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Who or what was christ?

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18 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Three? The John the Baptist section is the third? Yes, I'm OK with that, but there's nothing about Jesus there,

The two purported mentions of Jesus are

= The "testimonium" from Antiquities 18, which wasn't written by Josephus. There's some possibility he wrote something about Jesus (it was 93 CE, after all, so there were Christians to write about, and they described themselves as the unintended result of an action by Pilate). A possibility of evidence, however, is not evidence.

= The remark that a man named James was the brother of "Jesus called Christ" in Antiquities 20. Most likely genuine? That must be because the two words are so well authenticated. 'Cause there are two Jesuses just in that same story, and plenty more in First Century Palestine. Those two words (in Greek as much in English) are the whole enchilada. So, the authentication is bullet-proof?

Well, not exactly. The root corroboration is from Origen. He recalls everything else about the passage incorrectly, except that the two names do appear as brothers and that those two words are in all the extant manuscripts. Those two words also appear three times in Matthew, a gospel Origen was writing a commentary about (in fact, that's one of the places where his almost comical misrecollection appears, the other two are in his rebuttal to Celsus, thought to have been written at about the same time as the commentary). Oddly, just about everything Origen recalls is similar to material actually found in Antiquities 20 - except that material wasn't written about this James character.

Conclude? Origen misremebered what he'd read and visibly was not re-reading from it at the time he wrote. At no time does Origen claim his description of what he remembered was verbatim, and would have reason to think that his audience, reading those words in a commentary on Matthew could figure out that the phrase wasn't being attributed to Josephus, but rather was part of the paraphrase. Or what was intended as a paraphrase, anyway. What Origen wrote simply fails to describe what Josephus wrote about this James.

Yeah I also misremembered that it was John the Baptist not Jesus the Christ. It's certainly not bullet proof by any stretch of the imagination. 

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1 hour ago, eight bits said:


Pilate was of the equestrian class, which was OK and comfortable, but not exalted enough to be much trouble to anybody. So, if anybody could simply fade back into anonymity after serving the (now-dead) emperor, it'd be a "knight" ex-procurator-prefect of some thankless-task backwater like Pilate. Although we can speculate, he has faded - we have no clue what actually happened to him. Even that inscription wasn't found at a site connected with him. It was found among the filler rubble in a much later structure. What Pilate had built and put his name on was long gone, its ruins recycled.

There's been a lot of interest of late on good ol'Pilate ...




The Mystery of Pilate's End

Pontius Pilate is known to have been a Roman governor of Judaea from about A.D. 26-36, which is a long tenure for a post that normally lasted only 1-3 years. Maier uses this observation to support his concept of Pilate as a less than awful prefect (Praefectus Iudaeae). Pilate was recalled after he was said to have slaughtered thousands of Samaritan pilgrims (one of the four incidents of maladministration). Pilate's fate would have been decided under Caligula since Tiberius died before Pilate reached Rome. We don't really know what happened to Pontius Pilate -- other than that he was not reinstated in Judaea. Maier thinks Caligula used the same clemency he used for others accused under Tiberius of treason, although popular versions of what happened to Pilate are that he was sent into exile and committed suicide or that he committed suicide and his body was tossed in the Tiber. Maier says Eusebius (4th century) and Orosius (5th century) are the earliest sources for the idea that Pontius Pilate took his own life.


Philo, who was a contemporary of Pontius Pilate, does not mention a punishment under Caligula or suicide.


Pontius Pilate may have been the monster he has been painted or he may have been a Roman administrator in a difficult province who happened to have been in office at the time of the trial and execution of Jesus.

~ Thought Co LINK

My personal opinion here is that one name becomes the key to this non mystery for me ... Caligula ... or "little boot" himself

As for poor old Pilate, he would have little option other than noble suicide, there would be no further opportunities for what he knows best and lacking any backing from Palestine or Rome, he's a walking target and his family and estates would be worse off if he had lived in ignominy.

We know this much about Caligula, mad or insane or not, you never know the what,why where or how but you always knows the who ....




Jan 27, 2011 - Caligula, emperor of Rome, was a raving madman, but his madness was ... mitigated toward the Jews because of fortuitous boyhood friendship ...




When you make enemies of the friends of Caligula, 


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