The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:13 am

I have no real opinion on the status of Damnaeus, either as a Greek name or as a real high priest in century I. I do think that your argument from "tendency" does not work. If Damnaeus is a real Greek name for a real priest, then we have 2 such Greek names for century I (Theophilus, Damnaeus), 2 for the century before that (Alexander, Antigonus), and 3 for the century before that (Menelaus, Jason, Aristobulus). While these numbers certainly establish that Jewish names were more common than Greek names for this office, we already knew that, and that is not the question. The question is whether the name of any one of these individuals can be deemed suspect for its being Greek, and the clear answer is: no.

The possible connection of Damnaeus to the Latin damnatio is interesting, but so far incomplete to my eye.

You and I have gone around about Decius Mundus before: I still think it unlikely that Decius is a deliberate nod to Decimus (via the Oscan language, no less); Decius, unlike Damnaeus, is an attested name.
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by rakovsky » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:01 am

Is there a list of high priests besides the one that Josephus supplies? That way we could compare the list of priests in order to learn if there is a possible candidate for one who served at the same time that Jesus Ben Damneus did. Unfortunately, I can't find any such list when I looked today. But I remember seeing a Talmudic list earlier.

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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:25 am

rakovsky wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:01 am
Is there a list of high priests besides the one that Josephus supplies? That way we could compare the list of priests in order to learn if there is a possible candidate for one who served at the same time that Jesus Ben Damneus did. Unfortunately, I can't find any such list when I looked today. But I remember seeing a Talmudic list earlier.
The Jewish Encyclopedia has a list and gives sources; it appears that Talmudic support is sketchy and haphazard.
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by rakovsky » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:39 am

Thanks, Ben. The Encyclopedia list that you gave just cites Josephus for the first century priests' list. It just repeats him practically.

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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:00 am

rakovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:39 am
Thanks, Ben. The Encyclopedia list that you gave just cites Josephus for the first century priests' list. It just repeats him practically.
That is my point. I think he is the only one who gives us anything resembling a list of priests after biblical days. The support from other quarters is haphazard.
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by DCHindley » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:45 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:01 am
Is there a list of high priests besides the one that Josephus supplies? That way we could compare the list of priests in order to learn if there is a possible candidate for one who served at the same time that Jesus Ben Damneus did. Unfortunately, I can't find any such list when I looked today. But I remember seeing a Talmudic list earlier.
From Geza Vermes' revision of Emil Schürer's A History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, vol II, pp. 229-232 (1979), the list that can be compiled from Josephus' works is as follows:
(a) Appointed by Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.)

1. Ananel (37-36 B.C.) a Babylonian of inferior priestly origin, Ant. xv 2,4 (22); 3,1 (40). Rabbinic tradition represents him as an Egyptian.5

2. Aristobulus the last Hasmonaean (35 B.C.), Ant. xv 3, 1 (41); 3, 3 (51-6); cf. xx 10, 5 (247-9). Ananel for the second time (34 B.C.-?), Ant. xv 3, 3 (56).

3. Jesus son of Phiabi, Ant. xv 9, 3 (322).6

4. Simon son of Boethus, or according to other accounts Boethus himself, but in any case Herod’s father-in-law and the father of the second Mariamme (c. 24-5 B.C.), Ant. xv 9, 3 (320-2); xvii 4, 2 (78); cf. xviii 5,1 (109); xix 6, 2 (297). The family originated from Alexandria, Ant. xv 9, 3 (320).

5. Matthias son of Theophilus (5-4 B.C.), Ant. xvii 4, 2 (78); 6, 4 (164-6).

6. Joseph son of Ellem, Ant. xvii 6, 4 (166).7

7. Joazar son of Boethus (4 B.C.), Ant. xvii 6, 4 (164).

(b) Appointed by Archelaus (4 B.C.-A.D. 6)

8. Eleazar son of Boethus (4 B.C.-?), Ant. xvii 3, 1 (339).

9. Jesus son of Σεέ, Ant. xvii 3, 1 (341).8 Joazar for a second time, Ant. xviii 1, 1 (3); 2, 1 (26).

(c) Appointed by Quirinius (A.D. 6)

10. Ananus or Annas son of Sethi (A.D. 6-15), Ant. xviii 2, 1 (26); 2, 2 (34); cf. xx 9, 1 (197); B.J. v 12, 2 (506). See Lk. 3:2; Jn. 18:13-24; Act. 4:6.9

(d) Appointed by Valerius Gratus (A.D. 15-26)

11. Ismael son of Phiabi (c. A.D. 15-16), Ant. xviii 2, 2 (34).10

12. Eleazar son of Ananus (c. A.D. 16-17), Ant. xviii 2, 2 (34).

13. Simon son of Camithus (c. A.D. 17-18), Ant. xviii 2, 2 (34).11

14. Joseph surnamed Caiaphas (c. A.D. 18-36), Ant. xviii 2, 2 (35); 4- 3 (95)· Cf. Mt. 26:3, 57; Lk. 3:2; Jn. 11:49; 18:13, 14, 24. 28; Act. 4:6. According to Jn. 18:13, Joseph was the son-in-law of Annas = Ananus.12

(e) Appointed by Vitellius (A.D. 35-g)

15. Jonathan son of Ananus (A.D. 36-7), Ant. xviii 4, 3 (95); 5, 3 (123). Cf. xix 6, 4 (313). After playing an important part in public life during the time of Cumanus (A.D. 50-2), B.J. ii 12, 5-6 (240-3), Jonathan was later murdered at the instigation of the Procurator Felix, B.J. ii 13, 3 (256); Ant. xx 8, 5 (163). See Vol. I, pp. 459-60.

16. Theophilus son of Ananus (A.D. 37-?), Ant. xviii 5, 3 (123).

(f) Appointed by Agrippa I (A.D. 41-4)

17. Simon Cantheras son of Boethus (A.D. 41-?), Ant. xix 6, 2 (297); 6, 4 (313)·13

18. Matthias son of Ananus, Ant. xix 6, 4 (316).

19. Elionaeus son of Cantheras, Ant. xix 8, 1 (342).14

(g) Appointed by Herod of Chalcis (A.D. 44-8)15

20. Joseph son of Camei or Camydus, Ant. xx 1, 3 (16); 5, 2 (103).16

21. Ananias son of Nedebaeus (c. A.D. 47-59), Ant. xx 5, 2 (103). Cf. xx 6, 2 (131); B.J. ii 12, 6 (243); Act. 23:2; 24:1. As a result of his wealth, Ananias remained an influential man even after his deposition, but was unpopular on account of his greed, Ant. xx 9, 2-4 (206-13). He was murdered by the revolutionaries at the beginning of the war, B.J. ii 17, 6 (429); 17, 9 (441-2).17

(h) Appointed by Agrippa II (A.D. 50-?92/3)

22. Ismael son of Phiabi (c. A.D. 59-61), Ant. xx 8, 8 (179); 8, 11 (194-5). He is probably identical with the person whose execution in Cyrene is mentioned in B.J. vi 2, 2 (114).18

23. Joseph Cabi19 son of the High Priest Simon (A.D. 61-2), Ant. xx 8, 11 (196). Cf. B.J. vi 2, 2 (114).

24. Ananus son of Ananus (A.D. 62 for three months), Ant. xx 9, i (197-203). One of the leading personalities during the first phase of the War, Ananus was later assassinated by the rebels, B.J. ii 20, 3 (563); 22, 1-2 (648-53); iv 3, 7 (151)-5, 2 (325). Vita 38 (193-4); 39 (195-6); 44 (216); 60 (309).

25. Jesus son of Damnaeus (c. A.D. 62-3), Ant. xx 9, 1 (203); 9, 4 (213). Cf. B.J. vi 2, 2 (114).

26. Jesus son of Gamaliel (c. A.D. 63-4), Ant. xx 9, 4 (213); 9, 7 (222). During the Jewish War Jesus is often mentioned together with Ananus and shared his fate, B.J. iv 3, 9 (160); 4, 6 (238); 5, 2 (316); Vita 38 (193); 41 (204). According to rabbinic tradition, Jesus’s wife Martha came from the house of Boethus.20

27. Matthias son of Theophilus (A.D. 65-?), Ant. xx 9, 7 (223). Cf. B.J. vi 2, 2 (114).21

(i) Appointed by the people during the War (A.D. 67/68)

28. Phannias, also Phanni or Phanasos, son of Samuel, of humble origin, B.J. iv 3, 8 (155); Ant. xx 10, 1 (227).22
There are a few comments in the footnotes (not reproduced here) about statements in the Mishnah and Tosefta relating to the figures above.

In footnote 4 on pg 228 "A complete list of High Priests from 200 B.C. to A.D. 70, with suggested dates, may be found in J. Jeremias, Jerusalem, pp. 377-8."

Rabbinic sources also occasionally give other names not in this list, which are attributed to the fact that members of High Priestly families were also often called "high priests." In the NT the same Greek word, ἀρχιερεύς ("chief priest") is used of both High Priests as well as their kin. In other words, from certain families came the pool of candidates to choose from when a new High Priest needed to be selected, they were all considered certified HP material.

DCH

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