The Birth that Changed the World
As Christmas nears, Christians around the world honor the birth of a humble baby born over 2,000 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem. His birth was not flashy, extravagant, or seemingly special. The life He lived, however, was an extraordinary story of love. Even non-Christians recognize Jesus as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, teachers in history. Few would argue that anyone has had a bigger impact on history than Jesus. He split the human calendar in two, changed the way that people treat others and interpret God's law, and founded the largest religion in the world. Today, these transformations and others are unrecognized by some and taken for granted by others. This begs the question, "What if Jesus had never been born?"
If Jesus had never been born, Christian beliefs foundational to many people and institutions that spread hope would not exist.
Education would not be nearly as advanced if Jesus had not been born. Many of the best colleges and universities in the United States, for example, were founded by religious groups like the Puritans. Of the first 123 universities in the U.S., 122 were religious schools; these included Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Purdue (Browne). Furthermore, these groups promoted reading and writing so that all people could read and understand the Bible. Literacy was stressed so much that in the early 1800's John Quincy Adams estimated the illiteracy rate in America was only four-tenths of one percent (.4%) (Browne). Today, the U.S. remains one of the most literate countries in the world. Women would also have a very different role in society; women would not have many, if any, of the rights they have today. During Jesus' time, women were considered the property of their husband;...