The controversial account of Jesus in Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities 18.63–64, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, has puzzling similarities to Luke 24.18–24, a portion of the Emmaus narrative. This article proposes an explanation based on established research into Josephus’s methods of composition. Through a phrase-by-phrase study, this article finds that the Testimoniumcan be derived from the Emmaus narrative using transformations Josephus is demonstrated to have employed in paraphrasing known sources for the Antiquities. Precedents are identified in word adoption/substitution and content modification. Consequently, I submit that the Testimonium is Josephus’s paraphrase of a Christian source. This result also resolves the difficulties that have raised doubts about the Testimonium’s authenticity, with implications for the understanding of the historical Jesus.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Author: Gary J. Goldberg

Independent scholar, Campbell, CA, USA, 

Online Publication Date: 11 Nov 2021.

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