External Evidence for the Existence of Jesus

>> Sunday, December 13, 2009

At the Atheists website, http://www.athieists.org/, they discuss the evidence concerning the existence of Jesus. They attempt to discount all the evidence a Christian might give for the evidence that Jesus existed.

The Atheist will say:

1) “…all the knowledge which the Rabbis had of Jesus was obtained by them from the Gospels. Seeing that Jews, even in the present more critical age, take it for granted that the figure of a real man stands behind the Gospel narrative, one need not be surprised if, in the second century, Jews did not think of questioning that assumption. It is certain, however, that some did question it. For Justin, in his Dialogue with Trypho, represents the Jew Trypho as saying, ‘ye follow an empty rumour and make a Christ for yourselves." "If he was born and lived somewhere he is entirely unknown.’”

2) Josephus, whose Antiquities of the Jews was written in 93 called Jesus the Messiah and no Pharisee would have called Jesus the Messiah.

3) They mention Tacitus by saying, “Tacitus himself never again alludes to the Neronian persecution of Christians in any of his voluminous writings, and no other Pagan authors know anything of the outrage either.”

This is all they discuss concerning external evidence for the existance of Jesus.


The Christians would say:

1) First we have the church fathers who wrote the New Testament. We have many apostles writing the New Testament and delivering those writings to the Churches.

2) Jospehus was a Jewish historian. He worked under Roman authority and took great care not to offend the Romans. His writings about the Jewish wars proved highly accurate and were corrobated by Tacitus and archaeological excavations at Masada. The Atheist spends time discrediting this evidence because he was a Pharisee and he wouldn’t say something like that. How do we know that? They would say that he is just quoting from the Christians. This is there argument for everything.

3) Then we have the writings of Tacitus. Tacitus said, "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures 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 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, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular." The Annals, book XV 44.

Tacitus confirmed as well that Christians were named after Jesus and that they were spreading throughout the Roman Empire.

The Atheist spend a lot of time trying to convince themselves that Tacitus wouldn't say what he said. It is like they spend there time trying to make conclusions that they could not possibly know because they don’t want to believe in the greatest man that ever lived.

4) We have the Pliny the Younger (which isn’t mentioned on the Atheist website) and he describes the early Christian worship practices in a letter to the Emperor Trajan.

5) The Emperor Trajan responded to Pliny and said,
"They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance." Pliny the Younger, The Letters, 10:97.

6) We have Thallus who described the darkness that followed Jesus’ crucifixion. (Those writings aren’t in existence today, but they are in other writings. This information isn’t quoted on the Atheist website)

7) We have Suetonius who confirmed Acts 18:2. (This isn’t talked about on the Atheist website)

8) The Talmud which are Jewish laws and traditions also gives insight about Jesus.

9) Lucian of Samosata a Greek writer in the second-century loved to offer sarcastic remarks about Christianity.

In Conclusion:

If the Atheist wants to believe that Jesus never existed then they might as well believe that the earth is flat too. They are both equally stupid. They don’t spend there time trying to prove that other historical writers never existed, why do they try and spend time trying to prove that Jesus never existed? They should be spending there time trying to see if Jesus is who he said he was, not that he existed. From this external evidence, we know that Jesus was a Jewish teacher, which many people believed in, that some people believed he was the Messiah, that he was rejected by the Jewish leaders and that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. That is a lot of information given to us about a man that never existed. To conclude that Jesus didn't even exist we would have to conclude that all the writers of the New Testament were lying or didn't exists or weren't eye witnesses of anything. We would have to conclude that all of the early Christians (The Atheist admits that the Christian Church spread rapidly) were manipulated or deceived into believing a lie. My question then would be, which one is harder to believe, the Atheist view point, or the Christian view point? If you think the Atheist makes a better argument, then good luck. Nobody will ever convince you of anything no matter how much evidence is presented.

Some of this information is taken from this wesite: http://www.answers2prayer.org/bible_studies/new_testament/external_evidence.html


Really ? that is your argument November 23, 2011 at 1:07 AM  

Right because the spread of Islam was from a reliable sources as well. Stupidity spreads quickly, and they all live on faith, it just depends on the fairy tale you chose to call your own .I am sure that believers would never go back and tamper with writings of historians to make them more believable .

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