The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 3d – ”The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ”: Origen’s knowledge; On Matthew and Against Celsus

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Excursus

This is part 3d of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

III. The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James

Origen’s knowledge of another James passage

On Matthew and Against Celsus

The matter is however complicated by the fact that the above-mentioned Origen (c. 185–254 CE) knew of a similar passage on James and Jesus, which he claims was written by Josephus. Origen refers to this three times in two books written in the period 244–249 CE.[218] He claims that Josephus had written that “the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple” was the Jews’ punishment for having killed “James the just, who was a brother of Jesus who is called Christ”. Note that the passage in Josephus referred to by Origen, contrary to what often is claimed, is not the same passage as the one previously analyzed and which is present in all extant manuscripts of the Antiquities of the Jews. It is nowhere in the Antiquities of the Jews said that James’ death would have been the cause of the Jews’ misfortune. I reproduce all three passages by Origen in the order they probably were written:

“And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. 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.” (Origen, On Matthew, 10:17 [my bolding])[219]

“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. Now this writer, 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. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine. If, then, he says that it was on account of James that the desolation of Jerusalem was made to overtake the Jews, how should it not be more in accordance with reason to say that it happened on account (of the death) of Jesus Christ”. (Origen, Against Celsus 1:47 [my bolding])[220]

“Now in these [the Gospels] it is recorded, that ‘when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, then shall you know that the desolation thereof is nigh.’ But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero, and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus says, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but in reality, as the truth makes clear, on account of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” (Origen, Against Celsus 2:13 [my bolding])[221]

Two factors are of utmost importance for our understanding of the things Origen writes. He uses the same expression, with “the brother of Jesus who was called Christ” found in Antiquities of the Jews 20:200, but he claims that this was part of a completely different context than the corresponding expression in the Antiquities of today. He further says that Josephus did not accept or believe in Jesus as the Christ; that is the Messiah. In the extant version of the Testimonium it is explicitly said that Jesus was the Messiah. Let us begin with the latter.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-30


[218] In Ecclesiastical History 6:36, Eusebius writes in the time of Philip the Arab (Marcus Julius Filippus), Origen “composed a work of eight books in answer to that entitled True Discourse, which had been written against us by Celsus the Epicurean, and the twenty-five books on the Gospel of Matthew”. Marcus Julius Filippus was emperor between 244 and 249 CE, and Origen accordingly wrote these two works during this time.

[219] Origen, On Matthew, 10:17; The original Greek text followed by two English translations:

”Ἰάκωβος δὲ ἐστιν οὗτος ὃν λέγει Παῦλος ἰδεῖν ἐν τῆ πρὸς Γαλάτας ἐπιστολῇ, εἰπών· Ἕτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εἶδον εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου. ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον δὲ διέλεμψεν οὖτος ὁ Ἰάκωβος ἐν τῷ λαῷ ἐπὶ δικαιοσύνη ὡς Φλάβιον Ἰώσηπον ἀναγράψαντα ἐν εἴκοσι βιβλίοις τὴν Ἰουδαϊκὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν, τὴν αἰτίαν παραστῆσαι βουλόμενον τοῦ τὰ τοσαῦτα πεπονθέναι τὸν λαὸν ὡς καὶ τὸν ναὸν κατασκαφῆναι, εἰρηκέναι κατὰ μῆνιν θεοῦ ταῦτα αὐτοῖς ἀπηντηκέναι διὰ τὰ εἰς Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν τετολμημένα. καὶ τὸ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὅτι, τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἡμῶν οὐ καταδεξάμενος εἶναι Χριστόν, οὐδὲν ἧττον Ἰακώβῳ δικαιοσύνην ἐμαρτύρησε τοσαύτην. λέγει δὲ ὅτι καὶ ὁ λαὸς ταῦτα ἐνόμιζε διὰ τὸν Ἰάκωβον πεπονθέναι.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, On Matthew 10.17)

“But James is this one whom Paul says that he saw in the epistle to the Galatians, saying: But I did not see any of the other apostles except James the brother of the Lord. And in such a way among the people did this James shine for his justice that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Judaic Antiquities in twenty books, wishing to demonstrate the cause why the people suffered such great things that even the temple was razed down, said that these things came to pass against them in accordance with the ire of God on account of the things which were dared by them against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wondrous thing is that, although he did not accept our Jesus to be Christ, he yet testified that the justice of James was not at all small; and he says that even the people supposed they had suffered these things on account of James.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, On Matthew 10.17)

“And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. 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.” (Origen’s Commentary on Matthew, Book X by Origen, translated by John Patrick, Chapter 17)

[220] Origen, Against Celsus 1:47; The original Greek text followed by two English translations:

”Ἐν γὰρ τῷ ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς Ἰουδαϊκῆς ἀρχαιολογίας ὁ Ἰώσηπος μαρτυρεῖ τῷ Ἰωάννῃ ὡς βαπτιστῇ γεγενημένῳ καὶ καθάρσιον τοῖς βαπτισαμένοις ἐπαγγελλομένῳ. ὁ δ᾿ αὐτός, καίτοι γε ἀπιστῶν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ὡς Χριστῷ, ζητῶν τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων πτώσεως καὶ τῆς τοῦ ναοῦ καθαιρέσεως, δέον αὐτὸν εἰπεῖν ὅτι ἡ κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐπιβουλὴ τούτων αἰτία γέγονε τῷ λαῷ, ἐπεὶ ἀπέκτειναν τὸν προφητευόμενον Χριστόν, ὁ δὲ καὶ ὥσπερ ἄκων οὐ μακρὰν τῆς ἀληθείας γενόμενός φησι ταῦτα συμβεβηκέναι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις κατ᾿ ἐκδίκησιν Ἰακώβου τοῦ δικαίου, ὃς ἦν ἀδελφὸς Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, ἐπειδήπερ δικαιότατον αὐτὸν ὄντα ἀπέκτειναν. τὸν δὲ Ἰάκωβον τοῦτον ὁ Ἰησοῦ γνήσιος μαθητὴς Παῦλός φησιν ἑωρακέναι ὡς ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου, οὐ τοσοῦτον διὰ τὸ πρὸς αἵματος συγγενὲς ἢ τὴν κοινὴν αὐτῶν ἀνατροφὴν ὅσον διὰ τὸ ἦθος καὶ τὸν λόγον. εἴπερ οὖν διὰ Ἰάκωβον λέγει συμβεβηκέναι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τὰ κατὰ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν τῆς Ἱερουσαλήμ, πῶς οὐχὶ εὐλογώτερον διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦτο φάσκειν γεγονέναι”. (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 1:47)

“For in the eighteenth volume of the Judaic Antiquities Josephus testifies to John as having been a baptist and promised cleansing to those who were baptized. But he himself, though not believing in Jesus as Christ, in seeking 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 things happening to the people, since they killed the prophecied Christ, even says, being unwillingly not far from the truth, that these things befell the Jews as vengeance for James the just, who was a brother of Jesus who is called Christ, since they killed him who was most just. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he saw this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood or of their common upbringing as on account of his ethics and speech. If, therefore, he says that the things surrounding the desolation of Jerusalem befell the Jews on account of James, how is it not more reasonable to say that it happened on account of Jesus the Christ?” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 1:47)

“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. Now this writer, 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. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine. If, then, he says that it was on account of James that the desolation of Jerusalem was made to overtake the Jews, how should it not be more in accordance with reason to say that it happened on account (of the death) of Jesus Christ”. (Origen, Contra Celsus 1:47, translated by Frederick Crombie)

[221] Origen, Against Celsus 2:13. The original Greek text followed by two English translations:

”Τοῦτο γὰρ ἤρξατο μὲν ἔτι Νέρωνος βασιλεύοντος, παρέτεινε δὲ ἕως τῆς Οὐεσπασιανοῦ ἡγεμονίας, οὗ ὁ υἱὸς Τίτος καθεῖλε τὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, ὡς μὲν Ἰώσηπος γράφει, διὰ Ἰάκωβον τὸν δίκαιον, τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, ὡς δὲ ἡ ἀλήθεια παρίστησι, διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 2.13)

“For this [siege] began while Nero was still being king, and it lasted until the leadership of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, as Josephus writes, on account of James the just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but, as the truth demonstrates, [actually] on account of Jesus the Christ of God.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 2.13)

“Now in these it is recorded, that ‘when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, then shall you know that the desolation thereof is nigh.’ But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero, and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus says, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but in reality, as the truth makes clear, on account of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” (Origen, Contra Celsus 2:13, translated by Frederick Crombie)

Annonser

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 3d – ”Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus”: Origenes’ kännedom; Om Matteus och Mot Kelsos

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Detta är del 3d av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

III. Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob

Origenes’ kännedom om en annan Jakobpassage

Om Matteus och Mot Kelsos

Saken kompliceras emellertid av att den ovan nämnde Origenes (ca 185–254 vt) kände till en snarlik passage om Jakob och Jesus, och som Origenes påstår att Josefus har skrivit. Origenes omtalar detta vid tre tillfällen i två böcker skrivna någon gång åren 244–249.[218] Han hävdar att Josefus ska ha skrivit att Jerusalems fall och templets förstörelse var judarnas straff för att de dödat ”Jakob den rättfärdige, brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus”. Observera att det stycke hos Josefus som Origenes åberopar, tvärt emot vad som ofta hävdas, inte är samma stycke som tidigare analyserats och som förekommer i alla bevarade handskrifter av Judiska fornminnen. Ingenstans i Judiska fornminnen står något om att Jakobs död skulle ha varit orsaken till judarnas missöde. Jag återger alla tre passagerna hos Origenes i översättning till svenska och i den ordning de troligen skrevs:

Och denne Jakob nådde hos folket ett sådant anseende för sin rättfärdighet att när Flavius Josefus, som skrev Judiska fornminnen i tjugo böcker, ville framlägga orsaken till att folket drabbades av så stora missöden att till och med templet jämnades med marken, sade att dessa händelser drabbade dem i enlighet med Guds vrede till följd av vad de gjorde med Jakob, brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus. Och det underbara är, att fastän han inte erkände Jesus som Kristus [Messias] gav han ändå vittnesbörd om att Jakobs rättfärdighet var så stor; och han säger att människorna trodde att de hade lidit allt detta på grund av Jakob. (Origenes, Om Matteus, 10:17 [min fetning])[219]

Ty i den artonde boken av Judiska fornminnen bär Josefus vittnesbörd om att Johannes var en döpare, och att han utlovade rening till dem som underkastade sig riten. Samme författare, fastän han inte trodde på Jesus som Kristus, sökte efter orsaken till Jerusalems fall och templets förstörelse. Han borde [då] ha sagt att sammansvärjningen mot Jesus var orsaken till att dessa katastrofer drabbade folket, eftersom de hade dödat den Kristus varom det profeterats. Fastän omedvetet, är han emellertid inte långt från sanningen när han säger att dessa olyckor drabbade judarna som hämnd för Jakob den rättfärdige, som var en broder till Jesus som kallades Kristus, eftersom de dödat honom som var mycket rättfärdig. Paulus, en sann Jesu lärjunge, säger att han betraktade denne Jakob som en Herrens broder, inte så mycket på grund av deras släktskap eller för att de vuxit upp tillsammans, som för hans höga moral och undervisning. Om han därför säger det som skedde i samband Jerusalems ödeläggelse drabbade judarna till följd av Jakob, hur mycket rimligare vore det inte att säga att det hände på grund av Jesus Kristus? (Origenes, Mot Kelsos 1:47 [min fetning])[220]

Och i dessa [evangelierna] finns dokumenterat att ”när ni ser Jerusalem omringat av härar, skall ni veta att staden snart skall bli ödelagd” [Luk 21:20]. Men vid den tiden fanns kring Jerusalem inga armeer som omringade, stängde inne och belägrade [staden]; ty belägringen började under Neros regering och varade till Vespasianus’, vars son Titus förstörde Jerusalem, som Josefus säger, till följd av [det judarna gjorde mot] Jakob den rättfärdige, brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, men i verkligheten, som sanningen klargör, till följd av [det judarna gjorde mot] Jesus Kristus, Guds son. (Origenes, Mot Kelsos 2:13 [min fetning])[221]

Två omständigheter är av yttersta vikt för vår förståelse av det Origenes här skriver. Han använder samma uttryck, med ”brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus” som förekommer i Judiska fornminnen 20:200, men han påstår att detta förekommer i ett helt annat sammanhang än motsvarande uttryck gör i dag. Han säger vidare att Josefus inte erkände Jesus som Messias. I den bevarade versionen av TF sägs att Jesus var Messias. Låt oss börja med det sistnämnda.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-30


[218] Eusebios skriver i Kyrkohistoria 6:36 att under den tid som Filip Araben (Marcus Julius Filippus) var kejsare skrev Origenes sin kommentar om Matteus i 25 böcker och 8 stridsskrifter där han bemötte Kelsos. Marcus Julius Filippus var kejsare mellan åren 244 och 249 och under denna tid skrev alltså Origenes dessa båda verk.

[219] Origenes, Om Matteus, 10:17; den grekiska originaltexten följd av två engelska översättningar:

”Ἰάκωβος δὲ ἐστιν οὗτος ὃν λέγει Παῦλος ἰδεῖν ἐν τῆ πρὸς Γαλάτας ἐπιστολῇ, εἰπών· Ἕτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εἶδον εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου. ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον δὲ διέλεμψεν οὖτος ὁ Ἰάκωβος ἐν τῷ λαῷ ἐπὶ δικαιοσύνη ὡς Φλάβιον Ἰώσηπον ἀναγράψαντα ἐν εἴκοσι βιβλίοις τὴν Ἰουδαϊκὴν ἀρχαιολογίαν, τὴν αἰτίαν παραστῆσαι βουλόμενον τοῦ τὰ τοσαῦτα πεπονθέναι τὸν λαὸν ὡς καὶ τὸν ναὸν κατασκαφῆναι, εἰρηκέναι κατὰ μῆνιν θεοῦ ταῦτα αὐτοῖς ἀπηντηκέναι διὰ τὰ εἰς Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν τετολμημένα. καὶ τὸ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν ὅτι, τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἡμῶν οὐ καταδεξάμενος εἶναι Χριστόν, οὐδὲν ἧττον Ἰακώβῳ δικαιοσύνην ἐμαρτύρησε τοσαύτην. λέγει δὲ ὅτι καὶ ὁ λαὸς ταῦτα ἐνόμιζε διὰ τὸν Ἰάκωβον πεπονθέναι.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, On Matthew 10.17)

“But James is this one whom Paul says that he saw in the epistle to the Galatians, saying: But I did not see any of the other apostles except James the brother of the Lord. And in such a way among the people did this James shine for his justice that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Judaic Antiquities in twenty books, wishing to demonstrate the cause why the people suffered such great things that even the temple was razed down, said that these things came to pass against them in accordance with the ire of God on account of the things which were dared by them against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wondrous thing is that, although he did not accept our Jesus to be Christ, he yet testified that the justice of James was not at all small; and he says that even the people supposed they had suffered these things on account of James.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, On Matthew 10.17)

“And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. 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.” (Origen’s Commentary on Matthew, Book X by Origen, translated by John Patrick
Chapter 17)

[220] Origenes, Mot Kelsos 1:47; den grekiska originaltexten följd av två engelska översättningar:

”Ἐν γὰρ τῷ ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς Ἰουδαϊκῆς ἀρχαιολογίας ὁ Ἰώσηπος μαρτυρεῖ τῷ Ἰωάννῃ ὡς βαπτιστῇ γεγενημένῳ καὶ καθάρσιον τοῖς βαπτισαμένοις ἐπαγγελλομένῳ. ὁ δ᾿ αὐτός, καίτοι γε ἀπιστῶν τῷ Ἰησοῦ ὡς Χριστῷ, ζητῶν τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων πτώσεως καὶ τῆς τοῦ ναοῦ καθαιρέσεως, δέον αὐτὸν εἰπεῖν ὅτι ἡ κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐπιβουλὴ τούτων αἰτία γέγονε τῷ λαῷ, ἐπεὶ ἀπέκτειναν τὸν προφητευόμενον Χριστόν, ὁ δὲ καὶ ὥσπερ ἄκων οὐ μακρὰν τῆς ἀληθείας γενόμενός φησι ταῦτα συμβεβηκέναι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις κατ᾿ ἐκδίκησιν Ἰακώβου τοῦ δικαίου, ὃς ἦν ἀδελφὸς Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, ἐπειδήπερ δικαιότατον αὐτὸν ὄντα ἀπέκτειναν. τὸν δὲ Ἰάκωβον τοῦτον ὁ Ἰησοῦ γνήσιος μαθητὴς Παῦλός φησιν ἑωρακέναι ὡς ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου, οὐ τοσοῦτον διὰ τὸ πρὸς αἵματος συγγενὲς ἢ τὴν κοινὴν αὐτῶν ἀνατροφὴν ὅσον διὰ τὸ ἦθος καὶ τὸν λόγον. εἴπερ οὖν διὰ Ἰάκωβον λέγει συμβεβηκέναι τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τὰ κατὰ τὴν ἐρήμωσιν τῆς Ἱερουσαλήμ, πῶς οὐχὶ εὐλογώτερον διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦτο φάσκειν γεγονέναι”. (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 1:47)

“For in the eighteenth volume of the Judaic Antiquities Josephus testifies to John as having been a baptist and promised cleansing to those who were baptized. But he himself, though not believing in Jesus as Christ, in seeking 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 things happening to the people, since they killed the prophecied Christ, even says, being unwillingly not far from the truth, that these things befell the Jews as vengeance for James the just, who was a brother of Jesus who is called Christ, since they killed him who was most just. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he saw this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood or of their common upbringing as on account of his ethics and speech. If, therefore, he says that the things surrounding the desolation of Jerusalem befell the Jews on account of James, how is it not more reasonable to say that it happened on account of Jesus the Christ?” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 1:47)

“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. Now this writer, 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. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine. If, then, he says that it was on account of James that the desolation of Jerusalem was made to overtake the Jews, how should it not be more in accordance with reason to say that it happened on account (of the death) of Jesus Christ”. (Origen, Contra Celsus 1:47, translated by Frederick Crombie)

[221] Origenes, Mot Kelsos 2:13, den grekiska originaltexten följd av två engelska översättningar:

”Τοῦτο γὰρ ἤρξατο μὲν ἔτι Νέρωνος βασιλεύοντος, παρέτεινε δὲ ἕως τῆς Οὐεσπασιανοῦ ἡγεμονίας, οὗ ὁ υἱὸς Τίτος καθεῖλε τὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, ὡς μὲν Ἰώσηπος γράφει, διὰ Ἰάκωβον τὸν δίκαιον, τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, ὡς δὲ ἡ ἀλήθεια παρίστησι, διὰ Ἰησοῦν τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 2.13)

“For this [siege] began while Nero was still being king, and it lasted until the leadership of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, as Josephus writes, on account of James the just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but, as the truth demonstrates, [actually] on account of Jesus the Christ of God.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Origen on Josephus, Against Celsus 2.13)

“Now in these it is recorded, that ‘when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, then shall you know that the desolation thereof is nigh.’ But at that time there were no armies around Jerusalem, encompassing and enclosing and besieging it; for the siege began in the reign of Nero, and lasted till the government of Vespasian, whose son Titus destroyed Jerusalem, on account, as Josephus says, of James the Just, the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, but in reality, as the truth makes clear, on account of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” (Origen, Contra Celsus 2:13, translated by Frederick Crombie)

The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 3c – ”The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ”: The James passage, earlier identification, the identification

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Part 2a Part 2b Part 2c Part 2d
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Part 4
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Excursus

This is part 3c of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

III. The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James

The James passage in Josefus

Identification in earlier reference

The identification

To identify one James, who certainly would be relatively unknown, as the brother of perhaps an equally unknown Jesus, seems to be ill-considered, to say the least. The brief passage in the Antiquities of the Jews 20:200 has dual identifications. It is not just James who is identified as the brother of Jesus; also Jesus is identified as Christ. The purpose would then be to make clear for the reader which Jesus Josephus referred to this time; not to be mixed up with the approximately 20 other people called Jesus which Josephus reports of in his works. But Josephus wrote the Antiquities of the Jews primarily for non-Jews living outside Palestine, and to the vast majority of these the term Christ (Messiah) was meaningless. To explain who Jesus was by saying that it was the Jesus who was called Christ may have been relevant in the third century or even for a good deal of the second century when Jesus Christ became more widely known. But in the 90’s, he was almost certainly unknown to the masses and it would therefore be pointless to identify Jesus as the one called Christ without providing any further information.

On comparison the Roman consul and historian Cornelius Tacitus can be cited. Around the year 117 CE he wrote that Nero punished “a class hated for their disgraceful acts, called Christians by the populace. Christ, from whom the name had its origin, was executed by procurator Pontius Pilatus during the reign of Tiberius” (Tacitus, Annals 15:44). One might expect that the spread of Christianity was at least somewhat exponentially, which means that there probably were many more Christians in Tacitus’ time than in Josephus’. Despite this and despite the fact that Tacitus wrote more than two decades later than Josephus, Tacitus nonetheless felt compelled to explain who the Christians were and that their leader Christ was executed by Pilate. How much more important should not it have been for Josephus to explain who this Christ was?

If we play with the idea of the Testimonium, which is found earlier in Josephus’ work (book 18), being genuine and that Josephus in book 20 wanted to refer to that paragraph, it would have been far more logical for him to identify Jesus as the one “who was executed by Pilate” (as Tacitus does) than the one “who was called Christ”.[211] That would be an identification that is much easier to remember for the reader; much the way Josephus, when he once more returned to Judas of Galilee, referred back to his earlier description of Judas’ instigation of rebellion during the taxation carried out by Quirinius. Steve Mason points out that Josephus tend to introduce his characters when he first introduces them, although not necessarily until after a few sentences. At first he identifies them by either patronymic or place of origin, more rarely by other indicators such as school affiliation. “Only when the narrative is already thus contextualized, usually, does he use the name alone.” And in cases where the person is irrelevant or Josephus did not know who he was, he can for example write: “A certain X …”.[212] Josephus could accordingly have settled for writing “a certain James”; and if we are dealing here with a Christian interpolation, the original text by Josephus also might have read so.

The James passage reasonably requires an earlier reference to Jesus. The defense of the authenticity of the shorter passage also relies on the presence of the longer passage (the Testimonium) earlier in Josephus’ work. Only there is it explained who Jesus was, and that he was Christ. In order for the sentence “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James” to be genuine, also the entire Testimonium Flavianum ought to be genuine. That is, including the statement “he was the Christ [Messiah]” a phrase that almost everyone, even those who defend the authenticity of the Testimonium, consider to be a later addition. And yet this expression, even in the unlikely event of the reading “he was believed to be the Messiah”, is not fully adequate, because in neither case is it said that Jesus was named or called the Christ (which is how he is identified in the James passage), but only that he was the Christ. Unless Josephus has not written the Testimonium in book 18 with the identification of Jesus as the Christ, there is no good reason to assume that he later in book 20 would have chosen to identify Jesus as the Jesus who was called Christ. If so, he left the reader in the lurch with a meaningless identification of a certain James as well as a certain Jesus, and this in a way which is inconsistent with how Josephus normally identified his characters.

Regarding the question of whether Josephus wrote anything at all about Jesus, one can start from two diametrically opposed positions. The one position is to assume that the James passage is genuine, since the short paragraph has no explicit Christian elements. Based on this observation one can then argue that the Testimonium (in some form) must be authentic; this because the James passage requires a previous identification of Jesus as Christ. This is the approach that almost everyone who argue that Josephus actually wrote about Jesus also takes.

The other position is to start by examining the Testimonium, and if one then reach the conclusion that the Testimonium is not likely (in any form) to be authentic, there is accordingly no previous identification, and the brief passage in book 20 must reasonably also be a forgery. This is also supported by the fact that the phrase “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ” seems to have been interpolated a second time in a different context and at an unidentified location in one of Josephus’ works – as witnessed by Origen. This is the approach that almost everyone who argue that Josephus did not mention Jesus takes; including this writer.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-28


[211] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?, p. 218.

[212] Steve Mason as to whether, and if so, how, Josephus tend to introduce his characters the first time he deals with them:

“This is true generally of ancient writers, but especially with Josephus. Given that in both Roman and Judaean circles a very small pool of names was heavily used, and in the Judaean context Yehoshua is one of the top few, along with Shimon and Yehuda, Josephus needs to identify the person by either patronymic or place of origin, far less often by other indicators such as school affiliation (Menachem the Essaios, etc. — unless Essaios also marks a place of origin). Only when the narrative is already thus contextualized, usually, does he use the name alone. When he can’t be bothered, or doesn’t know the relevant identifiers, he can also use the expedient of tis: ’A certain X….’.“ (David C. Hindley on Freethought & Rationalism Discussion Board, where he reproduces a post reply from Steve Mason)

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 3c – ”Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus”: Jakobpassagen hos Josefus, tidigare identifiering, identifieringen

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Exkurs

Detta är del 3c av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

III. Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob

Jakobpassagen hos Josefus

Identifiering i tidigare omnämnande

Identifieringen

Att identifiera en säkerligen relativt okänd Jakob som broder till en kanske lika okänd Jesus förefaller minst sagt vara oöverlagt. Den korta passagen i Judiska fornminnen 20:200 innehåller dessutom dubbla identifieringar. Det är inte bara Jakob som identifieras som Jesu broder, även Jesus identifieras som Kristus. Syftet skulle i så fall vara att förtydliga för läsaren vilken Jesus som Josefus avsåg av de cirka 20 personer som bär namnet Jesus i hans verk. Men Josefus skrev Judiska fornminnen för i första hand icke-judar utanför Palestina och för det stora flertalet av dessa var termen kristus (messias) säkerligen intetsägande. Att förklara vem Jesus var genom att skriva att det var den Jesus som kallades Kristus kan ha varit relevant på 200-talet, eller till och med under en stor del av 100-talet, då Jesus Kristus blev mer allmänt känd. Men på 90-talet var han med all säkerhet okänd i de breda lagren och var det således meningslöst att utan ytterligare information identifiera Jesus endast som den Jesus som kallades Kristus.

Som jämförelse kan åberopas den romerske konsuln och historieskrivaren Cornelius Tacitus som ca år 117 skrev att kejsar Nero straffade de, ”vilka hopen kallade kristna. Upphovsmannen till detta namn, Christus, avrättades genom prokurator Pontius Pilatus när Tiberius regerade” (Tacitus, Annales 15:44). Vi kan förvänta oss att spridningen av kristendomen skedde åtminstone i någon mån exponentiellt, vilket innebär att det sannolikt fanns många fler kristna på Tacitus’ tid än det gjorde på Josefus’. Trots detta och trots att Tacitus skrev mer än två årtionden senare än Josefus, kände sig Tacitus ändå nödgad att förklara vilka de kristna var och att deras ledare Christus avrättats av Pilatus. Hur mycket viktigare borde det då inte ha varit för Josefus att förklara den saken?

Om vi leker med tanken att TF, som förekommer tidigare i Josefus’ verk (bok 18), vore äkta och att Josefus velat referera till det stycket i bok 20, vore det långt mer logiskt att han hade identifierat Jesus som ”den Jesus som avrättades av Pilatus” (som Tacitus gör) än den Jesus som kallades Kristus.[211] Det skulle vara en identifiering som vore betydligt lättare för läsaren att komma ihåg, ungefär på samma sätt som Josefus återknöt Judas från Galileen till den tidigare beskrivningen av hans uppvigling i samband med skatteindrivandet under Quirinius. Steve Mason påpekar att Josefus brukar introducera sina gestalter vid första omnämnandet, om än inte nödvändigtvis förrän efter några meningar. Han identifierar dem då i första hand efter familjenamn eller varifrån de stammar, mer sällan som tillhörande någon religiös eller politisk riktning. Endast om berättelsen på så sätt redan är satt i sitt sammanhang, använder han namnet utan åtföljande identifiering. Och i de fall personen är irrelevant eller Josefus inte vet vem det är, kan han exempelvis skriva: ”En viss X…”.[212] I Jakobpassagen kunde Josefus alltså ha nöjt sig med att skriva ”en viss Jakob”, och om vi här har att göra med en kristen interpolation är det mycket som talar för att den ursprungliga texten också löd just så.

Passagen om Jakob förutsätter rimligtvis ett tidigare omnämnande av Jesus. Försvaret för den kortare utsagans äkthet innefattar också att den längre passagen (TF) förekommer tidigare i Josefus’ verk. Endast där förklaras vem Jesus var och där sägs också att han var Kristus. För att omnämnandet av ”brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob” ska kunna anses äkta borde också hela Testimonium Flavianum vara äkta. Det vill säga inklusive beskrivningen ”han var Kristus [Messias]”, ett uttryck som nästan alla, till och med de som försvarar äktheten av TF, anser vara ett senare tillägg. Och ändå är detta uttryck, även om det mot förmodan skulle ha lytt ”han troddes vara Messias”, inte till fyllest, eftersom i inget av fallen sägs att Jesus skulle ha hetat eller kallats för Kristus (vilket är det sätt på vilket han identifieras i Jakobpassagen), utan bara att han var Kristus/Messias. Såvida Josefus inte skrivit TF med identifieringen av Jesus som Kristus i bok 18, finns inga goda skäl att antaga att han skulle ha valt att senare i bok 20 identifiera Jesus som den Jesus som kallades Kristus. I så fall lämnade han läsaren i sticket med en intetsägande identifiering av såväl en viss Jakob som en viss Jesus, och detta på ett sätt som inte är förenligt med hur Josefus normalt identifierade de gestalter han porträtterade.

I frågan om huruvida Josefus alls skrev något om Jesus, kan man börja från två diametralt motsatta positioner. Den ena är att utgå från att Jakobpassagen är äkta eftersom det korta stycket saknar uttryckliga kristna element. Utifrån den iakttagelsen kan man sedan hävda att TF (i någon form) måste vara äkta; detta eftersom Jakobpassagen förutsätter ett tidigare identifierande av Jesus som Kristus. Det är den hållningen som nästan alla som argumenterar för att Josefus verkligen nämnde Jesus också intar.

Den andra positionen är att inleda med att undersöka TF, och ifall man då kommer till slutsatsen att TF (inte i någon form) synes vara äkta, finns därmed ingen tidigare identifiering och måste rimligen den korta passagen också vara en förfalskning. Detta styrks också av att uttrycket ”brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus” har interpolerats in i ett annat sammanhang och på en oidentifierat plats i något av Josefus’ verk, enligt vad Origenes bevittnar (se exempelvis Origenes’ Jakobomnämnande). Det är denna hållning som i princip alla som argumenterar för att Josefus inte nämnde Jesus intar, inklusive denna författare.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-28


[211] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?, s. 218.

[212] Steve Mason om huruvida, och i så fall hur, Josefus brukar introducera sina gestalter vid första omnämnandet:

“This is true generally of ancient writers, but especially with Josephus. Given that in both Roman and Judaean circles a very small pool of names was heavily used, and in the Judaean context Yehoshua is one of the top few, along with Shimon and Yehuda, Josephus needs to identify the person by either patronymic or place of origin, far less often by other indicators such as school affiliation (Menachem the Essaios, etc. — unless Essaios also marks a place of origin). Only when the narrative is already thus contextualized, usually, does he use the name alone. When he can’t be bothered, or doesn’t know the relevant identifiers, he can also use the expedient of tis: ’A certain X….’.“ (David C. Hindley på Freethought & Rationalism Discussion Board, där han återger ett brevsvar från Steve Mason)

The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 3b – ”The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ”: The James passage, earlier identification

Part 1
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Part 2a Part 2b Part 2c Part 2d
Part 2e Part 2f Part 2g Part 2h
Part 2i Part 2j Part 2k Part 2l
Part 2m Part 2n Part 2o Part 2p
Part 2q Part 2r Part 2s Part 2t
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Part 3a Part 3b Part 3c Part 3d
Part 3e Part 3f Part 3g Part 3h
Part 3i Part 3j
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Part 4
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Excursus

This is part 3b of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

III. The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James

The James passage in Josefus

Identification in earlier reference

Furthermore, it is not like Josephus to only once – and then only in passing – refer to an individual, without explaining who this was. Josephus would normally not write this way and this fact therefore tells against authenticity. His style was on the contrary thorough and he was careful with the logical consistency of his statements. Stephen Carr gives a few samples of how Josephus normally identified individuals – the first time he mentioned them as well as the subsequent times. Judas the Galilean may serve as an example. Josephus writes about him in book 18 and book 20 of the Antiquities of the Jews, accidentally the books where also Jesus is mentioned. In book 18 he writes:

”Now Cyrenius, a Roman senator … had been consul, and … came himself into Judea … to take an account of their substance … Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18:1:1)[211]

Josephus continues his description of Judas for a while. When he again mentions the same Judas in Book 20, he writes the following:

“… the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews, as we have showed in a foregoing book.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 20:5:2)[212]

Josephus thus normally informed his readers both at length and in detail, so they would know who he had in mind. Especially in cases where the last reference occurred much earlier, such as in an earlier book, Josephus would make an effort to remind the reader by at least superficially summarize the episode and, as in this case, he might also indicate that the previous account was in an earlier book. The fact that the text neither provides an adequate description of who Christ is (if this is the first time he is mentioned), or there is an in-depth feedback made to a previous description of this Christ (if this is the second time he is mentioned; i.e. after the Testimonium), suggests that Josephus is not the author. As Carr says, there was obviously no need for a Christian interpolator “to supply such detailed back-references”.[213] And one might add that there perhaps was not yet a Testimonium to refer back to at the time the amendment was made – then probably before Origen wrote in the 240’s.

To my knowledge there is only one additional example in the extant Josephus literature which resembles the identification of James and Jesus. In the Jewish War 2:247 Josephus tells about “Felix, the brother of Pallas”.[214] This Pallas is not mentioned elsewhere in the Jewish War, and Josephus consequently does not identify him. Josephus probably made no mistake as he later in the Antiquities of the Jews 18:7:1 also talks about the same Pallas without identifying him. But through other authors we know quite a lot about this Marcus Antonius Pallas. He was a Greek freedman of “royal blood” who became an esteemed secretary during the reigns of Emperor Claudius and Emperor Nero. The latter, however, had him executed. He is said to have been one of the richest men in Rome at the time.[215]

Obviously Josephus regarded him as such a “celebrity” that he felt no need to explain to his readers who this Pallas was. In any case, this is a rare exception and it of course throws a shadow of doubt on also the reference to Jesus in the James passage; that a rare exception happens to coincide with precisely the passage which is suspected to be forged.

Accordingly, we are supposed to believe that Josephus in precisely the two passages about Jesus has departed from his normal practice of linking passages together, by 1) not referring back to the right paragraph in the sentence immediately following upon the Testimonium, and 2) not identifying the person by refraining from informing the reader who this Christ in the James passage was.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-27


[211] Flavius Josephus writes:

”Now Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to he a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus’s money; but the Jews, although at the beginning they took the report of a taxation heinously, yet did they leave off any further opposition to it, by the persuasion of Joazar, who was the son of Beethus, and high priest; so they, being over-pesuaded by Joazar’s words, gave an account of their estates, without any dispute about it. Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty; as if they could procure them happiness and security for what they possessed, and an assured enjoyment of a still greater good, which was that of the honor and glory they would thereby acquire for magnanimity.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18:1:1)

[212] Flavius Josephus writes:

“And besides this, the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews, as we have showed in a foregoing book. The names of those sons were James and Simon, whom Alexander commanded to be crucified.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 20:5:2)

[213] Stephen Carr writes:

“How does Josephus refer back to people he has previously mentioned in those days when books had no indexes? Here he is going back two books, so readers will need more than a casual reference.

Judas of Galilee was first mentioned in ’Wars of the Jews’ Book 2 Section 118 ’Under his administration, it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt ; and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans, and would, after God, submit to mortal men as their lords.’

Josephus refers to him again in Book 2 Section 433 as follows ’”In the meantime one Manahem, the son of Judas, that was called the Galilean (who was a very cunning sophister, and had formerly reproached the Jews under Quirinius, that after God they were subject to the Romans )” – considerable detail is included.

In Wars, Book 7 Section 533 we read about Judas again – ”… Eleazar, a potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii, that had seized upon it. He was a descendant from that Judas who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly related, not to submit to the taxation when Quirinius was sent into Judea to make one; …’. So a change of book causes Josephus to say ’as formerly related’.

Judas was also in Antiquities 18 ’Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty’.

Josephus referred back to Judas in Antiquities 20 ’the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Quirinius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews, as we have shown in a foregoing book .’

So Josephus usually put in detail and when he referred back from Ant. 20 to Ant. 18, he reminded the reader that it was in a different book. None of these factors apply to Josephus’s reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20. A Christian interpolator would naturally […] not need to supply such detailed back-references. His readers would know exactly who Jesus called the Christ was.” (Stephen Carr, First Response by Steven Carr [to Dr. Paul Marston]).

[214] Flavius Josephus writes:

“After this Caesar sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, to be procurator of Galilee, and Samaria, and Perea, and removed Agrippa from Chalcis unto a greater kingdom; for he gave him the tetrarchy which had belonged to Philip, which contained Batanae, Trachonitis, and Gaulonitis: he added to it the kingdom of Lysanias, and that province [Abilene] which Varus had governed. But Claudius himself, when he had administered the government thirteen years, eight months, and twenty days, died, and left Nero to be his successor in the empire, whom he had adopted by his Wife Agrippina’s delusions, in order to be his successor, although he had a son of his own, whose name was Britannicus, by Messalina his former wife, and a daughter whose name was Octavia, whom he had married to Nero; he had also another daughter by Petina, whose name was Antonia.” (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 2:247–249)

[215] Pallas is perhaps best known from the Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius. Pliny the Elder lists him as one of the richest men of the time.

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 3b – ”Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus”: Jakobpassagen hos Josefus, tidigare identifiering

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Detta är del 3b av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

III. Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob

Jakobpassagen hos Josefus

Identifiering i tidigare omnämnande

Mot äktheten talar dessutom att det inte är likt Josefus att endast en gång – och då enbart i förbigående – nämna en individ, utan att förklara vem denna var. Så bruka­de Josefus normalt sett inte skriva. Han var tvärtom grundlig i sitt framställningssätt och noga med det logiska sammanhanget mellan sina utsagor. Stephen Carr ger några prov på hur Josefus normalt identifierade personer – dels den första gång han nämnde dem, dels de efterföljande gångerna. Judas från Galileen må tjäna som exempel. I Judiska fornminnen nämner Josefus honom både i bok 18 och bok 20, händelsevis de böcker där också Jesus finns omnämnd. I bok 18 skriver han följande:

Quirinius, en romersk senator … hade blivit konsul … kom själv till Judeen … för att skatta deras tillgångar … Dock fanns där en viss Judas, en galileer från en stad vid namn Gamala; vilken tillsammans med Sadok, en farisé, brann av iver att leda dem till uppror; vilka båda sade att denna beskattning inte var bättre än att införa slaveri och uppmanade nationen att kräva sin frihet. (Josefus Flavius, Judiska fornminnen 18:1:1)[211]

Josefus fortsätter sin beskrivning av Judas ytterligare ett tag. När han så i bok 20 ånyo nämner samme Judas skriver han följande:

Sönerna till Judas från Galileen var nu dräpta; jag åsyftar den Judas som förmådde folket att göra uppror när Quirinius kom för att skatta judarnas egendom, som vi har visat i en tidigare bok. (Josefus Flavius, Judiska fornminnen 20:5:2)[212]

Normalt upplyste alltså Josefus sina läsare både utförligt och detaljrikt, så att de skulle veta vem han åsyftade. Framför allt i de fall där det förra omnämnandet skedde långt tidigare, som exempelvis i en tidigare bok, brukade Josefus anstränga sig för att påminna läsaren om det genom att ytligt summera episoden, och som i detta fall kanske också upplysa om att den förra beskrivningen förekom i en tidigare bok. Det faktum att det i texten varken ges en adekvat beskrivning av vem Kristus är (om det är så att han här nämns för första gången), eller görs en grundlig återkoppling till en tidigare beskrivning av denne Kristus (om det är så att han här nämns för andra gången, efter TF), talar emot att Josefus är författaren. Som Carr säger, fanns det naturligtvis inget behov för en kristen interpolator att infoga en sådan detaljrik syftning bakåt i texten.[213] Och man kan tillägga att det kanske vid den tid då tillägget gjordes – då sannolikt innan Origenes skrev på 240-talet – ännu inte fanns ett TF att återkoppla till, eftersom så mycket tyder på att TF då troligen ännu inte hade hunnit skapats.

Mig veterligt finns endast ett ytterligare exempel i Josefus’ bevarade litteratur som liknar identifieringen av Jakob och Jesus. I Om det judiska kriget 2:247 berättar Josefus om ”Felix, brodern till Pallas”.[214] Denne Pallas omnämns inte någon annan gång i Om det judiska kriget och Josefus identifierar honom följaktligen inte. Detta är sannolikt inget misstag från hans sida då han senare i Judiska fornminnen 18:7:1 också berättar om samme Pallas utan att identifiera honom. Men genom andra författare vet vi rätt mycket om Marcus Antonius Pallas.[215] Han var en frigiven slav av ”kungligt blod” som blev en uppburen minister under såväl kejsar Claudius som kejsar Nero. Den senare lät dock avrätta honom. Han sägs då ha varit en av sin tids rikaste män.

Uppenbarligen betraktade Josefus honom som en sådan ”kändis” att han inte ansåg sig behöva förklara för sina läsare vem han var. I vilket fall är detta ett sällsynt undantag och att ett sällsynt undantag råkar sammanfalla med just den passage om Jesus som är misstänkt för att vara förfalskad, kastar givetvis en misstankens skugga över Jesusomnämnandet i Jakobpassagen.

Vi förväntas alltså tro att i just de två passager som handlar om Jesus ska Josefus ha frångått sitt normala förfarande med att dels binda samman stycken, genom att i meningen direkt efter TF inte syfta tillbaka på rätt stycke, dels upplysa läsaren om vem personen var genom att i Jakobpassagen avstå från att tala om för läsaren vem Kristus var.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-27


[211] Josefus Flavius skriver:

”Now Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to he a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus’s money; but the Jews, although at the beginning they took the report of a taxation heinously, yet did they leave off any further opposition to it, by the persuasion of Joazar, who was the son of Beethus, and high priest; so they, being over-pesuaded by Joazar’s words, gave an account of their estates, without any dispute about it. Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty; as if they could procure them happiness and security for what they possessed, and an assured enjoyment of a still greater good, which was that of the honor and glory they would thereby acquire for magnanimity.” (Josefus Flavius, Judiska fornminnen 18:1:1)

[212] Josefus Flavius skriver:

“And besides this, the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews, as we have showed in a foregoing book. The names of those sons were James and Simon, whom Alexander commanded to be crucified.” (Josefus Flavius, Judiska fornminnen 20:5:2)

[213] Stephen Carr skriver:

“How does Josephus refer back to people he has previously mentioned in those days when books had no indexes? Here he is going back two books, so readers will need more than a casual reference.

Judas of Galilee was first mentioned in ’Wars of the Jews’ Book 2 Section 118 ’Under his administration, it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt ; and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans, and would, after God, submit to mortal men as their lords.’

Josephus refers to him again in Book 2 Section 433 as follows ’”In the meantime one Manahem, the son of Judas, that was called the Galilean (who was a very cunning sophister, and had formerly reproached the Jews under Quirinius, that after God they were subject to the Romans )” – considerable detail is included.

In Wars, Book 7 Section 533 we read about Judas again – ”… Eleazar, a potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii, that had seized upon it. He was a descendant from that Judas who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly related, not to submit to the taxation when Quirinius was sent into Judea to make one; …’. So a change of book causes Josephus to say ’as formerly related’.

Judas was also in Antiquities 18 ’Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty’.

Josephus referred back to Judas in Antiquities 20 ’the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Quirinius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews, as we have shown in a foregoing book .’

So Josephus usually put in detail and when he referred back from Ant. 20 to Ant. 18, he reminded the reader that it was in a different book. None of these factors apply to Josephus’s reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20. A Christian interpolator would naturally [need bortplockat] not need to supply such detailed back-references. His readers would know exactly who Jesus called the Christ was.” (Stephen Carr, First Response by Steven Carr [to Dr. Paul Marston]).

[214] Josefus Flavius skriver:

“After this Caesar sent Felix, the brother of Pallas, to be procurator of Galilee, and Samaria, and Perea, and removed Agrippa from Chalcis unto a greater kingdom; for he gave him the tetrarchy which had belonged to Philip, which contained Batanae, Trachonitis, and Gaulonitis: he added to it the kingdom of Lysanias, and that province [Abilene] which Varus had governed. But Claudius himself, when he had administered the government thirteen years, eight months, and twenty days, died, and left Nero to be his successor in the empire, whom he had adopted by his Wife Agrippina’s delusions, in order to be his successor, although he had a son of his own, whose name was Britannicus, by Messalina his former wife, and a daughter whose name was Octavia, whom he had married to Nero; he had also another daughter by Petina, whose name was Antonia.” (Josefus Flavius, Om det judiska kriget 2:247–249)

[215] Pallas är kanske främst känd genom de romerska historikerna Tacitus och Suetonius.

The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 3a – ”The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ”: The James passage, Antiquities 20:200

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Excursus

This is part 3a of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

III. The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James

The James passage in Josefus

Antiquities of the Jews 20:200

Jesus is referred to once more in Josephus and this only in passing in the same work where also the Testimonium occurs. In the twentieth and final book of the Antiquities of the Jews (20:200), Josephus recounts the story of how the Jewish high priest Ananus, son of Ananus, was removed from his office because he executed “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others.”

Josephus tells us that when the Roman procurator of Judea, Festus, dies (in 62 CE), Emperor Nero sends Albinus to Judea to become Festus’ successor. In the vacuum that arises, the high priest Ananus takes the opportunity to form an accusation against “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others” as breakers of the law, and then delivers them to be stoned. But some people get outraged by this act, complain to King Agrippa II and send a delegation to meet Albinus. He condemns Ananus’ action whereupon King Agrippa takes the high priesthood from him and makes Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest. The key paragraph reads in William Whiston’s translation:

“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.” (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 20:200–203)[207]

The paragraph deals accordingly not primarily with the death of James, but with Ananus being removed from the high priesthood, because he exceeded his authorities by killing James and some others, and that Jesus, the son of Damneus, was appointed new high priest.

The designation Messiah

The fact that Jesus in the James passage is identified as the one “who was called Christ” is usually cited as evidence of Josephus having written the passage. The argument presented is that if a Christian would have added the part on Jesus, he would have written that Jesus was Christ and not just was called Christ. But apart from the fact that Josephus in the phrase “who was called Christ” (tou legomenou Christou or τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ) uses an oblique (declined) case, it is the same expression as in both John 4:25 and Matthew 1:16: “of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”[208] The phrase is found in a similar form in Matthew two more times, then in 27:17 and 27:22; and the author of the Gospel of Matthew has Pilate both times designating Jesus as that “Jesus who is called Christ”.[209] The manner of letting a non-Christian witness identify Jesus as the one who was “called Christ” can accordingly be traced back to the Gospels. This would reasonably imply that it would not have felt unnatural for a Christian person with knowledge of the Gospel accounts to designate Jesus as the one called Christ, if he later found that Josephus ought to have mentioned Jesus.

The so-called Christ. Sometimes the phrase ton adelfon Iêsou tou legomenou Christou is translated as “the brother of Jesus, the so-called Christ”. It is thus not translated into “who was called Christ” but rather into “the so-called Christ”. This result in an even greater dissociation from the understanding that Jesus would be Christ and thus makes it more likely that Josephus could have written this sentence. But there is really no need to translate the text in that way, even if it is possible if the context would require this.

The reason this translation is proposed at all, is a peculiarity of the Greek language, where as in this case a definite article ton not only precedes “brother” (adelfon), thus forming “the brother”, but also an additional definite article tou precedes “was called” (legomenou). This could then be understood as if legomenou “was called” also should be expressed in the definite form as “the so-called”. However, this way of constructing sentences, then by repeating a definite article before a determinative adjective when it follows the noun it complements, is quite normal in Greek. This is normal, and it does not mean that the adjective is necessarily meant to be in the definitive form. In this case legomenou (was called) is a determinative adjective (it is actually a participle but is used as an adjective) to the noun Iêsou (Jesus).[210] In the New Testament similar expressions are not typically translated into “the so-called” but “is called” or “was called”. This also applies to all the four times when the term is used in connection to Jesus (Matthew 1:16, 27:17, 27:22 and John 4:25).

When the Greek tou legomenou in these passages was translated into Latin in the Versio Vulgata, it was translated into qui dicitur (except in Matthew 1:16, where the synonymous expression qui vocatur was used), which means “is called”. Also Rufinus in his translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History and Cassiodorus in his translation of Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews translate this into qui dicitur. “The brother who is [was] called Christ” is normally expressed as ton adelphon tou legomenou Christou in Greek, with no connotation of questioning the legitimacy of the designation of Christ.

No more than the Greek tou legomenou, does the Latin qui dicitur question the validity of the denomination. I have therefore decided to use the straightforward translation “who was called Christ.”

One thing that tells against the genuineness of the two passages on Jesus, that is the Testimonium and the paragraph that identifies James as “the brother of Jesus called Christ”, is the presence of the word Christ/Messiah in both passages. In the first passage it is said that “he was the Christ” and in the second that he “was called Christ”. As previously pointed out in Josephus’ and other Jews’ view of the Messianic concept, the word Christ (the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah) never appears in Josephus other than just on the two occasions when Jesus is mentioned. This fact indicates that Josephus rather not liked to discuss the Messianic concept which was so associated with the uprisings among the Jews. This in turn suggests that these passages were later insertion made by a Christian hand. Only once does Josephus actually appoint someone to have been the long-awaited Messiah; albeit indirectly and then the Emperor Vespasian. But not even on this occasion does he use the word Messiah.


[207] The key paragraph is perhaps more literally translated as:

“He assembles the sanhedrim of judges. And having brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, Jakob was his name, and some others, and having formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.”

Since the predicate of the main clause is in the past (delivered to be stoned), tou legomenou is best translated as “was called” and not “is called”. Here the past tense only shows contemporaneousness.

Josephus writes in the Antiquities of the Jews 20:9:1, or 20:197–203:

”Πέμπει δὲ Καῖσαρ Ἀλβῖνον εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ἔπαρχον Φήστου τὴν τελευτὴν πυθόμενος. ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἀφείλετο μὲν τὸν Ἰώσηπον τὴν ἱερωσύνην, τῷ δὲ Ἀνάνου παιδὶ καὶ αὐτῷ Ἀνάνῳ λεγομένῳ τὴν διαδοχὴν τῆς ἀρχῆς ἔδωκεν. τοῦτον δέ φασι τὸν πρεσβύτατον Ἄνανον εὐτυχέστατον γενέσθαι: πέντε γὰρ ἔσχε παῖδας καὶ τούτους πάντας συνέβη ἀρχιερατεῦσαι τῷ θεῷ, αὐτὸς πρότερος τῆς τιμῆς ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀπολαύσας, ὅπερ οὐδενὶ συνέβη τῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἀρχιερέων. ὁ δὲ νεώτερος Ἄνανος, ὃν τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην ἔφαμεν εἰληφέναι, θρασὺς ἦν τὸν τρόπον καὶ τολμητὴς διαφερόντως, αἵρεσιν δὲ μετῄει τὴν Σαδδουκαίων, οἵπερ εἰσὶ περὶ τὰς κρίσεις ὠμοὶ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, καθὼς ἤδη δεδηλώκαμεν. ἅτε δὴ οὖν τοιοῦτος ὢν ὁ Ἄνανος, νομίσας ἔχειν καιρὸν ἐπιτήδειον διὰ τὸ τεθνάναι μὲν Φῆστον, Ἀλβῖνον δ᾽ ἔτι κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ὑπάρχειν, καθίζει συνέδριον κριτῶν καὶ παραγαγὼν εἰς αὐτὸ τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, Ἰάκωβος ὄνομα αὐτῷ, καί τινας ἑτέρους, ὡς παρανομησάντων κατηγορίαν ποιησάμενος παρέδωκε λευσθησομένους. ὅσοι δὲ ἐδόκουν ἐπιεικέστατοι τῶν κατὰ τὴν πόλιν εἶναι καὶ περὶ τοὺς νόμους ἀκριβεῖς βαρέως ἤνεγκαν ἐπὶ τούτῳ καὶ πέμπουσιν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα κρύφα παρακαλοῦντες αὐτὸν ἐπιστεῖλαι τῷ Ἀνάνῳ μηκέτι τοιαῦτα πράσσειν: μηδὲ γὰρ τὸ πρῶτον ὀρθῶς αὐτὸν πεποιηκέναι. τινὲς δ᾽ αὐτῶν καὶ τὸν Ἀλβῖνον ὑπαντιάζουσιν ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας ὁδοιποροῦντα καὶ διδάσκουσιν, ὡς οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν Ἀνάνῳ χωρὶς τῆς ἐκείνου γνώμης καθίσαι συνέδριον. Ἀλβῖνος δὲ πεισθεὶς τοῖς λεγομένοις γράφει μετ᾽ ὀργῆς τῷ Ἀνάνῳ λήψεσθαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ δίκας ἀπειλῶν. καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀγρίππας διὰ τοῦτο τὴν Ἀρχιερωσύνην ἀφελόμενος αὐτὸν ἄρξαντα μῆνας τρεῖς Ἰησοῦν τὸν τοῦ Δαμναίου κατέστησεν.”

”AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.”

[208] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, Supplementary Article No. 10, Josephus Unbound: Reopening the Josephus Question.

[209] The various expressions read:

Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ (Iêsou tou legomenou Christou) = Jesus who was called Christ (Antiquities of the Jews 20:200).

Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος Χριστός (Iêsous ho legomenos Christos) = Jesus, who is called Christ (Matt 1:16).

ὁ λεγόμενος Χριστός (ho legomenos Christos) = [he] who is called Christ (Joh 4:25).

Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν (Iêsoun ton legomenon Christon) = Jesus who is called Christ (Matt 27:17).

Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν (Iêsoun ton legomenon Christon) = [with] Jesus who is called Christ (Matt 27:22).

[210] Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man – The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009), p. 584; note 220, p. 771.

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 3a – ”Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus”: Jakobpassagen hos Josefus, Judiska fornminnen 20:200

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Exkurs

Detta är del 3a av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

III. Brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob

Jakobpassagen hos Josefus

Judiska fornminnen 20:200

Jesus omnämns i förbigående ytterligare en gång hos Josefus och då i samma verk vari också TF förekommer. I den tjugonde och sista boken av Judiska fornminnen (20:200) berättar Josefus om hur den judiske översteprästen Ananos, son till Ananos, blev avsatt från sin tjänst, därför att han avrättade ”brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob, och några andra”.

Josefus förtäljer att (år 62) när Festus, den dåvarande romerske prokuratorn över Judeen, avlider, låter kejsar Nero skicka Albinus till Judeen som Festus’ efterträdare. I det vakuum som uppstår tar översteprästen Ananos tillfället i akt att väcka talan mot ”brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob, och några andra” för att ha brutit mot lagen och därefter avrätta Jakob genom stening. Vissa grupperingar upprörs av denna handling, klagar hos kung Agrippa II och låter dessutom skicka en delegation att möta Albinus. Denne fördömer Ananos’ handling varpå Agrippa II fråntar Ananos ämbetet och utser Jesus, son till Damneus, till ny överstepräst. Det centrala stycket lyder i min översättning:

”Festus var nu död, och Albinus fortfarande på väg; så han [Ananos] inrättade ett råd av domare och lät inför detta föra brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus, vars namn var Jakob [eller: ”Jakob hette han”], och några andra. Dessa dömde han såsom lagbrytare, varefter han överlämnade dem till att stenas. Men de medborgare som syntes rättrådigast, och kände sig mest illa till mods inför lagöverträdelserna, ogillade det som skedde. De skickade också bud till kungen [Agrippa II] och uppmanande honom att meddela Ananos att inte agera så framöver, ty det han redan hade gjort kunde inte rättfärdigas. Ja, några av dem for också för att möta Albinus som befann sig på sin resa från Alexandria och påtalade för honom att det var olagligt för Ananos att sammankalla Stora rådet utan hans samtycke; varpå Albinus gick med på det de sade och i vredesmod skrev till Ananos och hotade med att bestraffa honom för det han gjort; på vilket kung Agrippa fråntog honom översteprästämbetet som han innehaft i endast tre månader och utnämnde Jesus, son till Damneus, till ny överstepräst.”(Josefus Flavius, Judiska fornminnen 20:200–203)[207]

Stycket handlar således i första hand inte om Jakobs död utan om att Ananos avskedas som överstepräst för att han överskridit sina befogenheter genom att döda Jakob och några andra och att Jesus, son till Damneus, utnämns till ny överstepräst.

Beteckningen messias

Den omständighet att Jesus i Jakobpassagen identifieras som den ”som kallades Kristus” brukar anföras som ett tecken på att Josefus skrivit passagen. Man argumenterar som så att om en kristen hade lagt till Jesusstycket borde han eller hon ha skrivit att Jesus var Kristus och inte bara att han kallades Kristus. Men frånsett att Josefus i uttrycket ”som kallades Kristus” (tou legomenou Christou eller τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ) använder ett böjt (oblikt) kasus, är det samma uttryck som förekommer i både Joh 4:25 och Matt 1:16: ”av henne föddes Jesus som kallas Kristus”.[208] Uttrycket förekommer i en snarlik form ytterligare två gånger hos Matteus, då i 27:17 och 27:22, och den kristne författaren av Matteusevangeliet låter båda gångerna Pilatus benämna Jesus som den ”Jesus, som kallas Kristus”.[209] Så sättet att låta ett utomkristet vittne identifiera Jesus som den ”som kallas Kristus” går att spåra tillbaka till evangelierna. Detta innebär rimligen att uttrycket inte skulle ha känts som onaturligt att använda för en kristen person som med kännedom om evangeliernas berättelser senare ansåg att Josefus borde nämna Jesus.

Den så kallade Kristus. Ibland ser man uttrycket ton adelfon Iêsou tou legomenou Christou översättas till ”brodern till Jesus, den så kallade Kristus”. Man översätter alltså inte till ”som kallades Kristus” utan i stället till ”den så kallade Kristus”. Därigenom uppstår ett ännu större avståndstagande från uppfattningen att Jesus skulle vara Kristus och därmed blir det också sannolikare att Josefus skulle ha kunnat skriva meningen i fråga. Men det finns egentligen ingen anledning att översätta texten på det sättet även om det är möjligt om sammanhanget kräver det.

Orsaken till att den översättningen alls föreslås är en egenhet i det grekiska språket där som i detta fall en bestämd artikel ton föregår inte bara ”broder” (adelfon) och därmed bildar ”brodern”, utan en ytterligare bestämd artikel tou föregår också ”kallades” (legomenou). Detta skulle då kunna tydas som att också ”kallades” ska uttryckas i bestämd form som ”den så kallade”. Emellertid är detta sätt att konstruera meningar, då genom att upprepa en bestämd artikel före ett bestämmande adjektiv när det följer på det substantiv som det står i bestämning till, helt normalt på grekiska. Detta är normalt utan att för den skull adjektivet är avsett att stå i bestämd form. I detta fall utgör legomenou (kallades) ett bestämmande adjektiv (det är egentligen particip men används som ett adjektiv) till substantivet Iêsou (Jesus).[210] I Nya testamentet översätts liknade uttryck normalt inte till ”den så kallade” utan till ”kallas” eller ”kallades”, det gäller också alla de fyra gånger då uttrycket används om Jesus (Matt 1:16, 27:17, 27:22, Joh 4:25).

När det grekiska tou legomenou i dessa stycken översattes till latin i Versio Vulgata, översattes det till qui dicitur (förutom i Matt 1:16, där det synonyma uttrycket qui vocatur används), vilket betyder ”som kallas”. Även Rufinus i sin översättning av Eusebios’ Kyrkohistoria och Cassiodorus i sin översättning av Josefus’ Judiska fornminnen översätter till qui dicitur. ”Brodern till den som kalla(de)s Kristus” uttrycks normalt ton adelphon tou legomenou Christou på grekiska, utan att ha någon bibetydelse av att ifrågasätta det berättigade i Kristusbenämningen. Lika litet som i det grekiska tou legomenou ligger i det latinska qui dicitur någon nyans av ifrågasättande av benämningens giltighet. Jag väljer därför att översätta till ”som kallades Kristus”.

En faktor som talar emot att båda Jesuspassagerna, alltså TF och stycket som identifierar Jakob som ”brodern till Jesus som kallades Kristus”, är äkta är förekomsten av ordet Kristus/Messias i båda passagerna. I det första fallet sägs att ”han var Kristus”, i det andra att han ”kallades Kristus”. Som tidigare påpekats i ”Josefus’ och andra judars syn på messiasbegreppet”, förekommer ordet ”kristus” (den grekiska motsvarigheten till det hebreiska ”messias”) aldrig hos Josefus annat än vid just de två tillfällen då Jesus omnämns. Denna omständighet visar att Josefus inte gärna diskuterade messiasbegreppet som var så förknippat med judarnas uppror, och det talar för att dessa textavsnitt är senare instopp av en kristen hand. Inte ens den enda gång då Josefus faktiskt utser den efterlängtade messias i kejsar Vespasianus, låter han förknippa honom med själva ordet messias.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-26


[207] Vad gäller det centrala stycket kan det än mer bokstavligt översättas som följer:

”Han inrättar ett råd av domare. Och efter att inför detta [råd] ha låtit föra [eg.: fört förbi] brodern till Jesus, som kallas Kristus, Jakob hette han, och några andra, efter att ha dömt dem såsom lagbrytare, överlämnade han dem till att stenas.”

Eftersom huvudsatsens predikat är i dåtid (överlämnade till att stenas), översätts lämpligast tou legomenou till ”kallades” och inte ”kallas”. Imperfekt anger här endast att det rör sig om samtidighet.

Josefus skriver i Judiska fornminnen 20:9:1, eller 20:197–203:

”Πέμπει δὲ Καῖσαρ Ἀλβῖνον εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ἔπαρχον Φήστου τὴν τελευτὴν πυθόμενος. ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἀφείλετο μὲν τὸν Ἰώσηπον τὴν ἱερωσύνην, τῷ δὲ Ἀνάνου παιδὶ καὶ αὐτῷ Ἀνάνῳ λεγομένῳ τὴν διαδοχὴν τῆς ἀρχῆς ἔδωκεν. τοῦτον δέ φασι τὸν πρεσβύτατον Ἄνανον εὐτυχέστατον γενέσθαι: πέντε γὰρ ἔσχε παῖδας καὶ τούτους πάντας συνέβη ἀρχιερατεῦσαι τῷ θεῷ, αὐτὸς πρότερος τῆς τιμῆς ἐπὶ πλεῖστον ἀπολαύσας, ὅπερ οὐδενὶ συνέβη τῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἀρχιερέων. ὁ δὲ νεώτερος Ἄνανος, ὃν τὴν ἀρχιερωσύνην ἔφαμεν εἰληφέναι, θρασὺς ἦν τὸν τρόπον καὶ τολμητὴς διαφερόντως, αἵρεσιν δὲ μετῄει τὴν Σαδδουκαίων, οἵπερ εἰσὶ περὶ τὰς κρίσεις ὠμοὶ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, καθὼς ἤδη δεδηλώκαμεν. ἅτε δὴ οὖν τοιοῦτος ὢν ὁ Ἄνανος, νομίσας ἔχειν καιρὸν ἐπιτήδειον διὰ τὸ τεθνάναι μὲν Φῆστον, Ἀλβῖνον δ᾽ ἔτι κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ὑπάρχειν, καθίζει συνέδριον κριτῶν καὶ παραγαγὼν εἰς αὐτὸ τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ, Ἰάκωβος ὄνομα αὐτῷ, καί τινας ἑτέρους, ὡς παρανομησάντων κατηγορίαν ποιησάμενος παρέδωκε λευσθησομένους. ὅσοι δὲ ἐδόκουν ἐπιεικέστατοι τῶν κατὰ τὴν πόλιν εἶναι καὶ περὶ τοὺς νόμους ἀκριβεῖς βαρέως ἤνεγκαν ἐπὶ τούτῳ καὶ πέμπουσιν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα κρύφα παρακαλοῦντες αὐτὸν ἐπιστεῖλαι τῷ Ἀνάνῳ μηκέτι τοιαῦτα πράσσειν: μηδὲ γὰρ τὸ πρῶτον ὀρθῶς αὐτὸν πεποιηκέναι. τινὲς δ᾽ αὐτῶν καὶ τὸν Ἀλβῖνον ὑπαντιάζουσιν ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας ὁδοιποροῦντα καὶ διδάσκουσιν, ὡς οὐκ ἐξὸν ἦν Ἀνάνῳ χωρὶς τῆς ἐκείνου γνώμης καθίσαι συνέδριον. Ἀλβῖνος δὲ πεισθεὶς τοῖς λεγομένοις γράφει μετ᾽ ὀργῆς τῷ Ἀνάνῳ λήψεσθαι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ δίκας ἀπειλῶν. καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀγρίππας διὰ τοῦτο τὴν Ἀρχιερωσύνην ἀφελόμενος αὐτὸν ἄρξαντα μῆνας τρεῖς Ἰησοῦν τὸν τοῦ Δαμναίου κατέστησεν.”

”AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.”

[208] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, Supplementary Article No. 10, Josephus Unbound: Reopening the Josephus Question.

[209] De olika uttrycken lyder:

Ἰησοῦ τοῦ λεγομένου Χριστοῦ (Iêsou tou legomenou Christou) = Jesus som kallades Kristus (Judiska fornminnen 20:200).

Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος Χριστός (Iêsous ho legomenos Christos) = Jesus som kallas Kristus (Matteus 1:16).

λεγόμενος Χριστός (ho legomenos Christos) = [han] som kallas Kristus (Joh 4:25).

Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν (Iêsoun ton legomenon Christon) = Jesus som kallas Kristus (Matt 27:17).

Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν (Iêsoun ton legomenon Christon) = [med] Jesus som kallas Kristus (Matt 27:22).

[210] Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man – The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009), s. 584; not 220, s. 771.

The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 2t – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: The table of contents

Part 1
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Part 2a Part 2b Part 2c Part 2d
Part 2e Part 2f Part 2g Part 2h
Part 2i Part 2j Part 2k Part 2l
Part 2m Part 2n Part 2o Part 2p
Part 2q Part 2r Part 2s Part 2t
———— ———— ———— ————
Part 3a Part 3b Part 3c Part 3d
Part 3e Part 3f Part 3g Part 3h
Part 3i Part 3j
———— ———— ———— ————
Part 4
———— ———— ———— ————
Excursus

This is part 2t of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

II. Testimonium Flavianum

The table of contents

Almost all Greek and Latin manuscripts of the Antiquities of the Jews begin with a somewhat sketchy list of the content of the book.[201] From at least the time of the Greek historian Polybius (c. 200–120 BCE), lists that are comparable to tables of contents have been made, although the practice varied. There is evidence to suggest that the authors themselves in at least some cases put together such lists. In other cases, they can be made by later editors.[202] The Testimonium as well as the passage on James are missing in the Greek table of contents to the Antiquities of the Jews. To be sure also many more sections are missing from the table of contents, and in the following footnote the table of contents to the entire chapter 18 is reproduced.[203] However, if it is not written in the second or third century, but instead during the Christian era (the early fourth century and later), this is an infallible sign that the Testimonium and also the passage on James did not appear in the Antiquities of the Jews at the time, since then reasonably they should have been mentioned. However, according to Henry St. John Thackeray the composition of the table of contents suggests that the author was a Jew and that he maybe was not living long after Josephus.[204]

The argument that the list reflects Jewish interests and therefore was written by a Jew works on the other hand vice versa too, since the absence of the Christian passages instead may indicate that these, and especially the Testimonium, were missing when the list was made.

Since the list also is present in all Latin manuscripts, which are based on the translation made in the sixth century, it indicates that the table of contents is old. But it also bears traces which reflect more than one variant reading, and it therefore seems to have been compiled, or possibly edited, at a somewhat later time and then accordingly not made at the time of Josephus or shortly afterwards.[205]

Even if the table of contents was made very early and by a non-Christian, such a crucial passage in Josephus as the Testimonium should still have been referred to if it was there.[206]

And this concludes section 2, Testimonium Flavianum.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-25


[201] Joseph Sieverts, The Ancient Lists of Contents of Josephus’ Antiquities, in Feldman, Louis H., Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity: Studies in Josephus and the Varieties of Ancient Judaism : Louis H. Feldman Jubilee Volume, Boston, 2006, p. 271.

[202] Joseph Sieverts writes:

“For works of some historians (Diodorus, Josephus, Cassius Dio, Eusebius), we have more or less detailed lists of contents (argumenta) at the beginning of each book. Their textual transmission is much more unstable than that of the body of the work. Nevertheless, there are good indications for considering these elements part of the original ‘published’ version.” (Joseph Sieverts, The Ancient Lists of Contents of Josephus’ Antiquities, in Feldman, Louis H., p. 289)

[203] The Greek table of content of book 18 of the Antiquities of the Jews:

Ταδε ενεστιν εν τη ιη των Ιωσηπου ιστοριων της Ιουδαικης αρχαιολογια 62;·

These are the things contained in the eighteenth [volume] of the histories of the Jewish antiquities by Josephus:

1.      Ως Κυρινιος υπο Καισαρος επεμφθη τιμητης Συριας και Ιουδαιας και αποδωσομενο 62; την Αρχελαου ουσιαν.
How Quirinius was sent by Caesar as an assessor of Syria and Judea and custodian of the estate of Archelaus.

2.      Ως Κωπωνιος εκ του ιππικου ταγματος επεμφθη επαρχος Ιουδαιας.
How Coponius, from the order of the knights, was sent as prefect of Judea.

3.      Ως Ιουδας ο Γαλιλαιος επεισεν το πληθος μη απογραψασθα 53; τας ουσιας, μεχρις Ιωζαρος ο αρχιερευς επεισεν αυτους μαλλον υπακουσαι Ρωμαιοις.
How Judas the Galilean persuaded the multitude not to register their estates, until Joazar the high priest persuaded them rather to submit to the Romans.

4.      Τινες αιρεσεις και οποσαι παρα Ιουδαιοις φιλοσοφων και τινες οι νομοι.
Certain sects, even as many of the philosophers among the Jews, and certain laws.

5.      Ως Ηρωδης και Φιλιππος οι τετραρχαι πολεις εκτισαν εις τιμην Καισαρος.
How Herod and Philip the tetrarchs created cities for the honor of Caesar.

6.      Ως Σαμαρεις οστα νεκρων διαρριψαντε 62; εις το ιερον τον λαον επτα ημερας εμιαναν.
How Samaritans threw the bones of dead men into the temple and defiled the people for seven days.

7.      Ως Σαλωμη η αδελφη Ηρωδου τελευτησασα τα αυτης κατελιπεν Ιουλια τη του Καισαρος γαμετη.
How Salome the sister of Herod died and left her possessions to Julia the wife of Caesar.

8.      Ως Ποντιος Πιλατος ηθελησε κρυφα εις Ιεροσολυμα εισενεγκαι προτομας Καισαρος, ο δε λαος ου κατεδεξατο στασιασας.
How Pontius Pilate wished to bear busts of Caesar secretly into Jerusalem, and the people did not accept this, and rebelled.

9.      Τα συμβαντα Ιουδαιοις εν Ρωμη κατα τουτον τον καιρον υπο των Σαμαρεων.
What happened to the Jews in Rome at this time under the Samaritans.

10.  Κατηγορια υπο Σαμαρεων Πιλατου επι Ουιτελλιου, και ως Ουιτελλιος ηναγκασεν αυτον αναβηναι εις Ρωμην λογον των πεπραγμενων αποδωσοντα.
An accusation of Pilate by Samaritans in the time of Vitellius, and how Vitellius compelled him to go up to Rome to give account for what he had done.

11.  Πολεμος Ηρωδου του τετραρχου προς Αρεταν τον Αραβων βασιλεα και ηττα.
The war and defeat of Herod the tetrarch against Aretas the king of the Arabs.

12.  Ως Τιβεριος Καισαρ εγραψεν Ουιτελλιω Αρταβανην μεν τον Παρθον πεισαι ομηρους αυτω πεμψαι, προς Αρεταν δε πολεμειν.
How Tiberius Caesar wrote to Vitellius to persuade Artabanus the Parthian to send him hostages, and to make war against Aretas.

13.  Τελευτη Φιλιππου, και ως η τετραρχια αυτου επαρχια εγενετο.
The death of Philip, and how his tetrarchy became a prefecture.

14.  Αποπλους Αγριππα εις Ρωμην, και ως κατηγορηθει 62; υπο του ιδιου απελευθερου εδεθη· ον τροπον ελυθη υπο Γαιου μετα την Τιβεριου τελευτην και εγενετο βασιλευς της Φιλιππου τετραρχιας.
The sailing away of Agrippa to Rome, and how he was bound after having been accused by his own freedman; in what manner he was set free by Gaius upon the death of Tiberius and became king of the tetrarchy of Philip.

15.  Ως Ηρωδης αναβας εις Ρωμην εξωρισθη, και ως την τετραρχιαν αυτου εδωρησατο Γαιος Αγριππα.
How Herod went up to Rome and was banished, and how Gaius gifted his tetrarchy to Agrippa.

16.  Στασις των εν Αλεξανδρεια Ιουδαιων και Ελληνων και πρεσβεια αφ εκατερων προς Γαιον.
The strife of the Jews and Greeks in Alexandria and the embassy from each to Gaius.

17.  Κατηγορια Ιουδαιων υπο Απιωνος και των συμπρεσβεων επι τω μη εχειν Καισαρος ανδριαντα.
Accusation of the Jews by Apion and of the fellow ambassadors for not having a statue of Caesar.

18.  Ως αγανακτησας Γαιος πεμπει Πετρωνιον ηγεμονα εις Συριαν πολεμησαι Ιουδαιους, εαν μη θελησωσιν εισδεξασθαι αυτου τον ανδριαντα.
How Gaius became irritated and sends Petronius the leader of Syria to make war against the Jews, unless they wish to receive his statue.

19.  Την συμβασαν φθοραν τοις εν Βαβυλωνι Ιουδαιοις δι Ασιναιον και Ανιλαιον τους αδελφους.
The destruction that happened to the Jews in Babylon on account of the brothers Asineus and Anileus.

Περιεχει η βιβλος χρονον ετων λβ.

The book encompasses a timespan of 32 years.

(From Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Josephus on the career and execution of Jesus. The famed Testimonium Flavianum)

[204] Henry St. John Thackeray says the following concerning Josephus’ Jewish War, however not concerning the Antiquities of the Jews:

“In his Jewish War Josephus himself incorporated a rough summary of the whole in his proem, and though it is improbable that these more elaborate chapter headings are the production of his pen, they may well be not far removed from him in date. (Henry St. John Thackeray, Josephus, vol. 4, 1965, p. 636–637)

[205] Joseph Sieverts, The Ancient Lists of Contents of Josephus’ Antiquities, p. 290–291.

[206] Louis Feldman writes:

“The fact that an ancient table of contents, already referred to in the Latin version of the fifth or sixth century, omits mention of the Testimonium (though admittedly, it is selective, one must find it hard to believe that such a remarkable passage would be omitted by anyone, let alone by a Christian, summarizing the work) is further indication that either there was no such notice, or that it was much less remarkable than it reads at present.” (Louis H. Feldman, Gōhei Hata, Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, Detroit 1987, p. 57)

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 2t – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: Innehållsförteckningen

Del 1      
———— ———— ———— ————
Del 2a Del 2b Del 2c Del 2d
Del 2e Del 2f Del 2g Del 2h
Del 2i Del 2j Del 2k Del 2l
Del 2m Del 2n Del 2o Del 2p
Del 2q Del 2r Del 2s Del 2t
———— ————
———— ————
Del 3a Del 3b Del 3c Del 3d
Del 3e Del 3f Del 3g Del 3h
Del 3i Del 3j    
———— ———— ———— ————
Del 4
     
———— ———— ———— ————
Exkurs      
       

Detta är del 2t av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

II. Testimonium Flavianum

Innehållsförteckningen

Nästan samtliga grekiska och latinska handskrifter av Judiska fornminnen inleds med en något skissartad lista över bokens innehåll.[201] Från åtminstone historikern Polybios’ tid (ca 200–120 fvt) har man upprättat listor som kan liknas vid innehållsförteckningar, fastän bruket varierade. Det finns tecken som tyder på att författarna själva i åtminstone vissa fall sammanställde sådana listor. I andra fall kan de vara gjorda av senare redaktörer.[202] Såväl TF som passagen om Jakob saknas i den grekiska innehållsförteckningen till Judiska fornminnen. Visserligen saknar innehållsförteckningen också många fler partier, och i den följande fotnoten återges innehållsförteckningen till hela kapitel 18.[203] Men om den inte går tillbaka till 200-talet eller 100-talet, utan är skriven under den kristna epoken (början av 300-talet och framåt), är detta ett osvikligt tecken på att TF och även Jakobpassagen vid den tiden inte förekom i Judiska fornminnen, eftersom de då borde ha omnämnts. Innehållsförteckningens sammansättning tyder emellertid enligt Henry St. John Thackeray på att författaren var judisk och att kanske till och med någon som inte levde långt efter Josefus upprättade den.[204]

Men argumentet att listan speglar judiska intressen och därför skrevs av en jude fungerar också omvänt, enär avsaknaden av kristna element i stället kan tyda på att dessa och framför allt TF saknades när listan upprättades.

Eftersom listan förekommer också i alla latinska översättningar där den första tillkom på 500-talet, tyder det på att innehållsförteckningen är gammal. Men den innehåller också spår som speglar flera textvarianter, och den förefaller därför ha sammanställts, eller möjligen redigerats, vid ett något senare tillfälle och inte gå tillbaka till Josefus.[205]

Även om den är mycket tidig och skriven av en icke-kristen, borde ändå ett stycke som TF vara en så central passage i Josefus’ verk att den refererades till.[206]

Detta avslutar kapitel 2, Testimonium Flavianum.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-25


[201] Joseph Sieverts, The Ancient Lists of Contents of Josephus’ Antiquities, i Feldman, Louis H., Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity: Studies in Josephus and the Varieties of Ancient Judaism : Louis H. Feldman Jubilee Volume, Boston, 2006. s. 271.

[202] Joseph Sieverts skriver:

“For works of some historians (Diodorus, Josephus, Cassius Dio, Eusebius), we have more or less detailed lists of contents (argumenta) at the beginning of each book. Their textual transmission is much more unstable than that of the body of the work. Nevertheless, there are good indications for considering these elements part of the original ‘published’ version.” (Joseph Sieverts, The Ancient Lists of Contents of Josephus’ Antiquities, i Feldman, Louis H., s. 289)

[203] Den grekiska innehållsförteckningen till bok 18 av Judiska fornminnen:

Ταδε ενεστιν εν τη ιη των Ιωσηπου ιστοριων της Ιουδαικης αρχαιολογια 62;·

These are the things contained in the eighteenth [volume] of the histories of the Jewish antiquities by Josephus:

1.      Ως Κυρινιος υπο Καισαρος επεμφθη τιμητης Συριας και Ιουδαιας και αποδωσομενο 62; την Αρχελαου ουσιαν.
How Quirinius was sent by Caesar as an assessor of Syria and Judea and custodian of the estate of Archelaus.

2.      Ως Κωπωνιος εκ του ιππικου ταγματος επεμφθη επαρχος Ιουδαιας.
How Coponius, from the order of the knights, was sent as prefect of Judea.

3.      Ως Ιουδας ο Γαλιλαιος επεισεν το πληθος μη απογραψασθα 53; τας ουσιας, μεχρις Ιωζαρος ο αρχιερευς επεισεν αυτους μαλλον υπακουσαι Ρωμαιοις.
How Judas the Galilean persuaded the multitude not to register their estates, until Joazar the high priest persuaded them rather to submit to the Romans.

4.      Τινες αιρεσεις και οποσαι παρα Ιουδαιοις φιλοσοφων και τινες οι νομοι.
Certain sects, even as many of the philosophers among the Jews, and certain laws.

5.      Ως Ηρωδης και Φιλιππος οι τετραρχαι πολεις εκτισαν εις τιμην Καισαρος.
How Herod and Philip the tetrarchs created cities for the honor of Caesar.

6.      Ως Σαμαρεις οστα νεκρων διαρριψαντε 62; εις το ιερον τον λαον επτα ημερας εμιαναν.
How Samaritans threw the bones of dead men into the temple and defiled the people for seven days.

7.      Ως Σαλωμη η αδελφη Ηρωδου τελευτησασα τα αυτης κατελιπεν Ιουλια τη του Καισαρος γαμετη.
How Salome the sister of Herod died and left her possessions to Julia the wife of Caesar.

8.      Ως Ποντιος Πιλατος ηθελησε κρυφα εις Ιεροσολυμα εισενεγκαι προτομας Καισαρος, ο δε λαος ου κατεδεξατο στασιασας.
How Pontius Pilate wished to bear busts of Caesar secretly into Jerusalem, and the people did not accept this, and rebelled.

9.      Τα συμβαντα Ιουδαιοις εν Ρωμη κατα τουτον τον καιρον υπο των Σαμαρεων.
What happened to the Jews in Rome at this time under the Samaritans.

10.  Κατηγορια υπο Σαμαρεων Πιλατου επι Ουιτελλιου, και ως Ουιτελλιος ηναγκασεν αυτον αναβηναι εις Ρωμην λογον των πεπραγμενων αποδωσοντα.
An accusation of Pilate by Samaritans in the time of Vitellius, and how Vitellius compelled him to go up to Rome to give account for what he had done.

11.  Πολεμος Ηρωδου του τετραρχου προς Αρεταν τον Αραβων βασιλεα και ηττα.
The war and defeat of Herod the tetrarch against Aretas the king of the Arabs.

12.  Ως Τιβεριος Καισαρ εγραψεν Ουιτελλιω Αρταβανην μεν τον Παρθον πεισαι ομηρους αυτω πεμψαι, προς Αρεταν δε πολεμειν.
How Tiberius Caesar wrote to Vitellius to persuade Artabanus the Parthian to send him hostages, and to make war against Aretas.

13.  Τελευτη Φιλιππου, και ως η τετραρχια αυτου επαρχια εγενετο.
The death of Philip, and how his tetrarchy became a prefecture.

14.  Αποπλους Αγριππα εις Ρωμην, και ως κατηγορηθει 62; υπο του ιδιου απελευθερου εδεθη· ον τροπον ελυθη υπο Γαιου μετα την Τιβεριου τελευτην και εγενετο βασιλευς της Φιλιππου τετραρχιας.
The sailing away of Agrippa to Rome, and how he was bound after having been accused by his own freedman; in what manner he was set free by Gaius upon the death of Tiberius and became king of the tetrarchy of Philip.

15.  Ως Ηρωδης αναβας εις Ρωμην εξωρισθη, και ως την τετραρχιαν αυτου εδωρησατο Γαιος Αγριππα.
How Herod went up to Rome and was banished, and how Gaius gifted his tetrarchy to Agrippa.

16.  Στασις των εν Αλεξανδρεια Ιουδαιων και Ελληνων και πρεσβεια αφ εκατερων προς Γαιον.
The strife of the Jews and Greeks in Alexandria and the embassy from each to Gaius.

17.  Κατηγορια Ιουδαιων υπο Απιωνος και των συμπρεσβεων επι τω μη εχειν Καισαρος ανδριαντα.
Accusation of the Jews by Apion and of the fellow ambassadors for not having a statue of Caesar.

18.  Ως αγανακτησας Γαιος πεμπει Πετρωνιον ηγεμονα εις Συριαν πολεμησαι Ιουδαιους, εαν μη θελησωσιν εισδεξασθαι αυτου τον ανδριαντα.
How Gaius became irritated and sends Petronius the leader of Syria to make war against the Jews, unless they wish to receive his statue.

19.  Την συμβασαν φθοραν τοις εν Βαβυλωνι Ιουδαιοις δι Ασιναιον και Ανιλαιον τους αδελφους.
The destruction that happened to the Jews in Babylon on account of the brothers Asineus and Anileus.

Περιεχει η βιβλος χρονον ετων λβ.

The book encompasses a timespan of 32 years.

(Från Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Josephus on the career and execution of Jesus. The famed Testimonium Flavianum)

[204] Henry St. John Thackeray skriver angående Josefus’ Om det judiska kriget, dock inte hans Judiska fornminnen:

“In his Jewish War Josephus himself incorporated a rough summary of the whole in his proem, and though it is improbable that these more elaborate chapter headings are the production of his pen, they may well be not far removed from him in date. (Henry St. John Thackeray, Josephus, vol. 4, 1965, s. 636–637)

[205] Joseph Sieverts, The Ancient Lists of Contents of Josephus’ Antiquities, s. 290–291.

[206] Louis Feldman skriver:

“The fact that an ancient table of contents, already referred to in the Latin version of the fifth or sixth century, omits mention of the Testimonium (though admittedly, it is selective, one must find it hard to believe that such a remarkable passage would be omitted by anyone, let alone by a Christian, summarizing the work) is further indication that either there was no such notice, or that it was much less remarkable than it reads at present.” (Louis H. Feldman, Gōhei Hata, Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, Detroit 1987, s. 57)

The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 2s – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: The Church Fathers’ knowledge; miscellanous, Robert Eisler


Part 1
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Part 2a Part 2b Part 2c Part 2d
Part 2e Part 2f Part 2g Part 2h
Part 2i Part 2j Part 2k Part 2l
Part 2m Part 2n Part 2o Part 2p
Part 2q Part 2r Part 2s Part 2t
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Part 3a Part 3b Part 3c Part 3d
Part 3e Part 3f Part 3g Part 3h
Part 3i Part 3j
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Part 4
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Excursus

This is part 2s of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

II. Testimonium Flavianum

The Church Fathers’ knowledge of the Testimonium

The Jewish War and the Slavonic Josephus with their respective additions

Robert Eisler’s negative portrait

Robert Eisler’s theory was that the Slavonic version of Josephus was based on the first and now lost Greek editions of the Jewish War; therefore, Greek translations made ​​from the rough drafts of the Aramaic version which came out in the early 70’s. This work was intended for the Aramaic speaking Jews of the East and meant to deter them from further risings against Rome. The Greek version that latter was preserved was probably partly rewritten and primarily intended for a Greco-Roman audience.[188] According to Robert Eisler, the Christians who at that time relied on original texts by Josephus did in turn tamper with these by adding some and removing others. Thereafter, a Lithuanian Jew with some sort of Christian background in the mid thirteenth century translated this text into the Old Russian from Greek texts. While doing this, he would also have interpolated more materials. Today, not many agree with Eisler and most scholars believe the Slavonic Josephus to be a medieval forgery.[189]

His method was as simple as consistent. Josephus must have written about Jesus; the alternative would be to assume that Jesus either did not exist or that his deeds were of very little importance. The first hypothesis is according to Eisler extremely questionable and the second slightly less improbable, yet so unlikely that it is not a real alternative. He considers his own hypothesis as “infinitely more plausible, even without further support”.[190]

Josephus must accordingly have written about Jesus also in the Jewish War, and this would then have been removed by Christians, yet have been preserved in a number of medieval quotes. Josephus could not reasonably have written appreciatively of Jesus and certainly not the Testimonium as it now appears in the Antiquities of the Jews – in that case he would not immediately afterwards have written about another sad calamity which befell the Jews. Christians would, on the other hand, not have invented anything about Jesus that could be perceived as negative.

Consequently, all one had to do was to compile everything ever written about Jesus, that was likely to come from Josephus and then discard all that was favourable to him and his disciples (and therefore added by Christians). The remainder would then pretty well reflect what Josephus originally wrote.[191] It should suffice to call attention to the purely subjective in the described methodology of selection, in order for its weaknesses to be exposed and revealed. In any case, this had the effect that Eisler reconstructed the Testimonium as far as he felt that he was capable of, by using all the sources he could find; either what occurred in distorted form in the other three passages about Jesus in the Slavonic Josephus, or in other Church Fathers.

Eisler’s own reconstruction of the Testimonium goes like this:

“Now about this time arose (an occasion for new disturbances) a certain Jesus, a wizard of a man, if indeed he may be called a man (who was the most monstrous of all men, whom his disciples call a son of God, as having done wonders such as no man hath ever yet done) … He was in fact a teacher of astonishing tricks to such men as accept the abnormal with delight … And he seduced many Jews and many also of the Greek nation and (was regarded by them as) the Messiah … And when, on the indictment of the principal men among us, Pilate had sentenced him to the cross, still those who before had admired him did not cease (to rave). For it seemed to them that having been dead for three days, he had appeared to them alive again, as the divinely-inspired prophets had foretold — these and ten thousand other wonderful things — concerning him. And even now the race of those who are called ‘Messianists’ after him is not extinct.”[192]

The points […] in Eisler’s reconstructed text are his own and form passages which he considered to be irretrievably lost, beyond the possibility of reconstruction, but which probably dealt with something considered to be terrible for the Jews. Now Eisler is not the only one to reconstruct the Testimonium. Rather, there are as many reconstructions as there are scholars involved in this issue. A number of these reconstructions are reproduced in the following footnote.[193] All these “re-creations” have a few things in common – they lack textual support, are based on the assumption that Josephus must have written about Jesus, and are due to small modifications made sufficiently acceptable in order for each scholar to believe that Josephus indeed might have written it.

In addition to reconstructing the Testimonium, Eisler also tried to find other things that Josephus had written about Jesus, such things that either occurred in garbled form in the other three passages on Jesus in the Slavonic Josephus, or in the writings of the Church Fathers. So for example, did Andreas of Jerusalem (c. 660–740) write the following:

“But Josephus the Jew also records in the same way that the Lord appeared with joined eyebrows, beautiful eyes, a long countenance, humped over, well grown.”[194]

This is repeated in similar terms by, among others, the scholion to John of Damascus (c. 676-749)[195] and in the Greek lexicon Suda from the tenth century.[196]

Eisler then makes a new reconstruction based on these observations and also on the so-called letter of Lentulus, an apocryphal writing probably made in the thirteenth century and which claims to be written by a predecessor of Pilate, the otherwise unknown Roman governor of Judea, Lentulus. The letter of Lentulus begins in a similar way as the Testimonium followed by a description of Jesus in which he is said to be of medium size, where his beholders can both fear and love him, where his hair is wavy, curled and bright and flowing over his shoulders, is parted in two on the top of the head, after the pattern of the Nazarenes; he has a face without wrinkle, his nose and mouth are faultless, his eyes are changeable and bright, his beard is abundant, etc.[197]

After Eisler having removed everything favourable of Jesus, and with the aid of the Slavonic Josephus and several other texts such as the one by Andreas of Jerusalem, he creates another passage which he believes represents something similar to what Josephus could have written. Below I quote the introduction of this text:

“At that time, too, there appeared a certain man of magical power, if it is permissible to call him a man, whom (certain) Greeks call a son of God, but his disciples the true prophet, (said to) raise the dead and heal all diseases. His nature and his form were human; a man of simple appearance, mature age, small stature, three cubits high, hunchbacked, with a long face, long nose, and meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair (but) with a parting in the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazirites, and with an undeveloped beard. Only in semblance was he superhuman, (for) he gave some astonishing and spectacular exhibitions. But again, if I look at his commonplace physique I (for one) cannot call him an angel…”(Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist according to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ’Capture of Jerusalem’ and other Jewish and Christian sources, 1931, p. 466–467)[198]

Eisler accordingly concluded that Josephus had described Jesus as a small hunchbacked, long-nosed, half baldheaded man of simple appearance. Eislers approach is thrilling and interesting but can scarcely be called scientifically rigorous.

Instead of like Eisler assuming that this shows what Josephus actually wrote about Jesus, it rather shows that Christians (and others) could not help but invent passages about Jesus and Christians and to attribute these to Josephus. They have felt compelled to alter and amend sentences in Josephus. One question that necessarily must be asked is this: If the Slavonic Josephus really would have preserved authentic materials by Josefus, how come that no one knew of this until much later?

Resumé. It is hard to know where all these legendary tales have their origin. One possibility is that they (at least largely) come from the apparently legendary stories told by Hegesippus and of which only fragments have been preserved. Since the Latin forms (H)egesippus and Iosippus (Josephus) are so similar, the names have (as has been showed in Part 2k) been confused throughout history. Until the twelfth century there were all sorts of additions and deletions in the texts of Josephus and as late as the eleventh century did Thomas Gale from Cambridge have several long Greek fragments of text which he claimed were from Josephus and that are not included in the preserved text.[199]

Alice Whealey is quite rightly regarding the Slavonic Josephus as a medieval creation through and through.[200] It was done to give the Slaves a historical narrative, focusing on the Christian story as well as on the characteristics of the Slavic people; in the same way as previously had been done for the Latin-speaking group (Pseudo-Hegesippus), the Hebrew-speaking (Josippon), the Syrian-speaking (James, Theophilus, Michael, etc.) and the Arabic-speaking (Agapius). In this they did not hesitate to add and remove things, so that the story came to focus on those aspects that were important in their time and place.

The following table provides a summary of the entire chapter “the Church Fathers knowledge of the Testimonium” and is an attempt to illustrate the time for the origins of the various writings and how the influence has been from writer to writer.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-24


[188] Arthur E. Palumbo, Jr., The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Personages of Earliest Christianity, 2004, p. 225–226.

[189] John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, v. 1, New York: Doubleday, 1991, p. 57.

[190] The quotation from Robert Eisler is taken from Earl Doherty, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks:

“… these conjectures would seem nothing but a very bold hypothesis: all the same, they would seem infinitely more plausible, even without further support, than the extremely questionable hypothesis of the non-historicity of Jesus, or the little more probable assumption of the essential insignificance of the Gospel events, or Josephus’ unknown private reasons which are held responsible for his passing over in silence what he knew about Jesus, whilst he does not appear to impose upon himself the slightest reserve when he comes to speak of the other messiahs of that troublesome period.” (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ Recently Rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’, 1931, p. 68)

[191] The quotation from Robert Eisler is taken from Earl Doherty, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks:

“everything of anti-Christian character, every contemptuous or disparaging allusion to Jesus and his followers, may be regarded offhand as the authentic work of Josephus; every statement exonerating Jesus and favourable to him and his disciples is to be set aside as an interpolation or correction introduced by a Christian reader or copyist.” (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ Recently Rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’, 1931, p. 382)

[192] Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’ and the other Jewish and Christian sources, 1931, p. 62)

[193] John P. Meier’s reconstruction of the Testimonium:

“At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following among many Jews and among many of Gentile origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians (named after him) had not died out.” (John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Volume 1, p. 61)

Schlomo Pines’ reconstruction of the Testimonium:

“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.” (Shlomo Pines, An Arabic version of the Testimonium Flavianum and its implications, 1971, p. 8–10, 16)

Geza Vermes’ reconstruction of the Testimonium:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man … He performed astonishing feats (and was a teacher of such people as are eager for novelties?) He attracted many Jews and many of the Greeks … Upon an indictment brought by the leading men among us, Pilate sentenced him to the cross, but those who had loved him from the very first did not cease to be attached to him … The tribe of the Christians, named after him, is still in existence.” (Geza Vermes, The Jesus Notice of Josephus reexamined, Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 38, issue 1, 1987)

Paul Winter’s reconstruction of the Testimonium:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man … he performed astonishing feats (and was a teacher of such people as are eager for novelties?) He attracted many Jews and many of the Greeks … Upon an indictment brought by leading members of our society, Pilate sentenced him to the cross, but those who had loved him from the very first did not cease to be attached to him … The brotherhood of the Christians named after him, is still in existence.” (Paul Winter, Josephus on Jesus and James i Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.- A.D. 135), edited by Geza Vermes and Fergus Millar; Edinburgh, 1973, Excursus II, p. 437)

James Charlesworth’s reconstruction of the Testimonium:

”About this time there was Jesus, a wise man, [if indeed one ought to call him a man]. For he was one who performed surprising works, (and) a teacher of people who with pleasure received the unusual. He stirred up both many Jews and also many of the Greeks. [He was the Christ.] And when Pilate condemned him to the cross, since he was accused by the first-rate men among us, those who had been loving (him from) the first did not cease (to cause trouble), [for he appeared to them on the third day, having life again, as the prophets of God had foretold these and countless other marvelous things about him]. And until now the tribe of Christians, so named from him, is not (yet?) extinct.” (James H. Charlesworth, Jesus within Judaism: new light from exciting archaeological discoveries, Doubleday, 1988)

F. F. Bruce’s reconstruction of the Testimonium:

”Now there arose about this time a source of further trouble in one Jesus, a wise man who performed surprising works, a teacher of men who gladly welcome strange things. He led away many Jews, and also many of the Gentiles. He was the so-called Christ. When Pilate, acting on information supplied by the chief men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had attached themselves to him at first did not cease to cause trouble, and the tribe of Christians, which has taken this name from him, is not extinct even today.” (Frederick Fyvie Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1974, p. 39)

Claudia Setzer’s reconstruction of the Testimonium:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, For he was a doer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of those who accept the unusual with pleasure, and won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. When Pilate, heeding the principal men among us, had ordered him to be crucified, those who had loved him in the first place did not cease. On the third day he appeared to them alive again, for the prophets of God foretold these and a myriad of other marvelous things about him. And even now, the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not failed.” (Claudia Setzer, Jewish responses to early Christians: history and polemics, 30-150 C.E., Minneapolis 1994, p. 106–107)

[194] Andreas of Jerusalem:

”Αλλα και ο Ιουδαιος Ιωσηπος τον αυτον τροπον ιστορει οραθηναι τον κυριον συνοφρυν, ευοφθαλμον, μακροπροσωπον, επικυφον, ευηλικα.” (From Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Jesus).

[195] Scholion to John of Damascus, On the Orthodox Faith 4.16:

…επει και Ιωσηπος ο Ιουδαιος, ως τινες φασι… τον αυτον ιστορει τροπον τον κυριον οραθηναι συνοφρυν, ευοφθαλμον, μακροψιν, ειπκυφη τε και ευηλικα.

…since also Josephus the Jew, as some say…. records in the same way that the Lord appeared with joined eyebrows, beautiful eyes, a long aspect [or face], both humped over and well grown. (From Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Jesus).

[196] The Lexicon Suda:

“Γράφει δὲ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ οὕτως· Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ἰησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν Ἰουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο· ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν. καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες· ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτα καὶ ἄλλα μυρία θαυμαστὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰρηκότων. εἴς τε νῦν τὸ τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένον οὐκ ἀπελείπετο φῦλον. τοσαῦτα Ἰώσηπος περὶ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῷ ͵ιηʹ λόγῳ φησίν.”

“And he writes thus concerning our Lord Jesus Christ: And there is about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is necessary to say that he is a man; for he was a doer of miraculous works, a teacher of men who receive true things with pleasure, and many of the Jews, and also many of the Greek element, he led to himself; this man was the Christ. And, when on the accusation of the first men among us Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first loved him did not cease; for he appeared to them on the third day living again, the divine prophets having said these things and myriads of other wondrous things concerning him. And until now the tribe of Christians, named from this man, has not been lacking away. Josephus says such things concerning Christ in the eighteenth volume.” (From Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, The Testimonium Flavianum)

[197] The letter of Lentulus:

“Lentulus, the Governor of the Jerusalemites to the Roman Senate and People, greetings. There has appeared in our times, and there still lives, a man of great power (virtue), called Jesus Christ. The people call him prophet of truth; his disciples, son of God. He raises the dead, and heals infirmities. He is a man of medium size; he has a venerable aspect, and his beholders can both fear and love him. His hair is of the colour of the ripe hazel-nut, straight down to the ears, but below the ears wavy and curled, with a bluish and bright reflection, flowing over his shoulders. It is parted in two on the top of the head, after the pattern of the Nazarenes. His brow is smooth and very cheerful with a face without wrinkle or spot, embellished by a slightly reddish complexion. His nose and mouth are faultless. His beard is abundant, of the colour of his hair, not long, but divided at the chin. His aspect is simple and mature, his eyes are changeable and bright. He is terrible in his reprimands, sweet and amiable in his admonitions, cheerful without loss of gravity. He was never known to laugh, but often to weep. His stature is straight, his hands and arms beautiful to behold. His conversation is grave, infrequent, and modest. He is the most beautiful among the children of men.” (The letter of Lentulus, Catholic Encyclopedia)

[199] J. Spencer Kennard Jr., Gleanings from the Slavonic Josephus Controversy Author(s), The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Oct., 1948), p. 164–165.

[200] Alice Whealey writes:

“More likely, however, the work dates from the medieval period, sometime before the thirteenth century. Although the author(s) of the Slavonic War almost certainly was familiar with the New Testament it is far from clear that he (or they) was an Orthodox Christian, as has been widely assumed. There is some internal evidence within the Slavonic War to suggest that the author(s) may have been a recent Jewish convert to Christianity, a Judaizing Christian, or a Christian convert to Judaism. It has still not been conclusively shown by either Byzantinists or medieval Slavicists whether the original adapter responsible for the interpolations in the Slavonic War was a Greek whose work was merely translated by a medieval Russian, or whether a medieval Russian authored the interpolations, which he then inserted into his translation of Josephus’ Greek War.” (Alice Whealey, The Testimonium Flavianum Controversy from Antiquity to the Present, 2000 SBL Josephus Seminar, p. 7–8)

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 2s – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: Kyrkofädernas kännedom om TF; övriga, Robert Eisler

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Detta är del 2s av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

II. Testimonium Flavianum

Kyrkofädernas kännedom om TF

Om det judiska kriget och Slaviska Josefus med sina respektive tillägg

Robert Eislers negativa porträtt

Robert Eislers teori var den att de slaviska versionerna av Josefus byggde på de första och numera försvunna grekiska utgåvorna av Om det judiska kriget, alltså grekiska översättningar gjorda från de obearbetade utkasten till den arameiska versionen som utkom redan i början av 70-talet. Denna var avsedd för de arameisktalande judarna i öster och tänkt att avskräcka dem från fortsatta revolter mot Rom. Den senare grekiska bevarade versionen var sannolikt delvis omgjord och i första hand avsedd för en grekisk-romersk läsekrets.[188] De kristna som då byggde på ursprungliga Josefus-texter modifierade enligt Eisler i sin tur dessa. Därefter skulle en jude med någon sorts kristen bakgrund i Litauen i mitten av 1200-talet ha översatt de grekiska texterna till gammalryska. I samband därmed skulle denne också ha gjort vissa tillägg. I dag finns dock inte många som håller med Eisler, och de flesta forskare anser att Slaviska Josefus är en medeltida förfalskning.[189]

Hans metod var lika enkel som konsekvent. Josefus måste ha skrivit om Jesus; alternativet vore att utgå ifrån att Jesus antingen inte har funnits eller att hans gärning var av mycket ringa betydelse. Det första scenariot är enligt Eisler extremt osannolikt och det andra något mindre osannolikt men ändå så pass osannolikt att det inte är ett reellt alternativ.[190]

Därför måste Josefus ha skrivit om Jesus även i Om det judiska kriget och detta ha blivit bortplockat av kristna men ändå ha bevarats genom en mängd medeltida citat. Josefus kan rimligen inte ha skrivit uppskattande om Jesus och definitivt inte på det sätt som TF nu föreligger i Judiska fornminnen – i så fall skulle han inte direkt efteråt ha kunnat tala om ytterligare en olycka som drabbat judarna. Kristna skulle å sin sida inte ha uppfunnit något om Jesus som skulle uppfattas som negativt.

Alltså behövde man bara sammanställa allt som skrivits om Jesus och som kan antas ha kommit från Josefus och därefter utmönstra allt som var positivt (och av den anledningen tillagts av kristna). Återstoden skulle därefter rätt väl spegla det Josefus ursprungligen skrev.[191] Det torde räcka med att påpeka det rent subjektiva i den beskrivna urvalsmetodiken för att dess svagheter ska blottläggas och uppenbaras. I vilket fall fick detta till följd att Eisler rekonstruerade TF så långt han ansåg sig förmå med hjälp av alla källor han kunde uppbringa, sådant som antingen förekom i förvanskad form i de övriga tre passagerna om Jesus i Slaviska Josefus eller hos andra kyrkofäder.

Eislers egen rekonstruktion av TF lyder:

”Vid denna tid framträdde (en anledning till nya oroligheter) en viss Jesus, en trollkarl till man, om han alls kan kallas en man (som var den mest vidunderliga av alla män, vilken hans lärjungar kallar en gudsson, som hade utfört underverk på ett sätt som ingen människa någonsin tidigare gjort) … Han var i själva verket en lärare i häpnadsväckande konster för sådana män som accepterar det abnorma med glädje … Och han förförde många judar och också många greker och [var] (betraktades av dem som) Messias … Och när Pilatus, genom en anklagelse från de främsta männen hos oss, hade dömt honom till korset, upphörde inte de som förut beundrat honom att fortsätta (att yra). Ty det föreföll dem som att han, efter att ha varit död i tre dagar, hade visat sig för dem levande igen, just som de gudomligt inspirerade profeterna hade förutsagt – dessa och tiotusen andra underbara ting – rörande honom. Och inte ens nu är stammen av dem som efter honom kallas ’messianister’ utdöd.”[192]

Punkterna […] i Eislers rekonstruerade text är hans egna och utgör passager som han ansåg vara ohjälpligt förlorade, bortom möjlighet till rekonstruktion, men som sannolikt innehöll sådant som kunde utgöra något förskräckligt för judarna. Eisler är nu inte ensam om att rekonstruera TF. Det finns snarare lika många rekonstruktioner som det finns forskare som engagerar sig i frågan. Ett antal av dessa rekonstruktioner finns återgivna i följande fotnot.[193] Genomgående för alla ”återskapanden” är att de saknar textmässigt stöd, bygger på antagandet att Josefus måste ha skrivit om Jesus, samt att de olika forskarna var och en skapar en text som för dem – tack vara små modifieringar – blir tillräckligt acceptabel för att de ska våga tro att Josefus faktiskt kan ha skrivit den.

Utöver att rekonstruera TF försökte Eisler gallra fram annat som Josefus skrivit om Jesus; sådant som antingen förekom i förvanskad form i de övriga tre passagerna om Jesus i Slaviska Josefus eller hos andra kyrkofäder. Så skrev exempelvis Andreas av Kreta (ca 660–740) följande:

”Men juden Josefus berättar också på samma sätt att Herren framträdde med sammanvuxna ögonbryn, vackra ögon, avlångt ansikte, krokig [puckelryggig], välväxt.”[194]

Detta upprepas i liknande ordalag av bland andra Johannes av Damaskus (ca 676–749)[195] och i det grekiska lexikonet Souda från 900-talet.[196]

Utifrån dessa yttranden och det så kallade Lentulusbrevet, sannolikt en apokryfisk skrift från 1200-talet som utges för att vara skrivet av en föregångare till Pilatus, den i övrigt okände romerske ståthållaren över Judeen, Lentulus, gör Eisler en ny rekonstruktion. Lentulusbrevet inleds ungefär som TF, varefter följer en beskrivning av Jesus där han sägs vara av normalstorlek, där hans åskådare både kan frukta och älska honom; där hans hår är vågigt, krullat och ljust och flödar över axlarna, delat i en mittbena som nasariterna; hans ansikte är rynkfritt, hans näsa och mun utan defekter, hans ögon föränderliga och klara, hans skägg ymnigt, etc.[197]

Efter att Eisler strukit allt som är fördelaktigt i beskrivningen av Jesus, och med hjälp av Slaviska Josefus och flera andra texter som exempelvis den skildring Andreas av Kreta ger, skapar han ytterligare en passage som han anser motsvara något som Josefus skrev och där jag nedan citerar inledningen:

Vid den tiden framträdde det också en viss man med magiska krafter, om det är försvarbart att kalla honom en man, vilken (vissa) greker kallar en gudsson, men hans lärjungar den sanne profeten, (vilken sägs) uppväcka de döda och bota alla sjukdomar. Hans karaktär och hans skepnad var en människas, en man med primitivt utseende i mogen ålder, liten till växten, tre alnar lång, puckelryggig med ett avlångt ansikte, stor näsa och sammanvuxna ögonbryn, så att de som ser honom kan förskräckas, med minimal hårväxt (men) med en bena mitt på huvudet i enlighet med nasariternas seder, och med en outvecklad skäggväxt. Han enbart framstod som övermänsklig, (ty) han gjorde vissa häpnadsväckande och spektakulära uppvisningar. Men återigen, om jag betraktar hans alldagliga kroppsbyggnad kan jag (för min del) inte kalla honom en ängel … (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist according to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ’Capture of Jerusalem’ and other Jewish and Christian sources, s. 466–467)[198]

Eisler drog alltså slutsatsen att Josefus hade beskrivit Jesus som en liten, puckelryggig, stornäst och halvt flinskallig man med alldagligt utseende. Eislers ämnesapproach är spännande och intressant men kan väl knappast kallas för vetenskapligt stringent. Mig synes det som att man med Eislers metodik kan bevisa nästan precis vad man vill.

I stället för att som Eisler anta att detta skulle visa på vad Josefus verkligen skrev om Jesus, visar det snarare att kristna (och även andra) inte kunnat låta bli att uppfinna passager om Jesus och kristna och tillskriva dessa Josefus. Man har känt sig manad att ändra och lägga till meningar hos Josefus. En fråga som med nödvändighet måste ställas lyder: Om Slaviska Josefus verkligen skulle ha bevarat äkta Josefusmaterial, hur kommer det sig då att ingen alls känt till detta förrän ungefär ett årtusende senare?

Sammanfattning. Var alla dessa legendariska uppgifter har sitt upphov är svårt att veta. En möjlighet är att de (åtminstone till stor del) kommer från de uppenbart legendariska berättelser som Hegesippos ger uttryck för och där endast brottstycken har bevarats. Eftersom de latinska formerna (H)egesippus och Iosippus (Josefus) är så pass lika, har som visats namnen förväxlats genom historien (se Pseudo-Hegesippos). Ända fram till 1100-talet förekom alla möjliga tillägg och strykningar i Josefus’ texter och så sent som på 1000-talet hade Thomas Gale från Cambridge flera längre grekiska textfragment från Josefus som inte finns med i den bevarade texten.[199]

Alice Whealey betraktar med rätta Slaviska Josefus som en alltigenom medeltida skapelse.[200] Den tillkom för att ge slaverna en historieskildring med fokusering på såväl den kristna historien som det egna folkets särdrag, på samma sätt som tidigare gjorts för den latinska språkgruppen (Pseudo-Hegesippos), den judiska (Josippon), den syriska (Jakob, Theofilos, Mikael, etc.) och den arabiska (Agapius). I detta tillät man sig att lägga till och stryka efter eget skön, så att berättelsen kom att fokusera på de aspekter som var viktiga i den tid och på den plats man levde.

Nedanstående tabell utgör en sammanfattning av hela kapitlet Kyrkofädernas kännedom om TF och är ett försök att åskådliggöra tiden för de olika skrifternas tillkomst och den påverkan som har skett från författare till författare.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-24


[188] Arthur E. Palumbo, Jr., The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Personages of Earliest Christianity, 2004, p. 225–226.

[189] John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, v. 1, New York: Doubleday, 1991, s. 57.

[190] Citatet av Robert Eisler är hämtat från Earl Doherty, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks:

“… these conjectures would seem nothing but a very bold hypothesis: all the same, they would seem infinitely more plausible, even without further support, than the extremely questionable hypothesis of the non-historicity of Jesus, or the little more probable assumption of the essential insignificance of the Gospel events, or Josephus’ unknown private reasons which are held responsible for his passing over in silence what he knew about Jesus, whilst he does not appear to impose upon himself the slightest reserve when he comes to speak of the other messiahs of that troublesome period.” (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ Recently Rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’, 1931, s. 68)

[191] Citatet av Robert Eisler är hämtat från Earl Doherty, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks:

“everything of anti-Christian character, every contemptuous or disparaging allusion to Jesus and his followers, may be regarded offhand as the authentic work of Josephus; every statement exonerating Jesus and favourable to him and his disciples is to be set aside as an interpolation or correction introduced by a Christian reader or copyist.” (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ Recently Rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’, 1931, s. 382)

[192] Robert Eislers rekonstruktion av TF:

“Now about this time arose (an occasion for new disturbances) a certain Jesus, a wizard of a man, if indeed he may be called a man (who was the most monstrous of all men, whom his disciples call a son of God, as having done wonders such as no man hath ever yet done) … He was in fact a teacher of astonishing tricks to such men as accept the abnormal with delight … And he seduced many Jews and many also of the Greek nation and (was regarded by them as) the Messiah … And when, on the indictment of the principal men among us, Pilate had sentenced him to the cross, still those who before had admired him did not cease (to rave). For it seemed to them that having been dead for three days, he had appeared to them alive again, as the divinely-inspired prophets had foretold — these and ten thousand other wonderful things — concerning him. And even now the race of those who are called ‘Messianists’ after him is not extinct.” (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist: According to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’ and the other Jewish and Christian sources, 1931, s. 62)

[193] John P. Meiers rekonstruktion av TF:

“At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following among many Jews and among many of Gentile origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians (named after him) had not died out.” (John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Volume 1, s. 61)

Schlomo Pines’ rekonstruktion av TF:

“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.” (Shlomo Pines, An Arabic version of the Testimonium Flavianum and its implications, 1971, s. 8–10, 16)

Geza Vermes’ rekonstruktion av TF:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man … He performed astonishing feats (and was a teacher of such people as are eager for novelties?) He attracted many Jews and many of the Greeks … Upon an indictment brought by the leading men among us, Pilate sentenced him to the cross, but those who had loved him from the very first did not cease to be attached to him … The tribe of the Christians, named after him, is still in existence.” (Geza Vermes, The Jesus Notice of Josephus reexamined, Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 38, issue 1, 1987)

Paul Winters rekonstruktion av TF:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man … he performed astonishing feats (and was a teacher of such people as are eager for novelties?) He attracted many Jews and many of the Greeks … Upon an indictment brought by leading members of our society, Pilate sentenced him to the cross, but those who had loved him from the very first did not cease to be attached to him … The brotherhood of the Christians named after him, is still in existence.” (Paul Winter, Josephus on Jesus and James i Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.- A.D. 135), edited by Geza Vermes and Fergus Millar; Edinburgh, 1973, Excursus II, s. 437)

James Charlesworths rekonstruktion av TF:

”About this time there was Jesus, a wise man, [if indeed one ought to call him a man]. For he was one who performed surprising works, (and) a teacher of people who with pleasure received the unusual. He stirred up both many Jews and also many of the Greeks. [He was the Christ.] And when Pilate condemned him to the cross, since he was accused by the first-rate men among us, those who had been loving (him from) the first did not cease (to cause trouble), [for he appeared to them on the third day, having life again, as the prophets of God had foretold these and countless other marvelous things about him]. And until now the tribe of Christians, so named from him, is not (yet?) extinct.” (James H. Charlesworth, Jesus within Judaism: new light from exciting archaeological discoveries, Doubleday, 1988)

F. F. Bruces rekonstruktion av TF:

”Now there arose about this time a source of further trouble in one Jesus, a wise man who performed surprising works, a teacher of men who gladly welcome strange things. He led away many Jews, and also many of the Gentiles. He was the so-called Christ. When Pilate, acting on information supplied by the chief men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had attached themselves to him at first did not cease to cause trouble, and the tribe of Christians, which has taken this name from him, is not extinct even today.” (Frederick Fyvie Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1974, s. 39)

Claudia Setzers rekonstruktion av TF:

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, For he was a doer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of those who accept the unusual with pleasure, and won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. When Pilate, heeding the principal men among us, had ordered him to be crucified, those who had loved him in the first place did not cease. On the third day he appeared to them alive again, for the prophets of God foretold these and a myriad of other marvelous things about him. And even now, the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not failed.” (Claudia Setzer, Jewish responses to early Christians: history and polemics, 30-150 C.E., Minneapolis 1994, s. 106–107)

[194] Andreas av Kreta:

”Αλλα και ο Ιουδαιος Ιωσηπος τον αυτον τροπον ιστορει οραθηναι τον κυριον συνοφρυν, ευοφθαλμον, μακροπροσωπον, επικυφον, ευηλικα.”

“But Josephus the Jew also records in the same way that the Lord appeared with joined eyebrows, beautiful eyes, a long countenance, humped over, well grown.” (Från Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Jesus).

[195] Skoliast [författare av korta randanmärkningar i handskrifter] till Johannes av Damaskus, On the Orthodox Faith 4.16:

…επει και Ιωσηπος ο Ιουδαιος, ως τινες φασι… τον αυτον ιστορει τροπον τον κυριον οραθηναι συνοφρυν, ευοφθαλμον, μακροψιν, ειπκυφη τε και ευηλικα.

…since also Josephus the Jew, as some say…. records in the same way that the Lord appeared with joined eyebrows, beautiful eyes, a long aspect [or face], both humped over and well grown. (Från Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Jesus).

[196] Lexikonet Souda:

“Γράφει δὲ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ οὕτως· Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον Ἰησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν Ἰουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο· ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν. καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες· ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτα καὶ ἄλλα μυρία θαυμαστὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰρηκότων. εἴς τε νῦν τὸ τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένον οὐκ ἀπελείπετο φῦλον. τοσαῦτα Ἰώσηπος περὶ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῷ ͵ιηʹ λόγῳ φησίν.”

“And he writes thus concerning our Lord Jesus Christ: And there is about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is necessary to say that he is a man; for he was a doer of miraculous works, a teacher of men who receive true things with pleasure, and many of the Jews, and also many of the Greek element, he led to himself; this man was the Christ. And, when on the accusation of the first men among us Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first loved him did not cease; for he appeared to them on the third day living again, the divine prophets having said these things and myriads of other wondrous things concerning him. And until now the tribe of Christians, named from this man, has not been lacking away. Josephus says such things concerning Christ in the eighteenth volume.” (Från Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, The Testimonium Flavianum)

[197] Lentulusbrevet:

“Lentulus, the Governor of the Jerusalemites to the Roman Senate and People, greetings. There has appeared in our times, and there still lives, a man of great power (virtue), called Jesus Christ. The people call him prophet of truth; his disciples, son of God. He raises the dead, and heals infirmities. He is a man of medium size; he has a venerable aspect, and his beholders can both fear and love him. His hair is of the colour of the ripe hazel-nut, straight down to the ears, but below the ears wavy and curled, with a bluish and bright reflection, flowing over his shoulders. It is parted in two on the top of the head, after the pattern of the Nazarenes. His brow is smooth and very cheerful with a face without wrinkle or spot, embellished by a slightly reddish complexion. His nose and mouth are faultless. His beard is abundant, of the colour of his hair, not long, but divided at the chin. His aspect is simple and mature, his eyes are changeable and bright. He is terrible in his reprimands, sweet and amiable in his admonitions, cheerful without loss of gravity. He was never known to laugh, but often to weep. His stature is straight, his hands and arms beautiful to behold. His conversation is grave, infrequent, and modest. He is the most beautiful among the children of men.” (The letter of Lentulus, Catholic Encyclopedia)

[198] Min översättning är gjord från nedanstående text, vilken kommer från Earl Doherty, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks:

“At that time, too, there appeared a certain man of magical power, if it is permissible to call him a man, whom (certain) Greeks call a son of God, but his disciples the true prophet, (said to) raise the dead and heal all diseases. His nature and his form were human; a man of simple appearance, mature age, small stature, three cubits high, hunchbacked, with a long face, long nose, and meeting eyebrows, so that they who see him might be affrighted, with scanty hair (but) with a parting in the middle of his head, after the manner of the Nazirites, and with an undeveloped beard. Only in semblance was he superhuman, (for) he gave some astonishing and spectacular exhibitions. But again, if I look at his commonplace physique I (for one) cannot call him an angel…” (Robert Eisler, The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist according to Flavius Josephus’ recently rediscovered ’Capture of Jerusalem’ and other Jewish and Christian sources, 1931, s. 466–467)

[199] J. Spencer Kennard Jr., Gleanings from the Slavonic Josephus Controversy Author(s), The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Oct., 1948), s. 164–165.

[200] Alice Whealey skriver:

“More likely, however, the work dates from the medieval period, sometime before the thirteenth century. Although the author(s) of the Slavonic War almost certainly was familiar with the New Testament it is far from clear that he (or they) was an Orthodox Christian, as has been widely assumed. There is some internal evidence within the Slavonic War to suggest that the author(s) may have been a recent Jewish convert to Christianity, a Judaizing Christian, or a Christian convert to Judaism. It has still not been conclusively shown by either Byzantinists or medieval Slavicists whether the original adapter responsible for the interpolations in the Slavonic War was a Greek whose work was merely translated by a medieval Russian, or whether a medieval Russian authored the interpolations, which he then inserted into his translation of Josephus’ Greek War.” (Alice Whealey, The Testimonium Flavianum Controversy from Antiquity to the Present, 2000 SBL Josephus Seminar, s. 7–8)

The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 2r – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: The Church Fathers’ knowledge; miscellanous, Josippon

Part 1
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Part 2a Part 2b Part 2c Part 2d
Part 2e Part 2f Part 2g Part 2h
Part 2i Part 2j Part 2k Part 2l
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Excursus

This is part 2r of the translation of my treatise Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie into English.

Den svenska texten.

II. Testimonium Flavianum

The Church Fathers’ knowledge of the Testimonium

The Jewish War and the Slavonic Josephus with their respective additions

Josippon

Also the Jews created a legendary historical account in Hebrew based on Josephus. That work is called Josippon and is believed to have been written in the tenth century. It depicts the universal history from the time of Adam onwards. Josippon’s main source is probably Pseudo-Hegesippus, which as we know is a Latin paraphrase of Josephus’ Jewish War. In addition, the author uses a number of other sources, among them the Latin versions of the Bible and the Antiquities of the Jews, but then only the first 16 chapters.[185] It is therefore entirely logical that the Testimonium, which is found in Book 18 of the Antiquities of the Jews, is missing in Josippon; and it is hardly – as Alice Whealey argues – due to the fact that the Jewish writer or some later copyist having excluded the Testimonium because they must have assumed that Josephus could not have written the passage in question.[186] But passages about Jesus have also been added to some manuscripts of Josippon, where some things are quite similar to what we find in the Slavonic Josephus, while other passages reflect the traditions found in the Talmud:

“In these days there were many fights and great quarrels in Judea between the Pharisees and the lawless ones in Israel who went after Jesus, the son of Pandera the Nazarene, who performed great wonders in Israel until the Pharisees overpowered him and hanged him on a tree.”[187]

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-23


[185] Louis H. Feldman: Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His writings, and His Significance, 1972, p. 774– 778, in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Hellenistic Judentum in Roman time: Philon and Josephus 21, 2, 1984 by Hildegard Temporini & Wolfgang Haase.

[186] Alice Whealey writes:

“In the High Middle Ages, it was not uncommon for Jewish scholars in Western Europe to argue that the Testimonium Flavianum was a forgery. However, their charge was not based on a critical examination of relevant sources but on their a priori assumptions that a Jewish historian could not have written so favorably about Jesus. Although they cited as evidence the lack of an analogous Testimonium in most copies of the medieval Hebrew adaptation of Josephus’ works, now known as the Josippon, this lacuna was itself a product of such a priori assumptions on the part of its Jewish author and copyists.” (Alice Whealey, The Testimonium Flavianum Controversy from Antiquity to the Present, 2000 SBL Josephus Seminar, s. 2)

[187] Reproduced by Solomon Zeitlin, The Slavonic Josephus and Its Relation to Josippon and Hegessippus, The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 20, No. 1, Jul., 1929, p. 8).

Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, del 2r – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: Kyrkofädernas kännedom om TF; övriga, Josippon

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Exkurs

Detta är del 2r av min avhandling Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus – en fallstudie, vilken jag också publicerar i översättning till engelska.

The English version.

II. Testimonium Flavianum

Kyrkofädernas kännedom om TF

Om det judiska kriget och Slaviska Josefus med sina respektive tillägg

Josippon

Även judarna skapade sig en legendarisk historieskildring av Josefus på hebreiska. Den skriften går under namnet Josippon och tros ha nedtecknats på 900-talet. Däri skildras historien från Adams tid och framåt. Josippons huvudkälla är sannolikt Pseudo-Hegesippos, som ju är en latinsk parafras av Josefus’ Om det judiska kriget. Därutöver nyttjar författaren ett antal andra källor, bland dem latinska versioner av Bibeln och av Judiska fornminnen, fast då endast de 16 första kapitlen.[185] Att TF som förekommer i bok 18 av Judiska fornminnen därför saknas i Josippon är således fullt logiskt och beror näppeligen på, vilket Alice Whealey hävdar är fallet, att den judiske författaren eller någon senare kopist uteslöt TF därför att de måste ha förutsatt att Josefus inte kunde ha skrivit passagen i fråga.[186] Men även i vissa handskrifter av Josippon har passager om Jesus infogats, där somligt påminner om det vi finner i Slaviska Josefus, medan annat speglar de traditioner som förekommer i Talmud:

”På den tiden förekom många gräl och stora stridigheter i Judeen mellan fariseerna och de laglösa i Israel som följde efter Jesus, sonen till nasarenen Pandera, vilken utförde mäktiga under i Israel till dess fariseerna övermannade honom och hängde upp honom på ett träd.”[187]

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-23


[185] Louis H. Feldman: Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His writings, and His Significance, 1972, s. 774– 778, i Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Hellenistic Judentum in Roman time: Philon and Josephus 21, 2, 1984 av Hildegard Temporini & Wolfgang Haase.

[186] Alice Whealey skriver:

“In the High Middle Ages, it was not uncommon for Jewish scholars in Western Europe to argue that the Testimonium Flavianum was a forgery. However, their charge was not based on a critical examination of relevant sources but on their a priori assumptions that a Jewish historian could not have written so favorably about Jesus. Although they cited as evidence the lack of an analogous Testimonium in most copies of the medieval Hebrew adaptation of Josephus’ works, now known as the Josippon, this lacuna was itself a product of such a priori assumptions on the part of its Jewish author and copyists.” (Alice Whealey, The Testimonium Flavianum Controversy from Antiquity to the Present, 2000 SBL Josephus Seminar, s. 2)

[187] Återgivet av Solomon Zeitlin:

“In these days there were many fights and great quarrels in Judea between the Pharisees and the lawless ones in Israel who went after Jesus, the son of Pandera the Nazarene, who performed great wonders in Israel until the Pharisees overpowered him and hanged him on a tree.” (Solomon Zeitlin, The Slavonic Josephus and Its Relation to Josippon and Hegessippus, The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 20, No. 1, Jul., 1929, s. 8).

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