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What is the historical evidence for Jesus?

Full Question

What is the historical evidence for Jesus?

Answer

First, the nearly 2,000-year existence of Christianity, which has undeniably been a significant part of world history for the last two millennia, must be recognized as valid testimony to the existence of Jesus. Next, the main written historical accounts of Jesus are found in the New Testament, primarily the Gospels. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms,

The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up. (CCC 126)

Additionally, many ancient secular writers such as Josephus and Pliny the Younger left evidence of Jesus’ existence.










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12 comments

  1. Eric Reply

    That was disappointingly brief =(

    1. Atheists Unite Reply

      Well that’s because nothing left gave any actual credibility to the existence of God, only that some charlatan maybe once existed who claimed he was.

  2. Silvano Reply

    As a general rule of understanding in Archelogy and History, something or someone becomes a reality (and till then only a mith or a legend at best) if we have three things:
    1. The person or event or thing is present in three different cultures of that time, independent from one another.
    2. If we have three different written documents, affirming his or its existance, written by three different sources not of the same nation.
    3. If we have three different artifacts or monuments or something similar, like walls of a city or something like that, that clearly make a reference to what is deemed to be part of History or not.
    I remember that when I was a child, in the 60’s, the New Testaments had a page or two, where the number of such things were listed for Jesus and other History personalities. I do not have the list with me, but I remember to feel happy about that Jesus, the Christ, had 60 such documents, and the second on the list was Julius Cesar, with only 20 and so on. So, if we consider Julius Cesar to be an historical figure, there is nothing wrong in accepting the historical reality of Jesus. But apart from childhood memory, do we have those 3 things as above?

    1. The person or event or thing is present in three different cultures of that time.
    1.1. We all know that the jewish people talk about Jesus as a good man, but definitely not the long awaited Messiah.
    1.2. The Romans knew Jesus, called the Christ
    1.3. The Greeks also knew about Him.
    and many others like the Arabs, the Abyssinians, the Armenians, who became the first kingdom to officially recognise Jesus as God embrace His teaching.

    So the first condition is met.

    2. If we have three different written documents, affirming his or its existance, written by three different sources not of the same nation.
    2.1. The Gospels, written by Jewish people of the time
    2.2. The letters to the Emperor of Plinus the Young
    2.3. The official report of Jesus’s trial and crucifixion of the Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate
    and many more reports adn emperial findings, that eventually caused the persecution of jesus’s followers

    With these we have also the second condition met.

    3. If we have three different artifacts or monuments or something similar, like walls of a city or something like that, that clearly make a reference to what is deemed to be part of History or not.
    3.1 The paintings in the catacombes, depicting Jesus as the Good Shepperd, as the Pelican, as the FISH
    3.2 The early church buildings in Lebanon (Mount Carmelo) and in Spain (Campustella)
    3.3. The relics of the Cross, discovered by the mother of the Emperor Costantine, a pagan, with the result that the Roman Empire recognised the relics for true historical objects.
    not to mention the cloth of Saint Veronica, depicting the face of Jesus, the painting found in the Emperor’s palace in Rome (Domus Aurea), in which Jesus is crucified, but Jesus has a donkey face, with the inscript “this is the God the the Christians worship”.

    And so we also have the third condition covered.

    From an accademic point of view, archeologically and historically speaking, Jesus is proven to have exhisted as a founder of a new religion, to say the least.

    I hope that will satisfy the readers, and especiallly Eric, who wanted to know more.

  3. Ashwani Reply

    ashwani Testing

  4. Atheists Unite Reply

    I think even a hard core atheist can concede that a historical figure once existed and claimed to be the son of God and was even crucified on the cross for his delusional belief.

    However nothing left gave any actual credibility to the existence of God, only that some charlatan maybe once existed who claimed he was.

    Later stories handed down like Chinese whispers recounted stories that were finally put to paper many years later, further reducing the credibility of the biblical recounting of such events….

    So basically the bible is nothing more than Chinese Whispers of a recounting of a mentally deranged man who thought he was the son of a God (no unlike Hercules, cept he was way cooler 😉

    1. Silvano Reply

      Dear Atheist unite,
      if you classified, for not saying “judged” this man of ours, called Jesus, as a delusional or even mentally deranged man for saying that He is the son of God, you give away that, even if you call yourself Atheists Unite, you do believe in God, because you call this person that says that He is the son of God, crazy. If for you God did not exist, it would be not a crazy idea to call oneself son of God, don’t’ you agree? Further, since you said that He must have been crazy for calling Himself the son of God, how can a crazy person, a mentally deranged man deliver such highly exquisite doctrine of love one another, of gentleness, of understanding in so many different ways and moments in His short life, and all of them are coherent to the max? A crazy person or a mentally deranged man cannot achieve that, and I am sure you agree on that. His personal charisma, His gentleness towards the children, the sick, the needy, the people with broken lives and hearts speak of a person with ideas and feelings far superior to Gandhi, to Mother Teresa, to Socrates, to Buddha, to George Washington, just to mention a few, or do you call all of these people crazy too?
      If you do, than there is a very old saying from ancient Greece: “It takes a donkey to recognize a donkey”. On the other hand, if you say that in order to deliver such a doctrine and way of life with such a charismatic way to change the whole world, changing the Roman Empire in 300 years, and 3 billion out of 7 billion people believe in Jesus as per today, after only 2000 years, He cannot be classified as crazy, or mentally deranged, or delusional, but a man with a good, solid, sound mind. If He is a man with a good, solid, sound mind, then what He said is true, and when He said that he is the son of God, well, then He is, which implies that there is a God. Of the 7 billion people on earth 3 billion believe in that God that Jesus is son of. Another 1 and half billion believe that Jesus is a man sent by God, and the rest of the 7 billion believe in another God, of whom Jesus got nothing to do with. Only 5% of humans do not believe in God, they call themselves “Atheists”, but one day, this very tiny small rest of humans will also believe that there is a God, just like you. God is awaiting you with love and open arms, just like in the story of the prodigal son, and soon or later you too, just like him, will smile at Him and say: yes, my God, I have returned home”.

    2. Lea Leger Reply

      If you dont believe in God, then where you came from?? you came from a fish or monkey?

    3. Monica Robinson Reply

      Did you come here being an atheist to try to prove a point or to dissuade us true believers? I just don’t understand why an atheist would put himself in the mix with us.

  5. kefa simiyu Reply

    a fool says to himself ,’there is no God ‘ . I believe the calendar and any other form of dating clearly reads Before Christ (BC) ,In The Year Of Our Lord or Anno Domino (AD) e.g this year is AD 2015 . Has anybody ever questioned himself / herself where he was before being conceived in the womb ? The moment you will get a noble answer to that , just know that Jesus is God , the Lord , Master , Christ , the Word through whom everything that was and is was created . Without Him nothing is that ever is . Lord Jesus Christ make me clean from my sins that I may render not defiling accusations against anything that surpasses my limited human comprehension . Grant me the fervency , severity of your grace that I may know and live according to the purpose you created me for .

  6. Lisa Bucaro Reply

    I think atheist unite is searching for answers himself. Let’s pray for him and hope that he discovers the love of Christ before it’s too latee for his soul.

  7. Glenda Thornton Reply

    I know God is real because I put Him and the Bible to the test and He proved Himself to me. God has answered so many of my prayers, mostly very specific ones and coincidence doesn’t even come into it. Also I have actually physically felt Gods love. He is alive and works in my life, everyday, helping me, answering my prayers, revealing things to me so I understand them, and doing all sorts of things too many to list here. I have seen Him working the same way in hundreds of other peoples lives too. But its like jumping out of a plane – if you don’t actually do it you will never really know what its like. The rewards of believing in God are so great. God is so good and Im so grateful to Jesus for what He did so I can have access to God and His goodness. 🙂

  8. Debra Volpi Reply

    That’s why it’s called FAITH. Period.

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