129 Facts of Jesus Christ

If you still don't think Jesus lived in person on earth then that issue can be tackled elsewhere since 95 to 99% of sceptical and non-sceptical scholars do not doubt Jesus walked the earth. If you are going to deny the life of Jesus then you will have to throw out everyone in history, because Jesus is the most documented person in antiquity.

In "The Historical Jesus - Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ" (1996) by Gary R. Habermas, the leading scholar on the resurrection, we can summarize what the earliest sources have said (pages 225, 250-253). Tiberius Caesar who died four years after Jesus only has 9 sources of him whereas Jesus has 45 sources within 150 years of their deaths.

"We have examined 45 ancient sources for the life of Jesus, which includes 19 early creedal, four archaeological, 17 non-Christian, and five non-New Testament Christian sources. From this data we have enumerated 129 reported facts concerning the life, person, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus, plus the disciples' earliest message."

The Person of Jesus

"The deity of Jesus was widely reported in ancient writings that we investigated. Of our 45 sources, 30 record this teaching, which surprisingly includes seven of the 17 secular sources.

"It was pointed out in Chapter 4 that Jesus claimed to be deity, as indicated, for example, by such titles as "Son of God" and "Son of Man" [for a detailed study, see Miethe and Habermas, chapter 27]. The pre-New Testament creeds (the six Acts texts, along with Rom. 1.3-4, 1 Cor. 11.23ff., 15.3ff. and Phil. 2.6ff., in particular, provide especially strong evidence for the deity of Jesus.

"These creeds show that the church did not simply teach Jesus' deity a generation later...The best explanation for these creeds is that they properly represent Jesus' own teachings, especially since he made similar claims."

The Death of Jesus

"Of all the events in Jesus' life, more ancient sources specifically mention his death than any other single occurrence. Of the 45 ancient sources, 28 relate to this fact, often with details. Twelve of those sources are non-Christian, which exhibits an incredible amount of interest in this event.

"Not only is Jesus' death by crucifixion of major concern to these authors, but 14 of 28 sources give various details about the crucifixion, from medical observations to political information concerning the current rulers, to historical specifications of the times in which Jesus died, to religious details about the reason for his death...It is fair to assert that this is one of the best-attested facts in ancient history.

"After Jesus' death, he was buried. This fact is not only strongly affirmed by five different sources, but generally a normal consequence of dying. These sources include the early creeds in 1 Cor. 15.3ff. and Acts 13.29, as well as hostile sources such as Toledoth Jesu and the information implied in the Nazareth decree.

"Of our 45 sources, 18 specifically record the resurrection, while an additional eleven more provide relevant facts surrounding the occurrence.

The Resurrection of Jesus

"Of the seventeen [non-Christian sources], seven either imply or report this occurrence [of the resurrection of Jesus].

"Alternative theories that have been hypothesized by critics to explain the resurrection of Jesus on naturalistic grounds have failed to explain the data and are refuted by the facts.

"Even if we were to utilize only the four minimal historical facts that are accepted by virtually all scholars who deal with this issue, we still have significant basis on which to both refute the naturalistic theories and provide the major evidences for the resurrection."

Corroborating Evidence

Jesus fulfilled 62 prophecies from hundreds, even thousands of years prior. The odds of this happening are less than 1 in a trillion, scientifically speaking. He said He was God and proved it. He was sinless - the only man who was ever was sinless! He performed miracles none have been able to duplicate except the apostles. His teachings were deeper than any other. None can compare! He gave His life on the cross to die for you. And He was resurrected, seen by many eyewitnesses - including various writers of the books of the NT such as Matthew, Paul, Peter, John, James, and others. No less than 12 times was Jesus seen resurrected to various group sizes. Even one group had 500 people present. The brother of Jesus did not believe Jesus was God until he saw him resurrected after He died on the cross. Others (Mark and Luke) who were virtually firsthand accounts wrote books of the NT and testified to these teachings. There is one verse we suspect was Mark seeing Jesus before he died. Luke was close to the action also. They both went on missionary journeys with Barnabas and Paul.

There were many others mentioned in the Bible who had been put to their death for faith in Christ (e.g. Stephen), spreading the Word and giving the Gospel. Then the apostles were all killed for their faith in Christ for admitting seeing Jesus resurrected except for John. James, the brother of John, was the first to be martyred. Many others in the first century were mentioned who believed in Jesus and gave their lives to Christ on the cross, especially women. And many other biographies of martyrs in Christ are recorded from Christian writers in the first century as well as from non-Christian sources too.  

At this point the burden of the proof is on the skeptic.

Troy