The Saga of Unreasonable Ones Who Reject The Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible:

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The Saga of Unreasonable Ones Who Reject The Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible:

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The Saga of Unreasonable Ones Who Reject The Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible:

INTRODUCTION:

Many unreasonable ones reject the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible; but these same ones often readily accept the unreliable word of worldly egotistical self-centered worldly philosophers. They put forth many invalid arguments that on the surface seem to have some validity. They make wild claims such as the Bible is a 'hoax,' it is a conspiracy to deceive, horrific set of teachings written my chauvinistic men, that it has been changed, etc.

And to support this they site violence, greed, and hate on the part of many who claim to believe in the Bible and/or Bible knockoffs, but overlook reality; to wit, it is not the actually say, but how religious leaders be they priest and/or ministers or what ever teach the people is the interpretation of what is written in the Bible really say. People go by what they are taught by their religious leaders. Take the genocide committed by the Roman Catholic Church at the direction of their supreme religious leader, the pope, what mattered was not that the Bible clearly said at Exodus 20:13, "Thou shalt not kill." (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible; DRCB), but what their religious leaders told them. Therefore, it is the religion at fault, irregardless of what the Bible may say. Neither in so called Christianity or in other religions are most individuals actions really governed in any way by what their particular holy book really says, but they are governed by the interpretation of their religious leaders. Thus, knowing this reality, one would be either just plain stupid and/or dumb to even bother looking at a particular religion's holy book and expect the members would conform to it. Take the Rig Vede and find me for an example a Hindu actually conforming to it instead of the interpretation given to it by his religious leaders, like looking for a needle in the haystack per K.S. Lal, India's greatest historian.

In fact, there are really two taxonomies or classifications for Christians,

Group 1 - the genuine (true) followers of Jesus (Yeshua) Christ do NOT involve themselves with war and violence or meddle in politics, and try to follow to the 'letter' the words and commandments of Christ. Also, they have NO creedal doctrines and/or traditions.

Group 2 - the false claimants of being followers of Jesus (Yeshua) Christ involve themselves with war and violence and meddle in politics while falsely claiming to be followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace. The give 'lip' service with respect following to the 'letter' the words and commandments of Christ - the term Sunday Christian aptly fits them. They have their creedal doctrines and/or traditions and assign more importance to these than the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Bible.

It is not anyone's opinion that sets the two separate groups that are called "Christians" apart, but clearly the diametrically opposed actions of the two groups.

Strange as it may seem, many unreasonable ones reject the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), based on the previously mentioned claims - that it is a 'hoax,' it is a conspiracy to deceive, horrific set of teachings written my chauvinistic men, that it has been changed, etc. readily accept other works of antiquity for which there is far less evidence for their reliability such as those of the philosopher Plato for which there are only seven ancient manuscripts for his works and all of these were written over 1,200 years after the original and no intermediate fragments or anything. Yet these same ones question the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible, for which over 30,000 fragments, Codex's, scrolls, manuscripts, etc. exist so obviously they are NOT being objective.

As to their false claim of a 'hoax,' or conspiracy, it clearly shows their obviously ignorance of the fact that the Bible is NOT the product of one committee or strongman. It has over 40 individual writers who wrote under divine inspiration/guidance putting the thoughts of God (YHWH) into the words of men much as transcribing secretaries today taking transcription and then later typing it out. In other words one real author, God (YHWH), and many scribes each of whom wrote in his own style over a period of approximately 1,600 years. All of what people call or consider inconsistencies are really not such, but most often just a problem of translation and/or understanding, i.e., lack of understanding of what the original writer writing in his own language and culture meant/said in his original writing. What is remarkable, is the writers over such a period of time all wrote in harmony when even most writers today can not even stay on track or subject over a period of a few days and/or weeks at most with the original subject of the thread. This fact of harmony over a period so great as to almost stagger the imagination shows that it had one guiding force or author who divinely inspired its writers as humans of their own volition can not keep on track over short periods of time. Also, it clearly shows that NO 'hoax' or conspiracy would be possible as most of its writers neither nor or ever met the other writers with the exception of the New Testament writers who all personally knew Jesus (Yeshua) Christ when he was alive with the exception of the Apostle Paul who was called to be his follower by him after his resurrection.


To wit, the Bible is the ONLY book God (YHWH) ever inspired men to write as his scribes. In other words, God is its author and men only put his thoughts given to them by divine inspiration into their own words, the words of men. Not only that, all the other writers of later so called religious guidance books borrowed from it and made changes in accord with their strong man or so called prophet.

As can readily be seen, it would be absolutely impossible for any 'hoax' or conspiracy to be maintained even for a few years; whereas, the truths of the Bible were harmoniously maintained for over 1,600 years by various writers that in most cases lived at different times and did not know each other. Therefore, any claim of a 'hoax' or conspiracy can in NO way be valid.

Now why do many make such obviously false claims? There can be many reasons given, but the underlying and/or subconscious reason is that these individuals can not accept the fact that there is a higher intelligence that governs the universe and created mankind. In fact, the Bible at Isaiah 29:16 clearly alluded to this, "Oh your perverseness! -Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay, so that the work should say of him that made it, He made me not; or the thing formed say of him that formed it, He hath no understanding?" (Darby 1884 Version; Darby). These ones have looked at all kinds of theories to explain man's existence such as those of Darwin, but all such reasoning remains but just a theory. Also, man's mathematics in Einstein's famous formula - E = m C2 - clearly show that matter can neither be created, but only transformed into energy and visa versa. This clearly shows that something had to originally create either matter and/or energy at sometime or nothing would exist and no one has an explanation for this short of the creation by a higher intelligence; to wit, Almighty God (YHWH).

THE TWO TYPES OF DOUBTERS:

Basically, there are two types of doubters, atheist who are all negative thinking Pyrrhonist, negative skeptics, and agnostics who are like one who tosses a coin in the air and waits to see if it will come up heads or tails and does not react until it lands. These are most often skeptic pragmatic realist.

We shall now deal with the Pyrrhonist with regard to who and what they are.

THE ATHEISTIC PYRRHONIST:

Now let's look at how two encyclopedia defines Pyrrhonist alluded to in the Bible at Acts 17:21, " (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)" (Authorized King James Bible; AV). They had no interest in truth, but only in hearing new things - they were negative thinking individuals that did NOT seek out after ultimate truth as they believe it does not exist.

<<<" In the definition given for skepticism in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, both reasonable and necessary skepticism and un-reasonable or philosophical skepticism (Pyrrhonism) are defined. Let's look now at the definitions for the two taxonomies of skepticism:

In ordinary usage, skepticism or scepticism (Greek: skeptomai, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to
1. an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object,
2. the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain, or
3. the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam-Webster).

In philosophy, skepticism refers more specifically to any one of several propositions. These include propositions about
1. an inquiry
2. the limitations of knowledge,
3. a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continual testing,
4. the arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values,
5. a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment,
In classical philosophy, skepticism refers to the teachings and the traits of the Skeptikoi, a school of philosophers of whom it was said that they "asserted nothing but only opined" (Liddell and Scott). In this sense, philosophical skepticism, or Pyrrhonism, is the philosophical position that one should avoid the postulation of final truths. Turned on itself, skepticism would question that skepticism is a valid perspective at all.
In religion, skepticism refers to "doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)" (Merriam-Webster).

The word skepticism can characterize a position on a single claim, but in scholastic circles more frequently describes a lasting mindset and an approach to accepting or rejecting new information. Individuals who proclaim to have a skeptical outlook are frequently called skeptics, often without regard to whether it is philosophical skepticism or empirical skepticism that they profess." [source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]>>>.

And, before we delve deep into the subject of why this type of skepticism is foolish, let's look at a definition of Pyrrhonism from the Catholic Encyclopedia,

<<<" Pyrrhonism
Pyrrhonism is a system of scepticism, the founder of which was Pyrrho, a Greek philosopher, about whom very little is known except that he died in 270 B. C. The best known of Pyrrho's disciples was Timon of Philius, known as the sillographer. Pyrrho's scepticism was so complete and comprehensive that the word Pyrrhonism is sometimes used as a synonym for scepticism, The scepticism of Pyrrho's school covered three points.

(1) All the dogmatists, that is to say, all the philosophers who believed that truth and certitude can be attained, were mere sophists; they were self-deceived and deceivers of others.

(2) Certitude is impossible of attainment, not only because of the possibility that our faculties deceive us, but also because, in themselves, things are neither one thing nor the other, neither good nor evil, beautiful nor ugly, large nor small. Or, rather, things are both good and evil, beautiful and ugly, large and small, so that there is no reason why we should affirm that they are one thing rather than the other. This conviction was expressed in the famous saying, ouden mallon, nothing is more one thing than another; the paper is not more white than black, the piece of sugar is not more sweet than bitter, and so forth.

(3) The reality of things being inaccessible to the human mind, and certitude being impossible of attainment, the wise man doubts about everything; that is, he recognizes the futility of inquiry into reality and abstains from judging. This abstention is called epoche. It is the foundation of happiness. Because he alone can attain happiness who cultivates imperturbability, ataraxia; and then only is the mind proof against disquietude when we realize that every attempt to attain the truth is doomed to failure.

From this account of the principles of Pyrrhonism, it is evident that Pyrrho's aim was ethical. Like all the philosophers of the period in which he lived, he concerned himself principally with the problem of happiness. The Stoics sought to found happiness on the realization of the reign of law in human nature as well as in nature. The Epicureans grounded happiness on the conviction that transitory feeling is the one important phenomenon in human life. The Eclectics placed the intellectual basis of happiness in the conviction that all systems of philosophy are equally true. The Pyrrhonist, as well as the other sceptics of that period, believed that there is no possibility of attaining happiness unless one first realizes that all systems of philosophy are equally false and that the real truth of things cannot be attained. Pyrrhonism is, therefore, an abdication of all the supposed rights of the mind, and cannot be dealt with by the ordinary rules of logic or by the customary canons of philosophical criticism." [source - The Catholic Encyclopedia]>>>.

In other words, the philosophical skeptics, or Pyrrhonist believe there is no possibility of learning real truth; to wit, which is a rejection of the existence of real truth. Now this sets up a paradox as follows,

<<<"Being skeptical in the ordinary usage is a very beneficial attribute and this was clearly shown by the Apostle Luke at Acts 17:10-11, "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Beroea: who when they were come thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so." (American Standard Version; ASV). But, like many other things and practices it can be carried to an excess.

When carried to an excess, skepticism can result in rejecting the truth, the reality which should be accepted per John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Authorized King James Bible; AV). As mentioned previously, skepticism when carried to an excess is called philosophical skepticism or Pyrrhonism which is the rejection and/or avoidance with respect the postulation of final truth. In other words the real truth is rejected and/or avoided as dangerous and/or unreal." [source - Skepticism Is Good Up To The Point Reasonableness Is Surpassed:, by Iris the Preacher, 2008]>>>.

In their absurd effort to deny even to themselves that real truth exist the Pyrrhonists pokes or makes fun of the ideal that real truth can exist and make very negative comments about anything that could possibly be real truth and/or approaching it, and of skeptic pragmatic realist who pursue finding real truth. Their comments are always negative and belittling and never up-building in the slightest.

All atheist are Pyrrhonist, but not all Pyrrhonist are atheist as one can have Pyrrhonist views in other areas besides the none belief in a Creator.

THE AGNOSTIC OR SKEPTIC PRAGMATIC REALIST:

Whereas, a skeptic pragmatic realist thinks for himself and not as a 'herd' as do Pyrrhonist. They do NOT accept what any authoritive figure says at face value. For example, being a skeptic pragmatic realist myself, I, in my writings, present the facts and always reference well the sources with this concept in mind - giving others the facts for them to check and if necessary adjust their thinking. The contrast between the two very different taxonomies of skeptics is quite clear.

The Pyrrhonist offer nothing of value to anyone, but are just skeptics without a purpose who reject the concept that there is a final truth. This makes them very negative and causes them to belittle truth as sub-consciously they can not accept the ideal of final truth.

Skeptic pragmatic realist, on the other hand, diligently seek final truth in a very objective way and are not swayed by peers and or others while pursuing their search for final truth.

One outstanding skeptic pragmatic realist, William Ramsey, who believed the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible, was in error set out to either prove and/or disprove his hypothesis. He was like the man who flipped a coin in the air and was waiting until it landed to see if it was heads or tails. He actively set out on a mission to determine ultimate truth that was to consume half of his life time.

<<<" Sir William Ramsey was a disbeliever in the New Testament and started his research to show it was riddled with geographic and archaeological errors. He specifically started out in his quest to disprove scripture by focusing on the Book of Acts which was written by the Apostle Luke in Rome around 61 C.E. Before starting his quest, Ramsey diligently prepared for his goal of disproving the accuracy of the Book of Acts by undertaking and in-depth study of archaeology and geography.

But to his utter amazement, the more he investigated during his quarter century of research in what is now Israel, Syria, and Turkey where he carefully retraced the steps of the apostles as they were recorded in the Book of Acts, he became ever more convinced that his former belief that this book was riddled with error was historically correct.

His quest turned out very different than he had anticipated. His long research in the middle east after decades of examining the historical and geographical details detailed in the Book of Acts were absolutely correct. His findings caused his to have a complete change of how he viewed the writings of the Apostles; to wit, he turned from being a strong doubter to becoming a strong believer in the accuracy of the books of the New Testament. In fact, he became such a strong believer in their accuracy that he went on to write many books testifying to this accuracy. Some of his books on Biblical subjects were - note, he also authored many books on scientific subjects.:

The Letters to the Seven Churches

The church in the Roman Empire before A.D. 170

Pauline & Other Studies in Early Christian History

Cities of St. Paul

The historical geography of Asia Minor.

Historical Commentary on Galatians

St. Paul the Traveler and Roman Citizen

The Cities of St. Paul: Their Influence on His Life and Thought, the Cities of Eastern Asia Minor

Luke the physician and other studies in the history of religion

The Education of Christ

Historical Commentary on First Corinthians

The Layman's Guide to the New Testament

Was Christ Born at Bethlehem?

Society and Religion in Central Asia Minor in the time of St. Paul.

The bearing of recent discovery on the trustworthiness of the New Testament Creator Ramsay, William Mitchell, Sir, 1851-1939 Publisher London

The cities and bishoprics of Phrygia; being an essay of the local history of Phrygia from the earliest times to the Turkish conquest

Pictures of the Apostolic Church: Studies in the Book of Acts

Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians

Asianic Elements in Greek Civilization

Second Corinthians

Impressions of Turkey During Twelve Years' Wanderings

The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1915),

One comment on his books, <<" 'After decades of examining the historical and geographical details mentioned in the book, Ramsay concluded:' "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense ... In short this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians" (The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, 1953, p. 80).">>.

Now let's look at a brief Biography clearly shows Ramsey to be a great researcher, <<"Classical scholar and archaeologist, as well as the foremost authority of his day on the topography, antiquities and history of Asia Minor in ancient times, William Mitchell Ramsay was born in Glasgow on 15 March 1851, the youngest son of Thomas Ramsay and Jane Mitchell, both of Alloa. Ramsay's father died in 1857, and the family returned to its native shire to settle in a rural home near Alloa.

From the Gymnasium, Old Aberdeen, Ramsay went on to the University of Aberdeen and then won a scholarship at St. John's College, Oxford; there he obtained a first class in classical moderations (1874) and in literae humaniores (1876). In his second year at Oxford (1874), Ramsay benefited from the generosity of his maternal uncle and was able to spend the long vacation at Goettingen, studying Sanskrit under a great scholar, Theodor Benfey. This was a critical period of his life: then for the first time, in his own words, he 'gained some insight into modern methods of literary investigation', and his 'thoughts ever since turned towards the border lands between European and Asiatic civilization'. A further stimulus was received from Henry Jardine Bidder, of St. John's, a man of incisive mind and speech, who first opened his eyes to the true spirit of Hellenism and so helped to fit him for the work which he had in view."[source - Gifford Lectures, at http://www.giffordlectures.org/Author.asp?AuthorID=143 on 4/19/2008]>>.

So as can readily be seen, if one who does not believe does an objective research into the trustworthiness of the Bible as one skeptic, Sir William Ramsey, did, he/she will become a genuine believer.

NOW LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF THE WRITINGS OF SIR WILLIAM RAMSEY IN BRIEF:

First, though let's consider an exert from the Catholic Encyclopedia on some of the research of Sir William Ramsay:

<<" Ramsay was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the youngest son of a third-generation lawyer, Thomas Ramsay and his wife Jane Mitchell. His father died when he was six years old, and the family moved from the city to the family home in the country district near Alba. The help of his older brother and maternal uncle, Andrew Mitchell, made it possible for him to have a superior education. He studied at the University of Aberdeen, where he achieved high distinction. He won a scholarship to St. John's College, Oxford, where he obtained a first class in classical moderations (1874) and in literae humaniores (1876). He also studied Sanskrit under scholar Theodor Benfey at Göttingen.
In 1880, Ramsay received an Oxford studentship for travel and research in Greece. At Smyrna, he met Sir C. W. Wilson, then British consul-general in Anatolia, who advised him on inland areas suitable for exploration. Ramsay and Wilson made two long journeys in 1881-1882.
He travelled widely in Asia Minor and rapidly became the recognized authority on all matters relating to the districts associated with St Paul's missionary journeys and on Christianity in the early Roman Empire. Greece and Turkey remained the focus of Ramsay's research for the remainder of his academic career. He was known for his expertise in the historic geography and topography of Asia Minor and of its political, social, cultural and religious history. He was Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford in 1882.
From 1885 to 1886, Ramsay held the newly created Lincoln and Merton professorship of classical archaeology and art at Oxford and became a fellow of Lincoln College (honorary fellow 1898). In 1886, Ramsay was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen. He remained affiliated with Aberdeen until his retirement in 1911. From 1880 onwards hereceived the honorary degrees of D.C.L. Oxford, LL.D. St Andrews and Glasgow, and D.D. Edinburgh. In 1906, Ramsay was knighted for his scholarly achievements on the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of the University of Aberdeen. He was elected a member of learned societies in Europe and America, and was awarded medals by the Royal Geographical Society, and the University of Pennsylvania.

7) The Galatian churches were evidently important ones. On the North-Galatian theory, St. Luke dismissed their conversion in a single sentence: "They went through the Phrygian and Galatian region" (Acts 16:6). This is strange, as his plan throughout is to give an account of the establishment of Christianity by St. Paul in each new region. Lightfoot fully admits the force of this, but tries to evade it by asking the question: "Can it be that the historian gladly drew a veil over the infancy of a church which swerved so soon and so widely from the purity of the Gospel?" But the subsequent failings of the Corinthians did not prevent St. Luke from giving an account of their conversion. Besides, the Galatians had not swerved so widely from the purity of the Gospel. The arguments of the judaizers made some of them waver, but they had not accepted circumcision; and this Epistle confirmed them in the Faith, so that a few years later St. Paul writes of them to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:1): "Now concerning the collections that are made for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so do ye also." It was long after the time that St. Paul could thus confidently command the Galatians that Acts was written.
(Cool St. Paul makes no mention of this collection in our Epistle. According to the North-Galatian theory, the Epistle was written several years before the collection was made. In Acts 20:4, etc., a list is given of those who carried the collections to Jerusalem. There are representatives from South Galatia, Achaia, Macedonia, and Asia; but there is no deputy from North Galatia -- from the towns of Jerusalem on occasion, the majority probably meeting at Corinth, St. Paul, St. Luke, and Sopater of Berea (probably representing Philippi and Achaia; see 2 Corinthians 8:18-22); Aristarchus and Secundus of Macedonia; Gaius of Derbe, and Timothyof Lystra (S. Galatia); and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia. There is not a word about anybody from North Galatia, the most probable reason being that St. Paul had never been there (see Rendall, Expositor, 1893, vol. II, p.321). (9) St. Paul, the Roman citizen, invariably employs the names of the roman provincces, such as Achaia, Macedonia, Asia; and it is not probable that he departed from this practice in his use of "Galatia". The people of South Galatia could with propriety be styled Galatians. Two of the towns, Antioch and Lystra, were Roman colonies; and the other two boasted of the Roman names, Claudio-Iconium, and Claudio-Derbe. "Galatians" was an honourable title when applied to them; but they would be insulted if they were called Phrygians or Lycaonians. All admit that St. Peter named the Roman provinces when he wrote "to the elect strangers dispersed throught Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1 Peter 1:1).

(10) The manner in which St. Paul mentions St. Barnabas in the Epistle indicates that the latter was known to those for whom the Epistle was primarily intended. St. Barnabas had visited South Galatia with St. Paul (Acts 13:14), but he was unknown in North Galatia.

(11) St. Paul states (ii, 5) that the reason for his course of action at Jerusalem was that the truth of the gospel might continue with the Galatians. This seems to imply that they were already converted. He had visited the southern part of the Galatian province before the council, but not northern. The view favoured above receives confirmation from a consideration, as appended, of the persons addressed.

THE KIND OF PEOPLE ADDRESSED

The country of South Galatia answers the conditions of the Epistle admirably; but this cannot be said of North Galatia. From the Epistle we gather that the majority were Gentile converts, that many were probably Jewish proselytes from their acquaintance with the Old Testament, that Jews who persecuted them from the first were living amongst them; that St. Paul had visited them twice, and that the few Judaziers appeared amongst them only after his last visit. We know from Acts, iii, xiv (and early history), that Jews were settled in South Galatia. During the first missionary journey unbelieving Jews made their presence felt everywhere. As soon as Paul and Barnabas returned to Syrian Antioch, some Jewish converts came from Judea and taught that the circumcision was necessary for them, and went up to the council, where it was decreed that circumcision and the Law of Moses were not necessary for the Gentiles; but nothing was determined as to the attitude of Jewish converts regarding them, following the example of St. James, though it was implied in the decree that they were matters of indifference. This was shown, soon after, by St. Peter's eating with the Gentiles. On his withdrawing from them, and when many others followed his example, St. Paul publicly vindicated the equality of the Gentile Christians. The majority agreed; but there must have been "false brethren" amongst them (Galatians 2:4) who were Christians only in name, and who hated St. Paul. Some of these, in all probability, followed him to South Galatia, soon after his second visit. But they could no longer teach the necessity of circumcision, as the Apostolic decrees had been already delivered there by St. Paul (Acts 16:4). These decrees are not mentioned in the Epistle by the Judaizers, the advisability of the Galatians accepting circumcision and the Law of Moses, for their greater perfection. On the other hand, there is no evidence that there were any Jews settled at this time in North Galatia (see Ramsay, "St. Paul The Traveller"). It was not the kind of country to attract them. The Gauls were a dominant class, living in castles, and leading a half pastoral, half nomadic life, and speaking their own Gallic language. The country was very sparsley populated by the subjugated agricultural inhabitants. During the long winter the ground was covered with snow; in summer the heat was intense and the ground parched; and one might travel many miles without meeting a human being. There was some fertile tracts; but the greater part was either poor pasture land, or barren undulating hilly ground. The bulk of the inhabitants in the few towns were not Gauls. Trade was small, and that mainly in wool. A decree of Augustus in favour of Jews was supposed to be framed for those at Ancyra, in Galatia. It is now known that it was addressed to quite a different region.

WHY WRITTEN

The Epistle was written to conteract the influence of a few Judaizers who had come amongst the Galatians, and were endeavouring to persuade them that in order to be perfect Christians it was necessary to be circumcised and observe the Law of Moses. Their arguments were sufficiently specious to puzzle the Galatians, and their object was likely to gain the approval of unbelieving Jews. They said what St. Paul taught was good as far as it went; but that he had not taught the full perfection of Christianity. And this was not surprising, as he was not one of the great Apostles who had been taught by Christ Himself, and received their commission from Him. Whatever St. Paul knew he learned from others, and he had received his commission to preach not from Christ, but from men at Antioch (Acts 13). Circumcision and the Law, it is true, were not necessary to salvation; but they were essential to the full perfection of Christianity. This was proved by the example of St. James, of the other Apostles, and of the first disciples, at Jerusalem. On this very point this Paul, the Apostle, placed himself in direct opposition to Cephas, the Prince of the Apostles, at Antioch. His own action in circumcising Timothy showed what he expected of a personal companion, and he was now probably teaching the good of circumcision in other places. These statements puzzles the Galatians, and made them waver. They felt aggrieved that he had left them, as they thought, in an inferior position; they began to observe Jewish festivals, but they had not yet accepted circumcision. The Apostle refutes these arguments so effectively that the question never again arose. Henceforth his enemies confined themselves to personal attacks (see II Corinthians).

CONTENTS OF THE EPISTLE

The six chapters naturally fall into three divisions, consisting of two chapters each.

* In the first two chapters, after the general introduction, he shows that he is an Apostle not from men, nor through the teaching of any man, but from Christ; and the gospel he taught is in harmony with the teaching of the great Apostles, who gave him the right hand of fellowship.

* He next (iii, iv) shows the inefficacy of circumcision and the Law, and that we owe our redemption to Christ alone. He appeals to the experience of the Galatian converts, and brings forward proofs from Scripture.

* He exhorts them (v, vi) not to abuse their freedom from the Law to indulge in crimes, "for they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God." It is not for love of them he admonishes, that the Judaizers wish the Galatians to be circumcised. If there is virtue in the mere cutting of the flesh, the inference from the argument is that the Judaizers could become still more perfect by making themselves eunuchs -- mutilating themselves like the priests of Cybele. He writes the epilogue in large letters with his own hand.
*
IMPORTANCE OF THE EPISTLE

As it is admitted on all hands that St. Paul wrote the Epistle, and as its authenticity has never been seriously called in question, it is important not only for its biographical data and direct teaching, but also for the teaching implies in it as being known at the time. He claims, at least indirectly, to have worked miracles amongst the Galatians, and that they received the Holy Ghost (iii, 5), almost in the words of St. Luke as to the events at Iconium (Acts 14:3). It is the Catholic doctrine that faith is a gratuitous gift of God; but is is the teaching of the Church, as it is of St. Paul, that the faith that is of any avail is "faith that worketh by charity" (Galatians 5:6); and he states most emphatically that a good life is necessary for salvation; for, after enumeration the works of the flesh, he writes (v, 21), "Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall obtain the kingdom of God." In vi, 8, he writes: "For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh, also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting." The same teaching is found in others of his Epistles, and is in perfect agreement with St. James: "For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead" (James 2:2). The Epistle implies that the Galatians were well acquainted with the doctrines of the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, Incarnation, Redemption, Baptism, Grace, etc. As he had never to defend his teaching to these points against Judaizers, and as the Epistle is so early, it is clear that his teaching was identical with that of the Twelve, and did not, even in appearance, lend itself to attack.

DATE OF THE EPISTLE

(1) Marcion asserted that it was the first of St. Paul's Epistles. Prof. Sir W. Ramsay (Expositor, Aug., 1895, etc.) and a Catholic professor, Dr. Valentin Weber (see below), maintain that it was written from Antioch, before the council (A.D. 49-50). Weber's arguments are very plausible, but not quite convincing. There is a good summary of them in a review by Gayford, "Journal of Theological Studies", July, 1902. The two visits to Galatia are the double journey to Derbe and back. This solution is offered to obviate apparent discrepancies between Gal., ii, and Acts, xv."[source - The Catholic Encyclopedia - Epistle to the Galatians]

And a quick look at what the Columbia Encyclopedia says on Galatians:

<<" Galatians , letter of the New Testament. It is ascribed to St. Paul and addressed to ethnic Gauls living in central Asia Minor, or to inhabitants of the Roman province of Galatia in S Asia Minor. It may have been the earliest epistle (written c.AD 48); or, as many scholars hold, it may date after AD 52. Paul wrote the letter because the Galatians had been influenced by Judaizing Christians who asserted that circumcision was essential and that believers were bound to keep the law of Moses. They argued that Paul's emphasis on faith at the expense of law was his own invention. In the letter, Paul proceeds to anathematize anyone who preaches a gospel different from the one he preached to them. He defends his apostleship, claiming that he received his gospel from the risen Christ himself. His position is that God establishes people in a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus, not through the doing of works prescribed by the law. This is confirmed by the Galatians' own experience and by their understanding of the standing of Abraham before God. Relying on works of the law means being obligated to perform all its commands, or face the dire consequences. Paul demonstrates that the law was a temporary, though necessary, phenomenon in the religious experience of the people of God, until the coming of Christ. Paul espoused the belief that salvation could be achieved by faith alone, without having to comply with the demands of the Jewish law.

Bibliography: See studies by H. D. Betz (1979), R. Y. K. Fung (1988), and R. N. Longenecker (1990).
[source - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | Date: 2008 ] >>.

And an exert from one of William Ramsay's books dealing with Galatians:

<<" THE Epistle to the Galatians is a document of the highest importance for students of history. Not merely is it a peculiarly important authority for all who study the early stages in the Christianisation of the Roman Empire: it also throws much light on the condition and society of one of the Eastern Roman Provinces during the first century of the Empire -- a difficult subject and an almost unknown land.

The study of this document is encumbered with a great preliminary difficulty. It is not certain who were the persons addressed. While some scholars maintain that the "Churches of Galatia," to whom the Epistle is addressed, were planted in the four cities of Southern Galatia, Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch, others assert that those Churches were situated in North Galatia. These two opposite opinions are conveniently designated as the South Galatian and the North-Galatian Theory.

This doubt as to the destination of the Epistle hardly [2] affects the study of its dogmatic or doctrinal value, with which we are not concerned.
Even as regards its historical value, small importance might seem on a first superficial view to attach to the question whether the Churches addressed were situated in the south of the province or in the north. The distance of Pessinus, the nearest in the northern group, from Iconium in the southern is only about 120 miles. From Pessinus to Antioch is about 30 miles less as the crow flies, but almost as much as the traveller goes.

Similarly, the question has been discussed whether the so-called "Epistle to the Ephesians" was addressed to the Church of Ephesus or of Laodicea, or is a general Asian letter. The distance by road from Ephesus to Laodicea was 91 1/2 Roman miles. But it makes no very serious difference even to the historical student whether the letter was addressed to the one or the other city: no question as regards the time of composition, or the order of Paul's travels, or the history of the Church as a whole, is affected by the doubt.
But the doubt as regards the Galatian Churches stands on a quite different footing. The date when the letter was composed, the order and facts of Paul's travels, several important questions of general Church history, are all affected by the doubt. To the student of Roman history and society there are also serious differences between the two theories. The North-Galatian cities belong to quite a different line of development from the South-Galatian. See Sections 15, 17.
In this case, as in all other historical questions, the doubt is due to insufficiency of knowledge. The countries both of North and of South Galatia are most obscure. A good [3] deal has been done by modern scholars to illuminate the history of North Galatia in the pre-Roman period by collecting and comparing the references in literature; but little has been done for the Roman period. South Galatia was no more than a name, and hardly even a name, until within the last few years." [source - A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION. Society and Religion in Central Asia Minor in the time of St. Paul. By Ramsay, Sir William Mitchell]>>.

And an exert from a book of Sir William Ramsay on the Epistle to the Romans:

<<" IN any judicious system of interpretation, great stress must be laid on the introductory address of this Epistle. It should be compared with the address prefixed to the Epistle to the Romans, a letter which presents marked analogies in sentiment and topics. In each case Paul puts in his introduction the marrow of the whole letter. He says at first in a few words what he is going to say at length in the body of the letter, to repeat over and over, to emphasise from various points of view, and to drive home into the minds of his correspondents.
The important fact, upon which the whole letter turns, is that Paul had been a messenger straight from God to the Galatians. His message, as delivered originally to them, had been a message coming from God. No subsequent variation or change of message on the part of any person, himself or others, could affect that fundamental truth; and that fact has to be made to live and burn in their minds. Hence he begins by calling himself "an [238] apostle, not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the father".

Next he mentions those who join with him as the authors of the Epistle. He often quotes one or two individuals as joint-senders of a letter. Here, and here alone, he states that all the brethren who are with him are sending the letter to the Churches of Galatia. This important point calls for special consideration in Sec. II.

Thereafter he introduces the second leading thought of the whole Epistle -- that the action and person of Christ is sufficient for salvation. And so he adds "who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil world".

FOOTNOTES:

1 In the first draft of this Commentary, reference was frequently made to Lightfoot and to Zöckler, as representatives of English and German opinion. Subsequently, a few references have been added to the latest edition of Meyer's Commentary by Professor Sieffert, 1899."[source - A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION. Society and Religion in Central Asia Minor in the time of St. Paul. By Ramsay, Sir William Mitchell, p. 237]>>.

And, an exert from one of Sir William Ramsay's books on the Acts of the Apostles:

<<" THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
TRUSTWORTHINESS
[1] 1. TRUSTWORTHINESS. The aim of our work is to treat its subject as a department of history and of literature. Christianity was not merely a religion, but also, a system of life and action; and its introduction by Paul amid the society of the Roman Empire produced changes of momentous consequence, which the historian must study. What does the student of Roman history find in the subject of our investigation? How would an observant, educated, and unprejudiced citizen of the Roman Empire have regarded that new social force, that new philosophical system, if he had studied it with the eyes and the temper of a nineteenth century investigator?

As a preliminary the historian of Rome must make up his mind about the trustworthiness of the authorities. Those which we shall use are:(1) a work of history commonly entitled the Acts of the Apostles (the title does not originate from the author), (2) certain Epistles purporting to be written by Paul. Of the latter we make only slight and incidental use; and probably even those who dispute their authenticity would admit that the facts we use are trustworthy, as being the settled belief of the Church at a very early period. It is, therefore, unnecessary to touch on the authenticity of the Epistles; but the question as to the date, the composition, and the author of the Acts must be [2] discussed. If the main position of this book is admitted, it will furnish a secure basis for the Epistles to rest on.

...

I may fairly claim to have entered on this investigation without any prejudice in favour of the conclusion which I shall now attempt to justify to the reader. On the con- [8] trary, I began with a mind unfavourable to it, for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced me. It did not lie then in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely; but more recently I found myself often brought in contact with the book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvellous truth. In fact, beginning with the fixed idea that the work was essentially a second-century composition, and never relying on its evidence as trustworthy for first-century conditions,. I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations. But there remained still one serious objection to accepting it as entirely a first-century work. According to the almost universally accepted view, this history led Paul along a path and through surroundings which seemed to me historically and topographically self-contradictory. It was not possible to bring Paul's work in Asia Minor into accordance with the facts of history on the supposition that an important part of that work was devoted to a district in the northern part of the peninsula, called Galatia. It may appear at first sight a mere topographical subtlety whether Paul travelled through North Galatia or through Lycaonia; but, when you consider that any details given of his journeys must be false to the one side just in proportion as they are true to the other, you will perceive that, if you try to apply the narrative to the wrong side of the country, it will not suit the scene, and if it does not suit, then it must appear to be written by a person ignorant of what he pretends to know. The case might be illustrated from our own experience. Suppose [9] that an unknown person came to Auburn from New York, and you wished to find out whether he was an impostor or not. In our country we are exposed to frequent attempts at imposition, which can often be detected by a few questions; and you would probably ask him about his experiences on his journey from New York to Auburn. Now suppose you had been informed that he had come not along the direct road, but by a long detour through Boston, Montreal, and Toronto, and had thus arrived at Auburn; and suppose that you by questioning elicited from him various facts which suited only a route through Schenectady and Utica, you would condemn the man as an impostor, because he did not know the road which he pretended to have travelled. But suppose further that it was pointed out by some third party that this stranger had really travelled along the direct road, and that you had been misinformed when you supposed him to have come by the-round-about way, your opinion as to the stranger's truthfulness would be instantly affected. Precisely similar is the case of Acts as a record of travel; generations and centuries have been attempting to apply it to the wrong countries. I must speak on this point confidently and uncompromisingly, for the facts stand out so clear and bold and simple that to affect to hesitate or to profess any doubt as to one's judgment would be a betrayal of truth." [source - St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES TRUSTWORTHINESS, by Ramsay, Sir William Mitchell, Introduction]>>, [source - The Trustworthiness of the New Testament - A Short Brief, by Iris the Preacher, 2008 (on 6/4/2008 available at http://religioustruths.proboards59.com/index.cgi?board=history&action=display&thread=78&page=1]>>>.

HOW RELIABLE ARE THE OLDEST NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS?

Many ask how reliable are the oldest New Testament manuscripts. One writer, Charles Carrin wrote an article called "Reliability of the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts." In this article he made a point of pointing out how the oldest manuscripts we have of Plato are over 1,200 years later in the stream of time from when Plato allegedly wrote them, but with regard the New Testament some of the oldest manuscripts we have are from less than 50 years after originals were written so many were still alive that had read the original. Therefore, there was very little chance for error to creep in, yet their reliability is questioned; whereas, the reliability of the 7 manuscripts from antiquity we have of Plato's works are from over 1,200 years after the originals were written yet those questioning the reliability of the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible, do not question the reliability of Plato's works as presently configured.

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Re: The Saga of Unreasonable Ones Who Reject The Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible:

Post  Admin on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:17 pm

Part 2

Obviously in the Pyrrhonist NOT questioning the reliability of Plato's works but questioning the reliability of the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible, there is a tremendous lot of hypocrisy. As Charles Carrin noted, <<<" THE MOST COMMON ATTACK against Scripture centers upon the reliability of ancient manuscripts and their having been copied various times. Since we have only copies and not the original works of the apostles, how can we intelligently defend a book that is thousands of years old?" [source - article written by Charles Carrin on November 4, 2007 entitled "Reliability of the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts." Taken fro his book "The Edge Of Glory," published by Creation House Press. That could be read on 6/4/2008 at The Open Word at http://opentheword.org/content/view/495/73/ ]>>>. He observed in this article, the following:

<<<"1. Plato: Greek philosopher. His writings are found in a mere seven manuscripts, the oldest copy written twelve hundred years after his death.
2. Aristotle: Greek philosopher, student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great. Only five copies of any one work of Aristotle exist, and none of these were written less than fourteen hundred years after his death.
3. Herodotus: Greek historian. Only eight manuscripts survive; these were copied thirteen hundred years after the original.
4. Euripides: Greek playwright. Nine manuscripts exist, dated thirteen hundred years after they were first written." [source - article written by Charles Carrin on November 4, 2007 entitled "Reliability of the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts." Taken fro his book "The Edge Of Glory," published by Creation House Press. That could be read on 6/4/2008 at The Open Word at http://opentheword.org/content/view/495/73/ ]>>>.

The fact, he was pointing out was the scarcity of ancient manuscripts and data to back up any of these works that most accept without questioning their reliability, but these self same individuals question the reliability of the Bible for which there are over 30,000 manuscripts, fragments, Codex's, scrolls, etc. in existence from antiquity to support its reliability.

Dr. F. F. Bruce, verified the existence today ... and observed:

1. That two complete manuscripts are dated less than three hundred years after the original.

2. Most of the New Testament is preserved in copies written less than two hundred years after Jesus.

3. Some existing books were made about one hundred years after the originals.

4. Part of one book came within a generation of the first-century.[reference - article written by Charles Carrin on November 4, 2007 entitled "Reliability of the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts." Taken fro his book "The Edge Of Glory," published by Creation House Press. That could be read on 6/4/2008 at The Open Word at http://opentheword.org/content/view/495/73/ ]. And this comment by Dr. F. F. Bruce does not even consider much earlier fragments.

One author said, in answer to an atheist Pyrrhonist:

<<<""Where is the evidence that shows that the events in the Bible really occurred?"[[The Atheist comment.]]
There are different kinds of evidence.
First, let's look at the manuscript evidence.
Too often uninformed people say something like this: "How can we be sure what Jesus actually said? The Bible has been copied and translated and retranslated so many times, over the centuries, that it's impossible to know what really happened."

However, this is simply not the case-in fact, it's nonsense.
Consider our knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman history. This knowledge is largely based on the writings of the classical authors (historians, playwrights, philosophers), and the manuscript evidence we have for most of these authors is slim. For instance, we have only 8 manuscript copies of Herodotus' history of the Greco-Persian wars, and the oldest copy is from about 900 A.D., more than 1300 years after Herodotus' original. The tragedies of Euripides are contained in 9 manuscripts, the oldest copy dating to over 1500 years after the originals. Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War survives in 8 manuscripts, the oldest dating to about 1300 years after the original. The comedies of Aristophanes are contained in 10 manuscripts, the oldest about 1200 years later than the originals. We have 7 manuscripts of Plato's works, the oldest 1200 years after the original writings. Julius Caesar's account of his conquest of Gaul survives in 10 manuscripts, 900 years later than the original. We have 7 manuscripts of the letters and speeches of Pliny the Younger, the oldest some 750 years after the original writings. The surviving works of Tacitus are contained in 2 manuscripts, 700 years after the originals.
How does the manuscript evidence for the Bible compare with this?
With the New Testament, more than twenty-four thousand early manuscripts have survived, and the oldest of these date to within decades of the original writings. There is no other ancient literature that even comes close to having as much manuscript evidence as the New Testament." [source - Ask Ivor at http://askivor.org/evidence.php]>>>.

An interesting publication, a compilation by Roy Comfort, details many archaeological finds and social customs of the ancient world to a point that there is, based on just this publication, any longer any reasonable doubt for questioning the Bible's reliability or authenticity. Now let's look in brief at a summary of some of the many compilations in his book, "The Evidence Bible."

"The Evidence Bible" brings out the fact that until about 50 years ago we did not have many of the earliest manuscript copies of the Bible that we now do. One important discovery was that of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. This one discovery gave us manuscripts of the Old Testament dating back to the 1 st. century B.C. More importantly, these manuscripts were found to be virtually identical with their counterparts from a thousand years later clearly showing that the Old Testament came down to us without any major and/or important changes and was therefore highly reliable.

Also, the archaeological evidence, much of it recently discovered, corroborates what is written in the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible. One such archaeological find was the unearthing of over twenty-thousand clay tablets that were written in a Babylonian cuneiform script at Nuzi in 1925. These tablets revealed features of Mesopotamian law, customs, and social conditions that help explain the practices of the Biblical patriarchs that had not been previously fully understood. For example, when the dying Isaac discovered that his son, Jacob, had deceitfully obtained his oral blessing from him that was meant for his brother, Esau, the tablets reveal to us that he did NOT retract his blessing since such oral proclamations were legally binding a fact not previously known. Thus the Bible was proven perfectly correct on what it had said about this incident in antiquity.

Also, for centuries many were skeptical of the story of Joseph - a Hebrew foreigner who was given great authority by the Pharaoh - as improbable based on the idea that an Egyptian Pharaoh would NEVER place great authority in the person of a foreigner. However a find of cuneiform tablets at Akhekaton in 1887 threw this contention right 'out of the window' as they recorded a Canaanite named Meri-ra becoming armor-bearer to Pharaoh; and also another Canaanite, named Ben-mat-ana, being appointed to the high position of interpreter; and the Amarna letters, the cuneiform tablets discovered in 1887 at Akhekaton, repeatedly refer to a Semite named Yanhamu, who acted as Pharaoh's viceroy in Syria in the 14th century B.C.

In addition, the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite nation was found in archaeological excavations at such places as Hazor and Bethel where some 13 th. Century B.C. writings were found in layers of charred debris containing information on this conquest, and at such places as Shechem, Tanaach, and Beth Shan, which the Bible says were not conquered at this time, and where layers of destruction were not found for this period.

The story of Samson was corroborated by the finding of a Philistine temple at Tell Qasile in 1972 that showed the temple's roof was supported by two wooden pillars in the center. Thus confirming the account of Samson at Judges 16:28-30, "And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life." (Authorized King James Bible; AV). Since its design fit with the Biblical description of the Philistine temple that Samson destroyed.

The biblical statement that King Solomon built up the walls of Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer is supported by the discoveries of nearly identical city gates at each of those three sites, this in accordance with 1 Kings 9:15, "And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer." (Authorized King James Bible; AV). Thus collaborating the Bible's account.

The biblical passage at Jeremiah 34:6-7, "Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, 7 when the king of Babylon's army was fighting against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish and against Azekah; for these alone remained of the cities of Judah as fortified cities." (American Standard Version; ASV) -was vividly brought to life by the discovery at Lachish, in 1935, of correspondence, on broken pieces of pottery, between Yoash, military commander of Lachish at the time Nebuchadnezzar (the Babylonian king) was closing in on Jerusalem, and Hoshaiah, a military officer stationed at an outpost or observation point near Lachish. One of Hoshaiah's letters reads: "For the fire-signals of Lachish we are watching, according to all the signs which my lord has given, for we cannot see Azekah..." (apparently Azekah had just fallen to the Babylonians).

And the Biblical account concerning the release of the Jewish exiles by Cyrus, the king of Persia who had conquered Babylon in 537 B.C., finds support in a decree of Cyrus's inscribed on a clay cylinder found in the discovery at Ur.

In the 1 st. century A.D., we have the writings of the renown Jewish historian Favious Josephus. Here is an account on Josepheus,

<<<-<<" The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, writing during the second half of the first century CE, produced two major works: History of the Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews. Two apparent references to Jesus occur in the second of these works. The longer, and more famous passage, occurs in Book 18 of Antiquities and reads as follows (taken from the standard accepted Greek text of Antiquities 18:63-64 by L. H. Feldman in the Loeb Classical Library):
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and as a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvellous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
This passage is called the Testimonium Flavianum, and is sometimes cited by propagandists as independent confirmation of Jesus' existence and resurrection. However, there is excellent reason to suppose that this passage was not written in its present form by Josephus, but was either inserted or amended by later Christians:

1. The early Christian writer Origen claims that Josephus did NOT recognize Jesus as the Messiah, in direct contradiction to the above passage, where Josephus says, "He was the Messiah." Thus, we may conclude that this particular phrase at least was a later insertion. (The version given above was, however, known to Jerome and in the time of Eusebius. Jerome's Latin version, however, renders "He was the Messiah" by "He was believed to be the Christ.") Furthermore, other early Christian writers fail to cite this passage, even though it would have suited their purposes to do so. There is thus firm evidence that this passage was tampered with at some point, even if parts of it do date back to Josephus.

2. The passage is highly pro-Christian. It is hard to imagine that Josephus, a Pharisaic Jew, would write such a laudatory passage about a man supposedly killed for blasphemy. Indeed, the passage seems to make Josephus himself out to be a Christian, which was certainly not the case.
Many Biblical scholars reject the entire Testimonium Flavianum as a later Christian insertion. However, some maintain that Josephus's work originally did refer to Jesus, but that Christian copyists later expanded and made the text more favorable to Jesus. These scholars cite such phrases as "tribe of Christians" and "wise man" as being atypical Christian usages, but plausible if coming from a first century Palestinian Jew. Of course, a suitably clever Christian wishing to "dress up" Josephus would not have much trouble imitating his style.
Philip Burns (pib@merle.acns.nwu.edu) has provided some of the following material on the following alternate versions or reconstructions of the Testimonium Flavianum.

One possible reconstruction of the Testimonium Flavianum, suggested by James Charlesworth, goes like this, with probably Christian interpolations enclosed in brackets: [source - anonymous writer]>>.

Now on close examination of this critics writings we see internal problems as follows to their false contentions regarding Jesus (Yeshua).

<<" The early Christian writer Origen claims that Josephus did NOT recognize Jesus as the Messiah[[Thereby testifying to his real existence]][[Of course Josephus did not recognize him as the Messiah, but that is far different from that of recognizing his existence and is like saying an American did not recognize Adolph Hitler as his leader which in no way implies none recognition of his having existed.]][[As to calling him the Messiah, that would be like historian H.G. Wells calling Adolph Hitler the leader of the Axis Powers, and in no way implying his belief in him as his leader]], in direct contradiction to the above passage, where Josephus says, "He was the Messiah." Thus, we may conclude that this particular phrase at least was a later insertion. (The version given above was, however, known to Jerome and in the time of Eusebius[[Early scholars did not question whether Jesus (Yeshua) had existed, only later critics far removed in time from his day did]]. Jerome's Latin version, however, renders "He was the Messiah" by "He was believed to be the Christ.") Furthermore, other early Christian writers fail to cite this passage, even though it would have suited their purposes to do so. There is thus firm evidence that this passage was tampered with at some point, even if parts of it do date back to Josephus. ">>.

Now let's look at another passage in Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews" found on page 598 of "The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus,
<<"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned; but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a Sanhedrim without his consent." [source - The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, translated by William Whiston, A.M. and Published by The John C. Winston Company, and containing the "Antiquities of the Jews" and the "Wars of the Jews" and other items, page 598]>>.

Also, these critics willfully overlook what Josephus said with regard to John the Baptist as follows,
<<"2. Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and as to come to baptism; for the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, bty sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it should be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him." ." [source - The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, translated by William Whiston, A.M. and Published by The John C. Winston Company, and containing the "Antiquities of the Jews" and the "Wars of the Jews" and other items, page 540.]>>.

And now let's look at the passage in the Antiquities of the Jews that the critics like to claim was doctored in context, but goes right in the flow with everything else Josephus wrote,
<<"...So he bid the Jews himself go away; but they bodily casting reproaches upon him, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand agreed on; who laid upon them such greater blows than Pilate had commanded them, and equally punished those that were tumultuous, and those that were not; nor did they spare them in the least; and since the people were unarmed, and were caught by men prepared for what they were about, there were a great number of them slain by this means, and others of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put to this sedition.

3. 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 at this day.

4. About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder, and certain shameful practices happened about the temple of Isis that was at Rome. I will now first take notice of the wicked attempts about the temple of Isis, and will then give an account of the Jewish affairs. ..." [source - The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, translated by William Whiston, A.M. and Published by The John C. Winston Company, and containing the "Antiquities of the Jews" and the "Wars of the Jews" and other items, page 535]>>.

Now, Yes, Flavius Josephus was a Jew and almost certainly did not believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as the Christ, but he was employed by the Roman Army as a historian and dutifully recorded reality whether he agreed religiously with it or not, just as well-known Roman Chatholic historian Will Durant did, who wrote, "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it ... pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist results. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity ... [Caesar and Christ, page 595) (Lamson, Newton & Durant)]. The problem is critics do NOT want to recognize the objectivity of good historians and compilers of facts, but wish to unjustly use their objectivity to claim their works have been doctored and/or are just plain wrong.

WITH RESPECT P. CORNELIUS TACTIUS (AD 56 - C. 120):

(Cornelius Tacitus), c.A.D. 55-c.A.D. 117, Roman historian. Little is known for certain of his life. He was a friend of Pliny the Younger and married the daughter of Cnaeus Julius Agricola. In A.D. 97 he was appointed substitute consul under Nerva, and later he was proconsul of Asia. The first of his works was the Dialogus [dialogue], a discussion of oratory in the style of Cicero, demonstrating to some degree why Tacitus was celebrated as an eloquent speaker; this work was long disputed, but his authorship is now generally accepted. Tacitus then wrote a biography of Agricola, expressing his admiration for his father-in-law as a good and able man. His small treatise De origine et situ Germanorum [concerning the origin and location of the Germans], commonly called the Germania or Germany, supplies (along with the earlier account of Julius Caesar) the principal written material on the Germanic tribes. Archaeology bears out the accuracy of Tacitus, but the work is not objective; it is a picture of the simple Germans glorified by comparison with the corruption and luxurious immorality of the Romans. This moral purpose and severe criticism of contemporary Rome, fallen from the virtuous vigor of the old republic, also underlies his two long works, commonly called in English the Histories (of which four books and part of a fifth survive) and the Annals (of which twelve books-Books I-VI, XI-XVI-survive). The extant books of the Histories cover only the reign of Galba (A.D. 68-69) and the beginning (to A.D. 70) of the reign of Vespasian but give a thorough view of Roman life-persons, places, and events. The surviving books of the Annals tell of the reign of Tiberius, of the last years of Claudius, and of the first years of Nero. The account contains incisive character sketches, ironic passages, and eloquent moral conclusions. The declamatory writing of the Dialogus is replaced in the historical works by a polished and highly individual style, a wide range of vocabulary, and an intricate and startling syntax.[source - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07].

And another encyclopedia said, <<" Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56 - ca. 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works-the Annals and the Histories-examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those that reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in 14 AD to (presumably) the death of emperor Domitian in 96 AD. There are significant lacunae in the surviving texts.
Other works by Tacitus discuss oratory (in dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus), Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and biographical notes about his father-in-law Agricola, primarily during his campaign in Britannia (see De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae).

Tacitus' historiographical style in his major works is annalistic. An author writing in the latter part of the Silver Age of Latin literature, his work is distinguished by a boldness and sharpness of wit, and a compact and sometimes unconventional use of Latin."[source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]>>.

Now let's look at what this none Christian worshipper of the Unconquered Sun had to say about Jesus (Yeshua). <<" The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in his Annals (c. 116) about the Great Fire of Rome (64), included an account of how the emperor Nero blamed the Christians in Rome for the disaster and initiated the first known persecution of early Christians by the Romans. This has become one of the best known and most discussed passages of Tacitus' works.[1] Although partly aimed at showing the inhumanity of the emperor, Tacitus' remarks have been studied more by modern scholars for information about his own religious attitudes and about the early history of Christianity.

Tacitus describes the support for the homeless provided by Nero and the rebuilding of the city, then refers to religious rituals carried out based on a consultation of the Sibylline Books.[2] However, none of this did away with the suspicion that the fire had been started on Nero's orders:
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

Tacitus then returns to the topic of Nero's reputation and the effect on it of these events: "Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed."[3]
References:
1. ^ Syme 533 n. 5 ("This famous chapter has provoked an enormous literature...").
2. ^ Tacitus, Annals 15.39-43.
3. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals 15.44, translated by Church and Brodribb.
[source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]>>

The Catholic Encyclopedia said the following on C. Tactius,
<<" We possess at least the testimony of Tacitus (A.D. 54-119) for the statements that the Founder of the Christian religion, a deadly superstition in the eyes of the Romans, had been put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate under the reign of Tiberius; that His religion, though suppressed for a time, broke forth again not only throughout Judea where it had originated, but even in Rome, the conflux of all the streams of wickness and shamelessness; furthermore, that Nero had diverted from himself the suspicion of the burning of Rome by charging the Christians with the crime; that these latter were not guilty of arson, though they deserved their fate on account of their universal misanthropy. Tacitus, moreover, describes some of the horrible torments to which Nero subjected the Christians (Ann., XV, xliv). The Roman writer confounds the Christians with the Jews, considering them as a especially abject Jewish sect; how little he investigated the historical truth of even the Jewish records may be inferred from the credulity with which he accepted the absurd legends and calumnies about the origin of he Hebrew people (Hist., V, iii, iv)..
AND, Those who regard the passage as spurious,

First, there are those who consider the whole passage as spurious. The principal reasons for this view appear to be the following:
* Josephus could not represent Jesus Christ as a simple moralist, and on the other hand he could not emphasize the Messianic prophecies and expectations without offending the Roman susceptibilities;
* the above cited passage from Josephus is said to be unknown to Origen and the earlier patristic writers;
* its very place in the Josephan text is uncertain, since Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., II, vi) must have found it before the notices concerning Pilate, while it now stands after them.
But the spuriousness of the disputed Josephan passage does not imply the historian's ignorance of the facts connected with Jesus Christ. Josephus's report of his own juvenile precocity before the Jewish teachers (Vit., 2) reminds one of the story of Christ's stay in the Temple at the age of twelve; the description of his shipwreck on his journey to Rome (Vit., 3) recalls St. Paul's shipwreck as told in the Acts; finally his arbitrary introduction of a deceit practised by the priests of Isis on a Roman lady, after the chapter containing his supposed allusion to Jesus, shows a disposition to explain away the virgin birth of Jesus and to prepare the falsehoods embodied in the later Jewish writings.".[source - The Catholic Encyclopedia]>>[source - "Worldly Critics Are Always Seeking to Destroy Reality They Do Not Want to Accept," by Iris the Preacher, 2008, and on 6/4/2008 could be read at http://religioustruths.proboards59.com/index.cgi?board=announcements&action=display&thread=707 ]>>>.

Also, the Roman historian Tacitus, writing around 115 A.D., mentions "Christus," whom he says "suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus." And the historian Thallus, writing around 52 A.D., attempts to explain away the darkness that covered the land during Jesus' crucifixion as an eclipse of the sun. But let's look into what Tacitus wrote in more detail:

<<<-<<(Cornelius Tacitus), c.A.D. 55-c.A.D. 117, Roman historian. Little is known for certain of his life. He was a friend of Pliny the Younger and married the daughter of Cnaeus Julius Agricola. In A.D. 97 he was appointed substitute consul under Nerva, and later he was proconsul of Asia. The first of his works was the Dialogus [dialogue], a discussion of oratory in the style of Cicero, demonstrating to some degree why Tacitus was celebrated as an eloquent speaker; this work was long disputed, but his authorship is now generally accepted. Tacitus then wrote a biography of Agricola, expressing his admiration for his father-in-law as a good and able man. His small treatise De origine et situ Germanorum [concerning the origin and location of the Germans], commonly called the Germania or Germany, supplies (along with the earlier account of Julius Caesar) the principal written material on the Germanic tribes. Archaeology bears out the accuracy of Tacitus, but the work is not objective; it is a picture of the simple Germans glorified by comparison with the corruption and luxurious immorality of the Romans. This moral purpose and severe criticism of contemporary Rome, fallen from the virtuous vigor of the old republic, also underlies his two long works, commonly called in English the Histories (of which four books and part of a fifth survive) and the Annals (of which twelve books-Books I-VI, XI-XVI-survive). The extant books of the Histories cover only the reign of Galba (A.D. 68-69) and the beginning (to A.D. 70) of the reign of Vespasian but give a thorough view of Roman life-persons, places, and events. The surviving books of the Annals tell of the reign of Tiberius, of the last years of Claudius, and of the first years of Nero. The account contains incisive character sketches, ironic passages, and eloquent moral conclusions. The declamatory writing of the Dialogus is replaced in the historical works by a polished and highly individual style, a wide range of vocabulary, and an intricate and startling syntax.[source - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07>>.

And another encyclopedia said, <<" Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56 - ca. 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works-the Annals and the Histories-examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those that reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in 14 AD to (presumably) the death of emperor Domitian in 96 AD. There are significant lacunae in the surviving texts.
Other works by Tacitus discuss oratory (in dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus), Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and biographical notes about his father-in-law Agricola, primarily during his campaign in Britannia (see De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae).

Tacitus' historiographical style in his major works is annalistic. An author writing in the latter part of the Silver Age of Latin literature, his work is distinguished by a boldness and sharpness of wit, and a compact and sometimes unconventional use of Latin."[source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]>>.

Now let's look at what this none Christian worshipper of the Unconquered Sun had to say about Jesus (Yeshua). <<<" The Roman historian Tacitus, writing in his Annals (c. 116) about the Great Fire of Rome (64), included an account of how the emperor Nero blamed the Christians in Rome for the disaster and initiated the first known persecution of early Christians by the Romans. This has become one of the best known and most discussed passages of Tacitus' works.[1] Although partly aimed at showing the inhumanity of the emperor, Tacitus' remarks have been studied more by modern scholars for information about his own religious attitudes and about the early history of Christianity.

Tacitus describes the support for the homeless provided by Nero and the rebuilding of the city, then refers to religious rituals carried out based on a consultation of the Sibylline Books.[2] However, none of this did away with the suspicion that the fire had been started on Nero's orders:
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

Tacitus then returns to the topic of Nero's reputation and the effect on it of these events: "Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed."[3]
References:
1. ^ Syme 533 n. 5 ("This famous chapter has provoked an enormous literature...").
2. ^ Tacitus, Annals 15.39-43.
3. ^ a b Tacitus, Annals 15.44, translated by Church and Brodribb.
[source - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]>>.

The Catholic Encyclopedia said the following on C. Tactius,
<<" We possess at least the testimony of Tacitus (A.D. 54-119) for the statements that the Founder of the Christian religion, a deadly superstition in the eyes of the Romans, had been put to death by the procurator Pontius Pilate under the reign of Tiberius; that His religion, though suppressed for a time, broke forth again not only throughout Judea where it had originated, but even in Rome, the conflux of all the streams of wickness and shamelessness; furthermore, that Nero had diverted from himself the suspicion of the burning of Rome by charging the Christians with the crime; that these latter were not guilty of arson, though they deserved their fate on account of their universal misanthropy. Tacitus, moreover, describes some of the horrible torments to which Nero subjected the Christians (Ann., XV, xliv). The Roman writer confounds the Christians with the Jews, considering them as a especially abject Jewish sect; how little he investigated the historical truth of even the Jewish records may be inferred from the credulity with which he accepted the absurd legends and calumnies about the origin of he Hebrew people (Hist., V, iii, iv)..
AND, Those who regard the passage as spurious,

First, there are those who consider the whole passage as spurious. The principal reasons for this view appear to be the following:
* Josephus could not represent Jesus Christ as a simple moralist, and on the other hand he could not emphasize the Messianic prophecies and expectations without offending the Roman susceptibilities;
* the above cited passage from Josephus is said to be unknown to Origen and the earlier patristic writers;
* its very place in the Josephan text is uncertain, since Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., II, vi) must have found it before the notices concerning Pilate, while it now stands after them.
But the spuriousness of the disputed Josephan passage does not imply the historian's ignorance of the facts connected with Jesus Christ. Josephus's report of his own juvenile precocity before the Jewish teachers (Vit., 2) reminds one of the story of Christ's stay in the Temple at the age of twelve; the description of his shipwreck on his journey to Rome (Vit., 3) recalls St. Paul's shipwreck as told in the Acts; finally his arbitrary introduction of a deceit practised by the priests of Isis on a Roman lady, after the chapter containing his supposed allusion to Jesus, shows a disposition to explain away the virgin birth of Jesus and to prepare the falsehoods embodied in the later Jewish writings.".[source - The Catholic Encyclopedia]>>[source - "Worldly Critics Are Always Seeking to Destroy Reality They Do Not Want to Accept," by Iris the Preacher, 2008, and on 6/4/2008 could be read at http://religioustruths.proboards59.com/index.cgi?board=announcements&action=display&thread=707 ]>>>.

Here is what some other early pagan writers who lived in the First Century had to say about Christ, lending support to the reliability of the Inspired Word of Almighty God (YHWH), the Creator of All there is, the Bible.

<<<"B. Suetonius

Another Roman writer who shows his acquaintance with Christ and the Christians is Suetonius (A.D. 75-160). It has been noted that Suetonius considered Christ (Chrestus) as a Roman insurgent who stirred up seditions under the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54): "Judaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes (Claudius) Roma expulit" (Clau., xxv). In his life of Nero he regards that emperor as a public benefactor on account of his severe treatment of the Christians: "Multa sub eo et animadversa severe, et coercita, nec minus instituta . . . . afflicti Christiani, genus hominum superstitious novae et maleficae" (Nero, xvi). The Roman writer does not understand that the Jewish troubles arose from the Jewish antagonism to the Messianic character of Jesus Christ and to the rights of the Christian Church.

C. Pliny the Younger

Of greater importance is the letter of Pliny the Younger to the Emperor Trajan (about A.D. 61-115), in which the Governor of Bithynia consults his imperial majesty as to how to deal with the Christians living within his jurisdiction. On the one hand, their lives were confessedly innocent; no crime could be proved against them excepting their Christian belief, which appeared to the Roman as an extravagant and perverse superstition. On the other hand, the Christians could not be shaken in their allegiance to Christ, Whom they celebrated as their God in their early morning meetings (Ep., X, 97, 98). Christianity here appears no longer as a religion of criminals, as it does in the texts of Tacitus and Suetonius; Pliny acknowledges the high moral principles of the Christians, admires their constancy in the Faith (pervicacia et inflexibilis obstinatio), which he appears to trace back to their worship of Christ (carmenque Christo, quasi Deo, dicere).

D. Other pagan writers

The remaining pagan witnesses are of less importance: In the second century Lucian sneered at Christ and the Christians, as he scoffed at the pagan gods. He alludes to Christ's death on the Cross, to His miracles, to the mutual love prevailing among the Christians ("Philopseudes", nn. 13, 16; "De Morte Pereg"). There are also alleged allusions to Christ in Numenius (Origen, "Contra Cels", IV, 51), to His parables in Galerius, to the earthquake at the Crucifixion in Phlegon ( Origen, "Contra Cels.", II, 14). Before the end of the second century, the logos alethes of Celsus, as quoted by Origen (Contra Cels., passim), testifies that at that time the facts related in the Gospels were generally accepted as historically true. However scanty the pagan sources of the life of Christ may be, they bear at least testimony to His existence, to His miracles, His parables, His claim to Divine worship, His death on the Cross, and to the more striking characteristics of His religion." ).[source - The Catholic Encyclopedia]>>>.

And Jewish witnesses to the events of the 1 st. century,

<<<"Philo, who dies after A.D. 40, is mainly important for the light he throws on certain modes of thought and phraseology found again in some of the Apostles. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., II, iv) indeed preserves a legend that Philo had met St. Peter in Rome during his mission to the Emperor Caius; moreover, that in his work on the contemplative life he describes the life of the Christian Church in Alexandria founded by St. Mark, rather than that of the Essenes and Therapeutae. But it is hardly probable that Philo had heard enough of Christ and His followers to give an historical foundation to the foregoing legends." ).[source - The Catholic Encyclopedia]>>>.

See Part 3

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