SHOOT: An excellent, incisive article.
WHAT ABOUT WRITINGS DURING THE
LIFE OF JESUS?
What appears most revealing of
all, comes not from what people later wrote about Jesus but what people did
not write about him. Consider that not a single historian, philosopher,
scribe or follower who lived before or during the alleged time of Jesus ever
If, indeed, the Gospels portray
a historical look at the life of Jesus, then the one feature that stands out
prominently within the stories shows that people claimed to know Jesus far
and wide, not only by a great multitude of followers but by the great priests,
the Roman governor Pilate, and Herod who claims that he had heard "of
the fame of Jesus" (Matt 14:1)". One need only read Matt: 4:25 where
it claims that "there followed him [Jesus] great multitudes of people
from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and
from beyond Jordan." The gospels mention, countless times, the
great multitude that followed Jesus and crowds of people who congregated to
hear him. So crowded had some of these gatherings grown, that Luke 12:1 alleges
that an "innumerable multitude of people... trode one upon another."
Luke 5:15 says that there grew "a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes
came together to hear..." The persecution of Jesus in Jerusalem drew
so much attention that all the chief priests and scribes, including the high
priest Caiaphas, not only knew about him but helped in his alleged crucifixion.
(see Matt 21:15-23, 26:3, Luke 19:47, 23:13). The multitude of people thought
of Jesus, not only as a teacher and a miracle healer, but a prophet (see Matt:14:5).
So here we have the gospels portraying
Jesus as famous far and wide, a prophet and healer, with great multitudes
of people who knew about him, including the greatest Jewish high priests and
the Roman authorities of the area, and not one person records his existence
during his lifetime? If the poor, the rich, the rulers, the highest priests,
and the scribes knew about Jesus, who would not have heard of him?
Then we have a particular
event that would have attracted the attention of anyone interested
"heavens." According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about
the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the
hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent
midst." Yet not a single mention of such a three hour ecliptic event
got recorded by anyone, including the astronomers and astrologers,
in the world, including Pliny the Elder and Seneca who both recorded
eclipses from other dates. Note also that, for obvious reasons, solar
eclipses can't occur during a full moon (passovers always occur during
full moons), Nor does a single contemporary person write about the
described in Matthew 27:51-54 where the earth shook, rocks ripped
and graves opened.
Matthew 2 describes Herod and all
of Jerusalem as troubled by the worship of the infant Jesus. Herod then had
all of the children of Bethlehem slain. If such extraordinary infanticides
of this magnitude had occurred, why didn't anyone write about it?
Some apologists attempt to dig
themselves out of this problem by claiming that there lived no capable historians
during that period, or due to the lack of education of the people with a writing
capacity, or even sillier, the scarcity of paper gave reason why no one recorded
their "savior." But the area in and surrounding Jerusalem served,
in fact, as the center of education and record keeping for the Jewish people.
The Romans, of course, also kept many records. Moreover, the gospels mention
scribes many times, not only as followers of Jesus but the scribes connected
with the high priests. And as for historians, there lived plenty at the time
who had the capacity and capability to record, not only insignificant gossip,
but significant events, especially from a religious sect who drew so much
popular attention through an allegedly famous and infamous Jesus.
Take, for example, the works of
Philo Judaeus whose birth occurred in 20 B.C.E. and died 50 C.E. He lived
as the greatest Jewish-Hellenistic philosopher and historian of the time and
lived in the area of Jerusalem during the alleged life of Jesus. He wrote
detailed accounts of the Jewish events that occurred in the surrounding area.
Yet not once, in all of his volumes of writings, do we read a single account
of a Jesus "the Christ." Nor do we find any mention of Jesus in
Seneca's (4? B.C.E. - 65 C.E.) writings, nor from the historian Pliny the
Elder (23? - 79 C.E.).
If, indeed, such a well known Jesus
existed, as the gospels allege, does any reader here think it reasonable that,
at the very least, the fame of Jesus would not have reached the ears of one
of these men?
Amazingly, we have not one Jewish,
Greek, or Roman writer, even those who lived in the Middle East, much less
anywhere else on the earth, who ever mention him during his supposed life
time. This appears quite extraordinary, and you will find few Christian apologists
who dare mention this embarrassing fact.
To illustrate this extraordinary
absence of Jesus Christ literature, just imagine going through nineteenth
century literature looking for an Abraham Lincoln but unable to find a single
mention of him in any writing on earth until the 20th century. Yet straight-faced
Christian apologists and historians want you to buy a factual Jesus out of
a dearth void of evidence, and rely on nothing but hearsay written well after
his purported life. Considering that most Christians believe that Jesus lived
as God on earth, the Almighty gives an embarrassing example for explaining
his existence. You'd think a Creator might at least have the ability to bark
up some good solid evidence.
Read the rest of this excellent article here.