Why We Can Believe in Jesus Christ

Why We Can Believe in Jesus Christ

MOST SERIOUS HISTORIANS agree that Jesus of Nazareth really did live in Israel, some 2000 years ago. His life and work are well recorded in contemporary historical records. Here we will consider two sources of evidence: the records of the Bible’s New Testament, and the writings of secular commentators. We also want to consider why his resurrection from the dead changed the world. The Gospels The four New Testament Gospels were written in the years following Jesus’ life on earth, and in all probability before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad. We can see this from the local landmarks they mention, from the ruling figures they mention, and the events they reference which are well documented elsewhere. The Gospels are eyewitness records, written well within the lifetimes of people who experienced Jesus’ work first-hand. Some of these people would have been friendly to the cause of Christianity, most would have

Mark

Mark

THIS GOSPEL was written by John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their preaching mission to Cyprus (Acts 13:4–5). He was well known to Peter who called him his “son” (1 Peter 5:13) and may have been the “young man” referred to in Mark 14:51. Four Views of Jesus An interesting connection has been made between the four Gospels and the four faces of the “living creatures”, or cherubim, of Ezekiel’s prophecy (compare Ezekiel 1:10 with 10:14–15). Just as those creatures each had four faces—a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle—so the four Gospels, while offering a full portrait, present characteristically different views of the Lord Jesus Christ. The lion is a fitting symbol to represent Matthew’s view of the ‘King’. The ox corresponds to Mark’s view of the ‘Servant’. The human face relates to Luke’s view of Christ the ‘Man’ (often