Did you know that just 20 years ago, some people didn’t think that even Jesus existed?
But today we have proof from even non-Christian writers during the time of Jesus, including many references by Jewish rabbis who didn’t like Jesus:
Lucian of Samosata
Plinius Secundus, Pliny the Younger
Letter of Mara Bar-Serapion
I know. It makes Bart Ehrman and others look like idiots.
Hey, but I’m not the one who said Jesus didn’t exist.
But let me point something out. The New Testament said that there was a sudden darkness during the crucifixion of Jesus, around 3 pm. Now, Thallus, writing in 52 AD – doesn’t believe in God – he says there’s a logical explanation to the darkness – he says there was a solar eclipse.
Another ancient writer, Phlegon, says, “yeah, there must’ve been a solar eclipse at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion”
And there are other ancient writers saying, “No, you can’t have a solar eclipse when there’s a full moon”
Now, I don’t care who’s right. That’s not my point.
But during this 1st century debate, no one is saying “Jesus never existed” or that the darkness never happened during the crucifixion, just as the New Testament says.
Another example is Josephus. – the Jewish historian
-he was more focused on the Jewish relations with the Romans,
but he mentions John the Baptist
and adds some detail that the Bible doesn’t mention
But everything he says about John the Baptist agrees with the New Testament.
And when Josephus is writing about Ananias, the high priest, he quickly mentions that he was there to judge James to be stoned, and calls him “the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ”
and later, in Antiquities Book 18, Josephus writes that Jesus was a “wise man” – yeah, obviously he doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God. But as a historian he writes about Jesus, the so-called Christ, being judged by Pilate and sent to be crucified.
In 112 AD, Governor, Pliny the Younger, is having second thoughts about killing and persecuting Christians, because they were so moral.
and what he writes about them agrees with the New Testament
He writes that:
-lots of Christians were killed, but if they were Roman citizens, they were sent to Rome to have a trial.
-Christians believed Jesus to be a god
-some women in the church had positions of leadership, unlike Rome.
-Christianity was bad business for temples and Roman religion.
yeah, I admit, this isn’t strong proof for the existence of Jesus, but it shows the New Testament is once again, historically accurate.
Another proof comes from Tacitus, a proconsul and persecutor of Christians. He said that Christianity was a disease, started by Christus, who was sentenced to death under Pontius Pilate.
Seutonius, another hater of Christianity, also mentions Christ. A few people made it a big deal because he misspelled it as “Chrestus”
But if you read it in context, they “expelled the Jews” because of Chrestus.
If you know history, the emperor deported these Jewish Christians from Rome in 49 AD.
This event is what Seutonius is talking about!
Another hater of Jesus, Lucian of Samosata, wrote that these awful Christians worship their “original lawgiver” calling him a “crucified sage”
Yes, all these haters confirm the existence of Jesus,
but the ones who hated him the most were the 1st century Jewish rabbi’s.
- calling Jesus a bastard, illegitimate, deceiver, son of leopard
I’m not gonna list them all here.
But let me note that a few rabbis say that Jesus was hanged.
That’s not a contradiction to the Bible.
because different from being stoned – the normal mode – Jesus was hanged on a cross.
The rabbis accuse him of sorcery. But Jesus did not do sorcery. He did miracles.
But isn’t ironic that / thousands of years later,
it’s all these haters that prove the existence of Jesus,
while people ignore what the lovers of Jesus wrote about him?
And skeptics also used to say that Nazareth didn’t exist in the 1st century.
I understand why.
The Old Testament lists the towns of Zebulun, and Nazareth isn’t on the list.
The historian Josephus lists 45 towns in Galilee, and Nazareth isn’t on the list.
The Jewish Talmud lists 63 towns, Nazareth isn’t on the list!
and then in 1962, they found the Nazareth Inscription which proves its existence in the 1st century.
Nazareth was so small, less than a hundred people, it just wasn’t listed before.
Yeah, today, no one doubts that Jesus grew up Nazareth,
But I’m just saying – Luke was right. even before archaeology proved him right.
Recently, archaeologists discovered that Pontius Pilate judged Jesus
They found the ossuary of “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”
They found the pool of Bethesda and the pool of Siloam.
Recently, they even found the bones of Caiaphas the high priest who judged Jesus.
Archaeology shows us things the Bible doesn’t talk about.
Jesus didn’t invent parables.
Other Jewish rabbis used them in the 1st century.
There were no 3 wise men on camels – they were royalty on horses - the church got it wrong!
Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a poor and tiny town
The disciple Peter’s house in Capernaum was big, says archaeology, not humble and modest, like tradition says.
But archaeology shows that the New Testament is historically reliable.
-a historical document that archaeologists use to look for more discoveries.
-Archaeology is not going to prove every detail and every date
But it’s proved a lot.
so yes, you can see Luke’s writings as a historical document.
But it’s not just the past.
It talks about the future – your future.
and you wanna know what it says?
You should go read it for yourself.
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