There is no way to actually know for sure that Jesus did exist. After all, the record keeping of the time was practically nonexistent. This would have been especially true for someone who would not have been particularly important during his own life time. Because of this, we have no evidence other than the Bible that says that Jesus did actually live.
However, most scholars believe Jesus did live. The evidence is from the Bible. They do not just say "well, the Bible says so and it is the word of God." Instead, what they say is that Jesus' existence is what they call "multiply attested." What that means is that many different Biblical writers say that Jesus existed even though (and this is important) they were not just copying from one another. It seems unlikely that they would all make up his existence.
Please note that this does NOT mean that they agree that there is proof Jesus was son of God.
Most scholars will agree that the Epistles of Paul (containing information about Jesus) were actually written by Paul less than forty years after the death of Jesus. Considering that the record keeping during this time period was very poor, it is very evident that a man named Jesus from Israel lived during this time period. This supports the existence of Jesus Christ.
In 70 A.D. the Romans came and destroyed Israel leaving behind many people dead who would have known Jesus. Everything was burned so again, evidence would have been destroyed.
Other "evidence" that leaves behind proof of the existence of Jesus Christ are The Babylonian Talmud, Gnostic Writings, and Antiquities.
One primary source other than the Bible that Jesus was actually a historical figure does exist. The late, first-century Jewish historian Josephus dedicates one small paragraph to "Jesus, a wise man," in The Works of Josephus, translated by William Whiston.
Josephus was not a contemporary of Jesus, since he was writing in the late first-century, but that's about as early as any of the gospels were written. Josephus was not a follower of Christ, which is significant. He was a Jewish Pharisee, which would place him on the side opposite of the writers whose works were eventually placed into the Christian canon--the Bible. This is not my field, so I can't tell you exactly how serious this reference is taken, but I thought you should know about it. I'll quote it below:
Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
Perhaps an expert in this time period will answer for you and clarify how well-excepted this reference is.
I cannot convince you that Jesus existed, he was the Son of God, that created you, he died on a cross for you, or that he will be coming back. I know He existed and forever will. But the truth is you can have all the proof you want. God gave it to us in the Bible, its up to us to read it if we want answers. In the end, its your choice wether you accept Jesus or not.
Historical reality of existence of Jesus is very well established. As a matter of fact it is established to a degree of certainty which far exceed the the degree of certainty of existence of any other historical figure of his time. krishna-agrawala
That's a very interesting claim, isn't it? It's easier to prove that Jesus existed than, for example, Ceaser Augustus?
Or Tiberius? Or Cleopatra? If this rural Jewish peasant is easier to verify than the dozens of historically certain leaders, rulers, generals, poets, politicians, wives and aristocrats then we must know an awful lot about him.
I guess, if what you're saying is true, Jesus must have been documented, cross referenced, praised, lampooned, carved in stone, indicted, quoted, parodied, biographied, painted and repeatedly recorded in detail by the entire Roman administration, media and culture, hundreds and hundreds of times. I didn't know that. How fascinating.
Historical reality of existence of Jesus is very well established. As a matter of fact it is established to a degree of certainty which far exceed the the degree of certainty of existence of any other historical figure of his time.
Historians know with great degree of certainty a lot about Jesus, but also about a chain of disciples or followers who spread the message of Christ after he was no more living in bodily form.
Individuals may or may not believe in so many miraculous incidents associated with Jesus Christ, but people who doubt the basic existence of great person called Jesus, who inspired the christian religion, can do so only by refusing to accept the validity of commonly and widely accepted historical facts.