Article - Jesus Was a Historical Man (part 5)

Other sources outside of God’s word that confirm Jesus’ historicity (continued from part 4): (5) SUETONIUS (A.D. 120), pagan, Roman historian, wrote, “Because the Jews at Rome cause continuous disturbance at the instigation of Chrestus (Christ), he [Claudius] expelled them from the city” (Claudius, 25:4; note that in Acts 18:2 Luke mentions this expulsion by Claudius); (6) PLINY the Younger (A.D. 61 – c. 112), pagan lawyer, author and magistrate of Rome. Around A.D. 110-111, Pliny was sent by the Roman emperor Trajan to govern the affairs of the region of Bithynia. He wrote to the emperor: “Having never been present at any trials of the Christians, I am unacquainted with the method and limits to be observed either in examining or punishing them” (Letters). Pliny used the term “Christian” or “Christians” seven times in his letter. He also used the name “Christ” three times to refer to the originator of the “sect.” He noted that those who had professed Christianity “affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, of their error, was, what they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds…” (Epistles X. 96). It is inconceivable that a non-existent figure could have generated such a societal force as world-shaking as Christianity. There is no logical or reasonable way to explain how the Christian system started and grew so rapidly except for the fact that adherents knew of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Christianity itself is a monument to the vibrant presence of God’s Son in history. The testimonies and evidence are clear by advocates and enemies of Jesus that Jesus did indeed exist.

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