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No Unbiased Evidence for Jesus Existence

All the evidence for Jesus is biblical and even then it is very odd evidence.


If Jesus had been a real man or anybody really knew him why are there no normal stories of him helping people? It is all miracle stories. Why would you choose stories of somebody using miracles to help people as if the ordinary ways to help are something to be forgotten?  Even Catholic hagiographies are replete with good works done by the saints and are not so obsessed with supernatural tales that they want to forget them.


Not surprisingly, the evidence outside the Bible makes a strong case for Jesus having being made up.

The evidence for the existence and life details of Jesus Christ is wholly biblical. Nothing outside of the Bible is any good. There is no unbiased evidence that Jesus lived. Nobody outside the Church gave any evidence for him. There were far more people outside the Church than in it. There are far more unbelievers in the gospels than believers. And yet we have nothing from these unbelievers to give us an indication that this man lived. A man of importance that is ignored by most authorities or not mentioned by them is not likely to have existed. It doesn’t prove that he didn’t exist but it makes his non-existence plausible. There is no reason for their silence which makes our argument even more plausible. If they hated him they would have mentioned him quicker and Jesus says in the gospels that everybody outside his following hates him and his disciples and his sheep and always will.
The gospels say that there was a man called Jesus Christ a wonder-worker who was idolised by the whole country of Palestine for a time. If that is true, it is impossible to see how a prolific writer, an addict to writer’s cramp, like Philo Judaeus of Alexandria who entered this world in 15 BC and died long after the alleged crucifixion, could have not mentioned him or even the gospels meaning that they must have been secret.
What makes it worse is that Philo was a liberal Jews who liked to write about sects. He wrote about the Essenes who were fanatics (Jesus – One Hundred Years Before Christ, page 106, 169) and then only of the Palestine ones (ibid 168).
What is worse for the Christians is the fact that John’s gospel portrays Jesus as the Word of God or the Logos the one who is sent from God to man to reveal God to man and the Logos was one of Philo’s great themes and he wrote about it without even mentioning Jesus the so-called Logos. Philo’s writings have been described as a happy hunting ground for anybody who wants to know all about the Logos (page 244, Those Incredible Christians).
Philo worshipped the Word which is the only Son of God (The Jesus Mysteries, page 183). It is unthinkable that he would do that and not say something about Jesus who according to the John Gospel claimed to be the word of God in case his words would lead to Christianity gaining an influence over his readers.
Philo wrote about history as well as religion (page 136, The Jesus Mysteries). That was why he wrote a lot about Pilate (page 136 ibid). He was not averse to criticising religion for he condemned the Pagan Mysteries (page 66, The Jesus Mysteries). It is simply not true that his dislike for fanaticism and rebels may be the reason why he never spoke of the Messiah Jesus. That reason would mean that Jesus was a fanatic and a seditionist. Jesus - One Hundred Years before Christ (page 98) is wrong. There is no harm in just mentioning and not judging. Christianity, even in its gospels, was mostly teaching and philosophy anyway. The Essenes were not by any means as interesting as Christ and his Church and still he wrote as if the Christians never existed.

Justus of Tiberias produced a biography of King Herod and never mentioned Jesus. He composed a history book for Palestine that covered the days of Moses until after the death of Jesus (page 136, The Jesus Mysteries). His book is now lost but Photius of Constantinople read it roughly 900 years later and remarked on the conspicuous absence of anything on Jesus. Jesus was not even alluded to.

The pagan historian Suetonius published his The Lives of the Caesars in 120 AD. In Chapter 25, he recorded that some Jews had to be exiled from Rome for rioting under the instigation of a certain Chrestus. Christians think the violence was between the Jewish party accepting Jesus and the one rejecting him as a fraud (page 10, Did Jesus Exist?). It was not likely for Jews to fight in a hostile alien territory over dogma. The earliest sources state that the Jewish Christians had no terribly serious differences from the Jews. Indeed, Acts says they got on fine except with the Sadducees and there were no Sadducee parties in Rome. If Suetonius meant Christ then it is significant that the inaccuracy about his name suggests that Jesus was at most an unimportant and obscure person. He was a friend of Pliny (The Jesus Mysteries, page 334) who knew about Christians. He would have got the name right if he meant Jesus. Christians like Josh McDowell boast that Suetonius verified the existence of Christ for he stated that Christians were being put to death by Nero. What Suetonius wrote was that Christians were being punished by Nero which may have nothing to do with martyring them at all.

Chrestus was a popular name in Italy (The Jesus Mysteries, page 134). Christ means Messiah and the Jews could have argued about anybody if Christ was meant and not just Jesus for there were loads of Messiahs.

The writer could have mistakenly have written Chrestus when he should have put down Christus because the two have the same pronunciation. He speaks as if Chrestus were alive and was the cause of the disturbance when the gospels say that Jesus left the earth years before. If Suetonius meant Christ then either Jesus was living in Rome and causing trouble instead of being a dying and rising Saviour or Christianity was a secret religion and its Jesus was a nebulous mythical personage who was as much a mystery to his time as was the composition of the very stars of Heaven. It is significant that Suetonius says the Jews, not some of the Jews were rioting which minimises the chance that Chrestus was Jesus for the Christians were just a kind of Judaism and at that time had begun to separate from Judaism and take on a new religious identity. To say he meant Christ is to admit that nothing was known of this man even among the historians!

Suetonius declared that it was widely believed in the first century that the men who would supernaturally conquer the world would come from Judaea (page 82, Jesus Hypotheses). When he wrote that it is extraordinary that he never mentioned Jesus at least in a scornful light especially if the gospels are telling the truth about how popular Jesus was.

Pliny the Younger in 112 AD simply says that the Christians prayed to Christ as a God. It seems that that does not tell us if Jesus lived or not.


Pliny writes as if Jesus is a quasi-god not a real one.  That is interesting for in those times anything counted for a god and people cherry-picked what gods they wanted.  That could be a hint that this god was a problem for it was falsely claimed history said he was a good when it did not.  The other gods had no evidence for being real either but the difference was that there was no evidence that they were not real.  Jesus then may have been based on outright lies.


McDowell of course says that since Pliny mentioned Christians being martyred there must have been a Jesus. But lots of Christians have died for Jesus and did it without proof that Jesus lived. And what about the Christians Pliny said recanted? They could be used as evidence that maybe there was no Jesus for their belief in him was not strong. Pliny wrote that he did not know what the nature of the Christian faith was which answers those lunatics who claim that Roman priests like him had investigated Christianity. Showing what little influence the cult had the cult watcher and priest Plutarch never mentioned Christianity in any of his voluminous writings (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it reliable?). Obviously, Plutarch was so sure that the evidence for Christianity was feeble and ineffectual that it could not be a threat. Pliny said that he had to go to Trajan for any information he needed.
JP Holding dishonestly says that since Pliny says Christ was worshipped as a god that Pliny meant he was not a real god at all but just a man. He then says that it proves that Jesus existed! (Wells Without Water). A god is just a god and can be an angel or a natural force personified or a man or a myth. If I worship the goddess Venus as a goddess that does not mean I have evidence that a woman called Venus actually lived! Many would have said that though the Christians worshipped Jesus as God that they worshipped him as a god – its just the way people talk. Holding knows his argument is weak. From a pagan perspective, even if Jesus claimed to be God himself this God is just a God among many. Christians always said Jesus was a Jew and one major doctrine of that religion was that God does not become man. So Jesus believed that and he would not have wanted to be made a God. The Christians then making a God of him indicates that their testimony that Jesus lived is dubious for they distorted everything. There is no reason to think that Pliny thought that Jesus really was a God.
In the second century, Lucian of Samosata stated that Christ was put to death by crucifixion for introducing a new religion. This was about 170 AD in his book The Passing Peregrius. He stated that Jesus had created new rites and was crucified for that. He said that the followers of Jesus do not fear death for they think they are immortal for he told them that. And he said they take his laws on faith and hate worldly goods holding all things in common. Christians take this hostile testimony as valuable. But typically they do not take it as valuable when it says that Jesus was nailed to the cross for his rites and when he introduced communism both of which contradict the New Testament very seriously. The expression taking laws on faith implies that they had no time for evidence but only cared about what they wanted to believe. It adds weight to the possibility that Jesus never lived. It is interesting that they embrace death not because they are sure they will rise like Jesus did but because he told them death was not the end. He was more a prophet than a rising saviour.

Lucian complained that Christ’s followers abandoned the Greek gods and claimed to be brothers from the moment they were converted in his day to take Christ’s teaching on faith. So they treated one another as brothers in the physical sense. That is why James was called the brother of Jesus, it was the title he was given though he was not a physical brother. This is all important for it suggests that the Christians did not believe that they become brothers at baptism but at conversion and when he says they took all on faith he means they had no evidence for their ideas about Jesus. You don’t say somebody takes something on faith unless you mean that that faith is more an assumption than anything else. He fumes because of their departure from the Greek gods for whom there was no evidence but naïve philosophical assumptions and seeming answers to prayer so that gives you some idea of how bad he believed the evidence for Christ and his shenanigans was. Christians say that if Jesus never existed Lucian would have made that clear. But he thought their differences from paganism was refutation enough. He might have found it difficult to find out the truth about Jesus. That was a common enough problem in those days. Anyway he was writing only a short piece so why would he say Jesus’ never existed if he preferred to say other things?

In the British Museum is the letter of Mara-bar-Seraphion, a Syrian, which was written around or after 73 AD.


Here is the relevant bit: What are we to say, when the wise are dragged by force by the hands of tyrants, and their wisdom is deprived of its freedom by slander, and they are plundered for their superior intelligence, without the opportunity of making a defence?  They are not wholly to be pitied.  For what benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death, seeing that they received as retribution for it famine and pestilence?  Or the people of Samos by the burning of Pythagoras, seeing that in one hour the whole of their country was covered with sand?  Or the Jews by the murder of their Wise King, seeing that from that very time their kingdom was driven away from them?  For with justice did God grant a recompense to the wisdom of all three of them.  For the Athenians died by famine; and the people of Samos were covered by the sea without remedy; and the Jews, brought to desolation and expelled from their kingdom, are driven away into every land.  Nay, Socrates did “not” die, because of Plato; nor yet Pythagoras, because of the statue of Hera; nor yet the Wise King, because of the new laws which he enacted.


Mara spoke of the death of Socrates, Pythagoras and the wise king of the Jews who was put to death by the Jews. This ancient record does not align with the gospels which say that Jesus was executed by Rome. It implies that Jesus was stoned to death which was how the Jews executed. But then the wise king might not be Jesus. There were other Messianic teachers who came to a bad end. Mara appears to have been a Stoic so he would not have approved of a Jesus who got angry so often and who ate well and liked wine like the gospel one.  A Jesus who heals would not be much of an exemplar for the Stoic whose core idea is to accept your lot.  He even said that Socrates and Pythagoras and the wise king did not die for good for they lived on in their teaching. This language excludes a resurrection. Socrates and Pythagoras who never rose are put on the same level as Jesus which is enough to show that Jesus never rose.
Mara said that it was just after the Jews killed the king that they lost their land and were driven out. Since he was writing soon after this disaster it implies that his wise king was killed in the late sixties AD. This suggests that there was a lot of confusion about this Jesus. The letter is not reliable because it falsely claims that Pythagoras was killed and he wasn’t. The wise king the Jews put to death gave them no advantage for their kingdom was left in ruins afterwards. This implies that it happened very soon after the king’s death for only if it followed quickly after the death could it be put down to the immorality of killing the king. So this king was put to death by the Jews in the late sixties AD. He would have got his information from Christians which shows that at the very least no two sects were telling the Jesus story the same way. That is an indication that Jesus never lived.


Probably the best approach to the letter is to view it as being peppered with deliberate lies.  It contradicts facts and common knowledge for it to be anything else.  Nothing happened to Athens after Socrates died because of how he died. Pythagoras far from being incinerated in Samos left it and lived the good life.  Samos was not covered in sand and certainly not in an hour after the martyrdom of Pythagoras.   The fake news in it meant that the wise king may not have been a king but Ananias who is popularised in Josephus as being killed and thus starting off the ill fortune of Jerusalem.  Jesus did not accept pagan religion on any level so the wise king who is put on the religious level of Socrates and Pythagoras cannot be Jesus.  Some think that the king is the nebulous kingly figure, the teacher of righteousness, honoured by Essene lore. 

We have no way of knowing how old or real this letter really is which is why Gordon Stein rejects it as evidence for Jesus in his web page, The Jesus of History: A Reply to Josh McDowell.

Tacitus in 115 AD is supposed to have mentioned Jesus. All he wrote was that Christ suffered the extreme penalty in the time of Pilate and that it checked the pernicious superstition for a moment which broke out after in Israel and then in Rome. Many Christs were put to death. Why trust Tacitus dear Christians when he speaks of Christ and says Christ started superstition?   Why not believe that too? Why believe him when he wrote so long after the event? Why take him seriously when he didn’t say what kind of or quality of evidence he had? Historians sometimes have to depend on weak evidence.
The passage is nearly exactly the same as one in the work of a man called Sulpicius Severus who died in 403 AD. This man was known for his credulity and tall stories. He did not copy from Tacitus because nobody seemed to know of the Tacitus passage in those days. There is no evidence that they knew.  It appears then that the copyists copied the passage from Severus’s book into Tacitus. There is no evidence for the authenticity of the Tacitus text on Jesus (The Jesus of History, A Reply to Josh McDowell, Gordon Stein). If it is forged then it is proof that the Christians were manufacturing fabricated evidence for the existence of Jesus.
So we have no evidence from non-Christian writers that Jesus lived.

Now to the Christian witnesses.

The gospels say that there was darkness over the land that could not be explained when Jesus took his last breath.
Julius Africanus wrote about 221.
It was claimed by Julius that a man called Thallus wrote that darkness because of a solar eclipse covered the land at the full moon and it is Julius who tells us that this happened when Jesus died (page 35. He Walked Among Us). Julius says Thallus is wrong for eclipses cannot happen then. Julius wanted to believe that the darkness was a miracle caused by the death of Jesus Christ.
Thallus is no help for those who want to believe in a historical Jesus for he was only telling us what was believed at that time and he could have been writing in the early second century at the latest (page 35, He Walked Among Us). No evidence that it is more than a legend is forwarded or indeed can be for no ancient historian from the time the darkness mentioned it and they would have for it would have been a major scare. There is no evidence that the eclipse ever happened. How could the quote from Julius, “In his third book of history, Thallus, tries to explain the darkness as an eclipse of the sun and this explanation makes no sense to me”, which is all we got, amount to Thallus saying Jesus was crucified? Yet lying Christian defenders gave the impression that it does!
Thallus never mentioned Jesus. But Julius dates the eclipse in Thallus’ work to the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberias Caesar (page 35, Who Walked Among Us). This would come to 29 AD which is too early to have been the year of the crucifixion of Christ. So Julius and Thallus can be safely assumed to be of no assistance at all to those who wish to believe in the existence of Jesus.
We don’t have this Thallus guy’s book. We don’t know if Julius, who was writing in 221 AD too long after the event, was telling the truth about what Thallus wrote. Eusebius indicated that Thallus wrote a history that ended in 109 BC (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus, Is it reliable? – search for it on the WWW) which would mean Thallus did not write about the darkness at the time of Jesus at all. Some think Eusebius was mistaken here and the history went up as far as 92 AD
Eusebius seems to have had a short version of Thallus’ works. Everybody else had a longer and different version (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it Reliable?). Eusebius would have had the longer version especially when it said that there was a darkness at the time of Christ but it seems he believed the shorter was the right one. Eusebius liked to fake evidence for Christ and he wouldn’t have missed that one. It is likely that Julius lied about what Thallus wrote. There is no evidence that Eusebius knew of the darkness story in Thallus and when he said that Thallus recorded nothing for after 109BC it is plain that he denied the authenticity of any version of Thallus that did. It seems then Julius was lying. He was trying to fabricate evidence for the existence of the historical Jesus.
It may be that Thallus was misread or Julius used a bad copy of his writing and/or Julius only thought or assumed that the darkness he mentioned happened at the time of Christ or perhaps Thallus meant an eclipse and not a supernatural blackness. So Thallus may not have mentioned the cross at all. Or perhaps the legends that were used to concoct the gospels were circulating for years before Jesus was allegedly born and Thallus had spoken of a Jesus way back before 109 BC.
Not to be outdone, Christians have tried to redate the writings by Thallus that Julius had in his possession. They say that Josephus put Thallus into a time slot in which Thallus could have known about Jesus when Thallus’ name popped up in Jewish Antiquites 18. They want to claim that Thallus was an eyewitness of the darkness and knew about the crucifixion, But his name got in through an 18th century and convenient error (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it Reliable?). Josephus wrote Allos not Thallos. Thallus could have written any time up to 180 AD which means he can’t be relied upon. McDowell admitted that writers like Julius liked to exaggerate and invent evidence for their assertions.
Julius said that Thallus dated the darkness to the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberias which brings us to 29AD (page 35, He Walked Among Us). This contradicts the gospels which say that 29AD is too early for the crucifixion of Jesus. He Walked Among Us foolishly argues that Thallus was just been careless. It cannot know that. Thallus may have been right about when the miracle darkness happened. This would mean that the gospels said the crucifixion happened when it couldn’t have happened meaning there was no crucifixion. He Walked Among Us tries then to argue that Thallus did not try to explain away the crucifixion which shows it must have happened. But maybe he was not interested? You can’t expect him to write about everything he can. The fact of the matter is, there is no evidence that Thallus mentioned Jesus or his cross at all (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus, Is it Reliable?).

Julius wrote that a man called Phelgon in 140 AD wrote that there was an eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth in the time of Tiberias Caesar (page 36, He Walked Among Us). It is strange that Julius would cite Phlegon when Julius was keen to prevent anybody thinking it was an eclipse that happened for he never properly criticised Phlegon’s view. Julius had no need to quote this man when he said that it was silly to say an eclipse could happen at the full moon. Anyway, had the darkness happened, the Christians might have worked it into their fictitious story of Jesus. It is only a single sentence and it is an interpolation. Eusebius quoted Phelgon without this sentence. We don’t know if Phelgon was a good historian or not. We cannot use anything he says as evidence for the reality of Jesus Christ.
Justin Martyr sought to defend Christianity in 150 AD by claiming that the Acts of Pilate verified Jesus’ divine sonship. But the Acts were a forgery. There is no evidence that Pilate became a defender of the faith as the Acts say. Justin can be read as only assuming that these Acts exist and it is possible for a scholar to assume that a book must exist though it doesn’t and tell us to go to the book for further data (The Jesus of History, A Reply to Josh McDowell).
In 197 AD, the lawyer and theologian, Tertullian, claimed that Tiberias Caesar, as a result of reading Pilate’s writings, wanted the Roman senate to promote Christ as a God but could not persuade them (Apology V.2). But we can’t pay much attention to this hearsay when it made it unto paper so long after the alleged event and Tertullian never named his source or verified it. Plus, Tiberias had plenty of other avenues through which to promote Christ.
The senate could have been persuaded to accept Christ as a god if Christ was open to paganism and was not the bigot of the gospels who supported the totally nasty Jewish law which deplored the worship of other gods and if his death was not Rome’s fault. If the gospels are right that Pilate acted to destroy Jesus in the name of Tiberias, Tiberias would not have rehabilitated Christ. We know that Tertullian lied because he claimed that Tiberius made threats against those who opposed Christians. Tiberias hated cults and did not tolerate them at all. Paul and the New Testament never say that Tiberias converted to Christianity or at least to the worship of Christ. Neither does any ancient writer (Josh McDowell’s Evidence for Jesus: Is it reliable?). The more honest Christians admit that Tertullian was not above serious exaggeration (page 16, Runaway World). But they are happy to say that because Tertullian said that Pilate’s report on the crucifixion and its aftermath was still in the Emperor’s Archives he must have been truthful here. The report if it existed would have inevitably have accused the unprofessional disciples of Jesus of stealing the body of Jesus so they would dislike and hide that aspect of the case. Even they are embarrassed to admit that they prefer the testimony of unknown and admittedly stupid men to the legal and political testimony of trained men which was accepted by Rome itself.

The Jesus Mysteries (page 133) lists 27 prolific pagan writers who never even mentioned Jesus though they were near his time.

There is no real evidence for Christ. The silence is deafening. It shouts at us that this man never lived. It shouts at us that if he was unknown the evidence for him would have been easy to fabricate. It warns us to beware.

Ossuaries bearing Jesus' name have been found to be tampered with or irrelevant.
The Turin Shroud is presented as Jesus' burial cloth. There is no smearing. The image has hair in the standing position when it supposedly depicts a corpse laid out for burial. The blood is like it was painted on. The carbon dating to the middle ages has never been disproved. The cloth has some unexplained aspects but a lot of that is down to experts contradicting each other and confusing people.
The first century Jewish historian Josephus allegedly wrote: “An end was put to this uprising. Now about the same time, a wise man called Jesus, if it be right to call him a man for he was a worker of wonderful works and a teacher of men who like to receive the truth. He won over to him many of the Jews and also many of the Gentiles. He was the Messiah or Christ. Pilate at the request of the chief men among us condemned him to crucifixion. When that happened those who loved at from the first did not abandon him because he appeared to them alive on the third day as the prophets of God had forecasted and not only that but ten thousand other things about him. The tribe of Christians called after him are not extinct even today. About this time another sad calamity put the Jews into great crisis and terrible disgusting things happened concerning the Temple of Isis in Rome.”
Even if Josephus wrote this we have testimonies from the New Testament itself that contradict him regarding when Jesus lived. The New Testament provides the best evidence that Jesus didn’t live at all. Much of the New Testament is older than his writings so it is what should be heeded if a conflict arises. This glowing reference to Jesus contradicts what he supposedly wrote in book 20 when he referred to James the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ.
Because Josephus was a Jew not a Christian and a supporter of the Roman Empire which didn’t tolerate Messiahs and considered allegiance to them to be treason against the divine Emperor in Rome this passage has been inserted or reworked by a Christian. The Romans sponsored his writing. If a Christian went to this trouble it would indicate that there was a need to fabricate evidence for the existence of Jesus. There can be no doubt that the passage is principally intended to bolster its main statement that there was a man called Jesus. The other details are just meant to back this up.

There is no need to suppose that any of this Jesus material is genuine. Arguments like that Josephus must have wrote that Jesus was a wise man for Christians didn’t use that terminology are silly, we have all heard Christians say that Jesus was a good man so why wouldn’t they say he was a wise one? The passage really shouldn’t be discussed in attempts to prove Jesus lived for it proves nothing. How could Josephus praise a man as wise who caused a riot in the Temple showing contempt for Roman and Jewish law?
The testimony says that that Jesus won disciples and was crucified under Pilate and rose BECAUSE the prophets spoke of these and countless others things about him. THE TESTAMENT DOES NOT CLAIM TO BE A TESTIMONY. WHAT IT CLAIMS IS THAT YOU MUST CHECK OUT THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES TO SEE IF WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT JESUS IS TRUE!! This is critically important. It means that even if Josephus did write the Testament it still does not help in the case for a historical Jesus because it depends on human interpretative ideas about Bible prophecies. It is not history that is here but faith. This means that his later reference to James being the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ is put into a new context. It is not saying Jesus existed because he indicated before that that this was a matter of faith. The evidence is overwhelming. Josephus and Rome and the Jews did not know of a Jesus of history.

When were the forgeries supporting Christianity implanted into Josephus' opus? Nobody knew about them before 320 AD. If the interpolations were in the early versions of Josephus the early Christian defenders of the faith would have used them to support their religious stance. Eusebius was the first person to write about the longer one and he did it in that year in his Demonstration of the Gospel. Eusebius stated that lying to get people to believe in Christianity was to be commended which is why many believe he was the forger of the Testament.
Origen in his famous Against Celsus, recorded that Josephus did not receive Jesus as his Saviour, Lord and Messiah and was amazed when Josephus praised James who was unjustly executed and who Josephus regarded as the brother of Jesus. It would be more natural, as well, for Origen to be amazingly amazed at what Josephus supposedly wrote about Jesus in the famous Testament of Flavius. It was not in the text in those days. When Origen was so gobsmacked then his Josephus did not mention Jesus in nice terms at all. Origen did not quote the stuff about Josephus saying Jesus was the Messiah and rose from the dead to Celsus though he wrote a lot against Celsus to defend the faith against Celsus’ scepticism about Christianity’s’ claims meaning it did not exist in the works of Josephus in his time. Celsus rejected Jesus’ morals and Origen couldn’t even use Josephus to argue that Jesus had been stated by a non-Christian to have been a good man. Josephus never mentioned the man at all.
Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Cyprian did not know that Josephus had any faith in Christ therefore their silence proves that he didn't. It must have been a Christian copyist who inserted the Testament. This Christian forger of the Testament did not know much about Jesus and had leanings towards the Christian tendency to deny that Jesus was a proper man but just God or an angel in a human body without a human mind. The interpolation was put in by somebody who did not believe that Jesus was God for that is too foundational a detail to leave out.
It is surmised that the Testament was not mentioned in the first few centuries because the existence of Jesus was not questioned by any important people or groups. The existence was questioned for example by Trypho the Jew Justin argued with for example but lets pretend the objection is right. The resurrection and the miracles were questioned as were the Messiahship and the divinity of Christ. The Christians had four very serious reasons then to use and cherish the text and they did not because it did not exist. They would not have known that it was a fake so that could not have put them off. The text would not be still extant if it had been recognised for the fraud it was.
In book 20 of Jewish Antiquities another reference to Jesus appears.  This is the place where Origen and others used to read a glowing report about James which is currently rejected as an insertion. This part of Josephus’ work was tampered with so we have no reason to trust its mention of Jesus.

“Ananus...called together the Sanhedrin and brought the brother of Jesus the so-called Messiah/Christ, James by name, together with some others. He accused them of breaking the Law and condemned them to death by stoning. But the experts of the Law who were more liberal were angry at this and secretly requested the king stop this from happening” (Jewish Antiquities, Book 20).
Calling James the brother of the Christ or the Lord was a title given to James by the early Church.
Josephus would not call Jesus the so-called Christ when it was not the Jews or the Romans were calling Christ but a tiny persecuted and obscure sect that never made the news. 
Maybe Josephus was saying James brother of the so called Christ as in a sneer. That would mean the line can’t prove if Jesus was thought to have existed or not. If James claimed to be very close to the risen Christ he might be called this in a sneering way.
In Galatians 1:19, Paul says that he met James the Lord's brother. This seems to say that Jesus lived in the first century when his brother was still alive. But the most important thing to realise is that Paul told Philemon that Onesimus the slave was to be his blood-brother and not just a brother in the Lord so blood-brother among the early Christians didn’t always mean that you shared a parent. Josephus who also called James Jesus’ brother could have made a mistake due to this confusing practice. The practice probably had a lot to do with the universal accusations of incest that supposedly was rife among the early Christians.
Tacitus the Roman Governor of Asia supposedly wrote about Jesus in 112 AD. Tacitus makes it plain that the Christians were detested in Rome because they got blamed for the fire of 64 AD which some believed that Nero himself had started. How then could Josephus who depended on Romans to look after his publications and buy them for the Jews hated him have spoken so well of Jesus or of James his brother either? The official verdict in Roman law was that Christians had a murderous hatred of Rome.
There were countless Christian believers in the early Church who did not subscribe to the thought that a man died under Pilate by crucifixion and rose again from the dead in the first century. To them Jesus was a vision from Heaven. Would Josephus then simply talk about a man who there was so much controversy about as if he was a real flesh and blood man? No. He would have had to give his reasons for saying Jesus was a man.
Josephus who wrote the intimate details of Jewish history down for the Romans ignored Christ. This indicates that he thought that Jesus never lived. 
Considering the extraordinary claims made for Jesus, we would expect more than just testimony from his followers to back up his existence not to mention these claims. We would expect there to be outside and unbiased evidence from non-believers as well. Testimony from your friends is fine but testimony from your enemies that supports your friends is infinitely better. After all, your friends are biased and your enemies are not. Testimony from the friends of Jesus is very weak testimony for they were far too keen on turning him into the epitome of perfection and divine revelation. They were too biased. We have only hearsay testimony for Jesus for there is no proof that eyewitnesses wrote the gospels. You need something better than hearsay for such extraordinary claims and the existence of such an extraordinary man.