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The Text Josephus Never Wrote


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#391    Bluefinger

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:56 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 07 April 2012 - 05:35 PM, said:



Both, not only was the text written by someone else other than Josephus, but also that the statements in the text are false for the reasons I mentioned following the text in the thread. The point is that, in the 4th Century ACE, there was a time when pious forgery was welcome by the Church whose leaders desperately needed to document the historical Jesus, and there was no other literature besides the NT to witness the fact. Since Josephus' works enjoyed more creditation than the NT, his writings had become the best choice to be interpolated with pious forgeries.
Ben

I disagree with your account of the forgery date.

First, forgeries in the Church were not welcomed UNTIL the early 9th century CE, when the bishop of Rome was campaigning for primacy so that the Iconoclastic Controversy could be settled in the West.  Then in the 12th century to exault the primacy of that papacy over all kings.  So you're statement about the Church welcoming forgeries in the 4th century is very inaccurate.

What happened in the 4th century is the Roman Empire let the two Christianities argue which doctrine was right and Romanized that doctrine to make it the State religion.

And you said that nobody accounted for the historical Jesus outside of the NT.  This isn't an argument because nobody can account for the historical Moses except for the Tanach, which was written by Jews.  These people were not famous at their time and were at odds with their surrounding people.  Men like Pharoah and Caesar were well documented and even given busts because the State gave recognition to their political leaders and favored people, rather than the opposite.  

Testimony is the only thing we have to go by to provide data about these people, and often those by their followers.

While I do not disagree on your points about the forgery of Josephus, I do disagree on your accusation of a 4th century forgery.

Edited by Bluefinger, 22 August 2012 - 01:57 PM.

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#392    Ben Masada

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:06 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 22 August 2012 - 01:56 PM, said:

I disagree with your account of the forgery date.

First, forgeries in the Church were not welcomed UNTIL the early 9th century CE, when the bishop of Rome was campaigning for primacy so that the Iconoclastic Controversy could be settled in the West.  Then in the 12th century to exault the primacy of that papacy over all kings.  So you're statement about the Church welcoming forgeries in the 4th century is very inaccurate.

What happened in the 4th century is the Roman Empire let the two Christianities argue which doctrine was right and Romanized that doctrine to make it the State religion.

And you said that nobody accounted for the historical Jesus outside of the NT.  This isn't an argument because nobody can account for the historical Moses except for the Tanach, which was written by Jews.  These people were not famous at their time and were at odds with their surrounding people.  Men like Pharoah and Caesar were well documented and even given busts because the State gave recognition to their political leaders and favored people, rather than the opposite.  

Testimony is the only thing we have to go by to provide data about these people, and often those by their followers.

While I do not disagree on your points about the forgery of Josephus, I do disagree on your accusation of a 4th century forgery.

Perhaps we are not reading the same book. According to the "Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity" by John McManners, a Christian historian/scholar, when Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of the Empire after his "vision" of the cross in the sky assuring him of his victory, he himself dictated a few of the doctrines to be adopted by the Church and, they were adopted more as a motion of gratitude to enhance his decision to convert. That was in the 4th Century, when forgeries were added to the text not only of the NT but also, and mainly to Josephus, as was the Josephus' text about Jesus.

Besides, it sets the whole judgment of Jesus before Pilates under the suspiction of a forgery, as the same author, John McManners, depicts Pilates in retirement being asked about the miracle worker Jesus of Nazareth, whose crucifixion he had ordered, and he wondered: "Jesus... Jesus of Nazareth... I... I  can't remember him." (page 21) The bottom line is either that he crucified too many Jews to remember names or this particular one never happened. How could he have forgotten Jesus who had been the only one he washed his hands from the blood of his crucifixion? How could have he forgotten the only instance when he had to crucify a Jew being forced on him by the Jewish authorities? The whole thing about the judgment of Jesus has become so suspictious that we wonder if the event is worth believing at all.

I give you the credit that, indeed, from centuries 7th to the 9th, many forgeries were added by the bishops, and mind you, from different regions East and West, especially East and adopted into the Canon of the Church.

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#393    eight bits

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:46 PM

Quote

"Jesus... Jesus of Nazareth... I... I  can't remember him."

"JÚsus ? murmura-t-il, JÚsus, de Nazareth ? Je ne me rappelle pas."

Ben, that's the trick-ending climax of a famous fictional short story, "The Procurator of Judea" by Anatole France:

http://members.multi...rancejudea.html

It is perfectly fine that a historian would discuss fiction in order to contrast it with actual events and what is reasonable to infer about them. It is inconceivable, however, that a professional historian like McManners would confuse a famous short story with a historical source document.

Oh well. I guess McManners takes his place alongside Sagan and Dostoevsky as famous dead writers whose works you have rewritten here. I am sure he's flattered.

Edited by eight bits, 23 August 2012 - 05:47 PM.

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#394    Tiggs

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:14 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 22 August 2012 - 01:56 PM, said:

While I do not disagree on your points about the forgery of Josephus, I do disagree on your accusation of a 4th century forgery.

Then things become somewhat problematic, given that Eusebius quoted it almost verbatim in the early fourth century.

Edited by Tiggs, 23 August 2012 - 10:14 PM.

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#395    Bluefinger

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:20 AM

View PostTiggs, on 23 August 2012 - 10:14 PM, said:

Then things become somewhat problematic, given that Eusebius quoted it almost verbatim in the early fourth century.

Good quote Tiggs!  Thanks.  I was unaware of this.  Interesting.  So, do we have manuscripts of Josephus that are actually older than the fourth century?

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#396    Tiggs

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:41 AM

View PostBluefinger, on 24 August 2012 - 01:20 AM, said:

Good quote Tiggs!  Thanks.  I was unaware of this.  Interesting.  So, do we have manuscripts of Josephus that are actually older than the fourth century?

The earliest extant version that I'm aware of containing the Testimonium is from the 11th Century. There are apparently several Latin fragments of Josephus, some of which date back to the 6th, but nothing as early as the fourth.

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#397    Bluefinger

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:54 AM

View PostTiggs, on 24 August 2012 - 03:41 AM, said:



The earliest extant version that I'm aware of containing the Testimonium is from the 11th Century. There are apparently several Latin fragments of Josephus, some of which date back to the 6th, but nothing as early as the fourth.

Thanks Tiggs.  Then what evidence is there to support the claim that Josephus never wrote that passage about Jesus?

We have 4th century commentary, but only a surviving manuscript as old as the 6th century.  Even of the oldest manuscript does not contain this passage, it doesn't suggest that it was edited into Josephus' work (even though the OP makes a strong argument,) but rather that it was edited out.

And by strongest argument, I mean the OP's argument that Josephus would have been more detailed about something like that.  My only argument to that is, he would have been detailed UNLESS Josephus lost faith in the Messianic prophecies (sreing that his works were recorded AFTER Jerusalem's 2nd destruction.  On account of that, Josephus tends to only focus on the scandalous details of the Jewish people.  Killing their own Messiah would sensibly be the only detail he would focus on, especially since Jesus avoided the Pharisees and Sadducees quite often.

Edited by Bluefinger, 24 August 2012 - 11:54 AM.

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#398    Tiggs

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 24 August 2012 - 11:54 AM, said:

Thanks Tiggs.  Then what evidence is there to support the claim that Josephus never wrote that passage about Jesus?

Well, there are two pools of evidence. One is textual, the other is more conspiratorial.

From a textual basis, the main reason that it's obviously suspicious is because it doesn't fit into the context of the surrounding text. If it is removed, then the text actually makes more sense than it does when it is present.

Some of the language used within the Testimonium is also suspect in terms of it's 1st century authenticity, For example - poietes (or doer, as in doer of great deeds) which Josephus only ever uses elsewhere to mean poet. It's generally considered that poietes in this context is far more typical of 4th century Greek usage.

In general - the passage is untypical of Josephus, both in language and it's brevity. It's also difficult to imagine that Josephus - a Jewish priest - would be propagating the idea that Jesus was more than just a man, let alone "the divine prophets foretold this and thousand other wonderful things about Jesus".

From the conspiracy side of things, the Testimonium appears to be a rather migratory piece of text. By migratory, I mean that there are occasional copies of the Testimonium which appear in different places within the text of Jewish Antiquities itself.

Much more interestingly, however, it will sometimes wander so far as to turn up in completely different books written by Josephus.

Both of which are exactly the sort of things that you'd expect to see if an order was given to a number of different people that the Testimonium was to be inserted into Josephus' text.

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#399    Bluefinger

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:21 PM

View PostTiggs, on 26 August 2012 - 05:37 PM, said:



Well, there are two pools of evidence. One is textual, the other is more conspiratorial.

From a textual basis, the main reason that it's obviously suspicious is because it doesn't fit into the context of the surrounding text. If it is removed, then the text actually makes more sense than it does when it is present.

Some of the language used within the Testimonium is also suspect in terms of it's 1st century authenticity, For example - poietes (or doer, as in doer of great deeds) which Josephus only ever uses elsewhere to mean poet. It's generally considered that poietes in this context is far more typical of 4th century Greek usage.

In general - the passage is untypical of Josephus, both in language and it's brevity. It's also difficult to imagine that Josephus - a Jewish priest - would be propagating the idea that Jesus was more than just a man, let alone "the divine prophets foretold this and thousand other wonderful things about Jesus".

Thanks Tiggs.  Do you have a credible source for this info so I can look it over for myself?  Also, I thought that Josephus was  Jewish general, not a priest.  Wasn't it illegal for Jewish priests to take up arms?

Quote

From the conspiracy side of things, the Testimonium appears to be a rather migratory piece of text. By migratory, I mean that there are occasional copies of the Testimonium which appear in different places within the text of Jewish Antiquities itself.

Much more interestingly, however, it will sometimes wander so far as to turn up in completely different books written by Josephus.

Both of which are exactly the sort of things that you'd expect to see if an order was given to a number of different people that the Testimonium was to be inserted into Josephus' text.

Interesting!  I would like to see the source.  Not that I doubt the conspiracy.  It actually seems really logical.  Thanks for lookin' out Tiggs.

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#400    Tiggs

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:24 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 28 August 2012 - 12:21 PM, said:

Thanks Tiggs.  Do you have a credible source for this info so I can look it over for myself?  Also, I thought that Josephus was  Jewish general, not a priest.  Wasn't it illegal for Jewish priests to take up arms?

Some sources for you to investigate:

Textual Criticism:

Argument from context: Mason, Wells et al. See 8, from Early Christian Writings (ECW).

Poietes - sources summarised here, plus some examples of Eusebius using the phrase. Also, see 10 and 11 from ECW.

Josephus as a priest - The life of Flavious Josephus (written by Josephus). For example:

15 I was now about the thirtieth year of my age; .......and as to what presents were offered me, I despised them, as not standing in need of them. Nor indeed would I take those tithes, which were due to me as a priest, from those that brought them.


Conspiracy:

I'm having difficulty finding an internet source for the differing position of the Testimonium over time. A crude example, however, would be that  Eusibius claims that it is after the passage with John - see ECW 5.

Various Christian Insertions into Jewish War (including the Testimonium) - here.

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#401    Dash--

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

View PostTiggs, on 28 August 2012 - 05:24 PM, said:

Some sources for you to investigate:

Textual Criticism:

Argument from context: Mason, Wells et al. See 8, from Early Christian Writings (ECW).

Poietes - sources summarised here, plus some examples of Eusebius using the phrase. Also, see 10 and 11 from ECW.

Josephus as a priest - The life of Flavious Josephus (written by Josephus). For example:

15 I was now about the thirtieth year of my age; .......and as to what presents were offered me, I despised them, as not standing in need of them. Nor indeed would I take those tithes, which were due to me as a priest, from those that brought them.


Conspiracy:

I'm having difficulty finding an internet source for the differing position of the Testimonium over time. A crude example, however, would be that  Eusibius claims that it is after the passage with John - see ECW 5.

Various Christian Insertions into Jewish War (including the Testimonium) - here.
Tiggs.This may help.Not sure.ECW has got alot of info on Josephus,maybe this will add a lil more.Maybe not.http://www.textexcav...estimonium.html

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#402    Ben Masada

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:10 PM

View Posteight bits, on 23 August 2012 - 05:46 PM, said:

"Jésus ? murmura-t-il, Jésus, de Nazareth ? Je ne me rappelle pas."

Ben, that's the trick-ending climax of a famous fictional short story, "The Procurator of Judea" by Anatole France:

http://members.multi...rancejudea.html

It is perfectly fine that a historian would discuss fiction in order to contrast it with actual events and what is reasonable to infer about them. It is inconceivable, however, that a professional historian like McManners would confuse a famous short story with a historical source document.

Oh well. I guess McManners takes his place alongside Sagan and Dostoevsky as famous dead writers whose works you have rewritten here. I am sure he's flattered.

McManners was/is a Catholic Scholar. Would he endanger Jesus' existence with a fiction?





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