Created by David Bailey

The Works of Nathaniel Lardner

Volume 6 talks about the James passage in Josephus and the Testimonium Flavianum. As to the latter, Lardner said it was an interpolation in its entirety. In fact this is his decision on both! This comes from a very learned man who knew Josephus' writings very well and Lardner was a Christian. Don't get me wrong. Although I believe Lardner was a very erudite man, he was a man of his times placed in a Christian controlled historical context and as such he was blinded by his belief in the veracity of the Bible. A couple of examples should suffice to make my point. In Volume 6 on page 501, under a discussion of things Josephus must have known about but did not mention, Lardner cites the massacre of the infants at Bethlehem and the three wise men who followed the star. According to Meier (Marginal Jew) cosmic sign/s at the time of the birth or other event of a great person was a stock motif so this idea was borrowed by the author of the biblical passage and never happened either. In all probability (in my mind certainty) none of these things ever happened. Lardner took for granted that the NT was a historically sound set of liturature when in fact it is not. So Lardner was going on a wild goose chase trying to give some possible reasons why Josephus did not mention things that are found in the Gospels which most likely never happened. Could you imagine the uproar the Jews would have made if Herod the Great killed all those babies 2 years old and younger in the vicinity of Bethlehem. Well we have no historical record of any such thing happening, and the entire trip to Bethlehem was a fabrication created in order to have Jesus born in the city of David to fulfill a supposed prophecy to wit there is no such thing either- I mean prophecy. In fact, many critical historians who believe Jesus existed think that he was born in Nazareth. Lardner has great value, but he must be read with caution while remembering what we know (or think we know) now. I believe it is volume 8 that has a lot of info on Marcion.