The first evidence for the life of Jesus, mentioned outside of the Bible, comes from a Jewish historian by the name of Josephus.
Josephus was born in 37 A.D., just a few years after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the son of a priest named Matthias and at the age of 19 he became a Pharisee in Jerusalem. Later in his life he was appointed a commander in Galilee during the Jewish revolt against Rome.
After surrendering to the Romans, he was taken before the Roman Commander Vespasian and prophesied that God had shown him in a dream that Vespasian and his son Titus would soon become Emperor's of Rome. Shortly afterwards the dream became reality and Josephus became a member of Vespasian's household. During his stay in Rome he wrote two works dealing with Jewish history.
In his work entitled Jewish Antiquities, which was written between 70 and 100 A.D., he mentions Jesus the Messiah.
Josephus is quoted below by Eusebius, an early Christian Bishop, in 324 A.D.:
"It was during this time-frame that Jesus lived, a wise man, if anyone could really call him a man. For he did many deeds that were out of the ordinary and was an instructor of those who accept the truth. Many of the Jews and Greeks put their trust in him. He being the Messiah. When our chief leaders accused him, Pilate condemned him to the cross, but his original disciples continued to follow him; for he had appeared before them on the third day alive again, as the prophets of God had spoken of these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, who had been named after him, remains to this present day."
A later Arabic manuscript written by a tenth-century Melkite historian named Agapius also quotes from the same passage of Josephus as follows:
"During this time there was a wise man named Jesus, and his actions were good, and he was known to be holy. Many people among the Jews and from other nations became his followers. He was condemned to be crucified and to die by the order of Pilate. But those who had become his disciples did not stray from his teaching. They proclaimed that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was restored to life. Thus, he may have been the Christ of whom wondrous things have been spoken of through the prophets. And the Christians, who were known by his name, have remained to this very day."
These statements confirm the following Christian truths found in the Bible:
1) Jesus was the Messiah spoken of by the prophets.
2) He performed miracles.
4) He arose from the dead three days later and appeared to his disciples.
DO YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS?
Jesus Christ was not just another man, He was God in human flesh.
He came into the world for one reason, to take our sins away. He did so by shedding his precious blood on the cross, taking on himself the sins of all mankind.
You see, every one of us is a sinner, there is no one who is perfect. And since God is Holy, and only those who are holy may enter into his kingdom, no man can enter into heaven on his own.
That's where Jesus comes in.
Jesus was without sin, holy in every way. He took the punishment for our sins on himself, so that everyone who trusts in him will have their sins forgiven and be allowed to enter into heaven. That's why Jesus is called the SAVIOR, if you believe in him, he will save you from spending eternity in hell when you die.
Jesus Christ is also the LORD, and you are to follow His commands. Start by repenting, turning away from your sins, and begin a new life in following Christ.
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