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Did Jesus Really Exist?: or is he just a Story made up by People?

Did Jesus Really Exist?

Answer:

Yes, historical evidence strongly supports that Jesus was a real person who lived long ago and was not just a story made up by people. Here’s a thorough answer:

Historical Evidence:

  1. Non-Christian Sources:
  • Tacitus (AD 56-120): A Roman historian, wrote about Emperor Nero blaming the Christians for the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64. He mentions “Christus,” who was executed by Pontius Pilate.
    > “Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate” (Annals 15:44).
  • Josephus (AD 37-100): A Jewish historian who wrote about Jesus in his work Antiquities of the Jews.
    > “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” (Antiquities 18:3.3).
  1. Christian Sources:
  • New Testament:
    • The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) provide detailed accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings, death, and resurrection.
    • The Epistles of Paul, written shortly after Jesus’ death, affirm his existence and central role in Christianity.
  1. Church Fathers and Historians:
  • Clement of Rome (AD 88-99): Early Christian leader who referenced Jesus in his letters.
  • Ignatius of Antioch (AD 35-107): Wrote several letters mentioning Jesus while being taken to Rome for execution.
  1. Archaeological Evidence:
  • Pilate Stone: A stone inscription found in Caesarea Maritima confirms Pontius Pilate as the Roman prefect who presided over Jesus’ trial.
  • Nazareth Inscription: A marble tablet found in Nazareth that might refer to the resurrection controversy.

Relevant Bible Verses:

  • Birth of Jesus:
  • Matthew 1:18-25: Describes the birth of Jesus and his naming.
  • Luke 2:1-7: Mentions Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem during the reign of Caesar Augustus.
  • Jesus’ Crucifixion:
  • Matthew 27:11-26: Jesus before Pontius Pilate.
  • Mark 15:15: “So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”
  • Resurrection:
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8: Paul mentions the resurrection and those who witnessed the risen Jesus.

Historical Takeaways:

  1. Multiple Attestations: The existence of Jesus is corroborated by various sources, including Roman historians, Jewish writings, and Christian texts.
  2. Early Testimonies: Documents like Paul’s letters were written within decades of Jesus’ death, providing strong, early evidence.
  3. Non-Christian Confirmation: Non-Christian writers like Tacitus and Josephus support the biblical accounts, indicating that Jesus’ existence was not just a Christian belief.

In conclusion, there is strong historical evidence to affirm that Jesus was indeed a real person who lived over 2000 years ago.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Historical Evidence: Non-Christian sources, such as Tacitus and Josephus, confirm the biblical accounts.
  2. New Testament Witnesses: The Gospels and Epistles provide multiple, consistent accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings.
  3. Archaeological Support: Artifacts like the Pilate Stone validate the historical context of Jesus’ life.

Author

  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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