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Former good article Josephus was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 24, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
October 13, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Webpage about Flavius Josephus - Was Joseph of Arimathea, Flavius Josephus[edit]

Hi. Revently I posted an external link to a page about an elaborate discussion about Flavius Josephus being Joseph of Arimathea (The biblical figure that took Jesus from the cross and burried him in his land). It is a most interesting and revolutionary piece about early chrisianity, and the role of Josephus in it. Unfortunatelly the link was discarded as a spamlink. I really think this link has an encyclopedic value for this page, and it does not violate any Wikipedia rule. I hope it will be agreed to put the link back. --Controle2 (talk) 16:46, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

We don't link to absurd tinfoilhattery, so no.--Scott Mac (Doc) 17:40, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
What exactly do you mean with absurd tinfoilhattery? I think there is nothing absurd about it. And who is we? You are only one editor if I'm not mistaken --Controle2 (talk) 18:11, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
See tinfoil hat. It is shorthand for some incredible theory, to which no serious scholar would give any credence. Josephus was almost certainly not born at the time of the crucifixion.--Scott Mac (Doc) 18:25, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I totally agree with you, but that is also what it discussed on the linkpage. Josephus indeed was not born in the year 33. It's true to all the facts we know about Josephus, and by consistently holding on to these facts some amazing conclusions can be drawn. It is extremely well grounded, and truely interesting I tell you. Did you see the link? --Controle2 (talk) 18:36, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

*** But who says that Jesus was definitely crucified in AD 33 ? - that date is rather speculative, bearing in mind the other data available. In the book "King Jesus", it is explained there that there are more than a dozen reason why the N.T. events actually occurred later than thought - including the descriptions of the AD70 fall of Jerusalem in the Gospels ("the little apocalypse"), and Prof Robert Eisenman's proposed link between Mary and Martha of Bethany and Miriam/Martha Boethus (an AD60s character). *** If the N.T. events occurred later, there is every chance of Josephus being Josephus of Arimathaea. This view is perhaps reinforced by Josephus recording a crucifixion event at the end of Vita (para 75) which is very similar to the N.T. event. Hugh Schonefield first popularised this possibility, so it was being discussed by scholars. Narwhal2 (talk) 16:43, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Note that Narwhal2 has been identified as one of several sockpuppets of Ralph Ellis, who wrote "King Jesus". Dougweller (talk) 18:52, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I did. But unless there is some evidence that the theory is being discussed among scholars, we would not link to it. "Interesting" is not a criterion.--Scott Mac (Doc) 18:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
This is from a dutch book translated partly in English: "From: Jesus the Nazorian. A study on the historicity of Jesus and the origin of Christianity.. Pierre Krijbolder, Amsterdam 1976, Scientific Publisher." It is not just a theory made up by someone random, but a researched and published item. I'm not sure if today it is discussed among scolars, I would have to research it. But would this be enough reason to put it on wikipedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Controle2 (talkcontribs) 19:22, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
A Dutch book is quoted on that website, but there is no evidence that any serious scholar is discussing this crazy theory. Indeed, I can assure you they are not.--Scott Mac (Doc) 19:34, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Here is a website dedicated to Krijbolder and his book "Jesus the Nazorian" or in dutch "Jezus de Nazoreeër". It's an english website. --Controle2 (talk) 12:08, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
"Yosef" was a common name at that time, like "Yashua" (anglicized is "Joshua" or "Jesus"). Just because there's a prominent-ish figure in the NT shares a name with a prominent historian doesn't mean they are the same, as fun and possible attractive (to some poor types) as it might be; besides, the details of the lives and persons of that of Arimathea and the historian contradict such a theory's claims, and just because "Scientific Publisher" is affixed to the name of some work, it doesn't mean the work is actually reliable or trustworthy; the work in question is "Jezus de Nazoreeër. Een studie over de historiciteit van Jezus en de oorsprong van het christendom", and its author is neither a historian nor a theologian or, basically, credentialed in any way to write upon that which he does. That author seems to be of the type attractive to varieties of demographics week-minded and eager for sensations and what's novel, speculative, rather than critical, examining, evidential, investigative: at least that's what it looks like from reviewing his works and claims in various areas; he's just not mainstream, nor is he a brilliant maverick. "Jezus de Nazoreeër" is just not a reliable source.


15:11, 14 May 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheResearchPersona (talkcontribs)

Added some brief background information and corrected a spelling error. References provided as well. --Tatoranaki (talk) 17:18, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Needs specificity[edit]

"Beginning with the creation according to Genesis, he outlines Jewish history. Abraham taught science to the Egyptians..."

This is sort of confusing - and not sourced. He certainly did not teach the scientific method, which is the foundation of science as we know it today, so if anyone knows what the text says exactly and can describe it more... accurately, that would be great. Also, why is so little of this page sourced? (talk) 04:06, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Josephus asserts that the science of the Greeks and Egyptians, so prized by the Romans, was taught to them by Abraham and Moses, who were the philosophers and mathematicians of renown. Yes, it may be bs, but that's what he claims. Beyond that Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to).--Scott Mac (Doc) 09:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Josephus ans chickens in Jerusalem[edit]

To whom it may concern,

Can you please help me. Josephus wrote in one of his books that chickens were not allowed inside the walls of Jerusalem, I think the page number is 187, can you help me with the books name and perhaps a copy of the page.

Will greatly appreciate it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:52, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Josephus and Genesis[edit]

The article refers to "the Genesis myth". This interjects an opinion...that the Biblical Genesis is a myth. That it is not, is a belief held by many people. It would be better to say "the creation story in Genesis" of "the Biblical story of creation" or simply "Genesis"....something of that light. Opinion has no place in encyclopedic form.Fabuladico (talk) 02:41, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

You misunderstand the use of the word "myth" here. To say Genesis is a myth is not opinion it is factual. In this context myth = "story told to convey a truth" "sacred story concerning the origins of the world or how the world and the creatures in it came to have their present form". Technically, it says nothing about the veracity of the story, or whether it is true literally, metaphorically or spiritually.--Scott Mac 11:55, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Right. Myth in scholarly circles has many meetings. Myth as legend is a prime example where the general story itself is true but some of the details are not--Columbus sailing west to prove the Earth was round, Paul Revere's famous ride, Edison as the inventor of the first light bulb, Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn, nearly every known outlaw and sheriff of the Old West, the whole President Kennedy administration as a modern Camelot, and many others.--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:15, 23 November 2010 (UTC)


I believe that Josephus was the first person to use this term, but i am not sure. And I am no expet on josephus. I assume those of you who watch this page are - can you confirm for me whether he did indeed coin the term and if so, where did he first use it? If he did not coin the term, where did he get it from? Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 15:42, 16 May 2010 (UTC)


I am wondering if we should expand the profile to talk more about the criticisms of Josephus because there are many scholars who discount much of his writings as politically rather than factually influenced.THDju (talk) 12:44, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Arius Calpurnius Piso[edit]

Isn't there considerable speculation that Josephus' works were written by Arius Calpurnius Piso, and that Josephus was a pen name given a fictitious background? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


Included the quote by Nitsa Ben-Ari in which, to my reading, she includes Josephus "among converts who were shunned" and then considered a traitor - addressing why 19th-century scholars refused to study or translate his work. Parkwells (talk) 17:49, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

The problem is with your assertion that he converted to Christianity. Josephus went over to the Romans, that is the conversion your source speaks of. Neither your ref nor any other academic source make any claim about a conversion to Christinaty. I can understand why one might think that from an article that mentions Christianity so often, but Ben-Ari details the treatments of converts in general, not converts to Christinity. This is clear by her use of Shabtai Zvi in the paragraph following her mention of Josephus. Zvi was a covert to Islam. Poliocretes (talk) 17:59, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Jumped the gun, never mind. thanks, Poliocretes (talk) 18:04, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Widespread popularity of Josephus?[edit]

I can't help but notice that the claim in this article, "It was often the book after the Bible that was most frequently owned by Christians" is not one made uniquely to Josephus' work. Regarding the identity of the second most popular book owned by Christians after the Bible, serious contenders include St. Augustine's "Confessions," Thomas a Kempis' "Imitation of Christ," and John Bunyan's "A Pilgrim's Progress." If no one has any documentation substantiating this claim, I propose we change it to some more generic claim of the text's popularity, without seeking to inflate it's status with a dubious or unproved (or unprovable) claim. For example, "It was thenceforward a book popular throughout the Christian world." Thoughts? (Mryarsawich (talk) 15:00, 4 August 2012 (UTC))

Agree. Must have missed that comment as it is obviously unsubstantiated OR and a throwaway fluff comment. Ckruschke (talk) 18:11, 7 August 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke
wondering why this wasn't changed? as someone noted already on this Talk page, "Be Bold." so i'm going to change it. if someone objects, hopefully they won't simply revert it, but will dome here and engage in this discussion.Colbey84 (talk) 05:59, 24 September 2015 (UTC)


caption under the bust reads "A Roman portrait bust said to be of Josephus, though this identification reflects an antisemitic trope that assumes that Jews have large noses. In the absence of any epigraphic evidence, this attribution cannot be supported.[1]"

so why even put it there? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Can we believe all that Josephus has written.[edit]

I don't know if any one else has picked up on the fact that Flavius Josephus claims to have studied all three Jewish sects and been taught by a banus by the age of 19. The first factor is the Essenes never inducted initiates into their order until they were 20 or older.If you study the "Dead Sea Scrolls" you will understand that Josephus might be stretching the truth a little bit. Another factor is that he claims to have been taught by a banus like Yeshua/Jesus was. Was this Yohanan the banus that was kicked out of the Essenes or was there lots of profits roaming around in the wilderness just waiting to emerge to teach selected people. I find that there is something very important here if you read between the lines. Was Josephus suggesting that he was given the same knowledge that Yeshua had been given in order to gain favour with the Roman authorities. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrbean777 (talkcontribs) 00:16, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

You might have to make a suggestion as how we can improve this article per WP:FORUM.--Inayity (talk) 18:23, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
interesting. strange that no one has yet addressed this. questions for MrBean: by "a banus" do you mean "someone called Banus" or do you mean "by a teacher of the type that was called a 'banus'"? meaning, is "banus" supposed to be a particular individual? (because i tried to look it up and got nothing.) then, are you saying that Yeshua/Jesus was taught by a banus? or are you saying that Yeshua/Jesus was one of these teacher types known as a banus?
then, where does "yohanan" come in? here, now, you make it sound like a "banus" is a type of teacher, rather than a particular individual. yet on this site, "banus" seems to be a particular individual:
to your question, "was there lots of prophets roaming around....just waiting to emerge to teach selected people" — yes, that could be likely. even today, this seems rather common. BUT...i'm very intrigued by what you think is between the lines and very important.
and finally, how would one have gained favor with the Roman authorities by claiming to have received special knowledge, and specifically, the "knowledge that Yeshua had been given"? especially since Yeshua and "his knowledge" don't appear to have been greatly admired by "Roman authorities" at that time, and also because josephus had, apparently, already been regarded as being the recipient of "special knowledge from the divine" and had already been granted favors because of it?Colbey84 (talk) 06:18, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide[edit]

This claim is in dire need of a source. It directly conflicts with Josephus' own account of what transpired (The Jewish War III, 383), where he claims to have pleaded with the other survivors in the cave to reconsider their determination to commit suicide en masse. He does note, however, that upon realizing he would be unable to deter them from suicide while he himself wished to surrender to Vespasian's forces, that he suggested casting lots. Stating Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide is deceptive. AlmostSurely (talk) 14:57, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

i have nothing to add to AlmostSurely's point (except that i agree it should be sourced). but i had a question related to this topic, and thought i'd put it here. i find this: "counting to every third person" to be incredibly confusing. i read thru the 'Josephus Problem' article. i guess "every 3rd person" works in the sense that if the 1st person to kill gets the designation "1," then the person killed would be number "3." then, if the next to kill is "4," the next to die is "6." then "7" kills "9." it continues in this way, by "3" until the end of the line is reached (or the circle is closed), when "40" kills "1" and the pattern ceases to hold. ("2" kills "5," "7" kills "10," "11" kills "14" etc.) however, with "every third person," it matters who does the 2nd killing. is it the next person AFTER the one killed ("1" kills "3" then "4" kills "6"), or is it the one who is SKIPPED ("1" kills "3" then "2" kills "5")? neither of these scenarios give one of the results from the 'Josephus Problem' article: "The first time around the circle, all of the even-numbered people die."

BUT...the JoPro article takes a different approach: "1" kills "2," "3" kills "4," "5" kills "6," and so on. this seems supported by the Josephus quote in that article, which states, "He whom the lot falls to first, let him be killed by him that hath the second lot." which ALSO does not give one of the results from that very article: "Josephus had an accomplice...It is alleged that he placed himself and the other man in the 31st and 16th place respectively." only by skipping a person, then going to the NEXT person (not the skipped person), can you end up with "16" and "31" as the remaining two people (out of 41).

well....i suppose i should see if the Talk page for the JoPro article has a discussion about this. but the phrase here is still confusing.Colbey84 (talk) 09:18, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

i looked at the JoPro article again, and its Talk page. the phrase, "counting to every third person" comes from this: "They chose suicide over capture, deciding to form a circle and start killing every third person. Josephus states that by luck or possibly by the hand of God, he and another man remained the last and surrendered to the Romans." this line was left in the History section of the JoPro page (it has been edited over the years, and reduced in its size). but it is not sourced there. i could find nothing similar in "The Jewish War," which was referenced for the block quote directly below this phrase. i read the full Chapter 8 of Book III and found nothing similar there (translation by Whiston,
yet...this phrase must be somewhere. or something like it. otherwise, where did the whole premise behind the JoPro come from? okay, i GET that there is the story he told about the group of guys kinda deciding to commit group suicide, and that he guided them as to a way in which to do that. but the circle and the alternating? when i read that quoted passage (III, 8, par.7), i don't see it as being a "set" numbering or drawing at all.
i don't know where to put this. it doesn't belong on the JoPro page. it's going here for now. >>>
here's another way to read that paragraph/section: 41 "lots" were put in a container; 2 were marked; each man drew a lot; the one who drew the first marked lot was (ahem) marked for death; drawing continued until the 2nd marked lot was drawn, which then determined the man's executioner. after that death, one blank lot was removed, the lots (with 2 marked) were put back in the container, and the drawing was done again.
this is the only way, for me, to make sense of the entire paragraph. the first few times i read it, i didn't understand the end, specifically the last sentence, where Jo writes as though 1) he hasn't yet killed anyone there ("to imbrue his right hand in the blood of his countrymen"), 2) as though his fate hasn't yet been determined by drawing lots, and 3) as though the order of the deaths of the final two had not been already determined by the one, initial, drawing of lots ("if he had been left to the last"). i mean, unless you go by the "every third person," which entails a skip of some sort, even when you get down to two guys, there is a "proper order" of who dies next. this has been shown on the JoPro page, where it's been worked out how to determine which number you should have (in the circle or line or whatever) to be the last one standing for every possible starting number.
and, proving to myself yet again that i have no life, i worked through each of the 3 scenarios i posited earlier (skip a guy, kill the next guy, and the following guy acts next; skip a guy, kill the next guy, and the skipped guy acts next; and, kill the guy next to you, and the guy after him acts next). in each case, the 2 people who made it to the end had made numerous kills. so i don't understand how Jo could possibly think that his hand hasn't ALREADY been "imbrued."
after reading the entirety of Chapter 8, it's very obvious that Jo had zero intention of dying in this little "game" he dreamed up. without the addition of the "circle" and "initial permanently assigned lot numbers," it's hard to see how he could have rigged it in his favor. and maybe that's why those 2 details were added at some point--to provide a possible understanding. but there ARE other ways; maybe marking the lots in some way that none of the other 40 guys would notice? but there are ways, and just on my quick skimming of much of Jo's works tonight, i'd think he either knew of something or came up with something quick. i still can't understand how not one other man (who'd all been struggling to survive in that "cave" for days, let alone battling through an extended period of hand-to-hand combat--meaning, they all had a strong will to live) came up with the question of, "yes, i see that death by our own hand is wrong and doing it the way you suggest avoids that. except for the last one of us. what about that guy, Jo?"
well, i know this isn't all that important, but i'm just curious. i CANNOT be the first person to have noticed these things, so maybe someone can point me to the answers that have already been brought up?? sigh, i just came out here to fix a link. i guess i'll go do that now.Colbey84 (talk) 12:27, 24 September 2015 (UTC)


  • "his parents and first wife died" - Where does he say that exactly?
  • "...marry a captured Jewish woman, who ultimately left him .About 71 AD, Josephus married an Alexandrian Jewish woman" - In Life, Chapter 75: The Captured woman left him when he went to Alexandria with Vespasian, where he met his Alexandrian 3rd wife. Only then he was sent with Titus to the Siege of Jerusalem (70 AD). Liadmalone (talk) 12:03, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

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