The following excerpt establishes that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, lived as a historical figure. It is provided to present facts to counter Mythicists and their intellectually bankrupt ilk.
THE MAN CHRIST JESUS. Did Jesus of Nazareth exist as a real human being? Outside of the New Testament, what is the evidence for his existence? In this article, author Lawrence Mykytiuk examines the extra-Biblical textual and archaeological evidence associated with the man who would become the central figure in Christianity. Here Jesus is depicted in a vibrant sixth-century C.E. mosaic from the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. Photo: Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Ravenna, Italy/Bridgeman Images.
Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible
Lawrence Mykytiuk’s feature article from the January/February 2015 issue of BAR with voluminous endnotes.
1. He existed as a man. The historian Josephus grew up in a priestly family in first-century Palestine and wrote only decades after Jesus’ death. Jesus’ known associates, such as Jesus’ brother James, were his contemporaries. The historical and cultural context was second nature to Josephus. “If any Jewish writer were ever in a position to know about the non-existence of Jesus, it would have been Josephus. His implicit affirmation of the existence of Jesus has been, and still is, the most significant obstacle for those who argue that the extra-Biblical evidence is not probative on this point,” Robert Van Voorst observes. 32 And Tacitus was careful enough not to report real executions of nonexistent people.
2. His personal name was Jesus, as Josephus informs us.
3. He was called Christos in Greek, which is a translation of the Hebrew word Messiah, both of which mean “anointed” or “(the) anointed one,” as Josephus states and Tacitus implies, unaware, by reporting, as Romans thought, that his name was Christus.
4. He had a brother named James (Jacob), as Josephus reports.
5. He won over both Jews and “Greeks” (i.e., Gentiles of Hellenistic culture), according to Josephus, although it is anachronistic to say that they were “many” at the end of his life. Large growth in the number of Jesus’ actual followers came only after his death.
6. Jewish leaders of the day expressed unfavorable opinions about him, at least according to some versions of the Testimonium Flavianum.
7. Pilate rendered the decision that he should be executed, as both Tacitus and Josephus state.
8. His execution was specifically by crucifixion, according to Josephus.
9. He was executed during Pontius Pilate’s governorship over Judea (26–36 C.E.), as Josephus implies and Tacitus states, adding that it was during Tiberius’s reign.
PA Co-opts Jesus the ‘Palestinian Messiah and Martyr’
PA Christmas tradition of rewriting history continues as Jesus claimed as ‘first Palestinian’ by senior officials and Abbas.
In what has become a “Christmas tradition” for the Palestinian Authority (PA), PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and other senior figures of the group once again made the ahistorical claim that Jesus was “Palestinian.”
Abbas last Monday told the official PA paper WAFA “we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace,” as reported by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
The message follows on Abbas’s claim last year that Jesus was “Palestinian,” which the Israeli Foreign Ministry rebuffed in a verbal riposte referencing Christian tradition, saying “we forgive him because he knows not what he does.”
It goes without saying that Abbas’s claim completely flies in the face of historical fact. PMW notes that Christianity defines Jesus as a Jewish resident of Judea, and only hundreds of years after Jesus’s death did the occupying Roman Empire change Judea’s name to “Palestina,” a name brought back thousands of years later by the British mandate which termed Israel “Palestine” after World War I.
Abbas was not the only one getting in on the holiday spirit; Abbas’s adviser on religious and Islamic affairs and PA Supreme Sharia Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who has announced Israel will disappearand that Abbas is inciting a religious war, also joined the action.
“Christmas is also a Palestinian holiday, because Jesus, peace be upon him, was Palestinian. He was born in Palestine; lived and was sent (as prophet) to Palestine. Therefore, Christmas has a special Palestinian flavor,” said Al-Habbash last Sunday, reports PMW.
District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam said on official PA TV earlier this month “we are standing here, Muslims and Christians, in Yasser Arafat Square, (named after) the symbol of our cause, to celebrate Christmas.”
“So too we will stand united to celebrate victory, far off as it may be. Merry Christmas, let’s celebrate and be merry; Jesus the Messiah is Palestinian, and we are Palestinians and will continue to hold our heads high,” said Ghannnam.
Likewise, Adnan Al-Damiri, official spokesman for the PA Security Forces, on Facebook on December 25 celebrated “the anniversary of love and peace, the birth day of Jesus the Palestinian.”
PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, a member of the Abbas’s Fatah’s Central Committee, referenced “the first Martyr, the first Palestinian, Jesus.”
Tawfiq Tirawi, also on Fatah’s Central Committee, on Facebook wished the “united Palestinian people a new Christmas that will herald liberty, as did Jesus, the first Palestinian.”
The PA exploitation of Christianity as propaganda for its campaign against Israel reached new heights during the visit of Pope Francis in May, when the organization showed the pope an art exhibit presenting Jesus as a “suffering Palestinian martyr.”
Apocalyptic prophecies drive both sides to Syrian battle for end of time
Egypt Calls for Reparations – from Biblical Times
Egyptian commentator calls for Israel to provide compensation for materials Torah says Jews took during Passover story.