Is there really “Jesus” in history? If there is this “most important person (said by Rev. Tang Chong-rong)”, why does the country has never mentioned “Jesus” in the textbooks of history from elementary schools to middle schools and to universities? Is “Jesus” in Christianity a fictional person? Is it a fantasy person that appears in the mind when people suck on spiritual opium? Please see the answer below:
Jesus is indeed a recognized historical great figure, like Plato and Caesar during the Roman Empire as well as Chinese Lao Tzu and Confucius were recorded in their historical documents. Historians in the early AD have a certain record of Jesus, especially the Jewish historian Joseph. Their works became historical materials for later generations to study Jesus. In the medieval era of human societies, historical figures in East and West were not understood by the other party due to inconvenience of transportation and communication. But since modern times, through wider trade exchanges, especially Western missionaries’ visits to China, historical and cultural exchanges have increased. At that time, the missionaries introduced Jesus to those with whom they interacted, even the Qing emperors.
But because most Chinese people have rejected Western religions, people may only know about Jesus in a small circle of the church. As for the textbooks you mentioned, there is no record of Jesus. This is probably because Jesus has nothing to do with Chinese history and culture. Secondly, the prevailing evolutionism and scientism in the West also discriminate Christianity. Therefore, most of the young intellectuals in the early period of the Republic of China sought after Western Mr. De (democracy) and Mr. Sai (science), and Western Marxism.
However, Christianity with Jesus as its core still has scattered marks in China. For example, churches, church schools, and hospitals established by Western missionaries; and there are fragments of priests and religious beliefs in Western literature and films. Like you, I did not know about Christianity and Jesus since I was a child, but later I saw some Western classics and movies, such as Notre Dame, and I got a little understanding. And this kind of cognition is just the use of cultural words; for example, the“last supper”is used to metaphorize the end of a relationship, or“Judas”is used to describe betrayal, and so on.
For being the historical figure of Jesus and his deeds, unbelievers have been researching and investigating since ancient times; in particular, questioning the resurrection of Jesus. And those Western scholars who sincerely research and carefully investigate, as long as they conduct historical research from a fair stand, have to change from atheists to Christians who trust in Jesus; and some of them published books based on their research. Although we did not read these historical documents in China or the historical evidences and books published abroad, as long as we have the opportunity to search and be willing to open our eyes and look at the entire human history, we will understand the historical records of Jesus.
Here, I want to give you the most important suggestion: Don’t think of Jesus as a historical figure like Plato, Caesar, Lao Tzu and Confucius, because He is the creator, ruler and judge of the universe and humanity. I think that you may have some questions about Jesus such as the mystery of the incarnation of God. I look forward to hearing from you, and I hope that you can know Jesus correctly by reading articles and listening to programs on the Gospel website of Living in Jesus. Being able to believe in the Lord not only receives blessings from eternal life, but also becomes a Christian who obeys the law and loves others as loves self.