Carrier on O'Neill: ''Nor can he establish anything would actually have been odd about privately paying restitution for an inter-family murder. Nor can he even establish that the brothers James and Jesus even liked each other.''
''Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace … But as for the high priest Ananias, he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner. For he was a great hoarder up of money: he therefore cultivated the friendship of Albinus, and of the high priest [i.e. Jesus ben Damneus], by making them presents. … So the other high priests acted in the like manner.''
''Notice there are a whole lot of high priests here. Which Ananus are we talking about then? Certainly not the one who was just condemned and disgraced by everyone in power. That would not agree with the statement that he kept “increasing in glory every day.” No. This is the Elder Ananus, whose glory has been tracked by Josephus across several passages so far. His only setback was the disgracing of his son, the Younger Ananus (the one “bold in his temper, and very insolent”). Whom he evidently renounced, to court the reigning high priest who replaced him. Probably, indeed, precisely because he now did not have a son controlling the position. Politics has always been dirty. (Though Josephus’s interpretation may have been cynical; paying restitution to the victims of one’s kin to normalize relations, rather than unleash an inter-family feud, was not uncommon in antiquity.'')
The point that hits me here is the argument re paying restitution, by Ananus the Elder, to the High Priest Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus for the killing of his brother James. The killing being by the son of Ananus the Elder, i.e. Ananus the Younger. (running with Carrier's argument that the brother of James was Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus.
O'Neill: ''So we’re supposed to believe that within months of seeing Ananus kill his brother, the son of Damneus was cosying up to his brother’s murderer thanks to some gifts? This makes no sense.''
Apart from the fact that O'Neill seems to have muddled up the two Ananus figures, his basic argument is that the family of Ananus the Younger, via Ananus the Elder, payed some sort of restitution to the brother of the man his son killed - the brother now being the new High Priest, Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus.
Perhaps one would take gifts from the family of someone who had murdered ones brother - but it seems, to me, that it would display a certain amount of insensitivity from both parties...
Methinks, Carrier is getting himself tied up in knots over his James is brother of Joshua/Jesus ben Damneus..
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.