Phlegon, born about A.D. 80, was a secular historian who lived in the second century. There are two books credited to his name: Chronicles
. Little is known about Phlegon, but he made reference to Christ. The first quote below is unique to Origen. The second quote
is recorded by Philopon. The third quote is from Julius Africanus and the last is from Jerome. The reader should note that Phlegon's comment that an eclipse of the sun occurred
during Jesus' death was impossible (see Thallus
) since the Jewish Passover occurs during a full moon. It is important to note that 1) an
eclipse of the sun cannot occur during a full moon since the moon would be on the opposite of the earth
and 2) that Jesus died on Passover during a full moon. It is important to read Thallus'
comments to completely understand the issue.
Reference To Jesus Christ
"Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of
the Lord Jesus and no other (eclipse); it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any (similar) eclipse in previous times . . . and this is shown by the historical
account of Tiberius Caesar." - Phiopon, De. opif. mund. II21
"Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Cæsar, at full moon,
there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth - manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the
rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? . . . And calculation makes out that the period
of 70 weeks, as noted in Daniel, is completed at this time." - Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18.1
"In the fourth year, however, of Olympiad 202, an eclipse of the sun happened, greater and more excellent than any that had happened before it; at the sixth hour, day turned
into dark night, so that the stars were seen in the sky, and an earthquake in Bithynia toppled many buildings of the city of Nicaea." - Phlegon's 13th book quoted in Jerome's
translation of Eusebius' Chronicle, 202 Olympiad
These references reveal several key things:
1. Gary R. Habermas. The Historical Jesus. College Press Publishing Co. Joplin, Missouri. 1996. p. 217.