555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

5. Can We Find Any Reference to Christ in Contemporaneous Secular Writers?




Yes. There are references to Christ in connection with Christians, by several historians. Tacitus, who was praetor under Domitian in A. D. 88, only fifty-eight years after the Crucifixion, refers to Christ (Annal XV144). Pliny the younger, who was tribune in Syria about the same time, also refers to him (Epistle X.-97). There are also references in Lucian, who lived about the middle of the second century. He states explicitly the fact of Christ having been crucified. Suetonius and Eusebius also refer to Christ Besides these evidences, there was the persecution of the Christians under Nero, which is recorded by all historians. Nero died A. D. 68, only thirty-eight years after the Crucifixion. It is therefore clear that there were many Christians before that time. How could the sect have come into existence without a founder? If you saw an oak growing in a place where there was no tree fifty years before, you would suspect that some one had planted an acorn there, and if four men told you how, when and by whom it was planted, you would be prepared to believe them. So there is good reason for believing the Gospel narratives, when you read in secular history of the existence of the Christian Church fifty years after the Crucifixion. Their stories are a credible explanation of a well-established fact