Why do non-believers claim there's no other writings about Jesus?

Many non-believers will claim that if Jesus had such an impact on humanity and on the Jewish people, there should be at least some other writings/multiple writings about Him* “aside from the Bible.”*

Such a statement is a bit ignorant, but I wonder if the people who make such remarks know what the books of the New Testament actually are? I feel that most who say such things must think that the entire New Testament is just one book, when in fact the NT is a compilation of many books. Not to mention, there are still many books outside of the Bible (uninspired, however) that talk about Jesus too. Doesn’t the fact that there are multiple writings of Jesus (and yes, even outside of the Bible) refute their claims that there are none?

Those certain non believers probably haven’t even done any research or have looked at the evidence.

:mad: - be nice…

There is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews… and all the bible books were written long after Christianity was started.

First google hit for your question:


How is the OP being mean?

It’s not just “non-believers” who note there are no other early writings…it’s believers, too.
That is because it is a fact.
As far as we know, there is no written mention of Jesus by name in a non-christian source for decades after he died. I think the first mention is a couple of paragraphs by Josephus in 94AD, sixty years later, in his Antiquities of the Jews.
(tho many scholars believe some of the words were added later and not authentic).

I think the point of many is that they are surprised that others did not make any mention of someone performing miracles and returning to life after death post-crucifixion etc in their writings for over sixty years…and so little by Joseph, especially surprising because Jesus was Jewish and he was writing about their history.


“ignorant” - why did op ask a question using a word like this? :shrug:

Instead of taking a position of nonbelievers are ignorant while asking a question I would suggest some humility.

Those who witnessed Jesus do miracles were non-believers before they witnessed one of His miracles and a believer afterward. Here’s a question. Other than Jesus, why hasn’t any other man in history, even to this day, been able to convince witnesses that he can walk on water, raise the dead, and heal anyone of any disease or deformity instantly by will?

Why should there be? At the time, most people who could write would have considered him just another crackpot. It was rising from the dead that got people’s attention. There are plenty of writings about the Christians who judged the evidence to be convincing enough to die for.

It is entirely possible that the OP was using word “ignorant” in it’s true sense rather than the the more recent common interpretation.

That is contentious. There are sound arguments that the earliest books of the NT were written before 40AD, with the first gospel being Mark, in 45AD, and that most were written before 70AD, with the works of John (gospel, letters, Revelations) being written in the 90’s.

Here’s a source: Dating of the New Testament Books

I am not an expert on this, so I won’t vouch for particulars, however that source agrees, overall, with my previous reading on the subject.

Writing thirty years after the event (ie. 60AD) is nothing. I could easily write a true account of things I witnessed in the mid-1980’s, and this would be especially true in a society were books and writing were expensive, with most stories being passed on orally. Even Homer was not written down until hundreds (?) of years after he composed.

While there were no early historical accounts of Christ himself, there were early accounts of Christians. From memory, these were at least as early as 65AD (?) with Nero’s persecution.

So, the earliest historical account of Jesus is the witness of his followers.

I think he would have wanted that way. :slight_smile:

I couldn’t have put better.

The way I read OP’s question is for sources other than scripture… making a claim that New Testament apocrypha should be considered as contemporary prof.

The answer for me is that much of the ideas and stories in apocrypha sources directly contradict Catholic thought. If you use them as a valid source for the existence of Jesus then you will need to deal with their ideas. Indeed several of these books seem to predate Mark and do not claim the divinity of Jesus. There are strong reasons these books and writings were excluded.

There are no non-scripture sources available for a very long time… we know a lot about that time from Roman and other sources. Someone actually performing the miracles claimed in the NT and then rising from the dead would have been noted by the ancient sources.

But I guess I’m just ignorant.

Lots of people choose to die for their religious or other belief system… even today. Look up Heaven’s Gate. People choosing death for a belief is not prof that their belief is true.

People associated with Heaven’s Gate chose death due to indoctrination and brainwashing, which is not proof of their belief being true. Correct.

People associated with Jesus, grown men who were not indoctrinated, died for something they witnessed, not something they were brought up with. Some of those men dying for the very belief system they once persecuted. Would’ve had to take a strong experience to get such a person to go from persecuting Christianity to dying for it, wouldn’t you say? I’m talking about St. Paul here.

Wasn’t there a Roman soldier by the name of Cornelius Tacitus who recorded Jesus’ trial and execution?

Aren’t there other “gospel books” (Book of Enoch, etc.) that didn’t make it into the Bible that spoke of Jesus, His miracles, His words and works, etc? I’m not sure some of those are Christian, but they certainly speak of Jesus and His works.

Certainly this refutes your statement that there are no other writings about Jesus that didn’t come from Christians?



All of Jesus’ activities while He was alive happened in a small faraway province of the Roman Empire. As if historians of that time would write about such a man who died an ignoble death!

Tacitus wrote in the early 2nd century so he wasn’t a contemporary of Jesus.

Tacitus was born in 56AD.
He mentions Christians and a “Christus” in a few paragraphs in his Annals…which he wrote in 116 AD.


It’s interesting that people want first of second generation documentation of Jesus “aside from the Bible.” That would be like asking for first of second generation documentation of Roman Emperors “aside from the Roman Senatorial Class.” There is no such documentation for the Emperors of Rome, so why should anyone demand such documentation for a persecuted Jew who commanded no more than a small band of disciples and died on a Roman cross?

Consider the Roman Emperor Nero. For fourteen years (from AD 54 to 68), Nero Caesar was the flippin’ Emperor of the Roman Empire. With a reign spanning fourteen years, his reign was among the longest of the Roman Caesars. He was, without a doubt, the most powerful and influential man in the entire world for fourteen years. He ruled the greatest empire on earth for fourteen years. You have heard of him. All of your friends have heard of him. Everybody with a high-school education has heard of him. Are you following me so far? Good.

Can you cite anybody who actually knew Nero Caesar who wrote about him? What about someone who knew someone who knew Nero Caesar. Can you cite me such a name? What about someone - ANYONE - who even lived during Nero’s lifetime, who ever wrote about him? What about someone - ANYONE - who KNEW anyone who lived during Nero’s lifetime? The man was the EMPEROR of Rome for fourteen years! Surely there is SOMEBODY.

You cannot cite any such source. And, notice that I have not imposed some idea that the sources must NOT be Roman citizens (as some insist on non-Christian historians who wrote about Jesus, because, apparently, Christian historians who write about Jesus are presumed to be unreliable, but Roman historians who write about Nero are presumed to be reliable, even though there WERE no such Roman historians).

The “most contemporary” historian to write about the Emperor of the Roman Empire for fourteen years wrote about 100 years after Nero’s death. The next closest “contemporary” authors (all of - ahem - two of them) wrote fifty years later (about 150 years after Nero’s death). 150 years after the death of the most powerful man in the world, we have all of three historical accounts. All written by Romans. All were of the Senatorial class.

The scant three authors who wrote about Nero between 100-150 years after his death were Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, who were all members of the Roman Senatorial caste. I have no idea who was the first non-Roman historian to write about Nero, but I think I am safe in assuming that it was a LONG time later.

Jesus is FAR better attested to in the historic record than the Emperor Nero. But nobody questions Nero’s historic authenticity.

Really? Tacitus was a teenager during Nero’s “The Antichrist” reign. Your statement above is simply ridiculous. There are tons of official contemporary writings from across Asia and Africa. Just Wiki it and look at the source list.

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