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?

 


INDEPENDENT CLUES THAT THE TESTAMENT IN JOSEPHUS TO JESUS IS A FABRICATION
 
The text of the Testament which is the part of the writings of Josephus the first century historian that supposedly proves Jesus lived follows with the lines before and after in italics:
 
“An end was put to this uprising. 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. About this time another sad calamity put the Jews into great crisis and terrible disgusting things happened concerning the Temple of Isis in Rome.”
 
In the early days of the Church, a priest called Caius was accused of writing it. But that has not stopped Christians wanting it to have issued from Josephus's quill. No less an authority than the Patriarch Photius declared that it was probably Caius in 860 AD.
 
THE WITNESSES TO THE FORGERY

When were the forgeries supporting Christianity implanted into Josephus' opus? Nobody knew about them before 320 AD. If the interpolations were in the early versions of Josephus the early Christian defenders of the faith would have used them to support their religious stance. Eusebius was the first person to write about the longer one and he did it in that year in his Demonstration of the Gospel. Eusebius stated that lying to get people to believe in Christianity was to be commended which is why many believe he was the forger of the Testament.  Also, "many of his peers did not trust him or his work. Over two dozen complaints from his contemporaries still survive: accusations of lack of integrity, poor scholarship, deliberate misrepresentations in his histories, and hypocrisy.  As scholarship advanced, his histories became more and more suspect."  Read David Fitzgerald in Nailed: Ten Christian Myths.
 
Origen in his famous Against Celsus, recorded that Josephus did not receive Jesus as his Saviour, Lord and Messiah and was amazed when Josephus praised James who was unjustly executed and who Josephus regarded as the brother of Jesus. It would be more natural, as well, for Origen to be amazingly amazed at what Josephus supposedly wrote about Jesus in the famous Testament of Flavius. It was not in the text in those days. When Origen was so gobsmacked then his Josephus did not mention Jesus in nice terms at all. Origen did not quote the stuff about Josephus saying Jesus was the Messiah and rose from the dead to Celsus though he wrote a lot against Celsus to defend the faith against Celsus’ scepticism about Christianity’s’ claims meaning it did not exist in the works of Josephus in his time. Celsus rejected Jesus’ morals and Origen couldn’t even use Josephus to argue that Jesus had been stated by a non-Christian to have been a good man. Josephus never mentioned the man at all.
 
Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Cyprian did not know that Josephus had any faith in Christ therefore their silence proves that he didn't. It must have been a Christian copyist who inserted the Testament. This Christian forger of the Testament did not know much about Jesus and had leanings towards the Christian tendency to deny that Jesus was a proper man but just God or an angel in a human body without a human mind. The interpolation was put in by somebody who did not believe that Jesus was God for that is too foundational a detail to leave out.
 
It is surmised that the Testament was not mentioned in the first few centuries because the existence of Jesus was not questioned by any important people or groups. The existence was questioned but lets pretend the objection is right. The resurrection and the miracles were questioned as were the Messiahship and the divinity of Christ. The Christians had four very serious reasons then to use and cherish the text and they did not because it did not exist. They would not have known that it was a fake so that could not have put them off. The text would not be still extant if it had been recognised for the fraud it was.
 
Our oldest manuscripts containing the passage all hail from the eleventh century and all three can be traced back to one ancient manuscript according to a scholar named Bammel. So it was no trouble for Christians to interpolate the whole Testament to Jesus.
 
Why does the Testament follow the same structure and much of the same train of thought and have so much wording in common with this, "Among these men of war there was to be found a warrior and he was strong and mighty. His personality drew many of the Cicilians to him. He was a man of holiness and many sought after him for his wisdom. He lead the Cicilians to prayer at dawn and again in the middle of the day and then at twilight and he never failed to honour his God whom he called Mithras" (www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/9623//index.html). We know the early Church was heavily influenced by Mithraism and this was admitted by leading Christians of the time and here we have a text from the first century or before about a man who died in 41 BC that seems to have been the inspiration and structure for the forged Testament in Josephus. The Testament is a plagiarised version of the story of the warrior and the warrior was called Lucius Agrius.
 
The New Testament says the early Church was Jewish. The notion that the Gentiles were not compelled to become Jews before they could become Christians after 50 AD is wrong. Read my book on the alleged proofs that they were not obliged, Jewish Christianity is Real Christianity. Anyway, Christianity was deeply Jewish when Josephus was sixteen (Acts 21). When he was that age, according to his own account, he had an interior struggle over which of the sects available in the Holy Land he should join. "When I was about sixteen years old, I decided to investigate several sects that were among us - the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. For I thought that by this means I might choose the best. So, I contented myself with hard fare, and went through them all" (Josephus: Complete Works, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1960, or page 124, Dead Sea Scrolls, Kenneth Hanson, PH.D, Council Oak Books, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1997). Then he says that he stayed with a hermit in the desert for three years before joining the Pharisees at 19.
 
In 53 AD at the age of 16, Josephus did not investigate the Christian sect probably because he was convinced that it was not worth investigating perhaps because it was too obvious that its hero Jesus was a fictitious man. He felt sure that Jesus was not worth thinking about. This proves that he could not have written the things he allegedly wrote about Jesus for if they had been true he would have studied the Christian sect. He evidently did not believe them not even when he became a Pharisee joining the sect that had the most news about him. Some explain that Christianity was a branch of Phariseeism but the Pharisees expelled it and Jesus hated that group. Some say that Josephus did not bother investigating all the sects. But Essenianism had many similarities with Christianity with the added superstition of occultism and he sussed it out. Josephus would have investigated Christianity if it had been impressive. He knew it was not so he did not write the Testament.
 
Everything is against the authenticity of Josephus' text and its alleged value for Christians.
 
CONFLICTS ABOUT THE SHORTNESS

The most striking thing about the material about Jesus called the Testament in Josephus' book is its caginess and brevity and what is more remarkable that he wrote long chapters on insignificant and uninteresting people so you would expect him to write more about Jesus (History's Troubling Silence About Jesus). For example, just immediately after he allegedly wrote about Jesus he wrote a longwinded piece about an insignificant lady called Paulina and we are supposed to believe that Jesus was important to him and he wrote just a few lines!
 
You would think a forger would put in more to convince unbelievers but he wanted his interference to be undetected long enough for it to be accepted as part of the original or did not get the chance to go further. But forgeries are better short. They are less easily found out then. The forger did not know that the miracles were being questioned by the Jews who thought they were satanic magic which was why did he not defend them. This proves that the author was not Josephus.
 
Josephus would have said if Jesus claimed to be the Son of God - he was a historian. The Christian settled for saying he was a wise man thus giving approval for any claim that religion said Jesus made.
 
In Book 18, all this Jesus stuff took about six lines. If Josephus really set this down about Jesus he would have written more than that especially if he admired him so tremendously. Christians say he didn't have to for the gospels were around for anyone that wanted further information. But the material contradicts the gospels so that is the end of that. And Josephus plagiarised many things that were already put down in writing. Josephus would not have wanted people to go to the Church for more information for it had only been oral tradition and he could not support the Church because of how the empire would have felt about it. Historians recommend written records not hearsay.
 
Josephus either did not know or did not believe the gospels when he did not tell us to go to them if they were the great historical documents that Christians say.
 
It is thought that the reference to Christ in Book 20 that says so little about him might indicate that Josephus must have written something about him before for then he would not settle just for a superficial mention of him then. True, but it does not mean that he wrote what Christians would want him to write. And it could just as easily indicate that he wrote and knew nothing about and had no interest in Jesus but just mentioned Jesus to show he meant James the brother of Jesus so that the people would know who he meant.
 
OTHER EVIDENCES OF FORGERY
 
If what Josephus wrote about Jesus was real it would have been known to Tacitus the Roman Governor of Asia who supposedly wrote about Jesus in 112 AD. But Tacitus or a forger writes in such a way that it is clear that he contradicts Josephus. Tacitus undermines the thought that it was Jesus who was this Christ and that he was crucified. He sees no wisdom in Christ or Christianity.
 
Tacitus makes it plain that the Christians were detested in Rome because they got blamed for the fire of 64 AD which some believed that Nero himself had started. How then could Josephus have spoken so well of Jesus or of James his brother either? The official verdict in Roman law was that Christians had a murderous hatred of Rome.
 
You will see evidence that there were countless Christian believers in the early Church who did not subscribe to the thought that a supernatural figure died under Pilate by crucifixion and rose again from the dead in the first century. Would Josephus then simply talk about a man who there was so much controversy about as if he were a real flesh and blood man? No. He would have had to give his reasons for saying Jesus was a man.

EUSEBIUS THE FORGER?

Olsen has discovered along with others that careful checking of the writing style and the words and sentence structure shows that the Jesus material in Josephus fits Eusebius the master liar and Christian historian.  Bart Ehrman disagrees but in his book Did Jesus Exist gives no decent argument to discredit the suspicion. 

Olsen notably observed that the word translated doer as in Jesus being a doer of miracles is actually the word poietes which means poet.  Jesus being a poet of wonderful deeds makes no sense and Josephus elsewhere always deploys the word correctly. 

Eusebius likes using up to this time and that phrase of course turns up in the forgery.

Earl Doherty tells us that as for “the tribe of the Christians,” the word “tribe” is always used by Josephus in application to an ethnic group, never a religious group, whereas Eusebius uses the term in other imaginative ways, and in History of the Church III,33, we find the phrase “the tribe of the Christians.”

It is a fact as Doherty noted that Eusebius hinted that the testimony was moved from where it was in his time to where it is now.  There is no evidence it really belongs where it was put for the narratives around it run uninterrupted without it.
 
CONCLUSION

The entire Testament of Flavius in book 18 is a forgery as is the brief reference to Jesus in book 20. The forger knew that Josephus knew there was no Jesus and that was why he put it in. Otherwise all he had to do was to say there was a sect called Christians who said x, y and z about Jesus. The reasons to believe that Josephus never mentioned Jesus at all are more numerous than the reasons to believe that he did. All the latter can be refuted and have been so when Josephus mentioned lots of Christs but put them in a bad light it is obvious that the main Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, could not have existed for he never gave him so much as a line. If Jesus was so obscure that he was not worth mentioning then why believe he existed at all? Why not be agnostic at least?