HISTORICAL EVIDENCE THAT JOHN THE BAPTIST AND JESUS THE CHRIST DID EXIST
WHILE HAVING TO RE-DO CHAPTER TWO OF EUSEBIUS BOOK ON “THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH” BECAUSE SOMEHOW IT VANISHED INTO THIN-AIR FROM MY WEBSITE, THIS LITTLE PART I THOUGHT SHOULD BE PUT UNDER MY NOTES AND NEWS SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE——
JOSEPHUS WAS A JEWISH HISTORIAN OF THE FIRST CENTURY A.D.
Evidence regarding John the Baptist and Christ
11. Not long afterwards John the Baptist was beheaded by the younger Herod, as we learn from the inspired gospel narrative. 4 Confirmation comes from Josephus, who mentions Herodias by name and tells how though she was his brother's wife Herod married her, discarding his existing lawful wife - daughter of King Aretas of Petrea - and separating Herodias from her husband, who was still alive. For her sake, too, he put John to death and was involved in war with Aretas, whose daughter he had slighted. The war ended, as Josephus records, with a pitched battle in which Herod's army was totally destroyed, the direct result of his outrageous treatment of John. The same writer acknowledges that John was a man of unimpeachable virtue, and a baptist, confirming the description of him contained in the gospel narrative. He also records the fact that Herod was deprived of his throne on account of the same woman, with whom he was driven into exile and condemned to live in Vienne, a city in Gaul. 1 The story will be found in Antiquities Book XV111 from which I quote verbatim what he has to say about John:
Some of the Jews believed that Herod's army had been destroyed by God, as a richly deserved punishment for his treatment of John who was called the Baptist. For Herod killed him, a good man who urged the Jews to train themselves in virtue, to be just to each other and pious towards God, and to come together for baptism: on one condition only would their baptism be acceptable to Him - if it was undergone not to escape the penalty of sins but to purify the body, since the soul had been already purged by righteousness. When crowds assembled, very excited on hearing his words, Herod was afraid that his extraordinary hold over the people would lead to some revolt, as they seemed prepared to do anything at his suggestion. So he thought it much better to forestall any revolutionary movement prompted by John by putting him out of the way, rather than wait for an outbreak to occur and reproach himself when it was too late. Because of Herod's suspicion John was sent in chains to Machaerus, the fortress mentioned above, and there executed. 2
After giving this account of John, in the same part of his work he goes on to speak as follows of our Saviour:
At this time appeared Jesus, a very gifted man - if indeed it is right to call him a man; for he was a worker of miracles, a teacher of such men as listened with pleasure to the truth, and he won over many of the Jews and many of Gentile origin as well. This was the Christ; and when at the instigation of our leading men he had been condemned to the cross by Pilate, those who had loved him at the first
1. According to Antiquities xviii, vii, 2, Lyons; according to Jewish War, p. 128, Spain.
2. Antiquities xviii, v, 2.
did not cease to do so; for on the third day he appeared to them alive again, the inspired prophets having foretold this and countless other wonderful things about him. Even now the group of people called Christians after him has not died out. 1
When a historian sprung from the Hebrews themselves has furnished in his own writing an almost contemporary record of John the Baptist and our Saviour too, what excuse is there left for not condemning the shameless dishonesty of those who forged the Memoranda blackening them both? And there we will leave the matter.
YES IT IS JUST A RECORDED FACT OF JEWISH HISTORY THAT THE JOHN THE BAPTIST AND JESUS THE CHRIST, DID INDEED EXSIST AS HUMAN PERSONS - Keith Hunt