In the July 19 article in the Daily Journal religion section titled “The Gospel Record of the Empty Tomb,” the strong impression was left that there are hardly any historical references to the death and resurrection of Christ outside the Gospels.
The author speaks of “The lack of non-Christian sources about the events of Christ’s death …” With all due respect to the Journal and your writer, this is an assertion that needs correcting.
For instance, Lucian, a satirist during the second century, wrote about Jesus as “the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.” Also, Tacitus, a Roman historian, wrote early in the second century about the reign of Nero, and states about the Christians that “Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius.”
And last of all, permit me to quote Josephus, the famous Jewish historian of the First century, who stated “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man … He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had committed him to the cross, those that loved him did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day.”
There are other quotes from secular history, but this is enough to show that there were historians outside the Gospels that alluded to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and this lends even more credence to the accuracy of the New Testament record.
Minister, Pratt Christian Church