Talk:Josephus

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Linkdump[edit]

Stuff to read later:

  • Apologetic:
  • Not:

— Unsigned, by: FuzzyCatPotato / talk / contribs

Some of this is really bad.
Christopher Price (bede) by his own words only has a minor in historical studies; not really on par with Price and Carrier.
Tektonics is run James Patrick Holding who is an embarrassment to Apologetics everywhere.
Truthbeknown is Acharya S/D.M. Murdock and while you can trust the material she referenced said what she claimed her use of that evidence leaves much to be desired. Her research wasn't all that good either.
Everything else is reasonable but is a been there done that.--BruceGrubb (talk) 14:35, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw "D.M. Murdock" in the refs added today and came straight here to say "Uh..." Other mythers were polite to her but cordially thought she was a gibbering fruitbat. If there's any source on Earth that isn't Acharya S, we should use it instead - David Gerard (talk) 09:13, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't go as far as saying she was a "gibbering fruitbat" (Joseph Wheless' 1930 Forgery in Christianity is a lot closer to that category) as nearly all of her conclusions are simply reiterations of those seen in the 19th century. She just didn't do the proper research to find out what was still relevant and what had been disproved by more recent research. Yes, it hurt her position but she at least referenced where the material she was using came from well enough you could look it up.
If you want the best that Carrier regards for the Apologetic position we have two works:
  • Van Voorst’s Jesus Outside the New Testament
  • Theissen & Merz’s The Historical Jesus.
For the 'Not' position we have Carrier's own On the Historicity of Jesus the only peer reviewed published by a respected publisher in-depth work out there. With this work why use anything else that odds are is going to be not as good when it is not complete garbage?--BruceGrubb (talk) 11:31, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Wells, G.A.[edit]

Wells, G. A. (1986) [1975]. Did Jesus Exist? (2nd revised, corrected and expanded ed.). Pemberton.

The second passage in Josephus which mentions Jesus consists of half a dozen words in a paragraph about an intemperate Sadducean high priest who in AD 62 brought a number of men before the Sanhedrin as ‘breakers of the law’ and ‘delivered them to be stoned’. . . . The words have the character of a brief marginal gloss, later incorporated innocently into the text. Josephus probably wrote of the death of a Jewish Jerusalem leader called James, and a Christian reader thought the reference must be to James the brother of the Lord who, according to Christian tradition, led the Jerusalem Church about the time in question. This reader accordingly noted in the margin: ‘James = the brother of Jesus, him called Christ’ (cf. the wording of Mt. 1:16: ‘Jesus. him called Christ’) and a later copyists took this note as belonging to the text and incorporated it. Other interpolations are known to have originated in precisely such a way. And it is also of interest that even a second century Christian account of ‘James the brother of the Lord’ (that of Hegesippus, preserved as a quotation in Eusebius) represents him as in some respects a Jewish rather than a Christian saint. This lends some force to my suggestion that the James of whom Josephus wrote was within Judaism. —(p. 11)

Wells, G. A. (1982). The Historical Evidence for Jesus. Prometheus.

Josephus’ other, briefer reference to Jesus, although often impugned (see DJE, p 11) is still defended by some scholars (sometimes on obviously inadequate grounds, as I shall show, p 211). But it too is set aside as being interpolated, by L. Herrmann, whose Chrestos. Témoignages pai’ens et juifs sur Ie christianisme du premier siécle (Brussels, 1970) is a thorough investigation. —(p. 18)

NB: Martin, Michael (1993). The Case Against Christianity. Temple University Press. pp. 49, 70, n. 38.

[Per Antiquities 20.9.1] Scholarly opinion is divided over whether this passage is a Christian interpolation. (See, for example, J. C. Davies, The Early Christian Church: A History of Its First Five Centuries (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1965), p. 7; R. Joseph Hoffman, Jesus Outside the Gospels (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1984), p. 55; Wells, The Historical Evidence for Jesus, p. 18.)
Dbz (talk) 12:37, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Allen, N.P.L.[edit]

  • Nicholas Peter Legh Allen argues that the following points hold for the “James Passage (JP)“, i.e. Jewish Antiquities 20.200.

Per Allen, N.P.L. (2015) Clarifying the Scope of Pre-Fifth-Century C.E. Christian Interpolation in Josephus’ Antiquitates Judaicae (c. 94 C.E.). Unpublished Philosophiae Doctor thesis, Potchefstroom: North-West University. available online @ http://dspace.nwu.ac.za/handle/10394/14213

[N]o reliable extra-biblical/scriptural accounts exist to support the historical existence of, inter alia, Jesus of Nazareth, James the Just or John the Baptist. —(p. ii)
[…]
4.7 Chapter Four Summary – Based on the arguments reviewed thus far it can be ascertained that:
1. Apart from the JP we do not have any other extra-biblical evidence that James even existed. Here, the Dead Sea Scroll literature cannot serve as evidence for James’ existence. Based purely on the NT it is possible to surmise that he was believed to be Jesus’ sibling, favoured circumcision and held a senior leadership position in the Jerusalem Church in the first century C.E. However, it is solely Christian tradition that supplies details of his trial and death;
2. All Christian apologists cited (Origen, Eusebius and Jerome) misquote Josephus as regards the reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem. This means that, apart from them possibly regurgitating a Christian tradition, they were certainly capable of embellishment or there once existed a Josephan text that is now lost;
3. Origen quotes the JP practically verbatim strengthening the notion that he had read it. However, he never refers to the JP as the JP – only in the context of quoting Josephus in order to justify the spurious cause for the destruction of the Temple;
4. The JP is far less embellished than one would expect from the details of the Christian tradition;
5. James’ mention is cursory. It has been suggested that he is only mentioned because his illegal execution causes Ananus to be deposed. However, given that he is uncharacteristically refered to as “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ” cannot be dismissed as being merely incidental;
6. If a Christian forger had inserted a reference to Jesus in the JP, he would have more likely ensured that it received more prominence. However, this factor really depends on the actual opportunity and intentions of the forger. One should not generalise the specific reasons for this possible forgery;
7. Josephus’ JP account differs in time and details from the official second century Christian accounts, suggesting early authorship;
8. Albinus arrived in Jerusalem in c. 59 C.E. and could not possibly have arrived as late as say 68 or 70 CE as intimated by the Christian tradition. Therefore, if the Christian tradition is correct then the JP is a proven forgery. If the JP is authentic then the Christian tradition is inaccurate;
and
9. The preceding passages leading up to the JP appear to be skipping vital information.
—(pp. 326f)

NB: Allen curriculum vitae. – Dbz (talk) 11:59, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Carrier, Richard[edit]

  • Richard Carrier notes that all extant manuscripts of the Jewish Antiquities are derived from a single manuscript—held by Eusebius in the early 4th century.

Carrier (23 September 2016). “Three Things to Know about New Testament Manuscripts”. Richard Carrier Blogs.

[Per the Jewish Antiquities by Josephus] all extant manuscripts of the Antiquities are copies (of copies of copies of copies…) of the same singular manuscript owned and used by Eusebius at his own Christian library in Caesarea.

This means we cannot expect any versions of the text different from or predating that single manuscript to be available to us in any manuscript there is today. This means all variants prior to that (including the original form of the text as Josephus wrote it) are permanently lost and invisible to us. Every error and distortion and mistaken “correction” that got into the text in that one single Eusebian manuscript, from its own copying from an earlier manuscript in that same library (used by Origen), which said significantly different things, and every error and distortion and mistaken “correction” that got into the text in the long process of transmission down through numerous reproductions before Origen even acquired his copy, will never show in the surviving record. All manuscript evidence there would have been proving those variant readings, has been 100% lost. Probably forever.

That the entirety of all Josephan scholarship is only trying to reconstruct the text as it was in the single—centuries-late—manuscript held by Eusebius in the early 4th century, and cannot ever reconstruct any version of the text prior (down to and including the original text as known to Josephus in the late 1st century), is an extremely significant thing to realize.

  • Richard Carrier notes that per the Jewish Antiquities: "No expert opinion on the authenticity of either [Jesus] passage is citeable, if it isn’t informed by" the respective "published research on it over the last ten years."

See: Carrier (16 February 2017). “Josephus on Jesus? Why You Can’t Cite Opinions Before 2014“. Richard Carrier Blogs. – Dbz (talk) 03:55, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

That does seem to be a rather extreme requirement, acknowledging I've expressed similar views about citations in other areas before. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:56, 18 January 2019 (UTC)