Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

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Giuseppe
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Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »


Julian declared that Jesus was unknown to the illustrious writers of his age (or of the immediately following age).

(Cyrill, Against Julian, book 6)

What is even more serious: Cyril didn't reply by appealing to Tacitus or Josephus.

Julian would have known perfectly Tacitus.

POST SCRIPTUM:
Now I expect an apologist Arnoldo's new post that remembers all us that Julian was historicist.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »

Note the curious implication: Ken Olson is wrong in considering Eusebius the forger of the Testimonium Flavianum, because otherwise Julian (who comes after Constantin) would have read it and he would have not said that Jesus was unknown to the writers of the Flavian age (and of the following age).
Ken Olson
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Ken Olson »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:00 am Note the curious implication: Ken Olson is wrong in considering Eusebius the forger of the Testimonium Flavianum, because otherwise Julian (who comes after Constantin) would have read it and he would have not said that Jesus was unknown to the writers of the Flavian era (and of the following age).
By your logic, not only could Eusebius not have composed it, he could not have included it in the Ecclesiastical History, the Demonstratio Evangelica, and the the Theophany where we find it in our manuscripts.

Could we get an exact citation on where in book VI of Against Julian this reference is to be found? (IIRC, Julian does not use the name Jesus, but refers to the Galilean).

Best,

Ken
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Giuseppe
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »

Ken Olson wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:20 am By your logic, not only could Eusebius not have composed it, he could not have included it in the Ecclesiastical History, the Demonstratio Evangelica, and the the Theophany where we find it in our manuscripts.
Ok, then I correct my implication: probably Julian is an indirect witness of a survived copy of Josephus* where Jesus is never mentioned at all.

* and Tacitus
Chris Hansen
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Chris Hansen »

This is not really a good argument. Firstly, we know that several authors and historians of the time had their works fall into disrepair or obscurity. Tacitus is a key example of this, whose works were largely forgotten about and his (supposed) descendant had to try and revitalize them.

The fact that Josephus is, to my knowledge, never really cited outside of Christian circles in the ancient world tells me his work was relatively obscure or uninteresting to Roman authors, which would include Julian. The only two references I know of to Josephus in Roman sources are less than kindly and none of them specifically cite his works, but just his personal character in the context of Vespasian.

So the fact that Julian said this is not really meaningful and does not mean that he doubted the Testimonium Flavianum or anything similar. It just means that Julian, like most Roman authors, probably hadn't read a vast array of obscure late first and early second century historians whose works were less than well-known to Roman audiences.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »

As to the quote reference, the book 6 of Against Julian is not available online. But I am sure that my source is good (p. 408 of the J.K.Watson's book Le christianisme avant Jésus-Christ, who quotes in turn Weill-Raynall, a very good mythicist).
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Giuseppe
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »

Chris Hansen wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:36 am It just means that Julian, like most Roman authors, probably hadn't read a vast array of obscure late first and early second century historians whose works were less than well-known to Roman audiences.
three objections:
  • How could Josephus be 'obscure' when he was the personal friend himself of well three emperors?
  • In addition, I think (with Dave Allen) that Tacitus knew the works of Josephus.
  • Third: Julian was enormously erudite, he knew even that the christianity could be debunked easily by building again the Jewish Temple.
But the strongest argument is that Cyril didn't reply to Julian by answering: "We have the Testimonium Flavianum, take that, Apostate!"

Ken Olson can't ignore this Argument from Silence, since he uses the same Argument when he applies it on Origen, Justin, Irenaeus, etc., to argue that the Testimonium was absent in Josephus before Eusebius.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »

Compare the three silences (I assume that Olson accepts the first two, then accordingly he has to accept the third, otherwise I may accuse him of inconsistency):
  • Justin didn't quote the Testimonium Flavianum when he had to do so in opposition to Trypho's mythicist accusation "your Christ is unknown".
  • Origen didn't quote Josephus, not even when he wanted to confute the Celsus's accusation, since he quoted Hegesippus (docet Rivka Nir):
    When you were bathing, says the Jew, beside John, you say that what had the appearance of a bird from the air alighted upon you. And then this same Jew of his, continuing his interrogations, asks, What credible witness beheld this appearance? Or who heard a voice from heaven declaring you to be the Son of God? What proof is there of it, save your own assertion, and the statement of another of those individuals who have been punished along with you?

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04161.htm
  • Cyrill didn't quote the Testimonium Flavianum when he had to do so in opposition to Julian's accusation "your Christ is unknown to the writers".
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Ken Olson »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:39 am As to the quote reference, the book 6 of Against Julian is not available online. But I am sure that my source is good (p. 408 of the J.K.Watson's book Le christianisme avant Jésus-Christ, who quotes in turn Weill-Raynall, a very good mythicist).
If you have the book, could you post a pic of the relevant page?

Best,

Ken
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Giuseppe
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Re: Julian denies the authenticity of both Testimonium Flavianum and Taciteum

Post by Giuseppe »

Ken Olson wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 11:32 am
Giuseppe wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:39 am As to the quote reference, the book 6 of Against Julian is not available online. But I am sure that my source is good (p. 408 of the J.K.Watson's book Le christianisme avant Jésus-Christ, who quotes in turn Weill-Raynall, a very good mythicist).
If you have the book, could you post a pic of the relevant page?

Best,

Ken
I have only this:

Volney pensait que les «prétendus témoignages» de Josèphe et de Tacite sont des interpolations se situant vers le temps du concile de Nicée (325). [109] Nous les croyons postérieurs à l'empereur Julien (331-363); car, dans sa controverse avec Cyrille d'Alexandrie, «Julien déclarait que Jésus a été inconnu des écrivains notables de son époque (ou de l'époque immédiatement subséquente)». Or Cyrille n'invoque pas le témoignage de Tacite. [110]

The note 110 reads:
CYRILLE, Contre Julien, livre VI; d'après WEILL-RAYNAL, art. c, 29.

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