Flavius Josephus (AD 37-101, Famous Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist
and Herod – Antiquities, Book 18, Ch. 5, par. 2

“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God,
and that very justly, as a 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 so to
come to baptism; for that 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.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37 – 101) mentions Jesus – Antiquities, Book 18, Ch. 3, par. 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.

There is debate among scholars as to the authenticity of this quote since it is so
favorable to Jesus. For more information on this, please see Regarding the quotes from the
historian Josephus about Jesus.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37-101) mentions James, the brother of Jesus –
Antiquities, Book 20, Ch. 9

“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.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37-101) mentions Ananias the High Priest who was
mentioned in Acts 23:2

“Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors
and care that the country might be kept in peace, and this by destroying many of the Sicarii.
But as for the high priest, Ananias, he increased in glory every day, and this to a great
degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner; for he
was a great hoarder up of money.”

Acts 23:2, “And the high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike
him [Paul] on the mouth.”

Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions “Christus” who is Jesus –
Annals 15:44

“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 Judea,
the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from
every part of the world find their center and become popular.”
Ref. from http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.mb.txt

Thallus (Circa AD 52, eclipse of the Sun)

Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern
Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only
found as citations by others. Julius Africanus, who wrote in AD 221, mentioned
Thallus’ account of an eclipse of the Sun.

“On the whole world, there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent
by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This
darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an
eclipse of the Sun.”

This a reference to the eclipse and earthquake at the crucifixion!

Luke 23:44-45, “And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land
until the ninth hour, the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”
Matthew 27:51, “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to
bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.”

Attempts have been made to establish the exact date of Good Friday by assuming the
darkness described at Jesus’s crucifixion was from a solar eclipse. This research has not
yielded conclusive results.

Further, the darkness lasted from the sixth hour to the ninth, or three hours, which is much,
much longer than the eight-minute upper limit for any solar eclipse’s totality.

Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts
and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130. as cited in Habermas,
Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College
Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Pliny the Younger – mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor.
Pliny wrote ten books. The tenth around AD 112

“They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it
was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound
themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud,
theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called
upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to
partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”

Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard
Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient
Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

The Talmud

“On the eve of the Passover Yeshua was hanged. For forty days before the execution
took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has
practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor,
let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in
his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.”

Gal. 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for
us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that is hanged on a tree.’”

Luke 22:1-2, “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was
approaching. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to
death; for they were afraid of the people.”

This quotation was taken from the reading in The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein
(London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, p. 281 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The
Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing
Company) 1996.

Lucian (Circa 120-180) Greek writer and rhetorician, mentions Jesus.

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day the distinguished personage who
introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . .. You see, these misguided
creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which
explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among
them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all
brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and
worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the
result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common
property.”

Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 1113, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by
H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4, as cited in Habermas,
Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College
Press Publishing Company) 1996.

Though Lucian opposed Christianity, he acknowledges Jesus, that Jesus was
crucified, that Christians worship him, and that this was done by faith.