Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
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06-01-2017, 06:52 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
The reliability of Josephus as biblical source has long been questionable.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...uistically

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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06-01-2017, 07:00 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
If I want to read comic books - I can go to the comic book store and argue the finer points with the nerds there................

Same for bibles, just substitute church for comic book store..............


Other than that - there's no difference....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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07-01-2017, 07:03 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(05-01-2017 05:46 PM)mordant Wrote:  What seems far more likely to me if there is anything derivative going on, is that both the the NT and Josephus just recycle stock themes commonly used in ancient writings, as another poster ably pointed out.

No, you are very wrong. This proves definitively that the "book with the seven seals" is a reference to the seven books of the Wars of the Jews written by Flavius Josephus.

Revelation Chapter 5 tells:
"a book... sealed with seven seals... a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book… And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book"

A book with seven seals and only a Jew is worthy to open it. This fits almost exactly the description of the Wars of the Jews by Josephus himself in the preface:

“I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and have left no occasion for complaint... and I have written it down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those that please themselves [with fictitious relations]...”
– Josephus, JW, Preface:12

Then Revelation tells us about each one of the seals of the book:

"... opened one of the seals... And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."

Then in Book I we find a passage that has all the features of the first seal of the apocalypse, a crown, a bow and war:

Herod… spoke thus before his face: "O Caesar… I did not desert my benefactor after the bow that was given him at Actium… I told him… I would… assist him in his war against thee… I have laid aside my diadem... and I desire that thou wilt first consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been." Caesar replied to him thus: "... thou shalt be a king…" When Caesar had spoken... and had put the diadem again about his head…”
– Josephus, JW, Book I, 20:1-3

That is a pretty amazing coincidence for book one and the first seal having a crown, a bow and war. Still, crowns bows and wars can come together though not necessarily always in the first book...
But now we look at the Second Seal:

"...he had opened the second seal... horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”

And in Book II of Josephus we find a passage that very well fits the description, swords and taking peace from the "earth" or Israel:

“…And when they had joined to themselves many of the Sicarii, who crowded in among the weaker people, (that was the name for such robbers as had under their bosoms swords called Sicae,) they grew bolder... insomuch that the king's soldiers were overpowered... so they gave way, and were driven out of the upper city by force…”
– Josephus, JW, Book II, 17:6

The Second Seal could very well be a coincidence, since swords and taking peace from the earth frequently go together, however it is a pretty impressive coincidence given that it is in the second book where we would expect it to be and given all the other matching details above.

Then we have the Third Seal: Famine

“... opened the third seal... And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice... say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”

The title of the third seal is “famine”, although no mention of famine appears in the passage itself, except for this strange mention of the pricing of wheat and barley, but this prophecy very clearly meets its literal fulfilment in Book III, because here we find a passage where Vespasian is trying to create a famine among the Jews hoping they will "petition" him for food (we already saw the set prices above):

“And now Vespasian was plainly irritated at... the boldness of the citizens of Jotapata; for... they made fresh sallies upon the Romans, and had every day conflicts with them by parties... and with the plundering of all that came to hand... and this till Vespasian made his army leave off fighting them, and resolved to lie round the city, and to starve them into a surrender, as supposing that either they would be forced to petition him for mercy by want of provisions, or... they should perish by famine:...”
– Josephus, JW, Book III, 7:11

The pair of balances would appear to represent the battering ram which Vespasian used to subdue the Jews when the famine didn't finish them off:
“…therefore, Vespasian… determined to make use of his battering ram. This battering ram… is slung in the air by ropes passing over its middle, and is hung like the balance in a pair of scales…”
– Josephus, JW, Book III, 7:19

Vespasian is the one who has a pair of balances in his hand which he uses to destroy cities and he can send famine upon the people and sets the price for grains if you want to petition any, all in book III of JW. These coincidences are now far too many. The seven seals are just picking out defining passages from each book and giving a short, comical representation of each. Let's keep going.

The Fourth Seal: Death
“... opened the fourth seal... I looked {remember, he sees it in the book}, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

The title of the fourth seal “death” and would appear to have its literal fulfillment in the fourth book, with terror, torture and death when the Idumeans arrive at Jerusalem before the Romans, thinking this would be the safest place for them to defend from the Romans, and try to take over the city beginning an internal civil war:

“Now after these were slain, the zealots and the multitude of the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals... the ordinary sort, they were destroyed... But for the noblemen and the youth, they first caught them and bound them, and shut them up in prison, and put off their slaughter, in hopes that some of them would turn over to their party; but not one of them would comply with their desires, but all of them preferred death before being enrolled among such wicked wretches... brought upon them terrible torments; for they were so scourged and tortured, that their bodies were not able to sustain their torments, till... they had the favor to be slain. Those whom they caught in the day time were slain... the terror that was upon the people was so great, that no one had courage enough either to weep openly for the dead… for if they did, those that mourned for others soon underwent the same death with those whom they mourned for {ah, they were killed with death;}... and there were twelve thousand of the better sort who perished in this manner.”
– Josephus, JW, Book IV, 5:3

That appears to fit the fourth seal very well.

The Fifth Seal: Martyrs
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth {Israel;}? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

And of course in book V we have a description of the martyrs who want revenge but will have to wait just a little longer as "God" will demonstrate:

“…God himself demonstrated that his pains would prove of no use to him, by bringing the Romans upon him… Titus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor {testimony;}, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them….”
– Josephus, JW, Book V, 1:6

That is really a great match and the chances of coincidences have become already zero that all five seals would match the first five books so well and in the proper order.

The Sixth Seal: Terror
“...opened the sixth seal, and, lo... the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind... and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Of course the sixth seal is fulfilled in Book VI as the Roman soldiers begin to break through the walls of Jerusalem and enter the city, with "terror" falling upon the Jewish rebels, everyone "hiding underground" and "not being able to stand" as "God exercises his wrath" upon these insolent wicked wretches:

“…But for the seditious, some of them, as despairing of saving the city... went down into the subterranean vaults… Now as soon as a part of the wall was battered down, and certain of the towers yielded to the impression of the battering rams, those that opposed themselves fled away, and such a terror fell upon the tyrants, as was much greater than the occasion required; for before the enemy got over the breach they were quite stunned, and were immediately for flying away. And now one might see these men, who had hitherto been so insolent and arrogant in their wicked practices, to be cast down and to tremble… when those that came running before the rest told them that the western wall was entirely overthrown, while others said the Romans were gotten in, and others that they were near, and looking out for them, which were only the dictates of their fear, which imposed upon their sight, they fell upon their face, and greatly lamented their own mad conduct; and their nerves were so terribly loosed, that they could not flee away. And here one may chiefly reflect on the power of God exercised upon these wicked wretches, and on the good fortune of the Romans…”
– Josephus, JW, Book VI, 8:4

Wow, just found all the details that we are supposed to expect from the book of Revelation:
1) God's wrath,
2) No one can stand
3) Terror
4) Hiding underground
5) Even the towers are battered down "as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken".

These are the same story and it is in Book VI exactly where we would expect it for the sixth seal! That is way to much to be a coincidence, especial given all the other parallels before matching perfectly.

The Seventh Seal
“... opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”

And the biblical prophecy of the seventh seal is of course fulfilled in Book VII of Josephus, with prayers which go up, shouts and silence, also during the triumph celebration:

“…And as soon as ever it was day, Vespasian and Titus came out crowned with laurel, and clothed in those ancient purple habits which were proper to their family… Whereupon the soldiery made an acclamation of joy to them immediately, and all gave them attestations of their valor; while they were themselves without their arms, and only in their silken garments…then Vespasian accepted of these shouts of theirs; but while they were still disposed to go on in such acclamations, he gave them a signal of silence. And when every body entirely held their peace, he stood up, and covering the greatest part of his head with his cloak, he put up the accustomed solemn prayers; the like prayers did Titus put up also…”
– Josephus, JW, Book VII, 5:4

Then the Book of Revelation tells us how "God opened a Temple in Heaven" which also happens in the victory celebrations in Wars of the Jews:
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast {who beat Cestius, sent by Nero, i.e. the Jews;}, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.”
– Revelation 15:1-8

A temple built in heaven? Why would you need to open a temple in heaven? Unless heaven is Rome, of course…

OK, let's see, a vision of a sea made of glass mingled with fire, all nations worshiping, those who defeated the beast {Nero, after he sent his images into Jerusalem to be worshiped by them;} now praise God, visions of seas made of glass and fire and seven golden vials from the temple and opening a temple in heaven: all of these "prophecies" are fulfilled in Book VII, chapter 5 of the Wars of the Jews recalling the triumph celebrations after the war (VII:5:5) followed by the opening of a temple in heaven (VII:5:7), that makes six story points in this prophecy that are the same as in the Wars and follow the temporal sequence as well:

“Now it is impossible to describe the multitude of the shows as they deserve, and the magnificence of them all; such indeed as a man could not easily think of as performed, either by the labor of workmen, or the variety of riches, or the rarities of nature… demonstrated the vastness of the dominions of the Romans; for there was here to be seen a mighty quantity of silver, and gold, and ivory… and many resemblances of the war... affording a most lively portraiture of itself. For there was to be seen a happy country laid waste… as also every place full of slaughter, and supplications of the enemies... Fire also sent upon temples was here represented, and houses overthrown, and falling upon their owners: rivers also... ran down, not into a land cultivated, nor as drink for men, or for cattle, but through a land still on fire upon every side… the other spoils… that were taken in the temple of Jerusalem... that is, the golden table, of the weight of many talents; the candlestick also, that was made of gold… These lamps were in number seven… After these triumphs were over, and after the affairs of the Romans were settled on the surest foundations, Vespasian resolved to build a temple to Peace, which was finished in so short a time, and in so glorious a manner, as was beyond all human expectation {he must have been a God} and opinion… he had this temple adorned with pictures and statues... he also laid up therein those golden vessels and instruments that were taken out of the Jewish temple, as ensigns of his glory...”
– Josephus, JW, Book VII, 5:5-7

The book of Revelation gives us one verse introducing the seven seals of the apocalypse which parallels the passage above from Josephus' preface to the Wars of the Jews, even quoting the same number 7, and then follow descriptions of each seven seals and every time it extremely well parallels a passage from each of the seven books of Josephus. Then after that Revelation tells us about the temple in heaven which exactly parallels the triumph celebrations described by Josephus in Book VII. This is far too much to be coincidence, this is mimicking Josephus. The proves definitively that "the book with the seven seals of the apocalypse" from Revelation is a reference to the Wars of the Jews. The book is called Revelation and that is what it is supposed to do, reveal the true meaning of the New Testament. This demonstrates that the "apocalypse" described in the book of Revelation is actually what happened to the Jews in the First Jewish-Roman War, which really is not much of a surprise since Jesus said that his second coming and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the end of the world in Judea would happen within one generation (40 years) of his "ministry", which can only be referring to the First Jewish Roman War of 66-70 AD:

“And Jesus went out… to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said… 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… Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you… and then shall the end come… (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains… For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be… For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles {the symbol of the Roman army} be gathered together… Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
– Matthew 24:1-34

The second coming and the destruction of the temple, genocide in Judea and the end of the world already happened 40 years after the time when Jesus supposedly said it would, i.e. in the Jewish-Roman war of 66-70 AD.

“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

Obviously, if we don't believe in miracles and future-tellers, the only explanation here is that the New Testament is based on the Wars of the Jews. That is why the book of Revelation is refers to the Wars of the Jews as "the book with seven seals", because this is supposed to be a secret known only to those to whom "it has been given to understand".
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07-01-2017, 07:47 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(07-01-2017 07:03 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(05-01-2017 05:46 PM)mordant Wrote:  What seems far more likely to me if there is anything derivative going on, is that both the the NT and Josephus just recycle stock themes commonly used in ancient writings, as another poster ably pointed out.

No, you are very wrong. This proves definitively that the "book with the seven seals" is a reference to the seven books of the Wars of the Jews written by Flavius Josephus.

Revelation Chapter 5 tells:
"a book... sealed with seven seals... a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book… And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book"

A book with seven seals and only a Jew is worthy to open it. This fits almost exactly the description of the Wars of the Jews by Josephus himself in the preface:

“I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and have left no occasion for complaint... and I have written it down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those that please themselves [with fictitious relations]...”
– Josephus, JW, Preface:12

Then Revelation tells us about each one of the seals of the book:

"... opened one of the seals... And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."

Then in Book I we find a passage that has all the features of the first seal of the apocalypse, a crown, a bow and war:

Herod… spoke thus before his face: "O Caesar… I did not desert my benefactor after the bow that was given him at Actium… I told him… I would… assist him in his war against thee… I have laid aside my diadem... and I desire that thou wilt first consider how faithful a friend, and not whose friend, I have been." Caesar replied to him thus: "... thou shalt be a king…" When Caesar had spoken... and had put the diadem again about his head…”
– Josephus, JW, Book I, 20:1-3

That is a pretty amazing coincidence for book one and the first seal having a crown, a bow and war. Still, crowns bows and wars can come together though not necessarily always in the first book...
But now we look at the Second Seal:

"...he had opened the second seal... horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”

And in Book II of Josephus we find a passage that very well fits the description, swords and taking peace from the "earth" or Israel:

“…And when they had joined to themselves many of the Sicarii, who crowded in among the weaker people, (that was the name for such robbers as had under their bosoms swords called Sicae,) they grew bolder... insomuch that the king's soldiers were overpowered... so they gave way, and were driven out of the upper city by force…”
– Josephus, JW, Book II, 17:6

The Second Seal could very well be a coincidence, since swords and taking peace from the earth frequently go together, however it is a pretty impressive coincidence given that it is in the second book where we would expect it to be and given all the other matching details above.

Then we have the Third Seal: Famine

“... opened the third seal... And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice... say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”

The title of the third seal is “famine”, although no mention of famine appears in the passage itself, except for this strange mention of the pricing of wheat and barley, but this prophecy very clearly meets its literal fulfilment in Book III, because here we find a passage where Vespasian is trying to create a famine among the Jews hoping they will "petition" him for food (we already saw the set prices above):

“And now Vespasian was plainly irritated at... the boldness of the citizens of Jotapata; for... they made fresh sallies upon the Romans, and had every day conflicts with them by parties... and with the plundering of all that came to hand... and this till Vespasian made his army leave off fighting them, and resolved to lie round the city, and to starve them into a surrender, as supposing that either they would be forced to petition him for mercy by want of provisions, or... they should perish by famine:...”
– Josephus, JW, Book III, 7:11

The pair of balances would appear to represent the battering ram which Vespasian used to subdue the Jews when the famine didn't finish them off:
“…therefore, Vespasian… determined to make use of his battering ram. This battering ram… is slung in the air by ropes passing over its middle, and is hung like the balance in a pair of scales…”
– Josephus, JW, Book III, 7:19

Vespasian is the one who has a pair of balances in his hand which he uses to destroy cities and he can send famine upon the people and sets the price for grains if you want to petition any, all in book III of JW. These coincidences are now far too many. The seven seals are just picking out defining passages from each book and giving a short, comical representation of each. Let's keep going.

The Fourth Seal: Death
“... opened the fourth seal... I looked {remember, he sees it in the book}, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

The title of the fourth seal “death” and would appear to have its literal fulfillment in the fourth book, with terror, torture and death when the Idumeans arrive at Jerusalem before the Romans, thinking this would be the safest place for them to defend from the Romans, and try to take over the city beginning an internal civil war:

“Now after these were slain, the zealots and the multitude of the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals... the ordinary sort, they were destroyed... But for the noblemen and the youth, they first caught them and bound them, and shut them up in prison, and put off their slaughter, in hopes that some of them would turn over to their party; but not one of them would comply with their desires, but all of them preferred death before being enrolled among such wicked wretches... brought upon them terrible torments; for they were so scourged and tortured, that their bodies were not able to sustain their torments, till... they had the favor to be slain. Those whom they caught in the day time were slain... the terror that was upon the people was so great, that no one had courage enough either to weep openly for the dead… for if they did, those that mourned for others soon underwent the same death with those whom they mourned for {ah, they were killed with death;}... and there were twelve thousand of the better sort who perished in this manner.”
– Josephus, JW, Book IV, 5:3

That appears to fit the fourth seal very well.

The Fifth Seal: Martyrs
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth {Israel;}? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

And of course in book V we have a description of the martyrs who want revenge but will have to wait just a little longer as "God" will demonstrate:

“…God himself demonstrated that his pains would prove of no use to him, by bringing the Romans upon him… Titus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor {testimony;}, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them….”
– Josephus, JW, Book V, 1:6

That is really a great match and the chances of coincidences have become already zero that all five seals would match the first five books so well and in the proper order.

The Sixth Seal: Terror
“...opened the sixth seal, and, lo... the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind... and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Of course the sixth seal is fulfilled in Book VI as the Roman soldiers begin to break through the walls of Jerusalem and enter the city, with "terror" falling upon the Jewish rebels, everyone "hiding underground" and "not being able to stand" as "God exercises his wrath" upon these insolent wicked wretches:

“…But for the seditious, some of them, as despairing of saving the city... went down into the subterranean vaults… Now as soon as a part of the wall was battered down, and certain of the towers yielded to the impression of the battering rams, those that opposed themselves fled away, and such a terror fell upon the tyrants, as was much greater than the occasion required; for before the enemy got over the breach they were quite stunned, and were immediately for flying away. And now one might see these men, who had hitherto been so insolent and arrogant in their wicked practices, to be cast down and to tremble… when those that came running before the rest told them that the western wall was entirely overthrown, while others said the Romans were gotten in, and others that they were near, and looking out for them, which were only the dictates of their fear, which imposed upon their sight, they fell upon their face, and greatly lamented their own mad conduct; and their nerves were so terribly loosed, that they could not flee away. And here one may chiefly reflect on the power of God exercised upon these wicked wretches, and on the good fortune of the Romans…”
– Josephus, JW, Book VI, 8:4

Wow, just found all the details that we are supposed to expect from the book of Revelation:
1) God's wrath,
2) No one can stand
3) Terror
4) Hiding underground
5) Even the towers are battered down "as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken".

These are the same story and it is in Book VI exactly where we would expect it for the sixth seal! That is way to much to be a coincidence, especial given all the other parallels before matching perfectly.

The Seventh Seal
“... opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”

And the biblical prophecy of the seventh seal is of course fulfilled in Book VII of Josephus, with prayers which go up, shouts and silence, also during the triumph celebration:

“…And as soon as ever it was day, Vespasian and Titus came out crowned with laurel, and clothed in those ancient purple habits which were proper to their family… Whereupon the soldiery made an acclamation of joy to them immediately, and all gave them attestations of their valor; while they were themselves without their arms, and only in their silken garments…then Vespasian accepted of these shouts of theirs; but while they were still disposed to go on in such acclamations, he gave them a signal of silence. And when every body entirely held their peace, he stood up, and covering the greatest part of his head with his cloak, he put up the accustomed solemn prayers; the like prayers did Titus put up also…”
– Josephus, JW, Book VII, 5:4

Then the Book of Revelation tells us how "God opened a Temple in Heaven" which also happens in the victory celebrations in Wars of the Jews:
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast {who beat Cestius, sent by Nero, i.e. the Jews;}, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.”
– Revelation 15:1-8

A temple built in heaven? Why would you need to open a temple in heaven? Unless heaven is Rome, of course…

OK, let's see, a vision of a sea made of glass mingled with fire, all nations worshiping, those who defeated the beast {Nero, after he sent his images into Jerusalem to be worshiped by them;} now praise God, visions of seas made of glass and fire and seven golden vials from the temple and opening a temple in heaven: all of these "prophecies" are fulfilled in Book VII, chapter 5 of the Wars of the Jews recalling the triumph celebrations after the war (VII:5:5) followed by the opening of a temple in heaven (VII:5:7), that makes six story points in this prophecy that are the same as in the Wars and follow the temporal sequence as well:

“Now it is impossible to describe the multitude of the shows as they deserve, and the magnificence of them all; such indeed as a man could not easily think of as performed, either by the labor of workmen, or the variety of riches, or the rarities of nature… demonstrated the vastness of the dominions of the Romans; for there was here to be seen a mighty quantity of silver, and gold, and ivory… and many resemblances of the war... affording a most lively portraiture of itself. For there was to be seen a happy country laid waste… as also every place full of slaughter, and supplications of the enemies... Fire also sent upon temples was here represented, and houses overthrown, and falling upon their owners: rivers also... ran down, not into a land cultivated, nor as drink for men, or for cattle, but through a land still on fire upon every side… the other spoils… that were taken in the temple of Jerusalem... that is, the golden table, of the weight of many talents; the candlestick also, that was made of gold… These lamps were in number seven… After these triumphs were over, and after the affairs of the Romans were settled on the surest foundations, Vespasian resolved to build a temple to Peace, which was finished in so short a time, and in so glorious a manner, as was beyond all human expectation {he must have been a God} and opinion… he had this temple adorned with pictures and statues... he also laid up therein those golden vessels and instruments that were taken out of the Jewish temple, as ensigns of his glory...”
– Josephus, JW, Book VII, 5:5-7

The book of Revelation gives us one verse introducing the seven seals of the apocalypse which parallels the passage above from Josephus' preface to the Wars of the Jews, even quoting the same number 7, and then follow descriptions of each seven seals and every time it extremely well parallels a passage from each of the seven books of Josephus. Then after that Revelation tells us about the temple in heaven which exactly parallels the triumph celebrations described by Josephus in Book VII. This is far too much to be coincidence, this is mimicking Josephus. The proves definitively that "the book with the seven seals of the apocalypse" from Revelation is a reference to the Wars of the Jews. The book is called Revelation and that is what it is supposed to do, reveal the true meaning of the New Testament. This demonstrates that the "apocalypse" described in the book of Revelation is actually what happened to the Jews in the First Jewish-Roman War, which really is not much of a surprise since Jesus said that his second coming and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the end of the world in Judea would happen within one generation (40 years) of his "ministry", which can only be referring to the First Jewish Roman War of 66-70 AD:

“And Jesus went out… to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said… 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… Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you… and then shall the end come… (whoso readeth, let him understandSmile Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains… For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be… For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles {the symbol of the Roman army} be gathered together… Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
– Matthew 24:1-34

The second coming and the destruction of the temple, genocide in Judea and the end of the world already happened 40 years after the time when Jesus supposedly said it would, i.e. in the Jewish-Roman war of 66-70 AD.

“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

Obviously, if we don't believe in miracles and future-tellers, the only explanation here is that the New Testament is based on the Wars of the Jews. That is why the book of Revelation is refers to the Wars of the Jews as "the book with seven seals", because this is supposed to be a secret known only to those to whom "it has been given to understand".

Nope. It's Not the "only explanation", and it's not "obvious".
Nice try at promoting your rag.

The "messinaic secret" was a well-known meme.
Buncha dot-conneted non-sequiturs by another non-scholar with an agenda.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-01-2017, 08:19 AM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(07-01-2017 07:03 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(05-01-2017 05:46 PM)mordant Wrote:  What seems far more likely to me if there is anything derivative going on, is that both the the NT and Josephus just recycle stock themes commonly used in ancient writings, as another poster ably pointed out.

No, you are very wrong. This proves definitively that the "book with the seven seals" is a reference to the seven books of the Wars of the Jews written by Flavius Josephus

((( 846 paragraphs breathlessly describing other incidental similarities)))

Obviously, if we don't believe in miracles and future-tellers, the only explanation here is that the New Testament is based on the Wars of the Jews. That is why the book of Revelation is refers to the Wars of the Jews as "the book with seven seals", because this is supposed to be a secret known only to those to whom "it has been given to understand".
Look, the fact that the Revelation has seven seals and that Josephus published in seven volumes has nothing in common but the number seven. You can list off a zillion similar comparisons and all you are doing is multiplying by zero. This is no different than any conspiracy theory or tale of ancient astronauts or whatever, pulling in threads and way overstating the potential import of those threads.

Then you crown it all with "Obviously ... the ONLY explanation here is (mine)". Well it may be obvious to you, dude, but to me, it is no different than any conspiracy theorist's M.O.* The human brain is not, contrary to popular attribution, a computer, it is a pattern-matching engine, and not a very discerning one at that, if you don't bring conscious awareness and skepticism into play.

* Including wearing people down with TL;DR walls of text until they concede the point or at least leave you the hell alone.
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07-01-2017, 04:13 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(05-01-2017 04:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  More unsupported dot connecting.

Dot connecting happens to be the only way of understand satire. You have to compare the satire to the original, only then does it make any sense or any commentary. If you don't connect the dots you wont get it, that's just the way satire and mimicry work. Besides, "dot connecting" normally entails connecting unrelated events. I am talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, which most Christians take as the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy, and the historical record of that destruction by Josephus. Those are not unrelated topics, they are related by definition. Then I do a textual comparison and analysis. That is not "dot connecting" that is textual comparison, that is how you determine textual dependence, so your attack of "dot connecting" is bunk and stupid on the surface of it. Will you call all textual comparisons "dot connecting"? If you do, go back to school.

(05-01-2017 04:14 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  These concepts did not originate from Josephus.
The concept of Apocalyptic seal (breaking) was widely circulating the ancient near East. The ideas were available to anyone, and had been for centuries.
They could have been using similar sources and there were hundreds of "Books of Revelation" with apocalyptic visions.

In general that is true, but I just demonstrated to you all seven seals are excellent parallels to the seven books of the Wars of the Jews, even Josephus' introduction in the Preface is an excellent parallel to first the description of the "book with seven seals" and the temple in heaven is a perfect parallel to the temple which Vespasian opened in Rome. Do you want me to show you the "seven bowls of wrath" "fulfilled" (as in "already happened") in the Wars of the Jews, or almost any other part of the book of Revelation? Because I can show you an excellent, convincing parallel for almost every passage. Do you think Josephus based his entire history of the war on some other source which the authors of Revelation also used? Seems pretty ridiculous.

(11-12-2016 04:48 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  You aren't going to surprise too many historians with the assertion that whoever the fuck wrote 'Luke' had read Josephus and liberally copied some parts.

Well, it seems they do get surprised and even vitriolic.

(06-01-2017 07:00 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  If I want to read comic books - I can go to the comic book store and argue the finer points with the nerds there................

Based on the level of your comments, I'm guessing that is what you spend most of your time doing. I am talking about Josephus and the New Testament, topics you might find in any atheist circles. But I see from your comments again and again, your head is only in the comic book store, so maybe you are in the wrong place. Think about it.

(05-01-2017 04:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  Is Fuckwads in the same class of dot-connector as Deltaboy? Consider

I take that to imply that you have no meaningful critique or argument and have the lexical/argumentation level of a fifth grader. Thank you for sharing that with us!

(07-01-2017 08:19 AM)mordant Wrote:  Look, the fact that the Revelation has seven seals and that Josephus published in seven volumes has nothing in common but the number seven. Then you crown it all with "Obviously ... the ONLY explanation here is (mine)".

No, they both clearly state they are seven books, which can only be read by someone worthy and then all of the seven seals each with three to seven common plot elements (not just words, but whole ideas) and match in exactly the same order. One text depending on the other is the only explanation for them being the same story! Especially when it is the comparison of record of the destruction of Israel and temple and the supposed "prediction" of that destruction happening forty years after Jesus or around 66-70 AD unless you believe in magic. Are you a Christian, mordant? Because those are pretty much the only two options, it is either a miracle or plagiarism. Your argument against me is "nuh-uh".

(06-01-2017 06:52 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  The reliability of Josephus as biblical source has long been questionable.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...uistically

You are missing the point entirely. This is not about the Testimonium Flavianum, the most likely "pious fraud" or "Christian interpolation" to try and give the impression of historicity of Jesus. This is about demonstrating that the "book with the seven seals" is a description of the seven books of the Wars of the Jews. You clearly did not read any of my original post at all and just saw the word "Josephus" and decided I was a Christian nut and paste an unconsidered random take down of that completely different topic. I honestly did expect more from "The Thinking Atheists".

(07-01-2017 08:19 AM)mordant Wrote:  * Including wearing people down with TL;DR walls of text until they concede the point or at least leave you the hell alone.

I am well aware that this generation is hardly capable of handling more than 140 characters. If you belong to that category I kindly welcome you to go back to twitter and not try to read forums.

(05-01-2017 11:15 AM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(05-01-2017 05:21 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Firstly, spell the guy's name correctly eh?

It is Timaeus and Bartimaeus in the KJV of Mark and Timeus in the Whiston translation of Josephus, so please tell me when I managed to spell it wrong?

And then you just throw weak fake attacks mixed with insults because you don't have any actual counter arguments. Is this really the best that the "Thinking Atheists" have to offer? Personal attacks, name calling, falsely trying to attack spelling and replies that have nothing to do with the original post and show you reply without even knowing what it's about? And no where a levelheaded, rational discussion of the topics I'm raising? Is it entirely impossible to come here and have a rational discussion or argument about atheist/historical topics? Why do I seem to have somehow hit a nerve as to make people so vitriolic and angry by suggesting more of what very many scholars, Christian and atheist, already believe, a textual dependence between the New Testament and Josephus? Why do "atheists" defend the authenticity of the New Testament so angrily? If I am wrong, are you incapable of having a discussion about why or actually giving any kind of information about why you think that instead of just turning to vitriolic dismissiveness and knee-jerk attack mode? I'm almost to the point of recommending a name change to "CircleJerkAtheists.com".
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07-01-2017, 04:19 PM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2017 04:25 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(07-01-2017 04:13 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  Why do "atheists" defend the authenticity of the New Testament so angrily? If I am wrong, are you incapable of having a discussion about why or actually giving any kind of information about why you think that instead of just turning to vitriolic dismissiveness and knee-jerk attack mode? I'm almost to the point of recommending a name change to "CircleJerkAtheists.com".

You've been asked to provide the EVIDENCE for your many assertions and conclusion jumping. All you did was re-assert your (supposed) parallels. You have no actual evidence that anyone copied anything, or shown us HOW EXACTLY one writer would have had access to another, AND the same motivation, you assume. Each of the gospels has it's OWN audience and motivation, which you NEVER address. You're just yet another internet nut with a pet theory. You were asked to show us the contemporary scholars you CLAIM agree with this nonsense. You never did.

Nice straw-man you make up there. No one is defending the "authenticity" of anything. YOU MISSED THE ENTIRE point of all the criticism. You FAILED to provide evidence that there was any referencing or copying going on. THAT is not defending "authenticity".

Quote:You have to compare the satire to the original, only then does it make any sense or any commentary.

You have not proven anything was an "original". You assumed and CLAIMED and asserted they were related. Nothing more. You never demonstrated anything was related. That's (imaginary) dot connecting.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-01-2017, 04:19 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(07-01-2017 04:13 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(05-01-2017 04:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  Is Fuckwads in the same class of dot-connector as Deltaboy? Consider

I take that to imply that you have no meaningful critique or argument and have the lexical/argumentation level of a fifth grader. Thank you for sharing that with us!

Or you might have noticed that it was a question to Bucky. So piss off.

You never responded to the actual substantive comment directed to you, so I take it that you have the attention span of a fifth grader. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-01-2017, 04:23 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(07-01-2017 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(07-01-2017 04:13 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  Why do "atheists" defend the authenticity of the New Testament so angrily? If I am wrong, are you incapable of having a discussion about why or actually giving any kind of information about why you think that instead of just turning to vitriolic dismissiveness and knee-jerk attack mode? I'm almost to the point of recommending a name change to "CircleJerkAtheists.com".

You've been asked to provide the EVIDENCE for your many assertions and conclusion jumping. All you did was re-assert your (supposed) parallels. You have no actual evidence that anyone copied anything. Just yet another internet nut with a pet theory.

Nice straw-man you make up there. No one is defending the "authenticity" of anything. YOU MISSED THE ENTIRE point of all the criticism. You FAILED to provide evidence that there was any referencing or copying going on.
THAT is not defending "authenticity".

I explained my points fully. The evidence of imitating is that the text imitates the other. You fail to explain how it is not evidence!!! I see again and again that all none of you are addressing my comments directly or arguing against any of the parallels, you just say "nuh-uh".
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07-01-2017, 04:27 PM
RE: Josephus/NT Parallel: The Seven Seals of the Apocalypse
(07-01-2017 04:23 PM)fhqwhgads Wrote:  
(07-01-2017 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You've been asked to provide the EVIDENCE for your many assertions and conclusion jumping. All you did was re-assert your (supposed) parallels. You have no actual evidence that anyone copied anything. Just yet another internet nut with a pet theory.

Nice straw-man you make up there. No one is defending the "authenticity" of anything. YOU MISSED THE ENTIRE point of all the criticism. You FAILED to provide evidence that there was any referencing or copying going on.
THAT is not defending "authenticity".

I explained my points fully. The evidence of imitating is that the text imitates the other. You fail to explain how it is not evidence!!! I see again and again that all none of you are addressing my comments directly or arguing against any of the parallels, you just say "nuh-uh".

Except, there were those two really good questions/arguments you raised, so far you gave me the best questions, that was nice, we almost got into a discussion. But it didn't last long before you devolved back into just knee-jerk yelling no with insults.
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