A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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MrMacSon
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:45 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:26 am
maryhelena wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:39 pm
18 c.e. for Pilate's rule [commencing] in Judaea - is a date that has the potential to bring the Jesus historicists to their ground zero ...
How? Why? b/c it means
  • Jesus had to have been killed by Pilate earlier than proposed?
  • John can't have been killed before Jesus??, or
  • both ???
??? nothing is clear in any post in this thread other than

.
... at least one of the following three propositions must be false:

1. Jesus died ca. 29–33 CE.
2. John the Baptist died ca. 35–36 CE.
3. John the Baptist died earlier than Jesus.
.

The time of commencement of Pilate's rule in Judea doesn't come into that.
maryhelena wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:55 am

1. Jesus died ca. 29–33 CE. = according to gLuke and its 15th year of Tiberius story.

2. John the Baptist died ca. 35–36 CE. = according to Antiquities book 18 ch.5

3. John the Baptist died earlier than Jesus = Antiquities book 18 ch.3. and 18 ch. 5 do not support the gospel story that JtB died prior to Jesus.

And that is the point made in the article referenced at the beginning of this thread - I suggest that you re-read it.
Again, you fail to account for the role significance of an earlier commencement of Pilate's rule in Judea.

And nor does what you tacked on -
maryhelena wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:55 am
As to Pilate being in Judaea in 18 c.e. - this early dating has impact upon the Jesus crucifixion story of the gospel of Luke and it's 15th year of Tiberius. A gospel story that has JtB executed prior to the crucifixion of it's Jesus figure.
Pilate being in Judea in 18 c.e. would not have any bearing on the 15th year of Tiberius, as far as I can see.

In the OP you refer to ''Josephus' Antiquities plac[ing] its Jesus crucifixion story in the context of 19 c.e.'' --- wtf does that have to do with the Gospel accounts? Besides, which Jesus crucifixion story in Antiquities???

maryhelena
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by maryhelena » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:02 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:45 am


Pilate being in Judea in 18 c.e. would not have any bearing on the 15th year of Tiberius, as far as I can see.

In the OP you refer to ''Josephus' Antiquities plac[ing] its Jesus crucifixion story in the context of 19 c.e.'' --- wtf does that have to do with the Gospel accounts? Besides, which Jesus crucifixion story in Antiquities???
Your right - the Josephan Jesus crucifixion placed within a context of 19 c.e. has no direct baring on the 15th year of Tiberius of gLuke. Consequently, Jesus historicists have no business using it in an attempt to gain historicity for their Jesus figure. Two different stories, two different interpretations of Hasmonean history. Josephus choosing dates that serve his purpose and gLuke using dates that serve his purpose. Problems arises only when one wants to pit one against the other...both 'takes' on Hasmonean history are valid. Different perspectives, different focus.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:49 am

to maryhelena,
Can you prove from Josephus' Antiquities XVIII, 5, 2?
Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man,
and
Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him.
I am quite sure you cannot.

The history of the beginning of Christianity history can only have one true one. It is not something which need to renew itself in many different ways every year, with a myriad of vastly different & ill-evidenced theories.
You have refused to engage me on my evidence and arguments like I am some sort of antiquated historicist paria.
Instead you rely on strong words from Visi & others with theories not backed up by evidence which is direct, not far fetched, not created by an interpretive process.

If you read my website, you see that I am not like other historicists (tainted by accepting crucial elements without analysis and from that, going off track in different ways).

Here is what some of my readers wrote to me:

General observations:

* "Congratulations! ... easily the best documented & most objective piece of Jesus research that I have found on the internet in almost a year of surfing. ... independent evaluation of the historical evidence that you demonstrate so well. ... such historical clarity ..."

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* "I visited your website and found it quite thorough and informative ... I thought that your comments at your site regarding the beginning of Christianity, proto-Christianity, and the later date for Acts, and its problems of continuity with 'Luke' and 'Luke's' discontinuity with the rest of the Gospels to be accurate observations that have been made by many scholars. Excellent stuff. ...
I realize English is not your native tongue, but I do hope someone sometime will re-edit your articles or utilize them in their own work, since they contain some excellent observations."

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Sorry, but so little information is available to me. I go on line to find information, and it is almost like "mission impossible". Now, you see why I am so intrigued by your web site. I am still stunned and amazed by the hours of research you invested in making this knowledge available. Thank you, again ...
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So this sums up my second amazement, which is my real joy at seeing the elegant, lucid and compelling arguments you make - 'arguments' is almost the wrong word: since you rely so much on primary sources to tell the story, your own interpretations are almost unnecessary. The texts, when arranged and compared as you do, reveal their secrets quite readily for those with eyes to see. I ... had cause to laugh out loud in pleasure at the novel (to me anyway) but straightforward and undeniable conclusions that your patient research has yielded.
And for this, I thank you.
... I shall sign off there. Once again, let me register my deep admiration and appreciation for your wonderful work, which is at the same time so unlike any of the other Jesus resources available on the web, and so reassuringly transparent despite the obvious weight of reading and careful scholarship behind it."

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What really provoked this e-mail, however, was your clear concise and commonsensical methodological rules of thumb. I had to drop a line saying how much I was enjoying your work.
Many thanks"

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To everyone else here, I would say that Mr. Muller's site is well worth reading whether or not you buy into all of his conclusions. He brings in a wide range of sources (apocryphal accounts, writings of early church fathers, etc.) which are not often discussed in one place, and provides some excellent deconstructions and analyses of the primary texts. ..."

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This is by far and away, the most honest approach to a historical Jesus I have ever seen. Started from completely non-biased, completely objective, detective work.
I am an atheist, however, I have received catholic school education from kindergarten all through college and have always been interested about who the man they were teaching actually was, outside of the faith. I wish I would have had one professor who was open and honest to an approach such as this, sadly they don't exist because they are blinded by faith.
For years I have been doing my own independent research (starting as a part time hobby such as yourself), and concluded an end to a means extremely similar to yours but couldn't exactly put it to words the way you masterfully have. I stumbled upon your site about 1 year ago from earlychristianwritings.com and haven't been able to stop devouring every bit of information you have on it. ...
Again, thank you for all the work you have done, especially since this is your free time you work on this and thank you for putting out the best theory on a historical Jesus that exists."

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* "... the eloquent cases you make for a later (and real) 'Q', 'Thomas' and the like have given me pause over taking John Crossan's opinions as the last word ... I really think you are closer to disentangling the NT mess than most."

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Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

maryhelena
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by maryhelena » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:25 am


The Authenticity of John the Baptist in Josephus

Peter Kirby

Summing Up


It turns out that quite a lot could be written about the authenticity of the passage on John the Baptist found in the Antiquities, and there are also some peculiarities of the passage that are frequently unaddressed and that might seem to speak to the passage’s inauthenticity. A thorough review of them, however, finds that these concerns about the authenticity of the passage can be not only addressed, but that the premises involved can frequently be shown to be flawed or just plain wrong. Most of the arguments for inauthenticity here don’t even move the needle because they are based on misunderstandings of the text of Josephus or of the historical context.

..................

But it does not seem to be better than the least of the just-mentioned arguments for authenticity, at least not in my estimation. The passage makes sense in its Josephan context and in its historical context, and the arguments against its authenticity do not hold up. Authorship by anyone other than Josephus (along with his assistants) or a Christian is exceedingly unlikely in any case. The passage has both many indicators against Christian authorship (including 2, 3, 6, 7, and 14 above) and a few indicators in favor of Josephan authorship (including 8, 13, and 15 above). Thus, it seems very likely that this passage on John the Baptist is authentic to the publication of the Antiquities by Josephus.



http://peterkirby.com/john-the-baptist-authentic.html

Once the Josephan John the baptizer passage is viewed as authentic then questions about what to do with it surface. Does this passage have any connection, any relevance, to the gospel JtB ? A question that Tamás Visi answers by suggesting that'' if the traditional chronology proves to be false, then the narrative scheme, on which all the canonical gospels are based, should not be accepted at face value.''

Greg Doudna has suggested:
If this analysis is correct—that Josephus misplaced this story to the wrong Herod
in Antiquities—then there is no attestation external to the New Testament of the New
Testament figure of John the Baptist of the first century CE of the time of Jesus. The
implication would seem to be this: either the New Testament John the Baptist has been
generated in the story world of the Gospels, or he is a different figure than Josephus’s
John the Baptist, perhaps a later leader in the same movement bearing the same name,
who was secondarily conflated with Josephus’s John the Baptist. These issues are beyond
the scope of this paper.

In an earlier paragraph I suggested:
Josephus having a flashback moment while writing his account of 36/37 c.e. ? Indeed he was - but not to the Jesus of the gospel storyline. Josephus goes back much further - back even beyond 63 b.c. to John Hyrancus I in 134 b.c. 170 years of Hasmonean history wrapped up in his JtB, Herod (Antipas) Herodias, and Aretas allegory. From the Hasmonean warrior kings waging war to establish an independent Israel, to Alexander Jannaeus and Machaerus, to Aristobulus II and Machaerus, to the siege of Aretas III against Jerusalem, the civil war between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, to the Roman execution of Antigonus, to Herod divorcing Doris to marry the Hasmonean Mariamne, to the Teacher of Righteousness of the DSS, to the final end of the Hasmoneans with Herod dating the executing of Hyrancus II to 30 c.e. Plenty in that Hasmonean history for Josephus to run an undercurrent throughout his 'history' of the early years of the first century.

Simply put.....the two Josephan figures, Jesus and JtB are composite literary constructs created to reflect Hasmonean history. And the gospel Jesus story? A political allegory with a theological undercurrent. Both the gospel writers and Josephus are doing the same thing - writing interpretations, writing allegories, of Hasmonean history.

-----------
added later.

Of course one can always stay with the status quo until such time as the winds of change knock you off your feet...

Knowledge is never a static thing. It may allow period of relative calm but it's very nature is to push the boundaries of intellectual evolution.

Josephan scholarship is no exception. While the gospel story has numerous fans stuck with an outdated 'windows' - there are other approaches waiting in the wings. Update time for Jesus and John the Baptist.....
Last edited by maryhelena on Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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StephenGoranson
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by StephenGoranson » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:46 am

G. Doudna assumed that Hyrcanus II was also named John, and then proceeded to propose a mix-up with John the Baptist. But, as noted on another thread:

a) Tal Ilan, besides in her JQR 78 (1987-8) article, in her 2002 extensive Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity Part I Palestine 330 BCE-200 CE (TSAJ 91) p. 12 continued to hold that some Hasmoneans “only had a Greek name,” e.g. Hyrcanus II (p. 350).
b) Herod the Great apparently had only a Greek name. If he had a Hebrew name there are sources where it likely would have appeared, e.g., on coins.
c) If Hyrcanus II had a Hebrew name, would it be likely that Josephus would know and give it?
d) Given uncertainty that he had a Hebrew name, assuming any particular Hebrew name for Hyrcanus II may be a big “if.” Options are John, Jonathan, or something else--*likely none at all.*

So, that assumption appears to be weak and the proposal to be leaning on a thin reed.

maryhelena
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by maryhelena » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:01 am

StephenGoranson wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:46 am
G. Doudna assumed that Hyrcanus II was also named John, and then proceeded to propose a mix-up with John the Baptist. But, as noted on another thread:

a) Tal Ilan, besides in her JQR 78 (1987-8) article, in her 2002 extensive Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity Part I Palestine 330 BCE-200 CE (TSAJ 91) p. 12 continued to hold that some Hasmoneans “only had a Greek name,” e.g. Hyrcanus II (p. 350).
b) Herod the Great apparently had only a Greek name. If he had a Hebrew name there are sources where it likely would have appeared, e.g., on coins.
c) If Hyrcanus II had a Hebrew name, would it be likely that Josephus would know and give it?
d) Given uncertainty that he had a Hebrew name, assuming any particular Hebrew name for Hyrcanus II may be a big “if.” Options are John, Jonathan, or something else--*likely none at all.*

So, that assumption appears to be weak and the proposal to be leaning on a thin reed.
Really? Whatever are the shortcoming in Greg's theory on JtB they have opened a door that won't easily be closed.

As you can read from my own position outlined in this thread - a composite Josephan John the baptizer handles all of the objections you raise above. For instance, allowing for a composite Josephan John the baptizer allows for the inclusion of John Hyrancus - in other words; it's Hasmonean history that is reflected in the Josephan account of JtB. Greg's shortcoming, to my mind, is his concentration on just one strand of Hasmonean history in his theory of John the baptizer and Hyrancus II.

But as I say - the door is now open for a revaluation of what Josephus has been doing with his John the baptizer figure....
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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StephenGoranson
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by StephenGoranson » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:44 am

Imo, some of the best recent scholarship on John the Baptist is by Albert I. Baumgarten, some of it available on “academia.edu”

maryhelena
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by maryhelena » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:14 am

StephenGoranson wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:44 am
Imo, some of the best recent scholarship on John the Baptist is by Albert I. Baumgarten, some of it available on “academia.edu”
Lots of scholars out there - lots of opinions. Methinks best to look for scholars who strive to move the debate forward rather than playing to the consensus. Heretics.....their the people who move the dial....in fact, christianity without heretics would have been dead in the water long ago. Heresy keeps the flame burning bright - after all, is not life, death and rebirth the very hallmark of christianity... ;)
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Bernard Muller
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:43 am

Ben wrote:
One of the most direct pieces of evidence is that Tacitus appears to date the fiasco involving Mundus and Paulina, narrated immediately after the Testimonium in Josephus, to the year that Germanicus died (AD 19, Annals 2.85: actum de sacris Aegyptiis et Judaicis pellendis).
I agree. It seems this evidence is the most direct for putting Pilate's rule over Judah around 19 CE. But the stories about Paulina and Fulvia are sandwiched between two events in Pilate' early tenure and one event (about the Samaritans) at the end of Pilate's rule.
And Josephus is very clear when Pilate's tenure was terminated (right before Tiberius' death (March 16th 37 CE) and when it started, ten years before (which can be estimated from late 26 CE to late 36 CE). The starting year can also be figured out through Gratus eleven years tenure as president of Syria, which points to 25 CE at the earliest. Could these 10 years and eleven years be shortened by Christians? there is no evidence for that.

So it is undeniable that Josephus thought the events about Paulina and Fulvia happened around 30 CE.

But according to Visi (who is a historicist): "since first-century Jewish society at large had difficulties in remembering dates of historical events (see 3.2)". This is what I also observed.

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:09 am

The dating, by some, of JtB's execution around the time of the battle between Antipas and Aretas armies, is essentially based of the belief that people can have a grudge about someone who did an evil act against someone else (OK by me), but that grudge can only last no more than about one year before dissipating.
WRONG! Get informed: people can have grudge of that nature for many years.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

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