ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Evidence that Jesus Christ Existed

Updated on October 11, 2021

Throughout modern history, the subject of Jesus Christ's existence has been under extensive scrutiny.

All over the world, critics of Christianity have come forward with historical evidence in support of their argument opposing the existence of Jesus in human form. They argue that the story of Christ as told in the New Testament gospels is mythical since there seems to be no extra biblical account of Jesus’ life as a man.

Most of the scholars with this kind of mindset base their argument on the extensive works of first-century Romano-Jewish historian; Flavius Josephus, which account for most other biblical personalities except Jesus Christ. In this article, we attempt to explore these works and a few other historical sources to establish whether the biblical story is indeed heresy.

The writings of Josephus in fact include references to Jesus and the origin of Christianity. In his books ‘Antiquities of the Jews’ written around 93-94 AD, there are two references to Jesus (book 20) and John the Baptist (book 18).

Did Jesus Christ have a Wife and children?

See results
A depiction of Jesus Christ teaching in Galilee
A depiction of Jesus Christ teaching in Galilee

Historical Evidence of Jesus Christ

Antiquities of the Jews, book XX: chapter 9

And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus….Festus was now dead and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them, as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.

Modern scholars have almost universally acknowledged the authenticity of the reference to the brother of Jesus who was called James and rejected the possibility of its being the result of interpolation. The works of Josephus refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. In fact in chapter 9 of book 20, there is also a reference to Jesus son of Damneus who was a high priest of Israel, but is distinct from the reference to Jesus called Christ mentioned along with the identification of James.

The phrase “who was called Christ” is used by Josephus in the passage to distinguish him from all others of the same name. The passage refers to the stoning of James the brother of Jesus by order of Ananus, a high priest in the era of Herod. The James referred to corresponds with the New Testament James to whom the epistle of James is attributed.

Antiquities of the Jews, book XVIII: chapter 5

Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John that was called the Baptist. For Herod slew him who was a good man….Herod who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion… accordingly, was sent a prisoner out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to macherus, the castle I before mentioned and was put to death.

In his book ‘Jesus and Christianity’, Piero Scaruffi cites a religious sect known as the Mandaeans centered along the Iraq/Iran border who claim that John the Baptist was their greatest leader, although they deny he was the founder of the religion. They claim Jesus who started his career as one of John’s disciples was a false prophet who stole John’s teachings and corrupted them and misled the people. This is one piece of extra-biblical mention of Jesus.

Pontius Pilate

N.S Gill a writer on Ancient/classical history gives an account of Pontius Pilate. He was a prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, who held office around AD 26-36. An Archeological find made during an excavation, led by Italian archeologist Dr. Antonio Fova, effectively put to rest the doubt that Pilate was real.

The artifact is now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem as inventory number AE 1963 no. 104. Gill continues in her article to mention that Pilate worked with Jewish leaders to try the man known by the title ‘the king of the Jews, a position that posed a political threat. In the Roman Empire, a claim to be king was treason.

One may argue that there is no writing other than the gospels in the bible that indicate Pontius Pilate as having tried and crucified a man named Jesus Christ. Yet the Romans were known to keep all records of events such as trials and execution.

It is therefore surprising that no record of Jesus’ trial and execution appears. One wonders why a re-known historian like Josephus would have a fairly detailed account of John the Baptist and other biblical figures such as Herod and James, and yet Jesus who was called Christ appears only as an incidental finding in a passage that reports the trial of his brother James. It is also known that Josephus defected from the Jewish side to the Roman side, was granted Roman citizenship, and later assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius, and this is why many Jews thought of him as a traitor.

Could Flavius Josephus have been compromised by his new masters and was compelled to omit any accounts of Jesus Christ from his works? Had the Romans grown too paranoid about Jesus Christ and his movement as a threat to their rule and therefore decided to make an attempt at concealing all records of his existence?

One school of thought argues that; perhaps Jesus Christ was never as important as Christians present him. But then again, there are the writings of apostle Paul that have been Universally accepted as authentic. The question is; was Paul a former Roman official, writing about some unimportant villager from Nazareth?

The Christian historian and Bishop Iranaeus, who lived around 125 to 202 was probably the first man to state what was legal and what was not in Christianity. He banned books that would remain banned for thousands of years. Those books were sometimes early accounts of the life of Jesus and the spread of Christianity but conflicted with Greek and Roman versions of events. It is certainly odd that Iranaeus chose to ban some of those works, but perhaps this is why there is very little extra-biblical account of Jesus's life.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2014 Ian Batanda


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)