The text below quotes Julian's writing. Flavius Claudius Julianus had a hostility toward Christianity. He was considered one of Christianity's worst enemies. He is what Lee Strobel (The author of "The Case for Christ.") would call a hostile witness. A hostile witness is one where the courts know of the prejudice of an individual who is to testify at a court case. The testimony, when it is in favor of the defendant, is considered one of the best arguments against the case. Though the witness does not know the testimony will benefiting the defense.
Let me illustrate what I mean. Allow me to introduce you to George and Sam. George (The defendant.) is accused of robbing the candy store on 8th. Street and Divine Way. George states that he was somewhere else; 14th. Street and Church Avenue during the time of the robbery. Sam is to testify (being a witness as to George's whereabouts) at the trial and is known to have argued with George over several matters. Sam, wants just to tell the truth to the jury - but there seems to be an over eagerness to do so on Sam's part.
Sam is asked as a witness in the courtroom if George was in the vicinity of 14th Street and Church Avenue at 4:00 PM on Tuesday the 21st. of December. Sam happens to be under the impression his testimony will convict George. Sam gladly gives his honest report of George's whereabouts only to benefit George without ever knowing so. The only thing George is guilty of is being at this location, which is far from the scene of the crime. Thus George is verified as not being guilty by a witness who tells the truth with extraordinary zeal only to help the defendant without ever knowing so. This testimony is very strong in the courts.
What we have below is far better than anything Sam might have done for George in our illustration. Julian was a Roman emperor (A.D. 361 - 363) and is known for his writing volumes of scholarly text. What we find here is a testimony that confirms the dating of the Gospels, The authenticity of what is written therein and other books of the New Testament as well along with a testimony of Jesus performing miracles!
But first, a quote of Julian's words - a prophecy of his on demise it would seem.
The Gathering of The Eagles
3. These words are terribly true of the death of the godless and impenitent.
Julian, the apostate emperor, took for his crest an eagle pierced through the heart by an arrow feathered from his own wing, and as a motto the words,
"Our death flies to us with our own feather." So every sinner who dies impenitent knows that the arrow of remorse which pierces him is of his own making, that the dark specters, which are gathered like eagles around him, are of his own inviting.
9. Julian's Attack upon Christianity.
'Julian the Apostate'
Flavius Claudius Julianus
(AD 332 - AD 363)
For Literature comp. 4 p. 39, 40.
"The last direct and systematic attack upon the Christian religion proceeded from the emperor Julian. In his winter evenings at Antioch in 363, to account to the whole world for his apostasy, he wrote a work against the Christians, which survives, at least in fragments, in a refutation of it by Cyril of Alexandria, written about 432. In its three books, perhaps seven (Cyril mentions only three 111), it shows no trace of the dispassionate philosophical or historical appreciation of so mighty a phenomenon as Christianity in any case is ...
He repeated the arguments of a Celsus and a Porphyry in modified form; expanded them by his larger acquaintance with the Bible, which he had learned according to the letter in his clerical education; and breathed into all the bitter hatred of an Apostate, which agreed ill with his famous toleration and entirely blinded him to all that was good in his opponents. He calls the religion of "the Galilean" an impious human invention and a conglomeration of the worst elements of Judaism and heathenism without the good of either; that is, without the wholesome though somewhat harsh discipline of the former, or the pious belief in the gods, which belongs to the latter. Hence he compares the Christians to leeches, which draw all impure blood and leave the pure. In his view, Jesus, "the dead Jew," did nothing remarkable during his lifetime, compared with heathen heroes,
I would believe we can say Julianus is not a friend of Jesus nor of Christianity at this point!
But look at the rest of his statement as he gives record to what the Bible claims as true!
but to heal lame and blind people and exorcise daemoniacs, which is no very great matter...
With all his sarcastic bitterness against Christianity, Julian undesignedly furnishes some valuable arguments for the historical character of the religion he hated and assailed. The learned and critical Lardner, after a careful analysis of his work against Christianity, thus ably and truthfully sums up Julian's testimony in favor of it
"Julian argues against the Jews as well as against the Christians. He has borne a valuable testimony to the history and to the books of the New Testament, as all must acknowledge who have read the extracts just made from his work.
He allows that Jesus was born in the reign of Augustus, at the time of the taxing made in Judea by Cyrenius: that the Christian religion had its rise and began to be propagated in the times of the emperors Tiberius and Claudius.
He bears witness to the genuineness and authenticity of the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the Acts of the Apostles: and he so quotes them, as to intimate, that these were the only historical books received by Christians as of authority, and the only authentic memoirs of Jesus Christ and his apostles, and the doctrine preached by them.
He allows their early date, and even argues for it. He also quotes, or plainly refers to the Acts of the Apostles, to St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans, the Corinthians, and the Galatians. He does not deny the miracles of Jesus Christ, but allows him to have 'healed the blind, and the lame, and demoniacs,' and 'to have rebuked the winds, and walked upon the waves of the sea.'
He endeavors indeed to diminish these works; but in vain. The consequence is undeniable: such works are good proofs of a divine mission. He endeavors also to lessen the number of the early believers in Jesus, and yet he acknowledgeth, that there were 'multitudes of such men in Greece and Italy,' before St. John wrote his gospel.
He likewise affects to diminish the quality of the early believers; and yet acknowledgeth, that beside 'menservants, and maidservants,' Cornelius, a Roman centurion at Caesarea, and Sergius Paulus, proconsul of Cyprus, were converted to the faith of Jesus before the end of the reign of Claudius.
And he often speaks with great indignation of Peter and Paul, those two great apostles of Jesus, and successful preachers of his gospel.
So that, upon the whole, he has undesignedly borne witness to the truth of many things recorded in the books of the New Testament: he aimed to overthrow the Christian religion, but has confirmed it:
He was killed with a lance in his wars with the Persians. When he saw that he was mortally wounded, he took a handful of his blood, and threw it up towards heaven, crying out,
"Thou hast overcome, O Galilean."
As the scriptures state, "Every knee shall bow - and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ..." - before our King. Some will do so and enter Heaven, others will do so and be cast out to the darkness. Perhaps Julian had come to the conclusion that he must surrender to Christ! Perhaps his gesture of tossing his blood toward heaven was a plea for mercy. I surely hope so. Those in the ancient world would know the proper etiquette when one is brought before a king is to bow down. We do not relate to this in our modern society but regardless, He is the King. He is called the King of Kings.
Below we have some text from the Old Testament - approximately 1200 BC - where God is speaking in the first person and telling us of His Son whom we recognize today as Jesus of Nazareth.
6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
Julian, with his last breath acknowledges the Galilean, who is Jesus, as the victor. We see a world power that conquered all in its path being defeated by a man who was born in a town of no significance. He was born in a cave that was used as a barn and placed in an animals feeding bin because there was no room for His parents at the time in the local inns.
Yet, three wise men come from the east to honor His birth. These men were officials and their official capacity was to make kings. Those they understood would be king by their discernment would become king by their decree.
Billions over the millenniums have called Jesus their king, millions have died refusing to dishonor their King. This King ransomed His own life so that His subjects could live. Throughout history - it is the other way around. Kings sell themselves to the conquering armies and abandon their subjects.
His name is Jesus - Greek for Deliverer ... or Yeshua in the Hebrew meaning Savior - He will deliver or save His people.
I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
'You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me,
and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
Let us read some of Jesus' words as He spoke to the procurator of Rome,
Pilate, in Judea as He spoke at a trial.
Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again,
and said to Him, "
Are You the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered him, "
Are you speaking for yourself about this,
or did others tell you this concerning Me?"
Pilate answered, "
Am I a Jew?
Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me.
What have You done?"
Jesus answered, "
My kingdom is not of this world.
If My kingdom were of this world,
My servants would fight,
so that I should not be delivered to the Jews;
but now My kingdom is not from here."
Pilate therefore said to Him, "
Are You a king then?"
"You say rightly that I am a king.
- For this cause I was born,
- for this cause I have come into the world,
- that I should bear witness to the truth.
- Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Note how Jesus did not squabble before the most powerful man in the region, Pilot. Jesus went on to tell Pilot that he had no power over Him unless it was given to him from on High.
Jesus was to fulfill scripture: to die as the sacrificial lamb for the sake of humanity. All the Law was given to show mankind the way back to God.
Jesus filled all the requirements of the Law and conquered the grave through His resurrection.
Let us look as how Jesus fulfilled the scriptures briefly here.
Jesus was facing death on a cross - probably the worst of tortures for any human being to face. Death on a cross left ones body in continual motion as the lungs and diaphragm need to expand and contract for a breath to be drawn. Jesus' torn body would have to grapple against the rough wood of the old rugged cross applying pressure to the nails in His hands and feet simultaneously while He dragged His body upon the Cross.
The soldiers placed a crown of thorns on Jesus' head beating the thorns into His scalp to mock Him and inflict greater pain. We read in Genesis the earth was cursed with thorns when humanity fell. Jesus took the curse placed on the earth as well as humanities fall with all sickness, disease, sin and suffering. Ultimately He will come back to redeem the earth and save humanity to the fulfillment of scripture and fulfilling all the promises given.
The Roman soldier would break the legs of crucified men just before the High Holy Day was to hasten death and remove the bodies from sight. Men hanging on a tree were considered accursed as the scriptures state and they do so as to point specifically to Jesus. The soldiers would not need to attend to Jesus in this regard as we see more scripture fulfilled below.
Jesus "passed on" before the guard was sent to break His legs which was the fulfillment of Prophecy, "Not a bone in His body shall be broken," (paraphrase).
In addition, the Passover lambs were to be without spot or blemish and specifically to not have any broken bones.
His dying on Passover, when the lambs were sacrificed, is the fulfillment of the "type" as well.
The inspection by Pilot was also a "type" that the lambs would be without blemish by inspection of an official. Pilot found no fault in Jesus.
Pilot then makes this statement to those who accused Jesus;
"I find no fault in Him."
When John the Baptist sees Jesus, he gives us this statement,
"Behold the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world!"
Jesus spoke these words,
- "No one takes my life from me,
- I lay it down of my own will.
- I have power to lay it down and
- power to take it up again;"
- "I am the good shepherd,
- I lay down my life for the sheep."
Somehow, Julian knew that he was not fighting against a helpless band of followers; men, women, and their children. Though he slaughtered these helpless sheep ruthlessly, the Good Shepherd prevailed. Those who "pass on" in this life who have accepted Christ are allowed to enter into His Kingdom - Heaven. Those who will not accept His work on the Cross for themselves face eternal separation from God - Hell.
Jesus died on the Cross to allow mankind entrance into Heaven. Without the substitution of Christ's death, you have to face the penalty on your own merit, and my friend, you have no merit without the justification of the Cross. He paid the price of Sin. The Bible says the wages of sin are death. Christ, the Son of God, paid this price for you! You have to accept this or face damnation. God does not send anyone to hell; people chose their own path in this life. Christ chose to die in your place. You can accept this sacrifice or reject it. That is your own decision. Do not blame God, your parents, life, or anyone else for your choice. I write in this manner simply to state that you must accept Christ as your savior. You cannot refuse Him without facing the dire circumstances.
You who love the LORD,
He will judge Your people with righteousness,
And Your poor with justice.
The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills,
He will bring justice to the poor of the people;
He will save the children of the needy,
And will break in pieces the oppressor.
They shall fear You* As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.
He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth.
In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.
all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.
For He will deliver the needy when he cries,
The poor also,
and him who has no helper.
He will spare the poor and needy,
And will save the souls of the needy.
He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
And precious shall be their blood in His sight.
His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.
(from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)
2116 (from Schaff's History of the Church, Electronic Database Copyright © 1999 by Biblesoft)
(from Works of Jonathan Edwards, volume 1, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2004, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. and Ages Software, Inc. All rights reserved.)
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.