Visions of Jesus by Those Who Had Come to Love Him / Testimony of Josephus (Testimonium Flavianum) Is Authentic

Specifically, what evidence do we have, apart from the Gospels, that any of Jesus’ disciples actually had visions of Jesus after his death?

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman:
The short answer is that apart from the Gospels the only other good evidence we have are the book of Acts and the letters of Paul

Steefen (personal essayist), author of Insights on the Exodus, King David, and Jesus / The Greatest Bible Study in Historical Accuracy, 2nd Ed.:

He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, * * those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them * * spending a third day restored to life,  – First century historian, Joseph ben Matthias (Josephus) contemporary to James, brother of Jesus.

Note: The Testimonium Flavianum is authentic. Scholars who said it was not gave reasons. One reason was that it was out of context, unrelated to the passage following it. That simply is not true. The Testimonium Flavianum is followed by a passage of a god appearing to a woman and spending time with her – god made man and walking among us, a claim of Christianity. Furthermore, this god appeared to her on the third day. As we know, Josephus changed camps from Jewish rebel leader against Rome to supporting the Romans against the Jewish rebels. IN CHARACTER, Josephus tells us the God who appeared to the lovingly devout woman and spent time with her revealed that he was not god.

This is Josephus’ stance of atheism against his former religion which was warranted because after the Babylonian exile, after the Seleucids, after Rome wipes away the success of the Macabbees, after Rome takes away a Jewish king in Jerusalem, after the garments of the high priests have to be given to Romans, and after the handwriting on the wall that Rome was going to win the Jewish-Roman war, after Joseph ben Matthias (Josephus) gave his speech with tears in his eyes and speaking (while crying) to the rebels, explaining if they did not stop, we would lose the Temple to destruction, after all this and more, zealotry for the Jewish God was not amounting to anything but demise.

The TF is not just Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 3 but Sections 3 and 4! (This will appear in the 2nd ed of my book and will be on my website in a few weeks:

The second reason the TF is authentic is because while Vespasian enriched Josephus for his support of the Romans, Vespasian also enriched another rabbi, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai who headed the university of Yavne after the Jewish Revolt was put down. Rabbi Joseph ben Matthias and Rabbi Johanan proclaimed the Christian story. We know of the TF. As for Rabbi Johanan, he proclaims the impregnation of Mary by God, the Lion of Judah, and that God tried to save his people through her son.

One response to “Visions of Jesus by Those Who Had Come to Love Him / Testimony of Josephus (Testimonium Flavianum) Is Authentic

  1. In the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee (Gennesareth Lake), west side of the sea, north of Tiberias, at Taricheae, Jesus (Sapphias), a governor of Tiberias [on the western side of the Sea of Galilee; and Galilee is between Phoenicia and Samaria, which is north of Judea] and his party made a sally upon the Romans who were building a wall about their camp. The Romans leaped into their ships and slew the rebels under Jesus. The Romans also destroyed Jesus’ ships. And for Jesus’ men who were drowning in the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water, they were either killed by darts thrown by Romans or the Romans in their vessels caught them. When Jesus’s desperate drowning men swam to their enemies, the Romans cut off either their head or their hands. Titus leaped upon his horse and rode apace down to the lake. … The sea was bloody and filled with dead bodies. 6,500 people were killed because of Jesus’ attack on the Romans. The swollen dead bodies inflamed by the sun and putrefied, corrupted the air causing misery for the Jews and the Romans who won that battle. – War of the Jews

    This is important because just as the biblical Jesus had to question Paul’s behavior, the Jesus in Galilee in War of the Jews did not like the actions of Josephus. Josephus made himself the sole general of the rebels in Galilee. However, the passage above shows Jesus leading rebels against Rome. Was Jesus killed in Galilee or was he one of the three acquaintances Josephus saw crucified in Jerusalem?

    So, Josephus, saw Galilee and the Sea of Galilee devastated by Vespasian’s and Titus’s men. If there were a biblical Jesus who was the Socrates of Galilee in 30 C.E., healing and inspiring people, who goes down in history for 2,000 years and Josephus knew about this son of Galilee, he and we must be sad about what happened to Galilee in less than a 40-year generation of the great biblical Jesus. This defeat at Galilee weighed on Josephus decision to no longer have a zealous faith in the Hebrew God and people. Last night I was reading and saw that after the sack of Galilee, Josephus got captured in Galilee at Jotapata. Jotapata is just north of Sephoris. The Hebrew God did not in the Exodus tradition save Galilee and the overpowering was brought even closer to Josephus when he, face-to-face, convinced, not Jesus’s men but 40 of his own men to commit suicide, after such, he surrendered to Rome.

    So, Josephus does say people who loved Jesus saw visions of him, but then he says this man Jesus was no God; for, look what happened to the Galilee of the biblical Jesus. What is a God for if not to protect the Galilean’s (Jesus’s) city.

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