Bible: Was Jesus Really A Historical Person?
By Alice Henry
March 25, 2016 9:33am CST
The Bible certainly shows that Jesus was a historical person. In fact, the Bible writer, Luke, mentions seven different ruling officials – whose names have been validated by secular historians – in order to establish the year Jesus began his ministry. Luke 3:1, 2, 23 However, some people choose not to believe what the Bible says about Jesus. Are there other sources of proof that Jesus lived in the first century? What about secular historians? Both Josephus and Tacitus, historians who lived in the first century mention Jesus as a historical person. You can find Tacitus’ account about Jesus in connection with Nero’s persecution of the Christians, in “Annals” one of his earliest historical records. Tacitus (Publius Cornelius Tacitus) is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians. “Josephus’ Account of Jesus” “The Testimonium Flavianum” is where you can find Josephus’ account. And although this account was challenged at one point in time, more evidence has been revealed that confirms that Josephus’ account is accurate. According to the book “Evidence for the Historical Jesus” “most scholars will admit that a man known as Jesus of Nazareth did live in the first century.” What do you think?
3 people like this
27 Mar 16
You bring up some good points, and as someone coming from a scholastic background on this subject, I might like to add a few things about why we take certain things seriously. A few years back I remember Richard Dawkins made the claim in one of his books that historians are not in agreement whether or not Jesus existed. It was a very well known idea among many people and to this day is repeated in various forms-but here's the thing...Dawkins was actually wrong, and he was called out on that statement and had to recant what he said. The truth is that I'm not really aware of any serious historians anymore who question Jesus existence-and even most liberal scholars whom I know will say that the continuation of the Jesus movement was based on the belief that the disciples believed that they had seen Jesus alive again after His passion. I do not blame people for being skeptical of the argument "because the Bible says so", because it is often used in a circular manner "the Bible is true because it says so"-in that case any other religious claim could be used as such-however, reasons why even secular historians do take certain things in the Bible seriously are worth mentioning-the Apostolic witness for one thing. For example, the scholarly community accepts the person of Paul/Saul as a historical reality, as it does his interaction with the Jerusalem community, James, Peter, John, and the friction which at times would happen re. certain issues-these are things scholars take seriously because controversy is often seen as a real marker of events-why fabricate arguments between groups which never existed? That is, we know there were Jesus followers, because we have their arguments over certain issues-to suggest that these followers were following a fabrication of someone who never existed is fairly poor reasoning and is actually a more or less paranoid conception of events. That is to say, like Occam's razor argument, reducing things to simplistic statement, the most simple answer is probably correct-they were real people talking of a real person who they believed in. That is rational, and it is one of the main reasons why even secular scholars take Jesus as a historical person seriously. One of the problems is, a lot of people, Christians and non Christians at times, are not very well versed in what the scholarship really says, but are often debated outdated rhetoric based on a very simplistic understanding of topics at hand. Part of dealing with that is, that Christians must begin to understand why we accept the Bible-we accept it because it is the Apostolic witness.
• United States
27 Mar 16
You make some very good points. I can see that you know a lot about this subject and are well educated on the ongoing debates about whether Jesus was a real historical person. I am definitely a Bible reader and believer of the Bible and what it says. The Bible has been misquoted but the Bibles we have today are accurate and this makes perfect sense to me. If the Almighty God inspired about 40 men to write what the Bible contains, over a period of over 1500 years and it contains what God wanted us to know, then it stands to reason that HE would protect the Bible in its entirety and MAKE SURE that it was NOT destroyed nor mistranslated over the many centuries that it has existed. You are obviously aware that the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Today the Bible is available in hundreds of different languages so that it is available to 90+% of the people on the earth in their own language. I'd like to recommend a web site to you, where you can read the Bible and Bible-based articles in many different languages, and you can watch many different FREE videos on many different Bible subjects. I hope you and I can continue our discussion. I enjoyed reading your article.
• United States
26 Mar 16
Yes, I believe what the Bible says, but many people don't. Natutuwa akong makausap ka. Gandang Buhay. Read Bible-based articles in your own language and watch FREE videos
How did evil begin? Was God’s creation defective? Why so much suffering? The evidence is clear that human rulers have failed. How can we choose God as our Ruler?