Why aren’t there more Jewish sources for Jesus?

I received a question asking, if Jesus was real then why don’t we find more Jewish sources for his life and ministry?

My response is below:

This is a common loaded question that is posed to Christians.  I say it is a loaded question because it presumes that there aren’t Jewish sources.  We have in the New Testament documents a number of early texts from Jewish sources as Matthew, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude are all Jews.  The critic might object that those are all included in the Bible, but why should that make a difference?  On the one hand what the objection amounts to in that case is, “Other than the numerous Jewish sources we have, why don’t we have Jewish sources?” which is absurd.  On the other hand, they seem to want to dismiss the New Testament documents presumably because it was written by Christians.  So are they ruling out any testimony that would support Christianity?

The reality is that there are a number of extra-biblical sources that make mention of Jesus (such as Pliny the Younger, Josephus, the Babylonian Talmud, Tacitus, Mara Bar-Serapion, etc) but all of that is beside the point.  The critic needs to deal with the evidence that we do have.  We shouldn’t get distracted by evidence that isn’t there such that we fail to deal with evidence that is there.

Matt Bilyeu

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