Information about Jesus that was written in sources other than the Bible confirms His existence and provides further evidence that the Bible is fact.

Cornelius Tacitus (c. 55–20 AD) is considered to be a great historian of ancient Rome. His masterpiece, Annals, is represented by a two-volume set (chapters 1–6, with one surviving manuscript; and chapters 11–16, known as Historiae, with 32 surviving manuscripts).1

On July 19, 64 AD, a fire started in Rome that burned for nine days, destroying nearly three-quarters of the city. According to Tacitus, rumors spread that the fire was planned by the wickedly unstable Emperor Nero himself. In response, Nero created a diversion by calling for the torture and execution of Christians.

Lucian of Samosata was a 2nd-century Greek philosopher. This preserved text is obviously satirical, but it’s a powerful extra-biblical source:

In addition to the nine biblical writers who wrote about Jesus in separate ancient accounts, scholars have now identified at least 20 early Christian authors, four heretical writings, and seven non-Christian sources that make explicit mention of Jesus within 150 years of his life. This amounts to no less than 40 writers, all of whom explicitly mention Jesus and the rise of a spiritual movement in his name, a number unmatched by any other contemporary of Jesus during the same period.

There are roughly a dozen sources that are not from the Bible or written by Christians that points to a man (a prophet) that is identical to Jesus of Nazareth.

Think about it! Before 4 BC there were the pagan gods of Greece and Rome, Zoroastrianism in Persia, and the worship of jesusYHWH in Jerusalem. By AD 100 it is a fact of history that the worship of a man named Christ was something that not even proud Roman emperors could ignore. Today millions follow him including more than a hundred million in China alone. Why do you think Jesus Christ has made such an incredible impact on the lives of millions of men and women?

  1. One credible translation of these two surviving chapter sets is available on MIT’s website:
  2. Tacitus, Annales, Historiae, Chapter 15, paragraphs 54 and 55.
  3. Antiquities, Book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 (translated from 4th century Arabic manuscript).
  4. Plinius Secundus, Epistles, X.96.
  5. Suetonius, Life of Claudius, 25.4. See also, McDowell, New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, 121-122.
  6. Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars, 26.2. See also, Ibid.
  7. British Museum Syriac Manuscript, Addition 14, 658. See also, Eastman & Smith, The Search for Messiah, 251-252.
  8. Lucien of Samosata, “Death of Pelegrine,” The Works of Lucian of Samosata, 4 vols. Trans. By H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, Clarendon Press, 1949, 11-13.

Want More?

Sources: Randall Niles,,, and