When it comes to kicking Christ out of things the skeptics did not stop with Christmas; they are trying to kick Him out of history too. Of course, this is not new. Replacing B.C. (Before Christ), and A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of our Lord”) with B.C.E. (Before the Common Era), and C.E. (the Common Era) was the start. But it did not stop there.
In an article for the Washington Post titled, Did historical Jesus really exist?, Raphael Lataster questions whether Jesus was an actual historical person. Lataster claims, “there are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus.” He is right if you discount the four Gospels, which give every indication of being simple straightforward eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ. Regarding the Gospels he writes, “These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity, which gives us reason to question them.”
The events were recorded decades later. Jesus had promised to return and unsure as to when, and thinking it would be sooner than later, the apostles did not initially see the need to record what they and others had witnessed. Jesus and his earthly ministry were well known. When it became evident His return would be later they wrote down what they had seen for those who would follow. Indeed, they were eager to promote the message of God’s redemptive work in Christ, a message that has brought the Light of God’s love for man to the benighted of the world. Who would not be eager to share such a message?
Lataster is eager to share his skepticism with us, and part of his motivation is no doubt the remuneration he received for his article in the Washington Post, the byline of which promoted his book, There Was No Jesus, There Is No God. Royalties promote great eagerness. For all of his writing Lataster has only given us his reasons for doubting the Gospel accounts. He has not shared any actual evidence refuting the historicity of the Gospels.
The Gospel writers recorded what they saw and heard with an apparent contempt for financial gain and worldly comforts, and despite being ostracized and dispossessed by their countrymen, suffering persecution by the civil authorities, and experiencing the most grievous tortures known to man and finally dying for what they witnessed, they persevered in sharing the greatest story ever told. Not one of them ever sought to secure his welfare by renouncing the Gospel message they penned. Their simple testimony was “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard,” Acts 4:20.
Lataster may profit from pandering his skepticism, but the Gospel writers paid the price of persecution for publishing their faith. Until the skeptics come up with some genuine evidence, I am going to stick with the story that cost the apostles everything.
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