Jesus Christ - Fact or Fiction?
Let’s briefly consider a man called Jesus, also known as Christ. The main thing we need to decide on here is, did he or does he actually exist? Or was he just a fairy tale, a story, a legend, a myth?
All of us have family members who have passed away. Pretty obvious statement. But how do we know they existed? Mainly because we saw them personally, or we know someone who can witness to their existence. Easy! So what about people who are long gone, like Edmund Barton, George Washington, Captain Cook, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ned Kelly etc.? How do we know they existed? Photos are probably the biggest proof, but we also have historical accounts of their existence. Still quite easy.
Let’s go back further. What about people like Ivan the Terrible, King Henry VIII, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great? How can we be sure they existed? There are certainly no eyewitnesses we can talk to. Photos didn’t exist back then, and we can’t take a drawing or painting as proof in itself. Mostly what we rely on is historical records and accounts of what they did, and archaeological evidence which supports it. We can also have a look at an overall timeline of history, and see that the progression of events seems to make sense.
So what about Jesus? How do we know he existed? Jesus actually puts forward the strongest case of all these people. Every major event in history, including births and deaths – inn fact anything that happens in the world that is worth taking note of – is recorded with a set of numbers indicating how long it happened before or after the birth of Jesus. He is the zero point or base point for our whole calendar system. No other person or historical event has had that much of an impact on the entire world. Every time someone writes the date, they are unwittingly or not, recognising his existence. Surely someone who wasn’t real can’t trick the vast majority of the world into using his birth as a standard!
So, did Jesus exist? It’s hard to argue otherwise. If we take the time to consider the impact he had on the world, and perhaps think that maybe the Bible – which is all centred on him – is worth a read, then we may be able to answer the next logical question, which is why.