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March 2, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Quotes on the Resurrection & Historical Jesus

“There are, very clearly, at least nineteen early pagan writers who refer to Jesus Christ as an actual, real-life, historical figure: Tacitus, a great historian of Rome; Suetonius, also a historian; Pliny the Younger, one of the leaders of the Roman Empire; Epictetus; Lucian; Aristides; Galenus; Lampridius; Dio Cassius; Emeritus; Annianus (or Anianus); Marcellinu; Eunapius; and Zosimus. Some wrote entire works about Jesus, such as Lucian, Celsus (the first great antagonist, who wrote a whole book attacking Christianity), Porphyry, Hieracles, and Julian the Apostate (p. 75)
–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

“Flavius Josephus was the most highly reputed Jewish historian. Born in AD 37, shortly after Christ’s death, he wrote about the Jew’s history and wars. He also was a general in the Jewish army.” (p.76)
–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

“The evidence is all on Christianity’s side. Let’s take a tally: twenty seven books of the New Testament, nineteen pagan writers, and three Jewish writers testify to Jesus Christ’s historical reality. Christians, indeed, did not follow a cunningly devised fable, but a real person. There were, as the Bible proclaims, eyewitnesses to His majesty. That historical fact is at the very foundation of the faith we hold” (p. 77)
–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the Christian Faith, 1997

“Besides, these disciples had nothing to gain except criticism, ostracism, and martydom. They certainly had nothing to win financially.”
–Dr. Craig Blomberg, quoted in Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 48

“Consider the way the gospels are written–in a sober and responsible fashion, with accurate incidental details, with obvious care and exactitude. You don’t find that outlandish flourishes and blatant mythologizing that you see in a lot of other ancient writings.”
–Dr. Craig Blomberg, quoted in Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 45

“Contrast that with the depiction of Jesus Christ in the gospels. They talk about someone who actually lived several decades earlier, and they name names–crucified under Pontius Pilate, when Caiaphas was the high priest, and the father of Alexander and Rufus carried his cross, for example. That’s concrete historic stuff. It has nothing in common with stories about what supposedly happened once upon a time.”
–Dr. Greg Boyd, quoted in Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 121

“To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so convincing. As a lawyer I accept the gospel evidence unreservedly as the testimony of truthful men to facts that they were able to substantiate.”
–Sir Edward Clark, a British High Court Judge quoted in Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 237

“The appearances of Jesus are as well authenticated as anything in antiquity…There can be no rational doubt that they occured, and that the main reason why Christians become sure of the resurrection in the earliest days was just this. Thwy could say with assurance ‘We have seen the Lord.’ They knew it was he.”
–British theologian Michael Green, p. 240

“We simply do not have any reasonable evidence to suggest they were anything but people of great integrity….In terms of honesty, in terms of truthfulness, in terms of virtue and morality, these people had a track record that should be envied.”
–Dr. Craig Blomberg, quoted in Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ

“Mark written no later than about AD 60, maybe even the late 50s. If Jesus was put to death in AD 30 or 33, we’re talking about a maximum gap of thirty years or so.”
–Dr. Craig Blomberg

Other Quotes Relating to the Historical Jesus & the Uniqueness of the Christian Faith Story

I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force! Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.
–French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte

Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.
-–Blaise Pascal

As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene….No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
–Albert Einstein

A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.
-–Philip Schaff

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.
–H.G. Wells

“The contradictions [in the gospels] are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthiers–e.g., Hammurabi, David, Socrates–would fate into legend.”
–Will Durant in the second volume of the History of Civilization

“When this preeminent genius is combined with the qualities of probably the greatest moral reformer and martyr to that mission who has ever existed on earth, religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching on this man as the ideal representative and guide of humanity; nor even now would it be easy, even for an unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into the concrete than to endeaveor to so live that Christ would approve our life.” (p. 92)
–John Stuart Mill

Because Christianity’s influence is so pervasive throughout much of the world, it is easy to forget how radical its beliefs once were. Jesus’ resurrection forever changed Christians’ view of death. Rodney Stark, sociologist at the University of Washington, points out that when a major plague hit the ancient Roman Empire, Christians had surprisingly high survival rates. Why? Most Roman citizens would banish any plague-stricken person from their household. But because Christians had no fear of death, they nursed their sick instead of throwing them out on the streets. Therefore, many Christians survived the plague. –“2000 Years of Jesus”
–Kenneth L. Woodward, NEWSWEEK, March 29, 1999, p. 55.

As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.
— Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette

Historical Jesus Resources
You can find more quotes from “The Case for Christ” here. I found some of these quotes about the historical Jesus of the uniqueness of his life here.

You can watch this video on the Historicity of Jesus by Dr. Craig Bloomberg (quoted above. If this video doesn’t work for you, you can find the same video on YouTube). You might also check out the research of Dr. Gary R. Habermas (who also has at least one video on The Resurrection)

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