Christians love to point out that Titus Flavius Josephus, a Jew named Yosef Ben Matityahu before he became a Roman citizen, wrote about Jesus, thereby proving there was a historical Jesus.
in the Greek version of Antiquities of the Jews 18.63-64
However, in Josephus' Greek version of Antiquities of the Jews 18.63-64 there was a brief part about Jesus was placed there much later, after Josephus’ death. The alleged Josephus' reference to Jesus in the Testimonium Flavianum may be translated from the Greek as follows:
"At this time there was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising works, (and) a teacher of people who with pleasure received the unusual. He stirred up both many Jews and many of Greeks. He was the Christ. And when Pilate condemned him to the cross, since he was accused by the first-rate men among us, those who had been living (him from) the first did not cease (to cause trouble), for he appeared to them on the third day, having life again, as the prophets of God had foretold these and countless other marvelous things about him. And until now the tribe of Christians, so named from him, is not (yet?) extinct." Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk XVIII, Ch III, Sn 3
The knowledge here compresses the kerygma, the earliest formulation of the Christian message by the unknown author of Mark and the follower called Paul. However, because it has an explicit acceptance of Jesus as messiah [christ] and of his resurrection, almost all scholars believe that this passage is a Christian interpolation AND thereby a forgery. There are some scholars who believe that the core of it is original, and Christians added only the parts acknowledging Jesus as messiah and the reality of resurrection.
“Probably the most damning evidence against the Josephus passages is that the two interpolated passages do not appear in Origen's second-century version of Antiquities. Origin was locked in a fierce debate with the Platonic philosopher Celsus over the merits of Christianity in Origen Contra Celsum (Origen against Celsus) and although Origen quotes freely from Antiquities to support Christianity, he never once used either of these passages instead remarking that 'Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Christ.'" - James Still, "Biblical and Extra-biblical Sources for Jesus"
"For more than two hundred years, the Christian Fathers who were familiar with the works of Josephus knew nothing of this passage. Had the passage been in the works of Josephus which they knew, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen and Clement of Alexandria would have been eager to hurl it at their Jewish opponents in their many controversies. But it did not exist. Indeed, Origen, who knew his Josephus well, expressly affirmed that that writer had not acknowledged Christ. This passage first appeared in the writings of the Christian Father Eusebius, the first historian of Christianity, early in the fourth century; and it is believed that he was its author. Eusebius, who not only advocated fraud in the interest of the faith, but who is known to have tampered with passages in the works of Josephus and several other writers, introduces this passage:" - Marshall J. Gauvin, "Did Jesus Christ Really Live?" "Certainly the attestations I have already produced concerning our Savior may be sufficient. However, it may not be amiss, if, over and above, we make use of Josephus the Jew for a further witness." - Eusebius, Evangelical Demonstration, Book III., p.124
"Everything demonstrates the spurious character of the passage [Testimonium Flavianum]. It is written in the style of Eusebius, and not in the style of Josephus. Josephus was a voluminous writer. He wrote extensively about men of minor importance. The brevity of this reference to Christ is, therefore, a strong argument for its falsity. This passage interrupts the narrative. It has nothing to do with what precedes or what follows it; and its position clearly shows that the text of the historian has been separated by a later hand to give it room." Marshall J. Gauvin, "Did Jesus Christ Really Live?"
After Josephus died, his writings were gone over by the early church with a fine tooth and comb.
As Eusebius was so famous for doing, there would be no doubt that any literature that needed to be changed to justify the Church’s concept of Jesus would indeed be changed, colored and flavored.
who were alive then that had knowledge of Josephus’ writings to challenge
Eusebius? Being long dead, even Josephus couldn’t defend his own
So using Josephus, to say anything about Jesus is dishonest, disingenuous and just plain bull shit!
"To those searching for truth ― not the truth of dogma and darkness, but the truth brought by reason, search, examination, and inquiry, discipline is required. For faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction. Faith in fiction is a damnable false hope." -Thomas Edison (1847-1931)