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What are the facts concerning resurrection of Jesus Christ according to general documents like the Bible, contemporary historians etc? I mean by facts, statements that authors wrote that are actual historical events.

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closed as too broad by David, Dan, fredsbend, Narnian, James T Jan 7 '14 at 12:42

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What are you getting at here? Which sources are you looking for? What are you looking for beyond the well known accounts? – wax eagle Jan 3 '14 at 16:34
Asking about facts may not be appropriate. There is strong evidence that the biblical accounts are reliable and that Jesus did rise from the dead. Faith, indeed, is a leap into the light of what the evidence supports. – Narnian Jan 3 '14 at 16:45
All that aside, this is pretty broad. From the FAQ "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." – David Jan 3 '14 at 17:02
I'm heading to understand what happened according to gospels when Jesus Christ was resurrected? Especially I try to put my trust to the fact that even Pharisees knew that tomb was empty because according to one gospel account they paid guardian soldiers to spread rumor of disciples stoling the body of Jesus Christ. Disciples would not even be able to move the stone to stole the body. What do you think? – alvoutila Jan 3 '14 at 17:08
If we had photographic proof in the form of a movie of Jesus coming out of the tomb then the belief that Jesus died and was resurrected on the third day would no longer be faith. We are saved through Grace by faith that Jesus paid our sin debt in full, not by proof that it is so. – BYE Jan 3 '14 at 17:38
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Hands down, Eusebius is your best bet for an "historical" (by which I assume you mean non-biblical) account of the early church.

Eusebius is often called the 'Father of Church History'. Although he was not active until the 200s, his work is usually considered by historians of all types - from Dan Wallace to Bart Ehrmann to be the pre-eminent collector of "facts" closest to the source. His work Church History has been available since then, and is often the source text for modern histories, such as those by McDowell, Stroebel, and thousands of others.

The two most well-known extra-biblical sources about the life of Jesus Christ come from two contemporary "historians"

  1. Tacitus, a Roman Senator
  2. Flavius Josepheus History of the Jewish Wars

Neither of these two are completely disinterested parties - each has agendas of their own. Josephus, having not died at Masada, had his own reputation to save. Tacitus, as a good Roman senator, couldn't come out and associate himself with the lowest classes - the Christians.

As such, the best contemporary documents about the life of Jesus are probably by those who knew him best:

  • Matthew, a tax Collector who travelled with Jesus
  • Mark, a friend of Jesus' closest disciple (Peter)
  • Luke, a doctor who travelled with Paul who wrote two books - a Gospel and an early history of the church called 'Acts'
  • John, a disciple of Jesus.

Beyond that, there are several fictional accounts, often called New Testament Apocryphya and several Gnostic Gospels that give 'alternatives' to the Christian church.

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Was the group of four letters in the middle of Apocraphya a Freudian slip? – Andrew Leach Jan 3 '14 at 18:05
@Andrew Leach Nice :)) – user5286 Jan 3 '14 at 18:38
@AndrewLeach It may very well have been! Sadly, it wasn't intentional (always had problem with spelling that word), but you know, the more I reflect on it, the closer it is... – Affable Geek Jan 4 '14 at 0:12

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