Is There Evidence Jesus Was A Real Person?

What evidence can we provide about Jesus’ historicity in the Bible and outside of the Bible?  Is there any concrete evidence that Jesus was a real person?

History is His-Story

The authenticity of Jesus’ existence is easily proven.  Not only are there the genealogical studies of the gospels of Matthew and Luke, but we have extra-biblical sources that are simply too numerous to include in one article.  The plain, historical truth is that there is no single person in all of human history that more has been written about more than Jesus Christ.  From Roman and Jewish historians to secular historians of the present age and from the age of antiquities, there is no shortage of the Man from Galilee.  Based upon historical methods, which include a critical analysis, the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars and modern and ancient historians all agree that Jesus lived on earth, lived in Judea, was a real Man in space and time, and His teachings have been the single, greatest influence that the world has ever known.  There may be significant differences on His teachings but there is major agreement on His historicity, most modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed.1

Josephus, Jewish Historian

Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100) wrote extensively about the Jews, from the time of Abraham up to day in which he lived.  He was a Romano-Jewish historian and scholar. He was and still is well respected and what he wrote about Jesus in the Antiquities of the Jews was impressive. He writes in Book 18, chapter 3 that “Jesus was a wise teacher who was crucified by Pontius Pilate…”  His accounts are held to be of the highest of authenticity.2 Josephus accurately describes the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Roman authorities.3  Some of Josephus’ writings include very convincing testimony of Christ like:

“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah.  And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate, had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”4

Historical Records

The New Testament scholar, James Dunn states that nearly all modern scholars consider Jesus’ baptism and, especially important, His crucifixion, historical certainties.5  Bart D. Ehrman states as a matter of fact that there is a wide range of sources including Josephus and Tacitus that attests to Jesus’ life, crucifixion, and death6 and John P. Meier thinks it ridiculous that Christians would invent such a horrific ending for their leader.7

Roman Historian Tacitus

Tacitus, a professional, Roman historian, referenced some of Pliny’s sources about Jesus and accepted them as fact in his own accounts.8   Tacitus, who was considered one of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, verifies the Biblical account of Jesus’ execution at the hands of Pontius Pilate who governed Judea from 26-36 A.D. during the reign of Tiberius.  His historical accounts precisely match those accounts recorded in the gospels.

Other Historians

If Jesus Christ was a Christian invention, then why would more than one hundred ancient Historians include Christ in their writings if they knew he didn’t exist? We have already mentioned Josephus and touched on Tacitus, but there are so many others like Gibbons, where it was written of his accounts that “church historians allow the substantial justness of [Gibbon’s] main positions” on the founder of and the religion of Christianity.9  We can be certain that historians, both secular and Christian, would not have written about someone that was only a myth. They wrote with certainty when speaking of Jesus. Even skeptical historians agree that the New Testament is a remarkable historical document and has stronger manuscript support than any other work of classical literature, including Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and Caesar, who all pale in evidential comparison.

Jesus: An Historical Fact

It is no accident that Jesus Christ is the most widely recognized, well known and written about Person that has ever existed. You cannot ignore the enormous number of original documents that make up the Canonized books of the Bible. These are the most valued of all sources to Historians (a primary source) in validating past events. The Word of God (the Bible) was inspired by the Spirit of God, therefore the Bible’s testimony is true about Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus lived, was buried and then resurrected has evidence that would be considered admissible evidence in a court of law. Even the Chief Priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees said as much and acknowledged that Jesus told the truth. Many of these religious rulers knew He was from God but for fear of losing their authority and positions, conspired to kill Him anyway (John 3; Luke 19:28-20, 20:20-26).

In any court of law, witnesses are invaluable. In the whole of Judea and Samaria, there were several hundred eye-witnesses who saw Jesus before and after His crucifixion (Luke 24:15-24; Act 1:3-4, 2:31-32, 9:3, 17; 1 Cor 15:4-8, 9:1; 2 Pet 1:16-21; John 2:3, 15:27; 1 John 1:1-3, 14). Hundreds more saw the empty tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, which Joseph had given for Jesus’ burial site. He lives today and has lived for eternity. There is an absolute avalanche of evidence for His resurrection, including over 500 eye-witnesses who had seen the resurrected Christ, many of whom were still alive, at the time of Paul’s writings (1 Cor 15:1-8).  Paul writes that “he [Christ] was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present” (1 Cor 15:6) so many were still alive and testified to this fact while Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians).

Overwhelming Evidence

Dr. Thomas Arnold, 19th-century history professor at Oxford, said, “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer…”  Scholar Gary Habermas has pointed out that five historical facts about Christ are all agreed to by nearly all ancient Historians [three of which are] that He was crucified, buried and was seen again afterward.  One of the world’s foremost experts in lines of evidence was Simon Greenleaf, an American attorney and jurist (1783-1853). In his book the “Testimony of the Evangelists” he views the multiple eye-witness accounts of Jesus and His death and resurrection as being valid lines of evidence. They meet or exceed evidential requirements, so much so that Greenleaf saw the “martyrdoms, exponential church growth and the persistent-through-persecution faith of the believers” (often up to the point of death), as solid of evidence that there can possibly be.  A leading British philosopher, Anthony Flew, who after fifty years of atheism, came to the conclusion that God must exist, saying “The evidence for the resurrection alone is better than for claimed miracles of all other religions.  There leaders are buried and still in their graves.  Jesus tomb was found empty!”

Jesus Was Real Evidence

Conclusion

It would be maniacal to believe in something that you knew was a lie and then die for that lie.  You can choose to believe or not to believe but your belief does not change the historical evidence that Jesus indeed did exist and that He continues to exist.  For many, they will believe too late (Dan 12:2; Rev 20:11-15).  If I am wrong, then you have nothing to lose and you will cease to exist at death but if the Bible is right, and I am convinced that it is, you will have to give an account for your life after you die (Heb 9:27) but “Those who are wise shall shine. Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness. Like the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:3).  Reject this truth and you will face “shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2c).

Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book  Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon

1. While discussing the “striking” fact that “we don’t have any Roman records, of any kind, that attest to the existence of Jesus,” Ehrman dismisses claims that this means Jesus never existed, saying, “He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees, based on clear and certain evidence.” B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged: writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285.

 

  1.   Louis Feldman ISBN 90-04-08554-8 pages 55–57) states that the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James has been “almost universally acknowledged.”

3. Flavius Josephus, Whiston and Maier, 1999, p. 662.

4. Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3.

  1.   Jesus Remembered by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 339 states of baptism and crucifixion that these “two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent.”

6. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings by Bart D. Ehrman 1999 ISBN 0-19-512639-4 page 248.

  1.   John P. Meier “How do we decide what comes from Jesus” in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 pages 126-128.
  2.   Complete Works of Tacitus. Tacitus. Alfred John Church. William Jackson Brodribb. Sara Bryant. edited for Perseus. New York. : Random House, Inc. Random House, Inc. reprinted 1942.
  3.   The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. IV, eds. S.M. Jackson, et al. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1952), 483–484.

 

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  • james V

    Lets assume for a moment that what the atheists say is true that a man wrote the bible. A very imaginary creative writer as the skeptics would say. OK I can give one particular aspect in the bible that would prove this not true. The bible states that man is born a sinner because sin is carried through the blood. Mary in the story is a virgin and Jesus was not born by sexual intercourse but by the power of the holy spirit. Why would the writer put this in as part of the whole story? In those days the writer did not know that the blood does not pass from the mother to the child in the womb. The blood of the man passes through the semen but not the mother. We, as a society, only recently learned this was true in the early 1900’s. So why would any creative writer have this as part of his so called “phony” story. He would not be aware of this scientific fact and it would have been left out of the story. Check it out and see if what I am saying is true.

    • Matt McDowall

      James, I’m going to assume you haven’t studied the historicity of the bible much and how it came about.
      Man, many men actually, authorship unknown in many cases and written in Greek well after Jesus’s death wrote the bible. Its not like god put pen to paper now is it. They had their own interpretations and stories in which was circulated for decades by word of mouth by early Jews. There were many gospels.
      The Virgin birth is widely regarded by scholars as a mistranslation by the author of Matthew from the OT – Book of Isaiah. From Hebrew to Greek. It was meant to say “Young women”. The virgin birth was placed in there by the authors to convince other Jews that Jesus was the messiah because the old prophecies predicted this from king David..This is why Jesus was born in Bethlehem and Matthew and Luke made up two completely different accounts (Census & slaughter of the innocents), which are both false and rejected by Historians.

      This is only a small account of which the majority of Historians have known for a long time regarding discrepancies and insertions into the bible to fit the authors agenda. As you go through the timeline of the first gospel – Mark (70 AD) to John (100-120 AD) you will see how the stories are changed and Jesus is mythicized.
      there are only three main areas in which the majority of historians agree with regarding the historicity of Jesus.
      a) He was born and from Nazareth. – NOT Bethlehem.
      b) he was a follower of John the Baptist.
      c) he was executed.
      All these rest, miracles and so on – are rejected. you believe this on faith alone, not because historians agree with you…do some research and you find they sincerely don’t.

      • james V

        Sorry but I dont argue with atheists. You cannot receive the truth until you submit to Gods authority-the bible. Intellectuals and the rebelious are most at danger of never being saved. Watch the move God is not dead

        • Kathleen

          James, you know nothing. It is likely Jesus didn’t exist – and certainly not as he is portrayed in the Bible. If he did so many miracles how come there is absolutely not one mentioned by any historian – or heck, anyone – during the time he supposedly lived?

          • Kathleen

            And I mean outside of the Bible.

          • james V

            The bible is the only truth. There is no other truth. Why would I look outside the bible so I can back up and verify the truth with lies?

          • Kathleen

            So you agree there is no mention of Jesus during his lifetime outside of the Bible (which was written years after). Those miracles must not have caused much of a stir. Especially since many other supposed messiahs ARE mentioned by historians during the same period.

            Looks James, you obviously find comfort in believing in god and that’s good for you. However, your implying I’m going to be in hell with satan is ridiculous as it doesn’t exist for me. If I said to you “wait until you die and you are going to be reincarnated as a warthog” are you worried?

            There is exactly the same evidence that Christianity, Islam, Scientology, Buddhism and every other religion is real – that is, NONE.

            I live my life without a god and it makes perfect sense. When a tsunami kills 200,000 people, I know it’s due to natural causes. I don’t try to make excuses why a god would allow that suffering. When no real measurable miracles occur, like an amputee regrowing a limb, I know it’s because it’s not possible. I don’t try to explain why god hates amputees but apparently likes some cancer victims. When a 9 year old girl prays to god while being raped and is still murdered, I know it’s because there are some sick people in the world. I don’t try to attribute it to “god works in mysterious ways”. If god really was loving he would want everyone in heaven and would reveal himself in a very clear manner. That he hides himself is completely due to the fact that he doesn’t exist.

          • james V

            Its interesting that God led you to me and you use the example of an amputee. I am an amputee. Lost my leg 30 years ago to cancer. Never grew back a leg. I agree with almost everything you are saying about disasters and the bible says that the world has fallen. But you see death as being a bad thing. And if you look at it thru worldly eyes then it’s the end. But it’s not the end. Its the beginning. As a Christian I will enter into a new body-as it says in the Bible by Jesus. And because you have created your own reality and that happens to be a sin also. “You shall not have any Graven images and create your own idols”. You and I can’t avoid sin. You set yourself up as the person who figures out what is right and wrong. This is the rebellion of man. But dont trust yourself because you are being deceived. There are things you and I dont know yet. As an example 100 years ago you would have never understood that you can talk to a person on the other side of the world with a little box in you pocket. But now you know you can. God want to be sure that you have accepted Jesus as the savior BEFORE your sins are judged. If Jesus is your savior then your sins are looked at by God thru what Jesus did on the cross. You and I cannot achieve this, only by Grace and the blood of Jesus. If I see you standing on the street and a bus is about to hit you I think I should tell you. Or should I say there is really no bus? God has given everyone a way to be saved and all you have to do is receive it. He wants everyone to live with him but some people just dont want it. I see it as craziness that people dont want him but it is what it is. I also notice that you want to have this told to you in a very clear manner. Thats why God has the bible for you to dig in and understand. It isn’t easy but He helps you with the Holy Spirit that you recieve when you believe. Just because you dont understand doesnt mean stop trying. it’s all in the bible. Many people just never read it or just give up when they dont understand something.

          • Kathleen

            James, I love how you totally ignore everything I say and just go on babbling about your faith. You truly are too far gone to have a discussion with. A bus about to hit me is real. A god who hides is not. There is not one atom in my body that believes in the kind of god in your bible. I know you have to cling to the hope of a better life after this one but I live fully in the only life we know we have for sure – the present one!

          • james V

            Ok you were told the truth and now you insult. Typical response when the going gets tough. It goes back to the thought that you can lead an atheist to the truth but you cant make her think. Best and blessings to you. Hopefully that bus doesnt hit you before its too late. Watch the movie “God is not dead” Maybe that will help.

          • Kimberly Dean

            Kathleen, The most high does not hide himself from anyone. Every breathe you take is because of his existence. Every time you open and close your eyes, it’s because of his existence. Life itself is because of Elohim. Yes,there are horrible and evil things that exist in this world, and yes, the Most High knows all about it. Does he agree with it? No he doesn’t but because man choose to follow the Deceiver with one act here we are. Do we understand and agree with the way things are? Of course we don’t, but we are not the creator/the Most High, so all we can do is live our lives accordingly and pray for ourselves and others. There are other non biblical accounts of Christ/Yeshua that exist, you’ll have to do your own research, but it does exist. It is absolutely your God given right to not believe in the Creator, but to say he doesn’t exist is not going to be beneficial for you in the long run. The fact that you can quote certain things that believers quote tells me that you have at least thought about acknowledging that he is real and have either read or heard someone talking about the Word of God, you simply choose to ignore and turn a blind eye. The fact that you are so angry about him not supposedly existing tells me that you are still acknowledging this non existent deity. I don’t believe in the teachings of Buddha, Muhammad, confucious, ashtar, Osiris, and other religious figures, so I don’t get angry with the individuals who believe in them. If you don’t believe then you don’t believe and that’s ok. Just because I believe in the Savior, the soon to return Messiah and all of his mighty works doesn’t make me exempt from the evils and misfortunes in this world. At any given time I could be stricken with cancer, lose a limb, go blind or anything, and just because I believe and know that the Lord could heal me, it doesn’t mean that he would, BUT I know that he can heal my body. But if such a misfortune fell upon me, it would be well with my soul, because I serve a Great God, so come what may I am his to the day I close my eyes to this earth, then to open them again when HE/Yeshua/Yhovah/my Lord and Saviour calls my name. And yes, the Word of the Most High does say that there are consequences for denying him. That’s why you would be dismissed from his presence because of denying him. We all sin and have come short of his glory, but the good thing is you don’t have to be condemned. You can seek him, he not hard to find, you can trust him, you can open up your heart and receive him, let him in your life today, repent of your sins and ask for his forgiveness and you too can get to know the love he has for you. He does exist, he’s not hiding from you, he’s a perfect gentleman, he won’t infringe on you, he will wait for you to invite him in to your heart. He’s pursuing you Ms Kathleen, that’s why you are responding to this blog. He wants to love you. Let him in. I can tell you that he is awesome and I have never experienced a love like his.

          • Kathleen

            Your god doesn’t heal ANYONE who loses a limb. Because he doesn’t exist. I don’t get angry with people who believe in god, I get angry with those who believe that their god should determine the lives of others. Like those opposed to gay marriage due to their religious beliefs. Those who used the bible to defend slavery. Those who make women second class citizens because of their beliefs. My mother and best friends are religious and I know their belief helps them in their lives so good for them. The mind is a powerful thing but that’s all god is – the power of your own mind. And when you die and your brain rots there will be nothing, no consciousness. But that’s not a bad thing, it’s just like before you were born.

            I’m not here because I’m pursuing god. I’m here as an online atheist activist trying to bring some reason and reality into the lives of believers.

          • Kimberly Dean

            I didnt say you were pursuing MY GOD, i said that you have thought/contemplated his existence, because you can quote sayings that only believers can quote! And you are angry, because if you weren’t angry you wouldnt be on this sight trying to make believers see your point of view! Your point of view is void with us. You shouldn’t waste your time trying to change someone’s mind about something that you don’t agree with. A believers job is to tell about the goodness of the Lord, that’s it! Its up to you rather you choose to believe.
            Ive heard some of your atheist advocates say that “Atheist don’t have to prove that God doesnt exist, because its just common sense” but here you are on this blog trying to do just that. You don’t know what GOD can do, and it really shouldnt matter to you anyway because you dont believe he exist! I’m not going 2 waste my time on a blog where atheist dwell and try 2 persuade you that Christ exist!
            So go to the atheist blog and let us crazy christians stay on our blog where we are talking about OUR GOD’s physical existence.

          • Kathleen

            And a non-believer’s job is to bring reason to the world. Your mind may be completely closed to the facts, the lack of evidence and the complete absence of god in reality. However, I know there are Christians who will read the posts of atheists and think about it. Why do you think I can quote sayings that only believers can quote? Because I was raised in the Catholic church and I know what a fantasy world it is. I never once believed what they were pedaling but I got a good education in how people are brainwashed into believing.

          • Kimberly Dean

            I’m not closed to anything, and your so called facts don’t disprove that Christ didn’t exist, nor do they prove that God didn’t/doesn’t exist. It merely proves that man can come up with explanations as to how things could have come into existence, and that is clearly from man’s point of view. Man handles the brain washing part. But I don’t follow man, I follow Christ. If Christ is brainwashing me, then so be it. I would rather be brainwashed by Christ, than be brainwashed by man who has been proven to be flawed since he has come into existence. I am not religious, I am spiritually renewed. So, say what you want, you no believers have been bashing the Most High for years and yet he is still the most talked about God all over the World since the beginning. I would say that is pretty powerful for a nonexistent God/deity/saviour. I don’t have to try to prove or disprove the Word of God because people like YOU are doing it without my help. Keep doing a good job of trying to disprove God’s existence. Have a wonderful day Kathleen

          • Kathleen

            Thank you, I do appreciate my logical mind. The only reason Christianity has been around for 2000 years is because it was forced on people through things like the crusades, like Emperor Constantine making it the religion of the Roman Empire, through book burning and banning other pagan religions, the indoctrination of children before they can think (and while they still trust their parents to tell the truth about god and santa claus), through encouraging large families, etc. It’s not because it’s a superior religion, it’s because of how it was spread. And Islam will soon overtake Christianity for sheer numbers.

          • Kimberly Dean

            If God wasn’t relevant to you, you wouldn’t be so adamantly trying to prove that he doesn’t exist. If something or someone means nothing to me or if I believe that it doesn’t exist, I wouldn’t be wasting my time trying to dissuade others. Obviously you are obsessed with curing the world of believing in this non existent God. What is it to you anyway if we do believe. Let us believe and you not believe, your happy non believing, we’re happy believing. See how that works.

          • Kathleen

            God is not relevant to me at all but religion’s negative affects on the world certainly are! I honestly don’t care if you believe. And maybe you do believe in “live and let live” and don’t try to push any kind of religious agenda in the public sphere. It’s those people I have a problem with. If I was a Muslim who wanted Sharia law used would you have a problem with that?

          • Kimberly Dean

            LadY, I’m not going back and forth with you. I’m not worried about Sharia Law or any other law man initiates, I’m going to be taken care of. You said it right Religions negative affects, I’m not affected by religion. I’m affected by Christ, thats who I stand with. Here again, you and countless others don’t believe in him and me and countless others do believe. See how that works

          • Kathleen

            I see you didn’t answer my question. Do you believe it’s fine for Christian laws to be invoked but not islamic? How do you dismiss the Koran but not the Bible? They both have exactly the same credibility: no evidence, unproven sources, no eyewitnesses. Why don’t you believe in the miracles of one but not the other?

          • Kimberly Dean

            I don’t have to answer your question. You need to be asking the forefathers who formed this country off of the christian laws. Obviously they agreed with the christian laws vs islamic laws!!! If u dont like it you dont have to obey anything you dont want to, you have that right. You also have the ability to leave whereever your living and go somewhere that doesn’t invoke christian laws! Good luck with that

          • Kathleen

            I like how you avoid any difficult thinking.

            Do you know the Nordic countries with the lowest level of religion are also the ones which are the happiest, with high standards of living? Countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

            The internet has been an amazing tool for educating people about religion. That is why “no religion” is growing so fast and is now 20% of the US population in just a few short years.

          • Carrie

            Scholars have agreed that the Gospels are, in fact, legitimate, primary sources to the life of Jesus. The only part many think is not true is the ressurection.

          • Kathleen

            HOLY COW! You just admitted that one of the central tenets of Christianity, the resurrection, is “not true” according to many scholars. Thank you for your honesty!

          • Carrie

            All those scholars agree that what happened was indeed true, but all christian scholars will agree it is. And how is it so exciting for you that some people don’t believe in the Resurrection? Plenty of people don’t. I’m well aware that plenty of scholars are another religion or atheist. I’m not going to deny what they think, but you are twisting my words.

          • Kathleen

            You know there are more than 8 people who rise from the dead in the bible besides Jesus (not counting all the zombies that supposedly rose from their graves when Jesus resurrected)? Not in reality or any historical sense, just in the bible. So it wasn’t that special, even in the bible. Now, what is more likely: that many people defied what we know to be true about biology – that when you are really dead, you don’t come back – or that they were either not really dead in the first place or it never happened?

          • Carrie
          • Kathleen

            Oh please. They were not brain dead. For days.

          • Norman Dostal

            Carrie, that’s stupid. Very different

          • james V

            I am glad you are asking questions. Its mentioned in the bible by Matthew Mark Luke John Saul Paul Peter Timothy Ceaser Etc etc.. He is alive now for you. He loves you. Yes you! Isn’t it interesting how history is spelled. HIS STORY. God bless you and I pray now that you will shed all you rebeliousness and find Jesus.

            I wrote this for you:

            Lets look a a few facts about Jesus. WHAT HE DID: 1. He came to the earth to save people from hell and death and sin. Making one final perfect sacrifice for sin. 2. He conquered death for us. 3. He Raised the dead and raised from death. 4. He healed the sick the lame the desperate. 5. He gave comfort to the people. 6. He fed the hungry. 7. He taught us the truth about life and God and sin. He gave us Grace and all we have to do is believe. WHAT HE DIDNT DO: He didn’t oppress people, kill people, lie to people, hurt anyone. WHAT DID WE DO? 1. We use his name as a curse. The gentlest and kindest and most loving person in the history of mankind. We use his name all the time as a curse. With all the terrible men in history, we use only His name. We dont say, “Adolf f’n Hitler” or “Ghengis f’n Kahn” or “Mao tse f’n tung.” 2. We convicted him of crimes he didnt commit. 3. We spit on Him and whipped Him bloody and beaten. His skin and tendons ripped from his body, His bones exposed and carrying our cross he said “forgive them father” then we nailed Him to a cross. How can we not love him for what he did for us? How could we do what we did to Him? And now I am forgiven for the sin of man. When God looks at me He sees His wonderful, loving, sinless son and I am innocent. Can you imagine that God loves us this much? The maker of heaven and earth wants me and loves me. Thank you Jesus Thank you Jesus

          • Carrie

            This was written by a Jewish historian, who wasn’t Christian
            http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-18.htm
            Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.

            This was written by a Roman historian
            http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/tacitus.php

            The italicized paragraph. Christus: Christ

          • Kathleen

            Neither were contemporary. Also that passage from Josephus didn’t appear in any versions until 400 years later and is an obvious insertion after the original was written. Please read it with the paragraphs before and after and you can see it was put in later. It’s a known forgery.

          • tom

            Jesús was wrote about by a guy called joesphus titus and outside the bible look him up if your really interested in truth

          • Kathleen

            Sorry, wrong. They are not contemporaries – they were born after Jesus supposedly lived.

          • tom

            No need to be sorry and i’m not wrong. Of course they lived after jesus died on the Cross, but it does prove jesus was wrote about outside the bible and by many more historians 2000 years ago

          • Kathleen

            First of all, I said no contemporary (who would be an eyewitness) wrote about Jesus. Josephus also wrote about Hercules and the gods Mercury and Jupiter. Does that mean they existed too? You will not be able to find one single solitary contemporary historian writing of Jesus outside of the bible.

          • tom

            I Will pray for you to walk in the light and out of the darkness, i think your just here for the wind up! You clearly havnt done much research or even read the bible and i mean really read it, so sad you have no faith , as a unbeliever you must find life so hard, anyway the end times are coming and all evil will be gone from this earth,

          • Kathleen

            Ah Tom, I see you have no answer and so you have resorted to making ridiculous statements about someone you don’t even know! I have a fantastic life, I enjoy every minute because I know it’s the only one I’ve got and above all I’m happy!

          • tom

            Im sure your very happy, do you mind me asking on How you got on this earth? Was you once a ape or some sea creature or did you fly in on some comet, Interesting to know what you believe in.

          • Kathleen

            I think it’s very probable that the basic building blocks of life were carried to our early earth by asteroids billions of years ago. From there life evolved over time until finally, hundreds of thousands of generations along, here I am!

          • wian

            What a fairy tale you believe Kathleen. What utter nonsense

          • Kathleen

            I’m sure you don’t believe in anything more nonsensical. There is no way you believe in a god which refuses to show himself and for which there is no evidence. I’m so glad you stick to facts when you decide what is a fairy tale!

          • wian

            For someone who doesnt believe Kathleen, it must really concern you with the amount of comments you have made and the amount of time you spend in this thread…. For starters,, God has revealed and showed himself throughout history Kathleen. Many, Many times in fact. Both before Christ and after he left the earth … All have been backed up with empirical, first hand eye witness evidence which has been written down and preserved in the bible for mankind……… Jesus was witnessed by thousands of people, and over 500 after his resurrection. More than enough witnesses to hold up in a court of law Kathleen might i add… Even secular accounts at the time acknowledged his existence… Jesus was prophesied about in the old testament thousands of years before he even walked the earth…..So honestly, what more proof do you want ???? What you believe on the other hand has never been observed. No one was there billions of years ago to witness asteroids creating life… I mean, how ridiculous to even think that asteroids colliding could make even a planet which could even sustain life, let alone actually creating life on a planet…. What you believe my dear is a complete fairy tale of the highest order… No one has ever witnessed life being created from non life – Its in your imagination… If you truly believe in that nonsense, you will never explain to me where this matter, time and space, and explosion came from to start this chain of events….. You simply dont have the answer

          • Kathleen

            I can tell by your comments that you have no idea what you are talking about and are only spouting what you were told. Here are some facts for you to think about: there is not one single contemporary historical mention of Jesus. Not one. There were dozens of historians who lived in the area that Jesus supposedly did who would have surely documented at least one of the amazing things you believe he did but no one wrote about it. Because it never happened. All those people who supposedly saw him perform miracles? Never bothered to tell anyone else as there are no reports of him performing them outside of that propganda book, the bible. There is no first hand evidence, only hearsay. No one knows who wrote the gospels but they were written long after Jesus supposedly did his magic – the best estimates are 40-70 years after.

            As far as Jesus being prophesied in the OT, it’s easy to make up a story after the fact, isn’t it? I could go on and on but you get the picture.

            I don’t mind that you want believe in a fairy tale. My issue is with religion thinking it has anything important to say about morality, birth control, gay marriage or any other aspect of public life. If I was saying that I expected your country to adhere to sharia law, I bet you would have a problem with that as well.

          • wian

            OMG. Seriously, are you for real? We are living in the year 2015AD. Something pretty significant must have happened back then hey? Firstly, you conveniently ignored my comment on evolution and the big bang. You know there is no evidence, so you avoid the question. Secondly, where is your evidence that the gospels were written 70 years after Jesus died? You speak utter nonsense. The bible has hundreds of prophecies in it that predict events before they happen to this day. Archeological digs and evidence support the bible. No other book has been scrutinized like the bible and still the bible stands up against scrutiny. Why , and how, would over 40 authors contrive a story like you say? It’s impossible to write the bible from man alone. None the less, if You don’t believe in God, you will never have a logical explanation as to how the universe starTed. What you believe simply isn’t observable

          • Kathleen

            I will wait patiently (and forever) for you to provide me with one contemporary, non biblical historical mention of Jesus. You can’t. I guess he wasn’t as special as you imagine.

          • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

            He’s mentioned in the records of the Roman Empire and the writings of Josephus and several others, all outside the Bible. You knew that already.

          • Kathleen

            Please point me to the records of the Roman Empire mentioning Jesus that are contemporary to his time. You can’t. And you must know Josephus wasn’t even born when Jesus was supposed to be around so anything he says is hearsay and most scholars agree that the Jesus mention in his writing was inserted later. Fun fact, Josephus also wrote about Hercules, so that must prove he was real too!

          • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

            Contemporary to his time? You mean during his lifetime? Why would you expect to find those? And where would you like to look? I’m sure if you go storming into the Vatican museum and demand to see them because you’re an important loudmouth they’ll bend over backward to accomodate you. Now I doubt you’d have any idea what most scholars agree on beyond that water is wet, and even then there are probably some who’d argue, but appeals to the majority or to authority when there is neither does not make your case for you. I have to wonder if facts are ever really fun for you, since they so often conflict with your opinions, but I am curious, where does Josephus mention Hercules?

          • Kathleen

            In Antiquities of the Jews Josephus mentions Hercules? Here are the references: 1.15 and 10.11.1.

            I see you can’t find any contemporary records, as I knew you wouldn’t. And you ask why we should expect some? Well, if Jesus actually performed any of the miracles, including rising from the dead, I would expect someone to have noticed at the time. Why do we have to wait for many decades later? I’ll tell you why – because they never happened.

          • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

            How about you find it for me
            http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/index.htm
            since either your references are wrong or it just isn’t there.

          • Kathleen

            Just went there and both citations are there. You are lazy.

          • Guest

            And you are either very sloppy or just trying to deceive, or both.
            The Hercules in 1.10 is not the Greek god, it’s a real guy named Hercules that lived in Abraham’s time. The second reference is used in comparison of the fortitude of King Nabuchodonosor to that of Hercules, and this could be that same guy or it could be the mythical one but Josephus gives no indication that the mythical Hercules was real or that he ever thought he was.
            You fail.

          • wian

            Sadly mate, Kathleen doesnt want to believe no matter what anyone says. I don’t care what anyone thinks, i know The bible will always stand up to any scrutiny put its way because it was written by a being that’s outside of the time domain. No human beings could contrive such a complete and accurate story over thousands of years without divine intervention….. The hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled attest to that fact

          • ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

            I agree. See what you think of this:
            http://www.dominionstate.wordpress.com/d/

          • wian

            Kathleen, pretty much every “Normal” person in the world , both non believers and believers acknowledge Christ existed… Its pointless you even denying this, unless you are of course living in denial……. The problem with this world sadly is that there is so much false information and lies out there that are leading people like you astray i suppose… If you really understood the bible, or spoke to anyone who is an expert on these historical events, you would b e left red faced….

        • james V

          You can lead an atheist to the truth but you cant make him think!

          • Norman Dostal

            It’s been proven many times that atheists are more educated about religion than the devout.

          • Guest

            obviously not

        • Norman Dostal

          You’re not educated. Only educated people can break from religious brainwashing

      • RealityBetraysUs

        Go pick up a copy of Josh Mcdowells book “Evidence that demands a verdict” if you really want to scrutinize historical and scientific evidence of the bible, your complaints are merely straw men erected by skeptics who have not seriously studied the facts historical and scientific.

        • Kathleen

          Go pick up a copy of Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt if you want a peer reviewed academic look at it.

          • james V

            Doubt is from Satan. He wants you to keep doubting and comfortable until the day he you die and he gets to keep you forever where he is.

          • TheAppleFritter

            I always doubt that I’ll have enough pocket money for sweets after all of my bills. So, does that mean if I keep on doubting, Satan will give me all the sweets I could ever dream of, once I’m dead?

            Sign me up!

          • james V

            Unfortunately it sound like you are already signed up.

          • TheAppleFritter

            Sounds James, sounds.

            Jesus can teach you how to love, but he can’t teach you how to spell.

          • james V

            Intelects who dont beleive enjoy looking at things that doont’ mater–Keeps them destrackted from findig thee truthf.

            Bless you for correcting me. Thank you Jesus for TheAppleFritter.

            Yes, Jesus taught how to love, but more importantly, He showed the world the need for a savior. That’s the message we, the rebellious and self righteous, don’t want to receive because of our rebellious nature. Many think they can do it all themselves. (that is, get saved by their good deeds) Many think that sarcasm is intelligence. And that’s just where Satan wants the world to be. Many find it hard or impossible to submit to Grace. Jesus’ completed work.

            Fritter, you dont have much time left on this earth. God put us together for you to get this message. There are no coincidences. This is very serious. Your judgement is near. Do you want God to look at your life and decide where you go or do you want God to look at His perfect Son to decide where you go? That’s the only real choice that matters in the body you are in. Best Blessings I hope you decide the latter.

          • Norman Dostal

            Satan was made up to keep the mindless sheep in fear. Doesn’t work now

          • Carrie

            Read Killing Jesus, Case for Christ (or watch the documentary), and Jesus on Trial.

      • John

        Dude, what are you talking about?

        http://www.tektonics.org/uz/virginbirth.php

    • Norman Dostal

      The Virgin Mary story was stolen from other religions. Remember, almost all religions have a virgin birth story

      • Guest

        No it wasn’t, not even close. Remember, you’re a moron,
        you don’t know anything and you aren’t fooling anyone.

        • Norman Dostal

          im a moron because I don’t believe in religion that was brainwashed into you by your parents? Sorry, Trailer Park, but the virgin mary story was stolen-that was proven years ago (hint-remember, the virgin birth was added to the gospels years later and isn’t even in two of them!)

          • Guest

            None of that is true.

  • Matt McDowall

    just because he existed gives no credence to miraculous claims….I hope the author understands this premise…
    And yes, people believe stupid things all the time and are willing to die for them! your country is missing two sky scrapers as evidence of this…

    • Guest

      Because apples are oranges and William Shakespeare was a hippopotamus.
      Sure fella, anything you say.

    • RealityBetraysUs

      Our country is missing 2 skyscrapers because in a free society that is what it takes to get everyone on board in order to fight world terrorism. We can not have terrorists running around the USA like they do in the middle east, that is why we are missing 2 skyscrapers! If you do not believe me than why not ask yourself the same question about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Our gov. knew it would happen before it did, but did not try to stop it! Why because we had to have every American behind the war effort to defeat what was in that day a threat to the free world.The same is true today about the threat to our free world by Muslim terrorists, we can NOT afford to let ISIS TAKE OVER THE FREE WORLD OR THE MIDDLE EAST. It may seem extreme but letting evil conquer by doing nothing is far worse! So even if your simplistic mind or thinking refuses to acknowledge historical facts, there is proof that governments make choices that seem extreme but long term are made for the greater good! Ask yourself how many lives were saved and years that wwii was shortened by dropping 2 nuclear bombs on Japan in wwii? We are facing the same threat today with muslim extremist’s groups who want to set up a caliphate (world leader under Islam) and all who disagree will be beheaded! The bible warned that in the last days such things would occur.

      • james V

        I know atheists in reality dont want to open their mind. They think they know it all and thats it. Sarcasm is used because atheists think thats their way of being smarter. But if you really want to be smarter and are interested in why the twin towers fell then read the book “the Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn. I dare you to read somethig that isnt always trying to prove God is bad or there is no God.

        • Norman Dostal

          Atheists are always more educated that the devout. Remember, one can only be freed from religion by education.

          • An Orthodox Student

            They are not always more educated, nor is it education that “frees” one from religion. Choosing to belive in any religion is a personal choice and has nothing to do with intellect. There are idiots, fanatics, and brilliant minds on both sides.

          • John

            Sure about that, buddy? Not from what I have been seeing.

          • Eric P

            John Lennox has far more education then you will probably ever have. Contact us again when your an Oxford Fellow.

      • Norman Dostal

        You’re kray kray. No breeding for you!

        • RealityBetraysUs

          dont think so then study up on WWII our gov knew pearl harbor was going to be attacked by the japanese yet we sat back and let it happen! you have to ask yourself WHY?

      • Nenad Karneis Cairovic

        tell me why is USA in near east? wtf are they looking there? USA economy is all about selling a weapons and how can they sell weapons?by starting a war
        it was easy destroying their “invisible(it wasnt lol)” plane in 1999 :) most of us would say: sry, we didnt know it was invisible
        USA starts wars and long as USA lives Wars will live and World peace will never be on this world

        • RealityBetraysUs

          It would seem that the USA is the last superpower! They are doing everything
          militarily and economically so that when the status of super power goes from US to China that will we still be in control or have enough resources to dictate what will happen. Remember that the whole world is run by the super rich and they can and do start wars to satisfy their agendas. If you think otherwise you have not done your homework! The last and largest powers US,Russia and China do not want to be in World Wars, they only allow smaller groups who have everything to lose and only marginal stuff to gain to play war games such as Isis in the middle east. There will come a day when the possibility exists to just wipe them all out then we are talking WWI I I ! But the rich will not do that until they are in a position to profit from it like the other 2 world wars.

  • RealityBetraysUs

    it is impossible to please God except by faith, faith comes by hearing the word of
    God and allowing the Holy Spirit to confirm that faith in God. Despite the fact that there is more than enough evidence to prove the existence of God (and the incarnate manifestation of God in the real physical person of Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin into this world) more evidence that he lived and was indeed a human being without sin who died on a cross was buried and rose on the 3rd day from the grave and was eyewitnessed as living by more than 500 living people of that day. So despite the fact that there is more evidence to convict the world of Jesus and that he lived and proved he was God in the flesh, there are still those who refuse to believe he is the Christ and they will stand before him on judgement day and be condemned to hell by their own testimony. The question is not so much that there is enough evidence to prove his story, but rather personally if you want to acknowledge him as your Lord and Savior. What will it take? Recall that in the parable of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, The rich man begs God to let him go warn his brothers, God tells the man they have the whole witness of the bible and the prophets and if they will not listen to that as proof then surely even if someone were to come back from the dead and (hell) they would not listen to them either. People are still the same today!

    • Kathleen

      Really, are you an adult? And you actually believe someone has come back from the dead? If he was witnessed by 500 living people of that day, how come not a single one ever told anyone about it? Not one single solitary witness account outside of that propaganda tool, the Bible.

    • An Orthodox Student

      I would actually disagree. The many pieces of evidence that God exists that I have seen presented as such could be argued both ways…for his existance or not. Choosing to belive in God is not a matter of “ackmowledging the evidence,” but rather, a choice of faith that there is something out there, behind everything, that we will never truly understand. I choose to belive because of events in my own life, though a scientist in the church at the time could probably give me the name of the phenomenon that occured, and the scientific research behind its existance and how it works. That does not change that I made the choice to believe, nor that it is each person’s individual choice granted by free will and that, especially as Christians, we have no right to interfere in or to judge them for their choice.

      • RealityBetraysUs

        ultimately our relationship with God and our destination heaven or hell depends on our faith not our reason. Thank God for that! I can show you my reasons but yes God gives us each the power through faith to believe what we choose. So realize your eternal destiny is in your hands by the choices you make through “faith” The bible tells us nothing is possible without faith and our eternal destiny depends on how we use it. The theft on the cross had nothing of merit to give to Christ except his faith and Jesus told him in response ,”today you will be with me in Paradise (heaven).

      • RealityBetraysUs

        Yes faith is the ultimate criteria , for it is impossible to please God without faith! That does not mean reason can not be found it only means you salvation is not dependent upon it. We would all be in deep kacka if God made our salvation a test of reason and intellectual ability!

  • http://mikeponders.wordpress.com Mike

    Other’s have said it, but it bears restating: That a preacher named Jesus from Nazareth walked the earth two millennia ago is immaterial. What is important is whether he was…as claimed…the son of God. There were plenty of messiahs walking around in the first century performing “miracles” and preaching. To people dying for their mythology; …the author clearly hasn’t done ANY research. Nor has the author done any serious research on the authorship of the Bible.

    The author then eludes to Pascal’s Wager, which fails left and right: http://mikeponders.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/reviewing-pascals-wager/

  • JeffWest

    “Not only are there the genealogical studies of the gospels of Matthew and Luke, but we have extra-biblical sources that are simply too numerous to include in one article.” So you included none? Not one, two or three? Doesn’t that undercut your entire argument?

    • Guest

      Read the whole post, duh.

      • Norman Dostal

        There’s only two contemporary people who wrote about Jesus outside of the bible- and it was decades after his death. Josephus and Tacitus. That’s it

  • Guest
  • Guest
  • Austin Hill

    This article is a little ridiculous. “Overwhelming evidence?” Yea, no. Some evidence, much of it arguable. That’s about all there is. Do most historians believe the easiest explanation is that there was a real man this was based on, yes, but it’s not the only explanation.

    • Preston Thall Baez

      “My evidence that a book is evidence are more books as evidence saying that the evidence is real!”

  • Norman Dostal

    Hundreds saw him after he rose but not a single person write about it. That proves it never happened. Sorry sheep.

  • Alain Walther

    So, if I understand correctly, this mythical figure, God, sacrificed his
    son in the most cruel way so that murderers, thieves, rapists,
    pedophiles and Republicans can go to heaven?

  • Ivy Edan

    I agree we need to take Isis down. Innocent people die in wars all the time. Take herashima. It was totally needed to be done. We would have lost millions without it. Nuke em.

  • MGuth

    Jesus is as real as you and me and he loves you sooooooooo much!

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    //then why would more than one hundred ancient Historians include Christ in their writings if they knew he didn’t exist? //

    Name all One Hundred Historians and list exactly what they wrote about Jesus. I dare you!

  • Onno Westerman

    All the info in the article is one big lie. There is not a shred of evidence of a historical Jesus. The bible itself is not evidence of anything or anyone mentioned in it. The historians do not mention a historical Jesus, most of those alleged references are christian forger or do not mention Jesus at all ! Virgin birth and son of God is impossible, miracles do not exist, all the Jesus themes like annunciation – birth -miracles – raising lazarus – fish and bread – resurrection -ascension are all allegorical for things and aspects of the sun in the zodiac and all themes are linked to older myths from pagan sun cults Greek or Egyptian or even older. Sayings of Jesus are also from OT scripture or from other scripture so Jesus actually did not even say those words for he would have know all those scriptures and that is not very likely. So stop wasting your time on this page for it is full of nonsense and lies !

    • Scott Murray

      If people think that Jesus wasn’t a real person, then we can argue that not one person in history was real. Denying history because you cannot believe of it’s accuracies from writers who were respected as knowledgeable scholars is evidence that you are only deceiving yourself. If you say it’s all forgeries then make the same assumption of any and all historical and scientific writing that did not come from your own mind because to you nothing is true. To say that the Bible is written and based on older beliefs is also a joke since most of past religions all based their beliefs on Judaism or Christianity. Many of these pagan religions changed their beliefs AFTER having some interaction with these two religions and many have been proven to have back-dated their beliefs in order to say Christianity is not an original belief. Very few have original beliefs and do pre-date Christianity, but can be proven to be false religions. History has proven that man incorporates new beliefs and traditions into their own society and spins it as something original. The Romans, Greeks, Europeans, Arabs, and Oriental all did this because it’s part of our human nature. Early Christians incorporated pagan traditions so that it was easier to convert an entire nation and was accepted (or in some instances forced). Muslims changed Judaism beliefs to fit their agenda in order to establish a caliph and to gain power over the Arabs.
      Today we have the atheist movement and their agenda is to use lies and half-truths to say there is no God. They use intimidation, fear, and hate to scare people who believe in God to remain quiet while they file lawsuits against churches, businesses, and organizations to further their own religion. In an attempt to discredit believers, they say they are educated and experts fields that can prove there is no God. But since they cannot prove there is no God they create man-made theories that have no basis of proving there is no God. Instead atheists say that Christians has to “prove a negative.” Atheists say that Christians can only practice in a church or in their homes and God has no place in society. You say “don’t force your beliefs down my throat.” But here you are coming to this site and nobody forced you to come here. You go on social media and troll posts from believers but I am forcing my beliefs down your throats? Open your eyes and see that it is the other way around. Christians are being forced, oppressed, persecuted, and killed. Christians are being told to accept lifestyles that opposes their beliefs. Christians are being told to put their beliefs in a closet but atheism, feminism, and homosexuality are being taught in public school systems. If any person voices anything that doesn’t line up with your way of thinking their character is bashed and lies are spread to discredit that person.
      In all I have studied I cave come to one conclusion;
      God and Jesus are real and there’s a big movement to remove Him from society. Everybody who claim to be enlightened and say there is no God is only in denial to what we all know to be the truth. You want so bad there to be no God to the point that you openly hate a Christian and seek them out only to bash them just to lift yourself up. The reason why atheists are trying to disprove God is because nobody wants to answer for the things they want to do. Man is in such rebellion that they want to do what they want, when they want, and how they want. Nobody can tell them what to do, which is why society is in such disarray right now with America’s youth breaking the laws, fighting authority, and even killing, or being killed by police officers. Relying on science to prove there is no God has been futile and with the rise of scientists becoming Christians it’s becoming clear through their observations that the universe and everything in it came from an intelligent designer.

    • John

      Dude, stop reading Bart Ehrman and Acharya S. Maybe you could learn something.

  • SJ

    Jesus is more than a historical fact. He still lives and reigns.

    The Same Power
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xjVAsSQzOaE

  • pneumatictrousers

    We who are born on the CROSSing of the nodes have been trying to teach you for thousands of year and for whatever reason people seem to ALWAYS screw up what we are saying with PERSONhood. JESUS is the HEAVENS spinning around and CHRIST is the offering of the bread of eternal life. MARY is the matrix or WOMB of the universe that your spirit is reborn through if successfully pass through the eternity gate(s). The 4 books are the SEASONS of the SOUL ebbing and flowing NOT the natural annual seasons. The holidays were not ANNUAL but according to the ECLIPSES. So when will you FINALLY start to get what we’ve been saying?!?!


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