eBook multi channel.co ô The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of

Prove to me that Jesus was and is who He says he is without using the Bible Have you ever tried to talk with an unbeliever about Christ? Jesus was a real historical figure and his claims have real proof attached to them Gary Habermas has researched and compiled the information for you in this fascinating book Using archaeological textual and extra biblical evidence The Historical Jesus builds a convincing foundation for the existence and deity of Jesus


10 thoughts on “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ

  1. says:

    A well written book by one of the preeminent experts and scholars on this subjectthis is a non technical book accessible to the general reading publicyet thorough and exhaustive in its coverage and information Author Gary Habermas makes a persuasive and compelling case from a number of varied historical sourcesthat the record we have of the life of Jesus Christ is accurate and believable even outside of the parameters of faithgiven only the proofs normally afforded us through standard historical research methodsand taking into account the consensus opinions regarding the factual evidence accepted even by skeptical scholars This is a very readable book providing a lot of information on this critical subjectthat I would highly recommend


  2. says:

    There is a recent phenomenon among the online atheist community which tries to argue that Jesus wasn't a historical person Richard Carrier is the most well known advocate of this view today but the idea seems to be growing He wrote a book in 2014 titled On the Historicity of Jesus Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt He argues that there is no independent that is outside of the New Testament historical evidence confirming that Jesus existed It seems that among the online atheist community this view is getting some traction This got me interested in wanting to explore the extra NT evidence for Jesus carefully I knew about the Josephus uote and the fact that Tacitus mentions Christ but I wanted to know if there was ancient evidence and also to examine the historical credibility of such evidence That lead me to this book by Gary Habermas although it was published in 1996 a couple of decades before this recent movement I thought it might be a helpful resource to answer them since a similar position was argued earlier 1970s by GA Wells Habermas devotes a chapter to Wells and Michael Martin an atheist who depended on Wells to deny the historicity of Jesus ch 2 Habermas divides the book into three parts Part 1 is Contemporary Challenges to the Historicity of Jesus which deals with things like the modern uest for the historical Jesus the aforementioned ahistorical Jesus view of Wells and Martin the Jesus seminar etc It includes a critiue of the Humean a priori rejection of the miraculous Part 2 is Historical Data for the Life of Jesus which is the heart of the book and the section that most interested me Part 3 contains three appendices an essay on historiography an apologetic outline and a selected bibliography for the non Christian historical sources discussed in Part 2 Looking now at Part 2 this section has four main chapters plus a summary and assessment Chapter 7 is on the early Christian creeds imbedded in the NT eg 1 Tim 316; Rom 13 4; and most important of all 1 Cor 153 4 Chapter 8 is on archaeological sources the Titulus Venetus which supports the historicity of the census of Luke 21 5 Yohanan a skeleton of a first century crucifixion victim and the Shroud of Turin Chapter 9 is the key chapter for me the ancient non Christian sources that refer to Jesus as a historical person Tacitus Suetonius Josephus Thallus Pliny the Younger the Emperor Trajan the Emperor Hadrian the Talmud the Toledoth Jesu Lucian Mara Bar Serapion various Gnostic writings the lost Acts of Pilate and Phlegon Chapter 10 is on ancient Christian sources outside of the NT eg Clement of Rome Ignatius uadratus Barnabas and Justin Martyr For me the chapter on the archaeological evidence was exceedingly weak especially Habermas's heavy reliance on the Shroud of Turin which he defends as authentic I fail to see how it is relevant to the uestion of the historicity of Jesus Even if it were proven to be from the first century it could be any man and doesn't point specifically to Jesus Habermas also repeatedly argues that the image on the shroud was caused by a scorch emanating from the corpse What in the world? I wasn't aware that dead bodies got hot My layman's understanding is that they cooled off That whole section was highly distracting and totally irrelevant to the argument of the book The problem is Habermas is not a critical historian and this comes out in his handling of historical documents in Ch 9 Ancient Non Christian Sources In this chapter he includes too many works that are clearly historically worthless For example he includes the Toledoth Jesu a late Jewish work from the middle ages that gives a scurrilous account of the life of Jesus as part of a clearly anti Christian polemic Then there are the Gnostic writings which do not have any independent historical value and are clearly dependent on the canonical Gospels It's not even clear if these documents are referring to Jesus as a historical person since they are interested in their Gnostic speculations Habermas does this weird dance where he admits that the Gnostic writings are esoteric theologically oriented and freely incorporating Gnostic speculations but then says these ualifications do not necessitate unreliable reporting of historical facts about Jesus p 215 as if they were in any sense purporting to be reporting historical facts in the first place He then concludes that we should be cautious about using the Gnostic writings as independent historical evidence No we shouldn't be cautious; we should set them aside I am left with the impression Habermas is simply trying to increase the total tally of ancient historical sources that refer to Jesus It is a shame because there really are solid pieces of evidence in this chapter especially the Greek and Roman sources Tacitus Suetonius Josephus etc But by including the worthless amid the valuable and giving cautious credibility to the worthless it diminishes the credibility of the other evidence or at least it diminishes our confidence in Habermas's overall argumentReturning then to my uest for a response to the modern Jesus deniers I must say that this book is not the answer To be fair Habermas wrote this book before the modern Jesus deniers Richard Carrier et al so it is perhaps not totally surprising that I was disappointed in my uest My disappointment in the book is largely due to the fact that I wanted it to do something that it wasn't written to do My disappointment was compounded by the poor historical reasoning reliance on the totally irrelevant Shroud of Turin and use of historically worthless writings like the Toledoth Jesu and the Gnostic documents On the other hand one can dig through the book and find some good nuggets especially the argument about the early Christian creeds ch 7 and some of the documents examined in the non Christian sources ch 9


  3. says:

    If one is interested in tracing the historical record of Jesus I highly suggest that you start with this book This book is both scholarly and readable From cover to cover about 300 pages The book is broken into three parts Part 1 Contemporary Challenges to the Historicity of Jesus; Part 2 the Historical Data; and Part 3 the Appendixes According to the introduction the book is chiefly an effort to examine the life death and resurrection of Jesus; it is largely concerned with the pre and non biblical evidence for these events This book closely followed that framework It provides ample objectives sources in which one can compare both critical of and supportive of the historical record There were several non biblical references that I was already aware of through previous study this book mentioned several others that were new to meAdditionally I also bought the the book The Historical Jesus by John Dominc Crossan but because of statements made by Crossan and my study of the historical and archeological evidence I cannot recommend him as a credible source Yes Crossan is on many radio and TV shows and does regular seminars and sessions however his views are not substantiated by evidence Crossan is also a member of the Jesus Seminar both of which do not provide evidence or reason for their opinion; make no attempt to verify the rules of methodology for written evidence except to say in essence because we said so My italics


  4. says:

    Good book on the evidence concerning the actual existence of Jesus It deals with the most well known non Christian sources ie Josephus Tacitus Pliny the Younger etc and several others There are many Christian and non Christian sources within 150 years of Jesus' death and resurrection that attests to his actual earthly existence Good read for those interested in the historicity of Jesus


  5. says:

    Part I was very difficult to get through not because it was uninteresting but because it was so detailed and so thorough that I would forget what he was talking about and had to start the chapter over if I didn't finish that chapter in one day However it was very good information and as I said very thorough as well as heavily referenced Part II was very easy to get through I spent several months on Part I and a few days on Part II The author did an excellent job of considering alternative explanations and bringing the subject back to the important points He occasionally uses technical language eg kerygma without defining it leaving the layperson slightly disadvantaged For the average layperson I recommend primarily reading Part II


  6. says:

    It's always been amazing to me that our pop culture has many people believing that atheism is the intellectual choice I've been studying this issue for about four decades now and I've come to the conclusion that Christianity is the intellectual choice I've come to believe that people who reject Christianity either 1 do not know the solid evidence behind it or 2 just don't want to be Christians A true thinking person should read books like this one and decide for themselves which is the better choice


  7. says:

    Great book for studying and when needing specific facts Well organized and very logical A little dry for pleasure reading


  8. says:

    covers creeds and facts archaeological sources ancient non Christian sources and ancient Christian sources almost everyone believes Jesus lived historical fact that Jesus and the apostles lived Apostles and Paul were Eyewitnesses enjoyed chapter on Shroud of Turin in 1988 shroud deemed not authentic because of carbon dating but all evidence points to shroud being the real thingMichigan author


  9. says:

    This is a fascinating book The language is a bit dry and academic but not difficult to read or understand I was recently asked why there were so few sources of information to verify the historical existence of Jesus and then this book came to my attention It's not an emotionally written book and takes a very honest view of historical references to Jesus I look forward to reading other books by Mr Habermas


  10. says:

    In Habermas' book The Historical Jesus Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ he analyzes and critiues various approaches to the historical Jesus and ultimately defends the evangelical view that Jesus was and still is the Son of God If one studies the Bible you will find it full of evidence for the life of Christ Yet Habermas believes that apologists should not stop there Yes Scripture is a sufficient source of knowledge for the life Jesus but there is also pre and extrabiblical material that contain apologetic value and therefore strengthens the case of Jesus derived from ScriptureRating 43