I think Origen may have needed a proof text because he always mentions that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ" when he talks about what he thought Josephus said about James, so the question is why (even if Origen only surmised this from Josephus being Jewish, or because Josephus believed that Vespasian was the Messiah, as Doherty suggests and which I think is plausible but still doesn't explain why Origen only mentions it in connection with the James passage).Paul the Uncertain wrote: ↑Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:04 pm@John 2
I'm comfortable that Origen could figure out that Josephus was Jewish from his general reading, and need not to have relied on any specific passage. But if you think Origen needed a brief proof text, then go for it.that gave Origen the impression that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ,
...and felt like mentioning it when he talked about what he thought Josephus said about James.
Origen explains that himself fairly well (Against Celsus 1.47, emphasis added):
That is, Origen remarks on Josephus' near-agreement with Origen's view of the matter, despite their religious differences. What more ought Origen have "felt like mentioning," in your view?... Now this writer, 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 ... 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, ...
But this doesn't explain why Origen thought Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ." He only says that Josephus "ought to have said" that the death of Jesus was the reason Jerusalem fell instead of the death of James. And I don't know what more Origen ought to have felt like mentioning; I'm only trying to guess why he always says that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ" in connection with the James passage. And Josephus' statement that Jesus was "inferior to him [Ananus] upon the comparison" works for me, particularly when you factor in the other similarities (Ananus was a "very just man" whose death caused the fall of Jerusalem).
In this scenario we can get everything we need from one passage and explain why Origen always says in connection to it that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ." Imagine you were Origen and you read (or heard someone read or tell you) that Josephus thought that Jesus was inferior to "James." Maybe because James is commonly described as being priest-like (and even in Acts he is concerned with the observance of sacrifice, after the death of Jesus) might have added to the confusion of Origen (or whoever he learned his story from), since Ananus was a priest.
And Hegesippus says that James was called a "bulwark of the people," similar to what Josephus calls Ananus ("the procurer of their preservation"). So there are three elements shared by Ananus and James that could have contributed to Origen's confusion; they are both "priests" (with James being at least priest-like), "very just" men, and "bulwarks of the people" who were associated with someone named Jesus.... the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city. He was on other accounts also a venerable, and a very just man ...