Skeptics commercialize the “myth” of Jesus
Because Jesus was a real person, we should be wary of treating him with irreverence in advertising. | commons.wikimedia.org
Many who believe Jesus was a myth have no qualms about profiting off him, as retailer Mulberry’s replaced the baby Jesus in the manger with a $1,500 purse this Christmas shopping season. The use of “Jesus Mythology” in advertisements and Christmas sales treats the real person of Jesus Christ with irreverence, and it is something Christians need to correct.
How History is Determined
It is now common during Christmastime to doubt the claims of Christianity by perpetuating stories that Jesus was a mythical figure brought on by legend. The problem today is that many do not know how history is determined. What makes history real? The primary way historians determine if past events really occurred is through examination of ancient documentation.
The New Testament writers indicated Jesus was a real person, a man they personally interacted with. Successive writers also documented these disciples were speaking the truth. The New Testament was not ratified until the fourth century, so the testaments in circulation prior to the canonization process of the Bible we know today were all written as separate eye-witness testimonies from different people in separate places, according to Norman Geisler and William Nix in their book “A General Introduction to the Bible.” They did not all sit down and copy stories from one another.
However, even though the New Testament is the most attested ancient document we have, critics want to know if Jesus was written about in other historical records not associated with the Bible.
A Jewish historian, Josephus, wrote about Christ between 75–97 A.D. His major works are widely available for reference and mention Jesus directly. The next reference comes from a Roman Emperor Senator, Cornelius Tacitus. While describing the great fire in Rome under Nero, Tacitus wrote about “Christians,” who were called this by the one they followed, “Christus,” and documented the persecution these early believers suffered. In addition to these two documented accounts of Jesus, a Syrian philosopher, Mara Bar-Serapion, wrote a letter to his son sometime after 73 A.D. mentioning Christ.
Another reference to Jesus outside the Christian community comes from Suetonius. Suetonius was a chief secretary to Roman Emperor Hadrian and a historian with access to the imperial records, according to Francois Amiot in his book, “Jesus A Historical Person.” There are other references in history to Jesus being a real person but not enough space to mention all of them here.
A Legend or Not
It amazes me how many people have bought into the lie that Jesus Christ is a myth — that he was not even a real person. The historical documentation proves, based on how we know what makes history real, Jesus was no legend. His presence has transformed the lives of millions of believers. Mulberry’s and other skeptics will have a difficult time convincing Christians today their faith in the bonafide person of Jesus Christ is based on myth. Know your history, skeptics, before you dismiss the reality of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.