet is a bill of receipt recording Nabu’s payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a Babylon TempleThen Michael Jursa remembered that name from somewhere…
6Nebo SarsekimMichael checked the Old Testament and found the same name rendered as “Nebo Sarsekim”, who according to chapter 39 of the book of Jeremiah, was “chief officer” to Nebuchadnezzar II, and present at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, when Daniel the prophet was captured also.Dr. Irving Finkel of the British Museum summed up the significance: “A fantastic discovery, a world-class find,…it means the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on new power.”In other words, the Bible is an accurate history book!
7Are there any more proofs of the Bible’s veracity? Well yes there are plenty! Here are a couple more!
8Example: Historians long disputed the existence of King Sargon of Assyria mentioned in Isaiah 20:1 who “fought against Ashdod and took it”, UNTIL……Paul Emile Botta, in 1843, discovered Sargon’s palace (above) at Khorsabad in Iraq. 90 yrs. later, archeologists found the above event recorded on its palace walls.
9In 1970 the archives of the ancient city Ebla in Northern Syria were discovered. The clay tablets confirmed the Biblical patriarchs!Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the accounts of the Hebrew Bible patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are genuine!The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible.The word “tehom“ (meaning “the deep”) in Genesis 1:2, was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. But “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses!Ancient Bible customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs were also found in clay tablets from the cities Nuzi and Mari.
10Second Question: Is Jesus Historical? Note that historians never doubt the existence for example of,… Alexander the Great!BUT…The historicity of Alexander the Great and his military conquests is drawn from five ancient sources, none of whom were eyewitnesses.Although only written 400 years after Alexander, Plutarch’s Life of Alexander is the primary account of his life.Jesus’ historical Gospels were written by eyewitnesses and/or contemporaries, and should be considered history books, but are not!And they were written within 60 years after his resurrection!
11So Was Jesus Historical? Dozens of ancient non-biblical manuscripts confirm that Jesus was a genuine historical figure who lived in Palestine in the early part of the first century.The Encyclopedia Brittanica states: “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time, on inadequate grounds, by several authors during the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”
12For instance the Roman Historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus mentions Christus in his 115 AD annals. “Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated by their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”Pic: Nero’s bust
13Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD) stated: “Because the Jews of Rome caused continous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Emperor Claudius] expelled them from the city.”“After the great fire at Rome [during Nero's reign] … Punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief.”Nero & Agrippina before he married Jewish Poppeia
14Flavius Josephus (37-97 AD), Jewish court historian for Emperor Vespasian: "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." (From Arabic translation)
15The Apocryphon of John, probably by Saturninus, around 120-130 AD: "It happened one day when John, the brother of James,--who are the sons of Zebedee--went up and came to the temple, that a Pharisee named Arimanius approached him and said to him, `Where is your master whom you followed?' And he said to him, 'He has gone to the place from which he came.' The Pharisee said to him, 'This Nazarene deceived you with deception and filled your ears with lies and closed your hearts and turned you from the traditions of your fathers.'"Also the Gospel of Thomas, probably from AD contains many references to and alleged quotations of Jesus.
16Even the darkness that covered the land during Jesus' crucifixion was recorded in secular history Julius Africanus, writing in 221 AD, found a reference in the writings of Samaritan Historian C. Thallus, (c AD) who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean dealing with the darkness that covered the land during Jesus' crucifixion:Africanus wrote:"Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun--unreasonably, as it seems to me."[Unreasonably, because a solar eclipse cannot take place during a full moon, as was the case during Passover season.]
17Also Origen States that Phlegon Confirms Jesus' story & The Darkness at Noon: Phlegon was a historian who lived in the first century. There are two books credited to his name: Chronicles and the Olympiads. Little is known about Phlegon but he made reference to Christ.The first two quotes are unique to Origen and the last quote below is recorded by Origen and Philopon. "Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of future events but also testified that the result corresponded to His predictions."-- Origen Against Celsus "And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place…" -- Origen Against Celsus"Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus and no other (eclipse); it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any (similar) eclipse in previous times and this is shown by the historical account of Tiberius Caesar." -- De. opif. mund. II21Origen
18Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor around 112 AD: "[The Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food--but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."Pliny added that Christianity attracted persons of all societal ranks, all ages, both sexes, and from both the city and the country. Later in his letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny refers to the teachings of Jesus and his followers as excessive and contagious superstition.
19Emperor Trajan, in reply to Pliny: "The method you have pursued, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those denounced to you as Christians is extremely proper. It is not possible to lay down any general rule which can be applied as the fixed standard in all cases of this nature. No search should be made for these people; when they are denounced and found guilty they must be punished; with the restriction, however, that when the party denies himself to be a Christian, and shall give proof that he is not (that is, by adoring our gods) he shall be pardoned on the ground of repentance, even though he may have formerly incurred suspicion. Informations without the accuser's name subscribed must not be admitted in evidence against anyone, as it is introducing a very dangerous precedent, and by no means agreeable to the spirit of the age."
20Emporer Hadrian (117-138 AD), in a letter to Asian proconsul Minucius Fundanus: "I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be passed by without examination, so that these men may neither be harassed, nor opportunity of malicious proceedings be offered to informers. If, therefore, the provincials can clearly evince their charges against the Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course only, but not by mere petitions, and mere outcries against the Christians. For it is far more proper, if anyone would bring an accusation, that you should examine it."Hadrian further explained that if Christians were found guilty they should be judged "according to the heinousness of the crime." If the accusers were only slandering the believers, then those who inaccurately made the charges were to be punished.
21EVEN HIS ENEMIES DID NOT DENY HIM The Jewish Talmud, compiled between 70 and 200 AD, states: "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover."[Another early reference in the Talmud speaks of five of Jesus' disciples and recounts their standing before judges who make individual decisions about each one, deciding that they should be executed. However, no actual deaths are recorded.][PICTURE: DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM PREDICTED BY JESUS.]
22Lucian, a 2nd century Greek satirist: "The Christians —you know— worship a man to this day — the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.“Lucian also reported that the Christians had "sacred writings" which were frequently read. When something affected them, "they spare no trouble, no expense."
23Mara Bar-Serapion of Syria, writing from AD, to motivate his son to emulate wise teachers of the past:"What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burying Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: The Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given."
24The Apocryphon of John, probably by Saturninus, around 120-130 AD: "It happened one day when John, the brother of James,--who are the sons of Zebedee--went up and came to the temple, that a Pharisee named Arimanius approached him and said to him, `Where is your master whom you followed?' And he said to him, 'He has gone to the place from which he came.' The Pharisee said to him, 'This Nazarene deceived you with deception and filled your ears with lies and closed your hearts and turned you from the traditions of your fathers.'"Also the Gospel of Thomas, probably from AD contains many references to and alleged quotations of Jesus.
25Have you heard the latest…? Millions of people are still leaving the name card of their leader all over the world! And He himself…?He Still Lives Today! Can you believe it?If you do? You have eternal Life in His Name!
26For MORE Meaningful Power Points For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life! -- John 3:16As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His Name! -- John 1:12For MORE Meaningful Power PointsThink “PowerPoint”Think “Paradise”Think…Powerpointparadise.com