For the introduction to this paper, see the Flavius Josephus Home Page.

A version of this discussion was originally published in The Journal for the Study of the   Pseudepigrapha 13 (1995), pp. 59-77.

The Josephus-Luke Connection

G. J. Goldberg, Ph. D.

In the search for new evidence concerning Josephus' Jesus passage we have a tool unavailable to scholars of the past and insufficiently used by scholars today: the computer.

Our advantage today is that the entire body of ancient Greek and Latin literature now resides on a computer database. This allows us to perform a computer search in order to find writings that resemble in various ways the Jesus passage from Josephus' Antiquities, the "Testimonium Flavianum." This is new information that will help us in understanding the origins of the passage.

Throughout this book, the database that will be used is the Thesaurus Lingua Graecae (TLG) published by the University of California at Irvine. The TLG database contains "every" Greek and Latin text from the earliest times up to 600 C.E., with the caution that new items are being discovered continually and are added to the database as they come to light. Currently the database holds about 73 million words in a form suitable for complex computer searches.

It would be pleasant if we could simply ask the computer to find the closest match to the Josephus passage. But databases are not yet so sophisticated, and we need to specify what is meant by "closest match." We could ask for: similarity of exact words or words based on same root, synonymous phrases occurring in the same order, peculiar phrases in parallel location, or harmony of meaning, tone, beliefs, prejudices, and other indications of the speaker's intent. Some of these are easy to program; others, impossible. But the easiest search to make at first is for exact word/order matches.

For the initial investigation, then, we will consider the beginning of the passage, which when translated preserving the Greek word order is:

There happened about this time Jesus wise man - if a man one may call him indeed - for he was of amazing deeds a worker... The first three significant nouns in the Antiquities Jesus passage are the Greek words 'Iesous, aner, ergon; in English, Jesus, man, and deeds. (We skip the introductory noun "time", but later will return to it -- with surprising results.) We instruct the computer to perform the following search of the TLG database: look for every occurrence in Greek literature of these three words and forms thereof ('Iesou*, aner/andra, and any words beginning erg*), such that the words occur within a three or four lines of each other.

The computer's output discloses an intriguing fact. There exists one passage, and only one, that contains these three nouns in proximity. The matching passage is not from an obscure writer, nor was it written centuries after Josephus' time; indeed, it is usually dated to the same decade Josephus' Antiquities was published. The matching passage comes straight from the New Testament: the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, verse 19.

In the New Revised Standard Version, the matching verse is translated in this way:

The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed..
 One sees Jesus and deed, but where is the word man that we searched for? It is there in the original Greek, but curiously enough every modern English translation omits it. The problem is the phrase
Iesou...hos egeneto aner profetes...
which literally translates as
Jesus...who was a man prophet...
Commentaries on translations stumble over how to render "man prophet." One problem for Christian interpreters is that this is a purely human designation, no divinity involved, leading to the suggestion has been that the verb egeneto, which literally means "became", indicates that the phrase means "Jesus, who became a man", that is, that Jesus was a divine spirit who came to earth to become human. Against this is the fact that egeneto is commonly used throughout Luke and the rest of literature as simply meaning "was;" in fact, Josephus' passage also uses this verb, in the form ginetai, which can be translated "occurred", "arose", etc.

Other attempts at translation in the past had it that Jesus was a "prophet-man", "a prophetic man", "a male prophet", and "a man, a prophet." The latest translations simply omit "man," a decision which at the same time has the virtue of sidestepping Luke's difficult admission that Jesus' contemporaries had no thought of his being a Son of God.

This translation may be one reason why this initial similarity between Luke 24:19 and the Antiquities record of Jesus has not been recognized. One must compare the original languages side by side to see the resemblance:

Testimonium Luke
Jesus wise man Jesus the Nazarene who was a man prophet
Iesous sophos aner Iesou tou Nazoraiou hos egeneto aner profetes

 Although we only looked for the noun combination Jesus/man/deed, we also have happened on another similarity: sophos, "wise," in Josephus, versus profetes, "prophet" (or "prophetic") in Luke, thematically related words both modifying the word man.

The word "deeds" also appears in both texts: Luke has mighty in deed and the Antiquities has performer of surprising deeds

This simple computer search has related the beginning of the Testimonium to one New Testament verse. But is this is a fluke? There is an obvious test: If this is not simply an accident, then the section of Luke that begins with 24:19 would be expected to have other noteworthy similarities to the Testimonium. If it is an accident, the number of matches will be minor, that is, no more than could be found in any other brief description of Jesus.

Just what is the portion of Luke containing this verse? It's a famous passage, but one not often paid a great deal of attention. Let us try to read it with fresh eyes.

Luke, in his last chapter, Chapter 24, describes two followers of Jesus who are walking from Jerusalem to the nearby town of Emmaus. It is two days after Jesus was executed. Earlier that morning, Luke tells us, some women who had come with Jesus from Galilee had visited his tomb and discovered it empty, but two men in dazzling clothes told the women that Jesus had returned to life, reminding them Jesus himself had predicted that he would "on the third day rise again." Luke then relates the following (Luke 24:13-27, NRSV translation):

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about sixty stadia from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, and looked sad.

Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?"

They replied, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to the judgment of death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.

"Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him."

Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

Still, the two do not recognize him, and the story continues as they invite Jesus to dine with them in Emmaus. When he breaks the bread their eyes are opened and they recognize him as Jesus. But their eyes fail them once again: Jesus vanishes "from their sight." Returning at once to Jerusalem, they discover the eleven apostles already in excitement over a report that Jesus had appeared to one of them (Simon).

For Luke, then, Cleopas and his companion, then, were the very first people to see the resurrected Jesus. This disagrees with the other gospels. The name Cleopas appears no where else in the New Testament, and the only parallel to the Emmaus story is a brief note in Mark 16:12-13 -- that is generally suspected of being based on Luke (falling in the so-called "longer ending" of Mark). Those verses simply state: "After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking in the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them."

Furthermore, the competing claim by the apostles that Simon was the first witness is not given much weight by Luke only, who only deigns to report the appearance at secondhand, literally as hearsay. Somehow, for Luke, this odd story of Cleopas and his friend is more important -- more authentic -- than what the eleven apostles had to say.


2. The Correspondences

We were led from Josephus to the Emmaus narrative of Luke by the search of the TLG database for the first key words of the Antiquities' description of Jesus. Since Luke's passage is lengthy and full of incident, let us extract only the portion that involves a description of the actions and nature of Jesus:

"The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to the judgment of death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. [...]" Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. (Luke 24:19-21; 24:25-27)
This extract, comprising the verses 19 through 27, is continuous and unedited except for the removal of the block of sentences concerning the women. The omitted block forms a flashback within this narrative and does not materially add to a description of Jesus. As will be discussed later, experts on the subject agree this flashback was probably inserted by Luke into a passage which had formerly stood alone. Therefore, its omission likely moves us closer to Luke's original source for the Emmaus story. The questions involved in making this deletion will be fully examined later in this book.

Now let us compare the Emmaus passage, without the internal flashback, with the Jesus passage from Josephus' Antiquities - the Testimonium. For reference the Testimonium is repeated here:

About this time there was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds 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 Christ. And when, upon an accusation by the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these things and countless other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. (Antiquities 18.63)


We have compared the beginnings of these two passages and seen they employ three words in the same order, Jesus, man, and deed. Now let us proceed to compare them phrase by phrase, concentrating on the sequence of ideas in both.

I emphasize that the following reading follows the exact word order in the original Greek of both texts. The parallels shown occur in identical locations.

We already read the beginning:
Testimonium Luke
Jesus wise man Jesus the Nazarene who was a man prophet
Iesous sophos aner Iesou tou Nazoraiou hos egeneto aner profetes

The word man (aner) in both texts follows closely after Jesus, modifies the name. In turn, man is modified in both cases by a term indicating that Jesus played a wisdom role. Luke presents Jesus as a man prophet while the Antiquities calls him a wise man. The designations are related, but not identical, which is not surprising considering that Josephus calls no one of his day a "prophet;" indeed, elsewhere he asserts there were no "prophets" since the days of the first Temple.

But missing from Luke is anything similar to the next Antiquities phrase if indeed one may call him a man.
Testimonium Luke
if a man one can call him indeed (no match)
eige andra auton legein cre  
Interestingly enough, this phrase is one that the modern consensus holds was not in the original version of the Testimonium. According to this view, it was added as much as 200 years after Josephus published the passage. Does this indicate that Luke's passage, which also does not have anything like the "if one can call him a man" phrase, is closer to the original, unedited passage of Josephus then the Testimonium we have? We shall certainly return to this point later.

Testimonium Luke
for he was of amazing deeds a worker mighty in deed
en gar paradoxon ergon poietes dunatos en ergoi
The word deed in both texts has a word to indicate there is something extraordinary about them. Luke's word is mighty and the Antiquities uses amazing (or surprising, or wonderful). Both texts imply many unusual works were done; neither text specifies what these are.

As with all parallels, there are dissimilarities too: "deed" is plural in the Antiquities but a singular collective form in Luke; "worker" has no parallel in Luke although one might argue it is implied; and so on. Later I will explore in detail how these differences are within the range of variation of two authors mildly rewriting a single text to suit a given context.

Luke states, immediately after deed, that Jesus was also mighty in word, a powerful speaker.

Testimonium Luke
a teacher and word
didaskalos kai logoi
The Antiquities at this point states that Jesus was a teacher. There is no exact word match, but the general concept is the same: both texts have moved from Jesus' actions to his speech.

This pairing and order is not to be taken for granted: of the nine places in the New Testament which deeds and words are paired, seven are in the opposite order, word/deed (e.g., Acts 7:22, Moses is mighty "in words and in deeds"), and only this passage of Luke and (obscurely) Jude 1:15 is in the deed/word order. There are also numerous places in the New Testament where deeds are mentioned without pairing with speech.

Both texts now move to the witnesses of the deeds and words and their holy nature.
Testimonium Luke
of people who with pleasure the truth received before God
anthropon ton hedone taleth decomenon, 


enantion tou Theou 


Testimonium Luke
and many of the Jews and many of the Greeks were won over 

kai pollous men 'Ioudaious, pollous de kai tou Hellenikou epegageto.

and all the people 

kai pantos tou laou


To Luke, Jesus was mighty in deed and word before God; the phrase is a Semitism, most likely a rendition of the Hebrew lifne adonai, which can be rendered "in the opinion of the Lord." These deeds and words were witnessed and approved of by the Lord, that is, they were of a religious nature. The Antiquities does not mention God, but has it that Jesus was a teacher of such people as receive the truth gladly. Given the context, truth also refers to religious teaching. It would have been unusual for Josephus to use the term before God here, so the reference to, essentially, a synagogue congregation or something similar may indeed be the nearest thing one could expect Josephus to write at this point. (E.g., a religious teacher is what Josephus usually means by a wise man, the term used previously; as will be discussed later).

Luke then turns from Jesus' words and the holy nature of his activity to those who heard and witnessed Jesus, all the people. The same movement is made in the Testimonium, though with greater elaboration; it was begun in the preceding phrase and is completed here. First, as was just seen, mention is made of the people Jesus taught, and this is followed by He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. Between the two there is something of a parallel in all (Luke) versus many (Testimonium). There are words for "people" in both texts, laou in Luke, and in the Testimonium first the general anthropon ("human") followed by ethnic specification, Greeks and Jews, not found in Luke.

Let us pause for a moment. The reader may appreciate that nothing forces either writer to move from one concept to another in just this order. Consider, for example, a description of Jesus written about 50 years after Luke and the Antiquities, appearing in a work of the Christian writer , which begins:

In the books of the prophets we find it announced beforehand that Jesus our Christ would appear, be born through a virgin, grow up, heal every disease and sickness and raise the dead, and be despised...

(Justin Martyr, First Apology 31)


Compare this with our two texts: no man, no prophet. Instead of expressing "amazing deeds" in two words, this lists specific miracles; and there is no reference to words or teaching, there is no mention of an approving audience and, on the contrary, says Jesus was despised.

Or take another description written by Luke, from his book of Acts:

You know the thing that happened ... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death ... (Acts 10:36-43)

This is written by the same author as the Emmaus passage, yet it lacks the clear parallels with the Testimonium. One can detect a few traces that Luke used the same structure here as in the earlier Emmaus, including the words "power (might)", "doing" (same root as "deed), and an implication that he has a wide audience. But one cannot write out a phrase by phrase parallel with the Testimonium as we have been doing so far, and which we can continue to do.

In fact, it is shown on the statistical studies page  that there is no Christian text (and certainly no Jewish text) more closely resembling the Antiquities passage in content, vocabulary, and thematic structure, than this passage of Luke.

Let us now continue our reading.

The next sentence of the Antiquities does not have a parallel at this point in Luke: He was the Christ.
Testimonium Luke
The christ [or messiah] he was. (no match)
ho christos houtos en.  



The last time we saw a complete absence of a parallel was in the phrase if indeed one can call him a man, which the scholarly consensus holds as a later, Christian interpolation into Josephus' original text. Recall now that this same consensus considers the phrase He was the Christ to be another such an interpolation. Thus we have twice seen that a lack of parallel with Luke occurs where the Josephus passage has been altered, if we identify alterations according to the modern consensus.

This leads me to propose that the version Josephus originally wrote had almost exactly the same structure as the Emmaus extract from Luke.

Continuing to the next phrase in Luke, one finds the passage turning from Jesus' acceptance by the people to conflict with the authorities:
Testimonium Luke
and him an indictment how they handed him over
kai auton endeixei  


hopos te paredokan auton

The same dramatic turn is made in the Antiquities. The similar concepts here are indictment (endeixei) versus being handed over to a judicial process ( paredokan).

Testimonium Luke
by the principal men  the chief priests and leaders 
ton proton andron  


hoi archiereis kai hoi archontes  



Both texts now specify who did the indictment/handing over: the leaders. The principal men is the standard way Josephus refers to leaders of the community; it is synonymous with Luke's leaders and potentially includes priests. (Note proto-, "first", is a near-synonym for arch-, "begin, chief").

Testimonium Luke
among us of us
par' hemin 




The leaders are further specified -- they are "ours," in both texts, at precisely the same location. The reader is again reminded that the exact Greek word order of both texts is being followed. The match of such small words at key points can be more spectacular than lengthier expositions.

In this case, their is a very unusual grammatical match with the use of the first person plural in identifying the our leaders, the principal men among us. For Josephus in his writings usually obeys the conventions of objective historians and refers to his people in the third person as "the Jews" and the like, not as "us". Indeed, this peculiarity of the first person at this point has been used by some scholars as one of the proofs Josephus did not write the passage at all. As I will show later, a study of every appearance of us in the Antiquities reveals that, with possibly three or four exceptions, the first person plural does not occur in a context such as this in Josephus.

Stranger still, Luke also does not employ the first person when he identifies accusers of Jesus within the speeches of Acts. In Acts 13:27, Paul was himself a dweller in Jerusalem yet nonetheless asserts that "those dwelling in Jerusalem and their rulers" were the ones who asked Pilate to sentence Jesus. Similarly consider Acts 2:23 ,"you crucified"; 3:15, "you delivered up"; 5:30, "you laid hands on"; and 10:39 ("they did away with him"). If the first person is unusual in both Luke and Josephus, why would both suddenly use them at the same time in harmonious passages?
Testimonium Luke
to a cross condemned by Pilate to a judgment of death and crucified him.
stauroi epitetimhkotos Pilatou eis krima thanatou kai estaurosan auton. 




In this next segment there are single words in each text denoting the passing of a criminal sentence, judgment and condemned. The word cross, Greek stauro, is the root of a word in both: Luke estaurosan (crucified), Antiquities stauroi (to a cross). These are slight rewritings of the same concept, the notable difference being that the name Pilate does not occur in Luke. Pilate is there implicitly: there must be someone to whom Jesus is handed over by the leaders, the one who passed the judgment of death. Luke avoids the name deliberately. The name is mandatory in Josephus, however, because the Testimonium passage occurs in Josephus' section on the actions of Pilate as procurator of Judea.
Testimonium Luke
did not stop the first followers. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel
ouk epausanto hoi to proton agapesantes. 


hemeis de helpizomen hoti autos estin o mellon lutrousthai ton Israel 



From the crucifixion, both texts now simultaneously turn to the actions of the original disciples.

The Josephus verse gives some translation problems; Feldman renders it as those who had in the first place come to love him did not cease. The generally similar structure is that the followers are referred to immediately after the crucifixion, before any other activity, and their attachment to him is expressed. Some difference is inevitable considering that these original disciples are, in fact, the ones speaking in Luke's story.

But an extremely important mismatch is Luke's identification of Jesus as potentially the one to redeem Israel, absent in Josephus at this point; and although earlier there had been a Messianic reference in "He was the Christ (or Messiah)," our strict adherence to word order rules this out as a parallel.

Another interesting difference is that these disciples in the Antiquities did not give up their affection for him, while the speakers in Luke's drama are on the verge of "giving up their affection," but something occurs to nip this loss of faith in the bud.
Testimonium Luke
(no match) but besides with all these things

alla ge syn pasin toutois 

Some transitional words in Luke give a mismatch.
Testimonium Luke
For appearing to them (no match)
ephane gar autois  

The statement of Jesus' reappearance completed after the next clause; discussion is deferred until then.

Now the next clause I consider to be the most significant single match:

Testimonium Luke
a third day having this third day spending
triten echon hemeran  triten tauten hemeran agei  



A third day. In Christian doctrine, Jesus' resurrection occurred "on the third day," a key expression in statements of belief. The prevalent form uses the preposition "on," with "third day" the object of the preposition; in Greek, en triti himei.

But this is not the form in either Josephus or Luke. In these, "third day" is the object of a verb, and not a preposition. It's grammatical form is consequently the accusative case, triten hemeran. The verbs -- Josephus "having", Luke "spending" or "passing" -- are synonyms here, for in Greek literature echon and agein are used interchangeably when denoting the passing of time.

Yet the New Testament does not use this verbal form. Either the prepositional or nominative is used throughout, with Luke being the sole exception. As for other Christian literature, we can again search the TLG database. This time, the computer is asked to search for the phrase the third day in the accusative case, or indeed any combination of triten and hemeran within three or four lines of each other. The results are revealing: Luke's Emmaus passage and the Testimonium are the only two texts using the resurrection third day as object of a verb in all of ancient Christian literature.

Inevitably, one must ask if there is some reason why these two authors use this unique form at the same position. The obvious proposal is that there is some dependence: one is based on the other, or both are derived from a prior source. Also supporting this is the awkwardness and lack of clarity in both texts - ask, who is the subject of the verb having/spending in each sentence? This indicates dependence on a source that is as unclear as it is authoritative.
Testimonium Luke
again alive today since these things happened. [...] And he said to them, "Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe 
palin zon  hemeron aph' ou tauta egeneto.[...]kai autos eipen pros autous, O anoetoi kai bradeis tei kardiai tou pisteuein epi 

  As suggested above, Luke's flashback to the women is excluded. The "again alive" completes the thought begun previously in the Testimonium with "he appeared to them..." At this moment Jesus makes his appearance to the disciples, but the same cannot occur in Luke -- simply because Luke's entire narrative takes place during the appearance. The genres are different -- a dramatization cannot be identical to a history at every point. But even so, there is, in fact a parallel in Luke: for this is the moment at which Jesus at last speaks to the disciples, starting in motion the application of Messianic prophecies to Jesus and, eventually, the disclosing of Jesus' identity to the disciples. Thus a possible parallel can be found between appeared again alive and He said to them, communication of the risen Jesus to the disciples.
Testimonium Luke
the divine prophets these things all that the prophets have spoken. Were not these things necessary 
ton theion propheton tauta pasin hois elalesan hoi prophetai. ouchi tauta edei 

Simultaneously both move to the founding concept of Christianity: the link of Jesus to ancient Jewish prophecies. The themes are the same. There are also a number of precise vocabulary correspondences: the word for "prophets" and the word tauta ("these things"), which is to refer to what has just been related. Also the explanatory construction: Jesus appeared to them because (gar, at the beginning of the sentence) of what the prophets said, matched by Luke that it was necessary that this happen due to these same prophecies.
Testimonium Luke
(no match) to suffer the christ

pathein ton christon

The key word "Christ, or "Messiah", ho christos, is now found in Luke at this point, several lines after the Testimonium use of "Christ" -- at least in the Greek version of Josephus we have received. But oddly enough in the Arabic translation of the Antiquities discussed in Chapter 1, that of the 10th-century writer Agapius that many scholars feel to be more authentic, "Christ/Messiah" does appear just where it does in Luke! This will be discussed thoroughly in Chapter 5, but for now, I just quote the relevant section:  

"They reported that he had appeared to them three days after the crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." (Agapius, Universal History, quoting Josephus)  
Testimonium Luke
and thousands other wonders about him foretold and to enter into his glory
te kai alla myria peri autou  kai eiselthein eis ten doxan autou; kai arxamenos apo Mouseos kai apo panton ton propheton diermeneusen autois en pasais tais graphais ta peri eautou

  A near-duplicate phrase is about him/about himself (peri autou/peri eautou) used to the same purpose of identifying the subject of the prophecies. It is a small phrase, but the location, context, and range of possible alternatives that makes it significant.

The difference in voice -- dramatic versus discursive -- disguises a great deal of similarity at this point. First, note there is very little information that is not found or strongly implied in both texts, the mismatches being that Josephus does not mention Moses and does not say that Jesus spoke to the disciples about the prophecies. The main difference is stylistic, in that Luke's acted-out drama is repetitious where the Testimonium uses a single complex sentence. Because the composition of these sections is so different it is better to read them entire:


the holy prophets these things and thousands others about him wonders having foretold.


to believe on all which spoke the prophets. Not these things must suffer the Christ, and to enter into his glory? And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures that about himself.

The boldfaced words have the same root, while possible synonyms are in italics. Some observations: "prophets" occurs once in the first text but twice in the second. The prophets "foretold" or "spoke ( or declared)." What is prophesied of Jesus is "wonders" or "glory". And the idea that there are "thousands" of such things is a suitable condensation of Luke's use, three times, of the word "all" ("all which spoke the prophets", "all the prophets", "all the scriptures"). The reduction of "all" to "thousands" is consistent with the manner in which, a few sentences earlier, Luke's "all the people" is replaced in the Testimonium with "many of the Jews...".

The last line has no parallel in Luke:
Testimonium Luke
And to now the tribe of the Christians, named after him, has not disappeared.  

eis eti te nun ton Christianon apo toude onomasmenon ouk epelipe to phylon.

(no match)

The same implication is nonetheless present in Luke, for the resurrection appearance renews the disciples' dying faith.

 * * *

Reading through this list of parallels inevitably leads to the question: Is there simple explanation for the harmony between the two?

The modern consensus holds that the Antiquities passage was, for the most part, written by Josephus with some later Christian additions. Yet how could a Jewish historian independently compose a text that, by pure chance, so closely matches a passage from a Christian gospel?

There are several alternatives. I shall demonstrate the following:

1. The similarities are too numerous and unusual to be the result of accident. This will be demonstrated on another page by a statistical comparison of all other known descriptions of Jesus of similar length.

2. The similarities are not what would be written by a 2nd or 3rd century Christian deliberately mimicking Josephus' style. This is a consequence of the study on the statistics page.

3. The similarities are what would be expected if Josephus had employed a document very similar to Luke's Emmaus narrative as his source for information on Jesus, which he then moderately rewrote. This will be demonstrated on the style page by studying how other passages in his works were rewritten by Josephus from sources known to us.

The conclusion that can therefore be drawn is that Josephus and Luke derived their passages from a common Christian (or Jewish-Christian) source.

The analysis allows us to identify what is authentic in the Testimonium. It also allows is to plausibly uncover the document used by both Josephus and Luke. I will argue elsewhere that this document is a copy of a speech used by early Jesus proselytes of Jerusalem.

For the first time, we will have independent, Jewish documentation of the speech that is called, many times in Luke/Acts, "the word" and "the gospel."