No one ever asks the question whether Julius Caesar really exists. Neither do they debate the existence of men like Socrates, Plato or Aristotle. But as soon as the name Jesus is mentioned, people immediately jump to conclusions about the historicity of his existence.
What most people do not realize is that they are aware of people like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle only through ancient documents written either by themselves or by other people about them. Since none of the ancient original documents survive today, the authenticity of these documents is evaluated by the number of extant copies that are available either as fragments or complete manuscripts. The time span between the creation of the original document and its copies is also taken into consideration.
Socrates never seemed to have passed on his philosophies through writing. Almost all of what one knows about Socrates comes from his student Plato's writings. None of the original manuscripts of Plato's writings exist today, except for a few copies made from the original. There is a time gap of almost 800 years between the creation of the original and the extant copies of Plato's writings that are available today.
The Documentary Evidence of Jesus
When it comes to the accounts describing the life of Jesus, there are literally thousands of copies made from the original manuscripts written in the first century AD. And most important of all, the time gap between the originals and the extant copies is less than a hundred years.
There are just 10 surviving copies of the 'The Gallic Wars' of Julius Caesar, while there are 5800 complete and fragmented copies of Greek manuscripts of the life of Jesus, apart from 10,000 manuscripts in Latin and 9300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages.
Such is the overwhelming documentary evidence of Jesus when compared to the scanty documentation of men like Julius Caesar, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle who in fact lived several decades or centuries before him. If people find it difficult to believe that Jesus exhausted, such such ample documentary evidence, they should find it incredibly more difficult to believe that the other historical figures existed as well.
The Bible is the source of most of the information relating Jesus. People therefore disregard the information, claiming that the Bible is not a historic book. What they may not know is that the Bible accurately described the life of Alexander the Great, his untimely death, the division of his kingdom to his four generals, and the consequent emergence of the Roman Empire, centuries before Alexander was even born.
The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament which was written several centuries before the birth of Alexander, clearly precedes the collapse of the Babylonian Empire after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the emergence of the Medo-Persian Empire, its destruction at the hands of Alexander the Great, and all the way up to the Roman Empire, during which reign, Jesus was ever born.
The Bible is unlike any other book in existence today. The Bible is actually a compilation of 66 different books written by 40 authors over a period of 1600 years. It was written in 3 different languages from geographical locations spread over 3 different continents. Most of the authors never met each other since they lived several centuries apart. And yet, the whole Bible is consistent and coherent in its theme from start to finish. In fact, from Genesis to Revelation, the central figure in the book is the person Jesus.
Thousands of years before his birth, the exact time, place and nature of his birth were predicted in the Old Testament books of the Bible. Likewise, the nature of his death and crucifixion on the cross were predicated thousands of years before his birth. In fact, there are around 300 prophecies in the Old Testament which were accurately fulfilled in the life of Jesus. There is virtually no possibility for a man to choose the time of his birth, his lineage, the place of his birth, let alone fulfill the hundreds of other prophecies that were made about him thousands of years before he was even born, unless he was divine.
And if he was indeed divine, then we had better listen to what he has to say. Jesus said that he did not come into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved through him. Talking about the way to heaven, he said "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one can come to God, but by me".
Most people reject Jesus not because there is very little evidence to prove that he pursued. Rather, they dislike the idea of accepting his lordship over them, assuming that they would lose the pleasures of their current lifestyle. Unfortunately, they do not understand that Jesus came into this world and died for them so that they can enjoy life like never before. In fact Jesus said, "I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)".
The Problem of Sin
Every person in this world would be able to point at someone who has caused pain and sorrow in their life. No human being on the face of the planet can assert that they have never been wronged by anyone in their own life. In fact, everyone would vouch for the fact that someone, at some point in their life, had hurt them quite badly. Likewise, no one can claim that they have never hurt another person either. Every single human being would have wronged at least one person in their life. And this is what the Bible calls as sin. The Bible states that everyone has sinned and comes short of God's standard of perfection and therefore describes God's judgment. But instead of judging his creation, God has justified everyone and made them upright and in right standing with Himself, by providing redemption through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The Gift of Eternal Life
In other words, God took the sins of every human being and placed them on Jesus and punished him on the cross, and took the rewards of his righteous life on earth and placed it upon humans. Contrary to what most people believe, Jesus came to make everyone's life happier than they can ever imagine.
This is precisely why everyone needs to accept Jesus as their personal lord and savior. They have nothing to lose and eternal life to gain. Jesus said, "Who believes in me, though he may die, yet he shall live (forever)".