deed we should call him a man; for
he was a doer of marvelous deeds,
a teacher of men who receive the
truth with pleasure” (emp. added).
Then, in section 20, Josephus docu-
mented how a man named Ananus
brought before the Sanhedrin “a
man named James,
the brother of
Jesus who was called the Christ
and certain others” (emp. added).
About 20 years later, Tacitus, a
Roman historian, wrote a book
surveying the history of Rome. In it
he described how Nero (the Roman
emperor) “punished with every re-
finement the notoriously depraved
Christians (as they were popularly
called).” He went on to write that
, had been
executed in Tiberius’ reign by the
governor of Judea, Pontius Pilatus”
, 15:44, emp. added). Even
though Tacitus, Josephus, and other
historians from the first and second
centuries A.D. were not followers of
Christ, they did have
say about Him—and they even
verified that Jesus was
a real person Who
was so famous that
He even attracted
the attention of the
Roman emperor himself!
Another obvious reason to be-
lieve that Jesus was a real person is
because our entire dating method
is based upon His existence. The
letters “B.C.” stand for “before
Christ,” and the letters “A.D.”
“in the year of the Lord.” So when a
history teacher speaks of Alexander
the Great ruling much of the world
in 330 B.C., he or she is admitting
that Alexander lived about 330
years before Jesus was born.
Even though this is only a sam-
pling of the evidence relating to the
man known as Jesus, it is enough to
prove that He was a real person, and
not just some imaginary character.
We do not accept His existence
blindly—it is a historical fact!
Acharya, S. (1999),
The Christ Conspiracy: The
Greatest Story Ever Sold
(Kempton, IL: Adven-
tures Unlimited Press).
Josephus, Flavius (1957 reprint),
The Life and
Works of Flavius Josephus
, trans. William
Whitson (Philadelphia, PA: John Whitson).
Massey, Gerald (1985),
Gnostic and Historic
(Edmond, WA: Holmes Publish-
Tacitus, Cornelius P. (1952 reprint),
Annals and the Histories
, trans. Michael
Grant (Chicago, IL: William Benton).