Can someone suggest a book about Jesus that contains only aspects that can be corroborated by scientific and historical evidence? In other words, I don't want to read about so-called miracles or other embellishments about his life.

  • 5
    You might want to have a look at the answers here – Steve Bird Jul 6 '19 at 22:38
  • 4
    I'm not sure that there is a book that contains "only aspects that can be corroborated by scientific and historical evidence", but there should be some journal articles or chapters of books. – Lars Bosteen Jul 6 '19 at 23:26
  • 3
    Reference requests are out of scope per help center and meta. Answers are more likely to be subjective and ephemeral than authoritative. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 6 '19 at 23:45
  • 3
    There cannot be such a book because there is no scientific or historical evidence for the very existence of Jesus. – Alex Jul 7 '19 at 5:09
  • 1
    @Alex: Well, barring a couple of paragraphs in Josephus, and the authenticity of those is arguable. – jamesqf Jul 7 '19 at 5:17

The only books that describe Jesus are the books of the bible.

There is no other reference. Some people mentioned in the bible are real, others not so much. We do know Pontius Pilate existed, from other sources than the bible. Of course, most cities mentioned existed. Such as Caparnaum and Jerusalem. Nazareth is more tricky. When the books of the bible were written, it wasn't a city (and definitely didn't have cliffs or ravines!). At best it was a small hamlet.

The bible can be compared, to some extend, with Harry Potter. London does exist, and Britain does have a prime minister. Those facts don't proof magic or that Hogwarts exists. The bible is a book of theology, not a history book.

Outside the bible I know of no reliable sources that proof a certain Mr. J. of Nazareth existed. Most references have been proven false or are later forgeries. The fact that you ask this question here shows there are no reliable sources outside the bible.

I have to go a bit further: just like most events in Harry Potter are impossible, so are most events mentioned about Jesus. To pick two out of many events: the nativity story is impossible. The arrest and execution of Jesus are also impossible. I'm not talking about the miracles - if you want to proof extraordinary events, you need extraordinary evidence.

  • There are quite a few "books that describe Jesus". What you mean are "contemporary accounts"? But then not even the gospels would qualify, as they are in the form we know to be dated quite late. Plus we now have access again to apocrypha, the Koran, etc. Eg the Gospel of Thomas would have to be dated quite early… Please increase the precision. – LаngLаngС Jul 7 '19 at 9:07
  • @LangLangC Kindly provide the titles and references of 'quite a few books that describe Jesus'. – Jos Jul 7 '19 at 9:44
  • 2
    Misunderstandig? 1. line: there are more than 4 gospels, much more, but these are just not "inside the bible" Just look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testament_apocrypha 2. what is reliable? According to your wording, the 4 canonical gospels are! (guessing you had different intention?) 3. the timing aspect of sources and their transmission. NT sources are generally much better in both respects than texts by Tacitus or even Aristotle for these criteria. Dismissing this because "faith-based" or whatnot too easily seems inappropriate. – LаngLаngС Jul 7 '19 at 9:59
  • The Roman Hebrew historian Josephus is a contemporary reference of Jesus’s life. In that it was written within the lifetime of people who could have known Jesus. Only a few sentences mention Jesus however. Also the oldest book of the New Testament the epistles of Paul are likewise to meet this definition of contemporary. – user27618 Jul 7 '19 at 13:56
  • @JMS Only that Paul never met Jesus (the man). For the purpose of this Q the 7 or less letters by Paul and the others seem a very good source for history of Christianity but quite a bit much less so for anything pre-Easter? – LаngLаngС Jul 7 '19 at 14:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.