Author Topic: Testimony of First Century Jewish historian Josephus to the Resurrection!  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Xavier

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Happy Easter! Our Savior is risen!

I posted this a week ago on a Catholic forum when I noticed some lifelong Catholics doubting Jesus and His Resurrection; here too I know 1 or 2 people are skeptical of the Resurrection, so I hope this write up on a fundamental doctrine all Christians believe won't be out of place here. God bless.

One among the many irrefutable proofs of the Resurrection of Jesus that serious skeptics are forced to contend with is the testimony of Flavius Josephus, first century Jewish historian and eyewitness to the remarkable fulfilment of Our Savior's prophesies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. St. Eusebius praises Josephus for the accuracy of his reporting which agrees admirably with the Holy Scriptures. Of course, for the Saints and for us, the testimony of Christian historians like St. Luke and of the other Evangelists and the Apostles is infinitely superior to that of any Jewish or pagan historian, ancient or modern; but we should know that modern secularists treat Josephus almost like a secular bible when it comes to the history of first century events. So imagine just how shocked they must be to find this clear and explicit testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus in the Antiquities of Josephus!

Quote from: Flavius Josephus,Antiquities XVIII, iii, 3

"About this time appeared Jesus, a wise man if indeed it is right to call Him man; for He was a worker of astonishing deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with joy, and He drew to Himself many Jews many also of Greeks. This was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the denunciation of those that are foremost among us, had condemned Him to the cross, those who had first loved Him did not abandon Him for He appeared to them alive again on the third day, the holy prophets having foretold this and countless other marvels about Him. The tribe of Christians, so named after Him, has not ceased to this day."

1. This historical testimony attests to all the most important facts in the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ; His divine Wisdom, His astonishing miracles, His lofty doctrine, His powerful preaching attracting men and women from all races and cultures; finally His crucifixion under Pilate and glorious Resurrection in accordance with what the great Prophets of Israel had written; and shows all this was almost universally known among the Jews of the time, even those hostile or indifferent to the Gospel.

2. The testimony is so clearly Josephan that it throws all secular critics into the greatest and insuperable difficulties; they have no choice at all but to desperately plead that it is a forgery to maintain their secularism. But this is an absurd and farcical pretense. The passage fits perfectly with all we know of Josephus' style and vocabulary; it has unique expressions as "tribe of Christians" and calls Jesus "a wise man" etc that occur nowhere else. As the CE notes moreover, "all codices or manuscripts of Josephus's work contain the text in question; to maintain the spuriousness of the text, we must suppose that all the copies of Josephus were in the hands of Christians, and were changed in the same way."

3. And its authenticity was universally taken for granted for centuries, CE: "Third, Eusebius ("Hist. Eccl"., I, xi; cf. "Dem. Ev.", III, v) Sozomen (Church History I.1), Niceph. (Hist. Eccl., I, 39), Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. IV, 225), St. Jerome (catal.script. eccles. xiii), Ambrose, Cassiodorus, etc., appeal to the testimony of Josephus; there must have been no doubt as to its authenticity at the time of these illustrious writers."

The CE notes Josephus, like Gamaliel and others, may have been content with discreetly operating within the synagogue; among a number of other possible explanations for why he was not baptized. Regardless, this clear testimony from a historian so universally regarded as credible is convincing proof that the Jews of Jesus' time were well acquainted with the fact of His Resurrection.

The CE also notes the rise of Christianity would have been impossible if Jesus had not really risen from the dead: "Briefly, therefore, the fact of Christ's Resurrection is attested by more than 500 eyewitnesses, whose experience, simplicity, and uprightness of life rendered them incapable of inventing such a fable, who lived at a time when any attempt to deceive could have been easily discovered, who had nothing in this life to gain, but everything to lose by their testimony, whose moral courage exhibited in their apostolic life can be explained only by their intimate conviction of the objective truth of their message. Again the fact of Christ's Resurrection is attested by the eloquent silence of the Synagogue which had done everything to prevent deception, which could have easily discovered deception, if there had been any, which opposed only sleeping witnesses to the testimony of the Apostles, which did not punish the alleged carelessness of the official guard, and which could not answer the testimony of the Apostles except by threatening them "that they speak no more in this name to any man" (Acts 4:17). Finally the thousands and millions, both Jews and Gentiles, who believed the testimony of the Apostles in spite of all the disadvantages following from such a belief, in short the origin of the Church, requires for its explanation the reality of Christ's Resurrection, for the rise of the Church without the Resurrection would have been a greater miracle than the Resurrection itself."

Like the Holy Shroud of Turin, and the 500 eyewitnesses to the Resurrection, and the heroic lives and martyrdoms of the holy Apostles sealing and confirming their testimony to Jesus and His Resurrection in their blood, the Testimonium Flavium, as it is called, affords no small proof of the Resurrection! It must command the attention of every serious inquirer into Christianity.

Blessed Easter!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 01:39:49 AM by Xavier »
"My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

Offline Ainnir

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Truly He is risen!    ;D
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Asteriktos

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Catholics consider Eusebius a saint? Huh, learn something every day... :)

Offline Volnutt

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Yeah, maybe it's been tampered with slightly, but I tend to think that the core of the Testimonium fits in pretty well with that part of the Antiquities. Rakovsky had a pretty good series of recent posts on it starting here.

Though, I should point out that strictly speaking, it's not a proof for the Resurrection per se, but just that a lot of or most early Christians believed in it (or at most, that the Tomb was in fact Empty).
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 01:51:49 AM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Xavier

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St. Chrysostom's commentary on Acts of the Apostles explains how the Resurrection is an evidenr sign for all ages.

"For this reason therefore by the miracles [wrought by the Apostles] He renders the evidence of His Resurrection unequivocal, so that not only the men of those times--this is what would come of the ocular proof--but also all men thereafter, should be certain of the fact, that He was risen. Upon this ground also we argue with unbelievers. For if He did not rise again, but remains dead, how did the Apostles perform miracles in His name? But they did not, say you, perform miracles? How then was our religion (ethnos) instituted? For this certainly they will not controvert nor impugn what we see with our eyes: so that when they say that no miracles took place, they inflict a worse stab [16] upon themselves. For this would be the greatest of miracles, that without any miracles, the whole world should have eagerly come to be taken in the nets of twelve poor and illiterate men! For not by wealth of money, not by wisdom of words, not by any thing else of this kind, did the fishermen prevail; so that objectors must even against their will acknowledge that there was in these men a Divine power, for no human strength could ever possibly effect such great results. For this He then remained forty days on earth, furnishing in this length of time the sure evidence of their seeing Him in His own proper Person, that they might not suppose that what they saw was a phantom. And not content with this, He added also the evidence of eating with them at their board: as to signify this, the writer adds, "And being at table [17] with them, He commanded." [18] (v. 4.) And this circumstance the Apostles themselves always put forth as an infallible token of the Resurrection; as where they say, "Who did eat and drink with Him." (Acts x. 41.)

And what did He, when appearing unto them those forty days? Why, He conversed with them, says the writer, "concerning the kingdom of God." (v. 3.) For, since the disciples both had been distressed and troubled at the things which already had taken place, and were about to go forth to encounter great difficulties, He recovered them by His discourses concerning the future. "He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father." (v. 4.) First, He led them out to Galilee, afraid and trembling, in order that they might listen to His words in security. Afterwards, when they had heard, and had passed forty days with Him, "He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem." Wherefore? Just as when soldiers are to charge a multitude, no one thinks of letting them issue forth until they have armed themselves, or as horses are not suffered to start from the barriers until they have got their charioteer; so Christ did not suffer these to appear in the field before the descent of the Spirit, that they might not be in a condition to be easily defeated and taken captive by the many. Nor was this the only reason, but also there were many in Jerusalem who should believe. And then again that it might not be said, that leaving their own acquaintance, they had gone to make a parade among strangers, therefore among those very men who had put Christ to death do they exhibit the proofs of His Resurrection, among those who had crucified and buried Him, in the very town in which the iniquitous deed had been perpetrated; thereby stopping the mouths of all foreign objectors. For when those even who had crucified Him appear as believers, clearly this proved both the fact of the crucifixion and the iniquity of the deed, and afforded a mighty evidence of the Resurrection."
"My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

Offline Volnutt

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I love St. John Chrysostom, but I don't think I can agree with his argument here.

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For this would be the greatest of miracles, that without any miracles, the whole world should have eagerly come to be taken in the nets of twelve poor and illiterate men! For not by wealth of money, not by wisdom of words, not by any thing else of this kind, did the fishermen prevail; so that objectors must even against their will acknowledge that there was in these men a Divine power, for no human strength could ever possibly effect such great results.

This ignores 1. The role of St. Paul in spreading Christianity and 2. the early conversions of members of Caesar's household and of prominent citizens like Sts. Lydia and Epaphroditus (and the fact that Jesus Himself seems to have had wealthy patrons, cf. Luke 8:3).
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline RaphaCam

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Wow, thank for calling attention to this, Xavier! Have a blessed Pascha indeed. Christ is risen!
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Offline Vanhyo

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Happy EasterPascha! Our Savior is risen!
Indeed He is risen.

The Resurrection makes most sense out of anything, otherwise why are we struggling against the fallen principles of this world and swimming against the waves of the age ? Notice, the worldly, the secular fully embrace those and ride on them. "survival of the fittest" they tell us, "this is how the world works"... their delusion is to be pitied, but we who know there is a Divine Justice, and love the Truth know that our direction is true, and when the mandate of the fallen principles is over, the waves will change, we will be the ones who ride on with joy, and they will be the ones who will be consumed.

If death was permanent then it wouldn't matter what you choose to do, because all people end up in the same place, this very idea destroys all that is good and everything that is just, beautiful and worth living for and turns life into a horrorhell of egotism and gain for self.

The Resurrection changes all this and is the reassurance that not a single human life ended in vain, all will rise because Christ took all of humanity, and each will receive his/hers own by the Great Judge.

Offline JoeS2

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Here is another practical reason to believe: 
Roman soldiers were sent by Pilate to guard the tomb.  We are not talking one or two soldiers but a guard detachment consisting of enough men to be there on a rotating schedule to insure that the body would not be removed by the followers of Jesus.  Roman soldiers are bound to obey under pain of death any order issued by someone on the order of Pontius Pilate.  I dare say that these soldiers were not asleep or drunk or otherwise at the time of the Resurrection.  But, I do say that I would not like to have been one of the soldiers who had to report that the tomb was now empty...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 10:21:55 AM by JoeS2 »

Offline Rubricnigel

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Quote
Happy EasterPascha! Our Savior is risen!
Indeed He is risen.

The Resurrection makes most sense out of anything, otherwise why are we struggling against the fallen principles of this world and swimming against the waves of the age ? Notice, the worldly, the secular fully embrace those and ride on them. "survival of the fittest" they tell us, "this is how the world works"... their delusion is to be pitied, but we who know there is a Divine Justice, and love the Truth know that our direction is true, and when the mandate of the fallen principles is over, the waves will change, we will be the ones who ride on with joy, and they will be the ones who will be consumed.

If death was permanent then it wouldn't matter what you choose to do, because all people end up in the same place, this very idea destroys all that is good.

Its hard for atheists/agnostics to explain morality and justice without GOD.
Whats to stop me from just killing someone and taking their stuff? Prison, or an ingrained sense of right and wrong given to us by GOD?
And for those who say "evolution" then morality must be constantly evolving and, tomorrows morality might be eating babies and killing non gays. That doesnt fit with historical evidence of morality through out the ages.

Jesus is risen, TRULY he is risen!

Offline RaphaCam

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Quote
Happy EasterPascha! Our Savior is risen!
Indeed He is risen.

The Resurrection makes most sense out of anything, otherwise why are we struggling against the fallen principles of this world and swimming against the waves of the age ? Notice, the worldly, the secular fully embrace those and ride on them. "survival of the fittest" they tell us, "this is how the world works"... their delusion is to be pitied, but we who know there is a Divine Justice, and love the Truth know that our direction is true, and when the mandate of the fallen principles is over, the waves will change, we will be the ones who ride on with joy, and they will be the ones who will be consumed.

If death was permanent then it wouldn't matter what you choose to do, because all people end up in the same place, this very idea destroys all that is good.

Its hard for atheists/agnostics to explain morality and justice without GOD.
Whats to stop me from just killing someone and taking their stuff? Prison, or an ingrained sense of right and wrong given to us by GOD?
And for those who say "evolution" then morality must be constantly evolving and, tomorrows morality might be eating babies and killing non gays. That doesnt fit with historical evidence of morality through out the ages.

Jesus is risen, TRULY he is risen!
Utilitarianist ethics based on biology can actually be pretty sound, but they're still too superficial and may display some perversion as corollaries. The thing is they're just scratching the surface: biological life is not the ultimate good of which ethics derive, they're created and temporal. God is the ultimate good.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline Volnutt

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Here is another practical reason to believe: 
Roman soldiers were sent by Pilate to guard the tomb.  We are not talking one or two soldiers but a guard detachment consisting of enough men to be there on a rotating schedule to insure that the body would not be removed by the followers of Jesus.  Roman soldiers are bound to obey under pain of death any order issued by someone on the order of Pontius Pilate.  I dare say that these soldiers were not asleep or drunk or otherwise at the time of the Resurrection.  But, I do say that I would not like to have been one of the soldiers who had to report that the tomb was now empty...

All this assumes that the story about the guards really happened and wasn't made up or just believed as hearsay by whoever wrote Matthew (so it also would seem to assume that Matthew has an early date, and likely that it was actually written by the Apostle). It's also always tricky when you have an element that only shows up in a single Gospel.

This is why I have a hard time with "historical" apologetics in general beyond just establishing the existence of Jesus and other basic facts. There's just too many imperfectly known variables. I prefer to believe the Bible because I believe in Christ, not as much the other way around.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 02:55:03 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Xavier

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Thanks Rapha, and Vanyho. I agree with you. The Savior lives. If anything in history is certain, it is certain that Jesus is Risen. The Fathers call it the new creation, when light shone anew upon the world on the first day. It is known because its effects upon the lives of the holy Apostles is known - only the Risen Lord could have so magnificently confirmed them in faith and taught them to be fearless in facing their own deaths and martyrdoms in giving testimony to Him, the Risen Lord. The inability of persecutors to stop the Apostolic eyewitness testimony to the Risen Christ is another proof. The empty tomb in the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem is another. The historian N.T. Wright says "As a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity, unless Jesus really rose from the dead, leaving an empty tomb behind Him". The Holy Shroud of Turin and the miraculous imprint of the Image of the Holy Face upon it also is an effect of God's glorious Resurrection from the dead.

For the skeptics - the testimony of Jews like Josephus, and conversion of former Rabbis like Gamaliel should be enough; but here's yet another testimony from a lifelong pagan like Pontius Pilate himself - of whom Tacitus, the official biographer of the Roman emperors, attests in agreement with the Gospels, that Christ was crucified under him in Tiberius' time.

Pontius Pilate is mentioned in the Gospels and the Creed. He was the Roman procurator of Judaea under whom our divine Savior was crucified and is a well known figure to secularists. So is Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the time. There is also an extant letter from Pilate to Caesar attesting to the many wonderful works of Jesus and His glorious Resurrection. Liberals today try to run away from this as they generally do from everything about Our Lord Jesus by claiming "forgery" without evidence; in truth, this text was cited as indisputably authentic by Sts. Peter and Paul in their testimony for Christ before the emperor Nero (see the Acts of Peter and Paul); and in later centuries by St. Justin, Tertullian etc writing their Letters of Apologia or Defense of Christianity to the Roman Emperors. The text from Catholic Culture's translation.

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To the most mighty, venerable, most divine, and most terrible, the august Caesar, Pilate the governor of the East sends greeting. I have, O most mighty, a narrative to give thee, on account of which I am seized with fear and trembling. For in this government of mine, of which one of the cities is called Jerusalem, all the people of the Jews have delivered to me a man named Jesus, bringing many charges against him, which they were not able to convict him of by the consistency of their evidence. And one of the heresies they had against him was, that Jesus said that their Sabbath should not be a day of leisure, and should not be observed. For he performed many cures on that day: he made the blind receive their sight, the lame walk; he raised up the dead, he cleansed the lepers; he healed paralytics that were not at all able to make any movement of their body, or to keep their nerves steady, but who had only speech and the modulation of their voice, and he gave them the power of walking and running, removing their illness by a single word. Another thing again, more powerful still, which is strange even with our gods: he raised up one that had been dead four days, summoning him by a single word, when the dead man had his blood corrupted, and when his body was destroyed by the worms produced in it, and when it had the stink of a dog And seeing him lying in the tomb, he ordered him to run. Nor had he anything of a dead body about him at all; but as a bridegroom from the bridal chamber, so he came forth from the tomb filled with very great fragrance. And strangers that were manifestly demoniac, and that had their dwelling in deserts, and ate their own flesh, living like beasts and creeping things, even these he made to be dwellers in cities, and by his word restored them to soundness of mind, and rendered them wise and able and reputable, eating with all the enemies of the unclean spirits that dwelt in them for their destruction, which he cast down into the depths of the sea. And again there was another having a withered hand; and not the hand only, but rather the half of the body of the man, was petrified, so that he had not the form of a than, or the power of moving his body. And him by a word he healed, and made sound. And a woman that had an issue of blood for many years, and whose joints and veins were drained by the flowing of the blood, so that she did not present the appearance of a human being, but was like a corpse, and was speechless every day, so that all the physicians of the district could not cure her. For there was not any hope of life left to her. And when Jesus passed by, she mysteriously received strength through his overshadowing her; and she took hold of his fringe behind, and immediately in the same hour power filled up what in her was empty, so that, no longer suffering any pain, she began to run swiftly to her own city Kepharnaum, so as to accomplish the journey in six days.

And these are the things which I lately had in my mind to report, which Jesus accomplished on the Sabbath. And other signs greater than these he did, so that I have perceived that the wonderful works done by him are greater than can be done by the gods whom we worship.

And him Herod and Archelaus and Philip, Annas and Caiaphas, with all the people, delivered to me, making a great uproar against me that I should try him. I therefore ordered him to be crucified, having first scourged him, and having found against him no cause of evil accusations or deeds.

And at the time he was crucified there was darkness over all the world, the sun being darkened at mid-day, and the stars appearing, but in them there appeared no lustre; and the moon, as if turned into blood, failed in her light. And the world was swallowed up by the lower regions, so that the very sanctuary of the temple, as they call it, could not be seen by the Jews in their fall; and they saw below them a chasm of the earth, with the roar of the thunders that fell upon it. And in that terror dead men were seen that had risen, as the Jews themselves testified; and they said that it was Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs, and Moses and Job, that had died, as they say, three thousand five hundred years before. And there were very many whom I also saw appearing in the body; and they were making a lamentation about the Jews, on account of the wickedness that bad come to pass through them, and the destruction of the Jews and of their law.

And the fear of the earthquake remained from the sixth hour of the preparation until the ninth hour. And on the evening of the first day of the week there was a sound out of the heaven, so that the heaven became enlightened sevenfold more than all the days. And at the third hour of the night also the sun was seen brighter than it had ever shone before, lighting up all the heaven. And as lightnings come suddenly in winter, so majestic men appeared in glorious robes, an innumerable multitude, whose voice was heard as that of a very great thunder, crying out: Jesus that was crucified is risen: come up out of Hades, ye that have been enslaved in the underground regions of Hades. And the chasm of the earth was as if it had no bottom; but it was as if the very foundations of the earth appeared along with those that cried out in the heavens, and walked about in the body in the midst of the dead that had risen. And he that raised up all the dead, and bound Hades, said: Say to my disciples, He goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see him.

And all that night the light did not cease shining. And many of the Jews died, swallowed up in the chasm of the earth, so that on the following day most of those who had been against Jesus could not be found. Others saw the appearing of those that had risen, whom no one of us had ever seen. And only one synagogue of the Jews was left in this Jerusalem, since all disappeared in that fall.

With that terror, being in perplexity, and seized with a most frightful trembling, I have written what I saw at that time, and have reported to thy majesty.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 02:53:38 AM by Xavier »
"My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.

Offline rakovsky

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A curious problem related to the Testamonium is that Josephus says Pilate took power in c. 26 AD iirc, and the gospels have Jesus crucified in c. 33 AD. Yet Josephus narrates the events of Pilates reign, including Jesus's death, surrounded in Josephus's text by numerous events that occurred in 19 AD. Had Josephus not said Pilate started to reign in ad 26, one would conclude from the context that Pilate started to rule apparently in c. 19.

It's curious why Josephus would narrate things so out of order, leading some to even suppose that Pilate started reigning in ad 19. There was even a text that Eusebius discussed claiming that Jesus was killed in 19 ad, but Eusebius considered that document a fake.


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So, what are these stories doing right there in the midst of the governorship of Pontius Pilate which was supposed to extend from 27 to 37? These two events allegedly precede a banishing of Jewish and Egyptian rites from Rome as well as a the exiling of many Jews from Rome by Tiberius, something that occurred in 19 AD without question. So why does Josephus begin the TF with “Now there was about this time…” and the following stories with “About the same time also another sad calamity…” If the TF is authentic it is clearly being placed in the context of the 19 AD event. If it is not authentic, if it is redacted or a replacement text, it is still in the context of 19 AD! If there was nothing there at all and the previous section about Pilate’s attack on the Jews flowed right into the Paulina and Fulvia stories, it is STILL in the 19 AD context!
https://cassiopaea.org/forum/threads/josephus-pilate-and-paul.39794/

There is a longer discussion at the link above.
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Offline Volnutt

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Well, strictly speaking the Gospels don't say the Crucifixion happened in 33 AD. That system of dating didn't exist then. They only date it relative to which Emperor, etc. there was. 33 AD is a date that was arrived at later for other reasons (mostly the dating of the death of Herod the Great which effects when Jesus could have been born, IIRC). In fact, I think an argument could actually be made that Jesus really would have been 33 in about 27 AD, but it's been awhile since I did that math.

So, it's not a direct contradiction between Josephus and the Gospels, just some difficulties at most.
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Offline Xavier

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Volnutt, Jesus was certainly crucified on Nisan 14 (Jewish day of sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb), 33 A.D. St. Luke says He was about 30 in the 15th year of Tiberius (Luk 3:1, 23), which is 29 A.D. His ministry was for about 3 years, as we know from the passovers during His preaching. He was crucified on Friday after celebrating the Passover.

Thoughts?

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2017/04/good-friday-3-april-ad-33-eclipses-as-christ-died-on-the-cross/

Quote
Let’s break it down.

Passover begins on the 14th day of the Jewish lunar month of Nisan. Moreover, Passover begins at twilight, dividing 14 Nisan and 15 Nissan. The Gospels say the Lord was crucified on Preparation Day, a Friday.  14 Nisan 14 fell on a Friday Preparation Day, twice: 7 April AD 30 and 3 April AD 33.  Daniel in 444 BC prophesied (Daniel 9:21–26) that the Anointed one would be cut off in 476 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem: AD 33.

The Bible records that, at the time of the crucifixion and death of the Lord, there were signs, including a “blood moon” or lunar eclipse.

Only one Passover lunar eclipse was visible from Jerusalem while Pilate was in office. It occurred on 3 April 33.

On 3 April the Moon rose already in eclipse.  It rose the color of blood.  That means that the eclipse began before it rose, in the constellation of the Virgin (at the time of Christ’s birth there was a New Moon, in the constellation of the Virgin).

The eclipse started at 3 pm when Christ was breathing His last.
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It seems that a lot of that article hinges on a blood moon.  This can get tricky.  The Lord may have set things in motion naturally or He may have done things supernaturally.  The crucifixion could have happened with or without a blood moon.  This is like the star of Bethlehem.  I think it is interesting about the astronomical events that happened 12 B. C. to 4 B. C., but I do not know if the Lord made the Star of Bethlehem from naturally events or if He made a special one of His own.  He is capable of doing either.

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Beyond what Luke said, I would also ask how we know that the 15th year of Tiberius was actually 29 AD. For someone who's so quick to embrace YEC arguments, you seem awfully attached to the consensus secular historical chronology, Xavier. What would Anatoly Fomenko say ;)

But I kid. I'm fine with saying that Jesus was crucified in 33 AD. For all I know, that's true.
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Offline Xavier

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We don't refuse each and everything from pagan and Jewish historians according to the standard historical method, Volnutt; we just give priority and pride of place to the testimony of the Apostles and early Christians; that is the methodology of the Fathers. St. Luke presumes the 15th year of Tiberius is well known to Theophilus, whom he is writing to, and he also gives other clues. Btw, speaking of that, you mentioned how early or otherwise St. Matthew wrote - St. Paul wrote in 2 Cor 8:18 "We have sent also with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel through all the churches." and even liberal scholars agree this was written by 53 A.D. - and of course, St. Chrysostom and other Fathers, as the text itself implies, understand this of the Gospel of St. Luke, companion of St. Paul. Therefore, the Gospel of St. Luke had to be both written and widely distributed in the Churches before 53 A.D. And St. Matthew and St. Mark before then. This fits with the chronology of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History and St. Irenaeus' Adversus Haereses. https://www.amazon.com/Redating-New-Testament-John-Robinson/dp/1579105270 In his work, "redating the New Testament", Robinson, who is usually a liberal scholar, castigates "the almost wilful blindness" and "tyranny of unexamined assumptions" of fellow liberal scholars who deny the Apostolic authorship of the Gospels, or presume to place it late; he ends up concluding the Church Fathers were right on just about everything.

1. Here's a more detailed article from Jimmy Akin on the date http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/when-precisely-did-jesus-die-the-year-month-day-and-hour-revealed and some more scholarly ones are linked to here http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2016/03/jesus-death-on-april-3-33ad-and-divine.html Nisan 14, 33 A.D. is the traditional date of the crucifixion and it is confirmed by a host of evidence. Friday, April 7th 30 A.D. was the one many scholars had embraced until recently; though many are abandoning that date. 3:00 PM, April 3rd, 33 A.D. is the right date. In 30 A.D. the 16th year of Tiberius, Jesus would not have been 30+3 Passovers in His ministry.

Here's another fact the Fathers point out about the crucifixion, to very great effect, which many have forgotten, "For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of a cross. For one spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the legs of the lamb." (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, 40). “Tabory concludes, ‘An examination of the rabbinic evidence… seems to show that in Jerusalem the Jewish paschal lamb was offered in a manner which resembled a crucifixion ...Meagher points out that “The lamb rested entirely on and was roasted on its cross, and foretold the dead Christ hanging from his cross. Seeing this crucified paschal lamb, a striking image of the Crucified, the Rabbis of the Talmud left out the details of the sticks passing through the tendons of the feet.” (p. 175). https://qmbarque.com/2014/04/10/first-century-jews-and-the-paschal-sacrifice-why-lamb-of-god-should-mean-far-more-to-us/

2. Back to the Acts of Pilate, the same St. Justin, this time writing to the pagan Roman Emperors in defence of Christianity, around A.D. 150 says, "And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. And the expression, They pierced my hands and my feet, was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate." http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm This shows the Acts of Pilate cited earlier was well known to the Emperor Antoninus Pius and to Rome generally. The early Christians pointed these things out so that pagans and Jews would more easily convert to Christ. We don't rely on Pilate or Josephus, to us the Gospels are sufficient. By the way, some Orthodox churches consider Pilate a saint; we know from the Gospels. Pilate confessed Jesus Christ as King of the Jews; though he was weak, and feared man crowds, and the mob especially. Tertullian and St. Augustine also say he repented and became Christian.

Finally, the date of Jesus' birth was also wrongly placed by some in 4 B.C. because they wrongly dated Herod's death in that year. So they look for an earlier date like  Orthodoxwiki seems to follow this assumption https://orthodoxwiki.org/Timeline_of_Saints#New_Testament_Era_.281-30.29 B But the Church Fathers and Tradition place it in at most 1 or 2 B.C. Western Tradition has this: "Today, the twenty-fifth day of December. In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth; the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood; the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham; the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt; the one thousand and thirty-second year from David's being anointed king; in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome; the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus; the whole world being at peace, in the sixth age of the world, Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception,was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,being made flesh:The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh" All this also points to 1/2 B.C.

Briefly: "Professor John A. Cramer argues that Herod the Great most likely died shortly after the lunar eclipse of December 29, 1 B.C." https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/herods-death-jesus-birth-and-a-lunar-eclipse/ That is very likely and in full agreement with the Fathers.
"My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.