Did Jews in Jesus time see Jesus?

Did Jews in Jesus time see Jesus?

If we can trust the Gospel accounts and I believe we can, thousands of Jews not only saw Jesus but also witnessed his miracles.

The Jewish Historian Josephus mentions Jesus in his writings.

Mary and Joseph were Jews! I wouldn’t be surprised if more Jews than any other group saw Jesus during His life.

Jesus was a Jew. His family saw Him, His apostles saw Him, and 500 saw Him after His resurrection.

You mean physically see him, or see him for who he was, the son of God?

If we can trust the Gospel accounts and I believe we can, thousands of Jews not only saw Jesus but also witnessed his miracles.

I mean did other historical documents mention Jesus?

We have reports that mention Jesus and the Christians from people who were at least contemporaries of the Apostles.

Tacitus (AD 54-119)
We possess at least the testimony of Tacitus for the statements that the Founder of the Christian religion, a deadly superstition in the eyes of the Romans, had been put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate under the reign of Tiberius; that His religion, though suppressed for a time, broke forth again not only throughout Judea where it had originated, but even in Rome, the conflux of all the streams of wickedness and shamelessness; furthermore, that Nero had diverted from himself the suspicion of the burning of Rome by charging the Christians with the crime; that these latter were not guilty of arson, though they deserved their fate on account of their universal misanthropy. Tacitus, moreover, describes some of the horrible torments to which Nero subjected the Christians (Ann., XV, xliv). The Roman writer confounds the Christians with the Jews, considering them as a especially abject Jewish sect; how little he investigated the historical truth of even the Jewish records may be inferred from the credulity with which he accepted the absurd legends and calumnies about the origin of he Hebrew people (Hist., V, iii, iv).

Suetonius (A.D. 75-160)

Another Roman writer who shows his acquaintance with Christ and the Christians is Suetonius. It has been noted that Suetonius considered Christ (Chrestus) as a Roman insurgent who stirred up seditions under the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54): “Judaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes (Claudius) Roma expulit” (Clau., xxv). In his life of Nero he regards that emperor as a public benefactor on account of his severe treatment of the Christians: “Multa sub eo et animadversa severe, et coercita, nec minus instituta . . . . afflicti Christiani, genus hominum superstitious novae et maleficae” (Nero, xvi). The Roman writer does not understand that the Jewish troubles arose from the Jewish antagonism to the Messianic character of Jesus Christ and to the rights of the Christian Church.

Pliny the Younger

Of greater importance is the letter of Pliny the Younger to the Emperor Trajan (about A.D. 61-115), in which the Governor of Bithynia consults his imperial majesty as to how to deal with the Christians living within his jurisdiction. On the one hand, their lives were confessedly innocent; no crime could be proved against them excepting their Christian belief, which appeared to the Roman as an extravagant and perverse superstition. On the other hand, the Christians could not be shaken in their allegiance to Christ, Whom they celebrated as their God in their early morning meetings (Ep., X, 97, 98). Christianity here appears no longer as a religion of criminals, as it does in the texts of Tacitus and Suetonius; Pliny acknowledges the high moral principles of the Christians, admires their constancy in the Faith (pervicacia et inflexibilis obstinatio), which he appears to trace back to their worship of Christ (carmenque Christo, quasi Deo, dicere).

Josephus (AD 37-94) The earliest non-christian writer who mentions Jesus. A Jewish historian.
“About this time appeared Jesus, a wise man (if indeed it is right to call Him man; for He was a worker of astonishing deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with joy), and He drew to Himself many Jews (many also of Greeks. This was the Christ.) And when Pilate, at the denunciation of those that are foremost among us, had condemned Him to the cross, those who had first loved Him did not abandon Him (for He appeared to them alive again on the third day, the holy prophets having foretold this and countless other marvels about Him.) The tribe of Christians named after Him did not cease to this day.”

  • Josephus, Antiquities XVIII, iii, 3

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