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The Historical Jesus

This page is not going to provide any new evidence for the historical reality of Jesus as none has been discovered in recent years. It will draw attention to the people who have documented this evidence plus provide food for thought as physical evidence is not always what we want it to be.

Most people expect physical evidence to be in the form of textual references, which we do have, i.d. cards, which the ancient Hebrews did not have, or some other tangible format we can put our hands upon or see with our own eyes just like the disciple Thomas declared when told of Jesus’ resurrection.

But physical evidence is expressed in other formats than those mentioned. First, we must obey God and use faith.  Faith is always part of the equation when dealing with any biblical person or event. You cannot get around that requirement

Second, the textual evidence isn’t restricted to those who actually mention Christ but includes the massive amount of NT mss. extant today



Fortunately, textual critics and paleographers have a large number of ancient manuscripts at their disposal, many of which have been found within the last century. Nearly the entire New Testament exists in manuscripts dated to before 300 AD. Other important manuscripts date to the fourth and fifth centuries. The manuscripts dating from 100 to 300 AD are almost entirely papyrus fragments. These fragments are named with a "P" followed by a number. The vast majority of them were found in Egypt in the twentieth century, and are now kept in various museums and libraries throughout the world, including at Dublin, Ann Arbor, Cologny (Switzerland), the Vatican and Vienna. - See more at: http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/features/new_testament_manuscripts.htm#sthash.9jGR7ir7.dpuf

Third, we see people’s changed lives taking place throughout history. Their true spiritual experience upon being born again brings us more physical evidence of the historical Christ No other religion can produce this change or experience. Not Islam, not Mormonism, not any cult or eastern religion.

Fourth, the international and timeless reach of salvation and the Bible’s impact provides even more physical evidence. Islam didn’t come into existence until Mohammad who lived hundreds of years after Christ and does not enjoy the same international popularity or impact. That faith is forced upon people not presented as a free choice like Christianity is. Conversion from Islam results in the death penalty; no such punishment exists for those who leave the Christian faith, though God does have an eventual punishment for those who reject Christ after knowing him, one is not put to death on earth when they deconvert.

Fifth, more physical evidence is found in the miracles performed by true believers in Christ who exercise their spiritual gifts or obey God in helping others. Real evidence comes in ways we do not expect it and we must be alert to those pieces of evidence that support our faith.

Remember faith pleases God so we are not going to get so much physical evidence that our faith is ruined. God Is not going to ruin or destroy what pleases him but he will support it.

Now some links to the usual evidence everyone hears about:

1. http://beginningandend.com/jesus-exist-historical-evidence-jesus-christ/

‘According to his Wikipedia entry: “Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70.”

His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94).  The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into 1st century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.

Josephus was a Jew who did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God or Christianity. In The Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 the famous historian Flavius Josephus writes:’

A word about Josephus’ entries: Many people, mostly atheists and unbelievers, have declared these mentionings as forgeries yet they do not present any real evidence to support their claim. Because we do not have the original works written by Josephus himself there is no real way we can solve this dispute.

I take these mentionings as fact as the arguments made by their opponents just do not stand up to credible critique nor can be supported by any real evidence. You will have to make up your own mind concerning those arguments.

2. http://www.garyhabermas.com/books/historicaljesus/historicaljesus.htm

‘In addition to the major historical approaches presented in the last chapter, many have attempted to write more-or-less popular lives of Jesus. These authors often advocate unorthodox interpretations: Jesus never died on the cross; he was connected with the Qumran community; someone else changed his message to fit their own desires; he traveled to various parts of the word during the so called "silent years" or even after the crucifixion.

While such works are given virtually no attention by careful scholars, these attempts are sometimes very popular with those who are unfamiliar with the data behind such questions. Many are bothered by nonfactual or illogical presentations, but are not quite able to locate the problems involved. This is the major reason that these approaches are included in this book. We will investigate several of the most popular recent attempts to present unorthodox pictures of Jesus' life.’

A link, to the same historical sources found in point 1, with Mr. Habermas’ point of view


‘Second, there are apparently no ancient sources which assert that the tomb still contained Jesus’ body. While such an argument from silence does not prove anything, it is made stronger by the first consideration from the hostile sources and further complements it.’

3. http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-evidence-for-jesus

One of the major problems with the legend hypothesis, however, which is almost never addressed by sceptical critics, is that the time between Jesus’s death and the writing of the gospels is just too short for this to happen. This point has been well-explained by A. N. Sherwin-White in his book Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament.2 Professor Sherwin-White is not a theologian; he is a professional historian of times prior to and contemporaneous with Jesus. According to Sherwin-White, the sources for Roman and Greek history are usually biased and removed one or two generations or even centuries from the events they record. Yet, he says, historians reconstruct with confidence the course of Roman and Greek history. For example, the two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written by Arrian and Plutarch more than 400 years after Alexander’s death, and yet classical historians still consider them to be trustworthy. The fabulous legends about Alexander the Great did not develop until during the centuries after these two writers. According to Sherwin-White, the writings of Herodotus enable us to determine the rate at which legend accumulates, and the tests show that even two generations is too short a time span to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical facts. When Professor Sherwin-White turns to the gospels, he states that for the gospels to be legends, the rate of legendary accumulation would have to be "unbelievable." More generations would be needed.’

These are but 3 of the numerous articles on the internet and in books out there for all to read. It is best that you do your own study and ask the HS to guide you in your studies so that you arrive at the truth through faith and accept that truth.