15. The historians who supposedly offered corroborative evidence to the gospels lived centuries after he was supposed to have died. Their accounts relied on other people’s accounts, who, in turn, had relied on still other people’s accounts.
This is a rather vague accusation. I am going to guess that the one writing this criticism is referring to Eusebius, the most important Church historian of the early fourth century. His Ecclesiastical History was published in 325 AD. I will assume that the “he” here is Jesus. Yes, it is true that Eusebius wrote nearly three centuries after Jesus died. True. But Eusebius was not the first historian of Christianity. He quotes from earlier chroniclers and historians. It is true that some of what Eusebius wrote was very reliable, but some of it was second or even third hand. If you read his History, he quotes sources, some of which came from the first or the second century, but some were, as the accusation says, second or even third hand. Eusebius is generally reliable but not in every single case.
But here is the point. Eusebius is not our only source. What fact about Jesus is in doubt? De we rely on Eusebius to know that Jesus worked miracles? No! Do we rely on Eusebius to know that Jesus was crucified by the Romans? No. Do we rely on Eusebius to know the words spoken by Jesus? No. In fact, there are very few if any facts about Jesus which we rely on Eusebius for. So, this statement is more or less true (although it is also an exaggeration) in reference to the particular historian Eusebius, and to what he said about the apostles (but not about Jesus) but this fact has virtually no effect on what we know about Jesus and what we know about the early church. True if referring to Eusebius but almost of no significance to our understanding of Christianity or of Jesus.
16. Josephus was living in Rome when he wrote “Antiquities of the Jews” in the year 94 CE and this evidence would be considered hearsay in a court of law as he was born 4 years after the death of Jesus.
We are not in a court of law. We are in the court of common sense, asking common sense questions about history. For example, if I said that President Kennedy was killed in Dallas in November, 1963, that statement would be regarded as “hearsay” by a court of law. However, this would not make my statement unreliable. Josephus lived when literally thousands of eye-witnesses to the life of Jesus were living, and he lived in Judea and Galilee during that time. True, he was in Rome later, but during the relevant events he was in Palestine! It is simply not credible that he was unaware of when and how Jesus died. It would be like questioning my knowledge of when and where Jack Kennedy died because I was not in Dallas that day. The question is whether it is reasonable to think that Josephus, a Jew who lived most of his life in Judea and Galilee, and who was born within seven years of the death of Jesus would not have reliable information about when and where he died. This statement that it would be considered heresay in a court of law is misleading at best.
17. The Jewish philosopher and historian Philo Judaeus was recording the events of Jewish life in the areas of Egypt, Judea, and Greece between 20 CE and 45 CE and was in and around the Second Temple in Jerusalem and knew Josephus and they wrote about each other and corresponded and he never mentions Jesus, his movement, or Paul and there’s zero evidence for the stories of the New Testament including the dramatic events, people coming out of tombs, the temple curtain ripping, earthquakes, miracles, etc. and it didn’t make the news.
Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. The fact that Philo does not mention Jesus does not disprove anything about him. It is extremely obvious that Philo knew about Christianity. It would have been impossible to be a Jew and not to know about Jesus during this time. Why did Philo not mention Jesus? We do not know. I will admit that this is a curious fact, but that is all it is—a curious fact. In fact, he most likely did mention Jesus at some point, but the small percentage of what he wrote which has come down to us does not include this. This lack of evidence does not mean that these things did not happen. This is a curious fact, but it proves nothing. I have written more than one million words at my web site in the last 25 years. I have not mentioned Presidents Roosevelt or Eisenhower in any of my articles so far. Does this mean that Franklin Rosevelt did not live?
18. Mark was written 60 to 80 years after Jesus’ death. The author was unknown. Some Greek dude wrote it, Mark was a Jew who would have written it in Aramaic, if indeed he could write, and we have a book written decades after the events at best, purporting to be an eyewitness account. To say that is hearsay is to understate it and the three Magi were Persian and Indian, so they didn’t write anything and Mark was written in Greek between 60 and 80 CE at the earliest and Paul’s letters are the first recognized texts, written from about 50 CE and the 3 Magi were supposedly from Persia and India, who almost certainly did not know Greek.
This is so wrong, it is hard to even give a serious answer to this blatantly false statement!!! First of all, Mark probably wrote in the mid to late 50s AD, but it is possible that he wrote as late as the 60s AD. This would be somewhere between 25 and 40 years after the death of Jesus. No one who has done even the smallest bit of research would make this outrageous statement that Mark was written 60 to 80 years after the death of Jesus!!! Also, no one who knows even a scrap of Greek and who has read Mark in Greek would make such an ignorant statement that this gospel was written by a Greek person. The Greek in Mark is quite primitive. All who study Greek and Mark will tell you that, whoever wrote it, he was certainly not Greek! This statement shows so much ignorance, that you can completely ignore it. If Mark had written in Aramaic, the language would have shown this to be his native language. Also, we know from what Peter said about Mark that he was literate, since Peter tells us that Mark was his secretary. My guess is that whoever made this ridiculous accusation was not even aware of this well-known fact.
19. Matthew, Mark, and Luke claim it was a 12-month career and John claims it was 3 years and the crucifixion and birth narratives bear no resemblance when you compare them side by side and the year of his birth is up for debate too and John has added stuff not mentioned in the other 3.
False!!!! Where in Matthew, Mark of Luke does it say that Jesus’ ministry was for one year? By the way, John never said that Jesus’ ministry was three years, but he does report three apparently separate Passover festivals in his gospel, making it likely (but not proved) that Jesus’ ministry was three years. Making false statements should be disallowed in discussions about the reliability of the Scripture. Does anyone have a scripture reference from Matthew, Mark of Luke saying that Jesus’ ministry was one year. No, they do not. No resemblance? The one saying this must not have read the two accounts. There are significant difference is the details reported, but no resemblance? This is a gross exaggeration. The exact year of the birth of Jesus is in doubt. It was either 6 or 5 BC. True, but so what? John added things not said in the other gospels. So what? If he said the exact same details, then why bother writing another gospel.
20. The history of the life of Jesus is very thin and it’s like they are writing about 2 or 3 different Jesus’ and may be that they are writing about different people and blended them into one like a trinity, for example and to commence writing about some guy 50 to 80 years after he lived is going to create problems of accuracy because the authors were Greek and they wrote in Greek and there are translation conflicts and American Christians have edited the Bible to suit their beliefs.
Can any responsible person have the NERVE to claim that Matthew is writing about a different person than John??? This is so ridiculous that the author ought to be dismissed immediately. Please, people, stop making ridiculously irresponsible statements, and please, young believers, try to be more discerning about who you listen to! Thin? We know more about Jesus than we know about the Emperor Tiberius. In fact, we know more about Jesus than almost any other person in ancient history, with tens of thousands of words written about him from people who knew him, or people who knew many who knew him.