The purpose of this blog is to share some history about Jesus of the bible. There are people who argue that Jesus was a myth and never really existed. However, very important, there is information in the writings of ancient historians that Jesus did in fact exist.
Those who have studied the limited records of the first century explain that the emphasis in Roman times was mainly about Roman politics and international events, and any events involving Jesus or Christians were not considered to be of much importance. Nevertheless, it will be meaningful to consider some of the significant recorded facts about Jesus and his followers.
A Roman historian, Cornelius Tacitus, (b.56 – d.117 ?) wrote a history of the Roman Emporers called the Annals. He wrote, “….Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite torture 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 Pilate….”. Wikisource, The Annals (Tacitus) Book 15:44.
Jesus, Tiberius Caesar and Pontius Pilate are mentioned in the bible in the book of Luke. Luke’s stated purpose was to present an eyewitness account about Jesus.
Pliny the Younger, wrote a letter to the Roman Emporer Trojan in about AD 112 and asked how he might handle those accused of being followers of Jesus. He said they had a practice of meeting before daylight and sang verses as a hymn to Christ as a god. ( This ,of course, was after the death and resurrection of Jesus) Wikipedia: Pliny the Younger; Epistle Concerning the Christian Religion.
Josephus(b.37 – d.100) , a famous Jewish historian, in his book, Antiquities, in referring to James and Jesus wrote, “…. James the brother of Jesus the so called Christ, ….”. Quoted from, Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense p.199.
Polycarp (b.69 – 70 d.150-155) was an early church leader who knew the apostle John and was taught by him. During that time he had the opportunity to hear John tell what Jesus taught and did. This was eye witness information for John to pass on to Polycarp. This information in turn was passed on to the people of his time. Polycarp died a martyr. He was burned to death by the Romans.
If one takes the time and effort one can find a substantial amount of sometimes small segments of information, other than in the bible, from both secular and religious records to prove that Jesus was not and is not a myth.
Non-Christen historian H. G. Wells regarding Jesus stated, “Here was a man. This part of the tale could not have been invented”. The Outline of History (New York: Doubleday, 1949) 528
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