Archives for : Historicity

Chronology of Jesus Evidence

30 – 33 CE Jesus died per the Gospels.
34 – Nothing
35 – Nothing
36 – Nothing
37 – Nothing
38 – Nothing
39 – Nothing
40 – Nothing
41 – Nothing
42 – Nothing
43 – Nothing
44 – Nothing
45 – Nothing
46 – Nothing
47 – Nothing. Philo of Alexandria dies this year. He was a leader of a large Jewish community in Alexandria. He spent time in Jerusalem where he had connections with the royal house of Judaea. He had family ties to the House of Herod. Philo wrote over 800,000 words about the Jewish religion and commentaries on politics. Despite all this, he knows and writes nothing of Christians or Jesus.
48 – Nothing
49 – Nothing
50 – Nothing
51 – Nothing
52 – Nothing
53 – Nothing
54 – Nothing
55 – (23-25 years after Jesus’ death) 1 Corinthians estimated to be written at this date by Paul (no mention of any of Jesus deeds/events as known from the Gospels/Acts. Paul never saw Jesus before he supposedly lived… only after he had risen in visions. Not one thing from an earthly life of Jesus. Not one quote from Jesus.
56 – Nothing
58 – Nothing
59 – Nothing
60 – Nothing
61 – Nothing
62 – Nothing
63 – Nothing
64 – Nothing
65 – Nothing. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger) dies this year. He lived in Rome, worked under Nero and wrote about many topics including religion. He never mentions a multitude of Christians in Rome or Jesus. In the 4th century… Christians embarrassed by the lack of historical evidence for Jesus… forge letters between Seneca and Paul. During his life, Seneca wrote about his brother, Junius Annaeus Gallio, being in Achaia. Seneca’s writings would be available to the anonymous author of Luke when he wrote Acts 18:12. Inserting Paul into actual history. Seneca the Younger also wrote of eclipses and earthquakes, but fails to mentions the darkness that covered “all the land” or the earthquakes mentioned in the Gospels.
66 – Nothing
67 – Nothing
68 – Nothing
69 – First Epistle of Clement is assumed to be written in the 90s by an anonymous author, however there is no justification of that date. No mention of an earthly Jesus or any quotes from him. Apparently had no knowledge of the Gospels. Nothing in the writing contradicts an earlier dating. Dating in the 60s would make more sense based on what was actually written in it.
70 – (40 years after Jesus’ death) Mark estimated to be written at this date by an anonymous author. Earliest complete manuscript is from the 4th century. These end at Mark 16:8. There is no post resurrection Jesus in the early copies. The majority of scholars believe this to be the original ending. Early Church Fathers Eusebius and Jerome confirm 16:8 is the ending.
71 – Nothing
72 – Nothing
73 – Nothing
74 – Nothing
75 – Nothing
76 – Nothing
77 – Nothing
78 – Nothing
79 – Nothing
80 – (50 years after Jesus’ death) Matthew estimated to be written at this date by an anonymous author
81 – Nothing
82 – Nothing
83 – Nothing
84 – Nothing
85 – Nothing
86 – Nothing
87 – Nothing
88 – Nothing
89 – Nothing
90 – (60 years after Jesus’ death) Luke/Acts estimated to be written by an anonymous author. Earliest fragments are from the 3rd Century. Earliest full manuscript from the 4th century.
91 – Nothing
92 – Nothing
93 – (63 years after Jesus death) Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews estimated to be written, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ: Books 18 and 20. Most consider the larger entry to be a Christian interpolation most likely by Eusebius. Josephus’ was born several years after Gospel Jesus’ death. Even if the entry is genuine, it was written after the availability of Mark/Luke/Acts. The stories were spreading and Josephus doesn’t name the source of information. This can’t be shown to be independent of the Gospels as historical evidence of Jesus.
94 – Nothing
95 – Nothing
96 – Nothing
97 – Nothing
98 – Nothing
99 – Nothing
100 – (70 years after Jesus’ death) John Written estimated to be written at this date by anonymous author. Earliest manuscript scrap found dates to sometime between 117 CE and 138 CE.
101 – Nothing
102 – Nothing
103 – Nothing
104 – Nothing
105 – Nothing
106 – Nothing
107 – Nothing
108 – Nothing
109 – Nothing
110 – Nothing
111 – Nothing
112 – Pliny the Younger (in Turkey) writes a letter to Emperor Trajan talking about trials of suspected Christians who appeared before him as a result of anonymous accusations and asks for the Emperor’s guidance on how they should be treated. He calls the Christian belief a “depraved, excessive superstition.” He also speaks of Christians recanting their beliefs, blaspheming Jesus’ name, and worshiping other gods when threatened with punishment. Trajan’s reply indicates Christians were not sought out or tracked down by imperial orders, and that persecutions were local and sporadic. Nothing about an historic Jesus. None of this information is independent of Christians or their knowledge of the Gospels.
113 – Nothing
114 – Nothing
115 – Nothing
116 – (83 years after Jesus death) Tacitus’ Annals estimated to be written at this date referred to ‘Chrestus’ and his execution by Pontius Pilate (book 15, chapter 44). Sources are not named, this Chrestus could possibly be someone else since Chrestus was a common name at the time. Even if this is Jesus… what was Tacitus’ source? Most likely Christians at the time or his friend Pliny the Younger. Tacitus was born over a decade after Gospel Jesus’ death. Not like he could go and verify, nor would he waste so much time on a such a trivial passage.  It wouldn’t be far out to think that Christians told Pliny about the Gospels, then Pliny told Tacitus, and Tacitus wrote it down. We can’t verify Tacitus’ information comes from any source independent of the Gospels.
117 – Nothing
118 – Nothing
119 – Nothing
120 – Nothing
121 – Nothing
122 – Suetonius writes the Lives of the Twelve Caesars. “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.”