Re: The birth of a 'mad sect,"' Dec. 25 John Aloysius Farrell column.
John Aloysius Farrell discredited Christianity as historically uncertain. This is incorrect. Farrell dismisses Pliny's and Josephus' references to Christ; yet they in fact corroborate the existence of Christ and certain significant facts about him. Other ancient historians, such as Thallus, Tacititus and Suetonius, mention Christ and his followers as well. These references alone put the lie to Farrell's claim that there is little proof of Jesus' existence. Farrell demeans the Apostle Paul's letters by saying that he "paints no portrait of Christ, the man from Nazareth." But Paul had no need to repeat facts about the earthly life of Christ, since these were already known to his readers. However, Paul does refer to several facts about Jesus' life and teaching, particularly his Jewish ancestry, crucifixion and resurrection. Although Farrell downplays the Gospels, they were written only a few decades after the events they describe by eyewitnesses or those
who consulted eyewitness - impressive credentials for ancient literature. "The Da Vinci Code" to the contrary, the four Gospels were not selected for merely political reasons, but because of their connection to reliable witnesses, the agreement of their teachings, and their early use in the church.
- Douglas Groothuis, Littleton The writer is a professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary.