IN THIS LESSON WE SHALL STUDY THE HISTORY OF TWO INDIVIDUALS, from the time they are mentioned in the Bible and after any record of them in the Bible has ceased. These two individuals are Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who are well-established historical characters, in addition to the mention of them in Biblical records.
In our Bible, the only reference to Nicodemus in found in the gospel of John. It is a surprise to find Nicodemus is also mentioned in the Jewish Talmud. There is also the Book of Nicodemus, which was written some time during the first three centuries A.D. None of the early Christian writers, before 250 A.D. or 275 A.D., mention the Book of Nicodemus at all, although later it is extensively quoted.
There was a period of several centuries in which people thought they had to help Yahweh, He couldn’t get along by Himself. These people were eager to make as many converts among the pagans as they could. In those days, as well as now, people were greatly impressed by miracles. Remember how the Jews were constantly demanding that Yahshua perform miracles, just to show them that he was more than just an ordinary man, before they would take Him seriously. Yahshua always refused these demands. He performed many miracles but only those that had been prophesied in the Old Testament, that He would do. These prophecies were mostly in Isaiah. Yahshua would not perform like a clown for the amusement of the Jewish population.