Continuing our historical investigation into the early sources for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we turn next to the ancient non-Christian sources. We will move, successively, from ancient historians, to government officials, to other Jewish and Gentile sources, to early Gnostic sources and then to lost works that speak of Jesus.

Ancient Historians

Tacitus

Cornelius Tacitus (ca. AD 55–120) was a Roman historian who lived through the reigns of over a half dozen Roman emperors. He has been called the “greatest historian” of ancient Rome, an individual generally acknowledged among scholars for his moral “integrity and essential goodness.”^1