What's all this fuss about Slavonic Josephus?

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What's all this fuss about Slavonic Josephus?

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:29 pm

Slavonic whaaaaat?

Josephus' Judean War, published as we know it in Greek around 75 CE, has been translated several time into languages like Latin. Sometimes the translations are quite close to the Greek, and more often than not are free paraphrases which omit some things and add others from alternate sources, such as his Judean Antiquities.

Well, one of these paraphrases was the version that was translated into old Church Slavonic around 1000 CE or a century or two later. However, it was SO WEIRD that some modern scholars were seriously suggesting it was either a FAKE (shades of Morton Smith's Letter to Theodore) or waved away as a medieval creation based on apocryphal gospels and such with ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE TO IT WHATSOEVER.

Unfortunately for everybody concerned, there are no easy answers to what it was based on. I suggested a couple in another thread (which was supposed to be about Eisenman, but I got my wires crossed, something that happens a lot now that I am "channeling God" as KK says).

Since the publishers of the Loeb classical library tend to release into the public domain the translations of works after the deaths of the translators, and this seems to have been the case with H. St. John Thackeray, who translated the books of the War, I think it is safe to give here the Appendix to his translation of the War that deals with the Slavonic version.

(Josephus) LCL 210, vol 3 of 9, The Jewish War, Books IV-VII (tr. by H. St. J. Thackeray, 1928)


The first nineteen of these passages are translated from the German rendering of the Slavonic version produced by the late Dr. Berendts and Dr. Grass, Flavius Josephus vom Jüdischen Kriege, Buch i-iv, nach der slavischen Ubersetzung, Dorpat, teil i, 1924-1926, Teil ii, 1927; the last three passages from Dr. Berendts' translation in Texte und Untersuchungen, Neue Folge, vol. xiv, 1906. The history of these passages is obscure. They include some obvious Christian interpolations a; on the other hand, the Slavonic version, in which they are found, has been thought by some scholars to have preserved, at least in part, the author's original draft of the Jewish War. The reader is referred to a forthcoming work of Dr. Robert Eisler, "The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist, as described in the unpublished 'Capture of Jerusalem' of Flavius Josephus and the Christian sources," of which an English edition will shortly be published by Messrs. Methuen, and an American edition by Lincoln MacVeagh (The Dial Press). The writer is greatly indebted to Dr. Eisler for assistance in the preparation of this Appendix. Notes which he has kindly supplied are indicated by the initials R. E.

635a Supposed interpolations, according to Dr. Eisler's critical edition of the text, are placed in square brackets in the following translation.

(1) Herod's Dream

[i. 328, inserted after προσημαίνουσιν.]

(But when Herod was in Antioch, he saw a dream which [636] revealed to him in advance his brother's death.) Now the dream was on this wise. There were four a ears of corn: the first was dry through frost, but the second stood upright, while wolves fell upon the third and cut (it) down and dragged it behind them. But the interpretation of it was on this wise. The first ear was Phasael, whom poisoning had dried up; the second ear was himself, inasmuch as he was b unscathed; while the third was his brother Joseph, whom warriors cut down and dragged away without burial. And his soul was stirred within him; at once terror seized him, and he went forth from the bed-chamber about midnight like one possessed. For the soul, which had understood sooner than the spirit, c was afraid. (And forthwith there came to him the melancholy tidings.)

636a So the text; but no further mention is made of the fourth.
b Lit. "is." According to Dr. Eisler, the present tense shows that the source was written while Herod the Great was still alive.
c Or "mind" (Geist).

(2) A Discussion OF Jewish Priests: "Herod is not the Messiah"

[Replacing i. 364-370 (middle) in the Greek.]
But Herod spent little (time) in Jerusalem, and marched against the Arabs. At that d time the priests mourned and grieved one to another in secret. They durst not (do so openly for fear of)e Herod and his friends.

For (one Jonathan) f spake: "The law bids us have no foreigner for king.g Yet we wait for the Anointed, the meek one,h of David's line. But of Herod we know that he is an Arabian, i uncircumcised. The Anointed will be [637] called meek, but this (is) he who has filled our whole land with blood. Under the Anointed it was ordained for the lame to walk, and the blind to see, a (and) the poor to become rich.b But under this man the hale have become lame, the seeing are blinded, the rich have become beggars. What is this? or how? Have the prophets lied? The prophets have written that there shall not want a ruler from Judah, until he come unto whom it c is given up; for him do the Gentiles hope.d But is this man the hope for the Gentiles? For we hate his misdeeds. Will the Gentiles perchance set their hopes on him? Woe unto us, because God has forsaken us, and we are forgotten of him! e And he will give us over to desolation and to destruction. Not as under Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus (is it). For then were the prophets teachers also of the people, and they made promises concerning the captivity and concerning the return. And now — neither is there any whom one could ask, nor any with whom one could find comfort."

But Ananus the priest answered and spake to them: "I know all books.f When Herod fought beneath the city wall,g I had never a thought that God would permit him to rule over us. But now I understand that our desolation is nigh. And bethink you of the prophecy of Daniel; for he writes h that after the return i the city of Jerusalem shall stand for seventy weeks of years, which are 490 years, and after these years shall it be desolate." And when they had counted the years, (they) were thirty years [638] and four.a But Jonathan answered and spake: "The numbers of the years are even as we have said. But the Holy of Holies,b where is he? For this Herod he (sc. the prophet) cannot call the Holy one c—(him) the bloodthirsty and impure."

But one of them, by name Levi, wishing to outwit them, spake to them what he got d with his tongue, not out of the books, but in fable. They, however, being learned in the Scriptures, began to search for the time when the Holy one would come; but the speeches of Levi they execrated, saying, "Soup e is in thy mouth, but a bone in thy head," wherefore also they said to him that he had breakfasted all night and that his head was heavy with drink, as it were a bone. But he, overcome with shame, fled to Herod and informed him of the speeches of the priests which they had spoken against him. But Herod sent by night and slew them all, without the knowledge of the people, lest they should be roused; and he appointed others.

(And when it was morning the whole land quaked, etc., as in § 370 Greek text.)

636d Lit. "the."
e An apparent lacuna: words supplied by Berendts-Grass.
f The name, which has fallen out, is supplied from the sequel.
g Deut. xvii. 15.
h Zech. ix. 9.
i According to B.J. i. 123 he was an Idumaean; his friend Nicolas of Damascus represented him as belonging to one of the first Jewish families that returned from Babylon, Ant. xiv. 9; Christians called him a Philistine.
637 a Is. XXXV. 5 f.
b Cf. Is. Ixi. 1 (" to preach good tidings unto the poor ").
c sc. the rulership.
d Gen. xlix. 10: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah . . . until Shiloh come: and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be." Shiloh is interpreted above, as in the Targum, to mean "he whose it is."
e Cf. Is. xlix. 14, "Zion said, Jehovah hath forsaken me and the Lord hath forgotten me."
f i.e., of Scripture or of the Messianic Scriptures.
g Lit., "before the city," when besieging Antigonus in Jerusalem in 37 B.C., B.J. i. 343 ff.
h Dan. ix. 24 ff.
i Of the exiles from Babylon.
638 a This seems to mean that they reckoned that there were 34 more years still to run of the 490, within which, according to Daniel ix. 24, the Messiah was to appear. Berendts takes it to mean "Herod has 34 years to reign"; i.e., from his capture of Jerusalem in 37 B.C. to his death in 4 B.C. (cf. B.J. i. 665 ; Ant. xvii. 191). But we are not told that the priests were also prophets; this debate, moreover, is represented as taking place in the year of Herod's Arab campaign (3-2 B.C.), not in that of his accession (37 B.C). Herod was evidently dead when this chapter was written.
b Dan. ix. 24, "Seventy weeks are decreed ... to anoint a Holy of Holies." [The "Holy of Holies" is the last Messianic high-priest, cf. 1 Chron. xxiii. 13 : " Aaron was set aside for a holy one of holies " (literal trans, of MT.). R. E.]
vi. 69) is again the Messianic high-priest. R. E.]
d German festbekam. [for Greek ἔπηξεν. R. E.]
e Dr. R. Eisler would read "putty," thinking that the Greek reading underlying the Slavonic has arisen through confusion of maraq, "soup" and marqah, "putty."

[639] (3) Antipater's a Comparison of Himself to Heracles fighting the Hydra

[Replacing the sentence in i. 588, "Then there were these hydra heads, the sons of Aristobulus and Alexander, shooting up."]

But there are growing up against me and against my children the heads of the hydra (?). Just as Heracles sought to cut off the hundred heads of that beast with the sword, and, when he had not (yet) reached the last head, the heads again grew up, until he called Iolaus to his aid; (and as,) while Heracles hewed, Iolaus burnt out with a fire-brand the places that appeared through the gash, and thereby the growth of the heads of that beast was stayed — even so have I cut off Aristobulus and Alexander, but have gained no profit therefrom. For there are those who (stand) in their place, their sons, but I have no Iolaus to help me. And I know not how I should fulfil my desire.

639a Not "Herod's," as in Berendts-Grass (List of Contents).

(4) First Invective against the Romans (or Latins)

[Replacing i. 601-605.]

But Antipater, knowing nothing of these things, amused himself in Rome. And he lived just as becomes a king's son, alike in the magnificence of his surroundings, attendance and dress, and in munificence. Accordingly he gave large presents to the Roman authorities, and induced them to write in praise of himself to Herod.

And after receiving the presents, the [Italians, who are called] Latins wrote such praise of Antipater, as cannot be expressed, saying: "This man alone is thy defender and guardian and shield and deliverer from thy shameful sons. Had it not been for him, thy two first reprobate sons would have killed thee. And those two who are now here studying [640] philosophy clamour loudly against thee, reviling and representing thee as a monster."

For such are the Latins: they run to accept presents and break their oath for the sake of presents. And they see no sin in calumny, saying, "With words have we spoken, but we have not killed (anyone) ourselves," since the accursed wretches think that he is a murderer, who kills with the hand, but that calumny and denunciation and instigation against one's neighbour are not murder. Had they known the law of God, they would have been shown long since what a murderer is. a But they are aliens, and our doctrine a touches them not. Therefore did they lie against the two sons of Herod, who were then being educated in Rome, Archelaus (and) Philip, and wrote so that he should kill them.

But Herod, having fortified himself b against external things, and in consequence of the first painful inquiries, attached no credit to the Roman letters.

640a [Allusions to the rabbinic doctrine ('Arakin 15 b, Jer. Peah i. 16 a, etc.) that "calumny is threefold killing." It kills (in the end) the calumniator, the calumniated, and him who believes the calumny. R. E.]
b Lit. "his mind" (seinen Sinn).

(5) Second Invective against the Romans

[In i. 610, in place of the words παραχρῆμα μὲν ἔσπευδεν.]

(And during the time when he c was in Cilicia, he received his father's letter, of which we have spoken.) And he was highly delighted, and prepared a sumptuous dinner for his travelling companions and for the Romans, who through flattery had received from him three hundred talents.d

[641] For they are insatiable in receiving; but if anyone gives them more to-day, to-morrow they want (still) more. And as the sea cannot be filled, nor hell satisfied, nor woman's passion, even so are the Romans insatiable in receiving; in truth they are Solomon's leeches,a people who give their body and their soul for a reward. b Yet they are ready also to give up their limbs c and their brothers and children,d the former in that (by training) they convert boldness (and) fury into valour,e but the others in that they are covetous of gold, like ravens on a corpse. Many also for some trifle are prepared to surrender their (military) clothing, their cities, as also their generals.f We shall describe them in the sequel, but now we (will) relate the matter in hand.

(When Antipater came to Celenderis, etc.)

640c i.e., Antipater, on his homeward journey from Rome to Palestine.
d The Greek text in § 605 states that "his returns showed an expenditure of 200 talents" in Rome. The Slavonic omits that statement, but the 300 talents here mentioned may possibly have some connexion with that other sum.
641a An allusion to the Proverbs of Solomon xxx. 15 f., "The leech hath two daughters, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied . . . Sheol, and the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water...." "Woman's passion" above (vice "the barren womb") follows the Lxx text (ἔρως γυναικὸς, xxiv. 51).
b [An allusion to the gladiatorial profession. Cf. Petronius 117 "tamquam legitimi gladiatores domino corpora animasque addicimus." R. E.]
c [An allusion to the auctorati, freeborn Romans entering the arena as gladiators for the sake of lucre. Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xiv. 14. R. E.]
d [An allusion to Romans selling their sons to the lanista, to be trained as gladiators. R. E.]
e die einen, indem sie durch (Zucht) Keckheit (und) Tollheit in Mannhaftigkeit verwandeln. [Cf. B.J. iv. 1. 6, § 45 τὸ ... τῆς ὁρμῆς [...] ἐμπειρίᾳ ... κατορθοῦμεν. He means the lanistae, the trainers of the gladiators' schools. R. E.]
f [The text has "and their clothing" at the end, but this makes a bad anticlimax. Dr. Eisler transposes the words and explains them as referring to deserters bartering away their outfit for civilian clothes and a little money.]

[642] (6) Moralizing on Divine Providence as exemplified in Abraham

[Following upon the trial and condemnation of Antipater, in place of i. 641-644.]

Therefore is it fitting to marvel at Divine Providence, how it requites evil for evil, but good for good. And it is impossible for man to hide from a His Almighty right hand, either for the just or for the unjust; but more still does His mighty b eye look upon the just. And indeed Abraham, the forefather of our race, was led out of his land, because he had offended his brother in the division of their territories c; and whereby he sinned, even thereby he received also his punishment. And again for his obedience d He gave him the promised land.e

642a "before."
b hochherrliches: cf. θεοῦ μέγας ὀφθαλμός, B.J. i. 84 and 378, where it is mentioned in conjunction with His right hand (οὐ διαφεύξονται τὸν μέγαν ὀφθαλμὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀνίκητον δεξιάν).
c [An allusion to an otherwise unknown legend about Abraham depriving his brother Haran of his fair share of the land and consequently losing his own. According to Yacut ii. 231 the city of Haran was named after this brother of Abraham. In Ant. i. 7. 1 Josephus says that Abraham had to leave Mesopotamia, τῶν [...] Μεσοποταμιτῶν στασιασάντων πρὸς αὐτὸν [Ant. i. 157]. He does not wish to tell the Gentiles that it was a quarrel between Abraham and his brother Haran which drove him out of the country. R. E.]
d Gen. xii. 4.
e [This he shares fairly with Haran 's son Lot. R. E.]

(7) Appeal of the Rabbis Judas and Matthias quoting previous examples of heroism

[i. 650 : this fuller address in oratio recta replaces that in oratio obliqua in the Greek; the introduction also contains some additional words.]

For Herod had at that time erected a golden eagle over the great gate of the temple, in honour of the emperor; [643] and he called it the golden-winged eagle.a This the two (doctors) exhorted the people to cut down, saying: "Easy is it to die for the law of (our) fathers; for immortal glory will follow those who die thus,b while for their souls there awaits eternal joy. But those who die in unmanliness, loving the body, not desiring a manly death, but finding their end in sickness, these are inglorious, and will suffer unending torments in the underworld.c Forward, ye Jewish men! Now is the time to play the man. We will show what reverence we have for the law of Moses, in order that our people may not be put to shame, in order that we may not offend our lawgiver. For an example of heroism we have Eleazar d first, and the seven brethren,e the Maccabees, and their mother, who acted manfully. For Antiochus,f who had defeated and captured our country and domineered over us, was defeated by those seven striplings and by the aged teacher g and by the grey-haired woman. We, too, will show ourselves like them, that we may not appear weaker than the woman. But should we also be tortured for our zeal for God, then will our garland be yet better wreathed. But should they even kill us, then will our souls, after quitting the(ir) dark abode, pass over to (our) forefathers, where Abraham (is) and those (descended) from him."

643a The words "in honour . . . eagle'' are not in the Greek.
b Or " there " (da).
c Cf. B.J. vi. 46 ff., where, however, Titus speaks only of the "obliteration in subterranean night" and "oblivion" of those dying on a sick-bed, not of "unending torments."
d 2 Macc. vi. 18 ff.
e 2 Mace. vii.
f Epiphanes.
g 2 Macc. vi. 18, "Eleazar, one of the principal scribes . . . well stricken in years."

(8) Herod's Sins and Punishment

[Replacing the last clause in i. 656, "His condition led diviners to pronounce his maladies a judgement on him for his treatment of the professors."]

For the eye of God looked invisibly upon his sins. He [644] had indeed defiled his dominion with bloodshed and with illicit intercourse with foreign women.a And because he had made others childless, therefore killed he also his children with his (own) hands;b and because he spared not his body in wantonness, therefore contracted he so foul a disease.

644a Or "with other men's wives."
b Cf. (6) above, for the punishment fitting the crime.
I'll go book by book in the Greek text. These passages are confined to the first 4 books of the 5 volume Slavonic translation, which extend a bit into the 5th Greek volume. DCH :scratch:
Last edited by DCHindley on Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: What's all this fuss about Slavonic Josephus?

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:52 pm

That which is in Greek book 2:
(9) ["John the Forerunner"] c

[Inserted between ii. 110 and 111.]

Now at that time there walked among the Jews a man in wondrous garb, for he had put animals' hair upon his body wherever it was not covered by his (own) hair ; and in countenance he was like a savage. He came to the Jews and summoned d them to freedom, saying: "God hath sent me to show you the way of the Law, whereby ye may free yourselves from many masters; and there shall be no mortal ruling over you, but only the Highest e who hath sent me." And when the people heard that, they were glad; [and there went after him all Judaea and the (region) around Jerusalem.]f And he did nothing else to them, save that he dipped them into the stream of the Jordan and let (them) go, admonishing them to desist from evil works; (for) so would they be given a king who would [645] set them free and subject all (the) insubordinate, but he himself would be subject to no one — (he) of whom we speak. Some mocked, but others put faith (in him).

And when he was brought to Archelaus a and the doctors of the Law had assembled, they asked him who he was and where he had been until then. And he answered and spake: "I am a man b and hither c the spirit of God hath called me, and I live on cane and roots and fruits of the tree.d" But when they threatened to torture him if he did not desist from these words and deeds, he spake nevertheless: "It is meet rather for you to desist from your shameful works and to submit to the Lord your God."

And Simon, of Essene extraction,e a scribe, arose in wrath and spake: "We read the divine books every day; but thou, but now come forth from the wood like a wild beast, dost thou dare to teach us and to seduce the multitudes with thy cursed speeches?" And he rushed (upon him) to rend his body. But he spake in reproach to them: "I will not disclose to you the secret that is among you,f because ye desired it not. Therefore has unspeakable misfortune come upon you and through your own doing." And after he had thus spoken, he went forth to the other side of the Jordan; and since no man durst hinder him, he did what (he had done) before.

644c This title, clearly of Christian origin, appears in the Slavonic mss.: the text, here and in the later passage (11), mentions no name and speaks of "the savage."
d Lit. "enticed."
e I have not found any parallel use of ὁ ὕψιστος in Josephus: ἀρχιερέως θεοῦ ὑψίστου occurs in an edict of Augustus, Ant. xvi. 163.
f Cf. Matt. iii. 5, " Then went out unto him [i.e. John) Jerusalem and all Judaea and all the region round about Jordan": Mk. i. 5, "And there went out unto him all the country of Judaea and all they of Jerusalem." [The sentence — evidently a Christian interpolation — is not to be found in the Rumanian version of Josephus, Cod. Gaster No. 89. R. E.]
645a Ethnarch, 4 B.C.-A.D. 6, a date much earlier than that assigned to John's ministry in the New Testament.
b For " a man " (Dr. Eisler would render "Enosh") one MS. reads "pure."
c For "hither" other mss. read "because."
d Slavonic "wood-shavings." Dr. Eisler adopts a suggestion of Wohleb that there has been a confusion in the Greek
exemplar of the Slavonic between καρπῶν "fruits,"and κάρφων (ξυλίνων) "shavings."
e Cf. Ἐσσαῖος ... γένος, B.J. i. 78.
f [The secret of the βασιλεία ... ἐντὸς ὑμῶν, Luke xvii. 21. Cf. τὰ μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας, Matt. xiii. 11. R. E.]

[646] (10) The Novice's Oath of Admission to the Essene Order

[This shows some enlargement on the Greek text in ii. 138 f. The additional matter and altered phraseology are printed in italics. After "his character is tested for two years" the Slavonic continues:—]

And if he is not suitable, they dismiss him from their community; if he appears worthy, they enrol him in (their) society. And before they enrol him, they bind him by tremendous oaths, and he standing before the doors, pledges himself with tremendous oaths, invoking the living God and calling to witness His almighty right hand a and the Spirit of God, the incomprehensible,b and the Seraphim and Cherubim, who have insight into ail, and the whole heavenly host, that he will be pious, etc.

646a Cf. (6) above, p. 642 n. 6.
b den nicht zu fassenden ( = perhaps ἀκατάληπτον).

(11) "The Wild Man" (John), Herod Philip's Dream and the Second Marriage of Herodias

[After ii. 168.]

Philip, during his government, saw a dream, to wit that an eagle plucked out both his eyes; and he called all his wise men together. When some explained the dream in this manner and others in that, there came to him suddenly, without being called, that man of whom we have previously written,c that he went about in animals' hair and cleansed the people in the waters of the Jordan. And he spake: "Hear the word of the Lord — the dream that thou hast seen. The eagle is thy venality, for that bird is violent and rapacious. And this sin will take away thine eyes, [647] which are thy dominion and thy wife."a And when he had thus spoken, Philip expired before evening, and his dominion was given to Agrippa.b

And his wife [Herodias]c was taken by Herod d his brother. Because of her all law-abiding people e abhorred him, but durst not accuse (him) to his face. But only this man, whom we called a savage, came to him in wrath and spake: "Forasmuch as thou hast taken thy brother's wife, thou transgressor of the law, even as thy brother has died a merciless death, so wilt thou too be cut off by the heavenly sickle. For the divine decree will not be silenced, but will destroy thee through evil afflictions in other lands;f because thou dost not raise up seed unto thy brother, but gratifiest (thy) fleshly lusts and committest adultery, seeing [648] that he has left four children."a But Herod, when he heard (that), was wroth and commanded that they should beat him and drive him out. But he incessantly accused Herod, wherever he found him, until he (Herod) grew furious, and gave orders to slay him.

Now his nature was marvellous and his ways not human. For even as a fleshless spirit, so lived he. His mouth knew no bread, nor even at the passover feast did he taste of unleavened bread, saying: "In remembrance of God, who redeemed the people from bondage, is (this) given to eat, and for the flight (only), since the journey was in haste."b But wine and strong drink he would not so much as allow to be brought nigh him: and every beast he abhorred (for food); and every injustice he exposed; and fruits of the trees c served him for (his) needs.

646c (9) above.
647a [The Rumanian Josephus has another explanation of the dream: "The dream that thou hast seen, heralds thy death; for the eagle is a bird of prey and has destroyed thine eyes." The object of the alteration is to avoid the stricture on Philip's venality, just as in Ant. xviii. 106 f., where Philip is called a mild and just ruler, the correction is intended to please his relative, Josephus's patron, Agrippa II. R. E.]
b Philip the Tetrarch died in A.D. 33-34, Ant. xviii. 106; Agrippa I was appointed king by Caligula on his accession some three years later (A.D. 37).
c According to Dr. Eisler a Christian gloss derived from the Gospel narrative (Mark vi. 17, Matt. xiv. 3). The first husband of Herodias was not Philip the tetrarch, as here represented, but a half-brother of Antipas, who is called by Josephus (Ant. xviii. 136) simply "Herod," though he may have borne the second name, Philip; according to the same passage of Ant., the second marriage of Herodias took place in the lifetime of her first husband. [The name Herodias is not found after the words "his wife" in the Rumanian Josephus or in the Hebrew or in the Arabic text of Josippon, although the story runs in all three versions exactly as in the Russian. R. E.]
d Herod Antipas.
e Gesetzesleute.
f Antipas was banished by Caligula to Lugdunum in Gaul in A.D. 39, Ant. xviii. 252, cf. B.J. ii. 183 ("to Spain").
648a i.e., it was not a case of a Levirate marriage in accordance with the Law, Deut. xxv. 5 ff. The statement about these "four children" conflicts with Ant. xviii. 136 f., according to which Herodias by her first marriage had one daughter, Salome, and Philip the Tetrarch died childless.
b Cf. Ex. xii. 11 "ye shall eat it in haste."
c Slavonic "wood-shavings": see p. 615, note d.

(12) The Ministry, Trial and Crucifixion of "The Wonder-worker " (Jesus)

[Between ii. 174 and 175.]

At that time there appeared a man, if it is permissible to call him a man.d His nature [and form] were e human, but his appearance (was something) more than (that) of a man; [notwithstanding f his works were divine]. He worked miracles wonderful and mighty. [Therefore it is impossible for me to call him a man;] but again, if I look [649] at the nature which he shared with all.a I will not call him an angel. And everything whatsoever he wrought through an invisible power, he wrought by word and command. Some said of him, "Our first lawgiver is risen from the dead b and hath performed c many healings and arts," while others thought that he was sent from God. Howbeit in many things he disobeyed the Law and kept not the Sabbath according to (our) fathers' customs. Yet, on the other hand, he did nothing shameful; nor (did he do anything) with aid of hands,d but by word alone did he provide e everything.

And many of the multitude followed after him and hearkened to his teaching; and many souls were in commotion, thinking that thereby the Jewish tribes might free themselves from Roman hands. Now it was his custom in general to sojourn over against the city upon the Mount of Olives;f and there, too, he bestowed his healings upon the people.

And there assembled unto him of ministers g one hundred and fifty, and a multitude of the people. Now when they saw his power, that he accomplished whatsoever he would by (a) word,h and when they had made known to him their will, that he should enter into the city and cut down the Roman troops and Pilate and rule over us,i †he disdained us not†.j

[650] And when thereafter knowledge of it came to the Jewish leaders, they assembled together with the high-priest and spake: "We are powerless and (too) weak a to withstand the Romans. Seeing, moreover, that the bow is bent, we will go and communicate to Pilate what we have heard, and we shall be clear of trouble, lest he hear (it) from others, and we be robbed of our substance and ourselves slaughtered and our children scattered." And they went and communicated (it) to Pilate. And he sent and had many of the multitude slain. And he had that Wonder-worker brought up, and after instituting an inquiry concerning him, he pronounced judgement: "He is [a benefactor, not] a malefactor, [nor] a rebel, [nor] covetous of kingship.b " [And he let him go; for he had healed his dying wife.c]

[And he went to his wonted place and did his wonted works. And when more people again assembled round him, he glorified himself through his actions more than all. The teachers of the Law were overcome with envy, and gave thirty talents to Pilate,d in order that he should put him to death. And he took (it) and gave them liberty to execute their will themselves.] And they laid hands on him and crucified him †contrary† e to the law of (their) fathers.

648d Cf. the opening of the disputed passage in Ant. xviii. 63 Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ἰησοῦς σοφὸς ἀνήρ εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή.
e The Russian has the singular ("was"), which suggests that the words "and form" are a later addition.
f Or "at least" (doch).
649a die allgemeine Natur, doubtless representing a Greek τὴν κοινὴν φύσιν; Cf. B.J. iii. 369 τῆς κοινῆς ἁπάντων ζῴων φύσεως.
b Cf. Mark vi. 14 f., Luke ix. 7 f., where it is conjectured that Jesus may be "one of the old prophets": but the identification with Moses in this passage is unparalleled.
c erwiesen.
d Lit. " nor hand-acts."
e Or "prepare" (bereitete).
f The Galilaean ministry is ignored.
g [Russ. sluga = ὑπηρέται. R. E.]
h Cf. the spurious epistle of Tiberius to Pilate, λόγῳ μόνῳ τὰς ἰάσεις ἐπετέλει, ed. M. R. James, Texts and Studies, v. p. 79.
i One Slavonic ms. has "them."
j Text doubtful : one ms. has "but he heeded not."
650a Cf. the use of ἀσθενής with inf. = "too weak" in e.g. Jos. Ant. x. 215, xiv. 317.
b [Russ. czarizadeč, an otherwise unknown word, probably a literal translation of φίλαρχος. R. E.J
c [This sentence is missing in the Rumanian version. The legend occurs first in the mediaeval Vita beatae Mariae et Salvatoris rhytmica, which quotes among its many sources Josephus — evidently an interpolated copy. R. E.]
d The bribery of Pilate is mentioned in the spurious epistle of Tiberius above mentioned (δῶρα ὑπὲρ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ ἔλαβες).
e [Russ. čres. Not the usual preposition employed by the translator in this sense. In I. § 209 he translates παρά in παρὰ [...] τῶν Ἰουδαίων νόμον by kromě. The Rumanian Josephus has the genuine reading "according to the law of the emperors." Josephus spoke of the supplicium more maiorum of the Romans. R. E.]

[651] (13) The Followers of "The Wonder-worker" (the Early Christians)

[Replacing ii. 221 f. ( = Herodian family history). The first paragraph below roughly corresponds to ii. 219 f., which is here presented in a condensed and altered form.]

But before the completion of the work he himself a (Cf. ii. 219) died at Caesarea after reigning three years. Since he had no son b Claudius again sent his officers to those Cf. ii. 220 kingdoms, Cuspius Fadus and Tiberius Alexander, both of whom kept the people in peace, by not allowing any departure in anything from the pure laws.

But if anyone deviated from the word of the Law, information was laid before the teachers of the Law; whereupon they punished and banished him or sent (him) to Caesar.

And since in the time of those (rulers) many followers of the Wonder-worker afore-mentioned had appealed and spoken to the people of their Master, (saying) that he was alive, although he was c dead, and "He will free you from your bondage," many of the multitude hearkened to the(ir) preaching and took heed to their injunctions — [not on account of their reputation]; for they were of the humbler sort, some mere shoemakers, others sandal-makers, others artisans. [But wonderful were the signs d which they worked, in truth what they would.]

[652] But when these noble procurators saw the falling away of the people, they determined, together with the scribes, to seize (them) [and put (them) to death], for fear lest the little might (not) be little, if it ended in the great. [But they shrank back and were in terror at the signs,a saying, "Not through medicines b do such wonders come to pass; but if they do not proceed from the counsel of God, then will they quickly be exposed." c And they gave them liberty to go where they would. d But afterwards, being prevailed on (?) e by them], they sent them away, some to Caesar, others to Antioch to be tried, others (they exiled) to distant lands.

(But Claudius removed the two officers (and) sent Cumanus, etc.) (Cf. ii. 223)

651a Agrippa I.
b The Greek, in the parallel passage, has " He left issue . . . three daughters . . . and one son Agrippa. As the last was a minor," etc. This son, Agrippa II, was the close friend of Josephus, and the ignorance shown in the words italicized above is indeed surprising, if Josephus can be held to have written them. Berendts attaches these words to the preceding sentence, but the sense requires the division of sentences given above: cf. the Greek. [It is possible that "grown-up," "of age" (ἔφηβος or the like) has dropped out. R. E.]
c Perhaps "had been."
d Cf. the N.T. use of a-σημεῖα for "miracles."
652a i.e., miracles.
b [Russ. otrawlenijemi = διὰ φαρμακείας. R. E.]
c Cf. the words of Gamaliel in Acts v. 38 f.
d Or "to do as they would."
e veranlasst (?).

(14) Speech of Josephus to his Galilaean Troops

[The first paragraph, on the training of the troops, and the second, being the first portion of the speech, correspond roughly to ii. 576-562, but are sufficiently different to bear quotation. The remainder of the speech has no parallel in the Greek. The speech, as is usual in the Slavonic version, is in oratio recta.]

And he collected forces, a hundred thousand young men, armed them, and taught them the art of war. knowing that the Roman army was victorious not through weapons only, but rather through discipline and incessant training. And he set over them captains of ten and of hundreds and of thousands, and over these a commander-in-chief.f And [653] he taught them the trumpet-call and the advance and the retreat and how to reinforce a defeated division, and fortitude of soul, to endure wounds and not to fear death.

And he said to them, "If you thirst for victory, renounce the usual malpractices, theft and robbery and rapine. And do not defraud your kinsmen; regard it not as an advantage to injure others. For war can be better conducted, if the warriors have a good conscience a and their souls are aware that they have kept themselves pure from every crime. (But) if they are condemned by their evil deeds, then will God be their enemy, and the foreigners (will) have an easy victory.

"b But do you have regard for one another. Put away wrath (and) anger.c But if any of those in lower station misconducts himself,d do not be quickly provoked against them, nor resort to blows, but let them stand with meekness before the officers, correct some of (their faults) and forgive the rest.e But if (your) subordinates do aught amiss, refrain from punishment with the hand: punish with a threatening tongue. Castigation by bitter words is enough for the knave. If, on the other hand, you look into everything and inflict corresponding penalties, either, not tolerating the blows, they will desert to your enemies and become an addition to their strength and (another) enemy for you, or they will grow inured to the blows and [654] careless of your affairs, doing (yet) more wrong and injury."

652f In the Greek "over these, generals in command of more extensive divisions." [Josephus betrayed by the use of this word — which Is altered in the later Greek text — that he himself was not the commander-in-chief of the Galilean forces, but only some kind of commissary of the Galilean revolutionary synhedrion accompanying the troops. R. E.]
653a =Slav. swcěstj, conj. Berendts: mss. wěstj = "name."
b Here begins the new matter.
c This, together with the context before and after, has a superficial resemblance to S. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians iv. 26-32, "Be ye angry and sin not. . . . Let him that stole steal no more. . . . Let all . . . wrath and anger . . . be put away . . . and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other." [But "be ye angry and sin not " comes from Ps. iv. 4 and the numerous rabbinical parallels collected by Strack-Billerbeck, Komm. z. N.T. aus Talm. u. Midr. vol. iii. (Munich, 1926), pp. 602 ff., show that Josephus uses the commonplaces of moralizing rhetoric. R. E.]
d sich verfehlt.
e weiset das eine zurecht, das andere aber vergebet.

When, oh God, will it all end??? :cheeky:

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Re: What's all this fuss about Slavonic Josephus?

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:59 pm

Here is stuff that creeps into materials found at Greek books 3, 4, 5 & 6 (I said it stopped at book 5 but I was wrong, as I love to be).
(15) The Trick by which Josephus saved his Life at Jotapata

[In place of iii. 387-391 we read:]

And he, commending his salvation to God the Protector,a said, "Since it is well pleading to God that we should die, let us be killed in turn.b Let him whose turn comes last c be killed by the second." And when he had thus spoken, he counted the numbers with cunning, and thereby misled them all.d And they were all killed, one by another, except one; and, anxious not to stain his right hand with the blood of a fellow-countryman, he besought this one, and they both went out alive.

654a dem Versorger = Gr. τῷ κηδεμόνι.
b der Reihe nach.
c Auf welchen das Ende der Reihe fallen wird, i.e. apparently he who draws the lowest numbered lot, though the lots are not here mentioned.
d The Greek has "He, however (should one say by fortune, or by the providence of God?) was left alone with one other."

(16) An Abomination (of Desolation) in the Holy Place

[Added at the end of iv. 157—the passage describing the scandalous election by lot of a high-priest ]

(But all (the) priests, when they beheld from a distance how the divine Law was dishonoured, wept and bitterly groaned, because they e had degraded f and trodden under [655] foot the priestly consecration) and had set at naught the covenant of God, and because every pernicious and shameful deed had grown up a among them. And (they thought that) the desolation of the city would ensue and prophecy would cease, if abomination were to be found in the holy place.b

654e The Zealots.
f vernichtet: the Greek has the phrase τὴν τῶν ἱερῶν τιμῶν κατάλυσιν.
655a herangereift = "come to maturity."
b These last words seem to betray the influence on the Russian translator of the familiar passage Matt. xxiv. 15, "when ye see the abomination of desolation . . . standing in the holy place" (both Greek texts of Dan. ix. 27 have ἐπὶ τὸ ἱερὸν). But the references to the "covenant" and the cessation of prophecy come directly from Daniel (ix. 27 "make a firm covenant," 24 "seal up . . . prophecy ").

(17) The Words of the Zealots over the Bodies of Ananus and Jesus

[Replacing iv. 316, which runs in the Greek text, "And, standing over their dead bodies, they scoffed at Ananus for his patronage of the people, and at Jesus for the address which he had delivered from the wall."]

And, standing over their dead bodies, they insulted them, saying over Ananus, "In truth thou art a friend of Jerusalem and art worthy of the honour with which thou art honoured." And over Jesus they said, "Very eloquent art thou and wise, and much trouble didst thou give thyself, when speaking from the battlements. But now rest!"c

655c For a short speech in oratio recta in similar circumstances cf. the Greek text of iv. 343 (slightly amplified in the Slavonic).

(18) The Zealots disregarded the Warnings of Scripture and the Lessons of History

[Replacing and amplifying iv. 407.]

So also (was it) in Jerusalem. Because the metropolis was beset with riot and robbers, therefore also did the(se) [656] miscreants, who had found a favourable opportunity for their lust, fulfil their will and follow evil ways,a recognizing neither the Law of God, nor David's instruction b nor Solomon's,c nor the threatenings of the prophets, nor the words of the holy men who in word and writing have pronounced glory and praise for the virtuous, but for the reprobate ignominy and disgrace and pain, in order that those who give ear to them may be zealous and uplifted to what is good, but may abhor the wicked and turn away their face from their works. But these men have cast the instructions of those (saints) behind them as a heavy burden, they have walked after the pleasure of their heart, not calling to mind what they d have endured, neither Nebuchadnez(z)ar (and) the captivity, nor what Antiochus laid upon them, nor yet the bondage in Egypt, nor yet the divine deliverance.

656a gingen auf unredlichen Wegen = "went on foul ways": the Greek has εἰς τὴν ἐρημίαν ἀφίσταντο "made off into the wilderness."
b In the Psalms.
c In Proverbs.
d i.e., their nation.

(19) Ruse of Vitellius at the Battle of Bedriacum e

[After iv. 547.]

(On the first day Otho was victor, but on the second Vitellius.) For he had during the night strewn (the ground with) three-pronged irons.f And in the morning after they had drawn up in order of battle, when Vitellius feigned flight, Otho pursued after them with his troops. And they reached the place on which the irons were strewn. Then were the horses lamed, and it was impossible [657] either for the horses or for the men to extricate themselves. And the soldiers of Vitellius, who had turned back, slew all who lay (there). (But Otho saw what had befallen (and) killed himself.) (Cf. iv. 548)

656e None of the classical authors who describe the battle — Dio Cassius, Plutarch, Suetonius, Tacitus — mentions this incident. Vitellius himself was not on the scene: his generals were in command.
f dreigehörnte Eisen. [The *-shaped contrivance commonly called "caltraps'" is meant. It was still used in the last war for similar purposes. R. E.]

(20) The Inscription in the Temple concerning Jesus

[Inserted in v. 195, after the mention of the stelae warning foreigners not to pass the barrier to the inner court.]

(And in it a there stood equal b pillars c = and upon them (Cf. v. 194) titles in Greek and Latin and Jewish d characters, giving warning of the law of purification, (to wit) that no foreigner should enter within; for it e was called the inner sanctuary, (Cf. v. 195) being approached by fourteen steps and the upper area being built in quadrangular form.)

And above these titles was hung a fourth title in the same characters, announcing that Jesus (the) king did not reign, (but was) crucified [by the Jews], because he prophesied the destruction of the city and the devastation of the temple.

657a i.e. the stone balustrade.
b The Greek text has ἐξ ἴσου διαστήματος "at equal intervals."
c [Russ. stolpi. He means square pillars, built of rectangular blocks with the inscription inscribed on the front side of the stones. One of them was found by Clermont-Ganneau and is now in the Tschinili Kiosk Museum in Constantinople. R. E.]
d The Gr. text does not contain the words "and Jewish."
e The inner portion.

(21) The Rent Veil of the Temple and the Resurrection

[After v. 214. Clearly a Christian interpolation, or, in Dr. Eisler's opinion, two distinct interpolations, the first and last paragraphs, printed in italics, being the work of an earlier hand, the middle paragraph — which is not found in [658] the Rumanian version, Cod. Gaster No. 89 — that of a much later hand. See Dr. Eisler's forthcoming work, The Messiah Jesus.]

This curtain a was before this generation entire, because the people were pious; but now it was grievous to see, for it was suddenly rent from the top to the bottom b when they through bribery delivered to death the benefactor of men and him who from his actions was no man.

And of many other fearful signs might one tell, which happened then.c And it is said that he, after being killed and after being laid in the grave, was not found. Some indeed profess that he had risen, others that he was stolen away by his friends.d But for my part I know not which speak more correctly. For one that is dead cannot rise of himself, though he may do so with the help of the prayer of another righteous man, unless he be an angel or another of the heavenly powers, or (unless) God himself appears as a man and accomplishes what he will, and walks with men and falls and lies down and rises again, as pleases his will. But others said that it was not possible to steal him away, because they set watchmen around his tomb,e thirty Romans and a thousand Jews.f

Such (is the story told) of that curtain. There are also (objections) against this reason for its rending.

658a Katapetasma.
b Matt. xxvii. 51, Mark xv. 38.
c Matt, xxvii. 51 ff.
d Matt, xxvii. 64, xxviii. 13-15.
e Matt xxvii. 64 ff.
f These numbers come from some apocryphal source. In the spurious Acts of Pilate Pilate assigns 500 soldiers to the Jews to watch the tomb (Tischendorf, Evangelia Apocrypha, 1853, pp. 293 f.).

(22) Interpretations of the Oracle of the World-Ruler

[Replacing vi. 313.]

Some understood that this meant Herod,g others the crucified Wonder-worker Jesus, others again Vespasian.

658g Cf. passage (2) above.
Finally! But wait, what about the omissions?? :consternation: Another post looms.

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Re: What's all this fuss about Slavonic Josephus?

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:02 pm

Well, I *could* omit the omissions, but must admit that I don't often omit admissions. :facepalm:

The following complete sections have no equivalent in the Slavonic. The deficiency in some cases may be due to the translator, who curtailed a text which he failed to understand. But some instances, discussed in detail in Dr. Eisler's book, suggest that he may have had before him a Greek exemplar shorter than the printed text. The list (which is confined to the four books for which a translation of the Slavonic is available) may therefore have its use.

Book I.—§§ 1-30 (Proem), 115, 164-168 (in part), 178, 179 (περὶ ὧν ... λέγειν) and 180, 182 (ending περὶ ὧν ... ἐροῦμεν), 189-194, 223 (mid.)-224, 228, 231 f., 238 (mid.)-240, 2.56-260, 272, 274-276, 280 and 281 (part), 305-309, 334, 362 (most)-369 (for substitute see above, p. 636), 375, 386, 403 (end)-407 (part), 408 (end)-414 (mid.). 420 (end) - 421, 576 f., 603-605 (for substitute see p. 639), 641-644.

Book II.—§§ 15-19, 21, 40-66, 178-180, 182, 213, 217, 221 f., 233, 242, 257, 260, 268, 271-283, 323, 354, 366 (end) - 367, 376-378, 386 (end)-387, 388 (end)-389, 407, 410 (mid.) - 412 (mid.), 423 and 424 (part), 428 (end)-429, 431-434, 439 (mid.)-450 (mid.), 465 (end)-478, 513 (end)-514, 519 (end)-521, 531 (end)-532, 536, 542, 556 (mid.)-557, 558 (end)-562, 564 f., 571 f., 573 (mid.)-575, 588 (mid.)-589, 603, 622-625, 629-631, 645 (end)-646, 650, 652 f. (most).

Book III.—§§ 17 (mid.)-19 (mid.), 21 f., 44 (45-71 lacuna in Slavonic ms.), 87 f., 114, 117, 125, 127, 140, 146 - 148 (mid.), 149, 152 (mid.)-153, 156, 159 f., 164. 168, 177, 179 f., 182-185, 190-192, 195 f., 198, 217 f., 226, 237-239 [660] (mid.), 244-245 (mid.), 247-248 (mid.), 250, 258-270, most of 272-283, 296 f., most of 299-304. 306, 311. 316. most of 330-332, 380, 395-397, 413, 415. 418-421, most of 423-426, 429-431, 440, 442, 444, 460, 464 f., 467, 479 f., 489, 514, 521, most of 522-531.

Book IV.—§§ 54-62, 82, 86, 100, 105. most of 107-111, 119, 129, 150-152, 161, 179-180 (mid.), 184 f., 188. 194-199, 200 (end)-201. 209-213, 222 f.. 237, 263 f., 266, most of 274-281, 291-298 (mid.), 302-304. 307 f.. 310 f., 328-330, 347, 349-352, 354-356. 363 f., 374, 392, 401, 424, 426-427 (mid.), 430, 432, 466, 475, 485, 496, 507-508 (mid.), 619, 649, 554, 558, 609-615, 621, 627, 630 f.
Yeahhhh!!! :clap:


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Re: What's all this fuss about Slavonic Josephus?

Post by DCHindley » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:29 pm

I made some formatting changes to get the text as close as possible to the original.

Any errors are mine alone.


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