Apologetics · Theology

The Historical Resurrection According To Josephus (Resurrection Part 2)

The main evidence that I believe is of incredible value to examine thoroughly would have to be the historical evidence for said resurrection account. And three historical facts need to be addressed in support of the ultimate evidence that points towards the resurrection of Christ, Jesus Christ was a real man, he was truly crucified, and that he was truly buried. If these facts are correct then we can move into the truth that is claimed by Christians around the world that Jesus Christ was truly raised bodily after death.

The first point that needs to be understood is that Jesus was a real man who lived in Judea during the first century. Josephus was a Jewish historian from the first century who compiled an entire history of the Jews up till his day, luckily his account also mentions the historical Jesus.

“Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.”

Here we have a written record of the existence of Jesus as well as the effect he had on the people around him. But that is not all that is necessary to prove that Jesus Christ was resurrected physically after his death; first, we must prove that he indeed died and was buried.

Crucifixion has been proven to be a form of capital punishment by the government of the Roman Empire until Emperor Constantine banned it in the fourth century. And we know that Jesus must have truly died, because the evidence is overwhelming that no one could possibly have survived crucifixion on the cross, which all of the biblical gospels agree happened to him, as well as the expanse of early Church Fathers’ writings, and as Josephus again notes,

 “He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at first did not forsake him,”

Historical evidence is in agreement that the Romans implemented crucifixions as a form of capital punishment, of which the one subjected to it would surely die. And that the wealth of historical writings record Jesus’ death, the person of Pontius Pilate, and the burial of Jesus in a tomb. But, what about Jesus’ physical resurrection? Who in their right mind would record something like that in a historical account of events? Josephus, as quoted above, writes about this very event,

“for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.”

An unbiased Jewish historian recorded the resurrection of Jesus as if it was fact, we can look further into Josephus’ own works and see just how reliable he was in his records of other matters only to find that he is in fact a reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable source of information in regards to history. If mankind decides to reject his historical writings, then why should we trust any modern, medieval, or ancient historical accounts? A man who demands to see everything before his own eyes, should never believe that people exist apart from those whom he has seen, and therefore the logic is rendered inescapable from his own biases and preconceived ideas.

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