Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
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03-01-2017, 02:40 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
Quote:Again, you need to prove that. If I prove they are hilarious jokes, they are jokes.

Just as soon as you prove ONE thing you're claiming.
You don't know who was copying whom, (if anyone).
I see nothing "hilarious" at all. It's all in your dot-connecting head.

You claim "hot debate" .... yet no one ever heard about it.
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03-01-2017, 02:50 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
(03-01-2017 02:36 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  How do we know that? Were you there? Does it say this in the Gospels themselves? Can you prove that? Because the only thing I need to prove my thesis is the texts themselves. If it's a satire, then it is a satire. If it was written for the Jews or the Gentiles then we need some kind of proof of that, not just Christian tradition.

It's not "satire" just because you claim it is. That's YOUR interpretation. I see you never actually took a course on the NT from any real scholar. How typical.

Quote:Again, you need to prove that. If I prove they are hilarious jokes, they are jokes.

What's funny to you may not be to someone else. They are nothing, just because you say so.

Quote:And Josephus says here that the Greek historians were terrible at their jobs, so if I were a Greek satirist, writing this satirical passage about Josephus, I would take a bit of offence at it. But since Josephus says that he "should spend his time to little purpose if he pretended to teach the Greeks" it is ironic that Bartimaeus would say "thou son of David, have mercy on me", because he really doesn't need mercy from a Jew trying to teach him about literature. This is where the definition of irony becomes important.

Totally dependent on the audience. Could have been "lifted" (or not) for whatever purpose, but would totally depend on the AUDIENCE, which may or may not have thought it was "satire". Your reading is very one-sided, and your agenda is served by that reading.

Quote:Just like in a Greek tragedy, Bartimaeus seems to be asking for mercy and to heal his blindness when a Greek writer probably really doesn't need that, so he must have been saying it sarcastically. And then we would conclude that Josephus showing him who was the best Greek historian is represented by Bartimaeus receiving his sight, which is also ironic because we know that saying that one Greek historian wrote the best is hardly enough to clear up the confusion between the Greek writers, but Josephus doesn't seem to know this and walks on happily thinking that he has cured everyone's blindness. Like the character in a Greek tragedy, this paragraph was designed to set Josephus up as looking like someone who walks around thinking he has healed everyone's blindness but Bartimaeus was really just laughing at him.

Any you think the various different audiences of the various gospels KNEW Greek Tragedy and would make that connection ?
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Quote:“And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given… Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”
– Matthew 13:10-13.

You see, it has to be given to you to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven;}. So, I am giving it to you.

Isn't that special.
And of course we're just waiting with baited breath for yet one more "special" person to come along and enlighten us.
Facepalm

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03-01-2017, 03:59 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2017 04:20 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
(03-01-2017 12:02 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  This is a good example of a Josephus/NT parallel which is not only ironic but is directly mocking Josephus. In Mark 10:46-52 we find the story of Jesus healing blind "Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus" ("bar" means "son"). The Gospel parallels frequently use the same or similar names for the characters as found in Josephus (Mary, Jesus, Simon, John, Herod and more frequently appear in both Josephus and the associated NT parallel), so when I set out to find a parallel for this passage I looked for the same name "Timaeus". It turns out the only other reference in the works of Josephus to someone with a similar name is "Timeus" (without the "a") which is in "Flavius Josephus Against Apion", Book I, passage 3. So I checked out that passage as my best guess for a new parallel and found they fit perfectly and humorously together.

In Josephus' passage, he is cursing the Greek writers and satirists for "contradicting themselves to purpose" and "telling lies" and he especially complains about Timeus and "those that came after". Similarly, the NT version tells us that Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus (progenitors come after their parents) who is blind, which could be taken as a metaphor for people who write falsehoods and contradictions. Josephus says that he "should spend my time to little purpose if I should pretend to teach the Greeks", and indeed, any Greek writer of that day would probably find it insulting that their great literary tradition should be so insulted by a Jew of all things, but even worse, Flavius Josephus is the adopted son of the deified "Lord of the entire habitable earth", Vespasian, so having your literary tradition insulted by him is quite serious. So "those that came after Timeus" defend themselves satirically by portraying themselves as "Bartimaeus" who sarcastically say "oh, thou, son of David, have mercy on me". Son of David can then be interpreted as a euphemism for "Jew", like as if a Jew has any business teaching Greeks about their own literary tradition. Then the NT version says "many charged him to hold his peace, but he cried out the more". This is so placed as to have you assume that it is Bartimaeus who is crying out all the more, but if you know the parallel you can see this is Josephus bitching a bunch more about how horrible the Greek writers are. So then Bartimaeus asks to be healed and then Josephus tells us that "Thucydides... seems to have have given us the exactest history of the affairs of his time" and so Barimaeus, again sarcastically, "immediately receives his sight and follows Jesus in the way", like "oh, wow, what a miracle, thank you Josephus, I was blind about Greek literary traditions, but you healed me and now I see! Thank you so much, you son of David!"

[Image: 3oxmgomedj7y.png]

You write

"Similarly, the NT version tells us that Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus (progenitors come after their parents) who is blind, which could be taken as a metaphor for people who write falsehoods and contradictions. "

So, according to you, Bartimaeus is a metaphor for "people who write falsehoods and contradictions." Ok. However, you then claim

"This is so placed as to have you assume that it is Bartimaeus who is crying out all the more, but if you know the parallel you can see this is Josephus bitching a bunch more about how horrible the Greek writers are."

So Bartimaeus, somehow, now, according to you, "...is Josephus..."

You can't change the identity of a character (so that he represents two different people) and expect your readers to take you seriously.
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03-01-2017, 04:35 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
I can just see the early Christian communities, gathered in their congregations, hooting about how hilarious the satire was of the texts that were being read to them. Facepalm

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...gence.html

"Who decided exactly what got in and what was left out? What was excluded? What was suppressed?

It's hard to say.... We do have a document called the Muratorian Canon ... which tells us that one of the criteria for deciding whether a book is scripture or not is whether it can be read in the church. Now, this seems to be rather a circular argument, because you probably don't read it in the church unless you think it's scripture, but there seems to be something about suitability for public reading during worship, that's one criterion. The churchmen who argued about these points of what's in and what's out... [also] wanted to say if we know a book was supposedly written by an Apostle or by a follower of an Apostle, this gave it some authenticity. This was an attempt to say, "We're as close back with eyewitness reporting as we can be."

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04-01-2017, 05:42 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
(03-01-2017 02:24 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:finding the sources of the Gospels

I compared Q to the tachyon. Both are speculative, neither have been detected.

No, the tachyon is not believed to exist, there is no good reason to suggest that it does. Q, or other sources upon which the Gospel authors drew, is very wildly believed to at least have existed. And a great number of people have noted similarities to Josephus, so there has at least been the suggestion before that Josephus is at least partly a source for the NT.

(03-01-2017 02:24 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  In the case of Q not a single ancient xtian writer makes the slightest reference to it. It is an ad hoc explanation concocted by late 19th century German scholars to try to fix some of the stupider problems with Luke and Matthew, while ignoring the obvious answer that it is all just made-up shit.

That's a stupid attitude. Of course it's all made up shit, but you can still ask what is the source of the commonalities between two pieces of made up shit, from an academic perspective. If you are not interested in that topic, then maybe this isn't the right discussion for you.
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04-01-2017, 06:56 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
Did Josephus finally get that publishing contract??? Gasp

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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04-01-2017, 07:12 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
This doesn't belong in the Atheism and Theism forum, it belongs in the Skepticism, Pseudoscience, and Conspiracy Theories forum. Drinking Beverage

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-01-2017, 08:30 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
Ah, now it's getting more interesting!

(03-01-2017 04:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I can just see the early Christian communities, gathered in their congregations, hooting about how hilarious the satire was of the texts that were being read to them. Facepalm

Why on earth would you be sitting around imagining things like that??? I only suggested that Greek scholars and writers would have found it ironic/satirical. Satire only works if you know what it is a satire of, so only people who were extensively familiar with Josephus would have understood the references and most people in churches could not read. Facepalm

I suspect that the Gospels were at first only shared among scholars and writers and satirists. Greeks pretty much invented tragedy, comedy, and satire, but it was more of an elitist thing, as such literary works mostly were. They were anonymous and the meaning was hidden to the casual reader because you can't openly make fun of the adopted son of the living God (who constantly cursed the Greek writers for "writing lies when they must be known by the reader to be such", i.e. satire/irony) and not expect to get sent to the Egyptian mines. But you cannot insult the Greek writers the way that Josephus does and not expect them to make fun of you right back. Those Greek satirists were not so much different from elite scholars and "insufferable know-it-alls" today as we might think. But at some point the Romans realized that for people who did not understand the satire, these Gospels made the perfect new Rome-friendly religion, since they imitated the propaganda of Josephus but made it even more God-sent and miraculous (to humorous effect if you know the reference) than Josephus did.

“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 1:10

You see, the kingdom of heaven is like a joke that became a running gag and got out of control and at some point, took on a life of its own:
“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”
– Matthew 13:31-32

These satires were probably being passed around between scholars for a while, each one writing their own version to out clever the other. But then someone found it and realized it was a treasure!

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”
– Matthew 13:34

As usual, the apocryphal Gospels state it more clearly:

“Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."”
– Thomas 1:109


(03-01-2017 04:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...gence.html

Very nice quote from that webpage you shared:
Quote:Irenaeus, the leader of a church in France in about the year 170, declared that "The heretics boast that they have many more gospels than there really are. But really they don't have any gospels that aren't full of blasphemy.

Now why would the church leaders in the end of the second century think that the apocryphal Gospels were so full of blasphemy that they needed to be eradicated? I believe it is because they make the joke all too obvious. A great example is the end of the world and the second coming. Matthew talks about this in a little bit convoluted way, so that Christians can until now be waiting for the second coming, even though Jesus said it would be within a generation of his life-time:

“And Jesus went out... shew him the buildings of the temple… And Jesus said unto them… There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down… Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said… ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars… Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you… Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains… For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be… know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
– Matthew 24:1-34

According to the preterist view of Christianity, the second coming and the end of the world for the Jews has already happened and was carried out by the Romans, with Josephus in tow. But again, Thomas makes this far too obvious:

“His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?" He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."”
– Thomas 1:51

(03-01-2017 04:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "Who decided exactly what got in and what was left out? What was excluded? What was suppressed?

It's hard to say....

That's not what I asked! I asked how we/you know for whom the Gospels were written, for which "community". Pay attention.

(03-01-2017 04:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  We do have a document called the Muratorian Canon ... which tells us that one of the criteria for deciding whether a book is scripture or not is whether it can be read in the church.

Yes, and that is a very good reason to exclude apocryphal gospels like Thomas and Philip that make the satirical nature too obvious, it is Blasphemy! You can't be reading this in church:

"Some said, "Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit." They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no power defiled. She is a great anathema to the Hebrews, who are the apostles and the apostolic men. This virgin whom no power defiled [...] the powers defile themselves. And the Lord would not have said "My Father who is in Heaven" (Mt 16:17), unless he had had another father, but he would have said simply "My father".
- Philip

Philip makes this far too obvious, it says he has two fathers, one which is in heaven. And so does Thomas:
"Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."
- Thomas 15

Because Josephus was the only son be-gotten of the Father, when he was gotten by Vespasian in the siege of Jotapata. "Heaven" is a representation of Rome, because Josephus tells us that all God's favor had gone over to the Romans, so it is the kingdom of God. "Earth" represents normally Israel or the other parts of the Roman empire besides Italy, so the "reapers" that Jesus sent out to "harvest the earth" in his second coming represent a genocide.

“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 1:10

(03-01-2017 04:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The churchmen who argued about these points of what's in and what's out... [also] wanted to say if we know a book was supposedly written by an Apostle or by a follower of an Apostle, this gave it some authenticity. This was an attempt to say, "We're as close back with eyewitness reporting as we can be."

That is why I love this passage from the end of John:
"This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

It tells us nothing about who the actual author of John is, but is hilarious because it is imitating the way that Josephus always speaks about himself in the third person and always insists that we believe the veracity of what he writes:

“And here we shall put an end to this our history; wherein we formerly promised to deliver the same with all accuracy, to such as should be desirous of understanding after what manner this war of the Romans with the Jews was managed. Of which history, how good the style is, must be left to the determination of the readers; but as for its agreement with the facts, I shall not scruple to say, and that boldly, that truth hath been what I have alone aimed at through its entire composition.”
– The Wars Of The Jews, Book VII 11:5

Now, remember the definition of irony:
-"the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect."
-"a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character."

By imitating Josephus, John speaks of himself in the third person insisting that you believe him, that creates an ironic setting where the informed reader should actually interpret that to be the opposite. This is exactly the same as the way the Daily Show or SNL today imitate Donald Trump and say "believe me!" (and do the little sliding pinched finger gesture) they really are implying you should not believe him. John is saying we don't believe Josephus, we think he is just a Roman propagandist who threw his entire nation under the bus and claimed he was lead by God to do that.
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04-01-2017, 08:50 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
(03-01-2017 03:59 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  You write

"Similarly, the NT version tells us that Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus (progenitors come after their parents) who is blind, which could be taken as a metaphor for people who write falsehoods and contradictions. "

So, according to you, Bartimaeus is a metaphor for "people who write falsehoods and contradictions." Ok. However, you then claim

Almost, he is a metaphor for Timeus and those that came after him and by association other Greek writers who wrote lies and contradictions "on purpose".

(03-01-2017 03:59 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "This is so placed as to have you assume that it is Bartimaeus who is crying out all the more, but if you know the parallel you can see this is Josephus bitching a bunch more about how horrible the Greek writers are."

So Bartimaeus, somehow, now, according to you, "...is Josephus..."

No, sorry, let me try to clarify. What I was trying to say is that the gospel passage, like any good irony, can be interpreted in at least two ways, the surface reading, which is a lie, and the hidden meaning that is the truth. Remember the definition of irony:

-"the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect."
-"a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.

The gospel passage uses a lot of ambiguous pronouns:
"he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me."

Because of the pronouns, we have the obvious way of reading it, that Bartimaeus was crying out a great deal more. But since it is irony and we know the reference passage that this is mocking, we can see that Josephus says "what need I say more" about insulting the Greek writers, so the gospel passage says "many charged him that he should hold his peace". It is like it is answering what Josephus wrote, line by line. He says the Greek writers have heard enough and they told Josephus to shove it, in this tragedy play reenactment. But "he" cried out a great deal more, because Josephus kept on insulting the Greeks even after he asked what need he had to say more. Bartimaeus is the Greek writer Timeus who is sarcastically begging for mercy ("like oh, yeah, I really need mercy from you, you son of David") and to be shown the light. Jesus represents Josephus in this tragedy. But the pronouns are flexible and you have to watch out and pay close attention to see the story. You have to read both of them carefully and keep both in your mind at the same time.

(03-01-2017 03:59 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So Bartimaeus, somehow, now, according to you, "...is Josephus..."

You can't change the identity of a character (so that he represents two different people) and expect your readers to take you seriously.

You don't really leave much room for the benefit of the doubt here. Consider that if something seems confusing that maybe it is because I didn't explain it well enough (I'm not a writer and I don't have an editor and this is just a forum) or that you just haven't read enough or carefully enough to understand it yet. In either case I am willing to try and explain better if there is any confusion.
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04-01-2017, 09:53 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: Jesus Heals Bartimaeus
(03-01-2017 02:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  But there are some remarkably common threads and language and stories. So far we've seen no evidence about who was writing what they were, based on what. If any of this is true, Josephus could have been writing based on a text he had in front of him. It's a presupposition.

Ah, very good! Now we are getting some interesting discussion and you raise a great question. So, to clarify, what you are suggesting is that the similarities between Josephus and the NT could be explained by both texts drawing from the same source or a tradition. This is a great point because it has been discussed and debated for a long time as another possible way to explain the similarities. Now, I claim that I can pretty definitively prove that the Gospels got it from Josephus and not the other way around and not them both drawing from the same source. For starters, take the parallel from this thread "Jesus Heals Bartimaeus". The suggestion then is that Josephus got his hate filled rant about Greek writers from the same source that Gospels got it seems ridiculous. Josephus was constantly cursing the Greek writers throughout his histories, especially when they were making fun of him directly.

“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 1:10

It seems that his animosity is genuine. But more than that, this parallel and the other parallels I show mimic the precise texts and choice of words used by Josephus. But it would seem crazy that Josephus would write his history in just such a way as to make all the Gospel passages sound like a satire of him? Why would he want to be making fun of himself? Because this parallel for Bartimaeus really makes Josephus look like a stupid asshole for trying to teach the Greeks about their own literary tradition. And that from a Jew, a people who didn't have such a literary tradition in tragedy, comedy, irony and satire. Josephus really seems like the type who would not have understood irony in the slightest:

“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks, who… do yet sit as judges of those affairs, and pass bitter censures upon the labors of the best writers of antiquity; which moderns, although they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to do… where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, 5

Remember the definition of "irony":
-"the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect."
-"a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.

Writing "lies which must be known by the reader to be such" is the definition of irony and satire. Josephus really appears to have no appreciation of irony and satire and he attacked and slandered the Greek writers so many times, so they attacked him back and made fun of him ruthlessly. It just seems that the lie wasn't really known to everyone or that they maybe intentionally forgot the lie, maybe because it was done so well, and now here we are today, still believing the lie. But why on earth would Josephus be writing a history in such a way as to make most of the gospel passages look like a satire of him, making himself look ridiculous?

I think that I demonstrate components of irony (which can be done objectively, without a need for you personally to find it funny) and that the almost 500 parallels have between 3 and 9 common "story elements" (very often repeating the same satirical representations) making them solid. And I claim that showing that the gospels were mocking specifically that text from Josephus, for example ranting about the Greeks which he should have no reason to have taken from another source, shows that the textual dependence is the NT being based on the works of Josephus and no other permutation can explain these parallels.
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