Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

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Giuseppe
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Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:23 pm

So Photius:

XXIII. Read the Chronicle of Justus of Tiberias, entitled A Chronicle of the Kings of the Jews in the form of a genealogy, by Justus of Tiberias. He came from Tiberias in Galilee, from which he took his name. He begins his history with Moses and carries it down to the death of the seventh Agrippa of the family of Herod and the last of the Kings of the Jews. His kingdom, which was bestowed upon him by Claudius, was extended by Nero, and still more by Vespasian. He died in the third year of Trajan, when the history ends. Justus' style is very concise and he omits a great deal that is of utmost importance. Suffering from the common fault of the Jews, to which race he belonged, he does not even mention the coming of Christ, the events of his life, or the miracles performed by Him. His father was a Jew named Pistus; Justus himself, according to Josephus, was one of the most abandoned of men, a slave to vice and greed. He was a political opponent of Josephus, against whom he is said to have concocted several plots; but Josephus, although on several occasions he had his enemy in his power, only chastised him with words and let him go free. It is said that the history which he wrote is in great part fictitious, especially where he describes the Judaeo-Roman war and the capture of Jerusalem.
Why did Photius feel the need of a comparison between Josephus and Justus? Because they were both Jews and therefore not even Josephus mentioned Jesus, according to Photius.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:33 pm

Photius takes the disturb to remember Justus, even if the silence of Justus is embarrassing about Jesus, because also the silence of Josephus (in Jewish War and aldo in Antiquities?) was embarrassing about Jesus and so Photius had to secure the his Christuan readers that this silence about Jesus was a sin common to ALL the Jews. Not only to some of them.

So, as corollary, the conclusion is that in 2CE there were copies of Josephus without Testimonia.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:35 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:33 pm
Photius takes the disturb to remember Justus, even if the silence of Justus is embarrassing about Jesus, because also the silence of Josephus (in Jewish War and aldo in Antiquities?) was embarrassing about Jesus and so Photius had to secure the his Christuan readers that this silence about Jesus was a sin common to ALL the Jews. Not only to some of them.

So, as corollary, the conclusion is that in 2CE there were copies of Josephus without Testimonia.
Why 2 CE? What does that mean?
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Giuseppe
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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:39 pm

I mean: in IX century at the time of Photius there were copies of Josephus without testimonia.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by rakovsky » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:36 am

Photius does not specify whether Josephus mentioned Jesus. By Photius time, Eusebius had already recorded the Testamonia.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:44 am

It is surprising (=unexpected) that Photius mentioned just Josephus while he was talking about Justus of Tiberias. Unless he was "explaining" the embarrassing silence of Josephus about Jesus by alluding to the (not so much) embarrassing silence of Justus about the same Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by rakovsky » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:19 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:44 am
It is surprising (=unexpected) that Photius mentioned just Josephus while he was talking about Justus of Tiberias. Unless he was "explaining" the embarrassing silence of Josephus about Jesus by alluding to the (not so much) embarrassing silence of Justus about the same Jesus.
Actually, until you wrote this, my conclusion was the opposite. Jerome complained that Justus was silent on Jesus, so my conclusion was that Josephus, who was known to Jerome, did describe Jesus like Eusebius said. Photius appears to me to be paraphrasing Jerome's complaint many centuries later because of the same kinds of words used by Jerome, especially: "mention the coming of Christ, the events of his life, or the miracles performed by Him."

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:51 am

Note the Photius's logic:

1) ''Justus' style is very concise and he omits a great deal that is of utmost importance.''

2) so no wonder that he didn't mention Jesus (Justus was a Jew, afterall: ''Suffering from the common fault of the Jews, to which race he belonged, he does not even mention the coming of Christ, the events of his life, or the miracles performed by Him'')

3) just as Josephus was a Jew. So no wonder that also Josephus (notoriusly someone who talked in great deal about the Judaea of I century CE, since he talked even about Justus) didn't mention Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by rakovsky » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:22 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:51 am
Note the Photius's logic:

1) ''Justus' style is very concise and he omits a great deal that is of utmost importance.''

2) so no wonder that he didn't mention Jesus (Justus was a Jew, afterall: ''Suffering from the common fault of the Jews, to which race he belonged, he does not even mention the coming of Christ, the events of his life, or the miracles performed by Him'')

3) just as Josephus was a Jew. So no wonder that also Josephus (notoriusly someone who talked in great deal about the Judaea of I century CE, since he talked even about Justus) didn't mention Jesus.
#3 is just your conclusion, not something Photius states. I don't think one can reach a definite conclusion either way from the passage.

Like I said, I reached the opposite conclusion from Jerome's similar passage comparing the two writers. Photius complained that Justus in particular was silent on Jesus, and then he followed it by talking about Josephus without making the same complaint, so the inference I would have made was that Photius knew about Josephus' reference to Jesus, just like Eusebius did. Otherwise, Photius would not have pinpointed Justus as a particular Jewish historian making this omission. And Photius says that the omission was "common", not that it was universal. He does not say that Justus and Josephus have this omission, he just complains at length about Justus having the omission, and then moves on to talking about Josephus without making any such complaint.

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Re: Photius compares Justus to Josephus because also Josephus didn't mention Jesus

Post by rakovsky » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:33 am

Analogy:
"As common among Romans, Roman historian T doesn't mention the disgraced emperor D or describe the events of D's life, etc. He was an opponent of famous historian S. and made up things."

The statement above doesn't state whether Roman historian S mentioned emperor D or not. The statement does not even mention whether S was Roman or not. In fact, due to the statement's criticisms of Roman historian T and holding him in opposition to S, one could suggest that these flaws were not possessed by S.

Josephus may not have been the norm for Jews of his time either, since he switched sides and advocated for Roman rule during the war.

Photius points out that Josephus was an opponent of Justus, and that Justus made up parts of his story. This was an allegation made by Josephus against Justus as well. Since Josephus was his opponent, and since Photius criticises Justus for not describing Jesus or for describing the war accurately, one might think that these kinds of criticisms do not apply to Justus' opponent, Josephus. Indeed, Eusebius cites Josephus' narrative of the war approvingly. Hence, one could infer that Photius, like Eusebius, approves of Josephus' description of Jesus.
Last edited by rakovsky on Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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