2000 years ago
Jesus changed
the course of
human history.
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That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels.

Will Durant
Historian, Philosopher

It would require much exotic calculation to deny that the single most powerful figure—not merely in these two millenniums but in all human history—has been Jesus of Nazareth… a serious argument can be made that no one else’s life has proved remotely as powerful and enduring as that of Jesus. It’s an astonishing conclusion…

Reynolds Price
Poet, Novelist, Dramatist

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
Indian political leader

The name of Jesus is not so much written as ploughed into the history of the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essayist, Philosopher

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.

Albert Einstein

God's own Son was not delivered from evil and violent death through the legal institutions of His society... I conclude that it is a fundamental mistake to think that salvation, justice, or virtue come through merely human institutions.

Dr. Jeane Kirkpatrick
Former UN Ambassador

Christ alone… has affirmed as a principal certainty, eternal life, the infinity of time, the nothingness of death, the necessity and the raison d’être of serenity and devotion. He lived serenely, as a greater artist than all other artists, despising marble and clay as well as color, working in living flesh. That is to say, this matchless artist… made neither statues nor pictures nor books; he loudly proclaimed that he made… living men, immortals.

Vincent van Gogh

Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he's also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.

Barack Obama
Former U.S. President

I know the brutality and the cruelties of war better than many people. Now I want to work for peace. But how can mankind achieve a lasting peace? True peace of heart, mind, and soul can only come through Jesus Christ.

Mitsuo Fuchida
Japanese Navy Captain (Pearl Harbor 1941)

"Jesus Christ rose from the grave." With this proclamation, the Christian church began. This may be the fundamental element of Christian faith; certainly it is the most radical.

Elaine Pagels

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 Dostoevsky

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
Novelist, Historian

I wouldn’t compare any other human being with Jesus Christ.

Nelson Mandela
South African revolutionary, President

Jesus was never against politics. He just wants us to recognize that there is a greater power above. We must all recognize there is a King of kings and a Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, who is above every political system.

Frederick Chiluba
Former Zambian President

The great military leaders of the past have gone, their empires have crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of Jesus, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Baptist minister, Activist

The Gospel that represents Jesus Christ, not as a system of truth to be received into the mind like I should receive a system of philosophy, or astronomy, but it represents Him as a real, living, mighty Saviour, able to save me now.

Catherine Booth
Co-founder Salvation Army

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.

Benjamin Franklin
US Founding Father

If ever the Divine appeared on earth, it was in the Person of Jesus 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.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Playwright, Novelist, Philosopher

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

Alexander, 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
Emperor of France

I find the name of Jesus Christ written on the top of every page of modern history.

George Bancroft

Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today He remains the central figure of the human race, and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this planet so much as that one solitary life.

James Allen Francis

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

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 Woodward
Newsweek Editor