Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

English: The healing of the paralytic : wall p...

English: The healing of the paralytic : wall painting in the baptistry of the domus ecclesiae in Dura Europos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is still not uncommon for the historical existence of Christ to be denied, in spite of significant testimony from Jewish, Christian, and Roman sources.


“[O]n the question of the existence,” notes R. Scott Appleby, professor of church history at Notre Dame, “there is more evidence of the existence of Jesus of Nazareth than there would be for many other historical people who actually existed. Not only did Jesus actually exist, but he actually had some kind of prominence to be mentioned in two or three chronicles.”(3)

In addition to the massive archives provided by each of the four gospel writers, the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the extent to which he created a stir far beyond the land of his birth are chronicled by Christian and non-Christian writers alike. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus is considered by scholars to be the most important non-Christian source on Christ’s existence. Also archived in history are the writings of Pliny the Younger, who in the early second century described a policy of executing Christians who refused to curse Christ, as well as Tacitus, another historian of the same period who wrote that Jesus was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate.— Jill Carattini

via A Real Person | RZIM.


simul iustus et peccator,

Eric (McDreamy) Dane…(only to my beloved)


Tacitus (Photo credit: Nick in exsilio)

“Tacitus (ca. 56 AD-ca. 120 AD)

Like Suetonius, Tacitus was also a Roman historian. He is best known for his Annals which records events from the death of Roman emperors Augustus to Nero in 14-68 AD.6 In Annals 15.44, Tacitus makes a reference to Jesus:

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.7

This reference reveals many things about this Christus (Latin for “Christ”): he was executed under Pontius Pilate while Tiberius was emperor (14-37 AD), and a group of people—who were named after him—formed a following based on “a most mischievous superstition” surrounding this figure. This corroborates what the New Testament records about Jesus of Nazareth.

However, this passage has its own challenges. For one, skeptics often charge that this passage was a later Christian insertion. Early Christian apologists would have certainly mentioned such a helpful passage, yet it isn’t quoted until the 4th century by Sulpicius Severus.8 Furthermore, even if this passage is genuine, its accuracy is questionable. Tacitus refers to Pontius Pilate as a “procurator.” However, his actual title was “prefect,” and Tacitus would have known this.9

Pilate, Washing His Hands

Pilate, Washing His Hands (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Still, the first charge is unlikely. If this passage were a later Christian insertion, we should expect to see Christianity presented in a more glowing way. Tacitus does nothing like it. Instead, Christ is executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate for what the readers would have understood to be a crime against Rome.10 Also, Christianity is said to be an “evil” based on “a most mischievous superstition,” which only adds to the already shameful state of Rome. Moreover, Tacitus calls Christians chrestianoi, which may be derogatory given his occasionally belittling use of the -ianoi suffix.11 In today’s language, it would be like calling Christians “Jesus freaks.” Such a negative view of Christianity makes the first charge weak.

As for Pilate’s title, Tacitus was probably just reading the political environment of his own time into the event he was describing: “Until Claudius in 41 C.E. gave each provincial governor from the equestrian class the title “procurator of the emperor” (procurator augusti), the Roman governor was called a “prefect” (praefectus).”12 Regardless, this minor mistake doesn’t change the historical core that someone named Christ was executed under Pontius Pilate.13 Thus, the second charge ultimately amounts to nothing.”– Steve K.

via Jesus in Extra-Biblical Sources – Apologetics Canada.

simul iustus et peccator,


"αθεοι" (atheoi), Greek for "th...

“αθεοι” (atheoi), Greek for “those without god”, as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians on the third-century papyrus known as “Papyrus 46” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Given that all known things which began to exist have a cause it seems reasonable to assume that the universe itself had a cause.”

“1. What caused the universe to exist?

Astronomers currently estimate the age of the universe to be 13.7 ± 0.13 billion years. This is based both on observation of the oldest stars and by measuring its rate of expansion and extrapolating back to the Big Bang. Whilst this consensus may be challenged in the future virtually all scientists now accept that the universe did have a beginning.

Given that all known things which began to exist have a cause it seems reasonable to assume that the universe itself had a cause. But unless we are to believe that the universe somehow pulled itself up by its own bootstraps, this cause must have been extrinsic to the universe (space-time continuum) itself.

Anything extrinsic to the universe must be both immaterial, beyond space and time and must have unfathomable power and intelligence. Moreover, it must be personal, as it made the decision to bring the universe into existence, and decisions only come from minds.

It is therefore not unreasonable to believe in the existence of a timeless, spaceless, immaterial, powerful, intelligent, personal Creator of the universe.” – Peter Saunders

via Christian Medical Comment: Twenty questions atheists struggle to answer: How theism does better on the first six.

simul iustus et peccator