History is Written by Victors

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“History is Written by Victors.” The quote gets attributed to Winston Churchill, but nobody knows ‘for sure’ who the original author was. It implies that history is not grounded in facts. Instead,  it’s the winners’ interpretation of the facts that prevail. That statement is alarming, but is it true? Clever statements get turned into present-day memes but are rarely investigated to see if they are true.

Here’s what I’ve discovered, not all history is about recorded conflicts. Most of history isn’t necessarily about winners and losers. Much is just a record of people, culture, and events of the day. In most situations,  history isn’t set in stone. When new facts emerge, it gets revisited. This happens all the time. An event is recorded and then sometimes eyewitnesses come along and change the account.

In the past two thousand years there have been some that have applied that general principle to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to George Sinclair, the Principal of Ryle Seminary in Canada, there’s a problem with that. There are four ancient biographies of Jesus. They were all written by eyewitnesses or based on eyewitness testimony. They were written and circulated while many other eyewitnesses were still alive. Pagan and Jewish writers report that Christians believed Jesus rose from the dead. Many of the principal eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus died because of their claim that Jesus was resurrected. The historical evidence shows that: the grave was empty; the grave clothes were neatly left behind; the stone enclosing the tomb was rolled away; the body of Jesus was never found; the grave had been guarded by Roman soldiers; and no one ever claimed to have stolen the body.

Supporting and keeping a false narrative of the past would mean you would have to suppress all the facts and channels of free communication. After all, it only takes one malcontent to take down the whole historical account. 2000 years of history has not been able to do that.

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