The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th ed.
A Booklist 2012 Editors' Choice Selection
"For more than half a century, the Oxford Classical Dictionary has been the unrivaled one-volume reference work on the Greco-Roman world. Whether one is interested in literature or art, philosophy or law, mythology or science, intimate details of daily life or broad cultural and historical trends, the OCD is the first place to turn for clear, authoritative information on all aspects of ancient culture.
Now comes the Fourth Edition of this redoubtable resource, thoroughly revised and updated, with numerous new entries and two new focus areas (on reception and anthropology). Here, in over six thousand entries ranging from long articles to brief identifications, readers can find information on virtually any topic of interest--athletics, bee-keeping, botany, magic, religious rites, postal service, slavery, navigation, and the reckoning of time. The Oxford Classical Dictionary profiles every major figure of Greece and Rome, from Homer and Virgil to Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. Readers will find entries on mythological and legendary figures, on major cities, famous buildings, and important geographical landmarks, and on legal, rhetorical, literary, and political terms and concepts." See: Oxford University PressUnder Josephus, Flavius, both the 1st (1948) and 2nd (1969) edition failed to mention any reference to Jesus ( note in 2nd, ed. , p.565), while a three page article on Jews (pp. 563- 565) also fails to reference either Jesus or the New Testament.
The 3rd. ed. continues the title: The Oxford Classical Dictionary: The Ultimate Reference Work on the Classical World includes more than 6,200 entries, but again fails to provided any entry on Jesus nor has it any use for the New Testament as a historical record. Although the entry on Josephus is expanded in the newer editions, the Dictionary dismisses the Testimonium Flavianum account on Jesus as reliable history in just one sentence: “The famous testimonium to Jesus is partly or even wholly an interpolation.” (p. 798)
Likewise, there are no entries on Gospels, New Testament, nor does the Dictionary list a single reference to any Biblical book under its section: Abbreviations Used in the Present Work A. General B. Authors and Books in its 75 pages.
The Dictionary does have a entry on Christianity, but concludes its four page history summation on the development of the Christian religion this way:
“Can we be sure about the scale of that development? It is impossible to judge the size of the Christian population at any one time. Surviving reports are marred by hyperbole, ignorance, and convention. Archaeology and inscriptions are statistically haphazard and impervious to individual sentiment, particularly in the east Christians formed sizable minority and occasionally even a majority in the late 3rd cent.. The difficult question is why. Breeding and friendship must have played a large part in the expansion of Christianity – perhaps always larger than that of convincing oratory. What remains textually of Christian address was not necessarily disseminated broadly. We know little more about the reception of the Christian message than we do about that of any ancient document. With the advent of toleration, it is likely that expediency, laziness, and fear played as much a part then as they do now. Talk of ‘superstition’ is misleading. Features of religious life supposedly attractive to a superstitious mind had always been available in traditional cults. The change of allegiance demands more subtle explanations.” ( p. 328)
In conclusion, while Christian apologists may find proof of Jesus as a historical figure in a few Classical authors, the professional Editors and Contributors of this long standing "Ultimate Reference Work on the Classical World" would strongly disagree!