Archaeological evidence that supports the historical existence of Christians.
EXAMPLE: INDEX of cited "Early Christian" Inscriptions
* 01 253 CE - de Rossi's Cornelius Stone [Probable forgery].
◦ 02 250 CE - The Marcus son of Alexander inscription. ["I beg of you, kind brothers, by the one God"]
◦ 03 217 CE - the Marcus Aurelius Prosenes inscription. [Later hand: "welcomed before god"]
◦ 04 250 CE - Basilides Inscription, Ostia, Rome [The phrase "he sleeps" is christian?]
◦ 05 3rd CE - "Helix" athlete, Eumenia. [not located]
◦ 06 3rd CE - Nicomedia, Bithnya: 3rd CE Phoenician wood carver. [not located]
◦ 07 3rd CE - Aurelius Aristeas Inscription, Akmonein. ["reckon with the righteousness of God."]
◦ 08 1st CE - Erastus Inscription, mid first century. ["Paul mentions an Erastus"]
◦ 09 3rd CE - Fox; Harland; Snyder - Asia Minor and Phrygia ["he will reckon with (the living) God." ].
◦ 10 200 CE - The Marcus Demetrianos Inscription ["most holy ones who also had faith in God"].
◦ 11 216 CE - Inscription of Abercius [Cannot be unambiguously associated with christianity]
◦ 12 253 CE - Inscription of Pectorius. [Cannot be unambiguously associated with christianity]
◦ 13 079 CE - Christian Inscription of Pompeii. [Lost; Cannot be unambiguously associated with christianity]
These have been all cited in recent literature as "Christian Inscriptions" but there
are problems with each and every one of these items.
In the 4th century Constantine's Old Lady - the first Christian archaeologist (and 2nd Christian pilgrim to the "Holy Land") turned up the Cross and Nails. We don't seem to have any Christian crosses before the 4th century. The items listed and discussed in "Archaeological evidence of church life before Constantine" -- by Graydon F. Snyder - are likewise all problematic and ambiguous as "evidence" demonstrating the [archaeological] existence of Christians before Constantine.
BTW the reference to the "Nation of Christians" is significant because this is what the Church historian Eusebius called the "Early Christians". It was such a good trope, that he interpolated it into Josephus ("TF"). By it, I just mean "Christians" although it is just as expedient to use the term "Nation of Christians" because that is what Eusebius calls them.
Eusebius was writing a new "National History", not of the nation of Greeks or Romans, but of the nation of Christians.
Here is what one historians writes:
"Preparatio evangelica is one of the boldest attempts ever made to show
continuity between pagan and Christian thought."
"[Eusebius], the witness of the last persecution and the advisor and apologist
of Constantine was in a vantage position to appreciate the autonomy and strength
of the institution that had compelled the Roman state to surrender at the Milvian
Bridge in 312. Though anxious to preserve the pagan cultural heritage in the new
Christian order - indeed very anxious, as we shall soon see, to use the pagan tradition
for his Ecclesiastical History - Eusebius knew that the Christians were a nation,
and a victorious nation at that; and that their history could not be told except
within the framework of the Church in which they lived. Furthermore, he was well
aware that the Christian nation was what it was by virtue of its being both the
oldest and the newest nation of the world."
The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography
Momigliano wrote with liberal doses of irony.
Wink. Wink. Nod. Nod.
The search for the Historical Jesus has ended in abysmal failure.
Sooner or later people will start looking for the Historical "Early" Christians.
Did they exist? Or were they fabricated along with the "One True Canonical Jesus Story"
Time will tell.
The only thing I can say at the moment is that I have listed out all the pre 325 CE evidence that has been cited and/or discussed by modern academics and examined each and every item. Not one item passes scrutiny.
ERGO "Something dramatic happened in the fourth century."