Happy Easter : Time to get back to the reasons for faith

After doing some of my usual searches for “proof of Jesus” or “historical accounts of Jesus”, I came across several sites. Some of the sites were obviously atheistic in nature and anti-faith in anything. Of course, they usually explain their faith in nothing to not be a faith but the refusal to buy into a “delusion” as they see it. I have written before on many learned and scholarly people who also fell into this “delusion” and refer the atheist to those folks before they start the name-calling. However, I also came upon several sites listing extra-Biblical accounts of Jesus. While I have heard of them before, I haven’t had so many all in one source. So, here is what I found. Admittedly, I have not vetted this author, and have not purchased the translations or original texts sited; but I have heard of them from professors and other historical professionals, so I feel comfortable re-posting. However, verify the text for yourselves as you can. Happy Easter.

Re-Post from Willie Martin

Historical Proof of Yahshua Outside the Bible

While I am giving an edited version of the original article by Rick Allen, in “The Herald,” May-June, 2002, pp. 15-21; you must keep in mind that it is obvious that Mr. Allen does not know the difference, or understand the Israel Truth; that the Jews ARE NOT ISRAELITES AND THAT THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN NOR ARE THEY NOW ISRAELITES. He does not understand this and so many times he uses Jews because of this ignorance. I have tried to edit out some of them but cannot do so in all instances because he is quoting from some others who didn’t know the Israel Truth at the time either. So keep that in mind while you are reading this.

In today’s world, those who don’t believe Christ was the Son of God outnumber us who do, five to one. The odds against believers in Christ have always been one-sided throughout world history, but here in the United States of America, followers and worshipers of Christ have always been the vast majority of Americans.

Non-Biblical Accounts of Christ

Over the centuries, there have been many different efforts promoted by skeptical secular and religious scholars to explain away the historical existence of Christ of Nazareth. Some said that He never existed; others acknowledged that He existed, but was just another Jewish prophet. In the sixties, liberals said that He used to exits, but now He’s dead. Still others claimed that Christ existed, but He was evil, not righteous. The Jesus Seminar heretics claimed that Christ existed, but was not resurrected and therefore not the Son of God. Last of all, Jewish scholars taught that Christ was a non-historical figure, a hoax, contrived by a group of crafty co-conspirators of the first century.

But if Christ were a hoax, why would the Roman government brutally persecute peaceful followers of a non-historical figure? Why would tens of thousands of first century Christians, who lived within forty years of the “mythical events,” willingly suffer the loss of all possessions and prestige, and be murdered for a myth? Why would Saul of Tarsus, be willing to give up everything and join those whom he had admittedly been persecuting? There are some of the questions that the Christ-was-a-myth theory leaves unanswered.

Obviously, if Christ was a true historical figure, and if He truly was who He and His disciples claimed He was, then there should be historical references to His existence other than the New Testament documents.

I have compiled the following “extra Biblical” (non-Christian) sources to prove the existence of Christ, and corroborate what His apostles said about Him. As we will discover, the skeptic hasn’t a leg to stand on when he argues that Christ was a non-historic figure. These are a few of the numerous historical references to Christ, some as early as the mid first century.

I could have quoted numerous early Christian sources to prove Christ was a historical figure, but I figured the most believed by skeptics would be those sources which were not sympathetic toward Christ or His cause. A source that is either indifferent or antagonistic to Christ or His church could not be accused of bias and, therefore, part of the “evil plot” to create Him as a mythical figure. As we look at these historical references, KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE MEN WERE CHRISTIAN ANTAGONISTS, AND DEFINITELY NOT SYMPATHIZERS WITH CHRIST OR HIS CHURCH.

Flavus Josephus:

Flavus Josephus was born, Joseph ben Matthias, in the year 37 A.D., and died approximately 100 A.D. He was the son of Jewish priest, and eventually became a priest himself, and later a member of the Pharisee sect of Judaism. In 64 A.D., he went to Rome to secure the release of certain priests who had been detained, bu in 67 A.D., during the Jewish revolt against Rome, he was captured. Later he was hired as a scribe and interpreter by the Roman government. At that time he was given the name Flavus Josephus by his Roman associates and wrote under that name.

In 70 A.D., he rode into Jerusalem with the Roman General Titus and observed the annihilation of Jerusalem. Josephus recorded incredibly graphic details about the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as the crucifixion and death of thousands of Jews.

There are three passages in his writings that are pertinent to Christianity. In his, “Antiquities of the Jews,” book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3, Josephus makes a comment about Christ:

“Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named form him, are not extinct at this day.”

Josephus verifies that Christ was a historical figure who was crucified by Pontius Pilate (here Mr. Allen does not understand that the Jews were the ones who crucified Christ, not the Romans) that he had a great following, did miracles and rose from the dead on the third day. He does not attempt to explain away the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, nor does he try to explain away Jesus’ miracles or His resurrection from the dead. Consequently, this is an extremely valuable historical reference to Jesus of Nazareth.

Some anti-Christians have complained that the Greek version of the previous passage was a Christian rendition of what Josephus wrote, but compare it to a complete fourth century Arabic version of “Antiquities of the Jews,” which contains the “Testimonium.” It includes basically the same content as the above text, with a couple of very slight variations. Instead of saying “He was the Christ,” it says, “He was perhaps the Messiah.”

“At this time there was a WISE MAN WHO WAS CALLED JESUS. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. PILATE CONDEMNED HIM TO BE CRUCIFIED and to die. (This Pilate never did, he washed his hands of the affair, and gave Christ over to the Jews to do with Him as they saw fit) And 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.”

This very ancient copy of “Antiquities” increases significantly the reliability that Josephus did, in fact, make historical reference to Jesus of Nazareth. Although there are significant stylistic differences in this Arabic version, the basic elements of the Greek version are preserved in this text. This version can hardly be criticized as a Christian fabrication.

The next passage is also in “Antiquities of the Jews,” book 18, chapter 5, paragraph 2, Josephus states:

“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism (here is another lie, or at least Josephus was misinformed, for John would not baptize the Jews); for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away, [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now, when many others came to crowd about him, for they were greatly moved by hearing his words, Herod, who feared est the great influence of John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not to bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it should be too late.”

Although Jesus is not specifically mentioned in this passage, the portrayal of his forerunner, John the Baptist, is in complete agreement with the record of John in the New Testament. Therefore, the historical reliability of the New Testament overall is further established, To Josephus, John the Baptist was a historical figure. Josephus validates what the Christian New Testament says about John. He was a righteous man who had great popularity among the people and he baptized people for the remission of sins. Almost all historians believe that this is a passage from the original text. It is also in the Arabic version.

The third reference is in “Antiquities of the Jews,” book 20, chapter 9, paragraph 1. This passage includes a reference to the Jewish high priest, Ananius, and “James the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.”

“After the death of the procurator Festus, when Albinus was about to succeed him, THE HIGH PRIEST ANANIUS considered it a favorable opportunity to assemble the Sanhedrin. He therefore cause James THE BROTHER OF JESUS, WHO WAS CALLED CHRIST, and several others, to appear before this hastily assembled council, and pronounced upon them the sentence of death by stoning. All the wise men and strict observers of the law who were at Jerusalem expressed their disapprobation of this act…Some even went to Albinus himself, who had departed to Alexandria, to bring this breach of the law under his observation, and to inform him that Ananius had acted illegally in assembling the Sanhedrin without the Roman authority.”

These three references are considered by the majority of historians to be actually written by Josephus. Professor Shlomo Pines, a well-known Israeli scholar, discusses the fact of Jesus’ historicity and the references to Jesus by Josephus:

“In fact, as far as probabilities go, no believing Christian could have produced such a neutral text: for him the only significant point about it could have been its attesting the historical evidence of Jesus. But the fact is that until modern times this particular hare (i.e., claiming Jesus is a hoax) was never started. EVEN THE MOST BITTER OPPONENTS OF CHRISTIANITY NEVER EXPRESSED ANY DOUBT AS TO JESUS HAVING REALLY LIVED.”

Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger was a tribute and magistrate of ancient Rome during the last half of the 1st Century. Later he became governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, a position he held until his death approximately 113 A.D. He was famous for his books of letters that were a mirror of Roman live during that time. In one of his letters, he wrote:

“THEY (the Christians) 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.”

Pliny later added that Christianity attracted both men and women of all ages and social orders, from the city as well as the country. In a letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny also referred to the teachings of Jesus and His followers as excessive and contagious superstition.

Tacitus

Cornelius Tacitus was born in 55 A.D. He became a senator in the Roman government under Emperor Vespasian. He was eventually promoted to governor of Asia. In his famous work, “Annals.” He wrote in 116 A.D., about the burning of Rome in 64 A.D., and how Caesar Nero had tried to stop the rumor that he had set the fire.

“Therefore, to scotch the rumor (that Nero had burned Rome) Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians CHRISTUS, THE FOUNDER OF THE NAME, HAD UNDERGONE THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE REIGN OF TIBERIUS, BY SENTENCE OF THE PROCURATOR PONTIUS PILATUS, and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to bread out once more, not merely in Jdea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue…

“THEY (the Christians) WERE COVERED WITH WILD BEATS’ SKINS AND TORN TO DEATH BY DOGS; OR THEY WERE FASTENED ON CROSSES, AND, WHEN DAYLIGHT FAILED WERE BURNED TO SERVE AS LAMPS BY NIGHT. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his Circus, mixing with the crowd in the habit of a charioteer, or mounted on his car. Hence, in spite of a guilt which had earned the most exemplary punishment, there arose a sentiment of pity, due to the impression that they were being sacrificed not for the welfare of the state but to the ferocity of a single man.”

(According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Nero had accepted Judaism and had became a Jew before he started burning Christians)

This amazing document verifies that Jesus, or Christus, was a true historical figure, that He lived and was killed during the reign of Caesar Tiberius, that He was sentenced under Pontius Pilate. Tacitus verifies that Christians were viciously tortured by Nero only thirty-two years after the death of Jesus. The historical validity of this letter by Tacitus is doubted by very few scholars. Many of them have stated that Tacitus was:

“UNIVERSALLY CONSIDERED THE MOST RELIABLE OF HISTORIANS, a man in whom sensibility and imagination, though lively, could never spoil a critical sense rare in his time and a great honesty in the examination of the document.”

Think about something here: If these intelligent men and women had not known beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Messiah, do you think they would have allowed themselves to be brutally tortured like this to perpetuate a myth?

Maimonides

Maimonides, a very highly revered thirteenth century Jewish rabbi, wrote a fourteen volume work called the “Mishne Torah,” in which he made multiple references to the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth.

Although he acknowledged Jesus in his writings, the references were derogatory, and the Catholic Church used Maimonides’ work, and his negative references about Jesus, to justify the killing of Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. So in 1631, Catholic and Jewish authorities censored the fourteenth volume, removing all derogatory references to Jesus. Consequently, these references were removed from most of the existing volumes of Maimonides’ writings.

The following excerpt from the uncensored version of the Mishne Torah is another important historical reference to Jesus:

“JESUS OF NAZARETH WHO ASPIRED TO BE MESSIAH and was executed by the court (this was a Jewish court) was also [alluded to] in Daniel’s prophecies (Daniel 11:14), as ‘the vulgar [common] among an attempt of fulfill the vision, but they shall stumble.’ CAN THERE BE A GREATER STUMBLING BLOCK THAN CHRISTIANITY? All the prophets spoke of the Messiah as the Redeemer of Israel and its savior, who would gather their dispersed and strengthen their [observation of] the Mitzot [the commandments]. By contrast, [Christianity] caused the Jews to be slain by the sword, their remnant to be scattered and humbled, the Torah to be altered and the majority of the world to err and serve a god other than the Lord. Nevertheless, the intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend, for his thoughts, our thoughts, [Ultimately], all the deeds of JESUS OF NAZARETH and that Ishmaelite [Mohammed] who arose after him will only serve to prepare the way for the Messiah’s coming and the improvement of the entire world [motivating the nations] to serve God together, as [Zephanah 3:9] states: ‘I will make the peoples pure of speech that they will all call upon the Name of God and serve him with one purpose.’”

Here Maimonides verifies that Jesus of Nazareth was an historical figure, was executed by the Sanhedrin, that He aspired to be the Messiah, that He was referred to in the prophecies of Daniel as one of the sons of the lawless, and that Jesus led many astray.

It is interesting to note that in this passage Maimonides calls Jesus and His Church “a stumbling block.” That’s exactly what Isaiah said the Messiah would become to both houses of Israel:

“He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:14, RSV)

History records that the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus Christ of Nazareth have been a major stumbling block for the Jewish people throughout their entire history, even up until this very day. Through the years, millions of Jews have been persecuted to death because of the curse their forefathers brought upon them as they declared to Pontius Pilate:

“His blood be on us, and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25)

The Roman Papacy, during the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades, and Adolph Hitler, during World War II, used this quote to justify their atrocities against Jews worldwide.

Mara Bar-Scrapion

Mara Bar-Serapion, an impassive Syrian philosopher, wrote the following paragraph in this letter to his son from prison sometime after 70 A.D.

“What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from their EXECUTING THEIR WISE KING? It was just after that their kingdom was abolished.

“God justly avenged these three wise men: The Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statute of Hera. NOR DID THE WISE KING DIE FOR GOOD; HE LIVED ON IN THE TEACHING WHICH HE HAD GIVEN.”

In this letter, Mara Ben Serapion refers to Christ as the “wise King.” He is obviously not a Christian because he places Jesus o a par with Pythagoras and Socrates, so he can hardly be described as biased in his reference to Jesus and the church. Therefore, it is another good historical reference regarding the historicity of Jesus.

Lacian of Samosata

In 170 A.D., Lucan of Samosata, a Greek satirist, wrote a very informative statement in one of his letters regarding how and why the early Christians worshiped the way they did:

“THE CHRISTIANS, YOU KNOW; WORSHIP A MAN TO THIS DAY, THE DISTINGUISHED PERSONAGE WHO INTRODUCED THEIR NOVEL RITES, AND WAS CRUCIFIED ON THAT ACCOUNT…You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then 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. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

This excerpt confirms that Christians worshiped a crucified Israelite (the author says Jewish, because he doesn’t know the difference), that they faced death bravely and that they despised worldly attributes. He attributes this to the fact that Christians believed they were immortal and would spend eternity with God. There are several other non-Christian historical references to Jesus of Nazareth but since space is limited, and I did want to mention rabbinical sources, let’s move on.

Ancient Rabbinical References to Jesus

Of all the ancient historical references to Jesus, the least favorable would naturally be those of rabbinic origin. You wouldn’t think it, but there were actually quite a large number of references to Christ in early rabbinical writings, but usually they referred to Jesus with such phrases as “that one” or “that man” and of course “Ben Stada.” Consequently, some of the references are considered to be unreliable. Lateron, during the Middle Ages and the early renaissance, most of the references to Jesus of Nazareth were removed from the Talmud and Midrash to avoid conflict. (Here the author shows his ignorance of the Talmud, the jews only changed the name of Jesus to Ben Stada)

As you might expect, the remaining references to Jesus are very unflattering. However, they do verify a number of important historical facts that the gospels proclaim regarding Christ. As mentioned earlier by Shlomo Pines, NO ONE DOUBTED THAT JESUS WAS AN HISTORICAL FIGURE UP UNTIL ABOUT 200-300 YEARS AGO. The “Jesus myth” theory was created and perpetuated by atheists and agnostics and quickly embraced by mainstream Judaism during the Renaissance.

In the Babylonian Talmud, which was compiled between the years 200-500 A.D., in Sanhedrin 43a, there is a fascinating reference to Jesus:

“It has been taught: ON THE EVE OF THE PASSOVER, THEY HANGED YESHU [Jesus]. And an announcer went out in the front of him, for forty days saying ‘he is going to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray.’ Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.’ But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the Eve of the Passover.”

This is considered to be one of the most reliable rabbinical references to Jesus (“Yeshu”). This passage verifies that Jesus of Nazareth was an historical figure, that He was crucified on the Eve of the Passover and that he did Miracles. The supernatural miraculous events surrounding the life of Jesus were not denied here, but verified, even if the writer did try to explain them away as demonic sorceries.

In his “History of the Talmud” Michael Rodkinson, on page 70, states:

“Is the literature that Jesus was familiar with in his early years yet in existence in the world? Is it possible for us to get at it? Can we ourselves review the ideas, the statements, the modes of reasoning and thinking, on moral and religious subjects, which were current in his time, and must have been evaluated by him during those thirty silent years when he was pondering his future mission (Christ, during these thirty years, had sailed to England with His uncle, Joseph of Armatheia, where He built the first church in England. It is known today as Glastonbury and the land it sits on has never been taxed by the British Government. The Jews tried to destroy it many years ago, but failed. Although badly damaged it still stands today)? To such inquiries the learned class of Jewish rabbis answer by holding up The Talmud…and the question becomes, therefore, an interesting one to every Christian. What is the Talmud? The Talmud, then, is the written form of that which, in the time of Christ, was called the Traditions of the Elders and to which he makes frequent allusions.”

According to Jewish law it is illegal to perform capital punishment on the Eve of the Passover. However, this record verifies something that we wouldn’t expect to find in a rabbinical source, the fact that the Sanhedrin acted illegally in condemning and crucifying Jesus on Passover. Consequently, this reference is even more valuable in terms of validating the historicity of Jesus. Certainly, if any passage should have been edited from the Talmud, it should have been this one. The fact that a passage which points out an illegal action was retained in the Talmud makes it a credible and valuable source for the historicity of Jesus.

The Nag Hammadi Library

In 1945, 13 leather-bound codices were found near Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt. They contained a library of about 50 documents written by several Gnostic-Christian leaders of the first three centuries, like Valentinus, Saturnius, and others. Their sole purpose for writing these documents was to forge a Gnostic-Christian library of pseudo-gospel accounts, full of false information about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Although the information contained in these Gnostic-Christian writings is packed full of lies and innuendoes about Jesus, they are strong evidence against those who doubt Jesus’ authenticity. Since many of these documents contain references to Jesus and what He taught, they obviously strongly support the fact that Jesus was considered to be the Messiah, and a charismatic leader of the Christian Church.

Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons in France in 180 A.D., is commonly considered by all legitimate Christian scholars to be the greatest of all of the Christian Apologist of the early Christian Church. He wrote many volumes about the authentic Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and what He and His apostles really taught. IN HIS WRITINGS, MANY TIMES HE REFERRED TO THE WRITING OF THESE GNOSTIC-CHRISTIAN “HERETICS,” AND THE “UNSPEAKABLE NUMBER OF APOCRYPHAL AND SPURIOUS WRITINGS, WHICH THEY THEMSELVES [the heretics] HAD FORGED, TO BEWILDER THE MINDS OF THE FOOLISH. Origin, a third century apologist wrote,

“The Church possesses four Gospels, heresy a great many.”

The author did not include the following letters from Pilate to Caesar:

There are those who say that the Scriptures are the only record of Christ’s travels on this earth. But that is not true, it is totally false there is a historical record of Christ and it is found in the Archoko Volume in The Congressional Library in Washington, D.C., which contains an OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT RECORD OF Pilate’s correspondences, which records a meeting he had with Jesus Christ. Plate stated on pages 137‑139:

“To Tiberius Caesar, Emperor of Rome Noble Sovereign, Greetings: ‘…Among various rumors that came to my ears there was one in particular that came to my attention. A young man it was said, and appeared in Galilee preaching with noble unction a new law in the name of the God who sent him. At first I was apprehensive that his design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled.

“Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a fried of the Romans than as a friend of the Jews. One day in passing by the place of Siloe, where there was a great concourse of people, I observed in the midst of the group a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected, so great was the difference between him and those who listened to him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance an almost celestial aspect. He appeared to be about thirty years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between he and his hearers with their black beards and tawny complexions!…

“Never have I heard in the words of the philosopher, any thing that can compare with the maxims of Jesus. One of the rebellious Jews, so numerous in Jerusalem, asked Jesus if it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, he replied: ‘Render unto Caesar the things which belong to Caesar, and unto God the things which are God’s…

“I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with him at the praetorium and he came.”

Think now for a moment on your own, without having some Judeo‑Christian preacher tell you that this is fantasy. What would be so strange in this? Even though this meeting is not recorded in the Gospels, we know for a fact, that MOST of what Christ did during His three years of public ministry was never recorded. (See John 21:25)

Pilate’s report to Caesar continues:

“You know that in my veins flows the Spanish mixed with Roman blood…When the Nazarene made his appearance, I was walking in my basilic, and my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement, and I trembled in every limb as does a guilty culprit, though the Nazarene was as calm as innocence itself. When he came up to me and stopped, and by a signal sign seemed to say to me, ‘I am here!’ though he spoke not a word. For some time I contemplated with admiration and awe, this extraordinary type of man, a type unknown to our numerous painter…There was nothing about him that was repelling in its character and I felt awed and tremulous to approach him.

“Jesus, I said to him at last, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, for the last three years I have granted you ample freedom of speech (it is not recorded anywhere, either in the Gospels, or Roman historical records, that the Romans ever attempted to suppress Christ’s ministry) nor do I regret it. Your words are those of a sage. I know not whether you have read Socrates or Plato, but this I know, there is in your discourse a majestic simplicity that elevates you above those philosophers…’your blood shall not be spilled,’ I said, with deep emotion, ‘you are more precious in my estimation on account of your wisdom than all the turbulent and proud Pharisees who abuse the freedom granted them by Rome. They conspire against Caesar, and convert his bounty into fear, impressing on the unlearned that Caesar is a tyrant who seeks their ruin…I will protect you against them. My praetorium shall be an asylum both day and night.’

“I am your obedient servant, Pontius Pilate.”

You can accept these letters, as I do, since it makes sense, or dismiss it as most of your preachers and church Bible scholars will do. Think for yourself! Doesn’t it make sense to you that the Jews would try and suppress this truth, since they were the ones who crucified Him?

And we have the testimony of Josephus in his volumes on the history of the Jew. There are many more documents that could be presented but if this does not suffice they would not either, even if they were thousands of pages long.

Conclusion

The above historical and archeological evidence proves, without the Bible, the existence of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His Gospel Message. Every year the evidence, that Jesus is who He claimed to be, mounts. We know from this information that, at the very least, He was an important historical figure who preached that men should live a moral life. Also, the world needs to consider something else; Jesus also claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Creator of Earth and all life on it.

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