Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources


Michael Gleghorn examines evidence from ancient non-Christian sources for the life of Jesus, demonstrating that such sources help confirm the historical reliability of the Gospels.

Evidence from Tacitus

Although there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document, many people are still reluctant to believe what it says unless there is also some independent, non-biblical testimony that corroborates its statements. In the introduction to one of his books, F.F. Bruce tells about a Christian correspondent who was told by an agnostic friend that “apart from obscure references in Josephus and the like,” there was no historical evidence for the life of Jesus outside the Bible.{1} This, he wrote to Bruce, had caused him “great concern and some little upset in [his] spiritual life.”{2} He concludes his letter by asking, “Is such collateral proof available, and if not, are there reasons for the lack of it?”{3} The answer to this question is, “Yes, such collateral proof is available,” and we will be looking at some of it in this article.

Let’s begin our inquiry with a passage that historian Edwin Yamauchi calls “probably the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament.”{4} Reporting on Emperor Nero’s decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in A.D. 64, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:

Nero fastened the guilt . . . 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 . . . 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. . . .{5}

What all can we learn from this ancient (and rather unsympathetic) reference to Jesus and the early Christians? Notice, first, that Tacitus reports Christians derived their name from a historical person called Christus (from the Latin), or Christ. He is said to have “suffered the extreme penalty,” obviously alluding to the Roman method of execution known as crucifixion. This is said to have occurred during the reign of Tiberius and by the sentence of Pontius Pilatus. This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus.

But what are we to make of Tacitus’ rather enigmatic statement that Christ’s death briefly checked “a most mischievous superstition,” which subsequently arose not only in Judaea, but also in Rome? One historian suggests that Tacitus is here “bearing indirect . . . testimony to the conviction of the early church that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave.”{6} While this interpretation is admittedly speculative, it does help explain the otherwise bizarre occurrence of a rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal.{7} How else might one explain that?

Evidence from Pliny the Younger

Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. In one of his letters, dated around A.D. 112, he asks Trajan’s advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians.{8} Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity.{9}

At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians:

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food–but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.{10}

This passage provides us with a number of interesting insights into the beliefs and practices of early Christians. First, we see that Christians regularly met on a certain fixed day for worship. Second, their worship was directed to Christ, demonstrating that they firmly believed in His divinity. Furthermore, one scholar interprets Pliny’s statement that hymns were sung to Christ, as to a god, as a reference to the rather distinctive fact that, “unlike other gods who were worshipped, Christ was a person who had lived on earth.”{11} If this interpretation is correct, Pliny understood that Christians were worshipping an actual historical person as God! Of course, this agrees perfectly with the New Testament doctrine that Jesus was both God and man.

Not only does Pliny’s letter help us understand what early Christians believed about Jesus’ person, it also reveals the high esteem to which they held His teachings. For instance, Pliny notes that Christians bound themselves by a solemn oath not to violate various moral standards, which find their source in the ethical teachings of Jesus. In addition, Pliny’s reference to the Christian custom of sharing a common meal likely alludes to their observance of communion and the “love feast.”{12} This interpretation helps explain the Christian claim that the meal was merely food of an ordinary and innocent kind. They were attempting to counter the charge, sometimes made by non-Christians, of practicing “ritual cannibalism.”{13} The Christians of that day humbly repudiated such slanderous attacks on Jesus’ teachings. We must sometimes do the same today.

Evidence from Josephus

Perhaps the most remarkable reference to Jesus outside the Bible can be found in the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. On two occasions, in his Jewish Antiquities, he mentions Jesus. The second, less revealing, reference describes the condemnation of one “James” by the Jewish Sanhedrin. This James, says Josephus, was “the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ.”{14} F.F. Bruce points out how this agrees with Paul’s description of James in Galatians 1:19 as “the Lord’s brother.”{15} And Edwin Yamauchi informs us that “few scholars have questioned” that Josephus actually penned this passage.{16}

As interesting as this brief reference is, there is an earlier one, which is truly astonishing. Called the “Testimonium Flavianum,” the relevant portion declares:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared.{17}

Did Josephus really write this? Most scholars think the core of the passage originated with Josephus, but that it was later altered by a Christian editor, possibly between the third and fourth century A.D.{18} But why do they think it was altered? Josephus was not a Christian, and it is difficult to believe that anyone but a Christian would have made some of these statements.{19}

For instance, the claim that Jesus was a wise man seems authentic, but the qualifying phrase, “if indeed one ought to call him a man,” is suspect. It implies that Jesus was more than human, and it is quite unlikely that Josephus would have said that! It is also difficult to believe he would have flatly asserted that Jesus was the Christ, especially when he later refers to Jesus as “the so-called” Christ. Finally, the claim that on the third day Jesus appeared to His disciples restored to life, inasmuch as it affirms Jesus’ resurrection, is quite unlikely to come from a non-Christian!

But even if we disregard the questionable parts of this passage, we are still left with a good deal of corroborating information about the biblical Jesus. We read that he was a wise man who performed surprising feats. And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. When we combine these statements with Josephus’ later reference to Jesus as “the so-called Christ,” a rather detailed picture emerges which harmonizes quite well with the biblical record. It increasingly appears that the “biblical Jesus” and the “historical Jesus” are one and the same!

Evidence from the Babylonian Talmud

There are only a few clear references to Jesus in the Babylonian Talmud, a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings compiled between approximately A.D. 70-500. Given this time frame, it is naturally supposed that earlier references to Jesus are more likely to be historically reliable than later ones. In the case of the Talmud, the earliest period of compilation occurred between A.D. 70-200.{20} The most significant reference to Jesus from this period states:

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.”{21}

Let’s examine this passage. You may have noticed that it refers to someone named “Yeshu.” So why do we think this is Jesus? Actually, “Yeshu” (or “Yeshua”) is how Jesus’ name is pronounced in Hebrew. But what does the passage mean by saying that Jesus “was hanged”? Doesn’t the New Testament say he was crucified? Indeed it does. But the term “hanged” can function as a synonym for “crucified.” For instance, Galatians 3:13 declares that Christ was “hanged”, and Luke 23:39 applies this term to the criminals who were crucified with Jesus.{22} So the Talmud declares that Jesus was crucified on the eve of Passover. But what of the cry of the herald that Jesus was to be stoned? This may simply indicate what the Jewish leaders were planning to do.{23} If so, Roman involvement changed their plans!{24}

The passage also tells us why Jesus was crucified. It claims He practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy! Since this accusation comes from a rather hostile source, we should not be too surprised if Jesus is described somewhat differently than in the New Testament. But if we make allowances for this, what might such charges imply about Jesus?

Interestingly, both accusations have close parallels in the canonical gospels. For instance, the charge of sorcery is similar to the Pharisees’ accusation that Jesus cast out demons “by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”{25} But notice this: such a charge actually tends to confirm the New Testament claim that Jesus performed miraculous feats. Apparently Jesus’ miracles were too well attested to deny. The only alternative was to ascribe them to sorcery! Likewise, the charge of enticing Israel to apostasy parallels Luke’s account of the Jewish leaders who accused Jesus of misleading the nation with his teaching.{26} Such a charge tends to corroborate the New Testament record of Jesus’ powerful teaching ministry. Thus, if read carefully, this passage from the Talmud confirms much of our knowledge about Jesus from the New Testament.

Evidence from Lucian

Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:

The Christians . . . worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that 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.{27}

Although Lucian is jesting here at the early Christians, he does make some significant comments about their founder. For instance, he says the Christians worshipped a man, “who introduced their novel rites.” And though this man’s followers clearly thought quite highly of Him, He so angered many of His contemporaries with His teaching that He “was crucified on that account.”

Although Lucian does not mention his name, he is clearly referring to Jesus. But what did Jesus teach to arouse such wrath? According to Lucian, he taught that all men are brothers from the moment of their conversion. That’s harmless enough. But what did this conversion involve? It involved denying the Greek gods, worshipping Jesus, and living according to His teachings. It’s not too difficult to imagine someone being killed for teaching that. Though Lucian doesn’t say so explicitly, the Christian denial of other gods combined with their worship of Jesus implies the belief that Jesus was more than human. Since they denied other gods in order to worship Him, they apparently thought Jesus a greater God than any that Greece had to offer!

Let’s summarize what we’ve learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources. First, both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise. Second, Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher. Third, both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover. Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus’ followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God!

I hope you see how this small selection of ancient non-Christian sources helps corroborate our knowledge of Jesus from the gospels. Of course, there are many ancient Christian sources of information about Jesus as well. But since the historical reliability of the canonical gospels is so well established, I invite you to read those for an authoritative “life of Jesus!”


1. F. F. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 13.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Edwin Yamauchi, quoted in Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), 82.

5. Tacitus, Annals 15.44, cited in Strobel, The Case for Christ, 82.

6. N.D. Anderson, Christianity: The Witness of History (London: Tyndale, 1969), 19, cited in Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus (Joplin, Missouri: College Press Publishing Company, 1996), 189-190.

7. Edwin Yamauchi, cited in Strobel, The Case for Christ, 82.

8. Pliny, Epistles x. 96, cited in Bruce, Christian Origins, 25; Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 198.

9. Ibid., 27.

10. Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 199.

11. M. Harris, “References to Jesus in Early Classical Authors,” in Gospel Perspectives V, 354-55, cited in E. Yamauchi, “Jesus Outside the New Testament: What is the Evidence?”, in Jesus Under Fire, ed. by Michael J. Wilkins and J.P. Moreland (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), p. 227, note 66.

12. Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 199.

13. Bruce, Christian Origins, 28.

14. Josephus, Antiquities xx. 200, cited in Bruce, Christian Origins, 36.

15. Ibid.

16. Yamauchi, “Jesus Outside the New Testament”, 212.

17. Josephus, Antiquities 18.63-64, cited in Yamauchi, “Jesus Outside the New Testament”, 212.

18. Ibid.

19. Although time would not permit me to mention it on the radio, another version of Josephus’ “Testimonium
Flavianum” survives in a tenth-century Arabic version (Bruce, Christian Origins, 41). In 1971, Professor
Schlomo Pines published a study on this passage. The passage is interesting because it lacks most
of the questionable elements that many scholars believe to be Christian interpolations. Indeed, “as
Schlomo Pines and David Flusser…stated, it is quite plausible that none of the arguments against
Josephus writing the original words even applies to the Arabic text, especially since the latter
would have had less chance of being censored by the church” (Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 194).
The passage reads as follows: “At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. His conduct was
good and (he) was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations
became his discip20. les. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become
his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three
days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning
whom the prophets have recounted wonders.” (Quoted in James H. Charlesworth, Jesus Within Judaism,
(Garden City: Doubleday, 1988), 95, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 194).

20. Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 202-03.

21. The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein (London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, 281, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 203.

22. Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 203.

23. See John 8:58-59 and 10:31-33.

24. Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 204. See also John 18:31-32.

25. Matt. 12:24. I gleaned this observation from Bruce, Christian Origins, 56.

26. Luke 23:2, 5.

27. Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4., cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 206.

©2001 Probe Ministries

Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children. His personal website is

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  1. Harper 1 year ago

    re footnote 19:

    Indeed, “as
    Schlomo Pines and David Flusser…stated, it is quite plausible that none of the arguments against
    Josephus writing the original words even applies to the Arabic text, especially since the latter
    would have had less chance of being censored by the church” (Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 194).

    If it was a 10th Century version, Would that mean a higher, not less chance of alteration?
    Good article. thanks!!!!

    • Author
      Michael Gleghorn 1 year ago

      Hello Harper,

      Thanks for your question. As a general rule, the greater the “time gap” between the original writing and a particular copy, the more potential there is for something to go wrong. But this is merely a “general rule” – and one always has to take into account the specific details and historical circumstances surrounding a particular manuscript copy. In this case, I am not aware of what date (if any) may have been assigned to the version of the “Testimonium” that appears in Agapius’s “Universal History”, a tenth-century work, written by a Christian in Arabic. See, for example, the discussion in Robert Van Voorst, “Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence,” (Eerdmans, 2000, pp. 97-8).

      Hence, without in any way attempting to settle the issue of the authenticity of the version of the “Testimonium” that appears in Agapius (which is not something that I am personally competent to pass judgment on), I would simply note (as Pines and Flusser stated) that it is at least possible that this version was not subject to the interpolations that many scholars think infected the better-known passage (probably because of Christian copyists). Indeed, as cited by Agapius, the passage appears to be missing most of the questionable material that scholars typically worry about.

      Of course, like virtually all historical judgments, this is somewhat conjectural. But I wanted to include the information in the footnote because it struck me as a plausible conjecture. But having said this, I want to make clear that I am simply relying on the information at my disposal. So if this conjecture is incorrect, I’m completely okay with that. It just appears to me that the 10th century version has some reasons to accept it as possibly authentic. Nevertheless, I must leave it to others to argue back and forth about the various merits (or lack thereof) of this version. But this is why I included it in the footnote.

      Thanks again for writing!

  2. Paul 1 year ago

    Michael, I am an atheist, but I hope you answer my question seriously, as I will promise the same toward your answer.

    Tacitus wrote the Annals approximately 30 years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Do we have any way to hypothesize on what he based that excerpt about Jesus? Do we think he spoke to eyewitnesses, do we think he consulted some other text, do we think he relied on secondary sources, or perhaps we don’t know what his sources were and we trust his statement because he is a trustworthy historian otherwise?

    Thank you.

    • Michael Gleghorn 1 year ago

      Hello Paul,

      Thanks for your question. Tacitus’ Annals were published around 115 A.D. They thus date to approximately 85 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. There is much scholarly discussion about the issue of Tacitus’ source(s) in Annals 15:44.

      J. J. Lowder has written, “The bottom line is this: given that Tacitus did not identify his source(s), we simply don’t know how Tacitus obtained his information.” You can read his full discussion of this issue here:

      Lowder’s article does a good job interacting with the available scholarly discussion of this issue from a skeptical perspective.

      Another good discussion about this issue can be found here:

      The author of this second article concludes his discussion of the evidence with the following statement: “The present writer believes that the most persuasive case is made by those who maintain that Tacitus made use of a first century Roman document concerning the nature and status of the Christian religion. As to the reliability of that source, following normal historical practice, it is prudently assumed to be accurate until demonstrated otherwise. The reference from Tacitus constitutes prima facie evidence for the historicity of Jesus.”

      I’m personally comfortable with both of these statements. But like Lowder, I must honestly confess that I simply don’t know for sure what sources Tacitus may have relied on in relating this information about Christ and the early Christians.

      Tacitus was certainly in a position to possess (as the second writer notes) “a first century Roman document concerning the nature and status of the Christian religion.” But even if he received this information from Christians (which is debatable), that would not, of course, mean that it was untrustworthy or historically unreliable.

      So ultimately I do not know what sources Tacitus may have relied on in this passage. But it seems to me that a good case can be made for believing the passage to be at least generally trustworthy historically. And that’s primarily what I would be personally concerned about.

  3. Brad Rice 1 year ago

    This is a useful summary of apologetic scholarship about the historic Jesus that is pretty much in line with Bart Ehrman’s findings about the existence of Jesus as a secular scholar. The article indicates that SOME of the information in the New Testament is likely corroborated by non Christian sources. The article, however, does NOT come even close to proving the author’s broad assertion in the opening sentence that “the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document.” The NT is a religious document with varying levels of history, oral tradition, later additions, and myth. Showing that Jesus most likely existed and that ancient followers believed certain thing about him doesn’t even come close to proving that the things that they believed about him were true.

    • Michael Gleghorn 1 year ago

      Hello Brad,

      Thanks for writing – and for your kind comments at the beginning of your letter. As the title of my article indicates, I was only intending to provide a bit of “Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources.” I was not intending to write an article dealing in detail with the historical reliability of the New Testament. Indeed, these articles begin as radio programs – and hence, we are extremely limited in what we can say by very strict time parameters.

      It’s true, of course, that the New Testament is a collection of “religious” documents. But how does this impugn the historical reliability of these documents? It seems to me that the documents can be both historically reliable and religiously truthful.

      I freely grant that there are some issues regarding the historicity of particular claims in these texts, which may not have been settled to everyone’s satisfaction. But personally, I think that the New Testament documents should be judged innocent until proven guilty – especially in light of their track record to date. And I’m not persuaded that anyone has proven any insuperable difficulties with affirming the historical reliability of these documents when properly interpreted.

  4. Rick 1 year ago

    You assert “there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document.” What is that evidence?

  5. Michael Gleghorn 1 year ago

    Hello Rick,

    Thanks for your question. This is a huge issue, but let me recommend a few resources which will lay out some of the reasons for making such a claim.

    1. F. F. Bruce’s little book is a classic:

    2. Craig Blomberg’s books provide good scholarly discussion about the historical reliability of the Gospels:

    3. And of John’s Gospel, in particular:

    4. Colin Hemer’s book on Acts has garnered significant scholarly praise:

    5. Finally, Donald Guthrie’s New Testament Introduction provides a wealth of scholarly discussion regarding the historicity of the New Testament:

  6. gary 1 year ago

    All this evidence proves is that these non-Christian sources believed that Jesus had existed. They do not provide any claim or mention of a resurrection! Josephus gives massive amounts of information about first century Palestine but never ONCE mentions an alleged resurrection of a messiah pretender.


    Have you ever noticed that anytime you request the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus from a Christian blogger or pastor, the first thing they do is refer you to some apologist’s book. Dear Christian friend, if it takes an entire book to prove that your first century miracle happened, it most probably didn’t.

    Open your eyes, friends. You wouldn’t read a Mormon apologist’s book to decide whether or not to believe Joseph Smith’s supernatural claims. You wouldn’t read a Muslim apologist’s book to decide whether or not to believe Mohammad’s supernatural claims. And you wouldn’t read a Hindu apologist’s book to decide whether or not to believe the supernatural claims of the Hindu gods.

    Nope. You would expect the person making the supernatural claim to give you sufficient evidence within a five minute conversation…unless that supernatural claim is YOUR supernatural claim…then you expect us all to read your apologist’s book to believe it.

    Something’s fishy, folks.

    • Gordon 6 months ago

      It is an Experience of grace. That’s the prize,these things are spiritual. My only desire for you.

  7. Author
    Michael Gleghorn 1 year ago

    Although it was not the purpose of my article to address, either specifically or in detail, the subject of Jesus’ resurrection, it is certainly possible to summarize the case for the historicity of this event.

    The majority of New Testament historians (not just evangelicals) would agree on the following historical facts:

    1. Jesus of Nazareth was put to death by crucifixion.

    2. He was buried in a tomb (most likely by someone named Joseph of Arimathea).

    3. The tomb was discovered empty early Sunday morning, probably by some of His women followers.

    4. Afterward, Jesus’ disciples (and others, such as James and Paul) experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead.

    5. The original disciples (along with James and Paul) were so convinced that God had raised Jesus from the dead that they were willing to suffer persecution and martyrdom for this belief.

    I take these five facts from the work of William Lane Craig, in his book Reasonable Faith, although they can be found in other writers as well.

    So here’s the question. What is the best explanation of these facts? Craig and others argue that these facts are best explained by the New Testament declaration that God did, in fact, raise Jesus from the dead! Personally, I think they are correct in claiming that the resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation of these facts.

    Of course, if people doubt that these facts are as well-attested as I’ve claimed, and they want to look into the evidence for themselves, then I’m afraid that I must recommend a book. The fact is that when there’s a lot of evidence to discuss, and various alternative theories to weigh (as is the case with the resurrection of Jesus), one really cannot dispense with a book-length treatment of the topic. Granted, the author of the post above may not be happy about this, but I’m guessing that some of our other readers may like some recommendations.

    So I would recommend the following books:

    1. Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, by William lane Craig – –

    2. The Resurrection of the Son of God, by N. T. Wright – –

    But for those, like our commentator above, who just can’t stomach the thought of reading a whole book on this subject, I would recommend William Lane Craig’s chapter on “The Resurrection of Jesus” in Reasonable Faith, 3rd edition (pp. 333 – 404) – –

  8. Michael Beaty 1 year ago

    “I believe those witnesses who get their throats cut ” (Blaise Pascal ) me too Blaise me too . Paul gives a list of over 500 people who saw the resurrected Christ . That list of eyewitnesses would eventually become a hit list of people who died for the faith

  9. Kenny Strawn 12 months ago

    The Talmud source you cited that talks about the failed attempt at stoning does seem to support the claims made in John 8:59, I must add. In that passage, the very writers of the Talmud ― the Jewish religious leaders ― react to “Before Abraham was, I AM” as a highly blasphemous claim and, as a result, attempt to stone Jesus, only for Jesus to escape before they even have a chance. The accusations of “leading Israel to apostasy” definitely are suggestive of claims like that one.

  10. John Stewart 5 months ago

    Does it make any sense that a man who supposedly healed lepers, turned water into wine, fed thousands with a few fishes, cured the sick, and raised the dead wouldn’t rate a mention of his accomplishments not just that he suffered an extreme penalty ( cruxifiction ) which was a very common Roman punishment? Obviously the Jesus myths are creations of the church a hundred years later trying to make him worship worthy.

  11. Michael Gleghorn 5 months ago

    Hello John,

    Thanks for your comment. It’s a serious mistake not to regard the canonical gospels as (at the very least) generally reliable historical sources of information about the life and ministry of Jesus. Although we now have the four gospels in our New Testament canon, we must remember that these originally existed as separate sources for the life and ministry of Jesus. They were only combined (with the other New Testament documents) into our present New Testament canon much later.

    The New Testament gospels, along with all the other New Testament writings, were not written 100 years after the ministry of Jesus, as you allege. Anyone who thinks this is relying on shoddy scholarship. All of the New Testament documents (including the four gospels) are products of the first century church. Although conservative scholars typically differ from their more moderate to liberal counterparts in the dates assigned to these documents, virtually everyone would regard the New Testament gospels as first century documents. Anyone desiring a careful, level-headed approach to all the issues concerning authorship, dating, and so forth of the New Testament documents should consult Donald Guthrie’s excellent, New Testament Introduction (Revised Edition).

    Once one sees (and understands) the four canonical gospels (not to mention the other New Testament documents) for what they are, it is immediately evident that we have a great deal of evidence for Jesus from the first century (some of it dating to within just a few years of Jesus’ ministry). The non-Christian sources serve merely to add to (and confirm) the information we already had in the twenty-seven sources now comprising our New Testament.

  12. Dan 1 week ago


    Excellent written article. I came across it looking for any non biblical writings about the actual crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Nothing drives me more mad than when someone points to another passage in the bible to offer proof that the passage being questioned is true.

    Even if the entire bible was written one year after Christ ascended, without any proof outside of the bible, all of the resurrection, miracles, and supernatural stories are very hard to believe.

    With all the evidence and the fact that scholars agree on, it is not hard to believe that a group of people invented all of the supernatural divine stories, to gain power, and they were very good at convincing people that their story was true.

    To me with current available facts about Jesus, both narratives could be true.

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