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Extra-Biblical Historical Evidence for Christianity


Christianity relies on the historic actuality of Jesus’ demise and resurrection, and there’s a mountain of proof exterior the Bible for it…

Evidence for God: Archaeological and Written Records

Christianity is based on the historical reality of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and there’s a mountain of evidence outside the Bible for it… https://…

Archaeological Evidence

1. Crucified Man Heel Bone

In 1968, an ossuary containing the skeletal stays of a person in his twenties, together with his heel bone with a nail nonetheless embedded in it, was found in Jerusalem. Anthropologists decided that the person, known as Jehohanan, had possible been crucified within the first century (ca. 7-66 A.D.)[5], with a leg on both aspect of the cross and the nail pushed in sideways via his heel.[3] This discovery confirms the outline of Jesus’ crucifixion in Scripture and that the tactic of crucifixion even existed, which had been disputed by many skeptics.

2. Pilate Stone

In 1961, a limestone block originating from a temple courting to 26-36 A.D., with the Latin inscription “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea,” was found in a Roman metropolis.[18] The Pilate stone confirms the Biblical description of Pontius Pilate, the person who sentenced Jesus to be crucified (Matt. 27:2).

3. Round Sealing Stones

Archaeology exhibits that in Jesus’ time, tombs with spherical sealing stones had been extraordinarily uncommon and will solely be afforded by the wealthiest Jews.[9] This is according to the Gospel account, which states that Jesus was buried in Joseph’s personal tomb (Matt. 27:57-61) and sealed with a stone that was “rolled” (Matt. 27:60, 28:2; Mark 16:2-4; Luke 24:2); Joseph was a “wealthy man” (Matt. 27:57).

4. Dead Sea Sediment Deposit & Ein Gedi Spa Beach Cores

According to the Institute of Creation Research, a skinny layer of disturbed sediment inside an outcrop of laminated Dead Sea sediment, situated above the southwestern shore of the fashionable Dead Sea in Wadi Ze’elim, factors to an earthquake having occurred round 33 A.D.[1] Secular geologists additionally confirmed the exercise of two main earthquakes within the space, together with one in the course of the interval between 26 and 36 A.D., after learning three cores from the Ein Gedi Spa seaside.[6] This is completely according to the Bible’s file of an awesome earthquake, that shook Jerusalem, on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, April 3, 33 A.D. (Matt. 27:51).

5. Nazareth Inscription

In 1878, a marble slab inscribed with an “edict of Caesar,” courting to the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.), was found in Nazareth; it pronounced the demise penalty in Israel for anybody caught transferring our bodies from “sepulcher-sealing tombs” (just like the one Jesus was buried in).[19] Considering that thieves solely ever plundered tombs for valuables—not our bodies, it is a unusual pronouncement to make. Unless, after all, the lie that Jesus’ disciples had stolen the physique, which Jewish leaders intentionally unfold to clarify the truth that the tomb was empty after Jesus’ resurrection (Matt. 28:13-15), had reached the Roman emperor…

6. Alexamenos Graffito

Alexamenos Graffito

In 1857, historical graffiti was found on a wall in Rome, depicting Jesus as a person with an ass’s head being crucified. It additionally confirmed a person named Alexamenos standing earlier than him with one arm raised, maybe in worship or prayer, with the Greek caption: “Alexamenos worships [his] God.” Dating from 50 to 250 A.D.[10], this crude sketch, meant to mock Jesus and Christianity, not solely confirms the crucifixion of Jesus but in addition the truth that early Christians worshipped Jesus as God—which might not have occurred if Jesus was nonetheless useless and decaying in Jerusalem.

7. Megiddo Mosaic Inscription

In 2005, an inscription was found on a part of a 54-square-meter mosaic ground inside the Megiddo Complex in Israel, which reads: “The god-loving Akeptous has provided the desk to God Jesus Christ as a memorial.”[17] Dating again to the third century, the Megiddo Mosaic, just like the Alexamenos graffito, exhibits that Jesus was being worshipped as God by at the very least the third century A.D. Again, offering oblique proof for the resurrection.

Ancient mosaic in Israel describing Jesus as God

Non-Christian Writings

The demise and resurrection of Jesus Christ can be confirmed within the writings of quite a few historical secular historians, who merely inform the details with none non secular devotion to them…

8. Josephus (37-101 A.D.)

In his ebook “Antiquities of the Jews” (93 A.D.), Josephus wrote:

And when Pilate, on the suggestion of the principal males amongst us, had condemned him [Jesus] to the cross, people who cherished him on the first didn’t forsake him…And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, will not be extinct at today.[7]

9. Tacitus (56-120 A.D.)

In his “Annals” of 116 A.D., Cornelius Tacitus wrote:

Christus…suffered the intense penalty in the course of the reign of Tiberius by the hands of…Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition [Christianity], thus checked for the second, once more broke out not solely in Judaea, the primary supply of the evil, however even in Rome…[16]

10. Lucian of Samosata (115-200 A.D.)

In his work “The Death of Peregrine,” written round 170 A.D., Lucian wrote: 

The Christians…worship a person to today – the distinguished personage who launched their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…and worship the crucified sage…[11]

11. Mara Bar-Serapion (70 A.D.)

Questioning the good thing about persecuting Jesus, in round 70 A.D. Mara Bar-Serapion wrote:

Or the Jews by murdering their clever king?…After that their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these males…The clever king…Lived on within the teachings he enacted.[2]

12. Suetonius (69-140 A.D.)

In his biography of Nero, written round 121 A.D., Suetonius wrote:

Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a category of males given to a brand new and mischievous superstition [the resurrection].[14]

13. Pliny the Younger (61-113 A.D.)

In a letter to the emperor Trajan, written round 111 A.D., Pliny wrote:

…they’d met usually earlier than daybreak on a hard and fast day [Sunday in remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection] to chant verses alternately amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god.[13]

14. Phlegon (80-140 A.D.)

In his chronicle of historical past, written round 140 A.D., Phlegon wrote:

Jesus, whereas alive, was of no help to himself, however that he arose after demise, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and confirmed how his palms had been pierced by nails.[12]

Phlegon additionally recognized the precise 12 months and time of day of the darkness and earthquake at Christ’s crucifixion:

In the fourth 12 months of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the best eclipse of the solar’ and that ‘it turned night time within the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] in order that stars even appeared within the heavens. There was an awesome earthquake in Bithynia, and plenty of issues had been overturned in Nicaea.’[4]

15. Thallus (52 A.D.)

Before the Gospels had been even written, Thallus additionally wrote of the darkness at Jesus’ crucifixion; nevertheless, he’s so historical his writings don’t exist anymore. Julius Africanus, writing round 221 A.D., quoted:

This darkness Thallus, within the third ebook of his History, calls, as seems to me with out cause, an eclipse of the solar.[8]

Conclusion

In addition to the above, Jesus’ demise/resurrection is talked about within the later, fully anti-Christian writings from the Toledot Yeshu (1000 A.D.), the Babylonian Talmud (70-200 A.D.) and dozens of historical Christian writings.

Ultimately, the historicity of Jesus’ demise and resurrection doesn’t relaxation on archaeology or extra-Biblical testimonies, as our religion relies on eyewitness accounts written within the impressed, inerrant New Testament. After all, if we had been to stack New Testament manuscripts on high of one another, they might attain greater than a mile excessive! Compare this to the common Greek creator whose works would solely be about 4 toes tall.[15] 

References:


2 British Museum, Syrian MS, add. 14, 658, cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 208.

4 Fragment from the thirteenth ebook of Phlegon, Olympiades he Chronika, ed. Otto Keller, Rerum Naturalium Scriptores Graeci Minores, I (Leipzig: Teubner, 1877), p. 101., cited in Maier, “Pontius Pilate”, 366.

5 Haas, N. (1970). Anthropological Observations on the Skeletal Remains from Giv’at ha-Mivtar. Israel Exploration Journal, 20(1), 38–59.

7 Josephus, Antiquities 18:3, cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 192.

8 Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in The Ante–Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130, cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 197.

11 Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4., cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 206.
12 Origen. (1660). Origen Against Celsus (Complete). Library of Alexandria.
13 Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96, cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 199.
14 Suetonius, Nero, 16, cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 191.
15 Strobel, L. (2009). Finding the Real Jesus: A Guide for Curious Christians and Skeptical Seekers. Zondervan.
16 Tacitus, 15.44, cited in Habermas, “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, 188.

17 Tepper, Y., & Segni, L. D. (2006). A Christian Prayer Hall of the Third Century CE at Kefar O֫thnay (Legio): Excavations on the Megiddo Prison 2005. Jerusalem, Israel: Israel Antiquities Authority.

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