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November 3, 2008 3:25pm
Mr Taylor, allow me then to take up the argument regarding the writings of Josephus because it is important to show the liberties Danny (and most atheists) take with the facts. First, he says the writings of Josephus were proved a forgery over 150 years ago. What he doesn't tell you (because he probably is unaware) is that most MODERN scholars believe that skeptism of 18th century scholars (to which Danny-probably quoting atheist Frank Zindler-refers) was unfounded and the writings ARE authentic and the translations are mostly correct (there are three instances of probable Christian interpolation of which I will describe later).

I'll avoid the excruciating details, but in 1971 Shlomo Pines (Jewish Professor) offered supporting documentation that Testimonium Flavianum in the Antiquity of the Jews (the Josephus document) existance and translation were mostly correct. There are other supporting arguments as well.

What's my point? Josephus provides two separate references that confirm the existence of Jesus Christ. In one he refers to Jesus directly, in another he is talking about James as "the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ."

The dispute is simply about the translation of the text. Interestingly, only the first reference is disputed. Almost all scholars believe that the reference pertaining to James is accurate. That alone debunks Danny's assertion that Josephus was a "forgery."

But let's continue with the first reference because there is no legitimate dispute that it refers to Jesus. All claims of Zindler and 18th century skeptics are debunked by most scholars today. What is disputed are three statements in Testimonium Flavianium regarding Jesus: "if it be lawful to call him a man" "He was Christ" and "appeared alive on the third day..." Most scholars believe that the first and third statements were an interpolation inserted by later Christians. "He was the Christ" is debated as either another interpolation or more likely a mistranslation of "He was believed to be the Christ."
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