Is there evidence for Jesus outside the Bible? (in just one minute)
I’ve encountered a number of atheists who suggest that there is no mention of the historical character of Jesus outside of the Bible (hence reducing the historical likelihood of his existence). This is a short short response to that claim.
The answer to this question is ‘yes’. There are numerous references to Jesus in Greek and Roman writings of the first and second centuries.
· The Jewish historian Josephus makes two references to Jesus. Once when discussing the death of James ‘the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ’. And another, which though interpolated, contains a genuine reference to Jesus – who Josephus describes as having performed amazing deeds.
· The Roman historian Tacitus mentions Jesus when describing how Emperor Nero blamed the Christians for the fire of Rome in 64. Tacitus was no friend of Christianity yet he correctly places Jesus execution in the reign of Tiberius at the sentence of Pontius Pilate.
· Mara bar Sarapion asks why the Jews killed their wise king? And there are other references in Pliny, Thallos, Lucian and the Talmud.
There is evidence for Jesus outside the Bible.