Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:10 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:10 pm
The article was certainly better than the advertisement made it out to be.

I am still looking through its ancient (mainly rabbinical) sources, but I can already spot a few potential flaws. The connection of Simon bar Kokhba to Ephraim is weak, for example, and at first blush the discussion of the Ephraimite Exodus legend does not appear to do much to salvage it, partly (but not entirely) because of the flimsiness of the "pop psych" method used to date both stages of that legend. As another, even more obvious example, the assumption that the triumphant version of the Messiah ben Ephraim must have preceded the defeated version (which the author presents as obvious) has little to commend it; the Targum pseudo-Jonathan, for example, turns the Suffering Servant in Isaiah into a conquering hero, and it is his enemies who suffer, not he. (This assumption may not, in fact, be wrong in the end; I am not sure; but it is hardly obvious on its face.)

But I have a lot more research to do in this area.
The twin weaknesses of the proposition that the Messiah ben Ephraim was ascribed a noble death on the basis of Simon bar Kokhba's failed revolution against Rome are obvious:
  1. I can find no association (yet?) of Simon bar Kokhba with the tribe of Ephraim.
  2. I can find no instance (yet?) of anybody after the Second Revolt who thought that the Messiah ben Ephraim had already arrived (unless some of the church fathers predicated this of Jesus Christ in mystical ways).
In fact, with respect to #1, the rebel leader appears to be associated with David, at least symbolically:

Jerusalem Talmud, Ta'anit 4.5: 5 .... R. Simeon b. Yohai taught, “Aqiba, my master, would interpret the following verse: ‘A star [kokhab] shall come forth out of Jacob’ (= Numbers 24.17), as ‘a disappointment [kozeba] shall come forth out of Jacob.’” R. Aqiba, when he saw Bar Kozeba, said, “This is the King Messiah [דין הוא מלכא משיחא].” Said to him R. Yohanan ben Toreta, “Aqiba! Grass will grow on your cheeks, and the son of David [בן דוד] will not vet have come!” Said R. Yohanan, “Upon orders of Caesar Hadrian in Betar they killed 80,000 myriads.” Said R. Yohanan, “There were 80,000 pairs of trumpeters that surrounded Betar. Each one was in charge of a number of troops. Ben Kozebah was there, and he had 200,000 troops who had cut off their little finger. Sages sent word to him, ‘How 'How long are you going to turn Israel into a maimed people?’ He said to them, ‘How otherwise is it possible to test them?’ They replied to him, ‘Whoever cannot uproot a cedar of Lebanon while riding on his horse will not be registered in your army.’ So there were 200,000 who qualified in one way, and another 200,000 who qualified in another way.” ....

The King Messiah is another name for the Messiah ben David: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3591&p=79848#p79848. No similar association that I can find attaches bar Kokhba to Ephraim. Heinemann, however, attempts to leverage the legend of the premature Ephraimite Exodus from Egypt:

Psalm 78.9-16 (OG 77.9-16):

9 The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows,
Yet they turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to walk in His law;
11 They forgot His deeds
And His miracles that He had shown them.
12 He wrought wonders before their fathers
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through,
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14 Then He led them with the cloud by day
And all the night with a light of fire.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
16 He brought forth streams also from the rock
And caused waters to run down like rivers.

Targum, Psalm 78.9: 9 While they were living in Egypt, the sons of Ephraim became arrogant; they calculated the appointed time, and erred; they went out thirty years before the appointed time, with weapons of war, and warriors bearing bows. They turned around and were killed on the day of battle.

1 Chronicles 7.20-29: 20 The sons of Ephraim were Shuthelah and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to take their livestock. 22 Their father Ephraim mourned many days, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23 Then he went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and he named him Beriah, because misfortune had come upon his house. 24 His daughter was Sheerah, who built lower and upper Beth-horon, also Uzzen-sheerah. 25 Rephah was his son along with Resheph, Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27 Non his son and Joshua his son. 28 Their possessions and settlements were Bethel with its towns, and to the east Naaran, and to the west Gezer with its towns, and Shechem with its towns as far as Ayyah with its towns, 29 and along the borders of the sons of Manasseh, Beth-shean with its towns, Taanach with its towns, Megiddo with its towns, Dor with its towns. In these lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.

Targum pseudo-Jonathan, Exodus 13.17: 17 And it was when Pharoh bad released the people, that the Lord did not conduct, them by the way of the land of the Phelishtaee though. that was the near one; for the Lord said, Lest the people be affrighted in seeing their brethren who were killed in war, two hundred thousand men of strength of the tribe of Ephraim, who took shields, and lances, and weapons of war, and went down to Gath to carry off the flocks of the Phelishtaee; and because the transgressed against the statute of the Word of the Lord, and went forth from Mizraim three years before the (appointed) end of their servitude, they were delivered into the hand of the Phelishtaee, who slew them. These are the dry bones which the Word of the Lord restored to life by the ministry (hand) of Yechezekel the prophet, in the vale of Dura; but which, if they (now) saw them, they would be afraid, and return into Mizraim.

Talmud, Sanhedrin 92b: 92b .... R. Eliezer the son of R. Jose the Galilean said, "The dead whom Ezekiel revived went up to Palestine, married wives and begat sons and daughters." R. Judah b. Bathyra rose up and said, "I am one of their descendants, and these are the tefillin which my grandfather left me [as an heirloom] from them." Now, who were they whom Ezekiel revived? Rab said, "They were the Ephraimites, who counted [the years] to the end [of the Egyptian bondage], but erred therein, as it is written, 'And the sons of Ephraim; Shuthelah, and Bared his son, and Tahath his son, and Eladah his son, and Tahath his son. And Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezzer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew.' And it is written, 'And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.'" ....

Heinemann lays out this legend as having two stages: (A) a first in which the Ephraimite Exodus was viewed as wicked and (B) a second in which it was viewed merely as misguided, based upon a prophetic miscalculation. With this second stage he also associates the exegetical move which suggested that the resurrected skeletons in Ezekiel 37.1-14 were actually these unfortunate Ephraimites who attempted to take the Promised Land a bit too early. He may be right about these two stages; honestly, I am not sure. But, even if he is, he presents only "pop psych" arguments to tie the exegesis which produced this legend to the Second Revolt:

Joseph Heinemann, "Messiah of Ephraim and the Premature Exodus of the Tribe of Ephraim," in Harvard Theological Review 8.1 (January 1975), page 14: In view of these data [to the effect that both versions of the legend must have been available by the end of century II] it becomes extremely likely that the transformation of the story through the re-surrection motif must have some connection with the Bar Kokhba revolt. For it is impossible psychologically to ascribe the creation of the original version to the Tanna'im of the second half of the second century, i.e., to the very generation who had witnessed the failure of the revolt. We cannot possibly hold this generation responsible for the creation of a legend, which could have meant, at that particular time and in this particular situation, only one thing: an out-and-out condemnation of the rising of Bar Kokhba as an act of arrogance and rebellion against God, which was punished, rightly, by the total extermination of all concerned. Whatever the attitude of this generation to Bar Kokhba (and, by implication, to R. Akivah!) may have been, it cannot have been one of complacent, righteous condemnation. Hence we are forced to advance the date of the genesis of the original legend; it must have antedated the Bar Kokhba revolt.

But this is utterly unconvincing. Heinemann's admission ("[w]hatever the attitude of this generation") that we possess no direct evidence of the rabbinical or proto-rabbinical response to the revolt itself merely masks the fact that what indirect evidence we have points in the direction of many/most of the rabbis being skeptical of Simon bar Kokhba or even opposing him outright. We have already seen that Akiva himself, if he did indeed endorse the revolt, was opposed by Yohanan ben Toreta; and there is this:

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 93b: 93b .... Bar Koziba reigned two and a half years, and then said to the Rabbis, "I am the Messiah [אנא משיח]." They answered, "Of Messiah it is written that he smells and judges. Let us see whether he can do so." When they saw that he was unable to judge by the scent, they slew him. ....

Granted, these are later texts looking back on the situation, but we have nothing else to go on, and it makes my head hurt to have to assume (for reasons which are perfectly opaque to me) that the generation which witnessed the failure of the Second Revolt would assuredly not disown it. I would not want to assume either way, but if I were forced to do so I would probably assume the opposite! I would assume that this wounded generation bore ill will toward bar Kokhba and disowned both him and his movement (even if they had previously been on board to some degree, and there is no reason to think that everybody was).

Furthermore, while Heinemann admits (on page 12) that the first stage of the legend of the Ephraimite Exodus could have been formulated purely for exegetical reasons, he has to argue that the version of the second stage which connected their failure to the skeletal remains in the valley described in Ezekiel 37.1-14 could not have been exegetically motivated. His only argument for this proposition is that this exegesis is so extremely unexpected that it contradicts the narrative that the Ephraimites had fallen because of their own wickedness. Yet God himself, in 37.23, tells Ezekiel that the resurrected dead "will no longer defile themselves with their idols or with their detestable things," implying that, while living, they were wicked. Why cannot the rabbinical exegetes have borne much the same attitude toward the Ephraimite dead as Ezekiel (or Ezekiel's God) seems to have borne toward them? They have sinned against God, but they will be both forgiven and resurrected.

Furthermore, Heinemann also mentions (on page 13) that the connection of the fallen Ephraimites to the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel "offers a solution to another vexatious problem," this problem being: "who, in fact, were the dead revived by Ezekiel?" Well, if the legend of the Ephraimite Exodus solves that problem, then that solution in itself could easily be the motivation for the exegesis!

In short, there is no real evidence connecting either stage of the Ephraimite Exodus to the Second Revolt; and, even if the legend is connected, it is hardly certain that it is only the second stage of that legend. And, even so, apart from all of that, there is no real evidence connecting that legend to the envisioning of Simon bar Kokhba as an Ephraimite in any way. The narrative of the Exodus could be merely an object lesson rather than something by which to link the rebel leader to the tribe itself.

Furthermore, with respect to #2 on my list above, we would have to imagine (A) that the notion of a dying Messiah ben Ephraim arose precisely as a way of explaining bar Kokhba's failure, (B) that therefore at least certain members of the generation of the Second Revolt thought that the Messiah ben Ephraim had already come in his person, and (C) that afterward the information that this Messiah figure had already come was lost or suppressed, since none of the later rabbis thinks of the Messiah ben Ephraim/Joseph as a figure from the past. While such a sequence is not impossible, there is no actual evidence for it.

Needless to say, I remain unconvinced. The evidence that we do possess, tenuous as it may be, suggests a Davidic (not an Ephraimite) connection for Simon bar Kokhba; it also suggests purely exegetical reasons both for narrating the premature Exodus and for resurrecting the fallen Ephraimites from it. The connection to the Second Revolt is based solely upon what I have been calling "pop psychology."
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:36 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:34 pm
Akiva ben Joseph. Hint. Hint. I've often wondered if Akiva was more involved than people realised. Akiva is a form of the name Jacob.
Something I've speculated on before is that r. Akiva is James.

The brothers Zebedee can easily be Julian and Pappus.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:27 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:30 am
Speculation time again....

I came across and skimmed part of a thesis today, of which one line stood out to me in particular:

Ricardo Pietrantonio, El Mesías Asesinado: El Mesías ben Efraim en el Evangelio de Juan, page 63: El lugar en que se manifiesta primero el Mesías ben Efraim es la Alta Galilea, donde reúne a sus seguidores para marchar hacia Jerusalén a reedificar el templo y ofrecer sacrificios (MidLeqaj Tob Num 24,17).

I would translate:

Ricardo Pietrantonio, The Assassinated Messiah: The Messiah ben Ephraim in the Gospel of John, page 63: The place in which the Messiah ben Ephraim first manifests himself is Upper Galilee, where he (re)unites his followers to march to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the temple and offer sacrifices (Midrash Lekach Tov, Numbers 24.17).

The original text of that Midrash (century XI) is available online. I have extracted the relevant portion and provided sort of a translation (of all but one part of it, which I cannot seem to find a good rendering for or figure out on my own):

Midrash Lekach Tov, Numbers 24.17: Rabbi Huna said in the name of Rabbi Levi [century III], "This teaches that Israel will be gathered in Upper Galilee and that there they will see Messiah ben Joseph out of Galilee; and they will go up, and all Israel with him, to Jerusalem [... ??]. And he will go up and build the Temple and make sacrifices, and the fire will descend from heaven, and he will smite all the Canaanites. / אמר ר' הונא בשם ר' לוי מלמד שיהיו ישראל מקובצין בגליל העליון ויצפה עליהם שם משיח בן יוסף מתוך הגליל והם עולים משם וכל ישראל עמו לירושלים לקיים מה שנא' ובני פריצי עמך ינשאו להעמיד חזון ונכשלו. והוא עולה ובונה את בית המקדש ומקריב קרבנות והאש יורדת מן השמים והוא מוחץ כל הכנענים׃

There is a similar tradition attributed to Hai Goan, as well, in which it is added that an adversary "will slay Messiah ben Joseph" (a somewhat common fate for this messianic figure in the rabbinical texts). But is it my imagination or does the underlined portion of Lekach Tov resemble the angel's words to the women at the tomb in two of our gospels?

Matthew 28.7: 7 "Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee; there you will see Him; behold, I have told you."

Mark 16.7: 7 "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.'"


John C. Reeves, Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic, A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader, page 119, translating the Ten Signs (slightly reformatted): The Messiah will request of the Holy One, blessed be He, that He resurrect the dead. The Messiah of the lineage of Joseph will be the first of all those who are brought back to life, and he will become the emissary of the Messiah of the lineage of David. He will send him into all the lands wherein Israel dwells, and they will be gathered together from every corner of the earth. Then he will send him beyond the rivers of Cush, and he will lead forth the (lost) ten tribes. He will also bring out the Temple vessels from Rome. (In) every place where the Messiah of the lineage of Joseph goes which contains Israelite dead, he will resurrect them and bring all of them with him, as scripture says, "Behold, these will come from afar, [and behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene]" (= Isaiah 49.12). [This text is also available online.]

Again the similarity to Christian dogma is evident:

1 Corinthians 15.20: 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who are asleep.

The same set of questions presses itself. When Jewish exegetes many centuries after the birth of Christianity interpret their own scriptures in ways which so closely parallel the earliest Christian interpretations of those same scriptures, are they cribbing from Christian exegesis? Or are they following traditions which are themselves centuries old and which predate and inform Christian exegesis? Or is there perhaps a third option? Maybe some of these concepts were already baked, so to speak, into the Hebrew scriptures in forms which were bound to produce the same interpretations more than once. For example, perhaps the Suffering Servant passages in Isaiah were simply going to lead to the idea of a suffering Messiah figure, almost inevitably; the Christians were not crazy (using the usual array of interpretive methods) to find a suffering Messiah in those passages, and neither were the Jewish rabbis who found much the same figure in them. Both the tribal blessing for Judah (in Genesis 49.8-12) and the tribal blessing for Joseph (in Genesis 49.22-26) predict good things for their respective descendants which the conquests and exiles of Israel and Judah violently interrupted; perhaps it was inevitable that individual representatives from each of those two tribes would be ascribed messianic power so as to make those predictions come true in the age to come, and perhaps it was perfectly understandable that Christianity, with its relentless focus on Jesus Christ alone, would combine those tribal representatives into a single figure. Perhaps even an idea as specific as the Messiah ben Joseph gathering his forces in Galilee was bound to be floated more than once. Not sure yet, but the degree of overlap in early Christian eschatology and superficially later Jewish eschatology bears explaining.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by John2 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:24 pm

When Jewish exegetes many centuries after the birth of Christianity interpret their own scriptures in ways which so closely parallel the earliest Christian interpretations of those same scriptures, are they cribbing from Christian exegesis? Or are they following traditions which are themselves centuries old and which predate and inform Christian exegesis?

I think your second question holds the answer. From my point of view Jesus was a Fourth Philosopher and thus like other Fourth Philosophers he rejected the oral Torah but otherwise "agree[d] in all other things with the Pharisaic notions" (Ant. 18.1.6), i.e., the similar "notions" in later Rabbinic writings you are seeing. Both Christian and Rabbinic writings reflect earlier Pharisaic "notions" because Josephus describes some of them as they existed pre-70 CE (like the resurrection of the dead).

Pharisaic Judaism was normative Judaism in Jesus' time just as it is (in the form of Rabbinic Judaism) today. Jesus and other Fourth Philosophers emerged in this milieu and rejected the oral Torah (and were thus opposed by the Pharisees) but retained other Pharisaic "notions," the same way later Karaites emerged in a Rabbinic milieu and rejected the oral Torah (and were thus opposed by Rabbinic Jews) but retained some Rabbinic notions.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:27 pm

If I remember well, there would be at least a talmudic source where BarKokhba himself denied that he was davidic, believing the title too much challenging even for one as him. Can this be an incentive to consider him a more humble messiah (=one not davidic), but always a messiah?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:44 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:27 pm
If I remember well, there would be at least a talmudic source where BarKokhba himself denied that he was davidic, believing the title too much challenging even for one as him. Can this be an incentive to consider him a more humble messiah (=one not davidic), but always a messiah?
I need to see that passage.
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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:39 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:44 pm
I need to see that passage.
Unfortunately I don't remember the source. I read it in a book of history (not a novel), but that book is not where I am in this moment. I remember that the source gave also a description of Bar Kokhba as a guy with blond hair and a great courage.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by theeternaliam » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:42 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:05 am
/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=370&p=6588#p6588]For example[/url]:
spin wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:51 am
The connection between Jesus and Samson the Nazirite is strong in both Mt and Mk. We therefore need to consider it when dealing with Mk 1:24. The facile connection between "Nazarene" and "Nazareth" may function in English and Greek, but the town name is spelled differently in Hebrew (נצרת NCRT): there is no equivalent to the zeta/zed, so we cannot easily connect the Greek to the Hebrew, though we have a strong connection between "Nazirite" and "Nazarene" via Mk 1:24. The second letter in the Hebrew town name is tsade, which is almost always transliterated as a sigma in Greek. In fact one scholar a century ago, F.C. Burkitt, could only find ten examples of tsade -> zeta in the entire Hebrew/Greek corpus, most of which he put down to error. When scholars comment on the anomalous zeta, they always unknowingly point to a few of Burkitt's examples without considering how empty-handed they are. The Nazirite connection explains the fact that every form in Greek contains a zeta rather than the preferred sigma for a נצרת source. Obviously, these terms are not derived from the Hebrew name of Nazareth. And that's a bullet to the head of the usual explanation of all these terms.
While there are examples of the Hebrew tsade being transliterated as a zeta in Greek, as spin mentions, they are rare. Far more common is the transliteration of the Hebrew tsade as a Greek zeta.

We know from a Hebrew inscription discovered at Caesarea Maritima in 1962 that the town of Nazareth is spelled with a tsade (נצרת); hence it probably ought to come out as Nasareth (Νασαρέτ) instead of as Nazareth (Ναζαρέτ). Therefore, spin hypothesizes, Jesus was originally called a Nazarene for reasons other than the place name Nasareth, and that the name of the town in the gospels was a back formation from this alternate derivation. He associates Jesus the Nazarene (Ναζαρηνός) with Samson the Nazir/Nazirite (נזר, consecrated one), since the Hebrew zayin most commonly comes out as a Greek zeta in transliteration.


Finally, here are a few stray notes of mine, simply to help me keep things straight:

tsade (usually rendered as a Greek sigma)

נצר = branch (Isaiah 11.1)
נצר = watch, guard, keep (Psalm 12.7)
נצרת = Nasareth (in the inscription)
נוצרים = Mishnaic Hebrew term for Christians (נוֹצְרִי)

zayin (usually rendered as a Greek zeta)

נזר/נזיר = consecrated one (Nazirite)

Ναζιρ (Judges 13.5, Judges 13.5 Alexandrinus)
Ναζιραῖον (Judges 13.7 Alexandrinus)
Ναζιραῖος (Judges 16.17 Alexandrinus)
Ναζιραίους (1 Maccabees 3.49)
Ναζιραῖοι (Lamentations 4.7)

Any connection between the Hebrew name for the town of NCRT, pronounced Nasaret as you say, and Nosferatu? Could you be implying that when they called Jesus a Nasarene that they meant he was an immortal vampire?

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Re: Messiah ben Joseph & Galilee; Messiah ben David & Judea.

Post by theeternaliam » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:17 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:15 pm
John2 wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:45 am
Ben, buddy, if you haven't already, when are you going to write a book?
While flattering, the thought is also exhausting. :)
I think you answered your first question with the latter question. If you view Christianity as being a faction of the Fourth Philosophy (as I do), then the reason for its resemblance to later Rabbinic Judaism (and to other Fourth Philosophic factions) with respect messianism is due to all of these groups embracing what Josephus calls Pharisaic notions in Ant. 18.1.6: "These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord."
How violent do you take the early Jesus movement to have been? Do you think that Jesus was crucified between two bandits because both he and they were seditionists? What do you make of this passage?

Matthew 11.12: 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence [? βιάζεται], and violent men take it by force [? ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν].

Luke 16.16: 16 The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it [εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται].

You tend to focus on observance of the law when you discuss the Fourth Philosophy, but what do you make of the more violent tendencies of that movement?
It seems to me the essential difference between the messianism of Jesus and His followers and the messianism of the Pharisees and perhaps even essenes is, Jesus Christ affirms His kingdom is not of this world and like Paul said, our battle is a spiritual battle, not a battle of flesh and blood. This also makes our faith different than the beliefs of the Muslims. I suspect that there was a certain kinda mythicism going on in the early church too, though probably not like the mythicism of many modern day gnostic types cause there was still emphasis on history as the link to those who actually saw the Son of God in the flesh was stronger.

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Messiah ben Joseph Galilee Messiah ben David Judea

Post by BeJimmiesab » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:46 pm

A main tenant of some of the offshoot churches is the idea that Joseph was a prophet but fallen. I am thinking particularly of the Church of Christ Temple Lot, but regarding polygamy its pretty much true if the Community of Christ as well. I can see where the idea comes from and even consider it a possibility. So, yes, Ive heard it, but it is not the doctrine of the Church.

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