Five Resurrection Facts – Jesus died by Crucifixion under Pontius Pilate
The Redeemed Mind
As Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 15 (12-19) if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead our trust is useless and we should be pitied more than any people. So without getting into the deep theological meaning behind the resurrection and its clear importance I’m going to spend five posts examining five pieces of historical data. Many people feel Jesus resurrection from the dead best explains the historical evidence over alternative explanations.
In The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, these five facts are described by scholars Gary Habermas & Michael Licona as historically factual and can be backed up with evidence and granted by the vast majority of scholars on the subject, this includes many of the most skeptical who may disagree with the conclusions.
The First Fact: Jesus Died by Crucifixion under Pontius Pilate –
So this is to say that Jesus existed and was killed under Pontius Pilate who was the Roman governor of Judea from AD 26-36. This puts Jesus clearly within a historical context that clearly separates him from other savour myths. For some years even Pontius Pilates existence was seen as suspect by some radical scholars because we had only the New Testament writings, one mention by Tacitus and two writings by the Jewish historian Josephus and Philo of Alexandria. Although this is more than many figures of ancient history, if Pilates existence couldn’t be sure of then some hyper-skeptical scholars could have legitimate reason to doubt Jesus historicity. However over the years there have been some amazing archaeological discoveries that clearly put Pontius Pilates historical existence way beyond reasonable doubt. Pilate is clearly an important figure since he was the person who handed over Jesus for crucifixion.
The Pilate Stone
It was discovered in the summer of 1961 in Israel and is kept in the Israel museum in Jerusalem, it can be examined in more depth here This inscription has helped to prove to skeptics once again that the New Testament writers weren’t in the habit of including people who never existed in their accounts!
The Historical Evidence
Many people seem to think that when we talk about Jesus we have only the gospels to rely on, and although there is an array of evidence to support them as valuable and accurate historical documents I will look at some of the evidence outside of the gospels (I have addressed the secular sources for Jesus crucifixion in more detail in previous posts, see here.
The above link examines sources such as Tacitus, Josephus, Mara Bar-Serapion and Lucian of Samosata which were all written prior to AD 160 and mention Jesus’ crucifixion. However some people may claim that this isn’t very much information for someone so important however we are talking about something that happened almost two thousand years ago, and since we have only a minute fraction of the historical books written from that time, what we do have is actually rather substantial especially in reference to the crucifixion. So far we have seen that clearly Jesus was a historical figure who was condemned to death upon the cross, but what exactly was so bad about crucifixion?
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