Podcast: Can Josephus’ Writings about Jesus be Trusted?

Episode Description:

Recalcitrant atheists are now stating the Josephus’ writings about Christ should be discarded and can not be considered as evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ. Those claims are examined in this episode and proof given that not only can Josephus’ writings be used as extra-biblical evidence to support the proposition that Christ was a historical figure, but also that many atheists will go to foolish lengths to denigrate the historical record pertaining to Christianity.

3 thoughts on “Podcast: Can Josephus’ Writings about Jesus be Trusted?

  1. While I am not a “recalcitrant” atheists, lol, the passage in question is said to have been subject to Christian interpolation. This is a scholarly consensus. I would not toss out the entire passage but it does make one wonder just how much interpolation was done by these early Christian scribes. Why did they want to take historical information and corrupt it?

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    1. I cover the matter of the interpolation in Book 18, Chapter 3.3, otherwise known as the Testimonium Flavianum in the podcast episode. While certain laudatory phrases where interpolated around the 8th century, when one compares the Greek manuscripts of Josephus’ writings to the Arabic texts, being that the surviving Arabic manuscripts are closer to the date of the original manuscripts and do not contain the interpolations, it becomes evident that most of the Testimonium mentions Christ, his death on the cross by Pilate’s command and that fact that Christians were known for being followers of Christ. Also, in Book 20, Chapter 9.1, Josephus mentions Jesus again as the “brother” of James and even proceeded to write that he was “called Christ”. Louis Feldman, the man whom many considered the last great Josephus scholar, declared that both passages in question unequivocally mention Jesus Christ.

      As to your assertion; you’re making an assumption about the intent of the scribes which intentionally seeks to cast doubt as to the authenticity of everything else that was transmitted. That’s a stretch. If you are willing to stand by such a declaration, you have to furnish proof that all the relevant texts were corrupted and therefore unreliable.

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