All History Ignores Him

by Kersey Graves (1875)

Kersey Graves
Kersey Graves (1813-1883)

The fact that no history, sacred or profane,—that not one of the three hundred histories of that age,—makes the slightest allusion to Christ, or any of the miraculous incidents ingrafted into his life, certainly proves, with a cogency that no logic can overthrow, no sophistry can contradict, and no honest skepticism can resist, that there never was such a miraculously endowed being as his many orthodox disciples claim him to have been. The fact that Christ finds no place in the history of the era in which he lived,—that not one event of his life is recorded by anybody but his own interested and prejudiced biographers,—settles the conclusion, beyond cavil or criticism, that the godlike achievements ascribed to him are naught but fable or fiction. It not only proves he was not miraculously endowed, but proves he was not even naturally endowed to such an extraordinary degree as to make him an object of general attention. It would be a historical anomaly without a precedent, that Christ should have performed any of the extraordinary acts attributed to him in the Gospels, and no Roman or Grecian historian, and neither Philo nor Josephus, both writing in that age, and both living almost on the spot where they are said to have been witnessed, and both recording minutely all the religious events of that age and country, make the slightest mention of one of them, nor their reputed authors. Such a historical fact banishes the last shadow of faith in their reality.

It is true a few lines are found in one of Josephus's large works alluding to Christ. But it is so manifestly a forgery, that we believe all modern critics of any note, even of the orthodox school, reject it as a base interpolation. Even Dr. Lardner, one of the ablest defenders of the Christian faith that ever wielded a pen in its support, and who has written ten large volumes to bolster it up, assigns nine cogent reasons (which we would insert here if we had space) for the conclusion that Josephus could not have penned those few lines found in his "Jewish Antiquities" referring to Christ. No Jew could possibly use such language. It would be a glaring absurdity to suppose a leading Jew could call Jesus "The Christ," when the whole Jewish nation have ever contested the claim with the sternest logic, and fought it to the bitter end. "It ought, therefore" (says Dr. Lardner, for the nine reasons which he assigns), "to be forever discarded from any place among the evidences of Christianity." (Life of Lardner by Dr. Kippis, p. 23.)

As the passage is not found in any edition of Josephus prior to the era of Eusebius, the suspicion has fastened upon that Christian writer as being its author, who argued that falsehood might be used as a medicine for the benefit of the churches. (See his Eccles. Hist.) Origen, who lived before Eusebius, admitted Josephus makes no allusion to Christ. Of course the passage was not, then, in Josephus. One or two other similar passages have been found, in other authors of that era, which it is not necessary to notice here, as they are rejected by Christian writers. It must be conceded, therefore, that the numerous histories covering the epoch of the birth of Christ chronicle none of the astounding feats incorporated in his Gospel biographies as signalizing his earthly career, and make no mention of the reputed hero of these achievements, either by name or character. The conclusion is thus irresistibly forced upon us, not only that he was not a miracle-worker, but that he must have led rather an obscure life, entirely incompatible with his being a God or a Messiah, who came "to draw all men unto him." And it should also be noted here that none of Christ's famous biographers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, are honored with a notice in history till one hundred and ninety years after the birth of Christ. [All four Gospels were written around 170AD -D.D.]. And then the notice was by a Christian writer (Ireneus).

"We look in vain," says a writer, "for any contemporary notice of the Gospels, or Christ the subject of the Gospels, outside of the New Testament. So little was this 'king of the Jews' known, that the Romans were compelled to pay one of his apostles to turn traitor and act as guide before they could find him. It is impossible to observe this negative testimony of all history against Christ and his miracles, and not be struck with amazement, and seized with the conviction that he was not a God, and not a very extraordinary man." Who can believe that a God, from off the throne of heaven, could make his appearance on earth, and while performing the most astounding miracles ever recorded in any history, or that ever excited the credulity of any people, and be finally publicly crucified in the vicinity of a great city, and yet all the histories written in those times, both sacred and profane, pass over with entire silence the slightest notice of any of these extraordinary events. Impossible—most self-evidently impossible!! And when we find that this omission was so absolute that no record was made of the day or year of his birth by any person in the era in which he lived, and that they were finally forgotten, and hence that there are, as a writer informs us, no less than one hundred and thirty-three different opinions about the matter, the question assumes a still more serious aspect. From the logical potency of these facts we are driven to the conclusion that Christ received but little attention outside of the circle of his own credulous and interested followers, and consequently stands on a level with Chrishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Osiris of Egypt, and other demigods of antiquity, all whose miraculous legends were ingrafted in their histories long after their death.

From the book: The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours by Kersey Graves (1875)

NEXT: T.W. Doane (1882) Jesus Not Historical (Appendix D)

1.Deley (2003) Evidence that Jesus never existed
2.Edward Gibbon (1776) Irked by Silence of the Contemporaries
3.Robert Taylor (1829) Demonstration That No Such Person As Jesus Christ Ever Existed
4.Kersey Graves (1875) All History ignores Him
5.T.W. Doane (1882) Jesus Not Historical (Appendix D)
6.2 John (90 A.D.) Even in Biblical Times People Asserted Christ Never Existed
7.More Books, Web Sites, and Essays on the Non-Historical Jesus
1.Comparative Religion
1.Solar Mythology and the Jesus Story
2.Lessons on Solar Mythology and how it parallels the Jesus Story

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