Evidence That Christianity Is True
Is there historical proof for Jesus's life? Arthur Satterwhite explores evidence of Jesus's life and the rise of Christianity.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- Does it surprise you to hear that scholars have, for the most part, concluded that Jesus was a historical figure? Why or why not?
- If Christians are to be "a solution to a problem," as Arthur stated, to what problem is he referring?
Well, starting with the historicity of Jesus and whether or not he actually existed, I think scholars have pretty much, um, settled that, where if you ask just about any scholar out there, he'll tell you he did exist. He was born, he lived, he died, he was crucified by the Romans. Looking historically, going back almost two thousand years, outside manuscripts and other historical documents detail how there was this fledgling movement of Christians, um, that came out of this area around Galilee, and how they were persecuted by the Roman Empire, and how despite that persecution— as we fast forward to today— that they still existed. They grew and they flourished and, um, today, there's about 2.9 billion Christians worldwide. So historically there's this, this picture, this story of, um, what shouldn't have been, starting with this one man who was crucified on a cross that turned into this small, little fledgling group of people— movement of people— that were being persecuted by the this huge Empire that somehow survived that persecution, uh, when there was tons of other faiths or religions that were birthing up in that time that didn't. They were crushed because they were against the state. But yet, somehow, Christianity not only survived but grew and flourished and became what it is today. That shouldn't have happened. That, in and of itself, was kind of a miracle. So just looking at historically, that is a miracle and that is an argument for the truth and the existence of Christianity. It's real, it's tangible, it's— it, it survived, it's been somewhat proven. Not to, again, neglect that there's been some evil and some horrible things done in the name of Christianity over time. They haven't always been the ones that were persecuted but have sometimes been the persecutors. But still at the end of the day, we're human and there's good in us and there's bad in us, and we can't toss out that— we can't say that, "oh, this Christianity is false just because this has been done in the name of that," or "this faith is false because this has been done in the name of that." Looking at Islam— horrible atrocities, 9/11, bombings, terrorism— there's been so much done in the name of Islam but does that mean that Islam is all bad, that all Muslims are bad? That, that that faith is irrelevant? I can't say that. I can't toss out this whole group of people and call them misguided based on the actions of a few. There's active people that are Christians that are being moved by what they say is the spirit, and being motivated by the words of God telling them to love their neighbor as themselves and to care for the least of these that is propelling them to be a solution to a problem. For me, that's, that's comes back to my faith, that comes back to my belief that there is a God, that Christianity is that way and that Jesus is our source.