Last Thursday night, I was involved in an internet radio program. The program had a chat room option and in the chat was a girl arguing for the Christ myth. (If you come here, you know who you are.) When told that Josephus mentions Jesus, she pointed out that Josephus also mentions Hercules. (For readers who don’t know, Josephus was a Jewish historian in the last first century A.D.)
The article linked to was right here so all can see that this is a real article:
All who are concerned about the copycat theory, I recommend going to Tektonics as JPHolding deals the death blow to that several times as does Glenn Miller of Christian-thinktank.com. However, notice this part about Josephus:
Likewise the ‘evidence’ of Hercules closely parallels that of Jesus. We have historical people like Hesiod and Plato who mentions Hercules. Similar to the way the gospels tell a narrative story of Jesus, so do we have the epic stories of Homer who depict the life of Hercules. Aesop tells stories and quotes the words of Hercules. Just as we have mention of Jesus in Josephus’ Antiquities, so Josephus mentions Hercules in his ‘Antiquities’ (see 1.15, 8.5.3, 10.11.1). Just as Tacitus mentions a Crestus, he also mentions Hercules many times in his Annals. And most importantly, just as we have no artifacts, writings or eyewitnesses about Hercules, we also have nothing about Jesus. All information about Hercules and Jesus comes from stories, beliefs, and hearsay. Should we then believe in a historical Hercules, simply because ancient historians mention him and that we have stories and beliefs about him?
Now, there are several others mentioned, but since Josephus was the one talked about, she used him. What I did was ask her if she had her copy of Josephus with her. She seemed shocked. Why have such a thing? However, I had mine, and while I was chatting, I did turn and look at each of the references.
And I found nothing in them indicating that Josephus saw Hercules as a historical figure. I see that with Christ however. (Jesus, the brother of James for instance. James is a historical figure and thus, it’s reasonable to think his brother would be as well.)
Folks. This is important to note. This took five minutes of my time. Just five minutes. However, this girl hadn’t even checked up on the reference and what could be one reason for missing eternity. I find that incredibly sad. There are some arguments that are harder to answer. We all know this in this field. They’re not unanswerable of course, but they won’t be found by five minutes of research. This was not one of them.
Friends. Be willing to look up something if you have to to make sure the claim is the truth. If a skeptic tells you something, it is no embarrassment to say “Let me go to my library and look it up.” Remember, that five minutes could help demolish an argument that someone has been using to keep away from Christianity.
And it will strengthen your faith as well.
Yeah. That took five minutes. However, be ready always. Be studying and learning whatever you can. I could give more advice on book recommendations as blogs go on.