The only Josephus reference that is authentic is the one to John the Baptist.
But that doesn't prove the existence of Jesus.
John the Baptist was a highly respected man & had a lot of followers.
Those that created the Jesus myth tied the Nazarene's myth in with John the Baptist & made John subservient to Jesus to make Jesus appear more significant.
As I pointed out the reference to Jesus (referred to as the Christ) the brother of James is clearly about another Jesus - it is about Jesus the son of Damneus.
The other Josephus reference is a forgery & we have a pretty good idea who forged it.
But instead of getting bogged down with who supposedly wrote about Jesus, let us look at who didn't write about Jesus.
Seneca the Younger (c.3 BCE – 65) Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Stoic philosopher, writer,
statesman & de facto ruler of the Empire for many years, would have had several reasons to mention Jesus at least at some point in his voluminous writings but didn't.
Gallio (died 65 CE) Seneca’s silence is compounded by the fact that his older brother was Junius Annaeus Gallio, who actually appears in the Bible. Gallio was the magistrate who heard Paul's case and threw it out of court. If this is true, it’s curious that Gallio never seems to have told his brother about this amazing Jesus character that everyone was so excited about, since Seneca was so interested in just this sort of thing.
Jewish historian Justus of Tiberias (died c. 101) was a native of Tiberias in Galilee (not
far from Jesus’ hometown), was personal secretary to King Herod Agrippa II (who
allegedly met the apostle Paul), and even wrote a history of the Kingdom of Judah covering the entire time when Jesus lived! He doesn’t say anything about Jesus. In fact, largely the only reason we even know of Justus’ history is because of that very fact. Only fragments of Justus’ work survive today, but the 9th century Patriarch of Constantinople, Photius, reported his displeasure after reading Justus’s chronology by complaining:
"I have read the chronology of Justus of Tiberias… being under the Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself also a Jew by birth, he makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, or what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did.” (Photius, Bibliothec, Codex 33)
Nicolaus of Damascus (c. late 1st century BCE – early 1st century CE) personal friend, advisor and court historian to King Herod the Great. Nicolaus wrote a world history in 144 books up to the end of Herod's reign, relying heavily on Herod's personal memoirs and his own first-hand knowledge (Josephus cites Nicolaus as a principal source for his own account
of Herod's reign). No mention of any of the aspects of the Nativity, Nothing about the star of Bethlehem, the arrival of the Magi, Herod learning about the Messiah from the hastily convened meeting with the elders, being deceived by the Magi or the purported Massacre of the innocents.
Philo of Alexandria (c.20 BCE - c. 50) Writer, political commentator and esteemed Jewish statesman, above all Philo was the greatest Jewish philosopher of the Greco-Roman world; Around thirty of his books still survive. Philo was the era & location to be a significant historical witness to Jesus. He lived before, during and after the alleged time of Christ, and he had strong connections to Jerusalem. He didn’t just spend time in Jerusalem - his family was intimately connected with the royal house of Judea. But he makes no mention of the supposed triumphant arrival in Jerusalem, trial, crucifixion & resulting earthquakes, solar eclipse, 5000 people getting out of their tombs, resurrection & ascension.
I've also looked into the claims that the Talmuds provide evidence of Jesus.
There are if I remember correctly 7 references to Jesus/Yeshai in the Talmuds.
Only 2 come remotely close to the Christian Jesus.
One is Jesus ben Strada that was executed with his named followers (Mathai, Naqai, Nezer, Buni and Todah) on the eve of Passover. A herald went forth for 40 days looking for witnesses to defend him from prosecution & none came forward.
The other is an indirect reference to Jesus the Sorceror who was able to treat snake bites.
A follower of his came to treat a snake bite & was charged with working on the Sabbath.
If Jesus had lived as Christians believe where he is supposed to have a huge following & was purportedly bigger than the Beatles, how do you explain that there are no contemporary writings of his existence?
With all that was chronicled from that era the only independent evidence that exists are a forgery & an interpolation that refers to someone else.
Doesn't that show you that there is something wrong with the story?
If he was real & had existed christians wouldn't have to rely on a forgery & an interpolation.
There would have been many more references to Jesus & that would substantiate the story.
But the references don't exist because Jesus the Nazarene, the miracle worker, the son of Mary & Joseph, who was tried & executed did not exist.
The progress of christianity was not much more than a gigantic power struggle between old and new. It applied to countries as much as religion. If you could convince the people of a country that your god was the only god then you had won the country.
I remember reading some time ago a believer who had it all worked out by numbers and he believed...He must have done to go to so much effort. So why did you research the subject so thoroughly? Did you believe and become disillusioned or did you not believe and search for proof that you were right?
Which ever way you look it shows remarkable effort and strong interest.
Ironically I had my epiphany in mass!
The way my brain works is I can have a thought for a brief moment but contemplate it very deeply in that instant.
My brain was working & thoughts were banging through my head, important stuff like West Ham will play team X next weekend, I wonder who will win the Cheltenham Gold Cup when from somewhere 'There is no god it is all a fraud' just exploded in my brain.
It was an astonishing realisation & one I did not expect.
It was so sudden that I momentarily lost the use of my legs, nearly stumbled & had to cling to the end of the seat to prevent myself from falling to the ground.
When I had regained my composure I contemplated it for a few more seconds & then I knew it was a political conspiracy to control the masses.
Approx 7secs later I moved onto a more important matter such as does Ruth in my Economics class like me?
It wasn't something that I spent much time contemplating.
I knew it wasn't true, in much the same way that people of faith know it is true - I didn't go to mass for years & I didn't come into contact with mass goers so it didn't matter.
Then I met my wife & spent weekends at her father's house & I was compelled to go for appearances sake.
Thing is my wife’s family would go to mass & completely zone out.
They wouldn't listen to a single word being uttered.
It made absolutely no sense at all.
We go to mass & at the outset we pray to an all powerful god that created us imperfect (when he could have created us perfect & therefore sinless) & we pray for our sins which offend god which he could have avoided in the first place if he hadn't created us imperfect.
I found that intellectually very offensive.
And why do we pray?
If you believe in God then you know that He created us & He has mapped out every instant of your life even before you were born.
So why would He change that on the whim of a prayer?
In fact He is supposed to know whether you will pray or not even before the necessity for prayer has arisen so it shouldn't matter whether you pray or not.
God has already decided whether you pray or not & he is going to do whatever He is going to do whether you pray or not.
The more you think about it the more absurd it is.
Then my daughter started school & she started asking me questions about the stories she is taught at school.
Stories about Noah, Moses, Samson & Jesus. Stories that are nothing more than ancient mythology that is somehow packaged as truth & is taught to our children.
I decided I better find out about the stuff my daughter is being taught so I can answer any questions she might put to me.
When I get into something I research it in great detail.
I was always intrigued by facts & stats & history.
I studied history for the leaving without attending a single history class & it was the highest honour grade I received in the examination. It was actually the highest grade in the honours history class & needless to say the religious school I attended took the credit for it & it was amongst a list of grades posted on the school notice board.
But I approached it with as much of an open mind as I could manage.
I was shocked at the lack of evidence verifying Jesus.
Even biblical scholars admit there is no independent evidence of Jesus.
There is 'hearsay & conjecture' & as Lionel Hutz says they are kinds of evidence.
These biblical scholars have had to explain why there are no contemporaneous writings about Jesus, never mind that Jesus never wrote anything down himself. They say that his followers expected him to return in their lifetimes, therefore they never wrote anything about him.
But that doesn't explain why those that weren't followers didn't record any aspect of his life. Surely the same obscure self imposed embargo didn't apply to them.
Isn't it curious how there are several independent records of christians (Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus) yet there is no independent verification of the man who supposedly started the movement less than 100 years previously. Did non-christians only start recording contemporary events 70-100 years after Jesus?
It doesn't explain why Jesus doesn't appear in any census.
Believers say that the census was a record of Roman taxpayers so he wouldn't appear in it.
If that is true then why did Judas the Galilean lead a revolt against the Roman empire over the 4BC census & the resulting taxes?
When I studied it some bit I discovered the bible is not an eye-witness account, it is anonymously written & contains glaringly obvious historical & geographical flaws.
There are 2 different accounts of the nativity. They both can't be right.
There are 2 different versions of his trial. They both can't be right.
There are many other things that are not true.
We have stories of Jesus deeds in the bible that Scholars will tell you didn't happen that they are merely allegorical. So for example they'll say he didn't walk on water nor did he perform the miracle of the loaves & fishes.
So what are we left with?
Well we have the anonymously written, non contemporaneous, inconsistent, inaccurate, chronology of a series of stories that are disputed by his most devout & educated followers about a man that there is no evidence even existed in the first instance.
Disturbingly we have 3 holy lances that supposedly pierced Jesus' side.
The existence of more than one indicates that at least 2 of them are fakes.
This tells us something about the people that peddle their wares in the superstition industry.
They don't care about truth.
They will do anything to promote their product.
Isn’t religion supposed to be about the truth?
Wasn’t religion a way of explaining life & existence. Hence people that didn’t know any better gave us creationist tales & formulated the truth.
The thing is now we have moved on & we know that these creationist tales are not true. Now we do know better but for some reason we still have institutions like the Dail that pray to god before every session.
We have people that enthusiastically thank god for the merest bit of sunshine or when this summer’s deluge momentarily stops.
I don’t care what other people believe. But I am concerned about what my daughter is being taught. I don’t want her head filled with an ancient mythology that is merely badly copied from other more ancient mythologies.
By the way, believers (if any of them are still reading this) should not be angry with me because if you believe in god then I’m doing god’s work as I’m sent here to help you question your faith.
He works in mysterious ways, you know.
You state that the only Josephus reference that is authentic is the one to John the Baptist, but not either of the two to Jesus.
The overwhelming academic and expert consensus is that the first reference is absolutely authentic. They also agree that the Jesus who is brother of James is definitely Christ - indeed he is referred to as Christ explicitly in the reference.
The general consensus on the other reference is that that part of the book is partly forged, but that there was an 'authentic nucleus' which contained a reference to Jesus.
Why do you assert that these are forged or about a different Jesus when the specialists, experts, and academics disagree with you?
What do you know that they don't?
I think there is a God but not in the way we are taught, just as I don't believe that hell is as we were taught. I also believe there is a Goddess. The old religions where it all began were fertility religions and one of anything is no good at all. It has to be said that the RCC is faithful to that at least. Its all about fertility no matter who is starving to death in a drought.
Its also true I think that while the old ways were about fertility they were not stupidly unquestioningly so. I think I'm right in saying the earliest, what I think must be called a condom was dated to the Egyptian era.
I don't think you have much to fear about your daughters education. She goes home to you.
How can the Jesus mentioned by Josephus the brother of James be the Christ & also the son of Damneus?
How can this be the same James (brother of Jesus the Christ) when he is killed in a manner that is inconsistent with the biblical James' demise?
The James in the Josephine reference was stoned to death after a meeting of the Sandrehin council in Jerusalem was summoned by Annaus the high priest.
The biblical James according to Hegesippus was killed by an angry mob that seized him in the street, threw him from a temple & then stoned him. Then a mob member clubbed him to death.
The whole passage doesn't make sense except if the words who was called Christ are removed.
Elsewhere in his chronicles Josephus never used the words Christ or Messiah even when talking about Vespasian who was his own choice for messiah.
Instead, Josephus used the term charlatan for all the false messiahs he wrote about.
Why would he then use the words who was called Christ & remain a Jew?
I don't believe that this is a deliberate malicious forgery, but it may be.
This may merely be a case of the reader making notations, scribbling a Greek note in the margin tou legomenou Christou indicating the reader believed this Jesus the brother of James was the Christ.
Future copies replicated this notation & it became imbedded in the text.
With regards to Testimonium Flavinium many of the early Christian writers, the foremost of them being Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian & Origen all read & commented on Josephus.
None of them mentions Testimonium Flavinium.
In fact in his book Contra Celsum Origen quoted from Josephus to prove the historical existence of John the Baptist, but adds that Josephus didn't believe in Jesus and criticizes Josephus for failing to mention Jesus in that book.
"I would like to say to Celsus, who represents the Jew as accepting somehow John as a Baptist, who baptized Jesus, that the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great length of time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless--being, although against his will, not far from the truth--that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ),--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice."
In Book 2 he wrote that there was no other source of material on Jesus other than the gospels.
"But," continues Celsus, "what great deeds did Jesus perform as being a God? Did he put his enemies to shame, or bring to a ridiculous conclusion what was designed against him?" Now to this question, although we are able to show the striking and miraculous character of the events which befell Him, yet from what other source can we furnish an answer than from the Gospel narratives, which state that "there was an earthquake, and that the rocks were split asunder, and the tombs opened, and the veil of the temple rent in twain from top to bottom, and that darkness prevailed in the day-time, the sun failing to give light?"
These quotations from Origen's writings show that at that time there was no mention of Jesus being the Christ in Josephus nor was there any mention of Jesus in sources outside the gospels.
This indicates that any Josephine reference to Jesus or any mention of Jesus as the Christ is subsequent to Origen 184-254AD which is impossible as Josephus wrote the Antiquities in 93/94AD & he wasn't around to write a new edition after 254AD.
For example from Josephus and from papyrus scroll records from the eastern Egyptian Empire we know that Jews were exempt from Roman tax census which is a bit awkward when it comes to the jesus fairytale because Joseph and Jesus' Ma were jews from Galilee and were exempt from Roman taxes- and the census concerned only Roman citizens.
Imaginative judaic scribes told a fairytale of the nativity which was solely intended to to associate the 'messiah' with the birthplace of the legendary King David- at Bethlehem.
Thats the only reason for the whole donkey and no-room-at-the-inn caper which groans through yet another telling in primary schools around the country every christmas.
If X'ers are going to point to Josephus as a source then they cannot ignore the information in his writings which show the Gospel of Luke is a tissue of fabrications. Incidentally Josephus as a source (a jew writing in Greek) was I believe at work some eighty years after the events covered? Its a bit like me sitting down to write the authentic version of the ambush at Beal na Blath and the death of Michael Collins and in a couple of thousands years some chap wandering around with my written musings and claiming to have the authentic story. Doesn't work.
Can't have it both ways. As an aside Josephus is one of the sources referred to to point out that the earliest known gospel or rather one of the twenty versions of gospels known to exist is completely incorrect in making Herod and a Roman Governor called Quirinius contemporaries when it is known from plentiful records that there was a ten year period between their respective lifetimes.
Luke is referred to as the only Gospel which X'ers like to claim as contemporary to the life of their messiah- (or near as dammit) and it is in fact known to experts to be shot full of historical inaccuracies and shows evidence of having been written and re-written by a number of scribes which leaves it an incoherent document at best and certainly not a reliable historical source.
Last edited by Captain Con O'Sullivan; 02-08-2012 at 01:54 PM.
Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.
Going back to the subject the pain truth about the cult that has done its level best to destroy Irish culture, subject the people to a superstitious taxing, spread fearful propaganda to the point where sexual dsyfunction became something of an ambition and has been nothing but a curse worse than a plague in Ireland has had a dreadful effect on the Irish people over the 1500 years it held sway in Ireland.
The sooner that shyte is got rid of the better. And these little quisling Irishmen who call themselves priests of a discredited and disgraced cult die out the happier I'll be.
Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.
The truth is known and the RCC is greatly damaged, when even their pope is embroiled there cannot be much hope for recovery, not even in countries like this once so devout one. What does surprise me though are the number of people who have made a study of the subject and know how false it is, and yet not only send their children to RCC schools but still go to church regularly or irregularly makes little difference. Its an observance the RCC latch onto and project as firm belief and support. I know of one or two and I'm afraid it engenders a lack of respect for them in me although I daresay they have their reasons.
Last edited by bernadette; 02-08-2012 at 02:28 PM.
Roman Catholicism of the frenetic kind appeals to extremist social conservatives who have no interest at all in the supposed inheritance of the world by the meek and in fact have completely opposite ideals.
When you think of it these people are interested only in a hierarchy with an absolute dictator at the top who cannot be questioned.
The remaining cult members are made up primarily of those parents soft-bullied into an appearance of catholicism in Ireland so they can get their child into a long established school in their area, fanatical nutters, and extremist social conservatives. Take the parents out of the picture and the cult is down to about 3-7% of the population at best.
I would be prepared to argue that those in Ireland who demand that society be run by the lights of Europe's last absolute dictator in Rome are inherently subversive in a Republic and a democracy, however shabby those labels might look at the moment.
This is why I would argue that we should not worry too much about their rights as a minority in a democracy but remove all kinds of social power from them without reserve. They should have the right to pray or dress up in a sheet or whatever but thats as far as they should be tolerated.
Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.
- Hotel FMCause I can’t change, I can’t change the world alone
I need you all, everybody, start dreaming of it
And take your step that’s gonna make a difference and change your world
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