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32

The scholarly consensus is almost unanimous on this point: Luke is simply wrong. There are a number of reasons why the account provided by Luke cannot be taken seriously; these reasons include contradictions between Luke and the external historical evidence, Luke's obvious misunderstanding of how censuses were conducted, Luke's misunderstanding of ...


28

Why travel to one's birthplace for a Roman census? Well Exactly. I suspect since there was a lot of prophecy that needed fulfilling, something had to emerge from the convenience dimension to make Jesus both Nazarene and born in Bethlehem. The article "Serious Problems With Luke's Census" is a well cited article on how the census story is dubious. It ...


28

Thomas Pornin's answer is very good answer to the question of "Can we know anything about Jesus?" But since your question was technically "What do we know about Jesus?", I thought I'd add a few facts about Jesus that the majority of secular and religious historians alike agree upon. Jesus existed Virtually no serious historian believes that Jesus never ...


25

Historians quite widely agree that there very probably was a historical person called Jesus. They do agree that this person provided the blueprint or projection space for the belief that centered on and around him. A belief that was a Jewish sect during his lifetime and later slowly forming into what we know today as Christianity. I wrote "widely" as there ...


16

The best and most accessible recent historical account I know of for the historical Pilate is Reza Aslan's Zealot*. Here's a portion of what he wrote near the beginning of Chapter 5 of Pilate's story after the Crucifixion of Jesus: Three years after that, in 36 C.E., a messiah known only as "the Samaritan" gathered a group of followers atop Mount ...


15

Very unlikely, as it did not take place at Rome. The Acta Diurna was a daily record of court proceedings at Rome, for the information of the resident citizens of Rome. Think of it as the record of the local court. Provincial court proceedings would have been local affairs; if they had greater scope, the trial would have been referred to Rome, as happened ...


14

Gospels are a source, like any other. If we were to exclude sources simply because they were written down four decades after the facts, then most of History would disappear. For instance, most of what we know on Genghis Kahn is from The Secret History of the Mongols, a document which was written several decades after his death. Fact is that known sources on ...


14

No, nobody did. Despite the fact that literacy was relatively high amongst the Jews at that time. And we have several historians living there or in the area in those days. Jesus was mentioned outside the gospels a few times, but those lines are generally seen as either pious forgeries or out of context. Josephus mentions Jesus, but it doesn't fit in the ...


14

The historical Jesus is completely irrelevant to Judaism or Jewish life or history. (As contrasted with Christianity, which has had a very big impact on the most recent two millennia of Jewish history.) There are Jewish texts in the Talmud that refer to someone named something like “Jesus”, but it is not clear whether they refer to differing traditions ...


7

If the question is did anybody write about Jesus before his crucifixion then the answer is No. If the question is are there Contemporary sources who wrote about Jesus then the answer is Yes. While no sources are known who wrote of Jesus before the crucifixion there are writings by a contemporary of Jesus (4,6BCE–30CE) who talked with and wrote of ...


7

Very little is known about this Roman soldier who became the fifth Prefect of Judaea between 26 and 36 A.D., serving under Emperor Tiberius. Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and Tacitus mention him in their writings. An inscription known as the Pilate Stone, discovered in June 1961, confirms his historicity and establishes his title as prefect. It was ...


6

The short answer is we aren't sure. There are two basic methods that are commonly used to derive a birth year based on information from the Gospels. The first is the nativity accounts in Luke and Mathew. Both reference the reign of Herod the Great. Since he died in 4 BC, that means it couldn't possibly have been any later than then. The main issue with ...


6

King Agrippa began persecuting Christians less than a decade after the crucifixion. And that's just the official persecution. Saul (yes, that Saul) claimed to have witnessed the stoning of Stephen one year after the crucifixion. Christians were considered by many Jews to be dangerous apostates, and in a time of tremendous social upheaval we should not ...


5

None that we know of. And actually Jesus wasn't unique in that regard. There were a lot of ancient figures who we know existed, but nearly everything we have written about them was from after their deaths (Alexander the Great, for example). I'm going to guess, though, that what you're really asking is whether or not Jesus existed. The short answer is yes. ...


4

They're not technically Historians, but Social Psychologists certainly have a take on this. In 1956, Leon Festinger et al published a book called When Prophecy Fails. In a nutshell Festinger and his team heard about a secretive doomsday cult that was awaiting the imminent end of the world. So they joined them to observe how they'd react when the prophecy ...


4

Ancient Israelis, (first half of the 8th millennium BP), reportedly used clay matches. Israeli archeology sites yield among the world’s oldest known fire starters. The clay figures would be spun on a board with a mechanical bow and would have worked similarly to wooden drills, fireboards, and bows as presented in the paper "The Earliest Matches" by Name ...


3

Question: Do Historians Support the Existence of Brothers to Jesus There is an independent accepted historical reference to a brother of Jesus James, which dates back to around 50 years after the crucifixion.. In fact a reference to Jesus's brother James by the Roman historian Josephus is the closest chronological independent proof of Jesus's ...


2

First of all, I would like to point out that this question should be able to be answered without getting into matters of the validity of Luke. Unfortunately, the question itself expands past the basic question to inquire about Luke's account, though this is an entirely separate question than the main title question given. Current answers have swapped the ...


2

The closest thing we have to a Jewish text in which Jesus makes claims about himself - whether as the messiah, the son of God, or anything else - is Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. Josephus was a well educated, relatively well-to-do Jewish man, who became an officer in the Jewish rebel army during the Jewish Revolt. He led a unit of soldiers until they ...


2

There is also the "James Ossuary", on which is written in Aramaic "James, son of Joseph, brother(s?) of Jesus". Here is a summary of the facts: An ossuary is essentially a bone-box where the bones of the deceased are stored. When a person died his body was laid and stored somewhere safe. It would take maybe two years for there only to be bones remaining, ...


1

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 ...


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