What Does Josephus Say About Jesus

Josephus and Jesus

The story of Jesus’ temptation is intertwined with the story of His baptism that came earlier in the book of Luke. The phrase “God’s Son” refers to the special relationship between His baptism and temptation. In the moments following Jesus’ baptism, the other two members of the Trinity declare that He is the “Son of God.” The question now is, “Will He remain committed to His calling, even in the face of adversity?” For Jesus to be tempted, at least five factors had to come into play. It demonstrated his humanity in a variety of ways.

It is said in the Bible that since he himself suffered when tempted, he is able to assist those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:18).

The Second Reason Is That It Serves As An Example For Us As part of His example to us, He has allowed this to happen.

His Personal Discipleship Was Incorporated Into This 3.

  1. Through the temptation, Jesus gained a greater understanding of obedience.
  2. In spite of the fact that he was his father’s son, he learnt obedience through his suffering, and, once perfected, he was able to become the source of everlasting salvation for those who followed his commandments (Hebrews 5:7-9).
  3. Because we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we do have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – but was without sin – as we are (Hebrews 4:15).
  4. 5.
  5. God created the world (Genesis 3:15).
  6. As a result of the Holy Spirit’s leading, Jesus was led to be tempted by the wicked one.
  7. As a first step, they showed His humanity by demonstrating that only humans are capable of being tempted.
  8. In the same way that He responded to temptation, we are to respond in the same way.

This also formed part of Jesus’ own personal discipleship program. As a result of the temptations, He was more able to empathize with us when we are under pressure. At the end of the day, the temptations were a part of the great fight that the Bible mentions.

Josephus on Jesus

The story of Jesus’ temptation is intimately tied to the story of His baptism that came before it. The word “God’s Son” refers to the special relationship between His baptism and temptation. Following Jesus’ baptism, the other two members of the Trinity announce that He is the “Son of God.” “Will He remain committed to His calling, especially in the face of adversity?” the question arises. There are at least five reasons why Jesus was tempted, according to the Gospel of Matthew. It demonstrated his humanity in several ways.

  1. According to the Bible, since he himself suffered when tempted, he is able to assist people who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:18).
  2. 2.
  3. We are instructed to walk in His footsteps: “Whoever professes to live in him must walk in the footsteps of Jesus” (1 John 2:6).
  4. It served as a component of his own discipleship.
  5. The temptation served as a learning experience for Jesus in terms of obedience.
  6. Despite the fact that he was a son, he learned obedience through his suffering, and once he was perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who follow his commands (Hebrews 5:7-9).
  7. He understands and empathizes with us It aided Him in becoming a sympathetic intercessor.

Jesus was tempted in the same way that human beings are, and he can empathize with humanity as a result.

It is a component of the Great War.

(Genesis 3:15, to be exact.) The destined conqueror emerged triumphant from the first big battle of the fight.

The varied temptations served a specific purpose.

Jesus was likewise tempted in order to serve as a role model for us.

Furthermore, it was a component of Jesus’ own personal discipleship.

Finally, the temptations were a part of the tremendous war that the Bible writes about.

New Evidence on Jesus’ Life Reported (Published 1972)

The story of Jesus’ temptation is intertwined with the story of His baptism that came before it. The phrase “God’s Son” reveals the special relationship between His baptism and temptation. Following Jesus’ baptism, the other two members of the Trinity publicly announce that He is the “Son of God.” “Will He remain true to His calling, especially in the face of adversity?” the question arises. There are at least five possible explanations for why Jesus was tempted. 1. It demonstrated his humanity.

  1. According to the Bible, “since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to assist those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
  2. 2.
  3. We are instructed to walk as He walked: “Whoever claims to dwell in him must walk as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:6).
  4. It was an important part of his own discipleship.
  5. In a way, Jesus learnt obedience via his experience with temptation.
  6. Despite the fact that he was a son, he learned obedience through his suffering, and when he was perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obey him (Hebrews 5:7-9).
  7. He understands and empathizes with us.

Because we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we do have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – but was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).


The destined conqueror was triumphant in the first big battle of the fight.

These diverse temptations had a specific function.

Jesus was likewise tempted in order to serve as an example for us.

We are to respond to temptations in the same way that He did. Furthermore, it was a component of Jesus’ own personal discipleship. The temptations also taught Him to empathize with us when we are tempted. Finally, the temptations were a part of the tremendous fight that the Bible mentions.

What Did the Jewish Historian Josephus Really Say About Jesus?

You’ll get simple, concise, and biblical solutions to life’s most difficult problems. Listen to Jonathan Morrow’s Your Worldview MinutePodcast on the topic of worldviews. Subscribe through the following methods: iTunes|Android|Google Podcasts|RSS The two of you are having a wonderful talk about Christianity and how you know that Jesus lived without having to state “the Bible says so.” You even mentioned Josephus by name. And then something like this happens. “Yea, another Christian buddy of mine mentioned something about Josephus,” my friend remarked.

After that, I did some research and discovered that the Josephus section that names Jesus is still debated by experts today.” “I’d never heard that before,” you say (while sweating) My preacher has just stated that Josephus demonstrates that Jesus existed.” A friend said, “Perhaps you could check it up and see what it says for yourself.” “Yeah, it appears that I should go ahead and do it.” Gulp… That was a surprise you weren’t prepared for.

Who Was Josephus?

If you are aware of Josephus’s identity, congratulations! (A virtual high-five is headed your way!) If this is not the case, don’t be concerned! Learn all you need to know about Josephus and why he is important in the discussion of Jesus of Nazareth by reading the following articles.

  • It is believed that Flavius Josephus lived in the first century AD (between 37 and 100 AD). He was a leader of the Jewish army in Galilee and subsequently became a citizen of Roman society
  • The Flavian emperors Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian all engaged him as a historian. Jesus (as well as his brother James, according to Antiquities 20.200) is mentioned in his historical writings.
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The Disputed “ Testimonium Flavianum ” by Josephus (Jewish Antiquities18.63-64)

However, as we know from our previous talk, some of Josephus’s remarks are subject to debate. This section is so well-known that it has been given a fancy title: “The Testimonium Flavianum.” Here’s what it says: “Around this time lived Jesus, who was a smart man, if one can call him that at all. Due to the fact that he was known for astonishing actions and serving as a teacher to those who were willing to embrace the truth. He gained the support of many Jews as well as many Greeks. He was the promised Messiah.

He came to them on the third day, having been returned to life, as had been predicted by the prophets of God, along with a thousand other wonders around him.

Unfortunately, some of those things about Jesus wouldn’t be spoken by a Jew under any circumstances.

So the whole thing was a hoax created by Christians to deceive the world? No, that would be an overreaction to the data as it has really been presented. The statements made in this section will need to be toned down, but they will not be eliminated entirely.

What Josephus Most Likely Said About Jesus of Nazareth

Historical evidence always deals in probability, regardless of whether we are talking about Alexander the Great, Plato, or Jesus Christ. And that’s OK with me. Acknowledging this does not diminish our ability to understand the past. It just acknowledges the distinctive characteristics of this essential field. As academics have contemplated this issue throughout the years, the image has become increasingly obvious. A sentence from a 10th century Arabic copy of Josephus, reported by historian Schlomo Pines of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1972, is particularly instructive: In this ancient period, there lived a wise man who went by the name of Jesus.

  • And a large number of individuals from various backgrounds, including Jews and people from other countries, became his disciples.
  • And those who had become his disciples did not turn their backs on him or his teachings.
  • Thus, he may have been the Messiah, about whom the prophets had spoken of miracles.
  • However, it still contains a great deal of information about Jesus.
  • Here are some of the most crucial truths we learn about Jesus while reading this book:
  • In addition to having a large number of Jewish and non-Jewish disciples, Jesus was also a knowledgeable and virtuous individual. Under Pilate’s supervision, he was crucified. In the aftermath of his resurrection, there have been stories of him appearing to witnesses. Some claimed that he was the Messiah prophesied by the Jewish prophets
  • Others said that he was not.

3 Things Every Christian Should Know About Josephus and Jesus

I purposely avoided getting into the nitty-gritty details since there is enough more to say and argue about the finer topics. However, in regular speech, you will seldom use more than this amount of vocabulary. My hope is that you will be able to put this to good use! The following are three significant findings concerning Josephus and Jesus: (1) Josephus was a Jewish historian who lived in the first century AD and wrote about Jesus (and his brother James cf.Antiquities 20.200). (2) This paragraph (Antiquities18:63-64) is controversial, and it is possible that some Christian interpolations have been inserted (fancy word for some Christian edits or embellishments).

  1. In addition, knowing this finer point of history will increase your credibility in the discussion.
  2. In referencing Josephus as an important source of extra-biblical evidence for the historical Jesus, we are still on good ground in our argumentation.
  3. The Bottom Line: Our faith has its roots in historical events.
  4. And that’s quite encouraging news.
  5. In this free guide, you’ll find some of my favorite resources for teens (and the parents of teenagers) including: Who knew a Jewish historian by the name of Josephus could be of such assistance?

Van Voorstand’s Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence is a book on Jesus outside the New Testament. Darrell Bock and Gregory Herrick’s Jesus in Context: Background Readings for Gospel Study is a collection of background readings for gospel study.

Josephus on Christianity

T. Flavius Josephus (36-100 CE), a Jewish historian, is considered to be the most important source for understanding SecondTempleJudaism in the 1st century CE. The JewishWar, the Antiquities of the Jews, Against Apion and The Life of Flavius Josephus were all written by him during the later decades of the 1st century CE. His biographies and eyewitness accounts continue to be important resources in the study of the historical background that gave rise to the foundations of Christian religion. The Jewish Antiquities are a collection of artifacts that date back thousands of years.


Flavius Josephus was born Yosef ben Matityahu, a member of a priestly household inJerusalemthrough his father’s side (the house and order of Jehoiarib), and his mother was of royal descent. Flavius Josephus was educated at the University of Jerusalem and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rome (Hasmonean). He received his education in Jerusalem and, based on his beliefs and sympathies, he was most likely a member of the Pharisees’ party. Christians were the ones who saved Josephus’ works for posterity, despite the fact that Jews considered him to be one of the biggest traitors in history.

  • As a result of his decision to switch sides during the siege of Jotapata, he became renowned (and notorious).
  • 69-79 CE), would ascend to the position of Roman emperor.
  • 79-81 CE), who was eventually responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple complex in the year 70CE.
  • Many fields rely on the works of Josephus, including Second Temple Judaism in the first century CE, background sources for early Christianity, historical details of the client kings of the Roman Empire in the East, and the lineage of the Julio-Claudian emperors in Rome, to name a few.
  • This is due to the fact that he wrote about John the Baptist, recorded the death of Jesus’ brother, James, and included a chapter about Jesus himself.

Herod Antipas

Herod Antipas (r. 4 BCE – 39 CE) was a son of Herod the Great (c. 75-4 BCE), and he inherited the territory of Galilee from his father (as one of the tetrarchs, the sons of Herod the Great). In Antiquities, Josephus provides a detailed account of his rule and accomplishments. Antipas was married to the daughter of King Aretas of Petra, and they had a child together (theKingdom of NabateainJordan). When he met the wife of another half-brother, Herodias, he decided to divorce the daughter of Aretas and marry her in order to be with her.

In a digression, Josephus added the following: “Now some of the Jews believed that the destruction of Herod’s army was the work of God, and that it was a fitting retribution for what he had done against John the baptize.” Because Herod had him executed, despite the fact that he was a decent man who had exhorted the Jews to exert themselves to virtue, both in terms of fairness toward one another and reverence toward God, and to join together in bathing once they had done so.

  • His understanding was that immersion in water could not be utilized for sin forgiveness, but rather for sanctification of the body, and that this could only be done if the soul had previously been properly cleaned via good works.
  • As a result of Herod’s suspicion, John was transported in chains to Machaerus, the fort previously mentioned, and there was put to death; nevertheless, the Jews believed that God had decreed the downfall of the army in order to punish Herod as revenge for John’s actions.
  • Anti-Roman statements were spoken by many messianic aspirants during this time period, energizing the rioters.
  • Rome would hold him responsible for failing to maintain power.
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  • Mark said that John the Baptist had expressed disapproval of a second marriage.
  • He assured her that she could have everything she desired.
  • Despite the fact that the chronology of Josephus is being debated, the tale of John the Baptist is deemed historical and significant from an outsider’s perspective.

Salome and the Head of Saint John the Baptist are shown in this painting. Andrea Solario is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. (Copyright)

The Death of James, the Brother of Jesus

During his description of the tenure of the procurator Albinus (62 CE), Josephus included the narrative of the stoning of James, the brother of Jesus, which read as follows: And so, upon hearing of Festus’ death, Caesar dispatched Albinus to Judea to serve as procurator of justice. However, the king stripped Joseph of his position as high priest and placed the successor to that position on the son of Ananus, who was also known by the name Ananus. However, this younger Ananus was a brazen and haughty man in his temperament; he belonged to the sect of the Sadducees, who are extremely strict in their judgement of criminals, and who hold themselves above all other Jews in this regard.

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The fact that Festus was no longer alive, and Albinus was only a short distance away, prompted him to convene the Sanhedrin of judges and bring before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and a number of others, and after forming an accusation against them as violators of the law, he sentenced them to death by stone.

Ananus was removed from his position as high priest because he took action on his own before the next Roman magistrate arrived.

Several versions of the story claim that Hezekiah was thrown from the Temple’s pinnacle, and that he is regarded one of the earliest Christian martyrs.

TheTestimonium Flavianum(Testimony of Flavius Josephus)

A digression in his portrayal of Pontius Pilate contains one of the most contentious passages: “About this time there lived Jesus, a clever man, if indeed one should call him a man.” Due to the fact that he was known for astonishing actions and serving as a teacher to those who were willing to embrace the truth. He gained the support of many Jews as well as many Greeks. He was the Christ, as the saying goes. And even after Pilate had sentenced him to death on the basis of the accusations of the most powerful men among us, those who had initially come to love him did not abandon him.

  1. And the Christians’ tribe, which was named after him, has survived to this day without extinction.
  2. (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA) Scholars disagree on whether this line was originally written by Josephus or if it was afterwards inserted by a Christian in order to support Christian beliefs and practices.
  3. Apart from the designation of Jesus as “the Christ” in the tale of James, there is no other reference to the Jesus movement in this verse, which is problematic.
  4. However, following this line, he went on to recount more atrocities and disputes that occurred during Roman control.
  5. Because of the sections mentioned above, Christians were able to preserve Josephus’ works, which have remained an essential source for the study of early Christianity to this day.
  6. There were subsequent rumors that some Christians wished to canonize him, but this did not come to fruition, according to historical records.

Did you like reading this article? Prior to publication, this paper was checked for correctness, dependability, and conformance to academic standards by two independent reviewers.

The Christ Passage in Josephus on JSTOR

Information about the Journal The Jewish Quarterly Review (JQR), which was founded in 1889, is the oldest English-language publication in the disciplines of Jewish studies and religion. Journal of Advanced Judaic Studies is published by the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and strives to publish the best work in all fields of Jewish studies. In addition to original pieces by senior and young academics, the Journal of Quantitative Research publishes review essays and book forums, brief remarks, and listings of relevant dissertations on a consistent basis.

Information about the publisher The University of Pennsylvania Press was established in order to publish outstanding publications that further scientific research and instructional purposes.

Josephus’ Account of Jesus: The Testimonium Flavianum

Josephus’ Account of Jesus

The Testimonium FlavianumDo the Christian gospels record actual events during the First Century A.D./C.E., or are they the ecstatic visions of a small religious group?There are no surviving Roman records of the First Century that refer to, nor are there any Jewish records that support the accounts in the Christian gospels – exceptone.In Rome, in the year 93, Josephus published his lengthy history of the Jews. While discussing the period in which the Jews of Judaea were governed by the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, Josephus included the following account:About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who hadfirst come to love him did not cease.He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.-Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 �63(Based on the translation ofLouis H. Feldman,The Loeb Classical Library.)Yet this account has been embroiled in controversy since the 17th century. Itcould not have been written by a Jewish man, say the critics, because it sounds too Christian: it even claims that Jesus was the Messiah (ho christos, the Christ)!The critics say: this paragraph isnot authentic.It was inserted into Josephus’ book by a later Christian copyist, probably in the Third or Fourth Century.The opinion was controversial. A vast literature was produced over the centuries debating the authenticity of the “Testimonium Flavianum”, the Testimony of Flavius Josephus.A view that has been prominent among American scholars was summarized inJohn Meier’s1991 book, AMarginal Jew.This opinion held that the paragraph was formed by a mixture of writers. It parsed the text into two categories: nything that seemed too Christianwas added by a later Christian writer, whileanything elsewas originally written by Josephus.By this view, the paragraph was taken as essentially authentic, and so supported the objective historicity of Jesus.Unfortunately, the evidence for this was meager and self-contradictory. But it was an attractive hypothesis.

New Information In 1995 a discovery was published that brought important new evidence to the debate over the Testimonium Flavianum.For the first time it was pointed out that Josephus’ description of Jesus showed an unusual similarity withanother early description of Jesus.It was established statistically that the similarity was too close to have appeared by chance.Further study showed that Josephus’ description was not derived from this other text, but rather that both were based on a Jewish-Christian “gospel” that has since been lost.For the first time, it has become possible toprove that the Jesus accountcannot have been a complete forgeryand even toidentify which parts were written by Josephusand which were added by a later interpolator.Read about this discovery here!

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The Bible Says Jesus Was Real. What Other Proof Exists?

Even though billions of people think thatJesus of Nazareth was one of the most important persons in global history, many others do not believe that he really lived. According to a study performed by the Church of England in 2015, 22 percent of individuals in the United Kingdom did not think that Jesus was a genuine person. Scholars of the New Testament of the Christian Bible, on the other hand, are virtually unanimous in their belief that he truly existed. A 2015 article in the Biblical Archaeology Review on the extra-biblical evidence for Jesus, written by Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University and the author of a 2015 article on the extra-biblical evidence for Jesus, points out that there was no debate about the issue in ancient times as well.

Archaeological evidence of Jesus does not exist.

There is no conclusive physical or archaeological evidence of Jesus’ existence, and there will never be. ‘There isn’t anything conclusive, and I wouldn’t expect there to be,’ Mykytiuk said of the findings. “Peasants aren’t known for leaving archaeological evidence,” says the author. “The fact is that we don’t have archaeological records for nearly everyone who lived during Jesus’s time and location,” says Bart D. Ehrman, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of the book Did Jesus Exist?

The Shroud of Turin, a linen burial cloth purportedly bearing the image of his face, is one such example.

The sacred crown of thorns, which may be found at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

While some have questioned the reality of ancient Nazareth, Jesus’ biblical boyhood home town, archaeologists have discovered a rock-hewn courtyard structure, as well as graves and a cistern, which they believe to be his home.

Furthermore, tangible proof of Roman crucifixions, such as that of Jesus, as related in the New Testament, has been discovered. MORE INFORMATION:Did You Die Like Jesus? Man Was Crucified 2,000 Years Ago, According to Remains Discovered in a Cave

Documentary evidence outside of the New Testament is limited.

The four Gospels, as well as other New Testament literature, provide the most thorough account of Jesus’ life and death. As Ehrman notes, “These are all Christian organizations that are plainly and naturally prejudiced in their reporting. They must be assessed very seriously indeed in order to establish any historically trustworthy information.” Later sources with a whole different set of biases, however, corroborate its basic assertions about Jesus as a historical figure—that he was a Jew with followers who was murdered on orders from Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius.” The historical Jesus was referenced by both Jewish and Roman historians within a few decades of his death, in passages that corroborated elements of the New Testament that detail the life and death of the Messiah.

WATCH THIS VIDEO: What Did Jesus Look Like?

Image courtesy of Culture Club/Getty Images

Historian Flavius Josephus wrote one of the earliest non-biblical accounts of Jesus.

During the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus’ massive 20-volume history of the Jewish people, which was written around 93 A.D. and is considered by Ehrman to be “far and away our best source of information about first-century Palestine,” Jesus is mentioned twice by him in Jewish Antiquities, according to Ehrman. Aristocrat and military leader in Palestine, Josephus is said to have been born a few years after Jesus’ death around 37 A.D. He served as a commander in Galilee during the first Jewish Revolt against Rome, which occurred between 66 and 70 A.D.

When Josephus narrates an unlawful execution in Jewish Antiquities, he refers to the victim as “James, brother of Jesus-who-is called-Messiah,” according to one source.

While Mykytiuk believes that Christian scribes edited bits of the chapter rather than inserting it entirely into the text, the majority of researchers disagree.

Cornelius Tacitus

Tacitus connects Jesus to his execution by Pontius Pilate.

In theAnnals of Imperial Rome, a first-century history of the Roman Empire published about 116 A.D. by the Roman senator and historian Tacitus, there is yet another narrative of Jesus. Tacitus states that Emperor Nero unjustly accused “the folks widely known as Christians, who were despised for their enormities” for the burning of Rome in 64 A.D. as he chronicles the event. The name Christus was given to him by Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea during the reign of Tiberius, who executed him.” According to Ehrman, Tacitus did not have any Christian prejudices in his depiction of Nero’s persecution of Christians since he was writing as a Roman historian.

“When Tacitus wrote history, if he deemed the information not fully accurate, he typically included some indication of that for his readers,” he adds in vouching for the text’s historical significance.

When it comes to the verse that references Christus, there is no such evidence of a probable mistake. More information may be found at: Why Did Pontius Pilate Order Jesus’ Execution?

Additional Roman texts reference Jesus.

Early Christians would “sing songs to Christ as if he were a divinity,” said Roman governor Pliny the Younger in a letter to Emperor Trajan, just a few months before Tacitus published his chronicle of Jesus’ life. Some academics argue that the Roman historian Suetonius, in writing that Emperor Claudius had banished Jews from Rome because they “were causing continual disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus,” is referring to Jesus as well. According to Ehrman, while this collection of fragments from non-Christian sources may not provide much information about Jesus’ life, “it is valuable for recognizing that Jesus was recognized by historians who had cause to dig into the topic.” No one suspected he was a fabricated character.” A SLIDE SHOW: A Tour of the Treasures at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

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