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Historicity of Jesus


As on 6 July 2013



Taken from: Wikipedia - Historicity of Jesus



Introduction


The question of the historicity of Jesus deals with the analysis of historical data to determine if Jesus existed as a historical figure, approximately where and when he lived, and if any of the major milestones in his life, such as his method of death, can be confirmed as historical events. In contrast, the study of the historical Jesus goes beyond the question of his historicity and attempts to reconstruct portraits of his life and teachings, based on methods such as biblical criticism of gospel texts and the history of first century Judea.

Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[1][2][3][4] and although there is little agreement on the historicity of gospel narratives and their theological assertions of his divinity,[5][6][7][8] biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[9][10][11] Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7 and 2 BC and died 30–36 AD.[12][13][14] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea, did not preach or study elsewhere[15][16][17] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and possibly Greek.[18][19][20] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal assent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and shortly afterwards was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[21][22][23][24]

Beyond baptism and crucifixion, scholars attribute varying levels of certainty to the historicity of other events and a list of eight facts that may be historically certain about Jesus and his followers has been widely discussed.[22][25][26] However, scholarly agreement on this extended list is not universal, e.g. while some scholars accept that Jesus recruited disciples, others maintain that Jesus imposed no hierarchy and preached to all in equal terms.[22][26]

Since the 18th century a number of quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, and historical critical methods for studying the historicity of Jesus have been developed. Various Christian and non-Christian sources are used to study and establish the historicity of Jesus, e.g. Jewish sources such as Josephus, and Roman sources such as Tacitus. These sources are compared and contrasted to Christian sources such as the Pauline Letters and the Synoptic Gospels to determine the historicity of Jesus. These sources are usually independent of each other (e.g. Jewish sources do not draw upon Roman sources), and similarities and differences between them are used in the authentication process.[27][28]



Existence and chronology


Existence and location

The question of the existence of Jesus as a historical figure is distinct from the study of the historical Jesus which goes beyond the analysis of his historicity and attempts to reconstruct portraits of his life and teachings, based on methods such as biblical criticism of gospel texts and the history of first century Judea.[29][30][31][32]

Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and most biblical scholars and classical historians see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[1][3][4][9][10][11] In antiquity, the existence of Jesus was never denied by those who opposed Christianity.[33][34] Robert E. Van Voorst states that the idea of the non-historicity of the existence of Jesus has always been controversial, and has consistently failed to convince virtually all scholars of many disciplines.[9] There is, however, widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and the agreement on his existence does not include agreement on his divinity.[5][6][7][8]

Although a very small number of modern scholars argue that Jesus never existed, that view is a distinct minority and virtually all scholars consider theories that Jesus' existence was a Christian invention as implausible.[8][30] Christopher Tuckett states that the existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by Pontius Pilate seem to be part of the bedrock of historical tradition, based on the availability of non-Christian evidence.[30] Graham Stanton states that "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".[11]

A number of ancient non-Christian documents, such as Jewish and Greco-Roman sources, have been used in historical analyses of the existence of Jesus.[35] These include the works of 1st-century Roman historians Josephus and Tacitus.[35][36] Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman has stated that "few have doubted the genuineness" of Josephus' reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20, 9, 1 and it is only disputed by a small number of scholars.[37][38][39][40] Bart D. Ehrman states that the existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by the Romans is attested to by a wide range of sources, including Josephus and Tacitus.[41]

The Mishnah (c. 200) may refer to Jesus and reflect the early Jewish traditions of portraying Jesus as a sorcerer or magician.[42][43][44][45] Other possible references to Jesus and his execution may exist in the Talmud, but they also aim to discredit his actions, not deny his existence.[42][46][47]

Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7 and 2 BC and died 30–36 AD.[12][13] However, in a review of the state of modern scholarship, Amy-Jill Levine stated: "Beyond recognizing that 'Jesus was Jewish' rarely does scholarship address what being 'Jewish' means."[48]

Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea.[15][16][17] The Talmud refers to "Jesus the Nazarene" several times and scholars such as Andreas Kostenberger and Robert Van Voorst hold that some of these references are to Jesus.[47][49] Nazareth is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian gospels portray it as an insignificant village, John 1:46 asking "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"[50] Craig S. Keener states that it is rarely disputed that Jesus was from Nazareth, an obscure small village not worthy of invention.[50][51] Gerd Theissen concurs with that conclusion.[52]

The languages spoken in Galilee and Judea during the first century include the Semitic Aramaic and Hebrew languages as well as Greek, with Aramaic being the predominant language.[18][19] Most scholars agree that during the early part of the first century, Aramaic was the mother tongue of virtually all women in Galilee and Judea.[20] Most scholars support the theory that Jesus spoke Aramaic and that he may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[18][19][53][54]

Most scholars reject that there is any evidence that an adult Jesus traveled or studied outside Galilee and Judea.[55][56] Robert Van Voorst states that modern scholarship has "almost unanimously agreed" that claims of the travels of Jesus to Tibet, Kashmir or India contain "nothing of value".[57]


Basic historical facts

The reconstruction of portraits of the historical Jesus along with his life story has been the subject of wide ranging debate among scholars, with no scholarly consensus.[31] In a review of the state of research Amy-Jill Levine stated that "no single picture of Jesus has convinced all, or even most scholars" and that all portraits of Jesus are subject to criticism by some group of scholars.[31]

However, regardless of the scholarly disagreements on the reconstruction of portraits of the historical Jesus, almost all modern scholars consider the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion to be two historically certain facts about him.[21][58] James Dunn states that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent" and "rank so high on the 'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are often the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus.[21]

Beyond these two key events, scholars attribute levels of certainty to other episodes, e.g. E.P. Sanders and separately Craig A. Evans go further and state that there are two other incidents in the life of Jesus can be historical, one that Jesus called disciples, the other that he caused a controversy at the Temple.[25] This extended view assumes that there are 8 elements about Jesus and his followers that can be viewed as historical facts, 4 episodes in the life of Jesus and 4 facts about him and his followers, namely:[22][25]
- Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. He called disciples. He had a controversy at the Temple. Jesus was crucified by the Romans near Jerusalem.[22][25]
- Jesus was a Galilean. His activities were confined to Galilee and Judea. After his death his disciples continued. Some of his disciples were persecuted.[22][25]

But scholarly agreement on this extended list is not universal, and beyond the two basic facts of baptism and crucifixion, scholarly consensus begins to dilute.[22][25][26] For instance, N. T. Wright accepts that there were twelve disciples, but holds that the list of their names can not be determined with certainty, while John Dominic Crossan disagrees with Wright, and believes that Jesus did not call disciples and had an "open to all" egalitarian approach, imposed no hierarchy and preached to all in equal terms.[22] On the other hand John P. Meier sees the calling of disciples a natural consequence of the information available about Jesus.[22]

Although there is disagreement about issues such as the calling of disciples, the agreement on crucifixion is very widespread, and most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable.[23][59][60][61] Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus.[24] Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him.[60] John Dominic Crossan states that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.[23] John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that based on the criterion of embarrassment Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.[61] Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation (i.e. confirmation by more than one source), the criterion of coherence (i.e. that it fits with other historical elements) and the criterion of rejection (i.e. that it is not disputed by ancient sources) help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event.[62]

Although scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it, e.g. both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion, but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion, and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a Christian story.[63] Geza Vermes also views the crucifixion as a historical event but provides his own explanation and background for it.[63]

The existence of John the Baptist within the same time frame as Jesus, and his eventual execution by Herod Antipas is attested to by first-century historian Josephus and the overwhelming majority of modern scholars view Josephus' accounts of the activities of John the Baptist as authentic.[64][65] One of the arguments in favor of the historicity of the Baptism of Jesus by John is that it is a story which the early Christian Church would have never wanted to invent, typically referred to as the criterion of embarrassment in historical analysis.[66][67][68] The four gospels are not the only references to the baptisms performed by John and in Acts 10:37-38, the apostle Peter refers to how the ministry of Jesus followed "the baptism which John preached".[69] Another argument used in favour of the historicity of the baptism is that multiple accounts refer to it, usually called the criterion of multiple attestation.[70] Technically, multiple attestation does not guarantee authenticity, but only determines antiquity.[71] However, for most scholars, together with the criterion of embarrassment it lends credibility to the baptism of Jesus by John being a historical event.[70][72][73][74]

Amy-Jill Levine has summarized the situation by stating that "there is a consensus of sorts on the basic outline of Jesus' life" in that most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, debated Jewish authorities on the subject of God, performed some healings, gathered followers, and was crucified by Roman prefect Pontius Pilate who reigned 26-36 AD.[14]


Chronology

Diverse approaches have been used to estimate the chronology of Jesus, ranging from the comparison of the accounts in the Christian gospels with Roman and Jewish sources regarding facts such as the marriage of Herodias and separately the Jerusalem Temple, to correlation with the well established chronology of Paul of Tarsus, to astronomical analysis based on an approach first suggested by Isaac Newton.[12][13][77][78][79]

Two independent approaches can be used to estimate the year of birth of Jesus, one based on the nativity accounts in the gospels, the other by working backwards from the date of the start of his ministry. Most scholars assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC.[80]

Three independent approaches to estimate the dates of the ministry of Jesus (when he started calling disciples, generally considered to be after his baptism) are: first, the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, second: the date of the building of the Jerusalem Temple and third, the date of the death of John the Baptist.[12][64][77][81][82][83] Scholars generally estimate that the ministry of Jesus began around AD 27-29 and lasted at least one year, and perhaps three years, or more.[12][81][84][85]

At least four distinct approaches have been used to estimate the date of the crucifixion of Jesus. One approach uses the attestations of non-Christian sources such as Josephus and Tacitus.[86][87] Both Josephus,[88] writing in Antiquities of the Jews (c. AD 93), and the early 2nd-century Roman historian Tacitus,[89] writing in The Annals (c. AD 116), state that Pilate ordered the execution of Jesus.[90] A separate approach uses the reign of Herod Antipas. Another method works backwards from the historically well established trial of Apostle Paul in Achaea to estimate the date of his conversion.[91][91][92][93] Two independent astronomical methods have also been used, suggesting the same date, i.e. Friday, April 3, AD 33.[94][95][96] Scholars generally agree that Jesus died AD 30-36.[12][13][91][97]

Josephus provides a useful link between the chronology of the ministry of Jesus and his death. Most modern scholars also view Josephus' account (in Antiquities 18.5.2) of the execution of John the Baptist by Herod Antipas, and the marriage of Herod and Herodias to be authentic.[64][77][83][98] Given that John the Baptist was executed before the defeat of Herod by Aretas IV of Nabatea in the AD 36, and based on the scholarly estimates for the approximate date of the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias AD 28-35, Josephus establishes a key connection between the time frame of the ministry of Jesus and his execution.[64][77][99][100]

The Pauline letters, which were written before the Christian gospels, also shed light on the chronology of Jesus. The estimation of the date of the conversion of Paul places the death of Jesus before this conversion, which is estimated at around AD 33-36.[91][92][93] The estimation of the year of Paul's conversion relies on a series of calculations working backwards from the well established date of his trial before Gallio (who was mentioned in the Delphi Inscription) in Achaea Greece (Acts 18:12-17) AD 51-52, the meeting of Priscilla and Aquila which were expelled from Rome about AD 49 and the 14-year period before returning to Jerusalem in Galatians 2:1.[75][91][92][93] Scholars generally agree that this expulsion from Rome is likely the same as that reported by Suetonius in Claudius 25 in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars further confirming the consistency of the Pauline-based chronology.[101][102][103]




Myth theory


The term "Christ myth theory" is an umbrella term that applies to a range of arguments that in one way or another question the authenticity of the existence of Jesus or the essential elements of his life as described in the Christian gospels.[105][106][107][108] Among the variants of the Jesus myth theory, the "strong myth variant"; the notion that Jesus never existed, has little scholarly support, and although some modern scholars adhere to it, they remain a distinct minority; virtually all scholars involved with historical Jesus research believe that his existence can be established.[9][109][110]

The beginnings of the formal denial of the existence of Jesus can be traced to late 18th-century France, and the works of Constantin-Volney and Charles Dupuis.[111] Although in Dialogue with Trypho, the second-century Christian writer Justin Martyr wrote of a discussion about "Christ" with Trypho, most scholars agree that Trypho is a fictional character invented by Justin for his literary apologetic goals.[112][113][114]

In 1835, the methodical writings of David Friedrich Strauss caused an uproar in Europe, and Strauss became known as the founder of Christ myth theory, his approach having been influenced by the epistemological views of Leibniz and Spinoza.[104][115] Strauss did not deny the existence of Jesus, but believed that very few facts could be known about him and characterized the miraculous accounts in the gospels as "mythical".[115][116][117] By the beginning of the 20th century, Arthur Drews, William B. Smith and John M. Robertson became the most recognized proponents of the Christ myth theory.[111][118] In the 20th century, scholars such as professor of German language G. A. Wells, Swedish professor of English language Alvar Ellegård, and philosopher and theologian Robert M. Price produced a number of arguments to support the Christ myth theory.

One element of the criticism presented by Jesus myth theorists are arguments from silence that rely on the lack of first century, non-Christian sources about Jesus.[119][120] An example is that in Embassy to Gaius (c. 40 AD), Philo criticized the brutality of Pontius Pilate but did not name Jesus as an example of Pilate's cruelty.[121] Van Voorst states that in the year 40 Christians were not a significant group and Philo never mentions them at all, so he likely had no need to mention their founder.[121] Opponents of myth theory contend that in a global cultural context the existence and general life stories of historical figures such as Plato or Socrates are established by the analysis of references to them in later documents rather than by specific relics and remnants attributed to them.[122][123][124] Evans states that if Christianity had not survived beyond the first century, Jews would not have even bothered to mention it in the Midrash.[125]

Virtually all scholars accept the existence of Jesus, but differ on the accuracy of the details of his life within the biblical narratives.[1][126] Some elements of the Christ myth theory are still debated in the 21st century, with Graham Stanton stating in 2002 that the most thorough analysis of the theory had been by George Albert Wells.[127] But Wells' book Did Jesus Exist? was criticized by James D.G. Dunn in his book The Evidence for Jesus.[128] Wells then changed his views regarding the existence of Jesus towards the end of the 20th century - while he used to argue that there was no historical evidence supporting the existence of Jesus, he later modified his position, and in his later book Can We Trust the New Testament? stated that the historical information about Jesus is "not all mythical", although still disputing the gospel portrayals of his life.[129][130][131][132] Robert Van Voorst states that among "New Testament scholars and historians the theory of the non-existence of Jesus remains effectively dead as a scholarly question".[130][131]



Methods of research


While textual criticism (or lower criticism) had been practiced for centuries, a number of approaches to historical analysis and a number of criteria for evaluating the historicity of events emerged as of 18th century, as a series of "Quests for the historical Jesus" took place. At each stage of development, scholars suggested specific forms and methodologies of analysis and specific criteria to be used to determine historical validity.[133]

The first Quest, which started in 1778, was almost entirely based on biblical criticism. This was supplemented with form criticism in 1919 and redaction criticism in 1948.[133] Form criticism began as an attempt to trace the history of the biblical material before it was written down, and may thus be seen as starting when textual criticism ends.[134] Form criticism looks for patterns within units of biblical text and attempts to trace their origin based on the patterns.[134] Redaction criticism may be viewed as the child of text criticism and form criticism.[135] This approach views an author as a "redactor" i.e. someone preparing a report, and tries to understand how the redactor(s) has molded the narrative to express their own perspectives.[135]

At the end of the first Quest (c. 1906) the criterion for multiple attestation was used and was the major additional element up to 1950s.[133] The concept behind multiple attestation is simple: as the number of independent sources that vouch for an event increases, confidence in the historical authenticity of the event rises.[133]

Other criteria were being developed at the same time, e.g. "double dissimilarity" in 1913, "least distinctiveness" in 1919 and "coherence and consistency" in 1921.[133] The criterion of double dissimilarity views a reported saying or action of Jesus as possibly authentic, if it is dissimilar from both the Judaism of his time and also from the traditions of the early Christianity that immediately followed him.[136] The least distinctiveness criterion relies on the assumption that when stories are passed from person to person, the peripheral, least distinct elements may be distorted, but the central element remains unchanged.[137] The criterion of "coherence and consistency" states that material can be used only when other material has been identified as authentic to corroborate it.[133]

The second Quest was launched in 1953, and along with it the criterion of embarrassment was introduced.[133] This criterion states that a group is unlikely to invent a story that would be embarrassing to themselves.[133] The criterion of "historical plausibility" was introduced in 1997, after the start of the third Quest in 1988.[133] This principle analyzes the plausibility of an event in terms of two separate components: contextual plausibility and consequential plausibility, i.e. the historical context needs to be suitable, as well as the consequences.[133]

While the first quest was dominated by "maximalist" approaches in which most of the gospels accounts were accepted, by the beginning of the 20th century under the influence of Rudolph Bultmann a "minimalist" period began in which beyond his existence, hardly anything about Jesus was accepted as historical.[138][139][140] From the 1950s onwards, in the second quest the minimalist approaches faded away, and many scholars held that various elements of Jesus' life can be known as "historically probable" beyond the minimal facts which are historically certain.[139][140][141] In the 21st century, although no totally maximalist view is accepted, minimalists such as Price are a very small minority with no academic following and modern scholarly research on the historical Jesus focuses on what is historically probable, or plausible about Jesus.[142][143][144][145]



Non-Christian sources


Josephus

The writings of the 1st century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity.[146][147] Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to Jesus in Books 18 and 20.[146][148]

Of the two passages the James passage in Book 20 is used by scholars to support the existence of Jesus, the Testimonium Flavianum in Book 18 his crucifixion.[27] Josephus' James passage not only attests to the existence of Jesus as a historical person but that some of his contemporaries considered him the Messiah.[27][149]

The passage deals with the death of "James the brother of Jesus" in Jerusalem, and given that works of Josephus refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus, Josephus clarifies that this Jesus was the one "who was called Christ".[150] [151] Louis Feldman states that this passage, above others, indicates that Josephus did say something about Jesus.[152]

Modern scholarship has almost universally acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" [153] and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity.[146][147][154][155][156][157]

The Testimonium Flavianum (meaning the testimony of Flavius [Josephus]) is the name given to the passage found in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities in which Josephus describes the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Roman authorities.[158][159] Scholars have differing opinions on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, a passage usually called the Testimonium Flavianum.[146][159] The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation.[149][159][160][161][162] Although the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear[163] there is broad consensus as to what the original text of the Testimonium by Josephus would have looked like.[162]

The references found in Antiquities have no parallel texts in the other work by Josephus such as the Jewish War, written 20 years earlier, but some scholars have provided explanations for their absence, e.g. that the Antiquities covers a longer time period and that during the 20 year gap between the writing of the Jewish Wars (c. 70 AD) and Antiquities (after 90 AD) Christians had become more important in Rome and were hence given attention in the Antiquities.[164]

A number of variations exist between the statements by Josephus regarding the deaths of James and the New Testament accounts.[165] Scholars generally view these variations as indications that the Josephus passages are not interpolations, for a Christian interpolator would have made them correspond to the Christian traditions, not differ from them.[150][165] For an extensive discussion of the scholarly arguments regarding these Josephus passages, see the article Josephus on Jesus.


Tacitus

The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate and the existence of early Christians in Rome in his final work, Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.[166][167][168]

Scholars generally consider Tacitus's reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate to be both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source about early Christianity that is in unison with other historical records.[121][169][170][171][172] Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus.[24] Although a few scholars question the passage given that Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus's death, the majority of scholars consider it genuine.[121] William L. Portier has stated that the consistency in the references by Tacitus, Josephus and the letters to Emperor Trajan by Pliny the Younger reaffirm the validity of all three accounts.[172]

Tacitus was a patriotic Roman senator and his writings shows no sympathy towards Christians.[169][173][173][174][175] Andreas Köstenberger and separately Robert E. Van Voorst state that the tone of the passage towards Christians is far too negative to have been authored by a Christian scribe - a conclusion shared by John P. Meier[121][176][177] Robert E. Van Voorst states that "of all Roman writers, Tacitus gives us the most precise information about Christ".[121] John Dominic Crossan considers the passage important in establishing that Jesus existed and was crucified, and states: "That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus... agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact."[178] Bart D. Ehrman states: "Tacitus's report confirms what we know from other sources, that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, sometime during Tiberius's reign."[179]

Some scholars have debated the historical value of the passage, given that Tacitus does not reveal the source of his information.[180] Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz argue that Tacitus at times had drawn on earlier historical works now lost to us, and he may have used official sources from a Roman archive in this case; however, if Tacitus had been copying from an official source, some scholars would expect him to have labeled Pilate correctly as a prefect rather than a procurator.[181] Theissen and Merz state that Tacitus gives us a description of widespread prejudices about Christianity and a few precise details about "Christus" and Christianity, the source of which remains unclear.[182] However, Paul R. Eddy has stated that given his position as a senator Tacitus was also likely to have had access to official Roman documents of the time and did not need other sources.[183]

By the end of the 19th century, there was a hypothesis that the Annals had been fabricated by 15th-century Italian author Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459).[184][185][186] However, when Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 - 1375) was commissioned by the city of Florence to write Commento di Dante which he completed c. 1374 (before the birth of Poggio Bracciolini), he made clear use of the Annals when he gave an account of Seneca's death directly based on the Tacitus account in Annals book 15.[187][188] According to Van Voorst the forging of the Annals by Poggio Bracciolini was an extreme hypothesis which never gained a following among modern scholars.[186]


The Talmud

The Babylonian Talmud in a few cases includes possible references to Jesus using the terms "Yeshu," "Yeshu ha-Notzri," "ben Stada," and "ben Pandera". Some of these references probably date back to the Tannaitic period (70–200 AD).[45][47] In some cases, it is not clear if the references are to Jesus, or other people, and scholars continue to debate their historical value, and exactly which references, if any, may be to Jesus.[46][189][190]

Robert Van Voorst states that the scarcity of Jewish references to Jesus is not surprising, given that Jesus was not a prominent issue for the Jews during the first century, and after the devastation caused by the Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70, Jewish scholars were focusing on preserving Judaism itself, rather than paying much attention to Christianity.[191]

Van Voorst states that although the question of who was referred to in various points in the Talmud remains subject to debate among scholars, in the case of Sanhedrin 43a (generally considered the most important reference to Jesus in rabbinic literature), Jesus can be confirmed as the subject of the passage, not only from the reference itself, but from the context that surrounds it, and there is little doubt that it refers to the death of Jesus of Nazareth.[43][49] Christopher M. Tuckett states that if it is accepted that death narrative of Sanhedrin 43a refers to Jesus of Nazareth then it provides evidence of Jesus' existence and execution.[192]

Andreas Kostenberger states that the passage is a Tannaitic reference to the trial and death of Jesus at Passover and is most likely earlier than other references to Jesus in the Talmud.[47] The passage reflects hostility toward Jesus among the rabbis and includes this text:[45][47]

It is taught: On the eve of Passover they hung Yeshu and the crier went forth for forty days beforehand declaring that "[Yeshu] is going to be stoned for practicing witchcraft, for enticing and leading Israel astray. Anyone who knows something to clear him should come forth and exonerate him." But no one had anything exonerating for him and they hung him on the eve of Passover.[193]


Peter Schäfer states that there can be no doubt that the narrative of the execution of Jesus in the Talmud refers to Jesus of Nazareth, but states that the rabbinic literature in question are not Tannaitic but from a later Amoraic period and may have drawn on the Christian gospels, and may have been written as responses to them.[44] Bart Ehrman and separately Mark Allan Powell state that given that the Talmud references are quite late, they can give no historically reliable information about the teachings or actions of Jesus during his life.[194][195]

Another reference in early second century Rabbinic literature (Tosefta Hullin II 22) refers to Rabbi Eleazar ben Dama who was bitten by a snake, but was denied healing in the name of Jesus by another Rabbi for it was against the law, and thus died.[42] This passage reflects the attitude of Jesus' early Jewish opponents, i.e. that his miracles were based on evil powers.[42][196]

Eddy and Boyd, who question the value of several of the Talmudic references state that the significance of the Talmud to historical Jesus research is that it never denies the existence of Jesus, but accuses him of sorcery, thus indirectly confirming his existence.[46] R. T. France and separately Edgar V. McKnight state that the divergence of the Talmud statements from the Christian accounts and their negative nature indicate that they are about a person who existed.[197][198] Craig Blomberg states that the denial of the existence of Jesus was never part of the Jewish tradition, which instead accused him of being a sorcerer and magician, as also reflected in other sources such as Celsus.[45] Andreas Kostenberger states that the overall conclusion that can be drawn from the references in the Talmud is that Jesus was a historical person whose existence was never denied by the Jewish tradition, which instead focused on discrediting him.[47]


Mara bar Sarapion

Mara (son of Sarapion) was a Stoic philosopher from the Roman province of Syria.[101][199] Sometime between 73 AD and the 3rd century, Mara wrote a letter to his son (also called Sarapion) which may contain an early non-Christian reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.[101][200][201]

The letter refers to the unjust treatment of "three wise men": the murder of Socrates, the burning of Pythagoras, and the execution of "the wise king" of the Jews.[101][199] The author explains that in all three cases the wrongdoing resulted in the future punishment of those responsible by God and that when the wise are oppressed, not only does their wisdom triumph in the end, but God punishes their oppressors.[201]

The letter includes no Christian themes and the author is presumed to be a pagan.[199][200] Some scholars see the reference to the execution of the "wise king" of the Jews as an early non-Christian reference to Jesus.[101][199][200] Criteria that support the non-Christian origin of the letter include the observation that "king of the Jews" was not a Christian title, and that the letter's premise that Jesus lives on based on the wisdom of his teachings is in contrast to the Christian concept that Jesus continues to live through his resurrection.[200][201]

Scholars such as Robert Van Voorst see little doubt that the reference to the execution of the "king of the Jews" is about the death of Jesus.[201] Others such as Craig A. Evans see less value in the letter, given its uncertain date, and the possible ambiguity in the reference.[202]


Suetonius

The Roman historian Suetonius made references to early Christians and their leader in his work Lives of the Twelve Caesars.[101][102][203][204] The references appear in Claudius 25 and Nero 16 which describe the lives of Roman Emperors Claudius and Nero.[102] The Nero 16 passage refers to the abuses by Nero and mentions how he inflicted punishment on Christians - which is generally dated to around AD 64.[205] This passage shows the clear contempt of Suetonius for Christians - the same contempt expressed by Tacitus and Pliny the younger in their writings, but does not refer to Jesus himself.[203]

The earlier passage in Claudius, may include a reference to Jesus, but is subject to debate among scholars.[204] In Claudius 25 Suetonius refers to the expulsion of Jews by Claudius and states:[102]

"Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."


The reference in Claudius 25 involves the agitations in the Jewish community which led to the expulsion of some Jews from Rome by Claudius, and is likely the same event mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (18:2).[101] Most historians date this expulsion to around AD 49-50.[101][103] Suetonius refers to the leader of the Christians as Chrestus (a term which may have also been used by Tacitus) and was also common at the time, particularly for slaves, meaning good or useful.[206] However, Suetonius is confused in the passage and assumes that Chrestus was alive at the time of the disturbance and was agitating the Jews in Rome.[101][162] The confusion of Suetonius weakens the historical value of his reference as a whole, and there is no overall scholarly agreement about its value as a reference to Jesus.[162][204] However, the confusion of Suetonius also points to the lack of Christian interpolation, for a Christian scribe would not have confused the Jews with Christians.[162][204]

Most scholars assume that in the reference Jesus is meant and that the disturbances mentioned were due to the spread of Christianity in Rome.[207][204][208] However, scholars are divided on the value of the Suetonius' reference. Some scholars such as Craig A. Evans, John Meier and Craig S. Keener see it as a likely reference to Jesus.[209][210] Others such as Stephen Benko and H. Dixon Slingerland see it as having little or no historical value.[204]


Peripheral sources

Pliny the Younger (c. 61 - c. 112), the provincial governor of Pontus and Bithynia, wrote to Emperor Trajan c. 112 concerning how to deal with Christians, who refused to worship the emperor, and instead worshiped "Christus". Charles Guignebert, who does not doubt that Jesus of the Gospels lived in Gallilee in the 1st century, nevertheless dismisses this letter as acceptable historical evidence."[211]

Lucian of Samosata (Born 115 AD) a well-known Greek satirist and traveling lecturer wrote mockingly of the followers of Jesus for their ignorance and credulity.[212][213] Given that Lucian's understanding of Christian traditions has significant gaps and errors, his writing is unlikely to have been influenced by Christians themselves, and he may provide an independent statement about the crucifixion of Jesus.[213] However, given the nature of the text as satire, Lucian may have embellished the stories he heard and his account cannot have a high degree of historical reliability.[212]

The Dead Sea scrolls are first century or older writings that show the language and customs of some Jews of Jesus' time.[214] Scholars such as Henry Chadwick see the similar uses of languages and viewpoints recorded in the New Testament and the Dead Sea scrolls as valuable in showing that the New Testament portrays the first century period that it reports and is not a product of a later period.[215][216] However, the relationship between the Dead Sea scrolls and the historicity of Jesus has been the subject of highly controversial theories, and although new theories continue to appear, there is no overall scholarly agreement about their impact on the historicity of Jesus, despite the usefulness of the scrolls in shedding light on first-century Jewish traditions.[217][218]


Others

Thallus, of whom very little is known, and none of whose writings survive wrote a history around AD 52, to which Eusebius referred. Julius Africanus, writing c 221, while discussing the crucifixion of Jesus mentioned Thallus and stated that in his third book of History, Thallus talked about the earth shaking and a great darkness which he called an eclipse of the sun.[213][219] The Thallus reference is the earliest noncanonical reference to a gospel episode, but its usefulness in determining the historicity of Jesus is uncertain.[213]

Celsus writing late in the second century produced the first full scale attack on Christianity.[213][220] Celsus' document has not survived but in the third century Origen replied to it, and what is known of Celsus' writing is through the responses of Origen.[213] According to Origen, Celsus accused Jesus of being a magician and a sorcerer. While the statements of Celsus may be seen as a confirmation of the miracles of Jesus, they have little historical value, given that the wording of the original writings can not be examined.[220]

The Acts of Pilate is a purported official document from Pontius Pilate (or composed from reports at the praetorium at Jerusalem) reporting events in Judea to Emperor Tiberius, and referring to the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as his miracles.[221] The authenticity of the document is unlikely and there is no historical basis that Roman governors wrote reports about non-citizens who were put to death.[220] Most modern scholars view the Acts of Pilate as not authentic and as a Christian composition designed to refute pagan sources.[221]



Christian sources


Pauline Epistles

Overview
In the context of Christian sources, even if all other texts are ignored, the Pauline epistles can provide some information regarding Jesus, just on their own.[30][222] This information does not include a narrative of the life of Jesus, but refers to his existence as a person, and a few specific items such as his death by crucifixion.[223] This information comes from those letters of Paul whose authenticity is not disputed.[222]

Of the thirteen letters that bear Paul's name, seven are considered authentic by almost all scholars, and the others are generally considered pseudepigraphic.[224][225][226][227] The 7 undisputed letters (and their approximate dates) are: 1 Thessalonians (c. 51 AD), Philippians (c. 52-54 AD), Philemon (c. 52-54 AD), 1 Corinthians (c. 53-54 AD), Galatians (c. 55 AD), 2 Corinthians (c. 55-56 AD) and Romans (c. 55-58 AD).[224][226][227] The authenticity of these letters is accepted by almost all scholars, and they have been referenced and interpreted by early authors such as Origen and Eusebius.[225][228]

Given that the Pauline epistles are generally dated to AD 50 to AD 60, they are the earliest surviving Christian texts that include information about Jesus.[227] These letters were written approximately twenty to thirty years after the generally accepted time period for the death of Jesus, around AD 30-36.[227] The letters were written during a time when Paul recorded encounters with the disciples of Jesus, e.g. Galatians 1:18 states that several years after his conversion Paul went to Jerusalem and stayed with Apostle Peter for fifteen days.[227]

The Pauline letters were not intended to provide a narrative of the life of Jesus, but were written as expositions of Christian teachings.[227][229] In Paul's view, the earthly life of Jesus was of a lower importance than the theology of his death and resurrection,a theme that permeates Pauline writings.[230] However, the Pauline letters clearly indicate that for Paul Jesus was a real person (born of a woman as in Gal 4.4) who had disciples (1 Corinthians 15.5), who was crucified (as in 1 Corinthians 2.2 and Galatians 3.1) and who resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.20, Romans 1.4 and 6.5, Philippians 3:10-11).[30][222][227][230] And the letters reflect the general concept within the early Christian Church that Jesus existed, was crucified and was raised from the dead.[30][227]

The references by Paul to Jesus do not in themselves prove the existence of Jesus, but they do establish that the existence of Jesus was the accepted norm within the early Christians (including the Christian community in Jerusalem, given the references to collections there) twenty to thirty years after the death of Jesus, at a time when those who could have been acquainted with him could still be alive.[231] [232]

Specific references
The seven Pauline epistles that are widely regarded as authentic include the following information that along with other historical elements are used to study the historicity of Jesus:[30][222]
- Existence of Jesus: That in Paul's view Jesus existed and was a Jew is based on Galatians 4:4 which states that he was "born of a woman" and Romans 1:3 that he was "born under the law".[30][222][233] Some scholars such as Paul Barnett hold that this indicates that Paul had some familiarity with the circumstances of the birth of Jesus, but that is not shared among scholars in general.[229][234] However, the statement does indicate that Paul had some knowledge of and interest in Jesus' life before his crucifixion.[229]
- Disciples and brothers: 1 Corinthians 15:5 states that Paul knew that Jesus had 12 disciples, and considers Peter as one of them.[30][233][235] 1 Corinthians 1:12 further indicates that Peter was known in Corinth before the writing of 1 Corinthians, for it assumes that they were familiar with Cephas/Peter.[236][237] The statement in 1 Corinthians 15:5 indicates that "the twelve" as a reference to the twelve apostles was a generally known notion within the early Christian Church in Corinth and required no further explanation from Paul.[238] Galatians 1:18 further states that Paul personally knew Peter and stayed with him in Jerusalem for fifteen days, about three years after his conversion.[239] It also implies that Peter was already known to the Galatians and required no introduction.[240] 1 Corinthians 9:5 and Galatians 1:19 state that Jesus had brothers, one being called James.[30][30][223][233]
- Betrayal and rituals: That Jesus was betrayed and established some traditions such as the Eucharist are derived from 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 which states: "The Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me.".[30][233]
- Crucifixion: The Pauline letters include several references to the crucifixion of Jesus e.g. 1 Corinthians 11:23, 1 Corinthians 2:2 and Galatians 3:1 among others.[30][233] The death of Jesus forms a central element of the Pauline letters.[230] 1 Thessalonians 2:15 places the responsibility for the death of Jesus on some Jews.[30][233] Moeover the statement in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 about the Jews "who both killed the Lord Jesus" and "drove out us" indicates that the death of Jesus was within the same time frame as the persecution of Paul.[241]
- Burial: 1 Corinthians 15:4 and Romans 6:4 state that following his death Jesus was buried in a tomb.[233] This reference is then used by Paul to build on the theology of resurrection, but reflects the common belief at the time that Jesus was buried after his death.[242][243]

The existence of only these references to Jesus in the Pauline epistles has given rise to criticism of them by G. A. Wells, who is generally accepted as a leader of the movement to deny the historicity of Jesus.[244][245] When Wells was still denying the existence of Jesus, he criticized the Pauline epistles for not mentioning items such as John the Baptist or Judas or the trial of Jesus and used that argument to conclude that Jesus was not a historical figure.[244][245][246]

James D. G. Dunn addressed Wells' statement and stated that he knew of no other scholar that shared that view, and most other scholars had other and more plausible explanations for the fact that Paul did not include a narrative of the life of Jesus in his letters, which were primarily written as religious documents rather than historical chronicles at a time when the life story of Jesus could have been well known within the early Church.[246] Dunn states that despite Wells' arguments, the theories of the non-existence of Jesus are a "thoroughly dead thesis".[230]

While Wells no longer denies the existence of Jesus, he has responded to Dunn, stating that his arguments from silence not only apply to Paul but all early Christian authors, and that he still has a low opinion of early Christian texts, maintaining that for Paul Jesus may have existed a good number of decades before.[244]

Pre-Pauline creeds
The Pauline letters sometimes refer to creeds, or confessions of faith, that predate their writings.[247][248][249] For instance 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 reads: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."[247] Romans 1:3-4 refers to Romans 1:2 just before it which mentions an existing gospel, and in effect may be treating it as an earlier creed.[247][248]

One of the keys to identifying a pre-Pauline tradition is given in 1 Corinthians 15:11[249]

Whether then [it be] I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.


Here Paul refers to others before him who preached the creed.[249] James Dunn states that 1 Corinthians 15:3 indicates that in the 30s Paul was taught about the death of Jesus a few years earlier.[250]

The Pauline letters thus contain Christian creed elements of pre-Pauline origin.[251] The antiquity of the creed has been located by many Biblical scholars to less than a decade after Jesus' death, originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community.[252] Concerning this creed, Campenhausen wrote, "This account meets all the demands of historical reliability that could possibly be made of such a text,"[253] whilst A. M. Hunter said, "The passage therefore preserves uniquely early and verifiable testimony. It meets every reasonable demand of historical reliability."[254]

These creeds date to within a few years of Jesus' death, and developed within the Christian community in Jerusalem.[255] Although embedded within the texts of the New Testament, these creeds are a distinct source for Early Christianity.[248] This indicates that existence and death of Jesus was part of Christian belief a few years after his death and over a decade before the writing of the Pauline epistles.[255]


Gospels

The four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the main sources for the biography of Jesus’ life, the teachings and actions attributed to him.[256][257][258] Three of these namely Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are known as the synoptic Gospels, from the Greek σύν (syn "together") and ὄψις (opsis "view"), given that they display a high degree of similarity in content, narrative arrangement, language and paragraph structure.[259][260] The presentation in the fourth canonical gospel, i.e. John, differs from these three in that it has more of a thematic nature rather than a narrative format.[261] Scholars generally agree that it is impossible to find any direct literary relationship between the synoptic gospels and the Gospel of John.[261]

The authors of the New Testament generally showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age.[33] The gospels were primarily written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity with the chronological timelines as a secondary consideration.[262] One manifestation of the gospels being theological documents rather than historical chronicles is that they devote about one third of their text to just seven days, namely the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem.[263] Although the gospels do not provide enough details to satisfy the demands of modern historians regarding exact dates, scholars have used them to reconstruct a number of portraits of Jesus.[33][262][264] However, as stated in John 21:25 the gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.[265]

Scholars have varying degrees of certainty about the historical reliability of the accounts in the gospels, and the only two events whose historicity is the subject of almost universal agreement among scholars are the baptism and crucifixion of Jesus.[21] Scholars such as E.P. Sanders and separately Craig A. Evans go further and assume that two other events in the gospels are historically certain, namely that Jesus called disciples, and caused a controversy at the Temple.[25]

Ever since the Augustinian hypothesis, scholars continue to debate the order in which the gospels were written, and how they may have influenced each other, and several hypothesis exist in that regard, e.g. the Markan priority hypothesis holds that the Gospel of Mark was written first c. 70 AD/CE.[266][267] In this approach, Matthew is placed at being sometime after this date and Luke is thought to have been written between 70 and 100 AD/CE.[268] However, according to the competing, and more popular, Q source hypothesis, the gospels were not independently written, but were derived from a common source called Q.[269][270] The two-source hypothesis then proposes that the authors of Matthew and Luke drew on the Gospel of Mark as well as on Q.[271]

The gospels can be seen as having three separate lines: A literary line which looks at it from a textual perspective, secondly a historical line which observes how Christianity started as a renewal movement within Judaism and eventually separated from it, and finally a theological line which analyzes Christian teachings.[272] Within the historical perspective, the gospels are not simply used to establish the existence of Jesus as sources in their own right alone, but their content is compared and contrasted to non-Christian sources, and the historical context, to draw conclusions about the historicity of Jesus.[30][149][273]


Early Church fathers

Two possible patristic sources that may refer to eye witness encounters with Jesus are the early references of Papias and Quadratus, reported by Eusebius of Caesarea in the 4th century.[274][275]

The works of Papias have not survived, but Eusebius quotes him as saying:[274]

"…if by chance anyone who had been in attendance on the elders should come my way, I inquired about the words of the elders — that is, what according to the elders Andrew or Peter said, or Philip, or Thomas or James, or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and whatever Aristion and the elder John, the Lord’s disciples, were saying."


Richard Bauckham states that while Papias was collecting his information (c. 90), Aristion and the elder John (who were Jesus’ disciples) were still alive and teaching in Asia minor, and Papias gathered information from people who had known them.[274] However, the exact identity of the "elder John" is wound up in the debate on the authorship of the Gospel of John, and scholars have differing opinions on that, e.g. Jack Finegan states that Eusebius may have misunderstood what Papias wrote, and the elder John may be a different person from the author of the fourth gospel, yet still a disciple of Jesus.[276] Gary Burge, on the other hand sees confusion on the part of Eusebius and holds the elder John to be different person from the apostle John.[277]

The letter of Quadratus (possibly the first Christian apologist) to emperor Hadrian (who reigned 117 – 138) is likely to have an early date and is reported by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History 4.3.2 to have stated:[278]

"The words of our Savior were always present, for they were true: those who were healed, those who rose from the dead, those who were not only seen in the act of being healed or raised, but were also always present, not merely when the Savior was living on earth, but also for a considerable time after his departure, so that some of them survived even to our own times."[279]


By “our Savior” Quadratus means Jesus and the letter is most likely written before AD 124.[275] Bauckham states that by “our times” he may refer to his early life, rather than when he wrote (117–124), which would be a reference contemporary with Papias.[280] Bauckham states that the importance of the statement attributed to Quadratus is that he emphasizes the "eye witness" nature of the testimonies to interaction with Jesus.[279]


Gnostic and apocryphal texts

A number of later Christian texts, usually dating to the second century or later, exist as New Testament apocrypha, among which the gnostic gospels have been of major recent interest among scholars.[281] The 1945 discovery of the Nag Hammadi library created a significant amount of scholarly interest and many modern scholars have since studied the gnostic gospels and written about them.[282] However, the trend among the 21st century scholars has been to accept that while the gnostic gospels may shed light on the progression of early Christian beliefs, they offer very little to contribute to the study of the historicity of Jesus, in that they are rather late writings, usually consisting of sayings (rather than narrative), their authenticity and authorship remain questionable, and various parts of them rely on components of the New Testament.[282][283] The focus of modern research into the historical Jesus has been away from gnostic writings and towards the comparison of Jewish, Greco-Roman and canonical Christian sources.[282][283]

As an example, Bart Ehrman states that gnostic writings of the Gospel of Thomas (part of the Nag Hammadi library) have very little value in historical Jesus research, because the author of that gospel placed no importance on the physical experiences of Jesus (e.g. his crucifixion) or the physical existence of believers, and was only interested in the secret teachings of Jesus rather than any physical events.[283] Similarly, the Apocryphon of John (also part of the Nag Hammadi library) has been useful in studying the prevailing attitudes in the second century, and questions of authorship regarding the Book of revelation, given that it refers to Revelation 1:19, but is mostly about the post ascension teachings of Jesus in a vision, not a narrative of his life.[284] Some scholars such as Edward Arnal contend that the Gospel of Thomas continues to remain useful for understanding how the teachings of Jesus were transmitted among early Christians, and sheds light on the development of early Christianity.[285]

There is overlap between the sayings of Jesus in the apocryphal texts and canonical Christian writings, and those not present in the canonical texts are called agrapha. There are at least 225 agrapha but most scholars who have studied them have drawn negative conclusions about the authenticity of most of them and see little value in using them for historical Jesus research.[286] Robert Van Voorst states that the vast majority of the agrapha are certainly inauthentic.[286] Scholars differ on the number of authentic agrapha, some estimating as low as 7 as authentic, others as high as 18 among the more than 200, rendering them of little value altogether.[286] While research on apocryphal texts continues, the general scholarly opinion holds that they have little to offer to the study of the historicity of Jesus given that they are often of uncertain origin, and almost always later documents of lower value.[281]



References


1. a b c In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (now a secular agnostic who was formerly Evangelical) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
2. Robert M. Price (a Christian atheist who denies the existence of Jesus) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
3. a b Michael Grant (a classicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
4. a b Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
5. a b craig Evans, "Life-of-Jesus Research and the Eclipse of Mythology," Theological Studies 54 (1993) p. 5,
6. a b charles H. Talbert, What Is a Gospel? The Genre of Canonical Gospels pg 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977).
7. a b “The Historical Figure of Jesus," Sanders, E.P., Penguin Books: London, 1995, p., 3.
8. a b c Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 pages 168–173
9. a b c d Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
10. a b James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
11. a b c The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
12. a b c d e f Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
13. a b c d The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
14. a b Amy-Jill Levine has summarized the situation by stating that "There is a consensus of sorts on a basic outline of Jesus' life. Most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John, debated with fellow Jews on how best to live according to God's will, engaged in healings and exorcisms, taught in parables, gathered male and female followers in Galilee, went to Jerusalem, and was crucified by Roman soldiers during the governorship of Pontius Pilate" The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 page 4
15. a b Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
16. a b The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303
17. a b Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29
18. a b c James Barr, Which language did Jesus speak, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1970; 53(1) pages 9-29 [1]
19. a b c Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament by Stanley E. Porter 1997 ISBN 90-04-09921-2 pages 110-112
20. a b Discovering the language of Jesus by Douglas Hamp 2005 ISBN 1-59751-017-3 page 3-4
21. a b c d Jesus Remembered by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 339 states of baptism and crucifixion that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent".
22. a b c d e f g h i Prophet and Teacher: An Introduction to the Historical Jesus by William R. Herzog (Jul 4, 2005) ISBN 0664225284 pages 1-6
23. a b c Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. p. 145. ISBN 0-06-061662-8. "That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus...agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact."
24. a b c Eddy & Boyd (2007) The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 127 states that it is now "firmly established" that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus
25. a b c d e f g Authenticating the Activities of Jesus by Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans 2002 ISBN 0391041649 pages 3-7
26. a b c Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (Nov 1, 1998) ISBN 0664257038 page 117
27. a b c The Cambridge Companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 121-125
28. Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research by Bruce Chilton, Craig A. Evans 1998 ISBN 9004111425 pages 460-470
29. Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0391041185 pages 2-5
30. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Christopher M. Tuckett In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus edited by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 122-126
31. a b c Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-2
32. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages ix-xi
33. a b c Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0-86012-006-6 pages 730-731
34. Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 15
35. a b Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey' by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 pages 431-436
36. Van Voorst (2000) pp. 39-53
37. The new complete works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, Paul L. Maier ISBN 0-8254-2924-2 pages 662-663
38. Josephus XX by Louis H. Feldman 1965, ISBN 0674995023 page 496
39. Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence ISBN 0-8028-4368-9. page 83
40. Flavius Josephus; Maier, Paul L. (December 1995). Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 pages 284-285
41. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings by Bart D. Ehrman 1999 ISBN 0-19-512639-4 page 248
42. a b c d Jesus and the Politics of his Day by E. Bammel and C. F. D. Moule (Aug 30, 1985) ISBN 0521313449 page 393
43. a b In Jesus: The Complete Guide edited by J. L. Houlden (Feb 8, 2006) ISBN 082648011X pages 693-694
44. a b Jesus in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer (Aug 24, 2009) ISBN 0691143188 page 141 and 9
45. a b c d Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg (Aug 1, 2009) ISBN 0805444823 page 280
46. a b c Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 170-174
47. a b c d e f Kostenberger, Andreas J.; Kellum, L. Scott; Quarles, Charles L. (2009). The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament ISBN 0-8054-4365-7. pages 107-109
48. amy-Jill Levine in The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. Princeton Univ Press 2006 ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 page 10
49. a b Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 177-118
50. a b The Life and Ministry of Jesus by Douglas Redford 2007 ISBN 0-7847-1900-4 page 32
51. The Historical Jesus of the Gospels by Craig S. Keener 2012 ISBN 0802868886 page 182
52. Theissen, Gerd; Merz, Annette (1998). The historical Jesus : a comprehensive guide ISBN 0-8006-3122-6. page 165 states: "Our conclusion must be that Jesus came from Nazareth."
53. Jesus in history and myth by R. Joseph Hoffmann 1986 ISBN 0-87975-332-3 page 98
54. James Barr's review article Which language did Jesus speak (referenced above) states that Aramaic has the widest support among scholars.
55. In The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303 Marcus Borg states that the suggestions that an adult Jesus traveled to Egypt of India are "without historical foundation"
56. InWho Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29 John Dominic Crossan states that none of the theories presented to fill the 15-18 year gap between the early life of Jesus and the start of his ministry have been supported by modern scholarship.
57. Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 17
58. Jesus of Nazareth by Paul Verhoeven (Apr 6, 2010) ISBN 1583229051 page 39
59. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 pages 211-214
60. a b A Brief Introduction to the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman 2008 ISBN 0-19-536934-3 page 136
61. a b John P. Meier "How do we decide what comes from Jesus" in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 pages 126-128 and 132-136
62. John P. Meier "How do we decide what comes from Jesus" in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 pages 132-136
63. a b A Century of Theological and Religious Studies in Britain, 1902-2002 by Ernest Nicholson 2004 ISBN 0-19-726305-4 pages 125-126
64. a b c d Craig Evans, 2006 "Josephus on John the Baptist" in The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 55-58
65. The new complete works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, Paul L. Maier ISBN 0-8254-2924-2 pages 662-663
66. Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 page 47
67. Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 31-32
68. Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of His Life and Teaching by Maurice Casey 2010 ISBN 0-567-64517-7 page 35
69. Who is Jesus?: an introduction to Christology by Thomas P. Rausch 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5078-3 page 77
70. a b John the Baptist: prophet of purity for a new age by Catherine M. Murphy 2003 ISBN 0-8146-5933-0 pages 29-30
71. Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 15
72. an introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity by Delbert Royce Burkett 2002 ISBN 0-521-00720-8 pages 247-248
73. Who is Jesus? by Thomas P. Rausch 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5078-3 page 36
74. The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth: A Critical Study by Daniel S. Dapaah 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3109-6 page 91
75. a b The Cambridge Companion to St Paul by James D. G. Dunn (Nov 10, 2003) Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 0521786940 page 20
76. Paul: his letters and his theology by Stanley B. Marrow 1986 ISBN 0-8091-2744-X pages 45-49
77. a b c d Herodias: at home in that fox's den by Florence Morgan Gillman 2003 ISBN 0-8146-5108-9 pages 25-30
78. Newton, Isaac (1733). "Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ", in Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John
79. Pratt, J. P. (1991). "Newton's Date for the Crucifixion". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 32 (3): 301–304. Bibcode:1991QJRAS..32..301P.
80. Dunn, James DG (2003). Jesus Remembered. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 324.
81. a b Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible 2000 Amsterdam University Press ISBN 90-5356-503-5 page 249
82. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke, Volume 1 by Craig A. Evans 2003 ISBN 0-7814-3868-3 pages 67-69
83. a b International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: E-J by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1982 ISBN 0-8028-3782-4 pages 694-695
84. The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John by Paul N. Anderson 2011 ISBN 0-8006-0427-X pages 200
85. Herod the Great by Jerry Knoblet 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3087-1 page 183-184
86. The Word in this world by Paul William Meyer, John T. Carroll 2004 ISBN 0-664-22701-5 page 112
87. The Content and the Setting of the Gospel Tradition by Mark Harding, Alanna Nobbs 2010 ISBN 0-8028-3318-7 pages 88-89
88. Theissen (1998) pp. 64–72
89. Theissen (1998) pp. 81-83
90. Green, Joel B. (1997). The Gospel of Luke : new international commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. p. 168. ISBN 0-8028-2315-7.
91. a b c d e Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett 2002 ISBN 0-8308-2699-8 pages 19-21
92. a b c The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 77-79
93. a b c Paul's early period: chronology, mission strategy, theology by Rainer Riesner 1997 ISBN 978-0-8028-4166-7 page 19-27 (page 27 has a table of various scholarly estimates)
94. Pratt, J. P. (1991). "Newton's Date for the Crucifixion". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 32 (3): 301–304. Bibcode:1991QJRAS..32..301P.
95. Humphreys, Colin J.; W. G. Waddington (December 1983). "Dating the Crucifixion". Nature 306 (5945): 743–746. Bibcode:1983Natur.306..743H. doi:10.1038/306743a0.
96. Colin Humphreys, The Mystery of the Last Supper Cambridge University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-521-73200-0, page 13
97. Sanders (1993). The historical figure of Jesus. pp. 11, 249.
98. The new complete works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, Paul L. Maier ISBN 0825429242 pages 662-663
99. Herod Antipas by Harold W. Hoehner 1983 ISBN 0-310-42251-5 pages 125-127
100. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1995 ISBN 0-8028-3781-6 pages 686-687
101. a b c d e f g h i The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 110
102. a b c d Lives of the Caesars by Suetonius, Catharine Edwards 2001 ISBN 0192832719 pages 184 and 203
103. a b christianity and the Roman Empire: background texts by Ralph Martin Novak 2001 ISBN 1-56338-347-0 pages 18-22
104. a b The Cambridge companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 978-0-521-79678-1 pages 214-215
105. a theory of primitive Christian religion by Gerd Theissen 2003 ISBN 0-334-02913-9 pages 23-27
106. The historical Jesus: ancient evidence for the life of Christ by Gary Habermas 1996 ISBN 0-89900-732-5 pages 27-31
107. Van Voorst (2000) pp. 7-8
108. The historical Jesus: ancient evidence for the life of Christ by Gary Habermas 1996 ISBN 0-89900-732-5 pages 47-51
109. The Cambridge companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 978-0-521-79678-1 pages 123-124. Page 124 state that the "farfetched theories that Jesus' existence was a Christian invention are highly implausible."
110. Powell, Mark Allan (1998). Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-664-25703-3.
111. a b The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900-1950 by Walter P. Weaver 1999 ISBN 1-56338-280-6 page 45-50
112. Exploring Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period by Larry R. Helyer (Jul 5, 2002) ISBN 0830826785 page 493
113. Jewish Responses To Early Christians by Claudia Setzer (Nov 1, 1994) ISBN 080062680X page 215
114. In Chapter VIII Trypho's statement: "But Christ —if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere—is unknown, and does not even know Himself" refers to Christ, which Trypho (as other Jews) still awaited. Justin styled the conversation on John 7:27, with Trypho objecting to Jesus (who was from Galillee) being Christ given that the origins of Jesus were known, but those for Christ could not be, as the Pharisees said of Jesus in John 7:27: "we know this man whence he is: but when the Christ cometh, no one knoweth whence he is." References:Testimony of the Beloved Disciple, The: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John by Richard Bauckham (Nov 1, 2007) ISBN 080103485X page 232 & Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke by David C. Cook and Craig A. Evans (Feb 27, 2003) ISBN 0781438683 page 285, & The Gospel According to John: An Introduction and Commentary by Colin G. Kruse (Jun 2004) ISBN 0802827713 page 188 & The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Frederick Dale Bruner (Feb 22, 2012) ISBN 0802866352 page 485
115. a b The historical Jesus question by Gregory W. Dawes 2001 ISBN 0-664-22458-X pages 77-79
116. The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss 2010 ISBN 1-61640-309-8 pages 39-43 and 87-91
117. The making of the new spirituality by James A. Herrick 2003 ISBN 0-8308-2398-0 pages 58–65
118. Van Voorst (2000) pp. 11–15
119. The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels' by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 162
120. Price, Robert M. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009. pages 55 and 62–64.
121. a b c d e f Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 30-32
122. Teresa, Okure (2011). "Historical Jesus Research in Global Cultural Context". In Holmen, Tom; Porter, Stanley E. Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus. pp. 953–954. ISBN 90-04-16372-7.
123. "Inventing Jesus: An Interview with Bart Ehrman". Religion Dispatches.
124. Ehrman, Bart (2012). Did Jesus Exist?. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-06-220460-8.
125. Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans (Jul 2001) ISBN 0391041185 page 40
126. Stanton, Graham. The Gospels and Jesus. Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 145 (first published 1989).
- Wells, G. A. "Jesus, Historicity of" Tom Flynn (ed.) The New Encyclopedia of Disbelief. Prometheus, 2007, p. 446.
- For a summary of the mainstream position, see Eddy, Paul R. and Boyd, Gregory A. The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic, 2007, pp. 24–27
127. Stanton, Graham. The Gospels and Jesus. Oxford University Press, 2002; first published 1989, p. 143.
128. James D.G. Dunn, 1985 The Evidence for Jesus ISBN 0-664-24698-2 page 29
129. Can We Trust the New Testament? by George Albert Wells (Nov 26, 2003) ISBN 0812695674 pages 49-50: "In my first books on Jesus, I argued that the gospel Jesus is an entirely mythical expansion of the Jesus of the early epistles. The summary of the argument of The Jesus Legend (1996) and The Jesus Myth (199a) given in this section of the present work makes it clear that I no longer maintain this position", page 50 states that Wells does not agree with Robert M. Price: "My present standpoint is: this complex is not all post-Pauline (Q, or at any rate parts of it, may well be as early as ca. A.D. 50); and if I am right, against Doherty and Price - it is not all mythical."
130. a b Jesus in history, thought, and culture: an encyclopedia, Volume 1 by James Leslie Houlden 2003 ISBN 1-57607-856-6 page 660
131. a b Van Voorst (2000) p. 14
132. Familiar stranger: an introduction to Jesus of Nazareth by Michael James McClymond 2004 ISBN 0-8028-2680-6 page 163
133. a b c d e f g h i j Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research by Stanley E. Porter 2004 ISBN 0567043606 pages 100-120
134. a b The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology by Alan Richardson 1983 ISBN 0664227481 pages 215-216
135. a b Interpreting the New Testament by Daniel J. Harrington (Jun 1990) ISBN 0814651240 pages 96-98
136. The Historical Jesus and the Final Judgment Sayings in Q by Brian Han Gregg (Jun 30, 2006) ISBN 3161487508 page 29
137. Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research by Stanley E. Porter 2004 ISBN 0567043606 pages 77-78
138. The Historical Jesus of the Gospels by Craig S. Keener (Apr 13, 2012) ISBN 0802868886 page 163
139. a b Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research by Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans (Jun 1998) ISBN 9004111425 page 27
140. a b Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship by Marcus J. Borg (Aug 1, 1994) ISBN 1563380943 pages 4-6
141. The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria by Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter (Aug 30, 2002) ISBN 0664225373 pages 142-143
142. Jesus and His World by Craig A. Evans (Feb 8, 2013) ISBN 0664239323 pages 4-5 "No major historian or New Testament scholar follows Price"
143. Price acknowledges that his views are not supported by scholars at large. Price, Robert M. (2009). "Jesus at the Vanishing Point". In Beilby, James K.; Eddy, Paul R. The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity. ISBN 0-281-06329-X page 61.
144. John, Jesus, and History Volume 1 by Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just and Tom Thatcher (Nov 14, 2007) ISBN 1589832930 page 131
145. John P. Meier "Criteria: How do we decide what comes from Jesus?" in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight (Jul 15, 2006) ISBN 1575061007 page 124 "Since in the quest for the historical Jesus almost anything is possible, the function of the criteria is to pass from the merely possible to the really probable, to inspect various probabilities, and to decide which candidate is most probable. Ordinarily the criteria can not hope to do more."
146. a b c d Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. pages 54-57
147. a b Maier, Paul L. (December 1995). Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war. Kregel Academic. ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 pages 284-285
148. Maier, Paul L. (December 1995). Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war. Kregel Academic. ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 page 12
149. a b c Kostenberger, Andreas J.; Kellum, L. Scott; Quarles, Charles L. (2009). The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament ISBN 0-8054-4365-7 pages 104-105
150. a b Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 129-130
151. Painter, John (2005). Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. ISBN 0-567-04191-3 page 137
152. Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei. Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-08554-8. page 56
153. Louis Feldman (ISBN 90-04-08554-8 pages 55-57) states that the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James has been "almost universally acknowledged".
154. Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 83
155. Richard Bauckham "FOR WHAT OFFENSE WAS JAMES PUT TO DEATH?" in James the Just and Christian origins by Bruce Chilton, Craig A. Evans 1999 ISBN 90-04-11550-1 pages 199-203
156. Painter, John (2005). Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. ISBN 0-567-04191-3 pages 134-141
157. Sample quotes from previous references: Van Voorst (ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 83) states that the overwhelming majority of scholars consider both the reference to "the brother of Jesus called Christ" and the entire passage that includes it as authentic." Bauckham (ISBN 90-04-11550-1 pages 199-203) states: "the vast majority have considered it to be authentic". Meir (ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 pages 108-109) agrees with Feldman that few have questioned the authenticity of the James passage. Setzer (ISBN 0-8006-2680-X pages 108-109) also states that few have questioned its authenticity.
158. Flavius Josephus; Whiston, William; Maier, Paul L. (May 1999). The New Complete Works of Josephus. Kregel Academic. ISBN 0-8254-2948-X page 662
159. a b c Schreckenberg, Heinz; Schubert, Kurt (1992a). Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature. 2. ISBN 90-232-2653-4 pages 38-41
160. Evans, Craig A. (2001). Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 316
161. Wansbrough, Henry (2004). Jesus and the oral Gospel tradition. ISBN 0-567-04090-9 page 185
162. a b c d e Dunn, James (2003). Jesus remembered ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 141
163. Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Robert McLachlan Wilson, New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and Related Writings, page 490 (James Clarke & Co. Ltd, 2003). ISBN 0-664-22721-X
164. Feldman, Louis H. (1984). "Flavius Josephus Revisited: The Man, his Writings and his Significance". In Temporini, Hildegard; Haase, Wolfgang. Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, Part 2. pp. 763–771. ISBN 3-11-009522-X page 826
165. a b Painter, John (2005). Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. ISBN 0-567-04191-3 pages 143-145
166. P.E. Easterling, E. J. Kenney (general editors), The Cambridge History of Latin Literature, page 892 (Cambridge University Press, 1982, reprinted 1996). ISBN 0-521-21043-7
167. a political history of early Christianity by Allen Brent 2009 ISBN 0-567-03175-6 pages 32-34
168. Robert Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53
169. a b Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 42
170. Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 2001 ISBN 0-86554-373-9 page 343
171. Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation by Helen K. Bond 2004 ISBN 0-521-61620-4 page xi
172. a b Tradition and Incarnation: Foundations of Christian Theology by William L. Portier 1993 ISBN 0-8091-3467-5 page 263
173. a b Ancient Rome by William E. Dunstan 2010 ISBN 0-7425-6833-4 page 293
174. Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 page 33
175. an introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity by Delbert Royce Burkett 2002 ISBN 0-521-00720-8 page 485
176. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 109-110
177. Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Doubleday: 1991. vol 1: p. 168-171.
178. Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. ISBN 0-06-061662-8 page 145
179. Ehrman p 212
180. F.F. Bruce,Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974) p. 23
181. Theissen and Merz p.83
182. Theissen, Gerd; Merz, Annette (1998). The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8006-3122-2.
183. The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels by Paul R. Eddy, et al 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 181-183
184. Clarence W. Mendell, Tacitus: The Man And His Work (Yale University Press/Oxford University Press, 1957) page 219.
185. John Wilson Ross, Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged In The XVth Century ISBN 978-1-4068-4051-3. Originally published London: Diprose and Bateman, 1878.
186. a b Robert Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence 2000 ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 42
187. The Deaths of Seneca by James Ker ISBN 0195387031 Oxford Univ Press 2009 page 201
188. Boccaccio's Expositions on Dante's Comedy by Giovanni Boccaccio, Michael Papio 2009 ISBN 0802099750 University of Toronto Press page 233, also see PDF file
189. Theissen, Gerd, Annette Merz, The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide, Fortress Press, 1998 pages 72-76
190. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus by Delbert Burkett 2010 ISBN 140519362X page 220
191. Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 129-130
192. In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 page 123
193. Sanhedrin 43a.
194. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart Ehrman 2001 ISBN 019512474X page 63
195. Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (Nov 1, 1998) ISBN 0664257038 page 34
196. The Beginnings of Christianity by Howard Clark Kee (Nov 22, 2005) ISBN 0567027414 page 71
197. R. T. France The Evidence for Jesus 2006 ISBN 1573833703 page 39
198. Jesus Christ in History and Scripture by Edgar V. McKnight 1999 ISBN 0865546770 pages 29-30
199. a b c d evidence of Greek Philosophical Concepts in the Writings of Ephrem the Syrian by Ute Possekel 1999 ISBN 90-429-0759-2 pages 29-30
200. a b c d Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research edited by Bruce Chilton, Craig A. Evans 1998 ISBN 90-04-11142-5 pages 455-457
201. a b c d Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence by Robert E. Van Voorst 2000 ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 53-55
202. Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 978-0-391-04118-9 page 41
203. a b Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan 1999 ISBN 0567086682 pages 3-10
204. a b c d e f Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. pp 29-39
205. Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire by Matthew Bunson 1994 ISBN 081602135X page 111
206. R. T. France. The Evidence for Jesus. (2006). Regent College Publishing ISBN 1-57383-370-3. p. 42
207. Louis H. Feldman, Jewish Life and Thought among Greeks and Romans (Oct 1, 1996) ISBN 0567085252 p. 332
208. González, Justo (1984), The Story of Christianity 1, Prince Press, p. 32, ISBN 978-1-56563-522-7, retrieved 23 April 2013
209. Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 166
210. The Historical Jesus of the Gospels by Craig S. Keener 2012 ISBN 0802868886 page 66
211. Jesus, by Ch. Gugnebert, Translated from the French by S. H. Hooke, University Book, New York, 1956, p. 14
212. a b Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus outside the New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. pp 58-64
213. a b c d e f Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 122-126
214. Douglas R. Edwards (2004). Religion and society in Roman Palestine: old questions, new approaches. Routledge. pp. 164–. ISBN 978-0-415-30597-6. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
215. Henry Chadwick (2003). The Church in ancient society: from Galilee to Gregory the Great. Oxford University Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-0-19-926577-0. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
216. George J. Brooke (1 May 2005). The Dead Sea scrolls and the New Testament. Fortress Press. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-0-8006-3723-1. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
217. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0805444823 pages 53-54
218. Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 75-78
219. Julius Africanus, Extant Writings XVIII in Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973) vol. VI, p. 130
220. a b c Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 65-68
221. a b New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. 1 by Wilhelm Schneemelcher and R. Mcl. Wilson (Dec 1, 1990) ISBN 066422721X pages 501-502
222. a b c d e Jesus Christ in History and Scripture by Edgar V. McKnight 1999 ISBN 0865546770 page 38
223. a b Victor Furnish in Paul and Jesus edited by Alexander J. M. Wedderburn 2004 (Academic Paperback) ISBN 0567083969 pages 43-44
224. a b Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible by James D. G. Dunn (Nov 19, 2003) ISBN 0802837115 page 1274 "There is general scholarly agreement that seven of the thirteen letters beariing Pau's name are authentic, but his authorship of the other six cannot be taken for granted... Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians and Philomen are certainly Paul's own."
225. a b The Blackwell Companion to The New Testament by David E. Aune ISBN 1405108258 page 9 "... seven of the letters attributed to Paul are almost universally accepted as authentic (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philomen)..."
226. a b Pheme Perkins, Reading the New Testament: An Introduction (Paulist Press, 1988), ISBN 0809129396 pp. 4-7.
227. a b c d e f g h Edward Adams "Paul, Jesus and Christ" in The Blackwell Companion to Jesus edited by Delbert Burkett 2010 ISBN 140519362X pages 94-96
228. Peter Gorday in Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism by Harold W. Attridge 1992 ISBN 0814323618 pages 139-141
229. a b c Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 page 143
230. a b c d James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36
231. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0805444823 pages 441-442
232. Encyclopedia of Theology: A Concise Sacramentum Mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0860120066 page 31
233. a b c d e f g Jesus according to Paul by Victor Paul Furnish 1994 ISBN 0521458242 pages 19-20
234. Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett 2002 ISBN 0830826998 pages 95-96
235. Paul and Scripture by Steve Moyise (Jul 1, 2010) ISBN 080103924X page 5
236. Paul, Antioch and Jerusalem by Nicholas Taylor 1991 ISBN 1850753318 page 177
237. The Tapestry of Early Christian Discourse by Vernon K. Robbins (Oct 10, 1996) ISBN 0415139988 pages 74-75
238. Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 page 507
239. Galatians by Frank J. Matera 2007 ISBN 0814659721 Pages 65-66
240. Galatians by Martinus C. de Boer 2011 ISBN 0664221238 page 121
241. The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels' by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 46-47
242. 1 Corinthians by Richard Oster 1995 ISBN 0899006337 page 353
243. apostle Paul: His Life and Theology by Udo Schnelle (Nov 1, 2005) ISBN 0801027969 pages 329-330
244. a b c Can We Trust the New Testament? by George Albert Wells 2003 ISBN 0812695674 pages 49-50
245. a b 'Jesus of Nazareth: An independent historian's account of his life and teaching by Maurice Casey page 39-40
246. a b The Evidence for Jesus by James D. G. Dunn (Jan 1, 1986) ISBN 0664246982 page 29
247. a b c Paul's Letter to the Romans by Colin G. Kruse (Jul 1, 2012) ISBN 0802837433 pages 41-42
248. a b c The Blackwell Companion to The New Testament edited by David E. Aune 2010 ISBN 1405108258 page 424
249. a b c Worship in the Early Church by Ralph P. Martin 1975 ISBN 0802816134 pages 57-58
250. Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making, Volume 1 by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 pages 142-143
251. Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) p. 47
- Reginald H. Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (New York: Macmillan, 1971) p. 10
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90
- Oscar Cullmann, The Earlychurch: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 64
- Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, translated James W. Leitch (Philadelphia: Fortress 1969) p. 251
- Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol. 1 pp. 45, 80–82, 293
- R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81, 92
252. see Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968)p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 66–66; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986 pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus.
253. Hans von Campenhausen, "The Events of Easter and the Empty Tomb," in Tradition and Life in the Church (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968) p. 44
254. archibald Hunter, Works and Words of Jesus (1973) p. 100
255. a b creeds of the Churches, Third Edition by John H. Leith (Jan 1, 1982) ISBN 0804205264 page 12
256. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 pages 441-442
257. The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 4 by Erwin Fahlbusch, 2005 ISBN 978-0-8028-2416-5 pages 52-56
258. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary by Craig A. Evans 2003 ISBN 0-7814-3868-3 pages 465-477
259. New Testament Theology by Paul Haffner 2008 ISBN 88-902268-0-3 page 135
260. a Guide to the Gospels by W. Graham Scroggie 1995 ISBN 0-8254-3744-X page 128
261. a b The Gospel of John by Francis J. Moloney, Daniel J. Harrington 1998 ISBN 0-8146-5806-7 page 3
262. a b Interpreting Gospel Narratives: Scenes, People, and Theology by Timothy Wiarda 2010 ISBN 0-8054-4843-8 pages 75-78
263. Matthew by David L. Turner 2008 ISBN 0-8010-2684-9 page 613
264. Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus ISBN 0140144994 Penguin, 1993. p. 3
265. Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus by Gerald O'Collins 2009 ISBN 0-19-955787-X pages 1-3
266. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible edited by James D. G. Dunn (Nov 19, 2003) ISBN 0802837115 pages 1064-1065
267. Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. v.2 955–6. ISBN 0-385-46993-4.
268. Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "The Gospels" p. 266-268
269. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Q-Z by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Jan 31, 1995) ISBN 0802837840 pages 1-3
270. The New Testament: History, Literature, Religion by Gerd Theissen 2003 ISBN page 31
271. Three Views on the Origins of the Synoptic Gospels by Robert L. Thomas 2002 ISBN 0825438381 page 35
272. The New Testament: History, Literature, Religion by Gerd Theissen 2003 ISBN page x
273. Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 7
274. a b c Richard Bauckham Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans, 2006), ISBN 0802831621 pp. 15–21.
275. a b The Early Christian Church: Volume 2, The Second Christian Century by Philip Carrington (Aug 11, 2011) ISBN 0521157382 pages 22-23
276. The archeology of the New Testament by Jack Finegan (Jan 1, 1981) ISBN 0709910061 pages 42-43
277. Interpreting the Gospel of John by Gary M. Burge (Sep 1, 1998) ISBN 0801010217 pages 52-53
278. Eusebius: The Church History by Eusebius and Paul L. Maier (May 31, 2007) ISBN 082543307X page 119
279. a b Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2006), pp. 53-54
280. Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2006), pp. 53l.
281. a b Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 215-217
282. a b c The Historical Jesus of the Gospels by Craig S. Keener 2012 ISBN 0802868886 pages 52-54
283. a b c Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman 2001 ISBN 019512474X pages 72-78
284. The Book of Revelation by Robert H. Mounce 1997 ISBN 0802825370 page 11
285. The Symbolic Jesus by William Edward Arnal 2005 ISBN 1845530071 pages 60-70
286. a b c Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 183