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eight bits

Which Jesus' brother was tried in 62 CE?

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third_eye

I remember reading somewhere that not only names and places were mixed up but possibly the whole sequence and entire time frame of events were confused due to conflicting sources in the early days, one of the reasons why they were slaughtering each other as pagans up and down the land.

I also remember a nice article that argued that Stephen and James were possibly accounts of the same event involving Saul and James. brother of JC, I can't find it anymore though, my backups of links ain't much of a help either.

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I found this nice little article though ...

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2013-11-26

The Fiction of Stephen the First Martyr

by Neil Godfrey

 

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Forgive them, Father . . .

Absent from the above list is the notice that Stephen repeated Jesus’ famous words calling for forgiveness upon the Jews. Shelly Matthews chooses to devote the final chapter to a discussion of this detail. It is not as innocent or noble a prayer as the author wants us to believe.

Matthew’s interprets the prayer as ultimately serving a most pernicious function. It sets Christians apart as the ultimate in godly perfection, all-merciful and gracious even towards enemies. That is, it sets them apart from the Jews who are depicted as hard-hearted, implacable, without excuse any more (they had since learned that Jesus was resurrected and seen the signs of the miracles, so they were really without excuse by now), and incapable of being forgiven. Forgiveness of the Jews requires the repentance of the Jews. That message has been made clear up till now in Acts. While Luke places such a perfect prayer for a perfect saint in the mouth of the ideal Christian martyr, in his narrative presentation he leaves no room for forgiveness (or repentance) of the Jews. They have closed their ears to Stephen and want him dead when he proclaims his vision of Jesus Christ in heaven. There is a clear disconnect between the way the merciful prayer epitomizes Christians as saintly and the way the Jews are portrayed as wicked killers who even hate the very thought of what is required to be forgiven.

The prayer has served to entrench respective stereotypes of Christians and Jews, or more specifically, it has served to draw a sharp distinction between morally superior Christians and degenerate, murderous Jews.

So Stephen’s prayer does serve one of Luke’s core ideological agendas, though not a particularly noble one by our standards.

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Hello Davros Kitty
8 minutes ago, third_eye said:

I remember reading somewhere that not only names and places were mixed up but possibly the whole sequence and entire time frame of events were confused due to conflicting sources in the early days, one of the reasons why they were slaughtering each other as pagans up and down the land.

I also remember a nice article that argued that Stephen and James were possibly accounts of the same event involving Saul and James. brother of JC, I can't find it anymore though, my backups of links ain't much of a help either.

~

I found this nice little article though ...

 

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Thanks. I like Neil's articles. I'll check it out later.

Yes. Eighty pointed out to me a possible chapter mix up near around the TF. I was like "Holy Shoot!".

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eight bits

@davros of skaro

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The doom spewing Jesus son of Ananus is a contrivance in that it has not even a hint of support. Went crazy because his brother James was killed (Josephus would most likely had said something)? Ananus (WotJ) Josephus is relaying events leading up to Temple destruction (no mention of James). Damneus, and Gamaliel (TAotJ) Josephus is discussing politics of the High Priests (the Jewish elite upset over unjust action of a High Priest on another upper class citizen/citizens perhaps).

None of that seems more of a problem than the reservations against the authenticity of Jesus called Christ. That's the idea of hypothesis generation, to identify competitive alternatives. With four strong specific contenders, and a far-from-ruled-out "none of the above," no one hypothesis is or can be "more likely than not." Two-to-one against is a strong showing in a field of four or five competitive alternatives.

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This would not be a mundane copyist error.

Why not? Copies are copies. Origen complains about mistakes in Matthew; Eusebius complains about entire ending(s) of Mark. Besides, there are lapses in discipline, even in a Christian monastery. Somebody wrote Secret Mark, and it wasn't Mark.

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Can you imagine this element of Simon The Just in the mix up?

Could be. Once the train has left the tracks, who's to say how far-flung the wreckage might be?

However, I think the major factors in the mix-up are

- That Jospehus did write pretty much what Origen remembers, in close proximity to the mention of James, but not about James,

and

- Josephus also wrote about an unbroken chain of prevision-of-doom events that temporally connected the time of the trial of James to the siege eight years later.

The latter, of course, is the career of Jesus ben Ananus. This Jesus' prophetic mission makes a meaningful connection between two events well separated in time, and that stands regardless of whether this Jesus was also the brother of the James who was illegally tried in 62 CE.

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Hello Davros Kitty
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, eight bits said:

@davros of skaro

None of that seems more of a problem than the reservations against the authenticity of Jesus called Christ. That's the idea of hypothesis generation, to identify competitive alternatives. With four strong specific contenders, and a far-from-ruled-out "none of the above," no one hypothesis is or can be "more likely than not." Two-to-one against is a strong showing in a field of four or five competitive alternatives.

This is why in my opinion Jesus, son of Damneus is most likely.

 

Keep in mind I'm weighing the other non-Josephus evidences for Jesus that do not hold solidly as claimed under scrutiny.

 

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Why not? Copies are copies. Origen complains about mistakes in Matthew; Eusebius complains about entire ending(s) of Mark. Besides, there are lapses in discipline, even in a Christian monastery.

Of course this is James the brother of JC is what a Xtian scribe would most likely think if an interlinear/marginal note of "who was called Christ" existed.

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Somebody wrote Secret Mark, and it wasn't Mark.

That's speculative there being a Secret Mark. Also it's possible that Mark is late 1st century CE instead of circa 70 CE , but that's a very difficult argument to make.

 

Here's a blog about Dr. Carrier's frustration of the mess dating the Gospels while researching his book.

 

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Could be. Once the train has left the tracks, who's to say how far-flung the wreckage might be?

The trainwreck we have now if occurred on the surface of the Earth? It could be seen from outer space.

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However, I think the major factors in the mix-up are

- That Jospehus did write pretty much what Origen remembers, in close proximity to the mention of James, but not about James,

and

- Josephus also wrote about an unbroken chain of prevision-of-doom events that temporally connected the time of the trial of James to the siege eight years later.

The latter, of course, is the career of Jesus ben Ananus. This Jesus' prophetic mission makes a meaningful connection between two events well separated in time, and that stands regardless of whether this Jesus was also the brother of the James who was illegally tried in 62 CE.

Then using your words "makes a meaningful connection" is just as apply applied for being James being son of Damneus, brother of Jesus.

 

Edited by davros of skaro
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eight bits

@davros of skaro

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Of course this is James the brother of JC is what a Xtian scribe would most likely think if an interlinear/marginal note of "who was called Christ" existed.

 

It is also what a Christian scribe would most likely think of if there was no note.

Origen is working from memory, as Jerome works from memory when he places the "Temple voices" incident during Jesus' crucifixion. They don't remember what they read; it couldn't possibly matter much whether there was a note or not.

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Then using your words "makes a meaningful connection" is just as apply applied for being James being son of Damneus, brother of Jesus.

There are many kinds of literary connection. By meaningful connection, I meant a connection by shared meaning (aspects of Jerusalem's fall) complementing the temporal connection (something happened within weeks of the trial, continued throughout the rest of 62, on into 63, then 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69 and finally ended in 70, during the siege itself).

How does James being the brother of Jesus ben Damneus (or of ben Gamaliel, or of Jesus of Nazareth for that matter) have anything to do with any events during 63-70 that can be meaningfully connected specifically with the siege?

Within the passage, there are syntactical connections (Damneus, Gamaliel and Ananus are all words that appear in the passage), and an associational connection (a Christian would think of a specific James-Jesus fraternal pairing), but Josephus offers no explanation for what mentioning Jesus contributes to the story. If any of the four specific contenders were the right Jesus, then that would be "worth mentioning," but Josephus doesn't explain any way in which the trial story or its aftermath would be different, depending upon which Jesus it was. Whatever the right name is, Josephus just drops it in his story and moves on.

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Hello Davros Kitty
On 5/29/2018 at 8:29 PM, eight bits said:

 

It is also what a Christian scribe would most likely think of if there was no note.

Then add a note? :P

On 5/29/2018 at 8:29 PM, eight bits said:

Origen is working from memory, as Jerome works from memory when he places the "Temple voices" incident during Jesus' crucifixion. They don't remember what they read; it couldn't possibly matter much whether there was a note or not.

I agree. I'm not arguing when, but possibly how.

On 5/29/2018 at 8:29 PM, eight bits said:

There are many kinds of literary connection. By meaningful connection, I meant a connection by shared meaning (aspects of Jerusalem's fall) complementing the temporal connection (something happened within weeks of the trial, continued throughout the rest of 62, on into 63, then 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69 and finally ended in 70, during the siege itself).

It's an implied connection. These are two separate books with no  cross reference to the subject we are discussing. 

On 5/29/2018 at 8:29 PM, eight bits said:

How does James being the brother of Jesus ben Damneus (or of ben Gamaliel, or of Jesus of Nazareth for that matter) have anything to do with any events during 63-70 that can be meaningfully connected specifically with the siege?

It was not meant to.

On 5/29/2018 at 8:29 PM, eight bits said:

Within the passage, there are syntactical connections (Damneus, Gamaliel and Ananus are all words that appear in the passage), and an associational connection (a Christian would think of a specific James-Jesus fraternal pairing), but Josephus offers no explanation for what mentioning Jesus contributes to the story. If any of the four specific contenders were the right Jesus, then that would be "worth mentioning," but Josephus doesn't explain any way in which the trial story or its aftermath would be different, depending upon which Jesus it was. Whatever the right name is, Josephus just drops it in his story and moves on.

Chances are the Anunus family in Antiquities are elites, and have no connection to the farmer Anunus in the War of the Jews.

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eight bits
Posted (edited)

@davros of skaro

We should probably take a breath, and review what the problem is, rather than exchange point-by-point. We are in the middle of an inference problem. We have assumed up front that the problem is

Given, that Josephus wrote

"... he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus ________, whose name was James, and some others ..."

Conclude, what short phrase goes in the blank field?

We really don't know that "the brother of Jesus ________, whose name was James, and some others" was part of the original, either. We're focusing on the hypotheses that make the least change (if any) to what we've received.

The resulting competition is like a Roman gladiator contest; different competitors have different "weapons," different kinds of strengths and weaknesses. The main points would be something like this:

None of the above (which includes our assumption that we received everything intact except the title or father's name):

- We are confident that a Christian faked something longer and more elaborate than this back in book 18, the TF, but
- Origen's misrecollection of the trial was comparable with the TF in length and elaboration; why did Eusebius stick in only one phrase Origen got from Matthew, nothing else?

Jesus called Christ:

- The only version that's actually attested at all
- The only timely Jesus and James whom anybody besides Josephus wrote about
- A possible "name in the news" when Josephus wrote this book

Jesus ben Damneus or Jesus ben Gamaliel:

- Two hypotheses for the price of one
- They both appear as characters in the story itself, but
- Neither one's specific active response to the mortal peril of his kin is stated; even though other people acted and Josephus knew both men personally

Jesus ben Ananus:

- The name, but not the man, appears in the story itself
- Close connections to the specifics of Origen's misrecollection, both in timeline and in meaning

So, battle is joined, and the different gladiators slog it out.

Carrier sees Bayes as a way to pick winners and losers in historical controversies. I think sometimes Bayes tells you that you lack enough information to decide. The "most likely" hypothesis may be unlikely, or not much more likely than the second (or third, or ...) likeliest.

That's the situation here, in my opinion. What Josephus wrote is simply lost to us, unless another manuscript turns up, or some other ancient reader tells us what they read.

On a few small points arising, to ensure we're on the same page:

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These are two separate books with no  cross reference to the subject we are discussing.

That's part of the problem, they're not separate. Antiquities is a "prequel" to War, but the design is for the two to overlap toward the end of Antiquities (that is, where we find the trial of James). So, Antiquities offers a "second look" at Pilate, for example, and at how much Temple-Throne politics contributed to the break with the Romans, etc. etc.

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It was not meant to

Of course not, Josephus couldn't have intended that Origen would read and misrecall what he read. Our problem is that Origen did. Whatever contributes to his confidence that he remembered correctly, or Eusebius' confidence or Jerome's confidence, is relevant to the solution of the puzzle.

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Chances are the Anunus family in Antiquities are elites, and have no connection to the farmer Anunus in the War of the Jews.

But the only relevance is syntactical: the string could easily be dismissed as a typo in the face of authority claiming something else belongs there. Who the two Ananus families actually are has no bearing on the merits of the hypothesis.

Edited by eight bits
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Hello Davros Kitty

@eight bits

 

Since you're going sequel, and prequel? How about backstory?

There's more characters to choose from.

Life of Flavius Josephus

18 "So those that were sent came as they were ordered, and they had executed what they came about, had I not leaped down from the elevation I stood on, and with one of my guards, whose name was James, been carried [out of the crowd] upon the back of one Herod of Tiberias, and guided by him down to the lake, where I seized a ship, and got into it, and escaped my enemies unexpectedly, and came to Tarichese."

"35 ...how they had wisely punished Jesus, his brother Justuses sister's husband [with death]. When I had said this to them during supper time, I in the morning ordered Justus, and all the rest that were in prison, to be loosed out of it, and sent away."

"37 They also slew Chares, and with him Jesus, one of his kinsmen, and a brother of Justus of Tiberias, as we have already said."

"38 When therefore he had received such an exhortation, he persuaded the high priests, Ananus, and Jesus the son of Gamala, and some others of the same seditious faction..."

"40 ...when they heard that there was a certain Galilean that then sojourned at Jerusalem, whose name was Jesus, who had about him a band of six hundred armed men..."

"41 (for Jesus the son of Gamala, who was present in that council, a friend and companion of mine, told him of it,)..."

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