It is a well known fact that Jesus Christ is a verysignificant figure in world history. There are some attempts by the academicsto challenge the reality of his historical existence through some of theirtheories but most agree that he existed. In a 2011 review of the state ofmodern scholarship, Bart Ehrman wrote, “He certainly existed, asvirtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian,agrees”.(1) Richard A Burridge states: “There arethose who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that therenever was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectablecritical scholar who says that any more”. (2) Robert M. Price doesnot believe that Jesus existed, but agrees that this perspective runs againstthe views of the majority of scholars. (3) Flavius Josephus the first century romanscholar, historian and hagiographer who was born in Jerusalem had referenced ahistorical Jesus.
His two significant historical works ‘The Jewish War’ (c.75)and ‘Antiquities of Jews’ (c.97) provide some of the important insights aboutthe first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity. (4)Louis H Feldman states that “few have doubted the genuineness” of Josephus’ referenceto Jesus in his works and that they are only disputed only by some few numbers ofScholars. (5) The Roman Historian and Senator Tacitus referred to theexistence Jesus and his execution by Pontius Pilate in his final work, Annals (writtenca. AD 116), book 15, and chapter 44.
(6) There are also possiblementions of Jesus in the Talmud, which is a record of the criminal cases ofIsrael gathered in one place from 200 – 500 C.E. As far as the recorded historyis concerned there is no indication of dispute of disagreement upon the writersin antiquity that he did not exist. The Gospels are also historically reliablesources as the four gospels are canonical and been in existence as the authentichistory of Jesus as accepted by majority of the World. Some might doubt thenarrative but most do not doubt the historicity of the existence of such aperson. He is the one person who had a major influence on the world history thanany other person.
He never had an army; He never wrote any books or changed anylaws. In fact he himself said that he did not come to destroy the law (Matt5:17) but still he is more significant in world history than the great Romanleaders of his day and of the past. A very large amount of Literature in worldhistory is about him or they are based on his teachings. Many great philosophers,theorists and Scholars have spoken about him and his teachings either agreeingor attacking them. Many Institutions such as Schools, hospitals andhumanitarian works have been founded in his name. Many great reputedUniversities such as Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth and Oxfordwere found by his followers.