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?



Josephus is the author of the Jewish War.

In 1906, a Slavonic copy of it was found that contained a bit that described Jesus as a doer of miracles who was urged to head a rebellion against Rome. But this was a twelfth century bogus account. It was hoped that this version was identical to the book as Josephus originally wrote it in Aramaic.


At that time also a man came forward, if even it is fitting to call him a man [simply]. His nature as well as his form were a man’s; but his showing forth was more than [that] of a man. His works, that is to say, were godly, and he wrought wonder-deeds amazing and full of power. Therefore it is not possible for me to call him a man [simply]. But again, looking at the existence he shared with all, I would also not call him an angel. And all that he wrought through some kind of invisible power, he wrought by word and command.

Some said of him, that our first Lawgiver has risen from the dead and shows forth many cures and arts. But others supposed [less definitely] that he is sent by God. Now he opposed himself in much to the Law and did not observe the Sabbath according to ancestral custom. Yet, on the other hand, he did nothing reprehensible nor any crime; but by word solely he effected everything. And many from the folk followed him and received his teachings. Many souls became wavering, supposing that thereby the Jewish tribes would set themselves free from the Roman hands. Now it was his custom often to stop on the Mount of Olives facing the city. And there also he avouched his cures to the people. And there gathered themselves to him of servants a hundred and fifty, but of the folk a multitude. But when they saw his power, that he accomplished everything that he would by word, they urged him that he should enter the city and cut down the Roman soldiers and Pilate and rule over us. But that one scorned it. And thereafter, when knowledge of it came to the Jewish leaders, they gathered together with the High-priest and spake: “We are powerless and weak to withstand the Romans. But as withal the bow is bent, we will go and tell Pilate what we have heard, and we will be without distress, lest if he hear it from others, we be robbed of our substance and ourselves be put to the sword and our children ruined.” And they went and told it to Pilate. And he [Pilate] sent and had many of the people cut down. And he had that wonder-doer brought up. And when he had instituted a trial concerning him, he perceived that he is a doer of good, but not an evildoer, nor a revolutionary, nor one who aimed at power, and set him free. He had, you should know, healed his dying wife. And he went to his accustomed place and wrought his accustomed works. And as again more folk gathered themselves together round him, then did he win glory through his works more than all.

The teachers of the Law were [therefore] envenomed with envy and gave thirty talents to Pilate, in order that he should put him to death.  And he, after he had taken [the money], gave them consent that they should themselves carry out their purpose. And they took him and crucified him according to the ancestral law.

And when more people again gathered round him, he glorified himself by his action( s) more than all. The scribes were stung with envy and gave Pilate thirty talents to kill him. And he took (it) and gave them liberty to carry out their will (themselves).] And they took him and crucified him [contrary] to the law of (their) fathers.  

G.A. Williamson translated the Slavonic version for Penguin Books in 1959 which fooled a lot of people with its assertions about Jesus. It claimed that Jesus' tomb was looked after by 1000 Jews. No Jew would have guarded the tomb on a Sabbath. The gospels which were composed to convince people that Jesus rose again would have mentioned this important plus for Christianity for it would imply that a thousand Jews could verify that the body left the tomb miraculously assuming the fate of the body had any importance in early apologetics. It contradicts what Matthew wrote about the Jews issuing backhanders to keep the people who were at the tomb quiet. If there had been so many people involved it would have been hard for the Jews to suggest buying their silence for they wouldn't all have been eager to accept.

Why is the story so worried about Jesus being seen as a revolutionary terrorist?  Many today still think he was.
There is no evidence for the claim that Josephus regarded Christ as a man with magic powers. Josephus was silent on Jesus and that proves that Jesus did not exist.