Geza Vermes har skrive ein artikkel om det interessante avsnittet om Jesus i Josefus sitt verk Antiquities. Dette er truleg den einaste ikkje-kristne kjelda frå det første hundreår som omtalar Jesus. Men forskarane er ueinige i korleis me skal sjå på dette avsnittet; er den kjende teksten slik Josefus skreiv den? Eller er den eit seinare kristent innskot i skriftet? Geza Vermes gir ei innføring i problematikken og landar på eit (relativt vanleg) mellomstandpunkt; Josefus skreiv avsnittet om Jesus, men teksten viser at kristne seinare har lagt til enkelte ord og uttrykk. Det er derfor nødvendig med ein historisk- og litteraturkritisk analyse for å finna ut kva Josefus eigentleg skreiv.
Her er teksten i Antiquities 18,63-64:
(63) About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed paradoxical deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many Greeks. He was the Christ. (64) When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
Les gjerne heile artikkelen til Geza Vermes: Jesus in the Eyes of Josephus. Her er konklusjonen hans:
In conclusion, what seems to be Josephus’s authentic portrait of Jesus depicts him as a wise teacher and miracle worker, with an enthusiastic following of Jewish disciples who, despite the crucifixion of their master by order of Pontius Pilate in collusion with the Jerusalem high priests, remained faithful to him up to Josephus’s days.
Let me offer therefore the text that I believe Josephus wrote. The Christian additions, identified in the paragraph that follows the earlier reproduction of the English translation of Antiquities 18: 63-64, are excised and the deletions are indicated by [......]. The dubious authenticity of the phrase “[and many Greeks?]” (see the same paragraph above) is signalled by the question mark. Finally, the word [called] is inserted into the sentence “He was [called] the Christ” on the basis of Josephus’s description of James as “the brother of Jesus called the Christ”.
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man…For he was one who performed paradoxical deeds and was the teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews [and many Greeks?]. He was [called] the Christ. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him…And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.