The Jesus Passages in Josephus – a Case Study, part 2i – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: The Church Fathers’ knowledge; The post-Eusebian Greek witnessing, John Chrysostom

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Excursus

This is part 2i 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 post-Eusebian Greek witnessing

After Eusebius in the early fourth century, as the first person known to us, has witnessed the Testimonium by quoting it three times and attributed it to Josephus, it will in the centuries to follow be reproduced a number of times in its original language Greek, often with virtually the same wording. For example, in the writings attributed to the monk Isidore of Pelusium (born in the late 4th cent., dead at the latest in 450 CE),[67] by the Palestinian church historian Salminius Hermias Sozomenus (c. 400–c. 450 CE),[68] in the anonymous Scripta Anonymous Adversus Judaeos (c. 500 CE),[69] by Oecumenius from Asia Minor (c. 600 CE),[70] by Georgius Monachus (two times in the 9th cent.),[71] by the so-called Pseudo-Gregory of Nyssa (9th cent.),[72] by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos (905–959 CE),[73] in the Greek encyclopaedia Souda from the 10th century,[74] by Symeon Logothetes (maybe late 10th century),[75] by the Byzantine historian Georgius Cedrenus (the 11th cent.),[76] and by the Byzantine chronicler Joannes Zonaras (12th cent.).[77]

Shortly after Eusebius. It is not just all the Church Fathers before Eusebius’ time, who fail to mention and thereby to witness the Testimonium. It is also curiously quiet on the Testimonium in the immediate period after Eusebius’ first witnessing. Neither the Christian historian and theologian Paulus Orosius (c. 385-c. 420), nor Bishop Theodore of Mopsuestia (c. 350–428) or for that sake Bishop Augustine of Hippo (354–430) mention the Testimonium. They all quote other things from Josephus and they all have good opportunities and also very good reasons to avail themselves of a Jewish – and thus a non-Christian – testimony from Josephus. Louis Feldman notes that it may be dangerous to argue from silence, “but when it is so highly cumulative as here, it does seem to carry weight”.[78]

John Chrysostom

The Greek writer John Chrysostom (347–407), who first appeared in Antioch in Syria but later became Patriarch of Constantinople, is a particularly interesting (non-)witness. This Father of the Church is very familiar with Josephus’ writings, not least the Antiquities of the Jews. No less than four times does he quote or reproduce episodes from book 18 of the Antiquities of the Jews, where the Testimonium occurs today. He cites the passage on John the Baptist but does not by a single word reveal that the Testimonium should have been in the same book.

In Homily 76, he maintains what at the time was a common Christian belief, namely that Jerusalem was destroyed as a consequence of the Jews having crucified Jesus. To support this he quotes Josephus and his depiction of the city’s destruction, in order to show that the destruction was really horrible.[79] Nor in this context does he mention the Testimonium. He does however write the following:

“For neither can any one say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragical history. For indeed He was both a Jew, and a determined Jew, and very zealous, and among them that lived after Christ’s coming.” (John Chrysostom, Homily 76 on Matthew)[80]

The fact that John Chrysostom writes that Josephus was not a Christian but a zealous Jew, yet fails to mention that he wrote the Testimonium although Chrysostom was demonstrably familiar with the book in which the Testimonium appears, must be given a credible explanation. It seems extremely odd that Chrysostom would have failed to cite the Testimonium if his manuscript of the Antiquities of the Jews also contained the Testimonium. The usual counter-argument, that he has not mentioned the Testimonium as the version of the paragraph in his copy of the Antiquities of the Jews was less exuberant or perhaps even hostile to Jesus, cannot be employed in this case. As Louis H. Feldman writes in his overview of the two passages on Jesus in Josephus, is there “hardly a Church father who is more vehement in his attacks on the Jews“ than Chrysostom. He wrote among other things Kata Ioudaiôn (Against the Jews) where he holds the Jews collectively responsible for Jesus’death. So even if Josephus would have had a negative attitude to Jesus, Chrysostom could hardly have avoided referring to the Testimonium, because then he would have been able to demonstrate Josephus’ treachery and that his negative attitude toward Jesus was typical of the Jews. And if the Testimonium occurred in the normative positive version, he would have been able to quote from it that the Jews had executed Jesus, and accordingly were guilty of his death.[81]

There is also a rather strange statement made by Chrysostom in his Homily 13, in which he claims that Josephus should have imputed the Jewish-Roman war and its horrors to the death of John the Baptist.[82] This is in conflict with the text we now have, where the execution of John is linked to the war of Herod. And it does not support Origen’s and Eusebius’ (which is probably based on Origen’s) statement that Josephus wrote that the destruction of Jerusalem happened to the Jews in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the Just – something which is not found in the surviving text of Josephus.[83] Moreover, in the preserved text it is said that all this happened as a result of what the Idumeans with the help of the Zealots and perhaps foremost the Sicarii – “the dagger men”, a group of Jewish nationalists who assassinated by means of daggers – did to Ananus (the same Ananus who according to the present text of Josephus had James executed).[84] It seems clear that there were many additions made to the manuscripts of Josephus circulating in the ancient Christian world, which clearly strengthens the hypothesis of additions made ​​to an authentic text as well as the hypothesis that everything concerning Jesus is forged.

It is reasonable to imagine that if the Testimonium was interpolated in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, perhaps commencing in the fourth century, and perhaps from a version created by Eusebius, it would take some time before all manuscripts had been “correct”. If Augustine, who served in North Africa around 400 CE, and John Chrysostom, who served in Constantinople about the same time, did not mention the Testimonium despite them having every reason to do so, can it be because the Testimonium had not yet been added to the manuscripts in the East and Southwest? Does the fact Eusebius and later Jerome both referred to the Testimonium depend on where they in turn lived? Eusebius lived in Palestine and Jerome in Syria – not far from each other, and several of those living at the fringes appear, at least at this early stage, to have been unaware of the Testimonium.[85] The question is whether even Jerome had access to a text of Josephus which contained the Testimonium, or if he only relied on Eusebius? As will be shown in the paragraph ahead on “Jerome”, he often quoted Josephus but still reproduces the Testimonium on just one occasion and that in the book which he built on Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, from where he therefore in all likelihood quoted the Testimonium.

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-12


[67] Isidorus, Epistulae [2741.001] 1259/13–24.

”Τί οὖν φησι; ‘Γίγνεται δὲ κατ’ ἐκεῖνον τὸν καιρὸν ᾿Ιησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴ γε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή. ῏Ην γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων· καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν ᾿Ιουδαίους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο. ῾Ο Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν, καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες. ᾿Εφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἄλλα μυρία θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων. Εἰς δὲ τὸ νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον.’” (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

”What then does he say? And there is about that moment 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 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 both these things concerning him and myriads of other wonders. But until now the tribe of Christians, named from this man, has not been lacking.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, The Testimonium Flavianum)

[68] Sozomenus, History of the Church 1:1:5–6:

”Και Ιωσηπος δε ο Ματθιου ο ιερευς, ανηρ παρα τε Ιουδαιοις επιδοξοτατος γενομενος, ετι δε και παρα Ρωμαιοις, αξιοχρεως αν ειη μαρτυς της περι του Χριστου αληθειας. ανδρα μεν γαρ αυτον αποκαλειν οκνει, ως παραδοξων εργων ποιητην και διδασκαλον λογων αληθων, Χριστον δε περιφανως ονομαζει· και τω σταυρω καταδικασθηναι και τριταιον ζωντα φανηναι και αλλα μυρια θαυμασια περι αυτου προειρησθαι τοις θειοις προφηταις ουκ αγνοει. πολλους δε οντας ους επηγαγετο Ελληνας τε και Ιουδαιους επιμειναι αγαπωντας αυτον μαρτυρει, και το απ αυτου ωνομασμενον μη επιλειψαι φυλον.”

”And Josephus also, of Mattathias, a priest, who was a very notable man both among the Jews and still yet among the Romans, might worthily be a testifier concerning the truth of Christ. For he hesitates to call him a man, as a doer of paradoxical works and a teacher of true words, but blatantly names him Christ. And he is not ignorant that he was condemned to a cross and that he appeared on the third day alive and that other myriads of marvelous things were foretold concerning him by the divine prophets. And he testifies that those many whom he led, both Greeks and Jews, remained loving him, and that the tribe named after him was not extinct.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Josephus on the career and execution of Jesus)

[69] Scripta Anonyma Adversus Judaeos 10/347–359:

“πος γὰρ εἷς τῶν παρ’ αὐτοῖς ἐπισήμων ἐπὶ σοφίᾳ—οἶδα δὲ ὅτι ὡς τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μαρτυρήσαντα, μισοῦσι τὸν ἄνθρωπον—ἐν ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ λόγῳ τῆς ᾿Ιουδαϊκῆς ᾿Αρχαιολογίας ῥητῶς τὲ θεότητι καὶ τῷ σταυρῷ καὶ τῇ ἀναστάσει τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν μεμαρτύρηκε. Φησὶ γάρ· Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ᾿Ιησοῦς σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴ γε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τ’ ἀληθῆ δεχομένων· καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν ᾿Ιουδαίους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ προσηγάγετο· 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 θαυμάσια περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰρηκότων· εἴς τε νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φύλον.” (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[70] Oecumenius, Commentarius in Apocalypsin 88/8–20:

“καὶ ὁ ᾿Ιώσηππος ᾿Ιουδαῖος ἀνὴρ καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς ἀληθείας βιαζόμενος, καὶ γράφων περὶ αὐτοῦ ἐν βίβλῳ ᾿Ισραὴλ ᾿Αρχαιολογίας τάδε· γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον᾿Ιησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τ’ ἀληθῆ λεγομένων· καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν ᾿Ιουδαίους, πολλοὺς δὲ ἐκ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ προσηγάγετο. 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 θαύματα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰρηκότων. εἰσέτι τε νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπεν φῦλον·”. (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[71] Georgius Monachus, Chronicon 324/7–325/15:

”τοῦτον γὰρ ῾Ηρώδης κτείνει ἀγαθὸν ἄνδρα καὶ τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις κελεύοντα ἀρετὴν ἐπασκοῦσι καὶ τὰ πρὸς ἀλλήλους δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εὐσεβείᾳ χρωμένους βαπτισμῷ συνιέναι. περὶ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ πάλιν φησίν· γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον ᾿Ιησοῦς, ἀνὴρ σοφός, εἴ γε ἄνδρα λέγειν αὐτὸν χρή. ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητὴς καὶ διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἑλληνισμοῦ ἐπηγάγετο. ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν. καὶ αὐτὸν ἐν δόξῃ τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐξεπαύσαντο οἱ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες. φάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια προειρηκότων. εἰς ἔτι καὶ νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλειπε τὸ φῦλον. ταῦτα τοῦ ἐξ ῾Εβραίων συγγραφέως ἀνέκαθεν διεξελθόντος, ποίαν ἀπολογίαν ἢ συγγνώμην ἔχουσιν ἀνοηταίνοντες οἱ ἐμβρόντητοι ᾿Ιουδαῖοι.” (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

Georgius Monachus, Chronicon breve 110:387/43–388/11:

“περὶ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ πάλιν ἔφη. ‘Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον ᾿Ιησοῦς, ἀνὴρ σοφὸς, εἴγε ἄνδρα λέγειν αὐτὸν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητὴς καὶ διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν 388 ᾿Ιουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ ῾Ελληνισμοῦ ἀπηγάγετο. ῾Ο Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν· καὶ αὐτὸν, ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν, σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ πρὸ τοῦ κτείνειν ἀγαπήσαντες. ᾿Εφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια προειρηκότων. Εἰσέτι καὶ νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον.’ Ταῦτα τοῦ ἐξ ῾Εβραίων συγγραφέως διεξελθόντος, ποίαν ἀπολογίαν ἢ συγγνώμην ἔχουσιν ἀνοηταίνοντες οἱ ἐμβρόντητοι ᾿Ιουδαῖοι”. (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[72] Pseudo-Gregorius Nyssenus, Theognosia (Liber de cognitione dei) [2017.077 in Thesaurus Linguae Graecae] Volume 130, p. 272, lines 36–49:

”Φησὶ δὲ καὶ ὁ ῾Εβραῖος ᾿Ιώσηπος κατὰ τὸν ὀκτωκαιδέκατον τόμον τῆς ᾿Αρχαιολογίας αὐτοῦ· Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ᾿Ιησοῦς σοφὸς ἄνθρωπος, εἴπερ ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή. ῏Ην γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητὴς, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο. ῾Ο Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν, καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν καθήλωσαν ᾿Ιουδαῖοι σταυρῷ, ἐπιτετιμηκότος πιλάτου. Οὐκ ἐξεπαύσαντο δὲ οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες τὰ αὐτοῦ καταγγέλλειν. ᾿Εφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων.” (Liber de cognitione dei).

“The unknown author of the lost Theognosia falsely attributed to Gregory of Nyssa can be dated, now that another of his works, the Commentary on St. John, which clearly belongs to the ninth century (ie the time after the iconoclastic era), has been discovered. A marginal scholium to this book, in the hand of the scribe refers to the Theognosia as an earlier work of the same author. The large fragments that Euthymius Zigabenus quotes from the Theognosia in his great Panoplia dogmatiké should therefore no longer be printed among the fragments of Gregory of Nyssa.” (Werner Wilhelm Jaeger, Two rediscovered works of ancient Christian literature: Gregory of Nyssa and Macarius, 1954, note 5, p. 82–83).

[73] Constantinus VII Porphyrogenitus, De virtutibus et vitiis 1:84/17–26:

“Γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τὸν χρόνον πιλάτου ἡγεμονεύοντος ῾Ιεροσολύμων ᾿Ιησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴ γε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων· καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν ᾿Ιουδαίους πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ 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 θαυμάσια περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰρηκότων. εἴς τε νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον.” (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[74] Souda, iota 503/16–31:

”οὗτος ἐν τῇ ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῃ τῆς ᾿Αρχαιολογίας βίβλῳ φανερῶς ὁμολογεῖ διὰ τὸν ὄγκον τῶν σημείων τὸν Χριστὸν ἐσφάχθαι παρὰ ᾿Ιουδαίων καὶ ᾿Ιωάννην τὸν βαπτιστὴν ἀληθῶς γεγενῆσθαι προφήτην καὶ διὰ τὴν σφαγὴν ᾿Ιακώβου τοῦ ἀποστόλου τὰ ῾Ιεροσόλυμα πεπορθῆσθαι. γράφει δὲ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ οὕτως· γίνεται δὲ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ᾿Ιησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴ γε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων, καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ 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 ωνομασμένον οὐκ ἀπελείπετο φῦλον. τοσαῦτα ᾿Ιώσηπος περὶ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῷ ιηʹ λόγῳ φησίν.” (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[75] Symeon Logothetes, Chronicon 59/9–20:

”᾿Επὶ Τιβερίου ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν ᾿Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐν τῷ πεντεκαιδεκάτῳ ἔτει αὐτοῦ βαπτίζεται, ἐν δὲ τῷ ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ ἔτει τὸ σωτήριον ὑπέστη πάθος, ἐν ἔτει ͵εφλγʹ. γράφει δὲ καὶ ᾿Ιώσηπος περὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν “ἔτι κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν καιρὸν ἦν ᾿Ιησοῦς σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴ γε αὐτὸν ἄνδρα λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητὴς καὶ διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν ἐν ἡδονῇ τὰ ἀληθῆ δεχομένων.” πολλοὺς γὰρ καὶ ἀπὸ ῾Ελλήνων ηγάγετο. ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν ὃν πιλάτος σταυρώσας οὐκ ἐξεπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον αὐτὸν ἀγαπήσαντες· ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων.” (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[76] Georgius Cedrenus, Compendium of History (TLG 344:16–345:13):

“Φησι δε Ευσεβιος οτι τω ιεʹ ετει Τιβεριου βαπτιζεται ο κυριος ημων Ιησους Χριστος, συνωδα τω ευαγγελιω, και εν τω ιηʹ το σωτηριον υπεστη παθος, εν ετει του κοσμου ͵εφλθʹ. γραφει δε και Ιωσηπος περι μεν Ιωαννου του βαπτιστου ταυτα· Τισι των Ιουδαιων εδοκει διολωλεναι τον Ηρωδου στρατον υπο θεου και μαλα δικαιαν τιννυμενου δικην δια ποινην Ιωαννου του καλουμενου βαπτιστου. τουτον γαρ Ηρωδης κτεινει αγαθον ανδρα και τοις Ιουδαιοις κελευοντα αρετην επασκειν και τα προς αλληλους δικαιοσυνη και τα προς θεον ευσεβεια χρησθαι και συνιεναι βαπτισμον. περι δε του Χριστου παλιν ο αυτος φησιν οτι κατα τον καιρον τουτον Ιησους ο σοφος ανηρ ην, ειγε ανδρα λεγειν αυτον εχρην, ην γαρ παραδοξων εργων ποιητης και διδασκαλος ανθρωπων των εν ηδονη ταληθη δεχομενων· πολλους γαρ και απο Ελληνων ηγαγετο Χριστος. ον Πιλατου σταυρωσαντος ουκ επαυσαντο κηρυσσοντες περι αυτου οι το πρωτον αυτον αγαπησαντες μαθηται, εφανη γαρ αυτοις τριτην ημεραν εχων παλιν ζων, των θειων προφητων ταυτα τε και αλλα μαρτυρησαντων περι αυτου θαυμασια και ειρηκοτων. ουτος ο Τιβεριος ακουσας τα περι του Χριστου θαυματα ηβουληθη δια βασιλικου τυπου αναγορευσαι αυτον θεον, αλλ αντεπραχθη τουτω παρα της συγκλητου, καθως ουν Ευσεβιος λεγει.”

“And Eusebius says that in the fifteenth year of Tiberius our Lord Jesus Christ is baptized, in harmony with the gospel, and in the eighteenth year the salvific passion took place, in year 5539 of the world. And Josephus also writes these things concerning John the baptist as follows: It seemed to some of the Jews that the destruction of the army of Herod was from God, and that he was penalized most justly on account of his punishment of John, called the baptist. For Herod killed this good man who also commanded the Jews to exercise virtue and to employ justice toward one another and devotion toward God, and to come to baptism. But concerning Christ, again the same [author] says that at about this time there was Jesus, the wise man, if it be permitted to call him a man, for he was a doer of paradoxical works and a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure; for Christ led over many even from the gentiles. When Pilate had crucified him, the disciples who had first loved him did not stop preaching concerning him, for he appeared to them the third day living again, the divine prophets having testified and spoken both these things and other wonders concerning him. This Tiberius heard the wonders concerning Christ and wished through his royal seal to proclaim him god, but he was resisted in this by the senate, just as Eusebius therefore says.” (Ben C. Smith, Text Excavation, Josephus on the career and execution of Jesus)

[77] Johannes Zonaras, Epitome historiarum (lib. 1–12), 2:13/14–13/1:

”Κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν καιρὸν καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ θεὸς ᾿Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐν ᾿Ιουδαίᾳ ἐφάνη, περὶ οὗ ταῦτα κατὰ λέξιν φησὶν ὁ ᾿Ιώσηπος ἐν τῷ ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ λόγῳ τῆς ᾿Αρχαιολογίας. ’γίνεται δὴ κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον ᾿Ιησοῦς, σοφὸς ἀνήρ, εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή· ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής, διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων τῶν σὺν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων· καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν ᾿Ιουδαίους, πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο. ὁ Χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν. καὶ αὐτὸν ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος πιλάτου, οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο οἱ τὸ πρῶτον αὐτὸν ἀγαπήσαντες. ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν πάλιν ζῶν, τῶν θείων προφητῶν ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία περὶ αὐτοῦ θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων. εἰσέτι νῦν τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀπὸ τοῦδε ωνομασμένων οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον.’ Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν ἀρχαιολογῶν ὁ ᾿Ιώσηπος ἔγραψε περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ· ἐν δὲ τῷ πρὸς ῞Ελληνας αὐτοῦ λόγῳ, …”. (Stephen C. Carlson on FRDB)

[78] Louis H. Feldman writes:

”The argumentum ex silentio may be dangerous, but when it is so highly cumulative as here, it does seem to carry weight.” (Louis H. Feldman: Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His writings, and His Significance. 1972, p. 823–824 in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Hellenistic Judentum in Roman time: Philon and Josephus 21,2, 1984 by Hildegard Temporini & Wolfgang Haase).

[79] Frank B. Zindler, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew (2004), p. 45–48.

[80] John Chrysostom writes:

“For neither can any one say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragical history. For indeed He was both a Jew, and a determined Jew, and very zealous, and among them that lived after Christ’s coming.” (John Chrysostom, Homily 76)

[81] Louis H. Feldman writes:

“The evidence of John Chrysostom is of particular value, since he cites book 18 of the ‘Antiquities’, including the passage about John the Baptist, on four occasions, but not the ‘Testimonium’. Since there is hardly a Church father who is more vehement in his attacks on the Jews, if Josephus had had a negative portrayal of Jesus, it seems likely that he would have cited this to strengthen his tirades against the Jews. Conversely, if the ‘Testimonium’ had been positive, he might well have cited it to show that the Jews were guilty of the crime deicide.” (Louis H. Feldman: Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His writings, and His Significance, 1972, p. 823, in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Hellenistic Judentum in Roman time: Philon and Josephus 21, 2, 1984 by Hildegard Temporini & Wolfgang Haase).

[82] John Chrysostom writes:

“The Evangelist is very full in making frequent mention of John, and often bearing about his testimony. And this he does not without a reason, but very wisely; for all the Jews held the man in great admiration, (even Josephus imputes the war to his death; and shows, that, on his account, what once was the mother city, is now no city at all, and continues the words of his encomium to great length,) and therefore desiring by his means to make the Jews ashamed, he continually reminds them of the testimony of the forerunner.” (John Chrysostom, Homily 13 on the Gospel of John)

[83] Earl Doherty, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks; Jesus: Neither God Nor Man – The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009), p. 540–541.

[84] Flavius Josephus writes:

”I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city …” (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 4:314)

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