Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

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StephenGoranson
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by StephenGoranson »

There were views about who was appropriate to be a king or a high priest, or whether it was proper to be both at the same time.

Such discussions are found in Babylonian Talmud Qiddushin 66a on Alexander Jannaeus and in Josephus on John Hyrcanus, Ant. 13.288-98. These are discussed in Vered Noam, Shifting images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple legends and their reception in Josephus and rabbinic literature (Oxford U. Press, 2018).

Here is some of what Strabo wrote in Geography 16.2.34-46. Strabo (and maybe his source Posidonius) believed that Moses was a good and admirable teacher, but that recently “superstitious men were appointed to the priesthood, and then tyrannical people” (37) Jannaeus is specifically named as pivotal in this unfortunate change: “...when now Judaea was under the rule of tyrants, Alexander [Jannaeus] was first to declare himself king instead of priest...” (40).
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maryhelena
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by maryhelena »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:14 am There were views about who was appropriate to be a king or a high priest, or whether it was proper to be both at the same time.

Such discussions are found in Babylonian Talmud Qiddushin 66a on Alexander Jannaeus and in Josephus on John Hyrcanus, Ant. 13.288-98. These are discussed in Vered Noam, Shifting images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple legends and their reception in Josephus and rabbinic literature (Oxford U. Press, 2018).

Here is some of what Strabo wrote in Geography 16.2.34-46. Strabo (and maybe his source Posidonius) believed that Moses was a good and admirable teacher, but that recently “superstitious men were appointed to the priesthood, and then tyrannical people” (37) Jannaeus is specifically named as pivotal in this unfortunate change: “...when now Judaea was under the rule of tyrants, Alexander [Jannaeus] was first to declare himself king instead of priest...” (40).
Par for the game in politics.....civil war - people take sides. Nothing new here....move along now..... ;)
StephenGoranson
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

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neilgodfrey, on your blog you wrote “I have collated 21 Vridar posts on the Testimonium Flavianum into a single page of annotated links. See the ARCHIVES by TOPIC, Annotated in the right margin. Look under Pages. Or jump straight to Jesus in Josephus: Testimonium Flavianum to see the annotated list.”
Excuse me for thinking you had a point of view on this.
I think the Vermes/Millar 4 volumes are good work. I accept that you have a different view on it. Maybe we should leave it there? You may be open to new info, unlike mh.
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maryhelena
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by maryhelena »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:34 am neilgodfrey, on your blog you wrote “I have collated 21 Vridar posts on the Testimonium Flavianum into a single page of annotated links. See the ARCHIVES by TOPIC, Annotated in the right margin. Look under Pages. Or jump straight to Jesus in Josephus: Testimonium Flavianum to see the annotated list.”
Excuse me for thinking you had a point of view on this.
I think the Vermes/Millar 4 volumes are good work. I accept that you have a different view on it. Maybe we should leave it there? You may be open to new info, unlike mh.
:popcorn:
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by neilgodfrey »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:34 am neilgodfrey, on your blog you wrote “I have collated 21 Vridar posts on the Testimonium Flavianum into a single page of annotated links. See the ARCHIVES by TOPIC, Annotated in the right margin. Look under Pages. Or jump straight to Jesus in Josephus: Testimonium Flavianum to see the annotated list.”
Excuse me for thinking you had a point of view on this.
I think the Vermes/Millar 4 volumes are good work. I accept that you have a different view on it. Maybe we should leave it there? You may be open to new info, unlike mh.
Omg, Stephen -- so you are not engaging in my discussion here at all. You are having a go at me on what I have written in another venue at another time with another point to be made.

I am actually capable of talking about more than one topic. And the history of scholarly views and how that history is so often presented and even sometimes misrepresented in the literature is another topic I am addressing here.

Vermes and Millar's revision of Schurer's work is no doubt admirable in many respects. But I see now you are not addressing my criticism of one serious blemish in it at all. I am addressing the way V and M have rewritten intellectual history on one particular sensitive point. A point so sensitive that not even you can acknowledge it -- the mere fact that I hold views on the matter that you dislike is enough for you to derail the criticism and point I am making.
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mlinssen
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On Coptology dating

Post by mlinssen »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:47 am As I also mentioned, I am not a Coptology expert, and that is why I quoted authorities on Coptic. Authorities are not always reliable, of course, though Coptic experts are on the lookout for additional Coptic texts. But if someone proposes Coptic Gospel of Thomas was written earlier than experts know of Coptic being written, then that requires stronger evidence than I, for one, have yet seen.
Please explain how you are "not a Coptology expert, and that is why [you] quoted authorities on Coptic", yet you still desire to be convinced on those matters and are even able to judge the evidence brought forward in the light of your dearly beloved authorities' claims - while I only asked you to give your opinion on the very matter and content itself?

I will repeat it one last time: I claim that Thomas precedes any and all Christianity, and I don't give a damn about a date. If the Oxy Thomas fragments are dated correctly to 140 CE, so be it, then Coptic Thomas was written before 140 CE. If they get dated to 2nd BCE, well, guess what? Arguments from textual criticism don't suddenly change over a dating game.
Highly likely, given the current lack of much if any objective dating in the field (https://www.academia.edu/11164615/_Dati ... ary_hands_) the extant Coptic of Thomas will remain dated to 400-50 because the cover contains papyrus that dates to 345-ish.
That is the tea-leaf reading that Coptologists mostly employ

Few Coptic literary manuscripts can be dated to the earliest period with confidence, leaving scholars with a limited sample of paleographic evidence with which to begin. Numismatic and papyrological evidence accompanying the biblical and Manichaean texts from Kellis date the majority of the collection to 355-380. 10 H. I. Bell dated BL Or. 7594, the Sahidic codex of Deuteronomy, Jonah and Acts to the early part of the fourth century based upon papyrus fragments in the codex's bindings. 11 Likewise, Bell dated the Middle Egyptian glosses to Hosea and Amos to the first half of the third century due to the Greek documentary text on the reverse. 12
Fragments from the bindings of the Nag Hammadi Codex VII date to 341, 346 and 348; 13 the date of the enclosed leaves remains at issue, 14 but they were probably created not more than a century after the binding. 15 Radio isotope dating of the Tchacos codex offered five dates ranging from the third to fourth centuries. 16 The "Panopolis archive" was created from archival materials sometime in the middle of the fourth century. 17 Most other 'early' manuscripts, however, are dated on various other characteristics. The present survey will deal with the question of paleography (section II), will review securely-datable Greek-Coptic hands (section III) and will second consider other issues germane to dating (section IV).

But I take it that your utter lack of any comment whatsoever on the content presented means exactly that: you have nothing to refute, you hold no counter arguments to those that I propose, you are, in a simple word: speechless

So you agree with what I bring forward to substantiate my claim, but then you think of the consequences - and then focus on those.
That is a typical trait of people who are unable to counter an argument: they go from content to context, and then stamp their little feet on their petty context ground because they are afraid to enter the content area

You're in good company on this forum though
StephenGoranson
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by StephenGoranson »

neilgodfrey. I had not recently reread the relevant part of "The History...," Revised and Edited by Vermes & Millar (and others credited within) 1973ff. You have complained about the "Excursus II--Josephus on Jesus and James Ant. xviii 3, 3 (63-4) and xx 9, 1 (200-3)*" (pages 428-441) And I have said what they did was honest. (I did not offer an opinion on the TF itself, nor on your multiple takes on it [added: most of which I have not read], beyond noting that they exist.)

The asterisk (*) below: "This excursus originally published by Paul Winter...was revised by him shortly before his death in 1969." Evidently they thought he knew more about this than they. Good on them.

The Preface makes clear that they are revising, editing, and updating Schürer's work. They are clear that they at times present their own views, some of which were not even possible at his time. If they had not given him some credit, then that would have been plagiarism.

Furthermore--contrary to your complaint--Schürer is explicitly listed in the bibliography there in the "Against authenticity" section 2, page 429. And on page 430 note 1 the long (17 lines of small print) text cites Schürer once again and explains "Schürer's objection" in detail. No careful reader could miss that.
Last edited by StephenGoranson on Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:52 am, edited 5 times in total.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by StephenGoranson »

Language study is certainly essential for competent ancient history research. I wish I knew more, and try to keep learning. My teacher Orval Wintermute tried to encourage many of us to learn Coptic, among others, by saying the grammar was relatively easy. But I missed that opportunity.

So far, I mostly work on other subjects; I have a job, so limited time.

Imo, comparison of gThomas and the synoptics is best done by those with not just a dictionary-search atomistic approach but with Sprachgefühl of both languages, not from one text in isolation. And what text may have influenced another can sometimes be guesswork. Further, surviving plus lost texts or lost versions may have been involved.

Also, I have said of the dating that when Coptologists confirm that there is no evidence for that form of Egyptian writing that early, it is a factor for me. (btw, I do not consider gTh a threat, but, rather, an interesting book.) The majority of writing on papyri is documentary rather than literary (including those owned by Duke U.). So it’s not only such literary mss that are not in evidence so early, but the dated documentary mss are absent then as well.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by neilgodfrey »

StephenGoranson wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:40 amThey are clear that they at times present their own views, some of which were not even possible at his time. If they had not given him some credit, then that would have been plagiarism.

Furthermore--contrary to your complaint--Schürer is explicitly listed in the bibliography there in the "Against authenticity" section 2, page 429. And on page 430 note 1 the long (17 lines of small print) text cites Schürer once again and explains "Schürer's objection" in detail. No careful reader could miss that.
That footnote does not address Schurer's argument for the logical responsibility to reject the authenticity of the TF at all.

Have you read S's German text and compared?
StephenGoranson
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Re: Rabbi Wise and Antigonus II Mattathias

Post by StephenGoranson »

Which edition? Emil Schürer revised and edited his own work. If he had lived longer, he might have done so again. He kept learning.
Vermes/Millar/Winter (and T & T Clark publisher, Edinburgh), who clearly introduced their work, did not present the “exact opposite…the very opposite” (July 19 neilgodfrey comment) of Schürer’s views. They followed E. S.’s three categories; my rephrasing: authentic, not authentic, or a mix. Authentic and not authentic are opposites; a mix (with Winter) is a middle way. Not extreme.

In Novum Testamentum 2017 71-94, John Curran, ‘To Be or to Be Thought to Be’, The Testamonium Flavianum (Again)” again (not really news) argues for a mixed transmission of the TF, leaning on the Latin mss. In his restatement of this proposal, Josephus originally wrote, paraphrased, that some people, passive voice, thought Jesus was Christ, but by context making it clear that he, Josephus, was not one of them.

A comment here is insufficient on the full TF debate. But note that Origen, in Caesarea (if not also previously in Alexandria) was in conversation with rabbis. So if Origen recognized that Josephus was not “one of them,” he also knew that Josephus did mention this Jesus. And the rabbis (some of them at least) also knew, one way or another, about this Jesus. And some of them called him a min, one of the minim, practicing minut. (Someone tell maryhelena that min is often translated, in this context, as heretic.) Ideas about heresy and minut interacted, especially between the time of Jesus and the time of Origen. [btw, Hebrew roots may have been more multivalent than some Greek words, maybe misleading some who speculate about hypothetical-retroverted puns.]

Origen (maybe better, than, say, Melito) was rather well placed and well learned to give a testimony.
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