Religions are usually all lumped together as a code of ethics, with beliefs about where we all came from. A common view is that religions answer questions that we aren’t capable of answering. It’s starting to become the opinion of the majority that all religions are basically the same, and that as long as you’re a good person, in the end, everything will work out, no matter what religion you hold. A wrench is thrown into this philosophical machine when a person is told that Christianity isn’t merely a code of ethics, or answers to impossible questions, but rather, is based on historical facts. Whereas other religions depend purely on their philosophical views to keep them intact, Christianity relies completely, and totally, on whether or not certain events occurred. God entered humanity in the person of Jesus Christ, was crucified, and rose again. If anyone of these things is proven to be historically untrue, then Christianity must fail as well. Considering the powerful and exclusive claims the New Testament makes, most of humanity rejects the theology behind it. Because of this, along with the fact that Christianity is primarily a historical religion, many people have sought out to prove either that the New Testament is not reliable, or that it was only meant as myth. Critics will challenge the authorship of the New Testament, or challenge the authority of it claiming there are no supporting external documents, and will often show comparisons between Christianity and myths, all in order to prove to others (and themselves) that Christianity must not be true.
The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, I wish to point out the flaws in the arguments attacking the reliability and truthfulness of the New Testament Scriptures. This also includes the philosophies and presuppositions that critics bring to the table when they try to discredit Christianity. Secondly, I wish to put forth positive evidence that the New Testament can indeed be trusted as not only a reliable source, but also as actually and factually true on historical grounds.
Historical Reliability VS Historical Truth
Before beginning, an issue of definitions needs to be brought up. There is a difference between historical reliability, and historical truth. Reliability implies that the text is most likely what the author actually wrote. This can be assumed when there are very many copies of the text, from very early on. It also helps if the author of the text is identified. Historical truth implies that the events recorded actually happened. This is a much stronger term, because it attempts to say that the events in the text are factual. A text could very easily be reliable, but if the author was embellishing, exaggerating, or even worse, just plain lying, then the text won’t be completely factual.
Philosophy of the Critics
This difference between reliability and truth leads to another problem. The philosophy of the historian criticizing a text is many times so skewed that there is not even the possibility that a text could be considered historically true. While very good rational evidence for the New Testament could be given, critics of the New Testament bring presuppositions to the table that aren’t based on evidence, but rather, are assumed without reason. The major point they make is that miracles either aren’t possible at all, or if they are, they can’t be proven historically.
“It is the great and abiding credit of the scientific theology of the nineteenth century that it has learnt to distinguish between the Christ of faith and the man Jesus of history, two entities which have been identified by ecclesiastical dogma.” This quote accurately sums up the philosophy of a historian who cannot (by their own definitions) arrive at the New Testament being factual. This is because the underlying presupposition is that miracles are impossible, so any time a miracle is mentioned, it must be myth or legend, and cannot possibly be considered an accurate record of history. The problem with this is quite obvious; you can’t prove that miracles don’t happen. The person with this philosophy has no real rational reasons for believing it, it is merely assumed. While this topic deserves to be given more attention, it is more a matter of the philosophy of science.
Another way that a person’s philosophy can stop them before even considering a claim, is that they may believe that miracles, while theoretically possible, cannot be proven using history. “If accepting the occurrence of a miracle requires belief in the supernatural realm, and historians by the very nature of their craft can speak only about events of the natural world (which are accessible to observers of every kind) how can they ever certify that an event outside the natural order – i.e., a miracle – occurred?”  The problem here is that the assumption is that historians can only record events that are natural, not supernatural. This has very obvious flaws as well. Just for the sake of argument, assume that it is a historical fact that there was a man a hundred years ago that had lost his arm, prayed, and had it miraculously grow back. While this sounds like a crazy postulation, if it actually did in fact happen, and was witnessed, shouldn’t an eyewitness of the event be able to write about it? If it was in fact historically true, and the eyewitness did indeed see it, and wrote down exactly what they saw, then wouldn’t their historical document also be historically reliable and truthfully accurate? By the assumptions in the above quote, the answer is no. A good question for someone with this bad philosophy is this, “I have already given evidence for the claim, now what is your reason for disbelieving the claim given all this evidence?”
Authorship of the New Testament
The New Testament has a long history of tradition as to the authors of the books. Christians usually just assume that the books were written by the man whose name is attached to them in their Bible. However, authors like Bart Ehrman bring up an argument that the New Testament authors “themselves do not claim to be disciples; the books are all anonymous, and they give no solid information as to their authors’ identity.” Critics like the Jesus Seminar also point out the ways in which we can know something to be historically reliable, and claim the New Testament does not measure up. Skeptics will also often take theological ideas that form the foundation of Christianity (such as Jesus being divine) and try and explain them away as allegories common to the time.
As mentioned, a common complaint made by attackers of the New Testament’s reliability is that the authors are unknown, and could be people completely unrelated to the events, and thus the text is not trustworthy. There are a couple of immediate problems with this. Firstly, Luke writes within the book of Acts that he was involved in the events. This book was a sequel to Luke, so at the very least we know that the writer of Luke was heavily involved in the early Church. We also know that he knew many of the major players in the early Church, including the apostle Paul. There are also references to Luke being involved in other parts of the Bible. Considering the author was involved in the events, and Luke was involved in the events, and the tradition has always been that Luke wrote the book, it is very rational to assume that Luke wrote Luke.
A second problem with assuming the authors are unknown is that of an outside source. Papias wrote in the second century that Matthew and Mark were the authors of two of the Gospel accounts. This means not even a century had passed and already people had assumed the authors. Another complaint is that the early Church could have pasted the names of famous people on the Gospels in order to add credibility. This becomes a problem as well, because why would the Church add the names of Mark and Luke, who weren’t apostles, to the Gospels? They could have chosen much better names to add, which makes the rational historian assume the names are correct.
Some critics take a more theological approach, and claim the Bible was not meant to be understood as new theology. “The term Son of God, as applied to Jesus in the Gospels, originally meant no more than the Servant of God or Messiah, and it was not until Christianity was spread among pagans, who were accustomed to the idea of deified Kings and Emperors, that the deification of Jesus became possible.” The above quote assumes that the deity of Christ was not assumed until much later, and was a misinterpretation of Scripture by pagan people. Why then do we see the Jewish crowd try to stone Jesus when He puts Himself on equal grounds with the Father? This seems to be a Jewish audience understanding His claim to divinity.  Also, much of Paul’s writings involve painting a picture of Jesus Christ as absolutely divine. If Paul, who was not only both Jewish and very educated in Jewish religion, but also alive during the time of Christ, met Him on the road to Damascus, and knew the other apostles, believed that Jesus was divine, then that in itself defeats the argument put forth that idea came about later, and through pagan origins. Claims like these usually dissipate quickly, merely by examining the text a little closer.
Criteria for Proving Historical Reliability
In order to determine whether something is historically reliable, Ehrman says that most historians would agree a text should have the following criteria.
Copies are numerous, for comparison.
From a time near the events. (Less likely to have hearsay or legend)
Produced independently, so authors aren’t in collusion.
Texts don’t contradict one another. (Shows there isn’t an error there)
Are not biased toward the subject matter. (Don’t serve the authors own purposes)
The first and second points, numerous copies that are very close to the time of the events, can be summed up on the final row of the chart in Appendix B. There are thousands of copies, dating very close to the time of the events. Also, “the situation is encouraging from the historian’s point of view, for the first three Gospels were written at a time when many were alive who could remember the things that Jesus said and did, and some at least would still be alive when the fourth Gospel was written. If it could be determined that the writers of the Gospels used sources of information belonging to an earlier date, then the situation would be still more encouraging.” “One very weighty argument is that we should have expected the Fall of Jerusalem to be reflected more clearly in works written after A.D. 70. Professor C. C. Torrey, of Yale University, goes so far as to say that there is nothing in any of the four Gospels which demands a date later than A.D. 50 or a place of writing outside Palestine.”
Points four and five fall quickly as well. The texts are internally consistent in themselves, meaning that within the same book we do not find contradictions. There are also no contradictions found going from one text to another, which includes non-Biblical sources. There are many objections to this statement, but usually these objections only need to have a light shone on them, and they quickly fade away. As a quick example, some will say that there are two accounts of Jesus feeding a multitude, and that each account claims a different number of people in the crowd. One merely needs to read the Bible to discover that these claims of 4000, or 5000 people in the crowd are completely different occurrences. Two of the Gospels actually record both the 4000 and 5000 feedings within the same book, meaning it’s quite obvious these are two accounts of two completely different events. Every so-called contradiction ends up being very similar to this example, in the sense that it is just a case of the critic not doing their homework. Now all that’s left to discuss is points three and six.
As far as the New Testament documents being written independently in order to guarantee the authors weren’t merely plagiarizing each other, we only need to go so far as the idea of the Synoptic Gospels to receive confirmation. The Synoptic Gospels are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Luke and Matthew are considered to have used Mark as a reference, considering the events are largely the same, in the same order, and worded in the same way. First, it should be addressed that if we were to assume the authors of the Bible, then we would have Matthew (an eyewitness) copying from Mark (who was writing Peter’s account). If Matthew found the Gospel of Mark accurate enough to copy from, then that means we have two eyewitnesses, and a man who could have easily been an eyewitness, all agreeing on the content. Secondly, Luke was a very good historian, who not only took great care to find the truth of the events, but also (as previously stated) knew many of the key figures of early Christianity, which included eyewitnesses and the apostles. Thirdly, even if all this isn’t good enough, the Gospel of John is not anything like the other three. It seems written more towards a Greek audience, uses new terminology, and describes things very differently. Even though it’s painfully obvious that John and Mark were not in cahoots with their writing, they are not contradictory, but actually compliment each other very well. Fourthly, if this weren’t enough already, Paul’s (and other NT writer’s) confirmations of what’s in the Gospels helps in this case to prove the reliability and accuracy of the events in the Gospels.
Really, the only real problem a critic can bring up to attack the New Testament’s historical reliability is that the authors were biased towards the material. Technically, it is true that the New Testament writers were biased towards the subject, since they were believers. However, merely being biased towards the subject is not a good enough reason to completely discount the accuracy of an author. If we were to apply this reasoning to all the other documents, humanity would very quickly have no reason to trust any historical documents, since every historian is biased towards their topic. Basically, in order to hold this position, you need to actually make the assertion that since the New Testament writers were Christians, they must have actually been lying about events in order to prove their own case. While this could indeed be true, a claim like this would require positive evidence, rather than just mere speculation. A person could claim that the Bill of Rights was given to Canada by an alien race. This does not mean this is a rational idea. The one making the charge should put forth evidence for their claim since the burden of proof always falls on the one making a positive claim. Christians cannot prove that the writers of the New Testament weren’t lying, in the same way that it is not possible for someone to prove that unicorns don’t exist. Considering there are no contradictions found in the New Testament internally or externally, that the New Testament fits quite nicely with the rest of accepted history, and that we have many early copies or several books that are independent, we can be quite certain that the writers weren’t lying in order to further their cause, despite their biases.
Embarrassing Events as Testimony
Another excellent point to bring up to prove the New Testament isn’t full of lies is that many of the claims in the books would have actually been detrimental to their cause. This idea of certain recorded events being embarrassing to the writer recording the events is a normal method that historians use in order to validate historical texts. Writers almost exclusively write their history in a way that makes them and their people look good. When people are trying to promote something, they leave out the bad, and emphasize the good. For example, if a nation fights in a war, and the king dies by getting hit by a stray arrow, the writer of the history will most likely cover this part up, since it’s embarrassing. If we find in the historian’s text nothing but happy endings and praises to his team, then we would have good reason to question his or her truthfulness. However, if within the text the story of the king’s death by the stray arrow is found, we can be almost positive that this story is accurate, considering it would have been better to leave it out. Why would a historian make up a story that defeats his cause, and makes his country look bad? The same applies with the New Testament (and the Old Testament, for that matter). We find many examples of events that, if the author were merely trying to further his cause, rather than give the truth of the events, they would have been left out.
In two of the Gospels we find a story where Jesus is telling His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, suffer, die, and then be raised to life. Peter then responds, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” To which Jesus replies, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” In a second example, Peter denies Christ three times, essentially betraying Him. This account occurs in three of the Gospel stories, one of which is Mark, which is the account of Peter himself. Why would Peter commission Mark to write down stories where Jesus calls Peter Satan, and in which Peter denies Jesus? Furthermore, why would the other Gospel writers want to include these stories, considering Peter is considered the first pope, and foundation of the Church? It would have been very easy to leave these stories out, and maintain the dignity of this important man.
Another example of an embarrassing story in the Bible is the baptism of Christ. Considering that Christianity holds not only that Christ is above all men, but also that He is in fact sinless, and God, this story of His baptism creates more questions and controversy than it helps someone take on the Christian faith. John the Baptist was a sinner, just like everyone else, and yet He was the one baptizing God the Son. If anything, the roles should be reversed. Not only this, but considering the theological meaning of baptism, why would the sinless Jesus be baptized at all? Once again, it would have been much easier to leave this story out than have to confront the ramifications of these passages.
Jesus also dealt with women in a way that would have been culturally unacceptable. Considering the culture at the time, Jesus would have almost been seen as a feminist. In the story of the woman at the well, Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman. People today miss the importance here. Firstly, Jesus was a Jew, and Jews did not associate with Samaritans at all. Secondly, Jesus asks for a drink of water, which would have meant using her “unclean” cup. Thirdly, she was a divorced woman, and a rabbi had no place talking to a woman of her “kind.” Even within the story itself the woman seems confused at His actions. This story would have upset people during His time, more than it would have converted them. If the authors wanted to make the Gospel attractive, they would have left this out.
Another way that the Gospel accounts are embarrassing is in their philosophy. The Greeks were heavily Gnostic in their worldview, meaning, matter was evil, and spirit was good. The idea of God coming down in the flesh would have been completely idiotic to them. The Jews were expecting the Messiah to be a triumphant warrior, and so the concept of the Messiah being humiliated and crucified would have been appalling. If the authors of the New Testament were lying in order to appeal to the Jews, they would have created stories where Jesus was a magnificent general. They definitely would not have concocted a story like the crucifixion. If the writers had been appealing to the Romans, and the rest of the Hellenized world, they would have created a story where God came down in spirit form. They would have avoided associating God with earthly matter of any kind. Once again, this is just another example, among many, where the events in the New Testament can be practically guaranteed to be true by historical standards because of their embarrassing qualities.
While the events being hard to explain and embarrassing helps to prove that they actually happened, an even stronger argument for the accuracy of the texts is the martyrdom of those who wrote the books. The argument against the accuracy of the books goes something along the lines of, “the writers benefited from writing, since they had something to gain we should then not trust their accounts.” As already stated, this statement (even if true) doesn’t give good reason to toss out the books. However, we can go even further. The assumption is that the writers had much to gain. Usually, people assume that the writers developed their own churches, vast amounts of funding, and had the respect and adoration of all those around them. They liken the early Church to the way they see the Church and it’s leaders today. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The early followers of Jesus Christ were mostly quite poor, and were continuously persecuted for their faith. They had no monetary gain coming in from their books, or from their new religion. Also, in order for the critic’s claim to be true, these men that were writing about the events in question would have to actually be lying about the events, since they were eyewitnesses. Considering they died a martyr’s death, if the person is an eyewitness, and knows that the event in question did not happen the way they wrote, why would they die for the sake of a lie? What would be the personal gain in this situation? Even if the apostles loved Jesus very much, they would not invent a lie and die for it, all just to carry on a deluded sort of a mock religion with a foundation in lies. Their blood screams out as testimony to the reliability and accuracy of the claims they make in their books.
Paul already had all of the things that the critic claims the authors were looking for. He was already an influential part of Judaism, and by converting to Christianity he lost of great deal of what he previously had. He was persecuted, beaten, and eventually killed for his beliefs. Why would Paul have made such a dramatic conversion to Christianity if he had not met Christ on the road to Damascus? What possible reason could there have been? Even if a possible conspiracy theory type of situation could be thought up, one would still need to give evidence for this claim, as well as discredit the historical accounts which all compliment one another and make up the New Testament. Considering the type of solid structure that is being formed for the reliability and truthfulness of the claims in the New Testament, it becomes increasingly more absurd that some sort of postulation without evidence could be a valid consideration.
Not only did the founders face persecution, but so did the early Church. “For three centuries the Christian faith was subjected to violence, and the whole power of the State was often exerted to destroy its very existence. But the more it was persecuted the stronger it grew, while the religions of Mithra and Isis withered and died at the very breath of persecution. Christianity survived and conquered because behind it lay the reality of the historic Jesus, and because, while absolutely exclusive as to the place and character of its Divine Founder, it proclaimed a salvation for all, a salvation in which the unwarlike Roman as well as the warrior barbarian found what he needed.”
Popularity of Jesus Christ
Considering Jesus was so incredibly influential, that His teachings dramatically changed the way people think and view ethics and theology, and that He even split the calendar in half, you would think that there would be a little bit more written about Him. “How many times is Jesus mentioned among the hundreds of documents by pagan writers… Not a single time.” First of all, it should be mentioned that the many books of the New Testament do indeed count as evidence of Jesus Christ, considering they were written either by eyewitnesses, or those who knew eyewitnesses. It’s also very much worthy of note that there are other sources that mention Jesus. Even Ehrman himself, right after making that quote, goes on to give his readers examples of where Jesus is mentioned in sources outside the New Testament. Suetonius, Tacitus, and Josephus all write about Jesus, a man who people followed, worshipped as a god, and also mention that people were rioting at the impact that He made on society. However, the critic is right in the fact that there is not a whole lot of evidence (outside the Bible) that mentions what exactly Jesus said and did during His lifetime. I would like to very briefly explain why. These events took place two thousand years ago. Humanity has a very hard time putting themselves in the shoes of their ancestors. People today see biographies pumped out on every single celebrity, dozens of books written by a single author, and many historical documents written about every conceivable event known to man. It’s very hard to imagine a time when the vast majority of the population couldn’t write, and those that did usually didn’t write extensively about historical issues. Those that did write history did not have the printing press to mass-produce their works, and those few works that were created had two millennia to be destroyed in some way.
To emphasize just how bad the situation is for doing accurate history during this time period, a person needs only to look at the Great Fire of Rome. Most people know that it is commonly believed that Nero started the fire for his personal reasons of wanting to build where other buildings were already. At the very least, it’s accepted that the fire happened. The fire was a very big deal, considering only four of the fourteen districts of Rome escaped the fire. Here’s where it gets interesting. There are only two historians who wrote about this fire during that time period, one of which (Pliny the Elder) mentioned it only in passing. The only real record we have of this massive tragedy is from Tacitus. Other historians during that time such as Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, and Epictetus made absolutely no mention of it as far as historians today can tell. Considering the grand scale of the Great Fire of Rome, and the minimal impact that Jesus made during His short 33 years, it’s quite remarkable that we have so little written about the fire, and so much written about Jesus.
In the book of John we even see Pontius Pilate commenting on the fact that he didn’t know who Jesus was, showing that Jesus was not internationally known during His day. We have four incredibly descriptive accounts of the ministry of Jesus, and then many other books that explain the ramifications of His ministry. Even though Jesus wasn’t popular, we have a great deal of evidence.
Also, when people like Ehrman make claims like there being hundreds of historical documents during that time not mentioning Jesus, they aren’t exactly being fair. This statement assumes that all of these writers would be the type of people that would mention Jesus, when the truth is nothing of the sort. There are indeed hundreds of documents from that time period, but the vast majority of them would not to even mention Jesus Christ. Appendix A is a list that was generated by the film “Zeitgeist” to show all of the different authors during the time of Christ that made no mention of Him. The purpose of which was to show that Jesus must not have lived. When these writers are examined a little further, we quickly notice that these were not the sorts of people that would write about Jesus. Why should we expect to find a religious figure mentioned in a comedy someone wrote?
Jesus is Similar to Myths
The following idea is very popular during this current generation. It’s the idea that since Jesus is so much like mythical figures like Horus and Mithra that He couldn’t possibly have existed, and must just be another rendition of such characters. As with the accounts of contradictions in the New Testament, it is not feasible to go through all of the examples and discredit them all. It is better to go through one example to show the weaknesses of such arguments.
In the film “Zeitgeist” the producer tries to convince his audience that Jesus Christ never even so much as lived. He compares Jesus to many figures, but focuses the majority of his time on a comparison between Jesus and Horus. In the film the audience is given a list of attributes that Horus and Jesus have in common. A few to mention are a December 25th birthday, visitation by three kings, a virgin birth, mother’s name was Mary, had twelve disciples, and that they both died for the sake of humanity and rose again three days later. These all have very simple answers.
There is nothing in the Bible that says that Jesus was born on December 25th. There is nothing in the Bible that says Jesus was visited by “kings,” but rather, by “magi.” Also, there is nothing in the Bible that says there were three of them, merely three kinds of gifts were brought. It is actually thought among historians that there was a very large group of magi in this event. The virgin birth is a fabrication on the other end. The story of the birth of Horus goes something like this. Osiris (his father) was killed and dismembered by Set. His mother (Isis) then reassembled him, they had sex, and she gave birth to Horus. This is clearly not a virgin birth because it involves sex. This also shows that Horus’ mother’s name was not Mary, but Isis. As for Horus having twelve disciples, this is another lie. James Patrick Holding states in his article that there is mention of Horus having four, sixteen, and an unspecified number of disciples, but never twelve. Finally, the issue of the death and resurrection for the sake of humanity. The citation that the producer gives for this fact is in a book written by Gerald Massey. In this book, Massey states that Horus died for his father’s sake, and even emphasizes that it was not for humanity’s sake. He even goes so far as to bring up the point that people compare this to the Passion story of Jesus Christ, and comments that it is nothing like it.  This is the person whom the Zeitgeist producer is quoting as evidence for the exact opposite point.
The Christian’s Application
When discussing these matters with a critics, it’s of primary importance to discover what philosophical assumptions they have brought with them. If these assumptions will stop the conversation from going further, and (most likely) have no good reason for being held, then the issue must be brought up, and the critics politely recommended to reassess their assumptions in order to further discuss the possibility of the historical truth of the New Testament. If they are rational enough to do this, then the Christian must use the above arguments (or those like them) to prove the authorship of the New Testament is reliable, and written by eyewitness accounts. If critics are allowed to believe that the New Testament was written hundreds of years later, by men merely writing down stories that had been passed down orally, then they have no reason to accept the reliability of the texts, none the less the truthfulness. Next, in order to prove the historical accuracy and truth of the New Testament, the Christian can put forth arguments such as the embarrassing qualities of the text, and the consequences the authors faced. This way, critics can see that it is possible for the authors to be reliable, and there are very good rational reasons to believe that what was written actually happened.
While it’s usually not the case that a critic hears these arguments and immediately falls to their knees in repentance, it is still a very important step. The person may not seem too impressed, and may even be insulting towards the Christian and the arguments put forth, but that does not mean they have had no effect. Usually people will retreat to mockery in order to cover up the fact that they are actually questioning what they previously believed to be true. Christian apologists have a very difficult task in front of them; convincing people who consider themselves intellectuals to be factually inaccurate. However, it’s also a very important calling given to us by God in 1 Peter 3:15. If apologists persevere with the power, strength, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and continually give rational and well thought out arguments, the Kingdom of God will be impacted by their efforts.
 Pfleiderer, Otto: The Early Conception of Christianity, (Kessinger Publishing: Whitefish, 2007), pg. 7.
 Ehrman, pg. 208-209.
 Ehrman, Bart: The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings; (Oxford University Pres: Oxford, 2000), pg. 199
 Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15.
 Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24.
 Taylor, James: Introducing Apologetics; (Baker Academic: Grand Rapids, 2006), pg. 178
 Conybeare, F. C.: Myth, Magic, and Morals; (Mokelumne Hill Pr: Mokelumne Hill, 1909), pg. 166-169.
 John 8:54-59
 Romans 10:9; 1st Corinthians 2:8; Colossians 1:15, 2:9.
 Ehrman, pg. 194-195.
 Bruce, F. F.: Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?; (Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids, 1954), pg. 17.
 Torrey, Charles Cutler: Out Translated Gospels; (Harper & brothers: New York, 1936), pg. x.
 Matthew 14:13-21 VS Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 6:31-44 VS Mark 8:1-9.
 Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33.
 Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-61.
 Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-33.
 John 4:1-26.
 1 Corinthians 1:23.
 Jones, Maurice: The New Testament in the Twentieth Century; (MacMillan: London, 1924), pg. 76.
 Ehrman, pg. 195.
 Pliny the Elder, Natural Histories, XVII.
 Tacitus, Annals XV 40.
 Smallwood, E. Mary: The Jews Under Roman Rule. (Leiden: Brill Archive, 1976).
 John 18:34-35.
 Massey, Gerald: Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Mysteries of Amenta; (Cosimo: New York, 2008. Original publication in 1907), pg. 87-89.