Once an Agnostic, Former CEO and Author James Moseley Now Known as ‘The Bible History Guy.’ Here’s Why.
“When I was 12 years old, I was sitting on a bridge at sunset in Boca Raton, Florida, looking at the beautiful sunset and thinking ‘There has to be more to the physical world than this,'” former CEO of Fiarrie International and author James “Jim” Moseley told The Stream recently. “And I came to the conclusion at a young age that there had to be a God. And if there was a God, I wanted to communicate with Him, because I thought He wouldn’t have been an accidental God. He would have been a purposeful God. And I wanted to meet Him. So, I started my lifelong search that way.”
A Winding Path
The Christian church was not Jim’s first stop. He tried finding God at Oxford University, in Judaism, in Islam, in religions of India and in other cultures around the world. He even met with the Dalai Lama, to no avail. “I did all these things and I just didn’t find God. It was like, you know, picking up a telephone, hoping that God would be on the other end of the line. But the telephone never even had a dial tone.”
Jim was tired of searching. “I got to the point that I didn’t just want to be a seeker of the truth, I wanted to be a finder of it.”
When he got back to the States, he wondered if there was a God. His sister recommended a California church. When the pastor, Jack Hayford, gave the altar call, Jim went. “I didn’t pray a very repentant prayer. I just came down and said, ‘Lord, I don’t know if I really like this whole environment and what they’re saying, but I’m going to just say this. If asking [Jesus] into my heart is going to get me to know God, I’m open.’ And that was my prayer.”
Jim says he’s embarrassed by his prayer, but God knew his heart. After he prayed, something changed inside him. “A light just came out of my heart.” He expected the sensation to go away, but it didn’t. Then he realized he had a problem. “My heart had become Christian, [but] my mind had not. I was so over-educated and arrogant, I thought I would never be stupid enough to be a Christian and believe in all those orally transmitted myths made up centuries after the events.”
Investigating the Bible
He began to study the Word of God, trying to tear it apart, but he couldn’t. “Of course, the Bible is perfectly inherent, and there’s no skeptical challenge I could bring against it without discovering that it was true and all of my presuppositions were false.” That really began Jim’s journey to find truth.
Why the title “The Bible History Guy”? Because Jim’s search for truth didn’t stop when he became a Christian. Over the years, Jim did deep dives into Scripture. He also studied biblical and extra-biblical sources, like the early church fathers’ writings and secular writings of men like Jerome and Usebius. “And they’re all coming together and giving the same account.”
Getting to Know the Apostles
Jim, who has published 18 books on theology, recently published a book on biblical history called The Biographies of Jesus’ Apostles: Ambassadors in Chains. “I felt like it was worth it to take a little bit of a step back and cover the Gospels and Acts and the epistles with respect to the activities of the apostles. I was taking the whole New Testament and post-scriptural traditions of the apostles, extracting the personalities to try to create a full picture of them.”
Criticisms of the Bible
Of course, Jim has push back from people who object to the Bible. Jim describes one of them. “They say, ‘Well, you know, the Bible was written years after these events, and it was added to and made up by people who just wanted to make the case for Christianity.’ And, you know, the answer to that is there are many answers to that. But let’s say for example, the New Testament. The Romans destroyed the Jewish temple in the year AD 70. Now, not one New Testament book talks about the destruction of the temple. It’s a pretty strong indicator they were all written before AD 70, because that would be like writing the history of New York after 9/11 and leaving that event out.” Jim includes answers to these types of criticism and proof of many fascinating events — or possibilities — within the Bible in his newest book.
Changing the World
Jim wants people to understand that the apostles were not all that different from Christians today. “The apostles were unique because they occupied a unique place in history. In your community, you’re going to find opportunities like they did where maybe people who are not a Martian or somebody coming from another world, or a charismatic leader, or somebody who’s going to rock your world at first impact. That’s not necessarily how you’re gonna change the world.
“You can change the world by being who God made you to be. Hearing His call and taking some simple steps. Jesus’ apostles did not go into full-time ministry right away. It was about a year before He called them to full-time ministry. And that may be our path too. We may just take some baby steps to serve God, but maybe by doing that we can start to take some giant steps.”
What Can Christians Do?
For the apostles, it was a tough time being a Christian. But they remained faithful to the Lord. “And that’s what I want people to [figure out]. Can you be a Peter? Can you be an Andrew? Can you be a Matthew? And you can be the echo for those great men.”