February 26, 2024 ·  3 min read

Other than the Bible, What Proof is there that Jesus was Real?

The existence of Jesus of Nazareth is a topic that has sparked debate and controversy over the centuries. While millions of people around the world believe in his existence based on biblical accounts, some question the historical evidence behind his existence. Let’s explore sources and evidence other than the Bible that support the claim that Jesus was a real historical figure. Then you can decide what you believe for yourself.

Other than the Bible, What Other Proof is There That Jesus was Real?

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Most of us have been to church at least once or twice in our lives. Maybe it was a Christmas service with our grandparents, or the christening of a cousin, niece, or nephew. Or, perhaps, you grew up going to church every Sunday, and maybe you still do. Either way, you likely have an opinion, however strong, as to whether Jesus of Nazareth, the biblically claimed son of God, existed. This question is: Is there any evidence outside of the Bible that suggests that Jesus was a real person? Let’s have a look. (1, 2)

1. Ancient Scholars and Historians

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One compelling piece of evidence comes from ancient scholars and historians who wrote about Jesus during or near his lifetime. Flavius Josephus, one of the most notable Jewish historians of the first century AD, mentioned Jesus twice in his work “Jewish Antiquities.” Although there is some debate about the authenticity of one of these mentions, the references provide valuable insight into the existence of Jesus.

Another Roman historian, Tacitus, wrote about Jesus in his work “Annals of Imperial Rome.” Tacitus’s account corroborates the events surrounding Jesus’ execution by Pontius Pilate, as described in the New Testament. His inclusion of Jesus in his historical account adds credibility to the existence of Jesus.

2. Archaeological Discoveries

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While there is no definitive physical or archaeological evidence directly proving the existence of Jesus, some archaeological discoveries indirectly support the historical narrative of Jesus’ life. Recent excavations in Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home, have unearthed a rock-hewn courtyard house, tombs, and a cistern, providing evidence of the existence of the town mentioned in the New Testament.

Additionally, researchers have found physical evidence of Roman crucifixions, including the style of crucifixion described in the New Testament. The existence of these historical practices aligns with the description of Jesus’ crucifixion, reinforcing the notion of his existence.

Read: Biblical site where Jesus healed blind man will be opened to the public for the first time in 2,000 years

3. Non-Christian References

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Apart from the biblical accounts, there are references to Jesus from non-Christian sources. For example, the Roman governor Pliny the Younger wrote to Emperor Trajan around 112 AD about early Christians who worshiped Christ as a god. This letter suggests that Jesus was known and worshiped by early Christians, further confirming his historical existence.

Similarly, Suetonius, a Roman historian, mentions that Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from Rome due to disturbances caused by followers of someone named “Chrestus.” Many scholars believe that this refers to Jesus and the followers who were creating unrest in Rome.

4. Consensus Among Scholars

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Despite the lack of direct evidence, a remarkable consensus exists among scholars who specialize in the study of the New Testament. Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University, notes that even Jewish rabbis who were critical of Jesus did not dispute his existence. This consensus among experts reflects the reliability of the historical evidence supporting Jesus’ existence.

The Bottom Line

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While the Bible serves as a primary source of information about Jesus, other historical evidence from ancient scholars, archaeology, and non-Christian references also support the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. The accounts of Flavius Josephus, Tacitus, and other historians, along with archaeological findings, provide a compelling case for the reality of Jesus as a historical figure. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to decide what you want to believe.

Keep Reading: Here’s What Jesus Really Looked Like, According to AI


  1. The Bible Says Jesus Was Real. What Other Proof Exists?History. Christopher Klein. March 24, 2021.
  2. What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?The Guardian. Dr Simon Gathercole. April 14, 2017.