The Roman Historian Tacitus’ Mention of Christ

The Roman Historian Tacitus’ Mention of Christ
The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate, and the existence of early Christians in Rome in his final work, Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.
The context of the passage is the six-day Great Fire of Rome that burned much of the city in AD 64 during the reign of Roman Emperor Nero. The passage is one of the earliest non-Christian references to the origins of Christianity, the execution of Christ described in the canonical gospels, and the presence and persecution of Christians in 1st-century Rome.
The scholarly consensus is that Tacitus’ reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate is both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source. Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd argue that it is “firmly established” that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Scholars view it as establishing three separate facts about Rome around AD 60: (i) that there were a sizable number of Christians in Rome at the time, (ii) that it was possible to distinguish between Christians and Jews in Rome, and (iii) that at the time pagans made a connection between Christianity in Rome and its origin in Roman Judea.
The Passage
The Annals passage (15.44), which has been subjected to much scholarly analysis, follows a description of the six-day Great Fire of Rome that burned much of Rome in July 64 AD.
The key part of the passage reads as follows:
But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.
Tacitus was a patriotic Roman senator. His writings show no sympathy towards Christians, or knowledge of who their leader was. His characterization of “Christian abominations” may have been based on the rumors in Rome that during the Eucharist rituals Christians ate the body and drank the blood of their God, interpreting the ritual as cannibalism by Christians.
Tacitus was about seven years old at the time of the Great Fire of Rome, and like other Romans as he grew up he would have most likely heard about the fire that destroyed most of the city, and Nero’s accusations against Christians. When he wrote his account, Tacitus was the governor of the province of Asia, and as a member of the inner circle in Rome he would have known of the official position with respect to the fire and the Christians.
Get 20% Discount on This Paper
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Try it now!

Get 20% Discount on This Paper

We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

Quality Custom Writers has assembled a team of highly skilled writers with diverse experience in the online writing circles. Our aim is to become a one stop shop for all your Academic/ online writing. Check out below our amazing service!

Essays

Essay Writing Services

At Quality Custom Writers, we prioritize on all aspects that creates a good grade such as impeccable grammar, proper structure, zero-plagiarism, and conformance to guidelines. The principal purpose of essay writing is to present the author's evaluation concerning a singular subject about which they have made. Since Professionalism is the mother of every success, try our team of experienced writers in helping you complete your essays and other assignments.

Admissions

Admission Papers

You have been trying to join that prestigious institution you long yearned for, but the hurdle of an admission essay has become a stumbling block. We have your back, with our proven team that has gained invaluable experience over time, your chance of joining that institution is now! Just let us work on that essay.How do you write an admission essay? How do you begin the essay? For answers, try Quality Custom Writers Now!

Editing

Editing and Proofreading

Regardless of whether you're pleased with your composing abilities, it's never an impractical notion to have a second eye go through your work. The best editing services leaves no mistake untouched. We recognize the stuff needed to polish up a writing; as a component of our editing and proofreading, we'll change and refine your write up to guarantee it's amazing, and blunder free. Our group of expert editors will examine your work, giving an impeccable touch of English while ensuring your punctuation and sentence structures are top-notch.

Coursework

Technical papers

We pride ourselves in having a team of clinical writers. The stringent and rigorous vetting process ensures that only the best persons for job. We hire qualified PhD and MA writers only. We equally offer our team of writers bonuses and incentives to motivate their working spirit in terms of delivering original, unique, and informative content. They are our resources drawn from diverse fields. Therefore your technical paper is in the right hands. Every paper is assessed and only the writers with the technical know-how in that field get to work on it.

Coursework

College Essay Writing

If all along you have been looking for a trustworthy college essay service provider that provides superb academic papers at reasonable prices, then be glad that you search has ended with us. We are your best choice! Get high-quality college essay writing from our magnificent team of knowledgeable and dedicated writers right now!

Coursework

Quality Assignment/Homework Help

We give the students premium quality assignments, without alarming them with plagiarism and referencing issues. We ensure that the assignments stick to the rules given by the tutors. We are specific about the deadlines you give us. We assure you that you will get your papers well in advance, knowing that you will review and return it if there are any changes, which should be incorporated.