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RECONSTRUCTING JOSEPHUS
 
Flavius Josephus, born in 37 AD, was the most important Jewish historian of the times. This dedicated writer created a monumental history of the Jews called Jewish Antiquities. It was written sometime in the early nineties. That Josephus was no Christian can be gleaned from his book. Yet it contains a piece popularly known as the Testament of Flavius that professes faith in Jesus. It runs, “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.”
 
This is obviously an insertion made by a forger. But how much of an insertion is it? There is every reason to think the whole thing is an insertion but some desperate Christian apologists deny this. They say some of it might be authentic and that the forger simply changed what Josephus had in about Jesus.
 
Some scholars and fantasists cross out the supernatural bits from the longer text of the Testament of Josephus and think that the result is the restoration of what was there originally and even the Christian fundamentalist tome He Walked Among Us admits that there was somebody interfering with the text (page 43, 44). But when all is said and done they are only guessing. We might as well believe that the whole thing is inauthentic. Their assumption is that somebody saw the entry on Jesus and added on supernatural bits.

 

As Jesus and John the Baptist were sort of similar you would expect Josephus to write about them the same way.  The John material is matter of fact and does not read anything like the Testament which is more like a creed than history.

 

The silence of Church Fathers in relation to the Testament shows that if it existed then there was nothing in it that they could use to defend the faith. Irenaeus and Tertullian ignored it completely despite being determined defenders of the faith. Interestingly, the John the Baptist discussion appears after the Testament not before it. It would be before if it were true that John came first and then Jesus. Josephus does nothing to link the two men at all which is odd and what is even more interesting, as we have seen, is how he writes about John in a historian type of way and writes more about him than the Testament claims he wrote about Jesus. Oddly enough he does the same thing with figures who are Jesus-like albeit more obscure such as Honi the Circle-Drawer.  Why does Honi get attention that Jesus never gets?  Considering that the Christians had to battle against Christian heretics and pagans who worshipped non-existent gods and had no regard for evidence for their deities, it is remarkable that nobody said, “Our God man at least was a person of history. Josephus wrote about him.”
 
The shortness of the passage proves that Josephus did not write it and that is final. We know we should not make anything more complicated than it need be. So if there are interpolations then perhaps this is the original for it is all we need, "About this time there was a man named Jesus who founded the tribe of Christians who still have not disappeared to this day." It talks as if there are not many Christians about and that it is a wonder they haven't disappeared. This does not fit a man who thought Jesus had miracle powers or who was impressive or who managed to seem to have come back from the dead but implies it is a wonder the Christians were still around so it indicates that the bits that sound grand about Jesus are insertions by a falsifier. The writer of the passage never hinted that he expected their number to be small because of their persecution. If the author of the Testament were a heretical Christian then that would explain this surprise that Christians were still around for the heretics would believe that the true Church was tiny and the real Christians were few and far between the only trouble is the text does not further any particular group so that is unlikely. The author perhaps did not notice the contradiction or maybe Josephus did write something about Christians here and that is what is left. If it is a wonder the Christians were not extinct by Josephus' day then it follows that they should have been even in those gullible times meaning it was the silliest religion in existence then and was capable of following a Jesus who never existed.
 
It is a problem that the Testament states that the Church got its name, the Christians, from Jesus. The real Josephus would have stated that they called Jesus the Christ and themselves Christians. To say the name came from Jesus the Christ implies that Jesus is the Christ.
 
Edwin M Yamauchi in his Jesus Under Fire from the Paternoster Press believes that we can know which references in the Testament are insertions and which really belong there. He thought the reference to a wise man was from Josephus for a Christian would have said more - but you can't place much emphasis on that when the Christian might have said all he could think of.
 
Yamauchi said that unbelievers like Josephus could say that Jesus did amazing miracles meaning tricks. That’s a lie for Josephus would not praise a man who was doing conjuring tricks as if they were miracles.
 
Yamauchi said that Josephus would have written that Jesus won over many Jews and Greeks for that was an observation. And finally Josephus said that the disciples came to love Jesus and called the church the tribes of Christians both of which fit his writing style. I do not like Yamauchi for he is too much for Christianity and does not care what harm this faith and his defending it does.
 
The Testament says that Jesus was called more than a man after being called a wise man and Yamauchi rejects the more than a man bit as fake. Some even say this more than a man bit was pure sarcasm and therefore authentic (eg Runaway World, page 19). But Josephus would not be sarcastic like that and it need not be sarcasm and the sarcasm interpretation is out of place in that context. Christians would have taught unbelievers to believe that Jesus was a wise man first in order to prepare them for being told that he was sinless and then the Son of God. Shocking doctrines have to be handled diplomatically. And why should we take the text to mean tricks by miracles when the whole passage was revised to make it support Jesus? And the Testament is chronological so Jesus winning the Greeks happened before his death which contradicts the gospels that he focused on Jews only and was not an observation for it was not true.
 
There is no evidence at all that any part of the Testament is genuine. There is no need for it to be genuine to explain Josephus saying that James was the brother of the so-called Christ, Jesus, later on so briefly. Maybe it was all he wanted to say.

Many think that since Josephus only said that the resurrection was reported by Jesus' friends that he does not sound too sure that the resurrection happened. But when the passage is so determined to be brief that would explain why whoever wrote it never said that Jesus rose and this was reported. Anyway, saying something is reported does not imply disbelief or mistrust for what they say. You can talk that way about something you know is true. The reference to the reporting could be a scam to get people to turn to the gospels to read the reports. That would be a further indication that Josephus did not write it. The fact however is, the Testament does say Jesus appeared alive after his death and does not say it was just somebody else who said that.

Those who say that the style is like that of Josephus never prove that Josephus would have been hard to imitate. Few well-known writers are and it is only a short insertion. It is too short to make an accurate assessment of who the author was or wasn’t.

Arguments from Josephan expressions for authenticity are dubious for whoever inserted the Testament would have been familiar with his expressions. For example he called Solomon and Daniel wise men. The Testament called Jesus' miracles paradoxa erga. Josephus used this term for the miracles of Elisha. The Testament called the Church a tribe, phylon. We are told the Christians never used these expressions so they must have come from Josephus and not a forger. But we don't have much Christian literature and especially literature from the Christians Josephus might have known and when the expressions were already in Josephus a forger might have known them.
 
When Christianity did regard Jesus as a wise man why wouldn’t it call him that? Why wouldn’t it use paradoxa erga when speaking of Jesus’ miracles? Paradoxa conveys the idea of deeds contradicting or being in a paradoxical relationship with nature rather than just astonishing but this word was loosely applied to seeming miracles (fakes) too. But from the positive context of the Testament, we can be sure that it was using the word to describe real wonders.
 
So the Testament says the followers of Jesus founded a tribe, phylon. They founded a tribe in the sense that the Church claimed to be the new Israel and Israel was a tribe subdivided into further tribes then why wouldn't they use these words? Josephus called the Jews and other racial groups tribes. It looks very much as if the Christians were a race and they do call themselves a chosen race. It is like they are a new Jewish race and they have the sectarian format of being a tribe.
 
Perhaps the author thought that you had to be a Jew to become a Christian and once you did that you became a new species or race and Gentile Christians are fakes for they didn’t become Jews first. The apostle of Jesus, Peter, called the Church a chosen race just like Yahweh called the Semitic race a chosen race. This would suggest that Jesus never envisioned a Church like Paul's made up of Jews and Gentiles but of converted Jews alone and this would have been a serious refutation of the authenticity of the New Testament which says the Church is for all and is not limited to any race.
 
The reference to Pilate having killed Jesus to please the Jews is sometimes taken to be part of what Josephus really wrote because Josephus wanted to please the Romans and wrote this for it was undeniable anyway. And it is thought to be real for in the second and third centuries the Christians blamed the Jews for killing Jesus (He Walked Among Us, page 41). This kind of argumentation is very weak. How could the Christians see what the writer’s motive was?
 
The passage does not morally blame Pilate or the Jews for it only says what they did but not that they were acting in bad faith or in good faith either though still Josephus could not have written this for it is still unflattering. If it blames anybody it blames the Jews for accusing him to Pilate which led him to sentence him to death. It certainly blames the Jews for wrongly or misguidedly killing Jesus, its position in the moral scale being a different issue, so that may be a sign of a third century editor for earlier the Church tried to slander the Jews whenever it could even more so than it did in later centuries. If you are going to accept the unlikely position that the Romans all knew what Pilate was like and did not mind anybody saying then Josephus would not have needed to blame the Jews and probably would not have liked to blame the Jews before the Roman readership. Josephus would have tried to defend what the Jews did or have said that though they did wrong they did not mean to.
 
Tiberias Caesar hated Pilate but that does not mean he would have wanted him slandered for that makes the empire look bad. Tiberias Caesar hated Pilate so much and wiped the evidence for his existence from the world so completely - though Tiberias' rule ended in 37 AD indicating that Rome agreed that Pilate should be forgotten long after Tiberias was gone for Pilate fell from power about that time too - that until an inscription was found there was no evidence of Pilate’s existence (page 66, In Defence of the Faith). This tells us that the records about Jesus would have been destroyed for Pilate and the Jews needed Jesus to be forgotten and that Rome kept none for they would be remembrances of Pilate. This tells us that Josephus and later Tacitus (another who alleged referred to Christ but very briefly) could not have depended on imperial records. Josephus could not have mentioned Jesus without records for he liked to reference all his sources for us (Biblical Discrepancies). It would not have been his purpose or desire to have anybody turning to the gospels if they existed.
 
An Arabic version of Josephus (it's in page 82, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Volume One or see page 175, Jesus Hypotheses) was found in 1971 that says that Jesus was maybe the Messiah and drops the stuff about him doing big wonders and does not say he was maybe more than a man or that the Jews had anything to do with his crucifixion. It says that Pilate sentenced him to die which does not necessarily mean he did die and after that his followers said they saw him alive - so it does not say he rose but only that people said he did. So it does not even say that Jesus rose from the dead for it neither affirms or denies that Jesus died. It therefore admits that there was no reason why Jesus couldn't have survived the crucifixion. It does not say that the tribe of Christians has survived to the present day or that Jesus taught only the truth. It just says he was a wise and good man who had many Jewish and Gentile disciples who said he appeared three days after he died on a cross because of Pilate and who might have been the Christ the prophets foretold. The Arabic version seems to come from the fourth century. The question is how anybody can know it is that old when the copy is a tenth century one! (see page 45, He Walked Among Us). And another problem is that the manuscript was written by a Bishop Apapius (page 83, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1.) But at least it proves that the version we have already got could have been an interference and afterwards interfered with itself. Perhaps the Arabic version is the first version of the Testament. It might have been what was originally forged.
 
Josephus could not even say that Jesus was maybe the Christ for that made Rome look bad and called the Jews to disloyalty to Rome. Jesus had to be referred to as either “called the Christ” or a “false Christ”.
 
It seems all reconstruction theories are doomed to failure because Jesus was simply not famous enough at that time to merit a place in Josephus' work. What if he wrote, "At this time there lived a man called Jesus if it be lawful to say he was a man at all? The tribe of Christians named after him exists to this day." How about that for a reconstruction? The words attributed to Josephus "if he ought to be called a man" could mean "if he ought to be called a person" which would be an euphemism for saying "if he existed". Or maybe he wrote, "At this time there was said to be a Jesus, etc."
 
It is imagined that the reconstructed version would not be of much help doctrinally to the Church so that was why it was never cited and Eusebius or somebody altered it for religious propaganda purposes to make it useful and gave it popularity (Josh McDowell's Evidence for Jesus: Is It Reliable?). This is altogether nonsense for the Gnostic heretics who threatened the very existence of the early Church denied that Jesus was crucified and the Church needed something like Josephus's Testament to say that he was. When they never used the reference to the crucifixion though they desperately needed a witness from outside their own ranks for the Gnostics did not trust anybody in the Church that proves that the reference to the crucifixion was not in Josephus even if there was some material about Jesus in it. There was nobody else they could use either which suggests that there was no evidence for the biggest thing in Jesus' life, his crucifixion.


Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography, John Dominic Crossan, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994 remarks on page 38 that Josephus' treatment of the story of John the Baptist is strange and uncharacteristic of Josephus. Josephus would never praised apocalyptic and end of the world prophets such as John and was against them as they promoted instability in the empire. Yet he describes John as a good man. He says that John's followers obeyed his every request and was about to gain such control over a huge number of people that Herod started to worry and decided to get rid of him. Strangely Josephus takes some time to assert that John's baptism did not have sacramental powers but was merely a sign of repentance. He says it was administered to the Jews. Then he says that "others" joined John's huge fan base. He doesn't say who the others are. This has been worked over by someone. The account simply says that John was executed at Macheras. The gospels alone say that John was executed by beheading. They say that the daughter of Herodias manipulated Herod to have him killed. The account may have been invented by the author of the first gospel because it matches a story in Livy's History of Rome Book 39 that could have been known to him when he sojourned in Rome.
 
John Dominic Crossan asks why John baptised in the Jordan when there was plenty of water in other places. He concludes John was symbolically taking people to the wilderness. They got baptised and were sent back into the promised land as it were after being purified in the waters. The baptism was a symbolic purification and shows that John was expecting a holy war and sanctioning it. This war would drive the Romans out of the Holy Land (page 49, Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography).
 
Some scholars accept some phrases in the report about Jesus as genuine but the whole thing could easily be an interpolation. Perhaps the bit: “At this time there was a man called Jesus if it be right to call him a man” meaning that Jesus was first known through apparitions so Jesus might have been a vision and not a man was all he wrote. Christians argue that he said that because Jesus did miracles and taught the truth that was why he was reluctant to call him a man. This is obviously not true for Josephus had no problem calling the Jewish prophets who did miracles and taught the truth men. The passage looks as if somebody didn’t like Josephus saying that Jesus perhaps should not be called a man and altered it. That would mean Josephus wrote that Jesus was possibly a vision – he could have been an unknown man who allegedly started appearing to people after his supposed resurrection. It is possible that apparitions happened and were claiming that Jesus had been put to death discreetly under Pilate and that the apparitions were the first time Jesus was ever heard of. Perhaps some of those who had the visions eventually pretended to have known Jesus before his crucifixion. If you are going to argue that some of what Josephus has was really written by Josephus the simplest reconstruction is this: “At this time there was a man called Jesus if it be lawful to call him a man was a teacher of the truth and a worker of miracles and the tribe of Christians named after him is not extinct to this day.” In the Testament as we have it we see that the main point is that there was a possible man called Jesus and the other details are just to support this assertion. The forger wouldn’t insert this unless there were people doubting the existence of Jesus.
 
It is unthinkable that so shortly after saying Herod got rid of the harmless John the Baptist just because he had a lot of followers and there was a fear that they might rebel under his guidance that Josephus would write that Jesus was active and was allowed to copy the Baptist by winning over many people for that wouldn’t happen.
 
Josephus is depicted as calling the believers Christians when in fact the name was only given to believers at Antioch and a host of names were used, Nazarenes, Jesusers, the Way and so on. Only two New Testament writers use Christian and it was given as an insulting nickname which was why it was slow of catching on and also there was the problem that there were as many Jesus faiths as there was followers of Christ. The official name used by Rome as late as 60 AD was Nazarenes (Acts 24:5) so Josephus did not mention Christians.
 
Later he referred to James as the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ which could mean that he thought that James was the brother of some obscure man who had come back as a ghost which would mean that Josephus did not claim to have any evidence that Jesus lived. We have seen from Paul that Jesus was entirely known through visions and so it might have been “revealed” by some prophet that Jesus was an unknown brother of James’ through a long-lost mother. It is possible that brother of Christ or the Lord or whatever was a honorific title given to James. Josephus would not mention Christ without trying to debunk him for he didn’t like false Christs and was devoted to Rome’s cause and it was dangerous to draw attention to James being of Christ’s royal blood if the expression is literal. That is why many believe that the reference to Christ in the text is an interpolation. All agree that Josephus was tampered with by a Christian copyist so there is no reason to take any reference to Christ at face value.

It is certain that some interfering person inserted the “clarification” that James was Jesus’ brother. Hegesippus declared that James was holy from birth, was allowed into the holy places of the Jews as a unique privilege, and was so strict about the Jewish law that he wore linen and wouldn’t touch wool, and he wouldn’t wash himself or cut his hair. Because his loyalty to Jewish tradition was so rigid he was nicknamed James the Just or Righteous. The brother of a man who altered the Jewish traditions and condemned them and who was believed to have been a false Messiah and who yearned for the destruction of the Temple, the very life-force of Judaism, would not have been so greatly esteemed among the Jews. The designation of James as Jesus’ brother, if literally meant, is an insertion. Early tradition was in the habit of describing people who looked like Jesus or were like him other ways as brothers and even as twins. Thomas was reckoned to be the twin of Jesus. Hegesippus wrote in the early second century and had been a Jew before he converted to Christianity. Palestinian in birth, he knew what he was talking about.
 
According to the letter of Paul to Philemon Christians believed you could make somebody you loved your brother or sister by blood even if they were not a blood relation. Paul told Philemon that Onesimus was not just a brother in the Lord but a blood brother from now on. A brother in the Lord means a non-literal brother but Paul’s saying Onesimus who was not related to Philemon was more than that and a blood brother indicates plainly that you can become a literal blood brother by adoption. This practice could have confused people about James and made them think he really was born a brother of Jesus’.
 
Even if the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ reference is real, it was not a statement Josephus even hinted he had any evidence for. It was James he wrote about. He wasn’t even looking at the Jesus evidence. It therefore has no more value than somebody saying that Katie King visited the séances of Florence Cook while writing about Florence. Katie King was a materialised spirit that was perhaps the medium, Florence, in disguise.
 
James is certainly not the brother in any sense of the rebellious and turbulent figure we have in the gospels. That he was given this title of the just or the righteous proves plainly that the gospel history is dubious. How could the supporter of a heretic like Jesus been so greatly esteemed among the Jews of Palestine?
 
The fact that somebody had to put a heap of dogmatic assertions about Jesus in Josephus just to show he existed proves that Jesus did not exist. Paul clearly showed that the only reason to believe in Jesus was visions so that supersedes anybody else who said that Jesus lived for they came along after Paul’s time. Also Paul had the most influence in the early Church and since he was an apostle and the apostles were special witnesses of Jesus and the heads of the Church it follows that what any of them says comes first. And by the way, there is no reason to believe that any gospel was really written by an apostle and most scholars agree. So if Paul says there is no evidence for Jesus but visions that is the case. Period.
 
FINALLY
 
The idea that the Testament isn’t all a forgery is really asking us to believe in the existence of Jesus over fanciful evidence. It is sheer speculation and everybody just guesses what the reconstruction is.  However some Christians feel the Testament was just a complete replacement for what Josephus really wrote which might have been an accusation that he was a scoundrel who deserved to be executed and who arranged a fake resurrection.  They wonder if the Jewish lie that Jesus was stolen from the tomb by his disciples that Matthew says they believe to this day could have been repeated in Josephus's treatment of Jesus.
 
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
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 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 Mysteries, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, Thorsons, London, 1999s
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
 
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