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 text of the Testament which is the part of the writings of Josephus the first century historian that supposedly proves Jesus lived follows with the lines before and after in italics:
“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.”
In the early days of the Church, a priest called Caius was accused of writing it. But that has not stopped Christians wanting it to have issued from Josephus's quill. No less an authority than the Patriarch Photius declared that it was probably Caius in 860 AD.

Does the text about Jesus belong where it is?
Just before it, there is the story of Pilate violently putting down a riot by the Jews who protested when he used holy money to fund a canal to Jerusalem. The story ends with the words, “This was how this rebellion was brought to an end.”
Then it goes on to the Jesus Testament which it begins by saying, “Now about the same time, a wise man called Jesus, etc”.
 After the Testament appears the account immediately proceeds to another sad calamity to befall the Jews and then he says he will diverge for a moment to tell the story about a Roman lady Paulina who was fooled for sex by a man she thought was the apparition of the god Anubis in the Temple of Isis. He said then he would return to the story of the Jews as he promised and then he wrote of the calamity that happened to the Jews. So we see then that when he allegedly wrote about Jesus he was determined not to digress without saying. At the time he wrote he was not into wandering all over the place with his words. What he did other times would have nothing to do with this for we all temporarily take on good and bad habits. Therefore the Testament is an insertion by a Christian forger.
The text about Jesus can be extracted and not missed for it is in the middle of a train of thought which proves that it is an insertion for it breaks the train (The Jesus Mysteries, page 137). It is not a weird digression for Josephus was well organised. Some object that since it appears between two paragraphs of separate material that this cannot be proved. But it claims that Jesus appeared after John died so it is out of chronology and the length is bizarre for it is too short for a man who wrote in detail about John and little about Jesus and centred on doctrine.

Because of the lady in the Temple story, Christians argue that the Jesus Testament could be authentic despite looking out of place for Josephus occasionally wandered from the topic anyway. After this Temple story digression which he stated was a digression he went on to discuss the calamity he had in mind which was the Jews been ejected from Rome. He Walked Among Us claims that the story of the lady seduced in the Temple of Isis is seriously out of context (page 43). This story starts with the words, "At this time another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder but I will go back to this later," so this book is lying to cover up the fact that the Testament is what is out of context or to minimise our perception of how out of place it is. It goes as far as to say that the story about the lady is what should be removed not the Testament. This is ridiculous for Josephus explicitly warned that he was digressing so it is not really out of context but no such warning exists for the Testament. The Jesus Testament is still out of context and the story of the lady does not make this any less true.
The only basis on which Christians and the book He Walked Among Us dismiss the idea that Josephus's entire book 18 can do perfectly well without the Testament is that those who think it can see a pattern in the book that deals with disasters that is not there and they argue that the woman is a digression so why couldn't Jesus be? We have seen that the lady in the temple is not an unexpected digression. The Jesus one is in a different category for there is no hint that it is a digression unlike the woman’s story. Josephus would not have started about a Jewish disaster and then got carried away about Jesus especially if he liked Jesus for he would have given what he was going to write about him more thought than treating it as a footnote or impromptu afterthought. He would have written his book out roughly first and so this aberration would have been fixed in the final version.
Josh McDowell's Evidence for Jesus is it Reliable? says that being out of context would not mean the Testament was a forgery because ancient writers often digressed for it was in a time that footnotes and stuff were not thought of. But even if the case is that we don't know if it is a case like that or if it is an insertion by a fraudster we still cannot rely on the passage for evidence about Jesus.  And why would Josephus digress so dramatically and not give some warning? The passage sticks out like a sore thumb. The passage starts with "At this time there was a man of wisdom called Jesus". At what time? Certainly not the time when Pilate put assassins in the middle of a Jewish rebellion. Clearly, it does not matter who digresses in ancient writings. What is relevant is, would Josephus digress without indication and was it his style? We know he wouldn't.
Some reason, “It could well be that Josephus was in the habit of inserting material into his finished book which gave the forger of the Testament the perfect chance to put in his little Christian creed. Paulina’s tale could be an instance of Josephus’s habit.” Even if we grant that the Testament is so out of place and he would have slotted it into the context just like he said he was digressing to put in the details about Paulina.
Josephus says immediately after the Testament that another calamity for the Jews happened. No hint was given that the death of Jesus was a calamity for the Jews. He denied it was for he said Jesus appeared after his death and the Jews wanted him dead and nothing bad came to the Jews because of it. The gospel of John says the Jews believed that it was better for Jesus to die than to risk antagonising the Romans who might turn on them all. Therefore the entire Jesus Testament was an insertion, a fabrication.
Josephus’ Testament speaks of Jesus a bit before it relates the terrible things that began to take place after the demise of John. This would contradict the gospels which all say that Jesus was baptised by John and was active before John’s demise and that he stole a lot of the light from John. If any part of the Testament is real then Josephus would not have believed the gospels and considered them to be silly lies. Some believe the time scale is spot on because the gospels speak of Herod thinking Jesus was John raised from the dead which can only mean that the gospels lied about Jesus’ actions and ministry before John’s demise.
If the Testament is not in its right place then that would destroy the link between Jesus and John the Baptist. We would have to wonder why when Jesus and John were so linked in the gospels why the Testament wasn’t put next to some John material. This would stand as a refutation of the gospels and their time-scale. Not that there is a solid link in Josephus except that it is near to it.
The Testament is just too avoidable and awkward where it is to be anything other than an interpolation – the claim that the concept of footnotes didn’t exist in those days and so what would have been footnotes were stuck in anywhere does not wash here. Why? Because even footnotes have some link to the text but the Jesus one has no link at all. Why would Josephus just think of it just like that? If he really liked Jesus he would have put a lot of thought into it and put it in a suitable place. It says he liked Jesus so it is a fake. Josephus would have written his book out roughly first before copying what he finally decided to write into the final manuscript. He had no need to wander from the point and had to be careful as to where he put data in case he would need to go back and revise it again. That was too much of a digression though everybody digresses a bit. This digression is too sharp and unexpected for comfort (Biblical Discrepancies).
Even if the Christians are right that there is no evidence that the Testament can be done without then we still don't know if it belongs there. To trust it would be like trusting a letter from your lover that could just as easily have come from her or a forger.
The fact that the insertion in Book 18 was not stuck in at Book 20 where there is an alleged reference to Jesus makes it plain that the original Book 20 never mentioned Jesus at all.
Josephus recounts the calamity of the protesters being slain first and then the Testament follows straight after and it begins by saying, “Now about the same time, a wise man called Jesus, etc”. So the impression given is that Jesus appeared at the time of the calamity – it has a dating function. But it was not a big enough event for that for slayings of Jews by Romans were common. This indicates that the Testament is an insertion.
Christians will object that he wrote about this time so it could give or take a few years. What use would that be. He says that another calamity befell the Jews and a shamefulness took place in the Temple of Isis at that time as well. He as good as wants the year in and that is how he says it. He wants us to know with sufficient accuracy when these events happened. The events happened in the same year if he is to mean anything at all.
He said that Jesus appeared at the time Pilate had the protesters slain – it was an unnecessary slaying at that for the Romans were able to go among the protestors in plain clothes without fear and then they withdrew their weapons and murdered them. This does not fit the Pilate who wanted to delight the Jews by killing Jesus that we have in the Testament. But enough digressing. He says the shame in the Temple and a disaster befell the Jews at the same time. This makes more sense if you leave the Testament out because then you have the slaying of the protestors and then the Temple shenanigans and the Jewish calamity said to be at the one time. But you can’t do this with the Testament for it says when Jesus appeared and gives events such as Jesus getting followers and then being killed which did not happen at the one time but would have taken a few years.
So what Josephus says is that at the time of the protesters being murdered, Jesus appeared and worked, died and rose and then at the same time the Temple seduction and the calamity happened which makes no sense because Jesus’ tale would have been a more long term thing spanning up to three years. When you leave it out the times make sense.
Another reason the Testament does not fit is that if Josephus liked Jesus so much then why would he describe the expulsion of Jews from Rome as another great calamity for the Jews for that would be disrespectful to Jesus? There is no comparison between the Messiah’s murder and Jewish men being exiled from Rome. And the Jews didn’t feel that Jesus’ death was a calamity.
The Testament does not belong in Josephus at all. End of.


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.  Also, "many of his peers did not trust him or his work. Over two dozen complaints from his contemporaries still survive: accusations of lack of integrity, poor scholarship, deliberate misrepresentations in his histories, and hypocrisy.  As scholarship advanced, his histories became more and more suspect."  Read David Fitzgerald in Nailed: Ten Christian Myths.
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 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.
Our oldest manuscripts containing the passage all hail from the eleventh century and all three can be traced back to one ancient manuscript according to a scholar named Bammel. So it was no trouble for Christians to interpolate the whole Testament to Jesus.
Why does the Testament follow the same structure and much of the same train of thought and have so much wording in common with this, "Among these men of war there was to be found a warrior and he was strong and mighty. His personality drew many of the Cicilians to him. He was a man of holiness and many sought after him for his wisdom. He lead the Cicilians to prayer at dawn and again in the middle of the day and then at twilight and he never failed to honour his God whom he called Mithras" (www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/9623//index.html). We know the early Church was heavily influenced by Mithraism and this was admitted by leading Christians of the time and here we have a text from the first century or before about a man who died in 41 BC that seems to have been the inspiration and structure for the forged Testament in Josephus. The Testament is a plagiarised version of the story of the warrior and the warrior was called Lucius Agrius.
The New Testament says the early Church was Jewish. The notion that the Gentiles were not compelled to become Jews before they could become Christians after 50 AD is wrong. Read my book on the alleged proofs that they were not obliged, Jewish Christianity is Real Christianity. Anyway, Christianity was deeply Jewish when Josephus was sixteen (Acts 21). When he was that age, according to his own account, he had an interior struggle over which of the sects available in the Holy Land he should join. "When I was about sixteen years old, I decided to investigate several sects that were among us - the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. For I thought that by this means I might choose the best. So, I contented myself with hard fare, and went through them all" (Josephus: Complete Works, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1960, or page 124, Dead Sea Scrolls, Kenneth Hanson, PH.D, Council Oak Books, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1997). Then he says that he stayed with a hermit in the desert for three years before joining the Pharisees at 19.
In 53 AD at the age of 16, Josephus did not investigate the Christian sect probably because he was convinced that it was not worth investigating perhaps because it was too obvious that its hero Jesus was a fictitious man. He felt sure that Jesus was not worth thinking about. This proves that he could not have written the things he allegedly wrote about Jesus for if they had been true he would have studied the Christian sect. He evidently did not believe them not even when he became a Pharisee joining the sect that had the most news about him. Some explain that Christianity was a branch of Phariseeism but the Pharisees expelled it and Jesus hated that group. Some say that Josephus did not bother investigating all the sects. But Essenianism had many similarities with Christianity with the added superstition of occultism and he sussed it out. Josephus would have investigated Christianity if it had been impressive. He knew it was not so he did not write the Testament.
Everything is against the authenticity of Josephus' text and its alleged value for Christians.

The most striking thing about the material about Jesus called the Testament in Josephus' book is its caginess and brevity and what is more remarkable that he wrote long chapters on insignificant and uninteresting people so you would expect him to write more about Jesus (History's Troubling Silence About Jesus). For example, just immediately after he allegedly wrote about Jesus he wrote a longwinded piece about an insignificant lady called Paulina and we are supposed to believe that Jesus was important to him and he wrote just a few lines!
You would think a forger would put in more to convince unbelievers but he wanted his interference to be undetected long enough for it to be accepted as part of the original or did not get the chance to go further. But forgeries are better short. They are less easily found out then. The forger did not know that the miracles were being questioned by the Jews who thought they were satanic magic which was why did he not defend them. This proves that the author was not Josephus.
Josephus would have said if Jesus claimed to be the Son of God - he was a historian. The Christian settled for saying he was a wise man thus giving approval for any claim that religion said Jesus made.
In Book 18, all this Jesus stuff took about six lines. If Josephus really set this down about Jesus he would have written more than that especially if he admired him so tremendously. Christians say he didn't have to for the gospels were around for anyone that wanted further information. But the material contradicts the gospels so that is the end of that. And Josephus plagiarised many things that were already put down in writing. Josephus would not have wanted people to go to the Church for more information for it had only been oral tradition and he could not support the Church because of how the empire would have felt about it. Historians recommend written records not hearsay.
Josephus either did not know or did not believe the gospels when he did not tell us to go to them if they were the great historical documents that Christians say.
It is thought that the reference to Christ in Book 20 that says so little about him might indicate that Josephus must have written something about him before for then he would not settle just for a superficial mention of him then. True, but it does not mean that he wrote what Christians would want him to write. And it could just as easily indicate that he wrote and knew nothing about and had no interest in Jesus but just mentioned Jesus to show he meant James the brother of Jesus so that the people would know who he meant.
If what Josephus wrote about Jesus was real it would have been known to Tacitus the Roman Governor of Asia who supposedly wrote about Jesus in 112 AD. But Tacitus or a forger writes in such a way that it is clear that he contradicts Josephus. Tacitus undermines the thought that it was Jesus who was this Christ and that he was crucified. He sees no wisdom in Christ or Christianity.
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 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.
You will see evidence that there were countless Christian believers in the early Church who did not subscribe to the thought that a supernatural figure died under Pilate by crucifixion and rose again from the dead in the first century. Would Josephus then simply talk about a man who there was so much controversy about as if he were a real flesh and blood man? No. He would have had to give his reasons for saying Jesus was a man.


Olsen has discovered along with others that careful checking of the writing style and the words and sentence structure shows that the Jesus material in Josephus fits Eusebius the master liar and Christian historian.  Bart Ehrman disagrees but in his book Did Jesus Exist gives no decent argument to discredit the suspicion. 

Olsen notably observed that the word translated doer as in Jesus being a doer of miracles is actually the word poietes which means poet.  Jesus being a poet of wonderful deeds makes no sense and Josephus elsewhere always deploys the word correctly. 

Eusebius likes using up to this time and that phrase of course turns up in the forgery.

Earl Doherty tells us that as for “the tribe of the Christians,” the word “tribe” is always used by Josephus in application to an ethnic group, never a religious group, whereas Eusebius uses the term in other imaginative ways, and in History of the Church III,33, we find the phrase “the tribe of the Christians.”

It is a fact as Doherty noted that Eusebius hinted that the testimony was moved from where it was in his time to where it is now.

The entire Testament of Flavius in book 18 is a forgery as is the brief reference to Jesus in book 20. The forger knew that Josephus knew there was no Jesus and that was why he put it in. Otherwise all he had to do was to say there was a sect called Christians who said x, y and z about Jesus. The reasons to believe that Josephus never mentioned Jesus at all are more numerous than the reasons to believe that he did. All the latter can be refuted and have been so when Josephus mentioned lots of Christs but put them in a bad light it is obvious that the main Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, could not have existed for he never gave him so much as a line. If Jesus was so obscure that he was not worth mentioning then why believe he existed at all? Why not be agnostic at least?