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Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products. Length: 20 pages. Word Wise: Enabled. Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. Craig Evans states that an argument in favor of the partial authenticity of the Testimonium is that the passage does not stress the role played by the Jewish leaders in the death of Jesus.
Claudia Setzer holds that while "tribe is an odd way to describe Christians," it does not necessarily have negative connotations. Lester L. Grabbe notes that in two works Commentary on Matthew Steve Mason has argued for partial authenticity for the "Testimonium" because no other parts of any of the works of Josephus have been contested to have had scribal tempering, Christian copyists were usually conservative when transmitting texts in general, and seeing that the works of Philo were unaltered by Christian scribes through the centuries strongly support that it is very unlikely that the passage was invented out of thin air by a Christian scribe.
Philo often wrote in a way that was favorable to Christian ideas and yet no Christian scribes took advantage of that to insert Jesus or Christian beliefs into Philo's text. Chilton and Evans state that the general acceptance of the authenticity of the James passage lends support to the partial authenticity of the Testimonium in that the brief reference to "Jesus, who was called Christ" in Antiquities XX, 9, 1 "clearly implies a prior reference" and that "in all probability the Testimonium is that prior reference".
Maier concurs with the analysis of Chilton and Evans and states that Josephus' first reference was the Testimonium. Robert Van Voorst states that most modern scholars believe that the Testimonium is partially authentic, and has a reference to Jesus. Craig Blomberg states that if the three elements "lawful to call him a man", "he was the Christ" and the reference to the resurrection are removed from the Testimonium the rest of the passage flows smoothly within the context, fits the style of Josephus and is likely to be authentic.
Green also states that the removal of some elements from the Testimonium produces a passage that is likely to be an authentic reference to the death of Jesus. In the estimation of James Dunn , there is "broad consensus" among scholars regarding what the Testimonium would look like without the interpolations. In this passage, which is based on Meier 's reconstruction, Jesus is called a "wise man", but "lawful to call him a man" and "he was the Christ" are removed, as is the reference to the resurrection.
Geza Vermes has performed a detailed analysis of the Testimonium and modified it to remove what he considers the interpolations. In addition to the arguments listed above, a minority of scholars have put forward arguments to the effect that the entire Testimonium is a Christian interpolation. For example, Kenneth Olson has argued that the entire Testimonium must have been forged by Eusebius himself, basing his argument on textual similarities between the Testimonium and Eusebius' writings in the Demonstrations of the Gospels.
In , Josephus scholar Louis Feldman reversed his prior support for the partial authenticity of the Testimonium , proposing that the passage was interpolated in its entirety by Eusebius. In support of this view, Feldman points out, following Olson, that the Testimonium features three phrases 'one who wrought surprising feats,' 'the tribe of the Christians,' and 'still to this day' which are used no where else in the whole of Greek literature except Eusebius. In , Carnegie Mellon linguistics professor Paul Hopper wrote a book chapter in which he argued that the style and narrative structure of the Testimonium is sharply in contrast with the rest of Josephus' work.
According to Hopper, the language of the Testimonium has more in common with fourth-century Christian creedal statements than the historiographical work of first-century authors, including Josephus. He concluded that the most likely explanation is that the passage was simply interpolated in its entirety by a Christian scribe.
The concordance of the language used in the Testimonium , its flow within the text, and its length have formed components of the internal arguments against its authenticity, e. Wells has argued against the authenticity of the Testimonium , stating that the passage is noticeably shorter and more cursory than such notices generally used by Josephus in the Antiquities , and that had it been authentic, it would have included more details and a longer introduction. A further internal argument against the Testimonium's authenticity is the context of the passage in the Antiquities of the Jews.
In the 3rd century, Origen of Alexandria claimed in two works that Josephus had mentioned James, the brother of Jesus. In Origen's commentary on Mathew , he writes:. And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James.
In Origen's apologetic work Contra Celsum , he made a similar remark:. Now this writer [Josephus] , although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless—being, although against his will, not far from the truth—that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus called Christ ,—the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.
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Many commentators have concluded that Origen is making reference to the "James, the brother of Jesus" passage found in Antiquities , Book 20 here, but there are some problems with this view. Richard Carrier has proposed that Origen actually had in mind a passage from the work Commentaries on the Acts of the Church , written by the Christian chronicler Hegesippus in the late second century. The Hegesippus passage, which is preserved in a quotation from the church historian Eusebius , describes the martyrdom of "James the Just" at the hand of the Jews and implies that this was the cause of the destruction of the temple.
In Book II, Chapter For the Jews slew him, although he was a most just man. While Eusebius does not acknowledge Origen as the source for his apocryphal quote of Josephus,  Richard Carrier argues that he is in fact quoting Origen, since Eusebius' quote is almost word-for-word identical in the Greek to the statement attributed to Josephus by Origen in Contra Celsum 1. Louis Feldman states that the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James has been "almost universally acknowledged.
Maier states that most scholars agree with Feldman's assessment that "few have doubted the genuineness of this passage"  Zvi Baras also states that most modern scholars consider the James passage to be authentic. According to Robert E. Van Voorst the overwhelming majority of scholars consider both the reference to "the brother of Jesus called Christ" and the entire passage that includes it as authentic. Richard Bauckham states that although a few scholars have questioned the James passage, "the vast majority have considered it to be authentic", and that among the several accounts of the death of James the account in Josephus is generally considered to be historically the most reliable.
Claudia Setzer states that few have questioned the authenticity of the James passage, partly based on the observation that a Christian interpolator would have provided more praise for James.
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John Painter states that nothing in the James passage looks suspiciously like a Christian interpolation and that the account can be accepted as historical. Painter pages — Painter discusses the role of Ananus and the background to the passage, and states that after being deposed as High Priest for killing James and being replaced by Jesus the son of Damnaeus , Ananus had maintained his influence within Jerusalem through bribery. Painter page Painter points out that as described in the Antiquities of the Jews Book 20, Chapter 9, 2 Ananus was bribing both Albinus and Jesus the son of Damnaeus so that his men could take the tithes of other priests outside Jerusalem, to the point that some of whom then starved to death.
Philip Carrington states that there is no reason to question the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James, and elaborates the background by stating that Ananus continued to remain a power within the Jewish circles at the time even after being deposed, and that it is likely that the charges brought against James by Ananus were not only because of his Christian association but because he objected to the oppressive policies against the poor; hence explaining the later indignation of the more moderate Jewish leaders.
A comparative argument made against the authenticity of the James passage by scholars such as Tessa Rajak is that the passage has a negative tone regarding the High Priest Ananus , presenting him as impulsive while in the Jewish Wars Josephus presents a positive view of Ananus and portrays him as prudent. A textual argument against the authenticity of the James passage is that the use of the term "Christos" there seems unusual for Josephus.
Price speculates that Josephus may have considered James a fraternal brother rather than a sibling. Richard Carrier argues that the words "who was called Christ" likely resulted from the accidental insertion of a marginal note added by copyist between the time of Origen and Eusebius. The original passage would have described the illegal execution of James, the brother of Jesus ben Damneus, by the high priest Ananus.
Ananus is then punished by being stripped of his position as high priest and replaced with ben Damneus— the brother of the very man he had unjustly killed. According to Carrier, this strongly suggests that he is confusing statements from another author with those of Josephus. He proposes that Origen actually had in mind a passage from the work Commentaries on the Acts of the Church , written by the Christian chronicler Hegesippus in the late second century.
The Hegesippus passage, which is preserved in a quotation from the church historian Eusebius , describes the martyrdom of "James the Just" at the hand of the Jews and heavily implies that this was the cause of the destruction of the temple. This is because, if the reference to Christ were authentic, Origen would likely have simply quoted that passage rather than insisting that Josephus wrote something that he did not actually write. Wells argued that the fact that Origen seems to have read something different about the death of James in Josephus than what there is now, suggests some tampering with the James passage seen by Origen.
John Painter states that the relationship of the death of James to the siege is an important theologoumenon in the early church. Wells , on the other hand, has stated that in view of Origen 's statements these variations from the Christian accounts may be signs of interpolation in the James passage.
Almost all modern scholars consider this passage to be authentic in its entirety, although a small number of authors have questioned it. Craig Evans states that almost all modern scholars consider the Josephus passage on John to be authentic in its entirety, and that what Josephus states about John fits well both with the general depiction of John in the New Testament and within the historical context of the activities of other men, their preachings and their promises during that period.
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Louis Feldman, who believes the Josephus passage on John is authentic, states that Christian interpolators would have been very unlikely to have devoted almost twice as much space to John words as to Jesus 89 words. James Dunn states that the accounts of Josephus and the New Testament regarding John the Baptist are closer than they may appear at a first reading.
Justin Meggitt states that there are fundamental similarities between the Josephus' portrayal of John the Baptist and the New Testament narrative in that in both accounts John is positioned as a preacher of morality, not as someone who had challenged the political authority of Herod Antipas. Nunnally states that the John passage is considered authentic and that Josephus' emphasis on the egalitarian nature of John's teachings fit well into the biblical and historical traditions.
In Origen's apologetic work Contra Celsum , made an explicit reference to the Josephus passage discussing John the Baptist:. For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist , and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Here, Origen provides a clear, unambiguous indication that the passage concerning John the Baptist existed in his early manuscript of Antiquities of the Jews.
Rivka Nir argues that the kind of baptism performed by John the Baptist was not considered legitimate in the mainstream Jewish circles to which Josephus belonged, and therefore Josephus could not have described John as positively as he is in Antiquities , Book Nir therefore concludes that the passage is likely a Christian interpolation. Claire Rothschild has stated that the absence of Christian interpolations in the Josephus passage on John the Baptist can not by itself be used as an argument for its authenticity, but is merely an indication of the lack of tampering.
The marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias is mentioned both in Josephus and in the gospels, and scholars consider Josephus as a key connection in establishing the approximate chronology of specific episodes related to John the Baptist.
While Josephus identifies the location of the imprisonment of John as Machaerus , southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river, the gospels mention no location for the place where John was imprisoned.