Is there historical and scientific proof of Jesus?
It is interesting that when people seek historic and scientific proof of Jesus, they immediately discount the Bible as a reliable source.
If we look at the Bible simply as a historic document, it should be among the most reliable on record compared with others.
Historians routinely cite Herodotus as a key source of information. He wrote from 488 B.C. to 428 B.C. and the earliest copy of his work comes from 900 A.D. (1,300 years later). There are only eight known copies of his work.
By contrast, the New Testament of the Bible (with all its information about Jesus) was written between 40 A.D. and 100 A.D. The earliest known copy is from 130 A.D. and there are 5,000 known copies in Greek, 10,000 in Latin and 9,300 in other languages.
Still, to put to rest the notion that there is no historic and scientific proof of Jesus outside the Bible, we may look to Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and to Roman historian Carius Cornelius Tacitus - both well known and accepted.
Josephus, in the book Jewish Antiquities" wrote:
"At that time lived Jesus, a wise man, if he may be called a man; for he performed many wonderful works. He was a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. . . .And when Pilate, at the instigation of the chief men among us, had condemned him to the cross, they who before had conceived an affection for him did not cease to adhere to him. For on the third day he appeared to them alive again, the divine prophets having foretold these and many other wonderful things concerning him. And the sect of the Christians, so called from him, subsists at this time" (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).
Tacitus, in writing about accusations that Nero burned the city of Rome and blamed it on Christians, said the following:
". . .Nero procured others to be accused, and inflicted exquisite punishment upon those people, who were in abhorrence for their crimes, and were commonly known by the name of Christians. They had their denomination from Christus (Christ, dm.), who in the reign of Tibertius was put to death as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate. . . .At first they were only apprehended who confessed themselves of that sect; afterwards a vast multitude discovered by them, all of which were condemned, not so much for the crime of burning the city, as for their enmity to mankind. . . ." (Tacitus, Annals, 15, 44).
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