The 1 Cor 15 creedal formula is a pre-Pauline saying in circulation that Paul quotes; its reports of a historical Jesus. (The creed dates to c. AD 30-35.)
Paul's letters report of a historical Jesus. (They also report a good deal of Jesus's biography).
• 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 -- none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
• 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 -- For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
• 1 Corinthians 15 -- For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died… and that He was buried, and that He was raised… and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve…
• Galatians 4:4 -- But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
• 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 -- For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets
• 1 Timothy 6:13 -- Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
• Hebrews 1:6 -- And when He again brings the firstborn [Jesus] into the world,
• See also Romans 1, Romans 8, Galatians 1.
During his life (c. 160 – c. 240), Sextus Julius Africanus discusses Thallus's written explanation for the darkness which fell during Jesus's crucifixion (Mk 15:33 -- “…there was darkness over the whole land”).1
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke report of a historical Jesus.
• Luke 1:1-4 -- Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. …[2:21-22] And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus,… And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem…
The book of Acts of the Apostles reports of a historical Jesus.
• Acts 4:10 -- let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified,
The Gospel of John reports that Jesus is a real historical figure.
• John 1:43-45 -- The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. ...Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
Flavius Josephus (Jewish historian; A.D. 37-101) reports on Jesus as an historical figure here:
IMPORTANT: Grayed out text is not considered part of Josephus's Antiquities, but instead a later addition by a Christian scribe.
Flavius Josephus (Jewish historian; A.D. 37-101) reports on Jesus as brother of the historical James here:
Clement of Rome (c. 95 A.D. apostolic father) spoke of Jesus as an historical figure:
• Clement of Rome: “For of Jacob are all the priests and levites who minister unto the altar of God; of him is the Lord Jesus as concerning the flesh; of him are kings and rulers and governors in the line of Judah; yea and the rest of his tribes are held in no small honor” [1 Clement 32:2]
• Clement of Rome: “…most of all remembering the words of the Lord Jesus which He spake, teaching forbearance and long-suffering” [1 Clement 13:1][see also Ch. 42]
In c. AD 100,1 the Didache speaks of Jesus as an historic figure.
In c. AD 73 [maybe],1 a pagan stoic philosopher named Mara-Bar-Sarapion spoke of Jesus as an historical figure in the following letter to his son.
Writing around AD 101-110, Papias (Bishop of Hierapolis) reports of Jesus's existence.
Around AD 107-110, Ignatius of Antioch speaks of Jesus as an historic figure, like here:
See also: ―Letter to the Trallians ch. 9 ―Letter to the Smyrnaeans ch. 3
Writing around AD AD 110 to 140, Polycarp (Bishop of Smyrna) testifies of Jesus's existence in his letter to the Philippians
Writing around A.D. 111-113,1 Pliny the Younger (Roman governor) speaks of Jesus as an historic figure in his letter to the Emperor Trajan:
[Note: Pliny does not say “as if he existed,” but says “as to a god” sarcastically, because he does not think Jesus was a god. He knows Jesus only as a man.]
Writing around AD 115,
Writing around AD 117-138,
>• Andreas Köstenberger, Leonard Kellum, Charles Quarles: “Another Roman historian who referred to Jesus was Suetonius (c. 120), who reported that "Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome who, instigated by Chrestus, never ceased to cause unrest." (Seutonius, Life of Empreror Claudius, 25.4) This expulsion is probably the expulsion of the year 49 mentioned in Acts 18:2. Seutonius seems to have confused the name “Chrestus” (a name common among Roman slaves) with “Christus,” a messianic title with which he was unfamiliar. Suetonius also assumed that Jesus was alive and in Rome at the time of the expulsion. He probably made this assumption because it was unusual for people to have the kind of devotion for a dead or distant figure that Christians in mid-first-century Rome expressed to Christ. The unrest to which Suetonius referred was likely tension between Jews and Jewish Christians over the claims of the Christian Gospel.” [The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament (B&H Publishing Group, 2009), 110.])
Writing around AD 150, the early Christian apologist Justin Martyr speaks of Jesus as an historic figure in his letter to the Emperor Trajan (Letters 10.96-97).
Writing around AD 165-175, Lucian of Samosata testifies to Jesus as an historical figure.
Writing around AD 175-185, Irenaeus of Lyons testifies of Jesus being an actual historical figure.