A Christian author has set out to prove that the Earth really went dark during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Christian apologist Lee Strobel, a former Chicago Tribune journalist, tackled this important detail about the moment of Jesus' death in his newly revised New York Times best-seller "The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus."
Strobel's investigation starts with this verse in the Holy Bible's Gospel of Matthew, describing the events after Jesus died on the cross: "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour."
Some sceptics and critics have expressed doubts on how the Earth could go dark after Jesus' death, but Strobel sought sources outside the Bible to prove this biblical detail.
"We have some terrific corroboration from sources outside the Bible that confirm and corroborate certain details of the New Testament," Strobel told The Christian Post in an interview.
The Christian author referred to the work of a Greek historian, Thallus, who wrote about an eclipse that occurred around the time of Jesus' crucifixion.
"When the Bible says that the Earth went dark during the crucifixion of Jesus, you would think someone else would notice that. Indeed, Thallus, who [was] a historian who wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world in about 52 AD — so not very many years after the death of Jesus who died in 30 or 33 AD — mentions this darkness," Strobel said.
"We know that [Thallus wrote about the darkess] because Julius Africanus [another theologian] in the year 222 comments on Thallus reporting the darkness, and says that Thallus attributed it to an eclipse," he added.
Miami University's Edwin Yamauchi, who was Strobel's consultant while writing the book, attested to the authenticity of Thallus' account.
"Thallus apparently was saying, yes, there had been darkness at the time of the crucifixion, and he speculated it had been caused by an eclipse," Yamauchi told The Christian Post.