'When Did Jesus Live?'

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 587
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

Epiphanius mentions this group in his Panarion, a heresiological work, of course, but it seems unlikely that he would fabricate this group’s beliefs about Jesus’ life.
No, he really didn't attribute a non-standard timeline to the group. At least G.R.S. Mead (the source of the garbled English translation which started this controversy) understood that Epiphanius was being digressive and was not discussing the beliefs of a heretical group (especially not one whom Epiphanius described as accepting the Gospel of Matthew except for the genealogy).

The paragraph in question is poorly constructed, but its meaning is clear enough (Jesus's birth occurred soon after Herod I had finalized the end of Judean self-rule in a "Davidic" line, in both relevant offices, king and chief priest). The 2009 Frank Williams translation of the Panarion sorts out the tangle (29.3.3-7).
3.3 For at Christ's arrival the rulers in succession from Judah came to an end. Until his time rulers < were anointed priests > but after his birth in Bethlehem of Judaea the order ended and changed with Alexander, a ruler of priestly and kingly stock.

3.4 After Alexander this heritage from the time of Salina - also known as Alexandra - died out under King Herod and the Roman Emperor Augustus. (Though Alexander was crowned also, since he was one of the anointed priests and rulers.

3.5 For with the union of the two tribes, the kingly and priestly - I mean Judah's and Aaron's and the whole tribe of Levi - kings also became priests; nothing based on a hint in holy scripture can be wrong.)

3.6 But then finally a gentile, King Herod, was crowned, and not David's descendants any more.

3.7 But because of the change in the royal throne, the rank of king passed, in Christ, from the physical house of David and Israel to the church. The throne is established in God's holy church forever, and has both the ranks of king and high-priest...
~ transcribed from https://docplayer.net/140429452-Panario ... renes.html

Here is a fuller discussion of the issues (its link to Williams's translation of section 29 no longer works).

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/201 ... ian-jesus/
User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by mlinssen »

The better question would be "which particular Jesus do we all agree on"?
User avatar
Giuseppe
Posts: 10741
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by Giuseppe »

If Yaakov Avraham thinks that Pilate is an intruder, then he is a mythicist, in my view, even if he had to swear and perjure to be a historicist.
User avatar
GakuseiDon
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:10 pm

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by GakuseiDon »

More generally, what are the theories about when Jesus lived and/or died, and who (if anyone) was responsible for his death? (For the sake of the exercise, I mean a life and death on earth)

GA Wells has Paul's Jesus dying in the remote past, though not identifying who was responsible IIRC.

Maryhelena has a date around 37BCE, when Antigonus II Mattathias was bound to a cross and scourged by Mark Anthony.

Are there any others out there?
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 7466
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by MrMacSon »

From
'The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis,' Books II and III. De Fide, 2nd revised Edition, translated by Frank Williams; Leiden, Brill, 2013, pp.51-4


6,1. Against the sect which does not accept the Gospel according to John, or his Revelation. 31, but 51 of the series1

1 Individuals or groups who took this position are described at Iren. Haer. 3.11.9; Eus. H.E. 7.25.2–3; Hippol. Capitula Adversus Gaium. Epiph may himself have read works of this nature, see 51,29,1; 5.


22,3 For the Savior was born during the forty-second year of the Roman emperor Augustus—in the thirteenth consulship of the same Octavian Augustus and the consulship of Silanus, as the Roman consul lists indicate. (4) For these say as follows: “During their consulships,” I mean Octavian’s thirteenth and the consulship of Silanus, “Christ was born on the eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen days after the winter solstice and the increase of the light and the day.”111 (5) Greeks, I mean the idolaters, celebrate this day on the eighth before the Kalends of January, which Romans call Saturnalia, Egyptians Cronia, and Alexandrians, Cicellia.

22,6 For this division between signs of the zodiac, which is a solstice, comes on the eighth before the Kalends of January, and the day begins to lengthen because the light is receiving its increase. And it completes a period of thirteen days until the eighth before the Ides of January, the day of Christ’s birth, with a thirtieth of an hour added to each day. (7) The Syrian sage, Ephrem, testified to this calculation in his commentaries when he said, “Thus the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, his birth in the flesh or perfect incarnation which is called the Epiphany, was revealed after a space of thirteen days from the beginning of the increase of the light. For this too must needs be a type of the number of our Lord Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples, since, [added to the disciples], he made up < the > number of the thirteen days of the light’s increase.”112

111 Consularia Constantia, MHG Auct. Antiq. IX, 218. Here, however, the date given is the eighth before the Kalends of January, ie. December 25.
112 The passage is not extant


22,8 And how many other things have been done and are being done because of, and in testimony to this calculation, I mean of Christ’s birth? Indeed, those who guilefully preside over the cult of idols are obliged to confess a part of the truth, and in many places deceitfully celebrate a very great festival on the very night of the Epiphany, to deceive the idolaters who believe them into hoping113 in the imposture and not seeking
the truth.

22,9 First, at Alexandria, in the Coreum, as they call it; it is a very large temple, the shrine of Core. They stay up all night singing hymns to the idol with a flute accompaniment. And when they have concluded their nightlong vigil torchbearers descend into an underground shrine after cockcrow (10) and bring up a wooden image which is seated naked < on > a litter. It has a sign of the cross inlaid with gold on its forehead, two other such signs, [one] on each hand, and two other signs, [one] actually [on each of ] its two knees—altogether five signs with a gold impress. And they carry the image itself seven times round the innermost shrine with flutes, tambourines and hymns, hold a feast, and take it back down to its place underground. And when you ask them what this mystery means they reply that today at this hour Core—that is, the virgin—gave birth to Aeon.

22,11 This is also done in the same way in the city of Petra, in the temple of the idol there. (Petra is the capital city of Arabia, the scriptural Edom.) They praise the virgin with hymns in the Arab language calling her, in Arabic, Chaamu—that is, Core, or virgin. And the child who is born of her they call Dusares, that is, “the Lord’s only-begotten.” And this is also done that night in the city of Elusa, as it is there in Petra, and in Alexandria.

22,12 I have been obliged to prove this with many examples because of those who do not believe that “The Epiphany” is a good name for the fleshly birth of the Savior, who was born at the eighth hour and manifested, by the angels’ testimony, to the shepherds and the world—but he was manifested to Mary and Joseph as well. (13) And the star was manifested to the magi in the east at that hour, two years before their arrival at Jerusalem and Bethlehem, when Herod asked the magi themselves the precise time of the star’s manifestation, and they told him it was no more than two years before. And this very word gave the Epiphany its name, from Herod’s saying, “the manifestation of the star.”

22,14 Thus when the magi said, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him,”114 Herod saw that he had not been inquiring about the name of a merely human king.

22,15 For he mulled the matter over and was puzzled because many kings had been born in Jerusalem—Saul of the tribe of Benjamin first, David of the tribe of Judah second, David’s son Solomon, Solomon’s son Rehoboam, and Rehoboam’s sons in succession—and no star had ever appeared at any of their births, and never, except this once, had magi arrived to come and worship the newborn king. And after giving this his consideration he attained to the knowledge of the truth as well, having understood that this was not the sign of a man, but of the Lord alone.

22,16 Thus, when he asked the scribes and the priests, “Where is the Christ born?” and heard their answer, “in Bethlehem of Judaea,” he was no longer asking about an earthly king or a mere man, but about Christ. And he learned the place by asking it of them, but the time by asking it of the magi.

22,17 For the magi themselves reached Bethlehem, after a two year interval, on this very day of the Epiphany, and offered their gifts, the myrrh, the gold and the frankincense. For the beginnings of many of the signs of Christ’s manifestation came on this day of the Manifestation.

(18) As I have said before and am obliged to say over and over, this was the day in the thirteenth consulship of Octavius Augustus and the consulship of Silanus [which fell] on the eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen days after the increase of the daylight. This lasts from the winter solstice, the eighth before the Kalends of January, until the actual day of Christ’s birth and Manifestation, because of the type I spoke of—the Savior himself and his disciples, making thirteen.

22,19 Thus the Savior was born in the forty-second year of the Roman emperor Augustus in the consulship I have mentioned, twenty-nine years after Augustus’ annexation of Judaea; Augustus had reigned for thirteen years before Judaea was finally annexed to Rome. (20) After Augustus’ accession there was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews for about four years of his reign, with the dispatch of an auxiliary force, the appointment of a governor, and the payment of partial tribute to the Romans. < And again, partial tribute was given to the Romans* > for about five years [more], until Judaea was surrendered to them completely and became [fully] tributary to them, (21) because the rulers descended from Judah had come to an end, and Herod had been made king—a gentile, though indeed a proselyte. And then Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judaea and began to preach, after the last of the anointed rulers (χρίστοι) descended from Judah and Aaron had come to an end—(their line had continued until the anointed ruler Alexander, and Salina, or Alexandra.) This was the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy, “There shall not fail a ruler from Judah and a governor from his loins, till he come for who it is prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations” [Gen 49:10]—a reference to the birth of the Lord.

22,22 All these things were accomplished beginning with Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, in the forty-second year of the whole reign of Augustus. Augustus’ forty-second year came after [the following]: The fifth year of the governorship of Herod’s father Antipater, when there was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews and the payment of partial tribute; Antipater’s governorship, from the sixth year of Augustus through his ninth year; Herod’s appointment in Augustus’ tenth year, and the payment of partial tribute until Augustus’ thirteenth, which was the fourth year of the reign of his appointee, Herod; (23) the period from Herod’s fourth year, which finally saw the complete surrender of Judaea, until Herod’s thirty-third year, when Augustus had reigned for forty-two < and >, as I said, all Judaea had been subdued. [This came] after it had been tributary to the Romans for twenty-nine years; after Herod’s father Antipater had been made governor; and after Herod had been made king of Judaea by Augustus in Augustus’ tenth year.


Also, a bit later, pp.61-2 -


29,1 For I have also found it written somewhere < in > these works that the Word of God was born about the fortieth year of Augustus. This was the writer’s error, or else he wrote only “forty (μ) years” because the figure “beta” had been erased and only the “mu” was left on the page. For Christ was born in the forty-second year of Augustus.

29,2 And it says that Christ < was conceived > on the twelfth before the Kalends of July or June—I cannot say which—in the consulship of Sulpicius Cammarinus and Betteus Pompeianus.144 (3) I have noticed < too > that those who have given a date for the conception, and Gabriel’s bringing of the tidings to the Virgin, have said < this because of > a supposition of certain persons who have it by tradition145 that Christ was born after a term of seven months. (4) For I have found that there is a time of seven lunar months less four days between the month they mention146 and the eleventh of Tybi, the eighth before the Ides of January, when, in fact, the Epiphany came and Christ was born. (5) So if you should find < this > in a marginal gloss somewhere, do not be misled by the information. The actual date of Christ’s birth is in fact the eleventh of Tybi.

29,6 Some, however, say that Christ was carried in the womb for ten months less fourteen days and eight hours, making nine months, fifteen days and four hours. They are alluding to Solomon’s saying, “compacted in blood for a time of ten months.”147

29,7 In any case, < it has been shown > by every means < that > the Lord’s birth in the flesh took place on < the > eleventh of the Egyptian month Tybi ...

144 This name is inaccurate and is ungrammatically placed in the dative while Sulpicius Cammarinus is in the genitive; it may be interpolated (Strobel, Dummer).
145 Holl ἐχόντων ἐν παραδώσει, MSS λεγόντων ἐν παραδώσει.
146 Holl προειρημένου μηνός, MSS προπόσων.
147 Wisd Sol 7:2.



User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 7466
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by MrMacSon »

22,20c to the end of 22,21 is what was quoted in the blog-post in the OP: at the end of "Epiphanius, Panarion 29; 51" (bolding in the text as in the blog post)
MrMacSon wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 8:09 pm From
'The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis,' Books II and III. De Fide, 2nd revised Edition, translated by Frank Williams; Leiden, Brill, 2013, pp.51-4


6,1. Against the sect which does not accept the Gospel according to John, or his Revelation. 31, but 51 of the series1

22,19 Thus the Savior was born in the forty-second year of the Roman emperor Augustus in the consulship I have mentioned, twenty-nine years after Augustus’ annexation of Judaea; Augustus had reigned for thirteen years before Judaea was finally annexed to Rome. (20) After Augustus’ accession there was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews for about four years of his reign, with the dispatch of an auxiliary force, the appointment of a governor, and the payment of partial tribute to the Romans. < And again, partial tribute was given to the Romans* > for about five years [more], until Judaea was surrendered to them completely and became [fully] tributary to them, (21) because the rulers descended from Judah had come to an end, and Herod had been made king—a gentile, though indeed a proselyte. And then Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judaea and began to preach, after the last of the anointed rulers (χρίστοι) descended from Judah and Aaron had come to an end—(their line had continued until the anointed ruler Alexander, and Salina, [who was also] Alexandra.) This was the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy, “There shall not fail a ruler from Judah and a governor from his loins, till he come for who it is prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations” [Gen 49:10]—a reference to the birth of the Lord.


User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 7466
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by MrMacSon »

The blog post of A. Jordan notes

The Talmud also places Jesus’ life under Alexander Jannaeus (Sotah 47a; Sanhedrin 107b), making it likely that the Rabbis knew of [a] Judeo-Christian group that held to this chronology. This point is most often used to discredit the Talmud’s account of Jesus as irrelevant. However, if the Talmud presents one of the views of a sect of Judeo-Christians, how can it be so easily discredited?

https://yaakovavraham.wordpress.com/202 ... esus-live/
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 7466
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by MrMacSon »

Here's some interesting takes by Epiphanius on events around the census, where Mary gave birth and the visit by the magi in relation to the birth of Jesus


6,1. Against the secta which does not accept the Gospel according to John, or his Revelation. 31, but 51 of the series

([9],7) For a census was then in progress, and the people who had been scattered at the time of the wars in the Maccabees’ time were dispersed all over the world, and very few had continued to live in Bethlehem. And thus Bethlehem is called the city of David in one copy of the Evangelists, while in another it calls it a village, because it had come to occupy a small area. (8) But when the emperor Augustus’ decree was issued, and those who had been dispersed had to go to Bethlehem for enrolment because of their family origins, the influx of the multitudes filled the place, and because of the crowding there was no room in the inn.

9,9 But then, after the census, everyone went back to wherever they lived and room was made in Bethlehem. (10) Now when < the > first year
was over and the second year had passed, Christ’s parents came from Nazareth to Bethlehem as though to the original gathering—as a sort of memorial because of what had happened there. (11) Thus the arrival of the magi occurred on this occasion, and probably not during Mary’s and Joseph’s visit at the time of the census which Luke mentions. For the magi did not find Mary in the cavern where she gave birth but, as the Gospel says, the star led them to the place where the young child was. (12) And they entered the house and found the baby with Mary—no longer in a manger, no longer in a cave, but in a house—showing the exact truth and the two-year interval, that is, from Christ’s birth until the arrival of the magi.

9,13 And the angel appeared that night, two years after the birth, and said to take the mother and child to Egypt. Thus Joseph did not go back
again to Nazareth but escaped to Egypt with the child and his mother, and spent another two years there. And so, after Herod’s death, the angel < appeared* > again < and* > sent them back to Judaea.

10,1 The Lord was born in the thirty-third year of Herod, the magi came in the thirty-fifth, and in the thirty-seventh year Herod died and his son Archelaus inherited the throne and reigned for nine years, as I have already said in other places [eg. at De Incarnatione 2.1–3]. (2) When Joseph heard of Archelaus he returned and went to Nazareth to make his home, and from there, in turn, went each year to Jerusalem.
- - - - - - - - - -
From
'The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis,' Books II and III. De Fide, 2nd revised Edition, translated by Frank Williams; Leiden, Brill, 2013, pp.35-6


a Epiphanius calls them, the Ἄλογοι : the Alogi : the Dumb
User avatar
GakuseiDon
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:10 pm

Re: 'When Did Jesus Live?'

Post by GakuseiDon »

We've discussed this here before. That website is relying on Dr Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus", and Carrier is simply wrong on his take that this is the beliefs of heretics. Epiphanius is referring to the beliefs of orthodox Christians, as Paul the Uncertain notes above.

Here is what Carrier writes in "On the Historicity of Jesus", page 281:

In the late fourth century the Christian scholar Epiphanius compiled an extensive dossier on all the 'heresies' he knew of, calling it the Panarion, 'Medicine Chest'. One of these 'heresies' he covers is that of the 'Nazori­ans', who were still practicing Jews...

Epiphanius then says a curious thing: these Christians say Jesus had lived and died in the time of Alexander Jannaeus. This is what he says they [the Nazori­ans] preach:

He then gives the quote from Epiphanius as given already in this thread. Leaving translation and timing issues aside, it's clear that Epiphanius is NOT giving the beliefs of the Nazori­ans, but rather his own views. For some reason, he digresses into covering points about descent from Jesse and answering the question "if Christ was of David's line, why is he not sitting on David’s throne?"

I'm guessing Carrier picked the idea up from a mythicist before him. With all due respect to Carrier, I've found him shockingly bad in his analysis and use of ancient sources. It's ALWAYS worth checking him when he cites them. I hope people always check me when I do as well! :cheers:

If you want to read Epiphanius for yourself and check both of us, you can find the passage here, starting from p 123:
https://gnosis.study/library/%D0%9A%D1% ... 01-46).pdf

It's in the section on the Nazori­ans, but is Epiphanius writing about the beliefs of the Nazori­ans there, or is he explaining his own beliefs at that point? See for yourself! :cheers:
Post Reply