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Josephus and Jesus

dee-em
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5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?
dee-em
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5/2/2015 10:41:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is a BoG and MCB-free thread. Please stay out if you are going to preach or engage in apologetics. I don't want this thread derailed.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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5/2/2015 10:43:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it? : :'

The names of God's saints and prophets are not important at all. What matters is the knowledge of God that they testified to about how we were created and how God planned to destroy this world and kill all flesh by the end of this age. They also spoke about the New Heaven and Earth. This information was not accepted by those in control of Christianity, Judaism, and other pagan religions and those of the Roman government.

I'm God's last saint who has testified to the same knowledge that the early saints testified to so I know what happened back in those days. God knows the past, present and future because He planned, created and formed everything we experience.
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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5/2/2015 10:50:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm a Jewish Christian and the Gospel Jesus Christ isn't the historical Jesus for me, although through his Story God has embedded the best of spiritual guidance. The historical Jesus was Yeishu ben Pantera and lived perhaps a 100 years prior to the Gospel Jesus. Christians don't know about Yeishu because they don't read the Talmud where bits and pieces of Yeishu's biography are to be found, his biography matching the Gospel Jesus at too many points to be coincidental. An earlier Jesus allows time for a legend of Christ the Magician to build up which is where the Gospel writers found their Jesus Christ as an already legendary figure--e.g. the prayer bowl found in the harbor of Alexandria dedicated to Christ the Magician matching Prof. Morton Smith's title of his book written before the prayer bowl was found. An earlier Christ also allows Christians to be forming churches before Paul's time where he runs into already established churches only a few years after the death of Jesus. Same thing with Christians in Rome in Nero's time, earlier Jesus legend accounts for Christians so early in Rome.

The Gospel Jesus serves a spiritual purpose while the historical Yeishu backs up both
s concern for forgiveness of sins. Both were killed for blasphemy but one was real and the other a story book character composed of authentic "Q" Sayings (Synoptic sections) and overlays of Christ Cult wisdom sayings and plots based on outdoing OT prophets or equaling them in magical powers.
dee-em
Posts: 6,495
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5/2/2015 10:58:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 10:50:30 PM, celestialtorahteacher wrote:
I'm a Jewish Christian and the Gospel Jesus Christ isn't the historical Jesus for me, although through his Story God has embedded the best of spiritual guidance. The historical Jesus was Yeishu ben Pantera and lived perhaps a 100 years prior to the Gospel Jesus. Christians don't know about Yeishu because they don't read the Talmud where bits and pieces of Yeishu's biography are to be found, his biography matching the Gospel Jesus at too many points to be coincidental. An earlier Jesus allows time for a legend of Christ the Magician to build up which is where the Gospel writers found their Jesus Christ as an already legendary figure--e.g. the prayer bowl found in the harbor of Alexandria dedicated to Christ the Magician matching Prof. Morton Smith's title of his book written before the prayer bowl was found. An earlier Christ also allows Christians to be forming churches before Paul's time where he runs into already established churches only a few years after the death of Jesus. Same thing with Christians in Rome in Nero's time, earlier Jesus legend accounts for Christians so early in Rome.

How do you explain that Paul only ever really talks about a Jesus who was handed over by God to be crucified, with none of the back-story of this Yeishu ben Pantera?

The Gospel Jesus serves a spiritual purpose while the historical Yeishu backs up both
s concern for forgiveness of sins. Both were killed for blasphemy but one was real and the other a story book character composed of authentic "Q" Sayings (Synoptic sections) and overlays of Christ Cult wisdom sayings and plots based on outdoing OT prophets or equaling them in magical powers.

What about the parallels with these other more contemporary Jesuses which I have pointed out?
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?

Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.
dee-em
Posts: 6,495
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5/2/2015 11:32:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?

Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.

You miss the main point. I found those parallels interesting so I mentioned them. I'll let the reader decide whether they have credence or not. The central theme of the OP though is that Josephus wrote at length about a great many minor and flamboyant characters, including several named Jesus. And yet about THE Jesus there is next to nothing. How do you explain it?
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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5/2/2015 11:52:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 11:32:33 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?

Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.

You miss the main point. I found those parallels interesting so I mentioned them. I'll let the reader decide whether they have credence or not. The central theme of the OP though is that Josephus wrote at length about a great many minor and flamboyant characters, including several named Jesus. And yet about THE Jesus there is next to nothing. How do you explain it?

The first mention of the plow was in 1100 England. And then it was mentioned all over the place. Does this mean the plow was made in England in such a late century?

No the plow is much older or more wide spread then that. I don't have a reason for Josephus not mentioning Jesus Christ. Maybe in his narrative it is not relevant.

But I encourage when ever Jesus of the Gospel is said to be similar or a retelling of something else, Go to the source and read it for yourself. And check the date to see what the earliest account is to decide which is being retold.
annanicole
Posts: 19,793
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5/3/2015 12:12:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 11:52:47 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:32:33 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?

Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.

You miss the main point. I found those parallels interesting so I mentioned them. I'll let the reader decide whether they have credence or not. The central theme of the OP though is that Josephus wrote at length about a great many minor and flamboyant characters, including several named Jesus. And yet about THE Jesus there is next to nothing. How do you explain it?

The first mention of the plow was in 1100 England. And then it was mentioned all over the place. Does this mean the plow was made in England in such a late century?

No the plow is much older or more wide spread then that. I don't have a reason for Josephus not mentioning Jesus Christ. Maybe in his narrative it is not relevant.

I'm not sure the "plow" reference is much good. The plow - or a tool that performed the function of a plow - is mentioned throughout the Bible. Perhaps the English word came about in 1100.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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5/3/2015 12:20:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 12:12:36 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:52:47 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:32:33 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting:

Some of the more prominent citizens, very annoyed at these ominous words, laid hold of the fellow and beat him savagely. Without saying a word in his own defence or for the private information of his persecutors, he persisted in shouting the same warning as before. The Jewish authorities, rightly concluding that some supernatural force was responsible for the man's behaviour, took him before the Roman procurator. There, though scourged till his flesh hung in ribbons, he neither begged for mercy nor shed a tear, but lowering his voice to the most mournful of tones answered every blow with 'Woe to Jerusalem!' When Albinus -- for that was the procurator's name -- demanded to know who he was, where he came from and why he uttered such cries, he made no reply whatever to the questions but endlessly repeated his lament over the City, till Albinus decided he was a madman and released him.

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?

Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.

You miss the main point. I found those parallels interesting so I mentioned them. I'll let the reader decide whether they have credence or not. The central theme of the OP though is that Josephus wrote at length about a great many minor and flamboyant characters, including several named Jesus. And yet about THE Jesus there is next to nothing. How do you explain it?

The first mention of the plow was in 1100 England. And then it was mentioned all over the place. Does this mean the plow was made in England in such a late century?

No the plow is much older or more wide spread then that. I don't have a reason for Josephus not mentioning Jesus Christ. Maybe in his narrative it is not relevant.

I'm not sure the "plow" reference is much good. The plow - or a tool that performed the function of a plow - is mentioned throughout the Bible. Perhaps the English word came about in 1100.

good point Anna. I should search for a better example. i was thinking of wheel, but i think a better analogy will have to be sought out.
annanicole
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5/3/2015 12:30:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

The passage in Josephus is almost certainly a Catholic exaggeration, for Josephus was an orthodox Jew who across-the-board rejected any and all claim of 1st-century Messiahship.

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man" ...................................... POSSIBLE
"if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works" .... UNLIKELY
"a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure." ........................ IMPOSSIBLE
"He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.' .. UNLIKELY
"He was [the] Christ" ................................................................................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"and when Pilate had condemned him to the cross" ....................................... POSSIBLE
"at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us" .................................... UNLIKELY
"those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ...................................... POSSIBLE
"he appeared to them alive again the third day" ..............................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"as the divine prophets had foretold these" ....................................................... IMPOSSIBLE
" and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him" .......................... IMPOSSIBLE
"and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." ... POSSIBLE

If the passage originally read, "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man. Pilate had condemned him to the cross, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" ... then early Christians had pretty much no reason to cite it. Part C was obvious. Part B was stated by Tacitus. And nobody doubted Part A.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
annanicole
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5/3/2015 12:35:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity"

You seem to have leaped from questioning the authenticity of the entire passage to simply outright denying it altogether. Leap is the wrong word. Skidded. I knew you'd skid into that position (you have to), but I didn't anticipate you doing it all in one post.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
annanicole
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5/3/2015 12:45:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 12:20:29 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:12:36 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:52:47 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:32:33 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:


Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.

You miss the main point. I found those parallels interesting so I mentioned them. I'll let the reader decide whether they have credence or not. The central theme of the OP though is that Josephus wrote at length about a great many minor and flamboyant characters, including several named Jesus. And yet about THE Jesus there is next to nothing. How do you explain it?

The first mention of the plow was in 1100 England. And then it was mentioned all over the place. Does this mean the plow was made in England in such a late century?

No the plow is much older or more wide spread then that. I don't have a reason for Josephus not mentioning Jesus Christ. Maybe in his narrative it is not relevant.

I'm not sure the "plow" reference is much good. The plow - or a tool that performed the function of a plow - is mentioned throughout the Bible. Perhaps the English word came about in 1100.

good point Anna. I should search for a better example. i was thinking of wheel, but i think a better analogy will have to be sought out.

For all dee-em knows, Josephus could have been ordered by his Roman benefactors to avoid mentions of Jesus. I'll admit that such is an unlikely scenario ... but, heck, when you see some of the re-translations that dee-em applies to NT passages, "unlikely" is right up his alley.

Anyway, it is a certainty that later in Josephus's life, the Romans were persecuting Christians. It is also a near-certainty that John's Apocalypse labels Roman Emperors in the most unflattering of terms. Also, recall that for years, the exact same argument was made with great pomp regarding Pilate: "No historical evidence. WHY would no one mention him?" Blah. Blah. Blah. And more blah. Whole chapters were devoted to "no mention of Pilate." All of that ended in the 1960s, and truth is: the argument was never worth two cents to start with. No such arguments carry much weight.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
dee-em
Posts: 6,495
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5/3/2015 3:18:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 11:52:47 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:32:33 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 11:24:10 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

Some background first. Josephus was a Jew born in Jerusalem in 37 CE, only a few years after the alleged death of Jesus. During his early chidhood, the story of Jesus, his exploits and the sensational trial leading to his execution, must have been all around him. Remember, Jesus was a Jew too.

In his autobiography, he says that when he turned 16 (circa 53 CE), he wanted to obtain a thorough introduction to the three major "philosophies" of Judaism - he names the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes as the three. Later on, he mentions a fourth "philosophy" of Judaism led by a Galilean named "Judas" which scholars have dubbed the "Zealots" with only around 4,000 followers. According to Acts of the Apostles, this was a time period when thousands of Jews and Greeks were being converted to Christianity, yet Josephus fails to mention any of these mass conversions that should have been happening during his lifetime.

So Josephus, a Jewish historian on the scene, seems to know almost nothing about a Jesus of Nazareth (and Christianity in general during his early life). Perhaps he wasn't much interested in wild stories about apocalyptic figures during this time because there were literally dozens of them? Well, no. We can even find another Jesus for whom he dedicates an entire page in his book War of the Jews 6.5.3. Jesus (Jeshua) son of Ananias came to Jerusalem about seven years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and started raving about impending doom. I won't quote the entire passage here, but this part is interesting: <snipped>

Instructive, isn't it? And this is by no means the only such story given elaborate treatment by Josephus. This Jewish historian, writing for his Roman benefactors, writes about more alarming stories like these. Llike an insurgent Jesus son of Sapphias, who gathers a bunch of fishermen and poor people to start a rebellion in Josephus' home region of Galilee - and when one of this Jesus' followers betrays him, this Jesus is arrested and his band of fishermen and poor people abandon him).

Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity - even though Josephus was from Galilee and lived from 37 to 100CE, bearing in mind that Josephus' father was a member of the Jewish priesthood, someone that would have had first hand experience of the Jesus of Christianity.

It is not hard to see where "Mark" got some of the inspiration for the Jesus character of his gospel, is it?

Jesus' name was Yeshua. It is normally translated as Jeshua or Joshua

The Greek transliteration turns this into Jesus. But the name.. was as common in that day as Jospehus or John. Actually John and Joseph were also quite common back then.

Being beaten by a roman to the point of flesh being flayed open... not unique either.

People preaching that the end was near and Jerusalem about to fall.. not unique.

As for Jesus son of Sapphias being similar to Jesus Christ. Is a weak argument full more of exaggeration and misrepresentation than actual reading.

Jesus of Sapphias is obviously a politician and a cunning con man, coming from an established family of wealth. His primary reference is in his opposition to Josephus the general of the Jews. Upset with Josephus youth and quick rise to power.

The only similarities is that son of Saphias and Jesus Christ, had fishermen and poor as followers, came from Galilee (an area of fishermen and poor people), and when arrested some followers left (unusual?). But Jesus son of Sapphais did not have all his supporters leave him or deny him.

This sounds a lot like when people say Jesus story is a retelling of older pagan heroes. At first blush sounds likely. But if anyone would take the time to read "the war of the Jews" by Josephus.. or to look up the myths that are said to be earlier than Christ. You actually see that these similarities are like matching similarities between "Alice in Wonderland" and Joan of Arc.

You miss the main point. I found those parallels interesting so I mentioned them. I'll let the reader decide whether they have credence or not. The central theme of the OP though is that Josephus wrote at length about a great many minor and flamboyant characters, including several named Jesus. And yet about THE Jesus there is next to nothing. How do you explain it?

The first mention of the plow was in 1100 England. And then it was mentioned all over the place. Does this mean the plow was made in England in such a late century?

The plough was invented in China before or during the Han Dynasty (from the same Wikipedia article you got your information from). Are you seriously suggesting that the evidence we should expect from historians for the life and times of a vastly significant figure such as Jesus (if he was what was claimed) can be compared to a piece of farm equipment? Are you kidding?

http://www.chinaculture.org...

No the plow is much older or more wide spread then that. I don't have a reason for Josephus not mentioning Jesus Christ. Maybe in his narrative it is not relevant.

He was writing a history of the Jewish people in the first century. How could it possibly not be relevant?

But I encourage when ever Jesus of the Gospel is said to be similar or a retelling of something else, Go to the source and read it for yourself. And check the date to see what the earliest account is to decide which is being retold.

I would encourage that too. 'Mark', if he was aware of the Pauline writings, had as a starting point someone named Jesus who had been crucified. If there were other well-known Jesus characters around, what would be more natural than to borrow elements from them when constructing a narrative for his life? Many writers do this. Is that so hard to believe?
dee-em
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5/3/2015 3:45:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 12:30:51 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

The passage in Josephus is almost certainly a Catholic exaggeration, for Josephus was an orthodox Jew who across-the-board rejected any and all claim of 1st-century Messiahship.

Not true actually. Josephus actually thought that the Roman General Vespasian was the Messiah:

What more than all else incited them [the Jews] to the [1st Roman] war was an ambiguous oracle ... found in their sacred scriptures, to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their wise men went astray in their interpretation of it. The oracle, however, in reality signified the sovereignty of Vespasian who was proclaimed Emperor on Jewish soil.
--- Josephus' Jewish War 6.5.4

It was such toadying to Vespasian which gained Josephus Roman citizenship. Whether he really meant it or not is impossible to tell.

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man" ...................................... POSSIBLE
"if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works" .... UNLIKELY
"a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure." ........................ IMPOSSIBLE
"He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.' .. UNLIKELY
"He was [the] Christ" ................................................................................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"and when Pilate had condemned him to the cross" ....................................... POSSIBLE
"at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us" .................................... UNLIKELY
"those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ...................................... POSSIBLE
"he appeared to them alive again the third day" ..............................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"as the divine prophets had foretold these" ....................................................... IMPOSSIBLE
" and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him" .......................... IMPOSSIBLE
"and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." ... POSSIBLE

I would agree except for the phrase "if it be lawful to call him a man" which would be IMPOSSIBLE to an orthodox Jew.

If the passage originally read, "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man. Pilate had condemned him to the cross, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" ... then early Christians had pretty much no reason to cite it.

This is pretty much the current scholarly consensus. (You surprise me, Anna). However, I disagree that early Christians would have little reason to cite it. The works of Josephus weren't preserved by Jews because they weren't written in Hebrew, but in Greek. They were kept and copied by Christians due to the alignment of the historical material with Luke. As such, many early Christian authors had access to his work. The Testimonium would have been vastly important in countering so-called heretics who denied the existence of Jesus. Yet there is no mention of the Testimonium until Eusebius in the 4th century.

Part C was obvious. Part B was stated by Tacitus. And nobody doubted Part A.

A, B, C?
annanicole
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5/3/2015 3:55:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 3:45:06 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:30:51 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

The passage in Josephus is almost certainly a Catholic exaggeration, for Josephus was an orthodox Jew who across-the-board rejected any and all claim of 1st-century Messiahship.

Not true actually. Josephus actually thought that the Roman General Vespasian was the Messiah:

He thought he was the Jewish Messiah of OT prophesy? That's a new one on me. I didn't realize that Vespasian had the lineage to qualify as the Messiah.

What more than all else incited them [the Jews] to the [1st Roman] war was an ambiguous oracle ... found in their sacred scriptures, to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their wise men went astray in their interpretation of it. The oracle, however, in reality signified the sovereignty of Vespasian who was proclaimed Emperor on Jewish soil.
--- Josephus' Jewish War 6.5.4

It was such toadying to Vespasian which gained Josephus Roman citizenship. Whether he really meant it or not is impossible to tell.

Hmmm ... I doubt that he meant it.

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man" ...................................... POSSIBLE
"if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works" .... UNLIKELY
"a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure." ........................ IMPOSSIBLE
"He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.' .. UNLIKELY
"He was [the] Christ" ................................................................................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"and when Pilate had condemned him to the cross" ....................................... POSSIBLE
"at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us" .................................... UNLIKELY
"those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ...................................... POSSIBLE
"he appeared to them alive again the third day" ..............................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"as the divine prophets had foretold these" ....................................................... IMPOSSIBLE
" and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him" .......................... IMPOSSIBLE
"and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." ... POSSIBLE

I would agree except for the phrase "if it be lawful to call him a man" which would be IMPOSSIBLE to an orthodox Jew.

That's not true. A man could do wonderful words - and such an exaggeration could be employed.

If the passage originally read, "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man. Pilate had condemned him to the cross, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" ... then early Christians had pretty much no reason to cite it.

This is pretty much the current scholarly consensus. (You surprise me, Anna).

Yeah, and I didn't even check to see what they said. They change with the wind.

However, I disagree that early Christians would have little reason to cite it. The works of Josephus weren't preserved by Jews because they weren't written in Hebrew, but in Greek. They were kept and copied by Christians due to the alignment of the historical material with Luke. As such, many early Christian authors had access to his work. The Testimonium would have been vastly important in countering so-called heretics who denied the existence of Jesus.

Is there an complete extant work prior to the 4th century in which an apologist is countering a claim that Jesus never existed?

Part C was obvious. Part B was stated by Tacitus. And nobody doubted Part A.

A, B, C?

A. "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man.
B. Pilate had condemned him to the cross,
C. and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day"
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
dee-em
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5/3/2015 4:07:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 12:35:04 AM, annanicole wrote:
"Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity"

You seem to have leaped from questioning the authenticity of the entire passage to simply outright denying it altogether. Leap is the wrong word. Skidded. I knew you'd skid into that position (you have to), but I didn't anticipate you doing it all in one post.

The scholarly view is that there was a core to the Testimonium, similar to what you outlined above. My personal view is that the entire paragraph was an interpolation. However, I don't want to turn this into a thread on the validity of the Testimonium. I will accept the scholarly consensus. It doesn't change the fact that we should expect far, far more from Josephus than just a tiny paragraph with a bit of hearsay on what Christians of his time and acquaintance may have believed. It lends no credibility to a historical Jesus. Because our expectations ought to be so much greater, such a paltry, isolated reference from a 1st century historian should give us grave doubts about the Jesus story.
JJ50
Posts: 2,144
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5/3/2015 4:16:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If the things attributed to Jesus had any veracity, the whole of the Middle East would have been talking about the guy, not just a few of his followers!
annanicole
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5/3/2015 4:56:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 4:07:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:35:04 AM, annanicole wrote:
"Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity"

You seem to have leaped from questioning the authenticity of the entire passage to simply outright denying it altogether. Leap is the wrong word. Skidded. I knew you'd skid into that position (you have to), but I didn't anticipate you doing it all in one post.

The scholarly view is that there was a core to the Testimonium, similar to what you outlined above. My personal view is that the entire paragraph was an interpolation. However, I don't want to turn this into a thread on the validity of the Testimonium. I will accept the scholarly consensus. It doesn't change the fact that we should expect far, far more from Josephus than just a tiny paragraph with a bit of hearsay on what Christians of his time and acquaintance may have believed. It lends no credibility to a historical Jesus. Because our expectations ought to be so much greater, such a paltry, isolated reference from a 1st century historian should give us grave doubts about the Jesus story.

Do you happen to know of an extant - and complete or near-complete - apology in which the writer is defending the idea that Jesus actually existed? I don't - not as a primary purpose of the apology. I'm not saying one does exist. I'm saying I haven't seen it/read it/heard of it. I don't even recall a passing reference to such a work, even if it is not extant.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
annanicole
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5/3/2015 5:23:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 4:07:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:35:04 AM, annanicole wrote:
"Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity"

You seem to have leaped from questioning the authenticity of the entire passage to simply outright denying it altogether. Leap is the wrong word. Skidded. I knew you'd skid into that position (you have to), but I didn't anticipate you doing it all in one post.

The scholarly view is that there was a core to the Testimonium, similar to what you outlined above. My personal view is that the entire paragraph was an interpolation. However, I don't want to turn this into a thread on the validity of the Testimonium. I will accept the scholarly consensus. It doesn't change the fact that we should expect far, far more from Josephus than just a tiny paragraph with a bit of hearsay on what Christians of his time and acquaintance may have believed. It lends no credibility to a historical Jesus.

Well, yes, it does. It just doesn't lend as much credibility as you have determined it should have.

I think you greatly overestimate the influence/number of Christians in comparison to the general population, anyhow. You overstate it for your own purposes. (The larger the numbers/influence, the more we should expect to see historical mentions). Josephus claims that about 1,200,000 million Jews were killed/enslaved in AD 66-70 alone. Another 1,000,000 lived in Egypt. Another 500,000 were killed off about 50 years later. Another 1,000,000 are thought to have lived in Syria. All totaled the number is about 4,000,000. Some estimates are higher; a few are lower.

By contrast, the greatest growth (according to the NT) of Christianity was right at first, before the Jews organized resistance to it. Who knows how many there really were in, say, AD 70, but I would tend to think perhaps 50,000 with maybe 100,000 by AD 100. And a great many of those were Gentile. IF the total was 50,000, and IF 1/2 were Gentile, then there were 25,000 Jewish Christians in the Roman Empire. In other words, Jews outnumbered Jewish Christians by over 100 to 1. In further contrast, the Roman Empire contained about 50,000,000 people, i. e. about 1 out of 1,000 residents was Christian. And Josephus lived in Rome - not Jerusalem.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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5/3/2015 5:43:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/2/2015 10:58:07 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:50:30 PM, celestialtorahteacher wrote:
I'm a Jewish Christian and the Gospel Jesus Christ isn't the historical Jesus for me, although through his Story God has embedded the best of spiritual guidance. The historical Jesus was Yeishu ben Pantera and lived perhaps a 100 years prior to the Gospel Jesus. Christians don't know about Yeishu because they don't read the Talmud where bits and pieces of Yeishu's biography are to be found, his biography matching the Gospel Jesus at too many points to be coincidental. An earlier Jesus allows time for a legend of Christ the Magician to build up which is where the Gospel writers found their Jesus Christ as an already legendary figure--e.g. the prayer bowl found in the harbor of Alexandria dedicated to Christ the Magician matching Prof. Morton Smith's title of his book written before the prayer bowl was found. An earlier Christ also allows Christians to be forming churches before Paul's time where he runs into already established churches only a few years after the death of Jesus. Same thing with Christians in Rome in Nero's time, earlier Jesus legend accounts for Christians so early in Rome.

How do you explain that Paul only ever really talks about a Jesus who was handed over by God to be crucified, with none of the back-story of this Yeishu ben Pantera?

The Gospel Jesus serves a spiritual purpose while the historical Yeishu backs up both
s concern for forgiveness of sins. Both were killed for blasphemy but one was real and the other a story book character composed of authentic "Q" Sayings (Synoptic sections) and overlays of Christ Cult wisdom sayings and plots based on outdoing OT prophets or equaling them in magical powers.

What about the parallels with these other more contemporary Jesuses which I have pointed out?

What "Paul"(s) are you talking about? Paul too is very likely another literary creation using Apollonius of Tyre's biography as foundation for Paul's missions. There couldn't and wouldn't be a connection between Yeishu ben Pantera and a literary figure. One is real, supposedly buried in a cabbage patch in Lydda, while the other only existed in pen and ink.
dee-em
Posts: 6,495
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5/3/2015 5:55:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 3:55:31 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/3/2015 3:45:06 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:30:51 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

The passage in Josephus is almost certainly a Catholic exaggeration, for Josephus was an orthodox Jew who across-the-board rejected any and all claim of 1st-century Messiahship.

Not true actually. Josephus actually thought that the Roman General Vespasian was the Messiah:

He thought he was the Jewish Messiah of OT prophesy? That's a new one on me. I didn't realize that Vespasian had the lineage to qualify as the Messiah.

What more than all else incited them [the Jews] to the [1st Roman] war was an ambiguous oracle ... found in their sacred scriptures, to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their wise men went astray in their interpretation of it. The oracle, however, in reality signified the sovereignty of Vespasian who was proclaimed Emperor on Jewish soil.
--- Josephus' Jewish War 6.5.4

It was such toadying to Vespasian which gained Josephus Roman citizenship. Whether he really meant it or not is impossible to tell.

Hmmm ... I doubt that he meant it.

Who knows? It still counters your claim regarding his attitude on Messiahship.

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man" ...................................... POSSIBLE
"if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works" .... UNLIKELY
"a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure." ........................ IMPOSSIBLE
"He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.' .. UNLIKELY
"He was [the] Christ" ................................................................................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"and when Pilate had condemned him to the cross" ....................................... POSSIBLE
"at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us" .................................... UNLIKELY
"those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ...................................... POSSIBLE
"he appeared to them alive again the third day" ..............................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"as the divine prophets had foretold these" ....................................................... IMPOSSIBLE
" and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him" .......................... IMPOSSIBLE
"and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." ... POSSIBLE

I would agree except for the phrase "if it be lawful to call him a man" which would be IMPOSSIBLE to an orthodox Jew.

That's not true. A man could do wonderful words - and such an exaggeration could be employed.

I took it ("if it be lawful to call him a man") to be an allusion to his alleged divinity which no orthodox Jew would entertain. Magicians doing wondrous deeds were a dime a dozen.

If the passage originally read, "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man. Pilate had condemned him to the cross, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" ... then early Christians had pretty much no reason to cite it.

This is pretty much the current scholarly consensus. (You surprise me, Anna).

Yeah, and I didn't even check to see what they said. They change with the wind.

Sure, Anna, like the wind. Wuld you prefer that scholarship remains fixed in stasis and never change in the face of new evidence and painstaking research?

However, I disagree that early Christians would have little reason to cite it. The works of Josephus weren't preserved by Jews because they weren't written in Hebrew, but in Greek. They were kept and copied by Christians due to the alignment of the historical material with Luke. As such, many early Christian authors had access to his work. The Testimonium would have been vastly important in countering so-called heretics who denied the existence of Jesus.

Is there an complete extant work prior to the 4th century in which an apologist is countering a claim that Jesus never existed?

Please don't start with the red herrings, Anna. This thread concerns Josephus and Jesus --- the lack of a 1st century historical basis for an Earthly Jesus.

Part C was obvious. Part B was stated by Tacitus. And nobody doubted Part A.

A, B, C?

A. "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man.
B. Pilate had condemned him to the cross,
C. and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day"

Okay. You were making some sarcastic remarks in relation to Pilate above. How do you feel about scholarship changing like the wind on this subject?
dee-em
Posts: 6,495
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5/3/2015 6:03:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 4:16:41 AM, JJ50 wrote:
If the things attributed to Jesus had any veracity, the whole of the Middle East would have been talking about the guy, not just a few of his followers!

Exactly. Even if it was just a fraction of the things.
dee-em
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5/3/2015 6:10:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 4:56:57 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/3/2015 4:07:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:35:04 AM, annanicole wrote:
"Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity"

You seem to have leaped from questioning the authenticity of the entire passage to simply outright denying it altogether. Leap is the wrong word. Skidded. I knew you'd skid into that position (you have to), but I didn't anticipate you doing it all in one post.

The scholarly view is that there was a core to the Testimonium, similar to what you outlined above. My personal view is that the entire paragraph was an interpolation. However, I don't want to turn this into a thread on the validity of the Testimonium. I will accept the scholarly consensus. It doesn't change the fact that we should expect far, far more from Josephus than just a tiny paragraph with a bit of hearsay on what Christians of his time and acquaintance may have believed. It lends no credibility to a historical Jesus. Because our expectations ought to be so much greater, such a paltry, isolated reference from a 1st century historian should give us grave doubts about the Jesus story.

Do you happen to know of an extant - and complete or near-complete - apology in which the writer is defending the idea that Jesus actually existed? I don't - not as a primary purpose of the apology. I'm not saying one does exist. I'm saying I haven't seen it/read it/heard of it. I don't even recall a passing reference to such a work, even if it is not extant.

Off-topic.
annanicole
Posts: 19,793
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5/3/2015 6:13:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 5:55:15 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 3:55:31 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/3/2015 3:45:06 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:30:51 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:25:14 PM, dee-em wrote:
Christians, when pressed for historical evidence for Jesus, will often cite the single paragraph in Josephesus' Antiquities of the Jews written 93-94CE. It's called the "Testimonium Flavianum" and is generally regarded by scholars as a later, perhaps inadvertant, interpolation:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian expansion/alteration.

One tiny reference, probably an interpolation (twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium), in all those works by Josephus? How can that be I hear you ask for someone who was supposedly so famous that a new, vibrant religion was founded upon him and spreading like wildfire?

The passage in Josephus is almost certainly a Catholic exaggeration, for Josephus was an orthodox Jew who across-the-board rejected any and all claim of 1st-century Messiahship.

Not true actually. Josephus actually thought that the Roman General Vespasian was the Messiah:

He thought he was the Jewish Messiah of OT prophesy? That's a new one on me. I didn't realize that Vespasian had the lineage to qualify as the Messiah.

What more than all else incited them [the Jews] to the [1st Roman] war was an ambiguous oracle ... found in their sacred scriptures, to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their wise men went astray in their interpretation of it. The oracle, however, in reality signified the sovereignty of Vespasian who was proclaimed Emperor on Jewish soil.
--- Josephus' Jewish War 6.5.4

It was such toadying to Vespasian which gained Josephus Roman citizenship. Whether he really meant it or not is impossible to tell.

Hmmm ... I doubt that he meant it.

Who knows? It still counters your claim regarding his attitude on Messiahship.

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man" ...................................... POSSIBLE
"if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works" .... UNLIKELY
"a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure." ........................ IMPOSSIBLE
"He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.' .. UNLIKELY
"He was [the] Christ" ................................................................................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"and when Pilate had condemned him to the cross" ....................................... POSSIBLE
"at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us" .................................... UNLIKELY
"those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ...................................... POSSIBLE
"he appeared to them alive again the third day" ..............................ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE
"as the divine prophets had foretold these" ....................................................... IMPOSSIBLE
" and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him" .......................... IMPOSSIBLE
"and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." ... POSSIBLE

I would agree except for the phrase "if it be lawful to call him a man" which would be IMPOSSIBLE to an orthodox Jew.

That's not true. A man could do wonderful words - and such an exaggeration could be employed.

I took it ("if it be lawful to call him a man") to be an allusion to his alleged divinity which no orthodox Jew would entertain. Magicians doing wondrous deeds were a dime a dozen.

If the passage originally read, "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man. Pilate had condemned him to the cross, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day" ... then early Christians had pretty much no reason to cite it.

This is pretty much the current scholarly consensus. (You surprise me, Anna).

Yeah, and I didn't even check to see what they said. They change with the wind.

Sure, Anna, like the wind. Wuld you prefer that scholarship remains fixed in stasis and never change in the face of new evidence and painstaking research?

LOL What "new evidence"? There is no more or less "new evidence" concerning the historical Jesus than there was a hundred years ago.

However, I disagree that early Christians would have little reason to cite it. The works of Josephus weren't preserved by Jews because they weren't written in Hebrew, but in Greek. They were kept and copied by Christians due to the alignment of the historical material with Luke. As such, many early Christian authors had access to his work. The Testimonium would have been vastly important in countering so-called heretics who denied the existence of Jesus.

Is there an complete extant work prior to the 4th century in which an apologist is countering a claim that Jesus never existed?

Please don't start with the red herrings, Anna. This thread concerns Josephus and Jesus --- the lack of a 1st century historical basis for an Earthly Jesus.

I'll take that as a "no". BTW, that's not a red herring. If there was little or no reason for early Christians to cite such a passage in Josephus, then I take it that the number of citations would nose-dive.

Part C was obvious. Part B was stated by Tacitus. And nobody doubted Part A.

A, B, C?

A. "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man.
B. Pilate had condemned him to the cross,
C. and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day"

Okay. You were making some sarcastic remarks in relation to Pilate above. How do you feel about scholarship changing like the wind on this subject?

I never said scholarship changed on the subject. I said that the world was treated to some pretty long-winded and far-fetched treatises by a minority of pseudoscholars who advanced an argument from non-Biblical silence. Josephus didn't even think to mention him, did he? Nor anyone else. No eye-witness accounts. Ad nauseum. I wonder how those "non-eyewitnesses" of the 1st century who had no historical mention of the name Pilate to fall back on came up with it.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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5/3/2015 6:15:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Tgere was some interpolation of the texts about Jesus, and possibly a story about a different Jesus which inspired portions of the gospels, but why are we doubting the text from Josephus on Jesus again?

Only a portion of the text about the historical Jesus is interpolation, and the biblical scholars I've talked to indicate they know the other portion of the phrase about Jesus is authentic, because it fits Josephus's style perfectly. I'd say alone Josephus's writing isn't enough to prove a historical Jesus, given who had access to his work, but O think it's a good piece of evidence.
dee-em
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5/3/2015 6:15:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 5:43:31 AM, celestialtorahteacher wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:58:07 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/2/2015 10:50:30 PM, celestialtorahteacher wrote:
I'm a Jewish Christian and the Gospel Jesus Christ isn't the historical Jesus for me, although through his Story God has embedded the best of spiritual guidance. The historical Jesus was Yeishu ben Pantera and lived perhaps a 100 years prior to the Gospel Jesus. Christians don't know about Yeishu because they don't read the Talmud where bits and pieces of Yeishu's biography are to be found, his biography matching the Gospel Jesus at too many points to be coincidental. An earlier Jesus allows time for a legend of Christ the Magician to build up which is where the Gospel writers found their Jesus Christ as an already legendary figure--e.g. the prayer bowl found in the harbor of Alexandria dedicated to Christ the Magician matching Prof. Morton Smith's title of his book written before the prayer bowl was found. An earlier Christ also allows Christians to be forming churches before Paul's time where he runs into already established churches only a few years after the death of Jesus. Same thing with Christians in Rome in Nero's time, earlier Jesus legend accounts for Christians so early in Rome.

How do you explain that Paul only ever really talks about a Jesus who was handed over by God to be crucified, with none of the back-story of this Yeishu ben Pantera?

The Gospel Jesus serves a spiritual purpose while the historical Yeishu backs up both
s concern for forgiveness of sins. Both were killed for blasphemy but one was real and the other a story book character composed of authentic "Q" Sayings (Synoptic sections) and overlays of Christ Cult wisdom sayings and plots based on outdoing OT prophets or equaling them in magical powers.

What about the parallels with these other more contemporary Jesuses which I have pointed out?

What "Paul"(s) are you talking about? Paul too is very likely another literary creation using Apollonius of Tyre's biography as foundation for Paul's missions. There couldn't and wouldn't be a connection between Yeishu ben Pantera and a literary figure. One is real, supposedly buried in a cabbage patch in Lydda, while the other only existed in pen and ink.

I agree with you that "Paul" is a literary creation. However, that doesn't alter my question. I'm asking it for whoever it was who wrote as "Paul".
annanicole
Posts: 19,793
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5/3/2015 6:16:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 6:10:48 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 4:56:57 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 5/3/2015 4:07:01 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 5/3/2015 12:35:04 AM, annanicole wrote:
"Josephus devotes pages and pages about all of these bandits, crazy people, messiah claimants, etc., multiple Jesuses who seem to be an "episode" of the Gospel Jesus' ministry, but never writes about the Jesus of Christianity"

You seem to have leaped from questioning the authenticity of the entire passage to simply outright denying it altogether. Leap is the wrong word. Skidded. I knew you'd skid into that position (you have to), but I didn't anticipate you doing it all in one post.

The scholarly view is that there was a core to the Testimonium, similar to what you outlined above. My personal view is that the entire paragraph was an interpolation. However, I don't want to turn this into a thread on the validity of the Testimonium. I will accept the scholarly consensus. It doesn't change the fact that we should expect far, far more from Josephus than just a tiny paragraph with a bit of hearsay on what Christians of his time and acquaintance may have believed. It lends no credibility to a historical Jesus. Because our expectations ought to be so much greater, such a paltry, isolated reference from a 1st century historian should give us grave doubts about the Jesus story.

Do you happen to know of an extant - and complete or near-complete - apology in which the writer is defending the idea that Jesus actually existed? I don't - not as a primary purpose of the apology. I'm not saying one does exist. I'm saying I haven't seen it/read it/heard of it. I don't even recall a passing reference to such a work, even if it is not extant.

Off-topic.

On topic: "Twelve Christian writers refer to Josephus before Eusebius in 324 AD, none mentions the Testimonium"

I am trying to ascertain the context in which Josephus was cited. Most likely these references were not even trying to affirm the historicity of Jesus - and I'll wager that most of them were not quoting Josephus in that context (or anywhere remotely related to that context).
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
dee-em
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5/3/2015 6:24:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/3/2015 6:15:15 AM, Wylted wrote:
Tgere was some interpolation of the texts about Jesus, and possibly a story about a different Jesus which inspired portions of the gospels, but why are we doubting the text from Josephus on Jesus again?

Only a portion of the text about the historical Jesus is interpolation, and the biblical scholars I've talked to indicate they know the other portion of the phrase about Jesus is authentic, because it fits Josephus's style perfectly. I'd say alone Josephus's writing isn't enough to prove a historical Jesus, given who had access to his work, but O think it's a good piece of evidence.

Hearsay doesn't authenticate historicity. If the core of the passage is valid, it only proves that Josephus was aware of what some Christans believed. My point is that this is all we have, at best, from any historian in the 1st century. Wouldn't you expect much, much, much more?