Monday, November 8, 2010

External Quotes #4

How can you trust that the Bible is the inspired word of God concerning Jesus Christ?  The New Testament is a collection of books and letters from people who all profess the same faith concerning who Jesus was.

The good news for us is that the accounts of the New Testament authors are verified by external sources from non-believers. 

An event that is recorded in Luke is that as Jesus hung on the cross dying, darkness covered the earth!  If this is true, then there must be others besides Luke who recorded this in history... and there are!

Thallus, a first-century historian, recorded this event and gave an explanation for the unexpected darkness.  His explanation is no longer preserved in copies of his own writings, but his writings are preserved through the citations of others.  Julius Africanus, around 221 AD wrote the following statement citing Thallus:

Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains this darkness as an eclipse of the sun - unreasonably as it seems to me (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not have taken place at the time of the full moon, and it was the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died). 
Julius Africanus also cites another non-believer, Phlegon, who records the exact same time of darkness mentioned in the Bible, however, he doesn't mention Jesus' crucifixion, and Phlegon also tries to dismiss the darkness by claiming it to be a full eclipse of the sun.  Julius quotes Phlegon as such:

Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth - manifestly that one of which we speak.
This darkness was even recorded as far away as China!!!

Recorded in the Record of Latter Han Dynasty, referring to the same eclipse, we have the following:

Summer, fourth month, on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, "Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and moon were eclipsed.  The sins of all the people are now on one man.  The emperor proclaims pardon to all under heaven.
 From other quotes from this imperial record, we learn that the emperor was convicted of his sin, took responsibility for it proclaiming himself to be sinful [unheard of for a Chinese emperor to do this], and then even knew that the sins of the world had been laid on one man.  From the same record the following commentary is given, "Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from heaven died."

Clearly, an eclipse occurred on the same day that Jesus died.  The Bible's account has been verified from external sources.

Information for this blog was found in the following two books:


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  3. Since the darkness occurred during the Passover (as mentioned in the Bible) it would be impossible for a solar eclipse to occur.

    I explain in my video.

    That doesn't negate Julius' account, though. Julius is saying, "Look! These 2 historians reported a solar eclipse during the time of the crucifixion but we all know a solar eclipse during the Passover is impossible! This points to this darkness being a miracle of God!"