The Lack of Unbiased Evidence for Jesus
By Stephen Bedard
When I speak to critics and skeptics, it is common to hear comments about the lack of unbiased evidence for Jesus from the first century. They reject the New Testament evidence for Jesus as biased and point out that we lack the unbiased evidence for Jesus that as historians we would want. I have all sorts of things I could say about the historical value of the New Testament despite the bias, but I am not going to go there.
I want to take a moment to think about this complaint about the lack of unbiased evidence. What exactly would that look like? Can someone give me an example of what an unbiased report about Jesus would be? What sort of text would we be looking for? Would we like a first century text by a Pharisee or a Sadducee that spoke about Jesus? I would like to see that.
But I still do not see how that would be unbiased. From everything we know, the Pharisees and Sadducees greatly disliked Jesus and wanted to see him dead. That is hardly unbiased. What about a Roman report? Wouldn’t it be great if we found a report written by Pontius Pilate about Jesus’ trial? I would love to see that. But this is the person who signed Jesus’ death sentence…
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