Suetonius, Pliny, Lucian
Christ Mentioned Outside Of The Bible?
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
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. "
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.