Quotes: Jesus' Influence On History
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. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.
Napoleon, military and political leader
I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.
H.G. Wells, author
Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.
Philip Schaff, theologian and historian
Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him.
Sholem Asch, Jewish writer
By any secular standard, Jesus is also the dominant figure of Western culture. Like the millennium itself, much of what we now think of as Western ideas, inventions, and values finds its source or inspiration in the religion that worships God in his name. Art and science, the self and society, politics and economics, marriage and the family, right and wrong, body and soul – all have been touched and often radically transformed by the Christian influence.
Kenneth L Woodward, Newsweek editor
It is evidence of His importance, of the effect that He has had upon history and presumably, of the baffling mystery of His being that no other life ever lived on this planet has evoked so huge a volume of literature among so many people and languages, and that, far from ebbing, the flood continues to mount.
As the centuries pass by, the evidence is accumulating that measured by its effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet. The influence appears to be mounting.
No other life lived on this planet has so widely and deeply affected mankind.
Kenneth Scott Latourette, former President of American Historic Society
The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive in its practice, and has exerted so deep an influence, that it may be truly said that the simple record of three years of active life has done more to regenerate and to soften mankind that all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists.
W. E. H. Lecky, historian and political theorist
I find the name of Jesus Christ written on the top of every page of modern history.
George Bancroft, historian
All that is best in the civilization of today, is the fruit of Christ’s appearance among men.
Daniel Webster, politician
The three years that Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth.
Will Durant, historian and philosopher, when asked what he felt the apex of history was
All history is incomprehensible without Christ.
Ernest Renan, historian, religious scholar and linguist
Jesus is not one of the group of world’s great. Talk about Alexander the Great and Charles the Great and Napoleon the Great if you will…Jesus is apart. He is not the Great – He is the only.
Carnegie Simpson, historian
No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved.
John Knox, theologian
Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author
A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
Mahatma Gandhi, leader
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His Divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a Cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Such was His human life—He rises from the dead. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the Centerpiece of the human race and the Leader of the column of progress. I am within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life.
James C. Hefley, author
As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
Albert Einstein, scientist
Christ is the most unique person of history. No man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth.
H.G. Wells, author
You will find that He is divinely human. It is no mean joy to us of the house of Israel to recognize, to honor and to cherish among our brethren, Jesus the Jew, who has influenced the world more than any other man.
Stephen Wise, rabbi
If all the illustrious men of history were gathered together and Shakespeare should enter their presence, they would rise to do him honor; but if Jesus Christ should come in, they would fall down and worship Him.
Charles Lamb, author/poet
It is interesting and significant that a historian, without any theological bias whatever, should find that he cannot portray the progress of humanity honestly without giving a foremost place to a penniless teacher from Nazareth. A historian like myself, who does not even call himself a Christian, finds the picture centering irresistibly around the life and character of this most significant man.
H.G. Wells, historian
The historical result of [Jesus Christ's] activities was more momentous even from a strictly secular standpoint, than the deeds of any other character of history. A new era, recognized by the chief civilizations of the world, dates from his birth.”
The Historians’ History of the World
If ever the Divine appeared on earth, it was in the Person of Christ...the human mind no matter how far it may advance in every other department, will never transcend the height and moral culture of Christianity as it shines and glows in the Gospels.
The name of Jesus is not so much written as ploughed into the history of the world.
R. W. Emerson, writer
It would require much exotic calculation...to deny that the single most powerful figure - not merely in these two millennium but in all human history - has been Jesus of Nazareth.
Reynolds Price, writer
The ages have come and gone and this Man stands out from among all others. There was a purity within His life that changed men who came in contact with Him. And it has changed others since then, as well. Men discovering Him have gladly lived and laid down their lives for Him - and this often by cruel deaths. But it has mattered not, because of that which He did within their lives.
Just now, take a few minutes to read what others have said about Him - the most amazing Man in all recorded time. They want to introduce you to the only Man in history who can radically lift you - and change you - for the better.
Jesus was the greatest religious genius that ever lived. His beauty is eternal and his reign will never end. He is in every respect unique and nothing can be compared with him.
Ernest Renan, author/historian
Will Jesus ever be surpassed? Nineteen hundred years have passed, and his equal has not risen. This is not true of the world's other great ones. Every generation produces geniuses worthy to be compared with those who have gone before. It can be said of no one man, 'He stands alone; he has no rival; no equal; no superior.' But this is true of Jesus. Nineteen hundred years, instead of diminishing His greatness, have accentuated it.
Editor, The Los Angeles Times.
The life of Christ, the holiest among the mighty and the mightiest among the holy, has lifted with its pierced hands empires off their hinges and turned the stream of centuries out of their channel, and still governs the ages."
Jean Paul Richter, writer
Christ is the great central fact of the world’s history. To him everything looks forward or backward. All lines of history converge upon him. All the great purposes of God culminate in him. The greatest and most momentous fact which the history of the world records is the fact of his birth.
C. H. Spurgeon, pastor
The greatest personality in human history is Jesus. We shall never escape from war but by following His teaching.
Henry Morgenthau, politician
His character forbids possible classification with men.
Horace Bushnell, minister
There is no one else seriously bidding for the heart of the world except Jesus Christ. There is no one else in the field.
Brahmo-Samajist to missionary E. Stanley Jones
Christ's system of morals and religion as He left them to us is the best the world has seen or is likely to see.
[Jesus Christ] is the incomparable Man to whom the universal conscience has decreed the title of Son of God, and that with justice.
Ernest Renan, author/historian
In a civilisation like ours, I feel that everyone has to come to terms with the claims of Jesus Christ upon his life, or else be guilty of inattention or of evading the question.
C.S. Lewis, author
Jesus Christ cannot be adequately understood in terms of any category applicable to man...He is a category by himself.
George MacDonald, author
Everything that is really worth while in the morality of today has come to the world through Christ. Dismiss his standards of right and wrong and try to draw up your own ethical code, and see where ou will be!
G. Campbell Morgan, preacher
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
C.S. Lewis, author