"Jesus Outside the New Testament"

November 25, 2011

What are the main lines to emerge in this study of Jesus outside the New Testament? The non-Christian evidence uniformly treats Jesus as a historical person. Most non-Christian authors were not interested in the details of his life or teaching, and they saw him through the Christianity they knew. They provide a small but certain corroboration of certain New Testament historical traditions on the family background, time of life, ministry, and death of Jesus. They also provide evidence of the content of Christian preaching that is independent of the New Testament. . . . Our study of Jesus outside the New Testament points at the end of the day to Jesus inside the New Testament.

–Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, 217

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