Know Bible Facts From Fiction, Science and Prophecy for today!
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What is the case for Christ's Existance? How do we know he was real?

By B. Walker


What proof do we have that there ever was a Jesus known as the Christ? Many today say  that he never existed or that there is no proof for such a person, if this is true why do Christians believe in such things? If you do not believe that there was a Jesus also known as Christ! We must believe that there was to Nero! Pontius Pilot, No King Herod, and many other figures in secular history because those historians who wrote of them also mention Jesus I can give you 19 secular historians who mention him as well as John the Baptist! Only the foolish would state that Jesus never existed! Most all historians all state that Jesus was real the only dispute is to his deity……. Below are just a few samples of what history has to say. Before we listen to what others have to say in ignorance, If we open our minds and hearts we can learn of the historical truths relating tothis subject matter!

Tacitus, who is respected by modern scholars for historical accuracy, wrote in 115 A .D. about Christ and His Church

Flavius Josephus, who lived until 98 A .D., was a romanized Jewish historian. He wrote books on Jewish history for the Roman people. In his book, Jewish Antiquities, he made references to Jesus.

Pliny the Younger, proconsul in Asia Minor , in 111 A .D. wrote to Emperor Trajan in a letter

Other secular witnesses to the historical Jesus include Suetonius in his biography of Claudius, Phlegan recording the eclipse of the sun during Jesus' death and even Celsus, a pagan philosopher. It must be kept in mind that most of these sources were not only secular but anti-Christian. These secular authors, including the Jewish writers, had no desire or intention to promote Christianity. They had no motivation to distort their reports in favor of Christianity. Pliny actually punished Christians for their faith. If Jesus were a myth or His execution a hoax, Tacitus would have reported it as such. He certainly would not have connected Jesus' execution to Roman leaders. These writers presented Jesus as a real historical person. Denying the reliability of these sources in connection to Jesus would cast serious suspicion on the rest of ancient history.


The fact, that many of those historians who are mentioned here, had access to many of the original records, and events, speaks volumes to the truth that the events happened as they have been recorded. Keep in mind, many will tell you that none of those historians who recorded the events were contemporary with the crucifixion, but this is not necessarily true, and even if it were, this does not detract from the truth of the events as relayed historically. Let’s look at one particular event and trial that changed history and the way many believed or thought about God. Let’s see what happened in history to put this into perspective of what we believe today. We have all heard about the great trial of a man who went against the established religions of the day, he came teaching and preaching to men to put aside their dogmatic approach to religion, and to think beyond what they have been told and learned, he spoke out about hypocrisy and dogma.

He was put on trial and ridiculed for teaching contrary to the established religions of his day.

Hated and despised by many, laughed at to scorn and many sought to take his life just because of his beliefs. This man changed lives and altered the way many would see or perceive God. A man, who no matter if you believed in, what he claimed, or was teaching, had to be admired, for standing up for his beliefs. He went against the establishment, and looking to advance the growth of humankind. He sought to give us answers as to our origins and the meaning of life, and his teachings were put on trial. He suffered persecution for his beliefs and his teachings are remembered to this day as he changed the world and how we relate to God! Hated and despised he remains a figure who we all have heard of, and believe the events of his life to be true. The facts that surround his life and teachings we know to be true even after his persecution and death. There can be no doubt that this man lived and died as recorded in history for to doubt he existed even though it was so long ago would make any man or woman who dare declare he never existed to be a fool.

I dare say this man changed religion and history, for all of mankind.  The evidence of the change can be found the hearts of men, and are irrefutable and established by the way we live our lives. To some he was a hero to others a false god and liar, but to deny that he lived would be ludicrous as we all know how many lives he touched and the work he did. So who could this life changing man be? Now I ask you who could deny that this man was none other than Charles Darwin the father of evolution, and even though he lived long before I was born I can still tell of his contribution to the world and how he changed it. Born in 1809 in England and died 19 April 1882, I can quote the names of his father and mother as well as recount many of the facts of his life, from the books he had written to the places he traveled in great detail as well as many of his scientific followers and their research even though he died 128 years ago. I am not contemporary with him but I have access to many records to rely on for all the historical facts.

 And let’s not forget the persecution of his followers that came after his death some 43 years later, where in 1943 we had the Scope monkey trial. The Scopes Trial—formally known as The State of Tennessee v. Scopes, the trial—was an American legal case in 1925 in which high school biology teacher John Scopes was accused of violating the state's Butler Act which made it unlawful to teach evolution. This is similar to what happened too many of the apostles such as St. Paul when held captive in Rome. Keep in mind the Gospels such as St. John whose gospel was said by some scholars to have been written c90-100 AD some 57 years by some estimates after the death of Jesus and clearly fit within the realm of today’s standards as I showed above to be able to be a factual and truthful account, If I can recite the facts of Darwin’s life, work, teachings and death, and give an accurate account, and I am an unbeliever in most of his teachings. Why would it be a stretch to imagine those historians of old would not, or could not do the same?

If we look even deeper we find many liberal Estimates for the dates when the canonical gospel accounts were written, though they vary significantly; and the evidence for any of the dates is scanty. Because the earliest surviving complete copies of the gospels date to the 4th century and because only fragments and quotations exist before that, scholars use higher criticism to propose likely ranges of dates for the original gospel autographs, but this is not to say that they were not written way before the estimates, only that we can trace them to the suggested times. Scholars variously assess the majority (though not the consensus) view as follows:

Mark: c. 68–73,[31] c 65-70[3]

Matthew: c. 70–100.[31] c 80-85.[3] Some conservative scholars argue for a pre-70 date, particularly those that do not accept Mark as the first gospel written.

Luke: c. 80–100, with most arguing for somewhere around 85,[31], c 80-85[3]

John: c 90-100,[3] c. 90–110,[32] The majority view is that it was written in stages, so there was no one date of composition.

Traditional Christian scholarship has generally preferred to assign earlier dates to the authorship of the gospels, and I would agree, but you have to remember that when you deal with a closed unbelieving mind, they look to assess what is not agreeable to their belief to a higher standard. Some historians interpret the end of the book of Acts as indicative, or at least suggestive, of its date; as Acts does not mention the death of Paul, generally accepted as the author of many of the Epistles, who was later put to death by the Romans c. 65. Acts is attributed to the author of the Gospel of Luke, which is believed to have been written before Acts, and therefore would shift the chronology of authorship back, putting Mark as early as the mid 50s that can be traced.

Now we want to remain objective so we will rely on mostly secular sources for our case for Christ, so as not to be accused of just regurgitating from the book, even though as I stated above the case for the accuracy of the accounts are logically and historically true. Think of the outrage if you were to state openly today that Charles Darwin never existed or let’s say you try to convince people he was a great evangelist. You would be laughed to scorn if not beat-up by some unbelieving thug. Christianity at the time was spreading like a wildfire and the miracles; Christ did, still relatively fresh in the minds of believers, and those who had family who had been touched.

These Secular reports show that a virtuous person named Jesus did live in the early first century A.D. and authored a religious movement (which still exists today). This Person was at least called Christ - the Messiah. Christians in the first century also appeared to consider Him God. Finally these writings support other facts found in the Bible surrounding His life. The claim that Jesus never existed and His life is a myth compromises the reliability of ancient history.

Cornelius Tacitus (56-120 AD) has been called the greatest historian on ancient Rome . He lived during the reign of several Roman emperors and was a Roman historian and a governor of Asia [ Turkey ] in AD 112. He wrote two major works: Annals and the Histories. The following is a quote from the Annals.
Reference To Jesus Christ
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. - Annals 15.44

Author's Background
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (AD 61-113), or Pliny the Younger, was the governor of Bithynia (AD 112) and a Roman senator. He wrote to emperor Trajan asking for guidance on how he should treat the Christians in his province.
Reference To Jesus Christ
Christians were "meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to do wicked deeds, never commit fraud, theft, adultery, not to lie nor to deny a trust. . . " - Epistles X96


Pontius Pilate (1 BC -circa AD 37) was the fifth Roman procurator of Judea (AD 26 – 36)  under Emperor Tiberius, who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. The quotes below refer to the Acts of Pontius Pilate. The existence of the Acts of Pontius Pilate is strongly supported by Epiphanius (Heresies 50.1), Justin Martyr (First Apology, A.D. 150) and Tertullian (Apology, A.D. 200). The Acts of Pontius Pilate were kept in the Roman archives as stated in the following quote.
The ancient Romans were scrupulously careful to preserve the memory of all remarkable events which happened in the city; and this was done either in their "Acts of the Senate" (Acts Senatus), or in the "Daily Acts of the People" (Acta Diurna Populi), which were diligently made and kept at Rome . . . In like manner it was customary for the governors of provinces to send to the emperor an account of remarkable transactions that occurred in the places where they resided, which were preserved in the "Acts of" their respective governments . . . we find, long before the time of Eusebius [3rd century], that the primitive Christians, in their disputes with the Gentiles, appealed to these "Acts of Pilate" . . . Thus, Justin Martyr, in his first "Apology" for the Christians, which was presented to the Emperor Antoninus Pius [A.D. 138-161] and the senate of Rome, about the year A.D.140, having mentioned the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and some of its attendant circumstances, adds, "And these things were done, you may know from the 'Acts' made in the time of Pontius Pilate." [1]
It should be noted that some believe a fraudulent version of the Acts of Pilate was circulated later in the fourth and fifth centuries. This should not be confused with the original document that was generated in the first century, archived in Rome and was available to Caesar Antoninus Pius and the Roman Senate. Otherwise, Justin Martyr's appeal to the Acts of Pilate in his First Apology would have lacked credibility.

Reference To Jesus Christ
And again in other words, through another prophet, He says, “They pierced My hands and My feet, and for My vesture they cast lots.” And indeed David, the king and prophet, who uttered these things, suffered none of them; but Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was the Christ. And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. And the expression, “They pierced my hands and my feet,” was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate.


 

- Justin Martyr, First Apology 35
And that it was predicted that our Christ should heal all diseases and raise the dead, hear what was said. There are these words: “At His coming the lame shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammerer shall be clear speaking: the blind shall see, and the lepers shall be cleansed; and the dead shall rise, and walk about.” And that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pontius Pilate. - Justin Martyr, First Apology 48
Author's Background


 

- Gaius Suetonius Tranquilla was a Roman historian (AD 117-138) under Hadrian (AD 76-136). He was also the secretary of state and authored a book entitled Life of Claudius.
Reference To Jesus Christ
Because the Jews at Rome caused constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [Christ], he [Claudius] expelled them from the city [Rome]. - Life of Claudius 25.4
Nero inflicted punishment on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous religious belief. - Lives of Casesars, Nero, 16

Author's Background
Hadrian, Imperator Caesar Trainus, (AD 76-136), was considered a man of culture and the arts. It appears he preferred peace rather than war. The following quote comes from a letter sent to Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia, about how to treat Christians.
Reference To Jesus Christ
I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be ignored without examination, so that these men may not be harassed, nor an opportunity given for malicious proceedings to be offered to informers. If, therefore, the provincials can clearly show their charges against these Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course only, but not just petitions, and mere outcries against Christians. For it is more fitting, if any one brings an accusation, that you should examine it. - Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, IV


Author's Background
Emperor Trajan (AD 53 - 117), Imperator Caesar Divi Nervae Filius Nerva Traianus, was one of the most famous Roman emperors of all time. His reputation as a successful military strategist is demonstrated by his military exploits which expanded the Roman boundaries to the Persian Gulf. The quote below is a reply to Pliny, who had asked for directions in how to treat the Christians.

Reference To Jesus Christ
The method you have used, my dear Pliny, in investigating the cases of those who are accused of being Christians is extremely proper. No search should be made for these people; when they are accused and found to be guilty they must be punished; with the restriction, however, that when the individual denies he is a Christian, and gives proof that he is not (that is, by adoring our gods) he shall be pardoned on the ground of repentance, even though he may have formerly incurred suspicion. Documents without the accuser's signature must not be admitted in evidence against anyone, since this introduces a very dangerous precedent, and is by no means consistent with the spirit of the age. - Pliny letters X, 97

Author's Background
Lucian of Samosata lived A.D. 120-180. He was a satirist who was scornful of Christians. He wrote several books: The Passing Peregrinus and Alexander the False Prophet.
Reference To Jesus Christ
The Christians. . . worship a man to this day - the distinguished personage who introduced this new cult, and was crucified on that account. . . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains their contempt for death and self devotion . . . their lawgiver [taught] they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take on faith . . . - The Passing Peregrinus

Author's Background
Mara Bar-Serapion was a Syrian who wrote about Jesus Christ sometime around A.D. 73. He left a legacy manuscript to his son Serapion. The letter is now in the possession of the British Museum.
Reference To Jesus Christ
What benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. Or, the people of Samos for burning Pythagoras? In one moment their country was covered with sand. Or the Jews by murdering their wise king?. . . after that their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these men. . . the wise king. . . lived on in the teachings he enacted. - British Museum, Syriac Manuscript, Additional 14,658

Author's Background
Phlegon, born about A.D. 80[1], was a secular historian who lived in the second century. There are two books credited to his name: Chronicles and the Olympiads. Little is known about Phlegon, but he made reference to Christ. The first quote below is unique to Origen. The second quote is recorded by Philopon. The third quote is from Julius Africanus and the last is from Jerome. The reader should note that Phlegon's comment that an eclipse of the sun occurred during Jesus' death was impossible (see Thallus) since an eclipse of the sun cannot occur during a full moon since the Jewish Passover occurs during a full moon. Jesus died during a full moon. It is important to read Thallus' comments to completely understand the issue.



Reference To Jesus Christ "And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place . . . ” - Origen, "Against Celsus", Book 2.33
"Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus and no other (eclipse); it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any (similar) eclipse in previous times . . . and this is shown by the historical account of Tiberius Caesar." - Phiopon, De. opif. mund. II21



"Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Cæsar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth - manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? . . . And calculation makes out that the period of 70 weeks, as noted in Daniel, is completed at this time." - Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18.1 "In the fourth year, however, of Olympiad 202, an eclipse of the sun happened, greater and more excellent than any that had happened before it; at the sixth hour, day turned into dark night, so that the stars were seen in the sky, and an earthquake in Bithynia toppled many buildings of the city of Nicaea." - Phlegon's 13th book quoted in Jerome's translation of Eusebius' Chronicle, 202 Olympiad

Author's Background
About about A.D. 52 [1] Thallus wrote a history about the Middle East from the time of the Trojan War to the first century A.D. The work has been lost and the only record we have of his writings is through Julius Africanus (AD 221). Below Julius Africanus refers to Christ's crucifixion and the darkness that covered the earth prior to his death.

Reference To Jesus Christ
"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the 263 third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior fails on the day before the passover see Phlegon; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun?" - Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18.1



- Author's Background
A set of ancient manuscripts commonly referred to as the Papyri Graecae Magicae was purchased in Egypt in A.D. 1827. The authors are unknown. This collection of papyri dates from the second century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. The papyri are excerpts and fragments documenting magical spells, mystical knowledge and occult secrets.
Reference To Jesus Christ
Several magical papyri which have survived from [the days of the apostle Paul] to ours contain attempts to reproduce the true pronunciation of the ineffable name - Iao, Iabe, and so forth - as well as other Jewish expressions and names such as Sabboath and Abraham, used as elements of magic spells. The closest parallel to the Ephesian exorcists' misuse of the name of Jesus appears in a magical papyrus belonging to the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, which contains the adjuration: "I adjure you by Jesus, the God of the Hebrews." - F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1988, p. 368.
The use by the Jews of Jesus' name in an attempt to heal was sternly denounced by some rabbis. - K. Preisendanz. Papyri Graecae Magicae, I (Leipzig, 1928), Pap. Bibl. Nat. Suppl. gr. 574, lines 3018-19; Tos. Hullin 2.22-23; TJ Shabbat 14.4.14d and 'Adodah Zarah 2.2.40d0d-41a; TB 'Adodah Zarah 27b. cited in footnote 32 of F.F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts, Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1988, p. 368.


- Author's Background
Flavius Josephus (AD 37-100), was born into a priestly Jewish family. He was a Pharisee and a historian for the Roman empire. He wrote several famous works, among them are: Antiquities of the Jews and the Wars of the Jews. Historians say Josephus was not a Christian.



Reference To Jesus Christ
Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was a doer of surprising feats - a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.* - Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3
Josephus bears witness to John as having been a baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet . . . - Origen, Origen Against Celsus 1.47, see footnote [1]


- Josephus, at least, has not hesitated to testify to this in his writings, where he says, ". . . For the Jews slew him, although he was a most just man - Eusebius. Church History of Eusebius. ii.23, see footnote [2]

If you question this reference, please read the documents titled Authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum and Manuscript Evidence For Josephus.
Author's Background
The Talmud ("teaching" or "study") is a multi-volume compilation containing the Mishnah (oral legal teachings) and Jewish commentary on the Mishnah (Gemara). It is the basis of Jewish religious life. The accepted version was compiled by Rabbis Akiba (died AD 135) and Meir and completed by Rabbi Judah in AD 200.
Reference To Jesus Christ
On the eve of the Passover Yeshu [Jesus] was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover. - Babylonia Sanhedrin 43A