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Even the earliest known literature of the life and times of “Alexander the Great” were written 300 years after his death.  Biographies of “Buddha” are 600 to 800 years after he died.  Yet Atheists and Historians will accept those accounts, but not the accounts of Gospel writers, who have been proven to be 100% correct on everything that can be verified and are within less than 20 to 70 years of the crucifixion event.






Thallus (5 AD – 60), in “Sextus Julius Africanus’ History of the World:”


“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down.  This darkness, Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”


Josephus (37 AD – 100), in his work, “Antiquities:”


“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus.  His conduct was good and was known to be virtuous.  And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples.  Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die.  And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship.  They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”


Thallus (52 AD), as quoted in Julius Africanus, “History of the World,” 221 A.D.:


Africanus states:  “Thallus, in his third book of histories, explains away the three hours of darkness as an eclipse of the sun -- unreasonably as it seems to me.  For the Hebrews celebrate the Passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the Passover, but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun.  And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last day of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse occur when the moon is almost diametrically opposed the sun?”


Suetonius Nero (Reigned 13 October, 54 A.D. to 9 June 68 A.D.), in “Life of Claudius,” 25.4:


“As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.”


Tacitus (56 AD – 117), in his work, “Annals,” 15:44:


“Consequently, to get rid of the report [of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ], Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.  Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”


Pliny the Younger (61 AD -113), in his work, “Letters [to Emperor Trajan],” 10:96-97:


“It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt.  For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance?  I have never participated in trials of Christians.  I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent.  And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.


“Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure:  I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed.  For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished.  There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.


“Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred.  An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons.  Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ–none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do -- these I thought should be discharged.  Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years.  They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.


“They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so.  When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food–but ordinary and innocent food.  Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations.  Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses.  But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.


“I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you.  For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved.  For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered.  For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms.  But it seems possible to check and cure it.  It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found.  Hence it is easy to imagine what a multitude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.”


Trajan to Pliny the Younger (111-113 A.D.), in Pliny, “Letters,” 10:96-97:


“You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians.  For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard.  They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it -- that is, by worshiping our gods -- even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance.  But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution.  For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age.”


Mara Bar-Serapion (70 A.D. – 73 A.D.?), in the British Museum, “Syriac Manuscript,” “Additional,” 14,658:


“What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death?  Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime.  What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras?  In a moment their land was covered with sand.  What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King [Christ]?  It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished.  God justly avenged these three wise men:  the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion.  But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato.  Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera.  Nor did the wise King die for good; He lived on in the teaching which He had given.”


Phlegon (80 AD – 140), as recorded by Origen of Alexandria (182-254 A.D.), in his work, “Olympiads:”


“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.” (in Sextus Julius Africanus’ History of the World).


“Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of future events (although falling into confusion about some things which refer to Peter, as if they referred to Jesus), but also testified that the result corresponded to his predictions.  So that he also, by these very admissions regarding foreknowledge, as if against his will, expressed his opinion that the doctrines taught by the fathers of our system were not devoid of divine power.


“And with regard to the eclipse at the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles.


“He imagines also that both the earthquake and the darkness were an invention; but regarding these, we have in the preceding pages made our defence [sic], according to our ability, adducing the testimony of Phlegon, who relates that these events took place at the time when our Saviour suffered.”


Lucian (115 AD – 200), in “The Works of Lucian of Samosata:”


Lucian referred to Christians as “poor wretches” who have “persuaded themselves that they will be immortal.” He said that Christians “revered him [fraud leader Peregrinus] as a god. . . next after that whom they still, worship, the man crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.”


Tertullian (197 AD), in “Jewish Consul:”


“At that same moment about noontide, the day was withdrawn; and they, who knew not that this was foretold concerning Christ, thought it was an eclipse.  But this you have in your archives; you can read it there.  Yet nailed upon the cross, Christ exhibited many notable signs, by which his death was distinguished from all others.  At his own free-will, he with a word dismissed from him his spirit, anticipating the executioners’ work.  In the same hour, too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze.  Those who were not aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it was an eclipse.”


Phlegon (2nd century A.D.), Greek historian, in “Olympiads:”


“In the 4th year of the 202ndd Olympiad, there was a great eclipse of the sun, greater than had ever been known before, for at the 6th hour the day was changed into night and the stars were seen in the heavens.  An earthquake occurred in Bythinia and overthrew a great part of the city of Nicaea.”

NOTE:  The 202nd Olympiad is dated between July 29 to June 33.


Origen of Alexandria (184 – 253 AD), Greek scholar and early Christian father who confirmed Phlegon’s writings, in his work, “Against Celsus,” book 2:33:


“With regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too I think has written in the 13th or 14th book of his Chronicles…Celsus imagines also that both the earthquake and darkness were an invention, but regarding these, we have in the preceding pages made our defense, according to our ability, adducing the testimony of Phlegon, who relates that these events took place at the time when our Savior suffered.”


Julius Africanus (160-240 AD), Christian historian .(NOTE: I use him because he references Philegon), as recorded in the “Oxford Bible Church,” Appendix 4:


“Phlegon records that in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon there was a full eclipse of the sun from the 6th hour to the 9th, manifestly that one of which we speak.”


Celsus (late 2nd century AD), from “Contra Celsus,” by Origen:


Celsus accuses Jesus of having “invented his birth from a virgin,” and upbraids Him with being “born in a certain Jewish village, of a poor woman of the country, who gained her subsistence by spinning, and who was turned out of doors by her husband, a carpenter by trade, because she was convicted of adultery; that after being driven away by her husband, and wandering about for a time, she disgracefully gave birth to Jesus, an illegitimate child, who having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God.”


John Philoponus (Philopon), an Alexandrian historian (490 – 570 AD) confirmed Phlegon’s writings, confirmed by Origen, in “Against Celsus,” Book II, Chapter XIV:


“And about this darkness, Phlegon recalls it in the Olympiads. . . he mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Christ, and no other (eclipse), it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any (similar) eclipse in previous times, and this is shown by the historical account of Tiberius Caesar.”


Eusebius (315 AD), Historian of the Emperor Constantine, as recorded in “The First Church of Rome,” Appendix 1:


“Jesus Christ underwent his passion in the 18th year of Tiberius [33 AD].  Also at that time in another Greek compendium we find an event recorded in these words:  ‘the sun was eclipsed, Bithynia was struck by an earthquake, and in the city of Nicaea many buildings fell.’ ”






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