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Old 03-05-2001, 02:18 PM   #1
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Question 'Historicity of Jesus' article in error?

Hello, all,

I've asked before about the Hayyim ben Yehoshua article that is floating around the web...

I seem to remember some article in the infidels library mentioning how this Hayyim text is a good example of how NOT to do scholarship...but I can't find the article now.

My specific question this time is about this bit: "In the Christian edited versions of the Jewish Antiquities there are two passages dealing with Jesus as portrayed in Christian religious works. Neither of these passages are found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews. "

Is this 'original version of Antiquities' still around? I rather doubt it.

Help would be appreciated!

-Kelly
 
Old 03-05-2001, 02:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Touchstone:
Hello, all,

I've asked before about the Hayyim ben Yehoshua article that is floating around the web...

I seem to remember some article in the infidels library mentioning how this Hayyim text is a good example of how NOT to do scholarship...but I can't find the article now.

My specific question this time is about this bit: "In the Christian edited versions of the Jewish Antiquities there are two passages dealing with Jesus as portrayed in Christian religious works. Neither of these passages are found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews. "

Is this 'original version of Antiquities' still around? I rather doubt it.

Help would be appreciated!

-Kelly
</font>
The earliest surviving copies of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews date to the 8th century BCE. Most credible historians agree that the original version of Antiquities either did not mention Jesus, or cast him in an unfavorable light (i.e. not the Son of God). The reasoning behind this is that the early Church Fathers were familiar with Josephus' writings, yet they do not mention that Josephus writes about Jesus when it clearly would have been beneficial to the apologetic position they were taking.

[This message has been edited by Ulrich (edited March 05, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Ulrich (edited March 05, 2001).]
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Old 03-05-2001, 03:14 PM   #3
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Touchstone:

My specific question this time is about this bit: "In the Christian edited versions of the Jewish Antiquities there are two passages dealing with Jesus as portrayed in Christian religious works. Neither of these passages are found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews. " </font>
You are referring to two passages in which Jesus was mentioned by name in Josephus' Antiquities (18:63-64 and 20:199-201), and while the first of these was almost certainly redacted by later Christians, the second was not.

We also have a copy of an Arabic translation of Josephus' Antiquities 18:63-64 thus giving us access to a version that would probably not have been tampered with by Christians.

You can see these at Malhon Smith's site (Smith is an atheist NT Scholar that happened to believe that Jesus was gay, and was most famous for discovering what is now thought to be the forged Secret Gospel of Mark).

Testimonium Flavium, Antiquities 18:63-64.
Both the Greek (Christian interpolated) and Arabic copy along with Smith's comments on why he (and other NT scholars) consider it to be reliable evidence.

Josephus, Antiquities 20.199-201
This one focus' on the stoning of James, the "brother of Jesus", and mentions Jesus only in passing. It is not thought to have been tampered with by Christians, and remains largely undisputed except by the most hard core Jesus-Mythers.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Is this 'original version of Antiquities' still around? I rather doubt it. </font>
There are no original copies of these passages, if that is what you are asking. It may be worth noting that the 3rd Century Christian Origen does refer to Josephus, demonstrating that his material was known and in use before Christians had a chance to tamper with it on a widescale (i.e. after the 4th Century conversion of Constantine).

I hope that this helps.

Nomad

Josephus on Jesus
 
Old 03-05-2001, 03:25 PM   #4
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Ulrich, Nomad;

Thanks for the information. I should have mentioned that I am familiar with the Testimonium Flavium and the disagreement over the passage(s) in Antiquities.

I have also heard of the Arabic version of Josephus and also the 'Slavonic' Josephus. Thanks for the link, Nomad, that was a very good explanation of the Arabic version, that does provide some evidence for the possible origin of the Testimonium.

I finally found the web page that I was looking for, that critiques the Hayyim ben Yehoshua article. It is by Peter Kirby, and it is not on the infidels site. It basically lambasts Yehoshua for being way off on his scholarship on several issues, Josephus being one of them.

Thanks again!

Kelly
 
Old 03-05-2001, 03:38 PM   #5
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Just wanted to note that the Arabian text of Antiquities referred to above dates to the 10th century BCE. There is no reason that I know of to think that it would contain more accurate information than the Greek copy dated two centuries earlier.
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Old 03-06-2001, 05:12 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Ulrich:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Just wanted to note that the Arabian text of Antiquities referred to above dates to the 10th century BCE. There is no reason that I know of to think that it would contain more accurate information than the Greek copy dated two centuries earlier.
Quote:
</font>
Actually, its 8th & 10th centuries CE (not BCE). I'm sure you knew this already, but I wanted to make sure everyone else was on the same page. The prophecy fanatics would be drooling all over themselves if it was something written 800-1000 years before Jesus lived.

Polycarp
 
Old 03-09-2001, 01:13 PM   #7
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Ulrich: Just wanted to note that the Arabian text of Antiquities referred to above dates to the 10th century BCE [sic]. There is no reason that I know of to think that it would contain more accurate information than the Greek copy dated two centuries earlier.</font>
Right; of course the Arabic version could have been translated off any intermediary Christian text. Also, interesting how closely the Arabic version matches the Moslem conception of Jesus as prophet but not God. Coincidence? I don't think so!
 
 

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