The first Josephus "testimonium"

The first Josephus "testimonium"

Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

April 19th, 2010, 12:43 am #1

I think this one bears some discussion on its own.

Again, I'll quote Origen's rebuttal of Celsus so that "we" can focus our attention to the details of JUST this one issue (hopefully)....

Again, to set the scene, Origen was an early Christian scholar living between the time of 185 AD and 254 AD. That means he lived in the "3rd century" after the time of the alleged Jesus Christ.

Origen wrote a relatively large number of books to refute a "pagan" fellow by the name of Celsus. Now, Celsus' writings were all destroyed by the church, so we can't check to see what Celsus ACTUALLY said but ....... we can deduce from what Origen wrote in RESPONSE to Celsus .... what Celsus was probably saying in his own arguments.

So, one of the things Origen wrote in response to some argument of Celsus' was :

[ "I would like to say to Celsus, who represents the Jew accepting John somehow as a Baptist, who baptized Jesus, that the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now [Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple [said that it was 'to avenge James the Just'], whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless -- being, although against his will, not far from the truth -- that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ), -- the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice." (Origen, Contra Celsum, 1: 47; ANF. 4: 416.) ]

1) "the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite."

From this argument, we can deduce that Celsus may have questioned the EXISTENCE of John the Baptist -or- Origen is attempting to create a "string" between JTB and Jesus Christ, to prove the EXISTENCE of Jesus Christ. If JTB baptized Jesus, then Jesus must have existed.

2) "Now [Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple [said that it was 'to avenge James the Just'],"

Thus, Origen is declaring that Josephus did NOT believe in Jesus as the Christ.

3) "whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the CAUSE of these calamities ....since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, [ he ] says nevertheless -- -- that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ)"

So here we have our first indicator that Josephus was aware of this "brother" of James ... who was Jesus and was also called "Christ" and ....

4) "the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice."

The Jews put James to death (presumably by stoning). The last quote -#4- was in Origen's own words and no longer a quotation of the Josephus passage.

Here is the Josephus passage so that it can be fully scrutinized on its own. This is the one that Origen was quoting FROM ...

[ And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest. ]

Thus, the question ....

Was the following part in Josephus' writing, or is it faked/somehow added to his writings LATER by a Christian scribe?

[ and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, ]

If it's genuine, one has to wonder why Josephus would just suddenly DROP the "brother of Jesus who was called Christ" ... into his story, without a SINGLE CLUE of who this Jesus guy was or represented!

Another possibility might be that ........ James was known as a Christian leader who consistently referred to himself as, "Hi. I'm James, the brother of Jesus who is Christ." Even though no outsider would understand what the heck he was talking about, it would NEVERTHELESS .... IDENTIFY James as .... "that fellow who claims to be the 'brother of Jesus who is Christ'."

(Do you remember that old show on TV, called Newhart, where these 3 crazy brothers always showed up together, with their one spokesman brother ALWAYS introducing the group as, "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl." ?? Ok, that line was Larry's trademark ....... just as James the Just may have had the trademark line, "Hi, I'm James ... the brother of Jesus who is Christ." )

What do you think?

-Vince
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Joined: June 13th, 2006, 12:37 am

April 19th, 2010, 3:21 am #2

http://www.bede.org.uk/Josephus.htm

http://www.tektonics.org/doherty/doherty4sq.html#orgjos

http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/josephus/josephus.htm

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Last edited by RevJack2006 on April 19th, 2010, 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

April 19th, 2010, 4:42 am #3

I would delete that "reply" because it's nothing but a "blocker" ... which contains not a single iota of content and appears to have been posted in an attempt to STOP ... any discussion on the subject.

I asked for discussion; not bulk link pastes.

-Vince
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truth-b-told
truth-b-told

April 19th, 2010, 6:25 am #4

I think this one bears some discussion on its own.

Again, I'll quote Origen's rebuttal of Celsus so that "we" can focus our attention to the details of JUST this one issue (hopefully)....

Again, to set the scene, Origen was an early Christian scholar living between the time of 185 AD and 254 AD. That means he lived in the "3rd century" after the time of the alleged Jesus Christ.

Origen wrote a relatively large number of books to refute a "pagan" fellow by the name of Celsus. Now, Celsus' writings were all destroyed by the church, so we can't check to see what Celsus ACTUALLY said but ....... we can deduce from what Origen wrote in RESPONSE to Celsus .... what Celsus was probably saying in his own arguments.

So, one of the things Origen wrote in response to some argument of Celsus' was :

[ "I would like to say to Celsus, who represents the Jew accepting John somehow as a Baptist, who baptized Jesus, that the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now [Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple [said that it was 'to avenge James the Just'], whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless -- being, although against his will, not far from the truth -- that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ), -- the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice." (Origen, Contra Celsum, 1: 47; ANF. 4: 416.) ]

1) "the existence of John the Baptist, baptizing for the remission of sins, is related by one who lived no great time after John and Jesus. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite."

From this argument, we can deduce that Celsus may have questioned the EXISTENCE of John the Baptist -or- Origen is attempting to create a "string" between JTB and Jesus Christ, to prove the EXISTENCE of Jesus Christ. If JTB baptized Jesus, then Jesus must have existed.

2) "Now [Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple [said that it was 'to avenge James the Just'],"

Thus, Origen is declaring that Josephus did NOT believe in Jesus as the Christ.

3) "whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the CAUSE of these calamities ....since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, [ he ] says nevertheless -- -- that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ)"

So here we have our first indicator that Josephus was aware of this "brother" of James ... who was Jesus and was also called "Christ" and ....

4) "the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice."

The Jews put James to death (presumably by stoning). The last quote -#4- was in Origen's own words and no longer a quotation of the Josephus passage.

Here is the Josephus passage so that it can be fully scrutinized on its own. This is the one that Origen was quoting FROM ...

[ And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest. ]

Thus, the question ....

Was the following part in Josephus' writing, or is it faked/somehow added to his writings LATER by a Christian scribe?

[ and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, ]

If it's genuine, one has to wonder why Josephus would just suddenly DROP the "brother of Jesus who was called Christ" ... into his story, without a SINGLE CLUE of who this Jesus guy was or represented!

Another possibility might be that ........ James was known as a Christian leader who consistently referred to himself as, "Hi. I'm James, the brother of Jesus who is Christ." Even though no outsider would understand what the heck he was talking about, it would NEVERTHELESS .... IDENTIFY James as .... "that fellow who claims to be the 'brother of Jesus who is Christ'."

(Do you remember that old show on TV, called Newhart, where these 3 crazy brothers always showed up together, with their one spokesman brother ALWAYS introducing the group as, "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl." ?? Ok, that line was Larry's trademark ....... just as James the Just may have had the trademark line, "Hi, I'm James ... the brother of Jesus who is Christ." )

What do you think?

-Vince
Even when the passages apparently referring to Jesus/Christ are genuine, none of them qualify as personal, eyewitness testimonies of the alleged authors themselves in respect to a historical and supernatural Jesus the Christ as portrayed in the NT.

None of the authors lived during the purported advent of the supernatural Jesus the Christ as their birth dates will confirm. Their words therefore, are hearsay - which explains how come none of them claim they have personally met or witnessed a supernatural Jesus the Christ - because what they are saying is what was being said. Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny (the Younger), Suetonius etc, share this characteristic with the gospel authors.

Except for an introduction in "Luke", the gospels are not signed and are written in the third person perspective (as by an invisible narrator). The authors never situate themselves within the unfolding narrative nor give any hint they themselves were involved in the events described. Several narratives even involve Jesus by himself without any witnesses present.

And so, we have returned to square one: the lack of verifiable documentation of firsthand, during-the-event accounts outside the NT leading to the doubt about a historical and supernatural Jesus the Christ as portrayed in the NT.
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

April 19th, 2010, 7:08 am #5

The purpose of this (proposed) discussion though, is NOT to prove or disprove the existence of Jesus Christ, per se ... but to explore the history around the first testimonium of Josephus, concerning the Jesus, the brother of James. (I don't even want this discussion to get mixed in with the "BIG" testimonium but rather, to stay with the smaller, lesser mention of Jesus, as being Jame's brother).

To go to the actual passage in Josephus' writings, click on the following link and then hit Cntrl + F keys on your keyboard to bring up the search function. Type in (or copy and paste) ........... CHAPTER 9 .... and then hit enter. This will take you directly to that passage, since it's in the first "verse."

http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-20.htm

Here is the line again ....

[Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others ]

Take a good look at that sentence. It's not exactly clear WHO was "called Christ." Anyone not familiar with Christianity would probably think it was referring to James.

If you then use the search slot and enter .... Jesus .... you'll find that this is the very FIRST mention of any Jesus in Antiquities book 20.

Thus, if Josephus was talking about Jesus as the one called Christ, he has given NO previous introduction to this fellow. If Jesus is not the FOCUS of this particular passage, it's awfully peculiar that Josephus would introduce him and then say NOTHING more about him again. But if Josephus WAS speaking of Jesus as the topic for this section, it makes a wee bit more sense.

He's going to talk about Jesus.

He introduces James, the brother of this Jesus.

James is killed.

The story continues on, about Jesus.

Is this what Josephus was really doing?

Look at the end of the passage ....

[Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest. ]

Is this the same Jesus as the Jesus above it, who was the brother of James, also called "Christ"?

It makes sense. James was killed by the work of Ananus the Sadducee high priest, the people protested and finally the (new) King Agrippa stripped Ananus of his office and put James' brother Jesus into that office.

(Ananus was the high priest officiating in the Gospels during the alleged trial of Jesus. He was also the high priest in Acts 4:6 )

Comments?

-Vince
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truth-b-told
truth-b-told

April 19th, 2010, 7:24 am #6

"The purpose of this (proposed) discussion though, is NOT to prove or disprove the existence of Jesus Christ, per se ... but to explore the history around the first testimonium of Josephus, concerning the Jesus, the brother of James. (I don't even want this discussion to get mixed in with the "BIG" testimonium but rather, to stay with the smaller, lesser mention of Jesus, as being Jame's brother)."

Okay, my bad. My interest lies with the common source these tales of god-men who 'were born', 'walked', 'performed', 'suffered', 'died', 'came back to life' etc. stem from. I must have misinterpret your post. Sorry.

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Joined: March 8th, 2007, 6:53 am

April 19th, 2010, 7:56 am #7

I would delete that "reply" because it's nothing but a "blocker" ... which contains not a single iota of content and appears to have been posted in an attempt to STOP ... any discussion on the subject.

I asked for discussion; not bulk link pastes.

-Vince
twice in 2 days you come crying about deleting someone posts.....i gaurantee that if it was a post that was disparaging towards christianity....you would not only not ask for such deletion....you would be applauding it with passion.


shut up....and grow up ......don't like....don't read.


buy yourself some tissue while you are at it.

sheesh
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Joined: December 8th, 2003, 1:16 am

April 19th, 2010, 8:05 am #8

"The purpose of this (proposed) discussion though, is NOT to prove or disprove the existence of Jesus Christ, per se ... but to explore the history around the first testimonium of Josephus, concerning the Jesus, the brother of James. (I don't even want this discussion to get mixed in with the "BIG" testimonium but rather, to stay with the smaller, lesser mention of Jesus, as being Jame's brother)."

Okay, my bad. My interest lies with the common source these tales of god-men who 'were born', 'walked', 'performed', 'suffered', 'died', 'came back to life' etc. stem from. I must have misinterpret your post. Sorry.
And feel free to join in the discussion. Your keen insight will be much appreciated, I think!

-Vince
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Joined: July 1st, 2008, 11:52 pm

April 19th, 2010, 8:58 am #9

Even when the passages apparently referring to Jesus/Christ are genuine, none of them qualify as personal, eyewitness testimonies of the alleged authors themselves in respect to a historical and supernatural Jesus the Christ as portrayed in the NT.

None of the authors lived during the purported advent of the supernatural Jesus the Christ as their birth dates will confirm. Their words therefore, are hearsay - which explains how come none of them claim they have personally met or witnessed a supernatural Jesus the Christ - because what they are saying is what was being said. Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny (the Younger), Suetonius etc, share this characteristic with the gospel authors.

Except for an introduction in "Luke", the gospels are not signed and are written in the third person perspective (as by an invisible narrator). The authors never situate themselves within the unfolding narrative nor give any hint they themselves were involved in the events described. Several narratives even involve Jesus by himself without any witnesses present.

And so, we have returned to square one: the lack of verifiable documentation of firsthand, during-the-event accounts outside the NT leading to the doubt about a historical and supernatural Jesus the Christ as portrayed in the NT.
I gave my witness of Jesus just as the apostles did, who also claimed to see him in a vision.....just like I did.....and so did all the patriarchs and prophets see in visions...


if its all in visions then you have an eye witness right here but it doesn't seem to matter who sees what.....it has to be seen for oneself to be understood since it is that other-worldly:

everyone is discussing other peoples visions in scriptural writings, even the gospels are according to a memory according to visions these writers had.


the Bible admits this by saying the scripture were written by holy men who wrote down what the Holy Spirit told them to say:

all this looking into historical evidence will turn up a bunch of opinions about those people who had (((visions of God)))).


2Pe 1:16 ¶ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you (((((the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ))))), but were ((((eyewitnesses of his majesty)))))).


2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: ((((but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost)))).

the word "moved' is phero

to carry a burden, to be conveyed or borne with the suggestion of FORCE of SPEED, of the mind, to be moved inwardly, prompted, to endure the rigor of a thing, to bear patiently one's conduct or spare one, abstain from punishing or destroying, to bring forward, to lead, conduct


Jesus Christ COMING IN A VISION


Pro 29:18 Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.



Gen 15:1 After these things the word of ((((the LORD came unto Abram in a vision)))), saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward.



Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: ((((If there be a prophet among you, the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision)))), [and] will speak unto him in a dream.




2Sa 7:17 According to all these words, and according to (((all this vision)))), so did Nathan speak unto David.




2Ch 32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they [are] ((((written in the vision of Isaiah)))) the prophet, the son of Amoz, [and] in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.


Job 20:8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.


Job 33:15 In a dream, (((in a vision of the night)))), when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;




Oba 1:1 The (((vision of Obadiah))). Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.


Mic 3:6 Therefore night [shall be] unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

Nah 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of (((the vision of Nahum)))) the Elkoshite.
Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Hab 2:3 For ((((the vision [is] yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak)))), and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.




Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.



Act 18:9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:

Act 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

Rev 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses [were] as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
Last edited by Harpazo on April 19th, 2010, 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
every day is a new day to die to the old and live to the newness of life
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Joined: March 4th, 2007, 4:09 pm

April 19th, 2010, 9:16 am #10

I would delete that "reply" because it's nothing but a "blocker" ... which contains not a single iota of content and appears to have been posted in an attempt to STOP ... any discussion on the subject.

I asked for discussion; not bulk link pastes.

-Vince
But...
If discussion is your intention...
Then...
I Would, most assuredly...
-- Ignore It...
And...
-- Advise others to do the same.

You are correct in your assessment.
It's a...
-- bulk link paste...
With...
-- not a single iota of content.

But, that's our Jack...
And...
If his intention is to derail discussion of the topic...
Then...
This little rabbit trail might just lead to his success.

(Oh, he's a tricky devil...!)

-PRev1-

President Barrack Hussein Obama

-- Nobel Peace Prize, 2009 --
"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
-- George Orwell, "1984" --
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