Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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Giuseppe
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Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

Post by Giuseppe »


A ce mouvement messianique chez les Samaritains s'adapt bien un récit de Josèphe (Antiq ., XVIII, 4, 1) 4, d'après le quel y eut vers 35 une émeute sanglante à Samarie, que le procurateur Ponce-Pilate réprima avec une rigueur non sanglante. A la suite de ces événements, Pilate fut rappelé. Malheureusement, Josèphe ne nous indique pas le nom du fauteur de cette émeute; cependant, à en juger par toutes les source plus haut, ce devait être Dosithée.

(Dosithée et les Dosithéens, S. Krauss, Revue des études juives Année 1901 42-83 pp. 27-42)

The entire Krauss's article is available freely here:

https://www.persee.fr/doc/rjuiv_0484-86 ... 42_83_4480
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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After Krauss, Nathaniel Schmidt accepted the idea that Dositheus == the Samaritan Impostor slain by Pilate.

Before Krauss, Ernest Renan and a guy called Wilmar
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

Post by Giuseppe »

It seems that there were two guy named Dositheus, of which only one is the Samaritan heresiarch.

About the latter, so Krauss writes:

Quelques Pères de l'Eglise parlent d'un Dosithée qui aurait vécu peu après l'apparition de Jésus et qui fonda une secte encore avant Simon le Magicien, l'arci-hérétique. Le pseudo-Clément rapporte, au nom de Nicétes, que Dosithée aurait créé une secte après le meurtre de Jean-Baptiste. Dosithée fut ensuite relégué dans l'ombre par Simon le Magicien, qui, dans l'histoire de la primitive église, parvint à une triste célébrité. L'historien de l'ancienne église qui mérite le plus de créance, Hégésippe, cité par Eusèbe, place Dosithée à la même époque; seulement, chez lui, le rapport entre Simon et Dosithèe est renverse, car il fait apparaître Dosithée après Simon, ce que Hégésippe, ainsi que certains savants l'ont remarqué, n'a pas fait intentionnellement.

C'est le moment de citer les données des sources samaritaines sur les Dosithéens. Aboul-Fath raconte d'abord — à sa façon — l'histoire de Simon le Magicien, qui se serait allié avec Philon d'Alexandrie contre les disciples de Jésus; immédiatement après, il fait surgir les différentes sectes de Dusis, qui, par conséquent, aurait vécu à l'époque des Apotres. Or, dans une autre chronique samaritaine, le fondateur de la secte s'appelle Dosthis ..., en sorte qu'il n'y a pas de doute que Dusis désigne également Dosithée. Nous devons, comme chez Hégésippe, corriger l'ordre chronologique, de manière à placer Dosithée avant Simon. Signalons aussi Origène, toujouts bien informé, qui compare l'apparition de Dosithée avec celle de Juda le Galiléen. De la sorte, on appelle notre attention sur le caractère messianique de Dosithée, si bien que Dosithée se présenta comme Messie chez ls Samaritains, à l'instar de Jésus chez les Juifs. Il est naturel qu'Origène ait préféré comparer le Samaritan avec Juda plutôt qu'avec Jèsus, la messianité de Jésus étant à ses yeux infiniment supérieure à toutes les apparitions de meme ordre.

A ce mouvement messianique chez les Samaritains s'adapt fort bien un récit de Josèphe (Antiq ., XVIII, 4, 1), d'après le quel il y eut vers 35 une émeute sanglante à Samarie, que le procurateur Ponce-Pilate réprima avec une rigueur non moins sanglante. A la suite de ces événements, Pilate fut rappelé. Malheureusement, Josèphe ne nous indique pas le nom du fauteur de cette émeute; cependant, à en juger par toutes les sources citées plus haut, ce devait être Dosithée.

So, de facto, the more strong argument to think that the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was precisely Dositheus is this quote by Origen:

For this reason, they loved him [==John the Baptist] quite justly, but they did not keep their love within bounds; for they kept wondering ''whether perhaps he was the Christ''. The apostle Paul warns against inordinate and irrational love when he says of himself, ''I fear that someone might have an opinion of me above what he sees or hears from em,a nd that the greatness of the revelations might exalt me'', and so on. Paul feared that even he might fall into this error. So he was unwilling to state everything about himself that he knew. He wanted no one to think more of him than he saw or, going beyond the limits of honor, to say what had been said about John, that ''he was the Christ''. Some people said this even about Dositheus, the heresiarch of the Samaritans; others said it also about Judas the Galilean. Finally, some people burst forth into such great audacity of love that they invented new and unheard of exaggerations about Paul.
For, some say this, that the passage in Scripture that speaks of ''sitting at the Savior's right and left'' applies to Paul and Marcion: Paul sits at his right hand and Marcion at his left.

(Origen, Hom. in Luc., 25)

Reading these words by Origen about so many rival Christs, one may remember the words of Robert Price about many rival Christs being at the origin of Christianity, merging at the end into only one fictional Jesus. Surely Origen is evidence of that.


Origen mentioned Dositheus also here, in Contra Celsum 1:57:

And after him, in the days of the census, when Jesus appears to have been born, one Judas, a Galilean, gathered around him many of the Jewish people, saying he was a wise man, and a teacher of certain new doctrines. And when he also had paid the penalty of his rebellion, his doctrine was overturned, having taken hold of very few persons indeed, and these of the very humblest condition. And after the times of Jesus, Dositheus the Samaritan also wished to persuade the Samaritans that he was the Christ predicted by Moses; and he appears to have gained over some to his views.

Note that in both the passages Origen would like to compare Dositheus not with Jesus, but with Judas the Galilean. It is very suspicious the emphasis on "And after the times of Jesus", as if Origen wanted to distance Jesus from Dositheus even from a chronological POV.

So Pilate was connected with Dositheus, in a first time.

Later Dositheus became the rival of the Christian Jesus in a time when the anti-demiurgists coloured Dositheus with anti-demiurgist tints, since the Clementine Homilies, book II, make it clear that Dositheus contended with Simon Magus the anti-demiurgist title of 'Standing one'.

That this title was interpreted as anti-demiurgist, we have evidence in this passage:

And sometimes intimating that he [=Simon Magus] is Christ, he styles himself the Standing One. And this epithet he employs, as intimating that he shall always stand, and as not having any cause of corruption so that his body should fall. And he neither says that the God who created the world is the Supreme, nor does he believe that the dead will be raised. He rejects Jerusalem, and substitutes Mount Gerizzim for it. Instead of our Christ, he proclaims himself.

(2:22) https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/080802.htm

So the name of Pilate passed from the Samaritan tradition about Dositheus to the Christian tradition behind the our Gospels, as effect of the growing rivalry between Christians and anti-demiurgists. It was necessary to point out that Pilate crucified the davidic Jesus called Christ, not the Samaritan imposter Dositheus.
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

Post by schillingklaus »

Dositheus is just as fictional as the heroes of the NT are altogether.
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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So Wikipedia:

According to Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews (18.4.1–2), Pilate's removal as governor occurred after Pilate slaughtered a group of armed Samaritans at a village called Tirathana near Mount Gerizim, where they hoped to find artifacts that had been buried there by Moses. Alexander Demandt suggests that the leader of this movement may have been Dositheos, a messiah-like figure among the Samaritans who was known to have been active around this time.

Following the link about this Alexander Demandt, I have found this:

Die Anführer unter den Gefangeben ließ Pilatus hinrichten. Ob der «falsche Prophet» selbst darunter war, wird nicht berichtet. Wenn er entkam, könnte er identisch sein mith Dositheos Samaritanus, der um 40 n. Chr. als neuer Moses aufgetreten ist und viel Anhang unter den Samaritanern fand.

In a previous passage, Demandt appears to be enough sure about the identity Dositheus == the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate:

In Zusammenhang mit Beschwerden über Pilatus (S. 63) erfahren wir, daß sie einen Rat, eine boulê, und damit eine gewisse Selbstverwaltung besaßen. Zur Zeit Jesu zerstritten sich die Samaritaner, als ein Prophet namens Dositheos auftrat und sich als neuen Moses ausgab (S. 63).

:cheers:

Curiously, in a personnal communication, also Greg Doudna raised the possibility that the Samaritan false prophet escaped the death by hand of Pilate, since Josephus doesn't report that he personally was captured, but only the more generic claim:

Pilate put to death the principal leaders and those who were most influential among the fugitives.

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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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Further evidence that the Samaritan Dositheus was coloured with anti-demiurgist tints:
According to Pseudo Tertullian:

Dositheus the Samaritan, I mean, who was the first who had the hardihood to repudiate the prophets, on the ground that they had not spoken under inspiration of the Holy Spirit

Stuart is very brilliant when he refers to Marcionite/ Simonian use of the anti-davidic Samaritan polemic:

Stuart wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 12:49 pm
Matthew is well aware of the Marcionite and Heterodox use of the messiah ben Joseph motif.

What I contend, is that without that "Marcionite and Heterodox use of the messiah ben Joseph motif", there would have been no Pilate at all in our Gospels.
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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One of John the Immerser’s disciples is called Dositheos in several early Christian writers, especially and most reliably Origen; plus Celsus, an early critic of Christianity; and even the Talmud, in connection with Rabbi Meir. This Dositheos is referred to as John’s leading student, as is Nathanael here, since we see Philip seek out Nathanael and ask him please to come and meet Jesus before dismissing the possibility that he is Messiah (1:45-46). In short, I believe that Nathanael and Dositheos are the same individual.

https://www.academia.edu/25892945/Shoul ... nsis_11710
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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Also Robert Eisler identified Nathanael with Dositheus:

https://books.google.it/books?id=UPZTDw ... us&f=false
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

Post by Giuseppe »

The scene about Nathanael/Dositheus becoming a disciple of Jesus is clearly designed to fix who is more strong between the two. The rivalry between Dositheans and Christians is therefore latent in John 1:46-50.
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Re: Samuel Krauss: the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate was called Dositheus

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Giuseppe wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 11:25 am
I am thinking on this sound comment by Samuel Krauss:

Signalons aussi Origène, toujouts bien informé, qui compare l'apparition de Dosithée avec celle de Juda le Galiléen. De la sorte, on appelle notre attention sur le caractère messianique de Dosithée, si bien que Dosithée se présenta comme Messie chez ls Samaritains, à l'instar de Jésus chez les Juifs. Il est naturel qu'Origène ait préféré comparer le Samaritan avec Juda plutôt qu'avec Jèsus, la messianité de Jésus étant à ses yeux infiniment supérieure à toutes les apparitions de meme ordre.

Translation via Deepl:
Let us also mention Origen, always well informed, who compares the appearance of Dositheus with that of Judah the Galilean. In this way he draws our attention to the messianic character of Dositheus, so that Dositheus presented himself as Messiah to the Samaritans, just as Jesus did to the Jews. It is natural that Origen preferred to compare the Samaritan with Judah rather than with Jesus, the messiahship of Jesus being in his eyes infinitely superior to all apparitions of the same kind.

RESUMING:
  • Origen would like to inform the readers that Dositheus had messianic claims.
  • ...But Origen knows that, by so doing, the risk is to compare DIRECTLY the Samaritan messianist Dositheus with the True Jewish Messiah Jesus Christ...
  • ... so the Origen's expedient is to compare the Samaritan messianist Dositheus with the Jewish messianist Judas the Galilean

CONCLUSION:
By applying the Criterion of Embarrassment on Origen's reluctance to compare Dositheus with Jesus, contra factum that even only the fact that both Jesus and Dositheus were believed to be crucified by the same Pilate would have required naturally a comparison between the two Messiahs, the conclusion imposes itself: Origen was embarrassed by the fact that a Jewish Messiah (=Jesus) was crucified in Judea by Pilate and around the same time a Samaritan Messiah (=Dositheus) was crucified in Samaria by Pilate.

It is as if, as to messianic claims, one was the copy of the other, only the place of the crucifixion differed (Judea rather than Samaria and vice versa).

I contend that precisely this intriguing comparison is the key to detect the reason of the Oldest Gospel in the choice of Pilate as killer of the Gospel Jesus.

If Pilate deserved the title of 'killer of the Samaritan Messiah,' then accordingly the same Pilate had to 'deserve' equally (by the Oldest Gospel) the title of 'killer of the Jewish Messiah.'

The particularity of the Samaria was that historically, that region had only one Messianist: Dositheus. At contrary, Judea had a lot of messianists (Judas the Galilean, Theudas, the "Egyptian", etc). Hence the importance of Dositheus had to increase naturally, since he was the only messianist appeared in Samariah.

Dositheus alone symbolized so much the entire Samaria, that an equivalent symbol for the Judea had to be himself (in the fiction) a contemporary of Dositheus, and by logical extension, of Pilate.

And so Pilate was chosen.


1. Where does Origen compare the appearance of Dositheus with that of Judah the Galilean? In what context ?

2. Why did you start a new thread to make the post quoted here^ when it's a follow-on from this already existing thread ?

3. As far as I'm concerned, it remains debatable whether Judas the Galilean, Theudas, the "Egyptian", etc, were 'messiah-claimants' themselves or whether 'messiah-claimant' had become a trope for them ...
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sun Sep 25, 2022 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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