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Old 08-19-2001, 05:56 PM   #11
Bill
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Quote:
Originally posted by godfry n. glad:
<STRONG>In short, the definition has not been provided in Josephus' works. Ergo, I tend to agree with G.A. Wells' speculation that the phrase was a later interpolation from a marginal gloss sometime before the 3rd century CE. ...

It's speculation, but a far better scenario that assuming that Josephus introduced a new, undefined and, if known to his Roman readers, a highly inflammatory term so that he could relate James to someone else. If that's the only reference to Jesus, why introduce this singular reference to him just to place James, as it then begs a reference to place the meaning of "the Christ" in his reader's minds?

Again, Josephus _never_ mentioned Jesus in any of his works. Both mentions in modern translations are later interpolations, Christian or otherwise. </STRONG>
I cannot explicitly refute you, because nobody has seen "the original" version of Josephus for something approaching 2,000 years. But I would note that Josephus goes on at length about John the Baptist, and few modern scholars will question the reality of John. And few more will question the reality of James himself, particularly given the lengthy rant by Origen about how Josephus had written that the Second Temple was destroyed because the High Priest had manipulated things so as to kill James. (Origen thought that Josephus should have said that the Second Temple was destroyed due to the death of Jesus.)

And since Jesus was alleged to be the brother of James and alleged to know Josephus, then what strains credibility for Josephus to at least mention Jesus at the places where the two current references appear?

Even Wells himself eventually came around to the idea that there was, in fact, a historical Jesus that lies at the base of the legend (basing his switch of opinion on the arguments advanced by Burton Mack).

I am personally of the opinion that it becomes almost an a priori belief to assert that the Jesus myth was created "out of whole cloth."

== Bill
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Old 08-19-2001, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Metacrock:
<STRONG>

Meta =&gt; You have your causality backwards. The reason that Luke seems to use Jospehus is because Jo and Luke both use a common source. This has been proven through statistical analysis of the texts involved, they both use the L source. Jospehus' used the L source for his historical background on Jesus.

Now what in the world would Luke get out of using Jospehus for his sorce in Acts?</STRONG>
Metacrock: once again you pull out this alleged statistical proof:
http://members.aol.com/FLJOSEPHUS/LUKECH.htm

(Do you fail to cite it because anyone who reads it can see how flimsy the argument is?)

Why is it so unlikely that the author Luke would use Josephus? It would be like taking facts from the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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Old 08-20-2001, 05:07 PM   #13
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Offa (cutting and pasting part of Bill's reply);

The public have been totally confused by all the varying
interpretations of the Scrolls and they don't know who to
turn to and they don't know who to rely on. What that does
is undermine their confidence in the significance of any
of them, because they don't dare depend on someone who is
labeled a maverick or speculative or something along those
lines. And so we put all that aside so that we wouldn't
have to base our theories on that....I think that this is
very exciting for people looking for a new direction, a
new Jesus, someone who they can really relate to - not
some cardboard Christmas carol person - something that a
thinking person in the twentieth century; who is on the
internet, who wants to be intellectually challenged, wants
to get into things, can really get his or her teeth into,
and you don't have to be an expert or a supernatural
scholar to get your teeth into this. Very often the
experts and these superduper scholars would not assent to
new evidence even if it were presented right in front of
their nose. My book is for the amateur as well as for the
specialist. I really am directing it to the amateur
because I feel that the amateur is more open to new ideas
than the academic jury who I have already described, as
dominating these fields.*


*I highlited this sentence because I am a construction
worker and this is a hobby. I admit to being amateur.

Offa;
The above is in answer to my implying that Eisenman as a
Jew carries a prejudice opinion toward the historical
Christ. I have not changed my opinion and I possess his
book, James the Brother of Jesus. It is a keeper.
Please do not take my tone as hostile, I just have no
guile. I am fully convinced that Jesus was James' older
full-brother. Likewise, John was written first and
all four gospels were written before 50 CE with the last
chapter of John added last.

As far as I know I am the only infidel who believes in
a human Jesus Christ. I appreciate Eisenman in what he
wrote above. The Dead Sea Scrolls are misinterpreted
and the carbon dating was skewed (p.988-20).

----------------------------------------------------------
In reading Josephus using my point of view his The
Life of Flavius Josephus
tells me that he is 11
years older than what is implied, i.e., he was born in
about 26 CE. Verse (9) of the above book he cites what
a scholar he was at 14 years of age when he was 25 in
reality just as the 12 year-old Jesus in Lk 2:42
was really 23. The Samaria (with the cave) where Josephus
was a military leader is actually alongside the Dead Sea.
----------------------------------------------------------
When you read Scripture and one of these mysteries is
solved (to your understanding) then others will fall like
dominoes.


thanks, offa
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Old 09-02-2001, 06:22 AM   #14
godfry n. glad
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill:
<STRONG>I cannot explicitly refute you, because nobody has seen "the original" version of Josephus for something approaching 2,000 years. But I would note that Josephus goes on at length about John the Baptist, and few modern scholars will question the reality of John. And few more will question the reality of James himself, particularly given the lengthy rant by Origen about how Josephus had written that the Second Temple was destroyed because the High Priest had manipulated things so as to kill James. (Origen thought that Josephus should have said that the Second Temple was destroyed due to the death of Jesus.)

And since Jesus was alleged to be the brother of James and alleged to know Josephus, then what strains credibility for Josephus to at least mention Jesus at the places where the two current references appear?

Even Wells himself eventually came around to the idea that there was, in fact, a historical Jesus that lies at the base of the legend (basing his switch of opinion on the arguments advanced by Burton Mack).

I am personally of the opinion that it becomes almost an a priori belief to assert that the Jesus myth was created "out of whole cloth."

== Bill</STRONG>
Refutation is not expected. There is only enough evidence to hypothesize and attempt to construct convincing argument based upon possibilities and probabilities. We can only make educated guesses, for the most part.


Funny that you should mention the circumstances regarding Josephus' mention of John the Baptist, for, from my perspective, the treatment of the Baptist, along with the likes of Judas of Galilee, Thuedas, Simon ben Giora, the Egyptian and other prophetic/messianic characters of 1st century Palestine, as versus his singular lack of treatment of this Jesus (as versus any one of the other 17 or so Jesuses) seems to support the idea that he never wrote anything about him and that the Jesus cites are later interpolations.

The rant by Origen is indeed curious, but it too, could be evidence of even earlier (2nd to early 3rd century CE) tampering by Christian ideologues. If an copyist, from a period when there existed multiple conflicting Christologies, had inserted the reference to the fall of Jerusalem being God's retribution for the murder of James, then it certainly did not come down to us stated in that fashion. Thus, if this is the case, that the passage was tampered with and then retampered with before it was copied into the 9th century text which became the source for our modern translations, and Origen did not rely upon a faulty memory when commenting upon the text, then we have a phrase which has experienced multiple redaction before the modern. It is then in some way a tampered text. There is no question. Ever since reading Bart Ehrman's _Orthodox Corruption of the Scriptures_, I'm willing to accept that Christian copyists did their level best to revise any and all written materials to support their theological agenda and Josephus would not be spared.

As for the two places in Josephus where the reputed founder of Christianity is mentioned, that is our whole discussion here. I am of the opinion that neither is genuine and both are later interpolations.
The first reference is entirely questionable and is accepted as such by much of modern scholarship. The question which remains is whether there was an earlier TF which has been reworked to express Christian theological ideals and an original Josephean core existed which mentioned Jesus, whether that Josephean core was bereft of all mention of Jesus, or that suppositious Josephean core never existed at all. My opinion goes with the latter, based upon Eusebius' dual mentions of the TF in two separate works of his, one of which misplaces the TF in relation to the mention of John the Baptist. It seems that the TF, at least in Eusebius' time, had a tendency to float from one place to another within the work... rather like a block of interpolated copy looking for its best fit.
This matched with the total lack of mention by any pre-Eusebian author, patriarch or no, and the simple fact that the text flows much with greater ease and cleaves to the intent of the Book much better if the TF is excised in its entirety, seems to augur for it being a later fraudulent interpolation, inserted to support the claims of the 4th century church about the historicity of Jesus.

As for the second cite, the Jacobian one, it seems that many a scholar has pointed to this passing phrase and noted that such an unenlightening passage surely requires an earlier and more descriptive block of text which this passing reference could rely upon to provide the reader a fuller understanding of the term used (Christ, that is). The problem here is that, most scholars, even fairly conservative ones, have accepted that the kerygma included in the TF ("He was the Christ") was not present in the original _AotJ_. Thus, the referent is absent for use by the reader when they encounter the Jacobian referent, or, alternatively, if there were a reference to the Christ (mayhaps, the "he was called the Christ") in a genuine Josephean core, then both of the references would have a confused, if not entirely nonsensical meaning to the typical Grecophonic Roman reader, being as there is still no definition provided.

What strains credibility is the overweaning desire of modern apologetic scholars to squeeze some kind of witness out of Josephus. The text has obviously been tampered with. The TF is an obvious partial, if not total, fabrication of later Christian copyists. Why can this not be the case of the Jacobian dependent clause? It would even easier to fabricate a fraudulent "witness" by dropping in a clause of the type used to link Jesus and James.
Hell... We don't even know that the James being described by Josephus as hapless victim of judicial murder by Ananus was the same James, pillar of the Jerusalem Christian church. After all, the events described by Josephus place this James' death four years prior and in a completely different manner than that ascribed the James ("the Just" a term not used by Josephus) described by Hegesippius (via Eusebius).

All the conflicting stories and the unlikelihood that Josephus would have even wanted to raise the touchy subject of the messiah/christ with his Roman readers still strains credibility beyond the breaking point, in my estimation.

Besides, you seem to think that I hold that the stories were created "out of whole cloth", by which I assume that you think that it is my opinion that the gospels were created as known pieces of fiction... I don't. I think that the gospel writers actually _did_ believe what they wrote. But remember, belief fuels many a strange and wonderful ideas. What we have received is a set of works which were the result of belief and have been subsequently reworked multiple times as the result of later belief. I think that most who worked on the gospel documents believed them to be genuine and accurate evidence of the historicity of their savior. That still does not prevent them from being wrong.

As for Dr. Wells' reputed recantation, I'd suggest that you hunt down the cite within the context of _The Jesus Myth_ and read it carefully. I think you'll find that it's not quite the recantation that it has been presented to you as. Dr. Wells', in response to Burton Mack's commentary, has stated that there very well may have been some shadowy mendicant Galilean preacher, but if he existed there is no historical evidence to support that existence. Besides, even if it were, that change of mind would have no bearing on our discussion here.

Sorry to have taken so long to respond, but with the burdens of work and a bout with the flu, I've not been on top of my postings.

All the best,

godfry

[ September 02, 2001: Message edited by: godfry n. glad ]
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Old 09-02-2001, 08:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by godfry n. glad:
<STRONG>All the conflicting stories and the unlikelihood that Josephus would have even wanted to raise the touchy subject of the messiah/christ with his Roman readers still strains credibility beyond the breaking point, in my estimation. </STRONG>
This is the only part of your lengthy reply that I take any serious issue with. I believe that the record is clear: Josephus discussed many of these purported Messiah characters, and in fact acknowledges their importance to the mind-set which leads up to the War. Because Josephus mentions so many others of these characters, this is exactly what makes it believable that there was, in the original version, some mention of the character we now call Jesus.

Of course, such a mention would have been priceless to the early church, which is probably why they chose to preserve the writings of Josephus in opposition to those of several other Roman historians of the day (whose writings are now lost). If Jesus was not in fact mentioned in the original text, then why pick the writings of Josephus to preserve? And if they were going to pick some arbitrary history into which to insert a reference to Jesus that didn't exist anywhere at all, would it not have been more convincing to pick one of the real "name" Roman historians to receive that treatment?

You are correct that all we have is hypothesis and probabilities. In my estimation, however, there was some mention of the character we now call Jesus in the original version of Josephus. He was mentioned in some way as one of the many "false Messiahs" that Josephus discusses. And there was probably some mention of him in connection with "James 'the Just'", although exactly what both of those mentions were, in the original versions, are lost to us, unless we can discover a preserved text somewhere.

== Bill
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Old 09-02-2001, 10:38 AM   #16
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Originally posted by godfry n. glad:
All the conflicting stories and the unlikelihood that Josephus would have even wanted to raise the touchy subject of the messiah/christ with his Roman readers still strains credibility beyond the breaking point, in my estimation.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill:
<STRONG>This is the only part of your lengthy reply that I take any serious issue with. I believe that the record is clear: Josephus discussed many of these purported Messiah characters, and in fact acknowledges their importance to the mind-set which leads up to the War. Because Josephus mentions so many others of these characters, this is exactly what makes it believable that there was, in the original version, some mention of the character we now call Jesus.

Of course, such a mention would have been priceless to the early church, which is probably why they chose to preserve the writings of Josephus in opposition to those of several other Roman historians of the day (whose writings are now lost). If Jesus was not in fact mentioned in the original text, then why pick the writings of Josephus to preserve? And if they were going to pick some arbitrary history into which to insert a reference to Jesus that didn't exist anywhere at all, would it not have been more convincing to pick one of the real "name" Roman historians to receive that treatment?

You are correct that all we have is hypothesis and probabilities. In my estimation, however, there was some mention of the character we now call Jesus in the original version of Josephus. He was mentioned in some way as one of the many "false Messiahs" that Josephus discusses. And there was probably some mention of him in connection with "James 'the Just'", although exactly what both of those mentions were, in the original versions, are lost to us, unless we can discover a preserved text somewhere.

== Bill</STRONG>

Josephus did indeed refer to these characters with invective he saved for those he thought responsible, in part, for the destruction wrought upon his homeland, but he never once refers to these characters as messiah, nor does he even use the title when he obliquely describes the Jewish oracle which he believes named Vespasian "ruler of the world"...He just flat doesn't refer to it...unless, as you seem to think, he used the term "christ" twice, in ever-so-fleeting passing mention, in cites which can be questioned reasonably as to their authenticity? Pardon me if I think you a bit too credulous.

I'd say there were two pretty good reasons the Church Triumphant saved Josephus from the ashes...maybe even three.

1. He was known to have been born and raised amidst a priestly family in Jerusalem shortly after the reputed time of the Christian savior. If the story has any validity, it would have been possible for Josephus' father or grandfather to have sat in judgement of the suppositious Jesus in the Sandhedrin which condemned him to the powers of Rome.

2. He was known to have garnered the favor of the Imperial family of Rome and was thus cast in connection with the powers-that-be in the Roman mind as an officially sponsored historian of the Roman empire. He even changed his name to include that of his royal sponsor. Pretty good cache, I'd say, for the 4th-5th century codice burners.

3. By the time of those who had the power to severely censor the pre-existing knowledge of the period and persecute those who had differing stories, the text of Josephus was already doctored to the satisfaction of the later powers to be. Why not keep around that handy lap-dog imperial Jew historian? They could point to Josephus and say, "Look, even a Roman historian supports the existence of our savior! Look! Even a Jewish Roman historian! He had to know, his father was a member of the Jerusalem Temple priesthood....He could have had it from a true witness!"

That's why Josephus.

If this not be enough, I guess we'll have to hold to our separate beliefs, each thinking the other too credulous for their own good.

It's been real, though. Thanks for the exchange.

godfry
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Old 09-02-2001, 07:53 PM   #17
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Just a couple of concluding thoughts from my end:[list=1][*]I never defended, or even attempted to defend, the use of the word "Christ" by Josephus. I believe, as you do, that it was highly-unlikely that the real Josephus would have used that word. The issue we were discussing was whether or not the original version of Josephus contained a reference of UNKNOWN content to the person we now call Jesus. I assert the affirmative on that opinion, for the reasons discussed above. I did not (and do not) believe that the original version of Josephus used the word "Christ" about any Jew (and it is arguable whether or not he would have used that word about Vespasian himself).[*]The decision to preserve and/or alter the contents of Josephus was most likely taken no later than the time of Eusebius (circa 260-340). It is an interesting fact that Eusebius refers, in his own writings, to many books that are now "missing." And he appears to have had access to an unaltered copy of Josephus, possibly the same one used by Origen (circa 185-253), since Eusebius was relying upon the same libraries as Origen had used (in Caesaria and Jerusalem). And in fact, Richard Carrier reports that Eusebius "is notorious for reporting (if not creating) forgeries", and given Richard's expertise in this area, I would be inclined to lay the fault for any substantially altered contents at the feet of Eusebius or one of his cohorts.[/list=a]Anyway, I've read way too much on this subject of the Testimonium over the past few years. I tend to agree with Eisenman's view, in James the Brother of Jesus, who argues much as I have done, above, that there was a mention of James, and probably Jesus, in the original historical core of the writings of Josephus (although Eisenman is about as weak as you can be on the reality of Jesus, stating that the only way that Jesus might really have existed is if you take the "brother" relationship seriously; but Eisenman does take it seriously, and even develops a rational version of the family tree of James and Jesus).

Anyway, while I disagree with Earl Doherty and the others who argue for Jesus being a totally mythical construction, I do acknowledge that such an argument can validly be made. I just rather think that those who pursue such an argument are being overly skeptical of the actual evidence.

== Bill
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Old 09-03-2001, 06:35 AM   #18
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bill:[*]The decision to preserve and/or alter the contents of Josephus was most likely taken no later than the time of Eusebius (circa 260-340). It is an interesting fact that Eusebius refers, in his own writings, to many books that are now "missing." And he appears to have had access to an unaltered copy of Josephus, possibly the same one used by Origen (circa 185-253), since Eusebius was relying upon the same libraries as Origen had used (in Caesaria and Jerusalem). And in fact, Richard Carrier reports that Eusebius "is notorious for reporting (if not creating) forgeries", and given Richard's expertise in this area, I would be inclined to lay the fault for any substantially altered contents at the feet of Eusebius or one of his cohorts.

== Bill


Say, Bill....

If you have not already read it, you might be interested in a piece by Ken Olson, entitled, "Eusebian Fabrication of the Testimonium", which can be found in the Files of the JesusMystery group at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JesusMysteries/files

It's a good read.

You can hold to your suspicions that a historical Jesus existed if you like, but I find myself traversing that gray area between Burton Mack and George A. Wells, looking for something of substance and finding only rumors. I find that both sides hold tenable positions, but everything is founded on the sands of speculation.

Best,

godfry
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Old 09-03-2001, 01:50 PM   #19
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As I've said several times, if you hold that "James 'the Just'" was a real person (and I see no decent reason to doubt that point), then the fact that the New Testament is littered with references to James as "the brother of Jesus" should be sufficient to provide an historical substrate to the Jesus legends.

There are also people who assert that the crucifixion was much earlier in time than is normally stated by Christians (i.e., 19 CE by one estimate). Finally, we have the business of the two sons of Judas the Galilean who were crucified (somewhat peremptorilly, it would seem) not a lot earlier than the aforementioned crucifixions. There are many reasons that we could believe that Jesus and James are both relatives (in some way) of Judas the Galilean, who was involved in a major uprising against Roman tax collectors, and who clearly left a following among the Jews who survived.

Once you adopt Eisenman's method of classifying all Jews as either Pro-Rome or Anti-Rome, it becomes easy to classify both James and Jesus into the Anti-Rome segment, align them with the movement which Judas the Galilean led, and conclude that the great bulk of the New Testament (at least, the parts which are favorable to Rome) are clearly Hellenistic overwrites at the behest of Paul, who was on the Pro-Rome side.

Certainly, the Jesus of the New Testament wasn't a real person. But the Jesus Seminar gave us that evaluation many years ago. The sole remaining argument is whether or not there is any historical core at all to the Jesus of the New Testament, and there, I agree with the bulk of scholars that there was. I reach that conclusion on the ground of the reality of James and his "differences of opinion" with Paul, and the strong evidence that James himself was not the founder of the group of Jews from which Paul claimed to have derived his authority for a mission to the Gentiles. Somehow, I find it difficult to believe that Paul's references to Jesus were entirely fabricated, or based entirely on a myth fabricated by James, or whatever alternative hypothesis you might wish to advance about how those legends all came about. Yes, various Christians have forged various documents at various times in order to lend creedance to various claims made by their faith. But to forge so many references in so many of Paul's letters would beg the question of exactly what it was that Paul was selling in the way of religion if it was not belief in a formerly-living person we now call Jesus.

== Bill
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Old 09-03-2001, 02:19 PM   #20
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If I may, very quickly, but exactly how many Jewish Messiahs (claimants, pretenders or thought to be the real thing) were thought to have lived in Palestine between 100BC and 100AD? Just an FYI but Judas the Galilean was a Zealot, and so far as I am aware never claimed to be the Messiah, nor did his followers on his behalf. The same is true of "The Egyptian". Neither he nor his followers claimed he was the Messiah. In fact, my sources (like Raymond Brown for example) tell me that there was only one. If there were others, I would like to know who they were, and what sources you have used to find them.

Here is what the Bible had to say about the former:

Acts 5:34-37 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.

I just don't see any indication that either Theudas or Judas were thought to have been Messiahs. They apparently were "somebodies", but I think that we can agree that this is not exactly the same thing.

And as for the Egyptian:

Acts 21:38 "Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the desert some time ago?"

Once again we have no mention of a Messianic claim, nor did anyone standing around at the time seem to think that Paul was making such a claim for himself. How odd that some would argue otherwise. Is there evidence for this?

BTW, I checked Josephus, and he didn't seem to call these men Messiahs either.

From Jewish Wars: Book 2, Ch. 8:

AND now Archelaus's part of Judea was reduced into a province, and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as a procurator, having the power of [life and] death put into his hands by Caesar. Under his administration it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt, and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans and would after God submit to mortal men as their lords. This man was a teacher of a peculiar sect of his own, and was not at all like the rest of those their leaders.

From Jewish Aniquities: Book 18

Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite (see notes, but actually Judas of Galilee), of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty; as if they could procure them happiness and security for what they possessed, and an assured enjoyment of a still greater good, which was that of the honor and glory they would thereby acquire for magnanimity.

No Messiah. And the Egyptian?

FromJewish Antiquities: Book 20

Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them.

At least this one called himself a prophet, but then, there is a very long history of people doing this in Jewish history, and none of them pretended to be the Messiah.

So, how about Theudus?

From Jewish Antiquities: Book 20

NOW it came to pass, while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain magician, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it; and many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them; who, falling upon them unexpectedly, slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, and cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem. This was what befell the Jews in the time of Cuspius Fadus's government.

Apparently he wasn’t thought to be the Messiah either. Just a magician.

Thus we can see that no programs are needed. Only one man in this period was claimed to be the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the brother of James the Just. And as for what Josephus had to say about these two men:

FromJewish Antiquities: Book 20:

But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent.

The statement looks pretty tame to me. “Jesus, who was called the Christ” is hardly a ringing endorsement of the view that He actually WAS the Christ. If anything, it appears to merely be a way for Josephus’ readers to distinguish between this Jesus and several others mentioned throughout the text.

So again, who were these Messianic claimants, and where do we find them? If there were none, then what is the confusion?

Thank you,

Nomad

[ September 03, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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