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Historical Evidence that Yeshua is Messiah

Historical Evidence that Yeshua is Messiah
James Scott Trimm

Anti-Missionaries often claim that there is no historical evidence to support the Gospel accounts of Yeshua's death, burial and resurrection.  One anti-missionary said:

There were no records of earthquakes or darkness on the day
purported as the day of his crucifixion.
There was no tearing of the temple veil recorded
anywhere in history.

This is simply not true.  In fact around 52 CE a secular writer Thallus tried to explain away the darkness at Yeshua's crucifixion saying "this darkness as an eclipse of the sun". This is of course an impossible explaination, because
astronomically a Solar eclipse can never take place at or around Passover.

Passover always occurs around the time of a full moon as it is the 14th day of the lunar month Nissan/Aviv, or fourteen days after the New Moon. A Full Moon only occurs when the earth is between the moon and sun.  However a solar eclipse only occurs when the moon is between the earth and sun.

Thanks to Thallus, who wrote only twenty years after the events themselves, we know that just twenty years after the crucifixion, the "darkness" that occured was a historical fact that secular writers felt a need to try to explain away in some way.  

Also the fourth century "Church Father" Jerome writes concerning The Gospel According to the Hebrews (a Gospel use by the ancient sect of the Nazarenes along side our familar four):

“But in the Gospel which is written in Hebrew characters we read not that the
veil of the Temple was rent, but that the lintel of the Temple of wondrous size was
broken and even forced asunder.”
(Jerome; Letter 120 to Hedibia; Jerome on Mat. 27:51)

Also in the Historia passionis Domini we read likewise:

“Also in the Gospel of the Nazarenes we read that at the time of Messiah’s death
the lintel of the Temple, of immense size, had split (Josephus says the same and
adds that overhead awful voices were heard which said: ‘Let us depart from this
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th Century, foll. 65r)

Jerome sees this split of the lintel as having taken place instead of the tearing of the veil. In fact the two events seem to go hand in hand. The lintel was a crossbeam over the doorway to the Holy of Holies in the Temple. The lintel stoot
atop pillars eight stories high which formed this doorway. The lintel was some thirty feet across and made of solid stone. It would have weighed about 30 tons! At the death of Yeshua there was an earthquake. This earthquake caused the lintel to split, breaking in the middle. It would have been no small event when the two pieces of this thirty ton lintel came crashimg down eight stories! The veil hung from the lintel and the hekel doors were attached to the pillars. When the lintel broke it caused the veil to be rent in two from top to bottom.  (In the Jewish culture it is common for a father to morn the death of his son by renting his garment in just such a fashion.)  This colapse of the lintel seems to have damaged the hekel doors as well. The Talmud states:

[For] forty years before the Temple was destroyed...
the gates of the Hekel opened by themselves.
until Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai rebuked them
saying "Hekel, Hekel, why alarm you us? We know
that you are destined to be destroyed. For of you
has prophesied Zechariah Ben Iddo (Zech. 11:1):
"Open your doors, O Lebanon and the fire shall
eat your cedars."
(b.Yoma 39b)

Thus we have historical evidences that at the crucifixion of Yeshua the sky was darkened so that the sun gave no light, a great earthquake occurred causing the lintel to colapse, renting the Temple veil and damaging The Hekel gates so
that they fell open by themselves during the last forty years of the Temple (about 30 C.E. to 70 C.E.) just as the Gospels record!

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Comment by Joseph S on April 26, 2012 at 11:32am

Yahushua  was crucified at Pesach of 30CE. Two full days (2000 years) later equals 2030CE...only 18 years from now. So you can see we are at the door already. Compress the prophecies into these final 18 yrs and see which ones are for now and which ones are for the end time of the 7th 'day'.....we are at the end of the 6th day.

Comment by James Trimm on April 26, 2012 at 1:54pm

Actually there are really good arguments for 27 CE but others argue 32 CE... there are a lot of factors to consider ... among others one must choose a year on which Passover occurred on a Wednesday or Thursday (there are arguments for both) and the date of Passover can be debated based on whether one goes by invisible dark new moon or first visible crescent new moons.  


At any rate you cannot just dogmatically state a year without answering all of these issues.

Comment by James Trimm on April 26, 2012 at 1:55pm

Also it is far from certain that the end will be exactly 2,000 years after Yeshua's death. 

Comment by Joseph S on April 26, 2012 at 3:01pm

The Temple was destroyed in 70CE. Minus 40 years equals 30CE.....Messiah must return by the year 2030 if He is to serve a full one thousand years as Head of the Government He installs in Israel (eretz) and as superpower over the world governments. It's all just logical. According to Hebrews 9:26, New Jerusalem Bible standard edition, March 1999, Messiah was crucified on Pesach at the end of the age He was born in. How you 'slice it' is how you slice it. I expect YHVH to be as exact as the Mazzaroth portrays Him to be, since He is the one who set it all in motion. It is easy for us humans to fudge a little on time....and that's all well and good because in the final wash of it all it won't matter much...but I expect YHVH to be more than be exact. Watching it all unfold is a blessing for those of us who see and discussing these details is also a blessing. The fact that we are here and this is happening, and yet it is happening in a world in denial and in blindness, yet we see...How is that?  I'm sharing with you the answers that make sense to me and what I consider evidence of His appearance...and this to give anyone who wants to agree that we have a hope and it is evidenced by prophecy.  All in all whether He comes in 27CE -30CE or even in cutting those days short and comes now is really moot...the sooner the better...but it really looks like a chronological order of events is about to cascade in earth history.  In thinking about this I have wondered how the 'magi' felt when in their day they had discovered the day He was born and pursued their course to find Him. He is coming for us and so we wait...but not without knowing. The knowing is what makes the difference between the wise and the foolish virgins. And perhaps between being counted as 'worthy to escape' all the troubles about to unfold. I believe that is a reward for being diligent and striving to be correct. Many believers in Jesus do not think it is necessary to put away their christmas trees and their easter celebrations, for example. There are those of us who think it is more correct to put those things away and return to the traditions of YHVH as they are found in the Bible. And why is that but to say we think it is better to be correct even as YHVH has established for us what our culture is and what is correct and what is not. This is not meant as a criticism and I have already stated that it probably doesn't matter in the end but the attempt on our part says a lot about the cause we have before us. It is His cause.

Comment by Ezra Ben Yosef on April 27, 2012 at 9:59am

Great post Rabbi Trimm.

There is another proof.

Talmud in Yoma 39b says of the events which occurred in 30 A.D.:


"Forty years before the Temple was destroyed [i.e., 40 years before 70 A.D., or in 30 A.D.]...the gates of the Hekel [Holy Place] opened by themselves, until Rabbi Yohanan B. Zakkai rebuked them [the gates] saying, Hekel, Hekel, why alarmist thou us? We know that thou art destined to be destroyed..."


Talmud in Shabbat 15a says :


"Forty years before the destruction of the Temple (in 30 A.D.), the Sanhedrin was BANISHED (from the Chamber of Hewn Stone) and sat in the trading-station (on the Temple Mount)".


Writes Rabbi Leibel Reznick in "The Holy Temple Revisited":


"Although this was the largest structure on top of the entire Temple Mount, the purpose and function of the Basilica is not recorded anywhere. The TALMUD tells us that when the Sanhedrin (Supreme Court) CEASED TO JUDGE CAPITAL OFFENSES, they MOVED from the Supreme Court chambers to the 'shopping mall' (Rosh HaShana 31a). This shopping mall was located on the Temple Mount (Rashi)... Perhaps this shopping mall was located within the Royal Basilica. Because this area was built on Herod's extension, it did not have the sanctity of the Temple itself, and commerce would have been permitted" (Jason Aronson, Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, 1993, p. 69).


The year the Sanhedrin was moved was 30 A.D., the year the Messiah was crucified. This was also the year they CEASED to judge capital offenses! This "authority" was thenceforth removed from their purview, denied to them -- another withering rebuke to the sages of the Court which so injudiciously and intemperately MISJUDGED the Messiah himself!


Writes Craig Blomberg of this event:


"...the claim that the Romans retained the sole right of capital punishment (John 18:31) has often been termed a Johanine error, especially in view of the counter-example in the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58). But this right is strikingly confirmed by a passage in the Talmud, which says that capital punishment had been taken from the Jews FORTY YEARS before the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 (Sanh.1:1, 7:2). Stephen's stoning reads more like mob action which defied technical legalities" (The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, by Craig Blomberg, Inter-Varsity Press, 1987, p. 179).


The Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin, fol. 24, states: 


“A little more than forty years before the destruction of the Temple (in 30 A.D.), the power of pronouncing capital sentences was taken from the Jews.“ 


It was the very year of the crucifixion that the Jews were denied the right to perform capital punishment by the Romans.


That event was prophesied in Genesis 49:10 :

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the staff from between his feet,
until Shiloh comes; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”


Shiloh is the Messiah :

“What is Messiah’s name?” Rabbi Shila says: “His name is Shiloh, for it is written, ‘until Shiloh comes.” (b.San. 98b)

The Targums Onkelos, Pseudo-Jonathan and Talmud Yerushalmi have “until Messiah comes” in place of “until Shiloh comes”.


The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4 fol. 37 states: 


“Rabbi Nachmon says, “When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them; they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming, ‘Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come.’ ”   


These statements prove that the Rabbanim expected Messiah to come before the legal authority to judge capital offenses was removed from the Sanhedrin.

This event occurred 40 years before the destruction of the Temple, when the lintel broke and rent the veil in two. It was the year of the crucifixion!

If Adon Yeshua is not the Messiah Ben Yosef, there is no Messiah at all.



Comment by James Trimm on April 27, 2012 at 1:20pm

They may have left the Chamber of Hewn Stone because of  the structural damage from the earthquake outlined above.  The Chamber of Hewn Stone was a room to the left of the left pillar. 

Comment by michelleannearle(wisdom) on April 30, 2012 at 3:46am

SHEMOTH(Ex.) 3:13-15 &20:7&16 YIRMEYAHU16:19-21&33:2-3  ZEKARYAH(Zechariah)14:9         MAL'AKI (Malachi) 2:2 YOHANAN(John) 5:43 ACTS4:12 REVELATION 22:14-21                                     MISHLE(Proverbs)30:4   Name of Father in Heaven: YHUH ( YAHUAH) Name of our Messiah His Son:YHUHSHA(YAHUSHA) 1TIMOTHY2:3-4 ZEKARYAH 8:16 EPHESIANS 4:25 You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free...


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