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

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
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Re: What is the real relationship between the Testamonium and the stories of Paulina and Fulvia?

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:30 am

I apologize for getting your name wrong! I spelled it correctly in your thread where I had it in front of me, but incorrectly in this thread where i relied on memory. It's not a coincidence - I am more familiar with the spelling with the final "i". I waited tables in a restaurant named "Giuseppi's" a couple of decades ago.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:45 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:30 am
I apologize for getting your name wrong! I spelled it correctly in your thread where I had it in front of me, but incorrectly in this thread where i relied on memory. It's not a coincidence - I am more familiar with the spelling with the final "i". I waited tables in a restaurant named "Giuseppi's" a couple of decades ago.
Ok :lol: always better than “Guiseppe” as many here have written about.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by rakovsky » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:35 am

Ken,
Its known that Josephus uses chiasms as part of his writing style, see eg.
The Sicarii in Josephus's Judean War
Mark Andrew Brighton · 2009
<<Josephus's employment of chiasmus in his larger and second work, the Judean Antiquities, is well recognized.>> So I think that this style of structuring includes his passage of the Testamonium, and that the Testamonium lines up with neighboring passages in the Antiquities.

As far as whether the Testamonium lines up with the gospels, I think that it lines up with Luke 24, as some modern scholars have written. Since I think that Luke was probably written before the Antiquities, I think that the Antiquities probably used Luke 24.

I don't have much opinion on whether the passages in Mark and Antiquities that you and Guiseppe discussed are related.

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

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

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:08 pm

Rakovsky,

Thanks for the reply. Could you clarify what your thesis is. What is it that your argument is supposed to show in its conclusion?

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

Post by TedM » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:20 pm

Hi, you wrote:
The story of Jesus in this context suggests itself as an anecdote explaining a spiritual reason for why the disaster came onto Israel. The Romans in this context were heavy handed and the Jewish leaders were acting wrongly. Like the Jewish protestors against idolatry who offered themselves and were spared, the Christians are a tribe who have still survived, Josephus writes in his Testamonium.
The passage as it now stands seems rather tame toward the Romans - blaming the Jews for the death of a wise man as much as Pilate. This doesn't seem to support what you have written as strongly as other passages. Is it your view that an original version was more supportive of your view? And if so, would you agree that such a passage would also still have to have been fairly complimentary of Jesus?

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

Post by rakovsky » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:36 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:08 pm
Could you clarify what your thesis is. What is it that your argument is supposed to show in its conclusion?
My thesis is that the passages surrounding the Testamonium are related chiastically and allude cryptically to the N.T. narrative. Other writers over the centuries have noted such allusions, with the story of the Egyptian cult alluding to the virgin birth, the name Paulina as a reference to Paul, and Josephus' story of raising money for Jerusalem alluding to Paul's raising money for the Church in Jerusalem.

One conclusion from seeing the passages as an integrated structure is that the Testamonium is shown to be original, integral, and authentic to the Antiquities and not just a much later Christian interpolation.

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

Post by rakovsky » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:55 pm

TedM wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:20 pm

The passage as it now stands seems rather tame toward the Romans - blaming the Jews for the death of a wise man as much as Pilate. This doesn't seem to support what you have written as strongly as other passages. Is it your view that an original version was more supportive of your view? And if so, would you agree that such a passage would also still have to have been fairly complimentary of Jesus?
Josephus throughout his writings makes strong criticisms of the Jewish rebels, and at times also of the Romans. The current Testamonium stands in agreement with that pattern, since it blames both parties, including Pilate. I think that the current Testamonium is probably the original one and that Josephus was writing a pro-Christian passage. I gave reasons why I think that Josephus was probably a Christian sympathizer here:
viewtopic.php?p=72397#p72397

Most modern scholars seem to think that the current Testamonium is a version reworked by Christian's out of an earlier, neutral one. The main reason for their skepticism is that they think that Josephus was not Christian. But some scholars like Whiston and Eisenman and others whom we have discussed on the forum think that the current Testamonium is original.

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

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:42 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:36 pm
My thesis is that the passages surrounding the Testamonium are related chiastically and allude cryptically to the N.T. narrative. Other writers over the centuries have noted such allusions, with the story of the Egyptian cult alluding to the virgin birth, the name Paulina as a reference to Paul, and Josephus' story of raising money for Jerusalem alluding to Paul's raising money for the Church in Jerusalem.

One conclusion from seeing the passages as an integrated structure is that the Testamonium is shown to be original, integral, and authentic to the Antiquities and not just a much later Christian interpolation.
I think you have too many arguments going on here. I'll lay out your arguments here and you can correct me if I've misstated them.

1) The Testimonium at 18.3.3 is at the center of a chiastic structure in the form CBABC, with 18.3.1 paralleled by 18.3.5 and 18.3.2 paralleled by 18.3.4. So that's 18.3.1 = C, 18.3.2 = B, 18.3.3 = A, 18.3.4 = B, 18.3.5 = C. This parallel structure requires the Testimonium at A to work.

2) The passage about Paulina and Mundus is highly unusual in Josephus' work, or at least the Antiquities, because it does not deal with Jewish affairs, or high level historical events that affect Jews, like a change in emperors. Therefore it requires a special explanation for its inclusion. This is to be found in its many parallels to the Christian tradition. The story is meant to be an antithetic parallel to the Testimonium which precedes it in the text.

3) Josephus' story of raising money for Jerusalem (i.e., the Fulvia story in 18.3.5) alludes to Paul's raising money for the church in Jerusalem. This adds weight to the thesis by showing more parallels to the New Testament and the Christian tradition.

Leaving aside the question of the strength or quality of the purported parallels for the moment, there are some problems with structure of the argument.

First, if the Fulvia story were alluding to Paul's raising money for the church in Jerusalem (which I would not accept), yet there is no story about Paul in the text, haven't you just shown that allusions to Christian stories don't imply the presence of those Christian stories in the text? You're claiming Josephus alludes to Christian stories not found in the text of the Antiquities, so why would allusions to Christian stories require the Testimonium? Or was there originally a story about Paul in Antiquities 18 that's missing from the extant texts?

Second, you're suggesting two different structures for the text. You're claiming that the Paulina story in Ant. 18.3.4 was constructed in parallel to Ant. 18.3.2 to frame the Testimonium (B-A-B), but you're also claiming that Ant. 18.3.4 was constructed in antithetic parallel to the Testimonium. How does this work with the chiastic structure you're claiming to have found? Is it C-A-A-A-C? Does 18.3.2 also parallel the Testimonium? It would seem it would have to. If 18.3.2 parallels 18.3.4 and 18.3.4 parallels 18..33, then 18.3.2 ought to parallel 18.3.3 as well. Can you point me to some ancient literature, preferably discussed somewhere in the scholarly literature, where the central element of a chiasm is paralleled by the element following it? I think you're seeing too many parallels.

Third, you claim that since the inclusion of a story that is not about Jews is unusual in Josephus, there must be a special reason, and that is to be found in it serving as an antithetic parallel to the Testimonium. Can you show that constructing stories in antithetic parallelism to the stories that precede them is common is Josephus, or have you postulated a further unusual case?

While I'm primarily evaluating the strength of your case here, I'd like to suggest an alternative case for why Josephus included the Paulina story even though it includes no Jews: first, Josephus found it in the same source as the Fulvia story that follows it (argument for this available on request) and second, he considered it a really interesting story that would entertain his readers (as I think most readers will appreciate and numerous commentators have observed).

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by arnoldo » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:52 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:55 pm
. . . Most modern scholars seem to think that the current Testamonium is a version reworked by Christian's out of an earlier, neutral one. The main reason for their skepticism is that they think that Josephus was not Christian. But some scholars like Whiston and Eisenman and others whom we have discussed on the forum think that the current Testamonium is original.
Jerome Murphy O'Conner suggests that the original writing by Josephus may've been intended as a hostile witness to a degree.
https://books.google.com/books?id=aDbaq ... es&f=false

This view may appear to be echoed in The Passing of Peregrinus which describes " a new cult [produced] into the world."

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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 6:15 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:42 pm


I think you have too many arguments going on here. I'll lay out your arguments here and you can correct me if I've misstated them.

1) The Testimonium at 18.3.3 is at the center of a chiastic structure in the form CBABC, with 18.1 paralleled by 18.5 and 18.2 paralleled by 18.4. So that's 18.1 = C, 18.2 = B, 18.3 = A, 18.4 = B, 18.5 = C. This parallel structure requires the Testimonium at A to work.

2) The passage about Paulina and Mundus is highly unusual in Josephus' work, or at least the Antiquities, because it does not deal with Jewish affairs, or high level historical events that affect Jews, like a change in emperors. Therefore it requires a special explanation for its inclusion. This is to be found in its many parallels to the Christian tradition. The story is meant to be an antithetic parallel to the Testimonium which precedes it in the text.

3) Josephus story of raising money for Jerusalem (i.e., the Fulvia story in 18.5) alludes to Paul's raising money for the church in Jerusalem. This adds weight to the thesis by showing more parallels to the New Testament and the Christian tradition.
Ken,
My first step is in thinking that the Testamonium is anithetically related to the story of the Egyptian cult. And the second step is that the story of the thieves gathering funds for Jerusalem alludes to Paul's gathering of funds for the Church in Jerusalem. Other writers have observed these two sets of connections before I have.

The main new idea that I have presented is that I know that Josephus wrote chiastically, and so I see a likely chiastic structure involving the two passages on Pilate before the Testamonium, as well as the passages after the Testamonium.


You ask:
First, if the Fulvia story were alluding to Paul's raising money for the church in Jerusalem (which I would not accept), yet there is no story about Paul in the text, haven't you just shown that allusions to Christian stories don't imply the presence of those Christian stories in the text? You're claiming Josephus alludes to Christian stories not found in the text of the Antiquities, so why would allusions to Christian stories require the Testimonium? Or was there originally a story about Paul in Antiquities 18 that's missing from the extant texts?
Sure, if Paul's story were alluded to by both the name Paulina and by the story of the three thieves, then it might show that no explicitly Christian content is necessitated by Christian allusions.
Nonetheless, finding the Testamonium right before stories that allude strongly to Christianity -an Egyptian cult and the story of the thieves- seems to me not a coincidence, but rather tends to confirm a relationship between the passages.
Also if one finds a chiastic structure here using the Testamonium, then the chiasm points to the integrity of the Testamonium.

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

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