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Ben Masada

The Text Josephus Never Wrote

402 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Whether I am a Christian or not, is up for grabs.

The Central Theorem of Christianity is that Jesus rose from the dead, thereby proving that he was a god and could do anything. Presumably, he could then grant eternal life to those he deemed worthy. As I do not believe that, I guess I am not a Christian.

From what I have seen of late in the US, the collapse of Christianity would be a cause for celebration, a chance for reason to replace supersticion.

Bar Kochba was the one who reconvened it. He was in Israel, too. As I understand the situation, this lasted only two or three years, during which time Rome was gathering something like twelve legions from across the Empire to deal a final blow to their rebellious province.

Unless, of course, that is the story of Carabbas that Mark attributes to Jesus. It is easy to see how this could happen and the verses in Mark appear to be added later, an afterthought.

I am in no position to judge Akiva ben Jospeh's motivations. He has been dead far too long and the records that survive do not mention them. Your statement is an assumption and is not backed up by anything. You may be right, but then again, you may be wrong. I don't believe this issue can be resolved.

Doug

Now, I am persuaded that you are not a Christian. Sorry for having misjudged your faith. A Christian would never conclude that Jesus was a god on the belief that he had resurrected. Why? Because Lazarus was resurrected by Jesus himself and that was no proof that Lazarus was a god. (Luke 11:14,43) Then, when Jesus died on the cross, many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised, according to Mat. 27:53 and this is no proof that they were gods. If this is the central theorem of Christianity, any one can see how wrong the whole system is.

IMHO, I don't find obvious that Bar Kochba had the power to reinstitute the Sanhedrin. He was a rustic soldier, albeit the commander-in-arms. Only members of the Sanhedrin could do that job with the approval of Rome, that is. And my statement about Akiva is indeed an assumption but based on the caliber of the man Akiva was. He simply used his learning and authority to implement the war against Rome, by acclaiming Bar Kochba the Messiah.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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You know that is not what the scripture verses stated.

The Maccabees maintained temporary independence due to the factions in Egypt and Syria caused by the death of Alexander the Great. They exploited the Egyptian and Syrian divisions when they drew upon an "federation" with Rome and they even intermarried into foreign Royal families of the neighboring powers to consolidate advantageous alliances. Remember how Herod the Great came into power and what led to Judea degenerating from a client kingdom to Roman province? Uh-huh. So, ultimately, for all of the Maccabees political dancing, that is the very thing that ultimately destroyed them and ended their short reign.

If you really believe that this is not what the Scripture verses state, read the book of Joshua and tell me that the Spirit of the Lord was not with him. Read the books of Kings and tell me if the Spirit of the Lord was not with David. Read the two volumes of Maccabees and tell me again that the Hasmonian dynasty ended so short as you claim. And last but not least, read a little about what we have done since 1948 to crush nations and armies many times more numerous and stronger in weaponry than ours. I think your underestimation of what we can do is too racially motivated.

Ben

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Because Lazarus was resurrected by Jesus himself and that was no proof that Lazarus was a god. (Luke 11:14,43) Then, when Jesus died on the cross, many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised, according to Mat. 27:53 and this is no proof that they were gods. If this is the central theorem of Christianity, any one can see how wrong the whole system is.

I didn't say they got it right, but in both cases it was presumably God (or Jesus) who was doing the resurrecting, not those who were raised. While we're at it, neither Josephus nor any other contemporaneous writer mentions the resurrection of the saints mentioned by Matthew. This sounds like one of those urban legends.

IMHO, I don't find obvious that Bar Kochba had the power to reinstitute the Sanhedrin. He was a rustic soldier, albeit the commander-in-arms. Only members of the Sanhedrin could do that job with the approval of Rome, that is. And my statement about Akiva is indeed an assumption but based on the caliber of the man Akiva was. He simply used his learning and authority to implement the war against Rome, by acclaiming Bar Kochba the Messiah.

I don't think the Jews were waiting for Rome's approval. They were in rebellion, so Rome's say didn't count.

Doug

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If you really believe that this is not what the Scripture verses state, read the book of Joshua and tell me that the Spirit of the Lord was not with him. Read the books of Kings and tell me if the Spirit of the Lord was not with David. Read the two volumes of Maccabees and tell me again that the Hasmonian dynasty ended so short as you claim. And last but not least, read a little about what we have done since 1948 to crush nations and armies many times more numerous and stronger in weaponry than ours. I think your underestimation of what we can do is too racially motivated.

Ben

But Joshua failed to overthrow the Canaanites and other tribes, for about 200 years, the Israelites tribal states and Philistines vied for supremecy of Canaan. The extended kingdom of King David lasted but a generation... 73 years ending upon the death of his son Solomon.

What you failed to see in my post is the Hasmonean kingdom lasted for about a generation ... 77 years between 140 BCE to 63 BCE. Its downfall was its methods of survival that it not only built a federation with the Romans but that the Hasmoneans also married into the Idumeans (Edomites), Herod the Great (the Edomite) curried greater favor with the Romans and they named him king of Judea instead of a Hasmonean. And it was Herod that destroyed the Hasmonean royal lineage and the Romans assisted him.

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I'm thinking Jesus was simply a little Jewish Rabbi that had a very deep and profound near death experience and that the New Testament in it's essence is basically a highly embellished, added onto, and out of sequence near death experience story and Christianity at it's heart is a near death experience religion.

They were in a hurry to get the body down from the cross because they were afraid of angering the Jews because they didn't like bodies left up on the cross over the Sabbath. They were afraid the Jews would riot so they wanted to hurry up and get the body down. When that Roman soldier stuck his spear in the side of Jesus he pierced the pericardium which is the sac surrounding the heart and it relieved the pressure which was keeping Jesus heart from beating and then when they cut the body down from the cross, because they were in a hurry, they let the body flop on the ground and the resulting "whomp" restarted the heart and it was beating very slowly so jesus was in a coma.

They turned the body over to the women and they probably cleaned it and bound the wounds and then wrapped it in linen and then they laid it in that cool dark tomb (in the spring time in Jerusalem) and it laid there for three days.

After three days in a coma Jesus woke up and at some point in his ordeal, probably while he was up on the cross, he had a very deep and profound near death experience. So he came back and started preaching about what the Kingdom of God was like and he prayed in the garden that his followers would experience the oneness and connectedness with God that he had experienced.

The church is supposed to be a respite from the world, or a little piece of heaven here on Earth. That was Jesus original intenetion, that his followers would know the love and light and connectedness with each other that he had experienced while on the other side.

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I'm thinking Jesus was simply a little Jewish Rabbi that had a very deep and profound near death experience and that the New Testament in it's essence is basically a highly embellished, added onto, and out of sequence near death experience story and Christianity at it's heart is a near death experience religion.

One can take the basics from the gospels and put them together to make lots of different stories. The traditional interpretation is a long way from being the only one.

The alternate version I like best is that Joseph of Arimethea and some others conspired to make Jesus into the Messiah. What they planned to do was give him some drugs ("wine&myrrh"; "vinegar&bile") to knock him out, then take him down from the cross and revive him -Voila! He rises from the dead! People would now follow him in the overthrow of Rome. They didn't plan on that Roman soldier with the lance; somebody forgot to bribe him. When Jesus passed out, they tried to proceed with the original plan, but the wound was too severe. He revived for a few days, only to die of sepsis in the massive wound.

One can do a lot with the basics.

Doug

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I didn't say they got it right, but in both cases it was presumably God (or Jesus) who was doing the resurrecting, not those who were raised. While we're at it, neither Josephus nor any other contemporaneous writer mentions the resurrection of the saints mentioned by Matthew. This sounds like one of those urban legends.

I don't think the Jews were waiting for Rome's approval. They were in rebellion, so Rome's say didn't count.

Doug

Ah! Now, a god is the one who performs the resurrection in another and no longer the one who resurrected himself, according to your previous opinion. I'll take that one too. If Elijah resurrected the son of the widow of Zarephath, was he a god? (I Kings 17:22) I don't think so. Then, we have Paul resurrecting the lad Eutychus who had fallen from the third floor to the ground and died. Was Paul a god? (Acts 20:9,10) I don't think so either. Oh, BTW, who resurrected Jesus, himself or Adonai? If God is rather the One Who does the resurrection, in that case, Jesus was not the one. Well, is your opinion still the same?

I am aware that Josephus does not mention what is written in Matthew. But if this to you, sounds like urban legends, it does sound hellenistic fabrications. IOW, it didn't happen.

True about Bar Kochba who had zero respect for the Romans, but he was not of the kind to reinstate the Sanhedrin. He behaved like an extraordinary man by being himself the Law of the land. Then, there is nothing either way in Josephus.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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But Joshua failed to overthrow the Canaanites and other tribes, for about 200 years, the Israelites tribal states and Philistines vied for supremecy of Canaan. The extended kingdom of King David lasted but a generation... 73 years ending upon the death of his son Solomon.

What you failed to see in my post is the Hasmonean kingdom lasted for about a generation ... 77 years between 140 BCE to 63 BCE. Its downfall was its methods of survival that it not only built a federation with the Romans but that the Hasmoneans also married into the Idumeans (Edomites), Herod the Great (the Edomite) curried greater favor with the Romans and they named him king of Judea instead of a Hasmonean. And it was Herod that destroyed the Hasmonean royal lineage and the Romans assisted him.

How many generations did you expect the kingdom of David to last, more than one? The man was mortal for heavens' sake. But if you mean the kingdom he raised in Judah, it lasted not only throughout his hegemony but also of his son Solomon and throughout the next kings afterwards. It had a pause of 70 years with the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians, it continued afterwards, another pause of almost 2000 years with the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans, and now, back since 1948 albeit with a slight differerece in the form of Government.

Ben

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They were in a hurry to get the body down from the cross because they were afraid of angering the Jews because they didn't like bodies left up on the cross over the Sabbath. They were afraid the Jews would riot so they wanted to hurry up and get the body down. When that Roman soldier stuck his spear in the side of Jesus he pierced the pericardium which is the sac surrounding the heart and it relieved the pressure which was keeping Jesus heart from beating and then when they cut the body down from the cross, because they were in a hurry, they let the body flop on the ground and the resulting "whomp" restarted the heart and it was beating very slowly so jesus was in a coma.

Artaxexes, I find hard to believe that Jesus was peirced on his side for some obvious reasons.

Here are three of the reasons why Jesus was never pierced at his side on the cross, besides the fact that it was not a Roman policy to pierce the side of a crucified to make sure that he was dead and the sheer number of crucifieds who would take an enormous time to pierce all of them. Josephus mentions of thousands of them only in the First Century.

1- The custom to rush the death of all the Jews crucified by the Romans was Jewish and not Roman; and the practice was done only on Fridays, so that the bodies would not be left hanging during the hours of the Sabbath. And the method was leg-breaking and not spear-piercing. The Romans wouldn't care less if the Jewish Sabbath got desecrated by the bodies on the crosses.

2 - There is a tradition that the Centurion was richly bribed by Joseph of Arimathea, who was a very rich man in Israel, to just let him - Joseph - take Jesus off the cross, and the Centurion could report back to Pilate that Jesus was indeed already dead.

3 - That Centurion and his men could never by their own accord pierce Jesus after their recognition that Jesus was indeed the son of God. This is for lack of any other option, a confession that they had converted themselves to the Cause of Jesus. That's in Matthew 27:54.

The first and third reasons dispense with any other evidence that the piercing of Jesus' side by a Roman spear was an interpolation by either the writer of the Gospel or by the Fathers of the Church in 327 CE, when they selected the books into the Canon of the NT.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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How many generations did you expect the kingdom of David to last, more than one? The man was mortal for heavens' sake. But if you mean the kingdom he raised in Judah, it lasted not only throughout his hegemony but also of his son Solomon and throughout the next kings afterwards. It had a pause of 70 years with the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians, it continued afterwards, another pause of almost 2000 years with the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans, and now, back since 1948 albeit with a slight differerece in the form of Government.

Ben

No, Israel only had two generations of basically self-rule before the Extended Kingdoms of King David and King Solomon and the Maccabees.

The rest of the time was Palestine was ruled directly by other powers, as Israel served as a client kingdom, or a vassal kingdom.

The Extended Kingdom of King David and King Solomon was about the size of modern Israel. 73 years total.

The Kingdom of Judea before the Babylonian captivity was the about the size of today's West Bank. 337 years.

The Kingdom of the Maccabees was smaller than the size of today's West Bank. 77 years total.

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No, Israel only had two generations of basically self-rule before the Extended Kingdoms of King David and King Solomon and the Maccabees.

The rest of the time was Palestine was ruled directly by other powers, as Israel served as a client kingdom, or a vassal kingdom.

The Extended Kingdom of King David and King Solomon was about the size of modern Israel. 73 years total.

The Kingdom of Judea before the Babylonian captivity was the about the size of today's West Bank. 337 years.

The Kingdom of the Maccabees was smaller than the size of today's West Bank. 77 years total.

Be as you wish. It doesn't take anywhere to discuss an issue as in a match of ping-pong. Wasting of our time.

Ben

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Be as you wish. It doesn't take anywhere to discuss an issue as in a match of ping-pong. Wasting of our time.

Ben

Well, I am speaking about the borders of the Israel or rather its lack of historical definition during Biblical times and how that can relate to modern Israel.

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Well, I am speaking about the borders of the Israel or rather its lack of historical definition during Biblical times and how that can relate to modern Israel.

According to the Torah, the borders of Israel are well defined, but according to modern world politics, we still have a lot to work to recover what has been assigned to us as the Promised Land. But what we have achieved so far, should never be discarded. Something like the Russian policy to hang on their possessions: Never to quit on them no matter what. America too with the incursions and appropriation of land from the American natives.

Ben

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According to the Torah, the borders of Israel are well defined, but according to modern world politics, we still have a lot to work to recover what has been assigned to us as the Promised Land. But what we have achieved so far, should never be discarded. Something like the Russian policy to hang on their possessions: Never to quit on them no matter what. America too with the incursions and appropriation of land from the American natives.

Ben

Yet, the nation of Israel only reigned once in the land of Palestine under King David and King Solomon, afterwards the kingdom decreased exponentially which led to a confederation of nations and vassal statehood before ceasing altogether to exist save but for a short period during the Hasmonean rule until 1948 CE.

But the Israelites were required to meet God's standards of loyalty and justice, otherwise, the land is not their's and that God would spew them out of that land and scatter them amongst the nations, something that had happened twice before in 586 BCE by the Babylonians and 135 CE by the Romans (Hadrian). Ever read the whole chapter of Deuteronomy 28.

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Yet, the nation of Israel only reigned once in the land of Palestine under King David and King Solomon, afterwards the kingdom decreased exponentially which led to a confederation of nations and vassal statehood before ceasing altogether to exist save but for a short period during the Hasmonean rule until 1948 CE.

But the Israelites were required to meet God's standards of loyalty and justice, otherwise, the land is not their's and that God would spew them out of that land and scatter them amongst the nations, something that had happened twice before in 586 BCE by the Babylonians and 135 CE by the Romans (Hadrian). Ever read the whole chapter of Deuteronomy 28.

You missed the third one, in 721 BCE when Israel was taken captive to Assyria by Senacherib. That one was permanent, according to Psalm 78:67-69. But the other two exiles of the Jewish People, the one in 586 BCE to Babylon and the one in 135 ACE by the Romans were temporary. After 70 years, the Jewish People was back from Babylon and in 1948 ACE we were back from the four corners of the earth.

Yes, I have read Deuteronomy 28 even more than several times. I agree that we must meet God's standards to remain in this Land. That's what Jeremiah meant in 31:35-37. As long as Israel remains as a People before the Lord forever, the natural laws will work properly. In fact, as long as we meet those standards, no one can move us out of here. Now, who is going to judge us that we are not meeting God's standards or not? If any judgment is done, it must be made to Israel as a people, according to Jeremiah and not according to the misbehavior of an individual here or there.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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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
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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.

Ben

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

"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.

Edited by eight bits

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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

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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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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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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

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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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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?

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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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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