Page images

Gi 20066

[ocr errors]

1874 April 28.

Bequest of
How thos. Sumner,

of Boston.
(H. 1.1830





I. The Testimonies of JOSEPHUS concerning Jesus Christ,

John the Baptist, and James the Just, vindicated.

II. Concerning God's command to ABRAHAM to offer up

Isaac his son for a sacrifice.

HI. A Demonstration that Tacitus, the Roman historian,

took his History of the Jews out of JOSEPHUS.


The Testimonies of Josephus, concerning Jesus Christ, John

the Baptist, and James the Just, vindicated.

SINCE we meet with several important testimonies in Josephus, the Jewish historian, concerning John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus of Nazareth, concerning JESUS of Nazareth himself, and concerning JAMES the Just, the brother of Jesus of Nazareth; and since the principal testimony, which is that concerning Jesus of Nazareth himself, 'has of late been greatly questioned by many, and rejected by some of the learned as spurious, it will be fit for me, who have ever declared my firm belief that these testimonies were genuine, to set down fairly some of the original evidence and citations I have met with in the first fifteen centuries concerning them, and then to make proper observations upon that evidence, for the reader's more complete satisfaction.

But before I produce the citations themselves out of Josephus, give me leave to prepare the reader's attention, by setting down the sentiments of perhaps the most learned per- · son, and the most competent judge that ever was, as to the authority of Josephus, I mean of Joseph Scaliger in the Prolegomena to his book De Emendatione Temporum, p. 17. - Josephus is the most diligent and the greatest lover of truth of all writers: nor are we afraid to affum of him, that it is more safe to believe him, not only as to the affairs of the Jews, but also as to those that are foreign to them, than all the Greek and Latin writers, and this, because his fidelity and his compass of learning are every where conspicuous."


PHUS, FROM HIS OWN TIME TILL THE END OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. · About A. D. 110. Tacit. Annal. lib.xv. cap. 44.

Nero, in order to stifle the rumour, (as if he had himself set Rome on fire,) ascribed it to those people who were hatect.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

for their wicked practices, and called by the vulgar, Christians: these he punished exquisitely. The uuthor of this name was Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, was brought to punishment by Pontius Pilate the procurator. About A. D. 147. Just. Mart. Dialog. cum Trypho. p. 234.

You (Jews) knew that Jesus was risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, as the prophecies did foretell was to bappen.

About A. D. 230. Origen. Comment, in Matth. p. 230.

This James was of so shining a character among the people, on account of his righteousness, that Flavius Josephus, when, in his twentieth book of the Jewish Antiquities, he had a mind to set down what was the cause whv the people suffered such miseries, till the very holy house was demolished, he said, that these things befell them by the anger of God, on account of what they had dared to do to James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ : and wonderful it is, that, while he did not receive Jesus for Christ, he did nevertheless bear witness that James was so righteous a man. He says further, that the people thought that they suffered these things for the sake of James.

About A. D. 250. Contr. Cels. lib. i. p. 35, 36. . I would say to Celsus, who personates a Jew, that admitted of John the Baptist, and how he baptized Jesus, that one who lived but a little while after John and Jesus, wrote, how that John was a baptizer unto the remission of sins : for Josephus testifies in the eighteenth book of Jewish Antiquities, that John was the baptist, and that he promised purification to those that were baptized. The same Josephus also, although he did not believe in Jesus as Christ, when he was inquiring after the cause of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the demolition of the temple, and ought to have said, that their machinations against Jesus were the cause of those miseries coming on the people, because they had slain that Christ, who was foretold by the prophets, he, though as it were unwillingly, and yet as one not remote from the truth, says, “ These miseries befell the Jews by way of revenge for James the Just, who was the brother of Jesus, that was called Christ, because they had slain him who was a most rightesous person.” Now this James was he whom that genuine

« PreviousContinue »