Josephus On Jesus

The extant manuscripts of the writings of the 1st century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to Jesus in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.

The overwhelming majority of modern scholars consider the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" to be authentic and to have the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity. Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5, 2 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist to also be authentic.

Scholars have differing opinions on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, a passage usually called the Testimonium Flavianum. The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation. Although the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear there is broad consensus as to what the original text of the Testimonium by Josephus would have looked like.

The references found in Antiquities have no parallel texts in the other work by Josephus such as the Jewish War, written 20 years earlier, but some scholars have provided explanations for their absence. A number of variations exist between the statements by Josephus regarding the deaths of James and John the Baptist and the New Testament accounts. Scholars generally view these variations as indications that the Josephus passages are not interpolations, for a Christian interpolator would have made them correspond to the New Testament accounts, not differ from them.

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Famous quotes containing the word jesus:

    Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
    Bible: New Testament, Luke 10:23,24.