Flavius Josephus About Jesus?
Here is a secular account from Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian (37 CE - 95 CE):
“About this time arose Jesus, a wise man, who did good deeds and whose virtues were recognized. And many Jews and people of other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. However, those who became his disciples preached his doctrine. They related that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Perhaps he was the Messiah in connection with whom the prophets foretold wonders.” (Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, XVIII 3.2)
I have read this passage in Josephus, as well as the charge of it being a forgery interpolated by the Church. But I don’t see anything in the quotation of Josephus to compromise or contradict the Scriptures. Therefore, I am ready to accept it as legitimate.
Jesus was indeed a wise and virtuous Jew. By the time Josephus wrote this, many Christians would be talking about Jesus as such, and probably two or three of the gospels were out.
As we can see, Josephus left out to mention the Hellenistic part preached about Jesus by Christians. And with regards to Pilate, Josephus did charge him with having been the one who condemned Jesus to the cross, and not the Jews, whom the NT is only too ready to accuse.
Regarding resurrection, there is no indication in Josephus. He says that those who related to him, obviously Christians, would say that Jesus appeared three days after his crucifixion. To appear alive after one’s crucifixion is no evidence that he had died and much less resurrected.
And for being the Messiah, he uses the term “perhaps” based on the word of Christians who would preach about him as such. But Messiah in the Christian sense and not Jewish. The Christian idea about the Messiah pales before the Jewish concept of the one.