Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Nero Blames Great Roman Fire On Christians (Part 2) - 64 AD - Church History

This is the second part in a four part series, to go to part one click here.

Tacitus continues with a brief, but important summary of the origins of Christianity:
Christus, from whom the name [of Christianity] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty [crucifixion] during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. (source)
In this summary of Christianity, Tacitus places Jesus Christ in history. Jesus Christ was a real human being, ordered to be executed on the cross by a real man named Pontius Pilate. This is significant because Tacitus (living in the late first century and early second century) is in agreement with what is recorded in the inspired Scriptures: that Jesus was handed over to be executed by Pontius Pilate.

Just a quick side note: As Christians, our mindset should not be that Tacitus' writings confirm the general accuracy of the New Testament. Instead, as Christians, our mindset should be this: The New Testament confirms the general accuracy of Tacitus' writings on the subject of Christianity.

As Christians, we do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God merely because we can rattle off a list of historical reasons. Instead, as Christians, we believe that the Bible is the word of God because God has changed our hearts. He has made us new creatures in Christ Jesus— new creatures that believe what His written word says. Why? Because it is from Him!

It is not inherently wrong to have a list of historical reasons for believing the Bible is the word of God. Just know that such historical knowledge is useless if it is not built upon a firm foundation of faith in God.

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Related Posts:
Nero Blames Great Roman Fire On Christians (Part 3) - 64 AD - Church History
Noah's Birth - Genesis 5:28 - 2948 BC (Pre-Flood History)
The Flood - Genesis 7:11 - 2349 BC (Pre-Flood History)
Slavery, The Great Fire In Rome, and Nero

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