Many in our culture wonder if Jesus was even a real person.They find it hard to believe it is possible to prove the existence of a man who lived 2000 years ago. The truth is that those who have studied the historical records, even those who seek to disprove Christianity, do not doubt the historical existence of a man named Jesus.
Two Thousand Years is a Long Time
Two thousand years seems to be a long time, yet we don’t question the historical evidence of several other ancient personalities:
- Cleopatra 69-30 BC
- Julius Caesar 100-44 BC
- Alexander the Great 356-323 BC
- Aristotle 384-322 BC
- Socrates 469-399 BC
- Confucius 551-479 BC
The effect Jesus had on the world greatly surpasses that of anyone else in history.
The Historical Evidence
Based on the quotes from the texts above we can be certain that:
- Jesus was a man who existed in history.
- He lived in Palestine in the 1st century.
- He was a Jewish teacher.
- He was known to be a wise and virtuous man.
- Many believed he performed healings and exorcisms .
- He was killed by crucifixion on the eve of the Jewish Passover.
- Jewish leadership was involved in His death.
- He was crucified by the Romans under the governorship of Pontius Pilate.
- His disciples remained loyal to Him after His death.
- They reported that He had appeared to them after His death.
Edwin Yamavchi, professor of history at Miami University states that the quantity and quality of the historical evidence of Jesus is superior to that of any other religious leader (Zoroaster, Buddha, or Mohammad).