By Brian Mason
Jesus had enemies don’t fool yourself. There is a crystal clear picture in the Gospels of a battle between Jesus and the Jewish religious powers. John 13: 22
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[c]
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
When Jesus taught the masses were divided, and in fact some wanted to kill him on the spot! John 5: 18
18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
The Jews saw his ministry as a paramount threat to them. So Jesus’ death was conspired by them and they succeeded. The Jewish reaction indicates that they were not able to deny important facets of the Christian story. In fact the Jews tried to discredit Jesus as the Messiah by saying he was the son of a Roman soldier and not born of a virgin, and discrediting his Divine powers. John 8: 40-41
40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.”
The Babylonian Talmud describes Christ’s Death:
It has been taught: On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out, in front of him, for forty days saying “He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone knowing anything in his favor let him come and plead on his behalf. But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.
Then there was Josephus a Jewish Historian who lived around AD 37, he wrote:
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day.
There were Roman Antagonists that affirmed Jesus’ existence and all knew Jesus claimed to be God:
Lucian of Samosato (ad 115-200)
Celsus (2ND Century)
Porphryr of Tyre (ad 233)
They all knew Jesus claimed to be God.
There were many neutral writers that confirmed Jesus existence also:
Cornelius Tacitus (ad 55-120) and he wrote that Jesus was crucified under Pilates Jurisdiction.
Pliny the Younger (ad 112) wrote that “Christians of his day sang hymns to Christ and to God”
Evangelical scholar Gary Habermas did an exhaustive survey of ancient sources and wrote in his book “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, and reported:
We have examined a total of 45 ancient sources for the life of Jesus, which include 19 early creedal, four archaeological, 17 non-Christian, and 5 non- New Testament Christian sources. From this data we have enumerated 129 reported facts concerning the life, person, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus…While some believe that we know almost nothing about Jesus from ancient, non-New Testament sources, this is plainly not the case.
- “Is This Not the Carpenter?” – References to Jesus outside the Christian Sources (vridar.wordpress.com)
- Was Jesus real? (newequus.wordpress.com)