The History of Jesus

Believe it or not, Jesus is not just a guy who shows up in the Bible.  He is a historical person whose existence is verified by numerous sources outside of the Bible.  Here are a few of the mentions of Jesus and Mary by people outside of the Bible.  (Note that Christ was misheard/misinterpreted by some writers who refer to Him as Christus or Chrestus.)

Cornelius Tacitus – “(Nero) falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities.  Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Tome also.

Lucian of Samosota – “The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day – the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…”

Suetonius – “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome.”  Also “Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men geiven to a new and mischievous superstition.

Julius Africanus (Christian historian)– regarding Thallus – “Thallus, in the third book of his histories explains away this darkness as an eclipse of the sun – unreasonably, as it seems to me (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was at the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died).”  Quoting Phlegon – “During the time of Tiberius Caesar an eclipse of the sun occurred during the full moon.”

Jewish histories

“His mother was a Miriam, a women’s hairdresser.  As they say… ‘this one strayed from her husband.’”

[Mary] “who was the descendant of princes and governors, played the harlot with carpenters.”

Josephus – “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.  He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.  And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him.  And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.”

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