The Bible is a collection of books, written by a large number of men over a long time. The New Testament is a collection of biographies of Jesus, the history of the early church, and some letters to some of the early church from other members of the early church. And by “Early Church” I don’t mean the 8am service. I mean the Christians from the first century.
The New Testament was written within the lifetimes of the first generation of Christians, including those eye witnesses to the events described in the four Gospels. I’ll defend that proposition later, but for right now I want you all to consider something which struck me as significant about the New Testament books recently- specifically, something which is missing. We know from the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and other historical accounts that Jesus was executed by crucifixion under the charges of blasphemy (For claiming to be the God of the Jews) and sedition (for claiming to be the king of the Jews). His trial and execution are described in detail in the Bible, but many people, myself included, never consider what is missing from ANY writing of the church, from the very first generation on, within the Bible or outside of it: No one has EVER written a defense of Jesus. All of his disciples wrote and preached under the assumption that he was guilty of those charges.
This is where you all be,
“What the WHAAAATTT?!??!”
If one of your close friends was accused of serious crimes against the church and state, you would come to their defense, would you not? And if they were executed for those crimes, you would speak of their innocence, would you not? Of course you would. You’re a good friend who’s not afraid to tell the truth! I like that about you.
We know the disciples were not afraid to speak their minds, because they all got killed for it sooner or later. And yet, with forty years to tell the story of Jesus, and many, many letters written to each other about what they had seen and heard, and with the four biographical accounts they wrote,
no one ever tried to come to Jesus defense and argue that he had been falsely accused.
What gives, man?
Here’s why this omission is so important. There are people who would try and tell you that Jesus never made any grand claims about Himself. They will tell you that he just told people to love their neighbor, and for some reason, that was enough to make the Romans and Jews bury the hatchet, join forces, and have him killed. Many liberal theologians will tell you that Jesus was just a very good man who said some very nice things, but never claimed to be God or King. Islam teaches that Jesus never claimed to be God or King (Although I’m uncertain if it teaches he was actually crucified; see below). And Mormonism says Jesus was God and King, but somehow the charges of sedition and blasphemy were false ones. I’m not sure how they make that work, but I’m just telling you what they said (also see below).
Naturally, the many interweb skeptics prefer the liberal version where in Jesus was put to death for essentially being first century Mr. Rogers and insisting that everyone love each other. To me this makes no sense. This would be like getting Rush Limbaugh and Hillary Clinton to join forces to execute DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba on charges of treason. It’s a popular revision of history on Twitter and Facebook, but to me it is asking a lot.
Maybe a little too much.
The thing to take note of here is that NONE of the disciples of Jesus ever tried to write a defense for him, to clear him of those charges. None tried to defend him in court, and none tried to clear his name of the accusations in the years following. The Jews said, “He claimed to be God!” and the Romans said “He claimed to be the King of the Jews!” and both said “Execute him!” and not one single Christian ever said, “Jesus didn’t say that!” Every part of the New Testament essentially says, “Yes, Jesus said those things about himself, but he only said them because they were true.”
Admittedly, the writers of the New Testament who had known Jesus personally would not agree to the terms “Blasphemy” and “Sedition” since they felt he SHOULD have claimed to be God and King, but the point I am making is this: They said a lot of things about Jesus, but they never claimed he was innocent of the charges. Jesus DID claim to be God and King, but then he also proved it. If the versions provided by skeptics had any validity, then SOMEONE would have tried to write a defense of Jesus, telling the “REAL story” and offering arguments for his innocence. No one even tried. I think that says a lot.
Think about it, won’t you? And remember #JesusLovesYou
“Jesus Christ was crucified because a group of unbelievers falsely charged him with sedition against Caesar and blasphemy because he said he was the Son of God.” [Official Mormon doctrine, emphasis mine] (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/crucifixion)
Author’s note: I am confused by the above claim that he was FALSELY charged when the same web site says this about Jesus:
“He is the Lord of lords, King of kings, the Creator, the Savior, and the God of the whole earth.”
Did he claim to be God and King or not? Because claiming to BE God and King WAS sedition. That’s how Ceasar rolled, yo.
In the Muslim book, the Qur’an, Surah 3:54 states:
“When Allah said: ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence and clear thee of those who disbelieve…”
Which sounds a lot like Jesus DID die, because Allah said he was going to cause it to happen, but then Surah 4:157-158 states:
“That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not—nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself.”
Which sounds a lot like Allah kept Jesus from dying. So, your guess is as good or better than mine.
If you know how to solve these riddles, please send me a message.