Non-Biblical Sources which Document the Historical Jesus
The historical Jesus stands in the center of history as the single most perplexing and meaningful question in existence. The following is an update to my answer on this question:
Here is an interesting quote by James Kennedy which sheds direct light on this question:
“The evidence is all on Christianity’s side. Let’s take a tally: twenty seven books of the New Testament, nineteen pagan writers, and three Jewish writers testify to Jesus Christ’s historical reality. Christians, indeed, did not follow a cunningly devised fable, but a real person. There were, as the Bible proclaims, eyewitnesses to His majesty. That historical fact is at the very foundation of the faith we hold” (p. 77)
–D. James Kennedy, doctorate in comparative religions from New York University, Skeptics Answered: Handling Tough Questions About the
Christian Faith, 1997
I would also suggest reading Gary Habermas, who you can both read and listen to here, and is respected as one of the top 10 scholars on the historical Jesus.
Update: I’ve included two articles as references for citations, which actually go far beyond the claims that Kennedy makes above:
• Ancient Non-Christian Sources
• The Historicity of Jesus Christ: Did He Really Exist?
• Specifically the Jewish sources he’s pointed out are likely Flavius Josephus, Toledoth Jesu, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and The Babylonian Talmud. These sources pointed to Jesus along with Plenty (the Roman governor) who persecuted Christians. Other secular sources include Thallus and Phlegon.
If you read the first article Ancient Non-Christian Sources–specifically the synopsis portion of the article, he goes event by event and mentions citations of each event by historian. However, the article itself, which is a larger part of Habermas’ book
• The second text goes fairly in depth on the arguments and counter-arguments (especially compared to other documents, which may be one-sided).
Hopefully this will answer all the questions you might have about sources, but feel free to ask relevant questions about non-Biblical sources or the historical Jesus in the comments section.