Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


Antiquities of the Jews - Book 18

How Cyrenius was sent by Cesar to make a taxation of Syria and Judea; and how Coponius was sent to be procurator of Judea. Concerning Judas of Galilee; and concerning the sects that were among the Jews. Now for the Pharisees, they live meanly, and despise delicacies in diet; and they follow the contract of reason: and what that prescribes to them as good for them they do: and they think they ought earnestly to strive to observe reason’s dictates for practice. They also pay a respect to such as are in years: nor are they so bold as to contradict them in any thing which they have introduced. And when they determine that all things are done by fate,2 they do not take away the freedom from men of acting as they think fit: since their notion is, that it hath pleased God to make a temperament; whereby what he wills is done; but so that the will of man can act virtuously or viciously. They also believe that souls have an immortal vigour in them: and that under the earth there will be rewards, or punishments; according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life: and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison; but that the former shall have power to revive and live again. On account of which doctrines they are able greatly to persuade the body of the people: and whatsoever they do about divine worship, prayers, and sacrifices, they perform them according to their direction. Insomuch, that the cities give great attestations to them, on account of their entire virtuous conduct, both in the actions of their lives, and their discourses also.

Josephus clearly shows that if he knew the gospels he would have rejected them as slandering the Pharisees as hypocrites and for him Jesus would be a bad man for constantly picking a fight with them.  He is clear that they were good men.

But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy, Judas the Galilean was the author. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaick notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty; and say that God is to be their only ruler and lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death; nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends: nor can any such fear make them call any man lord. And since this immoveable resolution of theirs is well known to a great many, I shall speak no farther about that matter. Nor am I afraid that any thing I have said of them should be disbelieved: but rather fear that what I have said is beneath the resolution they shew when they undergo pain. And it was in Gessius Florus’s time that the nation began to grow mad with this distemper; who was our procurator; and who occasioned the Jews to go wild with it, by the abuse of his authority; and to make them revolt from the Romans. And these are the sects of Jewish philosophy.

He lists the Jewish sects as philosophical entities.  There is no mention of the Jesus people.  Their exclusion speaks volumes.  And Judas a false messiah was very much about religion - just like Jesus.  Why do we have all that about the Judas sect.  See what happens if you change Judas to Jesus Christ.  But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy, Jesus the Galilean Messiah was the author. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaick notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty; and say that God is to be their only ruler and lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death; nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends: nor can any such fear make them call any man lord. And since this immoveable resolution of theirs is well known to a great many, I shall speak no farther about that matter. Nor am I afraid that any thing I have said of them should be disbelieved: but rather fear that what I have said is beneath the resolution they shew when they undergo pain. And it was in Gessius Florus’s time that the nation began to grow mad with this distemper; who was our procurator; and who occasioned the Jews to go wild with it, by the abuse of his authority; and to make them revolt from the Romans.

[The Jesus insertion appears here]

The wording asking if it is lawful to call him a man for he did wonderful deeds is definitely an interference. Josephus regarded Moses as having done big deeds but as a man. Doing miracles does not imply you are not a real human being. The assertion that Jesus drew over "many" of the Jews and "many" of the non-Jews is an insertion too.

You would wonder why a tale ridiculing a miraculous birth ends up being detailed right after Jesus. Why does Jesus get generalisations and no specific stories? Why do we have to endure a long winded miracle yarn about Anubis that suggests women lie that God's father their illegitimate children?


4. [A.D. 33.] About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder: and certain shameful practices happened about the temple of Isis that was at Rome. I will now first take notice of the wicked attempt about the temple of Isis; and will then give an account of the Jewish affairs. There was at Rome a woman whose name was Paulina: one who on account of the dignity of her ancestors, and by the regular conduct of a virtuous life, had a great reputation. She was also very rich. And although she were of a beautiful countenance, and in that flower of her age; wherein women are the most gay; yet did she lead a life of great modesty. She was married to Saturninus: one that was every way answerable to her in an excellent character. Decius Mundus fell in love with this woman: who was a man very high in the equestrian order. And as she was of too great dignity to be caught by presents; and had already rejected them; though they had been sent in great abundance; he was still more inflamed with love to her. Insomuch that he promised to give her two hundred thousand Attick drachmæ for one nights lodging. And when this would not prevail upon her, and he was not able to bear this misfortune in his amours, he thought it the best way to famish himself to death, for want of food: on account of Paulina’s sad refusal. And he determined with himself to die after such a manner. And he went on with his purpose accordingly. Now Mundus had a freed woman, who had been made free by his father, whose name was Ide: one skilful in all sorts of mischief. This woman was very much grieved at the young man’s resolution to kill himself: (for he did not conceal his intentions to destroy himself from others:) and came to him, and encouraged him by her discourse, and made him to hope, by some promises she gave him, that he might obtain a night’s lodging with Paulina. And when he joyfully hearkened to her intreaty, she said, she wanted no more than fifty thousand drachmæ for the entrapping of the woman. So when she had encouraged the young man, and gotten as much money as she required, she did not take the same methods as had been taken before: because she perceived that the woman was by no means to be tempted by money. But as she knew that she was very much given to the worship of the goddess Isis, she devised the following stratagem. She went to some of Isis’s priests: and upon the strongest assurances [of concealment,] she persuaded them by words; but chiefly by the offer of money: of twenty five thousand drachmæ in hand; and as much more when the thing had taken effect: and told them the passion of the young man: and persuaded them to use all means possible to beguile the woman. So they were drawn in to promise so to do, by that large sum of gold they were to have. Accordingly the oldest of them went immediately to Paulina: and, upon his admittance, he desired to speak with her by her self. When that was granted him, he told her, that “He was sent by the God Anubis, who was fallen in love with her, and enjoined her to come to him.” Upon this she took the message very kindly; and valued herself greatly upon this condescension of Anubis: and told her husband, that she had a message sent her, and was to sup and lie with Anubis. So he agreed to her acceptance of the offer: as fully satisfied with the chastity of his wife. Accordingly she went to the temple: and after she had supped there, and it was the hour to go to sleep, the priest shut the doors of the temple: when in the holy part of it the lights were also put out. Then did Mundus leap out: for he was hidden therein: and did not fail of enjoying her: who was at his service all the night long: as supposing he was the God. And when he was gone away; which was before those priests who knew nothing of this stratagem were stirring; Paulina came early to her husband, and told him how the God Anubis had appeared to her. Among her friends also she declared how great a value she put upon this favour. Who partly disbelieved the thing, when they reflected on its nature: and partly were amazed at it; as having no pretence for not believing it, when they considered the modesty and the dignity of the person. But now on the third day after what had been done, Mundus met Paulina, and said, “Nay Paulina, thou hast saved me two hundred thousand drachmæ: which sum thou mightest have added to thy own family. Yet hast thou not failed to be at my service in the manner I invited thee. As for the reproaches thou hast laid upon Mundus, I value not the business of names: but I rejoice in the pleasure I reaped by what I did, while I took to myself the name of Anubis.” When he had said this, he went his way. But now she began to come to the sense of the grossness of what she had done: and rent her garments, and told her husband of the horrid nature of this wicked contrivance, and prayed him not to neglect to assist her in this case. So he discovered the fact to the Emperor. Whereupon Tiberius enquired into the matter thoroughly, by examining the priests about it: and ordered them to be crucified; as well as Ide, who was the occasion of their perdition; and who had contrived the whole matter, which was so injurious to the woman. He also demolished the temple of Isis: and gave order that her statue should be thrown into the river Tiber. While he only banished Mundus; but did no more to him, because he supposed that what crime he had committed was done out of the passion of love. And these were the circumstances which concerned the temple of Isis, and the injuries occasioned by her priests. I now return to the relation of what happened about this time to the Jews at Rome; as I formerly told you I would.

What is the Jesus insertion doing in between two stories that date back to 19 AD? The chronology is not right.  It clearly makes tampering possible - the whole Jesus testimony could be fake.

FINALLY


Judas the Galilean was centered around a moral message and philosophy which earns him the term sophist with Josephus. Josephus said that Judas fancied himself as a lawful king of the Jews. Jesus is nothing special when the century and the country had their fill of messiahs many of whom were like each other.