Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

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Giuseppe
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Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:43 am


Mark 15:1-16The Narrative Theme Josephus's Ant. 18:3

Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

an intruder in a place that is not the his own.
But now Pilate, the procurator of Judea, removed the army from Cesarea to Jerusalem, to take their winter quarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Caesar's effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city; whereas our law forbids us the very making of images;


Very early in the morning,

a slight difference in time, between Mark and Josephus, about the introduction of the intruder in a foreign place. In both the cases, a secret operation.
which was done without the knowledge of the people, because it was done in the night time;


The chief priests accused him of many things.

First opposition of a group against the intruder.
but as soon as they knew it, they came in multitudes to Cesarea, and interceded with Pilate many days that he would remove the images;


“Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.

first resistance by Pilate in both the cases. First reference to crime of sediction.
and when he would not grant their requests, because it would tend to the injury of Caesar,


6 Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

In both the cases, the description of an expedient to make it more easy the conclusion of the affair (in a pro-Pilate way). The expedient is a threat of coming release of violence (a free Barabbas is a public danger more than a free Jesus).
while yet they persevered in their request, on the sixth day he ordered his soldiers to have their weapons privately, while he came and sat upon his judgment-seat, which seat was so prepared in the open place of the city, that it concealed the army that lay ready to oppress them; and when the Jews petitioned him again, he gave a signal to the soldiers to encompass them routed, and threatened that their punishment should be no less than immediate death, unless they would leave off disturbing him, and go their ways home.


But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.
13 “Crucify him!” they shouted.
14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

Strong resistance by the Jews in both the cases. Even to the cost of a possible release of violence (a free Barabbas is a threat as well as the massacre by Pilate)
But they threw themselves upon the ground, and laid their necks bare, and said they would take their death very willingly, rather than the wisdom of their laws should be transgressed;


Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them.

Pilate yields.
upon which Pilate was deeply affected with their firm resolution to keep their laws inviolable,


He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers.

the intruder has to go to another place, where the pious Jews can't go (respectively the Praetorium in Mark and the pagan Caesarea in Josephus). This different place is full of Roman soldiers.
and presently commanded the images to be carried back from Jerusalem to Cesarea.


So, this is further evidence, in addition to this, that Mark is based on Josephus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:56 am

If John the Baptist was introduced in Mark only because “Mark” found him in Josephus's Antiquities (see future article of Gregory Doudna about this case), then, in virtue of the same reason, it is more probable than not that “Mark” introduced Pilate in the narrative only because he found Pilate in Josephus.

And not because he knew about a historical crucifixion of Jesus by Pilate.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Ken Olson
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:18 pm

Perhaps Giuseppe and Rakovsky could engage each other's theses on the topic of Antiquities 18.3:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3915&p=83263&hilit= ... ium#p83228

Each could explain the methodology he is employing in analyzing the evidence of Ant. 18.3 and why readers ought to find the parallels he adduces more persuasive evidence in favor of his thesis than the other has given, or, conversely, why the other's parallels are weaker than his own and the other's thesis ought not to be accepted.

Such an exchange might be enlightening or at least entertaining.

Giuseppe
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:07 am

I would understand better the Rakovsky's case if he had put it in clear by a table as I have made above.

Primissima facie, it seems that his case is more weak than my case for a good reason: he seems to oscillate between presumed parallelisms between the Testimonium and what precedes the Testimonium, and presumed parallelisms between the Testimonium and what follows the Testimonium. Too much complicated.

Whereas I have to compare only two passages between them, and I have the same order by which they assume both the same items.

In addition to this, I would note that the insignia episode and the Gospel episode are the only two cases where the sadic, cruel, mad, crazy, etc, etc Pilate is defeated by a Jewish crowd. Isn't this another coincidence in the coincidence ?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:06 pm

There is another reason to think that these parallelisms are deliberate in Mark. Whereas the point of Josephus is to add further emphasis on the obtuse and tyrannical Pilate's insistence to introduce a foreign deity in a place known in all the world to be populated by eager monotheists ,

...the point of Mark is that Pilate would have any reason to introduce an unknown Messiah to Jews. Insofar it is Pilate who is insisting to make this unknown Messiah accepted by the Jews, the his being considered persona non grata by the Jews makes this Jesus more a Roman deity than a Jewish King, in the eyes of the Roman readers of Mark.

The Roman ingerence in Jewish affairs would be seen now as absolutely legitimate, to impose to Jews, afterall, their same legitimate King.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:45 am

Note that a lot of imperialistic wars started by Rome against the his enemies were done to install the presumed legitimate king on the throne of the attacked land.

For example, to install the legitimate king of Numidia against the usurper Jugurta.

To install the legitimate king of Bithinia against the usurper Mithridates.

To install the legitimate queen Cleopatra against the usurper his brother.

And the list may continue.

So Pilate, in the his efforts to save Jesus from the crowd, that is equivalent to introduce before the Jews their legitimate king, was doing simply what any Roman soldier had done until now: to represent the divine justice on the earth.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:48 pm


.
“The Trial of Jesus Before Pilate” (Mark 15:1–15)
"The second trial of Jesus is based upon:
  • Isaiah 50:6, “I gave my back to those who struck me . . .”
  • Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth . . .”
  • Antiquities 18:4:3, wherein Josephus reports that Vitellius released Jerusalem from paying taxes when he attended the Passover.
"Jesus’s trial before Pilate also has OT references to being scourged as in Isa 50:6 and keeping silent as in Isa 53:7. Scholars report that there was no tradition for releasing prisoners at the Passover in Judaism. However, Josephus reports that on one occasion the Roman president of Syria, Vitellius, released the residents of Jerusalem from paying tax on fruits and vegetables when he attended a Passover celebration. This occurred soon after Vitellius had sent Pilate back to Rome in 36 CE."

Smith, David Oliver. Unlocking the Puzzle: The Keys to the Christology and Structure of the Original Gospel of Mark, 2016; pp. 235-236. Resource Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.


.
Josephus As A Source For Mark

The evidence points to Mark’s use of Josephus’s Antiquities Of The Jews, Wars Of The Jews, and Life of Flavius Josephus as sources in order to place Jesus in a historical context. There are a number of facts mentioned by Mark that are also mentioned in the first five chapters of Book 18 of Antiquities of the Jews, The Wars of the Jews Book 2, chapters 8 and 9, and Life of Flavius Josephus, 76:
  1. John the Baptizer baptized the people with water. (Mark 1:5; J.A.18:5:2)
  2. Jesus tells the apostles to “take nothing for their journey” but a staff. (Mark 6:8) Essenes “carry nothing at all with them when they travel” except weapons. (J.W 2:8:4). The Greek is considerably different in the two constructions, but the concept is the same.
  3. Herod Antipas married his brother’s wife, Herodias. (Mark 6:17; J.A. 18:5:1)
  4. Herod Antipas killed John the Baptizer. (Mark 6:27, J.A.18:5:2)
  5. “Corban” is money given to the temple treasury. (Mark 7:11; J.W 2:9:4)
  6. Essenes numbered 4,000 ... this is the same number that Jesus fed with seven loaves & a few fishes. (Mk 8:9; J.A 18:1:5)
  7. Sadducees deny the resurrection of souls after death. (Mark 12:18; J.A. 18:1:4; J.W. 2:8:14)
  8. Sadducees argue with teachers of philosophy. (Mark 12:18–23; J.A. 18:1:4)
  9. Mark identifies Passover as “the Passover and the (feast of) Unleavened Bread” (pascha kai ta azyma) Josephus identifies it as “the feast of Unleavened Bread, that we call Passover” (azymon heortē tes agomenes en pascha). Notice Mark reversed Josephus’s order, a sure signal of source. (Mark 14:1; J.A. 18:2:2)
  10. Pontius Pilate was the procurator of Judea in the first half of the first century CE. (Mark 15:1; J.A. 18:3:4, J.W. 2:9:2–4)
  11. Pilate releases Barabbas at Passover. Vitellius, President of Syria and Pilate’s superior, comes to Judea at Passover and releases the inhabitants of Jerusalem from paying taxes on fruits and vegetables sold. (Mark 15:15; J.A. 18:2:3)
  12. Jesus is crucified with two thieves. Joseph from Arimathea goes into Pilate and asks for Jesus’s body. Jesus is resurrected. Josephus sees three of his friends that Titus is crucifying and he goes into Titus and asks that he be allowed to take them down. Titus agrees and Josephus gets them medical help, but two die and one lives. (Mark 15:27–45; J.L. 76).

It seems too much of a coincidence that eight facts that Mark states in the Original Gospel are found in J.A. 18:1–5, unless Mark used Antiquities as a source. It also appears that Mark combined paragraphs 1 and 2 of J.A. 18:5 to create the story that Herod killed John because John disapproved of Herod’s marriage to Herodias. Josephus does not say that Herod imprisoned John because John disapproved of Herod’s marriage. Josephus says nothing about John condemning or approving or even knowing of Herod’s marriage. Josephus only relates the circumstances of Herod’s marriage in paragraph 1, and in paragraph 2 writes that Herod killed John because he thought John might lead a rebellion. Josephus does connect Herod’s marriage to the killing of John by saying that some Jews thought that Herod’s defeat by Aretas was God’s punishment of Herod for killing John. Aretas went to war against Herod because Herod sent his first wife, Aretas’ daughter, away so that he could marry Herodias. It appears that Mark invented John’s condemnation of Herod’s marriage based on Josephus’s presentation of the two separate events in Herod’s life as contiguous paragraphs.

Josephus also specifically says that John’s baptism was not for the remission of sins. This is the traditional meaning of baptism or tevilah, the Jewish ritual washing. Before Mark wrote his Original Gospel, Paul had instituted baptism as a sacrament/initiation rite into Christianity, transforming the Jewish tevilah into a one-time initiation event. Paul connects baptism with becoming an adopted son of God. Therefore, Josephus’s John the Baptizer becomes the perfect literary vehicle to engender Jesus’s adoption by God. In the process Mark changes the nature of John’s baptism to become the symbolic remission of sins that Paul preached.

Smith, Unlocking the Puzzle, pp. 200-202. Kindle Edition.


Giuseppe
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Re: Is Mark 15:1-16 based on Josephus's Ant. 18:3 ?

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:32 am

Thanks, MrMacSon,
this point
Pilate releases Barabbas at Passover. Vitellius, President of Syria and Pilate’s superior, comes to Judea at Passover and releases the inhabitants of Jerusalem from paying taxes on fruits

is particularly interesting, as "coincidence" of time.

About the my parallelisms, the choice between life or death, offered as blackmail by Pilate and found in both the stories, is particularly surprising: Jesus or Barabbas, idolatry or repression. I wonder why none realized all this before myself. If I am the first to realize this parallelism, the reason is that I am one of few people in the world to like the fact that in proto-Mark the essence of the Gospel Jesus is the alien nature of the spirit possessing him. Too much alien for the Jewish god to be just as alien as only the Pagan insignia could be.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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