Evidence of the Faith

News: Commentary
by Paul Brock  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 20, 2021   

Historical and scientific proof

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Throughout the history of Christianity, there has been and continues to be overwhelming evidence in support of the truths of the Faith — evidence that is undeniable even to the nonbeliever.

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Jewish historian Flavius Josephus

A prime example is the famous Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Born in Jerusalem in A.D. 37 just a few years after Our Lord's death and resurrection, Josephus grew up during the very infancy of the Church; this is the time period covered in the Acts of the Apostles. 

As a historian, Josephus attested to the historical existence of Jesus, St. John the Baptist, St. James and many more.

Of Jesus, he writes

At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and his learning outstanding. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after the crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.

That comes from Josephus' Jewish AntiquitiesIt's important to note that this translation is from the Jewish scholar Shlomo Pines. It is believed by many scholars and historians that Josephus' Antiquities was edited by a Christian copyist due to the divine and, well, more accurate portrayal of who exactly Jesus is:

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Josephus also mentioned other Biblical truths as he recorded the beheading of St. John the Baptist: 

Some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism.

There are many other non-Christian historians, pagan in fact, who attested to the historical existence of Christ.

Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger and Mara bar Serapion are just a few examples.

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Tacitus, a first-century Roman historian, recorded (as Josephus did) that Christ was put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate.

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(L to R) Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger and Mara bar Serapion

Suetonius, another first-century Roman historian, wrote about the disagreements in Rome over Jesus and the expulsion of the Jews by Claudius — an event explicitly found in the Acts of the Apostles: "Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome" (Acts 18:2). 

Pliny the Younger, a first-century Roman lawyer and author, recorded (as Josephus did) that Christ's disciples had not stopped following Him even after He was gone. He also recorded that Christians met before dawn to sing praise to Christ as a god.

Mara bar Serapion, a first-century Stoic philosopher in Rome, recorded that Christians did not believe Christ was dead but rather alive according to His New Law.

Throughout the 2,000-year history of Christianity, God has not stopped giving the world signs of His presence.

On Oct. 13, 1917, He gave the world the miracle of the sun — an event seen by an estimated 70,000 people in Fatima, Portugal.

Throughout the 2,000-year history of Christianity, God has not stopped giving the world signs of His presence.

The miracle was so blatantly obvious that even secular, atheistic newspapers like O Século reported that it did in fact happen. Its headline read: "How the Sun Danced in the Middle of the Day in Fatima." 

This famous Church-approved apparition was carried out by the Mother of God, who revealed to the world many messages including: 

  • "Sacrifice yourselves for sinners" 
  • "Pray the Rosary every day" 

The modern day continues to be given undeniable signs from God, like the further research on the Shroud of Turin, the discovery of the bones of St. Peter and the constant eucharistic miracles around the world. The evidence for Christ is profound and irrefutable.

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Shroud of Turin, bones of St. Peter and eucharistic miracles

It's for this reason the Catholic faith, the One True Faith, stresses the importance and necessity of faith and reason.

Faith involves knowledge of divinely revealed truths.

Reason involves knowledge through sense experience and logic alone.

The virtue of faith concerns theology, which is the science of faith — it's a trust in the person revealing (God). 

Reason initially involves philosophy, which is the handmaid of theology — it's any knowledge unaided by divine revelation.

A person can arrive at the existence of God through reason alone. He also knows to do good and avoid evil; for example, man knows it's right and good to practice moderation, and on the other hand, he also knows it's evil to murder. Proper use of philosophy and natural reason are capable of knowing these basic truths.

Grace perfects nature so through faith man not only knows that God exists, but knows His attributes and commands. Moderation is not sought merely because it's good for the body, but moderation is done in all things to perfect the powers of the soul. Man not only avoids killing the innocent, but he loves his enemies. 

Watch the full episode of Mic'd Up—Evidence of the Faith.

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