Eusebius as a forger.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:10 pm

I am going back to get the context here, since I think you may have been arguing against something I was not defending:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:56 pm
She also argues on page 209 that Eusebius, had he composed the passage, would have attached it to the Wars, not to the Antiquities. (Still thinking about this one.) And she points out on page 210 that Josephus saying that "he was the Christ" directly contradicts Origen, so she doubts that Eusebius would have composed that part. (This one feels like something to be responded to, at the very least.)
Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:44 am
On the first point, I think Inowlocki is simply confused about what the argument to be made is. She cites this argument to Nodet and Bardet, but what they actually say is that Eusebius cites the Jewish War rather than the Antiquities because he claims that the misfortunes of the Jews under Pilate *began* with the crucifixion of Jesus, whereas in the Antiquities, some are narrated before the crucifixion of Jesus. So Nodet (and Bardet, explicitly following him) argue that Eusebius cites the War, which doesn’t mention Jesus at all and therefore causes no problems for his chronology. There is an argument that, if Eusebius could insert the Testimonium into the Antiquities, he would have re-arranged the narrative of Pilate’s administration so that the crucifixion came before the stories about Pilate bringing the Roman standards into Jerusalem and using the temple funds to build an aqueduct, which has already been discussed on this forum (I could come up with the a link if necessary). But I think there really isn’t an argument to be made for which work the Testimonium would have been inserted into; it’s about where it would have been inserted into the account of Pilate’s governorship (in either work).
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:14 am
I agree with this critique; 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.
Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:58 am
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.
All of this was, to my mind, about Eusebius adding the Testimonium to the pages of Josephus himself (or at least being responsible for its position in the text). If some anonymous scribe added it, then I have no way of knowing whether that scribe would be interested in preserving the conflicts under Pilate as a consequence of the crucifixion of Jesus. If Eusebius added it, however, I do have evidence to evaluate in that area. So this whole line of reasoning is, for me, all about Eusebius (and I was deliberately pretending to be Eusebius when I wrote both of inserting the Testimonium into the Antiquities and of simultaneously preserving the idea that Jesus' execution was the cause of the woes under Pilate). And you already have a way out of it, even at worst: you think that the Demonstration preceded the the History of the Church, so sure, it is quite possible in that case that Eusebius was kicking himself later (while writing the History) for his earlier nonchalance about where to place the pericope within Pilate's tenure in the Antiquities. Nothing prevents that sequence of events.

If, on the other hand, the History preceded the Demonstration (and I currently have no firm opinion on that in either direction), then I do think that my proposed placement of the Testimonium is more sound, as will become clear (I hope).
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.
This admirably anticipates my objection, but note that, in keeping with the above, my objection would have to do only with Eusebius himself, not with some anonymous scribe. This, then, is your response to that objection:
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.
I agree with this when it comes to "the interpolator," provided s/he is not Eusebius. If it was Eusebius, though, then I think a bit more care might have been forthcoming on his part, seeing as he does, as you mention, keep the chronology straight in his commentary on the events. To botch the placement would be a pretty clumsy move for a forgery which is pretty careful in other respects, and I would accept that option only with reluctance. (Again, all of this is moot if the Demonstration preceded any relevant edition of the History.)
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.
This is where you lose me fairly completely. You say that you are going to look at Josephus' own placement of the Testimonium, and you do that; but you also say that you are going to examine why the interpolator may have inserted the Testimonium where he did, but your only comment on that is that you are sticking to the reason from the linked post. Yet there, in that post, your only argument against my suggested placement is:
Given that the times of Pilate is the most likely place to put the passage about Jesus, why put it between 18.62 and 18.65 rather than at some other point in Josephus's account of Pilate's tenure as governor in Ant. 18.55-89? Because 18.63 is the earliest point at which the passage could reasonably be introduced. Pilate is introduced as a new character and identified as the governor of Judea in 18.55, so the Testimonium would have to be inserted after that.
But this completely ignores Pilate's actual introduction earlier in the sequence, at Gratus' exit from the stage. If your argument for an interpolator's decision was supposed to be deduced from your discussion of Josephus' structuring of his section about Pilate, then I suspect that argument fails your own standards of evidence elsewhere. For example:
The two further objections to the location of the Testimonium that (1) it occurs amidst stories of scandal, fraud, turmoil and Roman violence and (2) that it should have come before the stories of the Jewish misfortunes in 18.55-18.62 rather than after them to reflect the idea that the misfortunes of the Jews were a result of their crimes against Christ, seem to presuppose that early Christian authors and scribes were much more foresighted than they actually were and that they should have seen how the context in the Antiquities might be used to undermine their Christian message.
You easily see how we should not expect a Christian author or scribe to be clairvoyant enough to stave off objections which have not yet been raised, but, by the same token, we also should not expect a Christian author or scribe to be either clairvoyant enough or scholarly enough in the modern sense both to care about and to perceive the niceties of Josephus' narrative structure. For Eusebius (who, again, is the only potential interpolator who matters to me in this case), I think it is much more reasonable to think that he might get the chronology right, since he makes an issue of it, than to think that he might notice or care about which parts of Josephus' text after Pilate's introduction ought to be reserved only for "grab bag" incidents outside of Judea.

I reiterate, however, that none of this really matters if Eusebius forged the passage and inserted it into Josephus' text before he came to write the History. You still have a clear path in that case, so far as I can tell. (Not that it is impossible that Eusebius may have acted as you suggest even if the History came first, but I would not feel nearly as secure in accepting it.)
Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 am
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.
Might you expand on this and let me know what your thinking is here? The idea of Christians being named after Christ is both obvious and far more ancient than Eusebius, and the idea of Christians being a third (or fourth) race is more ancient than Eusebius, as well, so what is it exactly that you think pseudo-Hegesippus drew from Eusebius that he could not have from any other source, or just from common sense? Besides, is it not the case that pseudo-Hegesippus merely calls Christians a congregatio in this passage, not a race? He says that Christians have penetrated every human genus, but is that not simply obvious in his day? I guess I am not sure which element of all of this is supposed to have come from Eusebius and likely not from anyone else or from pseudo-Hegesippus' own experiences, interests, or observations.
Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 am
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).
Okay, I understand this.
Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 am
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.
To be clear, you are arguing that it is the combination of these motifs that comprises evidence of pseudo-Hegesippus having read Eusebius, correct? The idea that Jerusalem fell because of what the Jews did to Jesus is as old as the New Testament, so what Eusebius introduced, and what pseudo-Hegesippus copied from Eusebius, is the use of Josephus' Wars to demonstrate this idea. Is that your argument?
Ken Olson wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 am
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).
It appears to me that the motif of Jews dying during the standards incident could have even more easily come from Origen's commentary on Matthew (this is the same link that Andrew gave before). Pseudo-Hegesippus says that the people "resisted" (resisteret) and that Pilate therefore forced many "into death" (in mortem). Origen quotes Sirach to the effect that one ought to strive for the truth "unto death" (ἕως θανάτου, Wisdom of Sirach 4.28) before immediately suggesting that the Jews have "often" (πολλάκις) risked great danger by "resisting" (ἀνθιστάμενοι) the Romans whenever they wished to bring statues of Caesar into the temple; his first example of this sort of event is Pilate's venture, and Origen, too, fails to narrate the happy ending that Josephus offers. This is the better context for turning Josephus' peaceful outcome into bloodshed; Eusebius merely omits the ending, while Origen both omits the ending and places the whole incident in a context of striving "unto death."

Origen goes on to say that Gaius (Caligula) attempted something similar, but he suggests that, so long as the (Jewish) people had observed and been surrounded by what the prophets had spoken, "nothing that drastic" (οὐδὲν τηλικοῦτον) had happened, at which point he mentions the coincidence that Pilate "himself" (αὐτὸς), and not Caligula, was both the "first" (πρῶτος) under which this kind of event had happened (in agreement with Josephus' similar wording on the matter) and also the very person "to whom they" (= the Jews) "had handed Jesus over" (ᾧ παρέδωκαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν). The evident implication is that the Jewish troubles began when they lost their way under Pilate and turned Jesus over to the Romans, thus plausibly explaining your point about the misfortunes of the Jews.

Both of these more detailed points seem to me to point to Origen as much as, if not more than, to Eusebius.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:32 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:53 pm

Tangentially related digression: I was looking at Rev. Samuel Lee's 1843 translation of Eusebius' Theophany, on Roger Pearse's site:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/euseb ... 6book5.htm

Lee's footnote 88, on the Testimonium Flavianum, is relevant to the previous discussion of the reception history of the Testimonium among Christians (if I need to explain how, just ask):
It has been very common to suspect this passage as spurious, or as partly so; and some have gone so far as to charge Eusebius with the fraud. See the notes of Valesius to the Eccl. Hist. l. c. above. The chief ground for this suspicion appears to be, Josephus's saying, This was the Christ, when, in fact, he was no Christian. But, Is it necessary to suppose this ? The Rulers of the Jews must have known that Jesus was the Christ; and yet, they resisted Him, even to the uttermost! They were acquainted with His miracles, and His resurrection. Did they act accordingly? Quite the contrary!
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:25 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:53 pm
Tangentially related digression: I was looking at Rev. Samuel Lee's 1843 translation of Eusebius' Theophany, on Roger Pearse's site:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/euseb ... 6book5.htm

Lee's footnote 88, on the Testimonium Flavianum, is relevant to the previous discussion of the reception history of the Testimonium among Christians (if I need to explain how, just ask):
It has been very common to suspect this passage as spurious, or as partly so; and some have gone so far as to charge Eusebius with the fraud. See the notes of Valesius to the Eccl. Hist. l. c. above. The chief ground for this suspicion appears to be, Josephus's saying, This was the Christ, when, in fact, he was no Christian. But, Is it necessary to suppose this ? The Rulers of the Jews must have known that Jesus was the Christ; and yet, they resisted Him, even to the uttermost! They were acquainted with His miracles, and His resurrection. Did they act accordingly? Quite the contrary!
This appears to relate to the anachronism of assuming that a Christian author would call Josephus a believer on account of his having said that "he was the Christ." What is the earliest known (and noncontroversial) instance of this combination of assertions (namely, that Josephus knew Jesus was the Christ but still remained in a state of unbelief)?
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:10 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:25 pm
[ What is the earliest known (and noncontroversial) instance of this combination of assertions (namely, that Josephus knew Jesus was the Christ but still remained in a state of unbelief)?
Would Sozomen (Eccl. Hist. 1.1, c.445 ) qualify?
Josephus, the son of Matthias, also who was a priest, and was most distinguished among Jews and Romans, may be regarded as a noteworthy witness to the truth concerning Christ ; for he hesitates to call Him a man since He wrought marvelous works, and was a teacher of truthful doctrines, but openly calls him Christ; that He was condemned to the death of the cross, and appeared alive again the third day. Nor was Josephus ignorant of numberless other wonderful predictions uttered beforehand by the holy prophets concerning Christ. He further testifies that Christ brought over many to Himself both Greeks and Jews, who continued to love Him, and that the people named after Him had not become extinct. It appears to me that in narrating these things, he all but proclaims that Christ, by comparison of works, is God. As if struck by the miracle, he ran, somehow, a middle course, assailing in no way those who believed in Jesus, but rather agreeing with them.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26021.htm

Or is his "middle course" agreeing with those who believe too close to belief? It seems like Sozomen wants to maintain some distinction between actually being a believer in Jesus and agreeing with those who are. (One thing I have learned from the internet is that there is no noncontroversial instance of anything).

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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:46 pm

Hmmm. A bit ambiguous, but I think it probably has to count. "Those who believed in Jesus" seem to comprise a category which excludes Josephus, who is regarded here as a trustworthy witness. (When the judge is against you, she must have been biased; when the judge is for you, she was obviously impartial.)

The "somehow" (ὡδίπως) draws my attention, however. It is as if Sozomen accepts that Josephus said this, but does not quite see how it could be that he said it. There is certainly none of Samuel Lee's brand of confidence.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:00 pm

Ben: But this completely ignores Pilate's actual introduction earlier in the sequence, at Gratus' exit from the stage. If your argument for an interpolator's decision was supposed to be deduced from your discussion of Josephus' structuring of his section about Pilate, then I suspect that argument fails your own standards of evidence elsewhere. For example:

Ken: The two further objections to the location of the Testimonium that (1) it occurs amidst stories of scandal, fraud, turmoil and Roman violence and (2) that it should have come before the stories of the Jewish misfortunes in 18.55-18.62 rather than after them to reflect the idea that the misfortunes of the Jews were a result of their crimes against Christ, seem to presuppose that early Christian authors and scribes were much more foresighted than they actually were and that they should have seen how the context in the Antiquities might be used to undermine their Christian message.

Ben:You easily see how we should not expect a Christian author or scribe to be clairvoyant enough to stave off objections which have not yet been raised, but, by the same token, we also should not expect a Christian author or scribe to be either clairvoyant enough or scholarly enough in the modern sense both to care about and to perceive the niceties of Josephus' narrative structure. For Eusebius (who, again, is the only potential interpolator who matters to me in this case), I think it is much more reasonable to think that he might get the chronology right, since he makes an issue of it, than to think that he might notice or care about which parts of Josephus' text after Pilate's introduction ought to be reserved only for "grab bag" incidents outside of Judea.
I think your argument may be a tad overstated here. I do not need to hypothesize any clairvoyance on Eusebius’ part to suggest that he correctly perceived that, though Pilate is first mentioned as Gratus’ successor in 18.35, the material in 18.36-54 does not mention Pilate at all, and the account of Pilate's governorship of Judea begins at 18.55 with the words “Pilate the governor of Judea.”
Ben: I reiterate, however, that none of this really matters if Eusebius forged the passage and inserted it into Josephus' text before he came to write the History. You still have a clear path in that case, so far as I can tell. (Not that it is impossible that Eusebius may have acted as you suggest even if the History came first, but I would not feel nearly as secure in accepting it.)
Got it. What about Eusebius after the Historia? Do you find any evidence that when Eusebius quoted the Testimonium in the Theophany, or refers to Pilate’s governorship elsewhere in his later works, that he is concerned with the issue of whether the episodes of the standards or the aqueducts took place before or after Jesus crucifixion. (That’s a real question – in the sense that I don’t know the answer. I’ve looked at the Theophany but haven’t checked the rest of his later works for evidence of this).
Ken: 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.

Ben: Might you expand on this and let me know what your thinking is here? The idea of Christians being named after Christ is both obvious and far more ancient than Eusebius, and the idea of Christians being a third (or fourth) race is more ancient than Eusebius, as well, so what is it exactly that you think pseudo-Hegesippus drew from Eusebius that he could not have from any other source, or just from common sense? Besides, is it not the case that pseudo-Hegesippus merely calls Christians a congregatio in this passage, not a race? He says that Christians have penetrated every human genus, but is that not simply obvious in his day? I guess I am not sure which element of all of this is supposed to have come from Eusebius.
I was not making an argument about Pseudo-Hegesippus’s statement about the subsequent success of Christianity in my point (1). I was making the point that, while I think the discussion of Jews/Greeks/Christians is relevant to the larger question of whether Eusebius composed the Testimonium, it is of only marginal relevance for the immediate issue of Pseudo-Hegesippus.
Ken: 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.

Ben: To be clear, you are arguing that it is the combination of these motifs that comprises evidence of pseudo-Hegesippus having read Eusebius, correct? The idea that Jerusalem fell because of what the Jews did to Jesus is as old as the New Testament, so what Eusebius introduced, and what pseudo-Hegesippus copied from Eusebius, is the use of Josephus' Wars to demonstrate this idea. Is that your argument?
Sort of. I’m making an argument about intellectual history or the development of Christian historiography. It involves a particular combination of elements, but it’s broader than that. It’s not that, in the course of writing his book, he happens to use Josephus, and also happens make the argument that the misfortunes of the Jews in the Jewish War were God’s punishment for the Jews crimes against Christ and his disciples. It’s that, before he started writing, Pseudo-Hegesippus conceived of the project of writing a Christian history, taking Josephus as its major source, and using Josephus to prove a thesis about Jesus and Christianity, which he states explicitly. What inspired him to do that?
Ken: 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).

Ben: It appears to me that the motif of Jews dying during the standards incident could have even more easily come from Origen's commentary on Matthew (this is the same link that Andrew gave before). Pseudo-Hegesippus says that the people "resisted" (resisteret) and that Pilate therefore forced many "into death" (in mortem). Origen quotes Sirach to the effect that one ought to strive for the truth "unto death" (ἕως θανάτου, Wisdom of Sirach 4.28) before immediately suggesting that the Jews have "often" (πολλάκις) risked great danger by "resisting" (ἀνθιστάμενοι) the Romans whenever they wished to bring statues of Caesar into the temple; his first example of this sort of event is Pilate's venture, and Origen, too, fails to narrate the happy ending that Josephus offers. This is the better context for turning Josephus' peaceful outcome into bloodshed; Eusebius merely omits the ending, while Origen both omits the ending and places the whole incident in a context of striving "unto death."

Origen goes on to say that Gaius (Caligula) attempted something similar, but he suggests that, so long as the (Jewish) people had observed and been surrounded by what the prophets had spoken, "nothing that drastic" (οὐδὲν τηλικοῦτον) had happened, at which point he mentions the coincidence that Pilate "himself" (αὐτὸς), and not Caligula, was both the "first" (πρῶτος) under which such a dire event had happened (in agreement with Josephus' similar wording on the matter) and also the very person "to whom they" (= the Jews) "had handed Jesus over" (ᾧ παρέδωκαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν). The evident implication is that the Jewish troubles began when they lost their way under Pilate and turned Jesus over to the Romans, thus plausibly explaining your point about the misfortunes of the Jews.

Both of these more detailed points seem to me to point to Origen as much as, if not more than, to Eusebius.
This is an interesting argument. I think the strongest point in its favor is the density or concatenation of the three elements. You want to derive all three of the pints from a single source, while I have suggested that Ps-H. is dependent on Eusebius, I have to suggest the point about Pilate bringing the icons into the temple could have come from the Demonstratio or Chronicon in addition to the Ecclesiastical History. That’s a fairly minor advantage and may be offset by other factors.

I do not think that Origen’s comments on Pilate in the Commentary on Matthew provide a better explanation on any of the three points

(1) In agreement with Josephus and Eusebius and against Origen, Ps-H. refers to images of Caesar in the plural being brought into the temple. Origen, in contrast, refers to a statue of Caesar being set up (or even consecrated) in the temple, probably under the influence of the story about Caligula attempting to do this. What Ps-H has in mind seems to be closer to what is found in Josephus and Eusebius, the images of Caesar on the standards simply being brought into the temple. Now, the fact that it Ps-H is closer to Eusebius is not decisive, because that element could have come from Josephus, whom he definitely knows. But there’s an argument from silence to be made that Ps-H fails to take over additional the peculiar features of Origen’s account, which may slightly favor Eusebius as a source.

(2) I think it is far more likely that Ps-H took the bit about Pilate forcing many of the Jews into death came from the episode about Pilate and the aqueducts, which follows the episode of the standards in Josephus and Eusebius, and in which many Jews are killed, that that he simply inferred that many Jews must have been killed from Origen’s quotation of Sirach/Ecclesiasticus, even though Origen does not actually say so. I think it Is more likely that Ps-H collapsed the two Pilate episodes into one.

(3) Origen says that the first to go against custom and violate the temple was Pilate (as opposed to Gaius), who handed over Jesus. Does Origen make any explicit causal connection between Pilate’s violation of the temple and the subsequent misfortunes of the Jews? I think its stretch to say:
Ben: The evident implication is that the Jewish troubles began when they lost their way under Pilate and turned Jesus over to the Romans
There is no explicit causal connection in Origen between Pilate’s violation of the temple and the Jews handing Jesus over to Pilate. Perhaps more importantly, I see a Origen drawing a connection between Pilate’s violation of the temple and Gaius’s, but I don’t see the link with the subsequent misfortunes of the Jews resulting in the Jewish War and the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.

Origen’s comments seem to fall far short of the causal connections between Pilate’s violation of the temple and the subsequent Jewish misfortunes which is stated explicitly by Ps-H and Eusebius:
Pseudo-Hegesippus Excidio 2.3: And because it has been proposed by us to reveal the causes, by which the people of the Jews defected from the Roman empire and hastened destruction for themselves, the event indicates that Pilatus the governor of the province gave the beginning of its ruin, seeing that the first of all he did [not] hesitate to bring into the Jerusalem temples the images of Caesar.
Eusebius HE 2.6: [Philo’s descriptions of the misfortunes of the Jews] and Josephus also agrees with him, also pointing out that the misfortunes of the whole nation began with the time of Pilate and the crimes against the Saviour. Hear, then, what this author points out in Book 2 of the Jewish War, as he speaks with these very words: [quotation of the episode of Pilate and the Roman standards from BJ 2.169-170].
That these misfortunes are the misfortunes of the Jews from that time to the siege if Vespasian is stated at the end of HE 2.6.

Also, Jerome’s Chronicle (which I will assume for the moment is an accurate translation of Eusebius Chronicon):
However the aforementioned man [Josephus] writes that in the same year Pilate the governor secretly in the night set up images of Caesar in the temple, and from this arose the first cause of the rebellion and turmoil of the Jews.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:27 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:00 pm
I think your argument may be a tad overstated here. I do not need to hypothesize any clairvoyance on Eusebius’ part to suggest that he correctly perceived that, though Pilate is first mentioned as Gratus’ successor in 18.35, the material in 18.36-54 does not mention Pilate at all, and the account of Pilate's governorship of Judea begins at 18.55 with the words “Pilate the governor of Judea.”
Maybe not clairvoyance, but an overly developed interest in making sure not to interfere with the loose structure of Josephus' narrative. I do not find it very plausible that Eusebius would sacrifice his chronology, something he has staked an interest in, for Josephus' topical treatment of Pilate's governorship, something I am not aware he even mentions or alludes to.
What about Eusebius after the Historia? Do you find any evidence that when Eusebius quoted the Testimonium in the Theophany, or refers to Pilate’s governorship elsewhere in his later works, that he is concerned with the issue of whether the episodes of the standards or the aqueducts took place before or after Jesus crucifixion. (That’s a real question – in the sense that I don’t know the answer. I’ve looked at the Theophany but haven’t checked the rest of his later works for evidence of this).
Not sure, actually. I will let you know if I find anything.
I was not making an argument about Pseudo-Hegesippus’s statement about the subsequent success of Christianity in my point (1). I was making the point that, while I think the discussion of Jews/Greeks/Christians is relevant to the larger question of whether Eusebius composed the Testimonium, it is of only marginal relevance for the immediate issue of Pseudo-Hegesippus.
Ah, I see. Thanks.
I’m making an argument about intellectual history or the development of Christian historiography. It involves a particular combination of elements, but it’s broader than that. It’s not that, in the course of writing his book, he happens to use Josephus, and also happens to make the argument that the misfortunes of the Jews in the Jewish War were God’s punishment for the Jews crimes against Christ and his disciples. It’s that, before he started writing, Pseudo-Hegesippus conceived of the project of writing a Christian history, taking Josephus as its major source, and using Josephus to prove a thesis about Jesus and Christianity, which he states explicitly. What inspired him to do that?
Maybe he simply thought to rewrite Josephus from a Christian point of view; that is not quite the same thing as writing a Christian history and using Josephus for part of it.

But this bit of intellectual history is, I think, your strongest remaining argument for pseudo-Hegesippus knowing and using Eusebius, because I do not think your criticisms of my proposed connection to Origen's commentary on Matthew stand up under scrutiny.
This is an interesting argument. I think the strongest point in its favor is the density or concatenation of the three elements.
That impresses me, I admit, though I think there is more to it than just those three elements (see below). For this brief passage alone, your theory would have pseudo-Hegesippus actually following the Wars, gleaning (I guess) the idea that Pilate was the "first" to bring images into Jerusalem from the Antiquities, gathering either from the Demonstration or from the Chronicon that the images actually went all the way into the temple, and conflating the standards incident with a subsequent, more violent incident on the basis of a misreading of the History; and I think you would agree that pseudo-Hegesippus also knows the New Testament. My theory would have pseudo-Hegesippus following the Wars, reading a single passage in Origen's commentary on Matthew, and supplementing these texts with a connection requiring only the most general knowledge of the New Testament (again, see below).
In agreement with Josephus and Eusebius and against Origen, Ps-H. refers to images of Caesar in the plural being brought into the temple. Origen, in contrast, refers to a statue of Caesar being set up (or even consecrated) in the temple, probably under the influence of the story about Caligula attempting to do this. What Ps-H has in mind seems to be closer to what is found in Josephus and Eusebius, the images of Caesar on the standards simply being brought into the temple. Now, the fact that Ps-H is closer to Eusebius is not decisive, because that element could have come from Josephus, whom he definitely knows.
Agreed. He is actually rewriting Josephus and merely borrowing either from Eusebius or from Origen (or from both, to be complete). If something in pseudo-Hegesippus overlaps with something in Josephus, then nothing can be made of the fact that it also overlaps with something either in Eusebius or in Origen.
But there’s an argument from silence to be made that Ps-H fails to take over additional the peculiar features of Origen’s account, which may slightly favor Eusebius as a source.
Origen says that the Jews were "often" (πολλάκις) "resisting" (ἀνθιστάμενοι) Roman attempts to set up a statue in the temple; pseudo-Hegesippus says that they "resisted" (resisteret) Pilate. Origen consciously puts both incidents, under Pilate and under Caligula, in the context of the Jews striving "unto death" (ἕως θανάτου); pseudo-Hegesippus says that Pilate forced many "into death" (in mortem). Origen says that Pilate was the "first" (πρῶτος) who "dared" (ἐτόλμησε) to sully the temple; pseudo-Hegesippus says that Pilate was the "first" (primus) "of all" (omnium) who "did not hesitate" (non dubitaverit) to bring images into the temple. (Josephus, as I intimated in the post to which you are responding, does in the Antiquities — but not in the Wars — affirm that Pilate was the "first" to bring the images into Jerusalem, but there is no explicit sense of his audacity, his "daring" or "not hesitating" to do so, in Josephus. ETA: The notion of "daring" is even clearer just two sections later in pseudo-Hegesippus, where he asks, "What indeed did he not dare [auderet] who had put even Christ the Lord on the cross...?" It is not hard to read this as a reaction to Origen, who says that Pilate "dared" to sully the temple; pseudo-Hegesippus basically asks, "Is there anything he did not dare to do?")

Pseudo-Hegesippus' use of the word omnium makes it sound as if Pilate had been the first of many (and not just of two: Pilate and Caligula); then again, Origen's use of the word πολλάκις comes across in exactly the same way: as if there were many instances of this kind (and not just two).

This is not silence. This is pseudo-Hegesippus absorbing and understanding exactly what Origen is meaning to say.
I think it is far more likely that Ps-H took the bit about Pilate forcing many of the Jews into death came from the episode about Pilate and the aqueducts, which follows the episode of the standards in Josephus and Eusebius, and in which many Jews are killed, than that he simply inferred that many Jews must have been killed from Origen’s quotation of Sirach/Ecclesiasticus, even though Origen does not actually say so.
Origen explicitly links the quotation of Sirach with the Jews' reaction to Roman attempts to defile the temple:
  • He says that, "inasmuch as" (ἅτε) the Jews "hold as dogma" (δόγμα ἔχοντες) the saying in Sirach, which he quotes in full at this point, they "resisted" (ἀνθίσταντο) the gentiles who conquer them. He then gives the incidents under Pilate and Caligula as examples of this resistance.
  • He emphasizes this link by using the same word for "resisting" the Romans in particular (ἀνθιστάμενοι) that he has just used for the action taken by Jews against gentile conquerors in general.
Thus, according to Origen, the Jews' reaction to Pilate was the/a keynote example of their following Sirach's instruction to strive "unto death."
I think it Is more likely that Ps-H collapsed the two Pilate episodes into one.
I disagree; pseudo-Hegesippus' reading of Eusebius would have to be based on a mistaken reading; this is, of course, certainly possible, but his reading of Origen would be a perfectly plausible one on its own merits; it may, in fact, be exactly what Origen meant. (After reading this section through the first time, I had to refer back to Josephus to make sure there were no deaths mentioned in connection with this episode, since it really sounded to me like Origen thought there had been.) This is, at best (for your theory), a tie.
Origen says that the first to go against custom and violate the temple was Pilate (as opposed to Gaius), who handed over Jesus. Does Origen make any explicit causal connection between Pilate’s violation of the temple and the subsequent misfortunes of the Jews?
He explicitly names Pilate's violation of the temple as the first example of a "drastic thing" that had not happened while the Jews were still hedged in as God's vineyard, still observing and being surrounded by what the prophets had spoken. This necessarily means that something changed during Pilate's tenure (or, to be logically complete, slightly before it; but this is not the option that Origen selects). What was it that changed? Origen offers the handing over of Jesus. Pilate's tenure is, then, the chronological beginning of "drastic" things. Pseudo-Hegesippus would not even be misreading Origen on this point; this is clearly what Origen means for us to understand.
There is no explicit causal connection in Origen between Pilate’s violation of the temple and the Jews handing Jesus over to Pilate.
Why is he putting them in the same sentence, do you think? What is his point? Alternately, what causal connection in pseudo-Hegesippus between Pilate's violation of the temple and the Jews' actions toward Jesus are you seeing that is present in Eusebius but not in Origen?
Perhaps more importantly, I see a Origen drawing a connection between Pilate’s violation of the temple and Gaius’s, but I don’t see the link with the subsequent misfortunes of the Jews resulting in the Jewish War and the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.
Origen has only to name the incident under Pilate as the first "drastic thing" (that is, the first such thing resulting from the Jews' ceasing to observe and be surrounded by what the prophets had spoken) and then to connect that incident to the Jews' handing over of Jesus to Pilate; and Origen makes both of these connections. The New Testament does the rest, explicitly (ETA: not explicitly; just obviously) connecting the Jews' treatment of Jesus to the fall of Jerusalem. (So, for that matter, does Origen himself in Against Celsus, but it is unnecessary to suppose that pseudo-Hegesippus knew Against Celsus when he obviously knew the NT.)

ETA: I could not find an English translation of this Origenic passage, so here is my own rendition of it; the Greek is included, as well as the ancient Latin translation of it. Corrections or improvements welcome:

Origen, Commentary on Matthew 17.25a: 25a "At that time the Pharisees went and took counsel against him, so as to entrap him in a saying" (= Matthew 22.15), and the rest, up until, "And leaving him they went away" (= Matthew 22.22b). The purpose of the present passage, in the literal sense, appears to me to be as follows: the Jews, inasmuch as they held as their own the teaching according to the law of Moses and a polity estranged from the behavior of the gentiles, and held as dogma the saying, "Strive concerning the truth unto death, and the Lord shall war on your behalf" (= Wisdom of Sirach 4.28), resisted the gentiles who had conquered them so as not to transgress the law of God. And they have often risked great danger of being destroyed under the Romans who wished to bring a statue of Caesar into the temple of God, resisting and hindering those who had become stronger than them because the Jews had sinned. And we discovered writings from among the histories concerning the time of Tiberius Caesar, to the effect that the people had indeed risked danger under Pontius Pilate, when Pilate on the one hand was constrained to set up a statue of Caesar in the temple, and they also on the other hand hindered him beyond their power. And it has been written down that the same thing happened also in the times of Gaius Caesar. And we suppose that, as long as the people took care and had been surrounded by the hedge spoken of by the prophets, "the vineyard of the Lord, the house of Israel, and his beloved new planting, a man of Judah," nothing so drastic happened. And the remarkable thing is that the first who dared to sully the temple of God was Pilate himself, to whom they delivered Jesus. / 25a «Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι συμβούλιον ἔλαβον κατ' αὐτοῦ ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ,» καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως τοῦ «καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθον.» Τὸ βούλημα τῆς ἐκκειμένης λέξεως κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν τοιοῦτον εἶναί μοι φαίνεται· Ἰουδαῖοι, ἅτε ἰδίαν ἔχοντες τὴν κατὰ τὸν Μωσέως νόμον διδασκαλίαν καὶ πολιτείαν ἀπεξενωμένην τῆς τῶν ἐθνῶν ἀγωγῆς, καὶ δόγμα ἔχοντες τὸ λέγον· «ἕως θανάτου ἀγώνισαι περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας, καὶ κύριος πολεμήσει περὶ σοῦ,» ἀνθίσταντο τοῖς κρατοῦσιν αὐτῶν ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ παραβῆναι τὸν νόμον τοῦ θεοῦ. καὶ πολλάκις γε ἄρδην ἀπολέσθαι κεκινδυνεύκασιν ἐπὶ Ῥωμαίων βουλομένων ἀνδριάντα Καίσαρος εἰσαγαγεῖν εἰς τὸν νεὼν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἀνθιστάμενοι καὶ κωλύοντες τοὺς ἰσχυροτέρους αὐτῶν γενομένους ἐκ τοῦ ἡμαρτηκέναι Ἰουδαίους. εὕρομεν δὲ ἐκ τῶν κατὰ τὸν χρόνον Τιβερίου Καίσαρος ἱστοριῶν γραφάς, ὡς ἄρα ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου ἐκινδύνευσεν ὁ λαός, τοῦ μὲν Πιλάτου βιαζομένου ἀνδριάντα Καίσαρος ἀναθεῖναι ἐν τῷ ναῷ τῶν δὲ καὶ παρὰ δύναμιν κωλυόντων· τὸ δ' ὅμοιον ἀναγέγραπται γεγονέναι καὶ κατὰ τοὺς χρόνους Γαΐου Καίσαρος. καὶ στοχαζόμεθα ὅτι, ὅσον μὲν ἐπεσκοπεῖτο ὁ λαὸς καὶ τὸν λεγόμενον κατὰ τοὺς προφήτας φραγμὸν περιτετείχιστο, «ὁ ἀμπελὼν τοῦ κυρίου, οἶκος Ἰσραήλ, καὶ τὸ ἠγαπημένον νεόφυτον αὐτοῦ ἄνθρωπος Ἰούδα,» οὐδὲν τηλικοῦτον ἐγένετο. τὸ παραδοξότατον δέ· αὐτὸς πρῶτος ἐτόλμησε μιᾶναι τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ Πιλᾶτος, ᾧ παρέδωκαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν. / [Vetus Interpretatio:] 25a «In illo tempore abierunt Phrarisaei et consilium acceperunt ut eum caperent in sermone. et mittunt discipulos suos cum Herodianis dicentes: Magister, scimus quia verax es et viam Dei in veritate doces, et non est tibi cura de aliquo, nec enim respicis personas hominum,» et cetera. voluntas loci praesentis secundum textum talis mihi videtur: Iudaei propriani habentes conversationeni ex iege extraneam ab omni conversatione gentium, et habentes praeceptum quod ait: «Usque ad mortem certa pro veritate, et Dominus pugnabit pro te,» ideo contradicebant gentibus dominantibus sibi, ut non transgrederemtur legeni Dei. et frequenter radicitus interire periclitati sunt sub Romanis volentibus statuam Caesaris introducere in templum dei, resistentes et prohibentes fortiores super se factos propter peccata. invenimus autem in historia ludaica, quod in tempore Tiberii Caesaris sub Pontio Pilato periclitatus est populus, Pilato quidem cogente, ut susciperent statuam Caesaris in templum, ludaeis autem et supra vires suas resistentibus; similiter autem scriptum est factum et in tempore Cai Caesaris. aestimamus, ergo, quoniam quamdiu quidem speculabatur populum illum Deus, circumdatus fuerat saepe dominicae tuitionis quasi «vinea Domini Sabaoth,» nihil huiusmodi contingebat eis. in primis autem ipse Pilatus, cui tradiderant Christum, ausus est populum inquinare.

I will add to my comments above that both (A) the notice that the Jews "have often risked great danger of being destroyed" and (B) the fact that they were striving against Pilate "beyond their power" (παρὰ δύναμιν; this same phrase is often translated as "beyond their ability" or "beyond their means" in 2 Corinthians 8.3 and Josephus, Antiquities 3.6.1 §104) tend to raise the stakes. If the Jews are willing to resist unto death, and if they are fighting against all odds and beyond their collective ability, then the only thing remaining to prevent their own destruction is a sudden, unexpected clemency on the part of the superior force, but Origen fails to narrate any such act of clemency.

What I wonder is whether Eusebius himself failed to narrate the peaceful ending to the standards incident precisely because of this passage from Origen.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:36 am

I am still trying to track down possible origin points for the term "rulers of the synagogue" (principes synagogae) which pseudo-Hegesippus uses in connection with the passion of Christ.

The term οἱ ἄρχοντες τῆς συναγωγῆς is used a fair number of times in the Old Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures (often translated as "rulers/leaders of the congregation," and sometimes in a sort of stereotyped way in conjunction with "Eleazar the priest"), as well as a couple of times in the New Testament, which also features about nine instances of the compound word ἀρχισυνάγωγος.

There is also this interesting Western textual variant:

Acts 14.2 (Vaticanus): 2 οἱ δὲ ἀπειθήσαντες Ἰουδαῖοι ἐπήγειραν καὶ ἐκάκωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν ἐθνῶν κατὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν.

Acts 14.2 (Bezae): 2 οἱ δὲ ἀρχισυνάγωγοι τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες τῆς συναγωγῆς ἐπήγαγον αὐτοῖς διωγμὸν κατὰ τῶν δικαῖων καὶ ἐκάκωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν ἐθνῶν κατὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν· ὁ δὲ κύριος ἔδωκεν ταχὺ ειρήνην.

As we move on through the Christian fathers, we begin to encounter what I take to be stereotyped depictions of Jewish leadership:

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 137.2: 2 Assent, therefore, and pour no ridicule on the Son of God; obey not the Pharisaic teachers, and scoff not at the King of Israel, as the rulers of your synagogues [οἱ ἀρχισυνάγωγοι ὑμῶν] teach you to do after your prayers: for if he that touches those who are not pleasing to God, is as one that touches the apple of God's eye, how much more so is he that touches His beloved! And that this is He, has been sufficiently demonstrated.

I have already mused earlier in this thread:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:09 pm
I wonder whether "the synagogue" might not mean simply the Jewish polity or people as a whole:

Origen, Commentary on Matthew 17a: 17a But since the Apostle understands the words, "And they two shall be one flesh," of Christ and the church, we must say that Christ keeping the saying, "What God has joined together let not man put asunder," did not put away His former wife, so to speak — the former synagogue [τὴν προτέραν συναγωγήν] — for any other cause than that that wife committed fornication, being made an adulteress by the evil one, and along with him plotted against her husband and slew Him, saying, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, crucify Him, crucify Him."

Origen displays this usage several more times in this same book, still using "the synagogue" as a synecdoche for Israel. What if pseudo-Hegesippus was thinking along the same lines, and "the leaders of the synagogue" are simply "the leaders of the Jewish people" as a whole?
Epiphanius, in Panarion 30.11.4, speaks of a certain Joseph who ran afoul of "the rulers of the synagogue and priests and elders and azanites" (ἀρχισυναγώγων καὶ ἱερέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων καὶ ἀζανιτῶν, the latter of which he specifies as a kind of deacon). In 30.18.2 he states that the Ebionites have "elders" (πρεσβυτέρους) and "rulers of the synagogue" (ἀρχισυναγώγους), and that they call their church a synagogue, not a church.

Theodosian Code 16.8.4, a precept dating itself to the time of Constantine, says that "the priests and rulers of the synagogue and fathers of the synagogues and others who serve in the synagogues" (hiereos et archisynagogos et patres synagogarum et ceteros qui synagogis deserviunt) are exempt from certain municipal obligations.

The Historia Augusta states that Alexander Severus (28.7) was once mocked by "the people of Antioch and of Egypt and Alexandria," who called him "a Syrian ruler of the synagogue" (Syrum archisynagogum) and a high priest (archiereum).

So my best guess so far is that the linking of priests and other Jewish hierarchs with "rulers of the synagogue" may have been something of a motif among Christians unfamiliar with how the Jewish hierarchy really operated post 70, and that pseudo-Hegesippus has replaced either the "first men" or the "rulers" from the Testimonium or the "chief priests" from the passion narrative with stereotyped "rulers of the synagogue" available in his cultural milieu. So far I do not think that his mention of the principes synagogae has any power to break a tie between competing source hypotheses. But other interpretations are welcome.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:35 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:00 pm
Got it. What about Eusebius after the Historia? Do you find any evidence that when Eusebius quoted the Testimonium in the Theophany, or refers to Pilate’s governorship elsewhere in his later works, that he is concerned with the issue of whether the episodes of the standards or the aqueducts took place before or after Jesus crucifixion. (That’s a real question – in the sense that I don’t know the answer. I’ve looked at the Theophany but haven’t checked the rest of his later works for evidence of this).
I have been checking for references to Pilate in Eusebius' works, and the following passage is the only one that stands out so far as remotely relevant:

From Eusebius, Demonstration 6.18: But who would not be surprised at the fulfilment of a prophecy which revealed that the Jewish people would undergo these sufferings in the days of the Lord? For as soon as Jesus our Lord and Saviour had come and the Jews had outraged Him, everything that had been predicted was fulfilled against them without exception 500 years after the prediction: from the time of Pontius Pilate to the sieges under Nero, Titus and Vespasian they were never free from all kinds of successive calamities, as you may gather from the history of Flavius Josephus. It is probable that half the city at that time perished in the siege, as the prophecy says. And not long after, in the reign of Hadrian, there was another Jewish revolution, and the remaining half of the city was again besieged and driven out, so that from that day to this the whole place has not been trodden by them.

The standards are not mentioned: only what we knew already, that Pilate marked a turning point.
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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:56 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:27 pm
ETA: I could not find an English translation of this Origenic passage, so here is my own rendition of it; the Greek is included, as well as the ancient Latin translation of it. Corrections or improvements welcome:

Origen, Commentary on Matthew 17.25a: 25a "At that time the Pharisees went and took counsel against him, so as to entrap him in a saying" (= Matthew 22.15), and the rest, up until, "And leaving him they went away" (= Matthew 22.22b). The purpose of the present passage, in the literal sense, appears to me to be as follows: the Jews, inasmuch as they held as their own the teaching according to the law of Moses and a polity estranged from the behavior of the gentiles, and held as dogma the saying, "Strive concerning the truth unto death, and the Lord shall war on your behalf" (= Wisdom of Sirach 4.28), resisted the gentiles who had conquered them so as not to transgress the law of God. And they have often risked great danger of being destroyed under the Romans who wished to bring a statue of Caesar into the temple of God, resisting and hindering those who had become stronger than them because the Jews had sinned. And we discovered writings from among the histories concerning the time of Tiberius Caesar, to the effect that the people had indeed risked danger under Pontius Pilate, when Pilate on the one hand was constrained to set up a statue of Caesar in the temple, and they also on the other hand hindered him beyond their power. And it has been written down that the same thing happened also in the times of Gaius Caesar. And we suppose that, as long as the people took care and had been surrounded by the hedge spoken of by the prophets, "the vineyard of the Lord, the house of Israel, and his beloved new planting, a man of Judah," nothing so drastic happened. And the remarkable thing is that the first who dared to sully the temple of God was Pilate himself, to whom they delivered Jesus. / 25a «Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι συμβούλιον ἔλαβον κατ' αὐτοῦ ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ,» καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ἕως τοῦ «καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθον.» Τὸ βούλημα τῆς ἐκκειμένης λέξεως κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν τοιοῦτον εἶναί μοι φαίνεται· Ἰουδαῖοι, ἅτε ἰδίαν ἔχοντες τὴν κατὰ τὸν Μωσέως νόμον διδασκαλίαν καὶ πολιτείαν ἀπεξενωμένην τῆς τῶν ἐθνῶν ἀγωγῆς, καὶ δόγμα ἔχοντες τὸ λέγον· «ἕως θανάτου ἀγώνισαι περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας, καὶ κύριος πολεμήσει περὶ σοῦ,» ἀνθίσταντο τοῖς κρατοῦσιν αὐτῶν ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ παραβῆναι τὸν νόμον τοῦ θεοῦ. καὶ πολλάκις γε ἄρδην ἀπολέσθαι κεκινδυνεύκασιν ἐπὶ Ῥωμαίων βουλομένων ἀνδριάντα Καίσαρος εἰσαγαγεῖν εἰς τὸν νεὼν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἀνθιστάμενοι καὶ κωλύοντες τοὺς ἰσχυροτέρους αὐτῶν γενομένους ἐκ τοῦ ἡμαρτηκέναι Ἰουδαίους. εὕρομεν δὲ ἐκ τῶν κατὰ τὸν χρόνον Τιβερίου Καίσαρος ἱστοριῶν γραφάς, ὡς ἄρα ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου ἐκινδύνευσεν ὁ λαός, τοῦ μὲν Πιλάτου βιαζομένου ἀνδριάντα Καίσαρος ἀναθεῖναι ἐν τῷ ναῷ τῶν δὲ καὶ παρὰ δύναμιν κωλυόντων· τὸ δ' ὅμοιον ἀναγέγραπται γεγονέναι καὶ κατὰ τοὺς χρόνους Γαΐου Καίσαρος. καὶ στοχαζόμεθα ὅτι, ὅσον μὲν ἐπεσκοπεῖτο ὁ λαὸς καὶ τὸν λεγόμενον κατὰ τοὺς προφήτας φραγμὸν περιτετείχιστο, «ὁ ἀμπελὼν τοῦ κυρίου, οἶκος Ἰσραήλ, καὶ τὸ ἠγαπημένον νεόφυτον αὐτοῦ ἄνθρωπος Ἰούδα,» οὐδὲν τηλικοῦτον ἐγένετο. τὸ παραδοξότατον δέ· αὐτὸς πρῶτος ἐτόλμησε μιᾶναι τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ Πιλᾶτος, ᾧ παρέδωκαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν. / [Vetus Interpretatio:] 25a «In illo tempore abierunt Phrarisaei et consilium acceperunt ut eum caperent in sermone. et mittunt discipulos suos cum Herodianis dicentes: Magister, scimus quia verax es et viam Dei in veritate doces, et non est tibi cura de aliquo, nec enim respicis personas hominum,» et cetera. voluntas loci praesentis secundum textum talis mihi videtur: Iudaei propriani habentes conversationeni ex iege extraneam ab omni conversatione gentium, et habentes praeceptum quod ait: «Usque ad mortem certa pro veritate, et Dominus pugnabit pro te,» ideo contradicebant gentibus dominantibus sibi, ut non transgrederemtur legeni Dei. et frequenter radicitus interire periclitati sunt sub Romanis volentibus statuam Caesaris introducere in templum dei, resistentes et prohibentes fortiores super se factos propter peccata. invenimus autem in historia ludaica, quod in tempore Tiberii Caesaris sub Pontio Pilato periclitatus est populus, Pilato quidem cogente, ut susciperent statuam Caesaris in templum, ludaeis autem et supra vires suas resistentibus; similiter autem scriptum est factum et in tempore Cai Caesaris. aestimamus, ergo, quoniam quamdiu quidem speculabatur populum illum Deus, circumdatus fuerat saepe dominicae tuitionis quasi «vinea Domini Sabaoth,» nihil huiusmodi contingebat eis. in primis autem ipse Pilatus, cui tradiderant Christum, ausus est populum inquinare.

I will add to my comments above that both (A) the notice that the Jews "have often risked great danger of being destroyed" and (B) the fact that they were striving against Pilate "beyond their power" (παρὰ δύναμιν; this same phrase is often translated as "beyond their ability" or "beyond their means" in 2 Corinthians 8.3 and Josephus, Antiquities 3.6.1 §104) tend to raise the stakes. If the Jews are willing to resist unto death, and if they are fighting against all odds and beyond their collective ability, then the only thing remaining to prevent their own destruction is a sudden, unexpected clemency on the part of the superior force, but Origen fails to narrate any such act of clemency.

What I wonder is whether Eusebius himself failed to narrate the peaceful ending to the standards incident precisely because of this passage from Origen.
Ben,

Thanks for adding the translation. I was working on a full response to the entire post, but now I have to ask if you have changed any of the positions you took earlier in the post in light of your translation, in particular: (1) that Ps-H. claim that Pilate "forced very many to death" is derived from this passage in Origen, and (2) that Ps-H. claim that Pilate gave the beginning of its ruin and this is the cause by which the people of the Jews defected from the Roman Empire and hastened destruction for themselves are derived from Origen. Are your positions fundamentally unchanged? I don't want to argue against a position you no longer hold.

I have been considering the possibility that Eusebius himself was influenced by this passage in Origen (he at least knew of the Commentary on Matthew).

Best,

Ken

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