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• the Baptist to be genuine, it is not to be accounted for * that he should wholly omit to say any thing of Jesus.'

So says iny very learned and very ingenious friend. And another very ingenious man h is reported to have said, that · Tanaquil Faber threw himself into innumerable diffi. culties by attacking the genuineness of the passage con• cerning Christ, and defending that where John the Baptist is mentioned.'

I am undoubtedly in the same case with Tanaquil Faber. I receive the passage where John the Baptist is mentioned, and reject that concerning Jesus. But I do not here feel the weight of any difficulties. I am not at all embarrassed thereby.

For, first, many Jews' may have respected John the Baptist as a man of an austere character who did not receive Jesus as the Christ. And Origen k in his books against Celsus has quoted the passage of Josephus relating to John the Baptist. But he, and all other christian writers before Eusebius, are silent about the paragraph concerning Jesus, now found in the Jewish Antiquities. Surely this makes a difference.

Secondly, Josephus says nothing of that which is the distinguishing character of John the Baptist--that he was the harbinger, or forerunner of the Messiah. This is the true and genuine character of John. He would not have existed, he never would have been at all, if it had not been for the sake of another, who was to come after him, and was greater than he.

Concerning Jesus, John testified : “ This is he, of whom I said : After me cometh a man which is preferred before

And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water," &c. John i. 30, 31. And see Matt. iii. 11, 12; Mark i. 6–8; Luke i. 16, 17, 76, 77; ii, 16, 17; John iii. 28, and other places. Josephus's entire silence about this true and genuine character of John the Baptist, by which he is distinguished from all the men and prophets that ever were, affords a cogent argument that Josephus is not the author of the paragraph concerning Jesus, now found in the same book of his Antiquities; wherein Jesus is said to have been * more than a mere man, a worker of miracles, the Christ,', and the like.

I hope my honoured friend will accept of these answers to the principal objections which he has sent me.

me.

• The Abbé de Languerue. See Langueruana, Vol. 2. p. 70. Vol. vi. ch. iv. et ultra chap. xviii. sect. 2. fin. k See Vol. vi. ch. iv.

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III. I now intend to recollect and sum up the argument with some additional observations.

That this paragraph, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, is not Josephus's, but an interpolation, is argued from these several following considerations.

1. It is not quoted nor referred to by any christian writers before Eusebius, who flourished at the beginning of the fourth century, and afterwards.

2. This paragraph was wanting in the copies of Josephus, which were seen by Photius in the ninth century.

3. It interrupts the course of the narration.

4. It is unsuitable to the general character of Josephus, who is allowed not to have been a christian. It is here said thatJesus was a wise man, if he

may

be • called a man,' so that the writer of the paragraph was uncertain whether Jesus was not somewhat greater, and a more extraordinary person than a mere man. • He performed

wonderful works :' or, was a worker of wonders.' The original word, rendered wonders, is equivalent to miracles in Josephus and in Eusebius, who first quoted this paragraph. And if Josephus had ascribed miracles to Jesus, he must have owned him to be a teacher come from God. Afterwards it is said: This was the Christ. That is the genuine and only meaning of the Greek words, O Xplotos

.

And every thing else said in that paragraph confirms that sense.

. And when Pilate, at the instigation of the chief men among us, had condemned him to the cross, they who be• fore had conceived an affection for him, did not cease to 6 adhere to him. For on the third day he appeared to them

alive again, the divine prophets having foretold these and many other wonderful things concerning him.' All very christian. And every thing here said is in all our copies of Josephus, and in the first quotation made by Eusebius, and in all the quotations since made by other ancient writers.

That this last clause, the divine prophets having fore• told these, and many other wonderful things concerning • him,' was always in this testimony, we are assured by Eusebius who so quotes it. And presently after quoting it, makes a remark the

passage;

which shows he so read it. For he presently adds; And the book of the Acts of 'the Apostles assures us, that many thousand Jews believed 1 See Vol. vi. ch. iv.

Μαρτυρει δε και η των Πραξεων των Αποσολων γραφη, ότι πολλαι μυριαδες ησαν Ιεδαιων ανδρων πεπεισμενων αυτον ειναι τον Χριςον τε θεε, τον υπο των προφητων κατηγγελμενον. Dem. Εν. p. 124. D.

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• him to be the Christ of God, whom the prophets had foretuld. See Acts xxi. 20.

How christian is all this ! And said likewise to be agreeable to the predictions of the divine prophets! which is suitable to many texts of the New Testament, and even resembles them: Luke xxiv. 25, 26, 44; Acts xx. 22, 23; Rom. i. 1–4; 1 Cor. xv: 4. Throughout all the works of Josephus there is not any the least notice taken of Christ, or the christians, or their affairs. But in this short passage are inserted almost all the articles concerning Jesus Christ, which were in the ancient christian creeds, except his miraculous nativity, and his ascension to heaven: suffered | under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried: the 'third day he rose again from the dead.'

And, to complete this testimony, the great progress of the christian religion in the world is here asserted, and that this Jesus had • brought over to him many Jews and many • Gentiles. The steadiness of his followers in their zeal for himn is also plainly intimated. They who had conceived

an affection for him did not cease to adhere to him. And • the sect of the christians, so called from him, still sub• sists.' Which are the expressions of a person who lived some good while after the rise of christianity, and later than the time of Josephus : Nor is it any great wonder that his followers should be so attached to him, since they were men who received the truth with pleasure, and had at first given up themselves to him as a teacher of it. The bishop of Gloucester therefore, in considering this " passage, aptly calls it' preaching up of Christ,' and assigns a reason why Josephus should studiously decline the so doing: and therefore makes no scruple to call this passage spurious.

5. If Josephus were the author of this paragraph, it would be reasonable to expect in him frequent mention of Christ's miracles : whereas he is every where else silent about them.

All these considerations were mentioned formerly. But I have now made enlargements under the fourth. And I beg leave to add here a thought or two more.

6. The word Christ, or Messiah, appears not in any place in all the works of Josephus, excepting two: namely, the paragraph which we have been considering, which is now in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities; and another in the twentieth book of the same Antiquities, where is mention made of . James, the brother of Jesus who is called . Christ.'

» The Divine Legation of Moses. B. v. Sect. 4. Vol. 2. p. 432, &c.

Ο Και

This appears to me a good argument that these two passages are interpolations. For Josephus had many, yea, innumerable occasions for mentioning that word, and speaking of the expected Messiah. But” that word is not to be found any where in him, excepting these two passages where be is made to speak of Jesus Christ. He must have designedly and studiously avoided that expression. And it is incredible that he should bring it in for the sake of Jesus, our Saviour, for whom he cannot be supposed to have had any favourable regard.

7. Finally, to conclude, it appears to me to be the wisdom and the interest of christians, to adhere to and improve the genuine works of Josephus, and to maintain their integrity, instead of attempting to vindicate passages which are so justly suspected to be interpolations.

His works are valuable and useful, and highly deserving the esteem of christians upon divers 9 accounts.

First, his rehearsal, or paraphraser of the books of the Old Testament, as it is called hy Isidore of Pelusium, is very valuable, notwithstanding some alterations by way of omission or addition.

Secondly, his account of the state of things among the Jewish people from the conquest of Judea by Pompey to the commencement of the war, and during the ministry of our Saviour and his apostles, is very valuable, indeed above all price.

Thirdly, his testimony to the fulfilment of our Saviour's predictions concerning the destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem, and the overthrow of the Jewish nation by Vespasian and Titus, is also invaluable, and has always been so esteemed by all christians in general.

Such a testimony to all these several things from a learned Jew, contemporary with the apostles of Jesus, zealous for the law, and in some respects an enemy to us, deserves the attentive regard, and high esteem of all friends to christianity. παραγαγων εις αυτο τον αδελφον Ιησε τα λεγομενε Χρισέ, Ιακωβος ονομα avtw, kai Tivas eTep85. Ant. 20. c. ix. sect. 1. p. 976.

P I understand the learned author of the Dissertation to allow this where he says, p. 34, 35, · Not as the adversaries of this passage on the one hand, or its advocales on the other, equally misled by christian notions, have generally interpreted it: “ This was the Christ,' or the person said to be the • Christ,' viz. as a Jewish appellation or title of office and dignity, concerning which he has carefully avoided dropping the least hint throughout his whole history.

I See the judgment of Fabricius, before alleged, Vol. vi.

-Και την παλαιας διαθηκην μετ' αληθειας tapappaoas. ---Isidor. l. 4. ep. 225.

Εγενετο δε τις Ιώσηπος, , Ιεδαιος ακρος, και το νομο ζηλωτης κ. λ. Ιbid.

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TESTIMONIES

OF

ANCIENT HEATHEN AUTHORS.

CHAP. IX.

PLINY THE YOUNGER, AND TRAJAN.

THE LETTER OF PLINY THE YOUNGER TO TRAJAN CONCERNING THE CHRISTIANS, AND TRAJAN'S RESCRIPT, WITH NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS, AND AN AC

COUNT OF THE PERSECUTION IN THE TIME OF

THAT EMPEROR, GENERALLY RECKONED

THE THIRD HEATHEN PERSECUTION.

I. The history of Pliny, and the time of his provincial

government. Il. Pliny's letter to Trajan, and Trajan's rescript. III. Eusebius's account of the persecution in the reign of Trajan. IV. Pliny's letter rehearsed, with notes and observations. V. Trajan's rescript rehearsed, with notes and observations. VI. Whether Trajan did by any edict put an end to the persecution. VII. The judgments of divers learned men upon the preceding letter and rescript. VIII. The characters of Pliny and Trujan represented with freedom, candour, and impartiality. IX. Observations, showing the uses of the two foregoing epistles.

1. Caius PLINIUS CÆCILIUS SECUNDUS, or Pliny the younger, a son of Lucius Cæcilius and a sister of the elder Pliny, by whom he was adopted for his son, was born at Como, near Milan, in the year of Christ 61 or 62. He was prætor under Domitian, and afterwards præfect of the trea

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a Vid. Voss. de Hist. Lat. 1. i. cap. 30. Fabr. Bib. Lat. 1. 2. c. 22. son de Vitâ Plin. Jun. Tillemont H. E. Trajan, art. 28. VOL, VII.

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