There are several ways in which we can be assured that what we are taught about Jesus is true and not just made up. These are called our faith sources. These sources, like the Bible and other sources of information about Jesus have accounts of Jesus’ life. The most important part of these faith sources is the Christian Scriptures. Although the Christian Scriptures are one of the most valuable tools we have to learn about Jesus there are also the Gospels, and also other non-biblical, and non-Christian accounts of Jesus’ life that we can consider when trying to answer the question How can we be sure that what we are taught about Jesus is true and not just made up?
The Christian Scriptures is the entire Christian Bible. It is composed of both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Testament. The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) is composed of several books all containing stories about Jesus, and the Christian Testament (New Testament) which contains the stories of Jesus and the earliest Christian Communities. Although these stories cannot confidently prove to us that they are true there are several distinct similarities, which are contained in nearly all of the books. These similarities are so frequent that their constant occurrence seems more than coincidence. Although these similarities occur often in the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, there are four short books included in the Christian Testament, which we must rely on to understand Jesus’ ministry and life.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the origin of nearly everything the Christian Church teaches about Jesus. The Gospels, in turn, serve as the scale or test of truth and authenticity of everything the church teaches about Jesus. It is said that the Gospels are the link between Jesus of Nazareth and the people of every age throughout history who have claimed to be his followers. Although the Gospels teach us about Jesus’ life they may not provide concrete evidence that what they speak of is true there are several other sources.
Several non-biblical and non-Christian sources are available to help bear out the fact that Jesus actually did exist as a historical person. These sources are of an array of backgrounds: Josephus, a Jewish historian; Tacitus, a Roman writer; Pliny the Younger, a Roman writer; and Suetonius, also a Roman writer, all spoke of Jesus of Nazareth in their records. Despite the fact that these sources don’t give us more information on the life of Jesus they endow with the support the historical existence of Jesus. These sources also illustrate Christianity, the movement based on Jesus’ life and teachings is worthy of belief.
These sources, The Christian Scriptures, (The Christian Testament, and The Hebrew Scriptures), The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the several non-biblical, non-Christians, indubitably prove the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, which, in turn proves that what we are taught about Jesus is true and not just made up.