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

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:41 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:15 am
If Ben is right about Jesus being before son of Joseph and only later made son of David, then I wonder if that modification was part and parcel of a greater process known in this forum as euhemerization:


1) Jesus was euhemerized as a Galilean son of Joseph crucified by Herod under Claudius.


2) Jesus was made davidic, and Jerusalem became the place where Jesus was crucified, not under the authority of Herod: hence, Pilate enters on the scene as collateral effect of the «davidization» of Jesus. Under Tiberius.


3) Luke harmonized the two stories, by inventing the famous ping pong between Pilate and Jesus.


4) Ireneus became fool:

Herod, king of the Jews, and Ponce Pilate, procurator of the emperor Claudius, joining themselves, condamned Jesus to the crucifixion.

(Demonstratio, $ 74, Against the haeres. 2:22/5)


Note that the epistle of Barnaba, where Jesus is son of Joseph and not davidic, ignores Pilate while accuses the Jews of deicide.
I already responded to the bit about the epistle of Barnabas, but I wanted to add that I actually kind of like the trajectory which precedes that comment; it needs fleshing out, and I am not sure that a crucifixion in Galilee, if that is the suggestion, is really a viable option (even the Jewish predictions about a dying Messiah ben Ephraim seem to have him perishing in Judea, not in Galilee), but the overall notion seems worth pursuing.

Herod Antipas (tetrarch of Galilee and Perea) and Herod Agrippa (king of Judea, Galilee, Batanaea, and Perea) were easy to confuse in antiquity (and still are today!), so perhaps the original story ran something like what we find in the gospel of Peter, minus Pilate: basically, Herod commands the Jews to crucify Jesus (in Jerusalem), and they do, except it was thought to be Herod Antipas, not Agrippa, for his jurisdiction over Galilee (as noticed in Luke 23.7), yet as king instead of as tetrarch, as we find for Agrippa in the early Claudian years of 41-44. Making Jesus Davidic (to the point, even, of eventually locating his birth in the southern, Davidic town of Bethlehem) put him rather under the jurisdiction of Judea, ruled during the tenure of Antipas by Pontius Pilate.

It still commands my attention that Pontius Pilate finds such a firm place as he does in the early Christian creeds and creedal statements; I have suggested before that perhaps his presence therein was meant as a way of eliminating various alternate timelines for the crucifixion.

I am certain about none of this. But I did appreciate this interesting trajectory.

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

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:52 pm
by Secret Alias
I second the rejection of 21 CE with Pilate

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

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:36 am
by Ben C. Smith
Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:52 pm
I second the rejection of 21 CE with Pilate
I am still interested in that date, especially as it pertains to the possible corruption of the text of Josephus. I am just not sure that any of the proposed dates has a claim to historicity. Tracing the tradition is not necessarily the same as finding history at the bottom of it.

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

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:21 am
by Ben C. Smith
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:41 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:15 am
If Ben is right about Jesus being before son of Joseph and only later made son of David, then I wonder if that modification was part and parcel of a greater process known in this forum as euhemerization:

1) Jesus was euhemerized as a Galilean son of Joseph crucified by Herod under Claudius.

2) Jesus was made davidic, and Jerusalem became the place where Jesus was crucified, not under the authority of Herod: hence, Pilate enters on the scene as collateral effect of the «davidization» of Jesus. Under Tiberius.

3) Luke harmonized the two stories, by inventing the famous ping pong between Pilate and Jesus.

4) Ireneus became fool:

Herod, king of the Jews, and Ponce Pilate, procurator of the emperor Claudius, joining themselves, condamned Jesus to the crucifixion.

(Demonstratio, $ 74, Against the haeres. 2:22/5)

Note that the epistle of Barnaba, where Jesus is son of Joseph and not davidic, ignores Pilate while accuses the Jews of deicide.
I already responded to the bit about the epistle of Barnabas, but I wanted to add that I actually kind of like the trajectory which precedes that comment; it needs fleshing out, and I am not sure that a crucifixion in Galilee, if that is the suggestion, is really a viable option (even the Jewish predictions about a dying Messiah ben Ephraim seem to have him perishing in Judea, not in Galilee), but the overall notion seems worth pursuing.

Herod Antipas (tetrarch of Galilee and Perea) and Herod Agrippa (king of Judea, Galilee, Batanaea, and Perea) were easy to confuse in antiquity (and still are today!), so perhaps the original story ran something like what we find in the gospel of Peter, minus Pilate: basically, Herod commands the Jews to crucify Jesus (in Jerusalem), and they do, except it was thought to be Herod Antipas, not Agrippa, for his jurisdiction over Galilee (as noticed in Luke 23.7), yet as king instead of as tetrarch, as we find for Agrippa in the early Claudian years of 41-44. Making Jesus Davidic (to the point, even, of eventually locating his birth in the southern, Davidic town of Bethlehem) put him rather under the jurisdiction of Judea, ruled during the tenure of Antipas by Pontius Pilate.

It still commands my attention that Pontius Pilate finds such a firm place as he does in the early Christian creeds and creedal statements; I have suggested before that perhaps his presence therein was meant as a way of eliminating various alternate timelines for the crucifixion.

I am certain about none of this. But I did appreciate this interesting trajectory.
Just for reference:

Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, 6-39.
Herod Agrippa, king of Judea (+ Galilee, Batanaea, & Perea), 41-44.

Tiberius, emperor of the Roman empire, 14-37.
Caligula, emperor of the Roman empire, 37-41.
Claudius, emperor of the Roman empire, 41-54.

Pontius Pilate, prefect/governor of Judea, 26-37 (? ⁠— dates possibly tampered with in Josephus).

With respect to the proposed trajectory, however, what if the proposed execution under Herod Antipas is the result of the following?

Mark 6.14-16: 14 And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, “John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.” 15 But others were saying, “He is Elijah.” And others were saying, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has risen!

Mark 8.27-28: 27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.”

And what if, as Robert M. Price suggests somewhere, these passages actually reflect theories circulating in the early church (and not during Jesus' putative ministry)? That is, what if the heavenly Lord was thought by some to be John the Baptist redivivus? Thus Jesus, in his earthly tenure (as John the Baptist, for these particular believers), would have been killed by Herod Antipas.

I have been playing around with the idea lately that the earliest visions of the heavenly Jesus were intended to vouchsafe the notion that the Messiah ben Joseph (= a Joshua figure), or at any rate some kind of eschatological figure, had already appeared, thus ensuring that the eschatological end was indeed nigh. Those visions attached themselves to a revolutionary who had gotten himself crucified, a figure so obscure that even slightly later believers had to guess which human being was intended, and some people guessed John the Baptist, leading to the belief that Herod Antipas had executed Jesus. The actual historical figure's name itself was probably not Jesus (= Joshua = "Yahweh saves"), since it was the name of the exalted Lord (refer to Philippians 2.9-11). So the earthly personage (who had upon his death and resurrection/exaltation "inherited a more excellent name" than the angels; refer to Hebrews 1.1-4) could have borne pretty much any earthly name, and his very obscurity ensured that any number of guesses were possible. (We find similar guesses in the Talmud: ben Stada, ben Panthera, and Yeshua the Notsri.) Other guesses ventured that his death was that of the eschatologically expected Elijah figure, or that of a prophet. All of these guesses were predicated upon demonstrating that the end times were underway; the times had been fulfilled.

Anyway, lots to think through here.

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

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:33 am
by Secret Alias
But in response to your point Ben, the (a) 21 CE seems to be reflected in Josephus and (b) seems to be the subject of controversy in late antiquity. As such it has the most going for it as alternative dates go. I haven't been thinking about this stuff much lately. Nevertheless I recently revisited this problem and think that Maximin II was using a Christian source. In other words, the Acts of Pilate were likely an early Christian work - probably related to Justin Martyr which pegged the date very early. The fact that Eusebius claims it contains blasphemy is irrelevant. The same is said about Clement of Alexandria by Church Fathers.

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

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:36 am
by Ben C. Smith
Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:33 am
But in response to your point Ben, the (a) 21 CE seems to be reflected in Josephus and (b) seems to be the subject of controversy in late antiquity. As such it has the most going for it as alternative dates go. I haven't been thinking about this stuff much lately. Nevertheless I recently revisited this problem and think that Maximin II was using a Christian source. In other words, the Acts of Pilate were likely an early Christian work - probably related to Justin Martyr which pegged the date very early. The fact that Eusebius claims it contains blasphemy is irrelevant. The same is said about Clement of Alexandria by Church Fathers.
What I am saying is that I think I essentially agree with this, at least provisionally. The date of 21, however, does not rule out the contingency that other dates (other "guesses") were also current and early.

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

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:41 am
by Ben C. Smith
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:21 am
With respect to the proposed trajectory, however, what if the proposed execution under Herod Antipas is the result of the following?

Mark 6.14-16: 14 And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, “John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.” 15 But others were saying, “He is Elijah.” And others were saying, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has risen!

Mark 8.27-28: 27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.”

And what if, as Robert M. Price suggests somewhere, these passages actually reflect theories circulating in the early church (and not during Jesus' putative ministry)? That is, what if the heavenly Lord was thought by some to be John the Baptist redivivus? Thus Jesus, in his earthly tenure (as John the Baptist, for these particular believers), would have been killed by Herod Antipas.

I have been playing around with the idea lately that the earliest visions of the heavenly Jesus were intended to vouchsafe the notion that the Messiah ben Joseph (= a Joshua figure), or at any rate some kind of eschatological figure, had already appeared, thus ensuring that the eschatological end was indeed nigh. Those visions attached themselves to a revolutionary who had gotten himself crucified, a figure so obscure that even slightly later believers had to guess which human being was intended, and some people guessed John the Baptist, leading to the belief that Herod Antipas had executed Jesus. The actual historical figure's name itself was probably not Jesus (= Joshua = "Yahweh saves"), since it was the name of the exalted Lord (refer to Philippians 2.9-11). So the earthly personage (who had upon his death and resurrection/exaltation "inherited a more excellent name" than the angels; refer to Hebrews 1.1-4) could have borne pretty much any earthly name, and his very obscurity ensured that any number of guesses were possible. (We find similar guesses in the Talmud: ben Stada, ben Panthera, and Yeshua the Notsri.) Other guesses ventured that his death was that of the eschatologically expected Elijah figure, or that of a prophet. All of these guesses were predicated upon demonstrating that the end times were underway; the times had been fulfilled.
Regardless of how the above ideas fare, I think that an early belief that the heavenly Jesus was actually John the Baptist exalted would easily explain any possible discrepancy between Josephus and the gospels so far as the date of John's execution is concerned. Once Jesus the heavenly Lord was pushed back into history as Jesus the wandering preacher, the notion that Jesus was John redivivus in some way would force John's death back even further: no matter what, now, John has to die before Jesus can be thought to be his avatar, so to speak. So John has to die before Jesus does, regardless of how the dates may shake out in real history.

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

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:48 pm
by neilgodfrey
Ben C. Smith wrote:
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.
There is some evidence that Akiba did not allow for Bar Kochba to be the Davidic Messiah. A core part of that evidence is that Akiba was said in the Hagigah to have argued that the Son of Man in Daniel was the Davidic messiah, hence we can presumably infer that he did not consider Bar Kochba to be the same. I copy here part of what I wrote a few years back addressing that evidence, largely based on Alan Segal's Two Powers in Heaven ----
One passage says: His throne was fiery flames; and another Passage says: Till thrones were placed, and One that was ancient of days did sit!

— There is no contradiction: one [throne] for Him, and one for David; this is the view of R. Akiba.

Said R. Jose the Galilean to him: Akiba, how long wilt thou treat the Divine Presence as profane! Rather, [it must mean], one for justice and one for grace.

Did he accept [this explanation from him, or did he not accept it?

— Come and hear: One for justice and one for grace; this is the view of R. Akiba.
(Hagigah, 14a)
This passage in the Hagigah is really a little debate about a whether the two thrones in Daniel 7 are for two separate divine beings, or if they really represent two aspects of the one divine being, God. In this “correct” view that Akiba is said to have at first opposed, but eventually agreed with, the Son of Man represents God as the youthful warrior executing justice, while the Ancient of Days represents God as the indulgent old man dispensing grace. (Another disputant later chimes in by arguing one of the thrones was really only the footstool for the other!)

It seems scarcely likely that Akiba did actually change his mind, since he was killed before the war’s end. So we are thrown up doubts about the reliability of the passage as a whole. If it appeared in the gospels, many critics would argue that the whole debate is written to meet the needs of its day, and the different arguments are put in the mouths of renowned past masters for rhetorical effect.

But for the sake of argument, and holding in abeyance for now all the caveats, let’s accept at least the first part of the passage as reflecting the belief and teaching of Rabbi Akiba in the time of the Bar Kochba revolt.

What Akiba taught was that in Daniel 7 there were two thrones in heaven. One for the Ancient of Days and the other for David.

That can only mean (I think) that Akiba was said to have believed that the throne of the Son of Man in heaven was the throne of the Davidic Messiah.

Akiba in the 130s ce, we might say, taught that the Book of Daniel’s Son of Man was the Davidic Messiah in heaven.

But we also know (or are informed) that Akiba supported the messianic claim of Bar Kochba, who is nowhere said to have been of the line of David. (I don’t think there was any such thing as a real Davidic lineage except in literature, as mentioned earlier, anyway.)

Nonetheless, according to the rabbinic tradition, Akiba at the same time taught that the Messiah in heaven is “David”, apparently metonymy for the Messianic throne.

Much of the above is derived from Alan F. Segal’s Two Powers in Heaven.
Links are lost here but kept at Did a Davidic Messiah have to be a descendant of David?

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

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:26 am
by neilgodfrey
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:30 am
Odd that, years after these gospel texts were penned, there should be a Jewish tradition which has the Messiah ben Joseph/Ephraim meeting with Israelites in Galilee and then marching to Jerusalem, where, according to a few texts, he is slain. . . . .

Or could there have been an earlier Jewish tradition linking the Messiah ben Joseph with Galilee, a connection which early Christians exploited in their stories about their own Messiah ben Joseph, as it were?
The notion that rabbis would engage Christian beliefs about the messiah by interpreting their texts to similarly propose a dying messiah, a Galilean provenance, a resurrection, a son of Joseph, a journey to Jerusalem, and so forth is indeed difficult to swallow. Daniel Boyarin made that point bluntly in The Jewish Gospels:
This commonplace view (that the Jewish slain messiahs were a response to Christianity) has to be rejected completely. The notion of the humiliated and suffering Messiah was not at all alien within Judaism before Jesus’ advent . . .
Such ideas found in the rabbinic writings are best explained as originating in pre-Christian times. I've quoted Boyarin and others (who make similar arguments) at some length in Suffering and Dying Messiahs: Typically Jewish Beliefs.

There were various traditions, not just one, about various messiahs, some dying, many suffering, in the pre-Christian literature.

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

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:42 am
by neilgodfrey
It does not necessarily follow that the evangelists who crafted a Jesus narrative were drawing on any of those particular "traditions" about this or that messiah. A plausible scenario is that certain scriptural passages were being interpreted in a range of messianic ways and evangelists developed their own narrative details on the basis of the same scriptures -- all within a context of multiple viewpoints about those scriptures.