Quotes About the Bible and History

 

Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Lucian

Is Christ Mentioned Outside Of The Bible?

Aside from the four gospel accounts the amount of information regarding Jesus Christ in contemporary history is comparatively small (I have my opinion why). Here are a few references to Christ in secular (extra-biblical) sources.

"JOSEPHUS "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. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; 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 at this day." 

Josephus, "Antiquities" XVIII, iii, 3, See Philip Schaff, "History of the Christian Church" (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1950), Vol. 1, pp. 92ff. 


TACITUS "But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, avaiIed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration. Hence, to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome..." 

Tacitus, "Annals" xv, 44. The Oxford Translation, Revised. (New York Harper & Bros., Publishers, 1858), p. 423. 


SUETONIUS "Punishment [by Nero] was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition." 

Suetonius, "The Lives of the Caesars," Nero xvi. Loeb Classical Library English translation by J. C. Rolfe. (London: William Heinemann; New York G. P. Putnam's Sons), Vol. II, p. 111. 


PLINY "They affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that 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, but never to commit any fraud, theft, or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor to deny a trust when they should be called on to deliver it up..." 

Pliny, "Letters" X, xcvi. Loeb Classical Library. English translation by William Melmoth, revised by W. M. L. Hutchinson. (London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935), Vol. II, p. 103 


LUCIAN "...the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world...Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that they are all brothers one of another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws. "

 
Lucian, "The Passing of Peregrinus" 12, 13. Loeb Classical Library. English translation by A. M. Harmon (London: William Heinemann, Ltd.; Cambridge, mass.: Harvard University Press, 1936), pp. 13, 15. 

 


Bibliography on Ancient Customs

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008
 

Return to Ancient Customs

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Biblical Archaeology

Bible History Online

 

Scripture Backdrops

Bible History Online


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