Tag Archives: Testimonium Flavianum

Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus Richard Carrier Blogs Freethought Blogs Review

Richard Carrier believes Jesus was not crucified on Earth. Richard Carrier has a reading comprehension problem. When asked for his peer-reviewed article which will show whether or not he has examined the Testimonium Flavianum as a sarcastic inclusion by Josephus, he does not provide the name of the journal and the name of the article so a person can search for it at a seminary library.

“Others propose that Josephus included the passage so as to curry favor with the Christians, because he was in trouble with his own Jewish compatriots. Still others interpret the passage as intended sarcasm, though the argument for that view is too convoluted to summarize here.”
– p. 234 of Josephus and the New Testament, Second Edition by Steve Mason

In a thorough examination, even challenging views must be heard for a final decision to be claimed. One version of the sarcasm view is not all that convoluted. Joseph Atwill advises that one simply read the passage after the Testimonium Flavianum and see 1) Decius Mundus as a sarcastic reference to Savior of the World/Mundus and 2) Decius Mundus appeared to one who loved him on the third day, as did Jesus appeared to those who loved him on the third day.

Re: Page 225-227 of Josephus and the New Testament, Second Edition by Steve Mason

My reply:
I would like to introduce my reply with a preview of the bottom line, which is beyond page 227, but on page 236, and I quote: “…since most of those who know the evidence agree that [Josephus] said something about Jesus, one is probably entitled to cite him as independent evidence that Jesus actually lived, if such evidence were needed. But that much is already given in Josephus’s reference to James (Ant. 20.200) and most historians agree that Jesus’ existence is the only adequate explanation of the many independent traditions among the NT writings.”

What you have written is this:

The most credible alternative theory of Christian origins is that Jesus began life as a celestial being, known only through private revelations, who was believed to have been crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens. The Gospels were the first attempts to place him in history as an earthly man, in parables and fables meant to illustrate Christian theology and ideals. Their picture of Jesus then became the most successful among the competing varieties of Christianity over the ensuing generations, and the eventually triumphant sects only created and preserved documents supporting their view, and very little supporting any other.

To date the best case presented for this hypothesis is by amateur historian and classics graduate Earl Doherty (in his two books, The Jesus Puzzle and Jesus: Neither God Nor Man). My own forthcoming book, probably titled On the Historicity of Jesus, inspired by his work, will be the first making the case for this hypothesis to pass academic peer review. It will be published this February by the publishing house of the University of Sheffield.

http://www.strangenotions.com/questioning-the-historicity-of-jesus/

YOU ARE MAKING THE POINT THAT JESUS AS A CELESTIAL BEING IS HISTORICAL BUT JESUS AS FLESH AND BLOOD IS NOT HISTORICAL? Crucified and resurrected in the lower heavens but not as low as the Earth?!

Moving on, if you would have mentioned the title of the article and the journal, I could have been on my way to Dallas Theological Seminary or Bridwell after work or on a weekend to do some reading. Your comment 145.1 does not give me and other readers that information. So your criticism is premature. I REALLY WANT TO READ WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN ON THIS TOPIC.

Now, I want to clash directly with what you’ve written: “Josephus is just listing disasters that increased tensions between the Romans and the Jews. None of those disasters are commentaries on Christianity. They are simply things that happened that increased tensions between the Romans and the Jews.”

My reply, the Decius Mundus passage is a story about a believer in Isis. The Decius Mundus passage did not make the zealots and rebels more angry at Rome! You are mistaken. ON page 226, Mason even relates this not to an expulsion of Jews from Rome but an expulsion of Egyptians from Rome. I direct the readers of this post to score this point to me.

What Mason does say about the Isis Decius Mundus incident is this: it shows both that the Jews are no worse than other national groups and, second, and more important: Jews share the morals of the Romans.

Steve Mason does not catch the connection of Jesus appearing to believers on the third day and Decius Mundus appearing to a believer on the third day. So, your claim, Richard Carrier, is wrong: the Decius Mundus – Isis passage was not written to give a count of incidents that fueled the rebels, bandits, and zealots. So, while you thought you scored a point on me, I’ve justified my statement, and on top of that, I’ve proven your reading comprehension of page 226 of Mason’s book is in error.

Visions of Jesus by Those Who Had Come to Love Him / Testimony of Josephus (Testimonium Flavianum) Is Authentic

Question:
Specifically, what evidence do we have, apart from the Gospels, that any of Jesus’ disciples actually had visions of Jesus after his death?

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman:
The short answer is that apart from the Gospels the only other good evidence we have are the book of Acts and the letters of Paul

Steefen (personal essayist), author of Insights on the Exodus, King David, and Jesus / The Greatest Bible Study in Historical Accuracy, 2nd Ed.:

He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, * * those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them * * spending a third day restored to life,  – First century historian, Joseph ben Matthias (Josephus) contemporary to James, brother of Jesus.

Note: The Testimonium Flavianum is authentic. Scholars who said it was not gave reasons. One reason was that it was out of context, unrelated to the passage following it. That simply is not true. The Testimonium Flavianum is followed by a passage of a god appearing to a woman and spending time with her – god made man and walking among us, a claim of Christianity. Furthermore, this god appeared to her on the third day. As we know, Josephus changed camps from Jewish rebel leader against Rome to supporting the Romans against the Jewish rebels. IN CHARACTER, Josephus tells us the God who appeared to the lovingly devout woman and spent time with her revealed that he was not god.

This is Josephus’ stance of atheism against his former religion which was warranted because after the Babylonian exile, after the Seleucids, after Rome wipes away the success of the Macabbees, after Rome takes away a Jewish king in Jerusalem, after the garments of the high priests have to be given to Romans, and after the handwriting on the wall that Rome was going to win the Jewish-Roman war, after Joseph ben Matthias (Josephus) gave his speech with tears in his eyes and speaking (while crying) to the rebels, explaining if they did not stop, we would lose the Temple to destruction, after all this and more, zealotry for the Jewish God was not amounting to anything but demise.

The TF is not just Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 3 but Sections 3 and 4! (This will appear in the 2nd ed of my book and will be on my website in a few weeks: http://www.waterbearingfish.com/SaulJosephus_ben_Matthias.html

The second reason the TF is authentic is because while Vespasian enriched Josephus for his support of the Romans, Vespasian also enriched another rabbi, Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai who headed the university of Yavne after the Jewish Revolt was put down. Rabbi Joseph ben Matthias and Rabbi Johanan proclaimed the Christian story. We know of the TF. As for Rabbi Johanan, he proclaims the impregnation of Mary by God, the Lion of Judah, and that God tried to save his people through her son.