Books

Is there Evidence for Jesus outside the Bible?

by Steve Ray on September 16, 2020

Some people may think Jesus is a mythical figure like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Others think Jesus might be historical but only mentioned in the Bible is the only source of information on the existence of Jesus. They question whether Jesus really existed as a real historical figure. Is the Bible the only source that confirms the historical existence of Jesus?

Jesusat33AJesus was a historical person. He really lived in space and time. The Bible is a very reputable source of information about the historical Jesus who walked the paths of Israel. But even though the Bible is certainly adequate to affirm the existence of Jesus, there ARE other sources that confirm his historical existence.

My grandson Josh is a brilliant young man who asks a lot of perspicuous questions. When he was younger he asked how I knew Jesus was a real historical person. I have him copies of all the books listed below. I also wrote him this limerick,

Was there really a man named Jesus?
Or do the Catholics just try to tease us?
I went to the places,
Studied books for all traces,
And discovered he’s real which should please us.

A while later he said, “Thanks Papa, now I understand.”

Below are a list of books and websites that address this issue head-on. There is evidence of Jesus’ existence outside the Bible and these are books I have in my library that provide the evidence. No one has to doubt his historical existence, that is for sure. If you know of any other sources, please let me know in the Comments below.

Books about the Historical Evidence for Jesus

The Evidence for Jesus by R. T. France
The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ by Gary Habermas
Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus: Historical Records of His Death and Resurrection by Gary Habermas
Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence by Robert Van Voorst
The Evidence for Jesus by James Dunn

Internet Sources

Wikipedia has a pretty helpful source under the title Historicity of Jesus. It deals with early Christian sources outside the Bible but I would especially point out the subsection on Greco-Roman sources which provides a number of good quotations.

New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? by F. F. Bruce. The complete book is on-line.

The above are mostly Protestant books though they are very good. If anyone knows other books or a good Catholic source, let me know. Good websites would be especially welcome.

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Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 11.41.10 AMClear Conscience arrived today as a pre-release review copy. I spent most of the morning perusing it and found it highly readable, balanced, Catholic, concise, hits all the right points and is very timely.

It avoids all the pitfalls of the liberal Left’s attempt to twist Catholic teaching like a rubber nose to fit their socialist agenda and narrative. It is well written and makes profuse use of Scripture, the Catechism and Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis as well as other Church documents and teaching.

It is not a dull and boring read. It is concise, pithy, analyzes different perspectives, hits the hard topics and explains that much of a persons decision is based on prudential judgment, based on a solidly formed Catholic conscience. Good to give to everyone, Catholic or not.

It is clear to me that this election is the most important in my lifetime — so enter the booth prepared!

My wife and I purchased the 10-pack to share with our family and friends. Here is information on the timely book, a must-read for all Catholics before they pull the lever in the voting booth.

The highly-anticipated Catholic voting guide, Clear Conscience – released today. The nonpartisan voting guide from Ascension – the world leader in faith formation – examines Catholic values and provides comprehensive guidance to help Catholics navigate the contentious issues facing the nation both in the 2020 Election, and beyond.

ASCENSION RELEASES NONPARTISAN VOTING GUIDE FOR CATHOLICS AS ELECTION NEARS

Media Contact: Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC, Laura Orrico – President 872-216-3781 | lauraorrico@gmail.com
Available in book or Kindle format: Click here.
To purchase 10-pack at reduced price click here.

clear_conscience_3d_720_1800x1800In the midst of a heated election season, Ascension has released a nonpartisan political guide for the voting Catholic. Clear Conscience identifies the responsibilities of Catholics when acting as voting citizens in the public square. It provides comprehensive guidance to help Catholics navigate the contentious issues facing the nation both in the 2020 Election, and beyond.

Clear Conscience focuses first on the foundational political principles that underlie all political decisions, including natural law, moral responsibility, and prudential judgement. In the second portion of the book, particular issues are examined, with clear outlines of where Catholics must agree with each other, and where Catholics of goodwill can validly hold differing political opinions.

“This book will not tell you who to vote for. That is a decision that only you can ultimately make,” explains Matthew Pinto, founder and president of Ascension. “Rather, the book will give you a framework from which your conscience can be formed, and thus, the guidance you will need to vote with a clear conscience.”

Through the insights in Clear Conscience, readers will learn:

– What the rights of every person are

– The universal responsibility to uphold and defend those rights

– How Catholics understand specific political issues

– How the Catholic tradition has contributed to a free and just society

– Guns, immigration, racial issues, and more.

The 2020 Election is set to be one of the most contentious elections in American history. Clear Conscience helps American Catholics chart a calm path through this storm while making reasonable, conscience-based political choices that honor both their faith and also their nation.

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Like most things we take for granted, the Catholic Creeds have an amazing story—actually a lot of stories.

What seems a simple prayer or statement of faith has a fascinating origin.  And there is a reason it’s precisely worded the way it is and each word was fought over with great passion. It had to be worded just right.

The Catholic Faith: An Introduction to the Creeds takes a look at the struggles, the heresies, the truth, and the men who fought to hand it down to us. We will discuss important elements like these:

  • Why is it called a Creed and how was it used in the early Church?
  • Why do Christians have a formal statement of their beliefs when other world religions don’t?
  • Are the words and concepts of the Creeds found in Scripture and if so, where?
  • What is the one most crucial, fought over and non-biblical word in the Nicene Creed?
  • What are the four important “marks” of the true Church that distinguish it from sects and denominations?
  • What is the significance of the Creed’s emphasis on the bodily resurrection?
  • Includes fascinating facts, historical development, arguments for defending the faith, a biblical summary and much more!

Knowing the story behind the creeds brings to life our fascinating history and beliefs.  This book introduces the creeds as both a prayer and a personal commitment. Here you have the summary of Catholic doctrine in a nutshell, easy to read, memorize and practice.

Click here to learn more or to purchase.

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Parents Looking for Good Books for their Kids – Here is a Great One on Mary!

May 12, 2020

Mary is quite contrary to many Christians but we Catholics love and venerate her. Do our children know why? What is the best way to introduce our families to Marian apparitions and how she reveals herself to different peoples and cultures. This new and very beautiful book is entitled “Our Lady’s Wardrobe.” In a very […]

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Discussing St. John’s Gospel with Al Kresta

January 10, 2020

Yesterday I was on Al Kresta’s Show on Ave Maria Radio for an hour discussing my book “St. John’s Gospel, a Bible Study Guide & Commentary.” I have provided the audio link below so you can listen to the podcast. It was a very fun and interesting romp through the deep and intriguing Gospel of St. John. […]

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Great New Didache Bible from Ignatius Press

May 18, 2019

The Didache Bible Is Here, Article by Dr. Jeff Mirus [Steve’s Comment]: I posted this a while ago, but want to make sure new readers are aware of this excellent new Bible with the right footnotes, maps, etc. This is my choice. [Miras’ article]: This Bible uses the Second Edition of the Catholic Edition of […]

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My New Book Now Available! “The Papacy: What the Pope Does & Why It Matters”

December 21, 2018

  My new book is available today. My friend Dennis Walters and I have been working on it for a while and we hope you enjoy it. You can see and order it here. You can buy it now as a Christmas bundle with free shipping and other of my new items.   Topics include: […]

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Interview on my new book “The Papacy” with Catholic World Report

December 8, 2018

CWR: When you were a Baptist and looking at the Catholic Church from the outside, what did you think about the papacy? Stephen K. Ray: A year before I was born my parents became Baptists; they prayed for kids and I was born a year later. My father was taught to be very anti-Catholic. He […]

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Trail of Blood: Do Baptists Have a Claim to the Original Church?

November 26, 2018

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many ”fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct? There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving […]

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Pope Francis and Capital Punishment

August 4, 2018

Excellent article by Edward Feser in First Thing Magazine that puts Pope Francis misstep in perspective … ********************** “In a move that should surprise no one, Pope Francis has once again appeared to contradict two millennia of clear and consistent scriptural and Catholic teaching. The Vatican has announced that the Catechism of the Catholic Church will […]

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Reclaim the Presence of God and Dinnertime for the Family

January 3, 2018

Paraclete Press has come out with a delightful book to help families practice the presence of God and help make dinner fun. I wish I had written this book! Check out”Feeding Your Family’s Soul – Dinner Table Spirituality” Not only spirituality but fun things to make dinner and enjoyable family get-together. I echo Fr. Andrew […]

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WWJD or “What DID Jesus Do?” A new book by Tom Nash

September 6, 2017

Tom Nash, a good friend and faithful Catholic, theology adviser for EWTN, contributor to many Catholic radio shows along with many other credits has written an excellent book entitled “What DID Jesus Do?”. You can read my endorsement here: You’ve heard the question “What Would Jesus Do?” The popular culture has hijacked this question for […]

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Free Offer: No FAKE NEWS! “Catholic World Report” Magazine FREE On-line! Start the Year Right!

January 1, 2017

    From my friend Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press: Friends, many of you know about Ignatius Press’ magazine Catholic World Report.  It’s completely online now. I’m writing to encourage you to sign up for the free Catholic World Report email newsletter. It’s sent out weekly to alert people to outstanding articles, interviews, and […]

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Books for Lovers

November 6, 2016

A while ago I gave a talk to a large group of couples for Valentine’s Day. The title of the talk was “Men, Women, Sex and Heaven.” I added this talk to my Store as an MP3 file for download. I promised the group that I would post a list of books that Janet and […]

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Jack Chick Died, Remember his Cartoon Tracts? Very Anti-Catholic Evangelist; 9 Things You Should Know

October 25, 2016

I remember handing out those cartoon Chick Tracts when I was a Protestant. As uninformed as I was, I liked the simplicity and brashness of the little booklets. Now I know how crude and deceptive they were. Jack Chick just died and Jimmy Akin wrote a bit about it.   First Jimmy writes about Nine […]

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Have Kids? Know Kids? Do They Know about the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?

September 22, 2016

It is not always easy to pass the Faith on to the next generation and we can use all the help we can get. Ken Davidson has produced a lot of things to share with our kids. He has a new product in his Holy Heroes that will help kids understand and practice the Works […]

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