About this time there lived Jesus , a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ .
Van Voorst states that “of all Roman writers, Tacitus gives us the most precise information about Christ “. Crossan considers the passage important in establishing that Jesus existed and was crucified, and states: “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus
Josephus is certainly among the most enigmatic personages in the history of the Jewish people. He wrote “The Jewish War,” he wrote a history of the Jewish people, and he was commander of the Galilean forces of the army that opposed Rome for two years.
In Jewish Antiquities 18.116-119, Flavius Josephus includes a section on John the Baptist . His reason for including it was that it contained a widely circulating explanation for the victory of the Nabatean king Aretas over the tetrarch Herod Antipas.
The complete passage is: “On (Sabbath eve and) the eve of Passover Jesus the Nazarene was hanged and a herald went forth before him forty days heralding, ‘ Jesus the Nazarene is going forth to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and instigated and seduced Israel to idolatry.
James D.G. Dunn states that most scholars infer that ” Suetonius misheard the name ‘Christus’ (referring to Jesus as Christ ) as ‘Chrestus'” and also misunderstood the report and assumed that the followers of someone called Chrestus were causing disturbances within the Jewish community based on his instigation.
Jesus ‘ name in Hebrew was “Yeshua” which translates to English as Joshua.
To the Romans , Jesus was a troublemaker who had got his just desserts. To the Christians, however, he was a martyr and it was soon clear that the execution had made Judaea even more unstable. Pontius Pilate – the Roman governor of Judaea and the man who ordered the crucifixion – was ordered home in disgrace.
Pontius Pilate , Latin in full Marcus Pontius Pilatus , (died after 36 ce), Roman prefect (governor) of Judaea (26–36 ce) under the emperor Tiberius who presided at the trial of Jesus and gave the order for his crucifixion.
He also does not reference Paul the apostle, a former Pharisee, who was a contemporary of Josephus’s father in Jerusalem, even though, according to Acts, Paul and his activities were known to two successive Roman governors (procurators) of Judaea, Marcus Antonius Felix and Porcius Festus, and to King Herod Agrippa II
Using these methods, most scholars assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC , and that Jesus’ preaching began around AD 27–29 and lasted one to three years. They calculate the death of Jesus as having taken place between AD 30 and 36.
Over time, the Christian church and faith grew more organized. In 313 AD , the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which accepted Christianity: 10 years later, it had become the official religion of the Roman Empire.
In The Antiquities of the Jews (Book 18:116-19), Josephus confirmed that Herod Antipas “slew” John the Baptist after imprisoning him at Machaerus, because he feared John’s influence might enable him to start a rebellion.
Antipas reluctantly beheaded John, and later, when Jesus ‘ miracles were reported to him, he believed that John the Baptist had been resurrected.
These books are called Matthew , Mark, Luke , and John because they were traditionally thought to have been written by Matthew , a disciple who was a tax collector; John, the “Beloved Disciple” mentioned in the Fourth Gospel; Mark, the secretary of the disciple Peter; and Luke , the traveling companion of Paul.