Grandes questions Is Jesus historical ?
Is Jesus Christ God ?

 

INTRODUCTION.

Is Jesus historical? Is Jesus Christ God?

Whatever our answer to these questions, they are nevertheless valid questions.

Every person, at some point in his life, implicitly or explicitly, will ask them.

In this booklet, we are offering a first approach, with the help of real data which is considered indisputable. Then it will be up to each person to see how he wants to continue the research, reflection and deliberation on this subject. Some might choose to go further in this work; we would be happy to have helped a little in pointing them in this direction.

Two questions to introduce the subject:

 

1. What do we mean by “historical” ?

In simple terms, to say that someone is really historical means:

  1. that the person truly existed,
  2. that we know with certainty a number of facts about him,
  3. that writings and quotations can be attributed to him. Phrases and narratives of a person can be historical and “authentic”, either in the words themselves or in the message they convey.

We need to distinguish historical reality from journalism by looking, for example, at the defeat of Attlila in the Catalonian Fields in 451. We are certain of the event, the date and the general, Aetius, who defeated Attila. Apart from this, we have accounts of various 5th century Gallo-Roman writers in a style very different from that of our present day. We can nevertheless say with certainty that Attila, Aetius, the battle on the Catalonian Fields and its consequenses are truly historical figures and events. We cannot doubt their reality.

Despite this, many people are unaware that Jesus is a person who really existed in history and that the basic truth of his words and teachings can be discovered. We encourage everyone sincerely interested in becoming informed about this subject to examine it with us. Our method is to use a basic knowledge of archeology, geography, history of near antiquity and the study of manuscripts and of “Koine” greek, which was the spoken language in the Mediterranean region at the time of Jesus. We can date the life of Jesus from about the year 6 BC to 30 AD. We date the writing of the gospels and the books of the “New Testament” up to the end of the first century (100 AD).

We will also examine and discuss the common objections and criticisms. These do not really aim at denying that Jesus existed, because this is impossible, but they try to dispute the authenticity of his words and message.

These critiques need to be examined as they correspond to questions, more or less explicitly formulated, that we all might ask.

The fact that believers also ask these questions is normal. It is not because he has a lack of confidence in the person and message of Jesus that the believer raises questions concerning Jesus’ historicity. On the contrary, he raises the questions asked by all people, perhaps even more intensely than most, because he wants to know the real face of Christ.

 

2. Who seeks to know if Jesus is historical ?

As we have said, believers naturally desire to know more about Jesus. But this is true of non-believers as well. In the main libraries of Europe, the subject with the greatest number of titles is God. The second greatest number are about Jesus. And this is probably true in the rest of the world.

How can we explain this? There are about one billion two hundred million Christians who might ask the question. But among the four billion people who are non-Christian, there are a large number who would like to find the answer.

Even more interesting is the number of atheists who do research and write about the question. Many of them exhibit a surprising energy in their criticism and opposition. In certain cases, this may be due to a lack of interior peace. Is not their hostility due to the fact that they have a negative image of God? Because every person, in the depth of their heart can truly accept and desire only a God who is good. As long as he does not discover a good God, there is perhaps some part of himself that cannot find joy.

In this booklet, our aim is not to give the elements for answering the questions of believers only, but also to give these elements as a subject for reflection for all people seeking to know about :

  1. the historical reality of Jesus,
  2. what it is about Jesus Christ which allows us to think that he could be God.


First Part : IS JESUS HISTORICAL ?

I - JESUS AND THE GOSPELS
1. What are the Gospels ?
2. Is Jesus Historical? Who is able to answer this question ?
3. Is it possible that the Jesus of the Gospel is not the same person as the Jesus of the Church ?

II - THE GOSPELS CONFRONTED BY HISTORY
Are the Gospels the invention of the Church ?
1. Witness of the Ancient Roman Historians.
2. The historical reality of the Gospels confirmed by archeology.

III - THE TRANSMISSION OF THE GOSPELS

IV - WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT JESUS ?

V - PROOFS FOR THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS.

CONCLUSION OF THE HISTORICITY OF JESUS.

 

Second Part : IS JESUS CHRIST GOD ?

I - DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE GOD ?

II - THE GOD OF JESUS CHRIST IS THE GOD OF THE PHILOSOPHERS ?

III - THE PARADOX OF JESUS AS BOTH MAN AND GOD

IV - WHY THE GOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND NOT ANOTHER GOD ?

V - WHAT KIND OF IMAGE OF GOD DOES JESUS CHRIST GIVE ?