Should We See More Historical Data about Jesus?

Posted: November 19, 2010 by Amy Hall in Jesus Changes Everything

We’ll be hearing from Brett soon on this week’s challenge, but in the meantime, I happened to come across this blog post by Chad at Truthbomb Apologetics that was asking a very similar question this week:

If Jesus really performed miracles and rose from the dead, we would have more historical records referring to Him.

Chad posts a excerpt from The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona that I thought would be helpful in answering one part of this week’s challenge:

New Testament Scholar Craig Blomberg , who served as an editor for and contributor to a large scholarly work on the Gospels, provides four reasons why more was not written on Jesus in his time: “the humble beginnings of Christianity, the remote location of Palestine on the eastern frontiers of the Roman empire, the small percentage of the works of ancient Graeco-Roman historians which have survived, and the lack of attention paid by those which are extant to Jewish figures in general.”

Habermas and Licona go on to compare the contemporary writings about Jesus (within 150 years) with those available for other well-known, ancient, historical figures. Read the whole thing here.

  1. Rich Griese says:

    if your interested in early church history would be happy to talk with you further.

    Cheers! RichGriese.NET

  2. Elliot Neff says:

    Within 150 years of their lives, Jesus is mentioned by an equal number of secular sources as the Roman emperor of his day– this does not include the gospels or any other written record from a believer.

    I feel, personally, that enough has been said already. To me, a simple Nazarene carpenter, who’s character and workings are mentioned as much by secular sources alone as the Roman Caesar of his time, could not simply be ‘another ordinary man’. To argue the case that more historical data should be available if Jesus really did perform miracles and rise from the dead, I would venture to say, is nothing short of philosophical preconception and bias.

    One could, however, object that if Jesus truly is the risen Christ, then he should have appeared to everyone on earth, making his resurrection known to all. I do think this objection is a bit beside the point, though it is one that needs to be addressed. In determining the answer to this question, one must first ask whether God would find or have any reason to appear to everyone on earth. In short, I do not believe this is the case. Sure– many may come to at least ‘believe’ that Jesus exists, but that is not the purpose God has in mind. God desires to know you personally and draw you into a personal love relationship with Him, and simply having people ackowledge His existence is far from such a result. In fact, I think one could argue that it might have the opposite effect and that people would actually be repelled by that exposure.

    So, all in all, I do not think that we have any good grounds for believing that Christ would appear to everyone from every nation in the case of His resurrection, nor do I believe that we have we seen a lack of historical data with respect to the life and miracles of Jesus Christ.