by Roman Piso

June 1998
from RomanPisoHomepageBookshelf Website

The purpose of demonstrating that Josephus did indeed write “Jesus” into his histories (or his histories around the Jesus character), is to show the deception in the proper context. Josephus created “Jesus” and needed to insert him into ‘history’ to make his ‘story’ more believable. The facts that will be shown here will bear this out. In addition to the proofs shown here, there is also further proof in the form of correlation’s in the works of Josephus that correspond to the NT texts, themes/subjects, and characters.

The references that will be given are keyed to Whiston’s English translation of Josephus, for the reason that it is one of the most widely available and most easily accessible. It can even be found on-line. However, the research of the works of Josephus was not limited at all to Whiston’s work, but come from direct readings of the earliest available copies of text in the Greek language. Note that the Whiston references are given in two ways;

(1) by the actual page number

(2) by the exact place in the text by giving ‘book’, ‘chapter’, and ‘verse’ numbers

Now, some say that “Jesus, the Christ” was a later interpolation or addition to the texts of Josephus. I wholly disagree and doubt this seriously for the following reasons.

(1) He makes this mention in his other works as well (examples will be shown later in this text)

(2) He DID have reason to write a mention or two of “Jesus” for the purpose of ‘historicizing’ him (as he, Josephus, created HIM)

(3) Granted there may have been a copy or two without the “Jesus” reference in it; it is much easier to ‘remove’ the mention, than it would have been to ‘add’ it. There could be any number of reasons why there might be a copy that exists without the reference... perhaps a ‘Jewish’ one, a work copy (copy to ‘work’ from), etc. Or such a copy could have been deliberately made for the Kimchi* logists to see and draw ‘logical’ conclusions from (i.e. deliberately made by the church or ally of the church to lead suspicion away from Josephus because of his mention of “Jesus”).

(4) It is not only “Jesus” that is historicized, but other fictional characters as well, such as “John the Baptist” and “James, the brother of Jesus” (or was that just to make another mention of “Jesus”?).

That ALL of these characters and mentions were added, is extremely doubtful. As a matter of fact, after considering all that is going to be shown here, one would have to reach the conclusion that the entire work of Josephus would have had to have been re-written in order to pull off the addition of the mention of “Jesus”. (See pg. 382, for “John the Baptist” and pg. 423 for “James, the bro. of Jesus.”)

(1) That Josephus wrote such a massive work and that this work was in fact carefully written and so very detailed, indicates that Josephus DID have much to say and that he really DID want to ‘say’ it... to the point that he must have thought it to be of great importance.

(2) That he deliberately writes things in ways to mislead and wrote things (items) that would mislead and deceive, indicates that we cannot believe or take his work at face value; but rather that we must use it very carefully as a guide to the truth as it does contain truth, in a ‘disguised’ form.

So, knowing this, where does this leave us? It leaves us in the position of being obligated to view his writings with a much more critical eye. It forces us to WORK to find meanings that might otherwise go unnoticed.

In the time in which the NT and the works of Josephus were written, it was much like the entire known world were being run by the mob; with very little or no hope of direct truth in anything that was written... for all of it had ulterior motives behind them, and the idea of all men being equal and free, as well as the concept of free speech was still a very far-off goal for humanity. For an idea of this, see the actions of King Herod upon his impending death... he acted like the ‘Don’ of the Mob. (See pg. 365, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVII, Chapter VI, 5.)

Here now we will show the several mentions that would have had to have been added throughout the texts.

“Now, there was about this time, Jesus, as wise man...” “He was (the) Christ...”
“and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
(See pg. 379, Antiq. of the Jews, Book XVIII, Ch. III, 3)

The mention of “John the Baptist”

(page 382 Ant. B. XVIII, Ch. V, 2).
And, this indirect mention of “Christ” by speaking of his ‘brother’... “and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ,”

(pg. 423, Ant. B. XX, Ch. IX, 1)

There are also those places where he, Josephus, makes it so easy for those who are not scholars (which in his day, was the entire public excepting for aristocrats and royalty), and those who think themselves to be, to think that he could possibly be referring to “Jesus” when he says things like “a certain Galilean.” (pg. 481, Wars of the Jews, B. II, Ch. XII, 3) and also...

“ order to avenge themselves upon one Galilean only.” (pg. 482, Wars of the Jews, B. II, Ch. XII, 5). Note that in both instances, “the Galilean” being spoken of is “Judas of Galilee.”

He, Josephus, speaks of others named “Jesus,” mostly those known to us as High Priest ancestors of Josephus himself. This being the case, makes a great statement to those who know what is being said here. (See other info on the ancient royal practice of inheriting names and titles from ancestors) We call this “inherited name/titles.” By which, royals and aristocrats could legally use ‘alias’ names to write under and other names to use invent characters with.

An example of the legal use of inherited name/titles and how when decreed by the Senate, such names and titles could be used even by the person’s posterity, see the footnote on Claudius’ (Drusus’ son) use of the name “Germanicus”, on page 406, Whiston (at the bottom of the page). Also refer to Suetonius, which is what the footnote refers to.

Yes, even though speaking of others named “Jesus,” he is well aware of the opportunities that this affords him (Josephus) as the writer. And he made the most of this by making this powerful statement; “Thus spake Jesus”... even though, this was another “Jesus” who was being spoken of! (pg. 532, W. of the Jews, B. IV, Ch. IV, 4).

As we had said, he makes other references in other places that point to him as deliberately writing “Jesus” into his works for a specific purpose. He makes joking statements here and there, and he also makes ‘disclaimers’ subtly throughout his works. In “Against Apion” he subtly refers to himself as an ‘actor’. Though some may say that OUR readings are taken out of context, I beg to differ in consideration of the rest of the evidence. IF we were just relying upon those things that would otherwise appear to have been taken by us as “out of context,” there might be a case. However, we have only sought to see more of what Josephus himself was deliberately inserting HIMSELF in other contexts. Which, is an entirely different thing. As we were saying, about “Josephus, the Actor,” he writes, “I wrote it as having been an actor myself.” And because he was! (Against Apion, pg. 610)

In “Against Apion,” Josephus uses a name nowhere else ever seen, and not repeated except for its one-time usage; “Cresus.” Which, is a combination of “Christ” and “Jesus.” It could be a deliberate misspelling (as he is famous for doing), of an ancient Greek King, which, I think he also deliberately hints at. (pg. 628, Against Apion, B. II, 12).

Note that with this spelling only a “t” inserted rightly would produce “Crestus.” Also see Suetonius’ mention of “Chrestus,” and our info on their ancestor “Mitheridates Chrestas.”**

He uses phrases associated with Jesus throughout his works. “...the light of the world.” (pg. 637, an Excerpt from Josephus’ Discourse... concerning Hades). Herein, he also speaks of “Christ.” Example: “... in order to fulfill the will of his father, shall come as judge, whom we call Christ.” (pg. 638, Whiston).

As if this were not enough to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Josephus did indeed originally make mention of “Jesus” and even that he had done so for specific purpose, there is still the citations in the Appendix of Whiston’s Josephus (pg. 639). In this section, we have the writer Origen circa 230 CE specifically stating that Josephus wrote what he did originally about “Jesus, who was called Christ.” And again, also in “Contra Celsus, about 250 CE, Josephus is mentioned by name as having mentioned all of those who we have related (John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and “Jesus, who was called Christ”). Eusebius, circa 324 CE also confirms this. And on and on, up through history till about 1480 CE.

For more information on the background of Josephus, see the article titled “Josephus’ Deliberate Deception” which is the other half of this article. For reference regarding the Greek texts, see the Loeb Classical Library volumes. These are very expensive and may not be purchased by most persons in their entirety, and may only be available by finding such as local college libraries or other large scholarly institutions. Again, these are the best references for Josephus as they also show the misspellings that were originally in place and were reconstructed with the aid of many fragments of still extant ancient papyri texts and other archaeological finds.

*  Kimchi logists: for more on these see Medieval Jewish Scholars and Rabbis. We will have more information on Kimchi available at a later date.

**  Mitheridates Chrestas. We will show relationship to this person in later stemma charts and genealogies. Mitheridates Chrestas as ancestor of Nero was shown previously on our website and may be found by even amateur genealogists with some effort and good resources.