Figures like Jesus

PART 7 of my Historical Jesus series

“Should he be described primarily as a teacher, prophet, miracle worker, magician, Galilean charismatic, or militant revolutionary? The list of possibilities could be extended. These types are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible—indeed likely—that a given individual would have combined different roles.” [1]

James Tabor [2] in his blog names 22 messianic figures in Josephus, but there were even more than that and also many were unnamed. Some scholars have seen a lot of these messianic movements emanating from the adventures of Joshua.

Jesus fits the mould of other self-styled prophets who rose up against Roman maladministration. The ‘Samaritan’ who promised to show the crowds “sacred vessels which were buried [at Mt. Gerizim], where Moses had deposited them”…. are all similar types of movements to the Jesus movement. His movement was also cut down by the Pilates administration just like the Jesus movement.

A JOSHUA INSPIRED CULT

        The ‘Egyptian’ claims to make the “walls come tumbling down”  (Ant. 20.8.6) in Jerusalem which is a clear allusion to the battle of Jericho. (Joshua 6:20). Theudas’ claim to be able to divide the river is a clear allusion to Joshua 3.14-17, which has everything to do with the redemption of Israel. Even the gospels play out this Joshua theme for Jesus with his 12 disciples using midrash on Joshua:

“Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.” (Joshua 3:12-13).

In one of the Tanakh images Hebrews uses, the author sees Jesus as the true Joshua who had led his people to the promised land (Hebrews 4:8-11).

As Joshua is spelt the same as Jesus in the Septuagint, Ιησούς, some modern scholars such as Richard Carrier have suggested that many have belonged to some type of Joshua cults. [3] They all saw Joshua’s success as an inspiration in their own fight with Rome. “If Jesus equals Joshua, then it follows that Jesus is “the prince of the military forces of the Lord,” as Origen said in his homily on Joshua. (Hom. in Jesu Nave 6) [4]

Many a messianic rebel was inspired by the role model of Joshua. In Joshua 5 they would have seen god’s intervention through an angelomorphic figure commanding the army of god fighting on Joshua’s side:

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood before him with his drawn sword in hand; and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but as commander of the army of YHWH I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, “What does my adonai bid his servant?” And the commander of YHWH’s army said to Joshua, “Put off your shoes from your feet; for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-4).[5]

These signs prophets in desperate times looked into their scrolls for inspiration, for some, Joshua was the perfect role model in their battle with Rome, Paula Fredriksen sums this up lovely with the following passage:

“All of these promised miracles recalled biblical episodes from Israel’s foundational history. Theudas’s parting the waters of the Jordan echoed both Moses’s leading Israel across the Red Sea and Joshua’s leading the twelve tribes across the Jordan on into the promised land. Going into the desert to seek deliverance would recapitulate the liberation from Egypt and the giving of the Torah on Sinai. The miraculous crumbling of Jerusalem’s walls recalls the miraculous fall of Jericho, Joshua’s point of entry into the Land. Enacting key moments in the birth of the nation, these signs prophets signaled the eschatological nearness of final redemption. Their grounding in biblical miracle also accounts for the size of their popular followings. Scriptural authority undergirded not only their own message; it also supported the hopes and convictions of their followers.” [6]

As Horsley said, “For just at the time of Herod and Jesus, several significant movements emerged among the Judean and Galilean people that were beaded by figures acclaimed by their followers as kings or by figures who promised to reenact the deliverance of Israel from foreign rule in Egypt.'” [7]

Lena Einhorn [8] noticed many parallels between Jesus and the ‘Egyptian’. The Egyptian gathered at the Mount of Olives before his battle with the Romans. (War 2.13.5). Jesus was arrested at the Mount of Olives.

       I will have to pour cold water on Einhorns hypothesis though, as it should be noted that Mount of Olives was regarded as the place where God would stand on the Day of Judgment, fighting the battle against Israel’s enemies:

“On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives …”  (Zechariah 14:4)

         This passage  talks about a messiah that would come to the Mount of Olives and enter Jerusalem, so this is a common messianic trope. As the mount of olives comes from Zechariah, therefore both Josephus and Mark used this common trope (or the messianic figures themselves enacted the trope) in their retellings and the rebels themselves re-enacting.

The gospel of John uses the word σπεῖρα,(speira), that is a cohort consisting of 500 to 1000 Roman soldiers and the word χιλίαρχος, (chiliarchos), for their commander, this is a commander of one thousand. (John 18:11). The Egyptian passages in Josephus works use the same words. This led Lena Einhorne to see this as a parallel to the ‘Egyptian’ but a much more likely explanation is that the evangelist John used Josephus and more specifically the ‘Egyptian’ passages. It has been shown that Luke had used Josephus by such scholars as Mason and Carrier. [9] When I reconstructed the Testimonium Flavianum [10], it was a passage that held so little information that the evangelist John simply started to use other passages as a framework for his gospel.

It was Morton Smith who hit the nail on the head when he observed what is really significant about the passage in Acts 5:33-39, is not that Luke got his fake history wrong (again putting Theudas before Judas and making up a story about Gamaliel) but that “Even this Christian propaganda shows that the Christians themselves expected Jesus to be seen as the same social type as Judas and Theudas.” [11] (Emphasis is Morton Smiths).

        The same thing is going on here, it is not the fact that John used the ‘Egyptian’ passage, what is telling is the fact he saw Jesus in the same social class as the ‘Egyptian’.

SOME CASE STUDIES OF SOME MAJOR MESSIANIC FIGURES.

1.Bar Kokbha

“the Jerusalem Talmud tells of the recruitment of four hundred thousand fighters who were in Bethar during the siege of the city. Half of them were recruited after they stood the loyalty test of a severed finger; and the other half, after they had uprooted a cedar of Lebanon while riding a horse.” [12]

“Jerusalem Talmud Ta‘anit 4.5: “Ben Kozebah was there, and he had 200,000 troops who had cut their little finger . . . Whoever cannot uprooted a cedar of Lebanon while riding on his horse will not be registered in your army. So there were 200,000 who qualified in one way, and another 200,000 who qualified in another way.” [13]

Here is the gospel parallel:

And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into gehenna.(hell).(Matthew 5:30)

Found a great parallel with Jesus’s last words on the cross:

Babylonian Talmud Gittin 57a (passages about the bar Kokbha revolt) there are comments that Bar Daroma kept repeating the verse from Psalms 60:12:

“you have rejected us O God; God, you do not march with our armies.”[14]

both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 have:

My god my god why have you forsaken me? (Psalm 22:1).

2. Simon bar Giora 

Simon bar Giora was the leader of the rebel faction called the sicarii, who hid their daggers underneath their cloaks. This has a parallel where one of the disciples drew his short sword (a dagger) during Christ’s arrest.(Mark 14:47).

       During Christ’s march to Golgotha the Roman soldiers put a purple robe on him, but later removed it again. Simon bar Giora was also known as Simon bar Poras, the latter word a shortened version of the Latin word purpura (porpora in Italian) for the colour purple. When Simon bar Giora was arrested, he put on his purple cloak before he surrendered, probably as a declaration that he was the one they wanted most.

Toward the end of the Roman siege of Jerusalem, John Levi and many others had already been captured by the Romans, but Simon was still underground and hoping to escape. Josephus recorded his bizarre behavior when he finally emerged dressed like a king, hoping to trick the Romans, but was captured and kept for the eventual celebration in Rome:

“And now Simon, thinking he might be able to astonish and elude the Romans, put on a white frock, and buttoned upon him a purple cloak, and appeared out of the ground in the place where the temple had formerly been.”(War 7.2.1) ;(Cf 1Macc 10:20,62 for the purple robe reference.)

         Simon stayed three days underground and then appeared suddenly out of the ground.

“…appeared out of the ground in the place where the temple had formerly been…..At the first indeed, those that saw him were greatly astonished, and stood still where they were.”(War 7.2.1).

He appeared like an apparition would make a parallel with the resurrection.

          Caesar’s triumphal procession is described in War 7.5.1-7. Simon was called “the general of the enemy” and his execution was in “the last part of this pompous show…at the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.” A rope was put around his head and he was tormented as he was dragged along. All the people shouted for joy when it was announced that he had been killed (War 7.5.6). This matches the crowd turning against Jesus as he was to be crucified.

3.  Judas the Galilean

One of the birth narratives of Jesus contained in the gospel of Luke corresponds with the Census of Cyrenius (6 CE), which in turn corresponds to the major tax revolt of Judas the Galilean. (Josephus, War 2.117-118 and Antiquities 18.4-25). Judas the Galilean was also an apocalyptic prophet who wanted to establish God’s kingdom (just like Jesus) right here on earth: 

“Under his administration [Coponius] it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt; and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans, and would, after God, submit to mortal men as their lords.” (War 2.118). (I take the emphasis from Unterbinks book and reproduce some parallels Unterbink noticed. [15]

As seen here Judas wanted God’s kingdom and not the Romans. Judas the Galilean, or Judas of Gamala, was a Jewish leader who led resistance to the census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Judea Province around 6 CE. Luke has his Jesus born around the tax revolt. Later on the tax issue is used to entrap Jesus. (Luke 20:20-26). And the following passage in Luke sounds very similar to Judas the Galilean:

“And they began to accuse him, saying, we have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be a king messiah (christ)…. He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” (Luke 23:2-5)

Judas the Galilean encouraged Jews not to register and those that did had their houses burnt and their cattle stolen by his followers. As a coincidence he had two sons with the same names as Jesus’s brothers and similar to Jesus were crucified after a trial:

“In addition to this, James and Simon, sons of Judas the Galilean, were put on trial and by order of Alexander were crucified; this was the Judas who – as explained above – had incited the popular revolt against the Romans, while Quirinius was carrying out the census in Judea”.(Ant. 20.102).

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THESE SIMILAR MESSIANIC TYPES.

So Lena Einhorn thought Jesus was the ‘Egyptian’ in her book A Shift in Time. Daniel Unterbink in his book The three Messiahs says he is Judas the Galilean. Then you have Eisenman in his James, the brother of Jesus book who has said the Jesus movements were suspiciously like the ‘Samaritan’ passage in Ant 18.4.1. [16] The reason Jesus sounded like all those other messianic figures is that he was one of them.

         The beauty of studying these other messianic types is that these passages had no importance to anybody who happened to be attached to any particular creed or theology, that what you get is from the hand of Josephus, untampered with ‘improvements’, incisions, additions and other such alterations, that the Christian passages suffered. Therefore these comparable figures are invaluable in building a picture of Jesus in the historical context and political atmosphere that was so strained that you could cut it with a knife.

WORKS OF WONDER!

“These were such men as deceived and deluded the people under pretence of divine inspiration, but were for procuring innovations and changes of the government; and these prevailed with the multitude to act like madmen, and went before them into the wilderness, as pretending that God would there shew them the signals of liberty.” (War 2.13.4).

       Paul tells us practically nothing of the miracles of Jesus but there are hints of it. As Paul tells us practically nothing about any of Jesus’s life, any traces will suffice to show it was part of Jesus’s ministry. As Jesus’s messianic goals were a failure, (not restoring Israel from the hands of the Romans, same as with all other messianic figures, it is very understandable that Paul would not talk about Jesus’s life but about his success, which is, in Paul’s mind, that God raised him). Here are two hints that Jesus ministry practiced signs of wonder:

  1. when Paul says, what Christ has accomplished

 “through me … by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit,” (Rom 15:18-19) 

it shows here that his ministry, which included miracles, was a reflection of Jesus’ ministry.

  1. Paul says that the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power, dunamei. (1Cor. 4:20) With the close association between powers, or miracles, and the kingdom of God in the Synoptic Gospels, it is not unreasonable to assume that Paul here is reflecting a knowledge of this association in the life of Jesus. [17]

          Jesus’ opponents saw him as a magician of some sort. All these self-styled prophets gathered crowds with deeds of wonder and promised to overthrow the Romans with God’s intervention. Jesus, too, was seen to perform wonders, putting him in the same comparative type as these religious resistance leaders:

“Was Christ not a magician? But lest any one should meet us with the question, What should prevent that He whom we call Christ, being a man born of men, performed what we call His mighty works by magical art, and by this appeared to be the Son of God? We will now offer proof, not trusting mere assertions, but being of necessity persuaded by those who prophesied [of Him] before these things came to pass, for with our own eyes we behold things that have happened and are happening just as they were predicted; and this will, we think appear even to you the strongest and truest evidence.”

(Justin Martyr 1 Apology XXX).

And from Tertullian: “As, then, under the force of their pre-judgment, they had convinced themselves from His lowly guise that Christ was no more than man, it followed from that, as a necessary consequence, that they should hold Him a magician from the powers which He displayed.” (Apology XXI)

And from Celsus: “Continuing to pour abuse upon Jesus as one who, on account of his impiety and wicked opinions, was, so to speak, hated by God, he asserts that ‘these tenets of his were those of a wicked and God-hated sorcerer.’” (Origen, Contra Celsum 1.71)

The anti-Christian polemic comes close to recovering the historical Jesus, as can be seen from these three ancient quotes:

“Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” (John 6:15).

“And now Judea was full of robberies. And as the several companies of the seditious light upon any one to head them, he was created a King immediately, in order to do mischief to the publick.” (Ant 17.10.8).

“that in the days of Jesus others who were Jews rebelled against the Jewish state, and became His followers.” (Against Celsus 3.7)

Crazy messianic claims:

  “These were such men as deceived and deluded the people under pretence of divine inspiration, but were for procuring innovations and changes of the government;” (Josephus, War 2.13.4).

Gamaliel’s speech in Acts 5:34-39 associates the Jesus movement with those of Theudas and Judas the Galilean. Theudas also enacted prophetic actions and expected God’s intervention. Judas the Galilean wanted to set up a theocracy. He called the people “cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans, and would, after God, submit to mortal men as their lords.” (War 2.118). All our sources point to Jesus’ eschatological concepts, all of which fit the historical context of these messianic figures.

       Jesus making the claim of the Temple being destroyed and restored miraculously, may have been a pesher (commentary finding meanings in the scriptures for today’s events), on the first Temple destruction in Daniel 9:26 or Jeremiah 7. This is exactly the type of claim these messianic figures made.

            Let us examine in the first person from Josephus, the miraculous messianic claims made in order to convince their followers with prophetic promises:

“Come follow me to the river Jordan, for I am a prophet and on my command I will divide the river like Moses so that you can cross” ~ Theudas as reported in Ant 20.97

“Just like with Joshua and the walls of Jericho, on my command the walls of Jerusalem will come tumbling down, I’ll lead you in to conquer the city of David”. ~ The ‘Egyptian’ as reported in Ant 20.170

“Come to Mount Gerizim, on your arrival, I’ll show you sacred vessels that are buried there since Moses deposited them there.” ~ The ‘Samaritan’ believed to be the Taheb, as reported in Ant 18.5.1

“On my command, this corrupt Temple, built by human hands will be destroyed, not one stone shall be standing on another, in three days a pure Temple will be restored not by human hands” ~ Jesus the Nazorean, whitewashed from Josephus but recovered as explained above.

John the Baptizer, thought the kingdom of god was held up by people’s sins, you could imagine him saying, “We’re going to go out into the desert and re-enact the exodus, waters wash your body and sins, once pure, god will come.”

On top of all these crazy claims Josephus reports another along the same lines:

“A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!” (War 6.5.3). 

This was said by Jesus ben Ananias four years before the war began. This prophecy only became interesting as it rang true. This was a prophecy of a madman who was not a messianic rebel, so it would not have made it into Josephus War book, only that it happened to have come true to events of the war. To Josephus this prophecy became memorable and interesting in the aftermath of the Temple destruction. It would have been another worthless prophecy made by a madman (not worth reporting or writing about) if the Temple hadn’t been destroyed. The same is happening to the gospel of Mark. A prophecy by Jesus that half came true made Jesus more interesting as a remembered war hero (messianic rebel) over other remembered war heroes. 

        If the gospel of Mark had invented the prophecy or had heard of Jesus ben Ananias prophecy he would not have written what did not happen, “not one stone shall be standing on another” but instead have written “nothing shall remain except the ruins of a wall”. Mark trying to refute this prophecy argues in favour of a failed prophecy circulating that triggered Mark’s gospel in the aftermath of the real Temple destruction. (Mark 15:37).

       Of all the claims made by the messianic figures, it’s Jesus’s prophecy that got remembered- destroy a corrupt temple, build a pure one in three days. The reason Jesus’ prophecy got remembered over the other messianic figures is that his prophecy came half true. The destroying but not the restoring.

James Sweeney sees a connection between Paul and Jesus with the Temple metaphors used by Paul. [18] This crazy messianic claim has support in the earliest layers of NT literature. Paul has reworked this claim as a metaphor:

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are” (1 Cor. 3:16–17). 

Marks attempted refutation of the crazy messianic claim suggests it actually goes back to a messianic rebel and was currently circulating. When Paul was writing one very obvious point is that the Temple was still standing.

    As N T Wright stated:

“The various ‘Passion predictions’ should not be dismissed as ex eventu prophecies of Jesus’ death, projected back into Jesus’ life as an apologetic device….. Neither are these predictions the melancholic musings of a man with a martyr complex. Rather, they represent the realistic reflection of someone proclaiming God’s kingdom, challenging Israel’s official (Sadducean) and unofficial (Pharisaic) leaders, attracting crowds, exciting eschatological fervour, imbibing messianic dreams, challenging boundaries about who is ‘in’, and making a powerful protest in the Temple which appears to be a symbolic foretelling of its downfall. (There are curious modern parallels. The Pakistani minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, himself a Catholic Christian, never married because he ‘knew’ that one day he would be killed by Islamic extremists. This belief came true on 2 March 2011, when he was ambushed by militants.) Jesus knew what risks he was taking, what opposition he would face, and how the story was going to end.” [19]

DATING THE EPISTLES

Eisenman [20] made some good observations that can be used to date the epistles.

“Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. (Romans 16:10-11) 

Paul greeted all those in the household of Aristobulus. This was a reference to Herod Agrippa’s son. Herodion, or “Little Herod,” is assumed to be the son of Herod of Chalcis.

Douglas Campbell [21] shows Paul’s King Aretus IV incident provides an anchor date for Paul’s epistles in general. It looks like he ran out of Damascenes, but escaped to carry on further missionaries. Richard Carrier shows that Aretas could have briefly held Damascus between 35-37 CE period. [22]

        A third anchor date is provided by the Erastus stone found in Corinth with the inscription:  “Erastus, Commissioner of Public Works”. Romans says: 

“Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.” (Romans 16:23).

Goodrich’s [23] paper goes into detail on this inscription, “Erastus (Rom 16.23) has featured prominently …. how one renders his title (ὁ οἰκονόμος τῆς πόλεως)”. The associations of both Erastus’ with the city of Corinth and their job titles referring to a city “financial manager” position of some kind plus the timing make it likely that these two people were the same. Goodrich posits he served as a quaestor. Goodrich then argues that a provable link between Oikonomos (οἰκονόμος) and Quaestor means that it is highly probable that Paul’s Erastus from his letter to the Romans was, at the time Paul writes, the Quaestor of Corinth.

On top of these datable clues the epistles all assume the temple cult is still standing (1 Cor. 3:16-17) and Jerusalem still populated (Gal 1:18); that Judea is not in a war, so they fit right in with the 50’s.

As a matter of interest (even though I don’t generally trust Acts), Acts also has Paul preaching in the 50’s where he is accused before Gallio a proconsul of Achaia. The interesting thing is that an inscription was found in Corinth showing Gallio was proconsul between 51/52 CE.

Scott Bignell wrote an article on many other indicators for dating the epistles, see footnote [24]

         So this was not Jesus replacing the Temple idea in the aftermath of its destruction. So these metaphors Paul uses, is Pauls genius in reworking a failed crazed messianic claim (especially where god was supposed to intervene). Pauls asks a rhetorical question:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? “ ( 1 Cor. 6:19)

This shows you why this Jesus movement survived where most other messianic movements collapsed. Dunn acknowledges that the traditional categories of temple, priesthood, holiness, and purity have been reworked by Paul. His suggested explanation is that the aforementioned cultic categories have been “replaced by the image of the body of Christ.” [25]

Paul mentioned other missionaries and therefore there were active missionaries in the Jesus movement. (He mentions Andronicus and Junia in Rom. 16:7. He mentions Priscilla and Aquila in 1 Cor. 16:19, (cf Romans 16:3-5). He was also very jealous of Apollo in 1Cor. 1:12 and 16:12), What they preach is the oral tradition about Jesus. Yet Jesus was not the only messiah of these times. “Christianity was not alone in the production of messiahs; indeed, its Christ competed for converts with the christs of other apocalyptic sects, including the formidable cult of John the Baptist.” [26]

So a different take on oral tradition. All the prophecies of these mad messianic figures were circulating. Jesus’s prophecy hit a chord when the Temple got destroyed.

It’s the reason why Jesus is remembered and popularized in NT Literature and not the Egyptian or Theudas. Oral tradition was not about “Jesus only” traditions. Other messianic prophecies were circulating and stories of other messianic figures were circulating. That is why we have composite stories in the gospels. This is real life, people love prophecies and they get repeated much more than anecdotal stories do.

—————————————————————

[1] Gray, Rebecca, Prophetic Figures in Late Second Temple Jewish Palestine, The Evidence from Josephus, (Oxford, 1993), p.3.

[2] Tabor, James, Messiahs in the time of Jesus, Taborblog:

https://jamestabor.com/messiahs-in-the-time-of-jesus/

See also Horsley, Richard, A., Popular Messianic Movements around the Time of Jesus, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 3 (1984), pp. 471-495

[3] Carrier, Richard, On the Historicity of Jesus, Why we have reason to doubt, (Sheffield, 2014), ch 4.

[4] Harnack, Adolf, Militia Christi, (Fortress Press 1981), p.51.

[5] Gieschen, Charles A., Angelomorphic Christology, Antecedents and Early Evidence, (Brill, 1963), p.64-5.

[6] Fredriksen, Paula, When Christians Were Jews, The first generation, (Yale University Press, 2018), p.177f.

[7] Richard Horsley, ‘Messiah, Magi, and Model Imperial King’, in Christmas Unwrapped Consumerism , Christ, and Culture, (ed. Richard Horsley and James Tracy; Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2001), pp. 139-61, quote at p.141.

[8] Lena Einhorne, A Shift in Time, How Historical Documents Reveal the Surprising Truth about Jesus, (Yucca, 2016)

[9] Steve Mason, Josephus and the New Testament, (Hendrickson, 1992), ch 6; Richard Carrier, Luke and Josephus (2000), online paper:

https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

[10] Dave Allen, The Use of the Testimonium Flavianum by Anti-Christian Polemicists. R M Price, ed.,Journal of Higher Criticism 16/1 (Spring 2021), 42-105.

[11] Morton Smith, Jesus the Magician,(Barnes &Noble, 1978), p.20.

[12] Menahem Mor, The Second Jewish Revolt, The Bar Kokhba War, 132–136 CE, p.327

[13] ibid footnote 200

[14] ibid, p. 97.

[15] Daniel T. Unterbrink, The Three Messiahs: The Historical Judas the Galilean, The Revelatory Christ Jesus, and The Mythical Jesus of Nazareth, iUniverse, Inc. New York Bloomington 2010.

[16] Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, (Penguin, 1998), ch. 15

To quote:

“under Pontius Pilate and coinciding with our ‘Jesus’ episode in the Gospels – Josephus records another disturbance or uprising led by such a Messiah-like individual in Samaria. Looking suspiciously like the ‘Jesus’ episode in the Gospels, this Uprising was also brutally repressed by Pilate, including, it would appear, a number of crucifixions – only the locale was not the Mount of Olives but Mount “Gerizim, the Samaritan Holy Place.”

[17] Twelftree, Graham H., Jesus the miracle worker, InterVarsity press (1999), ch 9.

[18] Wright, N. T. and Bird, Michael F., The New Testament in Its World, An Introduction to the History, Literature and Theology of the First Christians, (Harper Collins, 2019), ch 11.

[19] Sweeney, James, Jesus, Paul, and the Temple: An exploration of some patterns of continuity, JETS 46/4 (December 2003), 609 ff

[20] Eisenman, Robert, Paul as Herodian, Journal of Higher Criticism, 3/1 Spring 1996, pp.110-122.

[21] Campbell, Douglas A. “An Anchor for Pauline Chronology: Paul’s Flight from ‘The Ethnarch of King Aretas’ (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 121, no. 2, 2002, pp. 279–302.

[22] Carrier, Richard, blog entitled, How Do We Know the Apostle Paul Wrote His Epistles in the 50s A.D.?

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/18613

[23] Goodrich, John K., Erastus, Quaestor of Corinth: The Administrative Rank of ὁ οἰκονόμος τῆς πόλεως (Rom 16.23) in an Achaean Colony, (Cambridge University Press: 2009)

[24] https://jesustweezers.home.blog/2019/01/07/no-acts-no-worries-dating-the-pauline-epistles-to-the-1st-century-without-reference-to-acts/

[25] Dunn, James D, Theology of the Apostle, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006), p.721 f and 533–64, esp. pp. 543–48 (sec. 20.3: Community without cult) as quoted by Sweeney, ibid.

[26] Hoffmann, R. Joseph, Celsus, On The True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians, Translation and Introduction, (Oxford, 1987), p.7.

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https://davesblogs.home.blog/2021/05/12/historical-jesus/

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