In a February 22 episode of The Table Podcast, Mikel Del Rosario, John Dickson, and Darrell Bock discussed how secular historians have no doubt that Jesus Christ --the Jesus Christ of the Bible-- really existed.
In the podcast entitled "Is Jesus History?", they talked about how Jesus is one of the "most influential figures in history" and gave references to further prove their claims.
Del Rosario, the host of the podcast and a cultural engagement manager at the Dallas Theological Seminary's Hendricks Center, asked how do scholars see Jesus as being a historical figure and how do these secular historians study Him?
Dr. Darrell L. Bock, the executive director of cultural engagement and senior research professor of the New Testament at DTS, answered that just like any other historical figures-- secular historians look at all the historical sources, remnants (may it be in text or those pieces of evidence left behind), and they put it all together to conclude the study.
Bock also mentioned Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, who wrote about Jesus. He referred to the works and testimony of Josephus as a non-Christian source that provided evidence of Jesus' existence.
He said that some of Josephus' testimonies about Jesus were later doctored, but despite that, "some of the core elements of what the New Testament shows are there," The Christian Post wrote.
"You strip [the doctored sentences] away, and you have what's left: a declaration that Jesus existed, that He did unusual works, that He is responsible for the origins of Christianity," Bock assured.
The podcast's title is in reference to John Dickson's book "Is Jesus History?" which "presents the evidence and the conclusions of the vast majority of scholars, both Christian and not, in this area. But more than that, it asks some more pertinent questions: If Jesus really did exist, was he who he claimed to be and if so, what does that mean for you today?", as written in Amazon's description of the book.
John Dickson, the author of the book, a religion historian, and the founding director of Australia's Center for Public Christianity, challenged non-believers in social media in 2014 that he would eat a page from his Bible if anyone can provide him a professor of classics, ancient history, or New Testament based in a secular university, who claims that Jesus' existence is not real.
"I was talking about people who have actually got what we call in the British and Australian tradition, tenured professorship. And then there are thousands of them, right? It's not like this is too narrow. Thousands of these characters, who argue Jesus didn't live? Find me one. Well, they are still looking," says Dickson.
Del Rosario then said that "Jesus mythers," as he calls non-believers, who counters Jesus' existence are "so far out of the mainstream," and he even compared them to be like the "flat earthers," whose claims are unbelievably impossible.
Del Rosario also quoted Bart D. Ehrman, a popular New Testament professor, who said that "whether we like it or not, Jesus existed!"
"Even if you want to rail against Christianity, the best way to do it is not to deny what every historian on the planet agrees upon-- which is that Jesus was a real person and he really existed," Del Rosario explained.
Dickson went on to claim he can prove that secular historical scholarships have "no doubt at all" on the fact that Jesus really did exist.
"You pick up the Oxford Classical Dictionary, which is just up there on my shelf here, 1,600 pages of compendium of all things Greek and Roman," said Dickson. "You turn to the section on Christianity, and you will find several paragraphs that begin to just outline what we know of the historical Jesus, and zero doubt is raised. Zero doubt is raised about whether this figure really lived."
Dickson also added that it can also be further proved in Cambridge Ancient History (Volume 10), "Turn to the section on the birth of Christianity and there are several pages written by a famous classicist about what we know of the historical Jesus. We could go on and on with this."
Furthermore, is the Brill New Pauley, which features scholarly accounts of the classical world, that has a 5,500-word essay on the historical Jesus which proves that historians are "very confident" about Jesus' existence.
Bock previously did an essay on historical Jesus and in the essay, he cited D.G. Dunn, a British New Testament scholar, who claims that no classical scholar ever doubted that Jesus existed.
"Think about it for a second, Why would you even have a historical Jesus discipline if historical Jesus never existed?" Bock said.
Watch their discussion below: