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After a long presentation of several lessons justifying the writings of Herodotus, we will now start our case in the defense of Josephus. The following is a portion of the “Introductory Essay” by the Rev. Henry Stebbing, D.D., from the book Josephus by William Whiston, printed by Kregel, Introduction pages XVI-XVII:

“‘Now as to myself, I have so described these matters as I have found them and read them. But if any one is inclined to another opinion about them, let him enjoy his different sentiments without any blame from me.’ But the personal character of a writer must not be passed over-in the estimate taken of the honesty of his narrative. In this respect Josephus may claim honourable attention. The predominant sentiment of his writings is veneration for God and his providence, nor does he omit any opportunity of showing the value of integrity, or the supreme beauty of holiness. His faults may, therefore, fairly be ascribed to somewhat of timidity on the one side, and of literary vanity on the other.

Most of the errors with which he has been charged are clearly referable to these sources. Of the others, which cannot be so accounted for, there are some that appear to have originated in the different opinions which prevailed among the Jews of his time, and threw no small obscurity over portions of the Scripture narrative; while the remainder, whether omissions, or statements plainly opposed to the inspired history, must be left without conjecture, and are better disposed of by the acknowledgment that such discrepancies cannot be accounted for, unless by suppositions which involve us in new difficulties.

“It is somewhat curious that the two severest critics of Josephus should be the Romanist historian Baronius, and the sceptic Bayle; the one little attentive to the rules of historical evidence, and readily admitting into his work whatever the flood of common tradition cast up; the other anxious only to discover differences in the language of those who acknowledged the divinity of revelation, that he might, by attacking them separately, destroy the treasure equally dear to both. The latter, in a pretended fit of zeal, observes, ‘I have been long indignant against Josephus, and those who spare him on this subject. A man who made open profession of Judaism, the law of which was founded on the divinity of Scripture, dares to recount things otherwise than he read of them in the book of Genesis. He changes, he adds, he suppresses circumstances; in a word, he puts himself in opposition to Moses in such a manner that one of them must be a false historian.’ This statement involves a gross injustice, and is as illogical as it is unjust.

Two writers may assuredly disagree in some points, without exposing themselves to the sweeping charge of falsehood as their general character. If disagreement in a few instances should oblige us to consider, that of the writers so differing only one can be worthy of credit, and that, consequently, the rest ought to be regarded as undeserving of any attention, the number of historical references would soon be diminished to such a degree, that the next step would be the annihilation of history altogether. The fact is, that wherever human inquiry begins, human error will be introduced, in greater or less proportion. There will, accordingly, be discrepancies in the statement of witnesses; but, except in the points where they precisely differ, they may be in such general harmony, that each may strengthen the cause of each, and neither the one nor the other, notwithstanding their occasional contradictions, merit the charge of injustice or dishonesty.

A very slight comparison of the most esteemed historians will afford ample illustrations of this fact. The experience gathered in the collection of evidence of any kind tends to the same purpose, and plainly shows that several witnesses to a narrative may differ in many minor points, yet be highly deserving of credit as to the main and more important facts.”

I quoted this passage to show you that, like Herodotus, Josephus has had his critics from the very beginning and they have followed him down through history. And criticism for Josephus exists in the Israel Identity Message today by a few who think he was a bad-fig “Jew.” But we must remember that in Antiquities 11:5:2, Josephus testifies to where some of the “ten tribes” were during his time. This is what that passage says:

“When Esdras had received this epistle, he was very joyful, and began to worship God, and confessed that he had been the cause of the king’s great favor to him, and that for the same reason he gave all the thanks to God. So he read the epistle at Babylon to those Jews that were there; but he kept the epistle itself, and sent a copy of it to all those of his own nation that were in Media; and when these Jews had understood what piety the king had towards God, and what kindness he had for Esdras, they were all greatly pleased; nay, many of them took their effects with them, and came to Babylon, as very desirous of going down to Jerusalem; but then the entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country; wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers. Now there came a great number of priests, and Levites, and porters, and sacred singers, and sacred servants, to Esdras. So he gathered those that were in the captivity together beyond Euphrates, and staid there three days, and ordained a fast for them, that they might make their prayers to God for their preservation, that they might suffer no misfortunes by the way, either from their enemies, or from any other ill accident ...”

This establishes our first case in favor for Josephus – that he confirmed the location of at least some of the Ten Lost Tribes during his time. If we toss out the witness of Josephus, we help destroy the Israel Identity Kingdom Message. Surely, this doesn’t help gather the sheep! How could Josephus, with this kind of witness, be an evil person? Testimony such as this makes Josephus not just an ordinary witness, but a Yahweh Anointed witness! Now a lot of people today are calling the Israel Identity Message “Christian Identity.” Any old church could claim “Christian Identity”, but the designation “Israel Identity” separates the true believers of “Israel’s Identity” from the others. Some will abbreviate “Christian Identity” to simply “CI.” If anyone is so ashamed of the Israel Identity label, let them get entirely out of the movement! And for anyone who censures Josephus’ Anointed witness, let them go with them.

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