Did the Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus Really Write about Jesus, James, and John the Baptist?

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If your main interest is the authenticity of what Josephus has to say about Jesus, James, and John the Baptist, simply scroll down to the heading, Did Josephus Really Write It? However, knowing about Josephus himself is very important for the Christian, so it is recommended that you read the entire article, even though it is a bit long.

Introduction to Josephus

William Whiston, English theologian, historian, and mathematician, writes,

Flavius Josephus (A.D. 37–c.100) is the author of what has become for Christianity perhaps the most significant extra-biblical writings of the first century. His works are the principal source for the history of the Jews from the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes B.C. 175–163) to the fall of Masada in A.D. 73, and therefore, are of incomparable value for determining the setting of late intertestamental and New Testament times.

Josephus, born the son of a priest, was named Joseph ben Matthias (Joseph, son of Matthias). Being of a priestly family and a descendant of the Hasmoneans, he was well educated and rose to a respected position in the Jewish community. After a short association with the Essenes and a somewhat longer period as a disciple of an ascetic hermit named Banus, he decided at the age of nineteen to join the Pharisees. When he was twenty-six (A.D. 63) he traveled to Rome and successfully pleaded for the release of some fellow priests who had been sent there to be tried by Nero. As a result of the visit, he returned profoundly impressed by the power of the empire and strongly opposed the Jewish revolt against Rome in a.d. 66—being convinced of its ultimate futility and fearing the consequences for his nation.

Being unable to restrain the rebellion, he reluctantly joined it and assumed a command in Galilee where he fortified a number of cities, stored up provisions, and trained his army in anticipation of the arrival of Vespasian and his forces. By the spring of A.D. 67, Josephus and the little that remained of his army had been forced to retreat to the fortified city of Jotapata where he eventually surrendered. During his subsequent imprisonment, Josephus became directly acquainted with and gained the favor of Vespasian.

When Vespasian became emperor in A.D. 69 through rather extraordinary circumstances, Josephus was officially freed. He returned to Jerusalem with Titus, Vespasian’s son and future emperor, where he served the Roman commander as interpreter and mediator. Faced with the inevitability of the Roman forces’ ultimate victory, Josephus attempted to convince the Jews holding Jerusalem to surrender and thus save the city. He was, however, unsuccessful and in A.D. 70, the city fell to the Romans and was demolished. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Josephus returned to Rome with Titus and settled there as a client of the emperor on an imperial pension—gaining the rights of a Roman citizen and adopting the emperor’s family name, Flavius—and began his literary endeavors.

His first work, The Wars of the Jews, was written to give a general history of the wars from the time of the Maccabees to the Great War with Rome which resulted in the final demise of the nation of Israel. Josephus’ eyewitness account of the last years of resistance and particularly of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus are most valuable to a proper understanding of those events. Josephus’ other major work and his longest, The Antiquities of the Jews, published some twenty years later, was written primarily for the benefit of the non-Jewish world. It is a history of the Jewish nation from earliest times (he begins with an account of the biblical creation narrative) to Josephus’ own time and was intended to demonstrate that the Jews enjoyed an even greater antiquity than did the Greeks. The work draws heavily from the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures) and extrabiblical traditions as well as the writings of Greek and Roman historians. His autobiography, The Life of Flavius Josephus, was published as an appendix to the Antiquities and was written primarily to defend himself and his war record against the unflattering portrayal given in the work of another Jewish historian, Justus of Tiberias. Against Apion is a short and eloquent apologetic for the Jewish faith in contrast with various aspects of Greek thought.

It is difficult to overemphasize the contribution of Josephus to our understanding of the social, political and religious milieu of the New Testament era. While it is clear that Josephus was not completely unbiased in his writing (as evident from his occasional apologetic tone), he is nevertheless very reliable as a historian and deserving of careful study by the serious reader.[1]

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Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100 C.E.),[2] born Yosef ben Matityahu (Hebrew: יוסף בן מתתיהו‎; Greek: Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς),[3] was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.

He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Jewish–Roman War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and presumably interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor’s family name of Flavius.[4]

Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian’s son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city’s destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod’s Temple (Second Temple) soon followed.

Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War (66–70 CE),[5] including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94).[6] The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity,[7] although not specifically mentioned by Josephus. Josephus’ works are the chief source next to the Bible for the history and antiquity of ancient Palestine.[8]

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Biography of Josephus

Born into one of Jerusalem’s elite families,[9] Josephus introduces himself in Greek as Iōsēpos (Ιώσηπος), son of Matthias, an ethnic Jewish priest. He was the second-born son of Matthias. His older full-blooded brother was also called Matthias.[10] Their mother was an aristocratic woman who descended from the royal and formerly ruling Hasmonean dynasty.[11] Josephus’s paternal grandparents were Josephus and his wife—an unnamed Hebrew noblewoman, distant relatives of each other and direct descendants of Simon Psellus.[12] Josephus’s family was wealthy. He descended through his father from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, which was the first of the 24 orders of priests in the Temple in Jerusalem.[13] Josephus was a descendant of the high priest Jonathon.[14] He was raised in Jerusalem and educated alongside his brother.[15]

In his mid-twenties, he traveled to negotiate with Emperor Nero for the release of 12 Jewish priests.[16] Upon his return to Jerusalem, at the outbreak of the First Jewish–Roman War, Josephus was appointed the military governor of Galilee.[17] His arrival in Galilee, however, was fraught with internal division: the inhabitants of Sepphoris and Tiberias opting to maintain peace with the Romans; the people of Sepphoris enlisting the help of the Roman army to protect their city,[18] whilst the people of Tiberias appealing to King Agrippa’s forces to protect them from the insurgents.[19] Josephus also contended with John of Gischala who had also set his sight over the control of Galilee. Like Josephus, John had amassed to himself a large band of supporters from Gischala (Gush Halab) and Gabara, including the support of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.[20] Meanwhile, Josephus fortified several towns and villages in Lower Galilee, among which were Tiberias, Bersabe, Selamin, Japha, and Tarichaea, in anticipation of a Roman onslaught.[21] In Upper Galilee, he fortified the towns of Jamnith, Seph, Mero, and Achabare, among other places.[22] Josephus, with the Galileans under his command, managed to bring both Sepphoris and Tiberias into subjection,[23] but was eventually forced to relinquish his hold on Sepphoris by the arrival of Roman forces under Placidus the tribune and later by Vespasian himself. Josephus first engaged the Roman army at a village called Garis, where he launched an attack against Sepphoris a second time, before being repulsed.[24] At length, he resisted the Roman army in its siege of Yodfat (Jotapata) until it fell to the Roman army in the lunar month of Tammuz, in the thirteenth year of Nero’s reign.

After the Jewish garrison of Yodfat fell under siege, the Romans invaded, killing thousands; the survivors committed suicide. According to Josephus, he was trapped in a cave with 40 of his companions in July 67 CE. The Romans (commanded by Flavius Vespasian and his son Titus, both subsequently Roman emperors) asked the group to surrender, but they refused. Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide;[25] they drew lots and killed each other, one by one, counting to every third person. Two men were left who surrendered to the Roman forces and became prisoners. In 69 CE, Josephus was released.[26] According to his account, he acted as a negotiator with the defenders during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, during which time his parents were held as hostages by Simon bar Giora.[27]

While being confined at Yodfat (Jotapata), Josephus claimed to have experienced a divine revelation that later led to his speech predicting Vespasian would become emperor. After the prediction came true, he was released by Vespasian, who considered his gift of prophecy to be divine. Josephus wrote that his revelation had taught him three things: that God, the creator of the Jewish people, had decided to “punish” them; that “fortune” had been given to the Romans; and that God had chosen him “to announce the things that are to come.”[28] To many Jews, such claims were simply self-serving.[29]

In 71 CE, he went to Rome in the entourage of Titus, becoming a Roman citizen and client of the ruling Flavian dynasty (hence he is often referred to as Flavius Josephus). In addition to Roman citizenship, he was granted accommodation in conquered Judaea and a pension. While in Rome and under Flavian patronage, Josephus wrote all of his known works. Although he uses “Josephus”, he appears to have taken the Roman praenomen Titus and nomen Flavius from his patrons.[30]

Vespasian arranged for Josephus to marry a captured Jewish woman, whom he later divorced. About 71 CE, Josephus married an Alexandrian Jewish woman as his third wife. They had three sons, of whom only Flavius Hyrcanus survived childhood. Josephus later divorced his third wife. Around 75 CE, he married his fourth wife, a Greek Jewish woman from Crete, who was a member of a distinguished family. They had a happy married life and two sons, Flavius Justus and Flavius Simonides Agrippa.

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Scholarship and Impact on History

The works of Josephus provide crucial information about the First Jewish-Roman War and also represent important literary source material for understanding the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls and late Temple Judaism.

Josephus scholarship in the 19th and early 20th centuries took an interest in Josephus’s relationship to the sect of the Pharisees.[citation needed] It consistently portrayed him as a member of the sect and as a traitor to the Jewish nation—a view which became known as the classical concept of Josephus.[31] In the mid-20th century a new generation of scholars[who?] challenged this view and formulated the modern concept of Josephus. They consider him a Pharisee but restore his reputation in part as patriot and a historian of some standing. In his 1991 book, Steve Mason argued that Josephus was not a Pharisee but an orthodox Aristocrat-Priest who became associated with the philosophical school of the Pharisees as a matter of deference and not by willing association.[32]

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Impact on History and Archaeology

The works of Josephus include useful material for historians about individuals, groups, customs, and geographical places. Josephus mentions that in his day there were 240 towns and villages scattered across Upper and Lower Galilee,[33] some of which he names. A few of the Jewish customs named by him include the practice of hanging a curtain of fine-linen at the entrance to one’s house,[34] and the Jewish custom to partake of a Sabbath-day’s meal around the sixth-hour of the day (at noon).[35] He notes also that it was permissible for Jewish men to marry many wives (polygamy).[36] His writings provide a significant, extra-Biblical account of the post-Exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynasty, and the rise of Herod the Great. He describes the Sadducees, Jewish High Priests of the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius’ census and the Zealots, and such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and Jesus (found only in the Slavonic version of the Jewish War).[37] Josephus represents an important source for studies of immediate post-Temple Judaism and the context of early Christianity.

A careful reading of Josephus’s writings and years of excavation allowed Ehud Netzer, an archaeologist from Hebrew University, to discover what he considered to be the location of Herod’s Tomb, after searching for 35 years.[38] It was above aqueducts and pools, at a flattened desert site, halfway up the hill to the Herodium, 12 km south of Jerusalem—as described in Josephus’s writings.[39] In October 2013, archaeologists Joseph Patrich and Benjamin Arubas challenged the identification of the tomb as that of Herod.[40] According to Patrich and Arubas, the tomb is too modest to be Herod’s and has several unlikely features.[41] Roi Porat, who replaced Netzer as excavation leader after the latter’s death, stood by the identification.[42]

Josephus’s writings provide the first-known source for many stories considered as Biblical history, despite not being found in the Bible or related material. These include Ishmael as the founder of the Arabs,[43] the connection of “Semites”, “Hamites” and “Japhetites” to the classical nations of the world, and the story of the Siege of Masada.[44]

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Manuscripts, Textual Criticism, and Editions

For many years, the works of Josephus were largely known in Europe only in an imperfect Latin translation from the original Greek. Only in 1544 did a version of the standard Greek text become available in French, edited by the Dutch humanist Arnoldus Arlenius. The first English translation, by Thomas Lodge, appeared in 1602, with subsequent editions appearing throughout the 17th century. The 1544 Greek edition formed the basis of the 1732 English translation by William Whiston, which achieved enormous popularity in the English-speaking world. It was often the book—after the Bible—that Christians most frequently owned. A cross-reference apparatus for Whiston’s version of Josephus and the biblical canon also exists.[45] Whiston claimed that certain works by Josephus had a similar style to the Epistles of St Paul.[46]

Later editions of the Greek text include that of Benedikt Niese, who made a detailed examination of all the available manuscripts, mainly from France and Spain. Henry St. John Thackeray used Niese’s version for the Loeb Classical Library edition widely used today.

The standard editio maior of the various Greek manuscripts is that of Benedictus Niese, published 1885–95. The text of Antiquities is damaged in some places. In the Life, Niese follows mainly manuscript P, but refers also to AMW and R. Henry St. John Thackeray for the Loeb Classical Library has a Greek text also mainly dependent on P.[citation needed] André Pelletier edited a new Greek text for his translation of Life. The ongoing Münsteraner Josephus-Ausgabe of Münster University will provide a new critical apparatus. There also exist late Old Slavonic translations of the Greek, but these contain a large number of Christian interpolations.[47]

Josephus’s Audience

Scholars debate about Josephus’s intended audience. For example, Antiquities of the Jews could be written for Jews—”a few scholars from Laqueur onward have suggested that Josephus must have written primarily for fellow-Jews (if also secondarily for Gentiles). The most common motive suggested is repentance: in later life he felt so badly about the traitorous War that he needed to demonstrate … his loyalty to Jewish history, law and culture.”[48] However, Josephus’s “countless incidental remarks explaining basic Judean language, customs and laws … assume a Gentile audience. He does not expect his first hearers to know anything about the laws or Judean origins.”[49] The issue of who would read this multi-volume work is unresolved. Other possible motives for writing Antiquities could be to dispel the misrepresentation of Jewish origins[50] or as an apologetic to Greek cities of the Diaspora in order to protect Jews and to Roman authorities to garner their support for the Jews facing persecution.[51] Neither motive explains why the proposed Gentile audience would read this large body of material.

Historiography and Josephus

In the Preface to Jewish Wars, Josephus criticizes historians who misrepresent the events of the Jewish–Roman War, writing that “they have a mind to demonstrate the greatness of the Romans, while they still diminish and lessen the actions of the Jews.”[52] Josephus states that his intention is to correct this method but that he “will not go to the other extreme … [and] will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy.”[53] Josephus suggests his method will not be wholly objective by saying he will be unable to contain his lamentations in transcribing these events; to illustrate this will have little effect on his historiography, Josephus suggests, “But if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations to the writer himself only.”[54]

His preface to Antiquities offers his opinion early on, saying, “Upon the whole, a man that will peruse this history, may principally learn from it, that all events succeed well, even to an incredible degree, and the reward of felicity is proposed by God.”[55] After inserting this attitude, Josephus contradicts himself: “I shall accurately describe what is contained in our records, in the order of time that belongs to them … without adding any thing to what is therein contained, or taking away any thing therefrom.”[56] He notes the difference between history and philosophy by saying, “[T]hose that read my book may wonder how it comes to pass, that my discourse, which promises an account of laws and historical facts, contains so much of philosophy.”[57]

In both works, Josephus emphasizes that accuracy is crucial to historiography. Louis H. Feldman notes that in Wars, Josephus commits himself to critical historiography, but in Antiquities, Josephus shifts to rhetorical historiography, which was the norm of his time.[58] Feldman notes further that it is significant that Josephus called his later work “Antiquities” (literally, archaeology) rather than history; in the Hellenistic period, archaeology meant either “history from the origins or archaic history.”[59] Thus, his title implies a Jewish peoples’ history from their origins until the time he wrote. This distinction is significant to Feldman, because “in ancient times, historians were expected to write in chronological order,” while “antiquarians wrote in a systematic order, proceeding topically and logically” and included all relevant material for their subject.[60] Antiquarians moved beyond political history to include institutions and religious and private life.[61] Josephus does offer this wider perspective in Antiquities.

To compare his historiography with another ancient historian, consider Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Feldman lists these similarities: “Dionysius in praising Rome and Josephus in praising Jews adopt same pattern; both often moralize and psychologize and stress piety and role of divine providence; and the parallels between … Dionysius’s account of deaths of Aeneas and Romulus and Josephus’s description of the death of Moses are striking.”[62]

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Works of Josephus

The works of Josephus are major sources of our understanding of Jewish life and history during the first century.[68]

  • (c. 75) War of the JewsThe Jewish WarJewish Wars, or History of the Jewish War (commonly abbreviated JWBJ or War)
  • (c. 94) Antiquities of the JewsJewish Antiquities, or Antiquities of the Jews/Jewish Archeology (frequently abbreviated AJAotJ or Ant. or Antiq.)
  • (c. 97) Flavius Josephus Against ApionAgainst ApionContra Apionem, or Against the Greeks, on the antiquity of the Jewish people (usually abbreviated CA)
  • (c. 99) The Life of Flavius Josephus, or Autobiography of Flavius Josephus (abbreviated Life or Vita)

The Jewish War

His first work in Rome was an account of the Jewish War, addressed to certain “upper barbarians”—usually thought to be the Jewish community in Mesopotamia—in his “paternal tongue” (War I.3), arguably the Western Aramaic language. In 78 CE he finished a seven-volume account in Greek known as the Jewish War (Latin Bellum Judaicum or De Bello Judaico). It starts with the period of the Maccabees and concludes with accounts of the fall of Jerusalem, and the subsequent fall of the fortresses of Herodion, Macharont and Masada and the Roman victory celebrations in Rome, the mopping-up operations, Roman military operations elsewhere in the empire and the uprising in Cyrene. Together with the account in his Life of some of the same events, it also provides the reader with an overview of Josephus’s own part in the events since his return to Jerusalem from a brief visit to Rome in the early 60s (Life 13–17).

In the wake of the suppression of the Jewish revolt, Josephus would have witnessed the marches of Titus’s triumphant legions leading their Jewish captives and carrying treasures from the despoiled Temple in Jerusalem. It was against this background that Josephus wrote his War, claiming to be countering anti-Judean accounts. He disputes the claim[citation needed] that the Jews served a defeated God and were naturally hostile to Roman civilization. Rather, he blames the Jewish War on what he calls “unrepresentative and over-zealous fanatics” among the Jews, who led the masses away from their traditional aristocratic leaders (like himself), with disastrous results. Josephus also blames some of the Roman governors of Judea, representing them as corrupt and incompetent administrators. According to Josephus, the traditional Jew was, should be, and can be a loyal and peace-loving citizen. Jews can, and historically have, accepted Rome’s hegemony precisely because their faith declares that God himself gives empires their power.[63]

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Jewish Antiquities

The next work by Josephus is his twenty-one volume Antiquities of the Jews, completed during the last year of the reign of the Emperor Flavius Domitian, around 93 or 94 CE. In expounding Jewish history, law and custom, he is entering into many philosophical debates current in Rome at that time. Again, he offers an apologia for the antiquity and universal significance of the Jewish people. Josephus claims to be writing this history because he “saw that others perverted the truth of those actions in their writings,”[64] those writings being the history of the Jews. In terms of some of his sources for the project, Josephus says that he drew from and “interpreted out of the Hebrew Scriptures”[65] and that he was an eyewitness to the wars between the Jews and the Romans,[66] which were earlier recounted in Jewish Wars.

He outlines Jewish history beginning with the creation, as passed down through Jewish historical tradition. Abraham taught science to the Egyptians, who, in turn, taught the Greeks.[67] Moses set up a senatorial priestly aristocracy, which, like that of Rome, resisted monarchy. The great figures of the Tanakh are presented as ideal philosopher-leaders. He includes an autobiographical appendix defending his conduct at the end of the war when he cooperated with the Roman forces.

Louis H. Feldman outlines the difference between calling this work Antiquities of the Jews instead of History of the Jews. Although Josephus says that he describes the events contained in Antiquities “in the order of time that belongs to them,”[68] Feldman argues that Josephus “aimed to organize [his] material systematically rather than chronologically” and had a scope that “ranged far beyond mere political history to political institutions, religious and private life.”[69]

Against Apion

Josephus’s Against Apion is a two-volume defense of Judaism as classical religion and philosophy, stressing its antiquity, as opposed to what Josephus claimed was the relatively more recent tradition of the Greeks. Some anti-Judaic allegations ascribed by Josephus to the Greek writer Apion and myths accredited to Manetho are also addressed.

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Did Josephus Really Write It?

Testimonium Flavianum

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.

Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3

The Testimonium Flavianum

The Testimonium Flavianum (meaning the testimony of Flavius Josephus) is a passage found in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 (or see Greek text) of the Antiquities which describes the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Roman authorities.[70] The Testimonium is probably the most discussed passage in Josephus.[71]

The earliest secure reference to this passage is found in the writings of the fourth-century Christian apologist and historian Eusebius, who used Josephus’ works extensively as a source for his own Historia Ecclesiastica. Writing no later than 324,[72] Eusebius quotes the passage[73] in essentially the same form as that preserved in extant manuscripts. It has therefore been suggested that part or all of the passage may have been Eusebius’ own invention, in order to provide an outside Jewish authority for the life of Christ.[74] Some argue that the wording in the Testimonium differs from Josephus’ usual writing style and that as a Jew, he would not have used a word like Christos (Χριστός), at Josephus’ time being the Greek term for “Messiah.”[75] Also see Arguments for Authenticity.

Of the three passages found in Josephus’ Antiquities, this passage, if authentic, would offer the most direct support for the crucifixion of Jesus. It is broadly agreed that while the Testimonium Flavianum cannot be authentic in its entirety, it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to interpolation.[76] James Dunn states that there is “broad consensus” among scholars regarding the nature of an authentic reference to Jesus in the Testimonium and what the passage would look like without the interpolations.[5] Among other things, the authenticity of this passage would help make sense of the later reference in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 where Josephus refers to the stoning of “James the brother of Jesus.”[77]

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Three Perspectives on Authenticity

  1. It is entirely a Christian forgery.
  2. It is entirely authentic.
  3. It contains Christian interpolations in what was Josephus’ authentic material about Jesus.

Arguments for Complete Forgery

First not that the idea that it is a forgery is not even that weighty when compared with the other two options.

Textual Similarities to Eusebian Works

In addition to the arguments listed above, a minority of scholars have put forward arguments to the effect that the entire Testimonium is a Christian interpolation. For example, Kenneth Olson has argued that the entire Testimonium must have been forged by Eusebius himself, basing his argument on textual similarities between the Testimonium and Eusebius’ writings in the Demonstrations of the Gospels.[78]

Three Eusebian Phrases

In 2012, Josephus scholar Louis Feldman reversed his prior support for the partial authenticity of the Testimonium, proposing that the passage was interpolated in its entirety by Eusebius. In support of this view, Feldman points out, following Olson, that the Testimonium features three phrases (‘one who wrought surprising feats,’ ‘the tribe of the Christians,’ and ‘still to this day’) which are used nowhere else in the whole of Greek literature except Eusebius.[79]

4th century Christian Creedal Statements

In 2014, Carnegie Mellon linguistics professor Paul Hopper wrote a book chapter in which he argued that the style and narrative structure of the Testimonium is sharply in contrast with the rest of Josephus’ work. According to Hopper, the language of the Testimonium has more in common with fourth-century Christian creedal statements than the historiographical work of first-century authors, including Josephus. He concluded that the most likely explanation is that the passage was simply interpolated in its entirety by a Christian scribe.[80]

The concordance of the language used in the Testimonium, its flow within the text, and its length have formed components of the internal arguments against its authenticity, e.g. that the brief and compact character of the Testimonium stands in marked contrast to Josephus’ more extensive accounts presented elsewhere in his works.[81] For example, Josephus’ description of the death of John the Baptist includes consideration of his virtues, the theology associated with his baptismal practices, his oratorical skills, his influence, the circumstances of his death, and the belief that the destruction of Herod’s army was a divine punishment for Herod’s slaughter of John.[82] G. A. Wells has argued against the authenticity of the Testimonium, stating that the passage is noticeably shorter and more cursory than such notices generally used by Josephus in the Antiquities, and that had it been authentic, it would have included more details and a longer introduction.[83]

Intrusion that breaks the narrative

A further internal argument against the Testimonium’s authenticity is the context of the passage in the Antiquities of the Jews.[84] Some scholars argue that the passage is an intrusion into the progression of Josephus’ text at the point in which it appears in the Antiquities and breaks the thread of the narrative.[85]

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Arguments for Complete Authenticity

Pre-modern criticism

Until the rise of modern criticism, many scholars believed the Testimonium was nearly or completely authentic with little or no Christian interpolations.[86] Some of these arguments relied on the language used in the Testimonium. For instance, Jesus is called “a wise man” (and Josephus described others like Solomon, Daniel, and John the Baptist in the same fashion), which would not have been a common Christian label for Christ at the time. He referred to Jesus merely as “a worker of amazing deeds” and nothing more, again disagreeing with how Christians viewed Christ. Referring to Jesus as “a teacher of people who accept the truth with pleasure”, where “pleasure” (ἡδονή) connotes hedonistic value, is not in line with how Christians saw the point of Jesus’ teachings. Claiming that Jesus won over “both Jews and Greeks” is a misunderstanding that a Christian scribe would not likely have made, knowing that Jesus mainly ministered to Jews. Also, the phrase “Those who had first loved him did not cease doing so” is Josephus in style and calling Christians a “tribe” would not have made sense to a Christian writer.[87]

Arguments for Presence of Christian Interpolations

The Testimonium has been the subject of a great deal of research and debate among scholars, being one of the most discussed passages among all antiquities.[88] Louis Feldman has stated that in the period from 1937 to 1980 at least 87 articles had appeared on the topic, the overwhelming majority of which questioned the total or partial authenticity of the Testimonium.[89] While early scholars considered the Testimonium to be a total forgery, the majority of modern scholars consider it partially authentic, despite some clear Christian interpolations in the text.[90]

The arguments surrounding the authenticity of the Testimonium fall into two categories: internal arguments that rely on textual analysis and compare the passage with the rest of Josephus’ work; and external arguments, that consider the wider cultural and historical context.[91] Some of the external arguments are “arguments from silence” that question the authenticity of the entire passage not for what it says, but due to lack of references to it among other ancient sources.[92]

The external analyses of the Testimonium have even used computer-based methods, e.g. the matching of the text of the Testimonium with the Gospel of Luke performed by Gary Goldberg in 1995.[93] Goldberg found some partial matches between the Testimonium and Luke 24:19–21, 26–27 stating “the Emmaus narrative more closely resembles the Testimonium in its phrase-by-phrase outline of content and order than any other known text of comparable age.”[94] Goldberg’s analyses suggested three possibilities, one that the matches were random, or that the Testimonium was a Christian interpolation based on Luke, and finally that both the Testimonium and Luke were based on the same sources.[95]

Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE

Internal Arguments

Christian Phraseology

One of the key internal arguments against the complete authenticity of the Testimonium is that the clear inclusion of Christian phraseology strongly indicates the presence of some interpolations.[96] For instance, the phrases “if it be lawful to call him a man” suggests that Jesus was more than human and is likely a Christian interpolation.[97] Some scholars have attempted to reconstruct the original Testimonium, but others contend that attempts to discriminate the passage into Josephan and non-Josephan elements are inherently circular.[98]

Eusebian Phraseology

Another example of the textual arguments against the Testimonium is that it uses the Greek term poietes to mean “doer” (as part of the phrase “doer of wonderful works”) but elsewhere in his works, Josephus only uses the term poietes to mean “poet,” whereas this use of “poietes” seems consistent with the Greek of Eusebius.[99]

External Arguments

Origen’s References to Josephus

According to Wataru Mizugaki, Origen explicitly mentions the name of Josephus 11 times, never mentioning the Testimonium, both in Greek and Latin.[100] Furthermore, Origen’s statement in his Commentary on Matthew (Book X, Chapter 17) that Josephus “did not accept Jesus as Christ”, is usually seen as a confirmation of the generally accepted fact that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah.[101] This forms a key external argument against the total authenticity of the Testimonium in that Josephus, as a Jew, would not have claimed Jesus as the Messiah, and the reference to “he was the Christ” in the Testimonium must be a Christian interpolation.[102] Based on this observation alone, Paul L. Maier calls the case for the total authenticity of the Testimonium “hopeless.”[103] Almost all modern scholars reject the total authenticity of the Testimonium, while the majority of scholars still hold that it includes an authentic kernel.[104]

Arguments from Silence

A different set of external arguments against the authenticity of the Testimonium (either partial or total) are “arguments from silence,” e.g. that although twelve Christian authors refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 CE, none mentions the Testimonium.[105] Given earlier debates by Christian authors about the existence of Jesus, e.g. in Justin Martyr’s 2nd century Dialogue with Trypho, it would have been expected that the passage from Josephus would have been used as a component of the arguments.[106]

Even after Eusebius’ 324 CE reference, it is not until Jerome’s De Viris Illustribus (c. 392 CE) that the passage from Josephus is referenced again, even though the Testimonium’s reference to Jesus would seem appropriate in the works of many intervening patristic authors.[107] Scholars also point to the silence of Photios as late as the 9th century, and the fact that he does not mention the Testimonium at all in his broad review of Josephus.[108]

Table of Josephus Excludes the Testimonium

A separate argument from silence against the total or partial authenticity of the Testimonium is that a 5th or 6th century table of contents of Josephus (although selective) makes no mention of it.[109]

Arabic Testimonium Lacks Christian Terminology

Andreas Köstenberger argues that the fact that the 10th-century Arabic version of the Testimonium (discovered in the 1970s) lacks distinct Christian terminology while sharing the essential elements of the passage indicates that the Greek Testimonium has been subject to interpolation.[110]

No Parallel in Other Works

A final argument from silence relates to Josephus’ own writings and questions the authenticity of Testimonium based on the fact that it has no parallel in the Jewish War, which includes a discussion of Pontius Pilate at about the same level of detail.[111]

In The Witness To The Historicity of Jesus, Arthur Drews stated that “in the sixteenth century Vossius had a manuscript of the text of Josephus in which there was not a word about Jesus.”[112]

Timing of the Interpolations

Zvi Baras believes that the Testimonium was subject to interpolation before Eusebius wrote.[113] Baras believes that Origen had seen the original Testimonium but that the Testimonium seen by Origen had no negative reference to Jesus, else Origen would have reacted against it.[114] Baras states that the interpolation in the Testimonium took place between Origen and Eusebius.[115]

Paul Maier states that a comparison of Eusebius’ reference with the 10th-century Arabic version of the Testimonium due to Agapius of Hierapolis indicates that the Christian interpolation present in the Testimonium must have come early, before Eusebius.[116] Robert E. Van Voorst also states that the interpolation likely took place sometime between Origen and Eusebius.[117]

Arguments for Partial Authenticity

Arguments from Style and Content

Lack of Jewish Deicide

Craig Evans states that an argument in favor of the partial authenticity of the Testimonium is that the passage does not stress the role played by the Jewish leaders in the death of Jesus.[118] According to Evans, if the passage had been an interpolation after the emergence of conflicts between Jews and Christians, it would have had a more accusative tone, but in its current form reads as one would expect it to read for a passage composed by Josephus towards the end of the first century.[119] Geza Vermes concurs, arguing that if the Testimonium had been the work of a Christian forger, it would have placed blame on the Jewish leaders, but as is it is “perfectly in line” with the attitude of Josephus towards Pilate.[120] Vermes also states that the detached depiction of the followers of Jesus is not the work of a Christian interpolator.[121] Vermes calls the Jesus notice in the Testimonium a “veritable tour de force” in which Josephus plays the role of a neutral witness.[122]

Josephus Vocabulary and Style

Andreas Köstenberger argues that the Testimonium includes vocabulary that is typically Josephan, and the style is consistent with that of Josephus.[123] Köstenberger (and separately Van Voorst) state that the Josephus’ reference to the large number of followers of Jesus during his public ministry is unlikely to have been due to a Christian scribe familiar with the New Testament accounts, and is hence unlikely to be an interpolation.[124]

Josephus Beliefs about Jesus

Claudia Setzer holds that while “tribe is an odd way to describe Christians,” it does not necessarily have negative connotations.[125] Setzer argues for the existence of an authentic kernel because “the style and vocabulary are Josephan” and specific parts (e.g. the use of “wise man”) are not what one would expect from a Christian forger.[126] Setzer argues that the Testimonium indicates that Josephus had heard of Jesus and the basic elements surrounding his death, and that he saw Jesus as primarily a miracle worker.[127] Van Voorst also states that calling Christians a “tribe” would have been very out of character for a Christian scribe, while Josephus has used it to refer both to Jewish and Christian groups.[128]

Arguments from external attestation

Origen’s Complaint about Josephus Referencing Jesus

Lester L. Grabbe notes that in two works (Commentary on Matthew 10.17 and Contra Celsum 1.47; see § Early references) Origen had actually complained that Josephus had mentioned Jesus, while not recognizing Jesus as the messiah, and this provided an early independent support of the partial Testimonium in a more neutral form.[129] Zvi Baras argues from this that Origen had seen a version of the Testimonium that included no interpolations. Baras asserts that a Testimonium seen by Origen must have had a neutral tone, and included no derogatory references towards Christians, and hence required no reaction from Origen. He claims that the neutral tone of the Testimonium was then modified between the time of Origen and Eusebius.[130]

Arabic Testimonium More Authentic Version

Andreas Köstenberger argues that a comparison of the Greek manuscripts with the Arabic quotation discovered by Shlomo Pines in the 1970s provides an indication of the original Josephus text. Köstenberger states that many modern scholars believe that the Arabic version reflects the state of Josephus’ original text before it was subject to Christian interpolation.[131]

Other Arguments

Comparison to Philo’s Works

Steve Mason has argued for partial authenticity for the “Testimonium” because no other parts of any of the works of Josephus have been contested to have had scribal tempering, Christian copyists were usually conservative when transmitting texts in general, and seeing that the works of Philo were unaltered by Christian scribes through the centuries strongly support that it is very unlikely that the passage was invented out of thin air by a Christian scribe. Philo often wrote in a way that was favorable to Christian ideas and yet no Christian scribes took advantage of that to insert Jesus or Christian beliefs into Philo’s text.[132]

The Authenticity of the James Passage

Chilton and Evans state that the general acceptance of the authenticity of the James passage lends support to the partial authenticity of the Testimonium in that the brief reference to “Jesus, who was called Christ” in Antiquities XX, 9, 1 “clearly implies a prior reference” and that “in all probability the Testimonium is that prior reference.”[133] Paul L. Maier concurs with the analysis of Chilton and Evans and states that Josephus’ first reference was the Testimonium.[134] Geza Vermes also considers the “who was called Christ” reference in the James passage as the second reference to Jesus in the Antiquities and states that the first reference is likely to be the Testimonium.[135]

Reconstruction of an Authentic Kernel

Robert Van Voorst states that most modern scholars believe that the Testimonium is partially authentic and has a reference to Jesus. However, he states that scholars are divided on the tone of the original reference and while some scholars believe that it had a negative tone which was softened by Christian interpolators, others believe that it had a neutral tone, in keeping with the style and approach of Josephus regarding the issue. According to Van Voorst, scholars who support the negative reconstruction contend that the reference read something like “source of further trouble in Jesus a wise man” and that it stated, “he was the so-called Christ.” Van Voorst states that most scholars support a neutral reconstruction which states, “Around this time lived Jesus, a wise man” and includes no reference to “he was the Christ.” Van Voorst states that if the original references to Jesus had had a negative tone, the Christian scribes would have likely deleted it entirely. Van Voorst also states that the neutral reconstruction fits better with the Arabic Testimonium discovered by Pines in the 1970s.[136] Van Voorst states that the neutral reconstruction is supported by the majority of scholars because it involves far less conjectural wording and fits better with the style of Josephus.[137]

Exclusion of Three Divisive Elements

Craig Blomberg states that if the three elements “lawful to call him a man”, “he was the Christ” and the reference to the resurrection are removed from the Testimonium the rest of the passage flows smoothly within the context, fits the style of Josephus and is likely to be authentic.[86] Blomberg adds that after the removal of these three elements (which are likely interpolations) from the Greek versions the remaining passage fits well with the Arabic version and supports the authenticity of the reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate.[138] Joel B. Green also states that the removal of some elements from the Testimonium produces a passage that is likely to be an authentic reference to the death of Jesus.[139]

In the estimation of James Dunn, there is “broad consensus” among scholars regarding what the Testimonium would look like without the interpolations. According to Dunn’s reconstruction, the original passage likely read:[140]

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

In this passage, which is based on Meier’s reconstruction, Jesus is called a “wise man”, but “lawful to call him a man” and “he was the Christ” are removed, as is the reference to the resurrection.[141]

Geza Vermes has performed a detailed analysis of the Testimonium and modified it to remove what he considers the interpolations.[142] In Vermes’ reconstruction “there was Jesus, a wise man” is retained, but the reference to “he was the Christ” is changed to “he was called the Christ” and the resurrection reference is omitted.[56] Vermes states that the Testimonium provides Josephus’ authentic portrayal of Jesus, depicting him as a wise teacher and miracle worker with an enthusiastic group of followers who remained faithful to him after his crucifixion by Pilate, up to the time of Josephus.[143]

Arguments for Complete Forgery

Textual Similarities to Eusebian Works

In addition to the arguments listed above, a minority of scholars have put forward arguments to the effect that the entire Testimonium is a Christian interpolation. For example, Kenneth Olson has argued that the entire Testimonium must have been forged by Eusebius himself, basing his argument on textual similarities between the Testimonium and Eusebius’ writings in the Demonstrations of the Gospels.[144]

Three Eusebian Phrases

In 2012, Josephus scholar Louis Feldman reversed his prior support for the partial authenticity of the Testimonium, proposing that the passage was interpolated in its entirety by Eusebius. In support of this view, Feldman points out, following Olson, that the Testimonium features three phrases (‘one who wrought surprising feats,’ ‘the tribe of the Christians,’ and ‘still to this day’) which are used nowhere else in the whole of Greek literature except Eusebius.[145]

4th Century Christian Creedal Statements

In 2014, Carnegie Mellon linguistics professor Paul Hopper wrote a book chapter in which he argued that the style and narrative structure of the Testimonium is sharply in contrast with the rest of Josephus’ work. According to Hopper, the language of the Testimonium has more in common with fourth-century Christian creedal statements than the historiographical work of first-century authors, including Josephus. He concluded that the most likely explanation is that the passage was simply interpolated in its entirety by a Christian scribe.

The concordance of the language used in the Testimonium, its flow within the text, and its length have formed components of the internal arguments against its authenticity, e.g. that the brief and compact character of the Testimonium stands in marked contrast to Josephus’ more extensive accounts presented elsewhere in his works. For example, Josephus’ description of the death of John the Baptist includes consideration of his virtues, the theology associated with his baptismal practices, his oratorical skills, his influence, the circumstances of his death, and the belief that the destruction of Herod’s army was a divine punishment for Herod’s slaughter of John. G. A. Wells has argued against the authenticity of the Testimonium, stating that the passage is noticeably shorter and more cursory than such notices generally used by Josephus in the Antiquities, and that had it been authentic, it would have included more details and a longer introduction.

The Intrusion that Breaks the Narrative

A further internal argument against the Testimonium’s authenticity is the context of the passage in the Antiquities of the Jews.[146] Some scholars argue that the passage is an intrusion into the progression of Josephus’ text at the point in which it appears in the Antiquities and breaks the thread of the narrative.[147]

Josephus’ Reference to James the Brother of Jesus

And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a Sanhedrin without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews Book 20, Chapter 9, 1

In the Antiquities of the Jews (Book 20, Chapter 9, 1) Josephus refers to the stoning of “James the brother of Jesus” (James the Just) by order of Ananus ben Ananus, a Herodian-era High Priest.[148] The James referred to in this passage is most likely the James to whom the Epistle of James has been attributed. The translations of Josephus’ writing into other languages have at times included passages that are not found in the Greek texts, raising the possibility of interpolation, but this passage on James is found in all manuscripts, including the Greek texts.

The context of the passage is the period following the death of Porcius Festus, and the journey to Alexandria by Lucceius Albinus, the new Roman Procurator of Judea, who held that position from 62 CE to 64 CE. Because Albinus’ journey to Alexandria had to have concluded no later than the summer of 62 CE, the date of James’ death can be assigned with some certainty to around that year. The 2nd-century chronicler Hegesippus also left an account of the death of James, and while the details he provides diverge from those of Josephus, the two accounts share similar elements.

Modern scholarship has almost universally acknowledged the authenticity of the reference to “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James” (τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, Ἰάκωβος ὄνομα αὐτῷ) and has rejected its being the result of later Christian interpolation. Moreover, in comparison with Hegesippus’ account of James’ death, most scholars consider Josephus’ to be the more historically reliable. However, a few scholars question the authenticity of the reference, based on various arguments, but primarily based on the observation that various details in The Jewish War differ from it.

Early References

Origen of Alexandria

In the 3rd century, Origen of Alexandria claimed in two works that Josephus had mentioned James, the brother of Jesus. In Origen’s commentary on Matthew, he writes:

And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the “Antiquities of the Jews” in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James.

— Commentary on Matthew, Book X, Chapter 17

In Origen’s apologetic work Contra Celsum, he made a similar remark:

Now this writer [Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless—being, although against his will, not far from the truth—that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ),—the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.

— Contra Celsum, Book I, Chapter XLVII

Many commentators have concluded that Origen is making reference to the “James, the brother of Jesus” passage found in Antiquities, Book 20 here, but there are some problems with this view. Origen is attributing statements to Josephus that he never wrote in any of his extant works (such as the claim that the killing of James caused the destruction of the Jerusalem temple), suggesting that he is at least partially confused.

Richard Carrier has proposed that Origen actually had in mind a passage from the work Commentaries on the Acts of the Church, written by the Christian chronicler Hegesippus in the late second century. The Hegesippus passage, which is preserved in a quotation from the church historian Eusebius, describes the martyrdom of “James the Just” at the hand of the Jews and implies that this was the cause of the destruction of the temple.

Eusebius of Caesarea

In Book II, Chapter 23.20 of his Church History, Eusebius mentions Josephus’ reference to the death of James. Eusebius attributes the following quote to Josephus: “These things happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus, that is called the Christ. For the Jews slew him, although he was a most just man.” However, this statement does not appear in the extant manuscripts of Josephus. Moreover, in Book III, ch. 11 of his Church History Eusebius states that the conquest of Jerusalem immediately followed the martyrdom of James setting the martyrdom at c. 70 CE rather than the c. 62 CE given by Josephus.

While Eusebius does not acknowledge Origen as the source for his apocryphal quote of Josephus, Richard Carrier argues that he is in fact quoting Origen, since Eusebius’ quote is almost word-for-word identical in the Greek to the statement attributed to Josephus by Origen in Contra Celsum 1.47. John Painter writes that placing the blame for the siege of Jerusalem on the death of James is perhaps an early Christian invention that predates both Origen and Eusebius and that it likely existed in the traditions to which they were both exposed. Painter suggests, similarly to Carrier, Eusebius may have obtained his account of the siege of Jerusalem from Origen.

Arguments for Authenticity

Louis Feldman states that the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James has been “almost universally acknowledged.” Feldman states that this passage, above others, indicates that Josephus did say something about Jesus. Feldman states that it would make no sense for Origen to show amazement that Josephus did not acknowledge Jesus as Christ (Book X, Chapter 17) if Josephus had not referred to Jesus at all. Paul L. Maier states that most scholars agree with Feldman’s assessment that “few have doubted the genuineness of this passage” Zvi Baras also states that most modern scholars consider the James passage to be authentic.

According to Robert E. Van Voorst the overwhelming majority of scholars consider both the reference to “the brother of Jesus called Christ” and the entire passage that includes it as authentic. Van Voorst states that the James passage fits well in the context in the Antiquities and an indication for its authenticity is the lack of the laudatory language that a Christian interpolator would have used to refer to Jesus as “the Lord”, or a similar term. Van Voorst also states that the use of a neutral term “called Christ” which neither denies nor affirms Jesus as the Messiah points to authenticity, and indicates that Josephus used it to distinguish Jesus from the many other people called Jesus at the time, in the same way, that James is distinguished, given that it was also a common name.

Richard Bauckham states that although a few scholars have questioned the James passage, “the vast majority have considered it to be authentic”, and that among the several accounts of the death of James the account in Josephus is generally considered to be historically the most reliable.Bauckham states that the method of killing James by stoning, and the description provided by Josephus via the assembly of the Sanhedrin of judges are consistent with the policies of the Temple authorities towards the early Christian Church at the time.

Andreas Köstenberger considers the James passage to be authentic and states that the James passage attests to the existence of Jesus as a historical person, and that his followers considered him the Messiah.(Köstenberger pages 104–105) Köstenberger states that the statement by Josephus that some people recognized Jesus as the Messiah is consistent with the grammar of Josephus elsewhere but does not imply that Josephus himself considered Jesus the Messiah.(Köstenberger pages 104–105) Köstenberger concurs with John Meier that it is highly unlikely for the passage to be a Christian interpolation given that in New Testament texts James is referred to as the “brother of the Lord” rather than the “brother of Jesus”, and that a Christian interpolator would have provided a more detailed account at that point.(Köstenberger pages 104–105)

Claudia Setzer states that few have questioned the authenticity of the James passage, partly based on the observation that a Christian interpolator would have provided more praise for James. Setzer states that the passage indicates that Josephus, a Jewish historian writing towards the end of the first century, could use a neutral tone towards Christians, with some tones of sympathy, implying that they may be worthy of Roman protection.

John Painter states that nothing in the James passage looks suspiciously like a Christian interpolation and that the account can be accepted as historical.(Painter pages 139–142). Painter discusses the role of Ananus and the background to the passage and states that after being deposed as High Priest for killing James and being replaced by Jesus the son of Damnaeus, Ananus had maintained his influence within Jerusalem through bribery.(Painter page 136) Painter points out that as described in the Antiquities of the Jews (Book 20, Chapter 9, 2) Ananus was bribing both Albinus and Jesus the son of Damnaeus so that his men could take the tithes of other priests outside Jerusalem, to the point that some priests then starved to death.(Painter pages 139–142). Philip Carrington states that there is no reason to question the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James, and elaborates the background by stating that Ananus continued to remain a power within the Jewish circles at the time even after being deposed, and that it is likely that the charges brought against James by Ananus were not only because of his Christian association but because he objected to the oppressive policies against the poor; hence explaining the later indignation of the more moderate Jewish leaders.

Arguments against Authenticity

A comparative argument made against the authenticity of the James passage by scholars such as Tessa Rajak is that the passage has a negative tone regarding the High Priest Ananus, presenting him as impulsive while in the Jewish Wars Josephus presents a positive view of Ananus and portrays him as prudent.

A textual argument against the authenticity of the James passage is that the use of the term “Christos” there seems unusual for Josephus. An argument based on the flow of the text in the document is that given that the mention of Jesus appears in the Antiquities before that of John the Baptist a Christian interpolator may have inserted it to place Jesus in the text before John. A further argument against the authenticity of the James passage is that it would have read well even without a reference to Jesus. New Testament scholar Robert M. Price speculates that Josephus may have considered James a fraternal brother rather than a sibling.

Richard Carrier argues that the words “who was called Christ” likely resulted from the accidental insertion of a marginal note added by copyist between the time of Origen and Eusebius. Carrier proposes that the original text referred to a brother of Jesus ben Damneus, who is mentioned later in the same passage. The original passage would have described the illegal execution of James, the brother of Jesus ben Damneus, by the high priest Ananus. Ananus is then punished by being stripped of his position as high priest and replaced with ben Damneus— the brother of the very man he had unjustly killed.

Carrier points out that in the earliest potential external references to the James passage, found in the works Origen (see § Early references above), Origen attributes statements to Josephus that he never wrote in any of his extant works, such as the claim that the killing of James caused the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. According to Carrier, this strongly suggests that he is confusing statements from another author with those of Josephus. He proposes that Origen actually had in mind a passage from the work Commentaries on the Acts of the Church, written by the Christian chronicler Hegesippus in the late second century. The Hegesippus passage, which is preserved in a quotation from the church historian Eusebius, describes the martyrdom of “James the Just” at the hand of the Jews and heavily implies that this was the cause of the destruction of the temple. If Origen is really referring to a passage in Hegesippus, Carrier argues, then this actually provides evidence against the authenticity of the reference to “Christ” in Josephus’ Antiquities. This is because, if the reference to Christ were authentic, Origen would likely have simply quoted that passage rather than insisting that Josephus wrote something that he did not actually write.

G. A. Wells argued that the fact that Origen seems to have read something different about the death of James in Josephus than what there is now, suggests some tampering with the James passage seen by Origen. Wells suggests that the interpolation seen by Origen may not have survived in the extant Josephus manuscripts, but that it opens the possibility that there may have been other interpolations in Josephus’ writings. Wells further states that differences between the Josephus account and those of Hegesippus and Clement of Alexandria may point to interpolations in the James passage.

Differences with Christian Sources

Josephus’ account places the date of the death of James as AD 62. This date is supported by Jerome’s ‘seventh year of the Emperor Nero’, although Jerome may simply be drawing this from Josephus. However, James’ successor as leader of the Jerusalem church, Simeon, is not, in tradition, appointed till after the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70, and Eusebius’ notice of Simeon implies a date for the death of James immediately before the siege, i.e. about AD 69. The method of death of James is not mentioned in the New Testament. However, the account of Josephus differs from that of later works by Hegesippus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, and Eusebius of Caesarea in that it simply has James stoned while the others have other variations such as having James thrown from the top of the Temple, stoned, and finally beaten to death by a fuller as well as his death occurring during the siege of Jerusalem in AD 69.

John Painter states that the relationship of the death of James to the siege is an important theologoumenon in the early church. On the basis of the Gospel accounts, it was concluded that the fate of the city was determined by the death there of Jesus. To account for the 35-year difference, Painter states that the city was preserved temporarily by the presence within it of a ‘just man’ (see also Sodom); who was identified with James, as confirmed by Origen. Hence Painter states that the killing of James restarted the clock that led to the destruction of the city and that the traditional dating of 69 AD simply arose from an over-literal application of the theologoumenon, and is not to be regarded as founded on a historical source. The difference between Josephus and the Christian accounts of the death of James is seen as an indication that the Josephus passage is not a Christian interpolation by scholars such as Eddy Boyd, and Kostenberger. Geza Vermes states that compared to the Christian accounts: “the sober picture of Josephus appears all the more believable.” G. A. Wells, on the other hand, has stated that in view of Origen’s statements these variations from the Christian accounts may be signs of interpolation in the James passage.

Josephus’ Reference to John the Baptist

Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man… Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion… Accordingly, he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death.

In the Antiquities of the Jews (Book 18, Chapter 5, 2) Josephus refers to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist by order of Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee and Perea. The context of this reference is the 36 AD defeat of Herod Antipas in his conflict with Aretas IV of Nabatea, which the Jews of the time attributed to misfortune brought about by Herod’s unjust execution of John.

Almost all modern scholars consider this passage to be authentic in its entirety, although a small number of authors have questioned it. Because the death of John also appears prominently in the Christian gospels, this passage is considered an important connection between the events Josephus recorded, the chronology of the gospels, and the dates for the ministry of Jesus. A few scholars have questioned the passage, contending that the absence of Christian tampering or interpolation does not itself prove authenticity. While this passage is the only reference to John the Baptist outside the New Testament, it is widely seen by most scholars as confirming the historicity of the baptisms that John performed. According to Marsh, any contrast between Josephus and the Gospel’s accounts of John would be because the former lacked interest in the messianic element of John’s mission.

Arguments for Authenticity

Craig Evans states that almost all modern scholars consider the Josephus passage on John to be authentic in its entirety and that what Josephus states about John fits well both with the general depiction of John in the New Testament and within the historical context of the activities of other men, their preachings and their promises during that period.

Louis Feldman, who believes the Josephus passage on John is authentic, states that Christian interpolators would have been very unlikely to have devoted almost twice as much space to John (163 words) as to Jesus (89 words). Feldman also states that a Christian interpolator would have likely altered Josephus’ passage about John the Baptist to make the circumstances of the death of John become similar to the New Testament and to indicate that John was a forerunner of Jesus.

James Dunn states that the accounts of Josephus and the New Testament regarding John the Baptist are closer than they may appear at a first reading. Dunn states that Josephus positions John as a righteous preacher (dikaiosyne) who encourages his followers to practice “righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God” and that Mark 6:20 similarly calls John “a righteous (dikaios) and holy man.” Dunn states that Antipas likely saw John as a figure whose ascetic lifestyle and calls for moral reform could provoke a popular uprising on moral grounds, as both Josephus and the New Testament suggest.

Justin Meggitt states that there are fundamental similarities between the Josephus’ portrayal of John the Baptist and the New Testament narrative in that in both accounts John is positioned as a preacher of morality, not as someone who had challenged the political authority of Herod Antipas. W. E. Nunnally states that the John passage is considered authentic and that Josephus’ emphasis on the egalitarian nature of John’s teachings fit well into the biblical and historical traditions.

In Origen’s apologetic work Contra Celsum, made an explicit reference to the Josephus passage discussing John the Baptist:

For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite.

— Contra Celsum, Book I, Chapter XLVII

Here, Origen provides a clear, unambiguous indication that the passage concerning John the Baptist existed in his early manuscript of Antiquities of the Jews. This implies that the John the Baptist passage would have had to have been interpolated into the Antiquities at quite an early date, before the time of Origen, if it is inauthentic.

In Eusebius of Caesarea’s 4th-century work Church History (Book I, Chapter XI), Eusebius also discusses the Josephus reference to Herod Antipas’s killing of John the Baptist and mentions the marriage to Herodias in paragraphs 1 to 6.

Arguments against Authenticity

Rivka Nir argues that the kind of baptism performed by John the Baptist was not considered legitimate in the mainstream Jewish circles to which Josephus belonged, and therefore Josephus could not have described John as positively as he is in Antiquities, Book 18. Nir therefore concludes that the passage is likely a Christian interpolation.

Claire Rothschild has stated that the absence of Christian interpolations in the Josephus passage on John the Baptist can not by itself be used as an argument for its authenticity, but is merely an indication of the lack of tampering.

Differences with Christian Sources

The marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias is mentioned both in Josephus and in the gospels, and scholars consider Josephus as a key connection in establishing the approximate chronology of specific episodes related to John the Baptist. However, although both the gospels and Josephus refer to Herod Antipas killing John the Baptist, they differ on the details and motives, e.g. whether this act was a consequence of the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias (as indicated in Matthew 14:4, Mark 6:18), or a pre-emptive measure by Herod which possibly took place before the marriage to quell a possible uprising based on the remarks of John, as Josephus suggests in Antiquities 18.5.2. Jean Daniélou contends that Josephus missed the religious meaning while recording only the political aspect of the conflict between Herod and John, which led to the latter’s death.

While Josephus identifies the location of the imprisonment of John as Machaerus, southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river, the gospels mention no location for the place where John was imprisoned. According to other historical accounts Machaerus was rebuilt by Herod the Great around 30 BC and then passed to Herod Antipas. The 36 AD date of the conflict with Aretas IV (mentioned by Josephus) is consistent with the approximate date of the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias estimated by other historical methods.

Louis Feldman has stated that there is “no necessary contradiction between Josephus and the gospels as to the reason why John was put to death” in that the Christians chose to emphasize the moral charges while Josephus emphasized the political fears that John stirred in Herod.

Josephus stated (Antiquities 18.5.2) that the AD 36 defeat of Herod Antipas in the conflicts with Aretas IV of Nabatea was widely considered by the Jews of the time as misfortune brought about by Herod’s unjust execution of John the Baptist. The approximate dates presented by Josephus are in concordance with other historical records, and most scholars view the variation between the motive presented by Josephus and the New Testament accounts are seen as an indication that the Josephus passage is not a Christian interpolation.

The Three Passages in Relation to The Jewish Wars

Louis Feldman states that it is significant that the passages on James and John are found in the Antiquities and not in the Jewish Wars, but provides three explanations for their absence from the Jewish Wars. One explanation is that the Antiquities covers the time period involved at a greater length than the Jewish Wars. The second explanation is that during the gap between the writing of the Jewish Wars (c. 70 AD) and Antiquities (after 90 AD) Christians had become more important in Rome and were hence given attention in the Antiquities. Another explanation is that the passages were added to the Antiquities to highlight the power of the Pharisees, but he considers the last explanation less likely than the others.

One of the arguments against the authenticity of the James passage has been that in the Jewish Wars Josephus portrays the High Priest Ananus in a positive manner, while in the Antiquities he writes of Ananus in a negative tone. Louis Feldman rejects these arguments against the authenticity of the James passage and states that in several other unrelated cases the Jewish War also differs from the Antiquities and that an interpolator would have made the two accounts correspond more closely to each other, not make them differ.

The twenty-year gap between the writing of the Jewish Wars and the Antiquities has also been used to explain some of the differences in tone between them. Clemens Thoma provides an explanation for this based on the observation that Josephus may have learned of the details of the actions of Ananus in the twenty-year gap between the writing of the Jewish Wars and the Antiquities, and thus avoided a positive tone when writing of Ananus in the Antiquities.

John Painter states that the difference in the context for the Jewish Wars and the Antiquities may also account for some of the differences in tone between them, e.g. when writing of Ananus in a positive tone in the Jewish Wars the context was Ananus’ prudence in avoiding a war and hence Josephus considered that a positive aspect. However, when writing in the Antiquities about the actions of Ananus which resulted in his demotion from the High Priesthood, the context required the manifestation of a negative aspect of Ananus’ character.

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[1] Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987), ix.

[2] Mason, Steve, ed. (2000). Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary (10 vols. in 12 ed.). Leiden: BRILL.

[3] Douer, Alisa (2015). Egypt – The Lost Homeland: Exodus from Egypt, 1947–1967 – The History of the Jews in Egypt, 1540 BCE to 1967 CE (Arabische Welt – Arab World). Logos Verlag. p. 277, footnote 190.

osephus refers to himself in his Greek works as Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς, Iōsēpos Matthiou pais (Josephus the son of Matthias). Josephus spoke Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek.

Φλαβίου ωσήπου τερισκόμενα – Flavii Josephi Opera. Graece et latine. Recognovit Guilelmus Dindorfius [= Wilhelm Dindorf]. Volumen secundum. Paris, 1847

[4] Simon Claude Mimouni, Le Judaïsme ancien du VIe siècle avant notre ère au IIIe siècle de notre ère : Des prêtres aux rabbins, Paris, P.U.F., coll. « Nouvelle Clio », 2012, p. 133

[5] Telushkin, Joseph. “Ancient Jewish History: The Great Revolt”. Jewish Virtual Library.

 Harris 1985.

[6] Robinson, E.; Smith, E. (1856). Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions (Journal of Travels in the Year 1838). 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. p. 533, Appendix I

[7] Robinson, E.; Smith, E. (1856). Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions (Journal of Travels in the Year 1838). 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. p. 533, Appendix I

[8] Goodman, Martin. Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilisations. Penguin Books. p. 8. “Josephus was born into the ruling elite of Jerusalem”

[9] IBID.

[10] Mason, Steve, ed. (2000). Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary (10 vols. in 12 ed.). Leiden: BRILL. Pp. 12-13.

[11] Nodet, Etienne (1997). A Search for the Origins of Judaism: From Joshua to the Mishnah. Continuum International Publishing Group. P. 250.

[12] “Josephus Lineage” (PDF). History of the Daughters (Fourth ed.). Sonoma, California: L P Publishing. December 2012. pp. 349–350.

[13] Schürer, Emil (1973) [1891]. Vermes, Géza; Millar, Fergus; Black, Matthew (eds.). The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. – A.D. 135). Continuum International Publishing Group., pp. 45-46.

[14] IBID.

[15] Mason, Steve, ed. (2000). Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary (10 vols. in 12 ed.). Leiden: BRILL. P. 13

[16] Josephus, Vita § 3

[17] Goldberg, G. J. “The Life of Flavius Josephus.” Josephus.org.

[18] Josephus, Vita, § 67

[19] Josephus, Vita, § 68

[20] Josephus, Vita, § 25; § 38; Josephus (1926). “The Life of Josephus”. doi:10.4159/DLCL.josephus-life.1926. Digital Loeb Classical Library

[21] Josephus, Vita, § 37

[22] IBID.

[23] Josephus, Vita, § 67

[24] Josephus, Vita, § 71

[25] Josephus, The Jewish War. Book 3, Chapter 8, par. 7

[26] Jewish War IV.622–629

[27] Josephus, The Jewish War (5.13.1. and 5.13.3.)

[28] Gnuse, Robert Karl (1996). Dreams & Dream Reports in the Writings of Josephus: A Traditio-Historical Analysis. E. J. Brill. pp. 136–142

Gray, Rebecca (1993). Prophetic Figures in Late Second Temple Jewish Palestine: The Evidence from Josephus. Oxford University Press. pp. 35–38

Aune, David Edward (1991) [first published 1983]. Prophecy In Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 140.

[29] Goodman, Martin. Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilisations. Penguin Books. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-713-99447-6. Later generations of Jews have been inclined to treat such claims as self-serving”

[30] Attested by the third-century Church theologian Origen (Comm. Matt. 10.17).

[31] Millard, Alan Ralph (1997). Discoveries From Bible Times: Archaeological Treasures Throw Light on The Bible. Lion Publishing. P. 20.

[32] Mason, Steve (April 2003). “Flavius Josephus and the Pharisees”. The Bible and Interpretation.

[33] Josephus, Vita § 45

[34] Flavius Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston, A.M. Auburn and Buffalo. John E. Beardsley: 1895, s.v. Antiquities 3.6.4. (3.122). After describing the curtain that hung in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Josephus adds: “…Whence that custom of ours is derived, of having a fine linen veil, after the temple has been built, to be drawn over the entrances.”

[35] Josephus, Vita § 54

[36] Flavius Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston, A.M. Auburn and Buffalo. John E. Beardsley: 1895, s.v. The Jewish War 1.24.2 (end) (1.473).

[37]  Whealey, Alice (2003). Josephus on Jesus: The Testimonium Flavianum Controversy from Late Antiquity to Modern Times. Peter Lang Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8204-5241-8. In the sixteenth century the authenticity of the text [Testimonium Flavianum] was publicly challenged, launching a controversy that has still not been resolved today

[38] Kraft, Dina (May 9, 2007). “Archaeologist Says Remnants of King Herod’s Tomb Are Found”. NY Times. Retrieved 24 September 2015.

[39] Murphy, Catherine M. (2008). The Historical Jesus For Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. p. 99

[40] Hasson, Nir (October 11, 2013). “Archaeological stunner: Not Herod’s Tomb after all?”. Haaretz. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015.

[41] IBID

[42] IBID

[43] Millar, Fergus, 2006. ‘Hagar, Ishmael, Josephus, and the origins of Islam’. In Fergus Millar, Hannah H. Cotton, and Guy MacLean Rogers, Rome, the Greek World and the East. Vol. 3. The Greek World, the Jews and the East, 351-377. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

[44] The Myth of Masada: How Reliable Was Josephus, Anyway?: “The only source we have for the story of Masada, and numerous other reported events from the time, is the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, author of the book “The Jewish War”.”

[45] Clontz, T.; Clontz, J. (2008). The Comprehensive New Testament. Cornerstone Publications.

Bennett, Rick (November 30, 2011). “New Release: Comprehensive Crossreferences” Accordancebible.com

[46] Maier, Paul L., ed. (1999). “Appendix: Dissertation 6 (by Whiston)”. The New Complete Works of Josephus. Kregel Academic. p. 1070.

[47] Bowman, Steven (1987). “Josephus in Byzantium”. In Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei (eds.). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. Wayne State University Press. P. 373.

[48] Mason, Steve, ed. (2000). Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary (10 vols. in 12 ed.). Leiden: BRILL. P. 66

[49] IBID, 67.

[50] IBID, 68.

[51] IBID, 70.

[52] JW preface. 3.

[53] JW preface. 4.

[54] IBID

[55] Ant. preface. 3.

[56] IBID

[57] Ant. preface. 4.

[58] Feldman, Louis H. (1998). Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible. Berkeley: University of California Press. P. 9.

[59] IBID, 10.

[60] IBID, 10.

[61] Ehrman, Bart D. (1999). Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (Kindle ed.). p. 848-849.

[62] Feldman, Louis H. (1998). Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible. Berkeley: University of California Press. P. 9.

[63] Daniel 2:21

[64] Ant. preface. 1.

[65] Ant. preface. 2.

[66] Ant. preface. 1.

[67] Feldman, Louis H. (1998). Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible. Berkeley: University of California Press. P. 232.

[68] Ant. preface. 3.

[69] Feldman, Louis H. (1998). Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible. Berkeley: University of California Press. P. 9.

[70] Flavius Josephus, Whiston & Maier 1999, p. 662.

Schreckenberg, Heinz; Schubert, Kurt (1992a). Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature. 2. P. 38-41

[71] Feldman & Hata 1987, pp. 54–57.

[72] Louth 1990.

[73] McGiffert 2007.

[74] Olson, K. A. (1999). “Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum”. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 61 (2): 305.

Wallace-Hadrill, D. S. (2011). “Eusebius of Caesarea and the Testimonium Flavianum (Josephus, Antiquities, XVIII. 63f.)”. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 25 (4): 353.

[75] Kenneth A. Olson, Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61 (2): 305, 1999

[76] Schreckenberg & Schubert 1992a, pp. 38–41.

Kostenberger, Kellum & Quarles 2009, pp. 104–108.

Evans, Craig A. (2001). Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies. P. 316.

Wansbrough, Henry (2004). Jesus and the oral Gospel tradition. P. 185

The Jesus Legend by G. A. Wells 1996 ISBN 0812693345 page 48: “… that Josephus made some reference to Jesus, which has been retouched by a Christian hand. This is the view argued by Meier as by most scholars today particularly since S. Pines…”

[77] Flavius Josephus & Maier 1995, pp. 284–285.

Vermes, Geza (2011). Jesus in the Jewish World. P. 33-34.

[78] Olson, K. A. (1999). “Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum”. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 61 (2): 305.

[79] Feldman, Louis H. (2012). “On the Authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum Attributed to Josephus”. In Carlebach, Elisheva; Schacter, Jacob J. (eds.). On the Authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum Attributed to Josephus. New Perspectives on Jewish-Christian Relations. The Brill Reference Library of Judaism. 33. Leiden: Brill. pp. 11–30.

[80] Hopper, Paul J. (2014). “A Narrative Anomaly in Josephus: Jewish Antiquities xviii:63”. In Fludernik, Monika; Jacob, Daniel (eds.). Linguistics and Literary Studies: Interfaces, Encounters, Transfers. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH. pp. 147–171.

[81] The Jesus Legend by George Albert Wells and R. Joseph Hoffman 1996 ISBN 0-8126-9334-5 pages 49–56

[82] The Jesus Legend by George Albert Wells and R. Joseph Hoffman 1996 ISBN 0-8126-9334-5 pages 49–56

[83] The Jesus Legend by George Albert Wells and R. Joseph Hoffman 1996 ISBN 0-8126-9334-5 pages 49–56

[84] Van Voorst, Robert (2003). “Josephus”. In Houlden, James Leslie (ed.). Jesus in history, thought, and culture: an encyclopedia. 1.

[85] The Jesus Legend by George Albert Wells and R. Joseph Hoffman 1996 ISBN 0-8126-9334-5 pages 49–56

[86] Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 89.

[87] IBID. 89-90.

[88] Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. P. 55.

[89] Josephus, the Bible, and History by Louis H. Feldman and Gohei Hata 1988 ISBN 0-8143-1982-3 page 430

[90] Alice Whealey (2003). Josephus on Jesus: the testimonium Flavianum controversy from late antiquity to modern times. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-0-8204-5241-8.

Meier, 1990 (especially note 15)

[91] Paget, J. C. (2001). “Some Observations on Josephus and Christianity”. The Journal of Theological Studies. 52 (2): 539–624.

[92] Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 91-92.

[93] Goldberg, G. J. 1995 “The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus” The Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 13, pp. 59–77 [1]

[94] Goldberg, G. J. 1995 “The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus” The Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 13, pp. 59–77 [1]

[95] IBID.

[96] Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 91.

[97] Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 91.

[98] Baras, Zvi (1987). “The Testimonium Flavianum and the Martyrdom of James”. In Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei (eds.). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. P. 340.

[99] Josephus and the New Testament by Steve Mason 2003 ISBN 1-56563-795-X page 231

[100] Mizugaki, Wataru (1987). “Origen and Josephus”. In Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei (eds.). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. pp. 325–335.

[101] Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 97.

Jesus in his Jewish context by Géza Vermès 2003 ISBN 0-334-02915-5 pages 91–92

[102] Maier, Paul L. (2007). Eusebius: The Church History. 336-7.

[103] IBID.

[104] IBID.; Maier, Paul L. (2007). Eusebius: The Church History. P. 509-511

[105] “Echo of a whisper” by Clare Rothchild in Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity by David Hellholm 2010 ISBN 3-11-024751-8 page 274

Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. P. 57.

[106] Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. P. 431.

[107] “Echo of a whisper” by Clare Rothchild in Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity by David Hellholm 2010 ISBN 3-11-024751-8 page 274

Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. P. 57.

[108] Jewish historiography and iconography in early and Medieval Christianity by Heinz Schreckenberg, Kurt Schubert Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991 page 39

[109] Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. P. 57.

[110] Kostenberger, Andreas J.; Kellum, L. Scott; Quarles, Charles L. (2009). The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament.

[111] Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 88.

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