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Discussion 21 to Meditation 38
Re: The Historical Evidence for Jesus

by Dan Shanefield

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The following can be seen in Encyclopedia Britannica on the web (but you have to be a paying subscriber, or else you'd have to see it via your local public library's paid subscription):

The chapter on "Paul, the Apostle, Saint" says:

"There are no reliable sources for Paul's life outside the New Testament."

The chapter on "Peter the Apostle, Saint" says:

"The sources of information concerning the life of Peter are limited to the New Testament"

The chapter on "Jesus Christ" says:

"Luke (2:41-52) states that as a child Jesus was precociously learned, but there is no other evidence of his childhood or early life." In other words, there is no evidence of the existence of Jesus other than the Bible.

Regarding the later life (and death) of the mythical Jesus, that same chapter on "Jesus Christ" says:

"Documents indicate that within a few years of Jesus' death, Romans were aware that someone named Chrestus (a slight misspelling of Christus) had been responsible for disturbances in the Jewish community in Rome (Suetonius, The Life of the Deified Claudius 25.4)."

However, Jesus Christ was never supposed to have been in Rome. Also, this Chrestus person only gets a minor mention in the Suetonius history, while Claudius (no relation to Jesus) gets a whole book written about him. In addition, no-one today is sure that Chrestus was Christos. (Christos, according to the dictionary, is an ancient Greek word for "anointed" with special holy oil, just as Messiah is ancient Hebrew for exactly the same thing --- which seems likely to be different from Chrestus.)