Did Jesus Really Live?
Some might want to conclude that Jesus never really lived. However, Otto Betz in What Do We Know about Jesus? concluded: “No serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus.” The following quotes from secular history show the truth of that statement.
- Cornelius Tacitus (Roman historian—AD 112)—“Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities, Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate.”
- Lucian (Satirist of the Second Century)—Referred to Christ as “the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.”
- Flavius Josephus (Jewish historian of the First Century)—“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and then thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day.”
- Seutonius (Roman historian—AD 120)—“As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [another spelling of Christ], he expelled them from Rome.”
- Pliny the younger (Governor of Bithnyia in Asia Minor—AD 112)—“They affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to do any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it.”
- Letter of Mara Bar-Serapion (in a letter written from prison to his son—AD 73)—“What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their King? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished.”
This Bible class was originally taught by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.