Recently, I have seen some individuals make a very troubling claim: Jesus (the Christ/of Nazareth) is a fable. Didn’t exist. Totally made up. I have heard of evidences for Jesus’s existence (i.e. Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, the Jewish Talmud etc.), as well as rational reasons why the Gospels present historical evidence for his existence. Do any of you have other sources for the existence of Jesus Christ, or that defend the historicity of the Holy Scriptures? I would love that (I am sorry if I posted on the wrong forum). Thank you, and God bless.
You can start with the link below.
Keep in mind that a person who can come to the conclusion that Jesus did not exist would suffer from the same delusions as seen in holocaust denial. It might not even be worth having a dialogue with them.
You might want to ask them what kind of evidence would satisfy them. I would imagine anything short of DNA samples from bone would not be acceptable to them. However, tell them that Jesus rose from the dead so no such evidence is available. These are the same sort of skeptics that latch onto any "findings"of Jesus having a wife or children. Basically they are looking for any reason to discredit the catholic faith.
The historian Eusebius in his Church history, 4.3, 1.2, tells us that writing about 123 A.D., apologist Quadratus cited those in his day who had been cured or raised from the dead by Jesus of Nazareth – prime witnesses – long after the miracles, crucifixion and death of the Son of God. No other religious founder claimed to be God and proved it – not Mohammed of Islam, not in Hinduism, not in Buddhism, not in Taoism, not in Confucianism.
His miracles “were so frequent, the eyewitnesses so numerous, and the evidence so stark, that not even Christ’s enemies disputed the fact of their occurrence. Instead they ascribed them to the power of the devil, or defied Him to perform another one in His own favour.” (See Mt 12:24; 27:39-42; Jn 11:47). Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, Sheehan/Joseph, Saint Austin Press, 2001, p 104].
Here are a bunch of articles, some pro, some contra. from Strange Notions.
But you really only have to be sure of yourself, its pretty hard to convence a doubter and hardly worth the effort. They may eventually believe but most likely it won’t be because of some argument you have given. It will probably be because God is working a miracle in their lives
Non Christian Jewish evidence that mentions Jesus within 150 years of his death
Extra Biblical Christian evidence that mentions Jesus within 150 years of his death
*]2 Clement from anon author
*]Letter to Philippians from Polycarp
*]Melito of Sardis
Secular or pagan sources that mention Jesus within 150 years of his death
*]Roman historian Tacitus
*]Rome politcian Pliny the Younger
*]Roman philosopher Celsus
*]Prisoner Mara Bar-Serapion whose text is in a British Museum
New Testament books that mention Jesus
[list]*]Epistle to the Ephesians
Superb list! Thank you
Skeptics say that this is the development of a “legend” like that of Hercules. Especially since the writings were what 30 years after His death. They say a lot can happen in a generation and if the news were so important why not written sooner? Thoughts.
For most of the early years Christians were persecuted and much of their evangelization was carried out in hiding. It makes sense that not much was written early on, or that much of what was written was destroyed.
What doesn’t make sense is that an anti Christian zealot like Saul, who hunted down and killed Christians, would convert.
For those that want to deny, there is no convincing, but there is about the same amount of “proof” of Jesus’ existence as most historical figures from that time frame. One comparison that is often made is Socrates. We only know of Socrates’ existence from what is said in the writings of his followers (primarily Plato). Socrates himself left no writings, and there is no undeniable historical “proof” that he existed. But we believe he existed because of the writings of his disciples and because of the movement he inspired/founded. We know of Jesus the same way. There may be a few radical historians that doubt a historical Socrates, just as there are a few that doubt a historical Jesus, but most historians agree that both were real people.
Great point about Saul/Paul and his past vs future.
Good question. Any other answers?
I don’t think one can use Paul’s conversion as evidence of Jesus’s existence (if that is what is being implied) since Paul never met Jesus and converted after having a vision.
If anyone is interested, PM me for a link to a recent, academically-published, peer-reviewed work which argues that there may be reason to doubt Jesus’s historical existence.
I’m interested in a “peer reviewed” work that contradicts every encyclopedia on the planet regarding the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure.:shrug:
Scholars are a dime a dozen these days. You should not be impressed by the appellation.
You have to actually read what they write and make your own judgement. Group-think doesn’t cut it anymore.
All of the ancients texts are available online in searchable database form. Source analysis is likewise open to all and in many languages.
That is actually a GREAT development in the long run.
No one gets by on reputation- they have to show what they got and how they got it.
It’s a new world.
the early christians spoke through word of mouth first before it went down in writing. I’m guessing not all of Jesus followers knew how to write so they passed on orally
Consider the five historians that record Alexander the Great did not live until far after his life. Alexander the Great is said to have been born in July 356 BC and died in June 323 BC. When we look at the five historians who recorded Alexander the Great, we see that Justin (Roman historian) live sometime between the first and third century AD. Curtis lived in the 1st Century AD, Diodorus lived between BC 90 - BC 30, Plutarch lived between 45 AD and 120 AD, and Arrian lived between 92 AD and 175 AD.
Does this mean Alexander the Great was a legend? If such an important person in that time period wasn’t documented until centuries later - why would the contemporary writers have spent their time writing about some peasant preacher from Galilee?
While I am not doubting any of the claims of Jesus, believe me, I think the argument back is that it’s not that Jesus the person is a “legend” but that His actions became more “legendary” with the writing of each Gospel. Again, I believe 110% of the Gospels, I’m just in these discussions with some atheists who discredit the miracles of Our Lord based on the timeline and “growth” of Scriptures from Mark (least data) -->Matthew/Luke (more data).
Doesn’t prove that the Gospels are not true, just gives them reason to disbelieve that Jesus is who He claims to be.