Does having Faith in Jesus Christ hold up as Credible?

Personal Evidence
Personal Evidence

History is in contrast with myth and fable; it is something that took place with someone objectively witnessing a certain event. As the events become compiled, the source of the narration is derived from testimony of the eyewitnesses. The credibility of their accounts can be criticized through historical investigation. The authority of Scripture, in part, would be supported, or refuted through empirical observation.

The faith of the Body of Christ is not provable, but can be confirmed indirectly. Faith can be confirmed through the prophecy of Scripture and the miracles that would substantiate the teachings of Jesus Christ. The question remains, knowing whether or not, the miracles of Jesus Christ actually happened. From about 900 AD onwards, the testimony of “authorities” relied on verbatim accuracy from eyewitness accounts.

To say that miracles are true because Scripture records them, or because Scripture records miracles they are true would be circular reasoning. To avoid this, a historical argument would help fill the gap with archaeological evidence of antiquities, and other ancient manuscripts. Theology, coupled with historical methodology, would lead to the reliable credibility of Scripture. Its authenticity would need to come from both internal and external sources. No one can prove that Jesus Christ is the Son of God from someone’s personal testimony, or from history, but what can be argued is the evidence of the testimonies and accounts of many people. Their faith is the objective and subjective evidence of Jesus Christ, and the faith and endurance of it relies on those who declare it to be true and genuine.

Tacitus
Tacitus
Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger
Babylonian Talmud
Babylonian Talmud


Jesus Christ was a historic person from the writings of those during the reign of Tiberius, from pagans, Jews, and Christians of that time. There are also writings from many from other religions who inquired about Jesus Christ because of the miracles that he performed. The apostles, as well as 500 other believers objectively saw Jesus Christ after He arose from the dead. To create a hoax that He had not risen from the dead would have been bearing false witness which their faith prohibited. The propagation of faith in Jesus Christ was of Him raising from the dead and His new doctrine spreading throughout the world.

To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ would be to say the apostles were liars. Rather, the authenticity of this as being a historic event is a more reasonable approach. The historical truth comes from the facts that are attached to Christian faith. Scripture as well as other historical documents contain the doctrine of faith, and the containers of faith, are the believers in Jesus Christ. The historical reliability rests on the historical works of these narratives. To reject the Gospels as antiquity, one must reject all the others at that time as well. There are things that lack the evidence to prove, but there are others that are reasonable enough through philosophy, history, and science etc… to accept.

Objective evidence can be interpreted through the lens of an individual’s character such as personal bias, which attaches, or piggy-backs to the meaning, or interpretation of the evidence; there is no neutrality. Justification can come from the conditions that make the historical statement(s) true, or false, such as the intentions of the author, the context of the language(s) and culture, and/or nonsensical, or aesthetic approaches. There are also those who are not concerned with historical truths, or what happened, because there is no real difference between that of history and fictional writing.

Lucian of Samosata
Lucian of Samosata
Reconstruction of the Past
Reconstruction of the Past

A historical analysis of the past can be reconstructed and interpreted through subjective relativism. The problem with this is that when there is not a balance with neutral objectivity, which is an undermining of one for the other.

The observation of the past as it purely happened is fully unknowable, and to interpret it and reconstruct it in a completely neutral manner, cannot be done. The past no longer objectively exists apart from the things that have endured to the present; a direct analysis is not available. How do you really know that a story is not a fabricated reality of the past? There is no way to check because the past event is gone. This would mean that scientific knowledge, through the lack of objective evidence, cannot measure the historical past. The event is left in the memory of the mind itself and the account comes from the observer’s statement of the event. Historic accounts are statements and narrative that has had an impactual effect on someone. If there were no events that were remembered, they would not exist in the mind, or in the past. The facts in themselves do not have any meaning until someone applies relevance, or meaning to them.

We are the products of the time we live in and history will be written and reconstructed by the next generation; the narrative will be judged as either obsolete or superior. The past is subjectively interpreted through in the present. Past events are not a pure account of the past, but rather a reconstruction of the awareness of the past.

A detective will reconstructs a crime scene by the account of what an eyewitness believes had happened, and the evidence left behind. He may decide to believe the subjective testimony of a witness to the crime even though he objectively did not witness the crime. A critical reconstruction and examination of the objective and subjective evidence left from the past event reasonably decides what did happen. To purely know with confidence what really happened is unknowable; only the most probable explanation can be attempted.

Impartiality?
Impartiality?



If there was no such person as Jesus Christ, then there would be a huge problem in accounting for the vast numbers of believers in the world today. In the scientific world, many are dependent on the reports of others on evidence that is inaccessible to them. There are theoretical explanations on observable entities which are not directly observable. There are things that are real, but are not accessible by direct observation. There are residual effects of the past that exist such as archaeological findings which may not have a direct interpretation or answer; it is objective evidence minus the knowledge of the historical event.

Through sufficient evidence, probable certainty is rendered, but beyond all doubt is impossible. The best theory is bringing forth the best reasonable evidence in spite of not having direct access to the event. There are many who hold views, and those that hold other points of view. The credibility, or explanation is either accepted, rejected, or plausible by the background knowledge and experience of the individual.

In conclusion, there is no direct access to the past, and no pure neutrality in interpreting history, but the fact still remains that we still learn from it. Those who are part of the Body of Christ in history have testament and witnesses to the knowledge of God with objective and subjective revelation. Their faith has been well established regardless of the skeptical contempt towards it.



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Comments Appreciated 7 comments

Bruce A. Beaudet profile image

Bruce A. Beaudet 4 years ago from Canada

An interesting read and well thought out.


Coming of Age profile image

Coming of Age 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Hi PlanksandNails,

I appreciate the fact that people much smarter than I are taking up the Apologetic task. You have done a great job here. Voted up and Awesome!

I do wonder sometimes if we have lost focus though? Luke 16:31 reminds us there are those who won't be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. My interpretation is that this would be the case if it happened right in front of their eyes.

Do you have any take on the '1st century copy of the Gospel of Mark' having been found?...Some are claiming that it is the earliest Christian manuscript ever unearthed.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Bruce,

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Coming of Age,

The focus for the follower of Jesus Christ is to glorify Him. It is up to the Holy Spirit to draw those to Himself; our job is to be obedient to Him and let Him do the rest. We may lack full understanding of God's ways, but it still takes faith to walk them out in spite of opposing circumstances.

When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. - Acts 28:23-24

Concerning the "1st century copy of the Gospel of Mark," we will have to wait and see more results as the manuscript is more closely scrutinized. It is too early to get too glossy eyed over the claim; it will take time to validate whether it is authentic or not.

Your comments are appreciated.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

P&N,

That's a lot to think about and very well put together. thanks for sorting it all out for us!


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 18 months ago from Irvine

There are no eye-witnesses to the existence/non-existence of Jesus. There is basically no historical records or artifacts. No one started writing about Christ until one hundred years after his death. The writings are all suspect and can be proved to have undergone massive revisions. The Christian movement went through numerous revisions -- probably based more on the politics of the time than any actual, irrefutable evidence. Belief in Christ boils down to a matter of faith. As a fence-sitter myself, I'd not base any arguments on the authenticity of anything we are left with today. For anyone who is a believer today, I offer this humble advice -- just say that you find the writing of the New Testament to be beautiful and life-fulfilling. You don't have to delve into the historic possibility of a real Jesus or not -- you won't get anywhere with anyone who questions everything. There is nothing to prove on this basis. Just be content in being filled with the good words and guidance provided in the New Testament. Don't get into a contest with disbelievers who say that there is no empirical evidence for Jesus ever having existed. It's irrelevant. The New Testament is filled with truth. It does not have to be traced back to an entity who may or not have existed. Read Homer's "Troy." We can't prove Homer even existed nor Troy, but what does it matter? The epic poem still lacks no majesty. Just enjoy the value of the reading experience. If it enhances your life, you have nothing to defend. I've become enlightened (in the lightest sense of the word) by reading books about the life and teachings of the Buddha, and we can't prove his existence either. It just doesn't matter as long as you derive some element of personal growth and harmony with this very strange reality we call our universe.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 18 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Rjbatty,

I do agree with you that belief in Jesus Christ is a matter of faith.

The modern mindset assumes that people leave lots of evidence of their existence because most people today have many documents, such as educational records, passports, financial records, Facebook, etc.. Modern peoples lives are essentially on display for all the world to see. If somebody like Jesus Christ does not have these types of evidence to prove that he existed, then it seems suspicious.

The fact is that the sources for the evidence for anyone living in the ancient world are scarce, and rarely are they contemporary. Most evidence was written decades and beyond the fact. The more humble the origins of an individual, the less likely that there would be any contemporary records at all.

For example, Hannibal of Carthage was a general who was considered one of the greatest generals of all time. He was famed throughout the ancient world for coming close to crushing the Roman Republic. His name and fame rung for centuries after. Is there any contemporary evidence of him?

No, there isn't any.

If there is someone as famous and revered as Hannibal, and there are no contemporary sources for him, it would be even more unlikely of a peasant who preached in Galilee?

Contemporary history may be "silent" concerning Jesus Christ, but it is still fanciful to say He never existed. There is as much, if not slightly more, evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ as there is for other comparable Jewish preachers, prophets and Messianic claimants without even looking at the Gospel material.

In the scientific world, many are dependent on the reports of others on evidence that is inaccessible to them. There are theoretical explanations on observable entities, which are not directly observable. There are things that are real, but are not accessible by direct observation. Likewise, the followers of Jesus Christ in history give testament and witnesses to the knowledge of God with objective and subjective revelation.

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