Quest for the Existence the Historical Jesus
The quest for the existence of the historical Jesus has perplexed the mine of man ever since the inception of those who worship him as either the son of a God or a God himself. I for one am one of them.
My personal research into the historical existence of the Jesus Christ as presented to me by the bible and his followers clearly informs me, without an iota of doubt, simply never exist. There’s absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus Christ ever exist anywhere in recorded history outside the bible. Jesus himself didn’t leave the slightest physical evidence of his existence here on Mother Earth; any artifacts or self-written manuscripts.
There’s absolutely no historical evidence that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had him crucified. There’s absolutely no historical evidence he was buried, rose on the third day and floated (or flew) to heaven.
I’ve always wondered why Jesus never appeared to those who denied his divinity, instead of the Christians themselves. Common sense should have informed Jesus to present himself to those who denied his divinity, not those who already believed in his divinity (totally ignorant on his part), Pontius Pilate especially, since he’s the one who had him crucified.
All claims of Jesus existence are derived from the writings of Christians themselves. There’s not a single contemporary writer living before, during or after the alleged lifetime of Jesus that mentions him. The vast majority of modern scholars agree that it is virtually impossible to reconstruct the existence of the historical Jesus since all of the writings and documents are written from a Christian bias i.e. – from the beliefs of his followers and the early church fathers -There are absolutely no records of Jesus’ existence to be found in any contemporary source outside the bible.
Since all historical documents about Jesus were written well after the alleged lifetime of Jesus from either: people who had never actually never met Jesus, or from writings of interpolation from the church father themselves, all we have of Jesus existence is simply hearsay! Hearsay isn’t evidence of facts simply because we have no way to verify if the person is lying or not, or is simply basing his information on belief and hearsay.
My research has sanctioned me to read a great deal of many books, many of which were written by researchers, scholars and historians long before I decided to conduct my very own research. The dates of the origin of the four gospels are as follows:
Mark was written between (70-100 A.D) Luke was written between (100 A.D) Matthew was written between (100-110 A.D) John was written between (100 and 160 A.D)
The bible itself isn’t contemporary writings of Jesus, all of these gospels are written well after the alleged lifetime of Jesus! Jesus birth and death is believed to be (ca. 5 B.C?-33 A.D?). These dates for Jesus reign is idiotic beyond the core and proves, beyond a shadow of doubt, people are lying and deceiving themselves about Jesus and his teachings, for there’s an abundance of evidence that people literally walked Mother Earth millions of years ago in Africa!
The following is a short list of ancient historians, orators, poets, authors, teachers, philosopher etc. who actually lived before, during and after the alleged lifetime of Jesus. Not one of them penned one single line of Jesus and works.
Apollonius Persius (34-62 A.D.) Roman Poet and Satirist AppianPetronius (66 A.D.) Roman Satirist Arrian Phaedrus (15 B.C-50 A.D.) Roman Fabulist Aulus Gellius Philo-Judaeus (130 A.D.) Latin Author Columella Phlegon (80 A.D) Greek Writer Gaius Plinius Secundus or Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D) Roman author Dio Chrysostom Pliny the Younger (40 – 120 A.D) Greek Orator, Writer, Philosopher and Historian of the Roman Empire in the 1st century. Dion Pruseus Plutarch (46-119 A.D) Greek historian, Biographer, Essayist, and Middle Platonist Epictetus Pomponius Mela (43 A.D) Favorinus Ptolemy (100-165 A.D) Astonomer and Geographer Florus Lucius Quintilian (35-95 A.D) Roman Teacher and Orator Hermogones Quintius Curtius Seneca Lucius Annaeus (4 B.C-65 A.D) Roman Author Flavius Josephus (37–100 A.D) Jewish Author Justus of Tiberius Silius Italicus (42 B.C-37 A.D) Roman Emperor Juvenal Statius (60-130 A.D) Roman Poet Lucanus Suetonius (69-140 A.D) Roman Author Cornelius Tacitus (55- 120 A.D) Roman Historian Gaius Valerius Flaccus (?- 90 A.D) Roman Poet Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) Roman Poet Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC-17 A.D) Roman Poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (39-65 A.D) Roman Poet Silius Italicus (25-101 A.D) Latin Epic Poet
It’s a well known fact the brief accounts of Jesus by Josephus came from interpolations perpetrated by Eusebius, other than that, there’s absolutely any mention of Jesus in the writings of any of these historians, orators, poets, authors, teachers, philosopher etc. “Justus of Tiberius was a native of Christ’s own country, Galilee. He wrote a history covering this time of Christ’s reputed existence. This work has perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of the ninth century, who was acquainted with it, says: ‘He (Justus) makes not the least mention of the appearances of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did’ (Photius’ Bibliotheca, code 33).
“Josephus: Late in the first century, Josephus wrote his celebrated work, _The_Antiquities_of_the_Jews_, giving a history of his race from the earliest ages down to his own time. Modern versions of this work contain the following passage:
“‘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; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (Book XVIII, Chapter iii, Section 3).
The early Christian fathers were not acquainted with it. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen all would have quoted this passage had it existed in their time. The failure of even one of these fathers to notice it would be sufficient to throw doubt upon its genuineness; the failure of all of them to notice it proves conclusively that it is spurious, that it was not in existence during the second and third centuries. Josephus John E. Remsberg, The Christ (Book III, p. 124).
Modern Christian scholars generally concede that the passage is a forgery. Dr. Lardner, one of the ablest defenders of Christianity, adduces the following arguments against its genuineness:
“I do not perceive that we at all want the suspected testimony to Jesus, which was never quoted by any of our Christian ancestors before Eusebius. Nor do I recollect that Josephus has anywhere mentioned the name or word Christ, in any of his works; except the testimony above mentioned, and the passage concerning James, the Lord’s brother. It interrupts the narrative. The language is quite Christian. It is not quoted by Chrysostom, though he often refers to Josephus, and could not have omitted quoting it had it been then in the text. It is not quoted by Photius, though he has three articles concerning Josephus. Under the article Justus of Tiberias, this author (Photius) expressly states that the historian [Josephus], being a Jew, has not taken the least notice of Christ. Neither Justin in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, nor Clemens Alexandrinus, who made so many extracts from ancient authors, nor Origen against Celsus, has ever mentioned this testimony. But, on the contrary, in chapter xxxv of the first book of that work, Origen openly affirms that Josephus, who had mentioned John the Baptist, did not acknowledge Christ” (Answer to Dr. Chandler).
Again Dr. Lardner says: “This passage is not quoted nor referred to by any Christian writer before Eusebius, who flourished at the beginning of the fourth century. If it had been originally in the works of Josephus it would have been highly proper to produce it in their disputes with Jews and Gentiles. But it is never quoted by Justin Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, nor by Tertullian or Origen, men of great learning, and well acquainted with the works of Josephus. It was certainly very proper to urge it against the Jews. It might also have been fitly urged against the Gentiles. A testimony so favorable to Jesus in the works of Josephus, who lived so soon after our Savior, who was so well acquainted with the transactions of his own country, who had received so many favors from Vespasian and Titus, would not be overlooked or neglected by any Christian apologist” (Lardner’s Works, vol.I, chap. iv).
Bishop Warburton declares it to be a forgery: “If a Jew owned the truth of Christianity, he must needs embrace it. We, therefore, certainly ,conclude that the paragraph where Josephus, who was as much a Jew as the religion of Moses could make him, is made to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, in terms as strong as words could do it, is a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too” (Quoted by Lardner, Works, Vol. I, chap. iv).
The Rev. Dr. Giles, of the Established Church of England, says: “Those who are best acquainted with the character of Josephus, and the style of his writings, have no hesitation in condemning this passage as a forgery, interpolated in the text during the third century by some pious Christian, who was scandalized that so famous a writer as Josephus should have taken no notice of the gospels, or of Christ, their subject. But the zeal of the interpolator has outrun his discretion, for we might as well expect to gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, as to find this notice of Christ among the Judaizing writings of Josephus. It is well known that this author was a zealous Jew, devoted to the laws of Moses and the traditions of his countrymen. How, then, could he have written that Jesus was the Christ? Such an admission would have proved him to be a Christian himself, in which case the passage under consideration, too long for a Jew, would have been far too short for a believer in the new religion, and thus the passage stands forth, like an ill-set jewel, contrasting most inharmoniously with everything around it. If it had been genuine, we might be sure that Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Chrysostom would have quoted it in their controversies with the Jews, and that Origen or Photius would have mentioned it. But Eusebius, the ecclesiastical historian (I, ii), is the first who quotes it, and our reliance on the judgment or even honesty of this writer is not so great as to allow our considering everything found in his works as undoubtedly genuine” (Christian Records, p. 30). The Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in his “Lost and Hostile Gospels,” says: “This passage is first quoted by Eusebius (fl. A. D. 315) in two places (Hist. Eccl., lib. i, c. xi ; Demonst. Evang., lib. iii); but it was unknown to Justin Martyr (A. D. 140) Clement of Alexandria (A. D. 192), Tertullian (A. D. 193) and Origen (A. D. 230). Such a testimony would certainly have been produced by Justin in his apology or in his controversy with Trypho the Jew, had it existed in the copies of Josephus at his time. The silence of Origen is still more significant. Celsus, in his book against Christianity, introduces a Jew. Origen attacks the argument of Celsus and his Jew. He could not have failed to quote the words of Josephus, whose writings he knew, had the passage existed in the genuine text. He, indeed, distinctly affirms that Josephus did not believe in Christ (Contr. Cels. i).”
Dr. Chalmers ignores it, and admits that Josephus is silent regarding Christ. He says: “The entire silence of Josephus upon the subject of Christianity, though he wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem, and gives us the history of that period in which Christ and his Apostles lived, is certainly a very striking circumstance” (Kneeland’s Review, p. 169).
Canon Farrar, who has written the ablest Christian life of Christ yet penned, repudiates it. He says: “The single passage in which he [Josephus] alludes to him is interpolated, if not wholly spurious” (Life of Christ, Vol. I, p. 46). The following, from Dr. Farrar’s pen, is to be found in the “Encyclopedia Britannica”: “That Josephus wrote the whole passage as it now stands no sane critic can believe.” “There are, however, two reasons which are alone sufficient to prove that the whole passage is spurious– one that it was unknown to Origen and the earlier fathers, and the other that its place in the text is uncertain.” (Ibid)
The Rev. Dr. Hooykaas, of Holland, says: “Flavius Josephus, the well known historian of the Jewish people, was born in A. D. 37, only two years after the death of Jesus; but though his work is of inestimable value as our chief authority for the circumstances of the times in which Jesus and his Apostles came forward, yet he does not seem to have mentioned Jesus himself. At any rate, the passage in his “Jewish Antiquities” that refers to him is certainly spurious, and was inserted by a later and a Christian hand.” (Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 27) This conclusion of Dr. Hooykaas is endorsed by the eminent Dutch critic, Dr. Kuenen.
Dr. Alexander Campbell, one of America’s ablest Christian apologists, says: “Josephus, the Jewish historian, was contemporary with the Apostles, having been born in the year 37. From his situation and habits, he had every access to know all that took place at the rise of the Christian religion. Respecting the founder of this religion, Josephus has thought fit to be silent in history. The present copies of his work contain one passage which speaks very respectfully of Jesus Christ, and ascribes to him the character of the Messiah. But as Josephus did not embrace Christianity, and as this passage is not quoted or referred to until the beginning of the fourth century, it is, for these and other reasons, generally accounted spurious” (Evidences of Christianity, from Campbell-Owen Debate, p. 312).