JESUS AND HISTORY
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the
"I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and
every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Caesar,
Charlemagne and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of
our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this
hour millions of men would die for him."
--Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), FRENCH GENERAL AND EMPEROR
"Christianity introduced no new forms of government, but a new spirit, which
totally transformed the old ones."
--Lord Acton (1834–1902), BRITISH HISTORIAN
"Man’s ultimate destiny depends not on whether he can learn new lessons or
make new discoveries and conquests, but on the acceptance of the lesson taught
him close upon two thousand years ago."
--Inscription at Entrance to Rockefeller Center, New York City
"Who is the greatest leader in history? Of all the names that might be given
in response to that question, one name stands out above the rest. Jesus
--Bob Briner and Ray Pritchard, THE LEADERSHIP LESSONS OF JESUS, 1998
"The effects, then, of the work of Christ are even to the unbeliever
indisputable and historical. It expelled cruelty; it curbed passion; it branded
suicide; it punished and repressed infanticide. There was hardly a class whose
wrongs it did not remedy. It rescued the gladiator; it freed the slave; it
protected the captive; it nursed the sick; it sheltered the orphan; it elevated
the woman; it shrouded as with a halo of sacred innocence the tender years of
the child. In every region of life its ameliorating influence was felt.... It
created the very conception of charity and broadened the limits of its
obligation from the narrow circle of a neighbourhood to the widest horizons of
the human race."
--F. W. Farrar (1831–1903), CHAPLAIN TO THE QUEEN AND CANON OF WESTMINSTER, THE LIFE OF CHRIST, 1874
"Time—the sequence of days, months and seasons—can be taken up into Christ,
and so be sanctified and transfigured."
-- Seasons of the Spirit, 1984, PREFACE TO READINGS SELECTED BY GEORGE EVERY, RICHARD HARRIES AND KALLISTOS WARE
"The most potent figure, not only in the history of religion, but in world
history as a whole, is Jesus Christ: the maker of one of the few revolutions
which have lasted. Millions of men and women for century after century have
found his life and teaching overwhelmingly significant and moving. And there is
ample reason ... why this should still be so."
--Michael Grant, PRESIDENT OF THE CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF ENGLAND, JESUS, 1977
"When the drama of history is over, Jesus Christ will stand alone on the
stage. All the great figures of history ... will realize that they have been but
actors in a drama produced by another."
--Helmut Thielicke (1908–1986), GERMAN THEOLOGIAN
"I have always considered Christ to be one of the greatest revolutionaries in
the history of humanity."
--Fidel Castro, CUBAN PRESIDENT AND MARXIST REVOLUTIONARY
"The first Christians were Jews. They differed from their fellow-countrymen
by their faith that in Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah of the nation’s expectation
had now come.... If something new had happened, it was the action of one and the
same God, Creator of the world, Lord of history, the God of Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs. His new word to his people must be consistent
with that spoken in the past by the prophets."
--Henry Chadwick, BRITISH THEOLOGIAN AND HEAD OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD, AND PETERHOUSE, CAMBRIDGE, THE EARLY CHURCH, 1993