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What About Jesus?

Part 2: How Do We Know Jesus Existed?

The Bible contains eyewitness accounts of people who saw, heard, and even touched Jesus. Peter gives us testimony of seeing Jesus receive glory from God, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” (II Peter 1:16-18)

In addition to the eyewitness accounts, the Bible’s biographies of Jesus (known as the Gospels) portray the historical events of His life and times with tremendous accuracy.

There are also non-Biblical historical references for the existence of Jesus. Ancient writers mention Jesus, some of the events of His life and times, and His followers. For example, Tacitus, the Roman historian confirms the basic facts of Jesus death when he wrote, “Christus, [Christ] the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius.”1 Josephus, the Jewish historian mentions Jesus in historical context as does the Jewish writings the Talmud, both of which are non-Christian. Any of these or other historical references to Jesus have only recently begun to be questioned because of theories invented by modern skeptics who reached their conclusions before examining the evidence. On this topic, the historian J. Gilchrist Lawson said, “The legendary, or mythical, theory of Christ’s existence is not held by any one worthy of the name scholar. The historical evidences of Christ’s existence are so much greater than those in support of any other event in ancient history; no candid scholar could reject them without also renouncing his belief in every event recorded in ancient history.”2 Thus, there is ample evidence that Jesus is a historical reality for anyone who will look with an open mind.

For more information, examine: Why I Believe, by Dr. D. James Kennedy, W Publishing Group, 1999

1 Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (San Bernardino, California: Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972), p. 86.

2 J. Gilchrist Lawson, Greatest Thoughts About Jesus Christ (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1919), p. 160.

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