Given that Jesus mythers won’t be going away (as long as the internet exists), and people think it is really cool to say ” I am not sure if Jesus existed” on a college campus, I hope these resources help.
Reliability of the Gospels: Book of Acts
Sources Outside the New Testament: (thanks to Cadre for these)
Did Josephus Refer to Jesus, A Thorough Review of the Testimonium Flavianum (Highly Recommended) CADRE member Christopher Price demonstrates the partial-authenticity of Josephus’ first reference to Jesus and discusses what we can know about the historical Jesus from Josephus. A revised and extended version of this article is avaible in the book, Shattering the Christ Myth, discussed below.
Josephus: A Double Dose of the Messiah J.P. Holding defends the autheniticity of both of Josephus’ references to the historical Jesus.
Josephus’ Writing and Their Relation to the New Testament Dr. Greg Herrick reviews the value of Josephus’ writings for the study of Jesus and the New Testament.
Nero’s Scapegoats: Cornelius Tacitus J.P. Holding argues that Roman Historian Tacitus’s reference to Jesus provides strong evidence of historicity.
Early Historical Documents on Jesus Christ The New Advent Encyclopedia chronicles the early references to the historical Jesus, including Pagan, Jewish, and Christian sources.
Extrabiblical References to Jesus before 200 a.d. The Chrisitan Thinktank’s Glen Miller discusses the second-century pagan historian Thallus’ reference to an eclipse that contemporary Chrisitan writer Africanus believed was a reference to the darkness that descended during Jesus’ crucifixion.
Shattering the Christ-Myth: Secular References to Jesus . Another article by J.P. Holding. The title speaks for itself.
The Existence of Jesus/Answering Jesus Mythers and Parallelomania
Did Jesus Really Exist?-Dr. Paul L. Maier, The Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History, Western Michigan University
Genre Issues: What are the Gospels?
Oral Tradition/The Oral Phase
Paul and the Earliest Records for the Jesus Story
Objections to Eyewitness Testimony
Did the Witnesses Tell The Truth? The Jewish People and Bearing False Witness
As Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Theology notes, the biblical concept of testimony or witness is closely allied with the conventional Old Testament legal sense of testimony given in a court of law. Its validity consists in certifiable, objective facts. In both Testaments, it appears as the primary standard for establishing and testing truth claims. Uncertifiable subjective claims, opinions, and beliefs, on the contrary, appear in Scripture as inadmissible testimony. Even the testimony of one witness is insufficient—for testimony to be acceptable, it must be established by two or three witnesses (Deut 19:15). It can also be observed that the emphasis on eyewitness testimony was carried on through the early church.
As Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy note in their book The Jesus Legend: A Case For the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Tradition, Christianity cannot be understood apart from it’s first century Jewish context. The Sinai teaching that multiple witnesses was retained Mark 14:56,59; John 5:31-32; Heb 10:28) and also used for church discipline (Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor 13:1;1 Tim 5:19). Also, the principle of giving a true testimony and making a true confession are evident in the early church (Matt 10:18; Mark 6:11;13:9-13;Luke 1:1-2;9:5;21:12-13;22:71;John 1:7-8,15,19,32,34;3:26,28;5:32; Acts 1:8,22;3:15;5:32;10:37-41;13:31;22:15;18;23:11;26:16).
The Gospel of John uses words that are usually translated as witness, testimony, to bear witness, or to testify, witness, testimony, to bear witness, etc. The total usage of these words in John’s Gospel is larger than any of the Synoptic Gospels. The book of Acts is the next book with the most references to the terms related to eyewitness testimony.
Handling Objections to Luke- The Census Issue:
http://www.lambsound.com/Reading/books/Bible%20Difficulties.pdf Was Luke mistaken about Quirinius and the census? [p. 372 ff]
http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/11/01/Once-More-Quiriniuss-Census.aspx Once More: Quirinius’s Census
http://christianthinktank.com/quirinius.html On an objection about Luke, Quirinius, and Herods
http://www.tektonics.org/print.php4 Responses to Richard Carrier’s Claims
Of the four Gospels alone there are 19,368 citations by the church fathers from the late first century on. This includes 268 by Justin Martyr (100–165), 1038 by Irenaeus (active in the late second century), 1017 by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 155–ca. 220), 9231 by Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254), 3822 by Tertullian (ca. 160s–ca. 220), 734 by Hippolytus (d. ca. 236), and 3258 by Eusebius (ca. 265–ca. 339). Earlier, Clement of Rome cited Matthew, John, and 1 Corinthians in 95 to 97. Ignatius referred to six Pauline Epistles in about 110, and between 110 and 150 Polycarp quoted from all four Gospels, Acts, and most of Paul’s Epistles. Shepherd of Hermas (115–140) cited Matthew, Mark, Acts, 1 Corinthians, and other books. Didache (120–150) referred to Matthew, Luke, 1 Corinthians, and other books. Papias, companion of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostle John, quoted John. This argues powerfully that the Gospels were in existence before the end of the first century, while some eyewitnesses (including John) were still alive. (1)
1. Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids, Mich : Baker Books. 1999, 529, 530