HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

THE JESUS IN JOSEPHUS WAS NOT JESUS CHRIST
 
Not everybody thinks there was a Jesus. Those that do have noticed that the evidence is not very good.
 
Because it would be very suspicious if no historian in the early days of the Church said Jesus existed, the Christians attach great importance to the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. He supposedly wrote a small testimony to Jesus and his death by crucifixion and how his disciples alleged a resurrection for Jesus appeared to them alive and in another place he alludes to James the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ. The Testimony is no good for if any of it is forged all of it might as well be.
 
The Testimony is regarded as forged fully or partly but the reference to James seems to be strong or at least sufficient evidence for a historical Jesus.
 
But how do we know who the writer meant by Jesus? Jesus was a common name in Israel in those days.  So was James and the James does not match the Christian James that well.  Oddly enough in Josephus you have Jesuses and other figures who look like the Christian figures though they are not.  The gospels say that Jesus right to the throne of Israel as having a bloodline is not in doubt.  You can be sure Josephus is dismissing that argument.  If he had regard for James and the family of Jesus he would have veered away from mentioning them if they really had a royal bloodline for that gives them unwanted attention and they could end up murdered by the intolerant Romans.
 
The word Christ meant anointed. Some people were claiming like Jesus supposedly did that God anointed them with the Holy Spirit. Others were anointed with oil by priests or prophets. Priests were called anointed and Christs. We read of priests being called Christs in the Old Testament. The Jews were expecting a special anointed or Messiah or Christ - a warrior king who would break the Roman yoke and reign over Israel.   It was a political-religious title.
 

Some believe that the Jesus mentioned in Josephus as being James brother was not Jesus of Nazareth but Jesus the high priest who was son of Damneus. Scholar Kenneth Humphreys is a notable proponent of that view. Christianity teaches that Jesus abolished the Law and James was his authorised apostle and messenger so James would have ignored the Law. If they believe that then how can they say this Jesus in Josephus is their Jesus when Josephus says this James was a keeper of the Law?  
 
It is thought that since Josephus was writing about two Jesus he had to describe one as the brother of James and as called Christ and the other as the Son of Damneus to make a distinction. But he was writing about James not Jesus - it was James he was trying to identify not Jesus. It could be said then that he only identified Jesus when he called him the Son of Damneus later on. That is why the Christian observation that when Josephus talks about somebody he always identifies them by saying perhaps who their father was or where they came from or what office they possessed the first time he mentions them has no relevance.
 
Josephus has not identified Jesus twice in two different ways. And even if he did it wouldn't prove that the two Jesus' were separate men.  
 
Christians feel Josephus should have written, " “James, brother of Jesus, the son of Damneus" instead of what he did write if the suggestion that the Jesus was not Jesus Christ is true. Maybe he did. The text has been interfered with. And Josephus could have written that way but he did not have to.
 
Christians also object that this Jesus son of Damneus was not anointed as Christ at the time that James died. But it could have been believed that Jesus was anointed by God's spirit before he was anointed at the ordination ceremony. And Josephus did say that Jesus was so called Christ perhaps meaning he wasn't anointed yet and yet he was being called anointed. It is possible he meant Jesus was not a Christ or called one then in James' time but is now.
 
Josephus may have refused to commit himself to the belief that Jesus was a true high priest owing to the controversy surrounding Jesus' appointment, "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".
 
Jesus Christ was never anointed as king and so could not be considered to be Messiah. The Jews would not have used Christ as a way of identifying him.
 
Simon Magus was claiming to be Messiah and to have been Jesus and his movement was extremely successful. It was believed that John the Baptist came back from the dead and was using the name Jesus. The gospels themselves say that. Josephus could not have been talking about Jesus of Nazareth in the midst of all that confusion. He would have had to give a lot of information to identify Jesus. He didn't. If Josephus mentioned Jesus Christ then why didn't he call him Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus son of Joseph? Why didn't he call James the son of Joseph of Nazareth? Jesus son of Damneus was the Jesus Josephus mentioned assuming the text is accurate for it has been tampered with.  
 
 http://explanationblog.wordpress.com/2009/01/25/jesus-the-brother-of-james-son-of-damneus
 
Josephus mentioned a lunatic prophet Jesus who taught in Israel but he put this Jesus as being alive in a time long after the demise of the Nazareth Jesus. This lunatic would probably have claimed to have been a Messiah or anointed.  
 
Josephus wrote, "What is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator] asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" Nor did he give illwords to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was loudest at the festivals;and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith,until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost. Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows to our race what is for their preservation; but that men perish by those miseries which they madly and voluntarily bring upon themselves; for the Jews, by demolishing the tower of Antonia, had made their temple four-square,while at the same time they had it written in their sacred oracles, "That then should their city be taken, as well as their holy house, when once their temple should become four-square." But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, "about that time,one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. However, it is not possible for men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. But these men interpreted some of these signals according to their own pleasure, and some of them they utterly despised,until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking of their city and their own destruction."
 
Josephus speaks of how terrible this Jesus's ministry was indicating that he must have been very influential - was he that mad then after all?
 
What Josephus found terrible was the man's prophecies of doom for sinners. Jesus of Nazareth made even worse prophecies of doom!
 
Jesus of Nazareth like this man kept forecasting calamity and divine vengeance at Jewish feasts.
 
The two Jesus's were hated by the people and whipped.
 
Neither Jesus would defend himself to the Procurator. Jesus Christ's Procurator was Pilate and this other Jesus had Albinus. Both Procurators showed that they thought the man before them was mentally disturbed. The gospels have Pilate wanting to let Jesus go after listening to his insane talk.
 
The other Jesus dies for his faith after being hit by a stone and Josephus says he brought it on himself though he was insane and deserved it.
 
Josephus argues that a bad death is a proof of being a religious fraud or nut. Does that sound like Josephus really wrote as is claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and was the possible Messiah? A blow from a stone is nothing compared to a crucifixion especially when the Jews found crucifixion to be a shameful thing considering how their law said anybody hanged on a tree was cursed.
 
Josephus shows in this text that he venerated no Messiah or king but Vespasian.
 
You would wonder if the gospel writers when writing their tales stole the inspiration from Josephus.
 
He writes about a character who could be mistaken for Jesus Christ. There is no comment on the similarity or concern that readers might confuse them. Why? Because Josephus knew nothing of Jesus Christ for Jesus was a lie and possibly a myth. He condemns this Jesus for things Jesus Christ allegedly did so it is impossible to believe that Josephus really did write anything in favour of Jesus Christ. The text that says he did is an interpolation.