Luke Stole from the Writings of Josephus

When Joseph Smith invented Mormonism he used the same method as the early Church did.  He lied about ancient texts and plaigerised them.  And resurrected men like Moroni and the angel showing the golden plates were added in too.  Couldn't leave resurrected beings out.


The gospels got the plots for their stories from the "prophecies" of the Old Testament.  You find many stories about Jesus that are plagiarised from the Jewish Bible.  Not only that but the stories came from an unreliable Greek version of those scriptures.  It is one thing to say that an ancient work predicts your idol but a mistranslation predicts?  Really?


One example of theft is how Luke took the main points of the story of Heliodorus to confect the narrative of Paul being struck down from a horse by a vision and falling and having to convert and recover after. See 2 Maccabees 3.


The gospels, especially Luke, may have even mined the writings of Josephus for material.


Josephus allegedly wrote something about Jesus that reads like a short creed.  There is no textual evidence that he wrote any of it. Nobody knew of it for centuries which was strange. One giveaway is that Josephus was never a Christian and regarded messiah figures as trouble-makers and yet we are asked to affirm that he declared Jesus the messiah who was predicted by the prophets!


If early Christians were stealing from Josephus, they were capable of such a lie.  They were capable of forging his Jesus Christ material.

Josephus recorded a false prophet promising his followers if they jumped from the Temple they would miraculously survive. They died. Did that inspire the gospel yarn that Satan wanted Jesus to jump for angels would save him?


The Gospel of Luke and Acts contains stories extracted from Josephus (The Passover Plot, page 63, 288).


This is disputed and cannot be disproven so at least it makes it possible. If so then it means we cannot be so sure that Luke was not written after the first century. Luke as good as says he consulted history books so if Josephus’ writings were available he would have looked them up.  


When Luke knew Josephus’ works then he wrote after 96 AD (Controversy, page 182).


Luke and Josephus both think that the census under Quirinius of Syria happened in 6 AD. But alas for Christians, Josephus made a mistake and Luke made the same one showing that Luke stole his data from Josephus.


In Josephus’s life story, we read that when he was about 14 he was sought in the Temple and the Jerusalem priests regularly came to ask his advice on the law. This seems to have inspired Luke's story that Jesus did this too.  It is hard to believe that either were really that highly esteemed. Josephus is boasting and Luke is trying to make Jesus better than him. Luke said that Jesus grew in wisdom which makes it most likely that Luke was inspired by Josephus. If Jesus was that theologically minded his mother and his father would not have needed to search three days for him for it would have been known that he would have had to have been in the Temple. It is hard to believe Luke would make up that story about Jesus for nothing so it was to make Jesus score more points than Josephus and because Josephus was its inspiration.


Mark and Matthew have the same story of John being beheaded. They say why it happened which was to please Herodias Herod's lover. It is too much of a coincidence that Luke drops it entirely and opts instead to briefly mention that John was jailed for criticising Herod’s sex-life with his brother’s wife, Herodias, and Herod’s other crimes (3:18-20). It doesn’t say why John was beheaded (9:9). We have seen that Mark and Matthew say it was because Herodias wanted it. Matthew and Mark would have said, given their attitude to avoiding obvious slander, if there was more to it than that for a Herod who jails just for a woman is worse than one who jails for other reasons too. Luke says there was more to it than Herodias. Why does he say it? The reason is that Josephus never said that Herodias had a part in it or that John died under the circumstances that Matthew and Mark say. Luke omits their story and details to avoid seeming to be in conflict with Josephus. The book was written after Josephus wrote in the late first century. Luke implies that Matthew and Mark are unreliable as well or perhaps he didn’t know them very well.


In Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Volume 1, page 64 it is argued that since the gospels that say that John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins are more plausible than Josephus who denied that the baptism was for removing sins the gospels precede Josephus. But you could deny that baptism has any power to forgive sins and still say that there is a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins meaning that the repentance that motivates the baptism removes the sin not the baptism. The book says that John’s baptism forgiving fits the historical times best. It does not for the Jews never believed that baptism or washing could remove sins but ritual uncleanness which Josephus says was the purpose of John’s baptism. And what right has it to say that when all we know of John comes from the gospels and Josephus? Even if many others had been attempting to wash away sins in baptism that does not mean that John was doing it. The purpose of such weak arguments is to give the book a greater bulk so that it looks superficially more convincing as a whole for when people see a whole shipload of arguments they assume that many of them would be right without checking. It is hoped the reader will forget to check out the claim that John tried to wash sins away and find that it is mere speculation. The reason Josephus would have to be earlier than the gospels is that his version of John’s story is more detailed and plausible than the gospel account. If Jesus did away with ritual uncleanness then how could John have been his precursor? Josephus undermines the notion that there was an important link between John and Jesus.


Hugh Schonfield said that the story of the two men meeting Jesus on the way to Emmaus was influenced by the first chapter of the Golden Ass. But the Emmaus story contains nothing too unusual so it is probably a coincidence. Plus, the influence would require that Luke was written after 150 AD which is far too late (page 266, Christianity for the Tough-Minded).




Luke in the Acts mentions the three rebels Judas of Galilee, Theudas and the mysterious Egyptian. It is too much of a coincidence that he should mention only the three that Josephus mentions. Luke never mentions an important person or organisation or event except what already appears in Josephus.


Why so many figures that look like Christian figures but are not?


It is alarming how Josephus writes about Jesus son of Ananias who is so similar to Jesus but is not Jesus. This man roared messages of warning about repentance and condemnations against the people all the time and even in the Temple. Jesus Christ did basically the same thing.  This Jesus said, “A voice from the east and the west and from the four winds.” That was how he introduced his preaching meaning he was claiming to be predicting as a prophet of God. He got a beating for it from the Jews. He refused to speak up for himself just like the other Jesus said nothing. The Jews felt some supernatural power was in charge of him and took him to Albinus the procurator. Why did they not take him to an exorcist?  It sounds as if he was an exorcist himself and they may have wanted to test if the supernatural power in him was God.  Albinus gave him a brutal scourging and while enduring it he did not protest but lamented for Jerusalem just like Jesus did. He got released for the procurator decided that he was insane. A few years afterwards this Jesus was proved right about the woes of Jerusalem for it was put under siege! He specifically had it in for brides and bridegrooms which reminds us of Jesus who said that when the world order was destroyed and the kingdom of God prevailed there would be no marrying.  This Jesus must have had some ideas about the Messiah even if he didn't claim to be him.


If Jesus was real, why didn't Josephus mention him?  Why didn't he say who his father was?  Why no reference to Jesus ben Joseph?




The Testament in Josephus is stolen from Luke

A tampered reference to Jesus was written by a Christian and put into Josephus' work.  


Here it is.


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.”


This website explores how many of the phrases in that Testament have been plucked straight out of the Luke gospel. Since the site is Christian it argues funnily enough that Josephus took Luke's phrases to make the insertion. Josephus would not go to all that trouble but a forger would. The only motive a forger would have for doing that would be so that Luke's gospel would seem more authentic which was only an issue at the end of the second century and later until the canon was settled. The passage was meant for a generation that read the gospel unlike the generation Josephus was a part of. Josephus would have recommended the gospel had he been using it. Plagiarism like that would have been too out of character for Josephus.


The Most Important Line


I found the following on


It explores how whoever wrote the testament seems to be plaigerising the Emmaus story in Luke's gospel where a stranger who turns out to be the risen Jesus enlightens two disciples that he is raised from the dead.  Luke 24:19-21 and 24:25-27 are virtually stolen.


Please click me for further information.


Did Josephus write the sentence: "On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvels about him"?

There are parallels to all the concepts in this sentence at the parallel location in Luke. Moreover, there are peculiarities of vocabulary that appear both in this Josephus passage and in Luke at this point. Most noteworthy, the odd use of the accusative form of the third day (literally, "having/spending a third day") hat is found in both texts are the only two instances of this usage in Christian literature. With such an amazing grammatical parallel at corresponding locations and conveying the same themes, one can only conclude that the two texts closely follow the same source document. Since there is no reason why a later Christian scribe would so closely follow the Emmaus narrative of Luke, we conclude that this phrase appeared in the original Josephus passage in substantially the form we have it now.

This is confirmed by the appearance of a similar sentence in the version of Agapius. There is one significant difference in Agapius: the sentence is preceded by "They reported..." This simple phrase takes away any idea that Josephus was expressing Christian beliefs he held himself. As this idea of a report is also fundamental to the Emmaus narrative (the narrative is such a report), we can with good confidence assert that this is the form in which the Josephus passage originally appeared.


I wish to comment that the line is the most important one for Christians as it speaks of the resurrection claims.  Yet there is another reason to dismiss it.


Catholic scholar Meier offers this as the real thing that Josephus wrote but without the bolded letters, "About this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. He was the Messiah. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. For he appeared to them on the third day, living again, just as the divine prophets had spoken of these and countless other wondrous things about him. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out." And he justifies it thus, "In short, the first impression of what is Christian interpolation may well be the correct impression. A second glance confirms this first impression. Precisely these three Christian passages are the clauses that interrupt the flow of what is otherwise a concise text carefully written in a fairly neutral - or even purposely ambiguous - tone" ( John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (Doubleday, 1991, page 61).




The Testament is no good if it is just borrowing from Luke for if Luke is wrong so is it.


We conclude that the author of the gospel of Luke was taking stories from Josephus.   His works must have been esteemed among many early Christians one of whom went so far as to put a Luke-derived testimony to Jesus that reads like a creed in Josephus!


Though many say it does not matter if it is forged or not it does matter.  It makes the forger a liar.  Why would somebody need to do something like that if the Jesus story was really true?

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