Eusebius as a forger.

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Ken Olson
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:56 pm

Ben Smith wrote:
Matthew 26.59-64: 59 Now the chief priests [Vulgate: principes autem sacerdotum] and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, "This man stated, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.'" 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest [Vulgate: princeps sacerdotum] said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus says to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
I'll grant that a Christian interpreter would take the statement of Jesus about what the high priest said to be an accurate representation of the priest's views. Why attribute the view which Jesus attributes to the individual high priest in the singular to the plural leaders of the synagogue who dragged Jesus to his death?

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:22 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:56 pm
Ben Smith wrote:
Matthew 26.59-64: 59 Now the chief priests [Vulgate: principes autem sacerdotum] and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60 They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, "This man stated, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.'" 62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest [Vulgate: princeps sacerdotum] said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus says to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
I'll grant that a Christian interpreter would take the statement of Jesus about what the high priest said to be an accurate representation of the priest's views. Why attribute the view which Jesus attributes to the individual high priest in the singular to the plural leaders of the synagogue who dragged Jesus to his death?
Well, the ensuing sentence uses the plural: σὺ εἶπας. πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν· ἀπ᾽ ἄρτι ὄψεσθε.... And the previous sentence implies both that, whatever Jesus says, he will be responding to a plural audience: ἡμῖν εἴπῃς εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεου, and that it is the plurality of priests present asking the question. Possibly more to the point, however, pseudo-Hegesippus has just gotten through telling us that the Iudaei (plural) have testified about Jesus in the form of Josephus (singular) having written the Testimonium, so I hardly think that pseudo-Hegesippus taking the high priest's statement as representative of the whole priestly body would be unnatural to him.

But how does this criticism not recoil back on your own view? In the Testimonium there is nobody from among those accusing Jesus who admits his divinity. To find, in the gospels, one accuser doing so, and for that accuser to be chief among all of them, would seem a step forward, would it not?

I do not think that my hypothesis is perfect. I am not yet fully satisfied concerning the "synagogue" part, for example, though I may be onto something there. And I had not failed to notice the singular in this case, either, though I do think that the high priest being viewed as representative of all priests in the same way that Josephus is treated as representative of "the Jews" is quite possible. There may be other issues, as well; but my question would be: what is a better alternative? I think that the Testimonium falls short in several aspects.
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Ken Olson
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:04 pm

Ben,

Another question if I may.
From him began the congregation of Christians, even infiltrating every race of humans, nor does there remain any nation in the Roman world that is without his religion. If the Jews do not believe us, they might believe one of their own. Thus spoke Josephus,
We've discussed what bits are missing from the Testimonium, but I don't think we've discussed what's added to it. On your understanding, where is the bolded portion coming from? Is this part of what the Jews (i.e., Josephus) testified? If so, what part of the Testimonium is it from?

Best,

Ken

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:27 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:04 pm
Ben,

Another question if I may.
From him began the congregation of Christians, even infiltrating every race of humans, nor does there remain any nation in the Roman world that is without his religion. If the Jews do not believe us, they might believe one of their own. Thus spoke Josephus,
We've discussed what bits are missing from the Testimonium, but I don't think we've discussed what's added to it. On your understanding, where is the bolded portion coming from? Is this part of what the Jews (i.e., Josephus) testified? If so, what part of the Testimonium is it from?
That looks to me like an updating of the line about the tribe of Christians still remaining to this day. I suspect that, by pseudo-Hegesippus' time, simply stating that Christians still existed would seem a dramatic understatement. Instead of the race (gens) of Christians still merely existing, now Christians have penetrated every race (gens) of humanity in the Roman world:

Jerome: et usque hodie Christianorum gens ab hoc sortita vocabulum non defecit.

Rufinus: sed et in hodiernum diem Christianorum, qui ab ipso nuncupati sunt, et nomen perseverat et genus.

Pseudo-Hegesippus: ex quo coepit congregatio Christianorum et in omne hominum penetravit genus, nec ulla natio Romani orbis remansit quae cultus eius expers relinqueretur.

Whence do you think this line comes?

ETA: Oh, and I did very briefly touch on what may have been added (albeit mostly in the part before Josephus is named): namely, some popular interpretations from the gospels, so as to make Josephus complicit.
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Ken Olson
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:56 pm

Ben Smith asked:
Whence do you think this line comes?
Eusebius, where else? The spread of the name of Christ and the nation named after him throughout the world is a major theme. Here are three references from HE I Chapters 3 and 4 (there are some in the DE as well).
3.12: And as himself the true and only Christ of God, he has filled the whole earth with the truly august and sacred name of Christians,

3.19: he alone of all those who have ever existed is even to the present day called Christ by all men throughout the world, and is confessed and witnessed to under this name, and is commemorated both by Greeks and Barbarians and even to this day is honored as a King by his followers throughout the world [though this one does not specifically name his followers as Christians]

4.2 It is admitted that when in recent times the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ had become known to all men there immediately made its appearance a new nation; a nation confessedly not small, and not dwelling in some corner of the earth, but the most numerous and pious of all nations, indestructible and unconquerable, because it always receives assistance from God. This nation, thus suddenly appearing at the time appointed by the inscrutable counsel of God, is the one which has been honored by all with the name of Christ.

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:12 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:56 pm
Ben Smith asked:
Whence do you think this line comes?
Eusebius, where else? The spread of the name of Christ and the nation named after him throughout the world is a major theme. Here are three references from HE I Chapters 3 and 4 (there are some in the DE as well).
3.12: And as himself the true and only Christ of God, he has filled the whole earth with the truly august and sacred name of Christians,

3.19: he alone of all those who have ever existed is even to the present day called Christ by all men throughout the world, and is confessed and witnessed to under this name, and is commemorated both by Greeks and Barbarians and even to this day is honored as a King by his followers throughout the world [though this one does not specifically name his followers as Christians]

4.2 It is admitted that when in recent times the appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ had become known to all men there immediately made its appearance a new nation; a nation confessedly not small, and not dwelling in some corner of the earth, but the most numerous and pious of all nations, indestructible and unconquerable, because it always receives assistance from God. This nation, thus suddenly appearing at the time appointed by the inscrutable counsel of God, is the one which has been honored by all with the name of Christ.
Okay, sure, that is possible. Is it necessary? Did everybody who noticed how popular Christianity had become after Constantine do so only at Eusebius' prompting?

ETA: Do you not think that this line reflects the gens bit in the Testimonium? Or is it a combination of the Testimonium (which you think is Eusebian anyway) and other parts of Eusebius?
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:59 am

Ben Smith wrote:
Okay, sure, that is possible. Is it necessary? Did everybody who noticed how popular Christianity had become after Constantine do so only at Eusebius' prompting?

ETA: Do you not think that this line reflects the gens bit in the Testimonium? Or is it a combination of the Testimonium (which you think is Eusebian anyway) and other parts of Eusebius?
(1) It is a major theme of Eusebius, and not just the popularity but the names Christ and Christians. The Christians are a new race with a new name and distinct from the Hebrews (named after Eber) and Helenes (named after Helenus) and they are thriving. IIRC Tertullian both calls Cristianity a third race and suggests it has become widespread. I don't know who else may have said something similar.

(2) I think it's an interpretation of the phylon part of the Testimonium in light of other passages in Eusebius. In this sense, I think Ps-H is actually a good reader of Eusebius.

Why do you ask about the gens part of the Testimonium rather than the phylon? Are you suggesting there's a common Latin source, or some other sort of literary relationship among the three Latin witnesses? I've been assuming they were all translating from a Greek original, but I'd be interested in hearing if there is reason to think otherwise.

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:43 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:39 pm
Ken Olson wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:25 pm
Ben Smith wrote:
The text itself says "added to (the) testimony."
Right.
Non tamen veritati praeiudicat, quia non credidit sed plus addidit testimonio, quia nec incredulus et invitus negavit
Why "but he added to (the) testimony"? Why "he" and (the) instead of "it" and "his"? And does added to the testimony necessarily mean adding more testimony to an existing body of testimony rather than adding credibility to the testimony?
Either interpretation is grammatically and semantically possible. I am opting for the one that seems to cohere with what the paragraph as a whole is doing. The in quo seems to relate back to the testimonium (unless you have a better antecedent or idea); so my question is: in which (in quo) testimony (testimonio) do we find those extra details? My best answer is that they are found in the gospels, not in Testimonium Flavianum. That, I think, is the real debate here: the derivation of those details.
How do do you understand quia nec incredulus et invitus negavit. At one time you translated this: "because, though unbelieving and unwilling, he did not deny it. That is how I understand it, and I see the logical connection with what precedes it: "it added to (his) testimony, because, though unwilling and unbelieving, he did not deny it." Ps-H is appealing to Josephus as an outside witness, as he does earlier when he says "If the Jews don't believe us, they should believe their own people." Even if the Jews don't trust the Christians, they ought to believe Josephus's testimony because he was an unbeliever. The fact that Josephus was an unwilling unbeliever adds to the *credibility* of *his* testimony.

What does "he added to the testimony, because, though unbelieving and unwilling, he did not deny it" mean? He added [his testimony] to the [body of credible] testimony because ... he did not deny it? This doesn't seem impossible to me, but the implied causality seems weak. What does his unwillingness and unbelief have to do with it?

I think I agree that in quo seems to relate back to the testimonium (interesting way to put it). But if testimonium means what Josephus testified to, as you seem to allow is a possible reading, then that would mean that the statement about the leaders of the synagogue confessing Jesus to be god/divine came from the Testimonium Flavianum, would it not? Your reason for rejecting that reading is that you find your explanation of the origin of the details of that statement clearly better than mine? I that right, or am I missing something about your argument?

Best,

Ken

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:45 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:59 am
Ben Smith wrote:
Okay, sure, that is possible. Is it necessary? Did everybody who noticed how popular Christianity had become after Constantine do so only at Eusebius' prompting?

ETA: Do you not think that this line reflects the gens bit in the Testimonium? Or is it a combination of the Testimonium (which you think is Eusebian anyway) and other parts of Eusebius?
(1) It is a major theme of Eusebius, and not just the popularity but the names Christ and Christians.
In the Apology, Tertullian writes: "We have set forth this origin of our sect and name with this account of the founder of Christianity." Justin Martyr mentions at least a couple of times how Christians drew their name from Christ. The notion is part of the Testimonium Taciteum. This list is hardly exhaustive.
The Christians are a new race with a new name and distinct from the Hebrews (named after Eber)....
Again from the Apology: "Now in ancient times the people we call Jews bare the name of Hebrews, and so both their writings and their speech were Hebrew."
...and Helenes (named after Helenus) and they are thriving. IIRC Tertullian both calls Christianity a third race and suggests it has become widespread. I don't know who else may have said something similar.
The apologists wrote about Christianity as a third or fourth race. The Apology of Aristides has Christianity either as the third race or as the fourth race (after Greeks, Barbarians, and Jews). I think mentions of how widespread Christianity had become were pretty common; Justin Martyr tells Trypho that the eucharist is "presented by Christians in all places throughout the world," and the motif is essential to the legends of the 12 or 7 (72) apostles sent to preach throughout the world.
(2) I think it's an interpretation of the phylon part of the Testimonium in light of other passages in Eusebius. In this sense, I think Ps-H is actually a good reader of Eusebius.
Okay, thanks; just making sure.
Why do you ask about the gens part of the Testimonium rather than the phylon? Are you suggesting there's a common Latin source, or some other sort of literary relationship among the three Latin witnesses? I've been assuming they were all translating from a Greek original, but I'd be interested in hearing if there is reason to think otherwise.
No reason quite that fancy. I just had the Latin of pseudo-Hegesippus open before me and it was easier to type gens than to try to grab anything from the Greek.

My main concern with this whole approach of finding Eusebian themes in pseudo-Hegesippus is that, when I once did that with Luke 24, the Testimonium Taciteum, and the Testimonium Flavianum, you were able to show other passages (such as in Justin Martyr) which evinced similar collocations of themes. I fear that someone may well be able to do that again here; and, in fact, the job is even easier than before, since we already know that pseudo-Hegesippus knew the Testimonium (from whatever source), so the only overlaps that can count are those which are not found therein. And some of them I can already kind of see the results for. I already know pretty well in advance, for example, that anything merely to do with Christianity being widespread or treated as a third/fourth race is going to be fairly easily disarmed; there would have to be some specific twist found in common between Eusebius and pseudo-Hegesippus in order to make a case. I am less sure about the angle having to do with the Hebrews, since I have only barely looked into it, but, while I am aware that pseudo-Hegesippus mentions the Hebrews a lot, I would have to be shown that he does so in any peculiarly Eusebian way; and Christian authors (like Tertullian, quoted above) were well aware of the term and its antiquity long before Eusebius came along. So my question would have to be: is there something uniquely Eusebian about any of these themes as expressed in pseudo-Hegesippus, something that looks like he could have gotten only from our Caesarean friend and not from Christian thought at large?
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:46 am

Just saw your other message after posting this. I will try to get to it soonish.
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