The Silence of Josephus
Now, it has often been noted that Josephus doesn't mention anything about Jesus or his ministry except for the quote in the final chapter of "Antiquities." It is also notable that Josephus is fairly moot for the dozen or so years prior to and after the crucifixion. This lack of historical corroboration has led many to believe that Jesus was just some obscure itinerrant preacher which strongly contradicts the gospel accounts. Besides, one of Josephus' favorite topics is talking about the Hasmonean family of Jesus, but not about Jesus.
Besides Matthew's claim that Jesus was born in 4 BCE, we have Luke's claim that Jesus was born during the census of Quirinius (Cyrenius) which ocurred in 6 CE. How could Jesus be a real person if the authors of the gospels are this far apart on his birth date. First, let us start with the events of 4 BCE. Here we have Judas ben Sepphoris and Matthias tearing down the golden eagle that Herod had erected over the great gate of the Jerusalem Temple. This is a clear violation of Jewish law. Both of them are arrested and Matthias and 40 of his followers are executed. It is not clear what happens to Judas, but he may have escaped. According to the Syriac or Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Jesus was indeed born during the census, not the census of Quirinius, but that of Augustus in 28 BCE. A birth date at this time was exactly what the Essene had predicted, and why would anyone believe that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah unless he was born within the prophesied time frame.
1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)—Luke 2:1-4. This is the passage taken from Luke's Gospel which is often used to date the birth of Jesus. There is no evidence that the Romans required people to return to their ancestral homes for a census. However, the major problem is that Cyrenius did not become governor of Syria until 6 CE which seriously throws off the timing of this gospel's accounts. To counter this discrepency there are those who claim that Cyrenius served twice as governor of Syria. The first time being several years earlier, but the document that they refer to only mentions that someone served twice as governor and does not claim this person to have been Cyrenius. Strangely, it is common for the Church to date Augustus' reign from 27 BCE to 14 CE, when it is known that Augustus actually became sole ruler of Rome on 2 September, 31 BCE and ruled until his death in 14 CE. This dating would obscure the Augustus census of 28 BCE. This dating coincides not with the physical birth of Jesus, but his elevation to Jewish Messiah, since this taxation mentioned in Luke led to the uprising and subsequent death of Yeshai's real father, the messianic figure, Judas of Galilee.
There also exists a second, more subtle, mention of Jesus, known as the Christ, as the brother of James in Book 20, chapter 9 of "Antiquities". First off the reference in an of itself is kind of strange since it is commonly claimed that James was a fraternal brother of Jesus and not his blood brother which this passage clearly indicates. If this statement were to be accepted as true, it would throw off all Christian claims that Mary was a perpetual virgin. "There is no “certainty” that the identifying phrase as it stands now must have come from Josephus’ pen, for he may have described James by some other reference which was subsequently changed by a Christian copyist. That the latter was the case is suggested by the fact that the second part of the extant phrase is suspiciously identical to the one which concludes Matthew 1:16 (ho legomenos Christos: the one called (the) Christ, though the Josephan phrase is in an oblique case: tou legomenou Christou). The same phrase also appears in John 4:25."--Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle". However, it is far more likely that this James was the brother of the Jewish High Priest Jesus ben Damneus since the High Priests were considered Jewish Messiahs or Christos.
Now there are others who purportedly made reference to Jesus. Among those was the second century Greek writer Celsus. However, it is unfortunate that his original writings did not survive the flames, but the geniuses who burned his works could not control their lust to condemn his writings, and so we do have at least some idea of his objections to the new Christian releigion and their crucified savior. "Let no one come to us who has been instructed, or who is wise or prudent (for such qualifications are deemed evil by us); but if there be any ignorant, or unintelligent, or uninstructed, or foolish persons, let them come with confidence. By which words, acknowledging that such individuals are worthy of their God, they manifestly show that they desire and are able to gain over only the silly, and the mean, and the stupid, with women and children."..."--"Contra Celsus", Origen
There are also forged references to Jesus in the writings of Tacitus and Suetonius which are covered in the following videos, but first here is a little information on Tacitus' reference: Christianity uses the common pagan mythological theme of a divine or semi-divine being sacrificed against a tree, pole or cross, and then being resurrected. This scenario can be found in the mythologies of all western civilizations stretching from as far west as Ireland and as far east as India. Most notably it is found in the mythologies of Osiris and Attis, both of whom were often identified with Tammuz. Osiris ended up with his arms stretched out on a tree like Jesus on the cross. This tree was symbolized as a pole with outstretched arms—the same shape as the Christian cross. In the worship of Serapis (a composite of Osiris and Apis) the cross was a religious symbol. Indeed, the Christian "Latin cross" seems to be based directly on the cross symbol of Osiris and Serapis. The Romans never used this traditional Christian cross for crucifixions, they used crosses shaped either like an X or a T. The hieroglyph of a cross on a hill was associated with Osiris. This heiroglyph stood for the "Good One," in Greek "Chrestos," a name applied to Osiris and other pagan gods. The confusion of this name with "Christos" (Messiah, Christ) strengthened the confusion between Jesus and the pagan gods.
As the video will clearly demonstrate, the following is an obvious forgery. "Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius 14-37 at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."–Tacitus. Furthrmore, the Chrisitans of the first century were followers of Serapis and not of Jesus Christ.
Continued Table of Contents