What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:49 am

Howdy, Andrew

It is not in contention that the Josephus mention is evidence about the existence of Jesus Christ. If it bears at all, then it bears in favor of that hypothesis. As to the strength of its bearing, perhaps you will be interested in what follows the second quote box below, as I now turn to Bernard's post.

Hi, Bernard
If brother/sister is mentioned relative to someone, this brother/sister is related by blood to a human as in: Rom 16:15 "Greet Philol'ogus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olym'pas, and all the saints who are with them."
Assuming I knew that "sister" refers to a blood kinship with Nereus here; I'll stipulate to it for brevity.

Both Nereus and the woman in question, who are being directly addressed in your example, know who his "sister" refers to, and so there is no ambiguity for Paul to explain, nor any ambiguity about which other readers who "overhear" this one-to-two exchange are likely to complain. They either know, too, or else if they don't know much about Nereus or the woman, don't care what kind of sister he has and she is.

Regardless, and more immediately relevant to our problem, in 1 Corinthians 9:5, one of the two subject verses of the topic, when Paul refers to a "sister woman(wife)" then in your view he means blood kin spouse? Cephas is mentioned by name in this connection, if naming is material to the criterion you're proposing.
(Young) Josephus was a contemporary of (old) James and living in the same city (Jerusalem) for 5 to 10 years. So he must have known about the relationship of James with a Jesus, that Jesus being identified as "called Christ" as he was known to be called in the 90's when Josephus was writing Antiquities.
The chief issue is not Josephus' qualification as a witness, but whether we're reading Josephus' testimony or Origen's, based upon the approval of Saint Eusebius and Saint Jerome.

There is a secondary issue if all uncertainty about the authenticity of the received text snippet (whether or Josephus used Matthew's term "called Christ" is the only thing in contention) were resolved in favor of the historicist view. We would still need to establish that Josephus wasn't the earliest known non-Christian to mistake ancient Christian fraternal in-group language for blood kinship. Apparently, it was a common misunderstanding back in the day. Depending on which hypothesis is correct, maybe it still is.

Finally, it is not in evidence that the James referred to by Josephus was a resident of Jerusalem within a decade of the summer of 62. It is something entailed by some but not others of the hypotheses in contention.

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3250
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:32 pm

Both Nereus and the woman in question, who are being directly addressed in your example, know who his "sister" refers to, and so there is no ambiguity for Paul to explain,
OK, but if the addressees of Paul's letters knew already Jesus had true blood brothers, there would be no ambiguity either.
Regardless, and more immediately relevant to our problem, in 1 Corinthians 9:5, one of the two subject verses of the topic, when Paul refers to a "sister woman(wife)" then in your view he means blood kin spouse? Cephas is mentioned by name in this connection, if naming is material to the criterion you're proposing.
For 1 Cor 9:15, translations can differ. That one from the KJV makes sense to me:
"Have we not power to lead about a [spiritual & believing] sister [for the not married apostles, such as Paul], a wife [for the married ones] ..."
It would not make any sense for Paul to complain about not being accepted as traveling with a wife, because he had no wife.

I mentioned Ro 16:15 to show that Paul could use the word "sister" to indicate a blood relationship. I did not say he used the word "sister" always with that meaning, far from that.
But some fellows out there surmise that Paul used "brother(s)" only for a spiritual relationship.
Finally, it is not in evidence that the James referred to by Josephus was a resident of Jerusalem within a decade of the summer of 62. It is something entailed by some but not others of the hypotheses in contention.
But Jerusalem is where Paul met James (identified as the brother of the Lord) in Gal 1:19, 2:9 & 2:12. Furthermore no canonical or uncanonical text has James doing any traveling.
The chief issue is not Josephus' qualification as a witness, but whether we're reading Josephus' testimony or Origen's, based upon the approval of Saint Eusebius and Saint Jerome.
A detail: Eusebius was not declared a saint.
Eusebius and Jerome gave approval for interpolations, so these approvals are meaningless.
And what Origen commented upon and Eusebius quoted (in 'History of the Church 2:23) was spurious, likely an embellishment on what Josephus wrote in Ant. 20, 9, 1.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:20 pm

Hello again, Bernard
OK, but if the addressees of Paul's letters knew already Jesus had true blood brothers, there would be no ambiguity either.
Yes, there's no ambiguity for most of the hypotheses in contention. Paul's first audiences very likely knew what he meant, regardless of what that was.
It would not make any sense for Paul to complain about not being accepted as traveling with a wife, because he had no wife.
Two of the popular proposed senses out there are:

First, that missionary wives were expected to provide labor and leadership for recruiting women converts. Thus, some missionary projects had two heads of mission, one male and one female who were also intimate partners (like a wolf pack). Paul and Barnabas also practiced a two-headed organizational model, a different two-headed model perhaps, and should be compensated like other two-headed missions.

Second, that Paul is arguing that he and Barnabas have foregone consortium for the good of the cause, and so are especially deserving of individual compensation because of their sacrifice compared with otherwise comparable married mission leaders.

Of those two, I like the first better, but no matter. Either way, Paul is arguing that he deserves compensation comparable with what some enumerated others actually receive. There is no interpretation where enumerating people unlike Paul would advance Paul's argument.
I mentioned Ro 16:15 to show that Paul could use the word "sister" to indicate a blood relationship.
There's no dispute about that between us. Anybody could use "sister" to describe a blood relationship.
But some fellows out there surmise that Paul used "brother(s)" only for a spiritual relationship.
I've never run into anybody like that. I defer to your broader experience on that, but are you sure you aren't thinking of the observation that in the two letters where Paul uses the phrase the brothers of the Lord, all other instances of fraternal language there are figurative?
But Jerusalem is where Paul met James (identified as the brother of the Lord) in Gal 1:19, 2:9 & 2:12. Furthermore no canonical or uncanonical text has James doing any traveling.
Yes, one hypothesis is that Josephus wrote about the same man (or one of two men) named James whom Paul met. If so, then maybe that fellow had resided in Jerusalem without interruption for a long time before 62. But there are other hypotheses in contention. In each of those, Josephus wrote about some other man named James. If so, then we don't know the relevant James' residence history.
A detail: Eusebius was not declared a saint.
Thank you; I stand corrected.
Eusebius and Jerome gave approval for interpolations, so these approvals are meaningless.
Their opinions are not useful as evidence about the original text. Their opinions are, however, meaningful as plausible advice to co-religionist scribes about how a discrepancy among exemplars might be resolved. Perhaps some scribes might have taken their advice. Thus, the opinions are potential causal elements in explanations of the state of the extant manuscript witnesses.
And what Origen commented upon and Eusebius quoted (in 'History of the Church 2:23) was spurious, likely an embellishment on what Josephus wrote in Ant. 20, 9, 1.
Origen probably really did read most of that in Antiquities 20, in the 1900 or so translated words that precede the trial and on through its aftermath. What Origen got flatly wrong was to say that Josephus related all these things to that trial. That and maybe which Jesus was James' brother.

I gave the link earlier to my discussion of the basis for that estimate of Origen's source:

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/201 ... o-do-that/

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 11224
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:33 pm

I don't think anybody has ever argued that Greek is exceptional in the availability of non-kinship meanings for kinship terms. Nor is Aramaic uniquely flexible in that regard compared with other languages.
But clearly the prevalence of the secondary meeting means there is no reason to actually believe that Jesus had brothers. It might have been true. Then again maybe it wasn't true. For some reason the human brain wants simple binary choices.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3250
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:54 am

to Paul the Uncertain,
but are you sure you aren't thinking of the observation that in the two letters where Paul uses the phrase the brothers of the Lord, all other instances of fraternal language there are figurative?
I don't follow you here. If you are asking the other instances of brother(s) in the Pauline epistles imply a spiritual relationship, I say yes. But brother(s) between each other, by common faith, not brother(s) of the (heavenly by then) Lord.
But there are other hypotheses in contention. In each of those, Josephus wrote about some other man named James.
What other "James"?
In Galatians, Paul identified a James as brother of the Lord (1:19) and then mentioned a James in 2:9 & 2:12. Why would they not be the same James?
As a rule, once you identify someone by his/her name, plus other items which make that person unique, there is no obligation to add up identification bits to the person's name the next time you mention him/her by name only. The reader or listener will understand it is the same someone.
Their opinions are not useful as evidence about the original text. Their opinions are, however, meaningful as plausible advice to co-religionist scribes about how a discrepancy among exemplars might be resolved. Perhaps some scribes might have taken their advice. Thus, the opinions are potential causal elements in explanations of the state of the extant manuscript witnesses.
That's rather far-fetched and lacking evidence.
I made some points here against Josephus only mentioning "the brother of Jesus, James by name" or "the brother of Jesus, son of Damneus, James by name"
From http://historical-jesus.info/104.html
Now, I will review the two options:
A) If "the brother of Jesus, whose name was James", without "him called Christ" were the initial Josephus' words, and with the 'Jesus' in question meant, again, to be "Jesus, the son of Damneus", written about ninety words later, then:
That goes against good syntax and common sense. It is the reverse of the normal practice of first clearly identifying a new character (such as "J. son of D."), then, later in the text, referring to the same person as just "J.". When the reader sees "J.", he/she would understand that "J." is the son of "D.", as read earlier. But the opposite is absurd, with the reader left wondering if the earlier unidentified "Jesus" could be "Jesus, the son of Damneus" written later.
An excellent example relative to both A) & B): let's see how Josephus dealt with "younger Ananus" in Ant., 20, 9, 1: first "the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus", then "younger Ananus" ("younger" because Josephus had digressed on the older Ananus a few words earlier), then "Ananus" (four times).
B) If it was "son of Damneus" instead of "who was called Christ", why would Josephus not write "James, the son of Damneus"? Why bother to identify someone with two identifiers ('brother of Jesus' and 'son of Damneus'), when one ('son of Damneus') is sufficient? More so when this Jesus (son of Damneus) does not need to be introduced yet, and Josephus normally preferred identification through the father (when known, as it is the case here) rather than through a brother.
And some ninety words later, the new high priest would have been introduced such as "Jesus, another son of Damneus" or, even better, "Jesus, the brother of James" or simply "Jesus" (if that Jesus had been already identified as brother of James and son of Damneus, as postulated by Carrier) but, in that case, "Jesus, the son of Damneus" is the most unlikely wording by Josephus.
I read your links, but where did you see "by stoning" in Origen's writings?
BTW, I think the interpolation that Origen read and Eusebius quoted was set nicely at the end of Antiquities, at 20, 11, 1, as such:
“Now this war began in the second year of the government of Florus, and the twelfth year of the reign of Nero. But then what actions we were forced to do, or what miseries we were enabled to suffer, may be accurately known by such as will peruse those books which I have written about the Jewish war. These things happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus, that is called Christ. For the Jews slew him, although he was a most just man.
the interpolation is in italics.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7124
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:39 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:54 am
BTW, I think the interpolation that Origen read and Eusebius quoted was set nicely at the end of Antiquities, at 20, 11, 1, as such:
“Now this war began in the second year of the government of Florus, and the twelfth year of the reign of Nero. But then what actions we were forced to do, or what miseries we were enabled to suffer, may be accurately known by such as will peruse those books which I have written about the Jewish war. These things happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus, that is called Christ. For the Jews slew him, although he was a most just man.
the interpolation is in italics.
It seems rather unlikely that Eusebius read any such interpolation in Josephus. Elsewhere in the History of the Church he never leaves us in much doubt as to which work he is quoting Josephus from:

1.5.4-6: 4 The above-mentioned author, in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, in agreement with these words, adds the following, which we quote exactly: "Cyrenius, a member of the senate, one who had held other offices and had passed through them all to the consulship, a man also of great dignity in other respects, came to Syria with a small retinue, being sent by Caear to be a judge of the nation and to make an assessment of their property." 5 And after a little he says: "But Judas, a Gaulonite, from a city called Gamala, taking with him Sadduchus, a Pharisee, urged the people to revolt, both of them saying that the taxation meant nothing else than downright slavery, and exhorting the nation to defend their liberty." 6 And in the second book of his History of the Jewish War, he writes as follows concerning the same man: "At this time a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, persuaded his countrymen to revolt, declaring that they were cowards if they submitted to pay tribute to the Romans, and if they endured, besides God, masters who were mortal." These things are recorded by Josephus.

1.8.4-5: 4 It is not possible to relate here how he tarnished the supposed felicity of his reign by successive calamities in his family, by the murder of wife and children, and others of his nearest relatives and dearest friends. The account, which casts every other tragic drama into the shade, is detailed at length in the histories of Josephus. 5 How, immediately after his crime against our Savior and the other infants, the punishment sent by God drove him on to his death, we can best learn from the words of that historian who, in the seventeenth book of his Antiquities of the Jews, writes as follows concerning his end: [Here follows a long quotation.]

1.8.9: 9 The writer mentioned above recounts these things in the work referred to. And in the second book of his History he gives a similar account of the same Herod, which runs as follows: "The disease then seized upon his whole body and distracted it by various torments. For he had a slow fever, and the itching of the skin of his whole body was insupportable. He suffered also from continuous pains in his colon, and there were swellings on his feet like those of a person suffering from dropsy, while his abdomen was inflamed and his privy member so putrefied as to produce worms. Besides this he could breathe only in an upright posture, and then only with difficulty, and he had convulsions in all his limbs, so that the diviners said that his diseases were a punishment." .... [This quotation continues at some length.]

1.8.14: 14 And after a little [this comes after the previous quote, so belongs to book 2 of the History] Josephus says, "And again he was so tortured by want of food and by a convulsive cough that, overcome by his pains, he planned to anticipate his fate. Taking an apple he asked also for a knife, for he was accustomed to cut apples and eat them. Then looking round to see that there was no one to hinder, he raised his right hand as if to stab himself."

1.10.4a: 4a Josephus relates that there were four high priests in succession from Annas to Caiaphas. Thus in the same book of the Antiquities [this follows after a summary from book 18 of the Antiquities] he writes as follows: "Valerius Gratus having put an end to the priesthood of Ananus appoints Ishmael, the son of Fabi, high priest. And having removed him after a little he appoints Eleazer, the son of Ananus the high priest, to the same office. And having removed him also at the end of a year he gives the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus. But he likewise held the honor no more than a year, when Josephus, called also Caiaphas, succeeded him."

1.11.4: 4 He relates these things in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities, where he writes of John in the following words: "It seemed to some of the Jews that the army of Herod was destroyed by God, who most justly avenged John called the Baptist." [This quotation continues for a while.]

2.5.2: 2 Josephus also makes mention of these things in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities, in the following words: "A sedition having arisen in Alexandria between the Jews that dwell there and the Greeks, three deputies were chosen from each faction and went to Caius."

2.6.4: Hear what he says in the second book of his Jewish War, where he writes as follows: "Pilate being sent to Judea as procurator by Tiberius, secretly carried veiled images of the emperor, called ensigns, to Jerusalem by night. The following day this caused the greatest disturbance among the Jews. For those who were near were confounded at the sight, beholding their laws, as it were, trampled under foot. For they allow no image to be set up in their city."

2.10.2-3: 2 We must admire the account of Josephus for its agreement with the divine Scriptures in regard to this wonderful event; for he clearly bears witness to the truth in the nineteenth book of his Antiquities, where he relates the wonder in the following words: 3 "He had completed the third year of his reign over all Judea when he came to Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato's Tower. There he held games in honor of Caesar, learning that this was a festival observed in behalf of Caesar's safety. At this festival was collected a great multitude of the highest and most honorable men in the province." [This quotation continues.]

2.11.1b-2.12.1: 11.1b Let us therefore add the account of Josephus concerning this man. He records in the work mentioned just above, the following circumstances: 2 "While Fadus was procurator of Judea a certain impostor called Theudas persuaded a very great multitude to take their possessions and follow him to the river Jordan. For he said that he was a prophet, and that the river should be divided at his command, and afford them an easy passage. 3 And with these words he deceived many. But Fadus did not permit them to enjoy their folly, but sent a troop of horsemen against them, who fell upon them unexpectedly and slew many of them and took many others alive, while they took Theudas himself captive, and cut off his head and carried it to Jerusalem." Besides this he also makes mention of the famine [this quotation comes from the same book of the Antiquities as the one about Theudas], which took place in the reign of Claudius, in the following words: 12.1 "And at this time it came to pass that the great famine took place in Judea, in which the queen Helen, having purchased grain from Egypt with large sums, distributed it to the needy."

2.20.1-2: 1 Josephus again, in the twentieth book of his Antiquities, relates the quarrel which arose among the priests during the reign of Nero, while Felix was procurator of Judea. 2 His words are as follows: "There arose a quarrel between the high priests on the one hand and the priests and leaders of the people of Jerusalem on the other. And each of them collected a body of the boldest and most restless men, and put himself at their head, and whenever they met they hurled invectives and stones at each other. And there was no one that would interpose; but these things were done at will as if in a city destitute of a ruler." [This quotation continues.]

2.23.21: 21 And the same writer records his death also in the twentieth book of his Antiquities in the following words: "But the emperor, when he learned of the death of Festus, sent Albinus to be procurator of Judea. But the younger Ananus, who, as we have already said, had obtained the high priesthood, was of an exceedingly bold and reckless disposition. He belonged, moreover, to the sect of the Sadducees, who are the most cruel of all the Jews in the execution of judgment, as we have already shown." [This quotation continues.]

3.6.1: Taking the fifth book of the History of Josephus again in our hands, let us go through the tragedy of events which then occurred. [Here follows some brief quotations and paraphrases from the Wars, which Eusebius calls the History (of the War).]

3.6.13: To this account Josephus, after relating other things, adds the following [still in the above mentioned book 5]: "The possibility of going out of the city being brought to an end, all hope of safety for the Jews was cut off. And the famine increased and devoured the people by houses and families. And the rooms were filled with dead women and children, the lanes of the city with the corpses of old men."

3.6.19: 19 After speaking of some other things, Josephus proceeds as follows [still in book 5]: "I cannot hesitate to declare what my feelings compel me to. I suppose, if the Romans had longer delayed in coming against these guilty wretches, the city would have been swallowed up by a chasm, or overwhelmed with a flood, or struck with such thunderbolts as destroyed Sodom. For it had brought forth a generation of men much more godless than were those that suffered such punishment. By their madness indeed was the whole people brought to destruction."

3.6.20: 20 And in the sixth book he writes as follows: "Of those that perished by famine in the city the number was countless, and the miseries they underwent unspeakable. For if so much as the shadow of food appeared in any house, there was war, and the dearest friends engaged in hand-to-hand conflict with one another, and snatched from each other the most wretched supports of life." [This quotation continues.]

3.9.1: 1 After all this it is fitting that we should know something in regard to the origin and family of Josephus, who has contributed so much to the history in hand. He himself gives us information on this point [still in the Wars, though now back in book 1, as implied by Eusebius' wording here and choice of quotation] in the following words: "Josephus, the son of Mattathias, a priest of Jerusalem, who himself fought against the Romans in the beginning and was compelled to be present at what happened afterward."

3.10.7-11: 7 And at the end of the twentieth book of his Antiquities Josephus himself intimates that he had purposed to write a work in four books concerning God and his existence, according to the traditional opinions of the Jews, and also concerning the laws, why it is that they permit some things while prohibiting others. And the same writer also mentions in his own works other books written by himself. 8 In addition to these things it is proper to quote also the words that are found at the close of his Antiquities, in confirmation of the testimony which we have drawn from his accounts. In that place he attacks Justus of Tiberias, who, like himself, had attempted to write a history of contemporary events, on the ground that he had not written truthfully. Having brought many other accusations against the man, he continues in these words: 9 "I indeed was not afraid in respect to my writings as you were, but, on the contrary, I presented my books to the emperors themselves when the events were almost under men's eyes. For I was conscious that I had preserved the truth in my account, and hence was not disappointed in my expectation of obtaining their attestation. 10 And I presented my history also to many others, some of whom were present at the war, as, for instance, King Agrippa and some of his relatives. 11 For the Emperor Titus desired so much that the knowledge of the events should be communicated to men by my history alone, that he endorsed the books with his own hand and commanded that they should be published. And King Agrippa wrote sixty-two epistles testifying to the truthfulness of my account." Of these epistles Josephus subjoins two. But this will suffice in regard to him. Let us now proceed with our history.

I have included only direct quotations here, not obvious paraphrases or summaries. Eusebius habitually tells us which work he is quoting from, and usually even which book of that work. If he does not, it is because it is from the same work as his previous quotation. But now, what about the passage in question?

2.23.20: 20 Of course Josephus did not shrink from giving written testimony to this as follows: "And these things happened to the Jews to avenge James the Just, who was the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, for the Jews killed him in spite of his great righteousness."

If Eusebius is quoting from one of the extant works of Josephus here, why does he not tell us, as is his custom, which book of which work he is quoting from in this case? The answer is obvious: he did not know where in Josephus to find this quotation. He simply trusted Origen.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3250
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:15 am

to Ben,
Yes you may be right, but in Origen's Against Celsus at 1.47, we have:
…Now this writer[Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless— being, although against his will, not far from the truth— that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus called Christ,— the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.
I note that Origen, from an unnamed Josephus' work, made the claim that he read what I put in bold.
That might be paraphrasing rather than a quote.
And would that be an Origen's invention?
I doubt it because Origen would have prefer that Josephus attributed the disasters to the Jews putting Jesus (not James) to death.
Eusebius might have fully depended on Origen for what he attributed to Josephus, and not on something he read in his copy of Antiquities.

Are you sure that Eusebius always identified the work & book of Josephus when quoting him?

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7124
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:52 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:15 am
to Ben,
Yes you may be right, but in Origen's Against Celsus at 1.47, we have:
…Now this writer[Josephus], although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless— being, although against his will, not far from the truth— that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus called Christ,— the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.
I note that Origen, from an unnamed Josephus' work, made the claim that he read what I put in bold.
That might be paraphrasing rather than a quote.
And would that be an Origen's invention?
I suspect it is Origen misremembering and conflating Josephus with Hegesippus.
I doubt it because Origen would have prefer that Josephus attributed the disasters to the Jews putting Jesus (not James) to death.
Him misremembering Hegesippus would explain this nicely.
Eusebius might have fully depended on Origen for what he attributed to Josephus, and not on something he read in his copy of Antiquities.
Totally agreed.
Are you sure that Eusebius always identified the work & book of Josephus when quoting him?
I looked for quotations of Josephus in History of the Church; I did not look in other Eusebian works. I may not have tracked them all down, but I gave it a good go. "Always" is a strong word, but I am happy to conclude that it is his habit to make sure the reader knows which work, at least, to consult when it comes to Josephus. That this habit should break down precisely in the case of a passage for which we have no manuscript evidence is pretty suggestive. I for one would hate to be in the position of arguing that Eusebius did find this passage in Josephus. Him simply trusting Origen is far, far easier to defend.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:17 pm

Greetings, Secret
But clearly the prevalence of the secondary meeting means there is no reason to actually believe that Jesus had brothers. It might have been true. Then again maybe it wasn't true. For some reason the human brain wants simple binary choices.
I think we're in agreement that Paul's use of a fraternal phrase is weak evidence when so often he means it figuratively.

Greetings Bernard
I don't follow you here. If you are asking the other instances of brother(s) in the Pauline epistles imply a spiritual relationship, I say yes. But brother(s) between each other, by common faith, not brother(s) of the (heavenly by then) Lord.
OK, I'm not sure what we're disagreeing about, or if we are. When I wrote "in the two letters where Paul uses the phrase the brothers of the Lord, all other instances of fraternal language there are figurative," I meant he consistently used the words brother or sister figuratively in Galatians and 1 Corinthians. when he wasn't writiing the brothers of the Lord,

My question was just a suggestion, based on your having said that you'd dealt with people who claimed that Paul only ever used the phrase figuratively, which we agree is not the case in all the letters. Maybe, I thought, these people were referring to the narrower scope of just the two letters of immediate relevance. Perhaps not.
What other "James"?
Three of the alternative hypotheses I am aware of (all based on "which Jesus?"):

- James the brother of Jesus ben Damneus (favored by Richard Carrier),
- James the brother of Jesus ben Gamaliel (not favored by Carrier, but enjoying almost identical evidentiary support as his favorite), and
- James the brother of Jesus ben Ananus (the character from War who proclaimed woe on Jerusalem, beginning shortly after the trial and ending during the Roman siege).

There are also hypotheses based on more extensive alteration to Josephus having occurred, including that no James at all was mentioned by Josephus as a defendant in 62.
In Galatians, Paul identified a James as brother of the Lord (1:19) and then mentioned a James in 2:9 & 2:12. Why would they not be the same James?
Indeed, Paul doesn't say one way or the other.

One concrete possibility which doesn't adversely affect the historical Jesus hypothesis derives from Acts. It has both a James character who was a disciple of Jesus (a seriously possible meaning of the phrase BoL), who was supposedly killed after the likely time of Paul's first visit to Jerusalem, and also has a different James character who later met Paul in Jerusalem during the "council." Perhaps Paul met the first of those Jameses on his first visit and the other James on his second visit.
As a rule, once you identify someone by his/her name, plus other items which make that person unique, there is no obligation to add up identification bits to the person's name the next time you mention him/her by name only. The reader or listener will understand it is the same someone.
Paul did give his "James(es)" different attributes on each mention: first, he is one of plural the brothers of the Lord, and second, he is one of plural reputed pillars. Paul's first audience knows whether that's two attributes of one James, or one attribute apiece for each of two Jameses. We don't know which, nor can it be inferred from your proposed rule.
That's rather far-fetched and lacking evidence.
Where evidence is lacking, prior opinion must loom large. Personally, I think Origen, Eusebius and Jerome's unanimous teaching about two or three words of text would be influential among Christian scribes. Maybe not.
I read your links, but where did you see "by stoning" in Origen's writings?
I didn't.

Origen's writings support that Origen recalled (among other things and with evident lapses) reading book 20 of Josephus' Antiquities, because he cites the whole work as a source and some elements he claims Josephus wrote about are found in Book 20, including the trial of James and Josephus' opinion about divine retribution causing the calamity of 70. Josephus reports in Book 20 that James was handed over for stoning, according to Whiston's translation. There is also a longer chain of inference leading to the same conclusion about Origen's recollection should Whiston have erred in translating the outcome of the trial.
BTW, I think the interpolation that Origen read and Eusebius quoted was set nicely at the end of Antiquities, at 20, 11, 1, as such:
For my part, I think Origen read the same expression of opinion about divine retribution that we read today close by James' trial, he just misrembered which unjust deaths God was avenging (although he's right that Josephus didn't say it was Jesus'). I don't interpret Eusebius as claiming that he is quoting Josephus, but rather as him characterizing what he believes is there somewhere. Although perhaps he would shed few tears if a reader interpreted him as quoting.

Finally, howdy Ben.

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3250
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:06 pm

to Paul the Uncertain,
Three of the alternative hypotheses I am aware of (all based on "which Jesus?"):

- James the brother of Jesus ben Damneus (favored by Richard Carrier),
- James the brother of Jesus ben Gamaliel (not favored by Carrier, but enjoying almost identical evidentiary support as his favorite), and
- James the brother of Jesus ben Ananus (the character from War who proclaimed woe on Jerusalem, beginning shortly after the trial and ending during the Roman siege).
I think you are dealing with minuscule unevidenced possibilities, as I noticed you do some time ago. Keep them if you please. But you look to me like as an extreme "uncertaintist".
In Galatians, Paul identified a James as brother of the Lord (1:19) and then mentioned a James in 2:9 & 2:12. Why would they not be the same James?
Indeed, Paul doesn't say one way or the other.
I already explained that: there was no need to identify the James in Gal 2:9 & 12 other than by his name, because that was done in Gal1:19.
Paul did give his "James(es)" different attributes on each mention: first, he is one of plural the brothers of the Lord, and second, he is one of plural reputed pillars. Paul's first audience knows whether that's two attributes of one James, or one attribute apiece for each of two Jameses. We don't know which, nor can it be inferred from your proposed rule
Forget about 1 Corinthians "brothers of the Lord": these brothers are not identified by number & name.
And next, in Galatians, first it is James, the brother of the Lord, then James as one of the pillars. That follows the rule of good writing.
If I would mention in a text, at first, "Reagan, a past US president", and then a few lines after, I mention "Reagan" again (only his last name), everybody (except maybe yourself) will know it is Reagan, the former US president.

And for the Origen business, I think Ben is right, and damned, I will have to make some changes on some of my web pages, maybe only one, I hope.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

Post Reply