By Robert E. Van Voorst

Did Jesus really exist? a lot has been written lately in this topic, together with quite a few books reading the recent testomony list of Jesus? lifestyles. Now Robert Van Voorst provides and evaluations the traditional facts outdoors the recent testomony? the Roman, Jewish, pre-New testomony, and post-New testomony writings that point out Jesus. This attention-grabbing research of the early Christian and non-Christian checklist comprises clean translations of all of the appropriate texts. Van Voorst exhibits how and to what quantity those old writings can be utilized to assist reconstruct the historic Jesus.

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15 Bauer’s early writings tried to show that historical criticism could recover the main truth of the Bible from the mass of its historical difficulties: that human self-consciousness is divine, and the Absolute Spirit can become one with the human spirit. Bauer was the first systematically to argue that Jesus did not exist. Not only do the Gospels have no historical value, but all the letters written under the name of Paul, which could provide evidence for Jesus’ existence, were much later fictions.

38 Moreover, those passages that mention Christ and Christianity are typically some of the most fully examined sections of these writings. We could take many fascinating side trips into such closely related matters as the growth of the church, cultured opposition to Christianity, and the Roman persecution of Christians. However, we must keep our focus on what these passages say about Jesus. The authors treated here are Thallos, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Mara bar Serapion, Lucian of Samosata, and Celsus.

Most of his book, like the vast majority of ancient literature, perished, but not before it was quoted by Sextus Julius Africanus (ca. 160-ca. 240), a Christian writer, in his History of the World (ca. 39 This book likewise was lost, but one of its citations of Thallos was taken up by the Byzantine historian Georgius Syncellus in his Chronicle (ca. 800). According to Syncellus, when Julius Africanus writes about the darkness at the death of Jesus, he added,In the third (book) of his histories, Thallos calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, which seems to me to be wrong (Toῦτo τò σκóτoς ἔκλειΨιν τoῦ ἡλiou Θαλλoς ἀπoκoλεῖ ἐν τρiτητῶν ῶτoρῶν, ὡς ἐμoῖ δokεῖ ἀλoγώς).

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