Any position in which claims about Jesus or the resurrection are removed from the realm of historical reality and placed in a subjective realm of personal belief or some realm that is immune to human scrutiny does Jesus and the resurrection no service and no justice. It is a ploy of desperation to suggest that the Christian faith would be little affected if Jesus was not actually raised from the dead in space and time.
A person who gives up on the historical foundations of our faith has in fact given up on the possibility of any real continuity between his or her own faith and that of a Peter, Paul, James, John, Mary Magdalene, or Priscilla. The first Christian community had a strong interest in historical reality, especially the historical reality of Jesus and his resurrection, because they believed their faith, for better or for worse, was grounded in it.
— Ben Witherington, from New Testament History, p. 167
Examination of the following ten historical sources (outside the Bible) reveals information about the life of Jesus that conforms to, and even corroborates, the four New Testament Gospel accounts and also the book of Acts. Continue reading
People in our culture in general are already in the process of being accustomed to accept non- defined, contentless religious words and symbols, without any rational or historical control. Such words and symbols are ready to be filled with the content of the moment. The words ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ are the most ready for the manipulator. The phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has become a contentless banner which can be carried in any direction for sociological purposes. In other words, because the phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ has been separated from true history and the content of Scripture, it can be used to trigger religiously motivated sociological actions directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.
— Francis Schaeffer, from The God Who Is There, p. 84
Jesus of Nazareth was a man of history, who made a profound impact on history.
— Greg Koukl, from The Story of Reality, kindle location 1576
If one judged a person’s greatness by historical standards, Jesus stands first.
— H. G. Wells
Our aim here has been: to try to sift through the claims and counter-claims of historians, apologists and sceptics, and to establish a responsible historical basis for our assessment of the man who, on any showing, has affected the course of history more than anyone else who ever lived.
— R. T. France, from The Evidence for Jesus, p. 168
Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that many inventors would have concealed. No one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of higher criticism, the outlines of the life, character and teachings of Christ remain reasonably clear and constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.
— Will Durant, quoted Solid Ground (Stand to Reason’s bi-monthly newsletter), Sept/Oct 2009
The essential historical facts undergirding Jesus’ resurrection are recognized as well established by the majority of biblical critics.
The Christ of faith, who lives in my heart today, is the same person who once walked the shores of Galilee, hung on a Roman cross, and rose triumphantly from the tomb for our salvation.
— William Lane Craig, from “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand up!” debate with John Dominic Crossan
Anybody who tries to use the argument that Jesus of Nazareth never existed [as a verifiable historical figure] is simply flaunting his or her ignorance. There is no serious question in the mind of any serious scholar, anywhere in the world that there certainly was a historical personality named Jesus of Nazareth. Now you can argue if he was the Son of God or not, argue about the supernatural aspects of his life, but in terms of the historical character of Jesus, all the evidence is in favor.
— Paul Maier, quoted by apologetics315.blogspot.com on December 26, 2010
The Jesus of Christianity is the Jesus of the four Gospels.
— Douglas Groothuis, from Jesus in An Age of Controversy, p. 257