Historicity of Christ

The Man Who Crucified Christ: An Investigation

Christ-deniers are not new. Their efforts began at the beginning, at conception, and surely even prior to that. It really is bizarre. They are birthed in His name and buried in His name, yet they deny His name! All of earth’s history is measured in Jesus’s name: It is divided into dates BC, Before Christ, and dates AD, Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord.”
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The Man Who Crucified Christ: An Investigation

Article#: 1912

Isaiah 30:21: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it…

Just as the physical man walks a path, so too does the spiritual man. GodSaidManSaid calls it Rt. 7 and it runs north and south.  Everyone must travel this highway.  Rt. 7 North (Obedience) leads to eternal life in Christ Jesus. Rt. 7 South (Disobedience) leads to an eternity in the lake of fire.  There is only one highway and the Bible is your roadmap to travel it successfully.  Everyone must travel Rt. 7, without exception.

Isaiah 35:8-10:

8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The prophet speaks of a highway only the redeemed can walk upon. 

John 14:3-6:

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ is the only Way.  He is the highway of holiness. 

Acts 4:10-12:

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Dear visitor, have you been BORN AGAIN as Jesus states in John 3:3?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  

You have been traveling Rt. 7 South (Disobedience), and that road ends in the lake of fire. Today, your eternal soul is in your own hand.  In just a few moments, I will invite you to follow me in a simple prompt, and if you do, everything will change for you today.  All your sins and your shame will be washed away by Christ’s cleansing blood.  Today, all of Satan’s bondages in your life will be broken.  You will be free! Today, you will be BORN AGAIN and traveling on Rt. 7 North (Obedience), even unto eternal life.  There is truly a Way!  Here is the prompt I promised: Click onto Further with Jesus for childlike instructions and immediate entry in the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAYS SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Psalm 22:13-19 [note: The following prophecy was written approximately 1,000 years before Christ]

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.  

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:1-2:

1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:22-24:

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

MAN SAID: I don’t know anything about the Bible, and that’s the way I like it!  I don’t need some lame old book raining on my parade.  Anyway, if there is a “God of love,” He’ll just love me, just the way I am…warts, lesions, and all. 

Now THE RECORD: Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature 1102 that will, for the 1102nd time, confirm, by very credible third-party sources, the perfect, supernatural veracity of God’s Holy Bible.  All of these faith-building features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the edification of the saints and as weapons of bright Light to shine upon the devil’s dungeons of darkness, and to set the captive soul free.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one. 

Thank you for visiting.  May God’s face shine upon you with Light and Truth.

Christ-deniers are not new.  Their efforts began at the beginning, at conception, and surely even prior to that.  It really is bizarre. They are birthed in His name and buried in His name, yet they deny His name!  All of earth’s history is measured in Jesus’s name: It is divided into dates BC, Before Christ, and dates AD, Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord.”  This GodSaidManSaid feature being produced today is officially dated as Thursday, April 7, 2022 AD—in the 2,022nd year of our Lord. 

There was a naked pauper hanging on a cross between two thieves on a hill called Golgotha.  This naked pauper actually purchased all of the souls of the doomed sons and daughters of Adam who would believe and call upon His name.  The name of this naked pauper is Jesus Christ, and He died to make men free. The Lord said of Himself in John 6:51:

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

The glory of His promises to the BORN AGAIN outshines the sun.  Yet the deniers will continue to sit in the darkness, professing they can see as they stumble at noon-day (Isaiah 59:10)

I am convinced the deniers and the challengers are fully ignorant, and, in many if not all cases, willingly ignorant, of the Holy Bible. The inerrant truth of God’s Word is fully certifiable, and that includes all the miraculous accounts.  This certification comes from highly-credible, third-party, extrabiblical sources that completely obliterate any reasonable doubt, leaving only the unreasonable.

The certification begins at the six-day creation and validates Adam and his rib-wife Eve, the forbidden fruit and the fall of man. There is a literal flood of evidence for Noah, and for so-called “mythical” places as the Tower of Babel and Sodom and Gomorrah. Biblical people, long believed to be characters from fairytales, are confirmed as real: Moses, who parted the Red Sea; Joshua, who fit the battle of Jericho; David and Goliath; Jonah and the whale—all real, historical people and real, historical places. There’s also the ultimate certification, of the virgin birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Third-party attestation would include the world-changing ministry of Jesus Christ and His ushering in of the Kingdom of God that dwells in the heart of the BORN AGAIN.  It also includes the judgment, the ridicule, shame, and scourging He endured, the crown of thorns and the nails in His hands and His feet. There is even certification for the mysterious darkness that occurred from noon to three pm on the day that Jesus died, for the earthquake that occurred when Jesus gave up the ghost, for the miracle of His resurrection on the third day, and for His ascension into heaven on the fortieth day. All with credible witness.

This feature will pull from previous GodSaidManSaid features from the Historicity of Jesus Christ category before we address new information regarding Pontius Pilate, the man who ordered the crucifixion of the King of Glory; the same Pontius Pilate whom Christ-deniers claim never lived.  (Until 1961, that is.)

🕇 GodSaidManSaid, “Geologists Say Yes to Crucifixion:”       

Unfortunately for the Christ deniers there is a plethora of historic fact that shouts a resounding "YES!" to the Biblical record of this Jesus. New research published in the October 2010 issue of Acts & Facts is another addition to the overwhelming empirical evidence stacked up against the enemies of the cross of Christ. The feature was written by renowned geologist Dr. Steven Austin, under the title of "Greatest Earthquakes of the Bible." Several paragraphs follow:

Recently, geologists have investigated the 4,000-year chronology of earthquake disturbances within the uppermost 19 feet of laminated sediment of the Dead Sea. Hypersaline waters preserve seasonally laminated sediment because organisms cannot live or burrow in the bed of the lake. As a result, only a nearby earthquake (or very large distant earthquake) can homogenize the lake’s uppermost sediment layers, producing a "mixed layer" devoid of laminations. A sketch of a sediment core from the west side of the Dead Sea appears in Figure 1. The sketch shows the depth of the "mixed layers" within the laminated sediment sequence. Two deeper mixed layers in the Dead Sea are datable from historical, archaeological, and geological associations with faulting—the earthquakes of 31 B.C. (the Qumran earthquake) and 750 B.C. (Amos’ earthquake). Other earthquakes are represented in the Dead Sea sediment core with dates approximated by assuming a steady rate of sedimentation. [End of quote]

The following excerpts are found under the headings of "Qumran Earthquake of 31 B.C." and "The Crucifixion in Jerusalem, April 3, 33 A.D.:"

About sixty years before the ministry of Christ, a small group of Levites copied Scripture onto scrolls at the small village of Qumran in the desert northwest of the Dead Sea. In 31 B.C., a large earthquake occurred along the Jericho Fault on the western side of the Dead Sea. The earthquake dried up Qumran’s main spring and severely cracked the architecture. Spectacular evidence of the earthquake is seen at recent excavations at Qumran in cracked stair steps within the ritual baths. Grooved fault surfaces (what geologists call "slickensides") and ground rupture within lake sediment can be observed just south of Qumran. Josephus wrote of the regional devastation from the earthquake, and he said 30,000 men perished. The survivors buried the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran lay abandoned after the earthquake. The Bible, of course, is completely silent concerning this earthquake and other events during the intertestamental period. No doubt, everyone in New Testament times knew of ancestors killed in that event.

After three hours of darkness at midday on April 3, 33 A.D., the Lord Jesus exclaimed the words "It is finished!" as He died on the cross. Immediately, the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn, a great earthquake occurred, rocks were broken, and many dead saints were resurrected from their tombs.

An outcrop of laminated Dead Sea sediment can be seen at Wadi Ze’elim above the southwestern shore of the modern Dead Sea near the fortress of Masada. In this sediment outcrop is a distinctive one-foot thick "mixed layer" of sediment that is tied strongly to the Qumran earthquake’s onshore ground ruptures of 31 B.C. (see Figure 2). Thirteen inches above the 31 B.C. event bed is another distinctive "mixed layer" less than one inch thick. The sedimentation rate puts this second earthquake about 65 years after the 31 B.C. earthquake. It seems that the crucifixion earthquake of 33 A.D. was magnitude 5.5, leaving direct physical evidence in a thin layer of disturbed sediment from the Dead Sea. [End of quote]

🕇 GodSaidManSaid, “The Christ of Calvary: Was He?

Was there a Jesus Christ? Does history endorse the Bible’s account of the Lord of Glory? The answer, of course, is a resounding "YES!" Cornelius Tacitus, who was born in 55 A.D. and died in 120 A.D., was called the "greatest historian" of ancient Rome. He was born approximately 20 years after Christ’s crucifixion. Tacitus wrote concerning the reign of the Roman emperor Nero, and recorded the following:

But not all the relief could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus (Christ), the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberias: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also.

That’s a quote from Cornelius Tacitus. Later on we’ll see what enormities the early believers were accused of.

The following excerpt is from Josh McDowell’s book,
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict. It reads:

Cambridge lecturer Markus Bockmuehl notes that Tacitus’s comments provide us with testimony by the leading Roman historian of his day, "independent confirmation that Jesus lived and was formally executed in Judaea in the reign of Tiberias and during Pontius Pilate’s office as procurator (technically still a prefect, A.D. 26-36). That may not seem like much, but it is actually surprisingly useful in discounting two different theories which are still sometimes advanced: first, that Jesus of Nazareth never existed; and secondly, that he did not die by the duly-administered Roman death penalty." [End of quote]

Julian, the Roman emperor, an ancient enemy of the Cross of Christ, wrote the following:

Jesus...has now been celebrated about three hundred years; having done nothing in his lifetime worthy of fame, unless anyone thinks it a very great work to heal lame and blind people and exorcise demoniacs in the villages of Bethsaida and Bethany.

So you see that Julian, the Roman emperor, ascribes to Christ the power to perform miracles. [End of quotes]

🕇 GodSaidManSaid, “Jesus Christ—History Shouts YES!

One of the most obvious proofs of Christ’s place in history is that of the Jewish people who have considerable interest in this issue. Their official position on Jesus Christ, by necessity, is that he was a bastard (fatherless child) and a sorcerer. By necessity, because if he was born of a virgin, then they would have instigated the crucifixion of their messiah, for the Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 reads:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

By necessity, because if the great miracles Christ performed were not acts of sorcery, then those miracles were the seal of God upon the ministry of His Christ, and again the Jewish leadership would have instigated the crucifixion of their messiah. The official position of the Jewish authorities in the time of Christ did not deny his existence. They denied his credentials as the messiah and his ministry. 

In a previous GodSaidManSaid feature, we reported on the record left in the Jewish Babylonian Talmud concerning Jesus Christ. In McDowell and Wilson’s book,
Evidence for the Historical Jesus, they expand on that subject. A few paragraphs follow from the Babylonian Talmud:

It has been taught: On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out, in front of him, for forty days (saying): "He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf." But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.

The Munich manuscript of this baraitha [Jewish writings] (from the AD 70-200 period) reads: "Yeshu the Nazarene." "Yeshu" translates through Greek to English as "Jesus." Says Morris Goldstein, "The exaction of the death penalty on the eve of Passover is strong verification that Jesus, the Christ of Christianity is meant."

The word hanged also referred to crucifixion. Both Luke 23:39 and Galatians 3:13 use it this way. This baraitha also agrees with John 19:14 in putting the crucifixion "on the eve of Passover."

Following the baraitha, Ulla, the late third-century Amora, comments:

Would you believe that any defense would have been so zealously sought for him? He was a deceiver, and the All-merciful says: "You shall not spare him, neither shall you conceal him." It was different with Jesus, for he was near to the kingship. [End of quote]

Keep in mind that the position of the Jewish leadership, by necessity, was that Jesus Christ was born out of wedlock, and not in fact virgin-born, or as mentioned earlier they would have crucified their messiah. [End of quotes]

1961 was a bad year for the deniers, and their fortunes have not improved in the 61 years since.  Scholar Lawrence J Mykytiuk spends considerable time identifying people included in the Biblical narrative using ancient inscriptions and histories.  His work is quoted in the following excerpt found on Deseret.com:

Mykytiuk finds decisive documentation, primarily in the writings of the historian Flavius Josephus and in ancient minted coins, for the existence of not only of Herod the Great but of his sons Herod Archelaus, Herod Antipas, Herod Philip, and Philip the Tetrarch; his grandson Herod Agrippa I; his granddaughter Herodias; her daughter, Salome (named in Josephus, though not in the New Testament, where her infamous dance leads to the execution of John the Baptist); his great-grandson Herod Agrippa II, who, with Festus, listened to the apostle Paul’s defense as described in Acts 25:13-26:32; his great-granddaughter Bernice or Berenice, the sister and perhaps the lover of Herod Agrippa II, who also attended Paul’s defense; and his granddaughter Drusilla, who eventually married the Roman governor Felix. 

Perhaps more significantly than the previous characters, though, Mykytiuk finds convincing extra-biblical evidence for five Roman legates and governors.  Among them are Marcus Antonius Felix and Porcius Festus, already mentioned above, who are described in Josephus and attested by coinage.  Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, or Cyrenius, appears in Luke 2:2 and the writings of Josephus, but also turns up in the ancient stone “Lapis Venetus” inscription, written in Latin, that (appropriately enough) describes his ordering of a census for the Syrian city of Apamea. 

Lucius Junius Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia who sat as judge of the accusations against the apostle Paul (see Acts 18:12-17), is confirmed by an inscription found in Greece, at Delphi, in the late 19th century.  And Pontius Pilate’s name appears on a dedicatory stone from the theater at Caesarea Maritima, on Israel’s northern coast, that was discovered in 1961.  [End of quote]

George’s Journal weighs in on Pontius Pilate in the following paragraphs published February 2022:

The “Pilate Stone” was discovered at Caesarea Maritima in 1961 in the theater or arena of the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima, on Israel’s northern seacoast.  This limestone block—2.7 feet high, 2 feet wide, and 0.6 feet thick—was lying face down and had been used as a step.  It had been trimmed down to be reused twice.  Two of its four lines read, in English translation with square brackets marking missing portions that have been supplied by scholars: “[Po]ntius Pilate…[Pref]ect of Juda[ea],” as shown in Inscriptions Caesarea Maritima, pages 66-70.  The inscription could potentially be dated to any time in Pilate’s career, but a date between 31 and 36 CE seems most likely (Inscriptions Caesarea Maritima, page 70).  The word for the building dedicated to the emperor Tiberius, “Tiberieum,” is in the first line of writing (on the line above it is only a mark resembling an apostrophe).  On the second line of writing are the last four letters of the family name Pontius, which was common in central and northern Italy during that era.  Still visible, clearly engraved in the stone, is the complete name Pilatus, which is translated into English as “Pilate.” Pilatus was “extremely rare,” according to A.N. Sherwin-White’s article, “Pilate, Pontius.”  Because of the rarity of the name Pilatus, and because only one Pontius Pilatus was ever the Roman governor of Judea, this identification should be regarded as completely certain and redundantly assured. 

Concerning ancient coins, another method by which Biblical people are confirmed, George’s Journal goes on the say:

As with other Roman governors, the coins Pilate issued do not have his name on them, but rather display only the name of the Roman emperor, in this case Tiberius.  Pilate’s coins also display his distinctive decorations.

At Masada, 123 of Pontius Pilate’s coins were discovered, according to Coins of Masada. [End of quotes]  

The March 14, 2022 headline on CBN.com announced: “Discovery on Jerusalem Pilgrimage Road Proves it was Built by the Man who Crucified Jesus.” Excerpts follow:

The Roman governor who was responsible for condemning Jesus of Nazareth to death by crucifixion also ordered the construction of a street for pilgrims to enter to follow to the Jewish Temple more than 2,000 years ago. 

National Geographic reports that historians previously thought it was the Roman-appointed King Herod the Great who approved most of the large construction projects that remade ancient Jerusalem into a major pilgrimage and tourist center.  But a recent analysis of more than 100 coins found beneath the stepped street point to the start and completion of the effort under Pontius Pilate, who ruled for about a decade starting in AD 26 or 27. 

Coins discovered in the past few years beneath the paving stones date to around AD 31. The most common Jerusalem coins from the first century were minted after 40, “so not having them beneath the street means the street was built before their appearance, in other words, only in the time of Pilate,” Donald Ariel, a coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, told the magazine.

The road took 10 years for the Romans to build.  When it was completed,  it ran more than a third of a mile long and measured 26 feet wide.  More than 10,000 tons of limestone were used in its construction.

“The places and events and peoples that make Jerusalem, Jerusalem for Christians, for Jews, it all happened here.  It happened here in the City of David,” said Zeev Orenstein, Director of International Affairs at the City of David Foundation.

“This is where the beating heart of Jerusalem is.  We’re talking about the Pool of Siloam, we’re talking about Mt. Moriah, the Temple Mount.  We’re talking about the City of David. The Pilgrimage Road links them all together,” Orenstein told CBN News.

For Jews in ancient days, their pilgrimage began at the Pool of Siloam, a giant mikveh, or ritual bath.  The size of two Olympic swimming pools, they would purify themselves here before going up to the Temple to offer their sacrifices. 

“The historian Josephus says, 2,000 years ago, on the pilgrimage festivals, there would have been more than 2 million people going up on pilgrimage. That’s a lot of people that need to bathe,” Orenstein explained.

The pool is also where Jesus healed the blind man, as recounted in the book of John.  Its location was hidden by a road until fifteen years ago when a sewage leak led to excavations, the discovery of the pool, and much more.

“The archaeologists when they find the Pool of Siloam, they understand that that’s the pool and they know where the Temple stood on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago, the same Temple Mount as today,” Orenstein said.

“This would have been a Times Square. We would have had on both sides of the road, keep in mind the road is about three, four, or five times wider than what we see.  You would have had shops, stalls along both sides of the road.  This is the center of Jerusalem from a spiritual perspective, from a communal perspective, also from a commerce perspective,” he said.  [End of quotes]

When you remove all reasonable doubt, all that’s left is the unreasonable—and that’s the state of the Christ-deniers, the critics, and the minimizers.  Their situation will only continue to deteriorate.  God’s Word is true and righteous altogether, a place to build a life that will last forever. 

GOD SAID, Psalm 22:13-19:

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:1-2:

1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:22-24:

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

MAN SAID: I don’t know anything about the Bible, and that’s the way I like it!  I don’t need some lame old book raining on my parade.  Anyway, if there is a “God of love,” He’ll just love me, just the way I am…warts, lesions, and all.

 

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

“Ancient History Confirms Biblical Characters,” GeorgesJournal.net, February 9, 2022

GodSaidManSaid, “Geologists Say Yes to Crucifixion” 

GodSaidManSaid, “Jesus Christ—History Shouts Yes!

GodSaidManSaid, “The Christ of Calvary: Was He?

Peterson, D., “Evidence of 23 New Testament political figures outside of the Bible,” Deseret.com, September 14, 2017

Stahl, J., “Discovery on Jerusalem Pilgrimage Road Proves it was Built by the Man who Crucified Jesus,” CBN News, March 14, 2022

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