Hey, I love your website…I’ve found it very resourceful. I have a couplequestions that have been brought up that I can’t seem to give an answerfor. First, I’ve heard and read what Josephus had to say about Jesus. Hementions him, true. But, someone asked me, "If Josephus took the time toaccount to mention Jesus, why wouldn’t he mention any miraculous acts thathad occurred, such Jesus’ ascencion into heaven which was witnessed by 500
The second question, a theological one, goes something like this: If Adamand Eve do not know what sin is, even though God told them not to eat theforbidden fruit, how would they know that Satan was lying when he said thatthe you CAN eat from the tree and live, if Adam and Eve didn’t know what alie was?
Although Josephus does not literally say that Jesus worked a miracle, what he did say about Jesus comes as close to saying this as one possibly can without saying the words, "Jesus worked miracles." Below is a translation of the well-known passage from Josephus about Jesus. There is some question that the Greek was interpolated (parts added later) by Christian writers. The parts of the Josephus passage which are questionable are in square brackets. The part which almost certainly is original to Josephus can be read by skipping the bracketed material.
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, [if indeed one ought to call him a man]. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. [He was the Messiah.] When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. [On the third day he appeared to them restored to life,] for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
Here Josephus says of Jesus, "For he was one who wrought surprising feats." This sounds as close to calling Jesus a miracle worker as a non-Christian could go. Some have challenged Christianity because the only ones who believe Jesus was resurrected is believers. Well, if one accepts that Jesus was resurrected, then one will be a Christian. From Josephus we have the most we could possibly have, which is acknowledgement that many claimed Jesus worked miracles. Not being a Christian, this is the most Josephus could have said about Jesus. Josephus clearly did not say a lot about Jesus. He did not say where he came from or who his friends were. He says so little that one cannot expect that he would have listed individual examples of the "surprising feats" of Jesus.
On the second question, to be honest this is a bit confusing to me. You seem to be making an assumption which is not completely clear. You assume that Adam and Even did not even know what sin is. Where do you get that idea? God told them not to eat of the tree. By definition, sin is to do something God told us not to do (or to not do something God told us to do). Therefore, by definition, they knew that eating from the tree was sinful. For this reason, I do not accept your apparent assumption. Why you think they could not know what a lie is is confusing to me. I assume that if Adam told Eve that he was a horse, she would have know that this statement is not true. By definition, she would have known that this is a lie. Sorry, but that is the best answer I can give to your second question. I hope it is sufficient!
John Oakes, PhD