Historical Evidence for Jesus Christ?

jesus sandals found historical evidenceOn Christmas Eve, a popular radio program featured a Christian apologist who presented “historical evidence for the life of Jesus Christ.” I didn’t listen to the show, but I am willing to bet that this apologist, Dr. Gary Habermas of Jerry Fallwell’s Liberty University, trotted out the same old and tired “references” in non-Christian texts that have been bandied about for hundreds of years. These paltry “references” have been shown repeatedly over the centuries to be essentially worthless in terms of serving as credible, scientific evidence for the Jewish superman’s historical existence. Naturally, the refutations of this useless material have been devoutly ignored, while the religious hucksters continue to use these supposed citations to enthrall the masses, who remain largely ignorant of the rebuttals, in significant part because mythicist scholars are never given comparable airtime in the mainstream media.

These purported references to Jesus Christ in secular or Jewish sources include:

Josephus
Pliny
Tacitus
Suetonius

Phlegon
Mara Bar Serapion
Talmud

As I have revealed in my writings, none of these alleged citations serve as credible and scientific evidence for the existence of the Jewish godman who purportedly shook up the world – for a variety of reasons, including that none of them are earlier than the end of the first century and therefore do not constitute the testimony of eyewitnesses, if they are even genuine to the authors claimed. Indeed, in consideration of the some two dozen scriptures in the New Testament that claim Jesus Christ was famed far and wide, it is astonishing that in reality there exists not a single word about him from any contemporary historian or other writer of his time!

I demonstrate this fact of there being no valid evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, along with other reasons to doubt the gospel tale, in my book Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ. Following is just one blurb from a reader of Who Was Jesus?, which contains quotes from numerous Christian authorities, who themselves admit the evidence for Jesus is extremely slim.

“I’ve known people with triple Ph.D’s who haven’t come close to the scholarship here.”

“I think I’ve read every popular alternative theory about Jesus that has come down the pike – with Who Was Jesus? I was very impressed.

“This book gives me pause for serious thought.”

Pastor David Bruce, M.Div
North Park Seminary, Chicago
HollywoodJesus.com

20 Comments

  1. A countries major belief system goes hand in hand
    In response to anonymous; I have to agree. Take any nation on the planet and look at their major belief system and it will tell a lot about the success and freedom of the country.
    Canada, USA, Britain, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand – major belief system – protestant Christianity – status – first world countries- standard of living- best in the world – human rights – best in the world
    Latin America-Eastern Europe – Cathloic- standard of living – second world countries-much more poverty – less human rights
    Russia-China-Cuba-North Korea – athiest-communist-poor human rights-second world countries-much poverty
    Pagan nations – All of Africa-India-Some Asian Countries – third world countries – human rights – worst – standard of living – low – much disease, famine, and povery.
    The facts speak for themselves!

    1. Sorry, Peter, but you have omitted ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt from your list of Pagan nations – and these were truly the Pagans, as the label was constructed by Christians to refer to them. The Greeks were one of the most civilized cultures in all of human history – they called all others “barbarians.” Few have reached the heights of Egypt.

      And the Dark Ages were created by Christian fanaticism. The lands that are largely Christian today enjoy a high standard of living because they have been securalized, not because of Christianity but in spite of it.

      1. Acharya you are right about Greece being perhaps the pinacle of advancement in culture. I forgot to mention the Islamic nations-their human rights are atrocious! Free Masons and the founding fathers of the USA wanted a republic like that of Greece thus the White House, Capitol Building etc… are all modeled after Greek culture-architecture. Greeks origionated democracy – so again I agree how advanced they were! The dark ages were the result of the Roman Catholic church – I find the Catholic religion abhorant. All their nations – South-Central America, Italy – Eastern Europe – all the Christian non-protestant countries- Eastern Orthodox – etc do not have the wealth and success of the protestant nations. It was the protestant revival of western Europe that pulled Europe out of the hideous dark ages and brought on the Renaissance. It is a strange mix that the occultism of the Nazi’s mixed with western protestant Christianity brought on our high tech age. The indigenous peoples of North America were all pagan and never advanced beyond the stone age. The scandinavian countries are mainly protestant and are very advanced mind you the vikings kicked some serious a**! I bought the Christ Conspiracy a few years ago and was so scared that it might threaten my protestant Christiany that I got rid of it! Anyway, I regret that and will buy another copy again 🙂 I know that Christianity is guilty of many horrific deeds but it has done a lot of good too, I think you’ll agree. The USA is mostly protestant and is the most advanced nation ever! I try to be totally unbiased if that is at all possible. I am a struggling Christian who is going to study all sides of historicity. Your works amaze me! 😀

    2. ?Pagan India
      Before you make any sweeping statement about India and it’s pagan belief please ensure you have the facts. India is the largest subcontinent where AHIMSA or abhorrence to violence is propagated and therefore has the largest community of pure unadulterated vegetarians.
      The philosophy, theosophy and spirituality of Indians is unsurpassed by any other civilization.
      This site will scratch the surface of what India has contributed to the world:
      http://www.slideshare.net/sgewali2000/what-is-india-current-b-1615487

      It is important when we make statements available to the public there must be some fairness in the statements made. If you know what the nglish colonialists & especially the Barbaric Mughals & did to destroy India you will cry and you will understand why there is so much poverty.

      Best wishes to you,

      Kamalanathan SPS

      1. Kamalanathan – thanks for the slide share – It was very interesting! Western civilization does owe India a lot! But there is one huge problem with Hinduism – their caste system- I think Acharya will agree- is very cruel. If you are born an untouchable you will be treated cruely because your karma has to be respected. No sympathy.

        1. Hinduism – caste system- very cruel.
          There is no one “untouchable” in Modern India education and work culture growing very fast and economical growth is better then many European countries and America. Indians are mostly gurus in software, IT, management and Yoga. In 21 century India will lead again. You can look past 10 year progress in Indian economy saving to space discoveries, transportation to communication, science and technology. Indians are in list of best businessman. We have overcome from 1200 years slavery of Islam and christian cult just 60 years. Wt. for next 10 Years. [url]http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_7.htm[/url] Flying high This link will clear why India backward in British Period.

    3. historical evidence for jesus christ
      Peter veenstra: Are you a former junior ranger from 1983.

  2. Historical Evidence for Jesus
    It doesn’t take too much for brains to figure out the whole charade. Logic and a clear head and, save having to read any defense one way or another. People are stupid regardless of education. Can’t imagine that there could be any religious leader who know doesn’t know the truth.

  3. response
    First: Christians are’nt “trying” to prove anything–first misnomer. They don’t have to; it is child-like trust and belief. Nothing else is required “for the Christian.” The perfect parallel is one’s own children and their trust for the parent when they are small.
    Second: “science” is not a significant arena to “prove” that there is a God. People will be proof enough. Circumstances of life will offer a type of proof, or “validation.”
    Third: “Faith” incorporates “free-will” (not science) and acknowledgment of a Omnipotent Omniscient Creator-God.
    Fourth: The historical sources listed above are validation–not “proof”.
    Fifth: Funny, how you people use your OWN references-sources–but deny ours always attempting to poke holes through ours.
    Sixth: a student of history: in all the many areas sees a common thread through and of civilizations from the beginning–that man looked for “God” and because they couldn’t “see” Him–they established their own–made an “image” to replace that which they cannot see. It is had-wired into the heart and mind of man or foundational to the human species to have conscience (free will and choice and the sense of “guilt” when we do wrong is also validation we are all accountable beings to someone higher than we).
    Seventh: the book listed above is non-important; many books have tried to destroy the belief in Christianity; but it goes back to the dawn of the Hebrews–this so-called book of such superior scholarship is laughable–like all the rest have been.
    Eighth: If you are fortunate enough to make it to your death bed, your thinking will change–because it is forced to for fear of mortality and just possible accountability for the life you have lived here; WHY are people afraid to die ? Because they are accountable. If they have not believed or trusted anything above their own selves, the natural “flight-and fright” syndrome kicks in and they start “re-considering”. However, it is too late if one’s life ends abruptly.
    They will see once they cross over.
    Ninth: the spectacular of amount of paranormal events some captured in voice or in image, or through personal experience is validation now that there is “the other side, another dimension, alternate universes”–at least 12 and they now know more beyond that.
    Tenth: And Physics IS proving space-time continuum “rips”, vortexes, black holes, dark matter, zero-point gravity and much more that validate this earthly environment is not the ONLY sphere of existence; it is for a corporeal physical body but when that terminates the life-energy- force-moves into the next sphere that we can not see with our physical eyes.
    Eleventh: Anyone who cannot discern by use of logic and reason and cross-over academia, that we are more than what we touch or are concrete, is a gargantuan-moronic monkey and should be in the jungle with the rest them.
    Twelve: Even a child believes; an adult who has outgrown their prejudices and innocence is blind to simple truth–no matter how much proof AGAINST the truth they seem to come up with, it all goes back to the child. Simple and complete belief and trust. A child wouldn’t understand your book above; yet he will believe.
    Thirteenth: “the illumined” number”…..Historical method-the science of History, shows clear statistics that man obviously cannot bring himself above; to rise above what he is and he will NEVER BE ABLE TO; civilizations rise and fall–and man remains the same in his invert innate nature: evil and weak. It is God, by way of man’s reason and faith in simple child-like trust in Him that man gains strength and can then rise above his own nature. Technology hasn’t helped but impeded that. So not only has man never changed or improved he is once again reverting to paganism and barbarism (how enlightening). Reason and simple logical thinking tells me, and most with a normal brain, there is more than what we touch, feel or see, and more that will reveal itself in finality and eventually.
    Write books till you’re blue in the face-and this ‘new’ book of the most superior scholarship is just another wood-chip in the fire.
    Statistically–the Bible stands the test of time and the studies done are “validation.”; they have attempted to destroy it–we now have more Bibles than ever; they have attempted to destroy the people that believe it; statistical data–digits>>>FACT-that when there is martyrdom of Christians, the numbers converting to Christ explodes.
    Blood is fuel for growth, just like Jefferson said about Liberty.
    Another Historical FACT: Where the Gospel of the Lord is–there is Liberty; where there is true democratic Liberty of a republic–there you will find the Gospel flowing all through out that nation and the majority of that nation’s people will be Christian and decency and morality. And that nation will be the praise of the world. As has been America; has been–but no longer.

    1. Talk about cherry picking! Anon- have you ever really read the bible from cover to cover? Based on your rantings above, I don’t think so. And please don’t insult the children. Most kids, when left to their own devices, can easily determine who’s telling the truth and who isn’t- or at the very least, who they want to spend time with and who they want to avoid.

      The fact is, with the internet and the ability to easily do research more and more people are seeking answers to their questions, and have found that Acharya and others are right on the money. Convents are closing. Children no longer know what nuns or priests are, and live is moving on. I suggest you do the same. Do some research, dare to question and think, then begin to understand the story you’ve been told is a myth.

      By the way, check out Julia Sweeney’s work. I think you’d enjoy it!
      Happy winter solstice!

  4. n/a
    Epicuris was correct when he said, Fear is the mother of all gods. Some two, plus, milleniums later I.M. Gottfrei said: “Pain and Fear are the parents of all gods”.,

  5. Well Anon, it doesn’t appear that you know what a misnomer is.

    Anon “child-like trust and belief. Nothing else is required “for the Christian.”

    Those capable of critical thought processes call it faith & euphoria. Which does not ask for credible evidence to substantiate claims. So, from where I stand this could be considered child abuse.

    Anon “Second: “science” is not a significant arena to “prove” that there is a God.”

    Great another fundy xian science hater.

    Anon “Third: “Faith” incorporates “free-will” (not science) and acknowledgment of a Omnipotent Omniscient Creator-God.

    You’ve already shown that faith is not free-will. Acknowledgment doesn’t prove anything.

    Anon “Fourth: The historical sources listed above are validation–not “proof”.”

    She didn’t use the word “proof” – you did.

    Anon “Fifth: Funny, how you people use your OWN references-sources–but deny ours always attempting to poke holes through ours.”

    That’s because “your references & sources” are full of holes and lack credibility.

    Anon “Sixth: …a common thread through and of civilizations from the beginning–that man looked for “God” and because they couldn’t “see” Him–they established their own–made an “image” to replace that which they cannot see…”

    If you go further back in history you’ll learn that the origins of belief in a god stem from natural phenomena such as the sun, moon, stars, constellations, lightning, thunder etc.

    Christians for example took that and tried to make appear more historical and turned it into selling an invisible product.

    Anon “Seventh: the book listed above is non-important; many books have tried to destroy the belief in Christianity…his so-called book of such superior scholarship is laughable–like all the rest have been.”

    LOL, you obviously haven’t read the book which contains an almost all Christian biblical authority bibliography. So, you’re inadvertently saying they’re “laughable.”

    “Eighth” just represents a low mentiality afraid of enjoying life to its full potential.

    Anon “Ninth: the spectacular of amount of paranormal events some captured in voice or in image, or through personal experience is validation”

    Funny thing is none have provided credible evidence for god or Jesus. I guess they ever heard of them. Where does the bible discuss other dimensions? It doesn’t, case closed.

    Anon “Tenth: …black holes, dark matter, zero-point gravity”

    Where does the bible discuss black holes, dark matter, zero-point gravity? It doesn’t, case closed.

    Anon “Eleventh: Anyone who cannot discern by use of logic and reason and cross-over academia, that we are more than what we touch or are concrete, is a gargantuan-moronic monkey and should be in the jungle with the rest them.”

    Funny coming from one who cannot provide credible evidence to support your claims.

    Anon “Twelve: Even a child believes; an adult who has outgrown their prejudices and innocence is blind to simple truth–no matter how much proof AGAINST the truth they seem to come up with, it all goes back to the child.”

    LOL, the child who knows absolutely NOTHING about any sort of god UNTIL humans teach their dogma & doctrine. This is just juvenile arrogance & ignorance.

    Anon “Thirteenth”

    Blah, blah, blah

    “Statistically–the Bible stands the test of time and the studies done are “validation.””

    What planet are you on?

    “hey have attempted to destroy it–we now have more Bibles than ever;”

    LOL, Christians did that themselves over their own disagreements. No need to blame everybody else. Nobody else cared about your revisionist history bible. Today it still can’t be substantiated.

    “Where the Gospel of the Lord is–there is Liberty”

    Not from where I stand. It represents nothing but extreme bigotry, prejudice, hate and extreme violence. Not something anybody would want in an enlightened society. Leave it in the [b]DARK AGES [/b]where it belongs.

    To summarize:

    God/Jesus is supposed to be the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the universe yet is incapable of leaving behind credible evidence of himself which would:

    1. Save xians from persecution

    2. Convince billions more skeptics thus saving more souls. Which is what all of this is suppose to be about, right?

    3. In Revelation, at the end of the day with all the tribulation, apocalypse & Armageddon 2/3rds of the human population will be killed in what the religious tolerance website calls “the largest mass extermination of humans in history.”
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/rapture.htm
    (Why even pretend to care about abortion?)

    So, either God/Jesus doesn’t give a shit about you or he doesn’t exist. All theistic arguments have failed. There’s still not a shred of valid evidence for Christian supernatural religious claims. If there were any credible evidence FAITH would not be the main requirement. It seems more likely that religion is a human creation with an obsession of riding the world of non-believers.

  6. Quotes from “Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ” for Anon

    “The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…”

    The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

    – “Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ” (WWJ) 84

    —–

    “One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him.”

    – Merrill C. Tenney

    – “Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ” (WWJ) 85-86

    * Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.

    —–

    “Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic”

    – F.F. Bruce a founder of the modern evangelical movement

    – “Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ” (WWJ) page 84

    —–

    “…there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition.”

    – John P. Meier

    – “Who Was Jesus?” page 86

    * Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, Catholic priest and monsignor

    —–

    “The gospels are in fact anonymous”

    – Dr. Craig L. Blomberg

    – WWJ (60)

    —–

    “The Gospels are neither histories nor biographies, even within the ancient tolerances for those genres.”

    – Dr. John Dominic Crossan

    – WWJ (24)

    “Hide the prophecy, tell the narrative, and invent the history.”

    – Dr. John D. Crossan

    – “Who Was Jesus?” (123)

    —–

    Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ contains quotes from the following Christian authorities, apologists and evangelicals, as well as New Testament scholars:

    * John Ankerberg
    * Craig L. Blomberg
    * F.F. Bruce
    * William Lane Craig
    * John Dominic Crossan
    * Bart Ehrman
    * Norman Geisler
    * Gary Habermas
    * Josh McDowell
    * John P. Meier
    * Bruce M. Metzger
    * J.P. Moreland
    * Ronald H. Nash
    * Lee Strobel
    * Merrill C. Tenney
    * Ben Witherington
    * Edwin Yamauchi
    * And more!

    “Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ” also includes a Foreword by Dr. Robert M. Price!”

    Who Was Jesus? video part 1 ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfzolk7FRXk[/url])

    Who Was Jesus? video part 2 ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA5SHKM3V48[/url])

    Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ ([url]http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/whowasjesus1.html[/url])

  7. According to “Anon,” all those Christian scholars and apologists you quoted are “laughable.”

  8. :whistle: Anon: I would strongly suggest you aquire and read “Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ” an excellent primer for actually learning what the Gospels say and how they contradict each other. Most Christians have never read their New Testaments all the way thru with a critical and analytical faculty they would normally apply in other areas of learning in their life. This applies specifically to the ‘Jesus’ myth and should not be misconstrued as a rejection of a ‘Higher Source’ or whatever you want to call it.

    I noticed you stated people on their deathbeds will turn to this belief or faith as you call it, out of fear or guilt. I assure you I do not fear death and will suffer no guilt on my deathbed as a result of my own mortality. If I felt any guilt or fear at all, it would be for the living…for those I leave behind. In fact, I might request in my will to have me arse bronzed for everyone to kiss as I go into that good night. :woohoo: I expect everyone to celebrate with a good Irish wake at my ‘crossing over’.

  9. The Catholics and the Protestants were both heavily involved in the Inquisitions that destroyed the Pagan world – that was the one they they both agreed upon. The Protestants are not innocent by any stretch. It was not the Protestants who put an end to the Inquisitions.

    Among the nine current Supreme Court Justices, six are Catholic, one is Protestant and two are Jewish. No self-declared atheist or freethinker has ever sat on the Supreme Court. Apparently only one Justice, David Davis (d. 1877), has been unaffiliated with a church, temple or other religious organization.

    This is not representative of the US population as non-religious make up over 16.1% which is far more than Jews or any other minority. And Freethinkers are still the most discriminated against minority.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists

    http://www.adherents.com/adh_sc.html

    The US may have a majority of Protestants but the country is on the verge of collapse.

  10. Anonymous must not understand the meaning of moral
    Anon, you are downright annoying. You vomit all over your keyboard providing logical fallacy after logical fallacy in support of the most vile book ever written.

    The good the Bible teaches are things that good people would do anyway.

    After one gets beyond the scant amount of good provided, the Bible provides a nice map for the demented of society to commit heinous crimes. One such example immediately leaps to mind – Numbers 31. Moses commits genocide of the Midianites. Ahh, but thats not all. He has all the men murdered, then all the unchaste women. The virgin women he gives to his soldiers to do as they will. Oh yeah, they murdered the children too. Is that the morality you speak of?

    How about something more current. Adolf Hitler was Roman Catholic by his own admission . In 1933 Cardinal Pacelli signed the concordat with the Nazis. It was an agreement for the Vatican to ignore the atrocities committed by them. In 1937 Christians in the Rhineland passed a resolution that Hitlers word was the law of God.

    Reichsminister of church affairs, Hans Kerl, announced: There has arisen a new authority as to what Christ and Christianity really are-that is Adolf Hitler … he is the true holy ghost.” Hey Anon, is that the morality you worship? By the way, Stalin, who is responsible for at least 11 million murders of enemies of the state, was Eastern Orthodox Christian and Mussolini was devout Roman Catholic. Perhaps that is the morality you worship?

    How about this, on Christmas day two Bishops in Dublin resigned there positions in disgrace following the release of a report into pedophilia in the church and the cover up that has been ongoing since at least 1940. The report reveals that 170 clergy in Dublin alone were known pedophiles and were shielded from prosecution by the Catholic Church. ANON, IS THAT THE MORALITY THAT YOU WORSHIP?

    Anon, you have a gross ignorance of science, a warped sense of historical accuracy, and a disgusting and vile interpretation of morality. – The only point you got right is that your faith is child-like. News flash – your supposed to grow up at some point.

  11. There is a growing understanding in the world of the insanity of all religions. Folks like Acharya S have more wisdom than perhaps they know.

    I recently finished Manley Palmer Hall’s 1928 classic just after finishing Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” … wisdom can be found in many places … if time is taken to look.

  12. sandals
    Found evidence of sandals of imaginary person. That is a good one.

  13. what is the answer
    If you were God and you wanted an eternal place where there was no hatred,sickness or death what would you do to assure everyone that you had created that they could tust you with their life forever. Appreciate your creator. I know a guy that has no arms or legs and he told me that he is so thankful for the way God made him.

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