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Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:16 pm
by Secret Alias
I will only commented that I noted a long time ago that Josephus's 'history' - even if only implicitly - makes the destruction conform to Daniel chapter 7. Look at the long speech of Agrippa to the Jews pleading with them not to revolt from Rome. Then Agrippa is 'cut off' from the Jews. His identification as the messiah is apparently found in various Christian sources. I will cite the Hebrew Yosippon material sent to me by the world's leading expert on this text Professor Steve Bowman of the University of Cincinnati who sent me an early draft of the last paragraph of Agrippa's speech in ch. 60 of Flusser's edition.
And Agripas continued to speak many more words, which we have not written here. And again Agripas spoke, saying: "It is good for you, my friends, it is good for you as long as a ship stands in the harbor to protect your lives from the storm, for, when the ship enters the current of the sea, one cannot be protected against the tempest from the current of the sea or the waves in the current, for there is no haven to rest save tempests and fear of death." And he said: "Set in your heart love of your land and love of your sons and your wives and place in your heart love of your sanctuary and love of your priests and have pity upon them lest you destroy everything through your action, so pay attention to my words for I have spoken in your ears the salvation of your souls: the peace which I have chosen for myself with the Romans I have told you. If you listen and make peace, I am together with you, but if you choose war, you are alone by yourselves; if for peace you and I are together but if for war, without me."
The Yosippon has long been acknowledged to be a development or related to the Latin text of Pseudo-Hegesippus (4th century) which renders the same material as follows:
It is well, dearest ones, it is well, while the ship is still in port, to foresee the future storm, and that anyone not throw himself into threatening dangers, lest, when you have proceeded into the deep, already your are not able to avoid the shipwreck. And frequently certainly a sudden storm arises, and war follows, even though it is not inflicted; but it is better to attack an enemy that to ward him off. Not provoked he spares more, and necessity excuses insolence, when truly anyone plunges himself into abrupt danger, he is burdened with disgrace. He is not an enemy whom you are able to avoid by flight. Wherever you will go, danger follows, indeed you will surely find it. For all are friends of the Romans, and whoever is outside the friendship of the Romans is an enemy of everyone. May love of your country move you. If consideration of your hostages, of your wives does not call you back, let contemplation of the most sacred temple recall you, spare at least our religion, spare the consecrated priests, whom the Romans will not spare nor the temple itself, who regret that they spared them, inasmuch as for a long time all the nations wish to destroy our religion, Pompeius however spared it although he could have destroyed it. I have omitted nothing, I have warned of everything which pertains to our safety. I recommend to you what I choose for myself, you consider closely what is advantageous for yourselves. I wish for there to be peace with the Romans for you and me. If you reject it, you yourselves take away my association. Either there will be common good fortune, or peril without me."
In either case we have a reference to the same historical context - Mark is addressing the Jews and warning them that if they do not heed his words 'his association' with them will be 'cut off.' The narrative then ends with the narrator telling us that "saying this he wept, Beronice his sister also, for she herself was in the heights of Xystus."

Note that Agrippa clearly declares in this speech that if he is rejected by the Jews he will in effect by 'cut off' from them. 'Cut off' in the original Hebrew of Daniel is yikkaret.

ואינו He is not there.
ואין לו He disappears, he has disappeared.

Daniel has the second expression, not the first. The point is that what is represented here is the exact English equivalent of the Hebrew. I put both down for comparison.

The first expression is used of Enoch. “He walked with the angels (ha-Elohim). And he was not (he was not there any more); for God (Elohim) took him (had taken him)”. In Biblical Hebrew ואיננו (ve-enénnu) is the equivalent of ואינו (ve-enó).

In various other sources he is 'killed' - yet another way to translate the Hebrew. For instance Vengeance of the Savior. Then we go on to see the symbolic power of the various crucifixions dotting the landscape which seems to correspond to the 'abomination that cause desolation.' Then there is the destruction of Jerusalem. I once did a comparison of the various attempts to connect the war of 70 CE to Daniel and it is pretty widespread starting with Origen. I think Vanderkam quotes Origen as implying that Justus of Tiberias identified Agrippa as the messiah. But there does seem to be the outline of an implicit timeline matching Daniel chapter 7 in Josephus even though I think Josephus himself identifies the prophesy as having been fulfilled by the events during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:21 pm
by Secret Alias
On the other hand, ve-en lo means he vanishes rather than disappears. His whereabouts might be still be well known and he might still be active. So Daniel says (paraphrasing): (a) “The office of Anointed Leader will be terminated (like the termination of a dynasty). There is no longer any office of Anointed Leader”; OR (b) “The individual Anointed Leader will be separated off (from “the Jews” in the sense the expression has in the NT). He won’t be there doing the job (though he will be alive and well as king, and he MIGHT EVEN STILL BE ANOINTED LEADER, but “the Jews” have no share in it)”. I will see what the Yosippon has as the wording in Agrippa’s speech.

If the final editing of Daniel was before the time of Agrippa, then the first meaning was intended. Agrippa interpreted the words in the second meaning. This is important. We don’t have to say the final editing of Daniel was in the time of Agrippa. This gets rid of a difficulty.

So let's get back to the Yosippon and the understanding of Agrippa as the messiah connected with the destruction of the temple. According to Flusser, there is an original text and later additions. “Later” means “added later”, but not necessarily later in origin, as far as I can make out, though I haven’t read the introduction in detail yet.

The Temple was destroyed in the last year of Agrippa II on the 9th Av but Agrippa and Monobaz were executed by Vespasian, who was deceived by wicked persons into thinking Agrippa and Monobaz were plotting against him. This was 1,290 days before the destruction of the Temple. The Tamid offering ended three and a half years before the destruction. (This must mean Agrippa and Monobaz were executed a week after the Tamid ended). The two events are implicitly related to each other and both are explicitly connected to Daniel 9.

Another later addition. Josephus speaking in the first person expresses his satisfaction at finding favour with Vespasian as soon as Agrippa and Monobaz were executed. (He doesn’t say anything about the truth or falsehood of the charges against them, only that Vespasian believed the charges and this was useful to him. [Bastard!].

Notice that in the previous insertion the evidence is explicitly said to be deliberate slander by wicked persons. The first insertion and the second must have different origins.

It’s hard to tell from the wording in the Yosippon whether the Abomination of Desolation is to be dated to the death of Agrippa or to just before the destruction of the Temple. The only grounds for my choice of the second possibility as more probable is that the reference in the “Little Apocalypse” in Mark and Matthew is to some object set up in the sanctuary. I will sort this out later.

Whichever reading is right, the Yosippon is emphatic that the erection or appearance of the Abomination is the direct consequence of the execution of Agrippa on false evidence. The Abomination and Agrippa are inseparable, according to this text.

I’m trying to work out precisely which offering the Yosippon refers to as having ended a week exactly after the judicial murder of Agrippa. The Rabbinic texts always say it was the Tamid, the daily offering, but the word in the Yosippon is more specific, “Minh.a” מנחה, which is an offering of flour with olive oil kneaded through it. Either way, if the precise form was the Sabbath offering, which was slightly more elaborate, and Agrippa was executed on a Sabbath, then the nefarious consequences would have come about immediately, but again would only have been evident a week later, on the next Sabbath.

So here is my proposed solution to the contradictions. First, p. 398 of the Yosippon (Venice ed. ch. XCII), which interprets the Anointed in Daniel 9: 26 as the Anointed High Priest. The speaker is said to be Josephus. Second, p. 450 (in an appendix; Venice ed. ch. LXXVII) which seems to identify the Anointed Leader in v. 25 with the Anointed in v. 26, and sets the execution of Agrippa and Monobaz three and a half years before the destruction and one week before the end of the Tamid. The speaker is the anonymous author of the whole book. Third, p. 296 (Venice ed. ch. LXV), which speaks of the destruction of the Temple in the twentieth and last year of Agrippa. The speaker is again the anonymous author. We could suppose multiple sources. (a) One passage is not in the recension edited by Flusser. This might mean it is an insertion, but it might mean it was removed as being too explicit in its interpretation of Daniel. It could have been removed by whoever wrote the passage attributed to Josephus on p. 398. (b) The passage on p. 398, by Josephus, identifying the Anointed with the High Priest doesn’t seem to be lifted from Sa’adya: it’s too well integrated. It does, however, contradict the otherwise unanimous Jewish tradition. Also, it is artificial, as can be seen if you read vv. 25 and 26 together. I therefore take it to be an invention intended to hide the traditional interpretation. Sa’adya uses it to deny that Jesus is mentioned in Daniel. I think its original purpose could have been to deny that Jesus was the High Priest of the new order. (c) The passage on p. 296 is integral to the chronological scheme in its context of a list of kings; but the passage on p. 450 fits better in the book as a whole and is part of a long cohesive passage on the disastrous folly and misanthropy of the Jews, and goes well the long speech by Agrippa (ten pages of print!) starting on p. 277, which warns the Jews against these traits of theirs.

It is possible that p. 450 is ancient and probably (though not certainly) an original part of the book. The passage on p. 296 is probably original to the book and can be attributed to the use of irreconcilable data, or better, to simplification in one place for the purpose of the list of kings. The passage on p. 398 could be old, but it doesn’t fit well into the book. If it is original to the book, it shows the use of irreconcilable data. The avoidance of any mention of Agrippa would actually fit the historical Josephus.

I conclude it is at least possible that the Yosippon is a condensation of Justus with a condensation of Josephus, the two joined by some re-writing. On top of this there are some borrowings from otherwise unknown sources. I think the passage on p. 450 and the long narrative context is so much incompatible with the Greek Josephus that it must be from Justin. Note that this passage is immediately followed by an alternative narrative attributed to Josephus which is utterly irreconcilable with it.

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:24 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:13 pm
I started a long reply to Ben's last long post a while back, but I realized I was mostly just repeating points I'd already made (though possibly worded better). That gets dreary after a while. So I'm going to put out a new bit of data (excerpted from the long reply) for Pseudo-Hegesippus's knowledge of Eusebius which is, admittedly not conclusive by itself but may add weight to the argument.
4. But the number of calamities which everywhere fell upon the nation at that time; the extreme misfortunes to which the inhabitants of Judea were especially subjected, the thousands of men, as well as women and children, that perished by the sword, by famine, and by other forms of death innumerable — all these things, as well as the many great sieges which were carried on against the cities of Judea, and the excessive sufferings endured by those that fled to Jerusalem itself, as to a city of perfect safety, and finally the general course of the whole war, as well as its particular occurrences in detail, and how at last the abomination of desolation, proclaimed by the prophets [Daniel 9:27] stood in the very temple of God, so celebrated of old, the temple which was now awaiting its total and final destruction by fire — all these things any one that wishes may find accurately described in the history written by Josephus (Eusebius HE 3.5.4)
I’ve included that last bit because of Eusebius’ claim, not only that the prophecy from Daniel 9.27 referred to the destruction of the temple by fire, but that you can find this in Josephus. Now, of course Josephus describes the destruction of the temple by fire in his work, and a Christian interpreter like Eusebius might well understand this to be a description of the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, but Josephus does not explicitly connect the destruction of the temple by fire to Daniel’s prophecy about the abomination of desolation, as one might well understand Eusebius to be claiming.

The reason this is pertinent to the current discussion is that Pseudo-Hegesippus has Josephus (not the narrator of the Excidio, but Josephus the character within the narrative) give a speech in which he explicitly identifies the destruction of the temple by fire with Daniel’s prophecy about the abomination of desolation. What gave him the idea to do this?
Iosephus wept at this, he beseeched Iohannes, he lamented the condition of the country, he entreated with tearful speech, he called upon him as a fellow citizen although more stubborn than the rest, he bore witness that by the grace of omnipotent god he would be safe with his men, if only he would cease to arouse the Roman military to the overthrow of the city. When he was unable to prevail upon him: "It is not a wonder," he said, "Iohannes, if you persist all the way to the destruction of the city, since divine aid has already abandoned it. But it is a wonder that you do not believe it is about to be destroyed, since you may read the prophetic books, in which the destruction of our country has been announced to you and the restored greatness again destroyed by the Roman army. For what else does Daniel shout? He prophesized not indeed what had already been done but what would happen. What is the abomination of devastation which he proclaimed would be by the coming Romans, unless it is that which now threatens? What is that prophecy, which has been often recalled by us announced by god on high, that the city would be utterly destroyed at that time, when its fellow tribesmen will have been killed by the hands of the citizens, unless that which we see now being fulfilled? And perhaps, because it no longer pleases for the temple polluted with forbidden blood to be defended, it pleases that it be cleansed by fire.” (Excidio 5.31).

Hey, good one!

I was already seriously considering the option that pseudo-Hegesippus knew both Eusebius' History and Origen's Commentary on Matthew. The connection you highlight above appears to me to be your best argument yet for pseudo-Hegesippus knowing Eusebius.

I can think of or locate only one contending passage (so far?) in Origen's commentary (or elsewhere, for that matter), and I feel like your Eusebian passage is superior to my Origenic one as a possible source.

So here goes. The Vetus Interpretatio, as you know, continues long after the extant Greek of Origen's commentary on Matthew expires. I know that this Latin rendition of the commentary adds passages, so I am not completely sure how securely Origenic the following passage is, but in column 1659 of Migne, PG-13, the Interpretatio purports to elucidate "the text itself" (ipsum textum) of Matthew 24.15; as later there will be given a far more allegorical interpretation of the verse, this approach comes across as Origenic to me (giving a literal interpretation before the allegorical), for whatever that may be worth.

Origen states that "the abomination of desolation" (abominationem desolationis) "is the prince who encircled Jerusalem with an army" (principem esse qui Ierusalem circumdedit exercitu). This interpretation connects the abomination of desolation with the siege of Jerusalem, at any rate. Then, a bit later, Origen tells us that the worst aspects of the siege "were referred to, moreover, by those who composed the Jewish history concerning those things which happened at that time, since there was a great tribulation for the people such as had never been from the beginning of the world until the time of Christ, nor could be afterward so that such things might happen to them" (refertur autem ab his qui Iudaicam historiam conscripserunt de illis quae tunc contigerunt, quoniam tribulatio magna facta est populo qualis nunquam fuit ab initio mundi usque ad tempus Christi, sed nec postea fieri potest ut talis eis contingat). We noticed a similar reference to written histories in the passage which I translated before, and there it was almost certainly alluding (at least) to Josephus' discussion of the standards incident under Pilate; here the expression at hand appears to me to be alluding (at least) to Josephus' lurid descriptions of the horrors of the siege, not to mention his stated opinion that the war between Judea and Rome qualified as "the greatest, not only of those which have been in our time, but also of those of which we ever heard" (μέγιστον οὐ μόνον τῶν καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς, σχεδὸν δὲ καὶ ὧν ἀκοῇ παρειλήφαμεν, Wars 0.1.1 §1).

The bare connections are all here, to be sure, since the great tribulation is prophesied in Matthew (and in Mark) to be the immediate result of the abomination of desolation, but there is nothing in Origen to directly suggest that the Jewish histories (= Josephus) described the abomination of desolation in such words. An author like pseudo-Hegesippus could get there, I feel certain, but in Eusebius the connection is ripe for the plucking. Two authors (pseudo-Hegesippus and Eusebius) independently applying this Origenic passage in such a way as to state (pseudo-Hegesippus) or imply (Eusebius) that Josephus himself equated the abomination of desolation with the destruction of Jerusalem seems less likely than that there is a literary dependence between pseudo-Hegesippus and Eusebius.

If there is a different text out there which would account for the pseudo-Hegesippan passage as admirably well as the Eusebian passage does, I do not know what it is.

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:35 pm
by Secret Alias
But again, there is implicit knowledge of Daniel chapter 9 in Josephus's construction of the 'history' of the period. So much so that I wrote a terrible book on the idea. I don't think Josephus is actually writing history when he says that Agrippa pleaded with the Jews of Jerusalem and was 'cut off' by them. I don't think the idea that Titus was establishing crucified Jews and having them face Jerusalem in a way that seems to 'curse' the city or lead to the outcome of destruction. The 'history' is based on Daniel 9. And it does - I am reluctant to say - bear a striking resemblance to some sort of proto-Christian understanding of a 'mystery' revealed in that age which was formerly hid to previous generations. I am not saying that Josephus - the historical Jewish general - was a Christian. Rather, I am arguing that one stage in the transmission of his original work incorporated a 'proto-Christian' interpretation of Daniel 9 to the history. I don't know whether that came from Justus's lost work. I just see it there in the present Eusebian redaction and it was enhanced and remodeled by subsequent versions of Josephus.

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:41 pm
by Secret Alias
On Agrippa being "cut off" by the Jews in Josephus as a fulfillment of Daniel ... el&f=false

Also in Vita 52, Josephus reports the rumor that Agrippa would be put to death by Nero "on the indictment of the Jews." Once again both the rumor of death and the Jewish rejection of Agrippa after his speech are manifestations of a connection with Daniel 9:26.

Sed et civitas et sanctum corruptum est cum superveniente postes duces populo illi, sive Herode sive Agrippa (hunc enim dicit esse historia Iudaeorum). (Origen Commentary on Matthew ser 40 (81. 9 - 11) on Matthew 24:15 - 19 in Vanderkam and Adler's The Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity p. 235

Adler notes that "it is regrettable that Origen fails to specify here the author of the Jewish history" but adds further that Origen repeatedly draws from this source. In another place Origen says "Refurtur ... ab his qui Iudaicam historam conscripserunt" (ser. 41 (82. 13 - 15).

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:25 am
by Ben C. Smith
Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:41 pm
In another place Origen says "Refurtur ... ab his qui Iudaicam historiam conscripserunt" (ser. 41 (82. 13 - 15).
That would be column 1659 of Migne, PG-13.
Sed et civitas et sanctum corruptum est cum superveniente postes duces populo illi, sive Herode sive Agrippa (hunc enim dicit esse historia Iudaeorum). (Origen Commentary on Matthew ser 40 (81. 9 - 11) on Matthew 24:15 - 19 in Vanderkam and Adler's The Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage in Early Christianity p. 235
Well, I had been hoping that all of Origen's references to anonymous Jewish histories would map out onto Josephus, but I guess not. Of course things would have to be more complicated than that. :)

Maybe we ought to take the plural ("histories") literally and suppose that Origen has access both to Josephus and to at least one more history covering that period.

Re: Eusebius as a forger.

Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:07 pm
by Secret Alias
I guess my point was that Ken was trying to make the case that the interpretation of the events leading up to 70 CE were only 'added' by later authors. But my argument is that the situation is more complicated than that. Already in our existing copies of Josephus there is this strange 'theological' or messianic interrpetation in light of Daniel 9:26 which also happens to be at the core of the gospel. Now since I wrote a horrible book on the subject I have avoided talking about this situation at the forum. But Origen's identification of 'Jewish histories' identifying Agrippa as the messiah plus Life's identification of a rumor of Agrippa's death, Josephus's development of a structure where Agrippa is 'cut off' before the Jews destroy themselves and the city all speak to the pre-existence of this understanding. How exactly all these pieces come together is difficult to say. As I said I once attempted to put them all together and was ultimately dissatisfied with the result. Yet we also have to factor in the Gaonic identification (i.e. pre-Yosippon) of Agrippa as the messiah of Daniel 9:26 (it could be argued for instance that Rashi was influenced by the Yosippon). It would appear then that Jews and Christians were influenced by a contemporary 'understanding' of Daniel where not only the events of 70 CE = the fulfillment of Daniel but that specifically Agrippa was the messiah.