In response to many disinformed people, either atheists, orthodox Jews or any other persons from different walks of life who think that “Yeshua is a myth”, my intent is to provide you with sufficient historical, archeological and other various sources that will convince you that Yeshua ben Yosef our Messiah actually walked the earth-more specifically the land of Israel- in the first century.
I have no doubt about the reality of Yeshua, Messiah of Israel, because I experienced His presence powerfully in my life and I am here to testify that Yeshua is ALIVE. Also I am convinced that anyone, regardless of their background, who earnestly asks Hashem to show them who Yeshua is, will receive an answer and be shown the way of Salvation-given the condition that they are willing to repent of their sins.
However, I want you to examine the numerous sources that confirm Yeshua’s very existence in the 1st Century…just for you all to understand that Yeshua our Jewish Messiah is not the fabrication of some Roman or Greek man or any other mythical figure. Yeshua was born as a real Jewish person, in the first Century. With the parting from the original Jewish teachings of the first Messianic believers, Christianity has distorted Yeshua’s image to the point that many Jewish persons think that Yeshua is a “goy”. But our Messiah has always been rooted into Torah, He prayed the prayers of Israel, went to the synagogue and obeyed the mitzvoth. All His teachings are Torah-based.
“Keeper of the Flame” by Linda Harris-Lorio
1.Extra biblical sources
painting after the face of the Shroud
- Historians’ reports and other sources
-physical descriptions of Yeshua from apocryphal sources
- Publius Lentulus’ letter to the Roman Senate ( credit to http://www.thenazareneway.com). Lentulus lived around 27 AD.
“There appeared in these our days a man of the Jewish Nation, of great virtue, named Yeshua [Jesus], who is yet living among us, and of the Gentiles is accepted for a Prophet of truth, but His own disciples call Him the Son of God-He raiseth the dead and cureth all manner of diseases. A man of stature somewhat tall, and comely, with very reverent countenance, such as the beholders may love and fear, his hair of (the color of) the chestnut, full ripe, plain to His earn whence downwards it is more orient and curling and wavering about His shoulders. In the midst of His hair is a seam or partition of His hair, after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead plain and very delicate: His face without spot or wrinkle, beautified with a lovely red; His nose and His mouth so formed as nothing can be reprehended, His beard thickish, in color like His hair, not very long, but forked; His look innocent and mature;; His eyes grey, quick and clear-In reproving hypocrisy He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair spoken; pleasant in conversation, mixed with gravity. I cannot remember that I have seen Him laugh, but many have seen Him weep. In proportion, most excellent. His hands and His arms are delicate to behold. In speaking, very temperate, modest, and wise. A man for His singular beauty, surpassing the beauty of children of men.”
- Another source offers a contemporary description ( Massilian’s description of Yeshua).
To be honest, the use of words, the very Caucasian features of His face and the “nose of a Jew” appear as highly suspicious and unreliable to me. It might be some further adjunction made by people who had some interest in spreading the image of a blonde Messiah. Not that blonde Israelis don’t exist, but blonde Israelis would have Middle Eastern physical features. The “nose of a Jew” sounds a little bit antisemitic to me. However, I might be wrong. I am not here to argue, just to share a personal point of view.
- Pontius Pilate’s letter to Tiberius Caesar ( source:www.thenazareneway.com)
TO TIBERIUS CAESAR:
A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions! Unwilling to interrupt Him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he seen in the works of all the philosophers anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews — not the poor but the rich and powerful.
Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with Him at the Praetorium. He came. When the Nazarene made His appearance I was having my morning walk and as I faced Him my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement and I trembled in every limb as a guilty culprit, though he was calm. For some time I stood admiring this extraordinary Man. There was nothing in Him that was repelling, nor in His character, yet I felt awed in His presence. I told Him that there was a magnetic simplicity about Him and His personality that elevated Him far above the philosophers and teachers of His day.
Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have taken the time to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man who could convert water into wine, change death into life, disease into health; calm the stormy seas, is not guilty of any criminal offense and as others have said, we must agree — truly this is the Son of God.
Your most obedient servant,
Authentic or not? I have no idea, to be very honest with you all.
Does it matter how Yeshua our Lord looked like back in the 1st Century? Should be argue about it?
I’ve been granted the immense grace to see Yeshua before me 5 times during a very short time frame. What He lets me see from Him looks closer to the portrait of the Shroud posted above. All I can say is that He looked very Middle-Eastern to me.
But my answer would clearly be NO. It is a waste of time to argue about our Lord’s physical appearance, because what really matters is His kindness and His wisdom and to be able to apply His words in our daily life. It is also worthless to base some of your assumptions on the description of the Book of Revelation- that corresponds to a description of a vision in glory- to prove that Yeshua walked the earth with white hair. Do not waste your time on that.
Make sure that you are SAVED!
This being said, I think that it is good that descriptions of Yeshua are available. Of course, available doesn’t always mean reliable. However, it confirms that some people may have seen Him, even from afar and attempted to make a description of Him.
(Here is another picture that is very close to the traits Yeshua let me see of Him when He visited me, even His glance corresponds to the eyes I have seen and the tone of His skin was like that…but He smiled to me two times, during the two first visitations.)
– what historians of the 1st Century reported about Yeshua
- Josephus is one of the most reliable sources we do possess. Moreover, one cannot accuse him to have had some special sympathy towards Yeshua, as a Jewish person, from the sect of the Pharisees. Josephus speaks of Yeshua’s crucifixion in Testimonium Flavianum.
Interestingly, we also learn from Josephus that Yeshua’s brother Yaa’kov ( “James” in English) was stoned to death.
“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”
Testimonium Flavianum, 18.3.3
Before some people rise up to start controversy about these writings being an adjunction that goes back to the fourth century, they ought to know that new connections between Testimonium Flavianum and the Gospel of Luke resurfaced that imply that a ( probably lost ) common source between the two writings must have existed.
Curious to know more? Also check the following resource.
The fact that the texts may have been modified at the source, does not matter in regards to this precise point: our aim is to prove that Josephus actually wrote about our Messiah. If he mentioned Yeshua as a person, it means that Yeshua actually walked the earth and that His crucifixion is a fact- no matter what your view of Yeshua is, whether you consider Him to be the Savior of the world or a simple man. Facts are facts. Yeshua’s trial before Pilate and the punishment that followed are historical facts.
About Josephus, somebody made the following comment on a public forum ( source:http://www.city-data.com/forum/religion-spirituality/1514922-jesus-history-confirmed-1st-century-non.html)
“FYI: A historian does not have to live close to the time something happens; he simply needs access to accurate documentation of events that occurred. Flavius Josephus the JEWISH PHARISEE and ROMAN EMPEROR ADVISOR was in an excellent position to access the records of Jesus’ execution.”
The public comment above makes sense to me!
- The historian Cornelius Tacitus who lived between 55 and 120 AD, who was rather hostile to Yeshua and His followers, confirmed Yeshua’s crucifixion and the existence of His followers in his writings.
- Pliny the Younger ( 61-120 AD) makes mention of Yeshua as the ” god of the Christians”.
2. Archeological findings confirm the very existence of our Messiah Yeshua: what Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries are revealing to mankind
The discovery of a shepherd in 1947 of very ancient Hebrew documents unveiled writings mentioning the Suffering Messiah ( who is also depicted in Isaiah 53). Please check Ron Cantor’s article. As a matter of fact, the character of Yeshua ben Yosef is part of Jewish beliefs, especially in the 1st Century.
Also check the following resource that will challenge any skeptical person about new discoveries regarding Yeshua.
3.Yeshua in the Baylonian Talmud
- “Toldot Yeshu” have scandalized a lot of people. These writings, that emerged during Middle Ages, are merely a reaction in regards of the numerous persectutions against Jewish people coming from Catholic church. These writings, that do not depict our Messiah in a very flattering manner have been and are still a pretext for antisemitism in our contemporary world.
Contrary to a common opinion, this is NOT Judaism’s official position towards Yeshua our Messiah.
Also, I’ve met quite a few orthodox Jews who do not necessarily dismiss the idea of Yeshua being the Messiah of Israel.
A lot of Jews have a problem with the distorted image Christianity is presenting of Yeshua, which is understandable. The problem does not lie in the person of Yeshua Himself, but merely in His pagan representation, His identity theft ( calling Him with a greek name, dismissing the teachings of Torah in Christian theology…).
4. Gospel narratives and writing style match with Tanach writings
Disinformed people have often told me that the Gospels were merely ” fabricated Greek or Roman documents” and that “Yeshua is a pagan character”. However, these arguments are brought forward mostly by people who did not even have the honesty to examine the Gospels and read them.
How can you formulate such a strong, biased judgment without even taking the time to look at the documents you are slating?
You are calling Yeshua “greek”. Have you taken the time to look at His words? Probably not. Otherwise you would probably know that He is a rabbi speaking of Torah and whose words even refer to complex rabbinic laws! Yeshua is plain Jewish, whether you like it or not.
The Bible is a very unique document. If you read only translations of it, then you missed some very subtle parts of the Book, for instance, the poetry and the numerous wordplays that it contains. The following article, that refers to the Book of Genesis, Sefer Bereshit, underlines a few examples of subtle wordplays.
The Book of Jeremiah, for instance, connects the almond tree with being watchful. You will only be able to get the full meaning of it by studying Hebrew. Here is a detailed article about the theme mentioned above.
A great majority wrongly thinks that Yeshua was some uneducated peasant from Galilee. No, Yeshua is a rabbi teaching Torah and explaining clearly to His disciples how to apply it properly; this is the purpose of His coming along with Salvation of mankind!
As a matter of fact, Yeshua was very familiar with those wordplays. I showed some precise examples in my article entiled “The case in favor of Hebrew language”.
Another literary genre that Yeshua uses a lot are parables. Parables are typical of Jewish culture.
Arguments that “Yeshua is a fabrication from Greek people or from the Roman Empire” are INVALID.
The fulfilling of the prophecies
An other important point to underline are the fulfilling of the biblical prophecies by Yeshua our Messiah. You will find a lot of accurate information on the Jewish Voice website.
Finally, the Bible codes discovered by Yaakov Ramsel reveal the truth about Yeshua our Messiah! Listen to Yaakov Ramsel in the following video.
3.The Shroud of Turin, powerful testimony of Resurrection to mankind
No, the Shroud of Turin does not belong to catholic church. It belongs to mankind. It is meant to be the powerful testimony of Resurrection to mankind.
It contains very precise informations about Yeshua’s Suffering, the vegetation that grew in Jerusalem in the 1st Century, our Lord’s physical features ( height, type of face, body strength…). It also carries evidence of the Resurrection.
My friend David Hines has a particularly very accurate and well documented You Tube Channel. His videos about the Shroud are the fruit of very intense research. By watching David’s videos, you will learn a lot about the formation of the Shroud image.
Please check Barrie Schwortz’ testimony regarding the Shroud of Turin. Barrie Schwortz is an orthodox Jew, who had no special interest in defending the Shroud’s authenticity. Here are some obvious, proven facts he points at. No matter how skeptical you might be, I’d strongly advise you to check this video anyway.
Now drop all your bias against Yeshua and examine how many true facts speak in favor of Yeshua walking the earth in the 1st Century.
I also encourage you to step a little bit further and ask Hashem earnestly to reveal you WHO Yeshua is. May the Spirit of Hashem help you in your quest!
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling