Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia (c. A. D. 61-113) likewise writes of his actions against Christians.
He interrogated Christians, asking if they were believers. If they answered, "yes," he asked them two more times, threatening to kill them if they refused to recant. If they continued their confession, he had them executed.(67) Of Pliny, Murdock states, "One of the pitifully few 'references' held up by Christians as evidence of Jesus's existence is the letter to Trajan supposedly written by the Roman historian Pliny the Younger. However, in this letter there is but one word that is applicable, 'Christians,' and that has been demonstrated to be spurious, as is also suspected of the entire 'document.'"(68)
Are Letter 96 of Pliny and the Emperor Trajan's response forgeries as Murdock suggests? Murdock provides no reasons to believe this. New Testament scholar, Robert Van Voorst says no.(69) The text of these letters is well-attested in the manuscripts and their authenticity is not disputed seriously by scholars.
They were also known by the time of Tertullian (A. D. 196-212). The prominent Oxford historian A. N. Sherwin-White, who is not a Christian, has that never gained credence which claim that the letters were part or wholesale forgeries.