Presentation on theme: "Historical Evidence Concerning the Life of Jesus F. W. Mattox, The Eternal Kingdom: A History of the Church of Christ, Delight, Arkansas: Gospel Light."— Presentation transcript:
Historical Evidence Concerning the Life of Jesus F. W. Mattox, The Eternal Kingdom: A History of the Church of Christ, Delight, Arkansas: Gospel Light Publishing Company, 1961.
Josephus Born 37 A.D., the son of Matthias, a Jew. –He was highly respected by the Romans. –With Titus when he destroyed Jerusalem (70 A.D.) and wrote History of the Jewish War. –He wrote Jewish Antiquities and his autobiography. Concerning Jesus, he said: –He was a wise man, performed many wonderful works. He was the Christ. –He was a teacher of those who received the truth with pleasure, both Jew and Gentile. –He documented Jesus’ trial with Pilate, his crucifixion and resurrection.
Carius Cornelius Tacitus The testimony of this 100 A.D. writer who had a strong dislike for Christians includes: –Christ is the founder of the Christian movement. –Christ was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate. –Christ’s death was during the reign of Tiberius, therefore His birth must have been during the reign of Augustus.
Tacitus continued –Christianity began in Judea, was suppressed for a time, reemerged and reached Rome before Tacitus wrote his Annuls. –Christians were persecuted in Rome as early as 64 A.D. –Vast multitudes of Christians were executed to gratify the cruelty of Nero. –Tacitus recognized they were innocent of the crimes charged against them. –His testimony confirms facts of the gospels, as well as the Christian dispersion as recorded in Acts.
Suetonius Born about 88 A.D., Suetonius confirmed the expulsion of the Jews from Rome (Acts 18:2) commanded by Claudius in his Life of Claudius. He confirmed the Christian religion arose in the time and place set forth in the New Testament.
Pliny the Younger Born in A.D. 61, Pliny the Younger was sent by Emperor Trajan to Bithynia in A.D. 112. He told of the moral integrity of the Christians and gave historical evidence concerning Christ. He wrote to Emperor Trajan asking how to handle Christians brought before him.
Conclusion These writers give irrefutable evidence that within one man’s lifetime the church had spread from its beginning in Jerusalem to the entire Roman Empire. So successful were the early Christians with evangelism that in some places pagan temples were being neglected. These writers also give undeniable proof of the accuracy/truthfulness of the gospel accounts about the life of Christ.
Conclusion In particular, they confirm the following: –Jesus was not an ordinary man. –Jesus selected and taught the apostles, who then witnessed His ministry, death, burial and resurrection. –Jesus was an actual, historical figure. –Jesus ministry with miracles/signs, His atoning death and bodily resurrection were attested to by historical developments, such as Peter’s Pentecost sermon (Acts 2).