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JOSEPHUS AND THE NON-EXISTENCE OF JESUS
 
There is a short testimony to the life of Jesus in the writings of Josephus. This testimony is regarded as totally or partly a forgery. Christians say that even if it was tampered with, it is still an early witness to the reality of Jesus. Astonishingly, the Testament does not claim to be about a historical person but quite the opposite.

THE TESTAMENT DENIES IT’S HISTORY
 
Josephus knew the Old Testament backwards and forwards and sideways and would not have declared that the prophets predicted heaps of things about Jesus for that is simply untrue. There are only very scanty predictions that seem to speak of Jesus but anybody could fulfil them and most of the prophecies that Christians and the Bible say are prophecies of Jesus are not this at all. And the man knew that nothing in the prophetical writings suggested anything about the Messiah being restored to life. The line about the prophecies is obviously propaganda for Christ. It reflects the gospel doctrine that fundamentalist Christians like to forget that the resurrection was never meant to prove that Jesus was the Son of God on its own.  It had to be prophesied to show that it fitted with the word that God gave before and of course Jesus’ teaching had to be right. You check these out and then you consider the evidence for an actual resurrection. Fundamentalists start with the resurrection and try to make it look like it must have happened to get followers which is not the gospel way. The author of the Testament was using the original method. He wanted people to check out that these things he said about Jesus happened by looking in the Old Testament scriptures for God’s predictions about Jesus. He wrote 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 alleged 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.
 
Perhaps the Testament just calls us to see what the prophecies say and then look at history? It never says the second thing. It tells us that these things happened to Jesus because the prophets of centuries before in the book that God wrote the Old Testament said they happened. Why not say history speaks of the events and so does the prophecies?
 
The fact that the Testament is faith not history shows that Josephus didn’t write it. He was a historian not an evangelist. A person that cannot be trusted tampered with Josephus which is why the Testament is no good.
 
When Jesus could not be verified by history but by prophecy then clearly it was because there was no history. Josephus not only denied the existence of Jesus by his silence and other indications but even the person that interfered with his book did it too.
 
BOOK 20
 
In Jewish Antiquities Book 20 Josephus seems to have written about the death of James the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ. We know that Origen and others declared that Josephus wrote more than that and that his piece was full of praise for James. This doesn’t exist in the recognised version. But it does show that a lot of tampering went on in the book at this point so we can’t trust even the accepted version. Maybe somebody who knew of the tampering tried to reverse it and wasn’t sure exactly how to restore the text to the original wording and left in the reference to Jesus?
 
The reference to brother of Jesus was possibly a title of James’. It does not prove that he really was a brother or that Jesus existed. Onesimus was declared a blood brother to Philemon by the apostle Paul though he wasn’t a relation at all. It is entirely possible that James had visions of a man claiming to be a brother he never heard of and who was crucified in obscurity and came back from the dead. We know for a fact that it was men claiming they had apparitions of a resurrected saviour who said he was crucified that started the Church. There is no evidence that they knew him as an ordinary man or seen or otherwise heard of his crucifixion and they spoke of him in a way that denied that they knew him.
 
FINALLY 

 

If Jesus never existed then forgery would be necessary to make it seem that he did.

 

The testimony does not really help show Jesus existed. It hinders.

BOOKS CONSULTED

Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, undated
Asking them Questions, Various, Oxford University Press, London, 1936
Belief and Make-Believe, GA Wells, Open Court, La Salle, Illinois, 1991
Biblical Dictionary and Concordance, New American Bible, Living Word Edition, North Carolina, 1971
Concise Guide to Today's Religions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1983
Conspiracies and the Cross, Timothy Paul Jones, Front Line, A Strang Company, Florida, 2008
Did Jesus Exist? GA Wells, Pemberton, London, 1988
Did Jesus Exist? John Redford, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1986
Early Christian Writings, Maxwell Staniforth Editor, Penguin, London, 1988
Encyclopaedia of Heresies and Heretics, Leonard George, Robson Books, London, 1995
Encyclopaedia of Unbelief, Volume 1, Ed Gordon Stein, (Ed) Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
He Walked Among Us, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Alpha Cumbria, 2000
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
Introduction to the New Testament, Roderick A F MacKenzie, SJ, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1965
Jesus - God the Son or Son of God? Fred Pearce Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham, undated
Jesus - One Hundred Years Before Christ, Professor Alvar Ellegard Century, London, 1999
Jesus and the Four Gospels, John Drane, Lion, Herts, 1984
Jesus Hypotheses, V Messori, St Paul Publications Slough 1977
Jesus Lived in India, Holger Kersten, Element, Dorset, 1994
Jesus the Evidence, Ian Wilson, Pan, London, 1985
Jesus the Magician, Morton Smith, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1978
Jesus under Fire, Edited by Michael F Wilkins and JP Moreland, Zondervan Publishing House, Michigan, 1995
Jesus, AN Wilson, Flamingo, London, 1993
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Nag Hammadi Library, Ed James M Robinson HarperCollins New York 1990
On the True Doctrine, Celsus, Translated by R Joseph Hoffmann, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1987
Putting Away Childish Things, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994
Runaway World, Michael Green, IVP, London, 1974
St Peter and Rome, JBS, Irish Church Missions, Dublin, undated
The Bible Fact or Fantasy, John Drane, Lion, Oxford, 1989
The Case For Christ, Lee Strobel, HarperCollins and Zondervan, Michigan, 1998
The Case for Jesus the Messiah, John Ankerberg Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1989
The Early Church, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1967
The First Christian, Karen Armstrong, Pan, London, 1983
The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, Penguin, London, 1990
The Historical Evidence for Jesus, G A Wells, Prometheus Books, New York, 1988
The History of Christianity, Lion, Herts 1982
The History of the Church, Eusebius, Penguin, London, 1989
The House of the Messiah, Ahmed Osman, Grafton, London, 1993
The Jesus Event and Our Response, Martin R Tripole SJ, Alba House, New York, 1980
The Jesus Hoax, Phyllis Graham, Leslie Frewin, London, 1974
The Jesus Inquest, Charles Foster, Monarch Books, Oxford, 2006
The Jesus Mysteries, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, Thorsons, London, 1999s
The Marian Conspiracy, Graham Phillips, Pan Books, London, 2001
The MythMaker, St Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Hyam Maccoby, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, 1986
The Reconstruction of Belief, Charles Gore DD, John Murray, London, 1930
The Search for the Twelve Apostles, William Steuart McBirnie, Tyndale House, 1997
The Secret Gospel, Morton Smith, Aquarian Press, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985
The Truth of Christianity, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
Theodore Parker's Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, London, 1876
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Kittel Gerhard and Friedrich Gerhard, Eerdman's Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, MI, 1976
Those Incredible Christians, Hugh Schonfield Hutchinson, London, 1968
Who Was Jesus? A Conspiracy in Jerusalem, by Kamal Salabi, I.B. Taurus and Co Ltd., London, 1992
Who Was Jesus? NT Wright, SPCK, London, 1993
Why I Believe Jesus Lived, C G Colly Caldwell, Guardian of Truth, Kentucky
 
Top of the Document

The WWW
 
Who is GA Wells? Rev Dr Gregory S. Neal
www.errantskeptics.org/G_A_Wells.htm

The Silent Jesus
www.askwhy.co.uk/awcnotes/cn4/0325SilentJesus.html#Justin

Apollonius the Nazarene, The Historical Apollonius versus the Historical Jesus
www.apollonius.net/bernard1e.html

Why Did the Apostles Die? Dave Matson,
 www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/4Why97.html
 
How Did the Apostles Die?
www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/4/4front97.html
 
The "Historical" Jesus by Acharya S
www.truthbeknown.com/historicaljc.htm
 
History's Troubling Silence About Jesus, Lee Salisbury
www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=102

Steven Carr discusses the Christian and apostolic martyrs
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs.htm
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs2.htm
 
Challenging the Verdict
A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsOne.htm
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsTwo.htm
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsThree.htm#Twelve
 
The Martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, Peter Kirby
http://home.earthlink.net/~kirby/
 
The Martyrdoms: A Response, Peter Kirby
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs3.htm

A Sacrifice in Heaven,
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/supp09.htm

The Evolution of Jesus of Nazareth
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/partthre.htm

The Jesus of History, a Reply to Josh McDowell by Gordon Stein,
www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/Jesus.html

Josh McDowell's Evidence for Jesus - Is It Reliable?, by Jeffrey J Lowder
www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

A Reply to JP Holding's "Shattering" of My Views on Jesus
www.infidels.org/secular_web/new/2000/march.html

Robert M Price, Christ a Fiction
www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/fiction.html

Earliest Christianity G A Wells
www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/earliest.html

The Second Century Apologists
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/century.htm

Existence of Jesus Controversy, Rae West
www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/littleton/gm1_jesu.htm

Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story by Richard Carrier
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/index.shtml

Jesus Conference, www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_sd/jconf_hall.html

Jesus Conference, www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/jconf_stuckenbruck.html

The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance
www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-08/anf08-07.htm#P378_53868

Sherlock Holmes Style Search for the Historical Jesus,
www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/bp/890/history.html

The Ascension of Isaiah,
www.earth-history.com/sacred-ascension-Isaiah.htm

Apollonius of Tyana: The Monkey of Christ? The Church Patriarchs, Robertino Solarion
 www.apollonius.net/patriarchs.html

What About the Discovery of Q? Brad Bromling
www.ApologeticsPress.org

Wells without Water, Psychological Buffoonry from the Master of the Christ-Myth, James Patrick Holding
www.tektonics.org/JPH_WW.html

Critique: Scott Bidstrp [sic] on The Case for Christ by James Patrick Holding
www.tektonics.org/bidstrup02.html

GA Wells Replies to Criticism of his Books on Jesus
www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/errant.html

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, Acharya S
www.truthbeknown.com/origins.htm

Biblical Discrepancies, Todd Billings
www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/archive/billings_bd.html

The Testament of Josephus
www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/9623//index.html
 
This site gives the text of the Testament and the surrounding material in the chapter that contains it with a commentary:
www.theistic-evolution.com/josephus.html .

Historical References to Jesus, His Miracles and His Resurrection, Outside the New Testament
www.british-israel.ca/Historical.htm