Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Giuseppe
Posts: 2828
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:34 am

So Eisenman:
The policy of flattering alien or foreign-imposed local rulers with prophecies of future greatness or longevity was typical of Pharisaic practice from the time of Sameas or Pollio (c. 30 BC) until that of the fall of the Temple (68-70 CE), when either Josephus or R. Yohanan b. Zacchai — both self-professed "Pharisees" — have the audacity to apply "the Messianic Prophecy" (i. e., "the Star Prophecy" of Numbers 24:16-17) to Vespasian. In an unguarded moment during his discussion of Vespasian’s “Messianic” qualifications at the end of his account of the fall of Jerusalem in The Jewish War, Josephus also inadvertently reveals to us just the opposite and probably more accurate picture — that this same Messianic "Star Prophecy" was the moving force behind the Uprising against Rome...
source: http://www.jpost.com/Blogs/The-Eisenman ... hus-364045

I think that is too simplistic to dismiss Josephus as a flatterer of Vespasian in its anti-Jewish use of the Star Prophecy.

The logic of Josephus seems to be this:

1) the Star Prophecy galvanized especially the anti-Roman rebels.
2) but the Star Prophecy referred really to Vespasian.
3) So the Star Prophecy condemned the anti-Roman rebels themselves.

There is a method in this anti-Jewish use of Star Prophecy.

It remembers the anti-Jewish logic of the Gospels:

1) Jesus galvanized especially the followers of a Messiah ''according to flesh'' (Peter et the boanerghes).
2) but Jesus was really the Son of God.
3) So Jesus condemned the same traditional belief in a Messiah ''according to flesh'' (Peter et the boanerghes).

Josephus and the Gospels share both this trend: to use previous sacred scriptures to make an anti-Jewish point.

Could Josephus have inspired the first evangelist in this antithetical use of the Star Prophecy?

The second point I see in Josephus use of Star Prophecy is this:

Can Josephus be considered a ''Messiah-euhemerist'' in his identification of the Messiah with Vespasian?

Basically Josephus is minimizing the value of the Star Prophecy, saying simply that it concerned Vespasian. But by doing so he is reducing the same figure of the mighty future messiah (object of the Star Prophecy) to that of the mortal, and pagan, Vespasian. So he reminds Euhemerus to the extent that the latter minimized the gods and heroes by reducing them to mere mortals deified post-mortem.

Under the Jesus Myth theory, even this aspect is shared by Josephus and the first evangelist: euhemerize the figure of the Messiah, by using for the propaganda a stunt (respectively Vespasian and a ''historical'' Jesus of Nazareth) that with the object of the old prophecies had really nothing to do.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:27 am

Vespasian was born in 9 ad? So there would have to be a star event in 9 ad?
[Emperor Vespasian (Flavian "yellow haired") matches pope/bishop Linus "flax haired".]

Bar Kokhba "son of the star" revolt was in 130s ad. I can't find a date of birth?

There is the "temple of the comet-star" of Caesar Augustus [to Julius Caesar?]?

"the point of the ecliptic or degree of the zodiac which is nearest the horizon at the time of birth is called the ascendant, and the easternmost star represents the house of life.... his star is in the ascendant. The house of the ascendant, includes 5 degrees of the zodiac above the point just rising, and 25 below it."

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:35 am

I have a list of star of bethelehem candidates 17-1bc from various sources but it refuses to let me post it. (Darn this annoying problem that keeps happening with various posts.) Most well known ones include Jupiter & Saturn conjunction in 7bc, and Venus & Jupiter 3 / 2 bc.

User avatar
DCHindley
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:53 am
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by DCHindley » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:36 am

Japhethite wrote:I have a list of star of bethelehem candidates 17-1bc from various sources but it refuses to let me post it. (Darn this annoying problem that keeps happening with various posts.) Most well known ones include Jupiter & Saturn conjunction in 7bc, and Venus & Jupiter 3 / 2 bc.
Those "conjunctions" are, IIRC, several degrees apart, right? If you hold your arm out and point your thumb upwards, roughly level with where the horizon would appear to be, the width of your finger against the sky is 1 degree of the arc. Others will tell you that 1 degree of arc can be estimated as the width of the disc of the Moon (and of the Sun as well) against the sky. That's out of 360 degrees. This means that the apparent distance between the various stars or planets in those "conjunctions" will not be a concentrated "dot" that would give the appearance of being a single "star" or comet. They were offered as a means to "explain away" or "excuse" statements about the star of Bethlehem in the Christian Gospels, and probably used popular definitions of "conjunction" in Greco-Roman and modern astrology, not explain what may have been the cause of what the Gospels describe. If it isn't a conjunction of stars, a comet might answer the question, but Halley's, for instance, occurred around 11 BCE.

Years ago I remember playing with a DOS based Planetarium program and input the orbital elements for Haley's comet that I had found in a library book, and attempted to project what this would look like in the sky in Babylon, Jerusalem and "Bethlehem" (using the present day village location, just for the argument). I remember that one of the locations, sometime during the few months the comet was visible, had the comet appear directly at the zenith (straight over one's head). Well, it turns out that DOS programs won't run in Windows 7 or higher, and the old laptop or desktop I had this DOS planetarium program on has long since died a natural death. To recreate this wonder I would have to set up a suitable planetarium program. Unfortunately, my understanding of planetarium program jargon is really, really, BAD. So far I have downloaded, and erased, three of them that I couldn't so much as figure out how to use. They all assume that I have a telescope with motorized drive and a data interface, but I don't. :banghead:

For me, this is as bad as the ills and confusion I experienced in the early 90s trying to tell whether the term "baud" in my modem installation guides meant bits per second or to actual "baud". A "baud" as originally defined was a "change in electrical state" in a phone wire. So at the time that modems started to become popular 300 baud really was 300 bps. That was SLOW! Engineers quickly figured out how to send more data bits per change of state, and the actual bps rate was soon increased to 1,200; 2,400; 4,800; 9,600; 14,400; 28,800; 33,600; or 56,000 bps. Newer wired connections can make that rate even higher now, but this was then. They kept referring to these transmission rates as "baud" when they were not, they were "bits per second", but the modem documentation and online guides did their best to use these terms ("baud" & "bps") interchangeably. The Wiki page for "Dial-up Internet access" still does so, and it still pisses me off. :-x

I just don't have the patience anymore to learn a new skill set. :scratch: Perhaps someone else here has such a hobby, and would like to test my (probably wrong) observation about Halley's comet. A learning opportunity could be awaiting some lucky person!

DCH

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:47 pm

Sorry i have to post replies in bits & pieces because it darn keeps not letting me post long posts sometimes (like now when i tried). (I only have dialup and windows xp. I haven't had this trouble on any other forums.)

Not necessarily far apart, since why would ancient Sippar and medieval/modern Kepler find so significant such far apart events? Only a few months ago Jupiter and Venus were reported in news and seen by my very own eyes for days/weeks as a pretty bright star in the twilight/night sky. Genesis 1 says the stars are for signs & seasons.

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:50 pm

You are quite correct that a conjunction or synod may/might not be the true/best match though. The list of events which i wasn't able to post also had some other events like novas & comets, including ones that were noticed as significant in places like China.

There are a number of other things that help to pin point the most likely date and event (which i believe was 7bc?) Herod's death, Herod's eclipse, the star, Cyrinus & the census/indiction, how old Jesus was at baptism/crucifiction, the time the temple took to be built to Jesus & Jews dispute, etc.

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:51 pm

They are not "excuse"/"explain away". Any truly objective scholar/historian (not just "critic") would objectively look to see if there is (or isn't) any evidence/proof/verification of traditional sources like the bible, Herodotus, "Nennius", Atlantis Account. Each of these i did and discovered/proved real matches for things that orthodox claimed no one could find any (limited by their theories).

I will have to post the list of events in a few separate bits/posts

outhouse
Posts: 3525
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:48 pm

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by outhouse » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:11 pm

Japhethite wrote: There is the "temple of the comet-star" of Caesar Augustus [to Julius Caesar?]?

That is your most plausible avenue.

As Augustus and Jesus were both "son of god" we suspect a plagiarized parallel there.

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:15 pm

Yes there is no doubt that there is a similarity/parallel, but that doesn't prove that Jesus' star is plagiarized and not genuine/historical. 4 possibilities: both true, both fake, one fake, other fake. There are other both-real parallels in history. As we showed in our popes/emperors matches table the papists' "Linus" ~ Vespasian, "Peter" ~ Nero/Caesar, "Jesus" ~ either Augustus or Julius, "God" ~ Caesar or Jupiter. Some scholars doubt the existence of Caesar's Comet, i uncertainly wonder it could even be possible that it is the star of Bethlehem and that the "magi" started out from China decades earlier.

Japhethite
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:39 am

Re: Josephus and the Star Prophecy: two points

Post by Japhethite » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:17 pm

A "star" can be either: a fixed star, the sun ("day star"?), a planet, a constellation ("12 stars"), meteor (shooting star), an angel/god, artificial ("the Death Star"), the 7 spheres?, a comet ("temple of the comet-star")?, the prominent character of a story/show ("the star").

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ben C. Smith, Charles Wilson, Giuseppe, Google [Bot], iskander, Jax, Joseph D. L., lsayre, Peter Kirby, Secret Alias, Yahoo [Bot] and 79 guests