Christianity is based on one important truth—Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, God in the flesh. Since His birth, there have been great debates over who Jesus was, even reaching into modern times. Many scholars have spent much of their careers researching the Historical Jesus. There have been debates on whether he was real, human, God, a god, or some kind of spirit. There have been many so-called portraits of Jesus. Many ranging from a mythic view (ie., the Church made up a mythical character known as Jesus of Nazareth, meaning Jesus never existed) to a docetic (ie., Jesus did not have a physical body but appeared to have one), Arian (ie., believing that Jesus was fully man, but not divine), and traditional. Theologically, Jesus is very important to Christianity. There is no need to separate theology from historical research. Christianity is the only true portion of religion and history that this form of methodology happens. It is my desire to show how this is done. To be Christian is to believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Paul states it best:
and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins (1 Cor 15:14-17 HCSB).
Therefore, if Jesus is not raised, then Jesus is not God, and if Jesus is not God, then we are not forgiven and all doomed for Hell. However, Jesus is raised, and because He is not dead He is God, which means we are forgiven and we are bound for Heaven.
Though this is a very short post, I am using it as an introduction to the understanding of Jesus. There was one question that Jesus asked His disciples, recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (ie., Matthew, Mark, and Luke): “who do you say that I am” (Matt 16:15; Mark 8:29; and Luke 9:20)? The answer recorded, in all three of the Gospels given by Peter (who answered for the twelve during his period and for us throughout all time) was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16; Mark 8:29; and Luke 9:20 HCSB). In the future posts of this page, there will be examinations of the quests for the historical Jesus and examinations of who the Bible tells us He truly is. There is no reason to believe that history and Christianity are to be viewed separately. Just because we are Christians, does not mean we have to check our brains at the door. Christians have always seen their understanding of history through the Bible, the works of God in the Old and New Testament. For us, God works personally in and through history. He is not a divine clockmaker who just made the earth and walked away. Christianity needs history just as much as history needs Christianity. In the posts following, we will look at the nature of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (as well as His second coming). Stay along for the ride, share each post, follow the blog (through email as well), and like each post.