Who Is Jesus Christ? (Revisited)

Published By Caroseo Agency, 5 Mar 2023

While in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus Christ asked His disciples who people thought He was. And they answered him, some said John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or another prophet. Probing further, Jesus wanted his friends to tell him who they thought he was. Simon Peter answered that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. To which Jesus responded that Peter was blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to him, but the Father in heaven did. (Matthew, Chapter 16:13-17)

The above dialogue recorded in New Testament Scriptures reinforces who Christians believe Jesus to be: God's son, Saviour, Redeemer of the world; and the true Messiah whose arrival was promised in Old Testament texts.

Many others, however, have asked and continue to ask: Who is Yeshua (Jesus)? Who is this historical Jesus about whom much is written and discussed: Is He a mere myth or simply one versed in philosophy?

As early as the first Book of the Old Testament Bible, We read about the promised One. The first Books (Torah) spoke of creation of Israel as a nation. Tied into this concept, was the hint of the arrival of a Messiah for the Jewish nation and for all nations on earth.

The original biographers of Jesus are the books in the New Testament Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They tell stories about who Jesus Himself claimed to be and what he did who is jesus  his 33 years of life. But are these documents historically accurate? Are these accounts backed up by credible witnesses who lived at the same time as Jesus? There were, indeed, many witnesses, it turns out. Peter would write later on, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of the Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty."

One question one might now ask is would Christianity have taken root and have "staying power" if the eyewitnesses were saying things those who listened knew were false or exaggerated? Probably not, is the logical answer. Despite His shameful death, belief in Him spread beyond Palestine. There were large numbers who believed in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection in Rome by A.D. 64.

It is also true that old rabbis marveled at His teachings; children would run to be near Him, prostitutes wept at His feet, entire communities would gather to hear Him, and many would leave all their possessions to follow Him.

Early on, He was defined by people who heard about Him...He was known as God's Son, Christ/Messiah, Word and Image. Between AD 30-50, Jesus was revered and associated with God in the eyes of many.

"We have better historical documentation for Jesus than for the founder of any other ancient religion," said Edwin Yamauchi, (Miami University) an expert on ancient history. Sources exist outside the Bible that report Jesus performed healings, that He was crucified, and followers continued to believe He was resurrected and worshipped as God. Another expert cited 39 other ancient sources--outside the Gospels-- that corroborate at least a hundred facts surrounding Jesus' life and teachings.

Does archaeology reveal anything about Jesus? No discovery as yet contradicts the Jesus of the Gospels. But many have come to agree that the Jesus of faith is the same as the Jesus as recorded by history. Sir William Ramsay, Oxford, England, (one of the world's greatest archaeologists and an atheist) spent 25 years digging for truth about Jesus. Instead of discrediting Luke's Gospel account, Ramsay concluded that Luke who wrote a New Testament account of Jesus was the most accurate historian he had read based upon the physical evidence he himself discovered through archaeological digs.