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Can the Historian Josephus be Trusted?

If you do not believe the Bible you cannot trust the historian Josephus for he often refers to Biblical events and God. If you believe in God and the Bible then you cannot trust the historian Josephus because he disagrees with God and the Bible. People who refer to the works of Josephus most often do this out of ignorance. You should check to see if your sources are correct. The writings of Josephus pollute the church's understanding of God's word. Some of Josephus' errors may have been accidental. Some, however, are intentional lies. As a result, nothing Josephus teaches can be relied upon, and hence, an educated honest scholar will not use him. God takes his word seriously and we should, too. It's time for Christians to stop pulling their punches. The Josephus we have recorded and available to us today is not necessarily the same Josephus as originally written. What we do have of Josephus makes critical errors in several areas:

Josephus is Wrong About Chronology
Josephus Disagrees With the Bible About Facts and Events
Josephus Disagrees with Nature
Josephus Uses False Logic
Josephus Disagrees with Himself
Josephus Makes God Out to be a Liar
Josephus Teaches a False Gospel


Josephus is Wrong About Chronology

Josephus contradicts the word of God concerning chronology. Some suggest Josephus used the Septuagint as his source for some of the years in his chronology. The Septuagint is not the basis for the Bible. If Josephus is right and you are using any of the major translations in English today, then your Bible is wrong. They cannot both be right. Even if the Septuagint were correct, Josephus' years do not all agree with each other. Here are some places where Josephus disagrees with the Bible.

  1. Antiquities , in the Preface section 3 says, "Accordingly, I thought it became me both to imitate the generosity of our high priest, and to suppose there might even now be many lovers of learning like the king; for he did not obtain all our writings at that time; but those who were sent to Alexandria as interpreters, gave him only the books of the law, while there were a vast number of other matters in our sacred books. They, indeed, contain in them the history of five thousand years…". The Bible lets us know the world was created around 4,104 BC (Genesis 5, 11, 21:5, 25:26, 47:28, Exodus 12:40, 1 Kings 6:1, 11:42, 14:21, 15:1-2,8, 15:9-10, 15:24, 22:41-42, 2 Kings 8:16-17, 25-26, 11:1-3, 12:1, 14:1-2, 15:1-2, 15:32-16:2, 18:1-2, 20:21-21:1, 21:18-19, 21:25-22:1, 23:29-31, 23:34-36, 24:6, 8, 16-18, 25:1-2, Ezekiel 1:1-2, 4:1-8, Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10, Daniel 9:24 and Isaiah 44:28). It was not 5,000 years old when Josephus wrote his works.

  2. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "For indeed Seth was born when Adam was in his two hundred and thirtieth year,…" Genesis 5:3 says, "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:"

  3. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "Seth begat Enos in his two hundred and fifth year;" Genesis 5:6 says, "And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:"

  4. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "Seth begat Enos in his two hundred and fifth year; who, when he had lived nine hundred and twelve years, delivered the government to Cainan his son, whom he had in his hundred and ninetieth year." "He" is not clearly defined but the context would suggest that "he" means Enos not Seth. This being the case, Antiquities is saying Enos had Cainan when Enos was 190 years old. Genesis 5:9 says, "And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:"

  5. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "Cainan, when he had lived nine hundred and ten years, had his son Malaleel, who was born in his hundred and seventieth year." Genesis 5:12 says, "And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:"

  6. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "This Malaleel, having lived eight hundred and ninety-five years, died, leaving his son Jared, whom he begat when he was in his hundred and sixty-fifth year". Genesis 5:15 says, "And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:"

  7. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "Now Mathusela, the son of Enoch, who was born to him when he was one hundred and sixty-five years old". Genesis 5:21 says, "And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:"

  8. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "Now Mathusela, the son of Enoch, who was born to him when he was one hundred and sixty-five years old, had Lamech for his son when he was one hundred and eighty-seven years of age; to whom he delivered the government, when he had retained it nine hundred and sixty-nine years." Genesis 5:25 says, "And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech:" Genesis 5:31 says, "And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died." When Methuselah was 969 years old, Lamech had already died five years earlier. Methuselah could not have passed the government to somebody who was already dead. In addition a person cannot govern the full length of their life as in this case.

  9. Antiquities 1.3.4, in Genesis 5:26 says Methuselah lived 802 after the birth of Lamech. This would mean Noah would be 614 when Methuselah died which would have Methuselah surviving the flood 14 years. Methuselah actually died the year of the flood and he was not on the ark.

  10. Antiquities 1.6.5 says, "Arphaxad was the son of Shem, and born twelve years after the deluge." Genesis says 11:10, "These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:"

  11. Antiquities 1.6.5 says Serug was 132 years old when Nahor was born. Genesis 11:22 tells us it was 30.

  12. Antiquities 1.6.5 says Ragau had Serug we he was "one hundred the thirty". Genesis 11:20 tells us he was 32 years old.

  13. Antiquities 1.6.5 says Pheleg was the same age, one hundred the thirty, when he had Ragau. Genesis 11:18 tells us Peleg was 30 years old when this happened.

  14. Antiquities 1.6.5 Heber begat Pheleg in his one hundred thirty fourth year. Genesis 11:16 tells us Eber was 34 when Peleg was born.

  15. Antiquities 1.6.5 says Salah was 130 years old when Heber was born. Genesis 11:14 tells us it was 30 years old.

  16. Antiquities 1.6.5 says Arphaxad was 135 when Salah was born. Genesis 11:12 tells us Arphaxad was 35 years old when Salah was born.

  17. Antiquities 1.10.3. refers to God's promise to Abraham concerning the Hebrews' stay in Egypt saying, "After which, before he built his altar, where the birds of prey flew about, as desirous of blood, a Divine voice came to him, declaring that their neighbors would be grievous to his posterity, when they should be in Egypt, for four hundred years;" Genesis 15:13 says, "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;" Exodus 12:40 reads, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years." Israel did not stay in Egypt 400 years as alluded to in Antiquities. They stayed 430 years. They were not oppressed 400 years but instead they were strangers 400 years. They did not become slaves as soon as they were strangers. Genesis 41:46 tells us, "And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt." Genesis 41:53: "And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended." Afterwards, when Israel went down to Egypt, we find in Genesis 45:6, "For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest." Joseph was 39 years old (30+7+2) when Israel went down to Egypt. This was the beginning of the 430 years. The last verse in Genesis says, "Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." Joseph lived 71 years after Israel went down to Egypt. Five years after the beginning of the Hebrew stay, the famine was over. 25 years after that everybody forgot what God had done for Egypt. Joseph lived as a stranger 41 years. Jacob lived in Egypt 17 years (Genesis 47:8-9). Levi was 4 to 5 years older than Joseph. Levi was the third son. Genesis 29:34: "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi." Joseph was the last son born during the second seven years of service to Laban (Genesis 30:22-25). Exodus 6:16 says, "And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years." Conservatively Levi was 44 (39+5) when he went to Egypt. If Levi lived to 137, he stayed in Egypt 93 years after he went there. Exodus 1:6-8 tells us, "And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph." It appears Jacob, Joseph, Levi and the rest were dead before the Hebrews were made slaves. This allows for slavery a maximum of 337 years. Josephus could be interpreted that the Hebrews were in Egypt 400 years or that they were slaves 400 years. Either way, Josephus contradicts the Bible.

  18. Antiquities 1.14.1 has Sarah dying "little while after" Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. Sarah died at the age of 127 when Isaac was 37 (Genesis 17:17-21 and 23:1). Since Isaac was a lad when the sacrifice was to occur, the term "a little while" is false. Isaac was a lad and not a young man or a man. Exodus 30:14, 38:26, Leviticus 27:3 and Numbers 14:29 are among the 28 references in the Bible as to the age of a man being 20 and older. In the most conservative approach a man would be 20 and Sarah would have died 17 years afterwards and not a little while. Even if Isaac were 25 as Josephus claims, the duration would have been 12 years that is still not "a little while".

  19. Antiquities 1.18.1 says that, "Isaac's wife proved with child, after the death of Abraham." Abraham lived to be 175 years old according to Genesis 25:7. Isaac was 60 when Jacob was born per Genesis 25:26. Abraham was 160 years old when Jacob was born. Isaac's wife became pregnant before Abraham died.

  20. Antiquities 1.22.1 reads, "FROM thence Jacob came to Hebron, a city situate among the Canaanites; and there it was that Isaac lived: and so they lived together for a little while; for as to Rebeka, Jacob did not find her alive. Isaac also died not long after the coming of his son; and was buried by his sons, with his wife, in Hebron, where they had a monument belonging to them from their forefathers." Isaac lived to the age of 180 per Genesis 35:28. Combined with Genesis 25:26 we know that Jacob was 120 years old when Isaac died. At 130 years of age, Jacob went to Egypt per Genesis 47:9. This was the second year of famine referenced in Genesis 45:6. The second year of famine followed seven good years of crops that started after Joseph stood before Pharaoh at 30 years of age (Genesis 41:46). We can conclude the Jacob was 130 when Joseph was at, or very close to, 39 years of age. In Genesis 30:22-25 we find Joseph was born very close to the end of the second seven years of service to Laban. Following Joseph's birth, Jacob served Laban another six years and then returned to the land of his father (Genesis 31:41). Jacob was at, or very close to, 91 years of age when Joseph was born and 97 when he returned. He then lived another 23 years before Isaac died. Antiquities tells us it was "not long after the coming of his son." 23 years is a long time.

  21. Antiquities 2.8.1 reports that Jacob died "when he had lived full a hundred and fifty years." In Genesis 47:28 we find that Jacob lived to 147 years of age.

  22. Antiquities 2.9.1 says the Egyptians afflicted the Hebrews 400 years. As mentioned previously, the Bible tells us the Hebrews were strangers in the land four hundred years but the time they were enslaved was less than that.

  23. Antiquities 2.15.2 says the Exodus occurred "four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan,". Abraham came into Canaan when he was 75 (Genesis 12:4). Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 (Genesis 21:5). Jacob was born when Isaac was 60 (Genesis 25:26). Jacob went to Egypt when he was 130 (Genesis 47:28). The Hebrews were in Egypt 430 years (Exodus 12:40). The real time span here is 645 (100-75+60+130+430) years. Galatians 3:16-17 says, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect." The Bible does not say to Abraham only. It says Abraham and his seed. Who were his seed? His seed were Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons. Exodus 12:40 uses the term "children of Israel". Israel was Jacob. Abraham was not a son of Jacob. He was the grandfather. Isaac was not a son of Jacob, He was the father. Jacob obviously was not the son of Jacob. The 430 year period did not start until his seed went to Egypt. In Genesis 15:13 God promised Abram, "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;" The promise here is talking about his seed in a land that is not theirs. The clock did not start when the Hebrews were in their own land.

  24. Antiquities 2.15.2 claims that the Hebrews left Egypt, "two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt." Genesis 47:28 tells us Jacob went to Egypt when he was 130. He lived another 17 years. Exodus 12:40 tells us the Hebrews were in Egypt 430 years. This is an area where James Ussher made a serious mistake in his chronology. He reiterates the error of Josephus and now many people have been led astray as a result.

  25. Antiquities 2.15.2 says the Hebrews left Egypt, "on the fifteenth day of the lunar month". The Passover was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month (Exodus 12:6). The Hebrews left in the morning. The Jewish day was from sundown to sundown. They left on the fourteenth day not the fifteenth.

  26. Antiquities 7.3.2 overstates the time between Joshua and David. "Now the whole time from the warfare under Joshua our general against the Canaanites, and from that war in which he overcame them, and distributed the land among the Hebrews, (nor could the Israelites ever cast the Canaanites out of Jerusalem until this time, when David took it by siege,) this whole time was five hundred and fifteen years." The time between the Exodus and the beginning of the temple was 480 years according to 1 Kings 6:1. The construction of the temple started after David secured the temple mount. David reigned 33 years in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:5). If your back out 4 years of Solomon's reign prior to the beginning of the construction of the temple and the 33 years that David reigned in Jerusalem, you get 443, subject only to the rounding of partial years to full years but a number clearly less than 515.

  27. Antiquities 7.15.3 allows too much time between King David and Hyrcanus the high priest, when he was besieged by Antiochus. He lists this time as "a thousand and three hundred years." This is incorrect. The actual time from the death of David to the birth of Jesus is closer to 1,000 years. Hyrcanus came before Christ. For further reading see 1 Kings 6:1, 11:42, 14:21, 15:1-2,8, 15:9-10, 15:24, 22:41-42, 2 Kings 8:16-17, 25-26, 11:1-3, 12:1, 14:1-2, 15:1-2, 15:32-16:2, 18:1-2, 20:21-21:1, 21:18-19, 21:25-22:1, 23:29-31, 23:34-36, 24:6, 8, 16-18, 25:1-2, Ezekiel 1:1-2, 4:1-8, Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10, Daniel 9:24 and Isaiah 44:28.

  28. Antiquities 8.3.1 says Solomon began to construct the temple "one thousand and twenty years from Abraham's coming out of Mesopotamia into Canaan." The actual time based on the Bible is 1,125 years not 1,020 years. Abraham left Haran at 75 (Genesis 12:4). He had Isaac at 100 years of age (Genesis 21:5). Isaac had Jacob at 60 years of age (Genesis 25:26). Jacob was 130 when he went to Egypt (Genesis 47:9). The sons of Israel were in Egypt 430 years (Exodus 12:40). Solomon began construction of the temple in the fourth year of his reign. 100 - 75 + 60 + 130 + 430 + 480 = 1,125.

  29. Antiquities 8.3.1 says Solomon began to construct the temple after the "deluge one thousand four hundred and forty years." The actual time is not 1,440 years. It is 1,492 years per Genesis 11:10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 21:5, 25:26, 47:28, Exodus 12:40 and 1 Kings 6:1 (2 + 35 + 30 + 34 + 30 + 32 + 30 + 29 + 70 + 100 + 60 + 130 + 430 + 480).

  30. Antiquities 8.3.1 says Solomon began to construct the temple "three thousand one hundred and two years" after creation. 3,122 is not correct. The actual time is 3,148 years based on Genesis chapter 5, chapter 11, Genesis 21:5, 25:26, 47:28, Exodus 12:40 and 1 Kings 6:1 (130 + 105 + 90 + 70 + 65 + 162 + 65 + 187 + 182 + 600 + 2 + 35 + 30 + 34 + 30 + 32 + 30 + 29 + 70 + 100 + 60 + 130 + 430 + 480).

  31. Antiquities 8.7.8 has Solomon reigning as king for "eighty years". 1 Kings 11:42 says, "And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years." 80 is not 40 and Josephus is not correct.

  32. Antiquities 8.7.8 gives Solomon's age at death at 94. We know from 1 Kings 11:42 that Solomon reigned forty years. 2 Samuel 5:4-5 reads, "David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron, he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah." If Solomon was 94 when he died, he was 54 years of age when he ascended to the throne. David reigned 40 years which means Solomon was born 14 years before David his father became king. According to 2 Samuel 11:1-2, David first saw Bathsheba in Jerusalem. Following the affair that David and Bathsheba had, a son was born to Bathsheba who died on the seventh day (2 Samuel 12:18). Solomon was born after that (2 Samuel 12:24). Solomon could have been no more than 71 or 72 at his death based on 40 years of his reign, 33 years of David's reign less two terms of pregnancy for Bathsheba. Also the time between the capture of Jerusalem and the affair with Bathsheba must be subtracted from Solomon's maximum age.

  33. Antiquities 8.10.4 says Rehoboam "died when he had lived fifty-seven years". 1 Kings 14:21 says, "Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem,". 41 plus 17 is 58, not 57.

  34. Antiquities 8.12.5 says, "Now it was in the thirtieth year of the reign of Asa that Omri reigned for twelve years; six of these years he reigned in the city Tirzah, and the rest in the city called Semareon." 1 Kings 16:23 says, "In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah." It was the 31st year of Asa not the 30th year that Omri began to reign.

  35. Antiquities 9.4.6 says when Hazael killed Benhadad king of Syria that the people of Damascus valued their antiquity; but did not "know that these kings are much later than they imagine, and that they are not yet eleven hundred years old." Damascus had been around longer than 1,100 years by this time. Damascus was founded before Ishmael was born. In Genesis 15:2 we read, "And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?" Genesis 16:16 says, "And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram". When Josephus wrote of Damascus's antiquity he was referring to the time when Joram was king. When Benhadad died, Joram king of Israel heard about it according to Josephus. 1 Kings 8:16 says, "And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign." From Ishmael to Joram there was a span of 1,269 years which means Josephus is short by at least 169 years (14 + 60 + 130 + 430 + 480 + 36 + 17 + 3 + 38 + 41 + 25 - 5). The links between the years are found in Genesis 16:16, 21:5, 25:26, 47:28, Exodus 12:40, 1 Kings 6:1, 11:42, 14:21, 15:1-2, 8-10, 24, 16:29, 22:41-42 and 2 Kings 8:16.

  36. Antiquities 9.7 says in the introduction that Queen "Athaliah reigned over Jerusalem for five years". 2 Kings 11:3 says, "And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land." The period of time was six years not five.

  37. Antiquities 9.8.1 says Jehu "died when he had reigned over the Israelites twenty-seven years." 2 Kings 10:36 says, "And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years."

  38. Antiquities 9.8.5 says, "In the one and twentieth year of the reign of Jehoash, Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, took the government of the Israelites in Samaria, and held it seventeen years." 2 Kings 13:1 says, "In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years." Josephus has Jehoahaz start to reign two years early.

  39. Antiquities 9.10.1 says, "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Amaziah, Jeroboam the son of Joash reigned over Israel in Samaria forty years." 2 Kings 14:23 says, "In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years." Josephus says 40 years while the Bible says 41.

  40. Antiquities 9.10.3 repeats his earlier mistake saying, "When Jeroboam the king had passed his life in great happiness, and had ruled forty years, he died." The correct amount of 41 years is found in 2 Kings 14:23.

  41. Antiquities 9.13.1 says, "Now, in the fourth year of the reign of Hoshea, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, began to reign in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abijah, a citizen of Jerusalem." 2 Kings 18:1 says, "Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign." Antiquities says Hezekiah began to reign in the fourth year of the reign of Hoshea whereas the Bible says it was the third year.

  42. Antiquities 9.14.1 says that Shalmaneser took Samaria it "by force in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, and in the seventh year of Hezekiah". 2 Kings 18:10 says, "And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken." The Bible says that Samaria fell in the sixth year of King Hezekiah whereas Josephus says it occurred in the seventh year of King Hezekiah.

  43. Antiquities 9.14.1 says, "So the ten tribes of the Israelites were removed out of Judea nine hundred and forty-seven years after their forefathers were come out of the land of Egypt,…" The actual period was about 776 years based on 1 Kings 6:1, 11:42, 14:21, 15:1-2, 8-10, 24, 22:41-42, 2 Kings 8:16-17, 8:25-26, 11:1-3, 12:1, 14:1-2, 15:1-2, 15:32-33, 15:38-16:2, 18:1-10 (480 + 36 + 17 + 3 + 41 + 25 + 8 + 1 + 6 + 40 + 29 + 52 + 16 + 16 + 6). This is subject to the variations in the rounding of the nearest year given in the Bible. Josephus varies by 171 years.

  44. Antiquities 9.14.1 says, "So the ten tribes of the Israelites were removed out of Judea … eight hundred years after Joshua had been their leader …" This happened in the seventh year of Hezekiah according to Josephus. Joshua became the leader of Israel 40 years after the Exodus. This would be 736 before the sixth year of Hezekiah. Josephus has Joshua as a leader starting at least 64 years early.

  45. Antiquities 9.14.1 says, "So the ten tribes of the Israelites were removed out of Judea … two hundred and forty years, seven months, and seven days after they had revolted from Rehoboam, …" The Bible places the time between Rehoboam and the sixth year of Hezekiah as 260 years based on 1 Kings 11:42, 14:21, 15:1-2, 8-10, 24, 22:41-42, 2 Kings 8:16-17, 8:25-26, 11:1-3, 12:1, 14:1-2, 15:1-2, 15:32-33, 15:38-16:2, 18:1-10 (17 + 3 + 41 + 25 + 8 + 1 + 6 + 40 + 29 + 52 + 16 + 16 + 6). Josephus is off by 20 years or so based on what part of the year Rehoboam began to reign.

  46. Antiquities 10.8.4 says, "And after this manner have the kings of David's race ended their lives, being in number twenty-one, until the last king, who all together reigned five hundred and fourteen years, and six months, and ten days; of whom Saul, who was their first king, retained the government twenty years, though he was not of the same tribe with the rest." Here Josephus is saying from the beginning of Saul's reign to the end of Zedekiah's reign that there was 514 years. Using 20 years for the reign of Saul as told in Antiquities the length of years should be 494 years as shown below:

    From Saul to Zedekiah
    KingYearsReference
    Saul20Josephus
    David402 Samuel 5:4-5
    Solomon402 Chronicles 9:30
    Rehoboam171 Kings 14:21
    Abijam31 Kings 14:31-15:2
    Asa411 Kings 15:8-10
    Jehoshaphat251 Kings 15:24, 22:41-42
    Jehoram82 Kings 8:16-17
    Ahaziah12 Kings 8:24-26
    Athaliah62 Kings 11:1-3
    Jehoash402 Kings 12:1
    Amaziah292 Kings 14:1-2
    Azariah522 Kings 15:1-2
    Jotham162 Kings 15:32-33
    Ahaz162 Kings 16:1-2
    Hezekiah292 Kings 18:1-2
    Manasseh552 Kings 20:21-21:1
    Amon22 Kings 21:18-19
    Josiah312 Kings 21:25-22:1
    Jehoahaz0.252 Kings 23:29-31
    Jehoiakim112 Kings 23:34-36
    Jehoiachin0.252 Kings 24:6, 8
    Zedekiah112 Kings 24:18


  47. Against Apion 1.1 says, "Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years,…" When this was written the world was approximately 4,200 years old.

  48. Against Apion 1.1 says, "Those Antiquities … are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue". Since Josephus' chronology directly contradicts the Bible, it is incorrect to claim that his history was taken out of the sacred books or that he translated them.

  49. Against Apion 1.7 says, "But what is the strongest argument of our exact management in this matter is what I am now going to say, that we have the names of our high priests from father to son set down in our records for the interval of two thousand years;…" The Exodus occurred very closely to 1,436 BC. If you disregard God's promise in Isaiah 44:28, you would add 78 to 86 years giving a priestly lineage of up to 1,522 years. 2,000 years is incorrect.

  50. Against Apion 1.8 reads, "For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, (8) which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life." The time from Creation to the death of Moses was 2,708 years, not 3,000.

  51. Against Apion1.15 gives an account of the reigns of the Hyksos in Egypt. In Against Apion1.16 Josephus says, "This is Manetho's account. And evident it is from the number of years by him set down belonging to this interval, if they be summed up together, that these shepherds, as they are here called, who were no other than our forefathers, were delivered out of Egypt, and came thence, and inhabited this country…" The years in 1.15 don't agree with the Bible. The years given in 1.15 are:

    The Reigns of the Hyksos in Egypt
    KingYearsMonths
    Tethtoosis254
    Chebron130
    Amenophis207
    Amesses219
    Mephres129
    Mephramuthosis2510
    Thmosis98
    Amenophis3010
    Orus365
    Acenchres121
    Rathotis90
    Acencheres125
    Acencheres123
    Armais41
    Ramesses14
    Armesses Miammoun662
    Amenophis196
    Total3330

    From Genesis 15:13 we know that the Jews would be strangers in the land 400 years. From Exodus 12:40 we know they were in Egypt 430 years. In Exodus 1:6 we find that Joseph and his generation died off and in verse 1:8 a new king arose who did not know Joseph. This new king was not a Jew. Joseph was 39 when his brothers came to Egypt (Genesis 41:46-54 and 45:6). Levi lived 137 years (Exodus 6:16). Levi was the third son born during the second seven years of service to Laban (Genesis 29:34). Joseph was the last during this period. At best, Levi was four years older than Joseph. Therefore, Levi lived about 94 years after the Jews moved to Egypt (137-39-4). The longest that the Jews possibly could rule or have influence over Egypt was 94 years, not 333. The account in Exodus 1 describes a king who came shortly after the first generation died not one that came 239 years or so later (333-94).

  52. Against Apion1.20 lists kings of Babylon and the reigns. The years don't agree with the Bible. If Nabuchodonosor is not another name for Nebuchadnezzar the time that Babylon would have the Jews in exile would be too long. Otherwise, it would be too short.

    The Reigns of the Babylon Kings
    KingYearsMonths
    Nabuchodonosor430
    Evilmerodach20
    Neriglissoor40
    Laborosoarchod09
    Nabonnedus (Cyrus came in the 17th year)170
    Total669


    In any case, the time from Evilmerodach to the restoration of Israel is too short. Josephus has 23 years 9 months (2 + 4 + .75 + 17). The Bible lets us know the time was roughly 43 years and 3 months. King Jehoiachin was exiled from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was destroyed in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar which was after Zedekiah reigned 10 years, 4 months and 7 days (2 Kings 25:1-8). Evilmerodach began to reign when Jehoiachin was in his thirty-seventh year of exile (2 Kings 25:27). This was twenty-six years and nine months after the destruction of Jerusalem. According to the Bible, there was 70 years from the destruction of Jerusalem to the return. Jeremiah 25:11 says, "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." The whole land could not be a desolation if Jerusalem was still standing. The secular history today that goes along with Josephus is contrary to the word of God.

  53. Against Apion 1.21 says, "…Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of his reign, laid our temple desolate, and so it lay in that state of obscurity for fifty years…". The Bible says in Jeremiah 25:11, "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." The temple was desolate and unattended to for 70 years. Josephus says, "These accounts agree with the true histories in our books" when in fact they do not.

  54. Against Apion 1.21 says, "…Nebuchadnezzar, in the eighteenth year of his reign, laid our temple desolate". 2 Kings 25:8 says, "And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:" Josephus says it was the 18th year. The Bible says it was the 19th year.

  55. Against Apion 1.33 says, "Moreover, Cheremon sets down Joseph as driven away at the same time with Moses, who yet died four generations (25) before Moses, which four generations make almost one hundred and seventy years." While it is true that Joseph died before Moses, the duration is wrong. From the birth of Levi to the birth of Moses there was 393 to 407 years. Joseph was 39 years old when Israel went to Egypt (Genesis 41:46-54 and 45:6). Levi was about 4 years older than Joseph. Adding 80 years of age at the Exodus for Moses (Exodus 7:7) to the total length of lives in Exodus 6:16-20 for Levi, Kohath and Amram and subtracting the 43 years of age for Levi before he entered Egypt, we get a total of 444 years. This is the maximum span of time that could be produced by each patriarch fathering a child during the last year of his life. Israel was in Egypt 430 years (Exodus 12:40-41). The 14 year difference means that they didn't all father children in their very last year but it was close. What this means is the four generations were approximately 400 years not 170. Joseph, who lived to be 110, died 279 years before Moses was born, not 170 years.

  56. Against Apion 2.2 says, "Solomon himself built that temple six hundred and twelve years after the Jews came out of Egypt." 1 Kings 6:1 says, "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD."

  57. Against Apion2.32 says, "But then let such as admire this in the Lacedemonians compare that duration of theirs with more than two thousand years which our political government hath continued;…". The Jewish nation had not had a government of 2,000 years at the time of Josephus' works. The Exodus occurred approximately in 1,436 BC (1 Kings 6:1, 11:42, 14:21, 15:1-2,8, 15:9-10, 15:24, 22:41-42, 2 Kings 8:16-17, 25-26, 11:1-3, 12:1, 14:1-2, 15:1-2, 15:32-16:2, 18:1-2, 20:21-21:1, 21:18-19, 21:25-22:1, 23:29-31, 23:34-36, 24:6, 8, 16-18, 25:1-2, Ezekiel 1:1-2, 4:1-8, Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10, Daniel 9:24 and Isaiah 44:28).


Josephus Disagrees With the Bible About Facts and Events

Josephus contradicts the word of God concerning various facts, events or background information. Josephus shows that he cannot be trusted to portray an accurate version of what the life and times of antiquity were like.

  1. Concerning the Garden of Eden, Antiquities 1.1.3 says, "Now the garden was watered by one river,(3) which ran round about the whole earth, and was parted into four parts." Genesis 2:10 says, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." It does not say it watered the whole earth.

  2. Antiquities 1.2.2 says, "And when Cain had traveled over many countries, he, with his wife, built a city, named Nod,…" The Bible does not say Cain traveled over many countries. There were not countries at that time. The Bible says Nod was on the east of Eden and not separated from it. Cain built a city named Enoch in the land of Nod, not a city called Nod. (Genesis 4:16-17)

  3. Antiquities 1.3.2 says Noah was to make an "ark of four stories high". Genesis 6:16 tells us there were three stories.

  4. Antiquities 1.6.1 starts off, "Now they were the grandchildren of Noah, in honor of whom names were imposed on the nations by those that first seized upon them. Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river Tansis, and along Europe to Cadiz; and settling themselves on the lands which they light upon, which none had inhabited before, they called the nations by their own names." In 1.6.1 Josephus also says Tharsus was called Cilicia. In Antiquities Book 11 Chapter 8 Section 3 Josephus refers to Taurus as a Cilician mountain. Josephus has these nations starting off in Turkey. The ark may have rested on the mountains of Ararat but the people headed down to settle Babylon first. Genesis 11:1-9 tells us that the nations were divided after the Babylon was founded, not before.

  5. Antiquities 1.6.3 says, "And when Noah was made sensible of what had been done, he prayed for prosperity to his other sons; but for Ham, he did not curse him, by reason of his nearness in blood, but cursed his prosperity:" Genesis 9:25 says, "And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Noah cursed Ham's son and not Ham's prosperity.

  6. Antiquities 1.11.4 says concerning the destruction of Sodom, "God then cast a thunderbolt upon the city, and set it on fire, with its inhabitants; and laid waste the country with the like burning…". Genesis 19:24 says, "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;". Lighting did not come from the sky and start a fire. Fire and brimstone came from the sky.

  7. Antiquities 1.11.4 says, "But Lot's wife continually turning back to view the city as she went from it, and being too nicely inquisitive what would become of it, although God had forbidden her so to do, was changed into a pillar of salt." The Bible only talks about her turning once. Genesis 19:17 says, "And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." Lot's wife did not get multiple chances as Josephus indicates. Josephus typically adds to, and twists God's word.

  8. Antiquities 1.13.2 tells us the mountain where Abraham was to sacrifice his son "was that mountain upon which king David afterwards built the temple." Solomon built the temple, not David.

  9. Antiquities 2.11.1 says that Egyptians plotted to kill Moses as result of their envy and fear. When Moses learned about plots to kill him, he fled Egypt. Instead, Exodus 2:11-15 tells us that Moses fled when it was found out that he killed an Egyptian.

  10. Antiquities 4.8.48 says, "Now as he went thence to the place where he was to vanish out of their sight, they all followed after him weeping; but Moses beckoned with his hand to those that were remote from him, and bade them stay behind in quiet, while he exhorted those that were near to him that they would not render his departure so lamentable. Whereupon they thought they ought to grant him that favor, to let him depart according as he himself desired; so they restrained themselves, though weeping still towards one another. All those who accompanied him were the senate, and Eleazar the high priest, and Joshua their commander. Now as soon as they were come to the mountain called Abarim, (which is a very high mountain, situate over against Jericho, and one that affords, to such as are upon it, a prospect of the greatest part of the excellent land of Canaan,) he dismissed the senate; and as he was going to embrace Eleazar and Joshua, and was still discoursing with them, a cloud stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley, although he wrote in the holy books that he died, which was done out of fear, lest they should venture to say that, because of his extraordinary virtue, he went to God." Moses was not accompanied by anyone to the place where he died. Deuteronomy 34:5-6 says, "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day." If any one had accompanied Moses, they would have known where he was buried. The Bible does not say that anyone accompanied Moses.

  11. Antiquities 4.8.48 talks about Moses' death. Josephus writes that Moses did not die but vanished. Deuteronomy 34:5 says Moses died. Deuteronomy 34:6 says God buried Moses.

  12. Antiquities 7.14.2 has David telling Solomon that he has saved 10,000 talents of gold for the temple. 1 Chronicles 22:14 tells us the amount was 100,000 talents of gold.

  13. Antiquities 7.14.2 has David telling Solomon that he has saved 100,000 talents of silver for the temple. 1 Chronicles 22:14 tells us the amount was 1,000,000 talents of silver.

  14. Antiquities 8.12.1 says Asa the king of Jerusalem had three hundred thousand troops from the tribe of Judah and two hundred and fifty thousand out of the tribe of Benjamin when Zerah the Ethiopian came to fight him. 2 Chronicles 14:8 says Asa had "two hundred and fourscore thousand" or 280,000. Josephus is short 30,000 men.

  15. Antiquities 10.8.4 says, "And after this manner have the kings of David's race ended their lives, being in number twenty-one, until the last king, who all together reigned five hundred and fourteen years, and six months, and ten days; of whom Saul, who was their first king, retained the government twenty years, though he was not of the same tribe with the rest." Athaliah reigned as a queen but not as a king so she is not counted. The Bible tells us there were twenty two kings:
    1.Saul
    2.David
    3.Solomon
    4.Rehoboam
    5.Abijam
    6.Asa
    7.Jehoshaphat
    8.Jehoram
    9.Ahaziah
    10.Jehoash
    11.Amaziah
    12.Azariah
    13.Jotham
    14.Ahaz
    15.Hezekiah
    16.Manasseh
    17.Amon
    18.Josiah
    19.Jehoahaz
    20.Jehoiakim
    21.Jehoiachin
    22.Zedekiah


  16. In Antiquities 18.3.3 Josephus writes, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." Josephus erred in this account. He says "those that loved him at the first did not forsake him". This is not true. Where were his disciples? They fled. Matthew 26:31 says, "Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.;" Josephus goes on, "...; for he appeared to them alive again the third day;" This is inaccurate. Jesus only appeared to some of those who loved him, not all. Josephus also says, "... as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." There are not ten thousand prophecies concerning Jesus. He also says, "And the tribe of Christians,..." Christians are not a tribe. Tribes are genetically linked together. The Bible says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) Salvation is not limited to a certain race. In one paragraph there are at least four errors from Josephus.

  17. War of the Jews 1.2.5 says that King David was the richest of all kings. In 2 Chronicles 1:12 God told Solomon, "Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like." In Ecclesiastes 2:9 Solomon said, "So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me." David was not the richest King.

  18. Against Apion 1.1.1 says, "Those Antiquities … are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue". Since Josephus' chronology directly contradicts the Bible, it is incorrect to claim that his history was taken out of the sacred books or that he translated them.

  19. Against Apion 1.1.8 reads, "For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, (8) which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; but as to the time from the death of Moses till the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, who reigned after Xerxes, the prophets, who were after Moses, wrote down what was done in their times in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life." Against Apion 1.8 claims there are only 22 sacred books. There were 39, not 22.

  20. Against Apion 1.1.8 claims there are only 13 books of the prophets in the sacred writings. At that time there were seventeen; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hoshea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. If it is thought that the history books were written by the prophets and that is what Josephus is talking about, then the number of historical books would have to be greater because some of the prophetical books include history such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. The thirteen books of history in the Bible which include Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Job.

  21. Against Apion 1.1.8 claims the sacred books contain "the traditions of the origin of mankind". This is not correct. A tradition is established by man and is not necessarily true. God established the Bible. A tradition that relates to history is something that is thought to be true but cannot be proven. God's word is true, and for those who believe the Bible, does not need to be established.

  22. Against Apion 1.1.10 says, "…, I have translated the Antiquities out of our sacred books;" Since Josephus did not recognize the full cannon of the Old Testament, because he has many errors and because Antiquities carries much extra-Biblical information, to say that he translated the works of the sacred books is incorrect.

  23. Against Apion 1.1.20 lists the last king of Babylon as Nabonnedus. Giving the works of Josephus the benefit of the doubt this would be another name for Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Regardless of the possibility of a different name, the account of Josephus has the last king of Babylon losing his battle to Cyrus and being given Carmania to live in where he spent the rest of his life. The Bible says that Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain that night. "That night" was when the Medes and Persians took over Babylon (Daniel 5:30). Belshazzar did not die of old age.

  24. Against Apion 1.1.31 says, "It now remains that I debate with Manetho about Moses. Now the Egyptians acknowledge him to have been a wonderful and a divine person;…" The word "acknowledge" would suggest that Moses was divine and the Egyptians agreed. Moses was not divine.


Josephus Disagrees with Nature

Josephus contradicts nature. Without the Bible, without other historical texts, we would still know Josephus made mistakes.

  1. Antiquities 1.1.3 says, "…Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea.". This does not happen. Some have suggested the Greeks considered all of the Indian Ocean to be the Red Sea. Josephus was Hebrew not Greek. Also, in his writings he did not consider them to be the same thing. Antiquities 1.6.4 says, "Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who inhabited the land that began at Euphrates, and reached to the Indian Ocean."

  2. Antiquities 1.1.3 talks about a river coming from the Garden of Eden and then parting into the Ganges, Euphrates, Tigris and Nile. "Now the garden was watered by one river,(3) which ran round about the whole earth, and was parted into four parts. And Phison, which denotes a multitude, running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges. Euphrates also, as well as Tigris, goes down into the Red Sea.(4) Now the name Euphrates, or Phrath, denotes either a dispersion, or a flower: by Tiris, or Diglath, is signified what is swift, with narrowness; and Geon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the east, which the Greeks call Nile." Genesis 2:10 lists four rivers which went out from the Garden of Eden and parted. They were the Pison, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates. The Pison and Gihon are not the Ganges and Nile. The Ganges and Nile rivers never tied into the Tigris and Euphrates. The Ganges flows into a different section of the Indian Ocean and the Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

  3. Antiquities 1.6.3 says, "Noah, when after the deluge, the earth was resettled in its former condition…" There is overwhelming scientific proof that there are huge layers of sedimentary rock all over the earth that could only be laid down by a global catastrophic flood. Furthermore, these layers contain billions and billions of dead things in the form of fossils that did not exist at the onset of creation.


Josephus Uses False Logic

Josephus uses false logic. He cannot even handle the basics. Against Apion 1.33 says, "This is the account Cheremon gives us. Now I take it for granted that what I have said already hath plainly proved the falsity of both these narrations; for had there been any real truth at the bottom, it was impossible they should so greatly disagree about the particulars." The fact that the two accounts disagreed with each other did not make both accounts wrong. It is possible, and often the case, that when two people disagree that one is right. Josephus' logic is incorrect.


Josephus Disagrees with Himself

Josephus contradicts himself. Josephus can't even get his own story right. The Josephus of the Antiquities makes the Josephus of the Wars of the Jews or Against Apion out to be a liar.

  1. Antiquities 1.3.4 says, "Now Mathusela, the son of Enoch, who was born to him when he was one hundred and sixty-five years old, had Lamech for his son when he was one hundred and eighty-seven years of age; to whom he delivered the government, when he had retained it nine hundred and sixty-nine years. Now Lamech, when he had governed seven hundred and seventy-seven years, appointed Noah, his son, to be ruler of the people, who was born to Lamech when he was one hundred and eighty-two years old, and retained the government nine hundred and fifty years." In this passage, Methuselah gives Lamech the government after Methuselah dies. Lamech died before Methuselah. Josephus has Mathusela, Lamech and Noah all retaining the government for their whole lives, which would require them to govern as soon as they were born, and partially at the same time. Furthermore, Lamech is said to appoint a Noah a ruler when he was a 777 years old and when Noah was 595 years old. Noah could not then govern for 950 years.

  2. Antiquities 8.7.8 says Solomon was superior to all other kings in riches. David was Solomon's father. War of the Jews 1.2.5 says David was the richest of all kings.

  3. Antiquities 10.11.1 says, "but about that time it happened that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] fell ill, and ended his life in the city Babylon, when he had reigned twenty-one years;" Against Apion 1.19 says, "Now it so fell out that his father Nabolassar fell into a distemper at this time, and died in the city of Babylon, after he had reigned twenty-nine years."

  4. Antiquities 12.9.3 has Antiochus collecting an army with about a hundred thousand footmen, and twenty thousand horsemen, and thirty-two elephants. War of the Jews 1.1.5 says Antiochus got together fifty thousand footmen, and five thousand horsemen, and fourscore elephants.

  5. Antiquities 13.14.1 says Alexander had 6,200 mercenaries and about 20,000 Jews when he went against Demetrius, who had 3,000 horsemen, and 40,000 footmen. War of the Jews 1.4.5 says Alexander had 1,000 horsemen, 8,000 mercenaries on foot and 10,000 Jews which favored him while the Demetrius had 3,000 horsemen, and 14,000 footmen.

  6. Antiquities 15.5.2 says the great earthquake killed 10,000 men. War of the Jews 1.19.3 says 30,000 were destroyed.

  7. Antiquities 17.11.4 says, "Now the tribute-money that came to Archelaus every year from his own dominions amounted to six hundred talents." War of the Jews 2.6.3 says the amount given to Archelaus was "four hundred talents".

  8. Antiquities 17.11.5 says, "Moreover, Caesar made a present to each of Herod's two virgin daughters, besides what their father left them, of two hundred and fifty thousand [drachmae] of silver, and married them to Pheroras's sons: he also granted all that was bequeathed to himself to the king's sons, which was one thousand five hundred talents, excepting a few of the vessels, which he reserved for himself; and they were acceptable to him, not so much for the great value they were of, as because they were memorials of the king to him." War of the Jews2.6.3 says, "And for the rest of Herod's offspring, they received what was bequeathed to them in his testaments; but, besides that, Caesar granted to Herod's two virgin daughters five hundred thousand [drachmae] of silver, and gave them in marriage to the sons of Pheroras: but after this family distribution, he gave between them what had been bequeathed to him by Herod, which was a thousand talents, reserving to himself only some inconsiderable presents, in honor of the deceased." In Antiquities the amount is 1,500 talents. In War of the Jews the amount given is 1,000 talents.

  9. Antiquities 17.13.3 indicates Archelaus had a dream where he saw ten ears of corn indicating that he would reign ten years but in War of the Jews 2.7.3 Archelaus dreamed nine ears of corn and in the ninth year he was banished.

  10. Antiquities 18.3.2 says Pilate brought water to Jerusalem from a distance of 200 furlongs. War of the Jews 2.9.4 says he brought it from 400 furlongs.

  11. Antiquities 13.3.1 indicates that Onias, who built a temple in Egypt, had the same name as his father whereas in War of the Jews 7.10.2 Onias is supposedly the son of Simon.

  12. Antiquities 1.6.5 says Abraham was born 292 years after the Great Flood. In this section the link from the flood and then the links from the birth on one patriarch to the birth of the next patriarch add up to 803 years if "one hundred the thirty" is equal to 130 years. That is, 12 + 135 + 130 + 134 + 130 + 130 + 132 = 803.

  13. Antiquities 7.15.3 has Hyrcanus taking 3,000 talents from King David's tomb and giving only part of that sum to Antiochus. In War of the Jews 1.2.5 Hyrcanus gave all 3,000 talents to Antiochus.

  14. Antiquities 8.3.1 says, "SOLOMON began to build the temple … five hundred and ninety-two years after the Exodus out of Egypt…" Against Apion 2.2 says, "Solomon himself built that temple six hundred and twelve years after the Jews came out of Egypt." The two durations vary by twenty years.

  15. Antiquities 9.7 says in the introduction that Queen "Athaliah reigned over Jerusalem for five years". In 9.7.1 Josephus says that Jehosheba "and her husband Jehoiada brought him up privately in the temple six years, during which time Athaliah reigned over Jerusalem and the two tribes." In one case the time is five years and in another case it is six years.

  16. Antiquities 9.13.1 says, "Now, in the fourth year of the reign of Hoshea, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, began to reign in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abijah, a citizen of Jerusalem." Antiquities 9.14.1 says that Shalmaneser took Samaria it "by force in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, and in the seventh year of Hezekiah". In one instance, Josephus puts the start of the reign of the two kings four years apart. In the second mention, Josephus puts them only two years apart.


Josephus Makes God Out to be a Liar

Josephus makes God and Moses out to be liars. It is almost unbelievable that any educated scholar would use Josephus to try and bolster the Bible when Josephus displays such vile contempt for God. We can only assume that they really have not studied what they are talking about.

Antiquities 4.8.48 talks about Moses death. The end of the account says, "All those who accompanied him were the senate, and Eleazar the high priest, and Joshua their commander. Now as soon as they were come to the mountain called Abarim, (which is a very high mountain, situated over against Jericho, and one that affords, to such as are upon it, a prospect of the greatest part of the excellent land of Canaan,) he dismissed the senate; and as he was going to embrace Eleazar and Joshua, and was still discoursing with them, a cloud stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley, although he wrote in the holy books that he died, which was done out of fear, lest they should venture to say that, because of his extraordinary virtue, he went to God." This account makes God out to be a liar. Josephus writes that Moses did not die but vanished. Deuteronomy 34:5 says Moses died. Deuteronomy 34:6 says God buried Moses. Josephus writes that Moses didn't die but instead wrote in the holy books that he died. These holy books are in the Bible. That would mean Moses wrote a lie into the Bible. That would mean the Bible is wrong. Since the Bible is God's word, that would make God out to be a liar. God has preserved that word. God is the ultimate author of the Bible. He does not lie. Josephus, however, lies even about the nature of God.


Josephus Teaches a False Gospel

Josephus teaches a different gospel. Galatians 1:8 says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." In Antiquities 18.3.3 Josephus writes, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." Josephus complemented Jesus saying he was wise, a doer of wonderful works and a teacher. In Matthew 22:24 the Sadducees called him master but that did not get them saved. In Matthew 26:49 we find when Judas betrayed Jesus he said "Hail, master". He complemented Jesus as well. Complementing Jesus will not save you. He did say he was anointed and rose from the grave. Did Josephus confess him as Lord? He referred to Christians in the third person but did not say he was one of them. Did he say he was one of the Christians? In his discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades, Josephus taught a different Gospel. Josephus recognizes that there are unrighteous and righteous people. He admits there is a hell. Josephus, however, offers the following comments as the way to heaven:

  1. Abraham's Bosom is for those "having walked righteously now in this world…"

  2. Christ is mentioned, but only as a judge, not as a savior. "This person, exercising the righteous judgment of the Father towards all men, hath prepared a just sentence for everyone, according to his works..." In this sentence, Josephus has people going to heaven or hell based on their works and not on the grace of God.

  3. "…but the just shall remember only their righteous actions whereby they attained the heavenly kingdom."

  4. Josephus says to the Greeks who want to avoid hell to, "leave your vain imaginations about your pedigrees, and gaining of riches and philosophy, and will not spend your time about subtleties of words, and hereby lead your minds into error, and if you will apply your ears to the hearing of inspired prophets, the interpreters both of God and of his word, and believe in God, you shall be both partakers of these things, and obtain the good things that are to come, you shall see the ascent of the immense heaven plainly, and that kingdom which is there…"

  5. A person who wants to go to heaven must always stay faithful. "And he who hath at first liver a virtuous life, but towards the latter end falls into vice, these labors by him before endured, shall be altogether vain and unprofitable, even as in a play, brought to an ill tragedy." The labors were never profitable for salvation in the first place.

  6. "Whosoever shall have lived wickedly and luxuriously may repent; however, there will be need of much time to conquer and evil habit, and even after repentance his whole life must be guarded with great care and diligence, after the manner of a body, which, after it hath been a long time afflicted with a distemper, requires a stricter diet and method of living; for though it may be possible, perhaps, to break off the chain of our irregular affections at once, - yet our amendment cannot be secure without the grace of God, the prayers of good men, the help of the brethren, and our own sincere repentance and constant care." Poverty is not necessary for salvation. Luxury is not a sin. The term "grace of God" is not expanded upon in his dissertation and cannot be taken to mean anything more than the other comments included in the dissertation that speak of works. "Prayers of good men" cannot save you. No matter how much it is, "the help of the brethren" will not take away you sins. If you just repent, but don't accept Jesus Christ as your savior, you're going to hell. Your "constant care" cannot take away your sin.

  7. "It is a good thing not to sin at all." Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" This comment is moot. All of the readers have already come short.

Josephus only speaks of good works. Never does he say that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins or that Jesus rose from the grave three days later. He does not call for us to believe in Jesus or to call upon him to save us. Josephus does not tell to confess Jesus as Lord. Galatians 1:8-9 says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Matthew 16:26 says, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Josephus should not be considered more credible because he was a Christian. The truth is that Josephus was not a Christian. There is nothing more important than salvation and by his own words Josephus flunks the test. From any spiritual standpoint, Josephus is unreliable.


Conclusion

Proverbs 14:5 says, "A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies." Isaiah 8:20 says, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Josephus clearly shows himself to be a false witness. Concerning the death of Moses, Josephus intentionally lied by saying Moses wrote a lie into the Bible and implied that God has passed it along to everyone who reads it. Deuteronomy 19:16-19 says, "If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you." When a witness was caught they were punished as though they committed the crime themselves. The false part of their testimony was not to be the only information thrown out. All of the false testimony of the witness was to be disregarded. No belief, credence or value was given to their testimony. We cannot still use Josephus for some things and disregard only the sections we have found to be incorrect. What portions of his work are not false prophecy or false teaching are gossip at best. We are obligated before God to ignore all of his works. Proverbs 17:4 provides insight, "A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.".


Josephus may contain some truths but there is no way of knowing which is truth and which is lie.



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