Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

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StephenGoranson
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Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by StephenGoranson »

...who did live during the time of Jannaeus.
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Ken Olson
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by Ken Olson »

I'm familiar with the passage from Epiphanius Panarion II 29 3.3 that some have understood as placing Jesus in Alexander Jannaeus time (103-76 BCE):

3,3 For the rulers in succession from Judah came to an end with Christ’s
arrival. Until he came < the > rulers < were anointed priests >,9 but after
his birth in Bethlehem of Judaea the order ended and was altered10 in
the time of Alexander, a ruler of priestly and kingly stock. (4) This position
died out with this Alexander from the time of Salina also known as
Alexandra, in the time of King Herod and the Roman emperor Augustus.
(Though this Alexander was crowned also, as one of the anointed priests and
rulers.11 (5) For when the two tribes, the kingly and priestly, were united—I
mean the tribe of Judah with Aaron and the whole tribe of Levi—kings
also became priests, for nothing hinted at in holy scripture can be wrong.)12
(6) But then finally a gentile, King Herod, was crowned, and not David’s
descendants any more. (Panarion of Epiphanius, trans Frank Williams (2e 2009) p. 124.

At least some versions of the Toldot Yeshua place Jesus as a contemporary of different people from different times. [See The Book of the Generations of (Toldot) Yeshua the Notzrite: The Huldreich Text - translated by Joseph Gebhardt Klein (2020?)]

There are various different passages from the Talmud that ostensibly refer to Jesus (i.e., the Christian Jesus). IIRC some of them make him a contemporary of Shimon ben Shetach, who was the brother of Alexander Jannaeus' queen Alexandra Salome or Shelamzion.

What sources do you have in mind that place Jesus in Jannaeus' time (or that of his queen) that might actually refer to the Teacher of Righteousness?

Best,

Ken
StephenGoranson
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by StephenGoranson »

Qumran texts tell of a conflict between the Wicked Priest and the Teacher of Righteousness, and also mention that Absalom did not help the Teacher when he was aggrieved.
I think the Wicked Priest was Alexander Jannaeus. (Strabo, Geography 16.2.34-46, while favorable toward Moses and followers, also described Alexander Jannaeus, negatively, as a tyrant.)
Absalom, who avoided politics according to Josephus (War 1.85 and Antiquities 13.323), was a brother of Jannaeus. (Compare Damascus Document 5:18-19, "Jannes and his brother.")
The Teacher of Righteousness was Judah the Essene.
Judah had supporters and detractors.
As did Jesus.
Somewhat similar groups.
The First Messiah: Investigating the Savior Before Jesus, by Michael Owen Wise (1999)--though I do not agree with some of it, for example, his (too late) dating--presents Judah as a messiah claimant.
Some may have confused Judah and Jesus, their times.
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by andrewcriddle »

Does this idea require a relatively early misdating of Jesus ?
If Jesus was first misdated to the time of Jannaeus in say the late 4th century CE would there be surviving traditions about the Teacher of Righteousness to assist such misdating ?

Andrew Criddle
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Ken Olson
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by Ken Olson »

StephenGoranson wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:59 am Qumran texts tell of a conflict between the Wicked Priest and the Teacher of Righteousness, and also mention that Absalom did not help the Teacher when he was aggrieved.
I think the Wicked Priest was Alexander Jannaeus. (Strabo, Geography 16.2.34-46, while favorable toward Moses and followers, also described Alexander Jannaeus, negatively, as a tyrant.)
Absalom, who avoided politics according to Josephus (War 1.85 and Antiquities 13.323), was a brother of Jannaeus. (Compare Damascus Document 5:18-19, "Jannes and his brother.")
The Teacher of Righteousness was Judah the Essene.
Judah had supporters and detractors.
As did Jesus.
Somewhat similar groups.
The First Messiah: Investigating the Savior Before Jesus, by Michael Owen Wise (1999)--though I do not agree with some of it, for example, his (too late) dating--presents Judah as a messiah claimant.
Some may have confused Judah and Jesus, their times.
Yes, I'm familiar with the Teacher of Righteousness and Wicked Priest from the Qumran scrolls. I accept the widely held theory that the Wicked Priest was one of the later Hasmonean High Priests. At one time I was reasonably convinced he was probably Jannaeus' son Aristobulus II (High Priest 66-63 BCE, died 49 BCE) on the grounds that he was put to death by the Romans (=Kittim). I'm not convinced that's wrong, but other candidates are certainly possible.

But what I was really asking was what passages referring to Jesus from ancient Jewish sources could reasonably be explained as actually referring to the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness (isn't the name Judah fictive, given to him by Wise as a way of referring to him?).

We previously discussed the issue of ancient (and some medieval) Jewish sources about Jesus and also the identity of the Wicked Priest in this thread started by Ben C. Smith, who helpfully compiled excerpts from the sources:

viewtopic.php?p=113174#p113174

Best,

Ken
StephenGoranson
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by StephenGoranson »

Andrew, as you know, we don't have all traditions that were available to some ancients. For example, text finds near Jericho mentioned by Origen (and that same find may have also been later mentioned by Joseph [of Tiberias?] in Hypomnestikon and also the many texts mentioned by 9th-century Timothy I in a letter to Mar Sergius. The Cairo Damascus (Zadokite) Document copies may be relevant survivals. (And Mandaeans and Karaites and others may be relevant.) I'm not sure our earliest known mis-datings of Jesus are necessarily the earliest ones that happened. And if otherwise than by tradition, garbled or not, then how?

Ken, no, Wise did not name Judah as fictive. Page 41: "The name of the first messiah is nowhere stated outright, but a few clues in the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that it may have been Judah."
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

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Teacher of Righteousness was mentioned by Karaites, and not only by them.
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by StephenGoranson »

I could say more about the M. O. Wise book, and I could note differing ancient views about Alexander Jannaeus, whether he was good ("called by the name of truth") at first but (soon) turned bad, or whether he was bad at first but (eventually) turned good. But, for now, I will offer another mistaken mix-up between Messiah and Teacher of Righteousness, besides those of the NT mashups by J. L. Teicher, R. Eisenman, and B. Thiering.

George Margoliouth (1853-1924) wrote soon after S. Schechter published "Fragments of a Zadokite Work" (aka Damascus Document, which mentions Jannes). In The Athenaeum [London], November 26, 1910, pages 657-9, here 658, col. 1:
"...priestly Messiah referred to at the beginning of the document, the "Teacher of Righteousness" who is stated to have followed him ["the Baptist"] must be Jesus Himself."

I suggest this may additionally be relevant to the misdating of Jesus to the time of Jannaeus.
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Ken Olson
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Re: Misdating Jesus to Jannaeus' era may be due to a confusion of Jesus with the Qumran Teacher of Righteousness...

Post by Ken Olson »

StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:08 am I suggest this may additionally be relevant to the misdating of Jesus to the time of Jannaeus.
The question I'm really interested in is: what passages from The Talmud (or Toledot) that have been taken to refer to Jesus (the Christian Jesus) might be plausibly explained as (originally?) referring to the Teacher of Righteousness?

Best,

Ken
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