to Jesus, there is still a debate to be found in the literature over the authenticity of the reference to John the Baptist in Josephus’ text.
Several have ventured to postulate that the passage on John the Baptist, as well as the passage on Jesus, represents an interpolation.
The arguments have not been surveyed and discussed as frequently as they should be.
Another argument (in “Josephus’ Account of John the Baptist: A Christian Interpolation?
”) has been made by Rivka Nir, which has been mentioned by Godfrey and Mc Grath.
There is an older discussion in English from Israel Abrahams, referencing scholars such as Gerlach and Graetz.
Robert Price considers an argument for inauthenticity, which is discussed by Maurice Casey.
One of the more-detailed presentations, recently, pro-authenticity, can be found by Robert Webb.
A review of arguments for authenticity (in an essay sub-titled “The Uncertain Authenticity of Josephus’ Witness to John the Baptist”) has been published by Clare Rothschild.
There are also threads from the old Biblical Criticism & History forum from Andrew Criddle (who noted the point I made here in 2005), Toto (on Rivka Nir), Apostate Abe (on Robert Price), and Philosopher Jay (in favor of interpolation).
According to Clare Rothschild: 18.114-115 Troops were mustered on each side and they were now at war, but they dispatched others as commanders instead of going themselves.
In the ensuing battle, the whole army of Herod was destroyed when some refugees, who had come from the tetrarchy of Philip and had joined Herod’s army, played him false. The latter was incensed to think that Aretas had begun hostilities and wrote Vitellius to declare war and either bring Aretas to him in chains, if he should be captured alive, or, if he should be slain, to send him his head.
Such were the instructions of Tiberius to his governor in Syria.
Herod’s army seemed to be divine vengeance, and certainly a just vengeance, for his treatment of John, surnamed the Baptist.