Joesphus in the Testimonium Flavianum wrote at the end of the first century that Jesus had been the prophesised resurrected Christ. If Josephus wrote this it must be because he believed it and was a Christian convert born after Jesus's death; if like most Jews he did not then he would not assert in such a manner and the testimonium would be a later addition to the Antiquities.
Josephus wrote much more than that Tommy. Josephus wrote about Jesus, about the death of brother of Jesus Ã¢â‚¬Å“JamesÃ¢â‚¬Â and about John the Baptist. And any of you presuppositions do not detract from those writings. Flavius Josephus a Jewish historian - was born in 37 A.D., died in 100 A.D. he was a trained Pharisee and fought in the Jewish-Roman war (of 66-74 AD) against the Romans. After the siege of Jotapata in Galilee (in A.D. 67), Josephus surrendered to the Romans, won the favor of General Vespasian and later became a Roman citizen. He accompanied General Titus (VespasianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Son) when Titus led the Roman Army against Jerusalem (where Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD).
Josephus wrote several books that have come down to us today, History of the Jewish War (seven different books) and Jewish Antiquities, to name a few. Josephus was not a Christian himself, but did write about Jesus:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“At this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is proper to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of men who receive the truth gladly, and he won to himself both many Jews and many Greeks. This was the Christ. And when Pilate, on the indictment of the chief men among us, sentenced him to crucifixion, those who loved him at first did not cease loving him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day as indeed the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders concerning him. And even to this day the race of Christians named from him is not extinct.Ã¢â‚¬Â (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).
Josephus also mentioned James, the brother of Jesus (as the brother of Jesus):
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stonedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â Antiquities, Book 18 , Chapter 3
The New Testament writers could only have been eyewitnesses after Jesus began his ministry. Prior to that their testimonies clash, for instance over genealogies and the date of Jesus' birth (Matthew implies 4BC given we know Herod Philip 1 died in AD 33 and 37 years after his father Herod the Great who masssacred the innocents whereas Luke implies 6AD during the census of Quirinius following the application of direct Roman rule in Judea and Samaria).
The genealogies do not clash Tommy, I would desire for you to provide the evidence of such a clash (keep in mind, that uneducated argument has been attempted many times, and crushed in its own illogic). There are reasons the genealogies take two differing tactÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, remember; there were two parents, and lineage had to be established.
Also, you may want to quit taking your talking points from sites that havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done their homework either. For you to make such claims about Harrods death require you to provide the evidence to back up such clams. And to say Matthew implies, or Luke implies, is to say nothing at all (except that you opine).
It is true that the places meantioned are authentic and several characters are corroborated - the Herods, Quirinius, Pilate etc. I do not doubt that people called Jesus and John the Baptist were historically real.
I would not claim to be able refute the gospel testimony.
Then quit pretending as though you can.
However, uncorroborated extraordinary public events are implausible and detract from the source's credibility (essential if one is to make a leap of faith).
There is no absence of corroboration Tommy, and your simply saying its so doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it so. Antiquity is replete with corroboration for the New Testament, the life of Jesus, His initial followers, and those who followed them. And there are plenty of outside sources, and many of these sources were not only indifferent to the plight of the Christians, outright enemies of them as well. And this alone lends credence to the historicity of Jesus, His followers, and the New Testament as well.
Just because you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like and cannot impugn the eye witnesses or their testimony, you then attempt to spread spurious innuendoes about them. So, provide your evidence against said eye-witness evidence, or be exposed in your weak arguments.