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When John Lennon said, “We’re bigger than Jesus”, it set the world on fire. Because so much of America and England are devout Christians, this came off as offensive and sent a lightning rod throughout the country’s news outlets.

In fact, according to Pew Research Center, there are more than 2 billion Christians throughout the world, and Jesus Christ is at the heart of the faith. But did he really even exist? You didn’t need to attend a Christian youth conference in 2022 to discover how big a figure Jesus still is in the modern world today.

There seems to be more than enough evidence to suggest he was at the very least an important historical figure. But whether or not he was the son of God is another question entirely. This article will break down five key pieces of scientific evidence that support Jesus of Nazareth’s existence as at least a human being. What more he might be to you or your family, or billions of others is another thing to consider. The general consensus is, yes, he was a real person. But there are more than a few differentiating tales of his life other than the four Gospel writers.

Let’s get started.

First, it’s important to know there is no physical or archaeological evidence Jesus was real; not anything definitive or conclusive anyway. But some archives in history point to his existence. Below are five pieces of evidence.

The New Testament’s Gospels

The best evidence and stories we have on hand are from the four Gospels in the Bible’s New Testament. The authors are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are generally considered biased or embellished to some degree, but they contain sayings, lessons, stories, actions, and teachers that were said to come from the mouth of Jesus himself. The Gospels are considered historical, narrative, and theological literature.

Each Gospel has its own stories; some of them shared, and some of them exclusive. Each Gospel writer had his own style and told his story to a certain audience at a different time. These are the largest windows into Jesus’s day-to-day existence and biggest miracles. But the Bible is hardly seen as scientific proof. But their certain stories and general claims, like Jesus being a Jew, having followers, and ultimately being executed by the Romans, are corroborated in other historical accounts.

Flavius Josephus’ Non-Biblical Account of Jesus

Flavius Josephus is a Jewish historian from the first century. He is allegedly the best source of information about Palestine during this time. In a 20-volume history of the Jewish people that was written in 93 A.D., he mentions Jesus twice.

Now, let’s break down how credible Josephus was during that time period, as well as a few quick facts:

  1. He was born in roughly 37 A.D., only a few after Jesus supposedly was crucified.
  2. He was a “well-connected aristocrat and military leader” in Palestine
  3. Served as commander of Galilee during the Jewish revolt against Rome between 66 and 70 A.D.

In his account, he recalls Jesus as someone who did surprising deeds and was executed by Pontious Pilate. He also speaks of a wrongful execution of a man named James, who was the “brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah”. So at the very least, we have a non-biblical connection to Jesus’ existence.

Tacitus’ Account from the Roman Perspective

Tacitus was a Roman senator and historian, most famous for writing Annals of Imperial Rome, a history of the Roman empire that he wrote in approximately 116 A.D. When Tacitus speaks of the Burning of Rome in the A.D. 60s, Tacitus says Emperor Nero blamed people known as Christians for their “enormities.”

He also says, “Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius.” That sounds a lot like Christ, doesn’t it? Plus, it’s another account of him being put to death by Pilate, and from an opposite, non-biblical and unbiased point of view.

Sprinkles of Mentions in Roman Texts

Before Tacitus’ account, other mentions of Jesus or Christ were mentioned in a few Roman texts. For example, Pliny the Younger, a Roman governor, wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan that Christians would sing hymns to Christ “as if he was a god.”

Also, Suetonius, another Roman historian, was believed to reference Jesus as well in his testimonial about Emperor Claudius expelling Jews from Rome. These Jews were reportedly “making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus.” In other words, they were causing trouble because of Jesus.

These accounts, at the very least, connect Jesus to us through unbiased historical accounts.

“The Nails of the Cross” and “The Shroud of Turin”

Two nails were allegedly discovered in a tomb that is roughly 2,000 years old. According to Life Science, “the tomb in which the nails were found is believed by some to be that of the Jewish high priest Caiaphas, who presides over the trial of Jesus in the New Testament.”

But these nails are no more actual, definitive proof than The Shroud of Turin, which is believed by many Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus. However, this has been debunked as a fake due to carbon dating that doesn’t line up with when Jesus was alive. These two pieces of evidence are grasping at captivating straws.


Again, the general consensus is Jesus was a real human being. The Gospels tell us much, and tell us little, depending on how valuable experts believe them to be as historical documents. They provide leads that need to be confirmed through non-biblical sources.

There are non-biblical sources as well, which helps. But it’s not too much. There are mentions in several other countries and religious texts like the Quran as well. Every year, a new artifact or piece of evidence is introduced or alleged to be belonging to Jesus or Mary, or Joseph, but usually, these are debunked through science.

Who Jesus was will always be a mystery to those living in the modern world. It’s a bummer, but the best we have to work with is short stories or brief mentions here and there. But most everyone believes he did exist. Who he exists as to you is your personal decision or belief.