What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

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Marginal_Juice
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What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Marginal_Juice » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:01 pm

For those who don't know Testimonium Flavianum or TF is a brief passage in First century Jewish author Josephus's monumental book "Antiquities of the Jews", for some Christians its allegedly a independent testimony of Jesus's Miracles. While Scholarly opinion on this passage is Varied and only very few consider it to be wholly Authentic, A scholar of Antiquity Louis Feldman who surveyed the relevant literature from 1937 to 1980 in Josephus and Modern Scholarship. Feldman noted that 4 scholars regarded the Testimonium Flavianum as entirely genuine, 6 as mostly genuine, 20 accept it with some interpolations, 9 with several interpolations, and 13 regard it as being totally an interpolation.

So I created a little Poll to know what the Forum members here think of it, please participate in it and share your views.

And for me personally the Passage's extremely short length, Dense Christian character, Its Narrative similarity with a passage of gLuke, its vocabulary similarity to Eusebius's other writings, Church father Origen's failure to mention any part of it (while he Extensively used the works of Josephus) and Overall flimsy language ('Principled man among us', 'ten thousand other wonderful things') which is in stark contrast with Josephus's writing, So taking everything into account its a total interpolation for me.

Also Keep in mind Poll is only for authenticity of TF not for historicity of Jesus.

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Peter Kirby
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:14 pm

This is my opinion:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html

PS -- If possible, you might want to make surveys with more than one question. For example, it might be interesting to see how it breaks down for Christians / non-Christians or HJ-believers / non-HJ-Believers (two other questions that could be asked).
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Marginal_Juice
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Marginal_Juice » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:This is my opinion:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html

PS -- If possible, you might want to make surveys with more than one question. For example, it might be interesting to see how it breaks down for Christians / non-Christians or HJ-believers / non-HJ-Believers (two other questions that could be asked).

Yeah i read that article, your page actually comes just after Wiki in Google if anyone search about TF and there is already four options adding more will clutter the poll and beside non-Christians are generally indifferent on this subject but yeah HJ/non-HJ believers option will be good I'll try to add it as secondary question.

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MrMacSon
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:51 pm

Besides
Marginal_Juice wrote: ... its Narrative similarity with a passage of gLuke [Greenberg, 1995], [and] its vocabulary similarity to Eusebius's other writings [Olson, 2013] ...
... Paul Hopper has subsequently noted, in
  • “A Narrative Anomaly in Josephus: Jewish Antiquities xviii:63”, in Linguistics and Literary Studies: Interfaces, Encounters, Transfers; Monika Fludernik and Daniel Jacob, eds. (2014: de Gruyter), pp. 147-169,
that
  • " ..the uses of the Greek verb forms such as aorists and participles are distinct in the Jesus passage from those in the other Pilate episodes, and that these differences amount to a difference in genre."
so
  • "It is suggested that the Jesus passage is close in style and content to the creeds that were composed two to three centuries after Josephus."
Hopper's article is available in pdf form via a post on this forum by Peter Kirby.
.

Bernard Muller
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Bernard Muller » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:38 pm

I have a webpage on the Testimonium Flavanium
http://historical-jesus.info/appe.html

Cordially, Bernard
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DCHindley
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by DCHindley » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:13 pm

Marginal_Juice wrote:For those who don't know Testimonium Flavianum or TF is a brief passage in First century Jewish author Josephus's monumental book "Antiquities of the Jews", for some Christians its allegedly a independent testimony of Jesus's Miracles. While Scholarly opinion on this passage is Varied and only very few consider it to be wholly Authentic, A scholar of Antiquity Louis Feldman who surveyed the relevant literature from 1937 to 1980 in Josephus and Modern Scholarship. Feldman noted that 4 scholars regarded the Testimonium Flavianum as entirely genuine, 6 as mostly genuine, 20 accept it with some interpolations, 9 with several interpolations, and 13 regard it as being totally an interpolation.

So I created a little Poll to know what the Forum members here think of it, please participate in it and share your views.

And for me personally the Passage's extremely short length, Dense Christian character, Its Narrative similarity with a passage of gLuke, its vocabulary similarity to Eusebius's other writings, Church father Origen's failure to mention any part of it (while he Extensively used the works of Josephus) and Overall flimsy language ('Principled man among us', 'ten thousand other wonderful things') which is in stark contrast with Josephus's writing, So taking everything into account its a total interpolation for me.

Also Keep in mind Poll is only for authenticity of TF not for historicity of Jesus.
Personally I do not like to do polls.

As for the TF, I think you'll find that just about everyone who frequents this DB is more than casually familiar with the TF in Ant 18 and its connections to the James the Brother of Jesus account of Ant 20, plus this and that about John the Baptist, and how these stories, particularly the TF, are stated in Eusebius and later Church fathers. Ken Olson also occasionally posts here when he can or the topic gets heated up. :oops:

Of course, everyone (besides me) is wrooooong, as I think they are stuck in a rut and can't break free from it. :scratch:

DCH

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:35 pm

DCHindley wrote:Of course, everyone (besides me) is wrooooong, as I think they are stuck in a rut and can't break free from it. :scratch:
So how long have you been in your rut held your current position? ;)
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DCHindley
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by DCHindley » Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:49 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
DCHindley wrote:Of course, everyone (besides me) is wrooooong, as I think they are stuck in a rut and can't break free from it. :scratch:
So how long have you been in your rut held your current position? ;)
You mean, that it was created in consequence of a misinterpretation of a marginal gloss in 20:200, which actually was a scoffing comment on the very different portraits of the HP Ananus (sp?) in Ant 20 (reckless and power mad) compared to the one in War 4 (the best thing that ever happened to mankind), which some Christian(s) thought MUST refer to the figure of James, and who immediately jumped to the conclusion that the James of the account MUST have been their shadowy James the Just, and thus making it necessary to introduce Jesus Christ into the narrative, picking Ant 18?

Oh, that one! Actually, just a couple years ago. I had this epiphany, and something like scales dropped from my eyes, and ... well, you get it.

That OTHER idea, the has-to-be-wrong idea, which cannot be mentioned in polite company, has been around much longer, I think around 1991. That time I was in the bleachers at the YMCA while my daughter took a swimming lesson. That is how one can know that an idea "has-to-be-wrong", because there was no epiphany. :scratch:

DCH

John2
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by John2 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:14 pm

DCH wrote:

"You mean, that it was created in consequence of a misinterpretation of a marginal gloss in 20:200, which actually was a scoffing comment on the very different portraits of the HP Ananus (sp?) in Ant 20 (reckless and power mad) compared to the one in War 4..."

The Wicked Priest in the Dead Sea Scrolls similarly has different portraits.

"Interpreted, this concerns the Wicked Priest who was called by the name of truth when he first arose. But when he ruled over Israel his heart became proud, and he forsook God and betrayed the precepts..." (1QpHab col. 8).

Another similarity between them is that Ananus is also said to have "ruled":

"...for what he had done ... king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months."
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: What's your Opinion on Testimonium Flavianum

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:52 pm

DCHindley wrote:You mean, that it was created in consequence of a misinterpretation of a marginal gloss in 20:200, which actually was a scoffing comment on the very different portraits of the HP Ananus (sp?) in Ant 20 (reckless and power mad) compared to the one in War 4 (the best thing that ever happened to mankind), which some Christian(s) thought MUST refer to the figure of James, and who immediately jumped to the conclusion that the James of the account MUST have been their shadowy James the Just, and thus making it necessary to introduce Jesus Christ into the narrative, picking Ant 18?
Would you mind walking me through it? What was the scoffing comment exactly?
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