Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Whos is Jesus ? ~ The Life of Jesus by Prof. Gary R. Habermas

Prof. Gary R. Habermas discussed the historical evidence for the life of Jesus Christ, based on the work of a cross-section of contemporary scholars. Christ was a Middle Easterner, perhaps darker skinned than people typically picture him, and most scholars agree that he was a miracle worker. There are around 30 accounts of his miracles in the Gospels that can serve as historical documentation. Further, he is the only founder of a major religion to have miracles associated with him within a generation of his death, he said.

Many scholars also believe that at least in some sense Jesus was raised from the dead, Habermas asserted. "It's generally conceded that the disciples had real experiences," in terms of their witnessing his appearance after his death, he added. Alternative accounts of Jesus' life that claim he was married and had children are not backed up by any early historical data, he noted.

In the latter portion of the show, callers participated in 'Miracle Moment' Open Lines. One caller, who identified himself as the 'Lone Caroler,' said just that evening he'd stopped kids from crossing the street when a car with its lights turned off suddenly came barreling past. "Santa" phoned in and bequeathed the title of "Gentleman" to George for his kindness. At the end of the program, Lionel Fanthorpe's rendition of Twas the Night Before Christmas was featured.


Dr. Gary Habermas is the author or co-author of over 30 books and 100 articles. In the last 12 years he has given over 1500 lectures in about 100 universities, seminaries, and colleges. Dr Habermas currently acts as 'Distinguished Research Professor and Chair' in the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, where he has taught for the past 26 years. His main areas of research include the philosophical study of miracles, near-death experiences, the historical Jesus, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus (pron.: /ˈdʒiːzəs/; Greek: Ἰησοῦς Iēsous; 7--2 BC/BCE to 30--36 AD/CE), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, whom a majority of Christian denominations believe to be the Son of God.

Virtually all scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed. Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Jewish teacher from Galilee in Roman Judaea, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate. However, the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historicity of gospel narratives and their theological assertions of his divinity. Scholars have offered various portraits of Jesus, which at times share a number of overlapping attributes, such as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, Messiah, a charismatic healer, a sage and philosopher, or a social reformer who preached of the "Kingdom of God" as a means for personal and egalitarian social transformation. Scholars have correlated the New Testament accounts with non-Christian historical records to arrive at an estimated chronology of Jesus' life.

Christians hold Jesus to be the awaited Messiah of the Old Testament and refer to him as Jesus Christ or simply as Christ, a name that is also used secularly. Most Christians believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, performed miracles, founded the Church, died sacrificially by crucifixion to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from which he will return. The majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. A few Christian groups reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural.

In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets. In Islam, Jesus is a bringer of scripture, and the product of a virgin birth, but not the victim of crucifixion. Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh. Bahá'í scripture almost never refers to Jesus as the Messiah, but calls him a Manifestation of God