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
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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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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)


1 kommentar

  1. Ed-M said,

    22 maj, 2011 den 01:31

    Ya clinched it! :) The Testimonium Flavinium is an obvious forgery, was recognised as such in the Nineteenth Century and it is only due to Evangelical Christian pushback IMO that the present-day consensus holds the mistaken belief that it’s just an embellishment of what Josephus actually wrote.

    Do the majority os scholars not realise that the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers and the Post-Nicene Fathers who did not have the tampered Antiquities at hand would have KILLED to have such a passage to clobber their opponents with? I can imagine Dialogue with Tryphone had Justin Martyr had access to it, whatever its shape and form.



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