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Josephus and Christianity

Josephus and Christianity January 5, 2011

Does anyone have any thoughts, or recommendations of publications to read, on the subject of why Josephus fails to mention Christianity in his listing of Jewish “philosophies”? He can scarcely have been unaware of the movement’s existence, whatever one thinks of the authenticity of some original form of the Testimonium Flavianum, which in its extant form mentions the “tribe of Christians.” After the events that transpired in Rome in Nero’s time, could anyone who in Rome for a significant amount of time not have heard of them?

Might he have avoided mentioning them because Christians were viewed negatively by the Romans? Or might it simply be that their numbers were so small that they scarcely merited a mention, like many other groups that we occasionally find mentioned in ancient sources but which are not mentioned by Josephus?


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