The great josephus interpolation
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14-09-2014, 11:42 AM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
Actually you do sound like an Asshole, First-Class, DB.

Mythology is simply that. It does not become true because it happens to fit your predetermined notions. There is no more actual evidence for any 'jesus' than there is for 'Osiris.'

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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14-09-2014, 12:28 PM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
As I understand it, Richard Dawkins forum was shut down by RD himself because of the type of abusive bullying that Bucky Ball engages in on this forum.

The problem is that this type of vile , ignorant, childish language gives atheism a bad name and at the same time makes a lot of atheists not want to come onto these forums if they can't discuss things openly. Ellis and Atwill are perfect examples. They are both atheists and their positions are well researched but the response from some atheists is vitriolic and shrill.

Another question that this raises in my mind is whether "atheism" has any point at all. As Dawkins points out frequently he is no more an atheist than he is an "afairiest" or an "alepricaunist". Defining oneself by one's loathing of a silly religion or aspects of a silly religion and then embarking on a tirade of abuse of anyone an everyone you disagree with in the context of a chat forum which styles itself as for "thinking" people is mind bogglingly stupid.

I've tried to explain some simple points here. There was a religion based on Horus worship in Egypt and the Near East. It revolved around the figure of an anointed messianic astronomical figure who appears most promiently in the sky at Christmas with a large stellar cross formation on his back topped by the planet Jupite, or Zeus. That is what this is about and it is a religion which predates Jesus. It is part and parcel of ancient Judaism and even Jerusalem is named after this god figure.

The whole monotheistic messianic movement of Egypt and the Near East came into conflict with Rome in the first century AD. It had leaders. It was crushed, or so it was thought but is it not actually the case that this form of monotheism with a militant messianic side is still around in the form of Islam?

Set against this, Christianity bears more resemblance to a reinvented and recast Hellenistic gnosticism much like Epicureanism which emphasized friendship and knowledge. If that is the case, and it is an invented religion which was intended to help change the militant monotheism of the time, then Christianity is a religion which is apart from and distinct form the monotheism of the time and we are looking, in Islam, at a continuation of this old religion in a new name.
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14-09-2014, 12:38 PM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
(14-09-2014 12:28 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  As I understand it, Richard Dawkins forum was shut down by RD himself because of the type of abusive bullying that Bucky Ball engages in on this forum.

The problem is that this type of vile , ignorant, childish language gives atheism a bad name and at the same time makes a lot of atheists not want to come onto these forums if they can't discuss things openly. Ellis and Atwill are perfect examples. They are both atheists and their positions are well researched but the response from some atheists is vitriolic and shrill.

Another question that this raises in my mind is whether "atheism" has any point at all. As Dawkins points out frequently he is no more an atheist than he is an "afairiest" or an "alepricaunist". Defining oneself by one's loathing of a silly religion or aspects of a silly religion and then embarking on a tirade of abuse of anyone an everyone you disagree with in the context of a chat forum which styles itself as for "thinking" people is mind bogglingly stupid.

I've tried to explain some simple points here. There was a religion based on Horus worship in Egypt and the Near East. It revolved around the figure of an anointed messianic astronomical figure who appears most promiently in the sky at Christmas with a large stellar cross formation on his back topped by the planet Jupite, or Zeus. That is what this is about and it is a religion which predates Jesus. It is part and parcel of ancient Judaism and even Jerusalem is named after this god figure.

The whole monotheistic messianic movement of Egypt and the Near East came into conflict with Rome in the first century AD. It had leaders. It was crushed, or so it was thought but is it not actually the case that this form of monotheism with a militant messianic side is still around in the form of Islam?

Set against this, Christianity bears more resemblance to a reinvented and recast Hellenistic gnosticism much like Epicureanism which emphasized friendship and knowledge. If that is the case, and it is an invented religion which was intended to help change the militant monotheism of the time, then Christianity is a religion which is apart from and distinct form the monotheism of the time and we are looking, in Islam, at a continuation of this old religion in a new name.


I would take Bucky's language any day of the week over the bullshit you try to sell. You sir are not even a fraud you are a lackey to a fraud. You regurgitate huge tracts of Ellis's unfounded undocumented mental masturbation and when you are rightly called out on it you feign righteous indignation. It does not work for the fundies and it does not work for you. Don't like the way you are treated here feel free to leave.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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14-09-2014, 12:49 PM (This post was last modified: 14-09-2014 04:50 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The great josephus interpolation
(14-09-2014 12:28 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  As I understand it, Richard Dawkins forum was shut down by RD himself because of the type of abusive bullying that Bucky Ball engages in on this forum.

The problem is that this type of vile , ignorant, childish language gives atheism a bad name and at the same time makes a lot of atheists not want to come onto these forums if they can't discuss things openly. Ellis and Atwill are perfect examples. They are both atheists and their positions are well researched but the response from some atheists is vitriolic and shrill.

Another question that this raises in my mind is whether "atheism" has any point at all. As Dawkins points out frequently he is no more an atheist than he is an "afairiest" or an "alepricaunist". Defining oneself by one's loathing of a silly religion or aspects of a silly religion and then embarking on a tirade of abuse of anyone an everyone you disagree with in the context of a chat forum which styles itself as for "thinking" people is mind bogglingly stupid.

I've tried to explain some simple points here. There was a religion based on Horus worship in Egypt and the Near East. It revolved around the figure of an anointed messianic astronomical figure who appears most promiently in the sky at Christmas with a large stellar cross formation on his back topped by the planet Jupite, or Zeus. That is what this is about and it is a religion which predates Jesus. It is part and parcel of ancient Judaism and even Jerusalem is named after this god figure.

The whole monotheistic messianic movement of Egypt and the Near East came into conflict with Rome in the first century AD. It had leaders. It was crushed, or so it was thought but is it not actually the case that this form of monotheism with a militant messianic side is still around in the form of Islam?

Set against this, Christianity bears more resemblance to a reinvented and recast Hellenistic gnosticism much like Epicureanism which emphasized friendship and knowledge. If that is the case, and it is an invented religion which was intended to help change the militant monotheism of the time, then Christianity is a religion which is apart from and distinct form the monotheism of the time and we are looking, in Islam, at a continuation of this old religion in a new name.


What ever you say dear. Whatever you say.

I never said I was an atheist. In fact if you even ever actually read anything I said, I said I'm an Igtheist, as just as YOU say Dawkins points out, saying one is a "a-theist" when no one can define what a "god" is is preposterous, So thanks for demonstrating yet again you are a fool, and actually read nothing here, and are just ranting for ranting's sake, as we won't swallow your hallucinations. (First it's incorrect English, then when proven WRONG it's "poor English"). Anything to attempt to maintain you self-righteous superiority, asshole. Feel free to go away as you promised. But I suspect NOWHERE wiil put up with your infantile dot-connecting, so you HAVE to come here.

Your fantastically ignorant dot-connecting gives History a bad name. It's not "bullying" unless it's taken seriously. Thanks for admitting you take it seriously. You are a joke to me. Dismissing ignorant crap is not "bullying". Yet another pile of crap assertions, and NOT ONE reference. We asked Ellis to support his crap. He didn't and couldn't. There is a DIFFERENCE between REAL History and scholarship, and the sort of ignorant garbage you fantasize. More waa waa waa from a "victim".

"Here was a religion based on Horus worship in Egypt and the Near East. It revolved around the figure of an anointed messianic astronomical figure who appears most promiently in the sky at Christmas with a large stellar cross formation on his back topped by the planet Jupiter, or Zeus. That is what this is about and it is a religion which predates Jesus. It is part and parcel of ancient Judaism and even Jerusalem is named after this god figure"

Another huge pile of crap lies, from the liar extraordinaire, without ONE SHRED of supporting documentation. (BTW, it's "prominently", not "promiently" Tongue).
There is not a shred of evidence for that pile of shit, or that that nonsense was a part of Judaism, and NO SCHOLAR ON THE PLANET agrees with it. If you had ever actually gone to school you might know, (if you ever took Hebrew, which we all know you didn't) Jerusalem is a play on the Hebrew word for "will see" ("yireh") the god. In the myth Abraham, after the Lot incident was greeted by Malchizedek, the king of Shalem, who greeted him with food (bread and wine). There was an ancient myth that Malchizedek (the High Priest) was actually Shem, the son of Noah, and that Shalem was the spot that Abraham would eventually rename as "Yireh". So Shalem is the second half: Yireh + Shalem = Yerushalayim. The corroboration is in the Midrash, (again something we know you never even opened even once), "Said the Holy One, blessed be He, 'If I call the place Yireh like Abraham did, the righteous Shem will complain. However if I refer to it as Shalem, the righteous Abraham will complain. Rather, I will call it Yerushalayim, and that name will contain the way it was called by both of them: Yireh Shalem' ", (the place where "god will be seen").

So thanks again for demonstrating you haven't the slightest clue what you're on about, in your fake imaginary dot-connecting. Facts are facts. If you think facts are "bullying" go home to mommy.


(14-09-2014 12:28 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  The whole monotheistic messianic movement of Egypt and the Near East came into conflict with Rome in the first century AD. It had leaders. It was crushed, or so it was thought but is it not actually the case that this form of monotheism with a militant messianic side is still around in the form of Islam?

Set against this, Christianity bears more resemblance to a reinvented and recast Hellenistic gnosticism much like Epicureanism which emphasized friendship and knowledge. If that is the case, and it is an invented religion which was intended to help change the militant monotheism of the time, then Christianity is a religion which is apart from and distinct form the monotheism of the time and we are looking, in Islam, at a continuation of this old religion in a new name.

There is not a shred of historical accuracy in any of this. None at all. The Egyptians were not looking for a messiah. You have demonstrated that in no way, shape or form, and have never once provided one piece of evidence for it. A small sub-set of Jews thought the "anointed one" would re-establish the kingdom. Monotheism in Egypt had LONG before been rejected, so your premise is ludicrous and false. There was a LONG break between, and absolutely NO LINK, (which you have not demonstrated) between the Islam and anything at the turn of the millennium. Just cooked up delusional fantasy. Christians were JEWS for centuries. No scholar disputes that. You also have provided not a shred of evidence for you fantasy of why Christianity was founded. Anyone can write any fiction, (as you have). Without support IT IS DISMISSED. It's nothing but crap fakery. Not one scholar in the entire world agrees with your delusions. The fact two things (Islam and something else might share 1 trait) IN NO WAY means one is a "continuation" of the other. Your methodology sucks donkey dicks. If you were in academia you would be flunked, and laughed out the door, and off the campus. Epicureanism was antithetical to Christianity. You obviously have never read Paul. Your delusions know no bounds. All just fanciful delusional dot-connecting with no evidence. Chrstians had just as many "holy wars" as anyone else. Your premise is false.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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14-09-2014, 03:02 PM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
(14-09-2014 11:13 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  "Everyone here". That would be you and your dog, right?

I am right Chas. I don't need to check a dictionary.

"Dismiss" is a transitive verb or an adjective. Either he is saying that he "dismisses" it which would be fine. I can dismiss an argument. But to say that "it is dismissed" is just bad use of language. If I said that my argument was "accepted", the first thing he would say is "by whom?".

What he meant to say is that my argument is "crap", although that is slang and also poor use of language. Just saying "it is dismissed" is a actually a pronouncement which makes Bucky Ball sound like a bit of a psycho and a meglomaniac.

Which of course, he probably is.

You are making up your own quirky version of English grammar just like you make up your own quirky version of history.

It is correct English just like:
it is written,
it is ordered,
it is made,
and so on and so forth.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-09-2014, 04:45 PM (This post was last modified: 15-09-2014 02:11 AM by WhiskeyDebates.)
RE: The great josephus interpolation
DB would you shut the fuck up with your never ending whiny little bitch routine? People are not hostile to you because you have a different opinion or set of beliefs, people are hostile to you because you are more interested in playing the "What If?" game and connecting illusory dots then what is actually demonstrably true. Speaking from a personal stand point I lost all respect for you when you started telling people a book you had not even read was the best explanation. That kind of public display of ignorance is disturbing, trying to defend a position your not informed of against people who ARE informed is a slavish obedience to a predetermined view. That kind of intellectual frippery does not play well here.

People are not hostile to your view DB they are hostile to the fact that you have been shown repeatedly and at great length by multiple people just what is wrong with Ellis and Atwils' arguments and all you can do is accuse us of being small minded or mean. Ellis, like you, did not receive hostility because he had an different idea in fact he received QUESTIONS. We wanted to know what his evidence was and if he could support his claims. His evidence ranged from made up to shaky at best and he couldn't support much of what he said at all and it was his refusal to acknowledge the VERY real and VERY obvious problems with his hypothesis that earned him the hostility of this community. Just like you DB.

Lastly calling someone close minded is one of the stupidest arguments there is. You NEVER see it in an intellectual context it is solely the providence of the Woo peddler, no one publishes a physics paper and complains that the detractors are "close minded" when they poke holes in the theory. It is used almost exclusively by people selling bullshit they can't prove.

So in closing: Provide actual evidence not "hey guys this stuff sounds like it could be maybe kinda related some how" connect the dots bullshit or shut the fuck up. You wanna have a respectful conversation start by respecting the intellectual honesty the rest of us have. You think we are mean? Good for you now fuck off if you can't handle it or stop bitching about it if you can. We don't care if your feelings are hurt. Lastly will you shut the motherless motherfucking hell up about Ellis? He is not credible and you just look stupid each time you act like he is and you drag him into EVERY FUCKING THREAD YOU GO. It's tedious.

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14-09-2014, 04:47 PM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
(14-09-2014 07:33 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  .... it doesn't wash in the real world or academia to suggest that you can comment on a position when you haven't even read the book.

(20-05-2014 08:54 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  My opinion remains, even though I haven't read Ellis, that he is probably the closest to getting to the bottom of it.

Uh-huh.

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15-09-2014, 03:44 PM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
(14-09-2014 04:47 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  
(14-09-2014 07:33 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  .... it doesn't wash in the real world or academia to suggest that you can comment on a position when you haven't even read the book.

(20-05-2014 08:54 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  My opinion remains, even though I haven't read Ellis, that he is probably the closest to getting to the bottom of it.

Uh-huh.

hehe well done Whiskey Big Grin

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"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-09-2014, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2014 12:24 PM by Free.)
RE: The great josephus interpolation
(12-09-2014 08:00 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Flavius Josephus

Christian apologetic fan's most popular non-Christian writer who mentions Jesus is Flavius Josephus. Although he was born in 37 CE and could not have been a contemporary of Jesus, he lived close enough to the time to be considered a valuable secondhand source. Josephus was a highly respected and much quoted Roman historian. He died sometime after the year 100 and his two major tomes were ‘The antiquities of the Jews’ and ‘the wars of the Jews’. Antiquities was written sometime after the year 90 CE. In book 18, chapter 3, this paragraph is encountered:

“now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, and condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and 10,000 other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

This does appear to give historical confirmation for the existence of Jesus. But is it authentic? Most scholars, including most fundamentalist scholars, admit that at least some parts of this paragraph cannot be authentic. Many are convinced that the entire paragraph is a complete forgery, an interpolation inserted by Christians at a later time. There are at least seven solid reasons for this:

1) The paragraph is absent from early copies of the works of Josephus. For example, it does not appear in Origen’s second century version of Josephus, in ‘Origen Contra Celsum’, where Origen fiercely defended Christianity against the heretical views of Celsus. Origen quoted freely from Josephus to prove his points, but never once used this paragraph, which would have been the ultimate ace up his sleeve.

In fact, the Josephus paragraph about Jesus does not appear at all until the beginning of the fourth century, at the time of Emperor Constantine. Bishop Eusebius, a close ally of the Emperor, was instrumental in crystallizing and defining the version of Christianity was to become Orthodox, and he is the first person known to have quoted this paragraph of Josephus. Eusebius once wrote that it was a permissible “medicine” for historians to create fictions – prompting historian Jacob Burckhardt to call Eusebius “the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity.”

The fact that Josephus – Jesus paragraph shows up at this point in history – at a time when interpolations and revisions were quite common and when the Emperor was eager to demolish gnostic Christianity and replace it with literalistic Christianity – makes the passage quite dubious. Many scholars believe that Eusebius was the forger and interpolator of the paragraph on Jesus that magically appears in the works of Josephus.

2) Josephus would not have called Jesus “the Christ” or “the truth.” Whoever wrote these phrases was a believing Christian. Josephus was a messianic Jew, and if he truly believed Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah (the Christ), he certainly would have given more than a passing reference to him. Josephus never converted to Christianity. Origen reported that Josephus was “not believing in Jesus as the Christ.”

3) The passage is out of context. Book 18 (containing the interval of 32 years from the banishment of Archelus to the departure from Babylon) starts with Roman taxation under Cyrenius in 6 CE and talks about various Jewish sexts at the time, including the Essenes and a sect of Judas the Galilean, which he devotes three times more space than to Jesus. He discusses at great depth the local history in great detail. But oddly this single paragraph can be lifted out of the text with no damage to the chapter or the way it flows.… Almost as if it was added after the fact, which of course it was.

4) The phrase “to this day” shows that this is a later interpolation. There was no “tribe of Christians” during Josephus time. Christianity did not get off the ground until the second century.

5) In all of Josephus voluminuous works, there is not a single reference to Christianity anywhere outside of this tiny paragraph. He relates much more about John the Baptist than about Jesus. He lists the activities of many other self-proclaimed Messiahs, including Judas of Galilee, Theudas the magician and the Egyptian Jew Messiah, but is mute about the life of one whom he claims (if he had actually wrote it) is the answer to this messianic hopes.

6) The paragraph mentions that the “divine prophets” foretold the life Jesus, but Josephus neglects to mention who these prophets were or what they said. In no other place does Josephus connect any Hebrew prediction with the life of Jesus. If Jesus truly had been the fulfillment of divine prophecy, as Christians believe, Josephus would’ve been the one learned enough to document it.

7) The hyperbolic language of the paragraph is uncharacteristic of a careful historian: “… As the divine prophets had foretold these and 10,000 other wonderful things concerning him…” This sounds more like sectarian propaganda – in other words, more like the new testament – than objective reporting. It is very unlike Josephus.

Christians should be careful when they refer to Josephus as historical confirmation for Jesus. If we remove the forged paragraph, as we should, the works of Josephus become evidence against historicity. Josephus was a native of Judea and a contemporary of the apostles. He was governor of Galilee for a time, the province in which Jesus allegedly lived and taught. He transversed every part of this province and visited the places where but a generation before Christ performed his prodigies. He resided in Cana, the very city in which Christ is said to have wrought his first miracle. He mentions every noted personage of Palestine and describes every important event that occurred there during the first 70 years of the Christian era. But Christ was of so little consequence and his deeds too trivial to merit a line from this historians pen.

Consider

Okay, I'll bite.

Several problems with your arguments above, and I shall list and address each separately but in different posts. Firstly, we'll deal with Origen & Celsum:

Quote:1) The paragraph is absent from early copies of the works of Josephus. For example, it does not appear in Origen’s second century version of Josephus, in ‘Origen Contra Celsum’, where Origen fiercely defended Christianity against the heretical views of Celsus. Origen quoted freely from Josephus to prove his points, but never once used this paragraph, which would have been the ultimate ace up his sleeve.

Considering Origen's Contra Celsum

This argument regarding Origen's lack of mention of the Testimonium Flavium must be acknowledged as yet another argument from silence. But despite that, we will examine the facts surrounding the argument and present some counter-points in the interests of approximating the truth.

Once again the argument asserts that Origen had some dire need to use the Testimonium Flavium in his refutation of the previous works of Celsum. The counter-points shown below will show this argument to be demonstrated as false. Once again we must ask an important question:

What was Origen trying to demonstrate with his Contra Celsum work?

Upon reading Origen's Contra Celsum we are struck by the writer's objective as being that which attempts to refute a previous work created by Celsum known as the "True Discourse." Judging by the quotes Origen presents from True Discourse, we can easily determine that Origen is attempting to refute Celsum's statements against the validity of the Christian religion, as well as refute his claims against the religion of the Jews.

What was Origen not trying to demonstrate with his Contra Celsum work?

Again, judging by Origen's personal statements, as well as his quotes of Celsum, Origen was not trying to justify the existence of Jesus as a human being, nor that Jesus was crucified. It could be understood by the comments of Celsum that Celsum himself believed that Jesus existed, as the following statement by Celsum indicates:

Quote:Celsum wrote:

Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.

Obviously Celsum had his own view of the life of Jesus, and shows no doubts whatsoever as to the existence of Jesus as being nothing more than a mere human being who was proclaimed to be some kind of god. Therefore, the use of the Testimonium Flavium here would be of no effect in proving the existence of Jesus to Celsum, since a) Celsum was dead, and b) Celsum's True Discourse showed that Celsum believed Jesus existed as an ordinary man.

Also, the Contra Celsum work shows absolutely no indication that Celsum disbelieved that Jesus was crucified, therefore again we have no need of the Testimonium Flavium. In fact, the following quote from Contra Celsum provides evidence that Celsum did indeed have knowledge of the crucifixion of Jesus:

Quote:Contra Celsum wrote:

And in addition to the above, this Jew of Celsus afterwards addresses Jesus: "What need, moreover, was there that you, while still an infant, should be conveyed into Egypt? Was it to escape being murdered? But then it was not likely that a God should be afraid of death; and yet an angel came down from heaven, commanding you and your friends to flee, lest ye should be captured and put to death! And was not the great God, who had already sent two angels on your account, able to keep you, His only Son, there in safety?" From these words Celsus seems to think that there was no element of divinity in the human body and soul of Jesus, but that His body was not even such as is described in the fables of Homer; and with a taunt also at the blood of Jesus which was shed upon the cross, he adds that it was not "Ichor, such as flows in the veins of the blessed gods." - Chp LXVI

In the above quote, we see Origen quoting Celsum as Celsum is quoting a Jew. Yet what is important about the above quote is that at the very end, we see Origen stating the Celsum was taunting the death of Jesus on the cross. This is a clear and concise indication that Celsum knew that Jesus had been crucified, therefore we have another reason as to why there was no need to quote the Testimonium Flavium in his Contra Celsum.

Yet, there is still another question that needs to be addressed:

Why did Origen say that Josephus was not believing in Jesus as the Christ?

This question does indeed offer evidence that Origen indicates that the traditional Testimonium Flavium is not what he was reading in Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, for the traditional reading has Josephus stating clearly that Jesus was the Christ. Yet, the question asked above absolutely begs the need to ask another question:

How could Origen determine that Josephus was not believing in Jesus as the Christ?

Since we have Origen referring to the Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, then it is only reasonable that Origen could determine that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Christ from the works of Josephus himself. But where?

Let's begin to answer that by looking at Jerome:

Quote:Jerome wrote:

“In this same time was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be lawful to call him man. For he was a worker of wonderful miracles, and a teacher of those who freely receive the truth. He had very many adherents also, both of the Jews and of the Gentiles, and was believed to be Christ, and when through the envy of our chief men Pilate had crucified him, nevertheless those who had loved him at first continued to the end, for he appeared to them the third day alive. Many things, both these and other wonderful things are in the songs of the prophets who prophesied concerning him and the sect of Christians, so named from Him, exists to the present day.”


Jerome's quote of Josephus above does not show Josephus as one who professes Jesus to be the Christ. In fact, in the quote above we see Josephus merely expressing the views of others who believed that Jesus was the Christ. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to ascertain that Origen's statements regarding Josephus' state of disbelief could come from a similar transcript of the Testimonium above, since the above variant does not show Josephus as expressing any personal belief whatsoever that Jesus was the Christ.

In fact, Jerome's Testimonium- although showing a great deal in common with the traditional extant versions- lends credence to the Arabic variant which states the following:


Quote:Arabic Testimonium Flavium wrote:

"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 their loyalty to him. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah, concerning whom the Prophets have recounted wonders"


Even in the Arabic variant we see that Josephus was not stating any personal beliefs, but like in the Jerome version Josephus is expressing the views of many others. An argument also exists that the Arabic version is merely paraphrasing a previous copy, and is not actually quoting verbatim from a previous source. Yet, what we have demonstrated so far is that evidence exists which permits a reasonable hypothesis to support Origen's statement as to why Josephus himself was not showing any sign of belief that Jesus was the Christ.

Yet we are not finished yet, for when we further examine Antiquities of the Jews we noticed that the 2nd passage concerning Jesus states the following:

Quote:Josephus wrote:

Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James,


Once again we see Josephus referring to Jesus as someone who was called the Christ. Here, Josephus is not expressing any personal beliefs, but clearly demonstrating what others referred to Jesus as being; the Christ. This quotation lends even more credence to the possibility that the Jerome and Arabic versions of the Testimonium Flavium were the reasons why Origen made his statement, for in all 3 examples provided so far we do not see Josephus making any positive statement that Jesus was the Christ, but rather he is expressing the views of others.

One thing that must be acknowledged is the question of how Origen could determine that Josephus was not believing that Jesus was the Christ. Since all available evidence shows that Origen was intimately familiar with the Antiquities of the Jews, then the only reasonable conclusion we can arrive at according to the evidence is that Origen made this determination from both passages on Jesus in the Antiquities of the Jews.

So what does this prove? Nothing is conclusive, however the evidence indicates that total interpolation is very unlikely given the fact that we have 3 different variants of the Testimonium Flavium from 3 different sources. This evidence strongly indicates partial interpolation, with the focus resting directly on the differences between the positive claim of "He was the Christ" in traditional manuscripts, verses "He was believed to be the Christ" from records further back in history. The commonalities between the different versions also help to challenge the likelihood of total interpolation, since almost all variants share almost all the following:

1. Jesus was regarded to be the Christ.
2. Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate.
3. Jesus had many followers from the Jews and other peoples.
4. Jesus was a wise man, meaning he was well versed in his school of thought.
5. Jesus' followers did not abandon him after his death.
6. Jesus was regarded as one who fulfilled the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah.


All 6 of the commonalities listed above are found in all versions of the Testimonium Flavium. Since we have 3 different variations from 3 different sources, then the evidence strongly indicates that an original paragraph regarding Jesus existed in Antiquities of the Jews in the 18th Book, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3, and that paragraph contained all the commonalities aforementioned.

What this demonstrates is that when using only the commonalities between the variants as evidence, then Origen's comments regarding Josephus' state of disbelief is justified due to Josephus not expressing any personal belief that Jesus was the Christ, but rather the text indicating Josephus only expressing the views of others. If Josephus had not expressed a positive claim that Jesus was the Christ as evidence indicates, then this non-expression justifies Origen's remarks about him when we also consider that Origen undoubtedly regarded Josephus as an orthodox Jew.

Therefore, the view we can take of Origen is that he also was reading a different version of the Testimonium Flavium, otherwise there would be no reference for him elsewhere in Antiquities of the Jews from which he could draw the conclusion that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Christ.

To summarize Origen, we have demonstrated that there was no need for him to quote the Testimonium Flavium in his Contra Celsum work, because;

a) Celsum knew a man named Jesus existed,

b) Celsum knew this Jesus had been crucified, and

c) the original Testimonium Flavium most likely did not have Josephus making the positive claim of Jesus being the Christ, as evidenced by the Jerome & Arabic variants.

Indeed also, the contents of Contra Celsum do not indicate it was any kind of refutation against any claim of Celsum regarding the non-existence or non-crucifixion of Jesus, but rather a refutation against Celsum's attacks on the religions of Christianity and Judaism.


Anyways, that's my argument regarding Celsum & Origen. I'll be back when I have the time.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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16-09-2014, 08:00 PM
RE: The great josephus interpolation
I've seen much scrotum-twisting by apologists trying to salvage the TF for their godboy but I'll simply stick to the most obvious failure.

Origen writes:

Quote: For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite.

Quote:Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless--being, although against his will, not far from the truth--that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ),--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.

(and I separated the passage into two in order to avoid this board's annoying tendency to collapse long quotes).

So, no. He is not refuting Celsus at all. He is discussing the failure of Josephus to properly attribute the disasters which befell the Jews to the death of jesus and instead citing the death of James the Just....which, as I pointed out much earlier, Josephus did not say, either. But even if the watered-down variant of the TF did exist as apologists desperately try to show it is clear that Origen knew nothing about it 75 years before it appears in all its glory in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History Bk 1, Chapter 11.

The plain fact is that we have nothing before Eusebius' TA-Da! moment when he trots out the TF and he used it 3 times in different works. Not a single early xtian writer knows anything about it and Origen, who most assuredly would not have written what he wrote if anything resembling it had existed is the clinching piece.

The TF is a 4th century forgery which (mainly) protestant scholars have tried to breathe life into with a collection of sophistic bullshit arguments.

As Bishop Warburton noted in the late 18th century: The TF is " a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too"

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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