To The Daily Sun,
In a letter to the editor on Jan. 31, Mr. Veverka implies that there are no historical documents proving that Jesus ever even existed. I have been a Christian for more than 40 years. Mr. Veverka seems to be an intelligent man, and I am not going to attempt to say that I am more intelligent than he, possibly smarter, but not more intelligent.
What do you say to the world's dating system: B.C. and A.D.? B.C. stands for "before Christ" and A.D. stands for the Latin phrase "anno domini", which means "in the year of our Lord." Isn't it interesting that the purpose of the B.C./A.D. dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history! I personally find that pretty interesting.
Mr. Veverka, please do not tell people that you know better — that there is no archaeological or historical evidence concerning the validity of the Bible or Jesus. The 1st century Roman Tacitus, who is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world, mentioned superstitious "Christians" (followers of Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (Christ) who lived during the 1st century. Flavius Josephus is the most famous Jewish historian. In his "Antiquities" he refers to James, "the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ." Caiaphas was high priest for 18 years, A.D. 18-36. The Caiaphas family tomb was accidentally discovered by workers constructing a road in a part south of Jerusalem. Archaeologists were called to the scene and they examined the tomb. They found 12 ossuaries (limestone bone boxes) containing the remains of 63 individuals. The most beautifully decorated of the ossuaries was inscribed with the name "Joseph son of (or, of the family of ) Caiaphas." This discovery provided the world with the physical remains of an individual named in the Bible. Jesus was arrested and taken to Caiphas' house where Caiaphas asked Jesus, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed one?"
In 1993, archaeologists digging in northern Israel found a stone inscription that refers to the "House of David" and identifies David as the "King of Israel." This was the first inscription outside of the Bible that confirms the Bible's statement that David was the King of Israel in the ninth century before Christ. Bible critics have said that King David was a myth — guess they were wrong.
In 1846, the explorer Austen Henry Layard discovered an amazing black obelisk in the ruins of Nimrud (present-day Iraq), the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire that conquered the northern kingdom of Israel. This obelisk was 6 1/2 feet high, a four-sided stone with an inscription, that recorded the conquest of the Assyrian King Shalmaneser II over numerous foreign kingdoms including King Jehu Of Israel (841-814 B.C.). A detailed examination of the obelisk revealed King Jehu bowing down in obedience to the Assyrian king. The obelisk refers to Jehu as the 'son of Omri" indicating their awareness that his dynasty traced back to Omri in confirmation of the Book of Kings (10th book of the Old Testament).
I could mention countless more discoveries found over the years where archaeology supports biblical accounts, but even if I did, Mr. Veverka would challenge everyone of them. Abraham Lincoln referred to the Bible as "the best gift God has given to man." I agree. C.S. Lewis said, "We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with him." Romans 1: 18-20 says, "But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God." Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53: 1 say, "Only fools say in their hearts , "There is no God".
I'm quite sure Mr. Veverka will pounce on everything I've said, and that's okay because he is surely entitled to his opinion, as I am with mine. Am I a Christian? absolutely. Do I believe in Jesus and all that he died for me on the cross and with his death? Absolutely. Do I believe everything in the Bible? I do.
My final thought to Mr. Veverka is this: If I eventually end up being wrong about everything I believe and hold dear to me concerning Jesus, I have really lost nothing. But on the other hand, James, If you are wrong, you have lost everything.