Thursday, September 9, 2010

External Quotes #2

Some books when answering the question, "Did Jesus really exists?" answer the question by referencing sources outside of the Bible, which were written at the same time as Jesus.  Sometimes, these books will just name non-Christian authors without giving the quotes.

In the new Concordia Publishing House book Life's Big Questions, God's Big Answers, the author, Brad Alles, provides the quotes and citations to various non-Christian sources. He includes quotes from the Jewish Talmud, Josephus, Julius Africanus citing Thallus, a first-century historian, Tacitus, Lucian, and Pliny the Younger. Alles then compares each quoted reference to Jesus with the accounts of Jesus from the Bible to show how the external evidence matches the historical account found in the Bible.

The quote that Alles gives from the Talmud concerning Yeshu Hannotzri, or "Jesus the Nazarene", says:
He shall be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and lured Israel into apostasy.  Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.  Anyone who knows where he is, let him declare it to the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. (1)
This quote shows that Jesus' Jewish opponents recognized that Jesus had supernatural abilities.  They of course claimed that these abilities were the result of sorcery, not his divinity.  Compare this quote from the Talmud to Matthew 12:22-24.

(1)   The Mishnah tractate, Sanhedrin 43a.

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