Julius believed the darkness was "induced by God" (21). Josephus is another historian whose work became popular because it "provided rich information on a few figures in the New Testament" (Voorst 83). John the Baptizer is mentioned with "extensive treatment" (83) and Jesus is mentioned in relations to James' death. Here he names Jesus as the brother of James that is "called Christ" (83). Josephus' most popular mention of Jesus where he is recorded as a man because his "nature and form were human, but his appearance was superhuman and his works were divine" (85). Josephus does not call him an angel but he finds it difficult to call him a mere man. Jesus is noted for opposing the law but never doing anything shameful. Josephus also writes that Jesus was followed by many and he also goes into the Pilate affair, noting that the "miracle-worker" 86) was "no criminal, no rebel, no seeker after kingship" (86). He was, however, and that is something historians do not waste time arguing over because of evidence.
Other texts point to the fact that Jesus did exist. In looking for evidence supporting that Jesus lived, we should not overlook the importance of religious documents, either. The New Testament is perceived as reliable because it contains many events that are recorded in other texts from its era. It is also worth noting that those that knew Jesus are also to be considered in proving his existence. Their testaments to his life have survived and they are accounts of what life was like with Jesus during his ministry. There is no reason to believe that these accounts are anything but non-fiction. They are not filled with hype or propaganda. It is also worth noting that Herbert Cutner claims that it is an "extraordinary fact that some of the strongest supporters of the historicity of Jesus are Jews" (Cutner 86). The religion of Islam also recognizes that a man named Jesus existed. There are too many texts from too many people from different parts of the world to deny that Jesus was a man.
Jesus was and is certainly relevant. Were it not for him, or even the idea of him, Christianity would not have spread. While there may be various arguments over the divinity of Jesus, we have enough evidence to know that the man lived. In historical documents, we see the Jesus that was crucified but we also see a man that was connected to many otherworldly events. He was not a vicious man and many recognized that fact that there was something uniquely different about him. His thoughts and teachings became significant to his character and they are still taught and practiced today. Without Jesus, there would be no New Testament and events in the world would be much different than they are now. The most appealing aspect of the man Jesus was his nature, which was non-threatening. This aspect could also be why it is remembered and held in such high regard by so many. When we consider Jesus, the man, we should rest assured that he was not a myth but a humble spokesperson for that whom he claimed to believe.
Jesus and the controversy surrounding him will not ever go away. Who he claims to be fuels much of the debate about his existence but while some may be able to argue Jesus' divinity, it is more difficult to attempt to discredit that the man ever existed. Historical evidence definitely speaks of a man named Jesus or called Christ. These mentions are not religious in any ways and pertain to the personhood of Jesus. We know that Christians suffered if they claimed to follow Jesus' teachings. We also know that a man was indeed crucified after Pilate decided that he wanted nothing more to do with this innocent man that was surrounded by an angry mob. These things we know and while there will always be a debate regarding his heritage, we should realize the difference between the two. Jesus, the myth, would not have so much attention paid to him in historical documents that deal specifically with historical accounts.
Craig, Albert, et al. The Heritage of World Civilizations. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 2000.
Cutner, Herbert. Jesus: God, Man or Myth? San Diego: Book Tree. 2000.