There is a short testimony to the life of Jesus in the writings of the first century Jewish historian Josephus. This testimony is regarded as totally or partly a forgery. Christians say that even if it was tampered with, it is still an early witness to the reality of Jesus. Astonishingly, the Testament does not claim to be about a historical person but quite the opposite.

Josephus knew the Old Testament backwards and forwards and sideways and would not have declared that the prophets predicted heaps of things about Jesus for that is simply untrue. There are only very scanty predictions that seem to speak of Jesus but anybody could fulfil them and most of the prophecies that Christians and the Bible say are prophecies of Jesus are not this at all. And the man knew that nothing in the prophetical writings suggested anything about the Messiah being restored to life. The line about the prophecies is obviously propaganda for Christ. It reflects the gospel doctrine that fundamentalist Christians like to forget that the resurrection was never meant to prove that Jesus was the Son of God on its own.  It had to be prophesied to show that it fitted with the word that God gave before and of course Jesus’ teaching had to be right. You check these out and then you consider the evidence for an actual resurrection. Fundamentalists start with the resurrection and try to make it look like it must have happened to get followers which is not the gospel way. The author of the Testament was using the original method. He wanted people to check out that these things he said about Jesus happened by looking in the Old Testament scriptures for God’s predictions about Jesus. He wrote that Jesus won disciples and was crucified under Pilate and rose BECAUSE the prophets spoke of these and countless others things about him. THE TESTAMENT DOES NOT CLAIM TO BE A TESTIMONY. WHAT IT CLAIMS IS THAT YOU MUST CHECK OUT THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES TO SEE IF WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT JESUS IS TRUE!! This is critically important. It means that even if Josephus did write the Testament it still does not help in the case for a historical Jesus because it depends on human interpretative ideas about Bible prophecies. It is not history that is here but faith. This means that his alleged later reference to James being the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ is put into a new context. It is not saying Jesus existed because he indicated before that that this was a matter of faith. The evidence is overwhelming. Josephus and Rome and the Jews did not know of a Jesus of history.
Perhaps the Testament just calls us to see what the prophecies say and then look at history? It never says the second thing. It tells us that these things happened to Jesus because the prophets of centuries before in the book that God wrote the Old Testament said they happened. Why not say history speaks of the events and so does the prophecies?
The fact that the Testament is faith not history shows that Josephus didn’t write it. He was a historian not an evangelist. A person that cannot be trusted tampered with Josephus which is why the Testament is no good.

When Jesus could not be verified by history but by prophecy then clearly it was because there was no history. Josephus not only denied the existence of Jesus by his silence and other indications but even the person that interfered with his book did it too.
In Jewish Antiquities Book 20 Josephus seems to have written about the death of James the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ. We know that Origen and others declared that Josephus wrote more than that and that his piece was full of praise for James. This doesn’t exist in the recognised version. But it does show that a lot of tampering went on in the book at this point so we can’t trust even the accepted version. Maybe somebody who knew of the tampering tried to reverse it and wasn’t sure exactly how to restore the text to the original wording and left in the reference to Jesus?
The reference to brother of Jesus was possibly a title of James’. It does not prove that he really was a brother or that Jesus existed. Onesimus was declared a blood brother to Philemon by the apostle Paul though he wasn’t a relation at all. It is entirely possible that James had visions of a man claiming to be a brother he never heard of and who was crucified in obscurity and came back from the dead. We know for a fact that it was men claiming they had apparitions of a resurrected saviour who said he was crucified that started the Church. There is no evidence that they knew him as an ordinary man or seen or otherwise heard of his crucifixion and they spoke of him in a way that denied that they knew him.

If Jesus never existed then forgery would be necessary to make it seem that he did.

The testimony does not really help show Jesus existed. It hinders.


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