The Historicity of Jesus

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Today there are many people who wonder if Jesus was or was not a historical person. Even today his teachings have a strong impact on millions of people, called Christians.

To verify the existence of Jesus we have two methods, the biblical method and the extra biblical method. That is, what the Bible says about Jesus and what the accounts that do not appear in the Bible say, such as: science, history, eyewitnesses, tradition, historians, historical events, etc.

We can see how the Old and New Testaments contain countless events that point to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus, and the role he plays as a person in his own right. The different authors of the New Testament emphasise again the existence of Christ before his birth, life, death and after his resurrection in very early writings (about 35-45 AD) Very reliable evidence thanks to the chronological closeness to the events.

One can also refer to a rather strong historical fact that supports the existence of Jesus; the events of AD 70, when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem killing and burning entire cities. So we should not be surprised by the fact that much historical information of Jesus was destroyed, as well as the slaughter of many of the eyewitnesses who could see Jesus. In spite of this, there is an incredible amount of information that was extracted from the small Roman corner, secular sources like:

Tacitus: one of the most accurate Roman historians of antiquity, who mentions "superstitious Christians" in addition to contextualising Jesus under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius.

Gaius Suetonius: another Roman historian (70-160 AD) secretary of the Emperor Hadrian, who describes that Christ lived during the first century.

Flavius Josephus: famous Jewish historian (about 37-100 AD) referring to James as the brother of Jesus, the Christ. In addition he makes an incredible statement: "Now there was a wise man about this time, Jesus, if it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonders, a teacher so that men would welcome the truth that he taught and attracted many of the Jews and the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principals among us, condemned him to be crucified, those who loved him from the beginning did not forget him, for he appeared alive among them the third day; just as the prophets had anticipated and accomplished ten thousand wonderful things about him that had also been pronounced. And the tribe of Christians, so called because of him, has not been extinguished until the present day."

And there are many more; Plinio the Lesser, Sixth July African, Lucian of Samosata, Mara Bar-Serapio, the Talmud of Babylon that alludes to the confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus on an Easter afternoon and to the accusations against Christ of "practising witchcraft" and causing the apostasy of the many Jews.

Evidences about the historicity of Jesus are really overwhelming, and this does not go much into the theological dimension, which is also clear with such evidence. Therefore, from my point of view I believe that we can confidently trust that Jesus existed. For the fact that thousands of first-century Christians are sacrificed for this faith makes them think that they died for an authentic message, not for a lie.

Alejandro Rodriguez

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