Flavius Josephus: This 1st century Jewish historian and Pharisee
wrote: "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 principle 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 the third day;
as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful
things concerning him." (Antiquities.xviii.33).
Thallus the Samaritan: This 1st century historian affirmed the reality of Christ and the fact that darkness consumed the land upon His death (cf. Mark 15.33), attributing the incident to naturalistic causes (a solar eclipse). [Nota de Hélio: Thallus errou grosseiramente, pois a crucificação foi durante a páscoa judaica, esta ocorre durante a lua nova, e eclipses solares não podem ocorrer durante a lua nova!]
Julius Africanus later exclaimed how unreasonable this theory seemed in light of the natural evidence for "divine" manipulation: the season in which Christ died, the season of the Paschal "full moon." In other words, it was "Supernatural" for a full moon and a solar eclipse to occur simultaneously.
Cornelius Tacitus: This Roman historian and Governor to Asia (AD 112) alluded to the death of Christ and the presence of Christians in Rome (Annals XV.44).
Lucian of Samosata: This 2nd century satirist and author wrote repeatedly and scornfully of Christ and the Christians (see, The Passing Peregrinus, section 25, and Alexander the False Prophet, section 29).
Suetonius (A.D. 120): This Roman historian, a court official under Hadrian (and annalist of the Imperial House), recorded incidents relating to Christ and his followers (see, Life of Claudius 25.4, and Lives of the Caesars, 26.2).
Plinius Secundus (A.D. 112): As the Governor of Bithynia, he wrote extensively on the government's attempt to annihilate Christians. In a letter to Trajan, he appeared bewildered by the fact that Christians refused to bow down to either the bust of Trajan or to curse Christ even when threatened with death (Epistles X.96).
Tertullian (A.D. 197): This jurist-theologian of Carthage defended Christianity in front of the Roman authorities in Africa. In his recapitalization of an exchange between Tiberius and Pontius Pilate he confirmed Tiberius's (Caesar's) recognition of the "Divinity" of Jesus (see Apology, V.2).
Phlegon: This 1st century historian wrote about Christ's death and was quoted by Africanus as saying, that "during the time of Tiberius Caesar an eclipse of the sun occurred during the full moon." This account further substantiates similar claims made in both Matthew 27.45 and Luke 23.44. (7/IIB,sect.256f16,p.1165.)
Philopon (De opif. mund. II21) stated: "Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Christ, and no other (eclipse), it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any (similar) eclipse in previous times... and this is shown by the historical account itself of Tiberius Caesar." (4/IIB,sect.257f16,c,p.1165.)
Letter Of Mara Bar-Serapion: A British Museum manuscript (written by a father to his son, sometime after A.D. 73) states, "What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise King die for good; He lived on in the teaching which He had given."
Justin Martyr (ca. A.D. 150): Appearing before Emperor Antoninus Pius, the apologist Justin Martyr tried to explain Pilate's report to the Emperor. He remarked, "They pierced my hands and my feet [is] a description of the nails that were fixed in His hands and feet on the cross; and after He was crucified, those who crucified Him cast lots for His garments, and divided them among themselves; and that these things were so, you may learn from the ‘Acts’ which were recorded under Pontius Pilate."
The Jewish Talmuds: Tol'doth Yeshua Jesus is referred to as Ben Pandera;" Babylonian Talmud: It is mentioned about Jesus ''... and hanged him on the eve of Passover;'' The Talmud refers to Jesus as Ben Pandera or Ben Pantere (possibly, a play on the Greek word ‘parthenos,’ meaning "son of a virgin;" The Baraila it is recorded "On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu (of Nazareth);" The Amoa records "And do you suppose that for (Yeshu of Nazareth) there was any right of appeal;?" Sanhedrin 43a also references the disciples of Jesus; The Toseft mentions, and "Yeshu ben Pantere taught me."
Encyclopedia Britannica: Concerning the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth, this worldwide publisher proclaims: "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries."1
Yes Christ lived. And He lives today!
1. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Vol 2 (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1991), 81-87.
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