What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by rakovsky » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:34 am

Ken,
I pick up on coincidences more than some people do. For example, the coincidences involved in the story of Secret Mark convinced me that it was a forgery; Prof. M.Smith had already published on religious topics involved homosexuality, forbidden sexual teachings, secretive Jewish rituals, Clement of Alexandria and debates on whether Clement promoted lying for the Church, Mark and the mystery of the kingdom, had photographed very many 18th c. Greek handwritten manuscripts, had a notated compendium of Clement's vocabulary, and theorized that Christians had secretive rituals analogous to the Jewish ones. But some others think that the coincidences that I see between M.Smith's prior work and the document that he claimed to find don't suggest that he crafted it. We don't have any direct, undisputed evidence of forgery: no explicit admission by M.Smith that he forged it or anyone who witnessed it, and there are disputes between handwriting experts on whether the script looks like a modern forgery.

The same is true regarding the story of early Christianity and Antiquities 18:3. The coincidences that I see are numerous enough to convince me, as well as some writers since even the early centuries AD, that Josephus is alluding to Jesus and Paul in the stories of Paulina and Fulvia in Antiquities 18:3:4-5.
Last edited by rakovsky on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testimonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by rakovsky » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:37 am

For a chiasm, consider this possibility:

A = Antiochus died. The multitude and nobility disputed eachother and both sent ambassadors to Rome. So the Senate decided that Germanicus should settle affairs in the East, but [according to Josephus, it was fortunate regarding this decision that] he got killed. 18.2.5

B = Pilate tried to put images ( statues or idols?) in Jerusalem, but the Jews protested, Pilate had his soldiers surround the protestors with swords, the Jews offered themselves to be killed, and Pilate relented. 18.3.1

C = Pilate used sacred money to build an aqueduct of water to Jerusalem, the Jews protested, and Pilate had his soldiers attack both the innocent and seditious. 18.3.2

D = The Testimonium Flavianum and the story of Jesus in Luke 24 18.3.3

D' = The story of Paulina fooled by Decius Mundus ("Tenth/Tithe the World") and the foreign, Egyptian sex cult; many elements of the story antithetically parallel the gospel story. And the names allude to Paul's tithing the gentiles to help Jerusalem's church. 18.3.4

C'. An unnamed, banished Jew who transgressed the Torah and three other Jews fool Fulvia into giving them sacred Temple money, but they kept it for their own uses. So Tiberius ordered the Jews, both the innocent and the participants, banished from Rome. Elements of the story antithetically parallel (C) Pilate's misuse of sacred Temple money to bring water to Jerusalem and his suppression of both the innocent and the seditious, and also allude to Paul's taking donations from the gentile Christians in Rome to help the Church in Jerusalem (as well as perhaps the banishment of Jews and Christians from Rome as Suetonius later referred to.) 18.3.5

B' = The Samaritans attempt to set up a false Messiah and the revolt's suppression by Pilate, who killed their main leader and the strongest of their leaders. Elements of the story antithetically parallel Pilate's earlier attempt to set up images (false gods) in Jerusalem and the suppression of Pilate's attempt by the Jews. Unlike the Samaritans, the Jews surrounded by Pilate's forces were (antithetically) successful and spared. 18.4.1

A' = The Samaritan multitude was suppressed and their leaders were killed, and the Samaritan senate had a dispute over this with Pilate. Vitellius decided to send Pilate to Rome. But Tiberius died. Elements of this story (in some ways antithetically) parallel (A), wherein the multitude and the nobility had a dispute following the death of Antiochus and they sent people to Rome, but a decision wasn't reached due to the adjudicator's (Germanicus') killing. 18.4.2

The chiasm runs A B C D D' C' B' A'

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testimonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:42 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:37 am
For a chiasm, consider this possibility:

...

The chiasm runs A B C D D' C' B' A'
Well, first off, you've undermined your argument that the Testimonium must be authentic because it's at the center of a chiastic construction. Now we can remove the Testimonium from the outline you've just given and then the Paulina story in 18.3.4 will be at the center of the chiasm. Neat.

More seriously, this shows how you go about making your case. In the OP you argued that the Testimonium at 18.3.3 was at the center of a chiastic construction in which 18.3.1 paralleled 18.3.5 and 18.3.2 paralleled 18.3.4, and you described what you saw as the parallels.

Once the difficulty for your thesis of requiring the Paulina story in 18.3.4 to parallel both 18.3.2 and 18.3.3. was pointed out to you, you find a new chiastic structure to support your conclusion and produce new parallels to show this new chiastic structure. Now 18.3.1 is paralleled by 18.4.1 of instead of 18.3.4 and 18.3.2 is paralleled by 18.3.5 instead of 18.3.4.

So where did the old set of parallels, now discarded, that you saw between 18.3.1 and 18.3.5, and 18.3.2 and 18.3.4 come from? They came from your head rather than Josephus's. Apparently the desire to see the Testimonium as the center of a chiastic structure led you to infer parallels that were not there. Or, rather, you found some similarities or antitheses in the texts which were not significant enough to establish the structure of 18.3.1-5.

This is because finding a few vague parallels between almost any two pericopes is fun and easy, but they don't establish a chiastic structure. You could put all the sections in 18.3.1-5 (or add the two sections on either end) in any order you like and still find a chiastic structure.

Having said that we can find vague similarities between any two of these sections, I would argue that the two sections on Paulina in 18.3.4 and Fulvia in 18.3.5 really do have have extensive significant similarities that would establish they were constructed in parallel to each other. Further, while I'm one of those who thinks the Testimonium is a late insertion into Josephus' text, I would argue that, out of the stories under consideration here, it has the most similarities to the story of the Samaritan pretender in 18.4.1

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testimonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by rakovsky » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:29 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:42 pm
rakovsky wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:37 am
For a chiasm, consider this possibility:

...

The chiasm runs A B C D D' C' B' A'
Well, first off, you've undermined your argument that the Testimonium must be authentic because it's at the center of a chiastic construction. Now we can remove the Testimonium from the outline you've just given and then the Paulina story in 18.3.4 will be at the center of the chiasm.
Ken,
One thing that I like about this forum is that there are thoughtful participants like yourself who are interested in these topics and are also critical minded and engaging.

I think that the way that the parallels in the chiasms of this chapter are developed antithetically suggest that there should be a passage like the Testimonium that antithetically mirrors the Paulina at this point in the story. This is because (A) chiasms are a writing style that point to some important idea in the text. One of the main ideas that Josephus was getting at in this part of his text was the factors leading to the Temple's destruction in the rebellion. According to Origen, Josephus noted in Book 18 that many believed that James' death was a key factor for the Temple's destruction. Yet actually here in Book 18, nor later in narrating James' death in book 20, Josephus doesn't list James' death among the events leading to the destruction. But it's true that the Testimonium does narrate a key event, Jesus' death, that early Christians saw as leading to the destruction. Thus, the Testimonium would fit as an important idea that the chiasm of this section tries to point to. Also, (B) the structure in this part is based on actions of Jews subsequently and chiastically mirroring actions of Romans antithetically. So since the Paulina story illustrates an abuse by a Roman (Decius Mundus) pretending to be a god and revealing himself in three days to the cult's female follower, one would tend to expect some antithetical story about a Jew and a female follower (eg. Jesus appearing as a god and revealing his true nature to a female follower after three days) to precede the Paulina story.

Further, if in the alternative the Testimonium is a later interpolation, then it was correctly placed into the text and constructed in agreement with the Paulina story, and that the interpolator saw the parallels. Finally, considering that the Testimonium's outline is, in the opinion of myself and other writers, constructed in accordance with Luke 24, it appears that the Testimonium is probably not an interpolation constructed in accordance with the Paulina story. So I believe that it's most likely that (1) Josephus wrote the Testimonium based on Luke 24, and then (2) wrote up a chiastic set of passages including the Paulina story and placed them to fit around the Testimonium.

Since I believe that Luke was probably written before the Testimonium, I think that Josephus probably wrote the Testimonium based on Luke 24, rather than the alternative of an interpolator knowing of the chiastic structure and then deliberately crafting the Testimonium to either (A) antithetically parallel the Paulina story in a way that just *happens* to match Luke 24, or (B) match Luke 24 in a way that just *happens* to antithetically parallel the Paulina story without Josephus intending the Paulina story to antithetically parallel the gospel story.

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:52 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:34 am
Ken,
I pick up on coincidences more than some people do.
You do; but perhaps you draw more incorrect inferences by overinterpreting data that are, in fact, coincidences, than do people who apply better critical judgment than you do. I was tempted to refer to what you're doing as parallelomania, but I think actually the body of work Samuel Sandmel was criticizing when he popularized the term parallelomania, such as comparisons of the similarities between the early chapters of Romans and the book of Wisdom, was far more soundly based than what you're doing.
For example, the coincidences involved in the story of Secret Mark convinced me that it was a forgery;Prof. M.Smith had already published on religious topics involved homosexuality, forbidden sexual teachings, secretive Jewish rituals, Clement of Alexandria and debates on whether Clement promoted lying for the Church, Mark and the mystery of the kingdom, had photographed very many 18th c. Greek handwritten manuscripts, had a notated compendium of Clement's vocabulary, and theorized that Christians had secretive rituals analogous to the Jewish ones. But some others think that the coincidences that I see between M.Smith's prior work and the document that he claimed to find don't suggest that he crafted it. We don't have any direct, undisputed evidence of forgery: no explicit admission by M.Smith that he forged it or anyone who witnessed it, and there are disputes between handwriting experts on whether the script looks like a modern forgery.
Noted.
The same is true regarding the story of early Christianity and Antiquities 18:3. The coincidences that I see are numerous enough to convince me,
No, there is something else going on with your theory on the Testimonium. You're not just making a probability out of a possibility. Your method doesn't test the possibility you've suggested, it guarantees that you will find lots of positive results and no negative ones. You start with the theory the Testimonium is authentic and go and look for supporting evidence in the form of coincidences (or similarities or parallels) between pericopes. You seem to think the usual number of parallels you can find between texts is zero, but it's not. Any two pericopes are likely to have a number of similarities. And if you keep the bar for what counts as a similarity low, the number of similarities goes up. Second, you not only count similarities, but also "antithetic parallels" which allows you to pretty much double the number of parallels as it allows you to add dissimilarities to the number of similarities.

How high is the bar you set for what count as parallels between pericopes? Let's look at an example from the OP:
There seems to be major chiastic mirroring between the stories of Pilate and the religious figures in Rome. Pilate failed to bring the images and aqueduct, but Decius succeeded in impersonating Anubis and the Jewish thief succeeded in taking the money. Yet Pilate succeeded in his conquests over Judea politically as a result despite his failure, and Decius and the thieves ultimately failed because they were caught in their fraud. Despite being subject to Rome in the first two stories, the Jews succeeded in keeping out the images from Jerusalem and losing temple money to the aqueduct in Jerusalem.


What are the coincidences among these pericopes that lead you to infer the existence of a chiastic structure? They contain people who take actions that succeed or fail. This is less than surprising. When you treat texts at this extremely abstract level that ignores differences in details, they're going to have similarities. But they'd have these similarities with any number of texts that aren't considered in your analysis. While you can point to a number of similarities, they're certainly not striking (i.e., unusual) similarities.

Then with the Paulina story from Antiquiies 18.3.4, you make a third move to increase the number of parallels you find. The Paulina story is long, roughly four times as long as the Testimonium. It doesn't have that many notable similarities to the Testimonium - something happens three days later and someone gets crucified. So you don't compare the Paulina story with the Testimonium, you compare it with "the Christian story." Not just the gospels, but you add the the Pauline tradition for the name Paulina and then Origen for attributing the destruction of the temple to the death of Jesus. Why do you find so many coincidences between the Paulina story and the Christian story? Because the Christian story, not just the New Testament, but the Christian tradition up through Origen, is a large body of work, so of course you're going to be able to find similarities to the Paulina story in it. But is this an unusual number of similarities? No, it really isn't, but you only look at similarities between the Paulina story and the Christian tradition. I would suggest as a control you might see how many similarities you can find between the Paulina story and, say, the works of Plutarch.
as well as some writers since even the early centuries AD, that Josephus is alluding to Jesus and Paul in the stories of Paulina and Fulvia in Antiquities 18:3:4-5.
I am not aware that anyone claimed Josephus was alluding to Jesus in the Paulina story before Johannes Cloppenburg [insert Q joke here] in 1634 [see Alice Whealey, Josephus on Jesus, 2003, pp 102-103; I suspect seeing Paul in the Fulvia story comes later]. If you know of any writers in the early centuries AD who did, please cite and quote them. Cloppenburg was responding to Louis Cappel's arguments against the authenticity of the Testimonium. To the best of my knowledge, the idea that Josephus was in some way responding to the Jesus story with the Paulina story was never voiced until it was used to counter the claim that the Testimonium was inauthentic in the 17th century. If anyone knows of prior instances, I'm always glad to expand my knowledge of the reception history of the Testimonium.

In the twentieth century, the theory that the Paulina story is a response to the story of Jesus in the Testimonium was advocated by Clyde Pharr in 1927. Then Albert Bell, introduced additional additional data to consider when he brought up Pseudo-Hegesippus' retelling of the Paulina story in De Excidio 2.4. Pseudo-Hegesippus almost certainly got the story from Antiquities 18, but he doesn't attribute it to Josephus or comment on what Josephus thought about it.

Bell argues that"Hegesippus responded to the Paulina/Mundus story as if it were a a parody of the Annunciation." [Josephus the Satirist? A Clue to the Original Form of the Testimonium" JQR 67.1 (1976) 16-22, at 20]. The evidence he presents for this conclusion is complex. Pseudo-Hegesippus added material to the story concerning Paulina possibly becoming pregnant and giving birth, which is not found in Josephus' story:
He says to the awakened woman that he is Anubis, he holds forth the mask of Anubis. She believes him the god, she asserts herself happy because the lord her god deemed her worthy to visit. [p. 138] She does not refuse the embrace of him seeking it, she puts the question however whether a god was able to unite to a human. He offered the examples that Alcmena had accepted Jupiter the greatest of the gods and that Leda had been gained in the sexual embrace of the same, and many others, who gave birth to gods. He persuades the woman about himself and also that a god would be borne by her, that they should mingle in intercourse. She returns to her husband quite happy, saying that she a woman had had intercourse with a god and according to his promise she would give birth to a god. [Trans. Wade Blocker]
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/heges ... _book2.htm

Bell argues that the line "He persuades the woman about himself and also that a god would be born by her" must surely have put the Christian audience for whom Pseudo-Hegesippus was writing in mind of the annunciation in Luke 1. As additional evidence, he points out that the words "She believes him the god, she asserts herself happy," are similar to Elizabeth's words to Mary in Luke 1:45 "blessed/happy is she who believed" and Mary's words in Luke 1:48 "from now on all generations will call me blessed/happy" [Bell gives the the Latin from the Excidio and the Vulgate Luke, not an English translation].

I am not entirely convinced by Bell's case, but I admit it's plausible. There are some important differences between Ps-H's Paulina story and Luke's Annunciation story. Mary does not have sex with God as Paulina does, nor does Luke say she would give birth to a god. (It's John that explicitly calls Jesus God or god, and John has no birth narrative). And the context of the quotations of Mary and Elizabeth are quite different, occurring after the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, not during a divine encounter. Paulina believed Mundus to be a god and was happy, Elizabeth says Mary is blessed for believing what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled; Mary says future generations would call her blessed. Nonetheless, Bell's strongest point is that a fourth century Christian audience would have associated these things the annunciation in Luke may be correct, just on the assumption that they would see everything in the context of the New Testament, even if the similarities are not particularly close.

But even if we were to grant Bell's case that Pseudo-Hegessipus's additional material was intended by its fourth century Christian author, and would have been taken by its fourth century Christian audience, as an allusion to the Annunciation, this does not tell us that fourth century Christians understood Josephus to be alluding to the Annunciation or Jesus in his original version of the Paulina story which lacked this material, let alone that that's how the first century Jewish author Josephus or his first century audience would have understood it.

And this is the big problem I have with your (Rakovky's) case. You have the New Testament and early Christianity in your mind and want to associate everything in Ant 18.3 with it. But you haven't shown that Josephus or his readers would have had Christianity on the brain the way you do or would have made these associations you do. You're simply presupposing the early Christian story as the matrix for interpreting the text.

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:16 am

@Ken Olson
Bell argues that"Hegesippus responded to the Paulina/Mundus story as if it were a a parody of the Annunciation." [Josephus the Satirist? A Clue to the Original Form of the Testimonium" JQR 67.1 (1976) 16-22, at 20]. The evidence he presents for this conclusion is complex. Pseudo-Hegesippus added material to the story concerning Paulina possibly becoming pregnant and giving birth, which is not found in Josephus' story:
Yes, the pillow talk is additional, but equally striking is the omission of the clever servant character Ide altogether (and with her, her crucifixion, and of the bribed priests, who now get killed in an unspecified manner). Another "Christian parallel," the third day timing of Mundus' revelation, is also gone (and with it, the secular "build of three" narrative device where Paulina first tells her husband, who's thrilled, then tells her girl friends, who express some doubts, and then finally Mundus, who mansplains to her what really happened).

Also among secular differences, Paulina's motivation for agreeing to sexual intercourse with her god is developed much more attentively and gradually. That, in turn, changes the suspense arc (Mundus ending up in her bed is not inevitable when he bribes the priests, nor is her reunion with her husband a done deal, since he hadn't agreed to sharing consortium). Suddenly this is no longer the tale of three dopey goyim caught up in a sex farce orchestrated by the stock clever servant figure, but an actual morality tale where people make decisions that have consequences. (It retains, however, the flaw that Mundus' taunting of Paulina isn't credibly motivated.)

It's "the same story," but told very differently from what we find in Josephus. I don't have a conclusion from that, except that I think it would help to be a Mormon to see much of a parallel to the Annuciation in this version of the story, and the LDS weren't around back then. (I also find the parallels between the version that we now find in Josephus and "the Christian story" few and casual at best, as I posted in the earlier incarnation of this thread.)

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by rakovsky » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:20 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:52 pm
I am not aware that anyone claimed Josephus was alluding to Jesus in the Paulina story before Johannes Cloppenburg in 1634 . If you know of any writers in the early centuries AD who did, please cite and quote them.
Sure, Ken, I made some references in the OP.
Karl Kautsky notes in Foundations of Christianity (1908):
Pious commentators early occupied themselves with this sequence, linking the adventure of Madame Paulina with Christ, and seeing in it a hidden sneer on the part of the malicious Jew Josephus at the virginity of the Virgin Mary and the credulity of her fiance Joseph...
https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsk ... t/ch06.htm
rakovsky wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:06 pm
In the late fourth century, a writer using Hegessippus as a pseudonym rewrote the story of Paulina as a satire of the Christian gospel story. Albert Bell writes in his essay "Josephus the Satirist":
In [Book] II, 12.1 ["Hegesippus"] retells the sory of Paulina and Mundus as an example of the ludibrium typical of the Rome which killed Christ. .... Hegesippus then introduces the element of pregnancy, which is altogether lacking in Josephus: de se quoque et illa deum esse generandum persuadet mulieri. To the Christian audience for whom he was writing this must surely have suggested the Annunciation in Luke I. THe words used to describe Paulina's reaction... when compared to certain phrases in Luke's Gospel heighten this impression...
Bell suggests that as a result, Josephus' original writing of the Testamonium likely referred to Jesus' virgin birth in a derogatory way
The medieval Sepher Yosippon also saw this connection:
Sepher Yosippon is a unique history of the Second Temple period of ancient Israel first extant in a Hebrew manuscript dated to mid-tenth-century southern Italy. ... Paulina’s Affair in Josephus is expanded in Pseudo-Hegesippus from which the Hebrew author [of Sepher Yosippon] (in Flusser’s edition chapter 57) develops a satirical polemic against Christianity, which he drew from pro-Christian allusions in Pseudo-Hegesippus.
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=29768

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:49 am

rakovsky wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:20 pm
Ken Olson wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:52 pm
I am not aware that anyone claimed Josephus was alluding to Jesus in the Paulina story before Johannes Cloppenburg in 1634 . If you know of any writers in the early centuries AD who did, please cite and quote them.
Sure, Ken, I made some references in the OP.
Karl Kautsky notes in Foundations of Christianity (1908):
Pious commentators early occupied themselves with this sequence, linking the adventure of Madame Paulina with Christ, and seeing in it a hidden sneer on the part of the malicious Jew Josephus at the virginity of the Virgin Mary and the credulity of her fiance Joseph...
https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsk ... t/ch06.htm
rakovsky wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:06 pm
In the late fourth century, a writer using Hegessippus as a pseudonym rewrote the story of Paulina as a satire of the Christian gospel story. Albert Bell writes in his essay "Josephus the Satirist":
In [Book] II, 12.1 ["Hegesippus"] retells the sory of Paulina and Mundus as an example of the ludibrium typical of the Rome which killed Christ. .... Hegesippus then introduces the element of pregnancy, which is altogether lacking in Josephus: de se quoque et illa deum esse generandum persuadet mulieri. To the Christian audience for whom he was writing this must surely have suggested the Annunciation in Luke I. THe words used to describe Paulina's reaction... when compared to certain phrases in Luke's Gospel heighten this impression...
Bell suggests that as a result, Josephus' original writing of the Testamonium likely referred to Jesus' virgin birth in a derogatory way
The medieval Sepher Yosippon also saw this connection:
Sepher Yosippon is a unique history of the Second Temple period of ancient Israel first extant in a Hebrew manuscript dated to mid-tenth-century southern Italy. ... Paulina’s Affair in Josephus is expanded in Pseudo-Hegesippus from which the Hebrew author [of Sepher Yosippon] (in Flusser’s edition chapter 57) develops a satirical polemic against Christianity, which he drew from pro-Christian allusions in Pseudo-Hegesippus.
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=29768
It's hard to know where to begin here. I was asking you to cite and quote writers from the early centuries AD, or at least before 1634, who claimed Josephus was alluding to Jesus in the Paulina story. You cited and quoted none.

1) Karl Kautsky was a modern writer writing in 1908 and does not cite or quote, or even provide approximate dates for, the early authors he's talking about. Am I correct in thinking you've accepted this claim on Kautsky's authority but have not read these writers yourself?

2) I discussed Albert Bell and (Pseudo)Hegesippus in the post to which you responded. To recap what I said there: Pseudo-Hegesippus is a fourth Christian century author who told a version of the Paulina story that contained additional material. Albert Bell argues that the additional material alludes to the Annunciation in Luke. I'm not convinced, but it's plausible. But Pseudo-Hegesipppus himself does not say he took he took the form of the Paulina story in Josephus as referring to Jesus. Albert Bell thinks Josephus alluded to Jesus with the Paulina story, but he is a modern interpreter, not a writer from the first centuries AD.

3) The Sefer Yosippon is a medieval Jewish text that has circulated in several versions and translations. David Flusser, the editor of the critical text, argues that it was originally written in Hebrew in the 10th century, and that the author did not know the works of Josephus in Greek, but relied on Latin versions, particularly the Excidio (the text mentioned in #2 above, variously attributed to Hegesippus, Ambrose, and Josephus Ben Gorion). There is a version of the Paulina passage, based on the one in the Excidio, that is used as anti-Christian polemic. But this means that a tenth century author made the passage into an anti-Christian polemic. It does not mean that readers understood the first century author Josephus to be referring to Jesus in the Paulina story in the Antiquities.

I've seen the Paulina passage from the Sefer Yoisppon discussed in the secondary literature, but if anyone could post an English translation of the passage, that would be very useful. As far as I know, there is no full English translation of the Sefer Yosippon (there's an English translation of an abridged form of the text from the 17th century), but there may be a translation of the Paulina story somewhere.

I'm a little baffled by your repeated mentions of writers other than you that agree with your opinions and the list of quotations at the end of your opening post. Do you mean that these are positions you agree with and are prepared to defend with evidence and argument, or are you expecting your readers to accept these statements as authorities?

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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by rakovsky » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:59 am

Ken,
I think that you are suggesting that the coincidences between Jesus' and Paul's stories and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia are just that - coincidences and not real allusions. You are also suggesting that before the 17th century, earlier writers didn't perceive the story of Paulina to refer to Jesus. As such, you suggest that when a hypothetical Christian interpolator added in the Testaimonium into Josephus' story, he didn't place it next to the Paulina story because he believed that it alluded to Jesus (as Kautsky suggested that the alleged interpolator did). And when the Christian writer Pseudo-Hegesippus rewrote the Paulina story in a pro-Christian way and added in virgin birth elements, he didn't believe that the Paulina story itself alluded to Jesus, nor did the Sepher Yosippon when it used the Paulina story as an anti-Christian polemic. Further, you seem to suggest that no writers until the 17th century saw the Paulina story as deliberately alluding to Jesus.

In your scenario, did the interpolator who drafted the Testimonium put it next to Paulina's story because he saw similarities in it to Jesus' story, or were the similarities and the location of the two sections next to each other purely coincidental? Why should both Pseudo-Hegessipus and the author of the Sepher Yosippon have taken the effort to turn a negative story that they, in such a hypothetical, wouldn't have seen as about Jesus, into a Jesus-themed, positive, pro-Christian themed story?

It seems more likely to me that the coincidences between the TF and Paulina story are numerous enough that they are intentional and that even if they are not. Also, there were writers and readers before the 17th c. who perceived them to be deliberate, and that this explains why Pseudo-Hegesippus and the Sepher-Yosippon used Paulina's story as Christian or anti-Christian allegories and polemics. I think that it's more likely that a Christian Pseudo-Hegesippus gave a positive, pro-Christian reworking to a negative, anti-Christian allegory than giving a pro-Christian reworking to a negative allegory that he considered to only deride pagan gods.

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

Ken Olson
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Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:53 pm

Rakovsky wrote:
One thing that I like about this forum is that there are thoughtful participants like yourself who are interested in these topics and are also critical minded and engaging.
Aw shucks.
I think that the way that the parallels in the chiasms of this chapter are developed antithetically suggest that there should be a passage like the Testimonium that antithetically mirrors the Paulina at this point in the story.
I think there are a vast number of ways the similarities and differences between the pericopes of this text could be construed and your claim to have found the one true overarching chiastic structure to it, which you’ve already changed once, is driven by your thesis that the Testimonium is authentic and at its center and not by examination of the data.
This is because (A) chiasms are a writing style that point to some important idea in the text. One of the main ideas that Josephus was getting at in this part of his text was the factors leading to the Temple's destruction in the rebellion.
Yes, what Josephus was primarily concerned with was outlining the breakdown of relations between the Judeans (and Samaritans) and Romans that led to the rebellion against Rome and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. We don’t need to hypothesize any chiastic structures to see that. Norden described this section of the text (correctly, I think) as focusing primarily on a series of disturbances (thoryboi) between the Jews or Samaritans and the Romans.
According to Origen, Josephus noted in Book 18 that many believed that James' death was a key factor for the Temple's destruction. Yet actually here in Book 18, nor later in narrating James' death in book 20, Josephus doesn't list James' death among the events leading to the destruction.
What does this have to do with this text? Are you taking Origen’s statements to reflect an earlier text of Josephus than the one we have? (I don’t, but that’s another issue).
But it's true that the Testimonium does narrate a key event, Jesus' death, that early Christians saw as leading to the destruction. Thus, the Testimonium would fit as an important idea that the chiasm of this section tries to point to.
Your arguments seems to be missing a few steps:

This section of the Antiquities is about events leading up to the destruction of the temple (I would actually say the outbreak of war)
Christians saw Jesus’ death as leading to the destruction of the temple
The Testimonium mentions the death of Jesus
Therefore the Testimonium would fit this section of the Antiquities

Where’s the part where you show we can presuppose Christian beliefs in interpreting the text of Josephus?
And if Josephus thought that the death of Jesus was the cause of the destruction of the temple, why doesn't he just say so in his text?
Also, (B) the structure in this part is based on actions of Jews subsequently and chiastically mirroring actions of Romans antithetically. So since the Paulina story illustrates an abuse by a Roman (Decius Mundus) pretending to be a god and revealing himself in three days to the cult's female follower, one would tend to expect some antithetical story about a Jew and a female follower (e.g. Jesus appearing as a god and revealing his true nature to a female follower after three days) to precede the Paulina story.
You realize that the Testimonium does not say that Jesus appeared “as a god” or that the people (plural) to whom he appeared were female, right? (Maybe you could make the plural antithetically parallel to the singular). You’re importing details from the New Testament into your reading of the Testimonium to create the structures you claim to find in the text of Josephus.
Further, if in the alternative the Testimonium is a later interpolation, then it was correctly placed into the text and constructed in agreement with the Paulina story, and that the interpolator saw the parallels
.

Okay, I assume when you say "correctly placed in the text" you mean correctly placed in the text to be in the middle of the chiastic structure that you hypothesize to exist. So let me answer that before addressing the bit about the Paulina story.

You vastly underestimate the ability of an interpreter who wants to see the Testimonium at the center of a chiasm to construct one for himself. You've already created two. Consider the subchapters of 18.3.1 – 18.4.2:

18.3.1. The Jews protest Pilate bringing icons into Jerusalem
18.3.2. The Jews protest Pilate taking money from the temple to build an aqueduct
18.3.3 The Testimonium
18.3.4. Paulina is deceived by Mundus in Rome
18.3.5. Fulvia is deceived by Jews in Rome
18.4.1. A false Messiah deceives the Samaritans and many are killed by Pilate
18.4.2. The Samaritans complain about Pilate to Vitellius, who removes him from office and sends him to Rome to give an account of himself before Tiberius

The Testimonium could have been inserted anywhere after 18.3.1 and before 18.4.2 and we would have no difficulty in seeing it as being in the center of a chiastic construction.

It could have been inserted between the successful Jewish protest against Pilate that caused him to back down and the unsuccessful protest against Pilate that got many of the Jews killed. (18.3.1 & 18.3.2).

It could have been inserted between the deception of the Roman matron Paulina by a foreign cult that resulted in the official suppression of that cult in Rome and the deception of the Roman matron Fulvia by a foreign cult that resulted in the official suppression of that cult in Rome.(18.3.4 & 18.3.5).

It could have been inserted between the Jewish deceiver that got all the Jews punished by the Romans and the Samaritan deceiver that got may of the Samaritans killed by the Romans (18.3.5 & 18.4.1).

It could have been inserted between the accounts of what Pilate did to the Samaritans and what the Samaritans did to Pilate. (18.4.1 & 18.4.2).

So we'd have no difficulty in reverse-engineering a chiastic structure with the Testimonium at its center if it were placed between any of the subchapters after 18.3.1 and before 18.4.2. This is because imagining chiastic structures in texts is fun and easy.

If we placed the Testimonium immediately before or after the story about the Samaritan false Messiah, we'd have the added bonus that we could then construct that story (instead of the Paulina story) as parallel to the Testimonium. I won't spell out how we would do that in this post. I think it's probably fairly clear to most readers.
Finally, considering that the Testimonium's outline is, in the opinion of myself and other writers, constructed in accordance with Luke 24, it appears that the Testimonium is probably not an interpolation constructed in accordance with the Paulina story. So I believe that it's most likely that (1) Josephus wrote the Testimonium based on Luke 24, and then (2) wrote up a chiastic set of passages including the Paulina story and placed them to fit around the Testimonium.
I'm not sold on Goldberg’s thesis on Luke 24, and, Richard Carrier aside, it's made *very* little impact in published academic discussion of the Testimonium. But that's really a subject for another thread. Carrier is happy with the theory that the Testimonium is constructed in parallel with Luke 24 and that it''s an interpolation. So let's move on to the other part of your argument.

I'm perfectly happy to say that the Testimonium was in all probability not constructed in accordance with the Paulina story. You seem to think you've forced me (and presumably Carrier) into a corner where I'd have to argue that it was. Perhaps you could spell out why.
Since I believe that Luke was probably written before the Testimonium, I think that Josephus probably wrote the Testimonium based on Luke 24, rather than the alternative of an interpolator knowing of the chiastic structure and then deliberately crafting the Testimonium to either (A) antithetically parallel the Paulina story in a way that just *happens* to match Luke 24, or (B) match Luke 24 in a way that just *happens* to antithetically parallel the Paulina story without Josephus intending the Paulina story to antithetically parallel the gospel story.
When you start with "Since I believe that Luke was probably written before the Testimonium" you explain why you came to the conclusion you did, but not why someone else ought to come to the conclusion you did [this is the problem with much of your argumentation]. Why can we not believe the reverse, as Steve Mason and Richard Carrier do?

As in my preceding comment, I'll skip the Goldberg/Luke 24 here and repeat my request that you explain why I would have to accept that the Testimonium was constructed to parallel or antithetically parallel the Paulina story. Two caveats:(1) I don't mean just describe the way you think it might, but why *someone other than you* should feel compelled to accept that it is; and (2) please stick to the texts of the Paulina story and the Testimonium (i.e., not the Christian tradition outside the Testimonium).

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