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Stuff to read later:

  • Apologetic:
  • Not:

— Unsigned, by: FuzzyCatPotato / talk / contribs

Some of this is really bad.
Christopher Price (bede) by his own words only has a minor in historical studies; not really on par with Price and Carrier.
Tektonics is run James Patrick Holding who is an embarrassment to Apologetics everywhere.
Truthbeknown is Acharya S/D.M. Murdock and while you can trust the material she referenced said what she claimed her use of that evidence leaves much to be desired. Her research wasn't all that good either.
Everything else is reasonable but is a been there done that.--BruceGrubb (talk) 14:35, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw "D.M. Murdock" in the refs added today and came straight here to say "Uh..." Other mythers were polite to her but cordially thought she was a gibbering fruitbat. If there's any source on Earth that isn't Acharya S, we should use it instead - David Gerard (talk) 09:13, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't go as far as saying she was a "gibbering fruitbat" (Joseph Wheless' 1930 Forgery in Christianity is a lot closer to that category) as nearly all of her conclusions are simply reiterations of those seen in the 19th century. She just didn't do the proper research to find out what was still relevant and what had been disproved by more recent research. Yes, it hurt her position but she at least referenced where the material she was using came from well enough you could look it up.
If you want the best that Carrier regards for the Apologetic position we have two works:
  • Van Voorst’s Jesus Outside the New Testament
  • Theissen & Merz’s The Historical Jesus.
For the 'Not' position we have Carrier's own On the Historicity of Jesus the only peer reviewed published by a respected publisher in-depth work out there. With this work why use anything else that odds are is going to be not as good when it is not complete garbage?--BruceGrubb (talk) 11:31, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Wells, G.A.[edit]

Wells, G. A. (1986) [1975]. Did Jesus Exist? (2nd revised, corrected and expanded ed.). Pemberton.

The second passage [Antiquities 20.9.1] in Josephus which mentions Jesus consists of half a dozen words in a paragraph about an intemperate Sadducean high priest who in AD 62 brought a number of men before the Sanhedrin as ‘breakers of the law’ and ‘delivered them to be stoned’. . . . The words have the character of a brief marginal gloss, later incorporated innocently into the text. Josephus probably wrote of the death of a Jewish Jerusalem leader called James, and a Christian reader thought the reference must be to James the brother of the Lord who, according to Christian tradition, led the Jerusalem Church about the time in question. This reader accordingly noted in the margin: ‘James = the brother of Jesus, him called Christ’ (cf. the wording of Mt. 1:16: ‘Jesus. him called Christ’) and a later copyists took this note as belonging to the text and incorporated it. Other interpolations are known to have originated in precisely such a way. And it is also of interest that even a second century Christian account of ‘James the brother of the Lord’ (that of Hegesippus, preserved as a quotation in Eusebius) represents him as in some respects a Jewish rather than a Christian saint. This lends some force to my suggestion that the James of whom Josephus wrote was within Judaism. —(p. 11)

Wells, G. A. (1982). The Historical Evidence for Jesus. Prometheus.

Josephus’ other, briefer reference to Jesus [Antiquities 20.9.1], although often impugned (see DJE, p 11) is still defended by some scholars (sometimes on obviously inadequate grounds, as I shall show, p 211). But it too is set aside as being interpolated, by L. Herrmann, whose Chrestos. Témoignages pai’ens et juifs sur Ie christianisme du premier siécle (Brussels, 1970) is a thorough investigation. —(p. 18)

NB: Martin, Michael (1993). The Case Against Christianity. Temple University Press. pp. 64, 72, n. 87.

[Per Antiquities 20.9.1, several well-known scholars have argued that this passage should be set aside as an interpolation] Wells mentions L. Herrmann . . . in The Historical Evidence for Jesus, p. 18; and Schürer, Zahn, von Dobschütz, and Juster in Did Jesus Exist? p. 11.
Scholars noted by Wells

    ‣ Scharlemann, Martin Henry (1968). Stephen: a Singular Saint. Gregorian Biblical BookShop. pp. 141, n. 20.

[Per] the historical value of Josephus and Hegesippus as sources. At the turn of the century, Theodor Zahn did a rather exhaustive study of both [Theodor Zahn, Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons und der altkirchlichen Literatur (Leipzig: A. Deichert’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1900), VI, 228-254 and 301-305.] and reached two conclusions; namely, that the two reports are irreconcilable and that Josephus’ reference to James the Righteous [JA XX] was part of a Christian interpolation.

    ‣Little, Donald Henry (1971). The Death of James, the Brother of Jesus [PDF]. Dissertation: Rice University. p. 10.

Emil Schürer has raised a question concerning a Christian hand having influenced Antiquities XX.200. [^7] Schürer argues that Origen [^8] mentioned that Josephus considered God's punishment for the death of James to be the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem. Since no manuscript evidence of such a report exists today, Schürer concluded that there were manuscripts of Josephus in existence which contained Christian interpolations which failed to survive. [^9] This would raise the possibility that other interpolations could still exist. Therefore, one must be cautious in regard to a reference which might be a Christian interpolation.

[note:7] Schürer, Jüdischen Volkes, I, 548, 581–82, note 45.
[note:8] Contra Celsum I.47; II.13.
[note:9] Schürer, Jüdischen Volkes, I, 548.

    ‣ Wells, G. A. (1996). The Jesus Legend. Open Court. pp. 54–55, 225, n. 19. ISBN 0812693345. "Foreword by R. Joseph Hoffman."

[Per Contra Celsum I.47] Origen, who refers to Josephus’s [putative] account of the death of James, claims to have read something rather different on that subject in his text of Josephus from what now stands there. . . . If a text of Josephus had contained any such statement, it could only have been as a result of Christian interpolation. It was the nearest Christians could plausibly get to making Josephus take the Christian view that the fall of Jerusalem was God's punishment for the killing of Jesus. Schürer regarded the [putative death of James] passage as an interpolation that has not survived in our [extant Josephus] manuscripts, but which [therefore] shows that Josephus was subject to interpolation at this point (where James is introduced), so that the reference to “Jesus, him called Christ” in our manuscripts [Antiquities 20.9.1] falls under suspicion [as yet another interpolation]. [E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, vol. 1, Leipzig, 1901, p. 581.]
[Per] the two varyng texts of Josephus, both of which, with Schürer . . . I consider interpolations.

    ‣ Wells, G. A. (1996). The Jesus Legend. Open Court. pp. 54, 225, n. 18. ISBN 0812693345. "Foreword by R. Joseph Hoffman."

[Per Antiquities 20.9.1, Juster’s argument] is that Josephus mentioned an execution of a Jew, possibly named James, by order of the Sanhedrin, and that a Christian, aware that the fourth gospel had declared that body to be without competence to make any such order, adapted Josephus’s text so as to reflect this. [Jean Juster, Les Juifs dans l'empire romain, Paris: Geuthner, 1914, vol. 2, pp. 140-41.]
  • Herrmann, Léon (1970). Chrestos: témoignages païens et juifs sur le christianisme du premier siècle (in French). Collection Latomus: revue d'études latines, vol. 109. Brussels: Latomus.

    ‣ Feldman, Louis H. (2015). "Josephus on James". Josephus and Modern Scholarship (1937–1980). De Gruyter. p. 707. ISBN 978-3-11-084158-9.

[Léon Herrmann] notes that the passage on James does not supply evidence as to terminology concerning Jesus.

Dbz (talk) 12:37, 12 December 2018 (UTC) && 19:09, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Allen, N.P.L.[edit]

  • Nicholas Peter Legh Allen argues that the following points hold for the “James Passage (JP)“, i.e. Jewish Antiquities 20.200.

Per Allen, N.P.L. (2015) Clarifying the Scope of Pre-Fifth-Century C.E. Christian Interpolation in Josephus’ Antiquitates Judaicae (c. 94 C.E.). Unpublished Philosophiae Doctor thesis, Potchefstroom: North-West University. available online @

[N]o reliable extra-biblical/scriptural accounts exist to support the historical existence of, inter alia, Jesus of Nazareth, James the Just or John the Baptist. —(p. ii)
4.7 Chapter Four Summary – Based on the arguments reviewed thus far it can be ascertained that:
1. Apart from the JP we do not have any other extra-biblical evidence that James even existed. Here, the Dead Sea Scroll literature cannot serve as evidence for James’ existence. Based purely on the NT it is possible to surmise that he was believed to be Jesus’ sibling, favoured circumcision and held a senior leadership position in the Jerusalem Church in the first century C.E. However, it is solely Christian tradition that supplies details of his trial and death;
2. All Christian apologists cited (Origen, Eusebius and Jerome) misquote Josephus as regards the reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem. This means that, apart from them possibly regurgitating a Christian tradition, they were certainly capable of embellishment or there once existed a Josephan text that is now lost;
3. Origen quotes the JP practically verbatim strengthening the notion that he had read it. However, he never refers to the JP as the JP – only in the context of quoting Josephus in order to justify the spurious cause for the destruction of the Temple;
4. The JP is far less embellished than one would expect from the details of the Christian tradition;
5. James’ mention is cursory. It has been suggested that he is only mentioned because his illegal execution causes Ananus to be deposed. However, given that he is uncharacteristically refered to as “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ” cannot be dismissed as being merely incidental;
6. If a Christian forger had inserted a reference to Jesus in the JP, he would have more likely ensured that it received more prominence. However, this factor really depends on the actual opportunity and intentions of the forger. One should not generalise the specific reasons for this possible forgery;
7. Josephus’ JP account differs in time and details from the official second century Christian accounts, suggesting early authorship;
8. Albinus arrived in Jerusalem in c. 59 C.E. and could not possibly have arrived as late as say 68 or 70 CE as intimated by the Christian tradition. Therefore, if the Christian tradition is correct then the JP is a proven forgery. If the JP is authentic then the Christian tradition is inaccurate;
9. The preceding passages leading up to the JP appear to be skipping vital information.
—(pp. 326f)

NB: Allen curriculum vitae.

  • Allen, Nicholas P. L. (2017). “Josephus on James the Just? A re-evaluation of 20.9.1”. Journal of Early Christian History. 7 (1): 1–27. doi:10.1080/2222582X.2017.1317008.

This article reviews the well-known (supposedly Josephan) mention of James as “the Brother of Jesus” (i.e. Antiquitates Judaicae Here, with reference to, inter alia, the insights of Earl Doherty, Steve Mason, Peter Kirby, John Paul Meier, Nikos Kokkinos, as well as to certain key findings gleaned from critical readings of Origen’s Commentary on Matthew and Contra Celsum, I attempt to demonstrate Origen’s possible role in the creation of this long-suspected fraudulent text. In this regard, by highlighting a number of Origen’s key philosophical and theological refutations it becomes evident that apart from the unlikelihood of Josephus ever writing about James, Origen must now be considered the primary suspect for what is possibly a third century CE Christian forgery.

Dbz (talk) 11:59, 12 December 2018 (UTC) && 21:23, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

Carrier, Richard[edit]

  • Richard Carrier notes that all extant manuscripts of the Jewish Antiquities are derived from a single manuscript—held by Eusebius in the early 4th century.

Per Carrier (23 September 2016). “Three Things to Know about New Testament Manuscripts”. Richard Carrier Blogs.

[Per the Jewish Antiquities by Josephus] all extant manuscripts of the Antiquities are copies (of copies of copies of copies…) of the same singular manuscript owned and used by Eusebius at his own Christian library in Caesarea.

This means we cannot expect any versions of the text different from or predating that single manuscript to be available to us in any manuscript there is today. This means all variants prior to that (including the original form of the text as Josephus wrote it) are permanently lost and invisible to us. Every error and distortion and mistaken “correction” that got into the text in that one single Eusebian manuscript, from its own copying from an earlier manuscript in that same library (used by Origen), which said significantly different things, and every error and distortion and mistaken “correction” that got into the text in the long process of transmission down through numerous reproductions before Origen even acquired his copy, will never show in the surviving record. All manuscript evidence there would have been proving those variant readings, has been 100% lost. Probably forever.

That the entirety of all Josephan scholarship is only trying to reconstruct the text as it was in the single—centuries-late—manuscript held by Eusebius in the early 4th century, and cannot ever reconstruct any version of the text prior (down to and including the original text as known to Josephus in the late 1st century), is an extremely significant thing to realize.

  • Richard Carrier asserts that per the Jewish Antiquities: "No expert opinion on the authenticity of either [Jesus] passage is citeable, if it isn’t informed by" the respective "published research on it over the last ten years."

See: Carrier (16 February 2017). “Josephus on Jesus? Why You Can’t Cite Opinions Before 2014“. Richard Carrier Blogs.

--Dbz (talk) 03:55, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

That does seem to be a rather extreme requirement, acknowledging I've expressed similar views about citations in other areas before. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:56, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

Jewish Antiquities 20.200[edit]

Viklund, Roger (2 April 2013). "Richard Carrier's article: Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200". Jesus granskad.

To summarize, this is what Carrier suggests. In the 240’s Origen writes that “Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus wrote, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ”. Although Origen says that Josephus wrote this, Origen nevertheless got it from Hegesippus, from whom he paraphrases it, not quotes it. He also includes a passage from Matt 1.16, and this he does in his Commentary on Matthew.

Origen searches Josephus in order to find where Josephus had written this, but does not manage to find the passage. He only finds the story of the stoning of one James in AJ 20.200 which spoke of “the brother of Jesus, whose name was James”. Perhaps he made a note there: “the one called Christ”. If Origen did not make such a note, then someone else later on made it, adapting to the phrase Origen previously used.

Eusebius used the same library as Origen less than a century later, and probably had a copy of AJ which was made from the very manuscript used by Origen. In the copying of that manuscript, the marginal note would have been inserted into the text so that it now read “the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, the name for whom was James …”. Eusebius, apart from this, also quoted the passage given by Origen as if it had been written by Josephus. But since he only got it from Origen, neither he could say where Josephus had written this.

Cf. Carrier, Richard (2012). "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200". Journal of Early Christian Studies. 20 (4): 489–514. doi:10.1353/earl.2012.0029.

Analysis of the evidence from the works of Origen, Eusebius, and Hegesippus concludes that the reference to “Christ” in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200 is probably an accidental interpolation or scribal emendation and that the passage was never originally about Christ or Christians. It referred not to James the brother of Jesus Christ, but probably to James the brother of the Jewish high priest Jesus ben Damneus.

See: Carrier (21 December 2012). "Jesus in Josephus". Richard Carrier Blogs.

--Dbz (talk) 04:06, 16 July 2019 (UTC) && 23:40, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Viklund, Roger[edit]

Viklund, Roger (10 October 2014). "Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob". Jesus granskad (in Swedish) [NOW TRANSLATED by Google Translate and formatted].

Although most scholars believe that Josephus wrote the piece about James and Jesus [Antiquities 20.9.1], there are those who doubt that matter.

Although most scholars believe that Josephus wrote the piece about James and Jesus, there are those who doubt that matter. [^276]
According to Tessa Rajak, the "astonishing" contradictory statements about Ananus in both versions constitute a "very strong" basis for the assumption that "the whole story of James is a Christian interpolation". [Tessa Rajak, Josephus, the Historian and His Society , 2nd ed. (London: Gerald Duckworth, 2003), 1st ed. 1983, p. 131, n. 73.]
[M]ost forgery advocates believe that Josephus wrote almost everything and that only the central words are added retrospectively
‣ being either "the brother of Jesus called Christ, whose name was James"
‣ or "the brother of Jesus called Christ"
‣ or just "as was called Christ”.

The extensions can either be deliberately made
‣ or be marginal notes that have been inserted in the current text by mistake. [Richard Carrier, "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200", Journal of Early Christian Studies (Vol. 20, No. 4, Winter 2012), p. 489–514.]

[note:276] Among those who have argued over the past decades that the James Passage is a Christian addition, Leon Herrmann , Chrestos: Témoignage's païne et juifs sur le christianisme du premier siècle (Collection Latomus 109; Brussels: Latomus, 1970), pp. 99-104; G. A. Wells , Did Jesus Exist (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1975), p. 11; Tessa Rajak , Josephus, the Historian and His Society , 2nd ed. (London: Gerald Duckworth, 2003), 1st ed. 1983; Graham H. Twelftree , "Jesus in Jewish Traditions," in Gospel Perspectives: The Jesus Tradition Outside the Gospels , ed., David Wenham (Sheffield: JSOT, 1985), pp. 289–341 (299–301); Ken Olson , "Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61 (1999), pp. 305–322; "A Eusebian Reading of the Testimonium Flavianum " in Eusebius of Caesarea: Tradition and Innovations , ed. A. Johnson & J. Schott (Harvard University Press, 2013), pp. 97-114; and Richard Carrier , "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20,200", Journal of Early Christian Studies (Vol. 20, No. 4, Winter 2012), pp. 489–514; On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014), pp. 337–342. Even spokesmen like Carleton Paget point out that we should not rule out the possibility of a Christian note that has entered the text. James NB Carleton Paget , "Some Observations on Josephus and Christianity", Journal of Theological Studies 52: 2 (2001), p. 552, n. 45.

• Hillar, Marian (2005). “Flavius Josephus and His Testimony Concerning the Historical Jesus" [PDF]. Paper published in Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, Vol. 13. pp. 66–103 (Washington, DC: American Humanist Association.
Doherty, Earl (2009). Jesus: Neither God Nor Man - The Case for a Mythical Jesus. Age of Reason Publications. pp. 570–586. ISBN 9780968925928. 

--Dbz (talk) 04:27, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

Efrón, Joshua[edit]

Per Efrón, Joshua (1987). Studies on the Hasmonean Period. BRILL. pp. 336–337, n.224. ISBN 90-04-07609-3.

[This passage—Antiquities 20.9.1—is an insertion, and by its contents and style can only be a Christian interpolation] Josephus obviously totally disregarded the young Christian congregations in their first stages of development, despite his extensive detailed descriptions of the period before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Great Revolt. As a historian and writer addressing non-Jewish readers, defending Judaism and aspiring to gain appreciation for it, he preferred to delete sensitive, inconvenient manifestations likely to arouse a negative reaction and controversy. The three “Christian” passages — the crucifixion of Jesus, the death of his brother James and John the Baptist’s death — are exceptional in spirit as well as in their artificial contextual interpolation. Similarly Josephus’ contemporary and rival, Justus of Tiberias, author of a Jewish history in Greek, who did not however renounce his people, made not the slightest mention of Jesus or the miracles he wrought, as noted in Byzantine Christian testimony of Photius, Bibliotheca, Codex 33, PG 103; Photius, Bibliotheque, ed. R. Henry, vol. 1 (Collection Bude-Paris 1959), p. 18L: τής Χρίστου παρουσίας και των περί αυτόν τελεσβέντων καί τών ύπ’ αύτοΰ τερατουργηθέντων ούδέν δλως μνήμην έποιήσατο. See also Τ. Rajak, “Justus of Tiberias,” CIQ 23 (1973): 345 ff. Philo’s complete silence is equally significant.

Cf. Godfrey, Neil (22 January 2018). "6 More Reasons to Question Josephus' "James the brother of Jesus" passage". Vridar.

--Dbz (talk) 22:45, 21 July 2019 (UTC)