Further, his descriptions of what took place before and after the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 CE are extremely detailed and accurate. For example, Josephus writes about the lots used by the Jews at Masada and the Roman ramp constructed out of solid earth to lay siege to it, evidence for which we have today.—The Wars of the Jews Book 7, Chapter 8.5; Wars of the Jews 7.395-400.
A little later in his Antiquities Josephus writes about a certain “James” whom he called “the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ” (Antiquities 20.9). This agrees with the history of Jesus’ life written by Jesus’ early follower Mark (6:2-3), as well as the New Testament letter to the Galatians (1:19), written by Paul, who describes James as “the Lord’s brother.” Here is the near-complete account by Josephus about what happened to Jesus’ half-brother James:
IT is a rule, Sir, which I inviolably observe, to refer myself to you in all my doubts; for who is more capable of guiding my uncertainty or informing my ignorance? Having never been present at any trials of the Christians, I am unacquainted with the method and limits to be observed either in examining or punishing them. Whether any difference is to be made on account of age, or no distinction allowed between the youngest and the adult; whether repentance admits to a pardon, or if a man has been once a Christian it avails him nothing to recant; whether the mere profession of Christianity, albeit without crimes, or only the crimes associated therewith are punishable in all these points I am greatly doubtful.
In the meanwhile, the method I have observed towards those who have been denounced to me as Christians is this: I interrogated them whether they were Christians; if they confessed it I repeated the question twice again, adding the threat of capital punishment; if they still persevered, I ordered them to be executed. For whatever the nature of their creed might be, I could at least feel no doubt that contumacy and inflexible obstinacy deserved chastisement. There were others also possessed with the same infatuation, but being citizens of Rome, I directed them to be carried thither.
These accusations spread (as is usually the case) from the mere fact of the matter being investigated and several forms of the mischief came to light. A placard was put up, without any signature, accusing a large number of persons by name. Those who denied they were, or had ever been, Christians, who repeated after me an invocation to the Gods, and offered adoration, with wine and frankincense, to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for that purpose, together with those of the Gods, and who finally cursed Christ none of which acts, it is said, those who are really Christians can be forced into performing these I thought it proper to discharge. Others who were named by that informer at first confessed themselves Christians, and then denied it; true, they had been of that persuasion but they had quitted it, some three years, others many years, and a few as much as twenty‑ five years ago. They all worshipped your statue and the images of the Gods, and cursed Christ.
They affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind. Even this practice, however, they had abandoned after the publication of my edict, by which, according to your orders, I had forbidden political associations. I judged it so much the more necessary to extract the real truth, with the assistance of torture, from two female slaves, who were styled deaconesses: but I could discover nothing more than depraved and excessive superstition.
I therefore adjourned the proceedings, and betook myself at once to your counsel. For the matter seemed to me well worth referring to you, especially considering the numbers endangered. Persons of all ranks and ages, and of both sexes are, and will be, involved in the prosecution. For this contagious superstition is not confined to the cities only, but has spread through the villages and rural districts; it seems possible, however, to check and cure it. 'Tis certain at least that the temples, which had been almost deserted, begin now to be frequented; and the sacred festivals, after a long intermission, are again revived; while there is a general demand for sacrificial animals, which for some time past have met with but few purchasers. From hence it is easy to imagine what multitudes may be reclaimed from this error, if a door be left open to repentance.
In this text Suetonius also writes that, because of the "disturbances" by Jews as the instigation of "Chrestus," then-Emperor Claudius "expelled them from Rome." This fits with what we read in the New Testament book of Acts 18:1-3, where the Christian Paul went out of his way to see a Jew named "Aquila," who was one of those Jews ordered out of Rome by Claudius. It is therefore likely this Jew named "Aquila" was also, like Paul, familiar with the one they called "Christ." Claudius, at this early date (41 to 53 CE), would not likely have seen any difference between the Christians and other Jewish sects of that time, so he would have undoubtedly considered them all "Jews."
Lucian also wrote various dialogues in which he satirizes humanity and the philosophies of his day. In his work The Death of Peregrine (11) Lucian writes about the devotion of “the Christians” to “a man” who “was crucified” because of the “novel rites” introduced by the “crucified” man (Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11). Again we find non-Christians familiar with and repeating to others the same story we find in Tacitus and in Josephus, namely, he was put to death in a torturous manner.