Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
neilgodfrey
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:11 pm

John T wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:29 pm
neilgodfrey wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:04 pm

John T, why don't you try to be nice? Why all the "childish name calling" (that you say you deplore in others) and hostile sarcasm and put-downs? Why not try to be civil?
The shoe is on the other foot and you don't like it? :o

As I warned from the get go I was going to give a tit for tat, a taste of your own/mythicist medicine, so to speak.
Perhaps now you should ponder your own lack of civility, sarcasm and put-downs?

Any time you want to return to civility and argue the merits, all you have to do is, simply do so.

Just a thought. ;)

John T
Here is the comment you are responding to, John T:
neilgodfrey wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:04 pm
John T wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:36 am

"his writings" = Plural.

Josephus is being cited from more than once source and not just Antiquities.
By this logic Eusebius is quoting a line that Josephus wrote more than once in different writings. In other words, at least once in a work by Josephus now lost to us and in a passage since removed from Antiquities, or in two works now lost to us . . . .

I think twenty books making up Antiquities constitutes a plural, no? But then maybe Eusebius meant that Josephus wrote that line in several of those books, or also in Wars -- and in every case it just happened to have since been lost?!

Alternatively, we could get a better grasp of what was understood by the expression translated as "these writings".

John T, why don't you try to be nice? Why all the "childish name calling" (that you say you deplore in others) and hostile sarcasm and put-downs? Why not try to be civil?
Now kindly identify for me where I was lacking civility or engaging in sarcasm or put-down. If you are going to be giving tit for tat then please do so and don't engage in groundless projection of your own abusive manner.

neilgodfrey
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:13 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:09 pm
Interesting site.

I ran some bastardized recollection of some Caesar, along with a lot of BS, through it.
Gaul is separated in three parts. In the south, there is Narbonensis, a land adjacent to Spain and Italy. In the north, there are the Lowlands, fertile plains that face the North Sea. In the east, there is the coast with its cliffs amidst great forests.
98.1% analytic. Yes! :eh:
James Pennebaker's book, Secret Life of Pronouns, led me to it.

http://www.secretlifeofpronouns.com/

It is worth a read.

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Peter Kirby
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by Peter Kirby » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:15 pm

neilgodfrey wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:13 pm
Peter Kirby wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:09 pm
Interesting site.

I ran some bastardized recollection of some Caesar, along with a lot of BS, through it.
Gaul is separated in three parts. In the south, there is Narbonensis, a land adjacent to Spain and Italy. In the north, there are the Lowlands, fertile plains that face the North Sea. In the east, there is the coast with its cliffs amidst great forests.
98.1% analytic. Yes! :eh:
James Pennebaker's book, Secret Life of Pronouns, led me to it.

http://www.secretlifeofpronouns.com/

It is worth a read.
Thanks.

It looks like it wants a sample of 500 words. Mine was a bit short, and probably was more analytic than anything.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

neilgodfrey
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:26 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:15 pm
neilgodfrey wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:13 pm
Peter Kirby wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:09 pm
Interesting site.

I ran some bastardized recollection of some Caesar, along with a lot of BS, through it.
Gaul is separated in three parts. In the south, there is Narbonensis, a land adjacent to Spain and Italy. In the north, there are the Lowlands, fertile plains that face the North Sea. In the east, there is the coast with its cliffs amidst great forests.
98.1% analytic. Yes! :eh:
James Pennebaker's book, Secret Life of Pronouns, led me to it.

http://www.secretlifeofpronouns.com/

It is worth a read.
Thanks.

It looks like it wants a sample of 500 words. Mine was a bit short, and probably was more analytic than anything.
I have the program to get more detail than is available on the online site.

Your short post, minus the smiley, =

99% analytic
68% authentic -- (explicitly expressing your "real honest self", no deception)

hakeem
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by hakeem » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:44 pm

John T wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:45 pm

I don't need to remind you that Eusebius had access to the best libraries of the Empire. Meaning, he had stacks and stacks of scrolls to sort through and evaluate for authenticity.
You seem not to know that the supposed Eusebius admitted he wad unable to find anything of those before him except in brief fragments

Examine Church History 1.1.4
I pray that I may have God as my guide and the power of the Lord as my aid, since I am unable to find even the bare footsteps of those who have traveled the way before me, except in brief fragments, in which some in one way, others in another, have transmitted to us particular accounts of the times in which they lived.


Christian writers had no history so manufactured stories of their Jesus, mutilated or falsely attributed existing writings to make it appear that their Jesus existed.

Church History attributed to Eusebius is riddled with false attribution, forgeries and fabricated events. These are some examples

1. In Church History1.11.7 it is claimed Josephus wrote the TF in AJ 18.3.3 ---the TF is a forgery.
2. In Church History 2.13.9 it is claimed Jesus wrote a letter to King Abgarus---the Jesus letter is false attribution.
3. In Church History 2.16.1 it is claimed that gMark was written by Mark since the time of Philo---that story was fabricated.
4 In Church History 2.16.1-2 it is claimed that Philo wrote about the Churches of Mark---that story was invented.
5.in Church History 2.2.1 it is claimed Pilate informed the Senate of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus---that story was manufactured.
6. In Church History 2.1.4 it is claimed James the Just was beaten to death with a club--that story was made up.
7. In Church History 2.1.2 it is claimed Jesus was born of a Virgin and the Holy Ghost---that story is an invention.
8. In Church History 2.22.2 it is claimed Paul wrote a second epistle to Timothy----the Epistles to Timothy are forgeries.
John T wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:45 pm
Just because they didn't survive today does not mean Eusebius claim of additional testimony of Josephus never existed. I will throw in with Eusebius over the mythicists on this one almost every time.
Just because they didn't survive today does not mean Eusebius claim of additional testimony of Josephus ever existed.

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John T
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by John T » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:03 am

Double post removed.
Last edited by John T on Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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John T
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by John T » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:04 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:04 pm

John T, why don't you try to be nice? Why all the "childish name calling" (that you say you deplore in others) and hostile sarcasm and put-downs? Why not try to be civil?
Hypocristy much? :facepalm:

1. John T has demonstrated once again his double standards. One rule for him and quite another for those he opposes….neilgodfrey
2. John T can't thinking critically. If Eusebius says that Josephus said it, that's the same as Josephus saying it for the uncritical John T….Secret Alias
3. You are spreading myths….Ulan
4. This is just pure weasel logic you try to pull off here. You got caught in some false bullshit you believe about history, and you are now just using more bullshit to make your original point. You still haven't admitted that you were wrong. I don't expect you to ever do it, because you are not really interested in an honest discussion. In the end, you are the mythicist here….Ulan
5. That's not what you were saying previously….Secret Alias
6. So, you seem to be hand-waving and more interested in issues other than the historicity of Jesus….MrMacson
7. On an earlier point, I was amused to read your…Paul the uncertain
8. You are caught mis-representing yourself….hakeem
9. why not humor us and find a historian - those guys all agree with you - who identifies Eusebius as citing Josephus here as you say he does?...Secret Alias
10. Your claims are fallacious….hakeem
11. The point that he thinks everyone who disagrees with him is a mythicist is just icing on the cake. But what does one additional error of judgment matter to a purely ideological warrior?...Ulan
12. John, you still don't make any sense. Stop for a moment and try to think….Ulan
13. Anyway, as you are now at the point where you blatantly misrepresent the arguments of your discussion partners in order to make any point at all, I will leave you to counting imaginary toe stubs that only exist in your mind….Ulan
14. But go ahead and continue with your foot fetish….Ulan
15. Your error is due probably to the reasoning (if you can call it that) of the buffoon….Ben C. Smith
Your puerile games are not going to work on me, John T. I gave you the Loeb translation of the passage. Please feel free to revisit this topic with me once you have either (A) learned Greek or (B) learned humility and manners. Either will do….Ben C. Smith
16. Despite this below par level of analytical thinking their confidence score was 88.8% The imbalance reminds one of the Dunning-Kruger effect….neilgodfrey

And the chutzpah of hypocrisy award goes to neilgodfrey for ...."I trust you will find no hypocrisy in my response"….neilgodfrey :lol:

******

I warned the mythicists up front that I was going to give a tit for tat and use their double standards against them. Now that the shoe was on the other foot and they gave themselves a big fat toe blister, they cry foul. Poor babies. :(

With all that being said, they still missed the bigger point of this exercise and it wasn't about Josephus confirming the existence of James the Just. That is, if mythicists really want to gain respect in the academic world, perhaps they should try arguing the merits instead of defaulting to ad hominem attacks when someone presents a valid argument that is contrary to their mythicist ideology.

Just a thought. :tomato:

John T is done with this thread.
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

John2
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by John2 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:59 am

hakeem wrote:
In Christian writings Clement of Alexandria was not a contemporary of the supposed James the Just so could not be a witness to his death. It is claimed Clement of Alexandria died in the 3rd century which means that he could have merely copied the supposed Hegesippus.
I agree with this. I think Clement of Alexandria possibly got his information either from Hegesippus or from someone who knew Hegesippus.
The claim that James was thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple and beaten to death with a club is not found in Josephus AJ 20.9.1 where it is stated James and others were delivered to be stoned.
In my view, Josephus and Hegesippus are talking about two different things only with respect to timing. Josephus tells us what happened to James before he was delivered over to be stoned (i.e., his trial and sentencing) and leaves it at that (beyond saying that people were upset about it and Ananus lost his job), and Hegesippus tells us what happened to James after he was delivered over to be stoned.
There is no evidence of capital punishment in ancient Jewish Law where a Jew is to be clubbed to death.
The manner of James' death is in keeping with stoning in the Talmud:
The place of stoning from which the condemned man is pushed to his death is a platform twice the height of an ordinary person. He is made to stand at the edge of the platform, and then one of the witnesses who testified against him pushes him down by the hips, so that he falls face up onto the ground. If he turned over onto his chest, with his face downward, the witness turns him over onto his hips. And if he dies through this fall to the ground, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled.

And if the condemned man does not die from his fall, the second witness takes the stone that has been prepared for this task and places, i.e., casts, it on his chest. And if he dies with the casting of this first stone, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. And if he does not die with the casting of this stone, then his stoning is completed by all of the Jewish people, i.e., by all the people who assembled for the execution, as it is stated: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people” (Deuteronomy 17:7).

https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.45a?lang=bi
And here is Hegesippus on James in EH 2.23:
And they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah, "Let us take away the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings." So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to each other, "Let us stone James the Just." And they began to stone him, for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned and knelt down and said, "I entreat thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Regarding the clubbing that Hegesippus mentions, we are talking about a time of near anarchy in the priesthood. This is the context of the stoning of James. Just before and after his account of James in 20.9.1 Josephus says in 20.8.8, 20.9.2 and 4:
And now arose a sedition between the high priests and the principal men of the multitude of Jerusalem; each of which got them a company of the boldest sort of men, and of those that loved innovations about them, and became leaders to them; and when they struggled together, they did it by casting reproachful words against one another, and by throwing stones also. And there was nobody to reprove them; but these disorders were done after a licentious manner in the city, as if it had no government over it. And such was the impudence and boldness that had seized on the high priests, that they had the hardiness to send their servants into the threshing-floors, to take away those tithes that were due to the priests, insomuch that it so fell out that the poorest sort of the priests died for want. To this degree did the violence of the seditious prevail over all right and justice.
... servants who were very wicked, who joined themselves to the boldest sort of the people, and went to the thrashing-floors, and took away the tithes that belonged to the priests by violence, and did not refrain from beating such as would not give these tithes to them. So the other high priests acted in the like manner, as did those his servants, without any one being able to prohibit them; so that [some of the] priests, that of old were wont to be supported with those tithes, died for want of food.
... a sedition arose between the high priests, with regard to one another; for they got together bodies of the boldest sort of the people, and frequently came, from reproaches, to throwing of stones at each other. But Ananias was too hard for the rest, by his riches, which enabled him to gain those that were most ready to receive. Costobarus also, and Saulus, did themselves get together a multitude of wicked wretches, and this because they were of the royal family; and so they obtained favor among them, because of their kindred to Agrippa; but still they used violence with the people, and were very ready to plunder those that were weaker than themselves. And from that time it principally came to pass that our city was greatly disordered, and that all things grew worse and worse among us.
And this is also the context of this period in the Talmud as well, which refers to these servants of the high priests beating people with clubs, including those of "the house of Hanin," the family of the priest who sentenced James to death in Josephus:
With regard to the prominent priests and those like them, Abba Shaul ben Batnit said in the name of Abba Yosef ben Ḥanin: Woe is me due to the High Priests of the house of Baitos, woe is me due to their clubs. Woe is me due to the High Priests of the house of Ḥanin; woe is me due to their whispers and the rumors they spread. Woe is me due to the High Priests of the house of Katros; woe is me due to their pens that they use to write lies. Woe is me due to the servants of the High Priests of the house of Yishmael ben Piakhi; woe is me due to their fists. The power of these households stemmed from the fact that the fathers were High Priests, and their sons were the Temple treasurers, and their sons-in-law were Temple overseers [amarkalin]. And their servants strike the people with clubs, and otherwise act inappropriately.

https://www.sefaria.org/Pesachim.57a?lang=bi
James' death in Hegesippus seems in keeping with this situation to me. To me, Hegesippus simply appears to be more interested in what happened after James was delievered over to be stoned, which is something Josephus does not describe, but they are both ultimately talking about the same thing, the death of James by stoning in a time of disorder and that "the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."
Last edited by John2 on Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by John2 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:27 am

John T wrote:
Be as that may, you are right back to what I said from the get go, that is, Eusebius was quoting Josephus. And contrary to what you want to believe, the passage is strong evidence (nay proof) Josephus had more to say about James the Just then what we currently now have in Antiquities.
Would it not seem incongruous to you if Josephus said that Jerusalem fell because of the death of Ananus (as he does in War 4.5.2) and James, given that Ananus is the one who sentenced James to death?
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Re: Why Are Historicists So Certain That Jesus Existed?

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:17 pm

John2 wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:59 am

hakeem wrote:
In Christian writings Clement of Alexandria was not a contemporary of the supposed James the Just, so could not be a witness to his death. It is claimed Clement of Alexandria died in the 3rd century which means that he could have merely copied the supposed Hegesippus.
I agree with this. I think Clement of Alexandria possibly got his information either from Hegesippus or from someone who knew Hegesippus.

In my view, Josephus and Hegesippus are talking about two different things only with respect to timing. Josephus tells us what happened to James before he was delivered over to be stoned (i.e., his trial and sentencing) and leaves it at that (beyond saying that people were upset about it and Ananus lost his job); and Hegesippus tells us what happened to James after he was delivered over to be stoned.

The manner of James' death is in keeping with stoning in the Talmuda -
The place of stoning from which the condemned man is pushed to his death is a platform twice the height of an ordinary person. He is made to stand at the edge of the platform, and then one of the witnesses who testified against him pushes him down by the hips, so that he falls face up onto the ground. If he turned over onto his chest, with his face downward, the witness turns him over onto his hips. And if he dies through this fall to the ground, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled.

And if the condemned man does not die from his fall, the second witness takes the stone that has been prepared for this task and places, i.e., casts, it on his chest. And if he dies with the casting of this first stone, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. And if he does not die with the casting of this stone, then his stoning is completed by all of the Jewish people, i.e., by all the people who assembled for the execution, as it is stated: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people” (Deuteronomy 17:7).


https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.45a?lang=bi
And here is [Eusebius on] Hegesippus on James in E.H. 2.23:
And they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah, "Let us take away the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore they shall eat the fruit of their doings." So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to each other, "Let us stone James the Just." And they began to stone him, for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned and knelt down and said, "I entreat thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
I think these are good points.

a It's well worth noting
  • a. that 'the Talmud' is a 4th or 5th century document: the Jerusalem Talmud was written ~ 400 AD/CE and the now main Babylonian Talmud was written or started to be written ~ 500 AD/CE; and
  • b. the Talmud arose out of the Mishna (and possibly the Tosefta, and perhaps other collections of tannaitic halakhot and aggadot) which, in turn, arose out of traditions of writing down the Oral Torah which started with ben Zakkai (and possibly with Hillel before him) and Akiva ben Yosef,
    • and continued with Gamaliel II; ben Zakki's disciples Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua; Akiva's disciple's, such as Aquila "Ponticus" of Sinope; Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi; and others.

I wonder if there were competing schools and Eusebius, via Hegesippus, has recorded thesex (albeit with a Christian spin) -

Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3.32.5-6 -
'He [Hegesippus] writes as follows: “They came, therefore, and took the lead of every 'church' as witnesses and as 'relatives of the Lord'1. And profound peace being established in every church, they remained until the reign of the Emperor Trajan, and until the above-mentioned Symeon, son of Clopas, an 'uncle of the Lord', was 'informed against'x by the heretics, and was himself -in like manner- accused for the same causex before the governor Atticus. And after being tortured for many days he suffered martyrdom2, and all, including even the proconsul, marvelled that, at the age of one hundred and twenty years, he could endure so much. And orders were given that he should be crucified”.'

1 is 'the Lord' here Hillel? Are the relatives his descendants, key in the genesis of the rabbinic tradition?

2 Akiva is said to have been martyred (on the day Judah ha-Nasi was born)


Several key Jewish people in the 1st & 2nd centuries were said to have lived 120 yrs -
  • Hillel, ben Zakki, +/- Akiva(?), and Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (?)

And at least a couple of the Hillel-Gamaliel dynasty were known as Shimeon (Symeon?)


Ecclesiastical History, 3.32.7-8 -

In addition to these things the same man, while recounting the events of that period, records that 'the Church' up to that time had remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, since, if there were any that attempted to corrupt the sound norm of the preaching of salvation, they lay until then concealed in obscure darkness. But when the sacred college of apostles had suffered death in various forms, and the generation of those that had been deemed worthy to hear the inspired wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then the league of godless error took its rise as a result of the folly of heretical teachers, who, because none of the apostles was still living, attempted henceforth, with a bold face, to proclaim, in opposition to the preaching of the truth, the ‘knowledge which is falsely so-called.’

Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.22.7-8, also notes of Hegesippus -

And he wrote of many other matters, which we have in part already mentioned, introducing the accounts in 'their appropriate places'. And from the Syriac Gospel according to the Hebrews he quotes some passages in the Hebrew tongue, showing that he was a convert from the Hebrews, and he mentions other matters as taken from the unwritten tradition of the Jews ... And when speaking of the books called Apocrypha, he records that some of them were composed in his day by certain heretics.

John2 wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:59 am

Regarding the clubbing that Hegesippus mentions, we are talking about a time of near anarchy in the priesthood. This is the context of the stoning of James. Just before and after his account of James in 20.9.1 Josephus says in 20.8.8; 20.9.2 and 4 -
And now arose a sedition between the high priests and the principal men of the multitude of Jerusalem; each of which got them a company of the boldest sort of men, and of those that loved innovations about them, and became leaders to them; and when they struggled together, they did it by casting reproachful words against one another, and by throwing stones also. And there was nobody to reprove them; but these disorders were done after a licentious manner in the city, as if it had no government over it. And such was the impudence and boldness that had seized on the high priests, that they had the hardiness to send their servants into the threshing-floors, to take away those tithes that were due to the priests, insomuch that it so fell out that the poorest sort of the priests died for want. To this degree did the violence of the seditious prevail over all right and justice.
... servants who were very wicked, who joined themselves to the boldest sort of the people, and went to the thrashing-floors, and took away the tithes that belonged to the priests by violence, and did not refrain from beating such as would not give these tithes to them. So the other high priests acted in the like manner, as did those his servants, without any one being able to prohibit them; so that [some of the] priests, that of old were wont to be supported with those tithes, died for want of food.
... a sedition arose between the high priests, with regard to one another; for they got together bodies of the boldest sort of the people, and frequently came, from reproaches, to throwing of stones at each other. But Ananias was too hard for the rest, by his riches, which enabled him to gain those that were most ready to receive. Costobarus also, and Saulus, did themselves get together a multitude of wicked wretches, and this because they were of the royal family; and so they obtained favor among them, because of their kindred to Agrippa; but still they used violence with the people, and were very ready to plunder those that were weaker than themselves. And from that time it principally came to pass that our city was greatly disordered, and that all things grew worse and worse among us.

And this is also the context of this period in the Talmud as well, which refers to these servants of the high priests beating people with clubs, including those of "the house of Hanin," the family of the priest who sentenced James to death in Josephus:
With regard to the prominent priests and those like them, Abba Shaul ben Batnit said in the name of Abba Yosef ben Ḥanin: Woe is me due to the High Priests of the house of Baitos, woe is me due to their clubs. Woe is me due to the High Priests of the house of Ḥanin; woe is me due to their whispers and the rumors they spread. Woe is me due to the High Priests of the house of Katros; woe is me due to their pens that they use to write lies. Woe is me due to the servants of the High Priests of the house of Yishmael ben Piakhi; woe is me due to their fists. The power of these households stemmed from the fact that the fathers were High Priests, and their sons were the Temple treasurers, and their sons-in-law were Temple overseers [amarkalin]. And their servants strike the people with clubs, and otherwise act inappropriately.

https://www.sefaria.org/Pesachim.57a?lang=bi
James' death in Hegesippus seems in keeping with this situation to me. To me, Hegesippus simply appears to be more interested in what happened after James was delievered over to be stoned, which is something Josephus does not describe, but they are both ultimately talking about the same thing, the death of James by stoning in a time of disorder and that "the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."

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