(2)It is also related that Jesus introduced new teachings in Palestine (the location is given in another unquoted portion of Section II) and (3)that he was crucified because of these teachings. Jesus taught his followers certain doctrines, such as (4) all believers are brothers, (5)from the moment that conversion takes place and (6) after the false gods are denied (such as those of Greece).
46 Maier, First Easter, pp. 117–118.
47 Ibid., pp. 118–119.
48 Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 108.
49 Tertullian, On Spectacles, 30.
50 Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11–13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4.
Additionally, these teachings included (7)worshiping Jesus and (8)living according to his laws. (9) Lucian refers to Jesus as a “sage,” which, especially in a Greek context, would be to compare him to the Greek philosophers and wise men.
Concerning Christians, we are told (10)that they are followers of Jesus who (11) believe themselves to be immortal. Lucian explains that this latter belief accounts for their contempt of death. (12)Christians accepted Jesus’ teachings by faith and
(13)practiced their faith by their disregard for material possessions, as revealed by the holding of common property among believers.
The portion of Lucian not quoted presents some additional facts. (14)The Christians had “sacred writings” which were frequently read. (15)When something affected their community, “they spare no trouble, no expense.” (16)However, Lucian notes that Christians were easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.^51 From Lucian, then, we learn a number of important facts about Jesus and early Christian beliefs. Many of these are not reported by other extra-New Testament beliefs. Mara Bar-Serapion