This article is actually an open letter to Robert B. But the information in it, and questions and issues are of “eternal soul” importance, so it needs to be published for all to read and heed. I am certain that there are skeptics and unbelievers who will read this, who have the same questions Robert asked me. Mr. B asked, “How do you know and is there any proof that Jesus Christ actually existed?” Of course quoting scripture to a skeptic will be of no use. So after this one scriptural reference, we will only use historical writings concerning Christ. Psalms 14:1 says “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God”.
There is no possible way that I can reference the many historical writers that wrote about the existence of a man named Jesus or Yahshua the Christ. So I will just refer to and quote three very well known historians that are recognized and lauded as extremely reliable sources. Please keep in mind that all sources quoted were not followers of Christ. As a matter of fact, at best they thought he was a fraud, and at least one “hated” him and his followers. We will briefly reference a few other writers also, just to provide further evidence of existence of Jesus Christ.
The three historians we are going to mostly concentrate on are Josephus, Tacitus and Lucian.
We will start with the well-known Josephus, a Jewish priest who grew up as an Aristocrat in first century Palestine and ended up living in Rome. He was a commander in Galilee as part of the first Jewish revolt against Rome. In order to understand more about Josephus, after the revolt was put down, Josephus desired to remain true to his Jewish beliefs and at the same time align himself with the Roman Emperor. In other words, he tried to play both sides.
In one of his writings, “The Jewish War”, he mentioned Jesus as the brother of James. (Mt. 13:55)
The following is a quote from this “historian’s” writing of “history”. Being therefore this kind of person (i.e. a heartless Sadducee), Ananus, thinking that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus had died and Albinus was still on his way, called a meeting (literally “Sanhedrin”) of judges and brought into it the brother of JESUS-WHO-IS-CALLED-MESSIAH. You can find the rest of this statement if you have the desire and willingness.
In another statement in Josephus’s writings he wrote while in Rome in the year 93 A.D. in his history of the Jews: “about this time there lived JESUS, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man, for he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross. Those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels by him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.” Now bear in mind, Josephus was not a fan or follower of Jesus.
Now we will take a look at another well-recognized and accepted historian named Tacitus, or more formally Gaius Cornelius Tacitus or Publius. Tacitus was a Roman senator, orator and stenographer, and arguably the best of Roman historians. In his last major work titled “Annals” he mentions a “Christus” (i.e. Christ!) who was executed by Pontius Pilate from whom the Christians derived their name.
One more historian that has been proven more than reliable is Lucian of Samosata who was a Greek satirist who wrote “The Passions of Peregrims.” In this writing Lucian scorned Christ and His followers. He mocked their beliefs of eternal life and that they all “thought” themselves brothers and sisters. He also called Christ the “crucified sophist.” “Sophist” was a derisive term used for cheats or for teachers who only taught for money. Lucian despised Christians and especially despised “the man who was crucified“. It is amazing that he would hate a man who never existed! And those who believed in Him?! Amazing huh?
In closing, we will refer to a few more historians briefly.
- Celus, the Platonist Philosopher, considered Jesus to be a magician who made exorbitant claims.
- Plineg the Younger, a Roman governor and friend of Tacitus, wrote about early Christian worship of Christ “as to god.“
- Suetonius, a Roman writer, lawyer and historian, wrote of riots in 49 c.e. among Jews in Rome which might have been about Christus/Christ.
- Lastly, Mara bar Serapion, a prisoner of war held by the Romans, wrote a letter to his son that described “the wise Jewish king” in a way that seems to indicate Jesus.
So ,Robert B., and all others who wanted, “secular” proof of Jesus Christ actually and literally lived and walked the earth, there is more than enough evidence presented in this article. If you still are unwilling to accept the facts and truth about Jesus Christ , the son of, Almighty God and Saviour of all who believe on Him, then the following scriptures are for you. (Ps. 14:1, John 3:17, 19)
Also this will be my last remark to Mr. Robert B., unless Mr. B. wants to reason online with Biblical and historical facts and truths. For me to continue to cast the truth before foolish men is not only a waste of time on my part, but it can also prove me a fool. (Mt. 7:6, Prov. 14:7, 17:10, 23:19, 24:7, 29:9) In this open letter or article, I have fulfilled my duty to my Heavenly Father in warning foolish men and offering them salvation through Jesus Christ our Savior.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Butch Paugh
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