Do any references to Jesus exist outside of the Bible?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Unspeaked, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    I've been wondering this for a while.

    Does anyone well-versed in such things know if Jesus is ever mentioned anywhere other than the Bible in any period documents?

    Even if not by name, then at least an allusion to him that could be interpreted as such would do.
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #2
    Isa in the Koran.

    Isa is Arabic for Jesus.

    Also, the idea of a carpenter named Jesus is not a mystical one, just what the Bible claims of him is mystical.

    in MHO.
     
  3. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #3
    The first century Jewish historian Josephus mentions Jesus. However, there is some doubt wether or not these may have been inserted by the church at a later time.

    You might find this of interest.

    http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/josephus.html
     
  4. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    Wow- what an interesting topic. I'd be interested to know more if anybody finds anything else.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Yes, references to Jesus exist outside the Bible. A better question would be do credible unaltered references to Jesus exist outside the Bible proving he performed miracles and was crucified and resurrected. My Christians friends would point to Josephus and say yes. I don't believe that is a trustworthy account though.

    There was a PBS series trying to find the real Jesus. I found it very educational.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    Well, there was this Greek guy who was heard yelling "Hey Zeus! Stay away from my wife!" one time...
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #7
    Not quite what I was looking for...

    :p
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #8
    Here is an article mentioning that the name "Jesus" may indeed be a mistranslation of "Joshua" perpetuated through the years due to the language that the New Testament was written in.

    There's also the James Ossuary which some claim is a forgery, but won't release reasons why. If it were proven authentic it would lend some outside evidence to the existence of a famous historical person named Jesus.
     
  9. macrumors G4

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    #9
    Josephus does mention in passing a man named Jesus as brother of James, but the passage that most Christians seem to cling to, the Testimonium Flavianum, is now pretty much accepted by all but the religiously desperate as having been inserted later. The Antiquities of the Jews were studied in the 3rd Century AD by a Christian scholar named Origen. Origen makes absolutely no reference to the Testimonium, and even contradicts what the Testimonium is supposed to say elsewhere in his writings. However, 100 years later, with the Christian Church suddenly becoming the dominant religion of the Roman Empire, the Testimonium miraculously appears in the Antiquities. A bit convenient really.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Actually, from what I understand, the scholars only believe that portions of the Testimonium Flavianum have been added to but that Jesus actually was mentioned. Here is a quote from the skepticwiki

     
  11. macrumors P6

    Peace

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    #11
    Not that I wish to start a religious war but.:)

    The cornerstone of the "Jesus" "christian beliefs" is faith. As in :

    From the Bible :

    "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

    Faith is mandatory ( according to the bible ) to believe Jesus exists and did/does miracles.

    Without faith there can not be "true" evidence of Jesus Christ.
     
  12. macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #12
    Yes, a thread on Mac Rumors references him, and I don't think The Gospel of Mac Rumors is in the Bible ;)

    I don't think anyone denies Jesus exists, we just deny that he had magical powers and was born to a virgin and came back as a zombie.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #13
    I didn't realize MacRumors threads are period.

    This site's a lot older than I thought...
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #14
    It's right there in the OT

    Shortly after the apple was eaten was the advent of the PRSI section and things only went downhill after that.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I am not exactly sure what you mean by period but there are tons of writings starting in what historians believe is the early 2nd century that reference Jesus. Of course, most were written by people who believed in Jesus in some manner or another. They are called the apocrypha. Wikipedia has a pretty good article describing these writings.

    I don't think he had magical powers or came back as a zombie either. Magical powers are something that magicians of the old testament had such as those in Egypt that worked for the pharoah. I believe that Jesus had divine power form God. And the other point is that zombies typically do not have free will or the ability to speak. They are simply a re-animated corpse that is under the control of a sorcorer of some sort. That really doesn't describe the resurrected Jesus described in the Bible. This is sort of an Animate Dead vs. Resurrection thing.

    :apple:
     
  16. macrumors G4

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    #16
    Still doesn't explain the lack of attention to the passage from Origen though does it? You'd think as a Christian he would have made a big deal about that verse had it appeared.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #17
    Outside of the Bible, there are some Greco-Roman sources on Jesus' historicity. Josephus can be largely discounted because we know the work was altered, but we don't know to what extent. Tacitus wrote one short passage of Jesus, but does not cite his source. Suetonius mentions "Chrestus", but that's a common name for slaves, which fits the passage equally well. Pliny the Younger wrote of the beliefs of Christians, but this is of course not evidence of his existence.

    None of these passages can be verified, have sources, or can be corroborated.
     
  18. macrumors 68020

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    #18
    And on the the 3rd day of the week Jobs i mean god Created imacs :p
     
  19. macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Hey, Bilbo is in The Hobbit, AND the Lord of the Rings.
     
  20. macrumors 601

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    #20
    The only figure that has been verified is Pontius Pilate.
    :D
    The rest is speculation and invention.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    MasterNile

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    #21
    Could people also post a time period/year when these things were written so that any references far after the time of Jesus could be excluded?
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #22
    The New Testament is an edited collection of gospels and letters about Jesus. There were more from that period that were omitted for various reasons. Some are called the New Testament Apocrypha, as imac/cheese already mentioned.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #23
    If you want to go there, you might have ruled out even the Bible as a source. The oldest gospel is dated to at least 70 AD.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #24
    Sure.

    Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 93 C.E.
    Pliny the Younger, letter to Emperor Trajan, 112 C.E.
    Tacitus, Annals, 116 C.E.
    Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, 121 C.E.
     
  25. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #25
    There are some people who claim that Jesus was actually a zealot known by another name, and the gospels were heavily edited in the first century to remove any mention of militancy.
    Herod too, even if the Gregorian calendar years are a little off.
     

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