What do we really know about Jesus?

I'm asking because I'm getting different opinions from different people. Feel free to comment.

According to Josephus, Jesus was the brother of James. His book, "Antiquities of the Jews", was published around 94CE.

The only problem with this piece of information is that the oldest preserved text is from the eleventh century[1].

This is the only piece of information about the "historical" Jesus.
  • Absent from Josephus is his birth, his death and all events from his life.
  • Absent from Josephus is the massacre of the infants.
  • Absent from Josephus is the cleansing of the Temple.
  • Absent form Josephus is an earthquake when Jesus died, and the opening of tombs in Jerusalem.
The New Testament describes all kinds of events that would have been noted by independent writers, if they had happened.

Both the Romans and the Jews knew how to write, yet there are no written documents of the events portrayed in the bible. You'd think there would have been letters if Jesus had disrupted the temple, wouldn't you?

I can only conclude that Jesus was not a historical figure (he was not an important public figure) in his time even if he existed.

Side note: According to the gospel of Mathew, Jesus was born during Herod's reign. Herod died 4BCE. According to the gospel of Luke, Jesus was born during the census of Quirinius 6CE... ten years later.

Further reading:
Plague of mice - Did Jesus ever exist?
Rosa Rubicondior - The Historical Evidence For Jesus.
Daily Mail - Jesus NEVER existed

[1] Clare K. Rothschild, "Echo of a Whisper": The Uncertain Authenticity of Josephus' Witness to John the Baptist, in David Hellholm, Tor Vegge, Ayvind Norderval, Christer Hellholm (editors), Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity, page 273 (Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2011). ISBN 978-3-11-024751-0

*Post updated October 28th, 2017


  1. Thanks for the link. As well as the claimed witness not actually being witnesses, there is the silence of contemporary witness to account for. Not a single historian living and writing at the time of the life of the alleged Jesus mentions him or any of the events associated with his birth, life and death in the Bible.

  2. So far, I ask on Twitter about contradictions in the text, from people who are well informed, they both bring up Quirinius before 6 CE. I know it's a tangent from the above.
    As to to points between Luke and Josephus, Luke can be argued to be much closer to the events and access to the witnesses prior to let's say 45 CE. Other links are available but not yet accessible. I e pleaseconvinceme.com, a Warner Wallace site, ex atheist.

    1. The thing here, Daniel, is that there is a clear contradiction in the text no matter how you turn it.

      No amount of apologetics will change that.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Formal logic

Interpreting the bible