I know Joshepus was considered a Jewish historian or should I say a historian? 
Who were some others and were they different than the "writings of the fathers?"

        Josephus was a Jewish historian of the late first century AD.  He began
his career as a partisan zealot for the Jews rebelling against Rome.  He was
acting as a rebel leader in Galilee in about AD 63 when a city where his troops
were besieged was overrun by Roman troops.  To spare his own life, Josephus became
a traitor to the Jewish rebel cause and began to work for the Roman armies. 
In order to support his tenuous position as a Jewish turncoat working for Rome,
he began to write histories under the sponsorship of whoever was emperor at the
time.  In his histories, Josephus paid relatively good attention to accuracy
when dealing with accounts which happened during his own time.  Although his
histories were not specifically about Christianity, there are a few references to
the then-new Christian movement which was still considered by many a sect if

        Although Josephus is clearly the most well-known Jewish historian of
the time, he definitely was not the most famous or influential Roman historian. 
That label might be applied to Tacitus, or perhaps to Pliny (actually, there
were two Plinys–father and son–known as Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger).   All of
these historians, like Josephus, worked under sponsorship of the emperor, making
some of their comments biased, but both were generally faithful to the facts
as we know them.  Both Josephus and Pliny the Younger refer specifically to Christ
and the Christians in their writings, although neither wrote on the subject

        As to the early Christian fathers, such as Clement of Rome, Polycarp,
Ignatius and Origen, these were church leaders who did not attempt to write
histories, per se.  Generally they wrote to address specific, often local, doctrinal
issues or problems within the church.  The first bona fide attempt to write
a history of the Christian church was that of Eusebius, who wrote in the third
century AD.  If you are interested in the writings of the early fathers, many
different good compilations of the writings of the early church "fathers" are available. 
A good Christian bookstore will have a few of these available.  I would make
sure to find one with significant content from the writings of Eusebius if you
want to read from a Christian historian.  Be aware that Eusebius was not above including
hearsay evidence, making some of his statements, especially about the time of
the apostles a bit suspect.

John Oakes

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