[quote=“Section VII of http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Miracle”]We read that the people, seeing the things which He did, followed Him in crowds (Matt., iv., 25), to the number of 5000 (Luke, ix, 14), so that He could not enter the cities, and His fame spread from Jerusalem through Syria (Matt., iv, 24). His reputation was so great that the chief priests in council speak of Him as one who “cloth many miracles” (John, xi, 47), the disciples at Emmaus as the “prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people” (Luke, xxiv, 19), and St. Peter describes Him to Cornelius as the wonderworking preacher (Acts, x, 38). Out of the great mass of miraculous events surrounding our Lord’s person, the Evangelists made a selection. True, it was impossible to narrate all (John, xx, 30).
Are these statements true? Certainly Luke 9 numbers the crowd at “about five thousand.” Wouldn’t such attention have attracted the attention of extra-biblical document writers? Roman authorities? What extra-biblical sources mention Jesus? If there are none, why not? How can people today argue that Jesus never existed? I don’t see anyone arguing that other historical figures never existed.
I have the following books on my reading list. Are there any others, or others I should read first?
*]Jesus Outside the New Testament by Robert E. Van Voorst
*]Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament by F. F. Bruce