SC> Uhm, there is actual historical proof that a Jesus of Nazareth did exist, and was considered a political rebel, who was crucified for treason. This was recorded by a Roman in the time of Augustus.
PS> Beautiful! Present the relevant quote, in context, please. Did the Roman you mention refer to Jesus of Nazareth by name? Did said Roman live at the same time that Jesus did?
He is referring to the Roman historian Tacitus, who, writing between 115-117 A.D. had this to say:
"They got their name from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. That checked the pernicious superstition for a short time, but it broke out afresh-not only in Judea, where the plague first arose, but in Rome itself, where all the horrible and shameful things in the world collect and find a home." From his Annals, xv. 44.
Here is a pagan historian, hostile to Christianity, who had access to records about what happened to Jesus Christ. Mention of Jesus can also be found in Jewish Rabbinical writings from what is known as the Tannaitic period, between 70-200 A.D. In Sanhedrin 43a it says:
"Jesus was hanged on Passover Eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, 'He is being led out for stoning, because he has practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and enticed them into apostasy. Whoever has anything to say in his defence, let him come and declare it.' As nothing was brought forward in his defence, he was hanged on Passover Eve."
I know you are seeking contemporary verification for the existence of Jesus Christ, someone outside the New Testament, who lived at the same time that he did. The British historian F. F. Bruce commented on this when he said:
"When we are asked what "collateral proof" exists of the life of Jesus Christ, would it be unfair to begin by asking another question? IN which contemporary writers-in which writers who flourished, say, during the first fifty years after the death of Christ-would you expect to find the collateral evidence you are looking for?
Well, perhaps it would be rather unfair, as the man in the street can hardly be expected to know who was writing in the Greco-Roman world during those fifty years; the classical student himself has to scratch his head in an attempt to remember who they were. It is surprising how few writings, comparatively speaking, have survived from those years of a kind which might be even remotely expected to mention Christ." from the book Jesus & Christian Origins Outside The New Testament. page 17. Eerdmans. 1974.
As far as the Roman world was concerned, Jesus was a nobody who live in an insignificant province, sentenced to death by a minor procurator.
Only Tacitus mentions him in passing in his history, as I quoted above. I get the impression you are suspicious of any christian sources that discuss the historicity of Jesus. If this is the case let me recommend a book that goes into detail on the whole subject of the Bible written by an Oxford historian who also happens to be an avowed atheist. The book is entitled The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible. by Robin Lane Fox. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 1992.
There is no question in his mind that Jesus was an actual historical figure. He discusses in detail why. I have just given you a brief rundown from ancient sources outside the New Testament, hostile sources at that. If you want more in-depth check out the book by Fox. While there is much that I disagree with in Fox, I respect his overall scholarship and balance in dealing with the subject matter.
Want 20/20 hindsight? Go read History
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