The Historical Existence Of Jesus

2051 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 9 Pages
Introduction
Some scholars argue that evidence of Jesus of Nazareth 's existence can only be found within the writings of the New Testament. They believe that the New Testament is a biased and unreliable source for the existence of Jesus. They therefore claim that Jesus did not exist. The historical existence of Jesus is necessary to demonstrate the truth of Christianity. While Christian scholars do not discount the reliability of the New Testament as a historical document, they are also able to point to other historical documents and consider non-Christian writings which support the existence of Jesus. In this paper I will argue that Jesus the Nazarene was an actual, historical person and that this can be demonstrated through extra-Biblical resources.
Tacitus
Tacitus, perhaps the greatest Roman historian, provides us with an account of the fire of Rome.1 It is within this account, recorded in The Annals, that Tacitus mentions Jesus. In chapters 38 through 45 of Annals 15, Tacitus discusses how Nero implicated Christians as those responsible for the fire.
But neither human resourcefulness nor the emperor’s largesse nor appeasement of the gods could stop belief in the nasty rumor that an order had been given for the fire. To dispel the gossip Nero therefore found culprits on whom he inflicted the most exotic punishments. These were people hated for their shameful offences whom the common people called Christians. The man who gave them their name, Christus, had been executed…
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