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 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:31 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:09 pm
davidlau17,

I cane up with 17,* but a couple could be the same person.

FWIW, the vast number of mentions of the name "Jesus" in Josephus' works referred to Joshua son of Nun in the books of the Antiquities (67 times).

Jesus/(Joshua) son of Nun is mentioned only once in War.
Joshua the son of Nun should not figure in the count, anyway, by my reckoning, since Ilan's data covers only 330 BC to AD 200.
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DCHindley
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:50 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:31 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:09 pm
davidlau17,

I cane up with 17,* but a couple could be the same person.

FWIW, the vast number of mentions of the name "Jesus" in Josephus' works referred to Joshua son of Nun in the books of the Antiquities (67 times).

Jesus/(Joshua) son of Nun is mentioned only once in War.
Joshua the son of Nun should not figure in the count, anyway, by my reckoning, since Ilan's data covers only 330 BC to AD 200.
No, you are tight. I only offer this sample from Josephus because Josephus was one of Tal Ilan's s literary sources (although the vast bulk came from ossuary inscriptions). A look at Josephus' use of the name Jesus shows that analysis of narrative accounts is a different animal than counting occurrences in inscriptions.

DCH

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MrMacSon
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:59 pm

davidlau17 wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:33 am
Trees of Life wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:19 am
Where is the 'Jesus brother of James' personage text of 1. Jesus brother of James in the works of Josephus?
It's just the inverse of "the brother of Jesus called Christ, whose name was James" from Anitquities (20.9.1). Of course, it would be mistaken for anyone to assume that this Jesus was actually alive during that time (~62 CE) - but I just noted that his name was relevant that year, enough so for Josephus to identify James by it. In fact, one might get the impression James was being stoned on account of his relation to this brother named Jesus.
re "... his name was relevant that year" - who is the person or entity 'his name' is referring to??
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:02 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:50 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:31 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:09 pm
davidlau17,

I cane up with 17,* but a couple could be the same person.

FWIW, the vast number of mentions of the name "Jesus" in Josephus' works referred to Joshua son of Nun in the books of the Antiquities (67 times).

Jesus/(Joshua) son of Nun is mentioned only once in War.
Joshua the son of Nun should not figure in the count, anyway, by my reckoning, since Ilan's data covers only 330 BC to AD 200.
No, you are tight. I only offer this sample from Josephus because Josephus was one of Tal Ilan's s literary sources (although the vast bulk came from ossuary inscriptions). A look at Josephus' use of the name Jesus shows that analysis of narrative accounts is a different animal than counting occurrences in inscriptions.
Oh, very much agreed.
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:06 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:34 am

... the Jesus son of Shapat (leader of a band of "robbers" in Tiberias) may be same as Jesus son of Sapphias (governor of Tiberias).

FWIW, a full list of Jesuses in Josephus would include:
War (18)
2:566 Jesus, son of Sapphias – Governor of Tiberias.
2:599 Jesus, son of Sapphias – Governor of Tiberias.

3:450 Jesus, son of Shapat – Principal head of a band of robbers controlling Tiberias.
3:452 Jesus, [son of Shapat]
3:457 Jesus, [son of Shapat] – Departs Tiberius to Taricheae
3:467 Jesus, [son of Shapat]
3:498 Jesus, [son of Shapat]

etc
DCH
Did Jesus, son of Sapphias, Governor of Tiberias, do anything to possibly acquire the moniker of robber or head of a band of robbers?

or, did Josephus see fit to categorise him as such, as another entity?
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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:24 pm

davidlau17 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:16 pm

Most significantly, there is another Jesus in the retelling of the stoning of James, the brother of Jesus "called Christ". The story goes on to say that King Agrippa replaces Ananias (the high priest responsible for James' stoning) with a priest named Jesus son of Damneus. Others have noted this, and have argued that Jesus son of Damneus was orginally meant to be the brother of James in that story. Following this assumption, the "called Christ" bit, similar to the Testimonium Flavium, would be an interpolation by a later redactor.

Now, Jesus son of Damneus' reign as high priest was fairly short-lived; he lasted only two years. And who was he replaced by? Another Jesus. This one called "Jesus son of Gamla". That presents us with three notable men named "Jesus" in very short order.

1. Jesus, brother of James (alleged Christ)
2. Jesus son of Damneus (high priest)
3. Jesus son of Gamala (high priest)


< . . snip . . >

At the same time that these two successive priests named "Jesus" were in power (c. 62 to 66 CE), yet another fellow named Jesus proved notable enough for Josephus to mention; Jesus, son of Ananias (as in the former hight priest, Ananias?), a "husbandmen and plebeian" (not a son of the former high priest, I guess). For those unfamilar with the "woe, woe to Jerusalem" story, this Jesus is described as follows:

Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 6.5.3
But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananias, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" Nor did he give ill words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of what was to come. This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost.

Putting aside this Jesus' obvious similarities to the Biblical Jesus, let's take a moment to put him in context. Josephus tells us Jesus of Ananias first went to the Feast of Tabernacles four years before the war - in 62 CE. He also states that Albinus was procurator. Albinus took power immediately after the stoning of James; thus, James must have just recently been killed at the time Jesus of Ananias enters the scene.

So taking all this into account, one might infer that this Jesus was the previously mentioned brother of James. Angered by the murder of his brother, he traversed to Jerusalem to ceaselessly condemn it, screaming at the top of his lungs. It's odd, however, once one considers that "certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes."

Why is this odd? Presumably, the high priest (very likely one of these 'eminent people' or 'our rulers') at that time was also named Jesus: the son of Damneus - who was already mentioned as a potential contender for being the brother of James. Even more bizarre is that "Damneus" seems to be a nonsense name - the Latin literally translates to "Damned" in English. So Jesus son of [not the recent high priest] Ananias is damning Jerusalem, while Jesus son of Damned is high priest.

Now, apparently, Jesus son of Ananias doesn't end his charade until the war breaks out in 66 CE. At that time, he gets killed in a somewhat comical fashion. Before the war, Jesus of Damneus/Damned had been replaced with Jesus ben Gamala. This Jesus (Joshua) ben Gamala is described in the Talmud as marrying Mary (or Martha), daughter of Boethus (Yebamot vi 4). While Josephus once indicates him to be the son of Gamiliel, he otherwise refers to him as "Jesus son of Gamala"; though Gamala probably refers to the stronghold near Galilee, rather than to a person: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamla
That is an interesting commentary.

While 'Jesus, brother of James (alleged Christ)' is a re-worded description of what's in Antiquities 20.200 /9.1, it raised the issue of the similarity of Galatians 1:19 (and the preceding couple of verses) -

17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see 'those' who were 'apostles' before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem [to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days] 19 I saw none of the other 'apostles' — only James, 'the Lord’s' brother.

These are also an interesting coincidences, -
davidlau17 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:16 pm

Additionally, a number of Jesuses are described as leaders on the battlefield. The most notable of which is Jesus son of Sapphias, who is described as being: one of the high priests, the leader of the Galilean city Tiberias, and the leader of a number of mariners/fisherman and poor people.

Josephus, Vita, 1.6.3 So Jesus the son of Sapphias, one of those whom we have already mentioned as the leader of a seditious tumult of mariners and poor people, prevented us, and took with him certain Galileans, and set the entire palace on fire, and thought he should get a great deal of money thereby, because he saw some of the roofs gilt with gold.

In addition, a Jesus son of Shaphat is described as leading a group of bandits near Tiberias; and sometimes a 'Jesus' is referred to without any identifiers in Wars and Vita.

So, to summarize, from the years 62 to 66 CE, we have:

1. Jesus [alleged] brother of James (alleged Christ, relevant in 62 CE)
2. Jesus son of Ananias ("woe to Jerusalem" omen, 62-66 CE)
3. Jesus son of Damneus (high priest, 63-64 CE)
4. Jesus son of Gamala (high priest, 64-65 CE)
5. Jesus son of Sapphias (a high priest, c. 66 CE)
6. Jesus son of Shaphat (leader of bandits, c. 66 CE)

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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:38 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:06 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:34 am

... the Jesus son of Shapat (leader of a band of "robbers" in Tiberias) may be same as Jesus son of Sapphias (governor of Tiberias).

FWIW, a full list of Jesuses in Josephus would include:
War (18)
2:566 Jesus, son of Sapphias – Governor of Tiberias.
2:599 Jesus, son of Sapphias – Governor of Tiberias.

3:450 Jesus, son of Shapat – Principal head of a band of robbers controlling Tiberias.
3:452 Jesus, [son of Shapat]
3:457 Jesus, [son of Shapat] – Departs Tiberius to Taricheae
3:467 Jesus, [son of Shapat]
3:498 Jesus, [son of Shapat]

etc
DCH
Did Jesus, son of Sapphias, Governor of Tiberias, do anything to possibly acquire the moniker of robber or head of a band of robbers?

or, did Josephus see fit to categorise him as such, as another entity?
Seems that Josephus was accused of war profiteering by Justas, which was countered by Josephus' own charges against Justas. There was clearly bad blood between them. Whether Justas or Josephus was more correct in their description of the other, I dunno. Perhaps they were both correct.

DCH

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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by Trees of Life » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:21 pm

Trees of Life wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:51 am
davidlau17 wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:33 am
Trees of Life wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:19 am
Where is the 'Jesus brother of James' personage text of 1. Jesus brother of James in the works of Josephus?
It's just the inverse of "the brother of Jesus called Christ, whose name was James" from Anitquities (20.9.1). Of course, it would be mistaken for anyone to assume that this Jesus was actually alive during that time (~62 CE) - but I just noted that his name was relevant that year, enough so for Josephus to identify James by it. In fact, one might get the impression James was being stoned on account of his relation to this brother named Jesus.
Your names below of 2 to 6 were public figures and identified by Josephus.

2. Jesus son of Ananias ("woe to Jerusalem" omen, 62-66 CE)
3. Jesus son of Damneus (high priest, 63-64 CE)
4. Jesus son of Gamala (high priest, 64-65 CE)
5. Jesus son of Sapphias (a high priest, c. 66 CE)
6. Jesus son of Shaphat (leader of bandits, c. 66 CE)

Your '1. Jesus brother of James' was not a public figure identified by Josephus and doesn't belong unqualified with your other five Josephus' Jesus identities.
Historiographical Approach:

Neither Jesus brother of James or James brother of Jesus were archived by Josephus specifically in those terms of identification, in relation to 1. Jesus brother of James.

Your inverse of Jesus brother of James being James brother of Jesus, was purposely not written by Josephus at Antiquities 20.200, because James brother of Jesus would describe a redeemed brother of Jesus.

Antiquities 20.200 'the brother of Jesus called Christ, whose name was James' is Josephus describing a so-called brother, when used in relation to James, the bishop of Jerusalem.

That is, James being known as the brother of the personage Jesus.
Truth perdures.

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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by StephenGoranson » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:02 am

StephenGoranson wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:51 am
Tal Ilan, in Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity, Part I, Palestine 330 BCE-200 CE (2002) 56, 126-33, 449 documented 103 men named Joshua, the sixth most popular male name in this collection.
davidlau17 wrote:
I'm familiar with that work - but if you mean to indicate that roughly 103/449 Jewish men in Palestine were named Jesus/Joshua, that's incorrect. There were 449 documented names.
SG reply: Actually "56, 126-33, 449" are page numbers in the book. 449 is a page with an addendum item for Joshua.

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Re: The Legion of Jesuses in Josephus

Post by davidlau17 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:04 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:59 pm
davidlau17 wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:33 am
Trees of Life wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:19 am
Where is the 'Jesus brother of James' personage text of 1. Jesus brother of James in the works of Josephus?
It's just the inverse of "the brother of Jesus called Christ, whose name was James" from Anitquities (20.9.1). Of course, it would be mistaken for anyone to assume that this Jesus was actually alive during that time (~62 CE) - but I just noted that his name was relevant that year, enough so for Josephus to identify James by it. In fact, one might get the impression James was being stoned on account of his relation to this brother named Jesus.
re "... his name was relevant that year" - who is the person or entity 'his name' is referring to??
Jesus called Christ.
I always felt that a scientist owes the world only one thing, and that is the truth as he sees it. - Hans Eysenck

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