We, as Christians, all believe in Jesus Christ. He is what our faith is based on and we live our lives in order to serve him. Although we live through faith, many of us also want that tangible evidence of Jesus in order to validate what God tells us in the Bible.
Jesus Christ is an enigmatic figure that has inspired thousands of people across centuries. Revered and worshiped across continents, there is one question that always arose in the minds of those that worshiped him – was he real? New findings in the historical world point to the certainty that he did indeed exist in the past. A historian belonging to the Roman times refers to Christ and the execution he suffered under Pontius Pilate in a page in his work called the Annals. In the 15th book on page number 44 he also provides evidence that Christians existed during his time as well.
In AD 64, there was an enormous fire that burned much of Rome, and this fire went on for six days. It happened during the reign of Nero. It is in this context that he mentions Christ, making his work one of the earliest findings that indicate the existence of Christianity, though his work was not restricted to Christians in general. He also mentions the persecution suffered by Christians in the first century.
Within the historical community, Tacitus’s description of Christ’s execution and the plight of Christians at the time is considered both authentic and to have historical value. According to Eddy and Boyd, they believe that this account by Tacitus is an important indication of Christianity during the times even though it comes from a source that is not Christian. Ronald Meller described Tacitus’s work as his best achievement, stating that it is a marvel in the world of historical writings of Rome.
Tacitus’s work, according to scholars, presents three distinct points regarding the time around AD 60. The first of these is that there was a significant population of Christians in existence during the time of his writing. The second is that there existed an important distinction between Christians and people of Jewish descent during this time in Rome. Implying that it was possible to differentiate between them suggests a more common knowledge of what distinguished the two. The third was that pagans of the time could distinguish between Christians in Rome and those that existed in Judea.
In the document itself, Tacitus speaks about the great fire which engulfed Rome for six days. He then goes on to describe how Christians were tortured during the time. What actually started the fire is not properly known, but people suspected that Emperor Nero had started the fire by himself. To draw away attention from himself, he blamed the Christians and treated them mercilessly. This interaction also marked the first documented evidence of strife between Christians and the authorities at Rome. Although he did not say it in an outright manner, Tacitus hinted that Nero may have used Christians as a distraction in order to protect himself.
The original manuscript of the Annals are not in existence at this time. Two copies survived, however, and it is from these that subsequent research has been done. The Medicean manuscripts are located in the Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy.
The Miracles Performed by Jesus
As figure worshiped by thousands of people across the world, it was his great miracles that made him stand out throughout history. News of the miracles that he performed were written down by those that revered him and have been passed down across centuries, still memorized by people today. The New Testament of the Bible offers plenty of miracles that make Jesus Christ such an enigmatic figure. The following is a list of a few of the miracles that Jesus is remembered for.
Being born from a Virgin: The New Testament sees Jesus as a messiah who was promised to the world by the Prophets in the Old Testament. Jesus is presented as someone who is God as well as human. He has been brought to the Earth to teach people about God’s plan, how to live well, what kind of salvation God has in store for us, and finally, to die for the sins of man. Born to a woman named Mary in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ is someone who can be called both the Son of God as well as the Son of Man. Mary was a virgin when she was told that she would bear a child – Jesus. This miracle where a baby is born of a virgin mother is mentioned in the New Testament books of both Luke and Matthew.
Water transforms into Wine: At a wedding banquet in a village called Cana in a place called Galilee, Jesus performed a miracle where he turned water into wine. Located at a place in Israel during the time he performed this miracle, both him, his Mother and those that were his disciples were present as guests. The supply of wine had greatly diminished, and once his mother asked him, he had six pots filled to the brim with water. It was then that he performed the miracle and turned the six pots of water into wine. In so doing, he saved the wedding and allowed the festivities to continue.
He healed the son of a royal official: In Capernaum, a royal official faced trouble when his son came down with an illness. It was then that he found out that Jesus could be located in the town of Cana. Frightened of what might become of his son, he quickly traveled to Cana to seek help from Jesus Christ. It was then that Jesus told the man that his son would be alive. Satisfied, he returned to the town of Capernaum. On the way back he met his servants who said his son was alive and that his fever had disappeared. Looking at the time his son was cured, he realized that it had happened when he had met Jesus the day before.
Healing the mother-in-law of Peter: Jesus had healed a possessed man in Capernaum. After this encounter, he went with his disciples to the home of Simon and Andrew, where they discovered that Peter’s mother-in-law was extremely ill. Once Jesus touched her hand and helped her to sit up her fever had vanished. It was in this way that he healed her and saved her life.
Jesus has performed many miracles and these are just a few of the ones that we remember him by.