Paul J. Hopper
A Narrative Anomaly in Josephus:
Jewish Antiquities xviii:63
Abstract: Josephus in the Jewish Antiquities introduces Jesus the Messiah into his
history of the Jews, and appears to report events corresponding closely to those of
the Gospels, including Jesus’s crucifixion on the orders of Pontius Pilate. A long
standing dispute exists about the authenticity of this text. The present article
offers a narratological analysis of the passage, comparing the styles of event
reporting in the passage with the three other episodes in Josephus’s Pontius Pilate
sequence. The study concludes that the uses of the Greek verb forms such as
aorists and participles are distinct in the Jesus passage from those in the other
Pilate episodes, and that these differences amount to a difference in genre. It is
suggested that the Jesus passage is close in style and content to the creeds that
were composed two to three centuries after Josephus.
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