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In addition, Pliny’s reference to the Christian custom of sharing a common meal likely alludes to their observance of communion and the “love feast.” This interpretation helps explain the Christian claim that the meal was merely . Thus, if read carefully, this passage from the Talmud confirms much of our knowledge about Jesus from the New Testament. followers clearly thought quite highly of Him, He so angered many of His contemporaries with His teaching that He “was crucified on that account.” Although Lucian does not mention his name, he is clearly referring to Jesus. According to Lucian, he taught that all men are brothers from the moment of their conversion. Since they denied other gods in order to worship Him, they apparently thought Jesus a greater God than any that Greece had to offer! They were attempting to counter the charge, sometimes made by non-Christians, of practicing “ritual cannibalism.” The Christians of that day humbly repudiated such slanderous attacks on Jesus’ teachings. Perhaps the most remarkable reference to Jesus outside the Bible can be found in the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. The second, less revealing, reference describes the condemnation of one “James” by the Jewish Sanhedrin. Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. Let’s summarize what we’ve learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate.
And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. Charlesworth, Jesus Within Judaism, (Garden City: Doubleday, 1988), 95, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 194). Most scholars think the core of the passage originated with Josephus, but that it was later altered by a Christian editor, possibly between the third and fourth century A. For instance, the claim that Jesus was a wise man seems authentic, but the qualifying phrase, “! Josephus, Antiquities 18.63-64, cited in Yamauchi, “Jesus Outside the New Testament”, 212. The passage is interesting because it lacks most of the questionable elements that many scholars believe to be Christian interpolations. III, Sanhedrin 43a, 281, cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 203. Josephus was not a Christian, and it is difficult to believe that anyone but a Christian would have made some of these statements. In 1971, Professor Schlomo Pines published a study on this passage. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover.
Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. One historian suggests that Tacitus is here “bearing indirect . Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity. come to love him did not give up their affection for him. Since this accusation comes from a rather hostile source, we should not be too surprised if Jesus is described somewhat differently than in the New Testament. Harris, “References to Jesus in Early Classical Authors,” in Gospel Perspectives V, 354-55, cited in E.