Outside of Biblical Context
So, first off I will state was is about to become obvious. I am a Christian. To all atheists who are willing to read this, I will submit to you proof that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected. Now, you are entitled to ask questions, argue, or whatever. Do not think that I am some one who is closed to what you have to say. So, here it is:
The Scholarly Proof
Many atheists reject writing of apologists and say that Jesus never lived because of lack of records that he did. Flavius Josephus published a history of the Jews in twenty books around 93 A.D. Josephus was not Christian, and he did not even refers to Jesus miracles as miracles, but rather "astonishing works". Also, Josephus did not refer to Jesus as the son of God as Christians do/did, rather he called Jesus "a wise man."
Josephus 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 amongst 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."
Another historian I will quote actually became a Christian. He was a normal doctor and historian. He had a great medical practice in Greece and was probably one of the smartest men of his time, however he doesn't get much recognition for his works and medical discoveries because he wrote two books that cause controversy today. The Gospel According to Luke, and The Book of Acts. This doctor/historian dumped his medical practice to follow Paul. He also got together the best account of Jesus’ life that is available. Now, I said I would keep this out of Biblical context, but by no means did Luke intend for his works to be in the Bible, he wrote them from a historians perspective.
Now, to only quote historians that say how great Jesus was is wrong. And, since the purpose of this part is to prove he lived I will quote two people who were, I guess you could say, critics of Jesus. The Talmud said "Jesus the Nazarene practiced magic and led Israel astray." And, a historian by the name of Celsus said this "Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god." I do believe it is safe to post those, unless any of you believe that Jesus actually studied magic and could literally charm people back to life. Because remember, they are not debating his existence or his miracles, rather his mode of performing those miracles. So they DO maintain that Jesus lived.
There is Part 1 of Jesus Lived, Died, and Was Resurrected. Part 2 will be posted most likely tomorrow. So, for now, please review this and think on it carefully. Are you convinced that Jesus lived? I will touch on death and resurrection later, just for now focus on his life. Do you believe he lived or do you debate this?
My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just
for the sake of winning it. --Charles Spurgeon