The Jewish leaders of the second century wrote down their official traditions in what has come to be known as the Talmud. Gary Habermas quotes the following from the Tamud in his book The Historical Jesus:
On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover.” (Babylonian Talmud, v. III, Sanhedrin 43a, quoted in Habermas p.203)
Josh McDowell in his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict records the following, also from the Talmud:
R. Shimeon ben Azzai said [concerning Jesus]: ‘I found a geneaological roll in Jerusalem wherein was recorded, Such-an-one is a bastard of an adultress.’” [Jewish scholar Joseph] Klausner adds to the above, “. . . that Jesus is referred to here seems to be beyond doubt . . . ” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, quoted in McDowell, v. 1, p. 86)
McDowell also quotes another part of the Talmud which refers to Jesus in passing, but adds little valuable content other than some support for the existence of Jesus and His followers. (McDowell, p.86).
From these quotes, we can learn several things. We can say that the Jewish Talmud supports (1) the existence of Jesus, (2) that Jesus had disciples, (3) the Jewish leaders disliked Jesus, (4) the Jewish leaders planned to kill Jesus by stoning, (5) Jesus was killed on the eve of the Passover, (6) Jesus was killed by hanging (on a cross, which was the Roman method of hanging in that period), (7) Jesus was recorded in the geneaological rolls, (8) Jesus was reported among the Jews to be a bastard son.
What makes this significant is that the Jewish Talmud is by no means pro-Christian in any sense. Yet it supports at least these eight points, all of which are reported directly in the New Testament or implied there.
In light of the evidence, we are forced to conclude that the eyewitness accounts of Jesus in the New Testament are accurate and true.