Eusebius as a forger.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:57 am

Ben Smith wrote:
Just saw your other message after posting this. I will try to get to it soonish.
I have never had reason to complain about your response time.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8259
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:00 am

Ken Olson wrote:
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.
Just to be clear, I have never given a translation of my own in full; I have been using either Wade Blocker's or, much more recently, Marian Hillar's, making changes as needed to reflect my own (developing) understanding of the passage.
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.
I see, not two, but three possible things Josephus could have done:
  1. Testify against Jesus.
  2. Refuse to testify at all.
  3. Testify on behalf of Jesus.
In my reading, pseudo-Hegesippus is arguing against both #1 and #2: it does not damage the truth that Josephus did not believe (non credidit); rather (sed), it added more (plus addidit) to the testimony (testimonio, the overall testimony about Jesus, which our author understands to be equivalent to the truth that he just mentioned), because, despite being unbelieving and unwilling, he did not refuse (nec incredulus et invitus negavit; I think I prefer the intransitive "did not refuse," meaning that Josephus did not refuse his duty to truth as an historian, to the transitive "did not deny," but either translation is possible). This reading avoids any anticlimax, since merely being reluctant to lie as an historian would not necessarily mean that Josephus would have to actually testify for Jesus; he could have remained silent, but that would mean refusing his duty, so to speak, and pseudo-Hegesippus is happy to report that he did not refuse.
What does his unwillingness and unbelief have to do with it?
They are the possible motives for Josephus' refusal of his duty. Despite his being an unbeliever, Josephus still came through in the clutch. Despite being injured, Kirk Gibson still hit one of the most famous home runs in World Series history. That sort of thing.

Back to this statement of yours:
The fact that Josephus was an unwilling unbeliever adds to the *credibility* of *his* testimony.
I understand what you are saying here, and it is not impossible that our author could mean this, but he actually does give a direct object for the verb addidit, and that object is plus ("more"). But more of what? If it is more of the same (that is, more testimony), then it hardly needs expressed (in fact, it would be pedantic to express it). A common question in our TV procedurals is: "Do you wish to add more to your testimony?" It would be awkward to ask: "Do you wish to add more testimony to your testimony?" If what is being added to the/his testimony is just general enhancement, just good stuff overall, then sure, we can include credibility in that good stuff

Non tamen veritati praeiudicat, quia non credidit sed plus addidit testimonio, quia nec incredulus et invitus negavit.
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?
Yes, unless in quo is more vague than I am reading it as (which is possible, I think, given the Latin penchant for vagueness in such expressions, but also less likely, to my mind). If the antecedent for in quo is testimonio (as I think it is), then it makes the most sense for what follows to belong to that testimony. So, if you are correct that it is Josephus' testimony, then what follows ought to belong (according to our author) to Josephus' testimony. This is what I was referring to early on when I said that I was not sure what the intended relationship between Josephus' own testimony and these explanatory details was supposed to be. On the one hand, I was pretty sure (still am) that both details came from the gospels; on the other, I was not sure how to read in quo vaguely enough not to let it refer directly back to testimonio, which in Wade Blocker's translation was definitely Josephus' own testimony. Also impeding my understanding was the simple fact that we call this paragraph the Testimonium Flavianum, so any reference to testimonium in such a context kind of sounds like it belongs to Josephus. But of course that is a modern issue. Once I ignored the given translation long enough, my current understanding of the Latin came easily; after that, in the course of researching it, I found that Marian Hillar's translation reflected my own understanding: "Nevertheless it does not prejudice truth because he did not believe, rather it adds to the testimony...."
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?
Almost completely correct. I do slightly prefer my own reading of the Latin for its own sake, because it seems more natural to me on a couple of points (the plus being one of them), but that preference is too slight for me to use as a real argument, I think. My main argument is and has always been that I think that pseudo-Hegesippus is lifting those later details from the gospels, not from Josephus. I have also since then expressed my opinion that pseudo-Hegesippus may well indeed refer to the Christ line, but only in its "believed to be the Christ" form, as per Alice Whealey. (Please understand that a lot of this conversation has been a matter of me remembering ideas and notions I once held, whether on my own or from various scholars, many years ago. I had completely forgotten about pseudo-Hegesippus' use of crediderunt shortly after gentilium, similar to how Jerome has credebatur shortly after gentilibus, until one of my runs through the Latin reminded me.) If pseudo-Hegesippus does include the line in question, that is my current bet, and it necessarily involves the "believed to be" form.

I will go so far as to suggest that an argument from internal evidence can be made for "he was believed to be the Christ" being the original form of the Testimonium, regardless of origin, since it so naturally follows from Jesus swaying many of the Jews and gentiles alike: they are the ones believing that he is the Christ. This comes together seamlessly in Jerome's rendition. Without the element of belief, that blunt "he was the Christ" would seem to have more impact after the resurrection or after the miracles, not after the mention of followers; lots of nonmessianic people can garner followers.

Have you ever considered Eusebius being the forger, but with "he was believed to be the Christ" in place instead of "he was the Christ," and then following Whealey's account of its being changed in manuscripts of Eusebius? Is it just that you think "he was the Christ" is too prevalent in the stream, so that "he was believed to be the Christ" has to be a later variant?
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Ken Olson
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:33 am

Ben Smith wrote:
Ben: Back to this statement of yours:
Ken: The fact that Josephus was an unwilling unbeliever adds to the *credibility* of *his* testimony.
I understand what you are saying here, and it is not impossible that our author could mean this, but he actually does give a direct object for the verb addidit, and that object is plus ("more"). But more of what? If it is more of the same (that is, more testimony), then it hardly needs expressed (in fact, it would be pedantic to express it). A common question in our TV procedurals is: "Do you wish to add more to your testimony?" It would be awkward to ask: "Do you wish to add more testimony to your testimony?" If what is being added to the/his testimony is just general enhancement, just good stuff overall, then sure, we can include credibility in that good stuff
I understand the plus to mean more credibility, and think that this is implied by context:

Non tamen veritati praeiudicat, quia non credidit sed plus addidit testimonio,

It is not, however, to the prejudice of the truth, because he did not believe, but on the contrary, it added more to the testimony.
Ben: I have also since then expressed my opinion that pseudo-Hegesippus may well indeed refer to the Christ line, but only in its "believed to be the Christ" form, as per Alice Whealey. (Please understand that a lot of this conversation has been a matter of me remembering ideas and notions I once held, whether on my own or from various scholars, many years ago. I had completely forgotten about pseudo-Hegesippus' use of crediderunt shortly after gentilium, similar to how Jerome has credebatur shortly after gentilibus, until one of my runs through the Latin reminded me.) If pseudo-Hegesippus does include the line in question, that is my current bet, and it necessarily involves the "believed to be" form.
As with the testimonium/Testimonium issue, I think the fact that Jerome and Ps-H both use forms of the word credo has suggested to interpreters that they are translating the same Greek word. I think it more likely that Ps-H is freely rendering the TF's epegageto, "He won over." Our other two Latin translators seem to have had trouble rendering this literally. Jerome has habuit sectatores, "had as followers." Rufinus is, in my opinion, a bit better, with sibi adiunxit, "he attached to himself."
Ps.H: Plerique tamen Iudaeorum, gentilium plurimi crediderunt in eum
I think what Ps-H is trying to render here is "He won over both many of the Jews and many from the Hellenes (or Hellenism)" from the TF, and that the verb concerned is epagegeto because that is the verb that links Jesus and the many Jews and Hellenes in the Testimonium. It's not a good translation, but no worse than Jerome's. On your theory, it seems Ps-H has either skipped the "he won over" part or collapsed two statements into one.
Ben: I will go so far as to suggest that an argument from internal evidence can be made for "he was believed to be the Christ" being the original form of the Testimonium, regardless of origin, since it so naturally follows from Jesus swaying many of the Jews and gentiles alike: they are the ones believing that he is the Christ. This comes together seamlessly in Jerome's rendition. Without the element of belief, that blunt "he was the Christ" would seem to have more impact after the resurrection or after the miracles, not after the mention of followers; lots of nonmessianic people can garner followers.
(1) I think Jerome took that to be what Josephus must have meant. But I don't think it's what was in his Greek source, which Whealey and I take to be Eusebius HE.

(2) As with many issues, I've discussed why the statement "He was the Christ" comes in the text where it does elsewhere:
The Testimonium initially labels Jesus a wise man, but then immediately puts in question whether the word “man” is adequate to describe him, and offers three reasons for doing so: first, “because he was a maker of miraculous works”; second, because he was “a teacher of human beings who receive the truth with pleasure”; third, because “he won over many Jews and also many from the Gentiles.” Immediately following these three facts about Jesus, the Testimonium declares: “This one was the Christ.” [22] It would seem reasonable to suppose that the identity of Jesus as the Christ (a suitable label for Jesus), and not merely a wise man (a true but inadequate classification for Jesus), is established based on the three reasons that have been given in the text.

https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/dis ... -ken-olson
I go on to argue that these three reasons are things that Eusebius elsewhere says are foretold of the Christ in prophecy, but I won't recreate the whole article here.
Have you ever considered Eusebius being the forger, but with "he was believed to be the Christ" in place instead of "he was the Christ," and then following Whealey's account of its being changed in manuscripts of Eusebius? Is it just that you think "he was the Christ" is too prevalent in the stream, so that "he was believed to be the Christ" has to be a later variant?
Yes, but then I've considered a lot of positions, and Whealey's contention that the agreement between Jerome and Michael requires the reading "He was believed to be the Christ" probably more than any other. I think she overstates her case and doesn't really tell us by what means all of our Greek manuscripts of Josephus Antiquities and Eusebius HE and DE and our Syriac manuscripts of the HE (and Theophany?) came to be changed after Eusebius' time. And, yes, I think the fact that the reading that "He was believed to be the Christ" is found nowhere in the Greek tradition is a problem.

P.S. Can't locate it at the moment, but somewhere Whealey discusses the agreement between Jerome and Michael could not be coincidental because what are the chances that two independent witnesses would change a text in the same way at its most problematic point. First, I think the way is not that unlikely (Bardet calls Jerome and Michael's renderings "modalizations" of the original statement "He was the Christ), and we have a lot of different witnesses, and, second. the most problematic point is probably the point at which we're most likely to see variants. But we see this one only in translations, never in the Greek.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8259
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:24 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:33 am
Ben Smith wrote:
Ben: Back to this statement of yours:
Ken: The fact that Josephus was an unwilling unbeliever adds to the *credibility* of *his* testimony.
I understand what you are saying here, and it is not impossible that our author could mean this, but he actually does give a direct object for the verb addidit, and that object is plus ("more"). But more of what? If it is more of the same (that is, more testimony), then it hardly needs expressed (in fact, it would be pedantic to express it). A common question in our TV procedurals is: "Do you wish to add more to your testimony?" It would be awkward to ask: "Do you wish to add more testimony to your testimony?" If what is being added to the/his testimony is just general enhancement, just good stuff overall, then sure, we can include credibility in that good stuff
I understand the plus to mean more credibility, and think that this is implied by context:

Non tamen veritati praeiudicat, quia non credidit sed plus addidit testimonio,

It is not, however, to the prejudice of the truth, because he did not believe, but on the contrary, it added more to the testimony.
When you said that it added more credibility, I thought you were going all the way back to historiae fidem (his "faithfulness to history"), but it seems like you are going back only so far as veritati ("truth") to supply what you think the plus is "more of." Is that correct?
On your theory, it seems Ps-H has either skipped the "he won over" part or collapsed two statements into one.
More like treated the entire thing as one sentence or thought and abbreviated the two verbs down to one. But yes, essentially. "They believed" seems more likely to me to reflect "he was believed" than to reflect "he won over."
As with the testimonium/Testimonium issue, I think the fact that Jerome and Ps-H both use forms of the word credo has suggested to interpreters that they are translating the same Greek word. I think it more likely that Ps-H is freely rendering the TF's epegageto, "He won over." Our other two Latin translators seem to have had trouble rendering this literally. Jerome has habuit sectatores, "had as followers." Rufinus is, in my opinion, a bit better, with sibi adiunxit, "he attached to himself."
None of this sounds more likely to me than that crediderunt reflects the "he was believed" version.
As with many issues, I've discussed why the statement "He was the Christ" comes in the text where it does elsewhere:
The Testimonium initially labels Jesus a wise man, but then immediately puts in question whether the word “man” is adequate to describe him, and offers three reasons for doing so: first, “because he was a maker of miraculous works”; second, because he was “a teacher of human beings who receive the truth with pleasure”; third, because “he won over many Jews and also many from the Gentiles.” Immediately following these three facts about Jesus, the Testimonium declares: “This one was the Christ.” [22] It would seem reasonable to suppose that the identity of Jesus as the Christ (a suitable label for Jesus), and not merely a wise man (a true but inadequate classification for Jesus), is established based on the three reasons that have been given in the text.

https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/dis ... -ken-olson
I had read that argument of yours before, many moons ago, though I had forgotten it in the interval. Thanks for repeating it. It is honestly extremely good, and I find your proposed structure and flow of the Testimonium to be more complete and more satisfactory than what I proposed in the post to which you were responding. There remains the mild coincidence that it is the third of the three reasons that happens to be the most conducive to the "believed to be" reading ⁠— that had either of the other two reasons stood in third position the close connection between the Jews and gentiles following Jesus and the Jews and Jesus being believed to be the Christ would not have even been possible. Yet that is a rather slender coincidence, and probably not enough of one to take away from your reading.

This leaves me in something of a quandary, obviously, because it still looks more likely to me that pseudo-Hegesippus knew the version with "he was believed to be the Christ," though that version seems less likely to me now to be the original than it did before I read your post. As usual for this particular topic, few things seem clear cut (which is why, when I do find that rare something that seems clear cut, I cling to it, possibly too stubbornly).
Have you ever considered Eusebius being the forger, but with "he was believed to be the Christ" in place instead of "he was the Christ," and then following Whealey's account of its being changed in manuscripts of Eusebius? Is it just that you think "he was the Christ" is too prevalent in the stream, so that "he was believed to be the Christ" has to be a later variant?
Yes, but then I've considered a lot of positions, and Whealey's contention that the agreement between Jerome and Michael requires the reading "He was believed to be the Christ" probably more than any other. I think she overstates her case and doesn't really tell us by what means all of our Greek manuscripts of Josephus Antiquities and Eusebius HE and DE and our Syriac manuscripts of the HE (and Theophany?) came to be changed after Eusebius' time. And, yes, I think the fact that the reading that "He was believed to be the Christ" is found nowhere in the Greek tradition is a problem.
I freely admit that it is a lot to swallow, the changing of all those manuscripts, including 100% of the ones in the Greek tradition.

Do you think that Jerome's "soft" version being retrofitted as the "hard" version in the Greek translation of On Famous Men has any bearing here?

Also, your own theory identifies the entire Greek tradition of Josephus as having been altered (in time to affect Cassiodorus and possibly a handful of commentators from century V or VI) with respect to the paragraph known as the Testimonium Flavianum. How much more difficult, in your estimation, would the alteration of the Christ phrase in the manuscripts of Eusebius (in time to affect Rufinus and the Syriac version) have been? What kind of scale of difference do you imagine?
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Ken Olson
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:56 pm

Sorry, I lost my work twice in the course of writing this.
Ken: I understand the plus to mean more credibility, and think that this is implied by context:

Non tamen veritati praeiudicat, quia non credidit sed plus addidit testimonio,

It is not, however, to the prejudice of the truth, because he did not believe, but on the contrary, it added more to the testimony.
Ben: When you said that it added more credibility, I thought you were going all the way back to historiae fidem (his "faithfulness to history"), but it seems like you are going back only so far as veritati ("truth") to supply what you think the plus is "more of." Is that correct?
Have I said something I shouldn't have? Yes, I think in this sentence, the sed indicates that plus addidit testimonio is contradicting the notion that Josephus's unbelief was veritati praeiudicat. I also think this is consistent with the larger context of producing a witness that the Jews ought to take seriously the witness of one of their own of whom they think very highly. I don't think it's quite right to say there's more, in the sense of additional, truth, but rather that the truth of what Josephus says is not undermined but enhanced by the fact he was an unbeliever, so I prefer the word credibility.
Ben: More like treated the entire thing as one sentence or thought and abbreviated the two verbs down to one. But yes, essentially. "They believed" seems more likely to me to reflect "he was believed" than to reflect "he won over."
Are you saying that if we take the existence of a Greek manuscript with the some word meaning "believed" in that location (Whealey suggests some form of nomizo, perhaps enomizeto) as proven, then you think Ps-H used it, or are you claiming you can deduce the existence of such a manuscript from what Ps-H. wrote? Because if it's the former, then I don't think it's a useful theory becaue it doesn't proves more than it assumes, and if it's the latter, then I think it's a vastly overconfident judgment. I realize you are taking Ps-H as supporting evidence for a deduction made from the Jerome-Michael agreement, but it's very weak support.

Also, I don't think you've adequately addressed the claim that epegageto in the middle voice, which is what is attested in the Greek, provides a reasonable account explanation for what Ps-H wrote. In context, Ps-H is explaining why Jesus had followers in the previous sentence. It is the verb linking the Jews and Hellenes to Jesus add is often translated in English as "he led/won over/brought to himself" which gives a fair account of "they believed in him". The idea that Ps-H must have had a word meaning believed and then collapsed two statements into one seems overly speculative. I don't see how you can claim to know that with any confidence. If it wasn't for Jerome's version I don't think it would ever have been suggested.
As with the testimonium/Testimonium issue, I think the fact that Jerome and Ps-H both use forms of the word credo has suggested to interpreters that they are translating the same Greek word. I think it more likely that Ps-H is freely rendering the TF's epegageto, "He won over." Our other two Latin translators seem to have had trouble rendering this literally. Jerome has habuit sectatores, "had as followers." Rufinus is, in my opinion, a bit better, with sibi adiunxit, "he attached to himself."
None of this sounds more likely to me than that crediderunt reflects the "he was believed" version.

And I disagree with your judgment for the reasons given above.
Ben: This leaves me in something of a quandary, obviously, because it still looks more likely to me that pseudo-Hegesippus knew the version with "he was believed to be the Christ," though that version seems less likely to me now to be the original than it did before I read your post. As usual for this particular topic, few things seem clear cut (which is why, when I do find that rare something that seems clear cut, I cling to it, possibly too stubbornly).
That possibility had occurred to me ;)
Ben: I freely admit that it is a lot to swallow, the changing of all those manuscripts, including 100% of the ones in the Greek tradition.

Do you think that Jerome's "soft" version being retrofitted as the "hard" version in the Greek translation of On Famous Men has any bearing here?
Possibly, but I don't see what it is. The translator chose to quote the Greek text of the Antiquities for the Testimonium rather than re-translate Jerome's Latin translation of it into Greek. So the translator is a witness to the state of the Greek text, and the fact that he doesn't have Jerome's credebatur is not because he preferred the stronger form of the christological statement to the weaker one, but because his source is not Jerome's translation at all. He's also missing the other peculiarities of Jerome's Latin (libenter, invidia, adfixisst, carminibus) because he's not following Jerome at all for the passage.
Also, your own theory identifies the entire Greek tradition of Josephus as having been altered (in time to affect Cassiodorus and possibly a handful of commentators from century V or VI) with respect to the paragraph known as the Testimonium Flavianum. How much more difficult, in your estimation, would the alteration of the Christ phrase in the manuscripts of Eusebius (in time to affect Rufinus and the Syriac version) have been? What kind of scale of difference do you imagine?
The brief answer is that, on my theory, the Testimonium would have to have inserted into the Antiquities sometime between Eusebius DE and Cassiodorus' translation of the text into Latin, which i think is the earliest point at which we can say the Testimonium definitely was found at its present location in the Antiquities. I discuss this near the end of the Eusebian Readings paper (link above). I don't think there's evidence that books 18-20 of the Antiquities circulated widely before Eusebius popularized them among Christians. I think the insertion probably occurred in the scriptorium at Caesarea (where we know Hellenistic Jewish texts were being copied) and all of our surviving manuscripts are descended from Caesarean exemplars. there is not direct evidence of this (if we set aside for the moment the argument that Eusebius wrote the Testimonium and it's in those manuscripts) but I don't think there's any evidence against it either.

I've discussed the problems with Whealey's theory previously on this forum here.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=612&p=12861=whealey ... ted#p12861

Briefly, I don't see who would have had either the desire or the ability to change the reading in all the manuscripts of both the Greek traditions of Josephus Antiquities and Eusebius (at least the HE; and probably the DE and Theophany too, but Whealey is not clear on what reading she thinks those had) and the Syriac translations of the HE and Theophany. The interesting thing about the Syriac tradition is that it had to be translated from the Greek HE with the weak reading, and then changed in all the Syriac manuscripts after they circulated widely enough to be used in the Syriac chronicle that was the ancestor of Michael's work. But who or what could have changed both all the Greek manuscripts and all Syriac manuscripts (and the HE and Theophany are attested by the mid 5th century)?

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8259
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:37 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:56 pm
Sorry, I lost my work twice in the course of writing this.
That can be very frustrating. I speak from experience.
Ken: I understand the plus to mean more credibility, and think that this is implied by context:

Non tamen veritati praeiudicat, quia non credidit sed plus addidit testimonio,

It is not, however, to the prejudice of the truth, because he did not believe, but on the contrary, it added more to the testimony.
Ben: When you said that it added more credibility, I thought you were going all the way back to historiae fidem (his "faithfulness to history"), but it seems like you are going back only so far as veritati ("truth") to supply what you think the plus is "more of." Is that correct?
Have I said something I shouldn't have?
Well, no — and, as I have mentioned, your interpretation is possible — but I have been taking "the testimony" as basically a restatement or synonym of "the truth" to some extent: it did not prejudice (= take away from) the truth, but rather it added more to the testimony (= the truth about Jesus).

Again, I think this part is basically a dead end for us, since I can see your reading working on its own merits; I can also, though, see mine working, and mine is more consonant with the explanatory details coming from the gospels, which I still do think is the case.
Ben: More like treated the entire thing as one sentence or thought and abbreviated the two verbs down to one. But yes, essentially. "They believed" seems more likely to me to reflect "he was believed" than to reflect "he won over."
Are you saying that if we take the existence of a Greek manuscript with the some word meaning "believed" in that location (Whealey suggests some form of nomizo, perhaps enomizeto) as proven, then you think Ps-H used it, or are you claiming you can deduce the existence of such a manuscript from what Ps-H. wrote?
More the latter than the former.
Because if it's the former, then I don't think it's a useful theory becaue it doesn't proves more than it assumes....
Correct.
...and if it's the latter, then I think it's a vastly overconfident judgment.
There is nothing overconfident about my judgment on this matter. I am dealing with slender probabilities in either direction here.

I am just saying that, if we lay out the "strong" and the "weak" forms of the Testimonium as we have them, and then ask ourselves, apart from any other evidence at hand, which one of those forms pseudo-Hegesippus knew, I would say that the "weak" form is more likely than the "strong." It is not a slam dunk; there is no smoking gun. I am just looking at the text and working backward to which exemplar appears more likely to me to have lain in front of our author. If it turns out that it is more likely on other grounds that pseudo-Hegesippus had the "he was the Christ" version, then I will have either to grant that the indications I am seeing are coincidental or to remain in limbo on the matter. (I have spent much time in limbo; I maintain a small apartment there.)
Also, I don't think you've adequately addressed the claim that epegageto in the middle voice, which is what is attested in the Greek, provides a reasonable account explanation for what Ps-H wrote.
Oh, it does provide a reasonable account. It is just that I think that an origin in the form which features "belief" is even more reasonable on lexical grounds. Again, you are making my stance sound more absolute than the position I am actually coming from.
The idea that Ps-H must have had a word meaning believed and then collapsed two statements into one seems overly speculative.
It is no more speculative than the idea that pseudo-Hegesippus must have had both parts in front of him and skipped the one that speaks most glowingly about Jesus; I know that you think he was merely postponing it for later, but again, I honestly do not buy that.
I don't see how you can claim to know that with any confidence.
I do not know it with any confidence. I am considering probabilities on their own merits, most of them pretty slight compared to their rivals.
If it wasn't for Jerome's version I don't think it would ever have been suggested.
I think Michael's version, or possibly even Agapius', would be enough for the suggestion to have been made. (This seems quite obvious to me, so maybe I have misunderstood you.)
Do you think that Jerome's "soft" version being retrofitted as the "hard" version in the Greek translation of On Famous Men has any bearing here?
Possibly, but I don't see what it is. The translator chose to quote the Greek text of the Antiquities for the Testimonium rather than re-translate Jerome's Latin translation of it into Greek. So the translator is a witness to the state of the Greek text, and the fact that he doesn't have Jerome's credebatur is not because he preferred the stronger form of the christological statement to the weaker one, but because his source is not Jerome's translation at all.
Quite right. The translator, instead of translating Jerome at this point, copied the Testimonium from one of the Greek manuscripts, because copying is a lot easier than translating. (I speak, once again, from experience.) I believe that Cassiodorus, too, instead of translating Josephus' Greek into Latin, chose to copy Rufinus' Latin. So copying from previous versions of the Testimonium in the target language instead of translating anew is sort of a thing, and I can certainly see why. But might this not explain some of the Syriac instances, at least, on the hypothesis that the weak form was changed into the strong form? Once the paragraph was in Syriac and had been changed to the strong form, future Syriac translations (of whatever work) might have cribbed from an earlier Syriac source rather than translating anew. Unfortunately, I do not know Syriac, so I cannot look at the texts and determine how likely that is on text critical grounds.

Your discussion of the manuscript interplay between Syriac and Greek (and Latin) is very interesting and possibly even damning, and I frankly do not know enough about the textual histories of that time period to respond very intelligently. I will have to stick, at least for now, with topics of which I have more knowledge. I do want to follow up on your rhetorical question, though:
But who or what could have changed both all the Greek manuscripts and all Syriac manuscripts (and the HE and Theophany are attested by the mid 5th century)?
Does it have to be one person or group? Might not the strong version on its own be enticing enough to inspire more than one Christian, when faced with the weak version after he or she had previously been exposed to the strong one, to make the change "back" independently? It would be rather like more than one Christian remedying Mark's abrupt ending independently (the short ending in Bobbiensis and in other manuscripts seems to bear no relationship to the long ending; the two were originally added independently). The abrupt ending itself is an enticement to add something. Likewise, might not the strength of "he was the Christ" be an enticement over and against the relative weakness of "he was believed" to be?

You have written:
Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:44 am
The recognition that Jews genuinely don’t accept the things Christians hold to be true is one of things, probably the most important one, that led to the Testimonium’s being rejected as inauthentic in the Reformation. More generally, the recognition that people in other times and places held different beliefs than we do is the basis of the historical-critical method that makes modern scholarship possible. I don’t mean to suggest that no ancient or medieval author ever recognized this in any case, but it was not foundational in the way it is in modern scholarship.

This is a longwinded way of saying that I think Inowlocki commits an anachronism when she sees the Testimonium as contradicting Origen or making Josephus into a Christian. That the Testimonium, in the form we have it, is the work of a Christian is obvious to her – and to me, and, I imagine, to you. But it would not have been at all obvious to an ancient Christian, though parts of it might have given them pause. Actually, it’s not obvious to all modern Christians – you can find apologetic defenses of the Testimonium online that argue Josephus was simply a Jew who told the truth about Jesus without becoming a Christian. You just don’t find that view in modern (perhaps I should say recent) scholarship, which recognizes that the things that Christians hold to be true and that Jews hold to be true are different. Also, I’m not including in that group scholars like Whealey and Bardet who think Josephus could have written the Testimonium, provided we don’t read it the way everyone before the Reformation did, and instead read it some sort of non-literal or ironic way that is not making Christological claims but is instead at least mildly critical of Jesus (maybe that topic needs another post too).
In your judgment, does this mean that Origen, too, could hypothetically have found the textus receptus of the Testimonium in his copy of Josephus and still written that Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Christ? I have long argued that Origen's statements to that effect are evidence that he did not find in his manuscript(s) the Testimonium as it currently stands in ours. But, if pseudo-Hegesippus (for example) can read Josephus saying, "He was the Christ," and still claim that Josephus did not believe, is my customary argument misguided? Could Origen, too, have read Josephus saying, "He was the Christ," and still claimed that Josephus did not believe?
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Ken Olson
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:20 am

Ben Smith wrote:
In your judgment, does this mean that Origen, too, could hypothetically have found the textus receptus of the Testimonium in his copy of Josephus and still written that Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Christ? I have long argued that Origen's statements to that effect are evidence that he did not find in his manuscript(s) the Testimonium as it currently stands in ours. But, if pseudo-Hegesippus (for example) can read Josephus saying, "He was the Christ," and still claim that Josephus did not believe, is my customary argument misguided? Could Origen, too, have read Josephus saying, "He was the Christ," and still claimed that Josephus did not believe?
I hope to get back to the rest of your post sometime, but this is a very interesting question, so I'll answer that first. The short answer is yes. None of the later Christian witnesses prior to the Reformation, at least some of whom had the reading "He was the Christ," took this as contradicting the fact that Josephus was a non-Christian Jew. So Origen could have seen it that way too.

A few caveats are in order. All the later witnesses (I think) had a tradition of Christian interpretation that saw the Testimonium as the testimony of a non-Christian Jew. Would a Christian author coming on the Testimonium for the first time have taken it that way? Possibly, but it seems to me somewhat more likely that they would have taken it as Josephus indicating he is a Christian Jew.

The salient fact to me is that Origen is not a witness to the Testimonium, even if he is not a witness specifically denying it. Many have made the argument that Josephus must have said something in the Testimonium for Origen to have been so certain about Josephus's beliefs. I've discussed that on this forum before:

viewtopic.php?p=12571#p12571

I would add that I don't see how "He was believed to be the Christ" would provide Origen more certainty as to Josephus's own belief than the statement Origen attributes to Josephus that Jesus was called the Christ. Contrary to what one reads on the internet (and too often in published scholarship), Christian authors often referred to Jesus being called Christ or being believed to be Christ. Such statements do not suggest that their authors reject the idea that Jesus was, or is, the Christ. (Come to think of it, I've even seen people argue that a Christian would not have said Jesus *was* the Christ, using the past tense, though we have multiple examples of this).

Best,

Ken

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8259
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:36 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:20 am
Ben Smith wrote:
In your judgment, does this mean that Origen, too, could hypothetically have found the textus receptus of the Testimonium in his copy of Josephus and still written that Josephus did not believe Jesus was the Christ? I have long argued that Origen's statements to that effect are evidence that he did not find in his manuscript(s) the Testimonium as it currently stands in ours. But, if pseudo-Hegesippus (for example) can read Josephus saying, "He was the Christ," and still claim that Josephus did not believe, is my customary argument misguided? Could Origen, too, have read Josephus saying, "He was the Christ," and still claimed that Josephus did not believe?
I hope to get back to the rest of your post sometime, but this is a very interesting question, so I'll answer that first. The short answer is yes. None of the later Christian witnesses prior to the Reformation, at least some of whom had the reading "He was the Christ," took this as contradicting the fact that Josephus was a non-Christian Jew. So Origen could have seen it that way too.

A few caveats are in order. All the later witnesses (I think) had a tradition of Christian interpretation that saw the Testimonium as the testimony of a non-Christian Jew. Would a Christian author coming on the Testimonium for the first time have taken it that way? Possibly, but it seems to me somewhat more likely that they would have taken it as Josephus indicating he is a Christian Jew.
Okay. I will probably have to think this through for a bit.
The salient fact to me is that Origen is not a witness to the Testimonium, even if he is not a witness specifically denying it. Many have made the argument that Josephus must have said something in the Testimonium for Origen to have been so certain about Josephus's beliefs. I've discussed that on this forum before:

viewtopic.php?p=12571#p12571
I agree with this. To the best of my memory, I have never thought that Origen's words require some kind of Testimonium from Josephus.
I would add that I don't see how "He was believed to be the Christ" would provide Origen more certainty as to Josephus's own belief than the statement Origen attributes to Josephus that Jesus was called the Christ.
Neither of these statements ("believed to be the Christ" and "Jesus called Christ") tells us anything about Josephus' own beliefs, I agree.

However, I do think it more likely that "he was the Christ" would lead someone to infer Christian beliefs on Josephus' part than that "he was believed to be the Christ" would do the same (this is not absolute; it is relative). In other words, I think that Origen's words about Josephus' unbelief are more likely if he read "he was believed to be the Christ" than if he read "he was the Christ." That said, I do completely agree that Origen is a witness to neither version, as he is not a witness to the Testimonium at all.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Ken Olson
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:58 am

My long delayed reply on the chronology of Pilate's governorship.
Ben: it is not a matter of which work, but of where in that work the Testimonium ought to go. As to that issue, I can tell you that, if I myself had wished to insert the Testimonium into the Antiquities and simultaneously to preserve the idea that Jesus' execution was the cause of the woes under Pilate, I would have chosen a spot after Antiquities 18.2.2 §35, in which Gratus is ushered off the scene and Pilate brought in as his successor, but before 18.3.1 §55, which is where the troubles under Pilate begin, with the standards incident. The death of Phraates is narrated in 18.2.4 §39 as having occurred "at this time" (κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον), the same phrase used in the Testimonium to introduce Jesus' execution. So somewhere in the vicinity of Phraates' death would seem ideal, would it not? That section is a grab bag of historical events; the Testimonium would fit right in, unless I am missing something.
I wrote about why I think the interpolator of the Testimonium, whether Eusebius or not, chose to insert it into the Antiquities at the location he did here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2919=understanding+ ... um#p64784

I think the new piece of information in your case is the observation that Pilate is first appears in Ant. 18.35, where he is introduced as Gratus's replacement as governor.

It's possible that, if Eusebius or an ancient scribe inserted the Testimonium into the text of the Antiquities, he would have behaved as you would have, but I think it's very far from being so established that that's so likely as to exclude other possibilities.

First, how strong is the evidence that the interpolator would have been particularly interested in the chronological relationship of the death of Jesus to the other disturbances under Pilate? The internal content of the Testimonium does not deal with the issue, and Eusebius does not in the DE, which was written before HE, nor, IIRC, in the Theophany, which he wrote after the HE. The evidence seems to be come from HE 2.5.5-6 to 2.5.6.8. The evidence seems to be come from HE 2.5.5-6 to 2.5.6.8. So I see no strong reason to suppose that if Eusebius inserted the TF into the Antiquities before he wrote the HE (or possibly the Chronicon) he would have been especially interested the chronological relationship between the Testimonium and the episodes concerning the Roman insignia and the aqueduct. And if the interpolator was not Eusebius, what is the argument? Any scribe so influenced by Eusebius's HE as to insert the Testimonium into the text of the Antiquities would also have been so influenced by the HE that he would have seen the necessary chronological relationship implied in HE 2.5.5-6-2.5.6-8 and been careful to insert the TF before the first two Pilate episodes?

Second, HE 2.5.5-6 to 2.5.6.8 is itself an interesting case, particularly in light of what I said about the difference between narrative and chronological order in my earlier post on the topic linked above. While Eusebius does claim that the misfortunes of the Jews are the result of the Jews crimes against Christ, he does not support the claim by narrating the events in chronological order. He states the thesis that the misfortunes of the Jews came upon them in consequence of their crimes against Christ in HE 2.5.7, which follows his citations of Josephus and Philo accounts of the emperor Gaius (AKA Caligula, reigned 37-41 CE) hostility to the Jews. Subsequently in the same section he narrates the chronologically earlier incidents that occurred under Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. He first narrates the incident of the standards HE 2.6.3-4, then comments that this occurred as a result of the Jews cry that they had no king but Caesar from John 19.15 (HE 2.6.5). Eusebius Greek is less clear on the chronology than most English translations make it, but I accept that as correct. The pertinent point here is that Eusebius does not narrate the story from John before incident of the standards, but relies on the contents of passage to provide the chronological relationship. Following the reference to John, Eusebius then narrates the incident about Pilate and the aqueducts (HE 2.6.6-7). Then he summarizes the misfortunes of the Jews up to the siege under Vespasian and restates the thesis that these things were the God's punishment of the Jews for their crimes against Christ (HE 2.5.6.8). The following chapter, 2.7 gives an account of how Pilate killed himself, and the one after that, 2.8 gives a further account of the church under Gaius.

Ps-H, like Eusebius (and, as I have argued, probably in dependence on him), argues that the misfortunes of the Jews up to the destruction of the temple were God's punishment for the Jews crimes against the Christ and his disciples. Nonetheless, Ps-H . We could, of course, hypothesize that Ps-H did what he did out of respect for the order of the Antiquities, but that theory runs afoul of the evidence I already posted in this thread that Ps-H takes other material in the Antiquities out of order (e.g. the Paulina passage come before the Testimonium in Ps-H's text). Similarly, Ps-H narrates the incident of the standards in 2.3, the Samaritans in 2.5 and the Testimonium in 2.12. Immediately before the Testimonium, Ps-H narrates events relating to the outbreak of the Jewish War and Tiberius Alexander's massacre of Jews in Alexandria c. 66 CE. He introduces the passage containing his version of the Testimonium with "they indeed paid the punishment for their crimes," claiming the Jewish misfortunes were a result of what the Jews had done to Jesus and his disciples, but not narrating the cause and the consequence in chronological order. Now, one could argue that when Eusebius and Ps-H do not place the crucifixion and the punishment of the Jews in chronological order, they use language that clarifies the causal relationship, and therefore, if a Christian interpolated the TF into the Antiquities, he would either have placed it before the other incidents about Pilate or introduced the TF with language that implied it was a result of the earlier incidents. I think that contention goes beyond the evidence. It requires the interpolator to have foreseen the possibility that his Christian readers would have taken the narrative order to be the chronological order and seen it as therefore contradicting the idea that Pilate's acts against the Jews were the result of the Jews crimes against Jesus. I do not believe anyone ever made such a connection prior to the time the authenticity of the Testimonium was put into question in the Reformation. I think it far more likely that the interpolator did not consider or at least was not concerned about such a possibility. Christian readers could very well supply the obvious causal connection themselves.

Third, I think a location between 18.35 and 18.55 would not be a likely location for a Christian interpolator to insert the Testimonium. Let me break this down into why I think Josephus ordered his text the way he did and then examine why the Christian interpolator may have inserted the Testimonium where he did. The narrative of this section of the Antiquities is both chronological and topical. While Pilate is introduced as the
replacement of Gratus in 18.35, the account of Pilate's governorship does not begin until 18.55. While it might be accurate to call 18.36-18.54 an historical grab bag, they are unified in not being about Pilate and most don't take place in Judea. They constitute a topical grouping, not a chronological one. Their placement is not meant to suggest that they took place after Gratus's governorship and before Pilate's, but that they are not topically part of those governorships. Similarly, the placement of the Paulina and Fulvia stories in 18.65-18.84 in the midst of the account of Pilate's governorship in 18.55-18.62 and 18.85-18.89, was done primarily for for topical, not chronological reasons. (Parenthetically, this is one of the reasons that I have not found the arguments to redate Pilate's governorship compelling). Josephus wanted to group the Fulvia story with the accounts of the other incidents that threw the Jews into disorder. I think the Paulina story was included as well because it came from the same source as the Fulvia story and Josephus though it was too interesting to pass up.

So I'm sticking with the reason i gave in the post linked above. The interpolator wanted to place it within the account of Pilate's governorship of Judea and placed it at the earliest point within the account that made sense. The introduction to the Testimonium does not establish any definite chronological relationship to the material that precedes or follows it and was probably not terribly concerned that readers might take the narrative order to imply that the episodes of the standards and the aqueduct might be understood to contradict the idea that the misfortunes of the Jews were a result of what they had done to Jesus.

Best,

Ken

Ken Olson
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 9:26 am

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:45 am
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?
Right. I was answering the question of where I think Ps-H. got the material from, which is Eusebius. In responding, I went a bit off the immediate topic of what Ps-H's text tell us about how the Testimonium read in his source and collapsed the distinctions among three distinguishable questions.

(1) Did Eusebius compose the Testimonium? The discussion of Jews and Hellenes and the emergence of Christians as a third distinct race/religion named after Christ, but drawn from the other two races/religions is very relevant to the question of whether Eusebius composed the Testimonium. If Eusebius composed the Testimonium, then Ps-H. would necessarily be dependent on him, whether directly or indirectly. As Whealey has argued that Eusebius' HE originally contained the reading "He was thought to be Christ," even if we were to accept the theory that Ps-H was using Eusebius HE, this would not have a decisive impact on what the reading in Ps-H's source was.

(2) Apart from his use of the Testimonium, is there evidence that Ps-H knew Eusebius? I think there is, but I don't think the continuation of the statement about the congregation of Christians expanding so that no nation in the Roman world in which it not found has a great deal of impact on it. It has some, but not very weighty, and cannot stand by itself. I say "some" because, if there is already good reason to think Ps-H may have used Eusebius HE, this would add to the bulk of the evidence (i.e., if we find an author sharing six points of evidence with a given possible source and the same six points also found in six different sources, we would favor the theory that the author used the single source rather than the six others unless we had good reason to believe he did not use the single source). While I don't think the part about the spread of the Christian congregation is itself weighty evidence of Ps-H's use of Eusebius, I have provided evidence I consider more weighty in the Pseudo-hegesippus thread.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2273&p=59067=eusebi ... mes#p59067

To summarize: Pseudo-Hegesippus is writing a Christian history with the explicit thesis that the misfortunes of the Jews were God's punishment or their crimes against Christ and his disciples and using Josephus's Jewish War as a source to show this. I do not believe he had any predecessors in this other than Eusebius. On more detailed points, there's the point about Pilate actually bringing the images into the temple (which is found in Origen's commentary on Matt), that the misfortunes of the Jews *began* with the governorship of Pilate, and the claim that Pilate forced many into death in the incident of the standards (which could not have come from Josephus Jewish War, but could be based on Eusebius' summary of the standards story which omits the peaceful resolution of the incident).

(3) Does Pseudo-Hegesippus' continuation of the claim about the congregation of Christians beyond what the Testimonium says impact the question of how the Testimonium read in Ps-H source? No, not as far as I can see, unless one wanted to argue it was from the Testimonium in Ps-H source (which I don't think either of us does). I answered that I think it came from Eusebius because you asked where I think it came from, but I don't think that has negligible impact on the question of how the Testimonium read in Ps-H's source (caveats as in pint (1) above).

Best,

Ken

Post Reply