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Q: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   9 Comments )
Subject: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jesusreigns-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 27 Dec 2004 20:49 PST
Expires: 26 Jan 2005 20:49 PST
Question ID: 448012

I was wondering what external evidence thier is of the Mircales of
Christ Jesus outside of the Bible and the apostles account?

in Jesus

Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 28 Dec 2004 01:14 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi! Thanks for a very interesting question.

Actually there are external evidences outside of the Bible that show
or report that Jesus did do miraculous works.

In AD 93, Josephus? work, Testimonium Flavianum, showed that Jesus was
regarded as a man who created miraculous works. Josephus was a first
century Jewish historian.

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, IF IT BE LAWFUL TO
such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both
many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and
when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had
condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not
forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the
divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful
things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him,
are not extinct to this day." [emphasis mine]

?Testimonium Flavianum? 

The Roman historian Tacitus meanwhile according to some scholars
provides a direct reference to a specific miracle of Jesus, His own

?Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and
inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their
abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom
the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign
of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus,
AND A MOST MISCHIEVOUS SUPERSTITION, thus checked for the moment,
again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but
even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of
the world find their centre and become popular.? [emphasis mine]

Since the quote was a direct reference to the crucifixion of Jesus,
the words ?AND A MOST MISCHIEVOUS SUPERSTITION? is deemed by some
scholars as a reference to the news of the resurrection of Jesus.
Other scholars of course challenges this notion.

Based on these quotes, it is safe to say that there were historical
references to Jesus? life outside of the New Testament. In fact in
Gary Habermas? book, ?The Historical Jesus, it mentions different
historical ancient sources mentioning Jesus.

?Extra-biblical sources are another avenue worth pursuing when
determining whether the New Testament texts speak reliably concerning
historical issues. While less frequently used by scholars, a number of
ancient secular sources mention various aspects of Jesus? life,
corroborating the picture presented by the Gospels. The writers of
these sources include ancient historians such as Tacitus, Suetonius,
and Thallus. Jewish sources such as Josephus and the Talmud add to our
knowledge. Government officials such as Pliny the Younger and even
Roman Caesars Trajan and Hadrian describe early Christian beliefs and
practices. Greek historian and satirist Lucian and Syrian Mara
Bar-Serapion provide other details. Several nonorthodox, Gnostic
writings speak about Jesus in a more theological manner.?

?Overall, at least seventeen non-Christian writings record more than
fifty details concerning the life, teachings, death, and resurrection
of Jesus, plus details concerning the earliest church. Most frequently
reported is Jesus? death, mentioned by twelve sources. Dated
approximately 20 to 150 years after Jesus? death, these secular
sources are quite early by the standards of ancient historiography.?

?Why I Believe The New Testament Is Historically Reliable? by Gary Habermas

?The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ? by Gary R. Habermas

In order to get a good primer on these things, you may want to read
Lee Strobel?s The Case for Christ.

?The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the
Evidence for Jesus? by Lee Strobel

It is true that some scholars continue to challenge and study these
documents. But to mention flat out that there are no historical
sources outside of the Bible that provides evidence that Jesus did
exist is totally inaccurate.

Search terms used:  
Jesus Josephus Tacitus 

I hope these links would help you in your research. Before rating this
answer, please ask for a clarification if you have a question or if
you would need further information.
Google Answers Researcher
jesusreigns-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Thanks for the excellent reply!!  Any other comments would be appreciated

Thanks again

Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: gfmaster-ga on 27 Dec 2004 22:04 PST
External evidence does not exist. 

?The only source of historical knowledge about Jesus is the Christian
Gospels. Most secular historians (though not all) agree that the
source documents on which the Gospels are based were written within
living memory of Jesus's lifetime. They therefore accept that the
accounts of the life of Jesus in the Gospels provide a reasonable
basis of evidence, by the standards of ancient history, for the
historical existence of Jesus and the basic facts of his life and
death. A minority of historians argue that no such person as Jesus
ever existed. Even those who do accept his existence, however,
generally take the view that since there is no evidence for any aspect
of Jesus's life and work outside the Gospels, which were written or
compiled by his followers, no detailed account of his life can be
accepted as historically verifiable. This applies in particular, of
course, to events such as the resurrection and the miracles of Jesus,
which contradict the scientifically accepted laws of biology and
physics and thus require a higher standard of proof. Belief that such
events occurred must remain a matter of faith and not a matter of
history.? (1)

Further to this, a referance to christinanity as a whole (writen from
a secular standpoint) can be found here:

It is important in these troubled times to remember the essence of
spirility, namely faith. Recognising your own and having a respect for
others will take you further down a spirital path than mere dogma and
blind adherance.

Finally a original (if way out) interpretation of Jesus Christ can be
found in a book (2) by regression therapist, Ms Dolores Cannon. In it
she takes a living subject back to a earlier life, as a member of the
?Qumran Essene Community (3)?; who is able to paint a portrait of the
conditions prevalent at the time of Christ, the prevailing religious
notions and a portrait of religious figures.

(3) Numerously cited as the authors of the dead sea scrolls

Kind regards,
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: grthumongous-ga on 28 Dec 2004 02:54 PST
External evidence does exist.

Another non-Gospel source would be the Koran which has a whole chapter
devoted to Mary.
It says Jesus spoke to Mary as an infant.
I learned about it right here in G**le Answers.
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: crythias-ga on 28 Dec 2004 06:47 PST
Except, the Koran isn't contemporary to Biblical events, (approx 570
AD), IIRC, so it can't be judged as evidence of biblical events.

However, if the Koran is *wrong* about Mary/Jesus, then it could be
wrong about other things... but that is a subject for other
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: gfmaster-ga on 28 Dec 2004 22:05 PST
Commenting on a provocative question (such as yours) is a perilous task. 

As you have accepted Easternangel?s answer I obviously have
misunderstood your question as asking ?what external evidence thier is
of the Mircales of Christ Jesus outside of the Bible and the apostles

Does the citing of references (Josephus & Tacitus) regarding the
existence of Jesus as a historical figure answer that question?

I understand the miracles of Jesus to be those (& others) listed here:

In which case I fail to see how your question has been answered other
than by way of misdirection.

Kind regards,
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: crythias-ga on 28 Dec 2004 23:36 PST
I have to agree with gfmaster-ga on this one. The answer given doesn't
answer the question, poorly spelled that it is. I consider myself
something on the order of a self-described "Pragmatic Christian". My
salvation is secure and so I'm allowed to ask the big other questions
that have nothing to do with salvation. (Read: I can have an
intelligent discussion re creation and miracles and war and peace
without compromising my faith in salvation via resurrection.)

Of course, that also puts me on the verge of being branded either a
heretic or a hypocrite. Life sure is fun, isn't it?

Respectfully, the exploits of one who lived for 33 years and basically
was really known for about 3 of them would scarcely make a blip on all
but follower records in any case... With as many soothsayers and other
"magical" people that were around at the time of Jesus, I doubt many
of the things Jesus did would have registered with many literate
people. Water to wine? At a party? Who really but one person would
have really known? Walking on water? Who would have believed the

I am not saying that these things did not occur. I am saying that
these things are few and far between and also probably bordered on
heresy to those who observed and otherwise ignored by objective people
who kept records that managed to survive to this date or some lost
forever in the past.

OTOH, saying that all the writers of the NT just "made it up" is a
very troubling statement, considering the number of writers who write
that they saw the same thing (different perspectives, perhaps, but
same or similar events).
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: easterangel-ga on 29 Dec 2004 00:30 PST
Hi gfmaster-ga! Thanks for your great comments.

I would just like to say that my answer was in no way a misdirection
to jesusreigns-ga's question. The Josephus citation answers
collectively such miracles. The term "HE WAS A DOER OF WONDERFUL
WORKS" is a collective reference to all the miracles that Josephus has
heard during his time. Since Josephus was an ancient historian, and
his work is outside of the Bible then this qualifies as an answer.

Now I understand that though this answers the basic question asked
above, I realize this might not be enough as a good reference. So I
cited a historical
document referencing a specific miracle. In fact this was a miracle
greater than the ones mentioned in your link
( Since Tacitus was
also a historian, and his work is outside of the Bible and he gave
reference to a miracle (the Resurrection) so this qualifies as an
answer as well.

So both of them are not misdirections.

To crythias-ga:

Thanks as well for your great comments. But I would like to point out
to one of your statements.

"I am saying that these things are few and far between..."

Please remember John 21:25 (King James Version).

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if
they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

Thanks everybody for your wonderful posts!
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 29 Dec 2004 05:54 PST
Crythias, your last comment is an interesting one about the lack of
substantial evidence of Jesus' miracles... however you mentioned the
couple that would be witnessed by the fewest people and would have no
lasting evidence.

If you take other miracles such as;
Making the blind see
Healing the lame
Raising the dead

Intelligent people saw that this person was blind and then that he could see.
They saw this person who couldn't walk for years (or his whole life
eve) and then that he could walk.
They saw a dead person (in one case dead for several days) and then
the person was alive.

There were many witnesses in each of these cases.  In reading the
bible it becomes apparent that Jesus had a huge following towards the
end of his famous 3 years.  There were crowds of people welcoming his
arrival to Jerusalem.  Unless you claim that a very large part of what
the 4 gospels state is false, then you cannot make the claim that the
miracles of Jesus were not very well known.
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: crythias-ga on 29 Dec 2004 06:43 PST
easterangel-ga, thanks for the reminder of John 21:25. I think the
verse is nice, but I (and, I suppose, the asker of the question) would
rather have the books than the implication. Likewise, "wonderful
works" is very vague. Ask someone about, say, Beethoven, and one could
say the same thing.

jack_of_few_trades-ga, thank you for your comments. While each of us
have posted miracles that support our claim, the healing of the sick
claims were both assisted and dilluted by the fact that others both
within and without of Jesus' association were likewise able to to do
some of these things. Self-resurrection notwithstanding, the fact that
the blind were made to see and the lame were made to see wasn't unique
to Jesus, and that is why it is possible it didn't make an indelible
mark directly on historians outside of Jesus' circle. (It'd be just as
interesting to see historical references of any of Jesus' disciples
doing the same thing. Indeed, any of His disciples would have had the
same amount of personal fame/notoriety/recognition for the same tasks
as Jesus did, save for self-resurrection) Raising the dead ... unless
there was a literate witness, it is possible that the recording of a
specific event was ignored.

I'm not saying many people didn't witness the (or certain) events. I'm
just saying that the events must not have been significant enough to
have been recorded for all time outside of the Bible (or simply lost
in history), and since the Gospels are essentially a biography of
Jesus, of course Jesus' life and actions are mentioned prominently.

Now, we should take a look at recent discoveries of the letters of
Timothy and (IIRC) Mary and determine if we can accept that as
evidence outside of the Bible. Except for some who would have an
agenda/preference/belief to discredit Jesus' life in its entirety (and
I am not one), the casual observer would have to agree that such
writings by definition fall outside of the Bible as exists in our
hands today. Then we must determine accuracy. Then we can apply those
texts as additional answers to the question submitted at the top of
this page.
Subject: Re: Evidence of the Miracles of Jesus
From: crythias-ga on 29 Dec 2004 06:45 PST
oops: lame made to walk

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