By Tom Quiner

A critic of Quiner’s Diner took me to task for my recent post, “Would you die for a lie?

He challenged me as follows:

“There’s practically no historical evidence for the crucifixion. What are you talking about?”

In other words, they’re not even willing to consider Christ’s resurrection until we resolve if Jesus was even crucified in the first place.

The New Testament is loaded with evidence.

The apostle Matthew is believed to have written his gospel 17 to 37 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. He corroborates the accounts of the crucifixion.

Mark the Evangelist wrote his gospel about 22 to 37 years after Jesus was crucified. Mark was a traveling companion of Peter and corroborates the accounts of the crucifixion.

Luke was a traveling companion of Paul and would have known Jesus’ disciples. His gospel is believed to have been written no more than 29 years after Jesus’ crucifixion and corroborates the accounts of the crucifixion.

John was another apostle and eyewitness to the crucifixion. His gospel was written some fifty to sixty years after Jesus’ crucifixion and corroborates the accounts of the crucifixion.

Paul is an interesting historian when it comes to Jesus’ crucifixion. He was a former enemy of Christianity who underwent a mystical conversion and became a Christian himself. He spent the rest of his life spreading the message that Jesus is Lord. He wrote a series of thirteen epistles some 18 to 25 years after the crucifixion, again testifying to the veracity of the events.

Interestingly, when you look at other major figures in the ancient past, their histories were written much later than the accounts written about Jesus.

For example, the earliest surviving histories of Alexander the Great were written 300 to 500 years after he died.

The earliest surviving histories of Buddha were written some 600 years following his death.

The accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth were written within a generation of his life when there were eye witnesses to corroborate … or refute … the testimony of the authors.

Detractors dismiss biblical accounts as being all about religion and lacking historical objectivity. Nonetheless, non-biblical sources confirm the life and death of Jesus, such as Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus:

Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus

“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive.”

Roman Senator, Cornelius Tacitus, also referenced the early Christians and Jesus:

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the

Roman Senator and Historian, Cornelius Tacitus

most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome.”

The Greek satirist, Lucian, acknowledged the life and death of Jesus:

Greek satirist, Lucian

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day – the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…”

Few critics deny that Jesus existed or was crucified by the Romans. Biblical and non-biblical evidence is compelling in this regard.

 

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  1. d. knapp on August 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I have often pointed to the actions of the apostles and Mary herself as evidence of the validity of the entire story of Christ. No man would knowingly put himself into the mortal danger and danger of imprisonment (with no accompanying self enrichment or gratification on the earthly plane) or watch a beloved son die a tortuous death for a lie. People (b/c they WANT to) forget that Mary knew the eventual outcome for her son of teaching him of his divinity. The followers of Christ also knew it would be a very hard row to hoe so to speak. They did not doubt that prison, torture, and death awaited them for spreading the gospel. As far as I know NONE benefited financially and most lost all they valued (freedom, family, and life). Being willfully obtuse is the only way one dismisses the story of Christ as complete fiction.

    • quinersdiner on August 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for these good points. It has been a few years since I wrote this piece. I marvel at the veracity of the historical record for Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. You connect the dots very well with your inclusion of Mary in the discussion. Thanks for writing.

      • d. knapp on August 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm

        I must admit having my own child was what clued me in on the importance of Mary’s courage in her part of the salvation mission. I came to personal belief as a woman in my 20s and b/c more convinced with my study of Christ’s followers and all they went through. The world convinces us of the mental illness or self serving nature of so many spiritual leaders in history and modern times. FEW have people dying (knowingly) for the message or willingly sending the child they bore into a torture and death for a myth or practical joke (as so many have suggested.) It was my own child that helped me see that side of it. I think I would have done the opposite of Mary. I’m not Catholic, and I don’t pray to her but I think she has DEFINITELY gotten the short shrift in the evangelical protestant churches.

        • quinersdiner on August 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

          Your Marian perspective is refreshing in a non-Catholic. It took me two decades as a Catholic convert before I really started giving her the time of day. I’m really glad I did. I ask her to intercede on behalf all the time with her Son.

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