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Second, their worship was directed to Christ, demonstrating that they firmly believed in His divinity. Apparently Jesus’ miracles were too well attested to deny.
Furthermore, one scholar interprets Pliny’s statement that hymns were sung to Christ, , as a reference to the rather distinctive fact that, “unlike other gods who were worshipped, Christ was a person who had lived on earth.” If this interpretation is correct, Pliny understood that Christians were worshipping an actual historical person as God! The only alternative was to ascribe them to sorcery!
When we combine these statements with Josephus’ later reference to Jesus as “the so-called Christ,” a rather detailed picture emerges which harmonizes quite well with the biblical record.
And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. Charlesworth, Jesus Within Judaism, (Garden City: Doubleday, 1988), 95, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 194).
First, we see that Christians regularly met on a certain fixed day for worship. For instance, the charge of sorcery is similar to the Pharisees’ accusation that Jesus cast out demons “by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” But notice this: such a charge actually tends to confirm the New Testament claim that Jesus performed miraculous feats.
Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified.
Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate.
Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus’ followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B.
And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God! And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover.