Similarities and differences between two crucifixions

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Giuseppe
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Similarities and differences between two crucifixions

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:36 pm

Russell GMirkin has listed similarities and differences between Josephus and Mark:

Josephus, Life 420-21:
“When I was sent by Titus Caesar with Cerealius, and a thousand horse, to a village called Tekoa, to prospect whether it was a suitable place fit for a camp, and on my return saw many prisoners who had been crucified, and recognized three of my acquaintances among them, I was cut to the heart and came and told Titus with tears what I had seen. He gave orders immediately that they should be taken down and receive the most careful treatment. Two of them died in the physician’s hands; the third survived.”

Does this actually compare with the gospel account?

Similarities:
  • (1) Three crucified, one survives.
  • (2) Name Joseph of Arimathea similar to Josephus bar Matthias–accidentally omitted, but point of interest! My bad!
Differences:
  • (1) in Josephus, hundreds crucified before the walls of Jerusalem, three are recognized as friends of Josephus.
  • (2) In the gospels, all three died on the cross, whereas in Josephus all three were still visibly alive.
  • (3) In the gospels, Joseph of Arimathea was said to have requested the (dead) body of only one of the crucified, not all three.
  • (4) In the gospels the purpose was for burial, not to place under a physician’s care.
  • (5) In the gospel story, the survival was due to miraculous resurrection, not a physician’s care.
  • (6) The named Roman official is different, Titus vs. Pilate.
  • (7) The timing is also quite different. The episode in Josephus takes place at the fall of Jerusalem’s temple in August or September 70, while the gospel episode is during Passover season.

I should add another similarity:

  • 3) From Josephus’s Life, it is clear that Josephus had ongoing covert dealings with warrior commander Jesus in Galilee. In Mark, Joseph is said to be "secret disciple" of Jesus.

There are three possibilities:
  • Jesus existed, and Mark copied from Josephus
  • Jesus never existed and Mark copied from Josephus
  • Jesus existed and he was Jesus ben Saphat.

In the first two cases, it is not clear, at contrary it is absolutely unexplicable, WHY "Mark" would have copied from Josephus the detail about "Joseph of Arimathea". In particular, usually the reference to Joseph being a "secret disciple" of Jesus seems to be, interpreted alone, as an apology for the exact contrary: Joseph NOT being never connected with Jesus in the real past.

But the similarity number 3 persuades me that behind that marginal detail there could be an entire History in the real past, connecting a Jesus and a Joseph even before the death of the former.

The differences number (1) and number (7) are not real differences, since in Mark the references to destruction of 70 CE are very a lot (for example, this).

Hence we have 3 similarities against 5 differences.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Similarities and differences between two crucifixions

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:43 pm

I should add another similarity:
  • 4) Both, in Mark and in Josephus, one of the three crucified was a Galilean.
Hence, now we have 4 similarities against 5 differences.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Similarities and differences between two crucifixions

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:55 pm

The difference number (5) is not a real difference, since we have evidence that physical survival to serious wound in war was considered easily as a resurrection.


So Doudna:

As for a crucifixion survivor and friends midrashing such a survival as a resurrection from the dead, compare the miraculous divine deliverance of war hero Niger at Ashkelon after three days supposed to have been dead at War 3.26-28:
“His reappearance filled all Jewish hearts with unlooked-for joy; they thought that God’s providence had preserved him to be their general in conflicts to come”.


Hence, now we have 4 similarities against 4 differences.

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Re: Similarities and differences between two crucifixions

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:52 am

Neil has listed other similarities (between Josephus and the Fourth Gospel) from Mythicist Pierre Krijbolder. I would add only the more persuasive among them, in my view:

  • 5) There is a Roman ruler in Jerusalem (Titus). There is a Roman ruler in Jerusalem (Pilate).
  • 6) There are (probably) two members of the Sanhedrin, one named Joseph bar Matthea and the other Nicodemus bar Gourion. There are two members of the Sanhedrin, one named Joseph of Arimathea, and the other Nicodemus.
  • 7) The crucifixion took place at a scorned terrain (BJ, book V, ch.3, §2) which in Hebrew language will have been referred to by the name ‘Golgotha’, and bounded by the (presumably) adjacent new estate of Joseph bar Matthea. The crucifixion took place at a terrain named ‘Golgotha’ and bounded by the adjacent estate of Joseph of Arimathea.
  • 8) At the (most plausible) estate of Joseph bar Matthea, there is a tomb cellar, which was never used before, and which could be closed by a large rounded stone. Joseph bar Matthea calls his (assumed) new estate: the (Herod’s) Monument(s).
    At the estate of Joseph of Arimathea, there was a tomb cellar which had never been used before, and could be closed by a large rounded stone. The evangelist calls the tomb of Jesus a *Monument’.
  • 9) Nicodemus bar Gourion is a friend of Joseph bar Matthea and a wealthy wholesale dealer in balm among others. Josephus wrote about his admiration for father Gourion. Nicodemus brings an expensive quantity of balm (30 kilograms) for the burial of Jesus, whom he did not envy.
Hence, now we have 13 similarities against 5 differences.

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