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Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus’ followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God!

But even if we disregard the questionable parts of this passage, we are still left with a good deal of corroborating information about the biblical Jesus. His conduct was good and (he) was known to be virtuous. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship.

This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus. This may simply indicate what the Jewish leaders were Jesus was crucified. Moreland (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), p.

But what are we to make of Tacitus’ rather enigmatic statement that Christ’s death briefly checked “a most mischievous superstition,” which subsequently arose not only in Judaea, but also in Rome? testimony to the conviction of the early church that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave.” While this interpretation is admittedly speculative, it does help explain the otherwise bizarre occurrence of a rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal. Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. 112, he asks Trajan’s advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. It claims He practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy!

Of course, this agrees perfectly with the New Testament doctrine that Jesus was both God and man. Likewise, the charge of enticing Israel to apostasy parallels Luke’s account of the Jewish leaders who accused Jesus of misleading the nation with his teaching.

Not only does Pliny’s letter help us understand what early Christians believed about Jesus’ not to violate various moral standards, which find their source in the ethical teachings of Jesus. Such a charge tends to corroborate the New Testament record of Jesus’ powerful teaching ministry. [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. It involved denying the Greek gods, worshipping Jesus, and living according to His teachings. Though Lucian doesn’t say so explicitly, the Christian denial of other gods combined with their worship of Jesus implies the belief that Jesus was more than human.

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