Last week, I received several questions from a Resurrection member who had been using a DVD series to study as a part of a small group. I will take some time today and over the next few days to respond as I believe that there may be others who are interested as well. Always feel free to email me questions on topics about which you would like to see me write.
What non-biblical sources of evidence support (or corroborate) any of the Christian claims about Jesus?
There is little debate about some of the basic facts of Jesus’ life – teacher and healer from Galilee that was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Some scholars debate whether the events as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are an exact historical record. You can more information about this debate here.
I believe that Jesus was born, lived and died in first century Palestine. I believe that the accounts of the gospels are true. There is evidence of Jesus historical existence outside of the Bible. However, claims that Jesus actually existed are not particularly Christian claims. Distinctly Christian claims are around Jesus being fully divine and fully human and one of the persons of the Trinity. I am not sure that I would expect for there to be sources that support particularly Christian claims that are not a part of the Bible. You can read a bit more about books in the bible at – How were books of the Bible chosen?
Here is the bottom line for me – There is non-biblical evidence from the first several centuries for Jesus and Christians but these do not necessarily point to the particular Christian claims of Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain the best portrait of Jesus life and, along with the rest of the New Testament, are the key texts for Christian claims about Jesus.
What else would you add?