Brother AACOOLDRE : The Luke & War of the Jews link

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    The Josephus-Luke Connection

    In the search for new evidence concerning Josephus' Jesus passage we have a tool unavailable to scholars of the past and insufficiently used by scholars today: the computer.
    Our advantage today is that the entire body of ancient Greek and Latin literature now resides on a computer database. This allows us to perform a computer search in order to find writings that resemble in various ways the Jesus passage from Josephus' Antiquities, the "Testimonium Flavianum." This is new information that will help us in understanding the origins of the passage.
    Throughout this book, the database that will be used is the Thesaurus Lingua Graecae (TLG) published by the University of California at Irvine. The TLG database contains "every" Greek and Latin text from the earliest times up to 600 C.E., with the caution that new items are being discovered continually and are added to the database as they come to light. Currently the database holds about 73 million words in a form suitable for complex computer searches.
    It would be pleasant if we could simply ask the computer to find the closest match to the Josephus passage. But databases are not yet so sophisticated, and we need to specify what is meant by "closest match." We could ask for: similarity of exact words or words based on same root, synonymous phrases occurring in the same order, peculiar phrases in parallel location, or harmony of meaning, tone, beliefs, prejudices, and other indications of the speaker's intent. Some of these are easy to program; others, impossible. But the easiest search to make at first is for exact word/order matches.
    For the initial investigation, then, we will consider the beginning of the passage, which when translated preserving the Greek word order is:
    There happened about this time Jesus wise man - if a man one may call him indeed - for he was of amazing deeds a worker...
    The first three significant nouns in the Antiquities Jesus passage are the Greek words 'Iesous, aner, ergon; in English, Jesus, man, and deeds. (We skip the introductory noun "time", but later will return to it -- with surprising results.)We instruct the computer to perform the following search of the TLG database: look for every occurrence in Greek literature of these three words and forms thereof ('Iesou*, aner/andra, and any words beginning erg*), such that the words occur within a three or four lines of each other.
    The computer's output discloses an intriguing fact. There exists one passage, and only one, that contains these three nouns in proximity. The matching passage is not from an obscure writer, nor was it written centuries after Josephus' time; indeed, it is usually dated to the same decade Josephus' Antiquities was published. The matching passage comes straight from the New Testament: the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, verse 19.
    In the New Revised Standard Version, the matching verse is translated in this way:
    The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed..
    One sees Jesus and deed, but where is the word man that we searched for? It is there in the original Greek, but curiously enough every modern English translation omits it. The problem is the phrase
    Iesou...hos egeneto aner profetes...​
    which literally translates as
    Jesus...who was a man prophet...​
    Commentaries on translations stumble over how to render "man prophet." One problem for Christian interpreters is that this is a purely human designation, no divinity involved, leading to the suggestion has been that the verb egeneto, which literally means "became", indicates that the phrase means "Jesus, who became a man", that is, that Jesus was a divine spirit who came to earth to become human. Against this is the fact that egeneto is commonly used throughout Luke and the rest of literature as simply meaning "was;" in fact, Josephus' passage also uses this verb, in the form ginetai, which can be translated "occurred", "arose", etc.
    Other attempts at translation in the past had it that Jesus was a "prophet-man", "a prophetic man", "a male prophet", and "a man, a prophet." The latest translations simply omit "man," a decision which at the same time has the virtue of sidestepping Luke's difficult admission that Jesus' contemporaries had no thought of his being a Son of God.
    This translation may be one reason why this initial similarity between Luke 24:19 and the Antiquities record of Jesus has not been recognized. One must compare the original languages side by side to see the resemblance:

    Testimonium Luke
    Jesus wise man Jesus the Nazarene who was a man prophet
    Iesous sophos aner Iesou tou Nazoraiou hosegeneto aner profetes

    Although we only looked for the noun combination Jesus/man/deed, we also have happened on another similarity: sophos, "wise," in Josephus, versus profetes, "prophet" (or "prophetic") in Luke, thematically related words both modifying the word man.
    The word "deeds" also appears in both texts: Luke has mighty in deed and the Antiquities has performer of surprising deeds
    This simple computer search has related the beginning of the Testimonium to one New Testament verse. But is this is a fluke? There is an obvious test: If this is not simply an accident, then the section of Luke that begins with 24:19 would be expected to have other noteworthy similarities to the Testimonium. If it is an accident, the number of matches will be minor, that is, no more than could be found in any other brief description of Jesus.
    Just what is the portion of Luke containing this verse? It's a famous passage, but one not often paid a great deal of attention. Let us try to read it with fresh eyes.
    Luke, in his last chapter, Chapter 24, describes two followers of Jesus who are walking from Jerusalem to the nearby town of Emmaus. It is two days after Jesus was executed. Earlier that morning, Luke tells us, some women who had come with Jesus from Galilee had visited his tomb and discovered it empty, but two men in dazzling clothes told the women that Jesus had returned to life, reminding them Jesus himself had predicted that he would "on the third day rise again." Luke then relates the following (Luke 24:13-27, NRSV translation):
    Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about sixty stadia from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, and looked sad.
    Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?"
    They replied, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to the judgment of death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.
    "Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him."
    Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
    Still, the two do not recognize him, and the story continues as they invite Jesus to dine with them in Emmaus. When he breaks the bread their eyes are opened and they recognize him as Jesus. But their eyes fail them once again: Jesus vanishes "from their sight." Returning at once to Jerusalem, they discover the eleven apostles already in excitement over a report that Jesus had appeared to one of them (Simon).
    For Luke, then, Cleopas and his companion, then, were the very first people to see the resurrected Jesus. This disagrees with the other gospels. The name Cleopas appears no where else in the New Testament, and the only parallel to the Emmaus story is a brief note in Mark 16:12-13 -- that is generally suspected of being based on Luke (falling in the so-called "longer ending" of Mark). Those verses simply state: "After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking in the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them."
    Furthermore, the competing claim by the apostles that Simon was the first witness is not given much weight by Luke only, who only deigns to report the appearance at secondhand, literally as hearsay. Somehow, for Luke, this odd story of Cleopas and his friend is more important -- more authentic -- than what the eleven apostles had to say.

    2. The Correspondences
    We were led from Josephus to the Emmaus narrative of Luke by the search of the TLG database for the first key words of the Antiquities' description of Jesus. Since Luke's passage is lengthy and full of incident, let us extract only the portion that involves a description of the actions and nature of Jesus:
    "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to the judgment of death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. [...]" Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. (Luke 24:19-21; 24:25-27)

    This extract, comprising the verses 19 through 27, is continuous and unedited except for the removal of the block of sentences concerning the women. The omitted block forms a flashback within this narrative and does not materially add to a description of Jesus. As will be discussed later, experts on the subject agree this flashback was probably inserted by Luke into a passage which had formerly stood alone. Therefore, its omission likely moves us closer to Luke's original source for the Emmaus story. The questions involved in making this deletion will be fully examined later in this book.
    Now let us compare the Emmaus passage, without the internal flashback, with the Jesus passage from Josephus' Antiquities - the Testimonium. For reference the Testimonium is repeated here:
    About this time there was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon an accusation by the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these things and countless other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. (Antiquities 18.63)

    We have compared the beginnings of these two passages and seen they employ three words in the same order, Jesus, man, and deed. Now let us proceed to compare them phrase by phrase, concentrating on the sequence of ideas in both.
    I emphasize that the following reading follows the exact word order in the original Greek of both texts. The parallels shown occur in identical locations.
    We already read the beginning:

    Testimonium Luke
    Jesus wise man Jesus the Nazarene who was a man prophet
    Iesous sophos aner Iesou tou Nazoraiou hos egeneto aner profetes

    The word man (aner) in both texts follows closely after Jesus, modifies the name. In turn, man is modified in both cases by a term indicating that Jesus played a wisdom role. Luke presents Jesus as a man prophet while the Antiquities calls him a wise man. The designations are related, but not identical, which is not surprising considering that Josephus calls no one of his day a "prophet;" indeed, elsewhere he asserts there were no "prophets" since the days of the first Temple.
    But missing from Luke is anything similar to the next Antiquities phrase if indeed one may call him a man.

    Testimonium Luke
    if a man one can call him indeed (no match)
    eige andra auton legein cre

    Interestingly enough, this phrase is one that the modern consensus holds was not in the original version of the Testimonium. According to this view, it was added as much as 200 years after Josephus published the passage. Does this indicate that Luke's passage, which also does not have anything like the "if one can call him a man" phrase, is closer to the original, unedited passage of Josephus then the Testimonium we have? We shall certainly return to this point later.

    Testimonium Luke

    for he was of amazing deeds a worker mighty in deed
    en gar paradoxon ergon poietes dunatos en ergoi

    The word deed in both texts has a word to indicate there is something extraordinary about them. Luke's word is mighty and the Antiquities uses amazing (or surprising, or wonderful). Both texts imply many unusual works were done; neither text specifies what these are.
    As with all parallels, there are dissimilarities too: "deed" is plural in the Antiquities but a singular collective form in Luke; "worker" has no parallel in Luke although one might argue it is implied; and so on. Later I will explore in detail how these differences are within the range of variation of two authors mildly rewriting a single text to suit a given context.
    Luke states, immediately after deed, that Jesus was also mighty in word, a powerful speaker.

    Testimonium Luke

    a teacher and word
    didaskalos kai logoi

    The Antiquities at this point states that Jesus was a teacher. There is no exact word match, but the general concept is the same: both texts have moved from Jesus' actions to his speech.
    This pairing and order is not to be taken for granted: of the nine places in the New Testament which deeds and words are paired, seven are in the opposite order, word/deed (e.g., Acts 7:22, Moses is mighty "in words and in deeds"), and only this passage of Luke and (obscurely) Jude 1:15 is in the deed/word order. There are also numerous places in the New Testament where deeds are mentioned without pairing with speech.
    Both texts now move to the witnesses of the deeds and words and their holy nature.

    Testimonium Luke

    of people who with pleasure the truth received before God
    anthropon ton hedone taleth decomenon,
    enantion tou Theou

    Testimonium Luke
    and many of the Jews and many of the Greeks were won over
    kai pollous men 'Ioudaious, pollous de kai tou Hellenikou epegageto. and all the people
    kai pantos tou laou

    To Luke, Jesus was mighty in deed and word before God; the phrase is a Semitism, most likely a rendition of the Hebrew lifne adonai, which can be rendered "in the opinion of the Lord." These deeds and words were witnessed and approved of by the Lord, that is, they were of a religious nature. The Antiquities does not mention God, but has it that Jesus was a teacher of such people as receive the truth gladly. Given the context, truth also refers to religious teaching. It would have been unusual for Josephus to use the term before God here, so the reference to, essentially, a synagogue congregation or something similar may indeed be the nearest thing one could expect Josephus to write at this point. (E.g., a religious teacher is what Josephus usually means by a wise man, the term used previously; as will be discussed later).
    Luke then turns from Jesus' words and the holy nature of his activity to those who heard and witnessed Jesus, all the people. The same movement is made in the Testimonium, though with greater elaboration; it was begun in the preceding phrase and is completed here. First, as was just seen, mention is made of the people Jesus taught, and this is followed by He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. Between the two there is something of a parallel in all (Luke) versus many (Testimonium). There are words for "people" in both texts, laou in Luke, and in the Testimonium first the general anthropon ("human")followed by ethnic specification, Greeks and Jews, not found in Luke.
    Let us pause for a moment. The reader may appreciate that nothing forces either writer to move from one concept to another in just this order. Consider, for example, a description of Jesus written about 50 years after Luke and the Antiquities, appearing in a work of the Christian writer , which begins:

    In the books of the prophets we find it announced beforehand that Jesus our Christ would appear, be born through a virgin, grow up, heal every disease and sickness and raise the dead, and be despised...
    (Justin Martyr, First Apology 31)

    Compare this with our two texts: no man, no prophet. Instead of expressing "amazing deeds" in two words, this lists specific miracles; and there is no reference to words or teaching, there is no mention of an approving audience and, on the contrary, says Jesus was despised.
    Or take another description written by Luke, from his book of Acts:
    You know the thing that happened ... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death ...
    (Acts 10:36-43)

    This is written by the same author as the Emmaus passage, yet it lacks the clear parallels with the Testimonium. One can detect a few traces that Luke used the same structure here as in the earlier Emmaus, including the words "power (might)", "doing" (same root as "deed), and an implication that he has a wide audience. But one cannot write out a phrase by phrase parallel with the Testimonium as we have been doing so far, and which we can continue to do.
    In fact, it is shown on the statistical studies page that there is no Christian text (and certainly no Jewish text) more closely resembling the Antiquities passage in content, vocabulary, and thematic structure, than this passage of Luke.
    Let us now continue our reading.
    The next sentence of the Antiquities does not have a parallel at this point in Luke: He was the Christ.

    Testimonium Luke

    The christ [or messiah] he was. (no match)
    ho christos houtos en.

    The last time we saw a complete absence of a parallel was in the phrase if indeed one can call him a man, which the scholarly consensus holds as a later, Christian interpolation into Josephus' original text. Recall now that this same consensus considers the phrase He was the Christ to be another such an interpolation. Thus we have twice seen that a lack of parallel with Luke occurs where the Josephus passage has been altered, if we identify alterations according to the modern consensus.
    This leads me to propose that the version Josephus originally wrote had almost exactly the same structure as the Emmaus extract from Luke.
    Continuing to the next phrase in Luke, one finds the passage turning from Jesus' acceptance by the people to conflict with the authorities:

    Testimonium Luke

    and him an indictment how they handed him over
    kai auton endeixei
    hopos te paredokan auton

    The same dramatic turn is made in the Antiquities. The similar concepts here are indictment (endeixei) versus being handed over to a judicial process ( paredokan).

    Testimonium Luke

    by the principal men the chief priests and leaders
    ton proton andron
    hoi archiereis kai hoi archontes

    Both texts now specify who did the indictment/handing over: the leaders. The principal men is the standard way Josephus refers to leaders of the community; it is synonymous with Luke's leaders and potentially includes priests. (Note proto-, "first", is a near-synonym for arch-, "begin, chief").

    Testimonium Luke

    among us of us
    par' hemin

    The leaders are further specified -- they are "ours," in both texts, at precisely the same location. The reader is again reminded that the exact Greek word order of both texts is being followed. The match of such small words at key points can be more spectacular than lengthier expositions.
    In this case, their is a very unusual grammatical match with the use of the first person plural in identifying the our leaders, the principal men among us. For Josephus in his writings usually obeys the conventions of objective historians and refers to his people in the third person as "the Jews" and the like, not as "us". Indeed, this peculiarity of the first person at this point has been used by some scholars as one of the proofs Josephus did not write the passage at all. As I will show later, a study of every appearance of us in the Antiquities reveals that, with possibly three or four exceptions, the first person plural does not occur in a context such as this in Josephus.
    Stranger still, Luke also does not employ the first person when he identifies accusers of Jesus within the speeches of Acts. In Acts 13:27, Paul was himself a dweller in Jerusalem yet nonetheless asserts that "those dwelling in Jerusalem and their rulers" were the ones who asked Pilate to sentence Jesus. Similarly consider Acts 2:23 ,"you crucified"; 3:15, "you delivered up"; 5:30, "you laid hands on"; and 10:39 ("they did away with him"). If the first person is unusual in both Luke and Josephus, why would both suddenly use them at the same time in harmonious passages?

    Testimonium Luke

    to a cross condemned by Pilate to a judgment of death and crucified him.
    stauroi epitetimhkotos Pilatou eis krima thanatou kai estaurosan auton.

    In this next segment there are single words in each text denoting the passing of a criminal sentence, judgment and condemned. The word cross, Greek stauro, is the root of a word in both: Luke estaurosan (crucified), Antiquities stauroi (to a cross). These are slight rewritings of the same concept, the notable difference being that the name Pilate does not occur in Luke. Pilate is there implicitly: there must be someone to whom Jesus is handed over by the leaders, the one who passed the judgment of death. Luke avoids the name deliberately. The name is mandatory in Josephus, however, because the Testimonium passage occurs in Josephus' section on the actions of Pilate as procurator of Judea.

    Testimonium Luke

    did not stop the first followers. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel
    ouk epausanto hoi to proton agapesantes.
    hemeis de helpizomen hoti autos estin o mellon lutrousthai ton Israel

    From the crucifixion, both texts now simultaneously turn to the actions of the original disciples.
    The Josephus verse gives some translation problems; Feldman renders it as those who had in the first place come to love him did not cease. The generally similar structure is that the followers are referred to immediately after the crucifixion, before any other activity, and their attachment to him is expressed. Some difference is inevitable considering that these original disciples are, in fact, the ones speaking in Luke's story.
    But an extremely important mismatch is Luke's identification of Jesus as potentially the one to redeem Israel, absent in Josephus at this point; and although earlier there had been a Messianic reference in "He was the Christ (or Messiah)," our strict adherence to word order rules this out as a parallel.
    Another interesting difference is that these disciples in the Antiquities did not give up their affection for him, while the speakers in Luke's drama are on the verge of "giving up their affection," but something occurs to nip this loss of faith in the bud.

    Testimonium Luke

    (no match) but besides with all these things
    alla ge syn pasin toutois

    Some transitional words in Luke give a mismatch.

    Testimonium Luke

    For appearing to them (no match)
    ephane gar autois

    The statement of Jesus' reappearance completed after the next clause; discussion is deferred until then.
    Now the next clause I consider to be the most significant single match:

    Testimonium Luke

    a third day having this third day spending
    triten echon hemeran triten tauten hemeran agei

    A third day. In Christian doctrine, Jesus' resurrection occurred "on the third day," a key expression in statements of belief. The prevalent form uses the preposition "on," with "third day" the object of the preposition; in Greek, en triti himei.
    But this is not the form in either Josephus or Luke. In these, "third day" is the object of a verb, and not a preposition. It's grammatical form is consequently the accusative case, triten hemeran. The verbs -- Josephus "having", Luke "spending" or "passing" -- are synonyms here, for in Greek literature echon and agein are used interchangeably when denoting the passing of time.
    Yet the New Testament does not use this verbal form. Either the prepositional or nominative is used throughout, with Luke being the sole exception. As for other Christian literature, we can again search the TLG database. This time, the computer is asked to search for the phrase the third day in the accusative case, or indeed any combination of triten and hemeran within three or four lines of each other. The results are revealing: Luke's Emmaus passage and the Testimonium are the only two texts using the resurrection third day as object of a verb in all of ancient Christian literature.
    Inevitably, one must ask if there is some reason why these two authors use this unique form at the same position. The obvious proposal is that there is some dependence: one is based on the other, or both are derived from a prior source. Also supporting this is the awkwardness and lack of clarity in both texts - ask, who is the subject of the verb having/spending in each sentence? This indicates dependence on a source that is as unclear as it is authoritative.

    Testimonium Luke

    again alive today since these things happened. [...] And he said to them, "Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe
    palin zon hemeron aph' ou tauta egeneto.[...]kai autos eipen pros autous, O anoetoi kai bradeis tei kardiai tou pisteuein epi

    As suggested above, Luke's flashback to the women is excluded. The "again alive" completes the thought begun previously in the Testimonium with "he appeared to them..." At this moment Jesus makes his appearance to the disciples, but the same cannot occur in Luke -- simply because Luke's entire narrative takes place during the appearance. The genres are different -- a dramatization cannot be identical to a history at every point. But even so, there is, in fact a parallel in Luke: for this is the moment at which Jesus at last speaks to the disciples, starting in motion the application of Messianic prophecies to Jesus and, eventually, the disclosing of Jesus' identity to the disciples. Thus a possible parallel can be found between appeared again alive and He said to them, communication of the risen Jesus to the disciples.

    Testimonium Luke

    the divine prophets these things all that the prophets have spoken. Were not these things necessary
    tontheion propheton tauta pasin hois elalesan hoi prophetai. ouchi tauta edei

    Simultaneously both move to the founding concept of Christianity: the link of Jesus to ancient Jewish prophecies. The themes are the same. There are also a number of precise vocabulary correspondences: the word for "prophets" and the word tauta ("these things"), which is to refer to what has just been related. Also the explanatory construction: Jesus appeared to them because (gar, at the beginning of the sentence) of what the prophets said, matched by Luke that it was necessary that this happen due to these same prophecies.

    Testimonium Luke

    (no match) to suffer the christ
    pathein ton christon

    The key word "Christ, or "Messiah", ho christos, is now found in Luke at this point, several lines after the Testimonium use of "Christ" -- at least in the Greek version of Josephus we have received. But oddly enough in the Arabic translation of the Antiquities discussed in Chapter 1, that of the 10th-century writer Agapius that many scholars feel to be more authentic, "Christ/Messiah" does appear just where it does in Luke! This will be discussed thoroughly in Chapter 5, but for now, I just quote the relevant section:
    "They reported that he had appeared to them three days after the crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." (Agapius, Universal History, quoting Josephus)
    Testimonium Luke

    and thousands other wonders about him foretold and to enter into his glory
    te kai alla myria peri autou kai eiselthein eis ten doxan autou; kai arxamenos apo Mouseos kai apo panton ton propheton diermeneusen autois en pasais tais graphais ta peri eautou.

    A near-duplicate phrase is about him/about himself (peri autou/peri eautou) used to the same purpose of identifyingthe subject of the prophecies. It is a small phrase, but the location, context, and range of possible alternatives that makes it significant.
    The difference in voice -- dramatic versus discursive -- disguises a great deal of similarity at this point. First, note there is very little information that is not found or strongly implied in both texts, the mismatches being that Josephus does not mention Moses and does not say that Jesus spoke to the disciples about the prophecies. The main difference is stylistic, in that Luke's acted-out drama is repetitious where the Testimonium uses a single complex sentence. Because the composition of these sections is so different it is better to read them entire:
    the holy prophets these things and thousands others about him wonders having foretold.

    to believe on all which spoke the prophets. Not these things must suffer the Christ, and to enter into his glory? And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures that about himself.
    The boldfaced words have the same root, while possible synonyms are in italics. Some observations: "prophets" occurs once in the first text but twice in the second. The prophets "foretold" or "spoke ( or declared)." What is prophesied of Jesus is "wonders" or "glory". And the idea that there are "thousands" of such things is a suitable condensation of Luke's use, three times, of the word "all" ("all which spoke the prophets", "all the prophets", "all the scriptures"). The reduction of "all" to "thousands" is consistent with the manner in which, a few sentences earlier, Luke's "all the people" is replaced in the Testimonium with "many of the Jews...".
    The last line has no parallel in Luke:

    Testimonium Luke

    And to now the tribe of the Christians, named after him, has not disappeared.
    eis eti te nun ton Christianon apo toude onomasmenon ouk epelipe to phylon. (no match)

    The same implication is nonetheless present in Luke, for the resurrection appearance renews the disciples' dying faith.
    * * *

    Reading through this list of parallels inevitably leads to the question: Is there simple explanation for the harmony between the two?
    The modern consensus holds that the Antiquities passage was, for the most part, written by Josephus with some later Christian additions. Yet how could a Jewish historian independently compose a text that, by pure chance, so closely matches a passage from a Christian gospel?
    There are several alternatives. I shall demonstrate the following:

    1. The similarities are too numerous and unusual to be the result of accident. This will be demonstrated on another page by a statistical comparison of all other known descriptions of Jesus of similar length.

    2. The similarities are not what would be written by a 2nd or 3rd century Christian deliberately mimicking Josephus' style. This is a consequence of the study on the statistics page.

    3. The similarities are what would be expected if Josephus had employed a document very similar to Luke's Emmaus narrative as his source for information on Jesus, which he then moderately rewrote. This will be demonstrated on the style page by studying how other passages in his works were rewritten by Josephus from sources known to us.
    The conclusion that can therefore be drawn is that Josephus and Luke derived their passages from a common Christian (or Jewish-Christian) source.
    The analysis allows us to identify what is authentic in the Testimonium. It also allows is to plausibly uncover the document used by both Josephus and Luke. I will argue elsewhere that this document is a copy of a speech used by early Jesus proselytes of Jerusalem.
    For the first time, we will have independent, Jewish documentation of the speech that is called, many times in Luke/Acts, "the word" and "the gospel."

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Jul 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    +394 / -3
    Luke 4:42-43 good news (euaggelion) .. God .. I have been sent (Jesus)
    Sent away his son Titus.. WOTJ 3,9,446 + 3,10,503
    good news (euaggelion) Luke 5:1-10 Lake of Gennesaret.. He (Jesus) .. Simon .. fish ..
    boats .. began to sink.. Simon Peter.. Do not be afraid.. Catch menMatt 4:19 Follow Me .. fishers of men
    Matt 11:21 Chorazin (Galilean fishing village/peoples) lake of Gennesaret.. Jesus and his party.. WOTJ 3,10,463-484, 520-527
    produces the Coracin fish ..
    vessels .. Romans caught them.. drowning .. attempted to swim.. I shall go into danger first .. Do not you therefore desert meLuke 6:1-11 Sabbath .. right hand
    Seventh day.. right hands WOTJ 4,2,92-104
    Luke 7:33, 8:26-30 John .. has a demon .. Gadarenes .. Legion John .. beginning to tyrannize.. wickedest .. WOTJ 4,7,389,408,413
    too small for an army, and too many for a gang of thieves .. Gadara John ... filled the entire countryside WOTJ 7,8,263
    with ten thousand instances of wickedness
    Demons ... are no other than WOTJ 7,6,185 the spirits of the wickedLuke 8:33 demons went out of the man and entered the swine ..
    herd ran violently .. into the lake they ran together to a certain village .. WOTJ 4,8,420-421,425,434
    great multitude of young men, arming them ..
    wild beasts rushed.. into the currentLuke 9:18(Matt 16:19), 9:52 bound .. loosed.. He steadfastly set His face
    to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before
    loose .. bound.. ordered the rest to meet himWOTJ 4,10,628-629 + 5,1,40
    at Jerusalem, marched out Luke 11:29, 12:52, 13:7-9 the crowds were increasing.. divided .. three .. two ..
    tree .. fruit .. cut it down
    The Jews became still more and more in number WOTJ 5,2,78 + 5,3,105,107
    .. divided .. three .. two .. cut down.. fruit treesLuke 14:28-32, 19:40 intending to build a tower.. conditions of peace.. stones .. cry out might make an impression upon the walls WOTJ 5,6,258-261,272
    .. build .. tower .. terms of peace.. stone .. cried outLuke 19:43-44 build an embankment around you ..
    close you in .. and your children

    build a wall round about the whole city .. WOTJ 5,12,499
    prevent the Jews from coming outLuke 21:10-11, 20 kingdom against kingdom.. earthquakes ..
    famines .. pestilences .. desolation
    Matt. 24:7, 15 kingdom against kingdom.. famines .. pestilences
    .. earthquakes .. abomination of desolation
    Dan. 9:27 sacrifice .. cease .. abominations .. desolate sacrifice .. failed WOTJ 6, 2, 94Luke 22:19 bread .. gave .. this is my body
    Mark 14:22 Jesus took bread.. eat .. this is my body
    John 19:29-33 hyssop .. Jesus .. dead .. they did not break his legs
    Luke 2:34-35 Mary .. his Mother .. Child .. pierce through your own soul
    Exodus 12:9, 12:21-22 roasted .. with its legs.. Passover lamb .. hyssop
    Mary .. Hyssop .. famine .. pierced WOTJ 6,3,201-209
    through her very bowels .. slew her son .. roasted him ..
    eat .. half of him .. saved a .. portion (splanchon)
    siege .. Jerusalem .. WOTJ 6,9,420-421
    feast of unleavened bread.. famine
    Jews .. besieged .. famine Severus, Sacred History 2.30
    .. eating .. human bodiesLuke 23:46 Jesus .. up the ghost
    Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 Jesus spoke .. woe .. Woe .. Woe .. Woe ..
    Woe .. Woe .. Woe .. Woe

    Zechariah, son of Berechiah ..
    murdered between the temple and the altar

    the temple .. Jesus said ..
    not one stone shall be left here upon another

    sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many
    will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes
    many false prophets will rise up and deceive many
    Let him .. on the housetop not .. take anything out of his house
    .. not go back to get his clothes.

    woe to those who are pregnant .. nursing babies .. lightning comes ..
    east .. west .. coming of the Son of Man

    wherever the carcass is .. eagles will be gathered together.
    Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven ..
    will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet .. four winds

    the thief would come .. house to be broken into
    Matt 25:1 bridegroom and the bride. Dan 7:13 Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven!
    THE HOLY HOUSE .. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315
    many .. worn away by the famine .. mouths almost closed
    multitude of the robbers .. into the city
    round about the holy house, burnt all those places ..
    money .. garments .. precious goods reposited
    God commanded them .. great number of false prophets ..
    impose on the people

    chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor
    were seen running about among the clouds

    felt a quaking
    Jesus .. to cry aloud
    east .. west .. four winds
    .. bridegrooms and the brides took up the man .. number of severe stripes ..
    Woe, woe .. uttered .. Woe, woe .. Woe, woe ..
    Woe, woe.. gave up the ghost
    Zacharias the son of Baruch .. WOTJ 4,5,334-335, 341-343
    in the middle of the temple, and slew him
    child sucking at her breast WOTJ 6,3,203
    Luke 23:50-53 Joseph .. from Arimathea .. body of Jesus .. took it down
    Luke 23:32-33 two .. death .. crucified
    crucified .. taken down (by Life of Flavius Josephus 75
    Josephus bar Matthias) .. two died
    Luke 23:56, 24:12 prepared spices and fragrant oils .. Peter ran to the tomb .. stooping down

    Mark 5:1-5 man with an unclean spirit .. tombs .. cutting himself with stones
    Mark 8:28-29 two demon-possessed men .. tombs
    John 6:70-71 one is a devil .. Simon the Iscariot
    John 21:18-24 another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go
    kind of death .. to glorify God .. Follow me .. Peter
    disciple whom Jesus loved .. it is my will that he remains
    Luke 22:31-31 Peter .. ready to go both to prison and to death
    Matt 16:22-25 Peter .. Satan .. Jesus told his diciples ..
    take up his cross and follow me

    Luke 23:26 Simon .. cross, for him to carry it behind Jesus
    Gal 2:11 Cephas (Simon) .. condemned
    John 5:26-29 all who are in the graves ..
    evil .. resurrection of condemnation
    search .. under ground .. WOTJ 6,9,429-434
    ill savor of the dead bodies .. Simon .. slain ..

    John condemned to perpetual imprisonment
    John .. Sicarii .. wickedness WOTJ 7,8,263
    Simon .. among .. stone-cutters WOTJ 7,2,26
    Simon drawn into a proper place WOTJ 7,5,154
    Luke 24:16, 37 But their eyes were kept from recognising him ..
    supposed they had seen a spirit Matt. 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted
    Mark 16:12 he appeared in another form John 21:4 the disciples did not know that it was Jesus
    they could not get any one of them .. WOTJ 7,10,418
    to confess, that Caesar was their lord

    PARALLELS - VERBATIM / NEAR-VERBATIM“good news” euaggelion in Greek (Luke 4:43 + Wars of the Jews 3, 10, 503)
    boats vs. vessels + catch men vs. Romans caught them (Luke 5:1-10 vs. Wars of the Jews 3, 10, 520-527)
    Sabbath + “right hand” vs. Seventh day + “right hands” (Luke 6:1-11 vs. WOTJ 4, 2, 92-104)
    herd ran violently vs. wild beasts rushed + “into the” lake vs. “into the” current (Luke 8:33 vs. WOTJ 4, 8, 425, 434)
    loose + bound (Luke 9:18 substituted by Matt. 16:19 + WOTJ 4, 10, 628-629)
    the crowds were increasing vs. The Jews became still more and more in number (Luke 11:29 vs. WOTJ 5, 2, 78)
    divided .. three .. two (Luke 12:52 + WOTJ 5, 3, 105)
    “Cut down” fruit trees (Luke 13:7-9 + WOTJ 5, 3, 107)
    “build a tower” (Luke 14:28-30 + WOTJ 5, 6, 258-260)
    conditions “of peace” vs. terms “of peace” (Luke 14:32 vs. WOTJ 5, 6, 261)
    stones “cry out” (Luke 19:40 + WOTJ 5, 6, 272)
    build a wall around the Jews (Luke 19:43-44 + WOTJ 5, 12, 499)
    sacrifice cease vs. sacrifice failed (Luke 21:10-11, 20 linked to Dan. 9:27 vs. WOTJ 6, 2, 94)
    temple vs. HOLY HOUSE + signs + not one stone left vs. DESTRUCTION (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs./+ WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    (Jesus): woe + woe + woe + woe + woe + woe + woe + woe + “give up the ghost” (was also crucified and scourged) (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    in Christ’s name vs. God commanded them + false prophets + deceived many vs. imposed on the people (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    famine + pestilences vs. mouth almost closed + earthquakes vs. quaking (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    thief vs. robbers + houses vs. into the city (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    east + west + “four winds” + “bridegrooms and the brides” (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 and Matt 25:1 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    nursing babies vs. child sucking at breast (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315 linked to WOTJ 6,3,203)
    Zach: murdered between the temple and the altar vs. in the middle of the temple, and slew him (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315 linked to WOTJ 4,5,334-335, 341-343)
    two + died + crucified + (one survives) “taken down” (by Joseph)
    (Luke 23:50-53 linked to Luke 23:32-33 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315 linked to Life of Flavius Josephus 75)
    John: evil vs. wicked + condemned (but lives in) prison + Iscariot vs. Sicarii +
    Simon: cutting himself with stones vs. stone-cutters + condemned + death vs. slain (Luke 23:56, 24:12 linked to other passages vs. WOTJ 6,9,429-434 linked to other passages)

    “Lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1-10 + Wars of the Jews 3, 10, 463)
    Jesus and his apostles vs. Jesus and his party (Luke 5:1-10 vs. WOTJ 3, 10, 467)
    Chorazin produces the Coracin fish (Luke 5:10 linked to Matt 11:21 vs. WOTJ 3, 10, 520-527)
    John (Luke 7:33 + Wars of the Jews 4, 7, 389)
    Gadara (Luke 8:26-30 + WOTJ 4, 7, 413)
    Mary (Luke 22:19 linked to Luke 2:34 + WOTJ 6, 3, 201-209)
    Jesus (Luke 23:46 + WOTJ 6, 5, 298-315)
    Zechariah, son of Berechiah vs. Zacharias the son of Baruch (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315 linked to WOTJ 4,5,334-335, 341-343)
    Joseph of Arimathea vs. Josephus bar Matthias (Luke 23:50-53 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315 linked to Life of Flavius Josephus 75)
    John (disciple whom Jesus loved) + Simon (Peter) (Luke 24:16, 37 linked to other passages vs. WOTJ 7, 10, 418)
    Simon bar Jonas vs. Simon bar Gioras

    Son sent by father (Luke 4:42-43 vs. Wars of the Jews 3, 10, 446)
    Taking the lead + reassurance (Luke 5:1-10 linked to Matt. 4:19 vs. WOTJ 3, 10, 483-484)
    fish vs. attempted to swim + began to sink vs. drowning (Luke 5:1-10 vs. Wars of the Jews 3, 10, 520-527)
    demon vs. tyrannize and wickedest (Luke 7:33 vs. WOTJ 4, 7, 389 linked to WOTJ 7, 6, 185)
    Legion vs. too small for an army, and too many for a gang of thieves (WOTJ 4, 7, 408)
    demons entering swine vs. running together to a certain village and arming many young men, i.e. one group infecting another (Luke 8:33 vs. WOTJ 4, 8, 420-421)
    On to Jerusalem - the messengers are sent ahead (Luke 9:52 vs. WOTJ 5, 1, 40)
    Human Passover lamb (Luke 22:19 linked to other passages vs. WOTJ 6, 3, 201-209 linked to other passages)
    houses on fire - unable to enter nor retrieve cloths (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    Caesar and the Roman army coming down and killing many Jews (Luke 23:46 linked to Matt 23:1-39, 24:1-44 and Dan 7:13 vs. WOTJ 6,5,271-287, 298-315)
    Dead bodies underground with a foul smell (Luke 23:56, 24:12 linked to other passages vs. WOTJ 6,9,429-434 linked to other passages)
    Martyrs death into a “proper place” following Jesus’ death (Luke 23:56, 24:12 linked to other passages vs. WOTJ 6,9,429-434 linked to other passages)
    Doubt in their Lord’s identity (Luke 24:16, 37 linked to other passages vs. WOTJ 7, 10, 418)
  3. candeesweet

    candeesweet Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Aug 20, 2010
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    exceptional teachings!