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Quotes About the Bible and History


F. L. Anderson

Jesus, Paul, And Christianity

"Christianity is a historic religion because Christ, its founder, was a historic person. In the beginning of the Christian era there appeared in history One who changed its current from a downward to an upward trend. He was born in Bethlehem and reared in Nazareth a small town of Galilee, af an humble family of the Jews who were then subjected under the provincial Roman rule. 

He received His elementary training in a synagogue school in which the Jewish child studied from the ages of six to twelve. Although the people of Galilee enjoyed more liberality in religion than those of Judea, the Jewish religion everywhere was oppressed by a narrow, Rabbinical leadership which headed up in Jerusalem. 

The boy Jesus had no highly literary education but became well grounded in Aramaic, and in the knowledge of the Hebrew language and the Sacred Scriptures of the Jews. He mastered also Greek into which these Scriptures had been translated centuries before His time. While supporting as a carpenter the family of the deceased Joseph He "cut His way forward" in the mastery of the Rabbinical lore and the Hebrew prophets, becoming deeply learned in the true religion of Israel. At the age of thirty, He appeared at the Jordan, asking baptism of John, and soon after He initiated His ministry, which grew into a religious movement, that has reached today the uttermost confines of the world. 

Jesus, different from any other teacher in history, called attention to His person rather than His doctrine. The religion of the Christ of the Gospels is an experienced relation between Him and His believer-disciple. His personality was unique, attracting vast throngs about Him, reminding some of Elijah in His denunciation of sin; others of the tender-hearted Jeremiah weeping over the sins of the people. His authoritative teaching, which threatened to supercede that of the Pharisees, and his assumption of the true Messianic role, which stirred deeply the enmity of the vested interests of the Annas Bazaars, aroused an antagonism which during three intense years waxed ever fiercer until it brought Him to the cross at Jerusalem. 

History confirms the testimony of the gospel traditions, first oral then written, to the fact of His incomparable claims, His sinless life, His vicarious death on the cross and His resurrection from the tomb. The influence of His life and teachings, substantiated by the actual transformation of the lives of those who believed on Him, swept on and surmounted the antagonism of the bigoted Jewish rulers, met and defeated the subtle heathen philosophies of the Greeks and passed unscathed through the ruthless Roman persecutions, to emerge with victory at last. 

Saul of Tarsus equipped with the culture of the Tarsian University and the theology of Gamaliel, who became the chief and first persecutor of the Nazarenes, was miraculously converted on the Damascus road and sent forth as the apostle to the Gentiles, to bear the message and plant the banner of Christianity in the chief provincial capitals of the Roman Empire. 

In the mortal struggle of young Christianity with its heathen enemies, during the first three centuries, it gained a signal victory, when Constantine bowed to the Galilean Peasant."

F. L. Anderson, "The Man of Nazareth" Ch. 1