Another argument against the Testimonium Flavianum

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Giuseppe
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Another argument against the Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:24 am


According to the Acts of the Apostles (11:26), it was in Antioch that the followers of Christ were designed under the name of Christians. If we follow the account of Acts, this event must be placed (Acts 11: 25-26) in the year following the arrival of Paul in this city and around the time of the martyrdom of James the Major, perhaps around the year 44. It seems strange that Josephus, writing less than thirty years later,is surprised that the Christian sect, born when he was a teenager, continues to exist when it has not yet reached maturity: this short duration has nothing that can surprise a contemporary with St. Paul. We are therefore evidently in the presence of a forger of a long time after the author of the Jewish Antiquities, and of one who has behind him an already ancient Christianity, whose longevity is worthy of being noticed.

(Moutier-Rousset, Le Christ a-t-il existé?, 1922, my free translation and my bold)

Note that this argument holds even under the free assumption that the sect was persecuted for the his anti-Roman ideology.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

andrewcriddle
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Re: Another argument against the Testimonium Flavianum

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:23 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:24 am

According to the Acts of the Apostles (11:26), it was in Antioch that the followers of Christ were designed under the name of Christians. If we follow the account of Acts, this event must be placed (Acts 11: 25-26) in the year following the arrival of Paul in this city and around the time of the martyrdom of James the Major, perhaps around the year 44. It seems strange that Josephus, writing less than thirty years later,is surprised that the Christian sect, born when he was a teenager, continues to exist when it has not yet reached maturity: this short duration has nothing that can surprise a contemporary with St. Paul. We are therefore evidently in the presence of a forger of a long time after the author of the Jewish Antiquities, and of one who has behind him an already ancient Christianity, whose longevity is worthy of being noticed.

(Moutier-Rousset, Le Christ a-t-il existé?, 1922, my free translation and my bold)

Note that this argument holds even under the free assumption that the sect was persecuted for the his anti-Roman ideology.
Thirty years after 44 CE is 74 CE. This is roughly the date of the Jewish War. However the TF occurs in the Antiquities written nearly twenty years later. It would be quite plausible for Josephus, writing in the early 90's, to be a little surprised that a group following a leader killed in the early 30's was still around.

Andrew Criddle

Giuseppe
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Re: Another argument against the Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:06 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:23 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:24 am

According to the Acts of the Apostles (11:26), it was in Antioch that the followers of Christ were designed under the name of Christians. If we follow the account of Acts, this event must be placed (Acts 11: 25-26) in the year following the arrival of Paul in this city and around the time of the martyrdom of James the Major, perhaps around the year 44. It seems strange that Josephus, writing less than thirty years later,is surprised that the Christian sect, born when he was a teenager, continues to exist when it has not yet reached maturity: this short duration has nothing that can surprise a contemporary with St. Paul. We are therefore evidently in the presence of a forger of a long time after the author of the Jewish Antiquities, and of one who has behind him an already ancient Christianity, whose longevity is worthy of being noticed.

(Moutier-Rousset, Le Christ a-t-il existé?, 1922, my free translation and my bold)

Note that this argument holds even under the free assumption that the sect was persecuted for the his anti-Roman ideology.
Thirty years after 44 CE is 74 CE. This is roughly the date of the Jewish War. However the TF occurs in the Antiquities written nearly twenty years later. It would be quite plausible for Josephus, writing in the early 90's, to be a little surprised that a group following a leader killed in the early 30's was still around.
how can only 20 years in addition to mark the difference between a longeval sect and a not-still-longeval sect ?

Really, that surprise is unexpected by any contemporary of Saint Paul, however long-lived he is himself.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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arnoldo
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Re: Another argument against the Testimonium Flavianum

Post by arnoldo » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:47 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:23 am
Thirty years after 44 CE is 74 CE. This is roughly the date of the Jewish War. However the TF occurs in the Antiquities written nearly twenty years later. It would be quite plausible for Josephus, writing in the early 90's, to be a little surprised that a group following a leader killed in the early 30's was still around.

Andrew Criddle
The account does appear to be anachronistic to some degree. . .Jerome Murphy O’Conner describes the “surprise” in the following manner.
Jesus merited a place in the history of Josephus merely because, against all expectations, he acquired a following which survived him When the assertion that “He won over many Jews and Gentiles” is compared with the Gospels, it is manifest that Josephus is reading back into the lifetime of Jesus what was true only much later in the first century.
https://books.google.com/books?id=aDbaq ... 20&f=false


Giuseppe
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Re: Another argument against the Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:08 am

arnoldo wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:47 am
The account does appear to be anachronistic to some degree. . .Jerome Murphy O’Conner describes the “surprise” in the following manner.
Jesus merited a place in the history of Josephus merely because, against all expectations, he acquired a following which survived him When the assertion that “He won over many Jews and Gentiles” is compared with the Gospels, it is manifest that Josephus is reading back into the lifetime of Jesus what was true only much later in the first century.
https://books.google.com/books?id=aDbaq ... 20&f=false

the problem is that 90 - 30 = 60 years is not a sign of longevity, for a sect. Just as 70 - 30 = 40 years isn't.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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