Josephus the historian of Jesus's time seems to have not known of Jesus and his references to him are suspicious.  A testimony that reads like a Christian creed appears but it is obviously doctored or a complete insertion by a faker.  In his Book 20 of Jewish Antiquities he writes of James the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ.  That seems on the face of it to be a persuasive reference.  It would suggest however that as James was not considered a potential Christ that Jesus had no royal bloodline.  He was a fake Christ period for the Christ had to be a real king.

The suggestion that James really was the brother of Jesus does nothing to rule out the notion that Jesus was an unknown person and visions of him happened after he was nailed and now he is some kind of post-mortem saviour and prophet and messiah and manifestation of God. It would only destroy the feeling that Jesus was thought to have lived centuries long before James’s time.

Light from Hebrews
The New Testament's Epistle to the Hebrews may be from 70AD or shortly before the Temple was destroyed. It was written to Jewish Christians because the argumentation against priests and Temples and sacrifices in it and its extensive use of the Old Testament would not have been deployed for Gentile Christians who were unfamiliar with this ritualism and scripture. It would have been written to Jewish Christians in Palestine for that is where most of them were. The letter was known as the Epistle to the Hebrews from the first meaning it would have been sent to Jerusalem the HQ of the Jewish Christians for it was for all of them. It was written to Jewish Christians in Palestine but meant for Jewish Christians everywhere and there were some of them in Rome.

Hebrews 12:3 tells them to think of Jesus who endured a lot of abuse from sinners so that they may feel stronger knowing Jesus went through worse than they did at the hands of hostile people. Verse 12:4 tells us something very interesting. It says that none of them have resisted this abuse until their blood was shed. This tells us that the account in Josephus about James dying at the hands of a lynch mob over religious differences in 64 AD and the Book of Acts saying about the other James dying in 42AD by the sword of Herod’s emissary are both lies. It also indicates that the stories in Acts about the murderous persecution of the Church and its claim that Paul was a murderer of Christians are fiction. Basically it means that some Christian inserted in Josephus the entire stuff about James the brother of the so-called Christ being persecuted to death.

Levi pays tithes to Melchizidek!

Abraham paid money to Melchizidek.  The book of Hebrews tries to invest the latter with a priesthood that is somehow more "real" than that of Levi.  It says that one may say that Levi who was in Abraham's loins, as a future descendant, recognised Melchizidek as priest and gave paid him money as a tithe, a religious tax.  This is saying that the man carries the eggs not the woman!  One wonders if the story of Jesus being conceived by the holy spirit makes the spirit his egg donor.  Did James get assumed to have come from that spirit too?  If so then that deals with the concern that the data seems to say that James and Jesus were real blood brothers.

Apocalypses of James

The heretical apocalypses of James are deemed to know of some traditions about James.  They say James was in hiding in Pella when the Romans invaded Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Josephus stated that James was eight years dead by that stage.  Eusebius said the same thing but he does not count for he took the information from Josephus.  Theudas is named as the father of James.  So there was a tradition that James was not the son of Jesus' father or his foster-father.  There was a tradition that Josephus might not have been accurate.

We conclude that even if the reference to James is valid it has competition so at best we cannot rely on it.


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He Walked Among Us, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Alpha Cumbria, 2000
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
Introduction to the New Testament, Roderick A F MacKenzie, SJ, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1965
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Who is GA Wells? Rev Dr Gregory S. Neal

The Silent Jesus

Apollonius the Nazarene, The Historical Apollonius versus the Historical Jesus

Why Did the Apostles Die? Dave Matson,
How Did the Apostles Die?
The "Historical" Jesus by Acharya S
History's Troubling Silence About Jesus, Lee Salisbury

Steven Carr discusses the Christian and apostolic martyrs
Challenging the Verdict
A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ
The Martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, Peter Kirby
The Martyrdoms: A Response, Peter Kirby

A Sacrifice in Heaven,

The Evolution of Jesus of Nazareth

The Jesus of History, a Reply to Josh McDowell by Gordon Stein,

Josh McDowell's Evidence for Jesus - Is It Reliable?, by Jeffrey J Lowder

A Reply to JP Holding's "Shattering" of My Views on Jesus

Robert M Price, Christ a Fiction

Earliest Christianity G A Wells

The Second Century Apologists

Existence of Jesus Controversy, Rae West

Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story by Richard Carrier

Jesus Conference,

Jesus Conference,

The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance

Sherlock Holmes Style Search for the Historical Jesus,

The Ascension of Isaiah,

Apollonius of Tyana: The Monkey of Christ? The Church Patriarchs, Robertino Solarion

What About the Discovery of Q? Brad Bromling

Wells without Water, Psychological Buffoonry from the Master of the Christ-Myth, James Patrick Holding

Critique: Scott Bidstrp [sic] on The Case for Christ by James Patrick Holding

GA Wells Replies to Criticism of his Books on Jesus

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, Acharya S

Biblical Discrepancies, Todd Billings

The Testament of Josephus
This site gives the text of the Testament and the surrounding material in the chapter that contains it with a commentary: .

Josephus Unbound by Earl Doherty IT CANNOT BE OVERSTRESSED HOW IMPORTANT READING THIS SITE IS. One major point it makes is that Josephus would not have called James the brother of the so-called Christ for he never explained to his readers who would have been unfamiliar with the title Christ what a Christ was. Evidence from Origen and Eusebius who referred to a missing line from the place where this reference occurs indicates that tampering did happen here. Josephus might however not have meant that Christ was a man. James could have been the brother of a Spiritual Christ meaning that James was a spiritual being incarnate and literally the brother of this being but not a biological brother. Josephus speaks of this Christ in concrete terms not because he was a man but because many said they had visions of him so Josephus believed in his existence. I add another possibility. Perhaps brother of the so-called Christ was James' nickname? Perhaps it was a mock title given to him by his Jewish enemies? This could be poking fun at his honouring a non-existent Messiah. He was writing for some Jews though it was mainly Romans so it is possible. Josephus might not have been mocking James but stating his nickname as an irony. Josephus did do things like that at times. We have seen that he did not explain the nickname Christ. 

Historical References to Jesus, His Miracles and His Resurrection, Outside the New Testament

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