Bible and History
Easter – Fact or Fable?
Christianity is a faith peculiar in this world for several reasons.
One of them being that the Bible tells us our faith is based on the
objective reality of historical events. The Bible makes clear that if
those historical events did not take place than our faith is built on
Paul is one of the clearest in making the history/faith connection. Before Paul would talk to pagans about Jesus, he always presented the fact of Creation. When Paul spoke on Mars Hill to the Athenians he said,
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, Acts 17:23-24.
after presenting the historical fact of Creation did he go on to
present the story of Jesus’ coming and His resurrection. What all this
means is that without a basic grasp of the historical reality of
Christianity, we cannot be effective witnesses for Christ to the
I remember a talk show about Easter I saw several years ago that made it clear how far someone can go in attempting to separate faith from historical reality. One of the guests on the show was from a group called the Jesus Seminar, a group of self-described Bible scholars who believe everything in the Bible, except for the words. This man stated that he never confused fact with faith. His repudiation of the Bible couldn’t have been made clearer. But the fact of our faith being set in historical reality couldn’t be better stated than when Paul said,
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 1Corinthians 15:17.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 1Corinthians 15:20.
Bible, and our faith, stand or fall on its historical accuracy. If
Genesis is not an accurate history of how we and the Universe got here
and why we are in the situation that we are in today, then John 3:16
with its promise is not true. But God has given us abundant evidence of
the truth of His Word.
Although the date for Easter is determined by pagan reckoning, the historical fact of the resurrection is clearly stated in the Bible and was witnessed by many, including some of Christ’s enemies.