« PreviousContinue »
Lektament with truth, and acted valiantly for the Jews, and had shew. ed that their fettlement was nobler than can be described by words. Now since he made their interelt give place to truth, for he would not fupport the opinion of impious men, I think it necellary to set down his words. What then does he fay? "Now there was, about that tiine, JeSus, a wise man, if it be lawful to cal, him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to h m both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles : He was the Christ. And when Pilate at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned hiin to the cross, thole that loved him at first aid not forsake him, for he appeared to them the third day alive again, as the divine prophets had said these. and a vast number of other wonderful things concerning him : And the tribes of Christians, fo named from him, are not extinct at this day." Now I cannot but wonder greatly at this man's love of truth in many refpects, but chiefly where he says: “ Jesus was a teacher of men, which received the truth with pleasure.”
About A D 440 Sozomen. Hir. Ecclef. lib. i. cap. s.--Now Josephus, the fon of Mattathias. a priest, a man of very great note both ainong the Jews and the Romans, may well be a witness of credit as to the truth of Christ's history ; for he fcruples to call hin a man, as being a doer of wonderfui works, and a teacher of the words of truth : He names him Chrift openly ; and is not ignorant that he was condemned to the cross ; and appeared on the third day alive, and that ten thousand oth. er wonderful things were foretold ot'him by the divine prophets. He testifies also, that those whom he drew over to him, being many of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews, continued to love him; and that the tribe named from bin was not then extinct. Now he seems to me by this his relation, almost to proclain that Christ is God. However, he appears to have been , affected with the strangeness of the thing, as to run, as it were, in a sort of a middle way, so as not to put any indignity upon believers in him, but rather to afford his suffrage to them.
About A.D. 510. Caffiodorus Hift, Tripartit. e Sozomeno--Now Jofephus, the son of Mattathias, and a priest, a man of great nobility among the Jews, and of great dignity among the Romans, thall be a truth of Christ's history : for he dares not call him a nian, as a doer of fa. mous works, and a teacher of true doctrines ; he names him Chrif openly; and is not ignorant that he was condemned to the cross, and appeared on the third day alive, and that an infinite number of other wonderful things were foretold of him by the holy prophets. More.. over he testifies also, that there were then alive many whom he had chosen, both Greeks and Jews, and that they continued to love hiin; and that the feet which was named from him was by no ineans extinct at this time.
About A. D. 640. Cbron. Alex.640. P.514.-Now Josephus also relatas in the eighteenth book of Antiquities, how John the Baptist, that holy man, was beheaded, on account of Herodias, the wife of Philip, the brother of Herod himself: For Herod had divorced his former wife, who was still alive, and had been his lawful wife ; she was the daughter of Aretas, King of the Petreans. When therefore Herod had taken Herodias away from her husband, while he was yet alive (on whose account he flew John also), Aretas made war against Herod, because his daughter had been dishonourably treatel : In which war he says, that all Herod's army was destroyed, and that he suffered that calamity, because of the wickedness he had been guilty of against John. The same Josephus relates that Herod lost his kingdom on account of Herodias, and that with her he was banithed to Lyons, &c.
P. 526, 527.) Now that our Saviour tauglit his preaching, three years, is demonstrated both hy other necessary reasonings; as also out of the holy gospels, and out of Josephus's writings, who was a wife man among the Hebrews, &c.
P. 584, 586.] Josephus relates in the fifth book of the Jewish ] war, that Jerusalem was taken in the third [second] year of Vespasian, as about forty years since they had dared to put Jelus to death: In which time he says, that James, the brother of our Lord, and bishop of Jerufalem, was thrown down (from, the temple ) and llain of thein, by (toning.
About A. D. 740. Anasiafius Abbas contr. jud.-Now Josephus, an author and writer of your own, lays of Christ, that he was a just and good man, shewed and declared so to be by divine grace, who gave aid to many by figns and miracles.
About A. D.792. Georgius Syncellus Cbron. p.: 339.-Thefe miseries befel the Jews by way of revenge for James the Just, who was the brother of lelus that was called Chrift, on the account that they had Nain hin who was a most righteous person. " Now as Ananus, a per fon of that character, thought he had a proper opportunity, because Festus was dead, and Albinus was but upon the road, lo he assembles the Sanhedrim of judges, and brings before them James, the brother of Jetus, who was called Christ, and some of his companions; and when he had formed an accusation against them, as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned; but as for those that seemed the noft equitable of the citizens, and those that were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they difiked what was done. They also sent to the king [Agrippa) defiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for what he had done already could not be justified," &c.
About A. D. 850. Johan. Malela Chron. lib. x.-From that time began the destruction of the Jews, as Jofephus, the philofopher of the Hebrews, hath written; who also said this, that from the time the Jews crvciñed Christ, who was a good and a righteous man, (that is, if it be fit to call such an one a man, and not a God) the land of Judea was never free from trouble. These things the same Josephus the Jew has related in his writings.
About A. D.863. Phorius Cod. lib. xlviji.--I have read the treatise' of Jofephus about the universe, whose title ! have elsewhere read to be, Of the substance of the universe. It is contained in two very finall treatiles. He treats of the origin of the world, in a brief manner. However, he speaks of the divinity of Christ, who is our true God, in a way very like to vi hat ve ule; declaring that the same name of Christ belongs to him; and writes of his ineffable generation of the Father af. ter such a manner, as camot be blamed : Which thing may, perhaps raise a doubt in lome, whether Jofephus were the author of the work, though the phrafeology does not at all differ from this man's other works. However, I have found in some papers, that this discourle was not.written by Josephus, but by one Caius a prefbyter.
Gal. ccxxxviii.) Herod the Tetrarch of Galilee and of Perea, the fon of Herod the Great, fell in love, as Josephus says, with the wife of his brother Herod, whose name was Herodias, who was the granddaughter of Herod the Great, by his fon Ariftobulus, whom he had tlain. Agrippa was also her brother. Now Herod took her away from her husband, and married her. This is he that llew John the Baptist, that great man, the forerunner (of Chrift] being afraid (as Jolep!us fays) left he should raise a fedition among his people; för ihey ail followed the directions of John, on account of the excellency of his virtue. In his time was the pation of our Saviour.
Cod. xxxii.] I have read the Chronicle of Justus of Tiberias. He onlits the greatest part of what was most neceflary to be related but, as infected with Jewish prejudices, being also himself a Jew by birth, he makes no mention at all of the alvent, or of the acts done, or of the aniracles wrought by Chrift,
the unbelievers ?
The rime uncertain. Macarius in A&tis Sanctorum, iom. v. p. 149. ap. Fabric Jofeph. p.61.- Josephus, a priest of Jerufalem, and one that wrote with truth the history of the Jewish affairs, bears witness, that Christ, the true God, was incarnate, and crucified, and the third day rose again; whose writings are reposited in the public library. Thus he says: "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he vas a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleafure ; he drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles also : This was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the firit did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had 'foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And still the tribe of Chriftians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” Since therefore the writer of the Hebrews has engraven this teftimony concerning our Lord and Saviour in his own books, what defence can there remain for
About A. D. 980. Suidas in voce Jefus.-We have found Josephus, who hath written about the taking of Jerusalem (of whom Eulebius Pamphili makes frequent mention in his ecclefiaftical history) faying openly in his Memoirs of the captivity, that Jesus officiated in the temple win the prieits. Thus we have found Josephus saying, a man of ancient times, and not very long after the apostles, &c.
About A. D. 1065. Cedrenus Compend. Hiftor. p. 196.-Josephus does indeed write concerning John the Baptist as follows: * Some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that he was punished very justly for what punishment he inflicted on John, that was called the Baprift, for Herod New him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both by righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptifm” But as concerning Christ, the fame Jofephus says, that about that time there was Jefus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call hina a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, and a teacher of fuch men as receive the truth with pleasure, for that Chrift drew over miany, even from the Gentiles : Whom when Pilate had crucified, shole who at first had loved him did not leave off to preach concerning him, for he appeared to them the third day alive again, as the divine prophets had teltitied, and spoken these and other wonderful things concerning him
About A. D.1080. Theophylaci. in Fian. lib. xiii:-The city of the Jews was taken, and the wrath of God was kindled against them ; as allo Josephus witnesses, that this came upon them on account of the death of Jcfus.
About A. D. 1 20. Zonarus Annal. rom. i. p. 267.-Josephus in the sighteenth book of Antiquities, writes thus concerning our Lord and God, Jesus Chrift: “Now there was about this time Jelus, a wise man, if it be lau ful to call him a man, tor he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of luch men as receive the truth with pleasure He drew over to himn many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles : Ho was the Chritt. And when Pilate, at the fuggeftion of the principal incn among us, had condemned him to the crois, those that had lover him at sirit did not forsake hin, for he appeared to them the third day alive again, as the divine prophets bad laid there and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him : And the tribe of Christians, fo named from him, are not extinct at this day."
About A. D:1120. Glycas Anual. p. 234-—Then did Philo, that wise man, and Jofephus flourish. This last was styled, The lover of trut), because he commended John, who baptized our Lord ; and because be bore witness that Christ, in like manner, wirs a wise man, and the doer of great miracles ; and that when he was crucified, he appeared the third day
About A. D. 1240. Godfridus Viterbiensis Chron p. 366. e Vers. Rufini. - Josephus relates, that a very great war arose between Aretas, king of the Arabians, and Herod, on account of the lin which Herod had committed against John. Moreover, the same Josephus writes thus concerning Chrift: "There was at this time Jesus, a wise man, if at leaft it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such inen as willingly hear truth. He also drew over to him many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles: He was Christ. And wherr Pilate at the accusation of the principal men of our nation, had decreed that he should be crucified, those that had loved him from the beginning, did not forsake him, for he appeared to them the third day alive again according to what the divinely inspired prophets had foretold, that these and innumerable other miracles shouid come to pass about hiin Moreover, both the name and fect of Christians, who were named from him, continue in being unto this day.".
About A. D. 1360. Nicepborus Callistus Hif. Ecclef. lib. i. f. 90, 91:Now this Econcerning Herod the tetrarch) is attefted to, not only by the book of the holy, gospels, but by Josephus, that lover of truth who also makes mention of Herodias his brother's wife, whom Herod had taken away from him, while he was alive, and married her, haying divorced his former lawful wife, who was the daughter c: Aretas, king of the Petrean Arabians. This Herodias he had married, and lived with her: On which account allo, when he had sain John, he made war with Aretas, because his daughter had been dishonorably used; in which war he relates, that all Herod's arıny was destroyed, and that he suffered this on account of the most unjuk Naughter of John He also adds, that John was a most righteous man Moreover, he makes mention of his baptism, agreeing in all points thereto re. lating with the gospel. He also informs us, that Herod lost his kingdom on account of Herodias, with whom also he was condemned to be banished to Vienna, which was their place of exile, and a city bordering upon Gaul, and lying near the utmost bounds of the west.
About A. D. 1450. Hardmanus Scbedelius Chron. p. 110:-Josephus the Jew, who was called Flavius, a priest, and the son of Mattathias, a priest of that nation, a most celebrated historian, and very skilful in many things : He was certainly a good man, and of an excellent character, who had the highest opinion of Chrift.
About A. D. 1480. Platina de Vitis Pontificum in Chrifto.-I shall avoid mentioning what Christ did uintil the 30th year of his age, when he was baptized by John, the son of Zacharias, because not only the gospels and epittles are full of those acts of his, which he did in the molt excellent and most holy manner, but the books of such as were quite remote froin his way of living and acting, and ordaining, are alto full of the fame Flavíus Jolephus himself, who wrote twenty books of Jewish Antiquities in the Greek tongue, when he had proceeded as far as the government of the emperor Tiberius, fays, " There was in those days Jesus, a certain wise man, if at least it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, and a teacher of men, of fuch especially as willingly hear the truth On this account he drew over to him many both of the Jews and Gentiles: He was Christ. But when Pilate, initigated by the principal men of our nation, had decreed that he should be crucified, yet did not those that had loved him fren the beginning forsake him: And besides he appeared to thein the third day after his death alive, as the divinely inipired prophets had fore: told that these and innunierable other miracles thould come to pass about himn
And the famous name of Chriftians taken from him a well as their sect, do kiill continue in being.'
The fame Josephus also affirms, that John the Baptist, a true prophet, and on that account one that was had in esteem by all men, was Nain by Herod, the son of Herod the Great, a little before the death of Christ, in the castle Macherus; not because he was afraid for him. self, and his kingdom, as the same author says, but because he had incestously married Herodias the fifter of Agrippa, and the wife of that excellent person his brother Philip;
About A. D. 1480. Trithemius Abbas de Scriptor. Eccles:-Josephus the Jew, although he continued to be a jew, did frequently commend the Christians; and in the eighteenth book of Antiquities, wrote down an eminent testimony concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.
OBSERVATIONS from the foregoing EVIDENCE and Citations. 1. "HE fyle of all these original testimonies belonging to Josephus is about those parts of his Antiquities wherein we find these testiinonies. This is denied by no body as to the other concerning John the Baptist, and Jaines the Juft, and is now become equally undeniable as that concerning Christ.
11. These testimonies therefore being confessedly and undeniably written by Josephus himselt, it is next to impossible that he should wholly omit' some testimony concerning Jesus Christ; nay, while his testimonies of John the Baptist, and James the Just, are fo 'honorable, and give them so great characters, it is also impossible that this testimony concerning Christ should be other than very honorable, or such as afforded him a Itill greater character also. Could the very fame author, who gave such a full and advantageous character of John the Baptist, the forerunner to Jesus of Nazareth, all whose disciples were by him directed to Jesus of Nazareth, as to the true Messias, and all whose disciples became afterwards the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, say nothing honorable of that Jesus of Nazareth himself? And this in an history of those very times in which he was born, and lived and di. ed, and that while the writer lived but a little after him in the same country in which he was born, and lived and died ? This is almost incredible. And further, could the very fame author, who gave such an advantageous character of James the Just, and this under the very appellation of James the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, which James was one of the principal disciples or apostles of this Jesus Chrift, and had been many years the only Christian bishop of the believing Jews of Judea and Jerusalem, in the very days, and in the very coun. iry of this writer? Could he I say, wholly omit any, nay, a very honorable account of lesus Christ himself, whose disciple and bithop this James most certainly was? This is also almost incredible Hear what Ittigius, one of the wiselt and most learned of all those who have lately inclined to give up the testimony concerning Christ, as it stands in our copies for fpurious, says upon this occalion: “If any one object to me, that Jolephus hath not omitted John the Baptift, the forerunner of Christ, nor James the disciple of Christ, and that therefore he could not have done the part of a good historian if he had been entirely filent concerning Christ,'1 all freely grant that Josephus was not entirely filent concerning Christ; nay,, 1 ihall further grant, that when Jose phus was speaking of Christ, he did not abstain from his commendation; for we are not to determine from that inveterate hatred which the modern Jews bear to Christ, what was the behavior of thołe Jers, upon whom the miracles that were daily wrought by the apostles in the pame of Christ imprinted a sacred lörict,”