Marginalanteckningar, klotter och oavsiktliga tillägg i gamla handskrifter

I kommentarerna till inlägget Kommentarer till docent Cecilia Wasséns föreläsning ”Har Jesus funnits?”; del 4, att evangelierna inte är trovärdiga källor har jag klargjort något om marginalanteckningar i gamla handskrifter. För att detta inte ska drunkna i mängden av övriga inlägg beslutade jag att lyfta ut vissa delar och redigera materialet till ett eget inlägg.

Rent generellt kan sägas att gamla handskrifter använts flitigt och att de ofta är bemängda med vad som inte sällan förefaller vara ”klotter”. Man har genom århundradena skrivit, inte bara i marginalerna, ovanför, under och på sidorna om den löpande texten, utan också mellan raderna. Dessa tillägg till den ursprungliga texten har gjorts av olika personer, vid olika tidpunkter och av skilda skäl.

Ibland består tilläggen tillsynes bara av klotter, och det är inte omedelbart givet vad som avses. Ibland rör det sig om anteckningar gjorda av andra anledningar som exempelvis 1) förtydliganden, 2) noteringar ungefär som bokmärken för att man lättare ska kunna återfinna ett visst textparti (detta i en text som i äldre tider skrevs med enbart stora bokstäver och utan mellanrum mellan såväl ord som meningar) och 3) ändringar eller enbart tillägg eftersom handskriften ansågs ha saknat något, varit ofullständig.

I bilden inunder återges Testimonium Flavianum i den äldsta bevarade handskriften av den senare delen av Josefus’ Judiska fornminnen; Codex Ambrosianus (Mediolanensis) F. 128 från tiohundratalet.

Ambrosianus2

Testimonium Flavianum börjar på rad 4 med Γίνεται (uppstår) och slutar på sista raden med φῦλον (stam). I marginalen till höger finns skrivet bland annat Χς (eller möjligen Χυ), en förkortning och ett nomen sacrum (latin heligt namn) av Χ[ριστό]ς (Ch[risto]s), och sannolikt en markering för att läsaren lättare ska hitta stycket om Kristus i handskriften. Det är alltså en sorts bokmärke. Dessutom finns annat ”klottrat” som jag inte har lyckats uttyda vad det betyder. Det bildar inget begripligt för mig.

Vid kopierandet av handskrifter begicks ofta fel. Orsakerna kunde vara många. Exempelvis kunde två på varandra följande meningar avslutas med samma ord (ett eller flera), och när kopisten avslutat kopieringen av den övre meningen och tittade upp för att återfinna var i förlagan han var, råkade han av misstag hamna på den undre raden och därmed utelämna en hel rad eller mening. Ibland har kopisten inte ens förstått det han kopierat utan bara skrivit av bokstav för bokstav och åstadkommit något meningslöst. Det var säkerligen ett både monotont och tröttsamt jobb och när koncentrationen brast uppstod felavskrivningar.

När sådana fel upptäcktes (genom exempelvis jämförelser med andra handskrifter) lät man som regel införa rättelser. Saknades text lät man lägga till denna saknade text, antingen mellan raderna, men oftare (jag tror att det är vanligare) i marginalen utanför den rad där det skulle infogas. När man senare skulle göra en kopia av handskriften var kopisten tvungen att ta ställning till marginalanteckningarna och avgöra om dessa skulle infogas i den nya avskriften eller om det bara var andra anteckningar. Det fanns ingen standardiserad metod för att avgöra om de senare gjorda tilläggen bara var noteringar gjorda i marginalen, vanligt klotter eller tillägg som i efterhand infogats för att text av misstag hade fallit bort i samband med att förlagan tillkom.

Hade kopisten ingen annan handskrift att tillgå blev det till att chansa. I dag kan vi genom jämförelser av många bevarade handskrifter följa denna process och se att det ofta begicks fel, så att sådant som tillhörde texten utelämnades i tron att det inte gjorde det och att sådant som inte tillhörde texten ändå infogades eftersom det antogs att det verkligen tillhörde texten. Det finns otaliga exempel på detta och exempelvis fann Miroslav Marcovich vid en långt ifrån fullständig genomgång 33 sådana misstag i verk av kyrkofäder.[1]

Bilden inunder är från Codex Vossianus, Graec. F 72 från tidigt 1400-tal. Handskriften innehåller Josefus’ Om det judiska kriget. Men här har man infogat också Testimonium Flavianum trots att den passagen inte förekommer i det verket av Josefus.

Testimonium_Flavianum_JW_Codex_Vossianus.PNG

I just detta fall finns Testimonium Flavianum infogat inne i texten mellan 2:167 och 2:168. Testimonium Flavianum börjar längst till höger på rad 2. Efter interpolationen har också annan text infogats av en annan skribent och denna text senare strukits över. Till höger om den löpande texten finns en hel del annat inskrivet. (Tillägg 2016-02-14. Jag har lagt till ett längre citat från Robert Eislers The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist i slutet av denna artikel; ett citat vari han redogör för strykningarna och tilläggen i bilden ovan. Slut tillägg.)  Längst upp där Testimonium Flavianum börjar finns skrivet något om Jesus Kristus’ martyrium med de inledande bokstäverna i Testimonium Flavianum inringade, uppenbarligen för att markera var någonstans stycket om Jesus finns.

Om vi då vänder oss till Josefus och tänker oss ett hypotetiskt scenario. Josefus har ursprungligen skrivit om avrättningen av ”brodern till Jesus vars namn var Jakob och några andra”, eller som ett andra alternativ om ”en vars namn var Jakob och några andra”. En kristen person som läser detta antar att denne Jakob, eller Jakob, brodern till Jesus, avser den kristne Jakob. Eftersom det då är en för honom betydelsefull passage och han inte som i dag kan vika hörnet på sidan för att kunna återfinna just detta ställe i verket, låter han som förtydligande att det avser Jesus Kristus (som han felaktigt tror) och som bokmärke i marginalen skriva antingen ”som kallades Kristus” eller ”Jesus som kallades Kristus” (allt beroende på vad Josefus ursprungligen skrev). Det kan liknas vid marginalanteckningarna i båda bilderna ovan.

När denna handskrift senare ska kopieras står kopisten inför ett avgörande beslut. Hör detta i marginalen till den ursprungliga texten? Har den blivit korrupt och någon har återställt den genom detta tillägg? Eller, är tillägget blott en notering som inte ska tagas med? Han har då gjort den felaktiga bedömningen att det tillhörde texten och tagit med det. Detta är en procedur som vi genom många exempel kan visa har skett i andra sammanhang.

Ett möjligt, och rent av troligt scenario, är att Origenes själv har gjort en sådan notering i den handskrift av Josefus som han hade tillgång till i biblioteket i Caesarea där han var föreståndare, en handskrift som hans efterföljare på den posten, Eusebios av Caesarea, rimligen också hade tillgång till. Efter att Origenes skrivit att Jerusalem ödelades för att straffa judarna för att de hade dödat Jakob, en uppgift han trodde sig ha läst hos Josefus men egentligen hade läst hos Hegesippos, sökte Origenes genom Josefus’ verk utan att hitta passagen han sökte. Det enda han fann var stycket om Jakob i Judiska fornminnen 20:200 och där stod kanske bara ”brodern till Jesus vars namn var Jakob”. Origenes, eller någon efter honom, lät då skriva ”som kallades Kristus” i marginalen.

Eusebios, som verkade i samma bibliotek som sin föregångare Origenes, fann stycket om att Jakobs död orsakat Jerusalems fall enbart hos Origenes och återgav det med Origenes’ uppgift att Josefus hade skrivit det. Dessutom fann han (och återgav också) stycket om en annan Jakobs död i samma handskrift av Josefus som den Origenes använt, men då med Origenes’ tillägg. Eller möjligen hade Eusebios en avskrift av den handskrift Origenes använt och där Origenes’ tillägg hade infogats.

Eusebios kom av den anledningen att återge två passager hos Josefus om Jakob. Den ena som han fann hos Origenes men inte hos Josefus. Han litade dock på Origenes och lät i likhet med Origenes uppge att Josefus skrivit detta utan att (precis som Origenes) uppge var Josefus skrivit detta. I båda fallen ett undantag från författarnas normala sätt, där de som regel uppgav varifrån de fått sina uppgifter. Den andra passagen som Eusebios återgav fann han hos Josefus med Origenes’ tillägg (gjort i god tro), antingen i marginalen så att Eusebios antog att det hörde till det Josefus skrivit, eller, om han hade en avskrift av Origenes’ handskrift, inne i den löpande texten eftersom kopisten redan hade infogat Origenes’ marginalanteckning.

Det var flera som blandade ihop Josefus med Hegesippos eftersom namnen återgavs så likartat, framför allt på latin. Iosippus (=Josefus), Egesippus (=Hegesippos). Man läser ett verk som uppges vara författat av Egesippus och tror att det är Josefus. Det huvudsakliga skälet till att tro att det gått till på detta sätt är att Hegesippos’ skildring stämmer så väl med det Origenes uppger att Josefus har skrivit, i kombination med att inget sådant förekommer i Josefus’ bevarade skrifter.

Ett i detta sammanhang belysande exempel på hur Josefus och Hegesippos blandades samman är Pseudo-Hegesippus från slutet av 300-talet; ett verk där Testimonium Flavianum parafraseras. Verket går under namnet Pseudo-Hegesippus eftersom det en gång antogs ha skrivits av Hegesippos/Hegesippus. Men så är inte fallet. I stället är det en mycket fri latinsk sammanfattning av huvudsakligen Josefus’ Om det judiska kriget. Sannolikt benämndes det därför Ioseppus och detta kom att tolkas som om det avsåg Hegesippus.

Så att marginalanteckningar avsedda enbart som markörer av misstag kom att uppfattas som om de skulle infogas i texten i samband med att handskrifter kopierades, var inte ovanligt.

I en artikel från 2014 går Levenson och Martin igenom de bevarade latinska handskrifterna som innehåller Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus.[2] Artikeln finns att läsa här: Latin_Translations_of_Josephus.pdf. När det gäller Testimonium Flavianum konstaterar de att alla handskrifter utom två har ordalydelsen ”Christus hic erat”, det vill säga ”han var Christus”. Undantagen är två handskrifter i Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Den ena, München Clm 6383, är från slutet av 700-talet. I denna handskrift är Christus hic erat (han var Kristus) överstruket och längs ned på sidan står et credebatur esse Christus, det vill säga han förmodades vara Kristus. Det är samma ordalydelse som hos Hieronymus. Den andra handskriften, München Clm 6381, är senare, från början av 800-talet, och Levenson och Martin menar att det sannolikt är en avskrift av Clm 6383. Här har kopisten bytt ut Christus hic erat mot et credebatur esse Christus, ”han förmodades vara Kristus” i den löpande texten. Enligt Levenson och Martin har ändringen nästan helt säkert tillkommit genom att kopisten var bekant med Hieronymus’ version och litade på dennes auktoritet, och därför ändrade i texten.[3]

Hade vi nu inte haft den äldre texten München Clm 6383 från slutet av 700-talet, där man tydligt ser att ursprungstexten är utbytt, utan bara haft München Clm 6381 från början av 800-talet, där inga spår av ändringen står att finna, skulle vi ha kunnat förledas till att tro att vi bevittnar en alternativ läsart. Denna skulle givetvis åberopas som ett bevis på att detta var den ursprungliga läsarten även hos Josefus.

Levenson och Martin skrev också uppskattande om min Internetartikel The Jesus Passages in Josephus: A Case Study.

In addition to the vast quantity of printed publications pertaining to this passage, in recent years online sites have provided the home for a wide array of scholarly (and not so scholarly) discussions and some very helpful collections of primary texts.[3]

[3] An extensive collection of ancient and medieval texts relevant to the Testimonium in the original languages (Greek and Latin only) and English translations of Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Arabic texts can be found at Ben Smith’s “TextExcavation” site (http://www.textexcavation.com/josephustestimonium.html). For a helpful survey, see Peter Kirby, “Testimonium Flavianum,” at the “Early Christian Writings” site (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html), which also contains a number of links to other online materials concerning the Testimonium (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/josephus.html). A detailed analysis can be found at the website of Roger Viklund, “The Jesus Passages in Josephus: A Case Study” (https://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/the-jesus-passages-in-josephus-%E2%80%93-a-case-study-part-1-%E2%80%93-abstract-and-biography), which provides an English version of his Swedish study, “Jesuspassagerna hos Josefus—en fallstudie,” also available online (http://www.jesusgranskad.se/Josefus3.htm).[4]

Tillägg 2016-02-14:

Det följande är vad Robert Eisler skriver i The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist according to Flavius Josephus’ Recently Rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’ and the Other Jewish and Christian Sources (London: Methuen, 1931), s. 68–73. Han menar att Josefus måste ha skrivit något om Jesus men att detta redigerats bort av kristna, såvida vi inte ska anta, den enligt Eisler extremt osannolika hypotesen att Jesus inte har funnits eller de endast något mindre osannolika hypoteserna att antingen Jesus varit en obetydlig person eller att Josefus av personliga skäl underlåtit att nämna Jesus. Den version av Testimonium Flavianum som förekommer i Judiska Fornminnen anser Eisler att Josefus omöjligen kan ha skrivit.

ROBERT EISLER:

So far, let us repeat, 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.

However that may be­—and it is only fair to admit that we cannot arrive at any higher degree of probability on this point without the utilization of further material hitherto neglected, which will be analysed in the following chapters—it is certainly a noteworthy fact that Josephus’ silence about Jesus in the Jewish War was felt to be a defect at quite an early period, with the result that attempts were made to remedy this state of affairs by a bold insertion of the Testimonium into the War. The reason for this procedure, which we shall analyse presently on the basis of the reproduction given in Pl. VI., is easy to see. Of course, for the ῾Ιστορíαι, the Collected Works of Josephus, his silence about Jesus in the War was of no importance, since the Testimonium passage in the Antiquities fully supplied the need of Christian readers. But it was quite different for the separate editions of the War, the popularity of which is attested by a considerable number of MSS. Here the pious would very certainly miss a reference to the Naṣōraean Messiah, and the obvious remedy was simply to insert in some appropriate place in the War the passages concerning the Baptist and Jesus as found in the Antiquities. In one group of MSS. this insertion was done in a very mechanical manner, the passages in question being put either at the beginning or at the end of the MS. In the Codex Vossianus, now in the University Library of Leyden, on the other hand, we have the Testimonium at the end of the second book of the War, followed by a number of curious supplementary lines subsequently deleted (see P1. VI.), and unidentified by Niese. The whole insertion is not the work of the scribe but an addition written by a second hand, from which it follows that the original scribe had purposely left a blank for such an insertion. Of the curious fact that the space thus provided was far too large for the insertion of the usual Testimonium Flavianum I can offer no other explanation than that the scribe found a passage of just this length in his original, blotted out by some censor in the brutal way which can be seen on fig. VII. Yet it is quite impossible that the deleted passage in question could have contained anything resembling the text filled in by the second scribe, to wit, the Testimonium, for in that case there would have been no reason for the interference of a Christian censor. Nor could it have contained anything about Jesus at all. For since the beginning of Pilate’s governorship is not mentioned before § 169, that is, at the beginning of the fifth line from the bottom of fig. VI., it follows that the space preceding line eighteen, that is, preceding the sentence reporting the beginning of Tiberius’ principate, must have dealt with some event or events falling into the last years of the reign of Augustus, whose death (A.D. 15) is mentioned at the top of § 168—more exactly, something fitting in between the death of Salome (A.D. 9–12) and the death of Augustus.

A closer comparison of the two texts, the Antiquities and the War, will furnish the clue. In Ant., xviii. 31, the death of Salome is mentioned as occurring in the governorship of Marcus Ambibulus (or Ambivius), the successor of Coponius. Now, oddly enough, in the Greek War no Roman governor is mentioned between Coponius (ii. § 117) and Pilate (ii. § 169), an omission which cannot but arouse our suspicion if we remember, as pointed out above (p. 17 f.), the tampering on the part of the Christians with this very chapter of the Antiquities. The object of these alterations, it will be recalled, was to falsify the true chronology of events so as to conceal the true date of the Passion. As a consequence the paragraphs dealing with Pilate’s predecessors had likewise to be ‘doctored,’ or, if this seemed too difficult, deleted outright, in the Jewish War. A comparison of the two texts will easily show what has been suppressed in the extant text of the War.

Eisler_table

Were it not for the curious blank in the Codex Vossianus, one might be led to think that Josephus had at first been ignorant of the names and accomplishments of Marcus Ambibulus, Annius Rufus, and Valerius Gratus, and only in his later work had corrected this trifling omission. Yet in the light of this very blank it is much more probable that the passage thus deleted contained Josephus’ account of the three administrations in question. Such a passage, giving a short summary of the chief transactions of the three governors, something like what we find in Ant., xviii. 34 sq., would very well fill the blank. It had to be deleted to make possible the chronological falsification referred to above. Even so, it is to be noted that the extant text of the War does not give an impression as though a period of ten years had elapsed between the accession of Tiberius and the nomination of Pilate. On the contrary, one is led to think that Pilate was the first governor appointed by Tiberius, coming to Judaea immediately after the death of Augustus.

As for the guess of the second scribe in filling the blank, it is plausible enough that he assumed the gap in question to have been caused by an expurgation of the Testimonium. He simply concluded that the obliteration in his original was the work of some mischievous Jew, a former owner of the MS. As a matter of fact, we shall see below (pp. 93 sqq.) that it was precisely this explanation which Robert of Cricklade, Giraldus Cambrensis, and Cardinal Baronius gave for the absence of the corresponding lines in the Hebrew version of Josephus. His readiness to insert the Testimonium in just this place merely proves that he took the crucial expression γíνεται in the sense of ‘ at that time was born Jesus, a wise man,’ etc. A statement to the effect that the Messiah was born in the reign of Augustus would have seemed to him to be in perfect harmony with the chronology in Luke ii. 1 sqq. Since the six lines of the Testimonium were, however, too short to fill the blank left by the first scribe, the reviser saw fit to add the following lines :

‘All the righteous and the unrighteous will be led before the divine Logos ; for to him has the Father given the judgment. And, fulfilling the will of the Father, he whom we call the Christ will appear as judge. For not even over you, ye Greeks, Minus and Rhadamanthys will be judges, but he whom God the Father has glorified. About him we have spoken elsewhere with more detail, to those who are seeking the truth. He will administer to each one the right judgment of the Father, and prepare what will be just to each according to his deeds. And when he giveth judgment all men, angels, arid demons will be present and exclaim with one voice, saying : Just is thy decision. And the resounding of this voice will bring what is just to each party : to those who have acted well it will justly convey everlasting delight ; to the lovers of evil, however, eternal punishment. And for those an inextinguishable and never-ending fire is waiting, and a fiery worm, who will not destroy the body but out of an unperishing body pain will erupt and never leave them.’

As will be remembered, both the late Théodore Reinach and Dr. E. Norden have found ‘ almost the whole ’ apostolic creed in the famous Testimonium. This latest addition, then, makes Josephus testify not only to the messianic dignity of Jesus, but furthermore to the truth of the belief that in the future he will ‘ come again with glory to judge the living and the dead,’ which is rather more than could reasonably be expected from an historian such as Josephus was, and from a Jew to boot.

As a matter of fact, this last interpolation was too much of a good thing even for a certain Byzantine scribe, who crossed out the paragraph in question and added the following amusing comment on the right-hand margin (Pl. VIII.) :

‘The reader should know that this matter is rightly expurgated by us, since we either find it in other copies nor is it quoted by any one of the doctors of the Church of Christ. Neither is it quoted by the later historian copying the Haldsis. Nevertheless, (the same) is found in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities.’

This simply proves that the second scribe of the Leyden MS. merely copied the queer addition from an interpolation he found in the Antiquities.

Niese had confessed his inability to locate the source of this extraneous matter. Linck appears to have been the first to notice that it is a paragraph taken from the treatise ‘ On the Essence of the Universe ’ (περì τῆς τοῦ παντὸς οὐσίας), wrongly ascribed to Josephus by John Philoponos (A.D. 475–540), John of Damascus (c. 700–754), and John Zonaras (died after 1118), and printed in Havercamp’s Josephus.

The true author of this treatise is beyond any doubt the schismatic Bishop Hippolytus of Rome (the adversary of Pope Callistus), who died some time about A.D. 235. This fact was known to the learned Photius, who had correctly noticed the author’s self-quotation in Philosophoumena, x. 32. The title is mentioned in the list of Hippolytus’ works on the throne of his statue in the Lateran Museum. The attribution of such an obviously Christian treatise to Josephus, on the face of its title, since Josephus at the end of his Antiquities promised to write a book on ‘ God and His Essence’ (περì θεοú καì τῆς οὐσίας αὐτοῦ), preceded by the equally arbitrary attribution to the shady client of the Flavians of a most virtuous treatise on the exemplary sufferings of seven Maccabee martyrs, variously called ‘ On Autonomous Reason ’ (περì αὐτοκράτοπος λογισμοῦ) or the ‘ Fourth Book of Maccabees,’ even as a separate edition of the sixth book of Josephus’ Jewish War was circulated under the title of ‘ Fifth Book of Maccabees,’ both these apocryphal works being adopted into the New Testamental canon of the Syrian and Armenian churches.

There can be no reasonable doubt that the motive for all this was merely the pious wish to whitewash the Jewish historian Josephus—who badly needed it—since his evidence on Christian origins was felt to be too precious to be invalidated by any strictures on the character of this ‘ truth-loving ’ witness.

The climax of this posthumous career of the old scoundrel was reached with his identification with Joseph of Arimathea ; but there is no need to follow him further on his curiously devious road to respectability. Yet the story, with its multiple falsifications of documents, has its humorous aspect, and is moreover apt to give a timely warning against the confidence with which the extant text of Josephus is generally treated by unwary scholars, who are as far from suspecting the vicissitudes it has undergone in the course of the centuries as they are ready to accuse any one attempting to restore the original wording of a corrupt sentence of ‘tampering with the text.’

(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 (London: Methuen, 1931), pp. 68–73)

[1] Richard Carrier, “Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200”, Journal of Early Christian Studies (20:4, Winter 2012, s. 491).

[2] Levenson, David B.; Martin, Thomas R. (2014), ”The Latin Translations of Josephus on Jesus, John the Baptist, and James: Critical Texts of the Latin Translation of the Antiquities and Rufinus’ Translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History Based on Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions”, Journal for the Study of Judaism 45:1: 1–79.

[3] Levenson, David B.; Martin, Thomas R. (2014), ”The Latin Translations of Josephus on Jesus, John the Baptist, and James: Critical Texts of the Latin Translation of the Antiquities and Rufinus’ Translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History Based on Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions”, Journal for the Study of Judaism 45:1, s. 14, 16–17, 21, 25–26.

[4] Levenson, David B.; Martin, Thomas R. (2014), ”The Latin Translations of Josephus on Jesus, John the Baptist, and James: Critical Texts of the Latin Translation of the Antiquities and Rufinus’ Translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History Based on Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions”, Journal for the Study of Judaism 45:1, s. 3.

Roger Viklund, 2016-02-10

Annonser

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


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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 2q – ”Testimonium Flavianum”: The Church Fathers’ knowledge; miscellanous, Slavonic Josephus

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 2q 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

 

The Slavonic Josephus

It is easy to understand that this silence in the Jewish War felt embarrassing for the early Christians, since on a number of occasions they inserted passages about Jesus and Christians in that book – thus in a book where Jesus receives no mention in the extant Greek original text. There are a few manuscripts of the Jewish War which also contains the Testimonium. The passage is then inserted in either the beginning or the end of the manuscripts except in one case,[171] where it is inserted at 2:167.[172] Perhaps the most startling additions, however, are preserved in some thirty Slavonic manuscripts (in Old Russian and some also in Romanian).[173] Different theories has been presented for when the Slavonic texts were written, ranging from the tenth to the thirteenth century. The 30 surviving manuscripts are all from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century – the oldest of which dates to the year 1463 – but internal markers show that the Slavonic translation from the Greek Jewish War was at the latest made by the mid thirteenth century and probably one or two centuries earlier.[174] It is however by no means just plain translations, as materials has been both added and removed.[175] In these manuscripts there are eight Christian passages that do not exist in any known Greek manuscript. Of these eight, three relate to John the Baptist and four to Jesus.[176] The opening of one passage is quite similar to the normative version of the Testimonium, but soon turns into a different story, which at least partially reflects gospel material. That passage is found in that particular place in the book where Josephus deals with the events preceding the Testimonium in the Antiquities of the Jews, and it reads:[177]

Testimonium Slavianum

“At that time there appeared a man, if it is proper to call him a man, whose nature and form were human but whose appearance was more than human and whose deeds were divine. And he worked wonderful and powerful miracles. Therefore it is impossible for me to call him a man. Then again, in view of his common nature, I shall not call him an angel [either]. And everything, whatever he did, he did by some unseen power, by word and command. Some said of him: Our first lawgiver has risen from the dead and has been demonstrating many cures and skills. Others thought that he was sent from God. But he was in much opposed to the law and did not observe the sabbath according to the ancestral customs, yet did nothing dirty, unclean, nor with use of hands, but worked everything by word only. And many of the people followed and listened to his teachings. And many souls were aroused, thinking that by him the Jewish tribes would free themselves from the hands of the Romans. But it was his habit rather to remain in front of the city on the Mount of Olives; and there he also [freely] gave cures to people. And there 150 servants and a multitude of people joined him, seeing his power, how by word he did everything he wished. They bade him enter the city, kill the Roman troops and Pilate, and reign over these. But he did not care [to do so]. Later, when news of this came to the Jewish leaders, they assembled to the chief priests and said: We are powerless and [too] weak to oppose the Romans, like a slackened bow. Let us go and inform Pilate what we have heard, and we shall be free of anxiety; if at some time he shall hear [of this] from others, we shall be deprived of property, ourselves slaughtered, and [our] children exiled. And they went and informed Pilate. And he sent and killed many of the people and brought in that wonderworker. After inquiring about him Pilate understood that he was a doer of good, not of evil, [and] not a rebel, nor one desirous of kingship; and he released him. For he had cured his wife, who was dying. And he went to the usual places and performed his usual deeds. And again, as more people gathered around him, he became renowned for his works more than all [others]. Again the lawyers were struck with envy against him. And they gave 30 talents to Pilate that they should kill him. And he took [it] and gave them liberty to carry out their wishes themselves. And they sought out a suitable time to kill him. For they had given Pilate 30 talents earlier, that he should give Jesus up to them. And they crucified him against the ancestral law, and they greatly reviled him.”[178]

As can be seen, there are decidedly Christian ideas in this text, for example, that Jesus had power and did everything he wished through the Word; that he more than all others became renowned for his works and that the lawyers were struck with envy against him. At the same time this does not resemble how Christians tend to write about Jesus. The question is therefore whether Josephus actually could have written the paragraph? The answer must still be negative. It is rather conceivable to that which a pious Jew who was friendly to Christianity may have written.

Several scholars also contend that the Christian passages have not been created by the Slavonic “translator” of this text. Their style is alien to the Old Russian, and its content is also foreign to the Slavic mentality.[179] It is therefore assumed that they existed in some form in Greek already, either in the manuscript of the Jewish War which formed the basis of the Slavonic text, or in other Greek texts.[180] But Louis H. Feldman shows that the Christian passages may well be the work of the Slavonic translator himself, although they may be founded on older Greek texts in different sources.[181]

If this free Slavonic paraphrase is founded on a Greek master, these both were created in order to make a Greek Christians version of Josephus’ Jewish War, as well as a Slavonic version – in the same way as Pseudo-Hegesippus is a Latin Christian version of the same work. In neither case was the Testimonium inserted as a quotation. But in the Slavonic Josephus are all passages with Christian flavours founded on Christian texts,[182] though not necessarily always with exuberant Beatitudes. Instead, it is about garbled summaries of Biblical tales which have been spiced with legendary tales of the kind that occur in later apocryphal books.[183] One example is the statement that Jesus would have healed Pilate’s dying wife, a late Christian legend.[184]

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-22


[171] Earl Doherty writes:

“Ancient Christians must have been painfully aware of the void in Jewish War, for although no corresponding passage (that we know of) was interpolated into the work to remedy the omission, we do have a few manuscripts of Jewish War in which the Testimonium itself, from the Antiquities, was inserted, either at the beginning or the end of the manuscript, or in one case at the end of Book II.“ (Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man – The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009), p. 548–549)

[172] Codex Vossianus, Graec. F 72 (Lugduno-Batavus, L.B., Voss, bei Niese), 15th century. (Roger Pearse, Josephus: all the Manuscripts)

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

[174] Henry Leeming, Katherine Leeming, Josephus’ “Jewish War” and Its Slavonic Version: A Synoptic Comparison of the English Translation by H. St. J. Thackeray with the Critical Edition by N. A. Meščerskij of the Slavonic Version in the Vilna Manuscript translated into English by H. Leeming and L. Osinkina, Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2003, p. 60–62.

[176] Below follows the English translation of three of the four passages in the Slavonic version of the Jewish War where Jesus is mentioned. The quotes are taken from G. R. S. Mead, Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandaean John-Book, 1924, p. 109–115; reproduced in Sacred texts):

The trilingual inscription concerning Jesus (in Jewish War 5:5:2):

“At it (the barrier of the Temple) were columns … and on these inscriptions in Greek and Roman and Jewish characters, publishing the law of purity and [proclaiming] that no foreigner should enter the inner [court]; for they called it the Holy [Place] to which one had to ascend by fourteen steps, and whose upper part was built in a square. And over these tablets with inscriptions hung a fourth tablet with inscription in these [three] characters, to the effect: Jesus has not reigned as king; he has been crucified by the Jews, because he proclaimed the destruction of the city and the laying waste of the temple.”

Portents at the death of Jesus and rumours of his resurrection (follows on Jewish War 5:5:4):

“This curtain (katapetasma) was prior to this generation entire, because the people were pious; but now it was lamentable to look at. It had, you should know, been suddenly rent from the top to the ground, when they delivered over to death through bribery the doer of good, the man—yea, him who through his doing was no man. And of many other signs they tell which came to pass at that time. And it was said that after he was put to death, yea after burial in the grave, he was not found. Some then assert that he is risen; but others, that he has been stolen by his friends. I, however, do not know which speak more correctly. For a dead man cannot rise of himself—though possibly with the help of another righteous man; unless it (lit. he) will be an angel or another of the heavenly authorities, or God himself appears as a man and accomplishes what he will,—both walks with men and falls, and lies down and rises up, as it is according to his will. But others said that it was not possible to steal him, because they had put guards all round his grave,—thirty Romans, but a thousand Jews. Such [is narrated] as to that curtain (katapetasma). Moreover [as to] the cause of its tearing there are [? various statements]. And thereafter, when knowledge of it came to the Jewish leaders, they gathered together with the High-priest and spake: ‘We are powerless and weak to withstand the Romans. But as withal the bow is bent, we will go and tell Pilate what we have heard, and we will be without distress, lest if he hear it from others, we be robbed of our substance and ourselves be put to the sword and our children ruined.’ And they went and told it to Pilate. And he sent and had many of the people cut down. And he had that wonder-doer brought up. And when he had instituted a trial concerning him, he perceived that he is a doer of good, but not an evildoer, nor a revolutionary, nor one who aimed at power, and set him free. He had, you should know, healed his dying wife. And he went to his accustomed place and wrought his accustomed works. And as again more folk gathered themselves together round him, then did he win glory through his works more than all. The teachers of the Law were [therefore] envenomed with envy and gave thirty talents to Pilate, in order that he should put him to death. And he, after he had taken [the money], gave them consent that they should themselves carry out their purpose. And they took him and crucified him according to the ancestral law.”

A prophecy concerning Jesus (in Jewish War 6:5:4, where only Vespasian is mentioned in the genuine text)

“Some indeed by this understood Herod, but others the crucified wonder-doer Jesus, others again Vespasian.”

[177] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks, The Slavonic Josephus. The Testimonium is inserted in Jewish War between 2:174 and 2:175.

[178] The text is from Ben C. Smith’s Text excavation, “Josephus on the career and execution of Jesus”; The Slavonic version of Josephus. In turn, this is from H. and K. Leeming, Josephus’ Jewish War and its Slavonic Version. As far as I can see, all English translations on the Internet are made from German translations of the Old Russian text. I therefore also reproduce a German translation made from the Slavonic text. It is done by Wolfgang A. Bienert and reproduced by Gerd Theißen & Annette Merz in Der historische Jesus: ein Lehrbuch, p. 93–94.

The ministry, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, (follows on Jewish War 2:9:3 or 2:174):

„Damals trat ein gewisser Man auf, wenn es auch geziemend ist, ihn einen Mann zu nennen. Sowohl seine Natur wie seine Gestalt waren menschlich, seine Erscheinung aber war mehr als menschlich. Seine Werke jedoch waren göttlich und er wirkte Wundertaten, erstaunliche und kräftige. Deshalb ist es mir nicht möglich, ihn einen Menschen zu nennen. Wiederum aber auf das allgemeine Wesen sehend, werde ich (ihn) auch nicht einen Engel nennen. Und alles, was er wirkte durch irgendeine unsichtbare Kraft, wirkte er durch Wort und Befehl wirkte er (es). Die einen sagten von ihm, daß unser erster Gesetzgeber auferstanden sei von den Toten. Und viele Heilungen und Künste gewährte er. Die andern aber meinten, daß er von Gott gesandt sei. Aber er widersetzte sich in vielem dem Gesetz und hielt den Sabbat nicht nach väterlichem Brauch. Doch wiederum verübte er auch nichts Schändliches, noch Verbrechen, sondern durch Wort bewirkte er alles. Und viele aus dem Volke folgten ihm nach und nahmen seine Lehren auf. Und viele Seelen wurden wankend, meinend, da sich dadurch befreien würden die jüdischen Stämme aus den römischen Händen. Es war aber seine Gewohnheit, vor der Stadt auf dem Ölberge sich aufzuhalten. Dort auch gewährte er die Heilungen den Leuten. Und es versammelten sich zu ihm von Schülern 150, aber vom Volk eine Menge. Da sie aber sahen seine Macht, daß er alles, was er wolle, ausführe durchs Wort, so befahlen sie ihm, daß er einziehe in die Stadt und die römischen Krieger und den Pilatus niederhaue und herrsche über sie. Aber jener verschmähte es. Und hernach, als Kunde geworden war davon den jüdischen Führern, so versammelten sie sich mit dem Hohenpriester und sprachen: „Wir sind machtlos und schwach, den Römern zu wiederstehen. Da aber auch dem Bogen gespannt ist, so wollen wir hingehen und dem Pilatus mitteilen, was wir gehört haben, und wir werden ohne Betrübnis sein, damit nicht, wenn es von andern es hört, wir sowohl des Vermögens beraubt, als aus selbst niedergemacht und die Kinder zerstreut werden.“ Und sie gingen hin und teilten es dem Pilatus mit. Und dieser sandte hin und ließ viele aus dem Volke niederhauen und jenen Wundertäter ließ er herbeiführen. Und da er inbetreff seiner ein Verhör angestellt, so sah er ein, daß er ein Wohltäter sei, aber nicht ein Übeltäter sei, noch ein Aufrührer, noch ein nach [Königs-]Herrschaft Strebender, und ließ ihn frei. Er hatte nämlich sein sterbendes Weib geheilt. Und er ging an seinen gewohnten Platz und tat die gewohnten Werke. Und da wiederum mehr Volk sich um ihn versammelte, da verherrlichte er sich durch sein Wirken mehr als alle. Von Neid wurden die Gesetzeslehrer vergiftet und gaben 30 Talente dem Pilatus, damit er ihn töte. Und der, nachdem er (das Geld) genommen, ließ ihnen den Willen, daß sie selbst ihr Vorhaben ausführen sollten. Und jene nahmen ihn und kreuzigten ihn gegen das väterliche Gesetz.“

[179] G. R. S. Mead, Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandaean John-Book, 1924, p. 103.

[180] Louis H. Feldman, A Selective Critical Bibliography of Josephus (1989), p. 330; in Louis H. Feldman & Gohei Hata, Josephus, the Bible, and History. Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks, The Slavonic Josephus.

[181] Louis H. Feldman analyses the subject as follows:

The Slavonic Josephus “is based on an inferior Greek text”. Eisler “constructed an elaborate theory” that the Slavonic texts were based on “a rough draft of [Josephus’] work in Aramaic”. Nikolai K. Gudzii (History of Early Russian Literature, New York 1949) “however, has shown that the ideas and language of the Slavonic version, especially its tell-tale similes and rhythmic pattern, match those of Russian chronicles of the eleventh century”. John Strugnell (Josephus, Flavius, New Catholic Encyclopedia 7, New York 1967, p. 1120–1123) “on the basis of the relationship of the version to a Byzantine text which lacks the additional material, arrives at a similar date in the tenth or eleventh century. An eleventh century date has been confirmed by [N. A.] Meščerskij [Istorija iudeskoij vojny Josifa Flavija, Moscow & Leningrad 1958] who, through a thorough linguistic analysis, contends that the additions and omissions must be regarded as the original work of the translator.” Arie Rubinstein (Observations on the Old Russian Version of Josephus’ Wars, Journal of Semitic Studies 1957 2(4):329–348) “remarks that the additions are suspiciously like an embellishment inserted by a pious Byzantine copyist of the Greek text or by a pious Russian translator.” (Louis H. Feldman: Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His writings, and His Significance, 1972, p. 771–774, in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Hellenistic Judentum in Roman time: Philon and Josephus 21, 2, 1984 by Hildegard Temporini & Wolfgang Haase)

[182] Solomon Zeitlin, The Hoax of the “Slavonic Josephus”, The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Oct., 1948), p. 177.

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

[184] 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. 112.

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

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Detta är del 2q 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

Slaviska Josefus

Att denna tystnad i Om det judiska kriget var besvärande för de tidiga kristna kan man förstå eftersom de vid ett antal tillfällen infogade stycken om Jesus och kristna däri – således i en bok där Jesus inte alls omnämns i den bevarade grekiska originaltexten. Vi har några handskrifter av Om det judiska kriget som också innehåller TF. Passagen är då instoppad antingen i början eller i slutet av handskriften frånsett i ett fall,[171] då den stoppats in vid 2:167.[172] De kanske mest uppseendeväckande tilläggen finns dock bevarade i ett 30-tal slaviska handskrifter (på gammalryska och någon även på rumänska).[173] Olika teorier om de slaviska texternas tillkomsttid har framlagts, alltifrån 900-talet till 1200-talet. De 30 bevarade handskrifterna är alla från perioden 1400-talet till 1700-talet – den äldsta är daterad till år 1463 – men inre markörer visar att den slaviska översättningen av Om det judiska kriget från grekiska gjordes senast i mitten av 1200-talet och troligen ett eller ett par århundraden tidigare.[174] Det rör sig dock ingalunda bara om rena översättningar eftersom material såväl tillkommit som försvunnit.[175] I dessa handskrifter finns åtta kristna passager som saknas i alla kända grekiska handskrifter och där tre handlar om Johannes döparen och fyra om Jesus.[176] En av dessa påminner i inledningen om den normativa versionen av TF men övergår snart i en annan berättelse som åtminstone delvis speglar evangeliematerial. Stycket förekommer på just det ställe i boken där Josefus behandlar samma händelser som föregår TF i Judiska fornminnen och lyder:[177]

Testimonium Slavianum

Vid den tiden framträdde en vis man, såvida det är lämpligt att kalla honom en man. Såväl hans karaktär som hans skepnad var mänsklig, men hans framträdande var mer än mänskligt. Hans gärningar var dock gudomliga och han utförde underverk, fantastiska och mäktiga. Det är därför inte möjligt för mig att kalla honom [enbart] en man. Men å andra sidan, ifall [hans] allmänna karaktär bedöms, skulle jag heller inte kalla [honom] en ängel. Och allt som han åstadkom genom något slags osynlig förmåga, åstadkom han genom ord och befallning. Några sade om honom, att vår första lagstiftare har uppstått från de döda och frambringar många helanden och konststycken. Men de andra menade att han sänts av Gud. Han motsatte sig emellertid i många avseenden lagen och iakttog inte sabbaten i enlighet med förfädernas sed. Men å andra sidan begick han heller inget skändligt eller brottsligt, utan åstadkom allt genom ord. Och många människor följde honom och mottog hans undervisning. Och många blev vankelmodiga och menade att de judiska stammarna därigenom skulle befrias från det romerska styret. Det var dock hans vana att uppehålla sig framför staden på Oljeberget. Där lät han även bota människorna. Och kring honom samlades hundrafemtio av hans lärjungar, därutöver en mängd folk. Men när de såg hans makt, att han åstadkom allt han ville genom Ordet, beordrade de honom att tåga in i staden, meja ned de romerska soldaterna och Pilatus, och härska över dem. Men denne avvisade det. Och efteråt, när nyheten om detta hade nått de judiska ledarna, sammanträffade de med översteprästerna och sade: ”Vi är för maktlösa och svaga för att kunna stå emot romarna. Men eftersom bågen är spänd, tänker vi gå och meddela Pilatus det vi har hört och därigenom undgår vi bekymmer genom att vi ej, ifall han får höra det av andra, berövas våra rikedomar, själva mejas ned och våra barn förskingras.” Och de gick och informerade Pilatus. Och han sände ut och lät meja ned många människor och lät föra bort denne undergörare. Och när han hade förhört honom, såg han att han var en välgörare och inte en brottsling, varken en upprorsmakare eller en som strävade efter [kunga]makt, och han släppte honom fri. Han [Jesus] hade nämligen botat hans döende hustru. Och han gick till sin vanliga plats och utförde de vanliga gärningarna. Och då samlades återigen fler människor runt honom så att hans gärning blev mer förhärligad än någonsin. De skriftlärda förgiftades av avund och gav 30 talenter till Pilatus, så att han skulle döda honom. Och efter att han tagit [pengarna], gick han med på att de själva skulle fullfölja sina avsikter. Och de tog honom och korsfäste honom mot förfädernas lag.”[178]

Som synes finns klart kristna element i denna text, exempelvis att Jesus hade makt och åstadkom allt han ville genom Ordet, att hans gärning blev mer förhärligad än någonsin och att de skriftlärda förgiftades av avund. Samtidigt liknar detta inte det som kristna brukar skriva om Jesus. Frågan är därför om Josefus kan ha skrivit stycket? Svaret måste bli nej! Snarare kan man tänka sig att en jude som var vänligt inställd till kristendomen kan ha sammanställt texten.

Många hävdar dessutom att de kristna passagerna inte har skapats av den slaviske ”översättaren” av denna text. Deras stil är främmande för gammalryskan och dess innehåll också främmande för slavisk mentalitet.[179] Därför antas att de redan fanns på grekiska i någon form, antingen i den förlaga av Om det judiska kriget som låg till grund för den slaviska texten, eller i andra grekiska texter.[180] Men Louis H. Feldman visar att de kristna passagerna mycket väl kan vara ett verk av den slaviske översättaren själv, om än de bygger på äldre grekiska texter från skilda källor.[181]

Ifall denna fria slaviska parafras bygger på en grekisk förlaga, tillkom dessa båda för att skapa dels en grekisk kristen version av Josefus’ Om det judiska kriget, dels en slavisk, på samma sätt som Pseudo-Hegesippos är en latinsk kristen version av samma verk. I inget av fallen infördes dock TF i form av citat. Men i Slaviska Josefus är alla kristna passager baserade på kristna texter,[182] om än inte nödvändigtvis alltid med överdådiga saligprisningar. I stället handlar det om förvrängda sammanfattningar av bibliska berättelser vilka kryddats med legendariska berättelser av den typ som förekommer i senare apokryfiska böcker.[183] Ett exempel är uppgiften om att Jesus skulle ha botat Pilatus’ döende hustru, en sentida kristen legend.[184]

Roger Viklund, 2011-03-22


[171] Earl Doherty skriver:

“Ancient Christians must have been painfully aware of the void in Jewish War, for although no corresponding passage (that we know of) was interpolated into the work to remedy the omission, we do have a few manuscripts of Jewish War in which the Testimonium itself, from the Antiquities, was inserted, either at the beginning or the end of the manuscript, or in one case at the end of Book II.“ (Earl Doherty, Jesus: Neither God Nor Man – The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009), s. 548–549)

[172] Codex Vossianus, Graec. F 72 (Lugduno-Batavus, L.B., Voss, bei Niese), 1400-tal. (Roger Pearse, Josephus: all the Manuscripts)

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

[174] Henry Leeming, Katherine Leeming, Josephus’ “Jewish War” and Its Slavonic Version: A Synoptic Comparison of the English Translation by H. St. J. Thackeray with the Critical Edition by N. A. Meščerskij of the Slavonic Version in the Vilna Manuscript translated into English by H. Leeming and L. Osinkina, Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2003, s. 60–62.

[176] Härunder följer i engelsk översättning tre av de fyra passager som omnämner Jesus i de slaviska versionerna av Om det judiska kriget. Citaten är tagna från G. R. S. Mead, Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandaean John-Book, 1924, s. 109–115; återgivet i Sacred texts):

En Jesusinskription (instoppad i Om det judiska kriget 5:5:2):

“At it (the barrier of the Temple) were columns … and on these inscriptions in Greek and Roman and Jewish characters, publishing the law of purity and [proclaiming] that no foreigner should enter the inner [court]; for they called it the Holy [Place] to which one had to ascend by fourteen steps, and whose upper part was built in a square. And over these tablets with inscriptions hung a fourth tablet with inscription in these [three] characters, to the effect: Jesus has not reigned as king; he has been crucified by the Jews, because he proclaimed the destruction of the city and the laying waste of the temple.”

Förebud vid Jesu död och rykten om hans uppståndelse (följer på Om det judiska kriget 5:5:4):

“This curtain (katapetasma) was prior to this generation entire, because the people were pious; but now it was lamentable to look at. It had, you should know, been suddenly rent from the top to the ground, when they delivered over to death through bribery the doer of good, the man—yea, him who through his doing was no man. And of many other signs they tell which came to pass at that time. And it was said that after he was put to death, yea after burial in the grave, he was not found. Some then assert that he is risen; but others, that he has been stolen by his friends. I, however, do not know which speak more correctly. For a dead man cannot rise of himself—though possibly with the help of another righteous man; unless it (lit. he) will be an angel or another of the heavenly authorities, or God himself appears as a man and accomplishes what he will,—both walks with men and falls, and lies down and rises up, as it is according to his will. But others said that it was not possible to steal him, because they had put guards all round his grave,—thirty Romans, but a thousand Jews. Such [is narrated] as to that curtain (katapetasma). Moreover [as to] the cause of its tearing there are [? various statements]. And thereafter, when knowledge of it came to the Jewish leaders, they gathered together with the High-priest and spake: ‘We are powerless and weak to withstand the Romans. But as withal the bow is bent, we will go and tell Pilate what we have heard, and we will be without distress, lest if he hear it from others, we be robbed of our substance and ourselves be put to the sword and our children ruined.’ And they went and told it to Pilate. And he sent and had many of the people cut down. And he had that wonder-doer brought up. And when he had instituted a trial concerning him, he perceived that he is a doer of good, but not an evildoer, nor a revolutionary, nor one who aimed at power, and set him free. He had, you should know, healed his dying wife. And he went to his accustomed place and wrought his accustomed works. And as again more folk gathered themselves together round him, then did he win glory through his works more than all. The teachers of the Law were [therefore] envenomed with envy and gave thirty talents to Pilate, in order that he should put him to death. And he, after he had taken [the money], gave them consent that they should themselves carry out their purpose. And they took him and crucified him according to the ancestral law.”

En profetia om Jesus (i Om det judiska kriget 6:5:4, där i den oförfalskade texten endast Vespasianus nämns)

“Some indeed by this understood Herod, but others the crucified wonder-doer Jesus, others again Vespasian.”

[177] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks, The Slavonic Josephus. TF finns instoppat i Om det judiska kriget mellan 2:174 och 2:175.

[178] Min översättning är gjord från nedanstående tyska översättning av den slaviska texten med Wolfgang A. Bienert som upphovsman och återgiven av Gerd Theißen & Annette Merz i Der historische Jesus: ein Lehrbuch, s. 93–94. De engelska översättningar som förekommer på Internet synes för övrigt också vara gjorda från tyska översättningar och inte direkt från gammalryskan:

Jesu verksamhet, rättegång och korsfästelse, alltså Testimonium Flavianum, (följer på Om det judiska kriget 2:9:3 eller 2:174):

„Damals trat ein gewisser Man auf, wenn es auch geziemend ist, ihn einen Mann zu nennen. Sowohl seine Natur wie seine Gestalt waren menschlich, seine Erscheinung aber war mehr als menschlich. Seine Werke jedoch waren göttlich und er wirkte Wundertaten, erstaunliche und kräftige. Deshalb ist es mir nicht möglich, ihn einen Menschen zu nennen. Wiederum aber auf das allgemeine Wesen sehend, werde ich (ihn) auch nicht einen Engel nennen. Und alles, was er wirkte durch irgendeine unsichtbare Kraft, wirkte er durch Wort und Befehl wirkte er (es). Die einen sagten von ihm, daß unser erster Gesetzgeber auferstanden sei von den Toten. Und viele Heilungen und Künste gewährte er. Die andern aber meinten, daß er von Gott gesandt sei. Aber er widersetzte sich in vielem dem Gesetz und hielt den Sabbat nicht nach väterlichem Brauch. Doch wiederum verübte er auch nichts Schändliches, noch Verbrechen, sondern durch Wort bewirkte er alles. Und viele aus dem Volke folgten ihm nach und nahmen seine Lehren auf. Und viele Seelen wurden wankend, meinend, da sich dadurch befreien würden die jüdischen Stämme aus den römischen Händen. Es war aber seine Gewohnheit, vor der Stadt auf dem Ölberge sich aufzuhalten. Dort auch gewährte er die Heilungen den Leuten. Und es versammelten sich zu ihm von Schülern 150, aber vom Volk eine Menge. Da sie aber sahen seine Macht, daß er alles, was er wolle, ausführe durchs Wort, so befahlen sie ihm, daß er einziehe in die Stadt und die römischen Krieger und den Pilatus niederhaue und herrsche über sie. Aber jener verschmähte es. Und hernach, als Kunde geworden war davon den jüdischen Führern, so versammelten sie sich mit dem Hohenpriester und sprachen: „Wir sind machtlos und schwach, den Römern zu wiederstehen. Da aber auch dem Bogen gespannt ist, so wollen wir hingehen und dem Pilatus mitteilen, was wir gehört haben, und wir werden ohne Betrübnis sein, damit nicht, wenn es von andern es hört, wir sowohl des Vermögens beraubt, als aus selbst niedergemacht und die Kinder zerstreut werden.“ Und sie gingen hin und teilten es dem Pilatus mit. Und dieser sandte hin und ließ viele aus dem Volke niederhauen und jenen Wundertäter ließ er herbeiführen. Und da er inbetreff seiner ein Verhör angestellt, so sah er ein, daß er ein Wohltäter sei, aber nicht ein Übeltäter sei, noch ein Aufrührer, noch ein nach [Königs-]Herrschaft Strebender, und ließ ihn frei. Er hatte nämlich sein sterbendes Weib geheilt. Und er ging an seinen gewohnten Platz und tat die gewohnten Werke. Und da wiederum mehr Volk sich um ihn versammelte, da verherrlichte er sich durch sein Wirken mehr als alle. Von Neid wurden die Gesetzeslehrer vergiftet und gaben 30 Talente dem Pilatus, damit er ihn töte. Und der, nachdem er (das Geld) genommen, ließ ihnen den Willen, daß sie selbst ihr Vorhaben ausführen sollten. Und jene nahmen ihn und kreuzigten ihn gegen das väterliche Gesetz.“

[179] G. R. S. Mead, Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandaean John-Book, 1924, s. 103.

[180] Louis H. Feldman, A Selective Critical Bibliography of Josephus (1989), s. 330; i Louis H. Feldman & Gohei Hata, Josephus, the Bible, and History. Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, Supplementary Article No. 16, Josephus on the Rocks, The Slavonic Josephus.

[181] Louis H. Feldman redogör för följande:

Slaviska Josefus grundar sig på en sämre grekisk text. Eisler argumenterar för att de slaviska texterna skulle bygga på det arameiska originalet, men Nikolai K. Gudzii (History of Early Russian Literature, New York 1949) har visat att språket och ideerna i Slaviska Josefus, speciellt i de skvalleraktiga liknelserna och i de rytmiska mönstren, stämmer överens med ryska krönikor från 1000-talet. John Strugnell (Josephus, Flavius, New Catholic Encyclopedia 7, New York 1967, s. 1120–1123) kommer utifrån jämförelser med en bysantinsk text fram till en datering till 900- eller 1000-talet, och N. A. Meščerskij (Istorija iudeskoij vojny Josifa Flavija, Moscow & Leningrad 1958) drar utifrån noggranna lingvistiska studier slutsatsen att tilläggen och utelämnandena måste vara gjorda av översättaren och att de alltså inte har varit del av förlagan. Arie Rubinstein (Observations on the Old Russian Version of Josephus’ Wars, Journal of Semitic Studies 1957 2(4):329–348) noterar att tilläggen är misstänt lika utsmyckanden gjorda av en from person, antingen en bysantinsk kopist av den grekiska texten eller en rysk översättare av den grekiska texten. (Louis H. Feldman: Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His writings, and His Significance, 1972, s. 771– 774, i Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Hellenistic Judentum in Roman time: Philon and Josephus 21, 2, 1984 av Hildegard Temporini & Wolfgang Haase)

[182] Solomon Zeitlin, The Hoax of the “Slavonic Josephus”, The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Oct., 1948), s. 177.

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

[184] 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. 112.