Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:56 pm

Giuseppe wrote:Chrestus was a typical Jewish name in Rome just in virtue of the his meaning: the "good" one.
Do you remember Justus of Tiberias?
Justus means: the "just" one.
Robert Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament
Among Jews, however, which all interpreters including Benko hold to be Suetonius' focus here, this name is not attested at all.

Giuseppe
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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:59 pm

But if Justus of Tiberias was Jew, then why can't Chrestus be a Jew, too?

Isn't "Justus" a pure Latin name?

The use of name "Chrestus" was very popular and probably the Jews liked it (because otherwise we couldn't have a Jew named "Justus", too).
Last edited by Giuseppe on Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:02 pm

iskander wrote:
Giuseppe wrote:Chrestus was a typical Jewish name in Rome just in virtue of the his meaning: the "good" one.
Do you remember Justus of Tiberias?
Justus means: the "just" one.
Christianity is a great civilization Giuseppe and far superior to the Mosaic horrors of the Demiurge. When Paul says in Galatians 4:4 "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children". Paul is saying that the mosaics were willing slaves , but Jesus was offering a new beginning.
Was Chrestus a common name in Rome?, Jesus is a common name in South America. The triumph of Christianity owes nothing to Tacitus.
please not apologetics, thanks.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

iskander
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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by iskander » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:12 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
iskander wrote:
Giuseppe wrote:Chrestus was a typical Jewish name in Rome just in virtue of the his meaning: the "good" one.
Do you remember Justus of Tiberias?
Justus means: the "just" one.
Christianity is a great civilization Giuseppe and far superior to the Mosaic horrors of the Demiurge. When Paul says in Galatians 4:4 "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children". Paul is saying that the mosaics were willing slaves , but Jesus was offering a new beginning.
Was Chrestus a common name in Rome?, Jesus is a common name in South America. The triumph of Christianity owes nothing to Tacitus.
please not apologetics, thanks.
It is not apologetics , it is a fact. Surprisingly the ' sceptics ' are the apologetics in this forum. Mindless defenders of nothing ...

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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by spin » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:48 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
iskander wrote:In the Septuagint [χρηστος] is found in several psalms , for example in
105:1 αλληλουια εξομολογεισθε τω κυριω οτι χρηστος οτι εις τον αιωνα το ελεος αυτου

χρηστος is pronounced as christos by native modern Greeks,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQkHQIjntik
IMHO It is a trivial linguistic accident peculiar to English and perhaps also to Latin. but without any important meaning in both cases.
Cod. Sinaiticus has also a "Chreistos" in Psalm 110:15 (των χρειϲτων μου)
Other LXX manuscripts have χριστων in Ps 104:15 (=105:15), "my anointed ones... (and my prophets)". It's a reasonable rule of thumb to work on the notion that words copied after the early centuries that contain epsilon-iota are derived from iota.
Dysexlia lures • ⅔ of what we see is behind our eyes

Giuseppe
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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:18 pm

Only arguments 1 and 2 of KK are really interesting, in my view. But her other arguments 3, 4 and 5 can be used to support the identity Chrestiani=messianic Zealots, too.
The Egyptian Prophet was not a Jew insofar the "impulsore Chresto" was not a Jew, too.

@iskander
Please do not insult, thanks.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:52 pm

It is interesting to note that the ZEALOTS were accused also of arson. When a terrible fire destroyed much of the city of Antioch in Syria shortly before Vespasian arrived in the East, the locals believed it was arson and blamed the Jews. Although Josephus tries in his text to absolve Jews of any guilt, both the leadership and the populace of the city were still convinced that Jews had set the blaze. See Josephus, War, VII, 3). The Great Fire of Rome would not be the only instance of a major urban fire that was blamed at the time on messianic Jews.

It is curious that Josephus ultimately blames the burning of the Jewish Temple on the Jewish rebels themselves, contra factum.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:24 am

There is really evidence that the Jews in Rome could represent in every time a potential violent threat to Pax Romana in the heart himself of the Empire. I invite you to read this interesting article from the blog ''semiticcontroversies.blogspot'':

Indeed Dio's view of the jews as a subversive group that was using religion to undermine Roman culture and its political hegemony in their own individual and group interests is further evinced when he refers to the revolt of the jewish followers of Chrestus in Rome itself. To wit:

'As for the Jews, who had again increased so greatly that by reason of their multitude it would have been hard without raising a tumult to bar them from the city, he did not drive them out, but ordered them, while continuing their traditional mode of life, not to hold meetings. He also disbanded the clubs, which had been reintroduced by Gaius.' (20)

Dio clearly is concerned with the numbers of jews positively overrunning Rome at this point: however we must bear in mind that Dio erroneously categorizes as jews all those gentiles who affect jewish customs and ways. (21) A distinction that the philosopher Epictetus correctly argued against as assigning outward form as a representation; when it often isn't, of one's true religious and intellectual beliefs. (22)

So when Dio talks of the fact that jews had once again greatly increased in number he is referring more to jewish proselytizing activities rather than an uncommonly large amount of jewish migration to Rome or a significantly higher than average birth and survival rate among jews.

When Dio clarifies this he refers to the fact that 'by reason of their (the jewish) multitude it would have been hard without raising a tumult to bar them from the city' or put in simple terms: it would be very difficult to banish all the jews from Rome, because there were so many 'god-fearers' and converts in positions of influence and power. It would have spelled a period of political and social instability for the Empire that the politically weak Emperor Claudius; dependent as he was on his Greek freedman and the loyalty of the Praetorian Guard who had elevated him to the position, was simply not willing to risk.

This reading of Dio is further confirmed by his reference to not 'driving out' the Judaisers (i.e. it would be difficult to banish or execute them all because of who they were), but rather ordering them not to hold meetings or come together in assembly while allowing them to continue to worship and perform the rites of the mystery cult of Yahweh. These references to the prohibition of assembly but the allowance of worship directly imply the fact that many of those concerned weren't proverbial country bumpkins from an obscure corner of the Middle East, but rather Roman citizens of good family as well as concomitant power and influence.

After all it is would be quite feasible; and indeed was done on more than one occasion, to banish all the jews from Rome, but the problem; as Dio later suggests, was not so much the jews themselves, but rather their 'god-fearers' and converts who served their individual and/or group interests and as such; like modern Noahides, would not react well to having their teachers and gurus expelled from the city.

This reading is further confirmed by Dio's own; quite deliberate, wording when referring to the outbreak of the first jewish revolt in Judea when he states:

'While Nero was still in Greece, the Jews revolted openly, and he sent Vespasian against them.' (23)

The point to focus on here is when Dio says 'the jews revolted openly', which necessarily reveals the conviction that the jews had long been in secret revolt, but had only now chosen the moment for an overtly physical war against the Romans in the manner that they had attempted to do to under Antigonus and then later tried to do under Bar Kochba. Essentially then Dio is stating that the jews are an anathema to Roman civilisation and as such are; as Diodorus Siculus described them, (24) hateful towards anything that is non-jewish.

This dichotomy between the secret and open revolt of the jews against the Romans is also represented in Dio's citation of the alleged claim made by Josephus upon having been originally taken to Vespasian when he was a general under Nero. To wit:

'From a dream he learned that when Nero Caesar should lose a tooth, he himself should be emperor. This prophecy about the tooth became a reality on the following day; and Nero himself in his dreams once thought that he had brought the car of Jupiter to Vespasian's house. These portents needed interpretation; but not so the saying of a Jew named Josephus: he, having earlier been captured by Vespasian and imprisoned, laughed and said: "You may imprison me now, but a year from now, when you have become Emperor, you will release me."' (25)

What Dio is stating here is not; on first reading, obvious, as the preferred explanation among jews and philo-Semites is a simple reading of a legendary claim that Josephus made to Vespasian; perhaps as a form of flattery, upon first being captured and brought to him as a leader of the jewish rebellion against Rome.

Now the problem with such an interpretation is that it ignores the context in which Dio has placed the quotation as well as Dio's own foregoing discussion: whereby; irrespective of whether Josephus said it or his reasons for having done so, Dio is using it to make a very specific point. In so far as Josephus laughing upon being captured and imprisoned by a manifestly superior armed force is deliberately suggestive of holding a certain amount of power over your erstwhile captor.

This is then qualified by the statement that Josephus then allegedly makes: where he states quite bluntly that when Nero is dead, Vespasian will become Emperor and in so doing will be forced to free Josephus.

The implication of this is quite startling in so far as Josephus is made to say that effectively: Vespasian can imprison him now but when we get back to Rome Vespasian will be forced to release him because of all the power of the 'god-fearers' and converts to Judaism in Rome. As such we can see that Dio is using a wordplay to make Josephus' claim a prophecy of what had happened, but also to preserve the probable original boast of; to paraphrase, 'you wait till my friends in Rome hear about this'.

This alleged quotation from Josephus thus gives us a sense of the historical dichotomy that Dio is presenting us with: in so far as jews are; in times where they feel they are weaker than their enemies, gathering strength (in a secret conflict with Rome) and when they feel they are strong enough they rebel into open warfare with Rome leading to the cyclical massacre of gentiles by jews and the counter-massacre of jews by enraged gentiles. It was this very cycle of escalating jewish and answering anti-jewish violence that prompted the ethnic cleaning of jews in Mesopotamia and Egypt by the Emperor Trajan (26) and then the criminalisation of Judaism by the Emperor Hadrian. (27)

In essence then what Dio is related to us is the existence of a series of politically dangerous and religiously subversive groups that were particularly active in the highest social and political circles of Rome, which operated as a kind of ancient 'Israel Lobby' actively working in the disparate; although sometimes converging, perceived individual and/or group interests of the jews.

References

(15) Ibid, 57:18.5; compare to Suet. Tib. 36
(16) Cassius Dio, 49:22.4
(17) Ibid, 37:17.2
(18) Ibid, 65:1.4
(19) Ibid, 67:14.1-2
(20) Ibid, 60:6.6; compare to Suet. Claud. 25
(21) Cassius Dio 37:17.1
(22) Epict. Disc. 2:9
(23) Cassius Dio, 63:22.1
(24) Diod. 34
(25) Cassius Dio 65:1.3-4
(26) App. Rom. Hist. 14:90
(27) Cassius Dio 69:13.2
(my bold)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: few arguments on the authenticity

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:24 am

I find interesting this argument 1, for his implications on all the other arguments:
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:

Argument 1

A - Consequently, to get rid of the report,
B - ...... Nero fastened the guilt and
C - ............ inflicted the most exquisite tortures on
D - ....................... a class hated for their abominations,
E - ................................ called Chrestians by the populace.
E’ - ............................... Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme
..................................... penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our
..................................... procurators, Pontius Pilatus,
D’ - ...................... and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment,
............................ again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even
............................ in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world
............................ find their centre and become popular.
C’ - .............. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon
................... their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the
................... crime of firing the city as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was
................... added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and
................... perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt,
................... to serve as a nightly illumination when daylight had expired.
B’ - ..... Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus
........... while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car.
A’ - Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose
.... a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good but rather to glut
.... the cruelty of one man that they were being destroyed.

Can the chiasm be destroyed by the presence of "Christus" in opposition to the original ChrEstiani? I mean, if the chiasm expected by KK is the following:

A
B
C
D
E
E'

D'
C'
B'
A'


But in E we have ''Chrestiani'' while in E' we have ''Christus''. This fact emphasizes the contrast between E and E', and (surprisingly? Strangely?) no explanation is given about the reason of a ChrIst founder of ChrEstiani.
Last edited by Giuseppe on Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Arguments concerning the Testimonium Taciteum.

Post by spin » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:54 am

Giuseppe wrote:There is really evidence that the Jews in Rome could represent in every time a potential violent threat to Pax Romana in the heart himself of the Empire. I invite you to read this interesting article from the blog ''semiticcontroversies.blogspot'':
That site, the name is a give away, is a load of anti-Jewish-fixated shite. Are you someone who dislikes Jews the way this website does? The development of ideas on the few pages that I read worked on innuendo rather than evidence. "Was George Michael Jewish?" "Is Jeremy Corbyn Jewish?" What the fuck are you citing this website for? Do you honestly believe that the web of nonsense they stitch together is in any sense scholarly? Jews this, holocaust that, swastikas, "Jews, Crime and Corruption", page after page of puerile anti-semitism. I think you should fuck that putrid stuff off and get serious about sourcing your materials.
Dysexlia lures • ⅔ of what we see is behind our eyes

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