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CHAPTER XXI.

ib.

702

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THE PRINCIPAL FACTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMED BY PASSAGES OF ANCIENT

AUTHORS WHO WERE CONTEMPORARY WITH OUR SAVIOUR, OR HIS

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A

L ARGE COLLECTION

OF ANCIENT

JEWISH AND HEATHEN TESTIMONIES.

PRE FACE.

Il'ith some farther observations upon the paragraph in the Works of Josephus concerning our

blessed Saviour.

As great

NotwithstANDING all that has been said by me and others, for shewing that the paragraph concerning our Saviour, now found in the Antiquities of Josephus, is not genuine, but an interpolation, some learned men are still tenacious of it. I therefore intend to offer here some farther observations upon it.

I have as yet taken no notice of an argument which is entitled, "A Dissertation upon the Account supposed to have been given of Jesus Christ by Josephus: being an attempt to shew • that this celebrated passage, some slight corruptions only excepted, may reasonably be esteemed 'genuine.' At Oxford, in the year 1749, p. p. 69, beside a short preface.

The dissertation is without a name, but is generally ascribed to Dr. N. Forster. regard has been shewn to it by some, I think it not improper for me to consider the merits of it.

Says the learned author, p. 12, 13: · First then I consider the account itself as a mere simple narrative, in which there is not a sentence that, when properly read and understood,

betrays the writer to have had any suspicion that Jesus was the Messiah, or even a teacher • sent from God. On the other hand, some expressions plainly imply him to have been per• suaded of the contrary. And the whole, taken together, seems to be the coinposition of a ' person perfectly satisfied that the Christian scheme could not be true: astonished however at

some amazing appearances in its favour, but artfully evading the force of them, avoiding to • enter into the merits of the affair, and yet affecting to give a seemingly plausible account of its

And at p. 49, 50: · But a short view of the whole paragraph will best illustrate and confirm • what has been observed. It may, I think, be fairly rendered in the following manner : “ But about this time appears one Jesus, a man of great abilities, if indeed he may be properly stiled

For he was a worker of wonders, a teacher of people, who embraced his new and extraordinary doctrines with eagerness. And he led away many, not only of the Jews, .but also of the Gentiles after him. This was the person so well known by the name of Christ. • And though Pilate, upon the impeachment brought by the principal persons of our nation • against him, caused him to be crucified, they who had before entertained an affection for him • did not desist. For he appeared to them to be alive again on the third day, their own

preachers at least having reported both these and numberless other wonderful things concern‘ing him. And the sect of the Christians, who received their denomination from this person, • are not extinct even to this day.”

a Sce Dr. Sharpe's Argument, taken from the concessions of adversaries, p. 39.

• original.

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a mere man.

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