How Easy It Was To Alter The Testimonium Flavianum

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Tod Stites
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:46 pm

How Easy It Was To Alter The Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Tod Stites » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:57 pm

*The semantic range of the Greek "oti"(HOT-ee) throws some interesting light on the famous
"Testimonium Flavianum", the Testimony about Jesus attributed to the historian Jospehus.
*Now "oti" can mean "for"(i.e."because"), or it can mean "that"(i.e."as if")=(Strong "Greek
Dictionary Of The New Testament" p.183).And if this key word was present in the original
Testimony of Josephus, we can see how it could have been easily manipulated by later
Christian scribes in order to make it appear that Josephus had confessed Jesus as the Christ.
*For the original wording of Josephus may well have intended to say that "Jesus drew after
him many of the Jews and many of Greek origin that ("oti") he was the Christ.."
*But in order to suppress any notion that Jesus had publicly proclaimed himself the Christ,
and in order to render the implication that Josephus had recognized Jesus as the Christ,
Christian editors could, by making only the slightest alteration to the Testimony, make it
say that Jesus "drew after him many of the Jews and many of Greek origin. For ("oti") he
was the Christ.."
*This idea belongs to Walter Potscher (1975) and is cited by Louis Feldman in his "Josephus
And Modern Scholarship 1937-1984" (p.689).The primary source is of course the "Judean
Antiquities" of Josephus (18.3.3).

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John T
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Re: How Easy It Was To Alter The Testimonium Flavianum

Post by John T » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:37 am

"...if this key word [ "oti"] was present in the original Testimony of Josephus..."Stites.

Highly unlikely, even so, "oti" can also mean "since".

I'm no Greek scholar but if I understand it correctly, there is no indefinite article i.e., a, in Greek, only the definite article, i.e. "the". Furthermore, the definite article must agree in case, number, and gender.

Meaning, by simply removing "oti" it still would not have caused Eusebius to misinterpret the Testimonium Flavianum. An interpolation of Eusebius perhaps but not likely a mistranslated/alteration that he missed.

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"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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