Be sure to reload this page for the latest comments! When I first spoke to a close Christian friend of mine about the publishing of Tony Bushby's The Bible Fraud, her reaction was one that many Christians have expressed, and one that made me aghast.
Originally published in German in Translated by Alexander Haggerty Krappe Methuen, Unfortunately it is long out of print and difficult to find.
What follows is an extract from Chapter 3 of this work. In this chapter, Eisler reviews the history of the controversy over Josephus' description of Jesus the "Testimonium Flavianum"giving a number of interesting details that are not well known today.
Eisler follows this review with his own speculation as to the original form of the description, of which a brief synopsis is given below, with some additional comments. The extract includes Eisler's original footnotes, some of which deserve an award for their wonderful obscurity.
A photocopied edition of Eisler's entire book is available from: Throughout the eleven long centuries which separate the edict of the toleration of Milan from the disruption of the Occidental Church with the Protestant Reform -- in other words, the time lying between the Historia ecclesiastica of Eusebius and that of Cardinal Baronius -- not a doubt was cast on the authenticity of Josephus' precious Testimonium, which was constantly quoted and turned to good account by all Church historians.
The obviously paradoxical fact that an unbelieving Jew should have acknowledged Jesus to have been the true Christ foretold by the prophets was attributed to the peculiar and miraculous power of the Redeemer, which had forced as it were even a recalcitrant infidel to yield to its spell and extracted a blessing from this second Balaam who must have set out to curse.
On the contrary, it was strengthened by the fact that even an unbeliever and an adversary of the faith had reluctantly to confess to its truth. In he writes: Even in the seventeenth century there were still learned theologians who frankly pronounced Josephus to have been divinely inspired. As every reader of the Jewish War knows, Josephus himself was impudent enough to claim divine authority for his 'revelations,' not, of course, for the testimony to 'Jesus who was called the Messiah,' but for the shameless lie to which he owed the saving of his life and which was the basis of his whole ignoble existence as a client of the Flavian house, the brazen assertion, that is, that Vespasian was the world-ruler and world-redeemer foretold in Genesis It is to the belief of the Church in the miraculous inspiration of this second Balaam that we owe the preservation not only of the Testimonium Flavianum but perhaps of the writings of Josephus as a whole.
The miracle itself is all the more remarkable since it must have happened a considerable time after the death of this second Balaam. For whilst Eusebius died c. From these passages Eduard Norden [ 6 ], among others, has inferred that, in his version of Josephus, Origen had found nothing whatever concerning Christ.
But this hypothesis lacks a sound basis, for it is quite impossible that so scholarly and conscientious a writer as Origen appears to have been should have based his explicit statement on Josephus' rejection of the Christ as the Messiah on nothing more positive than the silence of the Romanized Jew concerning Jesus' life and work, or simply on Josephus' use of the somewhat ambiguous expression 'called the Christ,' a phrase which, besides, occurs also in the Gospel of Matthew 1: What the two passages of Origen do show is that whatever Origen read in his Josephus edition cannot have been the extant text of that famous passage with its orthodox Christian wording, but quite a different text, hostile to Jesus and the Christians and really in the Emperor Vespasian that the expectations of the Jews found their fulfillment.
This amounts to saying that there is no proof of the existence of the famous testimony before the time when Christianity as a state religion was able to suppress all writings hostile to its founder or its teachings, a power officially conferred upon it by an edict of Constantine and re-enacted by the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian after the brief Pagan revival under Julian [ 7 ].
Naturally, a party possessing the power to destroy obnoxious books will ipso facto be in a position to enforce minor omissions and alterations [ 8 ] in works in which only individual passages were felt to be objectionable.
It is equally clear that owners of valuable manuscripts, whether private individuals, book-vendors, or officials in libraries and synagogues, should have preferred the excision of a few lines or certain alterations to the alternative of seeing their treasures devoured by the flames.Josephus tells of when Alexander the Great came to Jerusalem, during his conquests of the Middle East, around BC.
The high priest in Jerusalem, knowing that Alexander had recently destroyed Tyre and Gaza, poured out his heart to God for divine protection. Josephus' second major work, Jewish Antiquities, described the entire history of the Jews.
It included a great deal of material from the time of Alexander the Great to the destruction of the Second Temple.
Featuring the Church Fathers, Catholic Encyclopedia, Summa Theologica and more. And if any wonder why Josephus wholly omits the rest of the kings of Persia after Artaxerxes Mnemon, till he came to their last king Darius, who was conquered by Alexander the Great, I shall give them Vossius's and Dr.
Hudson's answer, though in my own words, viz. that Josephus did not do ill in admitting those kings of Persia with . I came across the title, Tiberius Julius Alexander: A Historical Novel Kindle by Daniel M Friedenberg, purchased it, and read it through in the course of researching a novel of my own on the title character's uncle, the famed Jewish philosopher of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus.
The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus Translated By William Whiston This work is in the Public Domain. Copy Freely War of the Jews Antiquities .