Josephus And The Miracles Of Jesus

It is written:

“This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2)

The miracles of Jesus are one of the evidences that He is the Son of God. Interestingly, there are several historians outside of the Bible who made mention of Jesus and His miracles. One such man is named Josephus.

He tells us:

“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonders (“startling deeds,” M.T.), a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew many after him both of the Jews and the gentiles. He was the Christ. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things about him, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (Antiquities 18:63-64)

Some question the genuineness of this text. It is often said that this passage was an interpolation (ie, something added to the text much later by a different writer).

However, in its’ defense, consider this conversation between Lee Strobel and Craig Keener:

“The rabbis and the anti-Christian Greek philosopher Celsus are clear that Jesus was a miracle worker. Of course, later non-Christian sources attributed his feats to sorcery, but that’s still an acknowledgment that something extraordinary took place. Also, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus wrote that Jesus was a wise man who ‘worked startling deeds.’” “Startling deeds?” “Yes. What’s significant is that this is the same way he describes the miracles associated with the prophet Elisha.” “But isn’t that passage in Josephus disputed?” I asked. “Critics charge it was added later by Christians.” “The Jewish historian Geza Vermes of Oxford analyzed the writing style of Josephus and concluded that this particular miracle claim is, indeed, authentic,” Keener said. 5 “Frankly, I have to agree with what scholar Raymond Brown said about Jesus, which is that even ‘the oldest traditions show him as a healer.” (Craig Keener in his interview with Lee Strobel, The Case For Miracles: A Journalist Investigates Evidence For The Supernatural, 85-86 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

Josephus is one of several ancient sources which acknowledge the miraculous power of Jesus.

Why not build your life on Jesus Christ and His Word (Matthew 7:24-27; Acts 2:37-47)?

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