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Common Facts Surrounding the Resurrection
Page 3: Fact 1 - Jesus Lived

There is an extensive body of evidence to support the existence of Christ. Both the excellent historical text of the New Testament and numerous secular historians record the events of His life. Numerous early writers reference Christ, including Thallus, Suetonius, Phlegon (known only by references of Origen), Pliny the younger, Origen, and the Jewish Talmud. In Origen's document Against Celsus, he writes,

"And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles." 1

Origen clearly identifies Jesus as a known man during the time of Tiberius Caesar. Another popular reference is that of Josephus, a Jewish historian born just a few years after Jesus died. In his book, The Antiquities of the Jews, finished in 93 A.D. Josephus writes,

"About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared." 2

Professor Gary Habermus sums up this evidence succinctly.

"Comparatively few recent scholars postulate that Jesus never lived. Such positions are usually viewed as blatant misuses of historical data." 3

Fact 2 - He Claimed to Be the Messiah -->

Origen. Against Celsus 2.33, from Roberts, Alexander, and Donaldson, James, eds. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdsmans Publishing Co., 1973.
Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Loeb edition, vol. IX, 18.3.3. Translated by Lewis H. Feldman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965.
Habermas, Gary R. Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987. p.131.

 Article info: 
By: Bill Smith
This article is adapted from Bill's book Firmly Rooted. Click here to learn how to get a copy.
 This Series: 
1 Who Was Jesus?
2 Where We All Agree
3 Fact 1 - Jesus Lived
4 Fact 2 - He Claimed to Be the Messiah
5 Fact 3 - He Suffered Torture and Death by Crucifixion
6 Fact 4 - His Body Was Placed in a Tomb, Sealed and Guarded
7 Fact 5 - On the Third Day the Tomb Was Found Empty, the Stone Moved
8 Fact 6 - Many Eyewitnesses Reported Seeing Him after His Death

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