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FLAVIAN HYPOTHESIS

"It was only after the rise of the Flavians that we Romans believed in such stories." Tacitus, Histories I. 10 or

Cliff's Speculation on the Roman Creation of Christianity An Independent Study and Sourcebook

Beware, the following is nearly fiction...

Roman Imperial Propaganda Office


Flavius Josephus Matthias, Director, Near-Eastern Desk -Top SecretProject: Good Tidings MEMO: To Lucan. From the Director, Greetings; Lucan, I want you to doctor-up a short history to cover Saulus operations in the dissension amongst the Jews. Marcus, here, has done the preliminary work, but it needs professional reworking to fill it out. We are using this Yeshua figure to divide the Jews throughout the empire. My brother, Matthias, has covered the anti-Jewish angle in his work - and he even put it together from their very own Scriptures! But, what we need now is a convincing pseudo-history slanted to the gentiles that might be leaning towards Judaism. If we can split the synagogues by causing dissension amongst the remaining Jews, that will defuse their revolutionary tendencies. Saulus has been unusually successful in Asia and 1

Greece, but now the message needs to be disseminated throughout the rest of the empire and beyond. We had to recall Saulus from the theatre of operations in the East when his cover was blown. He has been sent to the West, Spain I think, to a safe bolt-hole for protection. What a super-grass he was, best damned agent we had amongst the Jews. He had almost convinced them to turn into half-gentiles. What an operative - a convincing Jew and with that Roman citizenship for his last minute protection - he was really good. Now, we have to follow up his work with an account of his Acts. He had them believing that he was an Apostle himself, for a while. But, after he got Yeshuas brother, Justus, stoned, well? What balls! I could never put up with his constant bragging though, glad we sent him off. So, Lucan, we need a story covering the early history of this new movement we are creating. You know, an exciting introduction, travel, adventure, and all that. Make it ever so slightly pro-Roman and leave the sex out of this one. Write the story to be as historically convincing as possible. Use some of the episodes from my Jewish War and my notes for the Antiquities. Oh, and here are some authentic travel diaries, the We documents, weave them into your account. Be careful not to mix up the Herods. Agrippa would not be happy! This idea of a Peaceful Jew will need some selling. I have already inserted some references to this Yeshua figure into the Armenian edition of my Wars so there is something to pen his character on. Also, Tacitus and Suetonius from the Foreign Office, are going to insert this handy character into their official histories. I havent used miracles in my history, well not many, but you will need a few to get the interest of the masses. I know this story is ridiculous and hard to swallow, but the Emperor insists we do something as quick as an asparagus! If you need the official records you have been granted a Top Secret clearance. You will have access to the War Office files. The governor in Judea at the time was Pontius, he is retired here in Rome, he might remember some of the details. But, then, he crucified so many Jews he might not remember one particular rebel, this Yeshua character. But, try him anyhow, if he hasnt washed his hands of the whole affair. We dont have any other actual eye-witnesses, Saulus never met him. We will just have to resurrect the story, somehow. Lucan, do your work in two volumes, a biography and a history, we have a ready market for readers. We will combine your work with Marcus and Matthias which will make a handy four volume set. Get them to share some of their episodes with you, not too many, so that all three of you will look somewhat the same, you know, synoptic. Make up whatever you need to fill it out. Send both of your works to His Excellency, Theophilus, of the Imperial Censors Office, he will see to their publication. If this synoptic project works, you three are to be followed up by another account to cause mischief among the mystics who might be tempted to try Judaism. A certain Johanan is willing to write it for us if we release him from exile on Patmos. He has some connections with the Gnostics. Good work: Joe. c.c.: Marcus, Matthias, Epaphroditus, Flavius Clemens.

Preface for a Seminar on The Flavian Testament


The Gospels are disputed books. The earliest Christian mention of the Gospels comes from the second century. The earliest verifiable archaeological evidence is dated to the second century as well. On the other hand the first secular notices of Christians come from three official Flavian sources writing in the late first or early second century. By Flavian I mean the series of Roman emperors who followed the Julio-Claudian rulers after Neros death, beginning with Flavius Vespasian in 69 CE. He and his sons were followed by a succession of good emperors who continued Vespasians policies and protected the Christians until the third century. This all points to a creation of the gospels and Christianity during the Flavian period. The gospels write of, or reflect upon, events which took place during the Flavian dynasty. The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple is described in all of the gospels, including Mark and the so-called Q. If today we read an undated novel which mentions the atomic destruction of Hiroshima, we must date it at the earliest as being post-World-War II. The destruction of Jerusalem (Hierosolema) is evident in all of the gospels and is clear evidence of their post-Jewish-War I authorship. Despite the best efforts of the gospels defenders to prove otherwise they were all written after the destruction, ie. after 70 CE at the earliest. My evidence will, of necessity, be circumstantial. But, in a court of law circumstantial evidence is preferable to demonstrably forged documents. The search for the real Jesus will never be successful if we try to depend only upon the gospels. This can be demonstrated when we try to reconcile the Saul/Paul of Lukes Acts and the Paul of the Epistles. Nothing Luke ascribes to Saul/Paul is to be found in Pauls letters. He is not from Tarsus, did not study in Jerusalem, was not a Roman citizen, and so forth. If Luke in his Acts can so misrepresent Paul, who had written many works, what did he do in his Gospel to Jesus who wrote only in the sand? By Gospels I mean the three synoptic Gospels and Lukes Acts. The fourth gospel will be the subject of another work as it is already acknowledged to be of a late date. The task of demonstrating that the Gospels are not what they purport to be and are not written by those to whom they are ascribed is not difficult. The list of scholars who have done so is lengthy. Suspicions that all is not as it seems in the gospels and the official history of their origins go back at least to the second and third century with the objections of the Christian rival Marcion and the philosopher Porphyry. What I am doing is to give a more probable account of the creation of the Gospels which will fit the events of recorded history. Where in the recorded history of the period do we find healing miracles like those in the Gospels? The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius write about Flavius Vespasian healing blind and lame men. These miracles and many other portents were needed to justify Vespasians divinely approved ascent to power. The dynasty he was succeeding was of noble Roman blood, while the Flavians were of common stock. The miracles were most likely created or staged by the Flavian general staff and propagated by the Flavian historians, although, Tacitus adds that these stories were believed by the Romans only after the rise of the Flavians. Could this Flavian policy and Imperial propaganda account for the creation of the Gospels? The ancient blood-line of Judaism was succeeded by Christianity based on miracle stories, formed of common stock. Let this be clear - I am not, repeat NOT, engaging in anti-Christian polemic. My efforts are to 3

illuminate a subject in which most Christians are vitally interested, their own Gospels. When I am finished I hope that reasonable Christians will thank rather than damn me. I am reconstructing, not deconstructing. When my work has been digested it will mean that previous books written about the early history of Christianity will become obsolete and need re-writing. This work will provide employment for many future scholars, historians, novelists and playwrights; not to mention theologians. Some familiarity with the following would be useful: The History History of the first century CE; Roman Imperial rule changes from the Julio-Claudians to the Flavians. New Testament; Especially the first three gospels and the dubious historicity of Lukes Acts. Synoptic Problem; The history of its non-solution. The Flavians Flavius Vespasian 9-79 CE; Emperor from 69 CE, created a new Imperial dynasty and resurrected the Roman Empire. Titus 39-81; Vespasians eldest son, colleague, and successor, destroyed Jerusalem, master forger. Domitian 51-96; Last Flavian-born emperor, staged a palace purge and was assassinated in the aftermath. The Herods Antipater (Antipas) murdered 43 BCE; Father of Herod, backed Pompey, then assisted Julius Caesar, appointed ruler of Judea. Herod the Great 73-4 BCE, ruled Judea 31-4 BCE; After Caesars death backed Sextus Caesar, Crassus, M. Antony, finally Augustus. Herod Agrippa I 10 BCE-44 CE, ruled Judea 41-44 CE; Grandson of Herod, friend of Caligula, assisted Claudius to the throne. Herod Agrippa II 27-100 CE; Son of Agrippa I, attended Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, assisted Vespasian and Titus.

The Jewish Connection Philo Judaeus 30 BCE-42 CE; Jewish Neopythagorean philosopher, ambassador for Alexandrian Jews, Christian source. Alexander Lysimachus, Alabarch, 1st C. BCE?-mid 1st C. CE; Elder brother of Philo, richest family in Alexandria, steward of several emperors property. Tiberius Julius Alexander, 1st C. CE; Son of Alexander, governor of Judea 46-48, Prefect of Egypt, assisted Vespasian and Titus. The Historians Josephus 37-100; Jewish turncoat, assisted Vespasian and Titus, wrote propaganda/history for the Romans. Tacitus 55-120; Roman historian under the Flavians, anti-Jewish, conservative, sceptical of miracles. Suetonius 69-140; Flavian historian, casual about Jews, mentions Josephus Flavian prophecy amongst others. Pliny the Younger 61-113; Friend of both Tacitus and Suetonius, they are mentioned in his letters. Note - These four writers above have at least two things in common; they contain the earliest secular mention of Christianity, and they were all Flavian employees.

Outline for a Seminar

The Flavian Testament


Cliff Carrington 7-1998

Introduction: The Gospels are not literal.


Once upon a time it was considered a sign of insanity to doubt the literal truth of the Bible. To question anything in the divinely inspired scriptures would be to question existence itself. Scepticism towards the infallibility of the written word of God marked one as an anarchist and political danger to the believing community. In the West secular laws were justified from the Bible, although often by suppositious arguments. The American Southern Baptists, for example, justified their slavery of the Negroes from the Old Testament condemnation of the children of Ham to be servants of the children of Israel. But there are stages of believers. Those who still hold that the Bible is inerrant are, hopefully, few. The next stage of belief is a reasoned approach to the Scriptures involving a critical analysis of the text sorting out the anachronistic elements from the eternally relevant passages. This is still a belief in the Truth of the Bible, or at least selections thereof. The great critical Biblical scholars of the last two centuries believed in a literal truth of the Bible - if they could just sort it out from the dross. The philologists have worked the text to death. The theologians have twisted every term and sentence into a preconceived meaning. The historians, strangely the most blinkered, bring their political and social theories with them in their attempt to find the Historical Jesus. The advance of modern criticism has left the priests bewildered and the congregations dwindling. What is needed is a fresh approach to appreciate the Bible as literature; which is not philologically deadening, theologically fossilised or historically blinkered. After all, the Bible is made up of stories: From the stories in Genesis and Exodus to the stories of the Gospels and the Apocalypse. Granted, it is a varied and uneven literature. The Sun did not literally and historically stand still for Joshua, but it makes a good story. The heavens will not literally roll up like a scroll at some historically determined time as the author of the Apocalypse wrote, but it makes a good story. Inconsistency and contradiction mark the Gospels as non-history. They are both internally and comparatively contradictory. Any number of examples could be given to demonstrate this fact. They are, for the most part, vague on actual historically verifiable dates, and the few examples of dated events, such as the date of the birth of Jesus, are mutually inconsistent. They are not reporting convincing history. But, they do tell some very vivid and convincing stories, which have found their way into the hearts of generations. In trying to date the gospels we find great difficulty, not least with the belief of most writers that somehow the gospels are reporting, truly, events that really happened to a man who really existed. This, often unconscious, presupposition taints all of their work. To the believer Luke is an accurate historian therefore we can use him unreservedly for historical fact. What happens when a scholar is a believer? When the scholars run out of facts they are not above making up a good story and trying to pass it off as some kind of fact. Some serious writers actually give us a detailed story of Jesus childhood and family life - for which we have absolutely no historical source. Another will give us a story about the 6

family circumstances of Paul, with the definite assertion that: His father was a wealthy Jewish cloth merchant in Tarsus specialising in carpets, shoes and tents woven of the high quality wool from the province; and that by this wealth he gained Roman citizenship for himself and his son, Saul. All of this comes from a dubious line in Lukes Acts 18:3 about Saul/Paul staying with a Jewish couple in Corinth who plied the trade of tent-makers! They make a good story where the facts are uncertain or nonexistent. In doing this they are often unconsciously following the methodology of the writers they are supposed to be studying.

Traditional view of the Gospels.


The tradition of the Christian Church from the fourth century onwards was that the four gospels were written in the following manner: Matthew and John were disciples and wrote from their own memory. Mark, perhaps John Mark the disciple of Peter, wrote from the reminiscences of Peter. Luke, the physician to the apostle Paul, wrote his gospel from hearing eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus life, and wrote Acts from his own eyewitness of the events. Can this tradition be sustained in the light of scholarship? When we look at the traditional references we have to the gospels and try to fit them into a verifiable time frame we can find no mention of the four before Irenaeus in the late second century. In fact the earliest uncontested source to the four gospels is by Eusebius in the fourth century. In his History of the Church he describes the four gospels in varying orders as given in his earlier sources. He gives six different sources and orders of production. One has Luke the earliest as a gospel and read by Paul. Another, Clement of Alexandria, quoted only in Eusebius, has the two gospels with the infancy stories written first, followed by Mark and still later John. The early tradition was, and still is, hopelessly confused. An outstanding example of this confusion which is found in Eusebius is about the writing of the Gospel of Mark. Eusebius has Mark, who had written his gospel from the words of the apostle Peter, arrive in Alexandria and preach his gospel to such effect that a great many of the Alexandrians believed and withdrew into the desert to found communities. This is verified, according to Eusebius, by the account of the Therapeutae given by the Alexandrian Jew Philo Judaeus who wrote with glowing admiration of this religious community. The work of Philo from which Eusebius quotes is On the Contemplative Life, where these earliest Christians are described. There is a problem, and not a small one, about this description of Marks earliest Christians in Philo. On all accounts Philo was born about 30 B.C.E., as he describes himself as an old man in 39 C.E., and he is believed to have died shortly after 40 C.E.. As On the Contemplative Life is considered to be one of a pair of his earliest, youthful, works there is a dating problem with the account of Marks preaching. As the work was done in Philos youth it could not have been much later than 5 C.E. which puts it some time before Jesus ministry, not to say crucifixion. How could Mark have listened to the words of Peter, in Rome, about a crucified Jesus who was still a child according to the traditional dating? This is an anachronism of the most serious type. If Eusebius has such a faulty understanding of his history that he can have Mark preaching a gospel years before the events of Jesus life happened, what about his other gospel accounts? Another important point to be made when considering the date of the composition of the gospels is that a mention of a Jesus or a Christ in the earlier literature does not mean an existing set of gospels as we have them. The gospels were used separately by different sects: some followed only Matthew, 7

others Luke and yet others only John. It was only much later in the history that they were gathered together as the four gospels. They started their life as separate documents meant for differing peoples and purposes. Perhaps, seeing their contradictions, they were never supposed to be collected together? Fortunately for the early Church this compilation did not happen until their theology and hierarchy were strong enough for them to insist on the gospels special properties and depth of meaning not available to the uninitiated. They were then reserved for the elite of the spiritual hierarchy and fed to the congregation in purified doses. It was only after the Reformation that the books of the Bible were available to the literate laity. Then the questions started. Everyman felt he had the right to accept what he liked from his reading of the Bible and question what he found objectionable. From this followed all of the modern scholarship into the reality or historicity of the Bible tradition.

Synoptic problem.
As noted, the traditional accounts of the gospels and the order in which they were written is hopelessly confused. Has modern scholarship eliminated that confusion? No! Scholars, both historical and theological, have spent lifetimes in intricate study and subsequent elaboration of conflicting opinions. Some will follow the traditional view of Matthew first, as it is the most cited by quotations in the early Church Fathers. Others will have John first as a reliable source for he was an actual disciple and had actually followed Jesus. A few writers hold that Luke was the first, because he is most complete as a history when his gospel is coupled with his eyewitness account of the events in Acts. However, arguing from the internal content of the gospels most scholars have come to the consensus that Mark was the source for the others. Recently there is a school that is going back to the priority of Matthew because he was reported, in a dubious source, to have written first in Aramaic or even Hebrew before being rendered into Greek. There we have the full circle. When it was understood that two of the three gospels shared material absent from Mark an hypothetical source was postulated. This source for material shared by Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark was called Q, for no particularly good reason. The Q could just as easily stand for Quintus Fabulus an hypothetical retired centurion with many years service in the East, who gathered tales and sayings of the sages and holy men of that part of the world. Although the gospels differ in almost all of their details they are remarkably similar in their overall story. They are too similar to have been written separately in different places at different times. How can one believe that Matthew and Luke obtained exact copies of both Mark and the hypothetical Q, and then in different cities wrote their individual gospels as similarly as they did? There are also some cases where it looks as though Mark is modifying sources from Matthew and Luke, such as the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. How can this be accounted for in the traditional sequence? The gospels are interdependent and not independent documents. How can the faithful explain these problems of difference and similarity in the true gospels? Once the problem was noticed it was tackled by the best minds in Christendom. These men, and all were men, merely wanted to clear up a few apparent inconsistencies and finally reconcile the story of Jesus life and true teaching. The new age of reason would not allow illogicality even in its religion. In the eighteenth century scholars applied the techniques gained through the study of the scientific method to the study of Homer and the ancient literary corpus. If this could be done with the ancient Greeks why not the ancient Jews? So the Old Testament was subjected to searching criticism, mainly by the German school. When word of this arrived in England the Anglican Church was horrified. If this 8

could be done to the O.T. - what if someone did the same thing to the New Testament? They were right, the N.T. canon soon came under the fire of the German big shots, with a devastating effect throughout the Christian world. The English scholars soon rose to the task and aimed more broadly than the continentals. Liberal Christians, discontented with the traditional dogmatic view, found a new interest in historical criticism. Book after book has been written on the Life of Jesus. For many today this was the start of the rot of disbelief, and the cause of all modern ills. Gone forever was the simple, peaceful Jesus who blessed the little children and fed the people in the wilderness. Now we had a Jesus of contradictions. Was he to bring peace or the sword? Was he a Jew who obeyed the Jewish Law, or was he the first Christian who proclaimed a new Law? Was he ending history, or starting a new era? In the study of the differing pictures of Jesus the enlightenment found a rebel, a healer, a magician and the prototype Gnostic? Each proponent expounded his case with seemingly irrefutable logic. However, as they all were working from an undemonstrable premise they came to differing conclusions. They all postulated that there really was an historical Jesus to find. What if not?

Impossibility of internal solution.


With a little ingenuity one can find at least four different images of Jesus in the gospels. This is not to say that the images will yield a consistent picture, for as the most part they will be mutually exclusive. A peaceful Jesus cannot be reconciled with a revolutionary who comes with a sword. Each of the gospels contain contradictory pictures. For example Luke, combining the opposite views of Matthew and Mark, has Jesus proclaiming two doctrines that cannot possibly be reconciled when he says that: Whoever is not with me is against me. And then a few chapters later he decides: Whoever is not against you is for you. Which version of his doctrine do we follow? Most Christians have answered by merely choosing whichever suited their own attitude to their rivals in the religious business. The greatest problem in studying the gospels is reading one into another. The classic example of this is the Nativity scenes at Christmas. They inevitably have the baby Jesus worshipped by both the wise men and the shepherds. These come from two different stories told in two different gospels, which are so different as to be irreconcilable. The dates, the sequence of events, and the endings of the birth story of the central figure of Christianity differ. Only the pious mind can believe in two things at once. The same can be said for the crucifixion scene, the ending of the central figures mission. Each account varies from the others. A clear example of this happening can be demonstrated with the second most important character in Christianity, Saul/Paul. Luke wrote both a gospel and a history. How reliable his history of Paul in Acts is will be an indication of his accuracy in his gospel account of Jesus. For an exercise try to think of Saul/Paul without referring to Acts - rather only from his own letters, which are considered authentic. He did not study in Jerusalem under Rabbi Gamaliel. He was not present at the stoning of Stephen. He did not have a vision on the road to Damascus. He healed no cripples. He did not meet the Roman governor, Gallio, in Corinth. He raised no one from the dead. He was not a Roman citizen. 9

These facts are in Acts but not in the Epistles. According to Paul himself he did not do anything which Luke represents him as doing in Acts. If Paul had done any of these things he surely would have boasted of them. If the Paul of Acts has practically nothing to do with the real Paul in the Epistles, what does this say about the Jesus of the Gospels and the real Jesus? We must conclude that Lukes work is open to question. If he could fictionalise such an account of Saul/Paul, who wrote copiously, what did he do to Jesus, who wrote only in the sand? If his gospel is as unhistorical as his Acts can be demonstrated to be, the next question that comes to mind is: what about the other gospel accounts? They may be as unhistorical as Luke as they are so similar in their story and purpose. But in that case all of the gospels are disputed works, ie. open to question. We cannot use one disputed work to verify another. To read the story of Jesus we unconsciously slip from one gospel to another. For one raised in the Western tradition this is one of the hardest habits to break. We, since birth, have been surrounded with the story of Jesus. It permeates our culture and our thought whether or not one is a believer. The gospels had the field for many centuries and were long considered the benchmark of truth, it is Gospel was the synonym for veracity The other literature of the culture had been made subservient to the Bible, but surprisingly much has survived under the protection of the Church itself.

External sources.
It is often said, especially by Christians, that there is little literature from the time of Jesus. They are wrong. The period from just beforethe birth of Jesus through the second century is the richest period of extant ancient literary productions. Also, we now have the Dead Sea Scrolls and other recently discovered material contemporary with the period. The problem for Christians is that there are so few uncontested mentions of Christ in the literature. The historians Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have mentions, but these are doubtful as to their authenticity and date of inclusion. The same can be said for the famous letter of Pliny to Trajan and the emperors reply concerning Christians. The letter attributed to Pliny was published after his death by one of the imperial secretaries later in the second century. Of these ancient contemporary sources Josephus is the most important to our study of the gospel period. Whatever one thinks of his character and prejudices Josephus is generally reliable where he is disinterested. But there is one thing that he had a great interest in, and that was the Messiahs and other pretenders who brought down the destructive wrath of the Romans upon his beloved Jerusalem. He hated them and tells us so at every opportunity. He would never have written favourably about any Messiah and that, of course, would include the Jesus Christ figure. There are the two contemporary imperial historians whose works have survived, Tacitus and Suetonius. But there are also many historians who have not. One contemporary, mentioned by Josephus, was the Syrian historian Hermogenes. Suetonius, in his Life of Domitian, relates how Hermogenes was executed for some incautious allusions in one of the books of his history. Also his slaves, copyists, were crucified for having copied such allusions! This is but one example of imperial control of the literature and most importantly the histories. This was standard Roman procedure, and especially after Vespasian they kept a firm hand on book production and distribution. In the course of time imperial censorship gave way to ecclesiastical control. The intention was the 10

same, to control the literature and mens minds by not allowing any alternative opinion to survive. What was started under the Romans continued in the Church, especially during the Inquisition. All ancient literature we have, other than the recent archaeological finds, has been filtered through two thousand years of censorship. The authors mentioned above were either imperial secretaries, or in the employ of the government at some stage. They were official historians or propagandists for the state. If the passages about Jesus in the imperial historians are authentic they must have had official approval. If they are later interpolations they again must be officially approved, because who else would be able to tamper with official histories? Which ever way we argue the case the Roman authorities would have had to approve the Jesus passages. The gospels themselves were created during this period of imperial control. That they have survived along with the other approved literature suggests that they were also approved. The State allowed only those works which were relevant to its cause to survive. The witness of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hag Hammadi gnostic scriptures attest to the diversity and breadth of early literature. These late finds give us examples of contemporary literature to act as something like a control with which to measure the approved works. We can now see how tame the approved gospels are when compared with the other streams of semi-Christian thought. After the first Jewish war the Romans had a tame Judaism, under the Rabbis of Jamnia, and allowed their version of the Jewish Scriptures, without the revolutionary Books of the Maccabees, to be published abroad. The emperors had always had a special relationship with the Jews since Julius Caesar.

History of Roman occupation.


In 63 BCE the Jews had their first real encounter with the Romans. Pompey conquered them. From then on they were under Roman control of one sort or another. Sometimes they were ruled by their own, Roman appointed, kings. The Jewish kings were quite adept in both backing losers and coming up with the winners in the struggles for the empire amongst the Romans themselves. The father of Herod, Antipater, after first backing Pompey changed sides and saved Julius Caesar when all seemed lost in Alexandria. Caesar never forgot the favour and granted the Jews of the empire special privileges and religious concessions. For the most part this was continued up until the emperor Hadrian. Through circumstances of timing and fortune most of the first century emperors owed their ascension to one or another of the powerful Jews. Herod the Great won the favour of Augustus, after previously backing the loser Mark Anthony, by aiding him in taking Egypt, the key to the empire. His grandson, Herod Agrippa I, was a close friend of the emperor Caligula until his assassination, when Herod then put Claudius on the throne. When he founded his dynasty Vespasian was aided by the Alexandrian Jews, especially Philos nephew Tiberius Alexander. Tiberius Alexanders father, Philos brother was the richest man in the world in his time and manager of imperial estates under several emperors. The Jewish king Herod Agrippa II was a valued favourite at court until his death in about 100 C.E. In Palestine itself life was not too bad under indirect rule. States under Roman protection generally prospered. The laws were stable, commerce was unrestricted throughout the empire - which was most of the known world. Anyone could become wealthy if they just got along with their business and paid their taxes. The Romans thought of their taxes as a rent paid for civilization. If you did not pay your rent, you were evicted and someone else took over the property. The Romans were the landlords of 11

Western civilization and protected their property diligently. When the Romans deposed Herods son, Archelaus, in 6 C.E., and took direct control of Palestine the Jews in Galilee revolted at the prospect of paying tax to the heathen. They had been paying the same tax to their own king but the outsiders were something else. This was the start of the first war, which simmered for years before breaking out in open revolt within a generation of this first gesture of defiance. The Jews of Judea were only a small part of the empire, but they were one of the most wealthy provinces the Romans controlled. Judea was at the cross roads of trade both north-south and as the terminus of the Eastern overland trade routes. Judea was crucial to the well-being of the empire. The first Jewish war cost the Romans dearly, both in the loss of political prestige and military expenditure. Wars cost money, money the emperors would have liked to have spent on bettering the life of the citizens of the empire. Things like water supplies for its cities. But, unexplainably, when the Romans wanted to improve the water supply for Jerusalem the Jews rioted? Why did the Jews, of all peoples, not want a better supply of the health sustaining water? Did they not want to bathe? The Romans, as often in their dealings with the Jews, were completely baffled. The Jews made up ten percent of the population of the empire under Claudius, but they exercised power out of proportion to their numbers. They were the financiers of the imperial house. This interesting state of affairs was not interrupted until the second Jewish war in 135 ended imperial favour. By then the new sect of Christians had become almost entirely gentile. The Jewish-Christian bishop of Jerusalem was replaced by a Gentile after the second war. The Gentile Christians proved useful to the government in their organisational control of their believers. This was rewarded in just a few centuries with complete and official recognition by Constantine and full rule before the end of the fourth century. Their rise, at first riding on the back of Judaism, was later at the expense of the Jews. By the late second century the Christians made up the ten percent of the empire that the Jews previously had.

Flavian propaganda machine.


Flavius Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian Dynasty was an unknown person of lowly birth, (his father was a customs supervisor). Vespasian needed some recognition of the validity of his accession and the rule of his new dynasty. A series of miracles were noted which seemed to presage his rule. We have three contemporary sources for these miracles: Josephus, 37-100 CE, Tacitus, 55-120 and Suetonius, 69-140. All three were in the employ of the Flavian emperors, and for a period, at the same time. Both Josephus and Tacitus admit their debt first to Vespasian, then his sons Titus and Domitian for their careers. Suetonius shows his debt by the glowing biographies he wrote for the Flavian Dynasty. How reliable or truthful are their accounts of the Flavian Oracles? Tacitus himself did not believe in miracles, yet he recorded those of Vespasian and the Jews dutifully. It was he who wrote; but it was only after the rise of the Flavians that we Romans believed in such stories. This was the attitude of an educated, sensible Roman. Even Josephus shows a vein of scepticism in his works when it comes to miracles, at least those which are not directly from God. Suetonius was rather easy-going and miracles did not bother him very much one way or the other. In the first century there was an oracle of unknown origin circulating that a ruler of the world would come from the East. When Nero was forced into suicide there was already a rebel general with his army on the march towards Rome. But he was from the West, Spain, so that he was unsuccessful, as were his two successors who were all from Europe. That left Vespasian, in Judea, with the largest concentration 12

of troops under his command. The oracle was pressed into service to mean that the ruler was none other than Vespasian himself. This was the start of a propaganda campaign that assisted the Flavian dynasty to come to rule and to rule the Roman empire. Vespasian was given a favourable prophecy from the priests of Mt. Carmel. Whether or not this was mere political expediency on their part Vespasian and his followers were well pleased. The rumours were spread quickly throughout the army that their general was to be successful in whatever he planned. His immediate followers, including Josephus who had himself prophesied the emperorship would come to Vespasian, encouraged the general to consider seizing power. Our general was a veteran campaigner and caution was his first course. However, Tiberius Alexander, a lapsed Jew and governor of Alexandria, had the troops under his command take their oath to Vespasian as emperor. When the new emperor was in Alexandria preparing for the journey to Rome several portentous events happened. When Vespasian went to the temple of Serapis for an oracle he is recorded by both Tacitus and Suetonius to have received an oracle associated with the name Basilides, ie. kings son. This was taken to mean that the god had acknowledged Vespasians right to the Principate. Then there were the blind and lame whom Vespasian cured with his royal touch. They were brought to him with the assurance from the god Serapis that he could heal them by spitting into the blind mans eyes and healing the lame man with his heel. He was reluctant considering that if he failed he would look the fool. His followers reassured him that he could do it, he did and the two men were healed. This was obviously stage-managed, by whom we will never know. Most likely it was the followers of the new emperor who concocted the circumstances to give more confidence to Vespasian in his new role. Other miracles concerning his birth were now remembered, and favourable portents came from all over the empire, including Greece. The stories spread quickly, no doubt helped on their way by the official post. Flavius Vespasian became emperor and god. His two sons followed him to the rule and the Flavian dynasty was a fact. While oracles and miracles assisted him in his rule by establishing a supernatural awe around his person Vespasian remained wryly sceptical to the end. He had a great sense of humour. On his death bed he said, as he felt himself dying; Now I feel myself becoming a god.

Josephus as propagandist.
Flavius Josephus ben Matthias ha Cohen retired to Rome after the war and wrote his memoirs, as a general should. However, Josephus memoirs were more than mere reminiscences of a successful commander who had completed his active service. In this war Josephus had served on both sides, first as a Jewish commander and later as a Roman intelligence officer. He had been given the emperors old house and received considerable revenues derived from large property holdings in Judea granted to him by the Roman commander after the war. He was on family terms with not only the emperor Vespasian and his son Titus, but also with the Jewish royal house under Herod Agrippa II which resided in Rome. He boasts of this close relationship often. How did he, a defeated Jewish rebel, attain to such a position with the victorious Romans? As a young man Josephus was included in an embassy from Jerusalem to Rome. There he met with success, through Jewish connections to the emperors wife. He was in Rome during Neros reign and presumably at the time of the great fire, though he does not mention the event. In his Antiquities he mentions a renegade Jew, who by a fraud perpetrated upon a noble Roman matron, caused the Jews in Rome to be expelled from the city. This must have been the expulsion under Nero mentioned in other 13

literature. He would have seen Rome at its mightiest. The splendour of the court and magnificence of the city would have impressed this young provincial. But the might of the Roman army would have been the most impressive of all. When Josephus returned from Rome things in Jerusalem had gone from bad to worse. There were increasing tensions between the Jews and their Roman rulers. Rebellion was in the air. When hostilities broke out Josephus was given a command, of some sort, to defend Galilee. The Romans took Galilee as a training exercise for the real war in Judea. Josephus surrendered to Vespasian and prophesied his rule. He was treated very well from the start by his captors. When Nero died Vespasian struck off his fetters and he joined the Roman staff. He acted as an intelligence officer, interrogating prisoners and advising the Romans on conditions in Jerusalem. Josephus had many friends in the besieged city and was able to gain information useful to the besiegers. He continually tried to negotiate a surrender but was generally unsuccessful. However, he did convince a large group of nobles and rabbis to desert to the Romans. Just before the destruction of the temple he organised for some of the treasures to be lowered over the wall to the Romans. These were later exhibited in the Triumph at Rome, as still illustrated on Titus arch. He also gained custody of the Holy Books from the temple after the war. He was also allowed to save those of his friends and family who had survived the siege. Titus, the victorious general, granted him almost royal favours and took Josephus with him in his retinue to Rome. In Rome the first assignment for Josephus was to write an account of the inevitable and ultimate defeat of those who had challenged Romes rule. He wrote first in Aramaic, the language of the East, and then in Greek for the rest of the world. He discusses this in his works. The description of the Roman victory was to dissuade other subject states from rebellion. This was completed quickly, the first draft came out immediately after the war and the Greek some three years later. The work was published by the emperor himself and officially distributed, first in the East and then throughout the empire. His was the official history, all others were discouraged and have not survived. The Flavians excelled at this production of Propaganda/History. As noted all of the surviving histories of the period are from Flavian sponsored writers. All other writers had a hard time of it. Some were merely relegated to oblivion, while others were done to death. The emperors wanted their version of events to be the only one available to the populace, and ultimately to history. This was effective and the policy was followed by all succeeding emperors. When the Christians took over the empire they did not see fit to change this state of affairs, indeed they were even more active in inventing histories.

Gospels as post-Josephus.
There are two ways to date an ancient document; externally, where the work is mentioned in another historically datable document, and internally by the latest historically datable event mentioned in the text. The gospels are no exception to these rules. The first is relatively easy as the gospels have their first historical notice, in another Christian work, in the mid to late second century. The earliest mention of any gospel at all is in Justin Martyr writing in the middle of the second century. Irenaeus, writing no earlier than the year 185, lists the four gospels for the first time - and which sect of Christians used which gospels, and which rejected one or more of the canon. As we see, even in the Christian documents, the gospels were only noted some one hundred and fifty years after the events they purport to describe. The earliest secular writer who mentions the books of the Christians is Eunapius, writing at the beginning of the fifth century. The gospels are set in the early years of the first century, indeed the first century is dated from them. If 14

this seems to be a circular statement, it is. The story they tell, of the start of a new era of the kingdom of God stemming from the birth of a Messiah, starts the dating of our Common Era. The dating system of the Western world was devised in the sixth century by fixing years from the Anno Domini, year of the Lord, the supposed birth date of Jesus. This in itself is debatable as we simply do not know when Jesus was born, if at all. If we turn to the documents themselves, noting their setting in the first third of the first century, we can find thinly disguised accounts of events which happened in the last third of that century. The most striking of these are the prophecies, by Jesus, of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the cities of Galilee, years after his supposed death. These are found in all of the gospels. Mark, supposedly the earliest, has a graphic description of the woes of the Jews and their destruction. Matthew and Luke share a similar description, said to be from the Q passages. Luke gives graphic details in his description of the siege of Jerusalem and its destruction by the Romans. This is a remarkable example of prophecy before the event, if indeed we can credit the miraculous. Most modern readers have doubts about miracles and would recognise a post-event description rather than a visionary experience being reported. The temple had been destroyed six centuries earlier, but was soon restored. In the Jews recent past the temple had been taken by the Romans, by Pompey, and looted by Crassus, but not destroyed. There was no precedent for thinking the Romans would destroy it before they were obliged to do so in the last stages of the Jewish war. This was due to the last-ditch stand taken by the religious fanatics. They had sought protection there, believing that God would at least save his own house. Their determined resistance brought on its destruction by the Romans. If, then, we can see that the gospels which contain the description of the temples destruction were written after the event we have a date for their earliest production, ie. post 70s. Jesus predictions were written into the gospels at a date well after his supposed death. It is either this way, or we have to believe in the miraculous. As the later Christians came to believe that the destruction of the Jewish temple was gods revenge on them for having killed his son, Jesus predictions made sense theologically if not historically. If the gospels describe the destruction of Jerusalem they must be assumed to have been written after the event. Who else wrote about these the events? Josephus history would have been available in the East only a few years after the destruction. As Josephus history was the official account published and distributed throughout the empire we should expect to find evidence somewhere that it is being used by the gospel writers. Luke gives it away in his second book, Acts, when he lifts a description of two bandits Theudas and Judas from Josephus and puts it into Gamaliels speech. We can still see how he mistook the account from Josephus and anachronistically inserted it into his own work.

Gospels as propaganda
Josephus wrote his account of the war for the Flavians, as a piece of propaganda to divide the Jews and to encourage them to accept Romes rule. The gospels also promote the acceptance of Roman rule. According to Josephus the fanatical Jews in Judea brought on their own punishment by defying the Romans. In the gospels the fanatical Jews, by defying Jesus and calling for his crucifixion, brought on their own punishment by the Romans. This pro-Roman, anti-Jewish sentiment, permeates both Josephus and the gospels. Christians are admonished to obey the powers that be, ie. the Romans. Slaves must obey their masters. Does this sound like a revolutionary new religion springing up from the masses? No, it rather reads like 15

something imposed from above. It has been noted earlier how tame the gospels are from the Roman standpoint. The bad guys are the Jews and the good guys are the Romans. All of the Romans we meet in the gospels are friendly, and respectful, to Jesus and the early Christians. From the centurion at Capernaum to the centurion at the crucifixion, who called Jesus a son of god, even Pilate himself, the Romans were not against Jesus. Only the ignorant and stubborn Jews caused Jesus any trouble. This view cannot be further from the realities of the first century Roman rule. How did Jesus, a crucified Jewish rebel, attain to such a high position in the Roman empire? We have asked almost the same question of Josephus. In his case it was a matter of practical assistance to the rulers. In the case of Jesus it is more of a matter of being a harmless figurehead to a new officially approved sect of the Jews. This Jesus approved of the Roman taxation and preached non-violence. He was a peaceful Jew who could be worshipped by both Jews and Gentiles. In time the gentiles took over the whole show. Now that we can examine the recent finds of ancient literature from the early Christian period, like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Library, we can see how tame the canonical gospels really are. They are not at all like the contemporary Jewish sectarian literature found near the Dead Sea, nor are they like the radical Gnostic and Hermetic texts found in Egypt. The are comfortably conformable to the establishment. The gospels were protected from the beginning while the other literature was for the most part destroyed by the establishment, first Roman, then Christian. Luke, in his Acts, gives the plot away when he describes Saul/Paul and his activities as an agent provocateur where ever he went. He disrupted the synagogues throughout the East and threw the Jews everywhere into a frenzy. The Romans finally had to come to the rescue of their agent by taking him into protective custody and spiriting him off to Rome where he lived without hindrance. If Luke was writing for the Romans - then the others were. If we consider the possibility that the gospels were written together as political/theological fiction, with the help of an expert on Eastern folk tales, stories of their holy men and wonder workers, then most of the historical problems mentioned earlier disappear. Matthias, Marcus and Lucan, along with agent Q sat down together and made up a story from a set theme of a peaceful Jew preaching a transcendent kingdom demonstrated by the usual miracles. Each wrote their gospel to the best of their ability and in the interests of the area of the empire to which their story was destined. These eyewitness accounts were then published through official channels in various parts of the empire. They were considered as promoting a tame Jewish sect that could be depended on to be both loyal and useful. That is - loyal to their masters and useful to divide the Jews as well as to absorb the gentiles who were leaning towards Judaism. The contradictions between the gospels can be seen as merely idiosyncratic rather than factual. The fictional setting of a peaceful Judea in the first century would only be possible well after the real events of the period had been forgotten. The theology, and to a large extent the Christology, came from establishment Jews like Philo. There never was an idea of a new religion, the exercise was considered merely as a prudent modification of an existing religion in the interest of the stability of the state.

An unexpected religion.
As the fortunes of Judaism declined the status of its offshoot, Christianity, increased until it was considered a religion in itself. This was unexpected but not unwelcome to the Romans. The new sect had influence in high places. They moved into places in the imperial service that were formally occupied by Jews. And as often happens there were periodic changes in who is in the high place. The fortunes of the early Christians waxed and waned according to their political circumstances. Sometimes 16

they would back the wrong emperor and they would lose influence, only to regain it when there was a favourable change of emperors. There was never any widespread blanket condemnation or persecution of the early Christians. Granted, sometimes, especially in the early second century, when they were mixed up with the Jews in general, they were caught up in their persecutions. Reading the Christian literature of the Church Fathers we can see that they had the ear of several emperors. Then, early in the fourth century the Roman empire finally recognised its bastard son and officially adopted it. The rest is history, Church history. The organization of the early church was more sophisticated than one would expect. From the very first they had organized themselves into a Roman-like hierarchy of bishops/governors, deacons/leaders of ten, presbyters/council of elders and local priests. This system was very efficient, as was the Roman empire upon which was built. When the Romans officially recognized the Church it devolved many of its expensive civil responsibilities to the authority of the bishops. The Church soon became synonymous with the State. In the beginning of the second century the question was who was a Jew and who was not? The Christians claimed the taxation privileges of the Jews but were not considered by them to be real Jews. Later, when the Jews had revolted throughout the empire the Christians had to become non-Jews. Who were the real Christians, and who were not, was the only question after the second century? Who had official approval and who were renegades? The pagan writers considered that the Christians were responsible for the destruction of the empire. They believed that the abandonment of the ancient worship of the gods condemned the empire to invasion and destruction. Be that as it may, they were correct in that the empire was invaded and the temples were destroyed by the Christians. At the end of the fourth century Arian Christian hoards descended upon Greece and Italy and brought on the dark ages. Delphi and the rest of Greece were destroyed in 391, the temple of Serapis at Alexandria in 395. Rome fell to the Barbarian Christians in the early part of the next century. The orthodox Christians of the empire gleefully joined the Barbarians in the destruction and plunder of the temples. The earliest Jewish-Christians were marginalised as an heretical sect. They were known to the GentileChristians as Ebionites the Poor, for their poor understanding of their own Christ. This name is familiar to the readers of the Dead Sea Scrolls - as the sectarians in that literature called themselves by the name, or title, of Ebionites, the Poor. Whenever any Jew tried to remind the Christian Church that they were originally Jewish they were anachronistically called Judaizers, and accused of trying to corrupt the True Church. The Jews who knew the truth of the origin of the Church were systematically destroyed. The result for the Jews has been to live under a civilization that had stolen their religion and then persecuted them for the theft? How many Jews, men, women and children have died because of this politically motivated literary lie? Because of the total control over the literature and ideas of the past centuries the Church has had it its own way. The Christian story has permeated the Western civilization to such an extent that even nonbelievers are affected by its literature.

Conclusion: The Gospels are literature.


When we realise that the literature of the Christian Church was written after Josephus, using Josephus, and for much the same purpose as Josephus, the material starts to make sense in areas where there always has been confusion. The prophecies relate to the history in a much more logical way. The antiJewish sentiment is explicable rather than merely irrational. The pro-Roman stance matches the 17

political circumstance. For the most part the events make better reading if they are thought of as literature rather than some kind of history. However, there are a few surprises, some pleasing and others shocking, in store when we read the history back through the gospels source, Josephus. Luke even borrows his style from Josephus. We will see that the star over Bethlehem was over Jerusalem. The story of the child Jesus in the temple with the Doctors is from Josephus own childhood. We find out what a real Baptist is like. We see the sermon on the Mount is a romantic fiction which would have been politically impossible. The Gadarene swine were six thousand Jews drowned or killed in the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum by the Roman Legion. The strange parable of the vineyard owner paying the last worker the same as the first is explained as a type of Social Security. And we understand why three were crucified. Also, much light is shed upon Lukes Acts, such as the Shekhinah passing from the Jews as the Spirit of Pentecost of the Christians; and the death of Herod. Many previously inexplicable parables and miracles are explained by a literary, rather than literal, reading. The reading of the gospels in light of the period of history in which they were written, as well as the period about which they purport to write, will clear up many of the Synoptic Problems. They are not, and never were, meant to be read as history in our historical sense. They are little novels, or novella with a theological and political purpose. The similarities and differences can be explained as interdependent yet idiosyncratic literary documents written from a common, shared, and individually reinterpreted source. As history the gospels fail miserably. But, as literature they work superbly. Every episode in the Lives of Jesus can be traced back to a source available in the early second century. Josephus is used for the history. The common Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures, known as the Septuagint, was used for the prophetic proof-texts of the Messiahship of Jesus. The sayings of Jesus can be traced to first and second century Rabbinical teachings. The eschatology is a combination of early Jewish apocalyptic literature and Greek mysticism. There is nothing original in the Jesus story. But it is well presented. The way the gospels seemingly reinforce each other adds to the feeling, but not the substance, of a true story. This is good literature. The first thing the early Church did was to eliminate its rivals. What they did was to destroy any alternative views expressed in literature and replaced them with their own story. The orthodox Christians borrowed the best from their opponents, and then tried to destroy all trace of them. This applied not only to the Jews and Gnostics, but also their brother, unorthodox, Christians. The major problem with Christianity is that its highly successful early literature is often at odds with its later developed dogma. What started out as a Flavian literary propaganda project ended up by convincing its creators to believe in their own creation. The propaganda got out of hand and came to be considered the Gospel truth. Whether or not this is to be considered the most successful fraud in history, the Gospels are certainly the most successful works of literature ever produced. It was only after the rise of the Flavians that we Romans believed in such stories.

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Cliff Carrington THE GOSPELS AFTER JOSEPHUS Table of Contents: Introduction 1 (page 22) Intro Apologia All Surviving Historians are Propagandists Miracles, Prophecies and Historians Mt. Carmel, Prophecy and Transfiguration

Introduction 2 (page 32) Flavian Synoptics - Oracles for Vespasian Introduction 3 (page 41) Josephus as Official History Josephus and Paul as Roman agents Gospels 1: Page 44 Introductions of Contra Apion I & II and Luke's Two Works The 15 Jesuses in Josephus Star over Jerusalem and the Star of Bethlehem
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The Census and the Birth of Jesus Young Josephus and Jesus with the priests Bannus the Baptist John the Baptist in Josephus and the Synoptics Sermon on the Mount? Gerasene Swine Parable of the Vineyard Pilate's Character Temple Riot Cleansing the Den of Robbers I Too Am Under Authority Barabbas Crucifixion of three men and the survival of one The Resurrection Portents of the destruction of the Temple. "Woe to..." passages Shekhinah and Spirit of Pentacost The Nazarite's Vow Herod's Death Theudas and Judas Egyptian Bandit Paul's Assassins, Felix and the Sicarii Paul as Roman Agent Stoning of Stephen/James

Gospels 2: Page 53

Gospels 3: Page 63

Acts: Page 71

EXTRA NOTES FOR THE FLAVIAN WORK: Page 86 Extras 1 Extras 2 Extras 3

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ARTICLES: Page 139 Gophna to Galilee The Bridge Between Jewish and Christian Beginnings. Published in "Gesher", Vol. 2 No. 3, October, 2000. Neros Fire and the Christian Persecution? The Capernaum Swine. The Perigrinations of Paul Published in the "Journal of Higher Criticism", 7/2 (Fall 2000). A Defence of Mary Magdalene. FLAVIANS, CELTS & CHRISTIANS: Page 167 A Study of the Earliest Christianity in the British Isles. Comparing Bede and Monmouth, with Tacitus and Suetonius. With permission of the author, Wayne William Blakeley B.A.(Hum)., B.Theol., Dip.Ed. Published in the "Journal of Higher Criticism", 7/2 (Fall 2000).

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Introduction
In the Christian Bible we have four accounts of Jesus and his doings. Three of these gospels look the same, Synoptic, in that they concur on many of the same episodes and sayings of Jesus. The three, Matthew, Mark and Luke, are clearly, on a careful reading, interdependent rather than independent accounts. Which of the three was the first and who followed whom, is a question which has eluded an answer. Some scholars demonstrate the priority of Mark over the other two; while the tradition placed Matthew first from the earliest days. The quotations from the gospels in the earliest church fathers favour the view of Matthew being the earliest of the gospels to be in circulation. There have been thousands of books and articles written on the synoptic problem. I would like to propose a solution. By looking exclusively at the internal evidence provided by the gospels themselves the scholars, to date, are still divided. Perhaps we need to cut the Gordian Knot by approaching the problem from the outside, by looking at external sources to see what light they may bring to the picture. The major work written about the period of the gospels is by Josephus (b. 37 C.E.). His Jewish War was published by 74 C.E., only a few years after the destruction of Jerusalem, his Jewish Antiquities was finished about 93 C.E. and his Life some two years later. Traitor, perhaps, but, he remained a Jew to the end of his writing life. Though some Christians believed that Josephus was a closet Christian towards the end of his life, there is no evidence for this pious hope. As our only source for the history of the period of Jesus and the early church in Palestine, he was also a source for the writers of the gospels about 100+ C.E.. The evidence for this assertion will follow, but for now let us become conscious of the time scale we will be considering in this work. I am now writing in the latter half of the final decade of our century, and indeed the millennium, 97. I was born in the middle of this century, 44. If I put myself in the time scale of Josephus it would be like my writing about events that took place not only not in my lifetime, but say, during the start of the Depression, 30. Now, suppose the subject of my work is an obscure renegade trade unionist who was killed by the authorities sometime during the depression and thirty years after remembered but vaguely. Today, some thirty years further on, he is a hero and I have to write a biography of this shadowy character. This is where the writers of the gospels were in relation to the events they purport to cover. They, as I, will have had to rely on historical sources which were written about events some sixty to ninety years previous. What would be their historical source for the period covering the life of Jesus? Josephus, most likely. The Jewish War was published and distributed by the Romans themselves by 74 C.E.. The War was written as pro-Roman propaganda to warn other provinces of the Empire what would happen if they revolted from Rome! The gospel writers would certainly have had a copy in front of them as they wrote. After all, none of them had ever seen Jesus themselves and quite probably had not lived in the area they wrote about. Many scholars believe that some, if not all, of the Synoptics were written in Rome itself. How reliable is Josephus, what can we trust in his accounts of the history of Jesus period? Where it is in his, and the books, purpose we can rely on his bias to bring us a predicably consistent account. His Jewishness remains as an undercurrent in his river of pro-Roman propaganda. He is not anti-Jewish, far from it, he was a law-abiding Jew who disliked disorder and civil war. The Romans promised peace, law and order. Josephus was a realist, in that he knew that one cannot kick against the big pricks without getting badly kicked oneself. How reliable are the Gospels? Not very, as I have found out. Though the Synoptic gospels look the same they arent. They often, more often than not, contradict one another about events, sayings and 22

particulars of Jesus life. Almost two thousand years of scholarship have not cleared the air. From the internal evidence of the Synoptics it is impossible to sort them into any consistent order. Where two or even three might agree on a saying they may place it in differing and often unconnected circumstances. Books, thousands, have been written about this problem. Let us put the gospels in their historical circumstance in regard to Josephus. When we look at the stories concerning the beginning and end of Jesus life we will find corresponding episodes in Josephus. In the gospels there is a star over Bethlehem - in Josephus there is a star over Jerusalem. In the gospels three men are crucified, one is brought back to life - the same in Josephus, three men are crucified, two die, and one is brought back to life! In each case someone called Joseph persuades a Roman governor to let him take the body. How far does this correspondence go? Very far indeed, once we have discerned the method that is being used by both Josephus and the Synoptics. The Synoptics were written in say 100 C.E., for round numbers. They speak about things that were supposed to have happened between, say, year 1 and 33 C.E.. Not having the marvels of modern civilization such as film and video tapes for evidence, their best historical source, then as now, was Josephus. Josephus himself, when writing about things that happened before he was born, collapses his narrative time-frame. A good example is the passage about Alexander the Great visiting Jerusalem in 332 B.C.E. where Josephus has Alexander meet a governor who actually lived some 150 years earlier; and being presented with a prophecy from Daniel written some 150 years after Alexanders death. This telescoping of the past also shows up in the Synoptics. There is the passage about Theudas and Judas being killed just the other day when their deaths are separated by 40 years. Remember this was written at least 60 years after the events. This is more than mere confusion over dates, there is a methodology being used, and it is quite simple. The Synoptic gospels are made up from Josephus. There was a core figure for the story, a shadowy and obscure leader who was killed by the military police. The Synoptics are not even certain what he said or did, where or when. They had to make up a story to fit this character, and it, like Josephus work, had to be pro-Roman. The same ends are served by the same means. It will be demonstrated that most, if not all, of the episodes in the Synoptics can be located in Josephus, even some of the same mistakes can be demonstrated in both. The parallels are too numerous and consistent to be chance. One example may not be convincing, but taken all together the sequence of evidence is cumulative and convincing. There has been a conscious mirroring, a Catoptic view, of Josephus by the writers of the Synoptics.

Apologia
There is the common mistake made amongst scholars, and others, to treat religious and secular literature in differing manners. This is often unconscious, as the culture as a whole does the same, and as members of this culture we are somewhat blinded to other possibilities. There is no blame in this, except when errors are pointed out and the results are ignored. No one could ignore Newtons Principia, even if they could not understand all of it. His study into first principles of the physical world were to have implications far beyond what even he could have expected. The church survived, with difficulty, this fundamentally different world view. After all it had its historicity to back it up. What I am suggesting will logically undermine that historicity as received from the traditional 23

ecclesiastical explanations. But it will put the history of the New Testament on solid logical historical ground where new foundations can be built. My study will not, of course, alter the history of the Churches over the past two millennia, but, it should give us a clearer understanding of how it all came to be. Cherished fantasies are hard to discard; but so was the belief that Santa Claus lived at the North Pole when we learned that it was too cold and uninhabitable for him and his elves. Most people, while they no longer believe in Santa, are still caught up in the Christmas spirit. A belief in the reality of something demonstrated to be unreal does not affect the response of the emotive side of life. The religious blind spot has hindered serious scholarship. What I am prescribing are new lenses so we have a clearer vision of the issues. Understanding the gospels in the manner I am proposing will reveal a treasure of sparkling literary motifs, almost blinding in their brightness. As the man in Platos cave was temporarily blinded when he first encountered the truth, our mental eyes will take some time to readjust to this new knowledge. How the team of the synoptic writers wove differing tapestries using the warp of the Jesus story and the various woofs each introduced to produce his brilliant visions is worth examining My task here is to dry-clean the fabric of their work so as to be able to examine the actual weaving under the accumulated encrustation of the ages. When I first saw the true synoptic story unfold in its various colours I too was somewhat blinded by the beauty. Now that my mental eyes have adjusted to the new understanding of the synoptic stories they are even more amazing as literary productions than I or other scholars could have imagined. Under the spell of the old scholarship we missed the sophistication and skill of the synoptic writers. The unveiling of Josephus as the basis for the historical portions of the synoptics reveals the art behind their work. The threads of the tapestry are as beautiful as the work itself. Following these threads we can now see how the tales were woven into the intricate devotional literature we have today. When we remove the veils of the past which have been obscuring scholarship over the ages we will be able to see the whole picture more clearly.

All Surviving Historians are Propagandists


If all of the surviving Historians from the Roman period we are studying are pro-Roman propagandists; and the Christians claim that Luke was a Historian: then Luke was a pro-Roman propagandist. It is a simple case of: If; And; Therefore. ie. If Historians are Propagandists; And Luke is a Historian; Therefore Luke is a Propagandist. Let us look at the examples of those who have survived: Polybius, (200-118 BCE), Republican historian. He was a model for Josephus in more ways than one. As a literary model he served Josephus for style. But, a far more interesting are the parallels of Polybius life and Josephus. Polybius was a Greek from Corinth who was captured by the Romans. His literary skill earned him his freedom. But, most remarkable is the fact that as an official Roman historian he was a witness and historian for the destruction of his own home city, Corinth, by the Roman forces he accompanied. Josephus could understand this as he had done the same. Diodorus Siculus, (80-20 BCE), Early Imperial historian; For the supremacy of this city [Rome], a supremacy so powerful that it extends to the bounds of the inhabited world, has provided us in the course of our long residence there with copious resources in the 24

most accessible form.[1] Strabo, (63 BCE - 25 CE) Augustus Geographer, who praised Romes rule, which brings peace and prosperity everywhere in the world they went. The Romans, too, took over many nations that were naturally savage owing to the regions they inhabited,... and thus not only brought into communication with each other peoples who had been isolated, but also taught the more savage how to live under forms of government.[2] But since, on account of the overmastery of the Romans, the barbarians who are situated beyond the Massiliotes became more and more subdued as time went on, and instead of carrying on war have already turned to civic life and farming.[3] Livy, (59 BCE - 17 CE). Early Imperial historian. I hope my passion for Romes past has not impaired my judgement; for I do honestly believe that no country has ever been greater or purer than ours or richer in good citizens and noble deeds; none has been free for so many generations from the vices of avarice and luxury; nowhere has thrift and plain living been for so long held in such esteem.[4] Josephus (37-105 CE) Flavian secretary, who wrote the Jewish War as Roman propaganda. The treatment I received from the Emperors continued unaltered. On Vespasians decease Titus, who succeeded to the empire, showed the same esteem for me as did his father, and never credited the accusations to which I was constantly subjected. Domitian succeeded Titus and added to my honours. He punished my Jewish accusers.[5] Tacitus, (55-120 CE), historian and Flavian secretary. My official career owed its beginning to Vespasian, its progress to Titus and its further advancement to Domitian... Modern times are indeed happy as few others have been, for we can think as we please, and speak as we think.[6] [?] Suetonius, (69-140 CE), biographer of the Caesars and chief secretary to the emperor Hadrian (117138). Synoptics, (95-135) especially Luke. As even Barclay notes: The view we have been outlining is that the gospel writers did far more than transmit material; they even went beyond arranging and adapting it; they created it. To put it crudely, the gospel writers did not only tell a story, they invented one... The gospel material was from the beginning not history but propaganda, not the narration of events but the presentation of theology, written not with the desire to inform but with the intention to convert. On this view, the idea of Mark as a simple uncomplicated document of loving reminiscence is completely gone, and it becomes a highly complicated theological document. And, if Mark, how much more Matthew and Luke?[7] Luke shows that the teaching of Jesus is the reverse of revolutionary in this political sense, and in the Acts he shows that the Roman government was often the best protector of Christianity. Three times Pilate declares he finds no fault whatever in Jesus (Luke 23:4, 14, 22).[8] However, for those who did not follow the Flavian party-line there was literary oblivion, or worse: Then Hermogenes of Tarsus died because of some incautious allusions that he had introduced into a historical work; and the slaves who acted as his copyists were crucified.[9] 25

The list of historians that did not survive is larger by far than those who were allowed a continued existence. For example Josephus, in his Life and two books Against Apion, mentions several rival histories of the Jews and condemns them in favour of his own. If Josephus had not mentioned these rivals we would not have known that they had ever even existed. It is an irony that we know of Apion only through Josephus condemnation of him. The same is true for Justus of Tiberias, Cadmus of Miletus, Acusilaus of Argos, Cheremon, and many others. The Romans needed to maintain their Law and order at all costs to stabilise the empire under one rule. When the Jews, and later the Christians, put up their Law as a rival there was bound to be conflict with the authorities: In the eighth and seventh consulships of Diocletian and Maximian, 19th May, from the records of Munatius Felix, high priest of the province for life, mayor of the colony of Cirta arrived at the house where the Christians used to meet, the mayor said to Paul the Bishop: Bring out the writings of the law and anything else you have here, according to the order, so that you may obey the command. The Bishop: The readers have the Scriptures, but we will give what we have here. The mayor went on to visit the six remaining readers. Four produced their books without demur. One declared he had none, and the mayor was content with entering his statement on the record. The last was out, but his wife produced his books; the mayor had the house searched by the public slave to make sure that none had been overlooked. This task over, he addressed the sub deacons; If there has been any omission, the responsibility is yours.[10] It was the writings of the law in which the Romans were interested The Christians extended their interest to all rival literature. When the Christians came to power they responded thus in c. 333 A. D. 30 years later!..: Letter of Constantine to the Bishops and People: And in addition to this, if any treatise composed by Arius should be discovered, let it be consigned to the flames, in order that not only his depraved doctrine may be suppressed, but also that no memorial of him be by any means left. This therefore I decree, that if any one shall be detected in concealing a book composed by Arius, and shall not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offence shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment. May God preserve you![11] The Christians were serious; the penalty was death! There is no wonder that the rival histories and gospels disappeared. What was allowed under the Romans as orthodox was continued by the Roman Church. The Christians took up the histories that had been approved by the Roman government, and condemned the others to oblivion. The same thing happened to the rival gospels. Of the scores of apocryphal gospels we have mentioned in early Christian and other works only a hand-full have survived; until the archaeological finds of the middle of this century. The Nag Hammadi Library alone increased our possession of the gnostic gospels at least ten-fold. The vast amount of rival literature destroyed far outweighs what we can ever hope to recover. What the Romans did to control their literature the Church continued, and continues today. We have had only the approved gospels for the last one and a half millennia. Even the possession of a disapproved book could lead to a one-way trip to the stake. There is no wonder that we have so few ancient works, the wonder is that we have any at all![12] 26

Miracles, Prophecies and Historians.


Miracles can be allegorized, but not demonstrated. The suspension or altering of the laws of nature is somehow working against the wisdom of god, who has already given us, in nature, all we need or deserve in this world. However, when Jesus heals the blind he does not heal all of the blind of the world, only specific examples for the edification of those present. Allegorized, the blind are those who look but do not see. The lame are healed so that they may walk in the way of the lord. The deaf are those who hear but do not listen. Prophets see history happening, not what is to happen. If a prophecy to an event is given, then the prophecy is after the event. No one but God knows the future, but men of god can look to the answers the past can give us about what is happening and the results of similar actions and what they led to in the past. When Jesus is said to have prophesied the destruction of the temple in the synoptics, we have to remember that they were written well after the event. With this in mind we can see how unreliable the synoptics really are as history. Our only other historical sources for the period are the Latin historians Tacitus (55-120 CE) and Suetonius (69-140 CE) and, of course, our Josephus (37-110 CE). All three were, at the same time, in the employ of the Imperial Service. Josephus was an eye-witness to most of the events he describes, while both Tacitus and Suetonius wrote from the official records and what interviews they could have with the veterans of the wars who still lived. [See the Appendix, Flavian Synoptics, for a detailed discussion of these authors.] Tacitus, (55-120 CE), Josephus younger contemporary, started his career under Vespasian and continued in the Imperial Service through the reign of the Flavian dynasty. He was rather anti-Jewish in his out look. He followed the stories that originated in Egypt that the Jews had been expelled for having a disgusting contagious disease, and that they were atheists. This attitude was prevalent in Roman circles; as the Jews had caused innumerable disturbances throughout the empire, even as far as full rebellion and a protracted war in Judea. In the fragments of book five of his Histories we have a description of the Jews and their land. His description of Judea is mostly drawn from Josephus earlier account which was in Imperial circulation. It is in this book that he gives an account of the spirit of God leaving the temple of the Jews, found in Josephus. Tacitus also gives an account of the Christians in his other surviving work the Annals when he describes the fire in Neros Rome. His account of the Christians being blamed for starting the fire and being persecuted for the act is not found in any of the other historical accounts of Nero or the fire in Rome. The Annals were written well after 100 CE and for a purely gentile audience who were probably just becoming aware of the Christian sect of the Jews. For them there was little, if any, difference between Christian and Jew; the were equally detested as atheists and haters of mankind. Suetonius, (69-140 CE), also has a brief, if confused, reference to the followers of a Chrestus in his biography of the emperor Claudius in his work The Twelve Caesars. He also confuses them with the detested Jews. Suetonius was secretary to the emperor Hadrian (117-138 CE) for some time, but fell into disfavour by having too close a relationship with the emperors wife. He also had served in several high positions before his downfall through indiscretion, including Commander of the Guards. In his Life of Vespasian (5.) Suetonius mentions our other historian Josephus and the prophecy he gave to Vespasian of his coming into the purple. As Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius were all in the Imperial service at the same time they must have had some dealings with each other.

27

Suetonius also mentions a miracle concerning Vespasian which Josephus ignores, probably for personal reasons so as not to distract from the importance of his own prophecy about Vespasian. In this episode, found in the Life of Vespasian (7), Vespasian, after some hesitation, heals a blind man, (with spittle), and a cripple, (by touch), in Alexandria. These miracles were to be seen as affirming Vespasians true kingship. Thus his rule was sanctioned by miracles which only a true king could perform. All three historians wrote at the end of the first century or in the beginning of the second. This is about the time the synoptics were also being written. Josephus was in charge of the pro-Roman near-eastern propaganda; while the others were involved with more domestic propaganda to uphold the rule of their successive employers and adjust the influence of the previous emperors. The team of writers under Josephus may well have included employees with names like Matthias, Marcus and Lucan. Perhaps it was they who started the synoptic tradition. Borrowing heavily on Josephus history and a reasonable knowledge of the process of justification by quotations supposedly prophesying from the Old Testament, they wove their separate stories or novellas. If they had any information about their subject at all it would have been what Paul knew of the person of Jesus, and that is precious little as we shall see later. Using Josephus they manufactured miracles and prophecies and used the Old Testament prophets to justify their, nearly supernatural, figure of Jesus. They were extremely skilful and amazingly successful in their undertaking. It has taken almost two thousand years to realize that the synoptics are not what they are claimed to be on face value. Certainly in the last two hundred years there has been increasing suspicion about their genuiness, but all of the work done on the synoptic problem has been done from internal and self verifying scholarship. The scholars, mostly Christian, cannot refrain from using one of the synoptic writers to question or verify a problem in another. They will argue, solely from internal evidence, about which version, of say, the miracle of the Gadarene swine was written first; and which writer then followed the other; and about which parts of the episode agree with each or all of the gospels; and which details differ from each. They argue about the distance the city was from the sea, that supposedly owned the swine. Each of the synoptics have the same incident but differ in almost all of the particulars. Mark and Luke have the scene set at Gerasa, which is almost sixty kilometres from the sea of Galilee. Matthew changes the location to Gadara only some fifteen kilometres from the sea, still a long run for the herdsman. Not only the geography, but even the number of the swine cannot be agreed upon amongst the three versions. Nor is the purpose of this seemingly senseless miracle given. Clearly, then, this sort of problem cannot be solved solely by self-conflicting internal evidence. In this book I am admitting external, contemporary, evidence to be brought into the picture. [See the section on the Gerasene Swine in this book]. This is a prime example of a senseless synoptic miracle; which disagrees with the natural world, has no discoverable allegorical value, and the three separate versions of it disagree with each other. Where will an answer be found to this synoptic problem? Not in the synoptics themselves, that seems certain. These types of problems have baffled the scholars, and countless others of the faithful, over the ages. However, if we look to other sources that are contemporary with the writing of the synoptics we may find the keys that unlock the creation of such miracles. If we are to make any sense of the synoptics we need to understand the ambient feelings and concerns of the era when they were written. It is the concerns of the times when they were composed, not that of the subject matter, that should be studied. The synoptics were being written in the late nineties, at the earliest, about happenings in the early thirties and using events from the late sixties for their background. This is, of course, some fourteen hundred years before the printing press or newspapers. Their only approved source of information for the period about which they were writing would have been Josephus. 28

The prejudices and fears about the Jews amongst the gentile population were rife and becoming worse. Following the problems with Mithradates and later the Parthians we can understand the Romans concern with the near-east, including Judea. When the Jews revolted in 66 CE it took until 73 to defeat them, finally, at Masada. Then there were serious disturbances caused by the Jews of the Diaspora in the beginning of the second century. Judea again erupted into revolt in 132 CE and it took the Roman legions three years to quell the fighting. At about this time the Jews were banned within the empire, not allowed to circumcise their children nor ordain any more Rabbis. The original intent of the synoptics, to divide the Jews, now came to be to demonstrate that the newly formed gentile Christian church had nothing to do with the Jews. They merely borrowed the Jewish religion, and blamed them for the death of their own prophet. The Christians did to Judaism what Vergil did to Homer. They appropraited the scriptures of another religion and adapted them to abuse the people from whom they had been taken. These quotations from the translators of Tacitus may be of some interest. This quotation is from an introduction to Tacitus, but, it could be for the synoptics, if we substitute Luke for Tacitus and Jesus for Vespasian: Once the arrangement of his material had been planned, it remained to render it in words harmoniously, pointedly and with variety. The leading characters... are kept well to the foreground. Their salient attitudes are repeatedly stressed. Behind them stand a host of lesser figures, sketched in rapidly but incisively. Particular attention is paid to the psychology of hope and fear. The atmosphere is charged with emotion. At times the imaginative reconstruction borders on the technique of the historical novelist. No conceivable source except for his own imagination can have told Tacitus [Luke] the thoughts that passed through the mind of Vespasian [Jesus] before his fateful decision to rebel. But this is what brings history to life, and no Roman critic could have taken exception to it. In the same way, and in accordance with a convention of high ancestry, eloquent and impressive speeches are invented with the greatest freedom. They serve to clarify the issues, relieve the monotony of factual narration, and allow the orator... to speak at once in the person of his hero and of himself. There are other devices to secure variety. Certain scenes of terror and pathos lend themselves to highlighting. Striking or casual phrases disclose the visual imagination of the artist and poet.[13] Tacitus Annals give us the only early direct reference outside the Bible and Josephus for the existence of Jesus. Yet it was never mentioned to have existed before the fourteenth century. Yet the Annals of Tacitus were almost unappreciated for nearly fourteen hundred years. Indeed, they only survived by a narrow chance. Our knowledge of the work is based on a single individual manuscript of the first half of the book and another of its second half - the two Medicean codices, now both in Florence. Boccaccio (1313-1375) seems to have known of one of them. But certain aspects of their rediscovery in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries are veiled in obscurity. To begin with, textual ambiguities quite often make it hard even to decide what Tacitus wrote. Since the text of each half of the work depends entirely on a single manuscript, there is ample room for suspicions that error may have crept in.[14] Or, perhaps, the Christian passage? The manuscript was lost from sight for twelve centuries, there was ample time for any alterations or additions to creep into the work.

Mt. Carmel, Prophecy & Transfiguration


Mount Carmel is associated with the prophet Elijah. There is a fountain on the mountain sacred to 29

Elijah and one of its modern names is still Mar Elyas or mount of Elijah. There was an oracle there, to the God of Carmel. This is discussed in relation to other oracles in the Appendix, Flavian Synoptics. Tacitus describes it thus: Histories 2.78, Penguin, p. 128 Between Judea and Syria lies a mountain called Carmel, which is the name of the local god. Yet traditionally this god boasts neither image nor temple, only an altar and the reverence of its worshippers. This, I reason, is the same mountain where Jesus took Peter, James (his brother?) and John for his transfiguration [Luke 9:28-36 et al.]. My basic reason is that it was Elijah who appeared to Jesus and, most importantly his disciples, and that Carmel was sacred to Elijah. And it was without buildings, or away from habitation, according to the gospels. Some scholars like to locate the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, which is difficult, because, Tabor had a fortress and city on its summit and sides from before the period of Jesus. Carmel, on the other hand, was a deserted place of worship. Not only was Jesus transfigured on Mt. Carmel, but, also the emperor Vespasian: Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 5., Penguin, p. 277 In Judea, Vespasian consulted the God of Carmel and was given a promise that he would never be disappointed in what he planned or desired, however lofty his ambitions. Also, a distinguished Jewish prisoner of Vespasians, Josephus by name, insisted that he would soon be released by the very man who had now put him in fetters, and who would then be emperor. This oracle from Carmel was in line with another oracle popular in the near-east. Tacitus, History, 5. 13. Penguin, p. 279. The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, true to the selfish ambitions of mankind, thought that this exalted destiny was reserved for them,... Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 4., Penguin, p. 276 An ancient superstition was current in the East, that out of Judea would come the rulers of the world. This prediction, as it later proved, referred to the two Roman Emperors, Vespasian and his son Titus; but the rebellious Jews, who read it as referring to themselves... Josephus knows of this oracle, he refers to it in his Wars, 6.5.4.: But now, what did most elevate them [the Jews] in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle that was found in their sacred writings, how, about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth. The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular; and many of their wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now, this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. Some understand that this meant Herod, others the crucified wonder-worker Jesus, others again Vespasian. [Slavonic addition, Loeb, vol. 2, p. 658.] The Christians referred to this oracle as meaning Jesus, who would rule the world. It is obvious that the Transfiguration refers to both of these oracles, Mount Carmel and the ruler from the East. In the gospels God speaks to the disciples with Jesus on Mt. Carmel and declares that Jesus is his son. This 30

fits in line with the oracle about the ruler from the East as well. Virgil also mentions, in Eclogue IV, a child: Whose birth will end the iron race at last. As it turned out it was the son of the deified emperor, Vespasian, Titus who claimed the pride of place for the fulfilment of the oracle, rather than the Son of God Jesus. This is another example of Flavian Imperial Propaganda being put to use by the writers of the synoptic gospels. The Romans distort or re-interpret oracles in their favour to justify their rule. The Christian were doing the same thing for their candidate for ruler of the world. When Josephus was captured, or surrendered, at Jotapata, to Vespasians army he was brought before the commander for interrogation. It was Vespasians plan to send Josephus to Rome as a prisoner. However, by the following ploy, Josephus persuaded Vespasian to keep him with the army: Dost thou send me to Nero? For why? Are Neros successors till they come to thee still alive? Thou O Vespasian, art Caesar and emperor, thou and thy son. Bind me now still faster, and keep me for thyself, for thou, O Caesar, art not lord over me, but over the land and sea, and all mankind; and certainly I deserve to be kept in closer custody than I am now in, in order to be punished if I rashly affirm anything of God.[15] Now, Josephus was a good mathematician. He had used his skill in saving his life by rigging the lottery which saved his life, which is still known as the Josephus Problem. At this point, recently captured, he calculated he had little to lose but much to gain, so he took a chance on the odds. After all, what do you do with a man who has four Legions at hand - flattery? At first, Vespasian disbelieved the prophecy of a treacherous Jew. However, he kept Josephus under close guard with him. Soon after Nero was assassinated and Vespasian was elected emperor by his troops. It then transpired that he did indeed become emperor. Vespasian released Josephus and took him into his service, and continued to favour him for the rest of his life. When the war was over Vespasian awarded Josephus still further by presenting him with the his old home. Josephus was not the only one to gain favour with Vespasian and his son Titus. Rabbi Jonathan ben Zakkai was spirited out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin, carried by his disciples. The coffin was deposited in a cave. Rabbi Jonathan went over to the Romans. He also gave a prophecy that the father and son would rule. His reward was to be given permission to refound a Sanhedrin, to preserve Judaism after the fall and destruction of the temple. He was given a place at Jamnia, or Jabneh or Yavneh, on the coast where he assembled the scholars who had survived the war. The school they established was called the Vineyard; and they rebuilt Judaism along Pharisaic lines as we know it today. The Romans now had a tame Judaism that it could deal with on a day to day basis. At least until the persecution of emperor Hadrian after the failed Bar Cochaba revolt which ended in 135 CE. At that point Judaism was outlawed throughout the empire and ordaining of Rabbis forbidden in an effort to find a final solution to the Jewish problem. This is when the Christians found it absolutely necessary to distance themselves from the Jews. Their gospels and early church Fathers could not be more antiJewish. This is when Christianity took form as a separate religion. The gospels were assembled about this time and orthodoxy became vitally important.

[1] Diodorus, History, Book 1. 4. 3. [2] Strabo, Geography, 2. 5. 26 31

[3] Geography, 5. 4. 8. [4] Livy, History of Rome, Book 1. 1. [5] Josephus, Life, 76. [6] Tacitus, Histories, 1. [7] Barclay, W., Introduction to the First Three Gospels, p. 254. [8] Barclay, p. 209. [9] Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Life of Domitian 10. [10] Stevenson, A New Eusebius, p.287. Bold emphasis mine. C.N.C. [11] Stevenson, p.384 [12] Probably an unconscious plagerism. C.N.C. [13] Tacitus, History, Translators Introduction, Penguin, pp. 16-17 [14] Tacitus, Annals, Translators Introduction, Penguin, pp. 23 & 25 [15] War, 3.8.9. p. 516

Flavian Synoptics - Oracles for Vespasian


We will examine these oracles and miracles in detail: 1. Oracle of the Ruler from the East, 2. Mt. Carmel Oracle, 3. Josephus Oracle, 4. Shekhinah Leaves the Temple, 5. Temple of Serapis, 6. Egyptian Cures. As an unknown person of lowly birth, (his father was a customs supervisor), Vespasian needed some recognition of the validity of his accession and the rule of his new dynasty. A series of miracles were noted which seemed to presage his rule. We have three ancient and contemporary sources for these miracles: Josephus, 37-100, Tacitus, 55-120 and Suetonius, 69-140. All three were in the employ of the Flavian emperors, and for a period, at the same time. Both Josephus and Tacitus admit their debt first to Vespasian, then Titus, and finally to Domitian for their careers. Suetonius shows his debt by the glowing biographies he wrote for the Flavian Dynasty. How reliable or truthful are their accounts of the Flavian Oracles? In this work there are five oracles or miracles and another miraculous event described by two or more of our authors. By a comparison of these parallels we may gain some insight into their veracity or at least their method. Josephus was a Jew who liked the Romans. Tacitus was a Roman who disliked Jews. Suetonius seems to be an easy going Roman who was indifferent to the Jews. As would be expected, all three were very pro-Roman in general and respected the Flavians in particular. For abbreviation we shall use J for Josephus, T for Tacitus and S for Suetonius. The miracles are abbreviated; Ruler, Carmel, Josephus, Shekhinah, Serapis, and Cures. All three wrote about the Ruler, perhaps sharing a common source, the only source common to all. Carmel, Serapis and Cures are common to T and S, but not to J. The Josephus is attested by S as well as the expected J. The Shekhinah is recorded by T, possibly following J, but this has been denied by some scholars; otherwise they are probably following a source common to both. So, we have the following correspondences: 32

Ruler = J, T, S. Carmel = T, S. Josephus = J, S. Shekhinah = J, T. Serapis = T, S. Cures = T, S. So, we seem to have a common source for the Ruler, only found in these three early writers. It would seem that there was an oracle concerning a Ruler from the East generally in the air and that our writers re-interpreted it to suit the purposes of their Imperial employer. We can easily account for J not wanting to mention Carmel, as it would detract from his privileged position as chief prophet for the Flavians. So it is likely he knew of the oracle but merely declined to share his glory with the God of Carmel. The Carmel oracle could have been made up after the event. However, it is not illogical to imagine a staged oracular pronouncement to have actually happened while Vespasian was still in Judea. The two stories that took place in Egypt seem to have a separate source common to only T and S. The two stories from Egypt, Serapis and Cures are common material to T and S of which J seems to be ignorant. J was supposed to have been in Egypt with Vespasian at the time, the only eye-witness to the events there. Either these miracles were made up later, after the visit to Egypt by Vespasian, or J suppressed these stories, as well, to bolster his own status. Oracle of the Ruler from the East Josephus 37-100+ War, 6.5.4. Tacitus 55-117 Histories, 5. 13. Suetonius 69-140 Life of Vespasian, 4.

But now, what did most elevate The majority were convinced that An ancient superstition was them [the Jews] in undertaking the ancient scriptures of their current in the East, that out of this war was an ambiguous oracle priests alluded to the present as Judea would come the rulers of that was found in their sacred the very time when the Orient the world. This prediction, as it writings, how, about that time, would triumph and from Judaea later proved, referred to the two one from their country should would go forth men destined to Roman Emperors, Vespasian and become governor of the habitable rule the world. This mysterious his son Titus; but the rebellious earth. The Jews took this prophecy really referred to Jews, who read it as referring to prediction to belong to Vespasian and Titus, but the themselves, murdered their themselves in particular; and common people, true to the Procurator, routed the Governormany of their wise men were selfish ambitions of mankind, general of Syria when he came thereby deceived in their thought that this exalted destiny down to restore order, and determination. Now, this oracle was reserved for them, and not captured an Eagle. certainly denoted the government even their calamities opened their of Vespasian, who was appointed eyes to the truth. emperor in Judea. Histories, 1. 10. Slavonic addition, Loeb, vol. 2, p. 33

658

It may be that mysterious prophecies were already [Some understand that this meant circulating, and that portents and Herod, others the crucified oracles promised Vespasian and wonder-worker Jesus, others his sons the purple; but it was only after the rise of the Flavians again Vespasian.] that we Romans believed in such stories.

All three of our sources mention the Ruler and all state that the oracle was meant to be for Vespasian. This ancient superstition probably was derived from the Hebrew scriptures. Genesis, Isaiah and Daniel all have vague prophecies about a future Jewish king who would be a ruler of the nations. J has the ambiguous oracle found in their sacred writings, meaning Jews. In T it is also ancient scriptures and by the context he seems to refer to the Jewish scriptures. While S only has an ancient superstition, not giving a source. In J we have mention of one who would become governor of the habitable world. With both T and S we have a plurality men referring to the father and son team of Vespasian and Titus. This seems to be more accurate than Js singular ruler. In general, the more accurate the prophecy the more likely that it is after the event. Was the original oracle for a standard single world ruler, and when the un-expected father and son team actually occurred the oracle made plural? The Slavonic addition to J has Herod mentioned as the first contender for the purple. This might assist us in the dating of the first expectation of a Jewish world ruler. If Herod had at any time been thought capable of wresting the rule from the Romans the oracular hope would make sense. The wonderworker Jesus is probably a later, and clumsy, interpolation which is topped off by the actuality of Vespasians rule. Both J and S believe, or want us to believe, that the mis-application of the oracle, by the Jews as meaning themselves, was the cause of the rebellion and subsequent disastrous war. The mis-application of oracles was not unusual in the ancient, and modern, world. However, this time it had consequences for the Jews in that it would change their religion for all time. We should particularly note the hedged scepticism of T when he writes about portents and oracles. The historical works of T himself contain plenty of portents and oracles, but with a serious reserve. He states that it was the Flavians who introduced such propaganda, and convinced the Roman people to believe it by sanction of religious faith. To be divinely appointed to rule gives an overwhelming sanction to the chosen ruler, Vespasian in this case. T was wrong if he thought, or would have us think, that the Romans had never believed in such stories before the Flavian dynasty. The ancient Roman histories are full of justifying prophecies, for the rule of Rome. What T seems to be meaning is that these oracles from the East were, until then, alien to the Roman religious system. Now comes the question of priority and sources of each of the three accounts. Was J first and the others following him? Was there a common source that they all followed, which no longer exists? Were the Romans, T and S, following a source independent from J? Was the oracle originally for the Jews and later modified to justify Vespasians rule? Was the oracle to do with the Jews at all; or rather with the 34

larger Eastern kingdom of the Parthians? Why was it that the Flavians made such use of these Eastern portents and oracles? Did they need to do so? Did it work? Why? Mt. Carmel Oracle Tacitus Histories, 2.78. Suetonius Life of Vespasian, 5.

Between Judea and Syria lies a mountain called In Judea, Vespasian consulted the God of Carmel Carmel, which is the name of the local god. Yet and was given a promise that he would never be traditionally this god boasts neither image nor disappointed in what he planned or desired, temple, only an altar and the reverence of its however lofty his ambitions. worshippers. Here Vespasian had offered sacrifice when he was turning over in his mind his secret ambitions. The priest Basilides time and again examined the entrails of the victims. Finally he declared; What ever you are planning, Vespasian this is granted to you. You shall have a great mansion, far-flung boundaries and a host of people. This ambiguous statement was immediately pounced upon by gossip, and was now given great publicity. Indeed ordinary people talked of little else. Still more lively was the discussion in Vespasians immediate circle, for hope is eloquent.

As usual Ts version of the episode is much longer than that found in S. The oracle by the priest, named only in T, is truly ambiguous in that it appears to be prophesying about a private affair; the building of an estate and acquisition of servants. This was then applied to the larger estate; nothing less than that of the Roman world-empire. Whether at the time, or later, the oracle apparently generated great enthusiasm for Vespasian. The priest, Basilides is not named in S, but he uses the same name for a freedman of Vespasians who is involved in the Serapis oracle which we shall examine later. Is S following T in this oracle? While T describes Carmel as the name of the God and the lack of a temple, or even an image; S ignores these details. Why would an oracle from an insignificant Syrian mountain have any influence on the Roman populace? J has no mention of this incident, he had already given a prophecy to Vespasian before he had gone near Mt. Carmel. In his history J goes over to the Romans at the beginning of the Galilean campaign in mid 67, before Vespasian visited Carmel in the winter of 67 or 68. Since J was in the company of Vespasian at the time of the Carmel affair, why did he not mention it? J wrote well after the event, like our other two sources, he could have included the story but did not? Perhaps he wanted to stress his own contribution to Vespasians success? After the mention of the God of Carmel by S, he goes on to mention the prophecy of J in the next 35

sentence. Josephus Oracle Josephus War, 3. 8. 9. Suetonius Life of Vespasian, 5.

"Thou, O Vespasian, thinkest no more than that Also, a distinguished Jewish prisoner of thou hast taken Josephus himself captive; but I Vespasians, Josephus by name, insisted that he come to thee as a messenger of greater tidings; for would soon be released by the very man who had had not I been sent by God to thee, I knew what now put him in fetters, and who would then be was the law of the Jews in this case? and how it emperor. [And they were, see Josephus account in becomes generals to die. Dost thou send me to War 4. 10. 3.] Nero? For why? Are Nero's successors till they come to thee still alive? Thou, O Vespasian, art Caesar and emperor, thou, and this thy son. Bind me now still faster, and keep me for thyself, for thou, O Caesar, are not only lord over me, but over the land and the sea, and all mankind; and certainly I deserve to be kept in closer custody than I now am in, in order to be punished, if I rashly affirm any thing of God."

The prophecy of J is a rhetorical device. His actual speech would have been rather different one would imagine, considering the circumstances. His initial resistance to the Romans should have earned him an early death. He prides himself to think a Roman general would bother sending a petty war-chief to Rome for execution. There were no other survivors of the destruction of Jotapata, why should J be excepted? His subsequent actions for the Romans certainly earned him not only his life but high fortune. He went from a captured trouble-maker to the emperors favourite. How? Not by a mere prophecy, as J would have us believe. J goes on from his surrender to being the Romans chief intelligence officer. He not only advised the Romans, he interrogated the prisoners for information important to the war effort. Be the later history as it may, Js prophecy was also reported by S, immediately following the. Carmel oracle. S mentions J as a distinguished Jew, while T ignores him completely. The fetters, which were later struck off on the orders of both Vespasian and Titus, are mentioned by name in S, but not in J. In his history J describes how his freedom was granted, but not why? His importance to the Roman war effort cannot be under-rated. After the war he was given exceptional rewards of land, goods and even the emperors old estate. J gave more to the Romans than a mere prophecy to earn all of this. Whatever the role of J in the Jewish war S found it expedient to mention J. Did S merely follow J? If so why did he place him immediately after Carmel? We have seen how T mentions Carmel but not J, did T not know of Js famous prophecy? Why would the word of a defeated rebel carry any weight with the Romans? What, other than saving his own miserable hide, motivated J to publicise his prophecy? Is 36

this just another one of those Flavian stories that T so disparages? Shekhinah Leaves the Temple Josephus War, 6. 5. 3. Tacitus Histories, 5. 13.

Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which 13. Prodigies had occurred, but their expiation by stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a the offering of victims or solemn vows is held to be whole year. ...and at the ninth hour of the night, so unlawful by a nation which is the slave of great a light shone round the altar and the holy superstition and the enemy of true beliefs. In the house, that it appeared to be bright day time; sky appeared a vision of armies in conflict, of which lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to glittering armour. A sudden lightening flash from be a good sign to the unskilful, but was so the clouds lit up the Temple. The doors of the holy interpreted by the sacred scribes, as to portend place abruptly opened, a superhuman voice was those events that followed immediately upon it... heard to declare that-the gods were leaving it, and Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of in the same instant came the rushing tumult of their the] temple, which was of brass, and vastly heavy, departure. Few people placed a sinister and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, interpretation upon this. and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vulgar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning understood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and 37

surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence."

This passage is not strictly about Vespasian, but it does contain a contemporary oracular miracle which is reported by both J and T. This will also allow us another check on the different writers, their style and intent. These are the portents of the fall of Jerusalem that J and T mention. T agrees with J in the vision of the armies in the sky; the lightening over the temple; the doors of the temple opening; a great voice of the gods saying that they were leaving. The star and comet over Jerusalem are only in J. But it is the gods leaving the temple that is the most important portent. The idea of the god leaving his temple, leading to the defeat of his people is primordial. The ancient belief of the efficacy of the god to protect his people was centred on the gods temple. Most other gods had images - such as the image of Athena which the Greeks stole to weaken Troy - but not the Jewish god, he was an invisible presence. Did T get this incident from J, or did they both follow a common source? Why, in both stories, are the gods plural when the god of the Jews was singular? What language did the gods use when they announced that they were leaving the temple? Where did the gods go to, if not over to the Romans? Why does J have the event at Pentecost? Is there some significance in the timing that T misses? To the Jews Pentecost was a day of reckoning, where there were judgments, blessings and cursing. Was this a symbolic curse or rejection of the Jews by God on this festival of judgment? Temple of Serapis Tacitus Histories, 4. 82. Suetonius Life of Vespasian, 7.

This deepened Vespasian's desire to visit the holy So Vespasian began a new civil war; having sent house of Serapis, for he wished to consult the god troops ahead to Italy, he crossed into Africa and on matters of state. He had everyone else excluded occupied Alexandria, the key to Egypt. There he from the temple, and went in alone, fixing his dismissed his servants and entered the Temple of mind on the deity. Happening to glance round, he Serapis, alone, to consult the auspices and discover caught sight of a leading Egyptian named Basilides how long he would last as emperor. After many standing behind him. Now he knew that this man propitiatory sacrifices he turned to go, but was was detained by illness far from Alexandria at a granted a vision of his freedman Basilides handing place several days' journey distant. He inquired of him the customary branches, garlands and bread the priests whether Basilides had entered the although Basilides had for a long time been nearly 38

temple that day. He also inquired of those he met crippled by rheumatism and was moreover far whether he had been seen in the city. Finally he away. Almost at once dispatches from Italy brought sent off a party on horse, and ascertained that at him news of Vitelluss defeat at Cremona, and his the relevant time he had been eighty miles away. assassination at Rome. Thereupon he guessed that it was the god whom he had seen and that the reply to his query lay in the meaning of the name Basilides. [Greek - Basilides = King's son]

While in Egypt, consolidating his rule, Vespasian had a few recorded adventures. Although J was supposed to be with him in Alexandria he mentions none of these. Perhaps it is Js reticence about giving credit to any other oracle but his own? Both T and S give a report on Vespasians doings in Egypt. The visit to the temple of Serapis is the most important incident. Both T and S record the oracle at the temple of Serapis; although somewhat differently. This episode gives us a very good insight into the workings of the Flavian propaganda machine. The account of the oracle given by both is taken from the life of Alexander the Great. Alexander, before setting out on his great campaign to the East, consulted the Egyptian oracle of Ammon at Siwa. There he was greeted by the priest as the Ammons Son, which Alexander took to mean that he was a son of the god and therefore a god himself. Not having the time or inclination for the hazardous journey to Siwa Vespasian was satisfied with the temple of Serapis and with being called Basilides = Kings Son or Prince. After all he was aspiring to the Principate rather than to the ill-omened Roman kingship. The Romans detested kings, so their supreme ruler was the principal man amongst men. Julius Caesar was assassinated because the Romans merely suspected that he wished to be declared King! Although both T and S were writing about the same event, and for the same purpose, their stories differ in details. Like Alexander, Vespasian enters the temple alone, they both agree upon that. But, they do not agree on who or what Basilides was. In Ts account he was a leading Egyptian, while S has him as Vespasians freedman? The Basilides in T is merely described as ill, whereas in S he is specifically diagnosed as having rheumatism. T says that Basilides was eighty miles away, and S that he was far away. How is it that T is exact on the distance where S is vague: and as to Basilides illness it is the reverse, S is exact and T is Vague? Remember that T also names the priest at Carmel Basilides. Is it the same man, or just a fortuitous coincidence? It seems, since neither were eye-witnesses to the Egyptian events, (S was born in the year this was supposed to have taken place, 69,) that they must have been following a common source. If so, why are their stories so different? The details in S missing from T centre around political and military events. The battle at Cremona and Vitellus death are mentioned, as they were the vital turning point in the struggle for the rule of Rome. But, S does not tell us that Vespasian must, at the same time, have heard of the death of his own brother, Sabinus, in the final victorious fighting. He would have also heard that his other son, Domitian, had survived the battle in which Sabinus had died. All fortune is mixed, the good with the bad, and vice versa.

39

Egyptian Cures Tacitus Histories, Bk. 4. 81. Suetonius Life of Vespasian, 8.

Among the lower classes at Alexandria was a blind Vespasian, still rather bewildered in his new role as man whom everybody knew as such. One day this emperor, felt a certain lack of authority and of what fellow threw himself at Vespasian's feet, imploring might be called the divine spark; yet both these him with groans to heal his blindness. He had been attributes were granted him. As he sat on the told to make this request by Serapis, the favourite Tribunal, two labourers, one blind, the other lame, god of a nation much addicted to strange beliefs. approached together, begging to be healed. He asked that it might please the emperor to anoint Apparently the god Serapis had promised them that his checks and eyeballs with the water of his if Vespasian would consent to spit in the blind mouth. A second petitioner, who suffered from a mans eyes, and touch the lame mans leg with his withered hand, pleaded his case too, also on the heel, both would be made well. Vespasian had so advice of Serapis: would Caesar tread upon him little faith in his curative powers that he showed with the imperial foot? great reluctance in doing as he was asked; but his friends persuaded him to try them, in the presence At first Vespasian laughed at them and refused. of a large audience, too - and the charm worked. When the two insisted, he hesitated. At one moment he was alarmed by the thought that he would be accused of vanity if he failed. At the next, the urgent appeals of the two victims and the flatteries of his entourage made him sanguine of success. Finally he asked the doctors for an opinion whether blindness and atrophy of this sort were curable by human means. The doctors were eloquent on the various possibilities. The blind man's vision was not completely destroyed, and if certain impediments were removed his sight would return. The other victim's limb had been dislocated, but could be put right by correct treatment. Perhaps this was the will of the gods, they added; perhaps the emperor had been chosen to perform a miracle. Anyhow, if a cure were effected, the credit would go to the ruler; if it failed, the poor wretches would have to bear the ridicule. So Vespasian felt that his destiny gave him the key to every door and that nothing now defied belief With a smiling expression and surrounded by an expectant crowd of bystanders, he did what was asked. Instantly the cripple recovered the use of his hand and the light of day dawned again upon his blind companion. Both these incidents are still 40

vouched for by eye-witnesses, though there is now nothing to be gained by lying.

One of the ancient beliefs was that a true king could do miraculous cures by his spittle or touch. This belief had continued up until recent times. The test, then, of a true king was his ability to perform cures. Whether it was by Vespasians entourage, or whoever, a pair of miraculous cures were stage-managed for Vespasian to perform. Anxious to have every sign possible to validate his assumption of the Purple Vespasian, although somewhat reluctantly, healed a blind man and a cripple. Again T and S differ, especially on the cripples illness. He is lame in the leg according to S, but Ts cripple has a withered hand. Doctors are called in for an opinion, in Ts account, before Vespasian will do anything. The shorter version of S passes over this. In T Vespasian hesitates before attempting to perform the miracles, from his fear of being accused of Vanity. In S he is reluctant from his lack of self-confidence. Anyhow, Vespasian cures them both; the blind man with his spittle and the cripple by his imperial foot. While S has the miracles to assure a rather bewildered, Vespasian, who had little faith in his curative powers: Ts Vespasian felt that his destiny gave him the key to every door and performed the miracles with a smiling expression before the expectant crowd. Were the two men hired fakirs who were employed for the purpose? [The author has witnessed the similar healing of crippled fakirs in the Philippines.] Did Vespasian know and approve of the plot? Both historians have the miracle take place before a large crowd and T insists that there were eyewitnesses to the miracle still living in his time. That it was stage-managed is pretty certain. We can suppose that it was something to impress the natives. Something to that effect must have happened, as T finishes; There is now nothing to be gained by lying.

Josephus and the New Testament


Josephus as Official History As an historian, Josephus insists on his accuracy and veracity. He is at pains to note his sources and the critical approval of those witnesses of the war who had read his works. He first wrote the War in the language of the East, Aramaic, and then expanded the work into a Greek version. War, Preface 1 & 2. I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books [of the Jewish War] into the Greek tongue, which I had formally composed in the language of our own country, and sent to the upper barbarians... while the Parthians, and the Babylonians, and the remotest Arabians, and those of our nation beyond the Euphrates, with the Adiabeni, by my means, knew accurately both when the war began, what miseries it brought upon us, and after what manner it ended. In one of his last works Josephus is at pains to justify his lifes work and he mentions his history: 41

Contra Apion I, 9. As for myself, I composed a true history of that whole war, and all the particulars that occurred therein, as having been concerned in all its transactions;... during which time there was nothing done which escaped my knowledge; for what happened in the Roman camp I saw, and wrote down carefully; and what informations the deserters brought out of the city I was the only man that understood them. Afterward I got leisure at Rome; and when all my materials were prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in learning the Greek tongue, and by these means I composed a history of those transactions; and I was so well assured of the truth of what I related, that I first of all appealed to those that had the supreme command in that war, Vespasian and Titus, as witness for me, for to them I presented those books first of all, and after them to many of the Romans who had been in that war. I also sold [or presented] them to many of our own men who understood Greek philosophy; among them Julias Archelaus, Herod [unknown] a person of great gravity, and king Agrippa himself, a person that deserved the greatest admiration. Now all these men bore their testimony to me, that I had the strictest regard to truth; who would not have dissembled the matter, nor have been silent, if I, out of ignorance, or out of favour to any side, had either given false colours to actions, or omitted any of them. His disclaimer in the beginning of the Jewish War shows that the accusation of Josephus pro-Roman bias was something he had to answer. In the same sentence he gives his real reason for writing the War. War, 3.5.8. This account I have given the reader, not so much with the intention of commending the Romans, as of comforting those that have been conquered by them, and of deterring others from attempting innovations under their government. That his was the official history of the war is also stressed in his limited autobiography: Life 65 Now the Emperor Titus was so desirous that the knowledge of these affairs should be taken from these books alone, that he subscribed his own hand to them, and ordered that they should be published. Josephus mentions many historians, of whom we have no knowledge from any other sources. Josephus, Contra Apion II, 23. However, our antiquity is sufficiently established by the Egyptian, Chaldean, and Phoenician records, not to mention the numerous Greek historians. In addition to those already cited, Theophilus, Theodotus, Mnaseas, Aristophanes, Hermogenes, Euhemerus, Conon, Zopyrion, and may be, many more. However, we do have one who is mentioned by another historian, Suetonius. His is also a good example of the censorship under the Flavians. 42

Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Life of Domitian 10. Pen. p. 301 Then Hermogenes of Tarsus died because of some incautious allusions that he had introduced into a historical work; and the slaves who acted as his copyists were crucified. Pretty serious stuff. Not only the author was executed but also his publishing staff. It is one thing to attack an incautious author; the Romans also attacked anyone who published offending material. That Josephus history was the approved and sanctioned version of the war was assured by being published by the Roman authorities themselves. It was his version that was promoted throughout the empire, and by the official publishers. The War, in Greek, was out by 75 C.E. at the latest. This is only three years after the events Josephus is describing, and to a very contemporary audience. Yes, he has a pro-Roman bias and has an inflated ego, but, for all that, he is our only source for most of the events he describes. His bias is plain and so is his (and the Romans) agenda; to dissuade others from rebelling against the unbeatable Roman empire. His work would have been a continuation of the Imperial policy of using literature for political purposes. Julius Caesar was followed by Augustus in realizing the value of propaganda, for both personal and state reasons. Augustus Virgil raised propaganda to a high art form in his Aeneid. Josephus was employed by Vespasian, Titus, and three following emperors, for this very purpose. He had a team of Greek writers to assist him with the technical points of the Greek language, or, as some think, to do the writing from his dictation. What can we trust in Josephus history as fact and what is fiction? The general events, such as the order of the advance leading to the siege of Jerusalem, and the siege itself are logical from a military sense. There is no reason to doubt the destruction was as terrible as he describes, there is ample archaeological evidence to verify his account of the result of the war. As to the war, its start and progress towards inevitable destruction, they are coloured by Josephus position, or positions, as a particiant. Nationalist heroes are bandits, prophets deceivers, and false Messiahs dupe the multitudes. He has nothing good to say about the nationalists, calling them innovators and the cause of the national destruction. While he himself is the rational, and sometimes when it suits him prophetic, worker for peace at all cost. He saw no problem in being both a good Jew and Roman, but had little time for irrational nationalists. His biases, then, are pro-government, anti-revolutionary, and self-promoting: in other words, a typical conservative. Josephus and Paul as Roman agents Early in his career Josephus was entrusted with a mission to Rome to plead the case for the release of some Rabbis who were being held captive. The mission was successful and the young Josephus returned home with the Rabbis. He had seen the might of Rome and its court intrigues. He returned in time for the start of the war, which he at first advised against. When the Romans, under Cestius Gallus, were unexpectedly badly beaten by the inferior Jews Josephus had no choice but to join in the Jewish effort. There are some doubts about Josephus testimony on this account. Was he forced into this position by the fear of being executed as a traitor if he didnt? Or was he truly convinced, after the seeming divine intervention in the defeat of Cestius army? Whichever, he was granted a command in Galilee in 66 or 67 CE. In July 67 CE he surrendered to the advancing Romans and soon became one of their most valued intelligence officers. Josephus did his best to split the Jewish opposition and thereby weaken their ability to resist the Romans. But his most valued service was in interrogating the Jewish deserters and prisoners: 43

during which time there was nothing done which escaped my knowledge; for what happened in the Roman camp I saw, and wrote down carefully; and what informations the deserters brought out of the city I was the only man that understood them. After the conclusion of the war Josephus returned again to Rome. But, this time he was included in the entourage of the future Emperor, Titus. They were evidently close friends from their time together in the war. When they reached Rome Vespasian bestowed both Roman citizenship and his own previous estate upon Josephus for his past (and future) services. Josephus was then commissioned to write a history of the recent war to represent the futility of rebellion from Roman rule. The first, Aramaic, version would have been out just a year or two after the conclusion of the pacification of Judea. The Aramaic version was distributed in the Eastern provinces almost immediately. A year or so after followed the Greek version which was published by the Emperor Titus himself, to be the sole and official version. The Greek version was meant for the other, Greek speaking, provinces and for the same purpose of dissuasion from revolt. Josephus was continuing his chosen career as a Roman agent. There were other Roman agents operating before, during, and after the Jewish war. Dio Chrysostom, a philosopher who was very good at improvised speeches, was a roving troubleshooter for the Romans about this time. He and Josephus must have met when Vespasian was in Alexandria previous to ascending to the position of Emperor at Rome. Both Dio and Josephus had close access to the Emperors ear. The meeting of Dio and Vespasian is related in the Life of Apollonius, written by a later Flavius, Philostratus, also in the employ of an Emperor. This Apollonius was born in about 1 CE and lived until at least 96 CE. And, of course there was Saul/Paul. The only Saulus mentioned in Josephus was an agent who came to Jerusalem to divide the Jews. He caused some disturbances in the temple itself. While not making a direct connection to the Saul of the Bible his mission was the same, to divide the Jews, Acts 23:7. That Saul/Paul was a Roman agent is impossible to prove, but there is plenty of circumstantial evidence remaining in the novella of Luke called Acts. Saul/Paul was a Roman citizen. He was given very special treatment from his arrest/rescue to his eventual domicile in Rome, living unhindered, where we lose track of him. No one with any experience of military occupation or even police procedures would ever believe the Roman Centurion who apprehended Saul/Paul would allow his prisoner to address a rioting crowd and in a foreign language! And the escorts size and the night-flight, Acts 23:23, are inexplicable if he were not someone of importance to the Romans who was to be preserved at all cost. His stay in Caesarea was comfortable, and he had frequent conversations with the major political players of the times. Both he and Josephus knew Herod Agrippa. Did Saul/Paul do earlier what Josephus did later, collaborate with the Romans?

Gospels
Page 1 Introductions of Contra Apion I & II and Lukes Two Works. That the writers of the synoptic gospels were written after the fall of Jerusalem and that they follow Josephus is demonstrable. Let us start at the beginning, or introduction. Many scholars have noticed the similarities between the introductions of Josephus Contra Apion and Lukes two works. Josephus 44

writes to most excellent Epaphroditus and Luke to most excellent Theophilus and both commend the antiquity or beginnings of their religion to their patron. The connection between Apion 1 and Acts 1 is fairly obvious. Apion 1.1. Apion 2.1 Luke 1:1-4 Acts 1:1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning.

In my former book, most honoured I suppose that, by my Epaphroditus, I have books of the Antiquities of demonstrated our the Jews, most excellent antiquity, and Epaphroditus, I have confirmed the truth made it evident to those of what I have Since many have undertaken to set who peruse them, that our said... down an orderly account of the Jewish nation is of very events that have been fulfilled among great antiquity, and had a us, {2} just as they were handed on distinct substance of its to us by those who from the own originally. beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, {3} I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, {4} so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.

This may be mere coincidence. Having read many letters from the period I have found no other examples of this type of greeting or introduction. The 15 Jesuses in Josephus Working from the index of the complete works of Josephus we find reference to no less than fourteen people named Jesus. The name we translate as Jesus in the New Testament is the same as the name Joshua in the Old Testament. Josephus names Joshua son of Nun found in the Old Testament Jesus son of Nun in the Antiquities. See Jesus number 10. 1. Jesus, son of Phabet - priest 2. Jesus, son of Ananus - prophesied the destruction of the temple. 3. Jesus, or Jason 45

4. Jesus, son of Sapphias, governor of Tiberias 5. Jesus, brother of Onias - priest 6. Jesus, son of Gamaliel - priest 7. Jesus, eldest priest after Ananus - priest 8. Jesus, son of Damneus - priest 9. Jesus, son of Gamala (Josephus friend) 10. Jesus, [or Joshua] son of Nun 11. Jesus, son of Saphet - ringleader of robbers 12. Jesus, son of Thebuthus - priest 13. Jesus, son of Josedek 14. Jesus of Galilee & his 600 followers 15. Jesus, the Christ (dubious reference) There are many persons named Jesus. It seems to be one of the most popular names in Josephus works. Jesus, as a name, is exceeded only by Simon (20 times) and Joseph (16). Josephus was a close personal friend of several Jesuses, especially the Jesus who was one of the last high priests before the war. Most of the Jesuses were either priests, prophets or bandits. It was not only a popular name, but one of distinction. The reference to Jesus called the Christ is dubious in the extreme. Josephus hated innovators and so called Messiahs with a passion that could not allow him to use such terms, which are totally out of tune with the rest of the work. He might have mentioned Jesus, but certainly not in those terms. The messianic prophets were the cause of the fall of Judea and the temple according to several passages in Josephus. In the appendix there is a list of Bandits, Prophets & Messiahs to be found in Josephus works. His attitude is explicit and would never waver so as to credit anyone with the messiahship. There is a brief but intriguing mention of a Jesus of Galilee in Josephus Life, which was written after the Antiquities: On hearing that a Galilean, named Jesus, was staying in Jerusalem, who had with him a company of six hundred men under arms, they sent for him... [Josephus, Life, 40.] Many Christian scholars have seriously considered the possibility that Josephus became a Christian, or at least an Ebionite Jewish-Christian after writing the Jewish War and before writing his Antiquities. After all, the references to Jesus, James and John are only found in his later work. I discuss this in the section on Josephus as Proto-Xtian. I fear, for the Christians, that Josephus remained a Jew, at least to the end of his writing life. Star over Jerusalem and the Star of Bethlehem. The ancient world and its historians generally believed in portents, especially from or in heaven. There were many of these portents in Tacitus and Suetonius. They were thought to forecast important events here on earth, such as the death of emperors and the fall of cities. The births of great men were often 46

attended by portents, usually remembered well after the event. Josephus nowhere mentions a star over Bethlehem, nor any wise men prophesying the birth of a new king of the line of David. Josephus gives several portents of the evil to befall Jerusalem and the temple. Vast armies marching in the sky, abnormal births, the temple doors opening of their own accord, and of course the Shekhinah, the indwelling, or Spirit of God, leaving the temple. The latter is discussed in the section on the Shekhinah towards the end of this work. Some of these portents are mentioned by contemporary historians, Tacitus for example. However, Tacitus, in book five of his Histories, uses this to castigate the superstitious Jews for not recognizing and offering expiations for the portents to avert the evil forecast? He put the destruction of Jerusalem down to the stupidity or wilful ignorance of the Jews themselves in not offering the appropriate sacrifices. War VI, v. 3 Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city [Jerusalem], and a comet, that continued a whole year Matthew 2: 1-4 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, {2} asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." The star over Jerusalem portended its destruction. What was the star over Bethlehem portending? Are these two unique astronomic events related? Matthew, in his interest to divinise Jesus, may have taken the star from Josephus to add colour to the claim of his kingship. The portent that told of the death of Judea would then mean the birth of Christianity out of the ashes of Judaism Matthew has the star observed by wise men from the East. When they came to Judea they asked Herod the whereabouts of the new-born king, Herod ordered the massacre of the innocents throughout Judea. Now, Herod was a harsh ruler and he committed many questionable acts to keep his kingdom in peace. He was caught between a distrustful populace and the might of Rome. Herod, sensibly, eliminated all of the offspring of the Hasmonean house whom he succeeded in the kingship. This was standard practice in the ancient world where there were many princes and only one kingship. Herod had married into the Hasmonean family to justify his assent to the kingship, therefore many of the Hasmonean pretenders were his own sons. He even eliminated them during his purge. Indeed he killed so many of his own sons, in the interest of peace, that the emperor Augustus was reported to have said: I would rather be Herods pig than his son. [Macrobius, Saturnalia, II, 4. 11. Quoted in Grant, Herod, p. 195] This was because of the Jewish practice of not killing pigs for sacrifice, which puzzled the gentile world. Matthew may have derived both his star and Herods cruelty from Josephus. The Census and the Birth of Jesus The discrepancy of Lukes date of the birth of Jesus, as compared with Matthew, has been noted from 47

early times. Barnett, states the modern Christian apologists view: The other and more serious matter is the author's statement about the birth of Jesus: In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. (Luke 2:1,2; c/f. Acts 5:37) The problem is that, according to Josephus (Ant. 18:1-2) Quirinius conducted an enrolment in Judaea at the time of the changeover from Herodian to Roman rule in AD 6. But Matthew (2:1) as well as Luke himself (1:5-28) place the birth of Jesus in the days of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC. On the face of it, Luke 2:1-2 is astray by approximately ten years. While the words "first enrolment" may be taken to refer to an enrolment prior to the more famous occurrence of AD 6, complete and continuous records of governors in Syria leave no room for Quirinius to have been governor at an earlier date. Many scholars have seized on this verse as evidence of Luke's inaccuracy in historical matters. This is hardly fair. In the Greek original so few words are used that it can be translated in several ways. The version: this was an earlier enrolment, before Quirinius was governor of Syria, is less attractive grammatically, but is quite consistent historically with Luke's own fixing of the birth of Jesus in the days of Herod. There is good reason to leave this question open pending the availability of more evidence before sweepingly rejecting Luke's competence as a historian. [Barnett, P., Is the New Testament History?, Hodder & Stoughton, Sydney, 1986, p. 149. Emphasis mine C.N.C.] Josephus mentions Cyrenius (Quirinius in Latin) and the census thrice in the Antiquities, [17,.13. 5.; 18. 1. 1.; 20. 5. 2.] and once in the Wars [7. 8. 1.], each time linking him with Judas the Galilean and the birth of the Jewish rebellion. Josephus always links the two names and events together - Cyrenius and Judas the Galilean - the census and birth of the revolution. Now Cyrenius, a Roman senator,.. came at this time into Syria... to take an account of their substance... Yet there was one Judas... who taking with him Sadduc a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt... for Judas and Sadduc who excited a fourth philosophic sect among us and had a great many followers therein, filled our civil government with tumults at present, and laid the foundation of our future miseries, by this system of philosophy... [Ant. 18. 1. 1.] But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy, Judas the Galilean was the author. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty; and they say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. [Ant. 18. 1. 6.] He (Eleazar, who commanded the last stand at Masada) was a descendent (grandson) from that Judas who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formally related, not to submit to the taxation, when Cyrenius was sent to Judea to make one;... [War, 7, 8, 1.] How Luke came to link Cyrenius, the census and the birth of Jesus is an interesting question. But Cyrenius census was the First one, it caused the start of the Jewish war, and is attested to in other sources. Luke has the right official and the right census, but the wrong birth. Why? 48

The Jewish war was born in the time of Cyrenius with Judas the Galilean and died with his grandson Eleazar, in the mass suicide at Masada. [War, bk. 7.] This was also the beginning of the fourth philosophy and the Zealots, who were the final defenders of the Faith at Masada. For Josephus the date of the first census is the terminus post qua of the Jewish war. Has Luke associated the birth of Jesus to this date, which was central for Josephus? Young Josephus and Jesus with the priests. Josephus makes a claim to having been a child prodigy in the points of the Law: Life 2. Moreover, when I was a child, about fourteen years of age, I was commended by all for the love I had for learning; on which account the high priests and principle men of the city came then frequently to me together, in order to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law. Luke varies from Matthew in not having a massacre of the innocents or wise men, but, instead, has the story of how Joseph, Mary and the young Jesus go up to the temple during a festival. They lose the child and do not notice it until sometime after they have left Jerusalem. They return and go directly to the temple and there find their child teaching the elders. Luke 2:41-47 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. {42} And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival... When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. {46} After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. {47} And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. After Josephus account this is a remarkable coincidence. It is more likely that Luke, needing a good story about a child prodigy, took a loan from Josephus and turned it into evidence of the prescience of the new messiah. Bannus the Baptist There is more than a casual similarity between the baptist, Bannus, whom Josephus followed, and John the Baptist of the gospels. Granted there were probably thousands of unkempt baptist preachers in the wilderness, but these are the only two of whom we have a record. The Qumran community probably knew of many of them but mentions none by name. Life, 2. But when I was informed that one whose name was Bannus, lived in the desert, and used no other clothing than grew on trees, and had no other food than what grew of its own accord, and bathed himself in cold water frequently, both night and day, in order to preserve his chastity, I imitated him in those things, and continued with him three years. Mark 1:4-6 49

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. {5} And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. {6} Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Josephus had tried out all of the religious philosophies of his time, including the Essenes. Bannus was an Essene and Josephus admired his sincerity and lifestyle. However, after his three years in the desert with Bannus Josephus returned to Jerusalem and became a Pharisee. He explains that the Pharisees were philosophically similar to the Stoics, who were in the majority in Rome at this time. Josephus was too vigorous and ambitious to remain in the wilderness. But, his Essene training must certainly have done him some good because, in later life, he looked back on the experience with some fondness. All in all this passage from Josephus gives us a picture of what John the Baptist would have been like. The wilderness must have been full of these feral prophets from the evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Saul/Paul says he, like Josephus, spent three years in the wilderness, before going to Jerusalem for the first time. Were the three years in the wilderness a sort of finishing school for all religious Jews? Jesus was reported to have only spent forty days in the wilderness, but then we have absolutely no information of where he spent his time from birth until he was baptised by John. Jesus could well have spent his apprenticeship in the desert with some Essene community like that found at Wadi Qumran. We have no way of knowing and the synoptic writers obviously did not know either, or they would have told us. John the Baptist in Josephus and the Synoptics Herod perceived a threat from John the Baptists ability to draw a crowd. Whatever his message may have been, the crowd was dangerous to the established order. John obviously had great influence over the people and could possibly turn them against the rulers, so he had to go! Ant. 18.5.2. Now, some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herods army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so come for baptism; for that the washing (with water) would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the remission of some sins (only), but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now, when many others came to crowd about him, for they were greatly moved by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise), thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause,... Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herods suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. The synoptic writers turn Johns death into a moral lesson about incest: Mark 6:17,18 & 27,29 50

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. {18} For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."... {27} Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, {28} brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. {29} When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. See also Matthew 14:3-12 & Luke 3:19-20. However, I do not think Herod would be very worried by a feral prophet who disliked his lifestyle. The royal families changed their partners with the political winds. King Herod Agrippa I had a prophet, Simon, who was learned in the Law, accuse him of not living a kosher lifestyle. Herod merely invited Simon to his palace to observe his manners, bribed him with a small gift and sent him on his way. Feral prophets were more a nuisance than a danger. However, if John was preaching revolution with his baptising, then he was a valid target. When John was beheaded Jesus was warned that he might be next, Luke, 13:31-32. Jesus took prudent action, according to the synoptics, especially Mark, and left Herods territory. The large crowds about Jesus were as suspect as Johns at the Jordan. Josephus has several examples of prophets leading crowds into the wilderness or to the Jordan, and the troops were immediately sent to disperse them. It was not politic to harangue large crowds in occupied Palestine. However we have a third source for the Baptist story, in the Slavonic Additions, inserted as an appendix to the Thackeray translation of the Jewish War in the Loeb edition. In the Gospel accounts of John the Baptist his mission was in the early to mid 30s. He was supposed to have baptised Jesus at that time and to have been beheaded by Herod Antipas before 37. However the Slavonic addition to Josephus War has John baptising during the reign of Archelaus, which is thirty to forty years too early for the gospel account? Luke, ch. 1, has the birth of John during the reign of Herod the Great 40/37 to 4 BCE. This is likely and would put John at about the right age to be preaching during the reign of Herods successor. If John was still baptising some thirty years later he would have been an old man. This does not seem to be the case for the writers of the gospels. Is this the same man or were there two baptists both named John living some thirty years apart? This passage certainly fits the context of the War where it has been located better than the reference we have received in the Greek Josephus. Also, note, the baptist in the Slavonic account is an unnamed savage; whereas in the Greek he is named as John. Now at that time there walked among the Jews a man in wondrous garb, for he had put animals hair upon his body wherever it was not covered by his own hair; and in countenance like a savage. He came to the Jews and summoned them to freedom, saying: God hath sent me to show you the way of the Law, whereby ye may free yourselves from many masters; and there shall be no mortal ruling over you, but only the Highest who hath sent me. And when the people heard that, they were glad. And he did nothing else to them, save that he dipped them into the stream of the Jordan and let them go admonishing them to desist from evil works; so they would be given a king who would set them free and subject all the insubordinate, but he himself would be subject to no one - he of whom we speak. Some mocked, but others put faith in him. 51

And when he was brought to Archelaus [ruled 4 BCE to 6 CE] and the doctors of the Law had assembled, they asked him who he was and where he had been until then. And he answered and spake: I am a man [pure] and hither the spirit of God hath called me, and I live on cane and roots and fruits of the tree. But when they threatened to torture him if he did not desist from these words and deeds, he spake nevertheless: It is meet rather for you to desist from your shameful works and submit to the Lord your God. And Simon, of Essene extraction, a scribe, arose in wrath and spake: We read the divine books every day; but thou, but now come forth from the wood like a wild beast, dost thou dare to teach us and seduce the multitude with thy cursed speeches? And he rushed upon him to rend his body. But he spake in reproach to them: I will not disclose to you the secret that is among you, because ye desired it not. Therefore has unspeakable misfortune come upon you and through your own doing. And after he had thus spoken, he went forth to the other side of the Jordan; and since no man durst hinder, he did what he had done before. [Jewish War, Slavonic Addition 9. The Forerunner. Between War 2.110 and 111 Loeb, Vol. II, pp. 644-645]. In this encounter with Archelaus and the council John comes off unscathed and returns to the Jordan unhindered. In a later addition from the Slavonic edition we are told of the death of an unnamed someone like John, some thirty years later? This later addition has copious Christian interpolations, such as Herods wifes name, his sin, and other details, to fit the gospel account. We have another floating legend which the writers of the gospels used, although somewhat clumsily. Since the John passage we have in the Greek Josephus is not to be found in the War, but in the Jewish Antiquities written somewhat later, we should therefore examine the John the Baptist passage in the Greek version of the Antiquities and its location in the historical time sequence. Some arguments against the authenticity of the John the Baptist passage. However, there are a few problems with the John passage in Josephus. First, and most importantly, is that it also appears to be an interpolation into the Antiquities. Chapter five of book eighteen has four paragraphs. Paragraph one ends with: 5. 1. (Tiberius) wrote to Vitellius, to make war upon him (Aretas the Arabian),... this was the charge that Tiberius gave to the president of Syria. Paragraph three, omitting the John the Baptist passage in paragraph two, begins with: 5. 3. So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas, having with him two legions of armed men... The two paragraphs were obviously meant to be read in order, paragraph one is directly followed by paragraph three and makes correct sense without the John paragraph, which interrupts the narrative. Josephus usually connects his paragraphs either by informing the reader of what to expect in the next, or he refers back to a point in the last paragraph. In this chapter, five, the first and third paragraphs are connected, as we have just noted. The third paragraph foreshadows what is to follow in the fourth; ie. Herods posterity and their several fates. The only connection between paragraph one and the Baptist passage is the mention of the fortress of Macherus, where John was supposed to have been beheaded. However, there is another problem which 52

precludes the authority of this passage. In the first paragraph Macherus is subject to Aretas, whose daughter flees there to escape, when she finds out about Herods secret plan to marry Herodias. 5. 1. She [Aretass daughter] desired him [Herod] to send her to Macherus, which is a place on the borders of the dominions of Aretas and Herod, without informing him of any of her intentions. Accordingly Herod sent her thither, as thinking she had not perceived anything; now she had sent a good while before to Macherus, which was subject to her father, and so all things necessary for her journey were made ready for her by the general of Aretass army, and by that means she soon came to Arabia... to her father, and told him of Herods intentions. But in the second paragraph, the John passage, Macherus is in the hands of Herod? 5. 2. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herods suspicious temper, to Macherus,... These two events were supposed to have happened around the same time, the date is given specifically in the third paragraph. As Vitellius was on the march he was informed of the death of the emperor: 5. 3. But on the fourth day letters came to him [Vitellius], which informed him of the death of Tiberius, he obliged the multitude to take an oath of fidelity to Caius; he also recalled his army, and made every one of them go home. Tiberius died and Caius Caligula succeeded to the empire in the year 37 CE. This puts the Baptist passage in the middle of two paragraphs dating from 37; or several years after the traditional dates, 29 to 30 CE, of John the Baptists execution and, incidentally, Jesus baptism. Therefore, I have grave suspicions about the historical reference to John the Baptist in Josephus. It is out of context with the surrounding paragraphs - Macherus was subject to the Arabs, not Herod - The passage is located far too late in time to fit the traditional date of Johns death, by about seven or eight years.

Gospels
Page 2 Sermon on the Mount? Judea, during the Roman governorship, was not a place to lead crowds out into the desert. War, 2.13.4. p. 483 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 show them the signal of liberty; but Felix thought this procedure to be the beginning of a revolt; so he sent some horsemen and foot men, both armed, and destroyed a great number of them. Ant. 18.4.1. p. 380 53

But the nation of the Samaritans did not escape without tumults. The man who excited them to it, was one who thought lying a thing of little consequence, and who contrived everything so, that the multitude might be pleased; so he bade them get together on Mount Gerizzim, which is by them looked upon ass the most holy of all mountains... But Pilate prevented their going up, by seizing upon the roads with a great band of horsemen and footmen, who fell upon those that were gotten together... And when it came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight, and took a great many of them alive, the principal of whom, and also the most potent of those who had fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain. This was the standard treatment meted out to would-be prophets and their followers by the Romans. If Jesus had five thousand men out in the wilderness, preaching the Kingdom of God and showing them a miracle of feeding, this would certainly have been thought of as a provocation by the Romans. The troops would have destroyed them. The gospel writers would have us believe that Galilee was a peaceful pastoral province. Nothing could be further from the true picture at the time. The area of Galilee had been the breeding ground for revolution from the period of Herod the Great. There was an insurrection in the time when Rome annexed Judea, 6 CE, when Judas the Galilean, along with a prophet, revolted over the taxation problem. Quirinius had been sent to take account of the wealth of the province to assess the taxation rates. Judas and his band of Zealots started the actions which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Masada, the last Jewish fortress to fall to the Romans, in 73 CE, was commanded by Judas grandson Eleazar. The Jews chose death to taxation. The synoptic versions do not take the Roman occupation into account at all. Jesus attracts crowds wherever he went and not a peep from the Romans or the troops of their ally Herod Antipas. This is so highly unlikely that I have to dismiss the Sermon on the Mount as a pious fiction, including the miracle. (Luke 9:10-17) On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. {11} When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured. {12} The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place." {13} But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish--unless we are to go and buy food for all these people." {14} For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each." {15} They did so and made them all sit down. {16} And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. {17} And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. [See also Mat.5:1,2 & 14:13-21, Lk. 6:17-20] In this case the gospels both draw on and contradict Josephus picture of the place and time. Like other Jewish leaders, Jesus takes a multitude into the desert with him, and this is entirely consistent with Josephus. But this multitude is left entirely alone and this certainly does not fit the picture we find in Josephus.

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Gerasene Swine The Demoniac and the Gerasene / Gadarene Swine. Josephus & Luke compared. This episode is one of the most puzzling of the miracles. Not just the miraculous element of the demons, but the whole setting. Jesus travels from Capernaum across the lake, destroys a herd of swine and immediately returns to Capernaum. Why? Josephus, Jewish Pseudo Gospel of Luke 8:26-39 War bk.III Barnabas IX. 7. He (Vespasian) 21. 1. Jesus went up to Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, came with three Capernaum, and as he which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, Legions, and pitched drew near to the city a man of the city who had demons met him. For a his camp thirty behold there came out of long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live furlongs off the tombs one that was in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he Tiberias,... possessed of a devil, and fell down before him and shouted at the top of his in such wise that no chain voice, What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son IX. 8. Now the seniors could hold him, and he of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment of the people, and did great harm to the me-- for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to such as were of man. The demons cried come out of the man. (For many times it had seized principal authority out through his mouth, him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains among them fled to saying: O holy one of and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be the camp of the God, why are you come driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then Romans... and fell before the time to trouble asked him, What is your name? He said, down before us? And they prayed Legion; for many demons had entered him. They Vespasian... and him that he would not begged him not to order them to go back into the them forth. abyss. Now there on the hillside a large herd of besought not to cast overlook them, nor to 2. Jesus asked them how swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to impute the madness many they were. They let them enter these. So he gave them permission. of a few to the whole answered: Six thousand Then the demons came out of the man and entered city, to spare a people six hundred and sixty- the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep who had been ever six. When the disciples bank into the lake and was drowned. When the civil and obliging to heard this they were swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and affrighted, and prayed told it in the city and in the country. Then people the Romans. Jesus that he would came out to see what had happened, and when they X. 5. Hereupon those depart. Then Jesus said: came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the that were upon the Where is your faith? It demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed walls were seized with is necessary that the and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those terror at the boldness demon should depart, and who had seen it told them how the one who had been of (Titus) attempt, not I. The demons possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the nor durst any one therefore cried: We will people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes venture to fight with come out, but permit us asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized him or hinder him; so to enter into those with great fear. So he got into the boat and 55

they left guarding the swine. There were city, and some of these feeding there, near to the that were about Jesus sea, about ten thousand fled over the country, swine belonging to the while others of them Canaanites. ran down to the 3. Thereupon Jesus said: lake,.. Depart, and enter into X. 7. Now this lake of the swine. With a roar Gennesareth is so the demons entered into called from the the swine, and cast them country adjoining it... headlong into the sea. returned. X. 8. The people of Then fled into the city the country call it they that fed the swine, Luke 10:15. And you, Capernaum, will you be Capharnaum.... and recounted all that had exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down X. 9. Now those been brought to pass by to Hades. which were driven Jesus. Accordingly the into the lake could men of the city came neither fly to the land, forth and found Jesus and where all was in their the man that was healed. enemys hand... one The men were filled with might see the lake all fear and prayed Jesus bloody, and full of that he would depart bodies, for not one of out of their borders. them escaped... The Jesus accordingly number of the slain,... departed from them and was six thousand and went up into the parts of five hundred. Tyre and Sidon. Whistons Translation After Rodney Blackhirst Lukes Miracle - Jews into Swine. The Gospel of Luke and consequently Acts are written as a conscious reworking of history into miracle. This is apparent in the episode of the Demoniac and the Gerasene Swine found in the Luke 8:26-39, (Mark 5:1-20 & Matthew 8:28-34). There have always been problems with this episode. Why did Jesus cross the sea from Capernaum, only to return immediately? What is meant by opposite Galilee, how can one be opposite a lake? Why was the demon called Legion? Why did Jesus cast the demon(s) into swine? Why did the Legion destroy themselves in the sea? To whom did the swine belong, and why did they not demand payment for their lost property? What is the purpose of the whole episode? These and other problems have been noticed by scholars. Sanders remarks in a recent work: The story is strange on all counts. It is by far the most dramatic exorcism attributed to Jesus, and it combines exorcism with nature - the swine. One of its details renders it unlikely. Gerasa is about thirty miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, and there is no other large body of water around. Matthew shifts the scene to Gadara, six miles from the sea, 56 N.R.S.V.

perhaps thinking that this reduces the problem - though a six mile leap is just as impossible as one of thirty miles. I am at a loss to explain the story in the sense of finding a historical kernel. [Sanders, E.P., The Historical Figure of Jesus, Penguin, Harmonsworth, 1993, p. 155] The solution to the historical kernel is that it is to be found, not in the gospels or combination of them, but, in the History of Josephus. The location of the story is the core of the solution. I suggest Capernaum as the disputed location. Outside of the Bible there are two mentions of Capernaum. The first, Josephus War, is a straight-forward account of a successful military campaign. The second, Pseudo-Gospel of Barnabas, gives the gospel miracle but sets the scene, properly, in Capernaum. Luke, gives us a miracle across the lake. If we change Gerasenes to Capernaum Luke would conform to the other accounts, especially Josephus. In any case we are led to one of two conclusions: (I) We believe Jesus crossed the lake merely to demonstrate to his disciples how he could work a miracle to destroy swine and then returned immediately to Capernaum - or; (II) The account in Luke alters the situation at Capernaum as found in Josephus. In other words, do we believe in a senseless miracle or a conscious reworking of history? In reading Luke we must remember that he wrote after Josephus and used him for historical purposes. The official history, Josephus Jewish War, was published by the Romans before 75 CE. Josephus was writing less than ten years after the Capernaum massacre. Luke, on the other hand, is writing at least sixty years after his supposed miracle. However, Luke, writing from an anti-Jewish/pro-Roman stance reworked his material for a special audience - potential Christians. The new sect of Christians needed to identify with the ruling power and disassociate themselves from the extremely unpopular Jews, who were always revolting. This in mind, we can see how Luke revised reality and produced a parody of the actual events. He read the report in Josephus about the suppression of the revolt at Capernaum. Then, he merely turned the events upside down and wrote a miracle story which turned Jews into swine! There are too many parallels in the two stories not to be the same event. The massacre of Jews - ...those which were driven into the lake - became a herd of swine destroyed by a demon called Legion, rather than the Legion which destroyed the Jews. The number of the swine, variously given, equals the number in a Roman Legion, and of Jews killed, about six thousand. Now, if Jesus sent six thousand swine into the sea, who was going to repay the owners of such a valuable herd? Furthermore, why was the demon in Luke called Legion if not to refer to the real event in the minds of the contemporary members of the early church? The largest massacre in Galilee would not have gone un-noticed. The audacity of Luke must be admired, but, what an insult to the Jews and what amusement to the gentiles of the early Christian community! The account of Jesus pacifying the sea precedes the miracle of the swine - as if it were a description of the subsequent account, Luke then gives a parody of the Jews driven into the sea, and its pacification by the Roman Legions. If we want to follow Matthew and place the exorcism at Gadara, let us see what happened to the Gadarenes in the Jewish War of Josephus:

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War 4. 7. 4-6 Vespasian sent Placidus with 500 horse and 3000 foot to pursue those who had fled from Gadara,... (5) Placidus, relying on his cavalry and emboldened by his previous success, pursued the Gadarenes, killing all whom he overtook, as far as the Jordan. Having driven the whole multitude up to the river, where they were blocked by the stream, which being swollen by the rain was unfordable, he drew up his troops in line opposite them. Necessity goaded them to battle, flight being impossible... Fifteen thousand perished by the enemys hands, while the number of those who were driven to fling themselves into the Jordan was incalculable; about two thousand two hundred were captured... (6) This blow was the greatest that had befallen the Jews, and appeared even greater than is was; for not only was the whole countryside through which their flight had lain one scene of carnage, and the Jordan choked with dead, but even the [Dead Sea] was filled with bodies, masses of which were carried down into it by the river. Again the Jews are driven into the water by the Romans and thousands are drowned. So much for the Gadarenes. What about the people of Gerasa? They fared no better on dry land: War 4. 9. 1. He also sent Lucius Annius to Gerasa, and delivered to him a body of horsemen, and a considerable number of footmen. So when he had taken the city, which he did at the first onset, he slew a thousand of those young men who had not prevented him by flying away; but he took their women and children captive, and permitted his soldiers to plunder them of their effects; after which he set fire to their houses, and went away to the adjoining villages, while the men of power fled away, and the weaker part were destroyed, and what was remaining was all burnt down. And now the war having gone through all the mountainous country, and all the plain country also, those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city. These massacres of the Jews at Capharnaum, Gadara and Gerasa must have been on the minds of the gospel writers; if not the first readers of those gospels. Anyone who had read Josephus War would have certainly made the connections. Parable of the Vineyard Josephus, Ant. 20.9.7 And now it was that the temple was finished. So when the people saw that the workmen were unemployed, who were above eighteen thousand, and that they, receiving no wages were in want, because they had earned their bread by their labours about the temple; and while they were unwilling to keep them by their treasures that were deposited, out of fear of their being carried away by the Romans; and while they had to make a provision for the workmen, they had a mind to expend those treasures on them; for if any one of them did but work a single hour, he received his pay immediately; Matthew 20:1-15 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire 58

laborers for his vineyard. {2} After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. {3} When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; {4} and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. {5} When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same. {6} And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?' {7} They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.' {8} When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.' {9} When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. {10} Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. {11} And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, {12} saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' {13} But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? {14} Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. {15} Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?' This parable raises the question why did the last worker receive the full wages? From Josephus we find just such a circumstance; the temples solution to the unemployment problem after the temple was completed. There was the threat that thousands of unemployed workers would soon lead to tumult and possible sedition. What the gospel writer meant is beyond understanding except on an allegorical level, and it does not sit well with that. The modern commentators would have us read: The last converts will have the same reward in heaven as the first. That may be so, but, where did the gospels get their example of this extraordinary action, unheard of in the ancient world, if not from Josephus? The account in Josephus is socially motivated to defuse a potentially serious problem. The account in the gospel is somehow unreal, and needs a fertile imagination to make any sense of it whatsoever, Josephus is simply logical. Pilates Character Philo, Embassy to Gaius, 299-305, c. 39-40 CE. One of his [Tiberias] lieutenants was Pilate, who was appointed to govern Judea. He, not so much to honour Tiberias as to annoy the multitude,... When he, naturally inflexible, a blend of self-will and relentlessness, stubbornly refused... he feared that if they actually sent an embassy they would also expose the rest of his conduct as governor by stating in full the briberies, the insults, the robberies, the outrages and wanton injuries, the executions without trial constantly repeated, the ceaseless and supremely grievous cruelty. So with all his vindictiveness and furious temper, he was in a difficult position. War 2.9.4. p. 479 At this the multitude had great indignation; and when Pilate was come to Jerusalem, they came about his tribunal, and made a clamour at it. Now when he was apprised beforehand of this disturbance; he mixed his own soldiers in their armour with the multitude, and 59

ordered them to conceal themselves under the habits of private men, and not indeed to use their swords, but with staves to beat those who made the clamour. He then gave them the signal from his tribunal (to do as he had bidden them). Now the Jews were sadly beaten, that many of them perished by the stripes they received, and many of them perished as trodden to death, by which means the multitude was astonished at the calamity of those who were slain, and held their peace. Now, note the softening of Pilates culpability in the slaughter of the Jews. In the Antiquities, written some twenty years after the War, it is the soldiers who take the blame for the severity of the Jews punishment. Antiquities, 18.3.1. p.379 But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money,... However the Jews were not pleased with what had been done about this water; and many ten thousands of the people got together and made a clamour against him, and insisted that he should leave off that design. Some of them also used reproaches, and abused the man, as crowds of such people usually do. So he habited a great number of his soldiers in their (civilian clothes), who carried clubs hidden under their garments, and he sent them to a place where they might surround them. So he bade the Jews himself to go away; but they boldly casting reproaches upon him, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been before agreed on; who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had commanded them, and equally punished those that were tumultuous, and those who were not, nor did they spare them in the least; and since the people were unarmed, and were caught by men prepared for what they were about, and there were a great number slain by this means, and others who ran away wounded; and thus an end was put to this sedition. (Luke 23:1-25) Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. {2} They began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king." {3} Then Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He answered, "You say so." {4} Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no basis for an accusation against this man." {5} But they were insistent and said, "He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place." {6} When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. {7} And when he learned that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. {8} When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. {9} He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. {10} The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. {11} Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. {12} That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies. {13} Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, {14} 60

and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. {15} Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. {16} I will therefore have him flogged and release him." {17} {18} Then they all shouted out together, "Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!" {19} (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) {20} Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; {21} but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" {22} A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him." {23} But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. {24} So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. {25} He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished. (Matthew 27:11-26) Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, "You say so." {12} But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. {13} Then Pilate said to him, "Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?" {14} But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. {15} Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. {16} At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. {17} So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?" {18} For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. {19} While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him." {20} Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. {21} The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas." {22} Pilate said to them, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" All of them said, "Let him be crucified!" {23} Then he asked, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!" {24} So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves." {25} Then the people as a whole answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" {26} So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. After the Gospels softening up of Pilates reputation we have the Apocryphal Gospels dating from the late 2nd century to the fourth. They continued the rehabilitation of Pilate to such an extraordinary degree that they not only cleared him of any blame, the Coptic church made him a saint! Embedded in the Gospel of Nicodemus there are several Letters, or Reports of Pilate to Caesar and the Acts of Pilate. 61

In the Introductory Notice of the A-N. F. to the Apocryphal Gospels the editor wrote: Probably some of the Apocryphal Gospels and Acts were not intended to be forgeries, but only novels with a purpose. [Ante-Nicene Fathers. Vol. 8, p. 350] I would hold that to be true not only of the Apocryphal Gospels but of the Canonical Gospels as well. But to return to the character of Pilate we read in the translators Introduction: The Paradosis of Pilate. - It has been well remarked... that the early Church looked on Pilate with no unfavourable eye; that he is favourably shown in the catacombs; that the early Fathers interpreted him as a figure of the early Church, and held him to be guiltless of Christs death; that the creeds do not condemn him, and the Coptic Church has even made him a saint... Dante finds punishments for Caiaphas and Annas, but not for Pilate. [A-N. F.. Vol. 8, p.354] Pilate was white-washed by the early church as the symbol of the Roman empire itself. He personified the early churchs sensible attitude towards the Romans. In every case the Romans are exonerated of the Death of Jesus and the blame put firmly upon the Jews. After the Judean revolution and consequent destruction of Jerusalem the Jews were not the most popular people in the empire. Therefore, it was easy to shift the blame from Pilate (Rome) to the Jews. The canonical gospels start the process and the Apocrypha completes it to the point where the Jews are damned, whereas, Pilate was taken up into heaven by an angel of the Lord! In the first of these Apocryphal Letters of Pilate he says, Had I not been afraid of the rising of sedition of the people, who were just on the point of breaking out, this man would have been alive to us... [ A-N. F. Vol. 8, p. 459] In the other Letters or Reports Pilate describes the miracles and healings of Jesus during his lifetime. The blame for his death being put upon the Jews, especially the priests. In the section of the Gospel of Nicodemus known as The Giving up (Paradosis) of Pontius Pilate we find both the shifting of the blame to the Jews, and the assumption of Pilate. And Pilate said: O almighty king [Caesar], I am innocent of these things; but the multitude of the Jews are violent and guilty... The Caesar says, For what reason didst thou follow out their counsel? And Pilate says, Their nation is rebellious and insubmissive, not submitting themselves to thy power... On account of the wickedness and rebellion of the Jews of the lawless and ungodly Jews I did this. [A-N. F. Vol. 8, p. 464] Caesar then condemns the Jews and sentences Pilate to death by beheading. Pilate prays to the Lord; ...Lord do not destroy me along with the wicked Hebrews, because I would not have laid hands upon Thee, except for the nation of the lawless Jews, because they were exciting rebellion against me. But Thou knowest that I did it in ignorance... And, behold when Pilate had finished his prayer, there came a voice out of the heaven, saying, All generations and families of the nations shall count thee blessed... And when the prefect struck off the head of Pilate an angel of the Lord received it. [A-N. F. Vol. 8, p. 465] Thus we have the complete rehabilitation of Pilate, and, not incidentally, of the Roman empire. 62

Gospels
Page 3 Temple Riot (Luke 13:1-2) At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. {2} He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Pilate was not alone in his severity towards the Jews. There was an incident under Cumanus when the temple was polluted with the peoples blood, an incident which fits the circumstances of Cumanus rule, 48-52 CE, much better than those of Pilate, 26-36 CE. Pilates incident took place at his tribunal, not in the temple. (See the record of the tribunal incident in the Ant. 19.3.2.) Only under Cumanus do we find such an incident in the temple as described in Luke. Josephus gives two accounts of the incident under Cumanus, in the War 2.12.1. and again in the Antiquities: Ant. 20.5.3 Now, while the Jewish affairs were under the administration of Cumanus, there happened a great tumult at the city of Jerusalem, and many of the Jews perished therein;... When that feast which is called the Passover was at hand,... and a great multitude was gathered together from all parts to that feast, Cumanus was afraid lest some attempt of innovation should be made by them; so he ordered one regiment of the army should take their arms, and stand in the temple cloisters, to repress any attempts at innovation,... but when he could not induce them to be quiet, for they still went on in their reproaches to him, he gave the order that the whole army should take their entire armour, and come to Antonia, which was a fortress, as we have said already, which overlooked the temple; but when the multitude saw the soldiers there, they were affrighted at them, and ran away hastily; but as the passages out were but narrow, and as they thought their enemies were following them, they were crowded together in their flight, and a great number were pressed to death in those narrow passages; nor indeed was the number fewer than twenty thousand that perished in this tumult. So instead of a festival they had at last a mournful day of it; and they all of them forgot their prayers and sacrifices, and betook themselves to lamentation and weeping; There is another incident where the altar was sprinkled with the sacrificers blood. During the last year of the siege the various factions fought with one another. One faction held the temple, while the stronger faction held the city. The faction in the city had catapults and other weapon-throwers to attack the defenders in the temple. Some of these projectiles overshot the walls and landed on the priests sacrificing at the altar, mixing their own blood with their sacrifices. War, 5.1.3, p. 547 ...for those darts that were thrown by the engines came with such force, that they went over 63

all the buildings, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices;... [They] fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled the altar,... with their own blood;.. Cleansing the Den of Robbers Jesus cleansed the temple of the money-changers. Who needed the money-changers? Foreigners, gentiles, not the native Jews. Could it be that Jesus was acting against the introduction of gentiles into the temple worship? The gospel of John differs from the synoptics not only in the timing of the incident but he has Jesus railing against the merchants not robbers. This is interpreted that Jesus thought that mercintile pursuits should not be pursued in the holy temple. It seems from the context that the synoptics should be followed. Jesus caused a riot in the temple at the end of his mission according to the synoptics; not at the beginning as in John. It is logical for Jesus to have been executed for making a disturbance at the end of his mission. The synoptics have Jesus calling the merchants robbers or insurrectionists, in other words innovators who allowed gentiles into the temple worship. The Court of the Gentiles had been built by Herod the Great in his over-riding interest to incorporate the values of Hellenism into Judaism, and vice versa. It seems Jesus objected to this dilution of true Jewish worship. Not that I believe for one second that the Romans would have allowed such a disturbance in the temple, at such a sensitive time as at a great festival, to have happened; no less go un-punished. See the many examples elsewhere in this book on the Roman reaction to such disturbances. When the Biblical Jesus cleansed the temple of merchants he quoted the following from Jeremiah 7:11: Jeremiah was railing against foreign worship being introduced into the temple: Do you take this temple that bears my name for a robbers [] den? Was one of Josephus Jesuses thinking of the same quote when he saw that the Zealots had taken over the sanctuary? War, 4.4.3, p. 531 Accordingly, Jesus, the eldest of the high priests next to Ananus, stood upon the tower that was against them, and said thus;... They are robbers [], who by their prodigious wickedness have profaned this most sacred floor, and who are to be now seen drinking themselves drunk in the sanctuary. The Synoptics have another Jesus using the same quotation, in the temple: Matt. 21:10-17, Mark 11:11, Luke 19:45-46 It is written, my house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers []. All, from Jeremiah, through Josephus, to the Synoptics, use the Greek word for robbers which applies particularly to insurrectionists rather than thieves of the common sort. The Jesus of Josephus account is a friend of Josephus. When he was in trouble with his command in Galilee it was Jesus who informed Josephus of his impending problem.

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My information reached me in a letter from my father, to whom the news was confided by Jesus, son of Gamalas, an intimate friend of mine, who had been present at the conference. [ Life, 41.] The death of Jesus grieved Josephus more than any other, excepting that of his father and mother who died in prison during the siege. He was the one who, with Ananus, was murdered by the Zealots at the beginning of the war. Jesus was also joined with him [Ananus]; and although he was inferior to him upon comparison, he was superior to the rest; and I cannot but think that it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city. [ War, 4. 5. 2. p. 534] Throughout his account of the war Josephus labels the Zealots and other nationalists , brigands or robbers. It was this element that brought the destruction upon the country, through their rebellious actions. That the gospels use the same term is more than a coincidence. They are following Josephus quotation from Jeremiah. Jesus is cursing at merchants, why should he call them insurrectionsts? I Too Am Under Authority The governor, Petronius, of all the Romans, was highly respected by the Jews for his action, at great risk to his own life, to preserve the sanctity of their temple. During the reign of the mad Caligula, who really thought he was a god, Petronius stalled in putting a statue of the emperor in the Jewish temple. He was fortunate that Caligula was assassinated before the order from the emperor for Petronius to commit suicide arrived. War 2.10.4 Petronius replied, And am not I also bound to keep the laws of my own lord?... for I am under command as well as you. The Centurion in the gospel story is highly respected by the local Jews for his contributions to their Synagogue. Luke 7:6-9 {6} And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; {7} therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. {8} For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it." {9} When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." The only Romans we meet in the gospels are friendly converts or kindly rulers! Pilate who could find no wrong in Jesus. The centurion at the crucifixion who called Jesus son of god. Felix the governor who was so friendly to Saul/Paul.

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Barabbas Pontius Pilate, a particularly harsh Roman governor, would never have thought to release a man who had been put into prison for insurrection and murder. Not on his life would he have released an enemy of Rome to a clamouring Jewish rabble. Luke 23:18,19 & 25 Release Barabbas for us! (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)... {25}He [Pilate] released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished. This impossible and senseless episode is the most unbelievable part of the whole New Testament. To entertain the thought of a Roman governor acting in this manner is to indulge in fantasy. However, Josephus records an incident where this did happen: Ant. 20.9.3. p.424 But now the Sicarii went into the city by night, just before the festival, which was now at hand, and took the scribe belonging to the governor of the temple, whose name was Eleazar, who was the son of Ananias the high priest, and bound him, and carried him away with them; after which they sent to Ananias, and said that they would send the scribe to him, if he would persuade Albinus [the Roman Governor] to release ten of those prisoners which he had caught of their party; so Ananias was plainly forced to persuade Albinus, and gained his request of him. These are the only two accounts in the literature of the period where a rebel or rebels from the Roman empire were freed, without a bribe. There is no independent reference to a practice of the Romans releasing a rebel for a Jewish, or any other, festival. There is another mention, in Josephus, of a Roman governor releasing minor offenders, for a bribe, at the end of his term of office; however, he executed all of the other prisoners held on serious charges. This certainly would not apply in the Barabbas incident, as portrayed in the Synoptics. The Sicarii, on the other hand, were represented in Josephus as well disciplined extortionists. They managed to get their own assassins out of Roman custody. Remember, Jesus had a Sicarus as a disciple, Judas Iscariot, who met an obscure death. It is the Sicarii who release the son of the high priest, son of the father, Barabbas, not the Romans, they released the Sicarii. Crucifixion of three men and the survival of one. The only person known in history to survive a Roman crucifixion is a friend whom Josephus saves after intervening with the Roman commander. Three are taken down but only one survives. Josephus, Life, 75, p. 20 of Whistons Translation ... as I [Joseph Bar Mathias] came back, I saw many captives crucified; and remembered three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physicians hands, while the third recovered. 66

The gospels have a mysterious Joseph of Arimathea appear and go to the Roman commander and ask for Jesus to be taken down from among the three crucified. Jesus lives and the other two presumably die. Mark 15:42-46 When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, {43} Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. {44} Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. {45} When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. {46} Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. See also Matthew 27:57-60, Luke 23:50-53 & John 19:38-41 The Gospel of Barnabas has the incident of Joseph, but, his name is Abarimathia not Arimathea. Barnabas 217, 8. ... but by means of Nicodemus and Joseph of Abarimathia they obtained from the governor the body... to bury it. I propose that since none of the evangelists could have witnessed the scene, or even known the number of men crucified with Jesus, the story was made up from details found in Josephus. How do we know there were two others with Jesus to make up the number three? Where does this dramatic entrance of the previously unknown Joseph have its source? Three were crucified and one lived! Josephus to the rescue. We have the desired incident, the right number and the amazing survival of the one. As noted earlier this incident is the only example in our histories of a man surviving crucifixion, and he is taken down from the cross upon the request of Joseph. Not Joseph of Arimathea but Joseph bar Mathia is the man. This is not to say that Jesus was not executed by the Romans, but merely that we cannot know the true details from the gospels. The story was written many years after the event and, as usual, for dramatic effect the synoptic writers turned to Josephus for a good story. Why three crucified? I have nowhere read that the Romans needed a quorum of three to make up a crucifixion. Any old number, and the more the better, would do for an execution. Well, the number three was much used by inspired writers to make up a superlative. But, it did not stop there, in Luke there is a bad thief and a good thief. The bad thief curses and taunts Jesus on the cross. The good thief recognizes Jesus as the Christ and Jesus promises him paradise: (Luke 23:39-43) One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" {40} But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? {41} And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for 67

our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." {42} Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." {43} He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." A charming scene, but, not probable. Later traditions, from the fourth to the sixth centuries even supply the names of the thieves; Drysas or Demas and Gestas. Drysas is the good thief and Gestas the bad. [James, M.R., Apocryphal New Testament, p. 161-165.] The story gets better as time goes on. In the later, Arabic, Infancy Gospel, there are two thieves who held up Joseph and Mary, with the infant Jesus, on their way to Egypt when they were fleeing Herod. The bad thief would rob and murder the holy family. But, the good thief recognized the baby Jesus as being born of God and let them go free. In the Arabic gospel the good thief asks the infant Jesus not to forget his kindness saying: O most blessed of children, if ever there come a time for having mercy on me, then remember me and forget not this hour. [ James, p. 81.] Guess who the thieves on the two crosses were? Yes, the same two from the Infancy Gospel! The good one recognizes Jesus by the same signs he recognized him as the Infant. It is then that he reminds Jesus and is consequently saved into paradise. So the story goes; the infant Jesus and his family are saved by a good thief from the bad, and it is they as it turns out who are the other two of the trio crucified. Jesus saves the good one and, presumably, lets the other go to hell. This is an example of the embellishment of a story over the ages. But, which story? The gospel writers, Mark and Matthew, needed some details of the crucifixion, and they being unknown made up the story out of Josephus three men, one a survivor. Luke makes the addition of the conversation between Jesus and the thieves on their respective crosses. By the third to fourth century the Infancy gospels were out and about with the story of the flight to Egypt and the incident on the road. Then the Acts of Pilate, which recounts the crucifixion, identifies the thieves with the incident on the road to Egypt. Jesus rewards the good thief with paradise. The pious imagination is unbounded either by fact or consistency. The Resurrection He descended into the cave. So, for two days he continued in hiding. On the third, his secret was revealed by a woman who had been with them. The death of J. was found to be a fiction, it became known that he was alive. This is a description of a resurrection after three days in a cave. No, J. is not Jesus, but Josephus. This is from the account of the fall of Jotapata where Josephus hides in a cave for three days before he was found out by a captured woman who knew of their hiding place. He arose from the cave. After a short time he ascended to the right hand of the Father, Vespasian, the Emperor. Josephus went on to live in the mansion of his Lord. The Texts But, finding every spot guarded on his account and no means of eluding detection, he descended again into the cave. So, for two days he continued in hiding. On the third, his 68

secret was betrayed by a woman who had been with them. [War 3. 8. 1.] But when time revealed the truth and all that had really happened at Jotapata, when the death of Josephus was found to be a fiction, it became known that he was alive and in Roman hands... the demonstrations of wrath at his still being alive were as loud as the former expressions of affection when he was believed to be dead. [War 3. 9. 6.] Portents of the destruction of the Temple. Woe to ... passages. According to Eusebius Josephus and others believed that the destruction of Judea was in divine retribution for the stoning of James the Just, the brother of someone called Jesus. The early church fathers, such as Origen, saw the destruction of the temple as retribution for the crucifixion of Jesus. The synoptic writers put the prophecies of this destruction into the mouth of Jesus, some thirty, or more, years before the event. Josephus describes what happened, as an eyewitness: (War 7.1.1) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple... There was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city of otherwise magnificence, and mighty fame among all mankind. The three synoptics describe it thus: (Luke 21:5-6. Also Matthew 24:1-2 & Mark 13:1-2) When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, {6} "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down." But, Luke describes the siege of Jerusalem in graphic detail: (Luke 19:41-44) As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, {42} saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. {43} Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. {44} They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God." The source known as Q also knows of the destruction of the temple, Luke 13:34-35 and Matthew 23:37-38. (Matthew 23:37-38) "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! {38} See, your house is left to you, desolate." (Luke 13:34-35) Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her 69

brood under her wings, and you were not willing! {35} See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'" We have seen in the example above that Mark is aware of the temples destruction. (Mark 13:1-2) As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" {2} Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." In Matthew 26:61-2 and Mark 14:37-8 Jesus is even charged for threatening to do what the Romans actually did. Jesus is tried for his life before the Jewish Sanhedrin for saying he that was going to destroy the temple. (Matthew 26:61-62) "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'" {62} The high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?" (Mark 14:57-58) Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, {58} "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" In Lukes Acts Stephen is also charged with this offence before he was stoned to death: (Acts 6:14) for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us." Prior to 70 CE nobody could have expected the Romans would destroy the temple. It had already been captured by them three times previously, and plundered, but not destroyed. Pompey captured Jerusalem in 63 BCE. Crassus plundered the temple treasures shortly before his ill-fated Parthian campaign in 53 BCE. The Roman general Sosius assisted Herod the Great by capturing Jerusalem for him in 38 BCE. The temple was always spared; probably as a source for future plunder. This places all of the gospels and their Q source as post 70s, and certainly written after Josephus Jewish War. Josephus, with more than a hint of pathos and anger, describes the destruction of the city and temple as an official policy commanded by the Emperor himself. The Synoptics, again, are prophecies after the event. Luke gives a summary of the events of the siege described by Josephus in his Jewish War. However, Josephus can also write like the Synoptics by describing the temple in the Present Tense well after its destruction: We have but one temple for the one God (for like ever loveth like), common to all as God is common to all. The priests are continually engaged in His worship, under the leadership of him who for the time is head of the line. With his colleagues he will sacrifice to God, safeguard the laws, adjudicate in cases of dispute, punish those convicted of crime. Any who disobey him will pay the penalty as for impiety towards God Himself. Our sacrifices are not occasions for drunken self-indulgence - such practices are abhorrent to God - but for sobriety. At these sacrifices prayers for the welfare of the community must take precedence of those for ourselves. [Contra Apion II, 23. L.C.L.] 70

This was written more than twenty-five years after the destruction of the temple, by an eyewitness to, and, indeed a participant in, its destruction? The writers of the gospels are committing exactly the same anachronism as Josephus.

Acts
Shekhinah & Spirit of Pentecost To whom did the spirit of God go when it left the temple? Luke would have it enter the first Christians, Josephus that it went over to the victorious Romans. War, VI, v, 3., p. 582 Moreover, at that feast we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the Temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard the sound of a great multitude, saying, Let us remove hence. Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. {2} And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. {3} Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. {4} All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Tacitus, Histories, V. 13, p. 657 The doors of the Temple were opened on a sudden, and a voice greater than human was heard, that the gods were retiring, and at the same time there was a great motion perceived, as if they were going out of it, which some esteemed to be caused of horror. Josephus Jewish War was published by 75 CE, while Lukes Acts were written much later. Crossan and his committee date Acts in their third strata, 120-150 CE. Luke and most others with an interest in the Jews must have been familiar with Josephus works. [The inventory is from Crossan, J.D., The Historical Jesus, Harper/Collins, San Francisco, 1991, pp. 427-434.] Tacitus, also writing later, is believed to have followed Josephus account in his History where he is dealing with the Jewish war. His interest in the story is that the Spirit deserted the Jews and settled on the Romans, ensuring their victory. War, 5.9.4, p. 563 Wherefore I cannot but suppose that God has fled out of his sanctuary and stands on the side of those against whom you fight. In his generally anti-Jewish stance Luke has the Shekhinah, or Spirit of God, leave the Jews and enter the early Christians. This shows the divine succession from the Jews to the Christians was ordained by God. The great multitude in Josephus leave the temple and Luke has them enter the multitude of 71

Christians at Pentecost. This Pentecost event is truly the beginning of what developed into a Christian church. Luke, or whoever wrote the works attributed to him, mined Josephus for many events which were then written into early church history. This is but another. The Death of Herod for an example. That Luke could take an event from Josephus that happened in 69 CE and put it back to the 30s is not unusual. This telescoping is a common method of Hellenistic writers, even those with less of an overt propaganda agenda. We see the same thing happening in the episode of the Gerasene Swine. A Roman naval victory on the Sea of Galilee in 67 CE is put back into the life-time of Jesus, again in the 30s. The Nazarites Vow Both Herod and Paul were suspected of not being true Jews by the orthodox population. Herod because of his long residence in Rome, where he must have broken with the tradition by eating with pagans if nothing else. Paul was in the same strife of dealing too closely with the pagans, and eating with the uncircumcised. Both had to try and prove to the loyal, (and radical) Jews that they were orthodox. Josephus Ant. XIX, vi, 1. (Acts 21:23-24) He (Herod Agrippa) also came to Jerusalem and So do what we tell you. We have four men who offered all the sacrifices that belonged to him, and are under a vow. {24} Join these men, go omitted nothing which the law required; on which through the rite of purification with them, and account he ordered that many of the Nazarites pay for the shaving of their heads. Thus all should have their head shorn [at his expense]. will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself observe and guard the law." (Acts 23:27-28) When the seven days were almost completed, Ant. XIX, vii, 4. the Jews from Asia, who had seen him in the However, there was a certain man of the Jewish nation temple, stirred up the whole crowd. They at Jerusalem, who appeared to be very accurate in the seized him, knowledge of the law. His name was Simon. This man {28} shouting, "Fellow Israelites, help! This is got together an assembly, while the king was absent in the man who is teaching everyone everywhere Caesarea, and had the insolence to accuse him as not against our people, our law, and this place; living holily, and that he might be excluded from the more than that, he has actually brought Greeks temple, since it belonged to native Jews. into the temple and has defiled this holy place." Both failed to convince the ultra-orthodox and then had to reside in Caesarea. Also, Paul gets along too well with the Romans. He meets them almost as an equal, and enjoys extraordinary protection and privileges from them. This is where Luke seems to be at his worst is disguising Pauls treachery. Paul went over to the Romans as did Josephus himself. Herods Death Luke takes the wrong Herods death, which is recorded in Josephus, and gives it an obvious theological meaning. 72

Ant. XIX, viii, 2. At which festival [to honour Caesar], a great multitude was gotten together of the principal persons, and such as were of dignity through his province...On the second day of which shows he [Agrippa] put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contexture truly wonderful, and came to the theatre early in the morning, at which time the silver of his garment being illuminated by the fresh reflections of the suns rays... and presently his flatterers cried out,... that he was a god:... Upon this the king did not rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery... A severe pain arose in his belly... therefore he looked to his friends and said, I, whom you called a god, am commanded presently to depart this life... And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days he departed this life... Acts 12:21-23 {21} On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and delivered a public address to them. {22} The people kept shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a mortal!" {23} And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. Herod Agrippa had spent most of his life in Rome, as a hostage for his fathers loyalty. When Caligula was made Emperor he was freed and made king of Judea. When he arrived in Judea he had a hard time convincing the population that he was a proper Jew according to their laws. He made donations to the temple and publicly demonstrated his piety at every opportunity [Antiquities 19. 6.]. His public works were extensive, both in Jerusalem and neighbouring countries [Ant. 19. 7.]. Claudius confirmed his rule. He tried to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, but that was too much for the Roman governor, Marcus. He reported the building project to Caesar, who sent to Agrippa to leave off the building of those walls. Herod obeyed, thinking it not proper to contradict Claudius. Later, Herod invited five of the local kings to a meeting. The Romans did not take kindly to this. Marcus ordered the kings to return home immediately. This was very ill taken by Herod. [Ant. 19. 8.] However, they and he obeyed. By now the Romans were suspicious as to Herod Agrippas intentions. Did he want to make a bid for independent rule? When Herod showed up for the festival to celebrate the birthday of Caesar Claudius, the god, he sealed his fate by accepting the crowds acclamation that he was a god. Now, in the Roman empire there was room for only one god-man and that was the emperor. What Herod did, in effect, was to accept the crowds acclaim of being equal to Claudius. This was not politic. The Romans practiced poisoning as political policy. Claudius own brother Germanicus met his end by this method. Why should Herod Agrippa be immune to such Roman practice? Josephus gives it away in the line Herod speaks to his followers: I, whom you called a god, am commanded presently to depart this life... Simply, Herod was done away with by the Romans. Because of his popularity he was becoming dangerous to the Romans Peace. [Or, he died from an ulcer brought on by the problems of ruling the Jews, while pleasing the Romans.] Theudas & Judas 73

It has long been noted that in Acts Luke makes an historical blunder it the speach he has Gamaliel give to the Sanhedrian. He collapses the names two bandits together who were executed by the Romans. He has Gamaliel say they were at the same time whereas they were seperated by many years. Luke also reverses the chronological order of the two names. Christian apologists, such as Barnett, try to explain this error away: In Gamaliel's speech to the Sanhedrin he states: For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. (Acts 5:36-37) "Judas the Galilean" is straightforward. He led an uprising at the changeover of government in Judaea from the Herods to the Romans which occurred in AD 6. The only "Theudas" known to historical records was a prophet who arose c. AD 45, that is, not before" but "after" Judas. Many accuse Luke of error at this point. Theudas, however, was not an uncommon name and the period before AD 6 was very turbulent, especially after the death of Herod in 4 BC. Indeed, had he placed Theudas after Judas, Luke would be really open to criticism, since Gamaliel's speech occurred about ten years before the Theudas known to historians. As it stands, given Luke's care in other areas where he can be checked and the lack of information about Theudas, it is better to give Luke the benefit of the doubt. [Barnett, P., Is the New Testament History?, Hodder & Stoughton, Sydney, 1986, p. 149. Emphasis mine C.N.C.] **************** First, how can: The only Theudas known to historical records be not an uncommon name? I do not give Luke the benefit of the doubt in this case, for the answer to Lukes passage is to be found, again, in Josephus. We find it in the Antiquities,. 20. 5. 1-2. We have the mention, the only mention, of Theudas in paragraph 1. Following immediately, in paragraph 2, we have the mention of the sons of Judas of Galilee and of Judas himself. So, in Josephus we have Lukes order of mention, not chronologically but as explanation. Luke read the Antiquities and followed the order of the paragraphs - Theudas, then Judas - uncritically. paragraph 1. ...Now it came to pass, that while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain magician, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people... They also took Theudas alive, and cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem... paragraph 2. ...the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius [Quirinius] came to take an account of the estates of the Jews... This is further evidence of Lukes following Josephus historical account, though not too well. Also, I am not convinced that Gamaliels speech can be dated where Luke puts it, if Gamaliel actually 74

gave it at all. Luke would have Gamaliels speech in about AD 34, whereas Theudas actions were in the period of Cuspius Fadus, AD 44-46. Barnetts purpose is clear, but not his logic! In that, he is much like Luke himself. Some writers postulate another Judas is meant [Thackeray, note to War, 2. 8. 1. Loeb.], others another Theudas; just to get Luke out of his historical blunder. It will be noticed, however, that there is no great similarity between the two stories apart from the name Theudas, which was nearly as common as the habit of following selftrumpeting upstarts, and we cannot be certain that the two incidents are the same. [Williamson, The World of Josephus, p. 129] Yet, the Loeb translation of Eusebius History, by Kirsopp Lake in 1926, has the following sensible footnote,: It is remarkable that Eusebius did not take notice that this Theudas cannot really have been referred to by Gamaliel, who was speaking many years before the time of Fadus. Most modern writers on Acts think that nevertheless the Theudas of Acts is the Theudas of Josephus and explain the speech as literary fiction. Some think that Luke was misled by Josephus, who happens to mention Theudas in the same context as Judas of Galilee. [Eusebius, History, Loeb, vol. 1, p. 134-135. n. 1] Rather than multiplying Judases and Theudases it is certainly more reasonable to understand Luke was following Josephus. The mistake of reading the two names in the same context, even to repeating the order of his words, and then putting them into the mouth of Gamaliel demonstrates the dependence of Luke upon Josephus. It follows that if Luke is using Josephus account from the Antiquities he must have been writing after it was published in the year 93 or 95. Egyptian Bandit In the book of Acts Luke has the Roman tribune question Saul/Paul about whether he was the Egyptian bandit who had recently led the people out onto the Mount of Olives. This is very strange behaviour for a Roman garrison commander? Just a casual aside to Paul before allowing him to speak to a rioting crowd! I do not believe a word of Lukes account. Acts 21:38 Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?" War 2.8.5. But there was an Egyptian false prophet that did the Jews more mischief than the former [prophet]; for he was a cheat, and pretended to be a prophet also, and got together thirty thousand men that were deluded by him; these he led round about from the wilderness to the mount which is called the Mount of Olives, and was ready to break into Jerusalem by force from that place;... but Felix prevented this attempt, and met him with his Roman soldiers,... insomuch that when it came to a battle, the Egyptian ran away with a few others, while the greatest part of those who were with him were either destroyed or taken alive. 75

Ant. 20.8.6. Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem, one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the mount of Olives, as it was called... He said further, that he would show them from hence, how at his command the walls of Jerusalem would fall down... Now when Felix [governor 52-60] was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen, from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. These events from Josephus were concurrent with those of Lukes Acts. It will be noted that in the two passages from Josephus the Egyptian is not named. Neither does Luke name him, as he is following Josephus. This passage is related to the Theudas and Judas found in this book and is interesting in demonstrating the Roman response to a Prophet leading thousands of people into the wilderness for a miracle. Pauls Assassins, Felix and the Sicarii Saul/Paul was not beloved of the zealous Jews, who put the Law before everything. Saul/Paul was the worst type to them, an apostate, and an active one at that. The forty Jews who swore the oath to kill Paul were very likely, if not certainly, those Sicarii described by Josephus. They certainly seem to follow the same method of assassination. Acts 23:12-15 In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. {13} There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. {14} They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. {15} Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives." War 2.13.3. ... There sprang up another sort of robbers in Jerusalem, which were called the Sicarii, who slew men in the daytime, and in the midst of the city; this they did chiefly at the festivals, when they mingled themselves among the multitude, and concealed daggers under their garments, with which they stabbed those that were their enemies. Why were they so determined to assassinate Saul/Paul? Perhaps they had found out that he was a Roman agent working to divide the Jews. Perhaps they thought he was trying to instil the hated gentile religion within the Jews both overseas and now even in Jerusalem itself. In any case Josephus writes about these assassins at length. What about the Roman governor who protected Saul/Paul for two years at Caesarea (Acts 24:22-27} But Felix, who was rather well informed about the Way, adjourned the 76

hearing with the comment, "When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case." Then he ordered the centurion to keep him in custody, but to let him have some liberty and not to prevent any of his friends from taking care of his needs. Some days later when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him speak concerning faith in Christ Jesus. And as he discussed justice, selfcontrol, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present; when I have an opportunity, I will send for you." At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul, and for that reason he used to send for him very often and converse with him. After two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and since he wanted to grant the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. Felix in Tacitus: Pallas brother, the knight Antonius Felix, who was governor of Judea, showed less moderation. Backed by vast influence, he believed himself free to commit any crime... Moreover, Felix stimulated outbreaks by injudicious disciplinary measures. [Tacitus, Annals 12. 53-4] One of these governors, Antonius Felix, played the tyrant with the spirit of a slave, plunging into all manner of cruelty and lust, and marrying Drusilla (Herod Agrippa IIs sister). [Tacitus, Histories, 5. 9.] Josephus: Wherefore Felix (the governor) persuaded one of Jonathans (the high priest) most faithful friends, a citizen of Jerusalem whose name was Dorcas, to bring robbers [Sicarii] upon Jonathan in order to kill him; and this he did by promising to give him a great deal of money for so doing. Dorcas complied with the proposal. [Ant. 20. 8. 5.] Paul as Roman Agent What makes me suspect Lukes version of Saul/Paul is not only that he has no knowledge of Pauls letters, but Luke is writing a spy story. As an official propagandist he would have seen everything through the eyes of a trained intelligence officer. He tells a dramatic story, very much as a modern subversive operation would be fictionalized. What ever we say about the arrest scene, at least, it is at least complete fiction: Acts 21:31-40 {31} While they were trying to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. {32} Immediately he took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. When they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. {33} Then the tribune came, arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; he inquired who he was and what he had done. {34} Some in the crowd shouted one thing, some another; and as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to 77

be brought into the barracks. {35} When Paul came to the steps, the violence of the mob was so great that he had to be carried by the soldiers. {36} The crowd that followed kept shouting, "Away with him!" {37} Just as Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, "May I say something to you?" The tribune replied, "Do you know Greek? {38} Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?" {39} Paul replied, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city; I beg you, let me speak to the people." {40} When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people for silence; and when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language. That a Roman tribune would allow his prisoner to harangue a rioting crowd, and in Hebrew which he did not understand, is nothing less than absurd. Imagine, even today, a police chief allowing his prisoner to give his defence from the steps of the station, immediately after arrest! Not very likely, and less likely in a rebellious Roman province. Acts 22: 25-29 {25} But when they had tied him up with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who is uncondemned?" {26} When the centurion heard that, he went to the tribune and said to him, "What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen." {27} The tribune came and asked Paul, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" And he said, "Yes." {28} The tribune answered, "It cost me a large sum of money to get my citizenship." Paul said, "But I was born a citizen." {29} Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him; and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him. Several points are worth investigating here. First, if Paul was a Roman citizen since birth why did he allow himself to be flogged previously? And, if not from birth then when and how did Paul become a Roman? What service did he render the Romans, remembering Josephus was only made a Roman citizen after helping the Romans win the Jewish war? Now, the tribune would not have to pay a large sum of money to get my citizenship, because he would be given citizenship, free, for his army service. Luke does not know his Roman army as well as he should. Is Paul a Roman citizen? Luke says he is, but not Paul himself. Nowhere in Pauls Epistles does he claim Roman citizenship; not even when it would have saved him from one of the eight floggings he says he underwent. (Acts 22:11ff.) But this is just another of Lukes historical blunders. Acts 23:16-24 {16} Now the son of Paul's sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. {17} Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him." {18} So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, "The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you." {19} The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, "What is it that you have to report to me?" {20} He answered, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. {21} But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent." {22} So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, "Tell no one that you have informed me of this." 78

From where did this Deus ex Familia come? We are told nothing about Paul having a sister or a nephew with connections to both the temple and the Roman garrison. Were Pauls whole family supporters of the Romans? Perhaps Paul had some connections with Herod Agrippas family? {23} Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, "Get ready to leave by nine o'clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. {24} Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor." We are told of the kingly escort given Paul by the Romans. This is where Luke brings in the impossible detail of the number of troops needed to escort an unknown Jewish trouble-maker! He is even provided mounts to ride. A Jewish prisoner would surely have been made to walk with the soldiers, Paul must have been a very privileged or important person indeed! Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, "Get ready to leave by nine o'clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen." This escort is surely fit for a king! Herod himself would have had an escort of that magnitude for a midnight run to safety at Roman Caesarea. Paul must surely have been someone of great importance or value to the Romans for such an extraordinary escort. Another problem about Luke is that the Roman army was extremely reluctant to march at night. Josephus only has two night marches. One is where the general and his body guard have to escape an ambush. The troops they left behind were massacred by the Jews during that night. The other is at the siege of Jerusalem; a legion marched through secured country to join Titus the next day. Pauls escort and night-flight stretch my credulity about the whole episode. That the Romans rescued one of their agents from the crowd when his cover was blown, I can believe. That he was a Roman citizen, for services rendered, is also credible. That the agent was spirited to the main Roman headquarters at Caesarea for protection makes sense. That he remained there for a couple of years in an intelligence capacity, with frequent conversations with the main players in the coming war, is more convincing than Lukes fairytale. Felix, the Roman governor of the province, was one of harshest governors of the period. He disliked the Jews intensely. That he would spend time conversing with Paul on theological matters is absurd. Paul would more likely be giving Felix information on the divisions amongst the Jews. The next governor Paul dealt with, Festus Porcius, had a name that was an insult to devout Jews, Happy Pig! Paul was further rewarded by being escorted to Rome, for his safety. Acts 28:16 When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself,... That Paul was retired to Rome, to a safe-house, is in line with the Roman practice of reward for its agents. Josephus himself was lodged in very secure quarters, the emperors old house. After this Paul drops out of history, possibly to a further safe-house in Spain. Josephus describes a Saul who was an active participant in the war, on the collaborators side. Ant. XX, ix, 4. p. 424. 79

Costobarus, also, and Saul, did themselves get together a multitude of wicked wretches, and this because they were of royal the family; and so they obtained favour among them, because of their kindred to Agrippa: but still they used violence with the people, and were very ready to plunder those who were weaker than themselves. War II, xx, 1. p. 497. After this calamity had befallen Cestius, many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink; Costobarus, therefore, and Saul, who were brethren, together with Phillip, who was the commander of King Agrippas forces, ran away from the city, and went to Cestius [at Caesarea]... However, Cestius sent Saul and his friends, at their own desire, to Achaia, to Nero, to inform him of the great distress they were in;... Is this merely a coincidence that Saul, with the commander of the Kings troops, goes to Caesarea and then is sent, at their own desire, to the emperor? This is almost too much, taking in what we know of Saul/Paul from Acts. Saul/Paul himself, if the Letter to the Philippians is truely his, gives the act away: Phil. 4:22 All the Saints send their greetings, especially those of the Imperial household. However, Josephus mentions a certain unnamed disgraced Jew who, while living in Rome, fraudulently received funds for the Temple in Jerusalem and spent them on himself. Ant. 18.3.5. There was a man who was a Jew, but had been driven away from his own country by an accusation laid against him for transgressing their laws, and by the fear he was under of punishment for the same; but in all respects a wicked man: he then living at Rome, professed to instruct men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses. He procured also three other men, entirely of the same character with himself, to be his partners. Acts does not go beyond the point where Saul/Paul arrives and settles in comfortable circumstances in Rome. Acts 28:30-31 {30} He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, {31} proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. While this identification is fanciful there are some parallels to consider. Both characters are disgraced Jews who have transgressed the Jewish laws. Both are in Rome. Both teach about the Jewish Law. Both had associates in their ministry. Both have been suspected of fraud concerning the donations to the Temple in Jerusalem. Where did Saul/Paul get the considerable funds to sponsor the four Nazarites vow?

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Stoning of Stephen/James Luke, writing well after the destruction of the temple, would certainly have known of the stoning of James, the Lords brother and head of the early church. Yet he barely mentions James at all, and then only in reference to the actions of Paul. The early tradition, and Pauls Epistles, both tell us of the tension between Paul, the apostle to the gentiles and the Arch-Apostle James, head of the church. Luke substituted a shadowy figure, Stephen, for the vastly more famous and important James. Acts 6:12, 56-60 ...They took Stephen by surprise, and arrested him and brought him before the Sanhedrin. Look, he said, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. Eusebius So the Scribes and Pharisees made James stand on the Sanctuary parapet [crown] and shouted to him: Righteous one, whose word we are all obliged to accept, the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified.. He replied as loudly as he could: Why do you question me about the Son of Man? I tell you, He is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power,... So they went up and threw down the Righteous one. Then they said to each other Let us stone James the Righteous, and began to stone him.... Josephus But the younger Ananus, who as I said had received the high priesthood, was headstrong in character and audacious in the extreme.. Being a man of this kind, Ananus thought that he had a convenient opportunity, as Festus was dead and Albinus still on the way. So he assembled a council of judges and brought before it James, the brother of Jesus, known as Christ, and several others, on a charge of breaking the law, and handed them over to be stoned... Let us look at our sources, the book of Acts, Josephus and Eusebius. Only Acts has the stoning of Stephen and the others have the stoning of James the Righteous. Then the High Priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol. Acts 5;17,18 ...and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged,... And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin. Acts 5;40,41 The whole of the assembly... elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,... Acts 6;5

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...They took Stephen by surprise, and arrested him and brought him before the Sanhedrin. Acts 6;12 Look, he said, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he had said this, he died. And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Acts 7:56-8:1 Eusebius, History of the Church, Book 2, ch. 23. He (James the Righteous) alone was permitted to enter the Holy Place, for his garments were not of wool but of Linen. He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people,.. Because of his unsurpassable righteousness he was called the Righteous... So the Scribes and Pharisees made James stand on the Sanctuary parapet [crown] and shouted to him: Righteous one, whose word we are all obliged to accept, the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified.. He replied as loudly as he could: Why do you question me about the Son of Man?. I tell you, He is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power,... So they went up and threw down the Righteous one. Then they said to each other Let us stone James the Righteous, and began to stone him.... Immediately after this Vespasian began to besiege them. This is the full account, which in agreement with Clement, is given by Hegesippus. Josephus has also recounted his death in Antiquities Book XX. Caesar sent Albinus to Judea as procurator, when he was informed of the death of Festus. But the younger Ananus, who as I said had received the high priesthood, was headstrong in character and audacious in the extreme.. Being a man of this kind, Ananus thought that he had a convenient opportunity, as Festus was dead and Albinus still on the way. So he assembled a council of judges and brought before it James, the brother of Jesus, known as Christ, and several others, on a charge of breaking the law, and handed them over to be stoned... Ant. 20. 9. 1. In book of Acts, 5;17 - 8;3, Josephus Jewish War, and Hegesippus via Eusebius, we find parallel 82

stoning episodes. The story is the same only the name was changed. Instead of James the Righteous we have Stephen a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. There are several reasons to believe the two stonings were the same event. Eusebius, see above, made the identification following earlier historians. The parallels are: 1. The High Priest is the persecutor. 2. The persecuted leader is Righteous or full of faith. 3. Both the leader and his companions arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. 4. The companions are let off, but the leader is stoned. There is another connection between the account given by the book of Acts and Eusebius. In Acts there is a quote from Stephen which centres on the seldom used expression, Son of Man, Stephen: I can see heaven thrown open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. [Acts 7;56] In Eusebius there is a Son of Man but attributed to James. James: Why do you question me about the Son of Man?. I tell you, He is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power,... [Eusebius, 2. 23.] Is Eusebius simply merging the two accounts through ignorance? Or, is he giving the correct story as it was passed down through the historians? He states that he is using Hegesippus [100-180] and Clement [150-215] as his sources. We cannot check the veracity of his statement because these historians are lost to us except for the fragments found in Eusebius himself. However, in those places where we can check Eusebius with a received source, he is generally very accurate. Also, Stephen is not mentioned anywhere in Joesphus, although James is mentioned and as the leader of the early Christians. The Gospel of Thomas verifies this: (12) The disciples said to Jesus: We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader? Jesus said to them, Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous for whose sake heaven and earth came into being. [The Gospel of Thomas, Logia 12.] The other Lucan parallel is to his Gospel, where Jesus at his execution says, Forgive them for they know not what they do and Stephen makes the same exclamation at his execution. Is this a common blessing of the early Christians on their executors? Or is it merely another of Lukes literary devices? I, therefore, put forward the following reconstruction. - Stephen and James were one and the same person. He had two names, like Saul/Paul, or the name Stephen was a title rather than a personal name. Stephen comes from the Greek word for Crown or the Crowned One. Also James was thrown down from the crown or parapet of the temple. We read from the translation of the Temple Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Chambers shall be made between its [the temples] gates along the foundation as far up as its crowns (= crenellations: Yadin). [The Temple Scroll, ch. XL, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Vermes, G., Penguin, 3rd ed., p. 141] Taking into account the conditions, political and religious, in Palestine during the historical period we 83

are examining let us try to examine the events. One thing stressed in Josephus was that the stoning took place when there was no Roman Procurator present. Festus had died suddenly and there was some delay in the replacement, Albinus, being on the spot. It was this window of opportunity that allowed Ananus to execute his opponent. When Albinus finally did arrive he was very displeased at the unauthorised execution, and had to be bought off by a large bribe. The Sanhedrin did not have the power to execute anybody; only the Romans had that power. This is mentioned in the New Testament and in secular histories. How could the earlier stoning of Stephen take place without the approval of the Procurator, of which there is no mention. The order of the events differs but little, although in Acts there is the embellishment of Sauls involvement. Stephen and James are both respected holy men at the head of dissident groups. The execution led to a persecution in each case and a flight of the disciples and followers into the Judean desert; where, incidentally, Qumran was located and the Zealots/Essenes operated. The episode in Acts was put early in the book as a literary device, it fits the story better being at the start rather than at the end, which deals exclusively with Pauls history. As he, (Stephen) died, Acts reported him to have cried out, Lord, do not hold this sin against them! But that was very like what the dying Jesus, too, was reputed to have said; and this reminiscent echo by the writer of Acts is so manifestly deliberate that it arouses suspicions about the detailed veracity of the whole story of Stephen - suspicions which are deepened by the content of the speech attributed to the martyr, since surely no one can have taken down in detail what he said at the time - and besides, the version given here bears many specific signs of later literary invention. Doubts are also inspired by Acts' statement that Paul was present at Stephens death: the witnesses [at the trial?] laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul... And Saul was among those who approved of his murder. This makes a highly suitable and dramatic prelude to his conversion from persecutor to apostle, which follows very shortly afterwards. But suspicions that his link with Stephen's martyrdom is a literary device rather than a historical fact are sharpened by Paul's own statement that before his conversion he had experienced no contact at all with the Judaean Christians. Indeed, even after it, he at first only got to know Cephas (Peter) and James the just, the brother of Christ. Apart from them, I remained unknown by sight [or, personally] to Christ's congregations in Judaea Attempts have been made to get round this awkward point by suggesting that Paul was only referring here to the regions of Judaea other than Jerusalem, its capital. But it is far easier to suppose that he means what he said: he was a Jew of the Dispersion who did not come to Jerusalem until after he had been converted, so that the statement by Acts that he was an onlooker at Stephen's death in Jerusalem must be regarded as fictitious. [Archibald Robertson, Quoted in Grant, M., Saint Paul, Scribners & Sons, New York, 1976, p. 110] Due to the extraordinary political and religious events of the times between the death of Jesus and the events which led to the Jewish War less than thirty years later, caution was in the wind. Deception and disguise were the order of the day for the powerless. The contemporary Scrolls are extremely allusive and even sometimes written in code. That the history of Acts is accurate in all its timing and events goes against almost all of the contemporary Jewish literature. We can dismiss the account in Acts as to Stephens being stoned while Paul watches. Paul, in his 84

Epistles, never mentions the stoning, nor Stephen for that matter. He also denies he had ever come to Jerusalem until long after the stoning event was supposed to have happened. Josephus certainly would have noted the earlier stoning of Stephen, head of the dissidents, as he did that of James, head of the dissident party in Jerusalem. The event would also have to have been against Roman law, and surely such a serious breach as that would have been mentioned!

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Extra notes for the Flavian work closed off in 1998. All of which have been collected at random and saved for future use. There may be some duplication. It must be noted again that these notes are in no order either chronologically or by subject. My work during this period was speculative and much didnt get beyond the self-editing stage. Cliff Carrington

Den of Robbers
When the Biblical Jesus cleansed the temple of merchants he quoted the following from Jeremiah 7:11: Do you take this temple that bears my name for a robbers [] den? Was one of Josephus Jesuses thinking of the same quote when he saw that the Zealots had taken over the sanctuary? War, 4.4.3, p. 531 Accordingly, Jesus, the eldest of the high priests next to Ananus, stood upon the tower that was against them, and said thus;... They are robbers [], who by their prodigious wickedness have profaned this most sacred floor, and who are to be now seen drinking themselves drunk in the sanctuary, and expending the spoils of those whom they have slaughtered upon their unsatiable bellies. The Synoptics have another Jesus using the same quotation, in the temple: Matt. 21:10-17, Mark 11:11, Luke 19:45-46 It is written, my house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers []. All, from Jeremiah, through Josephus, to the Synoptics, use the Greek word for robbers which applies particularly to insurrectionists rather than thieves of the common sort.

Josephus in Origen
Origen, Contra Celsus, bk. 1, ch. 47 (xlvii), p. 416 For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John having been a Baptist, and promising purification to those who underwent the rite. 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 that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus, the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.

Jesus Woe to Jerusalem


War, 6.5.3, pp. 582-583 86

But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian, and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast wherein it is our custom to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, 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 the whole people! This was his cry as he went about by day and night in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say anything for himself, or anything peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words he cried before. Hereupon our rulers supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet did he not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, Woe to Jerusalem! And when Albinus asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, til Albinus took him to be a madman and dismissed him... but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if that were his premeditated vow, Woe, woe to Jerusalem!... This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with the utmost force, Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house! And just as he added the last, Woe, woe to myself also! There came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him and killed him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same passages, he gave up the ghost.

Woes & Contridictions


Woe to Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1-28) (Mark 13:1-23) (Luke 13:34-35)

As Jesus came out of the temple As he came out of the temple, one Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that and was going away, his disciples of his disciples said to him, kills the prophets and stones those came to point out to him the "Look, Teacher, what large stones who are sent to it! How often buildings of the temple. {2} Then and what large buildings!" {2} have I desired to gather your he asked them, "You see all these, Then Jesus asked him, "Do you children together as a hen gathers do you not? Truly I tell you, not see these great buildings? Not one her brood under her wings, and one stone will be left here upon stone will be left here upon you were not willing! {35} See, another; all will be thrown another; all will be thrown your house is left to you. And I down." {3} When he was sitting down." {3} When he was sitting tell you, you will not see me until on the Mount of Olives, the on the Mount of Olives opposite the time comes when you say, disciples came to him privately, the temple, Peter, James, John, 'Blessed is the one who comes in saying, "Tell us, when will this and Andrew asked him privately, the name of the Lord.'" be, and what will be the sign of {4} "Tell us, when will this be, your coming and of the end of the and what will be the sign that all age?" {4} Jesus answered them, these things are about to be "Beware that no one leads you accomplished?" {5} Then Jesus astray. {5} For many will come began to say to them, "Beware 87

in my name, saying, 'I am the that no one leads you astray. {6} (Luke 19:41-44) As he came near Messiah!' and they will lead Many will come in my name and and saw the city, he wept over it, many astray. {6} And you will say, 'I am he!' and they will lead {42} saying, "If you, even you, hear of wars and rumors of wars; many astray. {7} When you hear had only recognized on this day see that you are not alarmed; for of wars and rumors of wars, do the things that make for peace! this must take place, but the end not be alarmed; this must take But now they are hidden from is not yet. {7} For nation will rise place, but the end is still to come. your eyes. {43} Indeed, the days against nation, and kingdom {8} For nation will rise against will come upon you, when your against kingdom, and there will nation, and kingdom against enemies will set up ramparts be famines and earthquakes in kingdom; there will be around you and surround you, and various places: {8} all this is but earthquakes in various places; hem you in on every side. {44} the beginning of the birth pangs. there will be famines. This is but They will crush you to the {9} "Then they will hand you the beginning of the birth pangs. ground, you and your children over to be tortured and will put {9} "As for yourselves, beware; within you, and they will not you to death, and you will be for they will hand you over to leave within you one stone upon hated by all nations because of councils; and you will be beaten another; because you did not my name. {10} Then many will in synagogues; and you will stand recognize the time of your fall away, and they will betray before governors and kings visitation from God." one another and hate one another. because of me, as a testimony to {11} And many false prophets them. {10} And the good news will arise and lead many astray. must first be proclaimed to all {12} And because of the increase nations. {11} When they bring (Luke 21:5-6) When some were of lawlessness, the love of many you to trial and hand you over, do speaking about the temple, how it will grow cold. {13} But the one not worry beforehand about what was adorned with beautiful stones who endures to the end will be you are to say; but say whatever and gifts dedicated to God, he saved. {14} And this good news is given you at that time, for it is said, {6} "As for these things that of the kingdom will be not you who speak, but the Holy you see, the days will come when proclaimed throughout the world, Spirit. {12} Brother will betray not one stone will be left upon as a testimony to all the nations; brother to death, and a father his another; all will be thrown and then the end will come. {15} child, and children will rise down." "So when you see the desolating against parents and have them put sacrilege standing in the holy to death; {13} and you will be place, as was spoken of by the hated by all because of my name. prophet Daniel (let the reader But the one who endures to the understand), {16} then those in end will be saved. {14} "But Judea must flee to the mountains; when you see the desolating {17} the one on the housetop sacrilege set up where it ought must not go down to take what is not to be (let the reader in the house; {18} the one in the understand), then those in Judea field must not turn back to get a must flee to the mountains; {15} coat. {19} Woe to those who are the one on the housetop must not pregnant and to those who are go down or enter the house to nursing infants in those days! take anything away; {16} the one {20} Pray that your flight may in the field must not turn back to not be in winter or on a sabbath. get a coat. {17} Woe to those who {21} For at that time there will be are pregnant and to those who are

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great suffering, such as has not nursing infants in those days! been from the beginning of the {18} Pray that it may not be in world until now, no, and never winter. {19} For in those days will be. {22} And if those days there will be suffering, such as had not been cut short, no one has not been from the beginning would be saved; but for the sake of the creation that God created of the elect those days will be cut until now, no, and never will be. short. {23} Then if anyone says {20} And if the Lord had not cut to you, 'Look! Here is the short those days, no one would be Messiah!' or 'There he is!'--do not saved; but for the sake of the believe it. {24} For false elect, whom he chose, he has cut messiahs and false prophets will short those days. {21} And if appear and produce great signs anyone says to you at that time, and omens, to lead astray, if 'Look! Here is the Messiah!' or possible, even the elect. {25} 'Look! There he is!'--do not Take note, I have told you believe it. {22} False messiahs beforehand. {26} So, if they say and false prophets will appear and to you, 'Look! He is in the produce signs and omens, to lead wilderness,' do not go out. If they astray, if possible, the elect. {23} say, 'Look! He is in the inner But be alert; I have already told rooms,' do not believe it. {27} you everything. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. {28} Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Woes to Galilee. (Matthew 11:21-24) (Luke 10:13-15)

"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. {22} But I tell long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. {14} But you, on the day of judgment it will be more at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. {23} and Sidon than for you. {15} And you, Capernaum, And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. brought down to Hades. For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. {24} But I tell you that on the day of 89

judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you."

The Strange Exorcist, For or Against?


(Matthew 12:30) (Mark 9:38-40) (Luke 9:49-50)

John said to him, "Teacher, we John answered, "Master, we saw saw someone casting out demons someone casting out demons in Whoever is not with me is against in your name, and we tried to stop your name, and we tried to stop me, and whoever does not gather him, because he was not him, because he does not follow following us." {39} But Jesus with us." {50} But Jesus said to with me scatters. said, "Do not stop him; for no one him, "Do not stop him; for who does a deed of power in my whoever is not against you is for name will be able soon afterward you." to speak evil of me. {40} Whoever is not against us is for us. (Luke 11:23) Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

There is a precedent for this ambiguity which is found in Suetonius: Whereas Pompey declared that all who were not actively with him were against him and would be treated as public enemies, Caesar announced that all who were not actively against him were with him. [Julius Caesar 75.] Suetonius Matthew Mark Luke

Pompey declared that all Whoever is not with me Whoever is not with me who were not with him is against me. is against me. were against him. Whoever is not against us is for us. Whoever is not against Caesar declared that all you is for you." who were not against him were with him.

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Travels of Jesus
Just at this time some Pharisees came up [to Jesus], Go away, they said. Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you! This passage from Luke, 13:31-32, is the clue which allows one to understand the movements of Jesus around Palestine. On reading the synoptic gospels, especially Mark, one finds a strange pattern in Jesus travels. In the beginning of his mission he concentrated his activities entirely in Galilee, yet, later consistently avoided the region. Why? Jesus would have grown up in a much troubled Galilee. From 4 B.C. to 39 A.D. Galilee was governed by the Roman appointee Herod Antipas. Roman occupation was not as benign as many today might think. There were several serious uprisings of the Galilean Palestinians. Some have been described by Josephus, in his History of the Jewish War. These revolutionaries were naturally called Bandits or would-be Kings by the Romans. The Roman troops slaughtered many thousands of the followers of these revolutionaries in the years of Jesus childhood. These Galilean rebels were an ever-present thorn in the side of the orderly Roman rule. Indeed this revolutionary activity later grew into a full scale rebellion with the subsequent disastrous destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Legions! It was in the midst of all of this revolutionary activity that Jesus travelled about, drawing large crowds everywhere he went. John the Baptist, before him, had been doing the same. Ultimately John was arrested and beheaded, probably for suspected revolutionary activity. Meanwhile King Herod [Antipas] had heard about him, [Jesus], since by now his name was well known... But when Herod heard this he said, It is John whose head I cut off: he has risen from the dead! [Mark 6:14-16] When Herod Antipas had executed John, some Pharisees warned Jesus that, being thought of as Johns successor, he was next! Jesus chose the prudent path and left the territory under Herods control. According to Mark, and Luke, Jesus immediately went into the neighbouring territory of Herod Philip, to the city of Bethsaida on the north-eastern shore of the sea of Galilee. This was the closest safe place near the city of Capernaum, where Jesus had centred his activities while in Galilee. Jesus then travelled extensively. First to Tyre and Sidon in the Lebanon. From there to the Greek selfruled area of the Decapolis, or Ten Cities, which borders on the south-east shore of the Sea of Galilee. Then back to Bethsaida and north to the Roman city of Caesarea Philippi, near Old Testament Dan. Caesarea was at the foot of the holy Mount Hermon. Then Jesus went on his final journey. A brief visit to his old home base, Capernaum, at some risk perhaps. He travelled South, by the Transjordan road, to Jericho, then Bethany, and finally, Jerusalem. Jesus never returned North, to his beloved Galilee, in a mortal frame. Roman Crucifixion, with two other Bandits, as a would-be King, forestalled further missionary activity. It was up to his followers to carry on with the message. Many of them were also subsequently executed, as persons working against Roman Law & Order. The following synoptic chart may be of assistance to the reader. 91

* Places outside of Herod Antipas jurisdiction. # Places under direct Roman control. Matthew 2:23 Nazareth 3:8 Galilee to Jordan John B. (Salim?) 4:12 Nazareth to Capernaum 4:24 Galilee 8:5 Capernaum Mark. 1:9 Nazareth 1:10 Jordan, with John B. Perhaps Salim/Aenon? 1:4 Galilee 1:21 Capernaum 1:39 Galilee 2:1 Capernaum 2:13 Tiberias 3:20 Nazareth 8:28- Gadarenes 13:54 Nazareth 14:1 Herod inquires! 14:34 Gennesaret 15:22 Tyre/Sidon* 15:29 Sea of Galilee* 5:1 Gerasene/Gadrenes 5:21 Tiberias 6:1-Nazareth 6:14 Galilee, Herod Antipas & John B. 6:45 Bethsaida* 6:53 Gennesaret 7:24 Tyre/Sidon* 7:31 Sidon to Decapolis* 8:10 Dalmanutha/Magadalan? 8:22 Bethsaida* 16:13 Caesarea Philippi* 17:1 Mt. Hermon ?* 17:22 Capernaum 20:17 To Jerusalem* 20:24 Jericho # 21:1 Bethany/Jerusalem # Crucified! 8:27 Caesarea Philippi* 9:2 Mt. Hermon ?* 9:33 Capernaum 10:1 Transjordan road* 10:46 Jericho # 11:1 Jerusalem via Bethany # Crucified! 92 9:28 Caesarea Philippi* Mt. Hermon ?* 9:51 Samaria ? 13:31 Herod the Fox* 19:1 Jericho # 19:28 Jerusalem # Crucified! 9:7 Herod! 9:10 Bethsaida* Luke 2:51 Nazareth 3:22 Jordan, [Salim?] 4:14 Galilee 4:16 Nazareth 4:31Capernaum 4:44 Judea ? 5:1 Sea of Galilee 7:1 Capernaum 7:11 Nain/Capernaum 8:19 Gerasenes 8:40 Capernaum

Pauls Vision on the Road to Damascus?


Luke gives three differing versions of Pauls supposed vision while Paul, himself, in his Epistles, does not mention such a road to Damascus experience. Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, gives an allusive story about either himself or another taken up into the third heaven. He also makes a few mentions of his call through grace, even before he was born. A wild claim, but not as wild as Lukes accounts. To try and convince us of the reality of Pauls vision Luke gives no less than three versions. In the first the companions heard the voice of the Spiritual Jesus, in the second version they did not hear the voice. While in the third version it is not mentioned whether the companions heard the voice or not. Which are we to believe? Again Lukes Paul differs from the Paul of the Epistles. The vision on the road to Damascus is a fictional literary device and nothing more. Luke wishes to base Pauls Christianity on his vision of Jesus. However, Paul, himself, never mentions such a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Yet there are many people who base their belief in Christianity on Pauls vision. If the synoptic writers never saw Jesus we have no eyewitness accounts of him or his life. The fall-back line has always been that Pauls vision is an eyewitness testimony to the existence of Jesus. The problem, as we see, is that these people are using Lukes fictional account as their eyewitness. Besides that, the Jews needed two independent witnesses for a valid testimony, yet as to Jesus we have none! Lukes account of Sauls vision of the Christ
Acts 9:3-9 Lukes Story Acts 22:6-11, 17-18 To the Jews Sanhedrin Acts 26:12-20 To Herod Agrippa

Now as he was going along and "While I was on my way and "With this in mind, I was traveling to approaching Damascus, suddenly a light approaching Damascus, about noon a Damascus with the authority and from heaven flashed around him. {4} great light from heaven suddenly shone commission of the chief priests, {13} He fell to the ground and heard a voice about me. {7} I fell to the ground and when at midday along the road, your saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, Excellency, I saw a light from heaven, persecute me?" {5} He asked, "Who are why are you persecuting me?' {8} I brighter than the sun, shining around me you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' Then he and my companions. {14} When we had Jesus, whom you are persecuting. {6} said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice But get up and enter the city, and you whom you are persecuting.' {9} Now saying to me in the Hebrew language, will be told what you are to do." {7} those who were with me saw the light 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? The men who were traveling with him but did not hear the voice of the one It hurts you to kick against the goads.' stood speechless because they heard who was speaking to me. {10} I asked, {15} I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' The the voice but saw no one. {8} Saul got 'What am I to do, Lord?' The Lord said Lord answered, 'I am Jesus whom you up from the ground, and though his eyes to me, 'Get up and go to Damascus; are persecuting. {16} But get up and were open, he could see nothing; so they there you will be told everything that has stand on your feet; for I have appeared to led him by the hand and brought him been assigned to you to do.' {11} Since I you for this purpose, to appoint you to into Damascus. {9} For three days he could not see because of the brightness serve and testify to the things in which was without sight, and neither ate nor of that light, those who were with me you have seen me and to those in which drank. took my hand and led me to Damascus. I will appear to you. {17} I will rescue you from your people and from the

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Gentiles--to whom I am sending you {18} to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the Acts 22:17-18. Once, after I had got power of Satan to God, so that they may back to Jerusalem, when I was praying receive forgiveness of sins and a place in the Temple, I fell into a trance and among those who are sanctified by faith then I saw him. Hurry, he said leave in me.' {19} "After that, King Agrippa, I Jerusalem at once; they will not accept was not disobedient to the heavenly the testimony you are giving about me. vision, {20} but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds consistent with repentance.

Pauls account of his Vision of Christ


1 Corinthians 15:1-14 2 Corinthians 12:1-5 Galatians 1:15-19

Now I would remind you, brothers and It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be But when God, who had set me apart sisters, of the good news that I gained by it, but I will go on to visions before I was born and called me through proclaimed to you, which you in turn and revelations of the Lord. {2} I know his grace, was pleased {16} to reveal his received, in which also you stand, {2} a person in Christ who fourteen years Son to me, so that I might proclaim him through which also you are being saved, ago was caught up to the third heaven-- among the Gentiles, I did not confer with if you hold firmly to the message that I whether in the body or out of the body I any human being, {17} nor did I go up proclaimed to you--unless you have do not know; God knows. {3} And I to Jerusalem to those who were already come to believe in vain. {3} For I know that such a person--whether in the apostles before me, but I went away at handed on to you as of first importance body or out of the body I do not know; once into Arabia, and afterwards I what I in turn had received: that Christ God knows-- {4} was caught up into returned to Damascus. {18} Then after died for our sins in accordance with the Paradise and heard things that are not to three years I did go up to Jerusalem to scriptures, {4} and that he was buried, be told, that no mortal is permitted to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen and that he was raised on the third day repeat. {5} On behalf of such a one I days; {19} but I did not see any other in accordance with the scriptures, {5} will boast, but on my own behalf I will apostle except James the Lord's brother. and that he appeared to Cephas, then to not boast, except of my weaknesses. the twelve. {6} Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are Galatians 2:2. I went up in response to a still alive, though some have died. {7} revelation. Then I laid before them Then he appeared to James, then to all (though only in a private meeting with the apostles. {8} Last of all, as to one the acknowledged leaders) the gospel untimely born, he appeared also to me. that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in {9} For I am the least of the apostles, order to make sure that I was not unfit to be called an apostle, because I running, or had not run, in vain. persecuted the church of God.

Herods Intelligence Service


As any good despot in the ancient world Herod knew that his life and the countrys well-being 94

depended on an extensive intelligence service. By a combination of tax relief and strict control over public gatherings the carrot and stick approach was used. In other words; do your work, do not complain and you will prosper in peace. The policies adopted by Herod did indeed bring almost unprecedented prosperity to Judea for thirty years. Ant. 15. 10. 4. p. 333 At which time Herod released to his subjects the third part of their taxes, under pretence indeed of relieving them after the dearth they had had; but the main reason was, to recover their good-will, which he now wanted; for they were uneasy with him, because of the innovations he had introduced in their practices of the dissolution of their religion, and the disuse of their own customs, and that people everywhere talked against him, like those that were still more provoked and disturbed at his procedure; against which discontents he carefully guarded himself, and took away the opportunities they might have to disturb him, and he enjoined them to be always at work; nor did he permit the citizens either to meet together, or to walk, or to eat together, but watched everything they did, and when any were caught, they were severely punished; and many there who were brought to the citadel Hyrcania, both openly and secretly, and were there put to death; and there were spies set everywhere, both in the city and in the roads, who watched those who met together;... There were certain religious Zealots who vowed to kill Herod because of his bringing innovations into the religion. On one occasion Herods life was narrowly saved by his intelligence net-work when he was to be assassinated in the theatre. Ant. 15. 8. 4. p. 329 These conspirators therefore, standing prepared beforehand, went about their design with great alacrity; but there was one of those spies of Herod that were appointed for such purposes, to fish out and inform him of any conspiracies against him, who found out the whole affair, and told the king of it, just as he was about to go into the theatre... But when they were seized, they showed their daggers, and professed that the conspiracy they had sworn to was a holy and a pious action... So they were led away to execution by the kings guards... Nor was it long before that the spy who had discovered them, was seized on by some of the people, out of the hatred they bore to him; and was not only slain by them, but pulled to pieces, limb from limb, and given to the dogs. This execution was seen by many of the citizens, yet not one of them would discover the doers of it, till upon Herod making a strict scrutiny after them, by bitter and severe tortures, certain women that were tortured confess what they had see done; the authors of which fact were so terribly punished by the king, that their entire families were destroyed. And so perished the enemies of the king. This is the practical reason for a tyrants spies to be everywhere, all the time - his survival.

Herods Famine Relief


Herod could be extremely generous to his people in times of need. Ant. 9. 9. 1-2. pp. 329-330 Now on this very year, which was the thirteenth year of the reign of Herod, very great calamities came upon the country;.. for in the first place, there were perpetual droughts, and for that reason the ground was barren... and after this barrenness of the soil, that change of food which the want of corn 95

occasioned, produced distempers in the bodies of men, and a pestilential disease prevailed, one misery following on the back of another... In these circumstances he considered with himself how to procure some seasonable help;... so he cut off the rich furniture that was in his palace, both of silver and gold, insomuch that he did not spare the finest vessels he had,... but sent the money to Petronius who had been made prefect of Egypt by Caesar;.. and as he was particularly a friend to Herod, and desirous to have his subjects preserved, he gave them leave to them, in the first place, to export corn, and assisted them in every way, both in purchasing and exporting the same... And Herod, taking care that the people should understand that this help came from himself... he distributed to them their portion of corn in the exactest manner; but for those who were not able, either by reason of their old age, or any infirmity, to provide food for themselves, he made this provision for them that the bakers should make their bread ready for them. He also took care that they might not be hurt by the danger of winter, since they were in great need of clothing also, by reason of the utter destruction and consumption of their sheep and goats, they had no wool to make use of, nor anything else to cover themselves. ...for the greatness of his liberality in these distresses, which he now demonstrated beyond all expectation, did so change the disposition of the multitude towards him...

Roman Jewish Jokes


Horace, 65-8 BCE, Satires Martial, 40-104 CE, Epigrams, VII. 30, 35, 55. & XI. 94. Juvenal, 55-140 CE, Satires III. 12-14. Penguin p. 87 By the ancient dripping arches of the Capuan Gate, where once King Numa had nightly meetings with his mistress. But today Egerias grove and shrine and sacred spring are rented to Jewish squatters, their sole possession a Sabbath haybox.[1] VI. 160. p. 132-133 ...in the land where kings observe the Sabbath barefoot, where - by long established tradition pigs are suffered to attain a ripe old age. XIV. 160. pp. 266-267. Some, whose lot it was to have Sabbath fearing fathers, 96

worship nothing but clouds and the numen of the heavens, and think it as great a crime to eat pork, from which their parents abstained, as human flesh. They get themselves circumcised, and look down on Roman Law, preferring instead to learn and honour and fear the Jewish commandments, whatever was handed down by Moses in that arcane tome of his. Never to show the way to any but fellow-believers. But their fathers were the culprits; they made every seventh day taboo for all lifes business, dedicated to idleness...

Hand Over Your Books 19 May 303 A.D.


Stevenson, A New Eusebius, p.287, p.384] edited & by C.N.C. 6-87 In the eighth and seventh consulships of Diocletian and Maximian, 19th May, from the records of Munatius Felix, high priest of the province for life, mayor of the colony of Cirta arrived at the house where the Christians used to meet, the mayor said to Paul the Bishop: Bring out the writings of the law and anything else you have here, according to the order, so that you may obey the command. The Bishop: The readers have the Scriptures, but we will give what we have here. The mayor went on to visit the six remaining readers. Four produced their books without demur. One declared he had none, and the mayor was content with entering his statement on the record. The last was out, but his wife produced his books; the mayor had the house searched by the public slave to make sure that none had been overlooked. This task over, he addressed the sub deacons; If there has been any omission, the responsibility is yours. When the Christians came to power they responded to Higher Criticism thus: Letter of Constantine to the Bishops and People. Stevenson, A New Eusebius, p.384 Since Arius has imitated wicked and impious persons, it is just that he should undergo like ignominy. Wherefore as Porphyry, that enemy of piety, for having composed licentious treatises against Religion, found a suitable recompose, and such as thenceforth branded him with infamy, overwhelming him with deserved reproach, his impious writings also having been destroyed; so now it seems fit both that Arius and such as hold his sentiments should be denominated Porphyrians... And in addition to this, if any treatise composed by Arius should be discovered, let it be consigned to the flames, in order that not only his depraved doctrine may be suppressed, but also that no memorial of him be by any means left. 97

This therefore I decree, that if any one shall be detected in concealing a book composed by Arius, and shall not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offence shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment. May God preserve you! This proscription of books is the first to be made in the interests of the Christians, there followed proscriptions under Theodosius II and Valentinian III in 448. And of course this was only the start, all pagan books were to be destroyed by the church. They nearly succeeded, but, thanks to a few enlightened monks and others we have the works of the ancients such as have survived. Thanks to their courage and intelligence, even in the face of a torturous death at the stake, we have the works of our civilized past. We have a responsibility, today, to ensure their sacrifice was not in vain. We Must preserve and promote the ancient writers, the true evidence of our humanity. There were book-burnings in the U.S.A. in the 1950s, where libraries were purged by religious and right-wing fanatics, houses were searched and private books burned, though the owners usually got off with a beating. That was less than forty years ago, do not say; it could not happen again, it Could.

Tacitus & Pliny Passages are a Fake


Nero blamed the Christians for the fire in Rome, according to Tacitus alone. Annals, XV. This passage is not referred to in any Christian writings until 400 CE. Josephus, who was in Rome at the time, 64 CE, does not mention the Christian blame, and as they were still nominally Jews he would have certainly done so. Neither Clement of Rome, c. 70, nor Tertullian, c. 210, mention the passage; nor indeed any of the other 2nd and 3rd century Church Fathers. Lactantius, 4th c., has a section on Nero, however, he does not mention Tacitus passage or the Christian persecution under Nero. Indeed there is only one mention (Severus Sulpicius, 400 CE) of the passage in the first 1,100 years of Christianity. Our only reference to the Annals comes from a single 12th century manuscript. This, combined with the Flavian Testimony, is supposed to be the earliest evidence for the figure of Jesus. They are both interpolations by pious Christian copyists. The other early source, Suetonius, writing in about 115, contains one, confusing, word about a Chrestus. Because the Jews at Rome caused a continuous disturbance at the instigation of Chrestus, he (Claudius) expelled them from the city. Claudius, 25. The sense of the passage is that there was one Chrestus at Rome stirring up the Jews. That can hardly fit Christ, the Anointed One. Also Chrestus normally meant - a handy man, a slave. There is only one more early source to the Christians, or the Anointed Ones, and it is found in the Letters of Pliny the Younger, X. 96, 97. He corresponds with the emperor Trajan, in 115, asking what to do with the Christians in his province of Bithynia, near the Pontus. He describes their worship in detail. This passage is so theologically highly developed that it seems to come from a time when the church was well organized. The tenth book of Plinys letters, to Trajan, were not published by him. An anonymous person published them after Plinys death. However, by 115 Pliny had to deal with some people called Christians; or did he? This letter, 96, is so out of character with his other letters that I have my suspicions that this too is an interpolation. It is by far the fullest and longest of his letters to the emperor. The rest are short requests for favours or 98

privileges for individuals or cities. The first line is not characteristic of Pliny, nor his attitude towards the emperor; it is too fawning: It is my custom to refer all difficulties to you, Sir, for no one is better able to resolve my doubts and to inform my ignorance. And the emperors reply, 97, does not spell out for what the Christians were to be punished, nor why. It is a thinly disguised plea for tolerance, put into Trajans mouth, by a Christian apologist. The Christians were not persecuted for religion, but prosecuted for tax-dodging. At the time there was a special Jewish tax which the early Christians wanted to evade by claiming their difference from the Jews. This put them into a dilemma, they needed the Jewish Old Testament for their ancient history; they had no books of their own at that stage. The need for a Book of their own was necessary. It is not long after this that we find the first mention of a gospel. Justin Martyr, c. 135, quoted from Matthew.

Josephus Lamentations
Jewish War Preface, 1. 1, 2. Whereas the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts; I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work]. Preface, 1. 4. However, I will not go to the other extreme, out of opposition to those men who extol the Romans nor will I determine to raise the actions of my countrymen too high; but I will prosecute the actions of both parties with accuracy. Yet shall I suit my language to the passions I am under, as to the affairs I describe, and must be allowed to indulge some lamentations upon the miseries undergone by my own country. For that it was a seditious temper of our own that destroyed it, and that they were the tyrants among the Jews who brought the Roman power upon us, who unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy temple, Titus Caesar, who destroyed it, is himself a witness, who, during the entire war, pitied the people who were kept under by the seditious, and did often voluntarily delay the taking of the city, and allowed time to the siege, in order to let the authors have opportunity for repentance. But if any one makes an unjust accusation against us, when we speak so passionately about the tyrants, or the robbers, or sorely bewail the misfortunes of our country, let him indulge my affections herein, though it be contrary to the rules for writing history; because it had so come to pass, that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly, it appears to me that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to these of the Jews are not so considerable as they were; while the authors of them were not foreigners neither. This makes it 99

impossible for me to contain my lamentations. But if any one be inflexible in his censures of me, let him attribute the facts themselves to the historical part, and the lamentations to the writer himself only. 5. 1. 3. But I must restrain myself from these passions by the rules of history, since this is not a proper time for domestical lamentations, but for historical narrations; I therefore return to the operations that follow in this sedition. 5. 9. 18. And if you cannot look at these things with discerning eyes, yet, however, have pity upon your families, and set before every one of your eyes your children, and wives, and parents, who will be gradually consumed either by famine or by war. I am sensible that this danger will extend to my mother, and wife, and to that family of mine who have been by no means ignoble, and indeed to one that hath been very eminent in old time; and perhaps you may imagine that it is on their account only that I give you this advice; if that be all, kill them; nay, take my own blood as a reward, if it may but procure your preservation; for I am ready to die, in case you will but return to a sound mind after my death." 5. 13. 3. In the mean time, Josephus, as he was going round the city, had his head wounded by a stone that was thrown at him; upon which he fell down as giddy. Upon which fall of his the Jews made a sally, and he had been hurried away into the city, if Caesar had not sent men to protect him immediately; and as these men were fighting, Josephus was taken up, though he heard little of what was done. So the seditious supposed they had now slain that man whom they were the most desirous of killing, and made thereupon a great noise, in way of rejoicing. This accident was told in the city, and the multitude that remained became very disconsolate at the news, as being persuaded that he was really dead, on whose account alone they could venture to desert to the Romans. But when Josephus's mother heard in prison that her son was dead, she said to those that watched about her, That she had always been of opinion, since the siege of Jotapata, [that he would be slain,] and she should never enjoy him alive any more. She also made great lamentation privately to the maid-servants that were about her, and said, That this was all the advantage she had of bringing so extraordinary a person as this son into the world; that she should not be able even to bury that son of hers, by whom she expected to have been buried herself. However, this false report did not put his mother to pain, nor afford merriment to the robbers, long; for Josephus soon recovered of his wound,...

The Three in Paradise


(Gospel of Nicodemus, chapters 9 & 10, A-N. F., vol X, p. 452) And all the saints followed Michael the archangel, and he led them all into the glorious grace of paradise. And there met them two men, ancient of days. The saints asked them: Who are you, that have not been dead along with us in the regions below, and have been placed in paradise in the body? One of them answered, and said; I am Enoch, who by the word of the lord have been translated hither; and he who is with me is Elijah the Thesbite, who was taken up by a fiery chariot. Here also even until now we have not tasted death... Ane while the saints Enoch and Elijah were thus speaking, behold there came up another man, most wretched, carrying on his shoulders the sign of the cross. And seeing him, all the saints said to him; 100

Who art thou? because thy appearance is that of a robber. In answer to them, he said: Truly you have said that I was a robber, doing all sorts of evil upon the earth. And the Jews crucified me along with Jesus; and I saw the miracles in created things which were done through the cross of Jesus crucified, and I believed Him to be the creator of all things, and the King omnipotent; and I entreated Him, saying be mindful of me, Lord, when thou shalt have come into Thy kingdom. Immediately He accepted my entreaty, and said to me: Amen; I say to thee, to-day thou shalt be with me in paradise. And he gave me this sign of the cross, saying: Walk into paradise carrying this; and if the guardian angel of paradise will not let thee go in, show him the sign of the cross... Having done so, I said all of this to the guardian angel of paradise. And when he heard this, he immediately opened, and let me in.

Capharnaum, Gerasa and Gadara


Capharnaum The people of the country call it Capharnaum. Some have thought it to be a vein of the Nile, because it produces the Coracin fish as well as that lake does which is near to Alexandria. The length of this country extends itself along the banks of this lake that bears the same name for thirty furlongs, and is in breadth twenty, And this is the nature of that place. 9. But now, when the vessels were gotten ready, Vespasian put upon ship-board as many of his forces as he thought sufficient to be too hard for those that were upon the lake, and set sail after them. Now these which were driven into the lake could neither fly to the land, where all was in their enemies' hand, and in war against them; nor could they fight upon the level by sea, for their ships were small and fitted only for piracy; they were too weak to fight with Vespasian's vessels, and the mariners that were in them were so few, that they were afraid to come near the Romans, who attacked them in great numbers. However, as they sailed round about the vessels, and sometimes as they came near them, they threw stones at the Romans when they were a good way off, or came closer and fought them; yet did they receive the greatest harm themselves in both cases. As for the stones they threw at the Romans, they only made a sound one after another, for they threw them against such as were in their armor, while the Roman darts could reach the Jews themselves; and when they ventured to come near the Romans, they became sufferers themselves before they could do any harm to the ether, and were drowned, they and their ships together. As for those that endeavored to come to an actual fight, the Romans ran many of them through with their long poles. Sometimes the Romans leaped into their ships, with swords in their hands, and slew them; but when some of them met the vessels, the Romans caught them by the middle, and destroyed at once their ships and themselves who were taken in them. And for such as were drowning in the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water, they were either killed by darts, or caught by the vessels; but if, in the desperate case they were in, they attempted to swim to their enemies, the Romans cut off either their heads or their hands; and indeed they were destroyed after various manners every where, till the rest being put to flight, were forced to get upon the land, while the vessels encompassed them about [on the sea]: but as many of these were repulsed when they were getting ashore, they were killed by the darts upon the lake; and the Romans leaped out of their vessels, and destroyed a great many more upon the land: one might then see the lake all bloody, and full of dead bodies, for not one of them escaped. And a terrible stink, and a very sad sight there was on the following days over that country; for as for the shores, they were full of shipwrecks, and of dead bodies all swelled; and as the dead bodies were inflamed by the sun, and putrefied, they corrupted the air, insomuch that the misery was not only the object of commiseration to the Jews, but to those that hated them, and had been the authors of that 101

misery. This was the upshot of the sea-fight. The number of the slain, including those that were killed in the city before, was six thousand and five hundred. Gadara 4. 7. 4. And now Vespasian sent Placidus against those that had fled from Gadara, with five hundred horsemen, and three thousand footmen, while he returned himself to Cesarea, with the rest of the army. But as soon as these fugitives saw the horsemen that pursued them just upon their backs, and before they came to a close fight, they ran together to a certain village, which was called Bethennabris, where finding a great multitude of young men, and arming them, partly by their own consent, partly by force, they rashly and suddenly assaulted Placidus and the troops that were with him. These horsemen at the first onset gave way a little, as contriving to entice them further off the wall; and when they had drawn them into a place fit for their purpose, they made their horse encompass them round, and threw their darts at them. So the horsemen cut off the flight of the fugitives, while the foot terribly destroyed those that fought against them; for those Jews did no more than show their courage, and then were destroyed; for as they fell upon the Romans when they were joined close together, and, as it were, walled about with their entire armor, they were not able to find any place where the darts could enter, nor were they any way able to break their ranks, while they were themselves run through by the Roman darts, and, like the wildest of wild beasts, rushed upon the point of others' swords; so some of them were destroyed, as cut with their enemies' swords upon their faces, and others were dispersed by the horsemen. 5. Now Placidus's concern was to exclude them in their flight from getting into the village; and causing his horse to march continually on that side of them, he then turned short upon them, and at the same time his men made use of their darts, and easily took their aim at those that were the nearest to them, as they made those that were further off turn back by the terror they were in, till at last the most courageous of them brake through those horsemen and fled to the wall of the village. And now those that guarded the wall were in great doubt what to do; for they could not bear the thoughts of excluding those that came from Gadara, because of their own people that were among them; and yet, if they should admit them, they expected to perish with them, which came to pass accordingly; for as they were crowding together at the wall, the Roman horsemen were just ready to fall in with them. However, the guards prevented them, and shut the gates, when Placidus made an assault upon them, and fighting courageously till it was dark, he got possession of the wall, and of the people that were in the city, when the useless multitude were destroyed; but those that were more potent ran away, and the soldiers plundered the houses, and set the village on fire. As for those that ran out of the village, they stirred up such as were in the country, and exaggerating their own calamities, and telling them that the whole army of the Romans were upon them, they put them into great fear on every side; so they got in great numbers together, and fled to Jericho, for they knew no other place that could afford them any hope of escaping, it being a city that had a strong wall, and a great multitude of inhabitants. But Placidus, relying much upon his horsemen, and his former good success, followed them, and slew all that he overtook, as far as Jordan; and when he had driven the whole multitude to the river-side, where they were stopped by the current, (for it had been augmented lately by rains, and was not fordable,) he put his soldiers in array over against them; so the necessity the others were in provoked them to hazard a battle, because there was no place whither they could flee. They then extended themselves a very great way along the banks of the river, and sustained the darts that were thrown at them, as well as the attacks of the horsemen, who beat many of them, and pushed them into the current. 102

At which fight, hand to hand, fifteen thousand of them were slain, while the number of those that were unwillingly forced to leap into Jordan was prodigious. There were besides two thousand and two hundred taken prisoners. A mighty prey was taken also, consisting of asses, and sheep, and camels, and oxen. 6. Now this destruction that fell upon the Jews, as it was not inferior to any of the rest in itself, so did it still appear greater than it really was; and this, because not only the whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in it, but because the lake Asphaltiris was also full of dead bodies, that were carried down into it by the river. And now Placidus, after this good success that he had, fell violently upon the neighboring smaller cities and villages; when he took Abila, and Julias, and Bezemoth, and all those that lay as far as the lake Asphaltitis, and put such of the deserters into each of them as he thought proper. He then put his soldiers on board the ships, and slew such as had fled to the lake, insomuch that all Perea had either surrendered themselves, or were taken by the Romans, as far as Macherus. Gerasa 4. 9. 1. He also sent Lucius Annius to Gerasa, and delivered to him a body of horsemen, and a considerable number of footmen. So when he had taken the city, which he did at the first onset, he slew a thousand of those young men who had not prevented him by flying away; but he took their women and children captive, and permitted his soldiers to plunder them of their effects; after which he set fire to their houses, and went away to the adjoining villages, while the men of power fled away, and the weaker part were destroyed, and what was remaining was all burnt down. And now the war having gone through all the mountainous country, and all the plain country also, those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city; Gophna to Jamnia Some also there were who, watching a proper opportunity when they might quietly get away, fled to the Romans, of whom were the high priests Joseph and Jesus, and of the sons of high priests three, whose father was Ishmael, who was beheaded in Cyrene, and four sons of Matthias, as also one son of the other Matthias, who ran away after his father's death, and whose father was slain by Simon the son of Gioras, with three of his sons, as I have already related; many also of the other nobility went over to the Romans, together with the high priests. Now Caesar [Titus] not only received these men very kindly in other respects, but, knowing they would not willingly live after the customs of other nations, he sent them to Gophna, and desired them to remain there for the present, and told them, that when he was gotten clear of this war, he would restore each of them to their possessions again; so they cheerfully retired to that small city which was allotted them, without fear of any danger. [Josephus, Jewish War, 6. 2. 2.] [Perhaps these are the priests who later go to Jamnia to found the surviving Jewish school? Rabbi ben Zakkai and his story from the Talmud parallels this incident.] Tradition says that the Pharisaic rabbi, Johanan ben Zakkai, the deputy head of the Sanhedrin, was smuggled out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. He had opposed the revolt... He obtained permission from the Roman authorities to set up a centre for the regulation of the Jewish religion at Jabneh (Jamnia), near the coast west of Jerusalem. There the Sanhedrin and the state were buried, and in their place a synod of rabbis met.. 103

The academy at Jabneh made the annual calculations of the Jewish calendar. It completed the canonization of the Bible. It ruled that, despite the fall of the Temple, certain ceremonies, such as the solemn eating of the Passover meal, were to be regularly enacted... At Jabneh, the sword was forgotten, the pen ruled. The system was a self-perpetuating oligarchy, the academy selecting or ordaining new rabbis on the basis of learning and merit. But authority tended to be vested in families distinguished for their scholarship. In due course the progeny of Rabbi Jonathan were ousted by Rabbi Gamaliel II, son of the man who had taught St. Paul (Sic). He was recognized by the Romans as Nasi or patriarch. These scholars, as a body, declined to join the Bar Kokhba revolt. But, of course, it affected them. Scholars often had to meet secretly, Jabneh itself became untenable, and after the revolt was crushed the rabbinical authorities transferred to the town of Usha in western Galilee [then to Bet Shearim, near Nazareth, then to Tiberius and Capernaum]... At times they worked in harmony with the Rome. Their leaders received grants of imperial lands and were permitted to exercise wide judicial powers... The Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi, or Judah the prince, who lived in the second half of the second century and the beginning of the third, was a rich man attended by guards, who ruled the Jewish community both of Galilee and of the south almost like a secular potentate. Their descendants and followers, and other scholars who joined the elite, are known as the tannaim. Hillels grandson, Gamaliel the Elder, was the first of six generations, Judah Ha-Nasi the last. The next generation, beginning with Rabbi Hiya Rabbah about 220AD, inaugurated the age of the amoraim, which lasted five generations in Judea, up to the end of the fourth century. But the chief memorials to this age of collective and individual scholarship are the Jewish holy writings themselves... canonization of which was completed, as we have seen, under Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, between 70 and 132AD. [From Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews. pp. 149-153] Grail? But now at this time it was that one of the priests, the son of Thebuthus, whose name was Jesus, upon his having security given him, by the oath of Caesar, that he should be preserved, upon condition that he should deliver to him certain of the precious things that had been reposited in the temple came out of it, and delivered him from the wall of the holy house two candlesticks, like to those that lay in the holy house, with tables, and bowls [ = craters], and vials, all made of solid gold, and very heavy. He also delivered to him the veils and the garments, with the precious stones, and a great number of other precious vessels that belonged to their sacred worship. [War 6. 8. 3.]

[1] The Sabbath haybox was for keeping food hot on a day when cooking was forbidden. Penguin, note 2, p. 99

Extra notes for the Flavian work. (2) Cliff Carrington

104

Censorship Under the Flavians


Josephus, Contra Apion II, 23. However, our antiquity is sufficiently established by the Egyptian, Chaldean, and Phoenician records, not to mention the numerous Greek historians. In addition to those already cited, Theophilus, Theodotus, Mnaseas, Aristophanes, Hermogenes,... Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Life of Domitian 10. Pen. p. 301 Then Hermogenes of Tarsus died because of some incautious allusions that he had introduced into a historical work; and the slaves who acted as his copyists were crucified.

Tacitus Miracles
Tacitus, Histories Signs and Wonders Bk. 4. 81. In the course of the months which Vespasian spent at Alexandria, waiting for the regular season of summer winds when the sea could be relied upon,- many miracles occurred. These seemed to be indications that Vespasian enjoyed heaven's blessing and that the gods showed a certain leaning towards him. Among the lower classes at Alexandria was a blind man whom everybody knew as such. One day this fellow threw himself at Vespasian's feet, imploring him with groans to heal his blindness. He had been told to make this request by Serapis, the favourite god of a nation much addicted to strange beliefs. He asked that it might please the emperor to anoint his checks and eyeballs with the water of his mouth. A second petitioner, who suffered from a withered hand, pleaded his case too, also on the advice of Serapis: would Caesar tread upon him with the imperial foot? At first Vespasian laughed at them and refused. When the two insisted, he hesitated. At one moment he was alarmed by the thought that he would be accused of vanity if he failed. At the next, the urgent appeals of the two victims and the flatteries of his entourage made him sanguine of success. Finally he asked the doctors for an opinion whether blindness and atrophy of this sort were curable by human means. The doctors were eloquent on the various possibilities. The blind man's vision was not completely destroyed, and if certain impediments were removed his sight would return. The other victim's limb had been dislocated, but could be put right by correct treatment. Perhaps this was the will of the gods, they added; perhaps the emperor had been chosen to perform a miracle. Anyhow, if a cure were effected, the credit would go to the ruler; if it failed, the poor wretches would have to bear the ridicule. So Vespasian felt that his destiny gave him the key to every door and that nothing now defied belief. With a smiling expression and surrounded by an expectant crowd of bystanders, he did what was asked. Instantly the cripple recovered the use of his hand and the light of day dawned again upon his blind companion. Both these incidents are still vouched for by eye-witnesses, though there is now nothing to be gained by lying. 82. This deepened Vespasian's desire to visit the holy house of Serapis, for he wished to consult the god on matters of state. He had everyone else excluded from the temple, and went in alone, fixing his mind on the deity. Happening to glance round, he caught sight of a leading Egyptian named Basilides standing behind him. Now he knew that this man was detained by illness far from Alexandria at a place several clays' journey distant. He inquired of the priests whether Basilides had entered the temple that day. He also inquired of those he met whether he had been seen in the city. Finally he sent off a party on horse, and ascertained that at the relevant time he had been eighty miles away. Thereupon he guessed that it was the god whom he had seen and that the reply to his query lay in the meaning of the name Basilides. [Greek - Basilides = 'King's son'] 105

Josephus & Tacitus


Life, 76. p. 157 The treatment I received from the Emperors continued unaltered. On Vespasians decease Titus, who succeeded to the empire, showed the same esteem for me as did his father, and never credited the accusations to which I was constantly subjected. Domitian succeeded Titus and added to my honours. He punished my Jewish accusers. Tacitus, Histories, 1. My official career owed its beginning to Vespasian, its progress to Titus and its further advancement to Domitian... Modern times are indeed happy as few others have been, for we can think as we please, and speak as we think.

John the Baptists?


In the Gospel accounts of John the Baptist his mission was in early to mid 30s. He was supposed to have baptised Jesus at that time and to have been beheaded by Herod Antipas before 37. However the Slavonic addition to Josephus War has John baptising during the reign of Archelaus, which is thirty to forty years too early for the gospel account? Luke, ch. 1, has the birth of John during the reign of Herod the Great 40/37 to 4 BCE. This is likely and would put John at about the right age to be preaching during the reign of Herods successor, Archelaus. If John was still baptising some thirty years later, in the time of Herod Agrippa, he would have been an old man. This does not seem to be the case for the writers of the gospels. Is this the same man or were there two baptists both named John living some thirty years apart? This passage certainly fits the context of the War where it has been better located than the reference we have received in the Greek Antiquities of Josephus. Also, note the baptist in the Slavonic account is an unnamed savage; whereas in the Greek he is named as John. Slavonic Addition 9. The Forerunner. Between War 2.110 and 111 [Loeb, pp. 644-645]. Now at that time there walked among the Jews a man in wondrous garb, for he had put animals hair upon his body wherever it was not covered by his own hair; and in countenance like a savage. He came to the Jews and summoned them to freedom, saying: God hath sent me to show you the way of the Law, whereby ye may free yourselves from many masters; and there shall be no mortal ruling over you, but only the Highest who hath sent me. And when the people heard that, they were glad. And he did nothing else to them, save that he dipped them into the stream of the Jordan and let them go admonishing them to desist from evil works; so they would be given a king who would set them free and subject all the insubordinate, but he himself would be subject to no one - he of whom we speak. Some mocked, but others put faith in him. And when he was brought to Archelaus [ruled 4 BCE to 6 CE] and the doctors of the Law had assembled, they asked him who he was and where he had been until then. And he answered and spake: I am a man [pure] and hither the spirit of God hath called me, and I live on cane and roots and fruits of the tree. But when they threatened to torture him if he did not desist from these words and deeds, he spake nevertheless: It is meet rather for you to desist from your shameful works and submit to the Lord your God. And Simon, of Essene extraction, a scribe, arose in wrath and spake: We read the divine books every day; but thou, but now come forth from the wood like a wild beast, dost thou dare to teach 106

us and seduce the multitude with thy cursed speeches? And he rushed upon him to rend his body. But he spake in reproach to them: I will not disclose to you the secret that is among you, because ye desired it not. Therefore has unspeakable misfortune come upon you and through your own doing. And after he had thus spoken, he went forth to the other side of the Jordan; and since no man durst hinder, he did what he had done before.

Crossan on coincidence & Marks fiction


Bandits, Messiahs, etc. in Catoptic from pp. 451-452 p. 417 Epilogue Oscar Wilde, "The Disciple" When Narcissus died, the flowers of the field were desolate and asked the river for some drops of water to weep for him. Oh! answered the river, if all my drops of water were tears, I should not have enough to weep for Narcissus myself. I love him. Oh! replied the flowers of the field, "how could you not have loved Narcissus? He was beautiful. Was he beautiful? said the river. And who should know better than you? Each day, leaning over your bank, he beheld his beauty in your waters. If I loved him, replied the river, it was because, when he leaned over my waters, I saw the reflection of my waters in his eyes. p. 413 But, the Two Source theory of synoptic literary relations accepts the coincidence that both Matthew and Luke, separately and independently decided to unite Mark and the Sayings Source Q and decided, again separately and independently, to swallow both into their own new textual and theological compositions. [On the trials of Jesus in Mark.] p. 387 The author(s) of the Cross Gospel [considered the earliest account of the crucifixion, used by the gospels] wrote from a viewpoint strongly favourable to Roman authority and strongly critical of Jewish religious authority, blaming it, in fact, for the Jewish peoples ignorance of what had really happened. But they also presumed that Herod Antipas could be in charge of a crucifixion near Jerusalem and that people not soldiers could carry it out. I find both of these presuppositions highly unlikely. p. 390 It is impossible, in my mind, to overestimate the creativity of Mark, but those twin trials must be emphasized for what they are, namely, consummate theological fictions. It is also impossible, to my mind, to overestimate the terrible consequences of relocating such abuse... It is magnificent theological fiction, to be sure, but entailing a dreadful price for Judaism.

Authority of the Bible


Dodd, C.H., The Authority of the Bible, Collins, London, Revised edition, 1960 In its extreme form the dogma of the Infallibility of Scripture should mean that all parts of the Canon are directly and equally inspired by God, so that its every statement, whether concerning 107

the mysteries of the divine Being, the processes of nature, or the facts of history, past or future, should be exactly and literally true. Many people think they believe this; no balanced mind has ever really tried to carry it through with complete logic. There is always an instinctive or arbitrary process of selection and distribution of emphasis, and it is always possible to reconcile contradictions and smooth away difficulties by allegorical or non-natural exegesis. pp. 20-21 It is high time to assert unambiguously that the Bible contains a good deal which if it is taken out of a temporary historical context and given general and permanent validity is simply pernicious. The old dogmatic view of the Bible therefore is not only open to attack from the standpoint of science and historical criticism, but if taken seriously it becomes a danger to religion and public morals. A revision of this view is therefore an imperative necessity. p. 24 The original Canon on the other hand came into being by a process which we can no longer trace in detail. The grounds for canonicity alleged by the Fathers are not always convincing, and as in the case of the Old Testament canon we may suspect that they were rather rationalizing an existing selection than freely applying tests. p. 187 It is important to emphasize this point of view at the present time. In the last generation discontent with traditional Christian dogma coincided with a new interest in the historical criticism of the Gospels. P. 212 ...the Christian mind exercises an instinctive criticism of the Gospels. It does not really believe, though the evidence is in the earliest Gospel, that the Lord of its faith was such an one as to curse a harmless fig-tree because it failed to satisfy His craving for fruit out of season. Footnote: Mark xi. 12-14, 20-21. We may take it from Mark that Peter, or some other early witness, saw something, or heard something which may be interpreted as the cursing of a tree, but what that something may have been we cannot say; perhaps a clue may be found by comparing the fig-tree parables, Mark xiii. 28-29, Luke xiii. 6-9, xvii. 6. p. 213 There are sayings (not many, indeed) which either are simply not true, in their plain meaning, or are unacceptable to the conscience or reason of Christian people. Thus according to Mark xiii, Jesus gave an elaborate forecast of events to follow his death, ending with the categorical statement, This generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. By no legitimate ingenuity of interpretation can it be shown that anything resembling some of these events happened before A.D. 100, when the generation to which Jesus belonged may be presumed to have died out. The common-sense reply to such difficulties is that there must have been some mistake in the reporting. p. 219

Church and State, hand in glove


In the first part of the thirteenth century the Church added the Bible to its list of banned books. The laity was only allowed the Psalms and the breviary, the book of daily readings and prayers. Because people were reading the gospels for themselves they questioned the Churchs interpretation of Jesus teaching. The Church simply did not match the peoples vision of the simple Christianity of the Gospels. Heresies abounded because of this practice. The Church had already banned any alternative literature that might challenge its presence. Now, they had to ban their own Scriptures in the interest of the continuing rule by the Church over mens minds. The State was the actual instrument of the destruction of heresies, but it was guided by the Church. When a heretic was exposed they were handed over to the State for execution, without the shedding of 108

blood - ie. hanging or burning. The latter was the most entertaining and popular with the masses. The Auto de Fe or Act of Faith, the burning of Heretics, always attracted record crowds. The State was quite happy to be the instrument of terror, but it was the Church which directed that terror. Civil order was protected by the enforced obedience of the ordinances of the Church. To question the Gospels was to question existence itself, and by implication the validity of secular rule. The hand of the Church manipulated the iron glove of the State. The inconsistancies of the gospels were hidden behind a wall of enforced ignorance. Only those in the know knew and they were the last ones to expose them; their livelyhood depended on the ignorance of the masses they ruled. The pagan books were no longer a threat as they had, for the most part, been disposed of in the fires of the earlier centuries. The threat that came from the Bible was more dangerous because it formed the basis of the Churchs existence.

The Resurrection
He descended into the cave. So, for two days he continued in hiding. On the third, his secret was revealed by a woman who had been with them. The death of J. was found to be a fiction, it became known that he was alive. This is a description of a resurrection after three days. No, J. is not Jesus, but Josephus. This is from the account of the fall of Jotapata where Josephus hides in a cave for three days before he was found out by a captured woman who knew of their hiding place. He arose from the cave. After a short time he then ascended to the right hand of the Father, the Emperor. The Texts But, finding every spot guarded on his account and no means of eluding detection, he descended again into the cave. So, for two days he continued in hiding. On the third, his secret was betrayed by a woman who had been with them. War 3. 8. 1. (344) But when time revealed the truth and all that had really happened at Jotapata, when the death of Josephus was found to be a fiction, it became known that he was alive and in Roman hands... the demonstrations of wrath at his still being alive were as loud as the former expressions of affection when he was believed to be dead. War 3. 9. 6. (438) He called to mind the dreams which he had dreamed in the night time, whereby God had signified to him beforehand both the future calamities of the Jews, and the events that concerned the Roman emperors. Now Josephus was able to give shrewd conjectures about the interpretation of such dreams as have been ambiguously delivered by God. Moreover, he was not unacquainted with the prophecies contained in the sacred books, as being a priest himself, and of the posterity of priests: and just then was he in an ecstasy; and setting before him the tremendous images of the dreams he had lately had, he put up a secret prayer to God, and said, "Since it pleaseth thee, who hast created the Jewish nation, to depress the same, and since all their good fortune is gone over to the Romans, and since thou hast made choice of this soul of mine to foretell what is to come to pass hereafter, I willingly surrender to the Romans, and consent to live. And I take thee to witness that I do not go over to the Romans as a deserter of the Jews, but as a minister from 109

thee." War 3. 8. 3. When Josephus heard him give those orders, he said that he had somewhat in his mind that he would willingly say to himself alone. When therefore they were all ordered to withdraw, excepting Titus and two of their friends, he said, "Thou, O Vespasian, thinkest no more than that thou hast taken Josephus himself captive; but I come to thee as a messenger of greater tidings; for had not I been sent by God to thee, I knew what was the law of the Jews in this case? and how it becomes generals to die. Dost thou send me to Nero? For why? Are Nero's successors till they come to thee still alive? Thou, O Vespasian, art Caesar and emperor, thou, and this thy son. Bind me now still faster, and keep me for thyself, for thou, O Caesar, are not only lord over me, but over the land and the sea, and all mankind; and certainly I deserve to be kept in closer custody than I now am in, in order to be punished, if I rashly affirm any thing of God." When he had said this, Vespasian at present did not believe him, but supposed that Josephus said this as a cunning trick, in order to his own preservation; but in a little time he was convinced, and believed what he said to be true, God himself erecting his expectations, so as to think of obtaining the empire, and by other signs fore-showing his advancement. He also found Josephus to have spoken truth on other occasions; for one of those friends that were present at that secret conference said to Josephus, "I cannot but wonder how thou couldst not foretell to the people of Jotapata that they should be taken, nor couldst foretell this captivity which hath happened to thyself, unless what thou now sayest be a vain thing, in order to avoid the rage that is risen against thyself." To which Josephus replied, "I did foretell to the people of Jotapata that they would be taken on the forty-seventh day, and that I should be caught alive by the Romans." Now when Vespasian had inquired of the captives privately about these predictions, he found them to be true, and then he began to believe those that concerned himself. Yet did he not set Josephus at liberty from his hands, but bestowed on him suits of clothes, and other precious gifts; he treated him also in a very obliging manner, and continued so to do, Titus still joining his interest till the honors that were done him. War 3. 8. 9.

Obey Rome:
(1 Peter 2:13-17) For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, {14} or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. {15} For it is God's will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. {16} As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. {17} Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (Romans 6:16) Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Ephesians 6:1) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (Colossians 3:20) Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. (Ephesians 6:5) Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; (Colossians 3:22) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. 110

(Hebrews 13:17) Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing--for that would be harmful to you. (Acts 5:29) But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority.

Mount of Revelation:
(Ezekiel 40:2) He brought me, in visions of God, to the land of Israel, and set me down upon a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. (Matthew 4:8) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; (Revelation 21:10) And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.

Epaphroditus:
(Philippians 2:25-26) Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus--my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister to my need; {26} for he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. (Philippians 4:18) I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

Rome in the N.T.


(Matthew 22:17) Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" (Matthew 22:21) They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." (Mark 12:14) And they came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? (Mark 12:17) Jesus said to them, "Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were utterly amazed at him. (Luke 2:1) In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. (Luke 3:1) In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, (Luke 20:22) Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" (Luke 20:25) He said to them, "Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." 111

(Luke 23:2) They began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king." (John 19:12) From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor." (John 19:15) They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but the emperor." (Acts 17:7) and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus." (Acts 25:8) Paul said in his defense, "I have in no way committed an offense against the law of the Jews, or against the temple, or against the emperor." (Acts 25:11-12) Now if I am in the wrong and have committed something for which I deserve to die, I am not trying to escape death; but if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can turn me over to them. I appeal to the emperor." {12} Then Festus, after he had conferred with his council, replied, "You have appealed to the emperor; to the emperor you will go." (Acts 25:21) But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of his Imperial Majesty, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to the emperor." (Acts 26:32) Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to the emperor." (Acts 27:24) and he said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.' (Acts 28:19) But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to the emperor--even though I had no charge to bring against my nation. (1 Peter 2:13) For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, (1 Peter 2:17) Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Lentulus and Icons


Benz, E., The Eastern Orthodox Church, Doubleday Anchor, New York 1963, pp. 12-13 9. PRINCIPAL TYPES OF ICONS AND THEIR PLACE IN DOGMA Christ Icons A Particular type of image, which came more and more into use during the fourth and fifth centuries in representations of the holy sudarium [handkerchief used in Roman times for wiping away sweat] led to the dogmatic fixation of the Christ icon. The model was found in an apocryphal document of the early Church, the so-called Epistle of Lentulus. Lentulus is mentioned in ancient historical records as having been consul during the twelfth year of the reign of Tiberius. In the epistle Lentulus is identified as a Roman official, Pontius Pilate's superior, who happens to be in Palestine at the time of Jesus' appearance there, and who makes an official report to the emperor. The official report also included a warrant for the arrest of Jesus which ran as follows: 112

"At this time there appeared and is still living a man - If indeed he may be called a man at all - of great powers named the Christ, who is called Jesus. The people term him the Prophet of truth; his disciples call him Son of God, who wakens the dead and heals the sick - a man of erect stature, of medium height, fifteen and a half fists high, of temperate and estimable appearance, with a manner inspiring of respect, nut-brown hair which is smooth to the cars and from the ears downward shaped in gentle locks and flowing down over the shoulders in ample curls, parted in the middle after the manner of the Nazarenes, with an even and clear brow, a face without spots or wrinkles, and of healthy color. Nose and mouth are flawless; he wears a luxuriant beard of the color of his hair. He has a simple and mature gaze, large, blue-grey eyes that are uncommonly varied in expressiveness, fearsome when he scolds and gentle and affectionate when he admonishes. He is gravely cheerful, weeps often, but has never been seen to laugh. In figure he is upright and straight; his hands and arms are well shaped. In conversation he is grave, mild and modest, so that the word of the prophet concerning the 'fairest of the sons of men' (Ps. 45:2) can be applied to him." The Byzantine Christ type is modelled after this description. He appears, however, in a number of different guises, depending on the aspect of Christ's nature which is being stressed: Christ as Lord of the universe (Pantokrator); Christ as Teacher and Preacher of the gospel; Christ as the Judge of the world, with stern countenance and "terrible eye." [Lentulus is mentioned in Josephus Antiquities, 14. 10. 13. as a consul who wrote a decree favourable to the Jews. In the Dictionary of Christian Symbols the Epistle of Lentulus is mentioned as a 13th century forgery. The opening passage about Jesus being a man is taken from the Slavonic Addition on Jesus the wonder worker, Loeb, War, p. 648: At that time there appeared a man, if it is permissible to call him a man. His nature and form were human, but his appearance was something more than that of a man;]

Epictetus on when is a Jew not a Jew?


2. 9. 3. Why do you act a Jew when you are a Greek? Do you not see on what terms each is called a Jew, a Syrian, An Egyptian? And, when we see any one wavering, we are want to say, This is not a Jew, but acts one. But, when he assumes the sentiments of one who hath been baptized and circumcised, then he both really is, and is called a Jew. Thus we, falsifying our profession, are Jews in name, but in reality something else. Our sentiments are inconsistent with our discourse; far from practicing what we teach, and what we pride ourselves in the knowledge of. Thus, while we are unable to fulfil what the character of a man promises, we assume, besides, so vast a weight as that of a philosopher. As if a person incapable of lifting ten pounds should endeavour to heave the same stone with Ajax. 1. 22. 1. This is the dispute between the Jews and Syrians and Egyptians and Romans, not whether sanctity be preferable to all things, and in every instance to be pursued; but whether eating swines flesh is consistent with sanctity or not. 4. 7. 2.

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Members of Herods house


Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. [Luke 8:1-3] Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. [Acts 13:1]

Saulus-Paulus
When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him... [Acts 13:6-9]

Vespasians wound at Jotapata


Josephus: At this moment, one of the defenders of the ramparts hit Vespasian with an arrow in the sole of the foot. The wound was slight, the distance having broken the force of the missile, but the incident caused a vast commotion among the Romans; the sight of blood alarmed those immediately surrounding Vespasian, the news spread through the whole army... Mastering his pain, he hastened to show himself to all who had trembled for his life. [Josephus, War 3. 7. 22] Suetonius: Vespasian at once reformed the discipline of the army and fought one or two battles with such daring, that in the storming of a fortress he was wounded in the knee with a stone and received several arrows in his shield. [Suetonius, Vespasian 4]

The ear cut off


(Matthew 26:51) Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. (Mark 14:47) But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. (Luke 22:50) Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. (John 18:10) Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. He (Vitellius) was hauled out by a tribune named Julius Placidus. His hands were tied behind his back. Presenting a revolting spectacle with his clothes in ribbons, he was led away amid curses from many and tears from none. The squalor of his end had robbed it of pity. On the way, one of the men from the army of Germany met him. It was not clear at the time whether he was aiming was aiming a blow at Vitellius - either in fury or else in order to spare him further humiliation - or attacking the tribune. In any rate he cut off the tribunes ear, and was immediately run 114

through. [Tacitus, Histories, 3. 84.]

If the hand offends, cut it off!


(Matthew 5:30) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 18:8) "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. (Mark 9:43) If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. Josephus War 2.21.10: The rebel at Taricheae commanded by Josephus to cut off one of his own hands, and he does so to save his life.

Jesus charge of threatening the Temple


(Matthew 26:60-62) many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward {61} and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'" {62} The high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?" (Mark 14:57-58) Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, {58} "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" (John 2:19) Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

Et in Arcadia Ego
At this same time, by the direction of certain soothsayers, some vases of antique workmanship were dug up in a consecrated spot at Tegea in Arcadia and on them was an image very like Vespasian. [Suetonius, Vesp. 7.]

Jesus of Galilee
On hearing that a Galilean, named Jesus, was staying in Jerusalem, who had with him a company of six hundred men under arms, they sent for him. [Josephus, Life, 40] (1 Corinthians 15:5-6) he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time,

Theudas & Judas


(Acts 5:34-37) But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, "Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 115

The Flavian Testament


In this thesis I have made use of only primary sources - the Bible, Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius and other ancient works. My work is not derived from any modern authors, though in some points it may parallel other writers. The work, including its mistakes, is entirely my own. Indeed, from my position all of the modern works which have crossed my path are so unreadable as to be worse than useless, even positively misleading. They are consciously or unconsciously steeped in a belief structure where the major and minor premises are undemonstrable. The first premise, that there was an historical Jesus, and the second, that the gospels are histories of that Jesus, are undemonstrable outside of self-reference. It is for this reason I have undertaken this task of finally solving the Synoptic Problem, or at least providing a natural framework for its solution. All of the ancient literature we possess, excepting modern discoveries, has been filtered through almost two thousand years of official censorship. Working ones way back into the period of the creation of Christianity is like finding ones way in a labyrinth of literary false passages and dead-ends. There is, however, an almost invisible thread with which we may navigate through the maze to the historical reality of the first century of our Common Era. That thread is our own experience of what is possible in human society and what is not. For example; belief in miracles is possible, but miracles are not. Using common experience and some knowledge of how power structures operate in all times we can see the history of the gospels with clearer eyes. One instance of this is the attitude of the gospel writers; they are anti-Jewish and pro-Roman. This is unusual in documents which are supposed to originate in an underground Jewish revolutionary religious movement. They seem to come from above rather than from below. The message in the New Testament is: Obey the Romans, the Romans are friendly. Separate yourselves from the Jews, they are all treacherous. Never in my experience has a revolutionary movement had as its major rule - Obey Your Masters! This has made me reconsider what the gospels are, if they are not what they seem to be? If they are not revolutionary literature as claimed, but are pro-government tracts in disguise, they can only be propaganda. The gospels are not independent, they are clearly interdependent. They were written together for a single purpose, pro-Roman propaganda to divide the Jews. As this is what happened the effect must indicate the cause. The community of the Jews declined as the Jewish-like gentile Christian community rose in influence. When we look into how the Christian Church evolved into the power structure it was, and to a degree still is, we can trace the effect back to a cause. If we look back into the past to the beginning of Christianity the earliest literary evidence comes from the period of the Flavian dynasty - dating from after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. This is where we will find the creation of the gospels, and, unexpectedly, the new religion of Christianity. The Church took over the structure of the Roman empire, from whence it was born, when that empire was divided and almost defeated. The Eastern Church held out as the direct inheritors of Roman power for a thousand years. After some centuries of division the Western part of the empire, Europe, was united under the Roman Catholic Church. In both the East and West the methods of rule were the same, following that of Imperial Rome. Many writers may have already made these points, but what they have not done is to explain the Roman Motivation, Means, and Method for this propaganda exercise. The purpose of the Roman 116

propaganda was only meant to dilute the Jewish religion; it then got out of hand and became a religion of its own. This is where my work is unique: The Motivation, Means and Method of the Romans in creating the gospels can be demonstrated from the existing literature of the first centuries.

Eusebius on Jesus Prophecy on Jerusalem


[Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3. 7.] These thing happened in this way in the second year of the reign of Vespasian in accord with the prophetic utterances of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who foreseeing them by divine power as though already present... And when ye see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then know that her desolation is at hand. [Luke 21:20] If anyone compare the words of our Saviour with the other narratives of the historian [Josephus] concerning the whole war, how can one avoid surprise and a confession of the truly divine and supernaturally wonderful character both of the foreknowledge and of the foretelling of our Saviour?

Eusebius on the Christians under Hadrian 117-138


[Preparation for the Gospel, 154b] Come then, let us examine and prove how widely the plague of Polytheistic error held sway over the life of man before our Saviours teaching in the gospel. For we shall prove that this error was abolished and destroyed no earlier than the times of Hadrian, when Christs teaching was already shining forth like light over every region. For indeed it was proved by the statement of history that these things continued till the times of Hadrian, and have been abolished since his reign; and this was exactly the time at which the doctrine of salvation began to flourish among all mankind. [164d]

Irenaeus, Jesus 50
Against Heresies: For our Lord was born in the forty-first year of the reign of Augustus. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies, bk. 3, 21, 3.] But from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, affirming that John conveyed to them that information.... He then did not then want much of being fifty years old. bk. 2, 22, 5-6 Translators Note, p. 392 2. With respect to this extraordinary assertion of Irenaeus, Harvey remarks: The reader may here perceive the unsatisfactory character of tradition, where a mere fact is concerned. From reasonings founded on the evangelical history, as well as a preponderance of external testimony, it is most certain that our Lords ministry extended but little over three years; yet here Irenaeus states that it included more that ten years, and appeals to a tradition derived, as he says, from those who had conversed with an apostle. 117

Editors Note: p. 393 6. This statement is simply astounding, and might seem a providential illustration of the worthlessness of mere tradition unsustained by the written Word. No mere tradition could be more creditably authorized than this.

Roman Emperors:
Augustus 27 BCE-14 CE Tiberius, 14 Gaius Caligula, 37 Claudius, 41 *Nero, 54 3 Emperors, 68-69 Vespasian, 69 Titus, 79 *Domitian, 81-96 Nerva, 96-98 Trajan, 98-117 Hadrian, 117-138 Antonius Pius, 138-161 Marcus Aurelius, 161-180 Commodus, 180-196 Pertinax, 192 Severus, 193-211 Caracalla, 211-217 Macrinus, 217 Elagabalus, 218 Alexander, 222 Maximin, 235 Gordian, 238 Philip, 244 *Decius, 249 Gallus, 251 Valarian & Gallienus, 253 Galluenus, 261 118

Claudius, 268 Aurelian, 270 Probus, 276 Carus, 282 *Diocletian, 284, Maximian, 286 Constantius, 305 Licinius, 308 Constantine, to 337 [* = persecutions]

Warrior Code
Jewish War, 6. 1. 5. [Titus speech to his demoralized soldiers] As for myself, I shall at present wave any commendation of those who die in war, and omit to speak of the immortality of those men who are slain in the midst of their martial bravery; yet cannot I forbear to imprecate upon those who are of a contrary disposition, that they may die in time of peace, by some disease or other, since their souls are condemned to the grave, together with their bodies. For what man of virtue is there who does not know, that those souls which are severed from their fleshly bodies in battles by the sword are received by the ether, that purest of elements, and joined to that company which are placed among the stars; that they become good demons, and propitious heroes, and show themselves as such to their posterity afterwards? While upon those souls that wear away in and with their distempered bodies comes a subterranean night to dissolve them to nothing, and a deep oblivion to take away all the remembrance of them, and this notwithstanding they be clean from all spots and defilements of this world; so that, in this ease, the soul at the same time comes to the utmost bounds of its life, and of its body, and of its memorial also. But since he hath determined that death is to come of necessity upon all men, a sword is a better instrument for that purpose than any disease whatsoever. Why is it not then a very mean thing for us not to yield up that to the public benefit which we must yield up to fate?

Josephus Shipwreck
I reached Rome after being in great jeopardy at sea. For our ship foundered in the midst of the sea of Adria our company of some six hundred souls had to swim all that night. About daybreak, through Gods good providence, we sighted a ship of Cyrene, and I and certain others, about eighty in all, outstripped the others and were taken on board. Landing safely at Puteoli, I formed a friendship... Josephus Life, 3. Pauls version When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little 119

farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms. Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. Acts 27:27-29 Extra notes for the Flavian work. (3) Cliff Carrington

A Pre-Christian Christology
The Word To His Word [], His chief messenger, highest in age and honour, the Father of all has given the special prerogative, to stand on the border and separate the creature from the Creator. This same Word both pleads with the immortal as supplant for afflicted mortality and acts as ambassador of the ruler to the subject. He glories in this prerogative and proudly described it in these words and I stood between the Lord and you. (Deut. V. 5), that is neither uncreated as God, nor created as you, but midway between the two extremes, a surety to both sides; to the parent pledging the creature that it should never altogether rebel against the rein and choose disorder rather than order; to the child, warranting his hopes that the merciful God will never forget His own work. For I am the harbinger of peace to creation from that God whose will is to bring wars to an end, who is ever the guardian of peace.
(Philo Judaeus, Who is the Heir, 205-207, Loeb, pp. 385-387. In the translators introduction, p. 277, this is mentioned as a passage which must surely have deeply impressed his Christian readers. I am sure they would be deeply impressed! [C.N.C.])

The Son of God But they who live in the knowledge of the One are rightly called Sons of God [ ], as Moses also acknowledges when he says, Ye are sons of the Lord God (Deut. XIV 1)... But if there be any as yet unfit to be called a Son of God [ ], let him press to take his place under Gods First born, the Word, who holds the eldership among the angels, their ruler as it were. And many names are His, for he is called the Beginning, and the Name of God, and His Word, and the Man after His Image, and he that sees, that is Israel. For if we have not yet become fit to be thought sons of God yet we may be sons of His invisible image, the most holy Word. For the Word is the eldest-born image of God. ( Philo, The Confusion of
Tongues, 145-148)

The Rising One I have heard also an oracle from the lips of one of the disciples of Moses, which runs thus: Behold a man whose name is the rising [], (Zech. VI 12), strangest of titles, surely if you suppose that a being composed of soul and body is here described. But if you suppose that it is that Incorporeal one, who differs not a whit from the divine image, you will agree that the name of rising assigned to him quite truly describes him. For that man is the eldest son, whom the Father of all raised him up, and elsewhere calls him His first-born, and indeed the Son thus begotten followed in the ways of his 120

Father. (Philo, The Confusion of Tongues, 62-63) Here we have, from Philo Judaeus, the foundations for a Christology. Perhaps the foundation of the imagery which was later transferred to Jesus as Christ. We have the Word, the Son of God and the Rising One. What more do we need? Add a virgin birth, a few miracles, then a crucifixion with a rising and we have it all. Philo died shortly after 41 CE. These works were written considerably earlier, probably in the 20s or 30s of our era. In other words, about the time of Jesus ministry, or slightly before. These ideas were contemporary with Jesus and were studied by his followers trying to understand His message. That is if there was an historical Jesus the Christ to consider at all.

All we have on Justus of Tiberias


Photius, 820-891 CE, Bibliotheca, cod. 33. Cited in Whistons Josephus p. 18 footnote. I have read the chronology of Justus of Tiberias, whose title is this, The Chronology of the Kings of Judah, which succeeded one another. He begins his history from Moses, and ends it not till the death of Agrippa, the seventh ruler of the family of Herod, and the last king of the Jews; who took government under Claudius, had it augmented under Nero, and still more augmented by Vespasian. He died in the third year of Trajan, where also his history ends. He is very concise in his language, and slightly passes over these affairs that were most necessary to be insisted on; and being under Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself a Jew by birth, he makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, or what things happened to Him, or of the wonderful works He did. He was the son of a certain Jew, whose name was Pistus. He was a man, as he is described by Josephus, of a most profligate character; a slave to both money and to pleasures. In public affairs he was opposite to Josephus; and it is related that he laid many plots against him; but that Josephus, though he had his enemy frequently under his power, did only reproach him in words and so let him go without further punishment. He says also that the history which this man wrote is for the main fabulous and chiefly those parts where he describes the Roman war with the Jews, and the taking of Jerusalem.

Prior Robert & Josephus


Johnson, P., A History of the Jews, pp. 206-207 Even the Jewish historian, Josephus, had written the truth about Jesus (it was in fact an obvious interpolation when the manuscript chain was under Christian control), but the Jews set their faces against it. It was not ignorance. It was malice. Here is a comment from the twelfth-century historian Gerald of Wales: even the testimony of their historian, whose books they have in Hebrew and consider authentic, they will not accept about Christ. But Master Robert, the Prior of St Frideswide at Oxford, whom we have seen and was old and trustworthy ... was skilled in the scriptures and knew Hebrew. He sent to diverse towns and cities of England in which Jews have dwellings, from whom he collected many Josephuses written in Hebrew ... and in two of them he found this testimony about Christ written fully and at length, but as if recently scratched out; but in all the rest removed earlier, as if never there. And when this was shown to the Jews of Oxford summoned for that purpose, they were convicted, and confused at this fraudulent malice and bad faith towards Christ. 121

The tragedy of this Christian line of argument was that it led directly to a new kind of antiSemitism. That the Jews could know the truth of Christianity and still reject it seemed such extraordinary behaviour that it could scarcely be human. Works of Geraldis Cambrensis, Edited by J. S. Brewer, 1861-1891, Volume 8, p. 65 Also see Feldman, Josephus, and Cecil Roth.

Titus Oracle
Tacitus, Histories, 2, 1-5 Titus Vespasian had been sent from Judaea by his father while Galba still lived, and alleged as a reason for his journey the homage due to the Emperor, and his age, which now qualified him to compete for office. But the vulgar, ever eager to invent, had spread the report that he was sent for to be adopted. The advanced years and childless condition of the Emperor furnished matter for such gossip, and the country never can refrain from naming many persons until one be chosen. The report gained the more credit from the genius of Titus himself, equal as it was to the most exalted fortune, from the mingled beauty and majesty of his countenance, from the prosperous fortunes of Vespasian, from the prophetic responses of oracles, and even from accidental occurrences which, in the general disposition to belief, were accepted as omens. At Corinth, the capital of Achaia, he received positive information of the death of Galba, and found men who spoke confidently of the revolt of Vitellius and of the fact of war. In the anxiety of his mind, he sent a few of his friends, and carefully surveyed his position from both points of view. He considered that if he should proceed to Rome, he should get no thanks for a civility intended for another, while his person would be a hostage in the hands either of Vitellius or of Otho; that should he turn back, the conqueror would certainly be offended, but with the issue of the struggle still doubtful, and the father joining the party, the son would be excused; on the other hand, if Vespasian should assume the direction of the state, men who had to think of war would have to forget such causes of offence. These and like thoughts made him waver between hope and fear; but hope triumphed. Some supposed that he retraced his steps for love of Queen Berenice, nor was his young heart averse to her charms, but this affection occasioned no hindrance to action. He passed, it is true, a youth enlivened by pleasure, and practised more self-restraint in his own than in his father's reign. So, after coasting Achaia and Asia, leaving the land on his left, he made for the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus, and then by a bolder course for Syria. Here he conceived a desire to visit and inspect the temple of the Paphian Venus, place of celebrity both among natives and foreigners. It will not be a tedious digression to record briefly the origin of the worship.... Titus, after surveying the treasures, the royal presents, and the other objects which the antiquarian tendencies of the Greek arbitrarily connect with some uncertain past, first consulted the oracle about his voyage. Receiving an answer that the way was open and the sea propitious, he then, after sacrificing a number of victims, asked some questions in ambiguous phrase concerning himself. Sostratus (that was the name of the priest) seeing that the entrails presented an uniformly favourable appearance, and that the goddess signified her favour to some great enterprise, returned at the moment a brief and ordinary answer, but afterwards soliciting a private interview, disclosed the future. His spirits raised, Titus rejoined his father, and was received as a mighty pledge of success by the wavering minds of the provincials and the troops. Vespasian had all but completed the Jewish war, and 122

only the siege of Jerusalem now remained, an operation, the difficulty and arduousness of which was due, rather to the character of its mountain citadel and the perverse obstinacy of the national superstition, than to any sufficient means of enduring extremities left to the besieged. As we have mentioned above, Vespasian himself had three legions inured to war. Mucianus had four under his command in his peaceful province. Emulation, however, and the glory won by the neighbouring army had banished all tendency to sloth, and unbroken rest and exemption from the hardships of war had given them a vigour equivalent to the hardihood which the others had gained by their perils and their toils. Each had auxiliary forces of infantry and cavalry, each had fleets and tributary kings, and each, though their renown was of a different kind, had a celebrated name.

James Lords Brother in Clementinia


Recognitions, 4. 35 CHAP. XXXV.--FALSE APOSTLES. "Wherefore observe the greatest caution, that you believe no teacher, unless he bring from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord's brother, or of whosoever may come after him.[4] For no one, unless he has gone up thither, and there has been approved as a fit and faithful teacher for preaching the word of Christ,--unless, I say, he brings a testimonial thence, is by any means to be received. But let neither prophet nor apostle be looked for by you at this time, besides us. For there is one true Prophet, whose words we twelve apostles preach; for He is the accepted year of God, having us apostles as His twelve months. But for what reason the world itself was made, or what diversities have occurred in it, and why our Lord, coming for its restoration, has chosen and sent us twelve apostles, shall be explained more at length at another time. Meantime He has commanded us to go forth to preach, and to invite you to the supper of the heavenly King, which the Father hath prepared for the marriage of His Son, and that we should give you wedding garments, that is, the grace of baptism;[5] which whosoever obtains, as a spotless robe with which he is to enter to the supper of the King, ought to beware that it be not in any part of it stained with sin, and so he be rejected as unworthy and reprobate. Homilies 11.35. CHAP. XXXV.--"BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS." Then after three months were fulfilled, he ordered me to fast for several days, and then brought me to the fountains that are near to the sea, and baptized me as in ever-flowing water. Thus, therefore, when our brethren rejoiced at my God-gifted regeneration, not many days after he turned to the elders in presence of all the church, and charged them, saying: "Our Lord and Prophet, who hath sent us, declared to us that the wicked one, having disputed with Him forty days, and having prevailed nothing against Him, promised that he would send apostles from amongst his subjects, to deceive. Wherefore, above all, remember to shun apostle or teacher or prophet who does not first accurately compare his preaching with that of James, who was called the brother of my Lord, and to whom was entrusted to administer the church of the Hebrews in Jerusalem,--and that even though he come to you with witnesses:(4) lest the wickedness which disputed forty days with the Lord, and prevailed nothing, should afterwards, like lightning falling from heaven upon the earth, 292 send a preacher to your injury, as now he has sent Simon upon us, preaching, under pretence of the 123

truth, in the name of the Lord, and sowing error. Wherefore He who hath sent us, said, 'Many shall come to me in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them.'"

Flavia Julia Helena


Richard of Cirencester, 1335-1401, Speculum Historiale de Gestis Regum Angliae, 447-1066, (edited Prof. Mayor, Rolls series, 1863-69), pp. 444-445 Ch. 6, #26. I now proceed to the Flavian province: but for want of authentic documents, am unable to ascertain whether it derived its name from Flavia Julia Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who was born in these parts, or from the Flavian family. #28. to which Lucan alludes - Territa quesitis ostendit terga Britannis. But on the coming of Claudius, they, with the neighbouring people, were subdued, and their country reduced to a Roman province, first called Caesarinesis, and afterwards Flavia. #29 Near to the Cassii, where the river Thamesis (Thames) approaches the ocean... Londinium their metropolis, and Camalodunum situated near the sea for the purpose of establishing colonies. In this city was supposed to be born Flavia Julia Helena, the pious wife of Constantine Chlorus and mother of Constantine the Great, who descended from the blood of British kings. It was a chief colony of the Romans in Britain, and distinguished by a temple of Claudius, an image of Victory, with many ornaments. But Londinium was and will ever be a city of great eminence.

Carmelite Texts
Translated into English by Wade Blocker: 1. And indeed in the 45th year from the suffering (passion) of the Lord, the Roman empire ruling, in the time of the emperors Titus and Vespasian, in (near?) Jerusalem at (in?) the Golden Gate, religious women (female religious order?) settled, in the seventh year of the rule of Vespasian. NOTE: or perhaps it ought to be translated: "in (near?) Jerusalem at (in?) the Golden Gate, they settled religiously (devoutly, for religious purposes?). The word "religiose" might be an adverb here, or it might be the medieval spelling for "religiosae" in which case it could mean "religious women". There is not enough context to know which is best. NOTE: The phrase "regnante Romano imperio" is an ablative absolute expression denoting attendant circumstances which can be variously translated. The phrase "the Roman empire ruling" is a literal translation. It might be better to translate it "under the rule of the Roman empire" or some such similar expression. 2. Furthermore in the 45th year after the suffering (passion) of (our) Lord, Titus and Vespasian. the emperors of the Romans, with a great army, in order to avenge the death of Christ, in the seventh year of their reign, capturing (having captured) Jerusalem and the Jewish people, dismissed (sent away, let go) unharmed the afore mentioned sons of the prophets honored with gifts because of their reverence for Christ, as is clearly declared in the Jerusalem History. 3. Whence in the Roman Chronicles is read thus: "It was in the time of the preaching of Jesus Chrisst that they summoned (sent for) brothers from (of) Mount Caramel. And certain of them in the seventh year from the passion (suffering) of the Lord, the Roman empire ruling, and in the time of the emperors 124

Titus and Vespasian, settled devoutly (religiously, for religious purposes?) near (in) Jerusalem at (in) the Golden Gate, in which place in the time of the blessed apostle Peter they took a stand for the catholic faith in diverse places in the region adjacent on all sides to the Antioch church(?) itself." Paraphus III 4. Then the darkness went away, light came into the world. They heard our Lord Jesus Christ preaching. Who devoutly (translation of "religiose"?) receiving the catholic faith were baptized in Christ. Whence in the Roman Chronicles is thus read: "In the time of the preaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, they summoned (invited?) brothers from Mount Carmel. And certain of them in the 7th year from the passion (suffering) of the Lord, the Roman empire ruling, before the time of the emperors Titus and Vespasian, settled devoutly(?) near (in?) Jerusalem at (in?) the Golden Gate. In which place in the time of the blessed apostle Peter they took a stand for the catholic faith in diverse places in the region adjacent on all sides to the church itself of Antioch." 5. In the year 5184 of the creation of the world, in the year 910 of the translation of Saint Elias into paradise and the taking(?) [maybe "placing?", translation of "praelatia"] of the blessed Eliseus (spelling?) above (over) the sons of the prophets Caarmelitas, the Word became flesh, borne of the virgin Maria. In the year 83 from the incarnation of the Word of God, in the year 50 from the passion (suffering) of our same Lord, and the year 7 from the laying waste of Jerusalem by Titus and Vespasian, the Carmelites called thus in honor of the Virgin mother are selected to build a chapel (church?) on (Mount) Carmel. NOTE: The third line of the paragraph just above is a shaky translation. A better translation might be: ...Vespasian, the Carmelites so called are selected to build a chapel (church?) on (Mount) Carmel in honor of the Virgin mother. 6. Likewise in a certain ancient chronicle, which is called the Roman Chronicle, of the time of the emperors Titus and Vespasian, it is said thus: "Of (from, in?) the time of the prophets Elias(spelling?) and Eliseus(spelling?) who tarried (lingered, spent time, lived?) on Mount Carmel, close by the city of Nazareth of our Lord, devout men were accustomed to live apart up to the time of the Savior [that is the literal translation, but does it perhaps mean "in expectation of the coming of the Savior" or "to the time of the coming of the Savior"?]. Who finally confirmed (strengthened) in faith by the preaching apostles first constructed on one side of the same mountain a church in honor of the blessed virgin Maria. 7. Likewise in the same chronicle is elsewhere found: "It was in the time of the preaching of Jesus Christ that hermits (anchorites) from Mount Carmel entered Jerusalem. Certain of whom in the year 47 from the suffering (passion) of the Lord, the Roman empire ruling under Titus and Vespasian, settled devoutly(?) near (in?) Jerusalem at the Golden Gate. Some truly in the time of the blessed apostle Peter advocated in behalf of (took a stand for, preached for?) the catholic faith in diverse places in the region adjacent on all sides to the church of Antioch itself." I have translated this material to the best of my ability. It is a little difficult since the meanings of a lot of words in late latin and medieval latin can differ considerably from their meanings in classical latin, which last are the meanings you learn in usual latin courses. One of the problems is that there are no comprehensive dictionaries of this later latin easily available and the word meanings are very diverse 125

depending upon just when the document was written. For instance, the word "capella" in classical latin means "little goat" but in "capella" means something like "chapel" or "church" which meaning you can latin dictionary, but only in dictionaries specialising in late latin or medieval writers were so uneducated in latin grammar, vocabulary, and spelling that no the variations in meaning and usage that occur. your document above not find in a classical latin. Also many later dictionary presents all

I am still not sure how I should have translated the word "religiose" in this material. I could not find it in any dictionary I have. Classically it would be an adverb meaning "religiously" but who knows what it means medievally. Also as I pointed out above it could be the medieval spelling for "religiosae" which is a plural feminine noun meaning "religious women" or a variation of that meaning. Maybe "devoutly" is the best translation. It would probably require an expert in late and medieval latin to produce a really definitive translation of this material, if it can be done at all. I really think that in many cases we can not be sure that we truly understand what the writer's meaning in a bit of latin was. There is no such thing as a unique translation from one language into another. When I read the Loeb translation into English of some of the latin writers I very frequently disagree with the translation, and the translators are supposed to be experts.

Titus et Vespasian in Marlow


Christopher Marlow; The Jew of Malta, act two, scene three: Barabas: In spite of these swine-eating Christians, (Unchosen nation, never circumcisd, Such as, poor villains, were neer thought upon Till Titus and Vespasian conquerd us,) I am become as wealthy as I was.

Therapeutae as Early Christian Types


Eusebius draws a Christian conclusion to just about anything that suits his purpose of demonstrating the antiquity of the new religion. Eusebius draws on Josephus, especially the famous, or infamous, Flavian Testimony. Eusebius also uses the first century Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus. In his History Eusebius writes: Peter mentions Mark in his first epistle... The elect one in Babylon greets you, and Marcus my son... They say that this Mark was the first to be sent to preach in Egypt the Gospel which he had also put into writing, and was the first to establish churches in Alexandria itself. The number of men and women who were converted at the first attempt was so great, and their asceticism was so extraordinary philosophic, that Philo[1] thought it right to describe their conduct and assemblies and meals and all the rest of their manner of life.[2] He says that they and the women with them were called Therapeutae and Therapeutides, and enters upon the reason for such a name... since the title of Christian had not yet become well known everywhere... But if anyone doubt that what has been said is peculiar to life according to the Gospel, and think it can be applied to others besides those indicated, let him be persuaded 126

by the following words of Philo in which he will find, if he be fair, indisputable testimony on this point. ...We think that these words of Philo are clear and indisputably refer to our communion.[3] In the Translators, introduction to The Contemplative Life attention is brought to this passage from Eusebius: It [the Life] owes its fame to the controversies which have raged round it since the fourth century. The thing began when Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. ii. 17 discovered in the Therapeutae a picture of the first Christian converts. After noting the traditional evangelization of Alexandria by St. Mark, he declares that no one could possibly doubt that Philo was referring to the first generation of his converts... Nowadays it seems needless to argue that the theory has no foundation whatever.[4] Philo was born about 30 BCE and died after 41 CE. The Contemplative Life was written as a counterpart to his description of the Essenes which is found, mainly, in his early work Every Good Man is Free. These two works are thought to be early works of Philo because of the secular nature of his examples, whereas in his later works almost all of his examples are from the Old Testament. They must have been written before Philo was more than thirty years old. This means that the dating of Marks evangelism in Alexandria by the overly enthusiastic Eusebius is clearly impossible. That Philo could be describing established Christians before Christ is absurd, and with it the whole story of Mark. Only pious hopes would maintain that connection. In the Life Philo mentions that the Therapeutae anointed, themselves every seventh day. They anoint the body, releasing it just as you might the lower animals from the long spell of toil.[5] We are following the translation of Conybeare as given in the notes to the Loeb text. This is the only mention of these anointed ones in the early literature that has survived. One must wonder if this essay owes its preservation to the supposed mention of the early Christians? The practice of anointing reminds one of the Gospels where it is Jesus who is anointed. The Christ means the Anointed One in Greek. If these people that Philo mentions did anoint themselves they could be the proto-type of the early Christian communities. The Christians in the fourth century certainly thought this was the case. In the history by Sulpicius, from the fourth century, there is a mention of Jews and Christianos as being the subjects of the same curse. They are put together as those who will wither when the root of the temple is destroyed. In a footnote from the Introduction of Josephus War the translator says: Dr. Eisler suggests that Christiani [Anointed Ones] may be a general designation for Jewish Messianst rebels; but here I hesitate to follow him.[6] As a Christian first and a historian second he certainly would hesitate in following such a radical belief as a pre-existing sect of Christiani before Christ! Perhaps the Christiani are the Therapeutae about whom Philo writes. The early Christian monastic movement must have had some connection, or at least contact, with these communities. Philo himself used to go into desert seclusion on occasion: For many a time have I myself forsaken friends and kinsfolk and country and come into a wilderness, to give my attention to some subject demanding contemplation.[7] 127

This is probably how he came to know of the sect and to write with such approval of them. They certainly seem to be the model the early Christians attempted to follow: Community of goods, a chaste life spent in worship, communal meals and worship on the seventh day. A life spent in the mystical contemplation of God would be an attractive alternative to the rough and tumble of life under Imperial Rome. These communities must have flourished long before the Christians came along and appropriated whatever was good in the old religious practices. Philo states that this kind of life was widespread in the ancient world of his time: This kind exists in many places in the inhabited world [], for perfect goodness must needs be shared both by Greeks and the world outside Greece.[8] This is perhaps what the early Christians encountered in their spreading missionary activity. This is almost a ready-made environment for the Christian evangelists and monasticism. It is in this essay of Philos that we first find the word monastery (Greek = monasterion). The next mention of the term is not found until the end of the third century, when it has acquired the sense of a building or establishment for a single monk or hermit.[9] In the original sense, as found in Philo, it designated one room in a house where a person could retire in seclusion for meditation.

The Desposyni
Desposyn.doc [In this chapter Eusebius, History of the Church, is quoting from Julius Africanus Book 1, chapter 7. But Antipater having been slain by those who were envious of his great good fortune was succeeded by his son Herod, who was afterward, by a decree of the senate, made King of the Jews under Antony and Augustus. His sons were Herod and the other tetrarchs. These accounts agree also with those of the Greeks. ...Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called, Desposyni on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazaraeth and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of Chronicles as faithfully as possible. Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing. better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth [?]." [The following is from Hegesippus.] 128

Bk 3, ch. 12 He also relates that Vespasian after the conquest of Jerusalem gave orders that all that belonged to the lineage of David should be sought out, in order that none of the royal race might be left among the Jews; and in consequence of this a most terrible persecution again hung over the Jews. Bk 3, ch. 17 ...Vespasian had planned no evil against us. Bk 3, ch. 19 & 20 But when this same Domitian had commanded that the descendants of David should be slain, an ancient tradition says that some of the heretics brought accusation against the descendants of Jude, on the ground that they were of the lineage of David and were related to Christ himself. Hegesippus relates these facts in the following words. "Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord's brother according to the flesh. Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. For Domitian feared the coming of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed that they were. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how much money they owned. And both of them answered that they had only nine thousand denarii, half of which belonged to each of them; and this property did not consist of silver, but of a piece of land which contained only thirty-nine acres, and from which they raised their taxes and supported themselves by their own labor." Then they showed their hands, exhibiting the hardness of their bodies and the callousness produced upon their hands by continuous toil as evidence of their own labor. And when they were asked concerning Christ and his kingdom, of what sort it was and where and when it was to appear, they, answered that it was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly and angelic one, which would appear at the end of the world, when he should come in glory to judge the quick and the dead, and to give unto every one according to his works. Upon hearing this, Domitian did not pass judgment against them, but, despising them as of no account, he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church. But when they were released they ruled the churches because they were witnesses and were also relatives of the Lord. And peace being established, they lived until the time of Trajan. These things are related by Hegesippus. Bk 3, ch. 32 The same historian says that there were also others, descended from one of the so-called brothers of the Saviour, whose name was Judas, who, after they had borne testimony before Domitian, as has been already recorded, in behalf of faith in Christ, lived until the same reign. He writes as follows: They came, therefore, and took the lead of every church as witness and as relatives of the Lord. And profound peace being established in every church, they remained until the reign of the Emperor Trajan.

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Eusebius sources for these passages. He is quoting from the Letter to Aristides of Julius Africanus c. 240 CE, also found in A-N. F., volume 6. Julius Africanus was an early Christian Chronographer and literary critic. As such he was very interested in the family of Jesus and its lineage. His work on the first century and a half CE is hopelessly inaccurate and self-contridictory. Hegesippus is apparently from the 3rd century. We only know of him through Eusebius. Hegesippus mistakenly has Vespasian at the siege of Jerusalem, when it was his son Titus who besieged the city. Vespasian was ruling in Rome at the time. The Jewish Talmud makes the same mistake in reference to Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, who was spirited out of the besieged city, by his disciples, in a coffin. He was supposed to have been granted a safe haven for himself and his scholars in Jamnia by Vespasian. Josephus does not record the incident, but, another where Titus grants a safe haven to some priests at Gophna. War 6. 2. 2.] Saul/Paul himself, if the Letter to the Philippians is truely his, gives the act away: All the Saints send their greetings, especially those of the Imperial household. Phil. 4:22 Members of the Imperial household or more properly Caesars house were the Emperors men or Desposyni. Notes The Romans had control over the appointment of client kings by a decree of the senate. The Jews thought it vitally important to be able to trace back their lineage to the patriarchs. The story of Herod destroying the archives is just another slander, they were destroyed by the Romans in the conquest of Judea. The Georae are defined as small land holders, such as we find below with the two descendants of David. Desposyni = the Despots men. The Emperors men! Liddell and Scott define the word as referring to the Imperial service, or household, in Roman times. It does not seem an appropriate appellation for the family of the Saviour. Nazaraeth and Cochaba, villages of Judea? Nazaraeth is in Galilee not Judea, and Cochaba is otherwise unknown as a place name. Simon bar Cochaba was the leader, Messiah, of the second Jewish war which ended in 135 CE. What is Eusebius doing here? A standard Christian stance, held in the face of facts, that In any case the Gospel states the truth. There is a contradiction with these two passages about Vespasian. In the first Vespasian sought out the lineage of David, presumably to destroy them. In this second notice, probably by Eusebius himself, Vespasian had planned no evil against us, which is in direct contradiction to the previous passage from Africanus. It was unlikely to have been Vespasian in the first place, but, rather Titus. Domitian is then credited with the seeking out of the descendants of David. He had the last of the family of David brought before him for examination as to the possible danger they may threaten the empire.

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The only two descendants of David turned out to be poor land holders, Georae, with a piece of land only thirty-nine acres, which they farmed by their own labor. When questioned about their concept of their Christian kingdom. They replied with a politically safe answer that it was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, and that it was far in the future and would appear at the end of the world. Domitian despising them as of no account, he let them go, they were considered to be no threat to the empire. The descendants of David go into the Emperors presence as poor peasants; But when they were released they ruled the churches? This is quite a promotion. They took the lead of every church and they remained until the reign of the Emperor Trajan, who ruled 98-117 CE.

Why a Messiah from the House of David?


I have not been able to find a contemporary Jewish source which describes what or who a Messiah is, how to identify him, nor exactly what he was supposed to do. Searching the Jewish Scriptures reveals nothing concrete about the house of David producing a Messiah. There is a passage from an 8th c. BCE prophet, Isaiah, where the house of David will be given a sign [7: 10-14]. A son will be born of a young woman, not a virgin, and he will be called Immanuel. Isaiah is addressing king Ahaz, from the house of David, before the destruction and exile of the Jews to Babylon. The anointed kings start with Saul, and David. Then Davids son, Solomon, was anointed by the priest Zadok. The last anointed king, according to Isaiah, [45:1], is the Persian king Cyrus, anointed by God, who will save Israel. In the Christian Scriptures Matthew mentions the son of David ten times, Mark three (in two passages) and Luke as many as Mark. Both Mark and Luke share their passages with, or from, Matthew. It is Matthew who has introduced the concept of a Messiah being from the house of David [22:42]. In other contemporary Jewish literature, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, there was an expectation of a Messiah of Aaron. In Exodus [40:13-15] Aaron is anointed, as are his sons. The additional anointing of Aarons sons meant that there would be a perpetual priesthood in his descendants. Many also looked for a Messiah from the sons of Zadok. But no Messiah of David? Perhaps the Davidic Messiah is particular to the Christians. Anyhow, the Isaiah prophecy had Immanuel as the promised sign, not Jeshua, or Jesus as we spell his name. As for Christ = anointed, in the Christian Scriptures there are fourteen anointings; the sick, the blind, Jesuss feet, and his body after death. John has Simon notified that they have found the Messiah (which is translated anointed) [1:41]. But John nowhere identifies Jesus with the House of David. If the Romans were searching out royal pretenders to the kingship of Judea they certainly would have been after the unauthorised members of Herods family who might have a claim. Or, perhaps the house of the Maccabees, the Hasmoneans, could still have been a threat? The house of David had not ruled Judea since before the Exile and, therefore, could not have been a problem for the Romans. Why were the descendants of David called the emperors men, Desposyni? The only, lame, excuse given by the Christian writers is that they were the Masters men, the Master being Jesus. The Liddell 131

and Scott Greek lexicon does not support this usage of Desposyni, especially in the Roman period. It unequivocally means members of the Imperial service. The emperor questioned two peasants and released them, when they then become rulers of the Churches everywhere. Were they Imperial men before or only after the interview with the emperor? If the Romans were out to destroy a royal house which was threatening them, property value would not come into the equation. It was not the material worth as much as the blood-line which was at issue. Josephus has Herod the Great search out his predecessors Hasmonean house, to the last man. But no mention is made of a Davidic threat. The Massacre of the Innocents is an anachronistic Christian slander of Herod, as is Jesus birth in Davids city of Bethlehem. If Jesus family went to Davids city for the Roman census, (6 CE), Herod would have been dead for ten years, (d. 4 BCE). The question remains; why the house of David? The Jews were not expecting a Messiah from David, but from Aaron or Zadok. Is this Davidic Messiah merely a product of the Christians? Or, is it a piece of propaganda from the Desposyni - the Imperial House?

Eunapius on Early Christians, a Contemporary Witness


Lives of the Philosophers, Loeb. [d. 414 C.E.] #461, p. 379 I had nothing to record, partly because Aedesius [the philosopher] himself kept it secret owing to the times (for Constantine was emperor and was pulling down the most celebrated temples and building Christian churches). #471-472, pp. 421-425 For, on its account of its temple of Serapis, Alexandria was a world in itself, a world consecrated to religion... Now, not long after [391 C.E.], an unmistakable sign was given that there was in him [the philosopher Antonius] some diviner element. For, no sooner had he left the world of men than the cult of the temples of Alexandria and at the shrine of Serapis was scattered to the winds, and not only the ceremonies of the cult but the buildings as well,... The temples at Canobus suffered the same fate in the reign of Theodosius, when Theophilus [bishop of Alexandria] presided over the abominable ones... and Evagrius was prefect of the city, and Romanus in command of the legions in Egypt. For these men [Christians] girding themselves in their wrath against our sacred places as though against stones and stone-masons, made a raid on the temples, and though they could not allege even a rumour of war to justify them, they demolished the temple of Serapis and made war against the temple offerings, whereby they won a victory without meeting a foe or fighting a battle. In this fashion they fought so honourably against the statues and votive offerings that they not only conquered but stole them as well, and their only military tactics were to ensure that the thief should escape detection. Only the floor of the temple of Serapis they did not take, simply because of the weight of the stones which were not easy to move from their place... Next, into the sacred places they imported monks, as they called them, who were men in appearance but led the life of swine, and openly did and allowed countless unspeakable crimes. But this they accounted piety, to show contempt for things divine. For in those days every man who wore a black robe and consented to behave in unseemly fashion in public, possessed the power of a tyrant, to such a pitch of virtue had the human race advanced! All this however I have described in my Universal 132

History. They settled these monks at Canobus also, and thus they fettered the human race to the worship of slaves, and those not even honest slaves, instead of the true gods. For they collected the bones and skulls of criminals, men whom the law courts of the city had condemned to punishment, made them out to be gods, haunted the sepulchres, and thought they became better by defiling themselves at their graves. Martyrs the dead men were called, and ministers of a sort, and ambassadors from the gods to carry mens prayers. #476, p. 439 It was the time [395 C.E.] when Alaric with his barbarians invaded Greece by the pass of Thermopylae, as easily as though he were traversing an open stadium or a plain suitable for cavalry. For this gateway of Greece was thrown open to him by the impiety of the men clad in black raiment, who entered Greece unhindered along with him.

The Confusion of Dates in the Flavian Testimony


The reference to Jesus in Josephus Antiquities, 18. 3. 3. is an interpolation. The whole of Chapter 3 has five paragraphs: the first two deal with Pilates reaction to the Jewish protests; then the mention of Jesus in paragraph 3; the banishment of the Egyptian cult of Isis in paragraph. 4; and the Jewish banishment in the last paragraph, 5. Chapter 3; The Calamities of the Jews. 1. Pilate, the ensigns images and the Jewish protests. 2. Pilates massacre of the protesting Jews. 3. The Jesus passage? 4. Fraud of the cult of Isis and their expulsion from Rome. 5. Fraud of the Jews ending in their expulsion from Rome. Paragraph 1 introduces Pilate with the incident of the ensigns at Jerusalem. Paragraph 2 has the second, disastrous, encounter with Pilate which ends; and thus an end was put to this sedition. Paragraph 4 begins About this time also another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder;... and ends; I now return to the relation of what happened to the Jews at Rome, as I formally told you I would. Paragraph 5 then goes on to give an account of the calamity of the Jews at Rome being caused by four renegades. Paragraph 3, containing the only reference to Jesus as Messiah, is thus an obvious interpolation into the middle of the calamities of the Jews. It is merely inserted there because it follows on from the account of Pilate, although it has no reference to either the earlier or the following paragraphs. It is completely isolated in its context. Yet most of the Christian study on the passage isolates the paragraph from its context and studies it from the internal evidence alone. There is another problem with the placing of the Jesus Passage. The date, derived from Suetonius Life of Tiberius [36], of the banishment of the Egyptian and Jewish cults from Rome took place early in his reign [38]. The date is supported by Tacitus, [Annals II. 80>, Pen. p. 118], as in the year 19 CE. This is far too early for Jesus to have any bearing on the Jews problems.

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If we examine Josephus more broadly we find an interesting sequence in the chapters: Book 18 chapter 2, paragraph 2, gives the succession of governors of Judea, ending with Pilate. Para. 3. Deals with Herod Antipas building Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Para 4. Has the history of disturbances in the East. Para 5. Has an account of Germanicus death, by poisoning. Germanicus was sent to quell the disturbances in the East. It was thought that Piso, the governor of Syria, was put up to the murder by Tiberius. This is dated to 19 CE. The event is mentioned in Suetonius [52] and Tacitus, [Annals, book II]. Chapter 3 contains the contents already mentioned. It follows immediately after the death of Germanicus, 19 CE . The first two paragraphs are about Pilates confrontation with the Jews of Judea. Josephus, [ignoring the Jesus paragraph 3], opens paragraph 4 with the words About the same time... and tells about the banishment of the Egyptian and Jewish cults in 19 CE. The sequence goes: Germanicus death 19 CE, Pilate?, Jesus ?, and then the banishments 19 CE. Why is Pilate, not to mention Jesus, inserted in this place? We have two historians attesting to the date of the banishment by Tiberius, Tacitus and Suetonius. Josephus links the incident with Pilate? Chapter 4 tells of Pilates action against the Samaritans, and his recall to Rome. So, chapters 2, 3 and 4 all mention Pilate, for the only time in the Antiquities. His responsibility for the harsh measures mentioned in the Jewish War are softened up somewhat in the Antiquities

Some arguments against the authenticity of the John the Baptist passage.
There are a few problems with the John passage in Josephus. First, and most importantly, is that it also appears to be an interpolation into the Antiquities. Chapter five of book eighteen has four paragraphs. Paragraph one ends with: 5. 1. (Tiberius) wrote to Vitellius, to make war upon him (Aretas the Arabian),... this was the charge that Tiberius gave to the president of Syria. Paragraph three, omitting the John the Baptist passage in paragraph two, begins with: 5. 3. So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas, having with him two legions of armed men... The two paragraphs were obviously meant to be read in order, paragraph one is directly followed by paragraph three and makes correct sense without the John paragraph, which interrupts the narrative. Josephus usually connects his paragraphs either by informing the reader of what to expect in the next, or he refers back to a point in the last paragraph. In this chapter, five, the first and third paragraphs are connected, as we have just noted. The third paragraph foreshadows what is to follow in the fourth; ie. Herods posterity and their several fates. The only connection between paragraph one and the Baptist passage is the mention of the fortress of Macherus, where John was supposed to have been beheaded. However, there is another problem which precludes the authority of this passage. In the first paragraph Macherus is subject to Aretas, whose daughter flees there to escape, when she finds out about Herods secret plan to marry Herodias. 5. 1. She [Aretass daughter] desired him [Herod] to send her to Macherus, which is a place on the borders of the dominions of Aretas and Herod, without informing him of any of her 134

intentions. Accordingly Herod sent her thither, as thinking she had not perceived anything; now she had sent a good while before to Macherus, which was subject to her father, and so all things necessary for her journey were made ready for her by the general of Aretass army, and by that means she soon came to Arabia... to her father, and told him of Herods intentions. But in the second paragraph, the John passage, Macherus is in the hands of Herod? 5. 2. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herods suspicious temper, to Macherus,... These two events were supposed to have happened around the same time, the date is given specifically in the third paragraph. As Vitellius was on the march he was informed of the death of the emperor: 5. 3. But on the fourth day letters came to him [Vitellius], which informed him of the death of Tiberius, he obliged the multitude to take an oath of fidelity to Caius; he also recalled his army, and made every one of them go home. Tiberius died and Caius Caligula succeeded to the empire in the year 37 CE. This puts the Baptist passage in the middle of two paragraphs dating from 37; several years after the traditional dates, 29 to 30 CE, of John the Baptists execution and, incidentally, Jesus baptism. Therefore, I have grave suspicions about the historical reference to John the Baptist in Josephus. It is out of context with the surrounding paragraphs - Macherus was subject to the Arabs, not Herod - The passage is located far too late in time to fit the traditional date of Johns death, by about seven or eight years.

Origen the Heretic


Pelikan, J., Historical Theology, Corpus, New York, 1971 The Commonitorium of St. Vincent of Lerins, was written in 434. His well-known canon of Catholicity, that one must take the greatest possible care to believe what has been believed everywhere, ever, by everyone. [p. 4] Within the ever there were evidently some eras more normative that others; in general, the more ancient the belief, the greater weight it carried. But that was not simply a chronological test; the true doctrine was the most ancient because it was true, it was not true because it was ancient. [5] He [Vincent] was especially ardent in his admiration of Origen - his piety, his erudition, his literary production, his eloquence. But none of these qualities protected Origen from going astray in his doctrine, from supposing that he knew more than anyone else, and from despising the traditions of the Church and determinations of the ancients, interpreting certain passages of Scripture in a novel way. [6] Epiphanius listed a long catalogue of Origens errors, from which it was clear that Origen was not only a heretic himself, but the originator of many heresies. [22] Both the theologians of the 5th century and the churchmen of the 6th believed themselves to be in a position to pass dogmatic judgement upon a theologian of the 3rd century - and not only a theologian but the theologian without whom the subsequent development of their own orthodoxy is historically inconceivable. [24] It cannot be denied, for example, that these condemnations of the dead - as well as many condemnations of the living - have frequently been brought about more by political than by theological considerations. So it was, for example, with the condemnation of Origen by Justinian. [24] 135

Heresy
Christie-Murray, D., A History Of Heresy, Oxford, 1976, 99. 108-109 The Toulouse Council [c. 1230] forbade the laity possession of the Bible, especially in the vernacular, except the Psalms and passages to be found in the breviary. It also systematized and elaborated the Inquisition, probably the most potent and certainly the most feared instrument ever used by the Catholic Church to cauterize heresy. The remnants of the Cathari fled to the Balkans, where they formed the greater part of the population until the fifteenth century. Eventually the Turkish religion absorbed them and they disappeared as an organized body. Few heresies could survive against the power of the orthodox, once the Catholic Church flexed its muscles. Heretics were weaker or fewer. Even if locally stronger they lacked the organization to oppose the juggernaut hierarchy of Rome backed by the civil power. Formal condemnation put them outside the law. When faced by eloquent and persuasive preaching like St Dominic's, the weakness of their opinions, illiterate as many heretics were, was often revealed to them. The Inquisition and the use of the civil arm were finally too much for them. By about 1350, the heresies of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were mostly dead. Yet they remained rooted in southern France like weeds, emerging in later centuries in full strength as will be seen. The Inquisition has been mentioned, and for convenience' sake its history and organization, as well as the progress of the actions against heresy undertaken by governments, are summarized here. In 1184 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa made outlawry the punishment for heretics. Thirteen years later Pedro of Aragon was the first to institute death at the stake as their fate. Aquinas (1224/5-c. 1274) lent the weight of his great scholastic authority to action by secular powers when he wrote that heretics were not to be tolerated but excommunicated and handed over to the civil power for execution. Aquinas was some six years old when Pope Gregory IX reorganized the Inquisition, inspired, according to some historians, by Raymond of Pennaforte, Confessor to the King of Argon, who visited the Pope in 1230 to enlist his help against heresy. Three years afterwards Gregory transferred the control of proceedings against heretics from the bishops' courts to special commissioners chosen from Franciscan and Dominican friars. Innocent IV (1243-54) added the use of torture, to be administered by the secular authority, but this proving impracticable, inquisitors and their assistants were allowed to absolve one another for using torture to promote the work of faith more truly'. A suspect, however powerful or distinguished, once hauled before the Inquisition, was judged guilty unless he could prove his innocence. This was an all but impossible task, so heavily were the dice loaded against him. The evidence of wives, children, servants and persons heretical, excommunicated, perjured and criminal could be used against a man, secretly and without their having to face him, their charges being communicated to him only in summary form. Perjury was pardoned if it was the outcome of zeal for the faith, obedience to a superior was forbidden if it hindered the inquiry, and those who helped inquisitors were granted the same indulgences as pilgrims to the Holy Land. Any advocate acting and any witness giving evidence on behalf of a suspect laid themselves open to charges of abetting heresy. No one was ever acquitted, a released person always being liable to rearrest and a condemned one to a revised sentence with no retrial, at the discretion of the inquisitor. All proceedings were in secret. Legally torture could be inflicted only once, but was repeated as often as necessary on the pretext that it was the same torture continued, with intervals between the sessions. Only the sentences were made public, on Sundays at high mass in the cathedral, attended by the civil 136

authorities. Penitents confessed and abjured their heresy publicly before going to their penance (not called punishment or penalty), consisting of periods of imprisonment up to life sentences, the wearing of crosses, flogging and going on pilgrimage. The obdurate and relapsed were taken outside the church and handed to the magistrates with a recommendation to mercy and instruction that no blood be shed. The supreme hypocrisy of this was that if the magistrate did not burn the victims on the following day, he was himself liable to be charged with abetting heresy. Heretics who repented at the last moment after condemnation to death were given life imprisonment, and relapsed heretics were burned without mercy. But the object of the Inquisition above all other considerations was to obtain a confession, as this strengthened the Church's authority - the burning of an obdurate represented the victory of an individual over ecclesiastical sovereignty and its failure in spite of all its power. The organization of the Inquisition was thorough. Districts were set up corresponding to the Provinces of the Mendicant Order to which the inquisitor appointed for each district belonged. Each such official had a staff of agents who acted as police, spies and torturers.... To return to national measures against heresy, in the twelfth century the Emperor Frederick II brought in death by burning throughout the Empire, and in Sicily. France formally promulgated the same penalty in 1270, thus legally recognizing a practice which had been in use for years. The English statute, de heretico comburendo, was not enacted until 1401 - one disadvantage in being an offshore island is that the refinements of civilization take somewhat longer to arrive.

Tiberius delays in the death sentence


Jesus was tried and immediately executed, under Tiberius, according to the gospels. (Luke 3:2) In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. [29 CE] On Tiberius delays in death sentences Josephus states: And as a further attestation to what I say of the dilatory nature of Tiberius, I appeal to this his practice itself; for although he was emperor twenty-two years, he sent in all but two procurators to govern the nation of the Jews - Gratus, and his successor in the government, Pilate. Nor was he in one way of acting with respect to the Jews, and in another respect to the rest of his subjects. He further informed them, that even in the hearing of the causes of prisoners, he made such delays, because immediate death to those who are condemned to die, would be an alleviation of their present miseries, while those wicked wretches have not deserved any favour; but I do that, by being harassed with the present calamity, they may undergo greater misery. [Ant. 18. 6. 5.]

[1] Philo, The Contemplative Life, (On the Therapeutae). Loeb, vol. 9 [2] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2. 16. [3] Eusebius, History, 2. 17. [4] Philo, Introduction, F. H. Colson, vol. 9, p. 106. 137

[5] Philo, Life, 36, note a, Coynbeares translation. [6] Josephus, Jewish War, Loeb, Introduction, Vol. 1, p. XXV. [7] Philo, Allegorical Interpretation, LA, 85. Loeb, Vol. 1, p. 279 [8] Philo, Life, 21. [9] Philo, Vol. IX, Appendix, p. 520

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Articles
Gophna to Galilee The Bridge Between Jewish and Christian Beginnings Cliff Carrington, Bendigo, 3-2000
Gophna and Josephus

Flavius Josephus has a story involving a group of priests who defect to Titus and are given Roman protection and temporarily housed in a small town named Gophna. Titus promised the priests to respect their religion and that when the war was over he would settle them permanently with their property. This was most likely the group of priests, possibly including Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples, who were finally settled at Jamnia by the Flavians. Some also there were who, watching a proper opportunity when they might quietly get away, fled to the Romans, of whom were the high priests Joseph and Jesus, and of the sons of high priests three, whose father was Ishmael, who was beheaded in Cyrene, and four sons of Matthias, as also one son of the other Matthias, who ran away after his father's death, and whose father was slain by Simon the son of Gioras, with three of his sons, as I have already related; many also of the other nobility went over to the Romans, together with the high priests. Now Caesar [Titus] not only received these men very kindly in other respects, but, knowing they would not willingly live after the customs of other nations, he sent them to Gophna, and desired them to remain there for the present, and told them, that when he was gotten clear of this war, he would restore each of them to their possessions again; so they cheerfully retired to that small city which was allotted them, without fear of any danger. [Jewish War, 6. 2. 2.] The Flavians did not give away their favours cheaply, see the example of Flavius Josephus. What they needed was a non-nationalistic, peaceful and controllable Judaism. These rabbis were the men to do this for the Flavians, in exchange for their lives. The academy went through the Scriptures and edited them to suit their masters. This is the Judaism of today, excepting the modern Zionist movement.
Jamnia and Beyond

There are many Jewish legends about the founding of their post-temple religion. These are found in the Talmud and Haggadah. With minor variations the story goes like this: During the siege of Jerusalem in the summer of 70 CE a Jewish priest, the deputy head of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Johanan (Jochanan) ben Zakkai defected to the Romans. It is written that he communicated to the Roman camp, via arrow-mail, that he was a Friend of Vespasian and wished to come over. The Romans gave him a promise of safe-conduct, if he could get out of the strife-torn city. Rabbi Johanan devised a scheme, with the assistance of a relative who was in charge of a gate, to be carried out of Jerusalem in a coffin. This deception was needed because none but the dead were allowed out of the city. His disciples, with permission, carried their master out to the cemetery and placed the coffin in a burial cave. Later, at night, Rabbi ben Zakkai got out of the coffin and made his way to the Roman camp, where he was welcomed. 139

The Rabbi then has an interview with Vespasian (Sic), the commander of the siege. During the interview Rabbi ben Zakkai gives Vespasian a prophecy, very similar to Josephus, that he would soon become emperor (Sic). He was taken into the camp to await the outcome of the war. Then Vespasian becomes emperor, fulfilling ben Zakkais prophecy. After the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple the Rabbi was rewarded. Vespasian allotted Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai and his disciples, who had also defected or somehow survived the destruction, a place of refuge in the coastal town of Jamnia. This little town was on the main highway along the Mediterranean sea, the Via Maris. There, under Roman protection, and perhaps guidance, the rabbis founded an academy for the study of the Jewish Scriptures, which gained the name The Vineyard. This name either came from the fact that the academy was actually set up in an old vineyard, or because the students sat in rows like planted grape-vines. Either way, the members of this academy were the roots of modern Judaism. Rabbi ben Zakkai had some able followers to assist in the teaching. Legend has it that they were Akiba ben Joseph (50-135), Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, Ishmael the Priest (60-140), Rabbi Jose and Rabbi Meir (110-175) amongst others. There were learned women also like Bruria, Rabbi Meirs wife, who was the foremost authority on the Halakah, or explanation of the Laws. Even the servant-girl of Judah Ha-Nasi could explain the meaning of rare Hebrew words. They were later joined by Gamaliel II, Nasi, of the House of David, who took over from Rabbi ben Zakkai as head of the academy. He was recognised as Patriarch by the emperor. Thus the House of David - Branch of Jesse ruled the Jews through to the third century from Galilee. This was supported by the authorities with grants of Imperial land. It was this group of scholars who founded modern Judaism and settled the canon of what became the Hebrew Old Testament which exists today in the English translation as the Authorised Bible, ie. approved by the Authorities. The Talmudic legends record some of the debate which went on as they decided which books to include or exclude from the canon. Much of the debate is profound, some trivial. For instance there was much opposition to including the three books, Ecclesiastes, Esther and the Song of Songs in the canon. The book which caused the most discussion was the Song of Songs. Many wanted to exclude it because of its obvious erotic nature. But the allegorists won the day and it made it into the canon by a Spiritual reading. But with typical Jewish compromise they had arrived at a decision after a few years and the Hebrew Bible - minus the revolutionary Maccabees - was set in Flavian concrete, as it were. The Jewish canon, minus the revolutionary Maccabees, was set between 70 and 132 CE; which is also when the Gospel was written. The canons of both the Jews and Christian Gospel were completed at the same time, and remain basically as we have them today. The Hebrew canon is our prime example of how this came about. Its canon was set by the academy of tame Jewish scholars at Jamnia - under Flavian favour, protection and guidance. This is the official canon which could not be altered without official approval, it was Authorised. The Flavian academy at Jamnia continued for sixty years to be the centre of Jewish learning. They set the all of the important calendar dates for the lunar feasts which varied from year to year. They also responded to questions about Jewish Law sent to them from communities around the world. Their authority was respected not only throughout the Roman world, but, even as far away as Babylon. When the second Jewish war broke out the rabbis first went underground and later were relocated to a small town in western Galilee, near Mt. Carmel, opposite Nazareth, which was named Usha. Though one rabbi, Akiba, had joined the Bar Cochaba revolt and was tortured before execution for his breach of faith, the others remained faithful to the Romans. They were still under Roman protection, and 140

guidance. The academy remained in Galilee until the end of the fourth century, though its location was moved to bet Shearim, Tiberius, Caesarea and Lydda over the years. The academy was given Imperial land grants by the Flavians. This was probably granted from the deceased Herod Agrippa IIs Galilean estates. One of the first things the Flavians did upon gaining power was to regulate or found academies of learning. In other words - by the appointments to the chairs and payments of the salaries to the professors in Rome, Athens, Alexandria and other centres of learning - the Flavians controlled education and to a large extent mens minds. That they also founded and endowed the definitive Jewish academy is not unexpected. The scholars of Jamnian academy were in constant contact with the Romans, who undoubtedly advised them on how far they could go in their teaching - as the Flavians did with all of the other academies. The most important head of the academy in its Galilee period was a friend of the ruling emperors, Judah Ha-Nasi, or Judah the Prince (ruled 135-217). He was also called Rabbi or Teacher, because of his great learning. The son of Gamaliel II, he was of the House of David, through his greatgrandfather Hillel the Babylonian (60BCE-10CE) of Davids Royal lineage. He ruled like a real prince of David, with his body-guards and sumptuous court, which only admitted learned men and women. Judah Ha-Nasi used to say that; it is the unlearned who bring trouble into the world. He was reputed to have been close friends with the Antonine emperors, as was his father. He ruled from the end of the second to the beginning of the third centuries, and figures in many Jewish legends. As Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai and Gamaliel II presided over the setting of the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures, so Rabbi Meir organised the Mishna, and Judah Ha-Nasi completed the basis of the Talmud. Thus by the end of the second century modern Judaism was formulated under the friendly, (excepting part of Hadrians reign), Roman rule and influence. A Greek scholar from Sinope in the Pontus, Aqulia, was commissioned to translate, with exact literalness, the Hebrew canon into Greek. Alas, this Aqulia Greek version of the early Hebrew canon has completely disappeared except for some fragments embedded in the later Fathers. After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple the Jamnian rabbis had to reconstitute not only the Jewish Scriptures but also its worship. They had to abandon, forever, the Temple, Sanhedrin, State, Warfare and History. To replace the Temple they had the Torah, for the Sanhedrin the Academy, for the State the Commonwealth of Jews, in place of warfare they now had internal spiritual struggle and instead of History they turned to Interpretation or exegesis. The rabbis retained many of the important feasts; Passover became a celebration of survivors, Tabernacles was of necessity without the temple as it had been all along. Chanukkah was a problem. It celebrated the cleansing of the temple after the victorious Jewish revolt against the Greeks. It became a festival of lights. There was much confusion in later Judaism about exactly what they were celebrating. Anyhow, the Christians soon took over the festival of lights for Christmas and its original significance was by and large forgotten. This was all accomplished under the guidance of the Flavians and their immediate successors between 70 to 132 CE. One result of this Flavian censorship was that the books recording the successful revolt and wars of the Jews against the Selecuid Greeks, Maccabees, were excluded from the Hebrew canon as being possibly inflammatory which might encourage further sedition.

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This is also shown in the English translations of the Bible where the books of the Maccabees are regulated to the Apocrypha. The Flavians had tight control over all literature as a matter of policy. They certainly would be very careful with this religious canon. They virtually remade Judaism in their own image. The Rabbinic Judaism we have today was created at Jamnia by the Flavians. There are many problems with the Johanan ben Zakkai story, not the least being that Vespasian was not actually present at the siege of Jerusalem, his son Titus (of the same name) was the commander. Secondly, when rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai escaped from the siege, in the summer of 70 CE, to promise the emperorship to Vespasian, Vespasian was already emperor! These and other inconsistencies can never be sorted out because of the lack of reliable material.
Jamnian Jews and the Cabbala

However, it is not only orthodox Judaism who claim Jamnian/Flavian beginnings. Even the mystics amongst the Jews trace their tradition back to these very same Flavian rabbis! Gershom Scholem, the late Jewish historian of the Cabbala traces its foundation to the academy at Jamnia: Palestine was the cradle of the movement, that much is certain. We also know the names of the most important representatives of mystical and theosophical thought among the teachers of the Mishnah. They belonged to a group of the pupils of Johanan ben Zakkai, around the turn of the first century A.D. There is good reason to believe that important elements of this spiritual tradition were kept alive in small esoteric circles; the writers at the end of the Talmudic epoch, attempted a synthesis of their new religious faith and thereby laid the foundations of an entirely new literature. As we have seen, these writers no longer appear under their own names, but under those of Johanan ben Zakkai, Eliezer ben Hyrakanus, Akiba ben Joseph [Jose], and Ishmael the High Priest. These authentic personages are at the same time introduced as the chief characters of their writings, the heroes of mystical action, the keepers and trustees of secret wisdom... [Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p. 41] The seminal book for modern Cabbalists is the Medieval work known as the Sepher ha Zohar, which first surfaces in the twelfth century but pretends to come from the first century. In this work the principal rabbis, who propound the secrets of the Cabbala, are those from the first century academy. Perhaps this is wistful thinking on their part. But, interestingly, it is again a Flavian beginning to a Jewish sectarian movement.
The Bridge

The Desposyni! Eusebius, in his History, writes of two descendants of the House of David, (through Jude, the Lords brother), in Galilee. These men are called the Desposyni. They are summoned before Flavius Domitian and examined as to their political correctness. They were found harmless, were released and sent back to Galilee to become leaders of the Churches everywhere. The Christians claim these two men as their own. But, they were also claimed by the Jews as well. Desposyni is only defined in the Lexicons as Emperors Men, or members of the Imperial Household! Paul gives away the plot: All the Saints send their greetings, especially those of the Imperial household. Phillipians. 4:22 The whole Domitian story is suspect. But, may have a grain of tradition embedded within it. Perhaps this is the Bridge between the Flavian Jewish academy in Galilee and these two men claimed to be Christians. That Domitian would act in the manner Eusebius presents him as doing is very unlikely, 142

unless there is something else going on. It was precisely this period of transition for the Jews, after the turn of the century, that the first identifiable Christians come to our attention. Lucian, our first truly independent pagan witness, in his Death of Peregrinus, mentions a group of early Christians in this area at about the same time.
Galilean Christians

The Carmelites of the twelfth century claimed that they were the earliest Christian hermits and traced their beginnings to this period in Galilee under Titus and Vespasian. Their early Latin documents claim their descent from Elijah, through John the Baptist, to Jesus, after whose ascension they build a chapel to Mary on Mount Carmel, opposite Nazareth, under Flavian protection. Five of these early Latin documents specifically name Titus and Vespasian, in that order. There is also something about a seventh year of the Flavians after the destruction of the temple. Some of the documents claim that the Carmelites had a foundation near the Golden Gate, which faces East from the temple towards the Mount of Olives and the garden of Gethsemane, which was the position of the Flavian commanders camp during the siege. As that may be, they all claim their foundation in conjunction with Titi et Vespasaini.
Avenging of the Saviour

Another early apocryphal work The Avenging of the Saviour, written in bad seventh century Latin claims the Flavians destroyed Jerusalem to avenge their new Lord. The story is interesting in that Titus is anachronistically claimed to be a prince under Tiberius, when he summons Vespasian and five thousand men, to go to Judea for vengeance. Both Titus and Vespasian are converted to Christianity by a character named Nathan. When they surround Jerusalem the Jewish armies commit suicide rather than be killed by the Romans. This is reminiscent of the Masada story in Josephus. Anyhow, the Flavians destroy the city, locate the Veil of Veronica and send it to Tiberius who is cured of nine kinds of leprosy and also converts to Christianity! This is pure romance of course. But, the connection with the early Carmelite stories is unmistakable. Notably both name the Flavians as Titus and Vespasian. It is unusual to mention the son before the father. They both have something about a seven year period of the Flavian siege.
Conclusion

Both religions are intimately connected to the House of David and Galilee. Perhaps Christianity was just another one of these first century Flavian Jewish projects? A covert operation supporting an underground Jewish sect which diluted and Hellenised the Jewish Diaspora: a countervailing sect which later got out of control and two centuries later became a religion in its own right, under Flavius Constantine! However it happened, the propagation of both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism happened in the same place and at the same time - under the Flavians. ...but it was only after the rise of the Flavians that we Romans believed in such stories. [Tacitus, Histories, 1. 10.]

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Neros Fire and the Christian Persecution? Cliff Carrington 8-1998/5-2000 That there was a fire in Rome when Nero was emperor is fairly certain; just about every emperor had one. It is mentioned in a few, very few, ancient references. The Tacitus reference is backed up by a contemporary of the fire, Pliny the Elder and by his own contemporary Suetonius. The legend, on the other hand, that Nero fiddled while Rome burned became a popular fiction. The fire under Nero could not have been as extensive as Tacitus passage, and popular imagination, would have it. Historical and archaeological evidence somewhat diminishes the importance of Neros fire. His fire destroyed, at most, a tenth of the city. The important temples like that of Juppiter Captiolinus and Apollo, along with the major public buildings, private mansions and tenements survived. As did the Circus Maximus in the district where the fire started, which was in use nine months later. It had slight damage to the wooden upper story and stairs, but no major damage to the stonework. Neros recently completed palace was the major victim of the fire. He lost the most. The Capitol and surrounding buildings survived to be burnt in the battle between the forces of Vitellius and Vespasian in December of 69 CE. The more serious fire, which burnt the Campus Martius and many major public buildings in the centre of Rome, happened in 80 CE, when Titus was emperor. The Christians were not blamed for this one. According to Tacitus, alone, Nero blamed the Christians for the fire in Rome. Annals, XV. This passage is not referred to in any other pagan, nor Christian writings until 400 CE. The Fantastic details of the sufferings of the Christians - dressed in animal hides and torn apart by dogs, crucified, and used as human torches - fits the pornographic masochistic obsession of the early Church. The sordid details of flesh torn and blood copiously shed is repulsive to the modern mind. For some reason the early Church wallowed in graphic descriptions of virgins violated and gored to death by bulls, old men crucified suffering horrific tortures and not to mention the over-fed lions of the Colosseum. By the way, the Romans did not feed their lions exclusively on Christians, any old mal-content would do; and more often did. Eusebius, when the Church was triumphant in the 4th century, after the persecutions could only find 146 martyrs in the history. As we shall see, in Lactantius, between Domitian in the nineties and Decius in the late 3rd century there was a long peace where the Church was not persecuted. There was then a brief period of political persecution, especially under Diocletian, before his successor formed an alliance with them in the beginning of the 4th century. Constantine defeated his political opponents with the assistance of the Christians and recognized the fact when he held power. This period, of the Ante & Post-Nicene Fathers, knows nothing of Neros fire and its Christian victims. PLINY THE ELDER, [26-79 CE] In his N.H. XVII, 1. 5. Pliny mentions, in passing, that in his youth he had seen some remarkable trees on a Roman estate which were famous for their longevity, they lasted down to the Emperor Neros conflagration. That is the sole mention of the great fire by one who lived through the period. Pliny was to die, in 79 CE, at the eruption of Vesuvius. This was a year before the serious fire in the reign of Titus which burned a much more important area of the city; in which many of the temples and other public buildings were destroyed. The Christians were not blamed 144

for that fire in 78. Although Pliny does not anywhere mention Christians in his work, he does write about the Jewish sect of the Essenes, in N.H. V, 15. He locates them: On the west side of the Dead Sea, but out of range of the noxious exhalations of the coast, is the solitary tribe of the Essenes... Pliny then describes their celibate and isolated existence. JOSEPHUS, [41-100] He was in Rome, for over a year, from the first part of 64, [Life, 3]. The fire happened in July, but, he fails to mention it at all. Josephus attitude to Nero was such that he would have mentioned it in the passage in the Jewish War XX. vii. 2-3. Instead he takes other biased historians to task, some of whom have departed from the truth of the facts, out of favour,... while others, out of hatred to him, have so impudently raved against him with their lies. Surely, out of some kind of consideration for his home city, Jerusalem, which was burnt to the ground, he would have made a comparison with the Capital of the world being burnt? DIO CHRYSOSTOM, [40-120] Discourse 21, On Beauty, 9-10. Loeb, vol II, p. 281. Dio is writing about the corruption of absolute power: This is indeed true of Nero, and no one contradicted him in anything, what ever he said, or affirmed that anything he commanded was impossible to perform, so that even if he ordered anyone to fly, the man promised that too and for a considerable time he would be maintained in the imperial household in the belief that he would fly. Now, Dio goes on to the passage describing Neros end and popularity: Indeed the truth about this has not come out even yet; for so far as the rest of his subjects were concerned, there was nothing to prevent his continuing to be Emperor for all time, seeing that even now everybody wishes he were still alive. And the great majority do believe that he still is, although in a certain sense he has died not once but often along with those who had been firmly convinced that he was still alive. This refers to the numerous resurrections of false Neros, mentioned in Tacitus H. II, 8, 9, Suetonius, Nero, 57. and Dio Cassius, 64. 9, see Loeb footnote #2, p. 280. PLUTARCH, [46-120] As a contemporary of both Tacitus and Suetonius he does not mention the fire in Rome, nor anything about the Christians for that matter. Plutarch did not write about Nero directly, but does mention him in his Life of Galba, and his mis-rule as the excuse for Galbas rebellion, which ended with Neros suicide, 20 December 68 CE. Nowhere does he blame Nero for the fire which he likewise does not mention. EPICTETUS, [50-130] The best known Stoic was a slave, whose master was Neros secretary. The translator of Epictetus, Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, is baffled that he was not a Christian. There are so many of the sentiments and expressions of Christianity in it, that one should be strongly tempted to think that Epictetus was acquainted with the New Testament,.. [p. xxii] Well, he was not and never even so much as mentions Christians in passing. He lived in Rome and as a slave to Epaphroditus, a senior member of Neros government would have known of the fire and the Christian sacrifice in the aftermath. However, 145

all he has to say about Nero is his persecution of some good men who refused to attend his performances. TACITUS, [55-117] Annals XV. 37 - 41 Neros fire started 19 July 64 CE. This is the famous passage which mentions Neros fire and his persecution of the Christians to disguise his own guilt. It is only in this passage that the fire and the Christians were connected. Other pagan writers mention the fire, in passing, but not the Christian persecution. Christians writers mention the Persecution, but, do not connect them with the fire. Tacitus has an account of terrible damage: Of Romes fourteen districts only four remained intact. Three were leveled to the ground. The other seven were reduced to a few scorched and mangled ruins. However, the only other account we have, an interpolation in a forged Christian letter from Seneca to Paul: A hundred and thirty-two houses and four blocks have been burnt in six days; the seventh brought a pause. This account turns out to mean about a tenth of the city was burnt. Rome contained about 1,700 private houses and 47,000 apartment blocks. Tacitus is the only writer to connect the fire with the Christians. Nero was blamed, both at the time and in all other subsequent writers on the fire, and supposedly blamed the Christians for arson. He then condemned large numbers of them to be crucified and torched during the night. This must have been a big affair and there must have been large numbers of so-called Christians. In his earlier Histories Tacitus has a different attitude. The person in charge of persecutions in Rome was the City Prefect, Police Chief of Rome. Under Nero this was a man described by Tacitus in his Histories bk. 3, #65, #75 - His gentle character made him hate bloodshed and killing... His honesty and fair-mindedness are beyond question. Flavius Sabinus, brother of Vespasian, was City Prefect of Rome from 56-69, covering the Neronian period of the disputed persecutions! Would a man of this character do the things described in the Annals and Sulpicius? The big question is why the Church Fathers know Nothing of this important information from Tacitus? The two partial manuscripts were found in the Medici library dating from 1313 to 1375. It is only after this time, much after, that the story became almost an Article of Faith about the early Church. PLINY THE YOUNGER, [61-113] There is only one more early source to the Christians, or the Anointed Ones, and it is found in the Letters of Pliny the Younger, X. 96, 97. He corresponds with the emperor Trajan, in 115, asking what to do with the Christians in his province of Bithynia, near the Pontus. He describes their worship in detail. This passage is so theologically highly developed that it seems to come from a time when the church was well organized. The tenth book of Plinys letters, to Trajan, were not published by him. An anonymous person published them after Plinys death. SUETONIUS, [69-140] Live of Nero, 38. Writing very soon after Tacitus, Suetonius knows of no Christians connected with the fire? He and all subsequent writers firmly blame Nero for the fire, and continue the rumour that he fiddled while Rome burnt. Suetonius, in his Life of Claudius, 25, has one, confusing, word about a Chrestus. Because the Jews at Rome caused a continuous disturbance at the instigation of Chrestus, he (Claudius) expelled them from the city. 146

The sense of the passage is that there was one Chrestus at Rome stirring up the Jews. That can hardly fit Christ, the Anointed One. It was a proper name in those times. Eunapius, the 4th century biographer, mentions a philosopher/sophist named Chrestus of Byzantium, but nothing else in known about him other than his name. Also Chrestus often meant - a handy man, a slave. The only reference to Christiani in the Life of Nero is between nut sellers and chariot drivers, along with Mime actors: Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition. [Nero, 16] This sentence is completely isolated and could very possibly have been inserted later. However, this is in No way connected to Suetonius romantic description of Neros fire, found in ch. 38. No Christians are blamed! Indeed Nero is given all the blame for the fire. Worse, he is damned by the accusation that while viewing the conflagration; he sang the whole of the Sack of Ilium, in his regular stage costume. CHRISTIAN APOCRYPHA, [3rd. century CE]: Acts of Paul, Acts of Peter, Acts of Peter and Paul. All have variations on a theme of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul. This was because they taught chastity and led the wives and lovers of important people, including Nero, astray. Therefore, Nero executed them. However, in all of these apocryphal Acts there is no fire and Nero refrains from attacking the rest of the Christians after killing Peter and Paul. 1 CLEMENT, [c. 95-160?] This letter is the only evidence, if we can call it such, for the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in Rome. The letter does not mention Nero nor the fire, nor any of the circumstances of their martyrdom. Nor does it identify any particular persecution, Neros or otherwise. LUCIAN, [120-190] The famous satirist of the ancient world. In his *Death of Perigrinus* Lucian mentions a group of Christiani in Judea. From the description they would date to about the 130s. Peregrinus was an old man when he self-immolated in 160. He is described as having been one of the Christians in his youth. After some time Peregrinus, or Proteus as he was also known, got into trouble over food laws and was expelled. Lucians description of these early Christians is somewhat condescending, but, not hostile. There is nothing connecting them to the fire, or persecution. This is the first truly Independent reference to Christians in Pagan literature, written about 160. TERTULLIAN, [145-220] Apologetics v. 3., To the Nations; It was Nero who first condemned the Christian religion. He goes on to say that, whatever Nero condemned must be good. Again, no mention in his works of the fire, nor the Christian persecution being connected with it in any way? DIO CASSIUS, [163-235] He wrote a *Roman History* in eighty books, only twenty-six have come down to us. Dio mentions the fire, bk. XLII, but puts the blame squarely upon Nero. There is no mention of Christians in the surviving books of his history, and definitely no connection to Neros fire. PHILOSTRATUS, [170-244] He wrote the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, a first century philosopher who died at an advanced age in the reign of Nerva [96-98]. Apollonius had several encounters with 147

Neros secret police when Nero had banned philosophers from Rome. He lists many of Neros crimes and enormities, but not the fire and nowhere are there any Christians. Apollonius thought Judea to be too polluted to have anything good come from it. He associated with Vespasian in Egypt in 69 and several conversations with him are about the government of his predecessors, but, Neros fire never comes up. ORIGEN, [185-254] written in 249 CE. Contra Celsus III. 8., In order to strengthen the faith of the pusillanimous and to teach them to brave death, a few martyrs from time to time offered them the example of their consistency. No great martyrdom by Nero is mentioned, or later for that matter. LACTANTIUS [260-330 CE] As to the Christian persecutions after Domitian, Lactantius is an authoritative source. He was not only favoured by Diocletian but a learned Christian historian, but, also the tutor to Constantines son Crispus. He was a contemporary of Eusebius of Caesarea and a favourite of Constantines court. In the beginning of the 4th century [313], he wrote about the past persecutions, but no Neros fire: Thus the commands of the tyrant [Domitian, d. 96] having been rescinded, the Church was not only restored to her former state, but shone forth with additional splendour, and became more and more flourishing. And in the times that followed, while many well-deserving princes guided the helm of the Roman empire, the Church suffered no violent assaults from her enemies, and she extended her hands unto the east and unto the west, insomuch that now there was not any the most remote corner of the earth to which the divine religion had not penetrated, nor any nation of manners so barbarous that did not, become mild and gentle. [Alaric the Goth was a Christian when he destroyed Rome in 410!] This long peace, however, was afterwards interrupted. Decius [249] appeared in the world, an accursed wild beast, to afflict the Church. (Lactantius, Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors of the Church Died, chapters 3 & 4.) The earlier persecutions were political if anything. What is the favoured creation of one emperor is anathema to another. With no Eastern experience Domitian had a special hatred against the Jews, many of whom were in the Imperial service of his father, Vespasian, and brother, Titus. He removed them from their offices and had them heavily taxed. When Domitian, who persecuted the Jews, had been assassinated in 96 CE, Nerva became emperor. He rescinded the laws against the Jews and stopped the abuses of the annual Jewish tax. ANTE-NICENE CHURCH FATHERS, 10 volumes, [150-326]; In the thirty or so writers from the period of the growth of the early Church there is no mention of the fire in Rome, or the Christian blame. PORPHYRY, [233-304] He wrote a work *Against the Christians* towards the end of the third century. What we have of this work comes mainly from Eusebius. Porphyry is quoted to condemn him and his work. Nowhere in the surviving fragments is there any mention of the fire, or persecutions. His work must have been effective; as by the end of the fourth century anyone found with Porphyrys work was burned along with his book!

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EUSEBIUS, [260-339] The first great Church historian whose work has survived. He also wrote a chronography of the Church with all of its martyrs from Stephen, of Acts, up until his own day. Following Lactantius, Eusebius has Nero as the first emperor to persecute the Christians, but nowhere mentions the fire in Rome, nor the Christian blame. Eusebius was supposed to have written a Martyrology naming all one hundred and forty-six of them he knew about, but, nothing about Neros fire and martyrs of it. EPISTLE OF SENECA TO PAUL, 12. [5th century?] ...The source of the many fires which Rome suffers is plain. But if humble men could speak out what the reason is, and if it were possible to speak without risk in this dark time, all would be plain to all. Christians and Jews are commonly executed as contrivers of the fire. Whoever the criminal is, whose pleasure is that of a butcher, and who veil himself with a lie, he is reserved for his due season; and as the best of men is sacrificed, the one for the many, so he, vowed to death for all, will be burned with fire. A hundred and thirty-two houses and four blocks have been burnt in six days; the seventh brought a pause. This is interpolated into a late Christian forgery, Seneca never wrote like this and certainly not to St. Paul. As mentioned in Tacitus the amount of the damage given here is about a tenth of the City. The damage bill does not tally with Tacitus figures. Both do mention the fire lasting for six days. The Letter has the fire end on the seventh day, as a good Christian would have it. However, Tacitus states that it broke out again, in another part of the city and burned on, tradition says it lasted nine days. So, it is doubtful that the Christian author of the forged letter is directly following Tacitus. AUGUSTINE, [354-430] St. Augustine does not mention Neros fire in his list of calamities that befell Rome before the Christian era. The City of God was written expressly to demonstrate that the fall of Rome, in 410, to the Arian Alaric the Goth, was not due to the Christian state suppressing the pagan religion in the reign of Theodosius in 392. SEVERUS SULPICIUS, [c. 410] The only other, possible, mention of Christians being persecuted for Neros fire comes from a Sacred History of Severus which disappeared from history. This was never used by the Church until after the 14th century and the discovery of Tacitus Annals. In his biography of Nero Gerard Walter examines the Sulpicius passage. On p. 174 Walter makes the three following points: 1. Even if we admit that the text of the Annals contained the disputed passage in 400, we could not be sure that nothing had been interpolated into one of the copies during the interval of 285 years. This might very easily have happened during the second half of the fourth century when Christianity, now triumphant, was engaged in creating the heroic chronicle of its first beginnings. 2. The similarity of the two texts does not necessarily prove that Severus Sulpicius borrowed his from a contemporary copy of the Annals. The copyist who interpolated the passage into Tacitus might just as easily have added it after the publication of the Sacred History, using this work for his own ends. 3. Whichever hypothesis we adopt, one thing remains certain: of all the Christian authors who wrote before and after Tacitus up to the year 1000, Severus Sulpicius is the only one to make use of the 149

version implicating Nero, and, if we admit the authenticity of the passage of the Annals, we have to find some explanation for the conspiracy of silence which surrounded it during the first ten centuries of the life of the Church. [Gerard Walter, Nero, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1957, chapter IX, The Fire of Rome, p. 174.] EUNAPIUS, [d. 414] He wrote histories of other pagan philosophers of his period. There are some descriptions of triumphant Christians gleefully destroying the Pagan temples of Egypt and Greece! BOETHIUS, [475-524] The Consolation of Philosophy, book two, says, What murders, what ravages were not committed by Nero, that detestable monster who burnt the Capitol of the world, strangled its senators, poisoned his brother, ... Here is a slight exaggeration Nero did not exactly burn the Capitol of the world, it was burnt in 69, in the battle for Rome well after Neros death and five years after Neros fire was supposed to have happened. There is no mention of the Christians taking the blame and being executed on mass for the crime. And there is nothing for the next 1000 years of Christian or other literature connecting Neros fire and the Christian persecution. There is a biography of Nero which questions the Christian report of the fire. [Gerard Walter, Nero, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1957, chapter IX, The Fire of Rome, pp. 144174.] Mr. Walter, casts doubt on the account of the fire in Tacitus Annals and notes the lack of contemporary evidence that connects the fire with the early Christians. As we have seen Pliny the Elder mentions it in passing, but no other contemporary pagan author even mentions a fire at all. It is only Tacitus and Suetonius who mention Neros fire and they are writing for the same masters, the Flavians. The Flavian emperors experienced fires in their reign. The Capitol was burnt in Vespasians successful bid for the purple; and his son, Titus, had a disastrous fire in his time. But, the Flavian writers play down these events while exaggerating Neros fire. Especially the Tacitus passage seems more like propaganda than an accurate report of a widespread conflagration, which, incidentally, is not historically nor archaeologically verifiable. Suetonius mentions Neros fire but does not connect it with the Christians, he blames Nero without qualification. Both Gerard Walter and I think that Nero has suffered from extremely bad press. Reading between the lines we can find evidence that, contrary to the stories of his enemies, Nero was quite popular for his good works. The population reacted favourably to the several false Neros who impersonated him after his death, mentioned in Tacitus H. II, 8, 9, Suetonius, Nero, 57. and Dio Cassius, 64. 9. Both Otho and Vitellius were happy to be known as Nero. There is a fair amount of evidence of Neros good rule and works, if we ignore the outrageous slanders Nero suffered from the time of the Flavians throughout history. [Nero, pp. 255-256] He could be rehabilitated. More interesting is the fact that no early Christian writer mentions the fire, and the Christian connection for over 1.300 years. This is not an argument from silence as they had plenty of good reasons to use the evidence if it existed. For example, Augustine wrote a whole book on the disasters of Rome under the pagan emperors, yet he nowhere mentions Neros fire and persecution. Eusebius, the church historian, likewise does not record the incident nor the connection with the early Christians.

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The Capernaum Swine Cliff Carrington, 4-1-2000 About fifty years ago, a young boy asked a question of his Sunday School teacher. The lesson was on the Gadarene Swine. The little boy asked, Why was the Demon called Legion? The teacher, after a short pause, said, It was a hope of the Jews to drive the Roman Legions into the sea. That answer never convinced me! There Must be more to it than that? There must be a historical event behind the story? The Biblical episodes of the Demoniac and the Swine are found in Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20 & Luke 8:26-39. The basic story is: Jesus interrupts his mission, gets into a boat at Capernaum to cross the sea of Galilee, pacifying it on the way. He then destroys a large herd of swine belonging to either the Gadarenes or Gerasenes, and is asked to depart. He returns back to Capernaum and continues His mission. There have always been problems with this episode. Why did Jesus cross the sea from Capernaum, only to return immediately? Why was the demon called Legion? Why did Jesus cast the demons into swine? Why did the Legion destroy themselves in the sea? To whom did the swine belong, and why did they not demand payment for their lost property? What is the purpose of the whole episode? Over the years most scholars have avoided explaining this problem of the Swine episode. Some try to reach back into the Greek myths for an answer: like the Persephone myth which has a herd of swine swallowed by the earth, but absolutely no other parallels. This also avoids the Jewish history which must have been behind the episode. Mark and Luke locate the episode at Gerasa, while Matthew records it as having been at Gadara. This confusion has never been properly explained. These and other problems have been noticed by scholars. One, E. P. Sanders honestly remarks in a recent work - The Historical Figure of Jesus, Penguin, 1993, p. 155: The story is strange on all counts. It is by far the most dramatic exorcism attributed to Jesus, and it combines exorcism with nature - the swine. One of its details renders it unlikely. Gerasa is about thirty miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, and there is no other large body of water around. Matthew shifts the scene to Gadara, six miles from the sea, perhaps thinking that this reduces the problem though a six mile leap is just as impossible as one of thirty miles. I am at a loss to explain the story in the sense of finding a historical kernel. The solution to the historical kernel is to be found, not in the gospels nor any combination of them, but, in the History of Jewish War, by Josephus. The location of the story is the core of the solution. I suggest Capernaum as the disputed location. Outside of the Bible Josephus has the only other historical mention of Capernaum. The site of Capernaum cannot reliably be located even today. It dropped out of history after the Roman destruction during the Jewish war. Josephus Jewish War has a straight-forward account of a successful military campaign at Capernaum. Josephus, Jewish War bk. III IX. 7. He (Vespasian) came with three Legions, and pitched his camp thirty furlongs off Tiberias,... IX. 8. Now the elders of the people, and such as were of principal authority among them fled to the camp of the Romans... and fell down before Vespasian... and besought not to overlook them, nor to impute the madness of a few to the whole city, to spare a people who had been ever civil and obliging 151

to the Romans. X. 5. Hereupon those that were upon the walls were seized with terror at the boldness of (Titus) attempt, nor durst any one venture to fight with him or hinder him; so they left guarding the city, and some of these that were about Jesus fled over the country, while others of them ran down to the lake,.. X. 7. Now this lake of Gennesareth is so called from the country adjoining it... X. 8. The people of the country call it Capharnaum.... X. 9. Now those which were driven into the lake could neither fly to the land, where all was in their enemys hand, and in war against them, nor could they fight upon the surface of the sea, for their boats were small and fitted only for piracy; they were too weak to fight with Vespasians vessels... as for those that endeavoured to come to actual fight, the Romans ran many of them through with their long poles. Sometimes the Romans leaped into their boats, with swords in hand and slew them;.. And for such as were drowning in the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water they were either killed by the darts, or caught by the vessels... one might see the lake all bloody, and full of bodies, for not one of them escaped... The number of the slain,... was six thousand and five hundred.< Here we have it; the Legion of Swine were six thousand Jews driven into the sea! This made much more sense for the episode to have been originally placed at Capernaum, rather than the needless journey across the sea to do the miracle and immediately return to Capernaum. The Synoptics give us a miracle across the lake. If we change Gerasa or Gadara into Capernaum The Synoptics miracle story would conform to the historical events of Josephus: In any case we are led to one of two conclusions: (I) We believe Jesus crossed the lake merely to demonstrate to his disciples how he could work a miracle to destroy somebodys swine; and then returned immediately to Capernaum or; (II) The accounts in the Synoptics alter the situation at Capernaum as found in Josephus to somewhere across the sea, Gadara or even Gerasa. In other words, do we believe in a senseless miracle or a conscious reworking of history? In reading the Synoptics we must remember that they were written after Josephus and that they used him for historical purposes. The official history, Josephus Jewish War, was published by the Romans by 75 CE. Josephus was writing less than ten years after the Capernaum massacre. The Synoptics, on the other hand, were written at least forty years after the supposed miracle. However, the Synoptics, writing from a pro-Roman/anti-Jewish stance reworked this material for a special audience - potential Christians. The new sect of Christians needed to identify with the ruling power and disassociate themselves from the extremely unpopular Jews, who were always revolting. Capernaum in mentioned sixteen times in the gospels, twice as the home of Jesus: He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. Matthew 4:13 When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. Mark 2:1 It is also twice cursed by Jesus: And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if 152

the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. Matthew 11:23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. Luke 10:15 It is from his home in Capernaum Jesus flees, to curse it to destruction! (What deeds of power, Roman?) This in mind, we can see how the Synoptics revised reality and produced a parody of the actual events. They read the report in Josephus about the suppression of the revolt and massacre at Capernaum. Then, they merely turned the events upside down and wrote a miracle story which turned Jews into swine! There are too many parallels in the two stories for them not to be reflecting upon same event. The only two mentions of Capernaum: The massacre of Jews - those whom were driven into the lake - became a herd of swine destroyed by a demon called Legion, rather than the Roman Legion which destroyed the Capernaum Jews. The number of the swine, variously given, nearly equals the number in a Roman Legion, and of the Jews killed, about six thousand. Now, if Jesus destroyed six thousand swine in the sea, who was going to repay the owners of such a valuable herd? Furthermore, why was the demon in the Synoptics called Legion if not to refer to the real event in the minds of the contemporary members of the early church? The largest massacre in Galilee would not have gone un-noticed. The audacity of the Synoptics must be admired, but, what an insult to the Jews and what an amusement to the gentiles of the early Christian community! The account of Jesus pacifying the sea precedes the miracle of the swine - as if it were a description of the subsequent account, the Synoptics then give a parody of the Jews driven into the sea of Galilee, and its pacification by the Romans. If we want to follow Matthew and place the exorcism at Gadara, let us see what happened to the Gadarenes in the Jewish War of Josephus: Vespasian sent Placidus with 500 horse and 3000 foot to pursue those who had fled from Gadara,... (5) Placidus, relying on his cavalry and emboldened by his previous success, pursued the Gadarenes, killing all whom he overtook, as far as the Jordan. Having driven the whole multitude up to the river, where they were blocked by the stream, which being swollen by the rain was unfordable, he drew up his troops in line opposite them. Necessity goaded them to battle, flight being impossible... Fifteen thousand perished by the enemys hands, while the number of those who were driven to fling themselves into the Jordan was incalculable; about two thousand two hundred were captured. A mighty prey was taken also, consisting of asses, and sheep, and camels, and oxen (6) This blow was the greatest that had befallen the Jews, and appeared even greater than is was; for not only was the whole countryside through which their flight had lain one scene of carnage, and the Jordan choked with dead, but even the [Dead Sea] was filled with bodies, masses of which were carried down into it by the river. War 4. 7. 4-6 Again the Jews are driven into the water by the Romans and thousands are drowned. We should ask, did the people of the East herd swine? There is no record of this being a contemporary practice in the area. Perhaps in Europe, but not Syria or Judea. Note when Placidus captured the livestock of the Gadarenes it consisted of asses, sheep, camels, and oxen. No swine! Some might say, of course not, Jesus drove them to destruction. This begs the question of the near forty years between the destruction of the Gadarene swine by Jesus, and the Roman destruction of the Gadarenes in 67. There was plenty of time for the Gadarenes to raise another herd of swine. 153

So much for the Gadarenes. What about the good people of Gerasa? They fared no better on dry land: He also sent Lucius Annius to Gerasa, and delivered to him a body of horsemen, and a considerable number of footmen. So when he had taken the city, which he did at the first onset, he slew a thousand of those young men who had not prevented him by flying away; but he took their women and children captive, and permitted his soldiers to plunder them of their effects; after which he set fire to their houses, and went away to the adjoining villages, while the men of power fled away, and the weaker part were destroyed, and what was remaining was all burnt down. And now the war having gone through all the mountainous country, and all the plain country also, those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city. War 4. 9. 1. This is almost a set-piece description of the horrors of war. The defenders who had not fled were killed, their wives and children taken into slavery, their homes looted then burned! These massacres of the Jews at Capharnaum, Gadara and Gerasa must have been in the minds of the gospel writers; if not the first readers of those gospels. Any near contemporary who had read Josephus War would have certainly made the connections. To go back to Josephus account, who was the Jesus who was asked by the leaders to depart and leave them in peace and fled over the country just before the destruction of Capernaum? The following is a paraphrase of Josephus accounts of this Jesus of Galilee: The Demonic Jesus & The Capernaum Swine. [From Josephus Life, and Book 3 of his Jewish War.] Josephus was sent to Galilee, either to maintain peace, or as a general to organize the defences against the Romans. At the same time a Jesus of Galilee and his 600 followers were sent after him from Jerusalem to organize resistance to the expected Roman invasion. (Life, 40) Josephus surrendered when the city of Jotapata was betrayed to the Romans in exactly the time he had prophesied. When taken before Vespasian and hearing that he was to be sent as a prisoner to Nero, Josephus boldly prophesied that Nero would soon be gone, and Vespasian would be emperor. Nero was soon assisted in his suicide by his personal secretary Epaphroditus. Vespasian, after a few more prophecies and miracles then did become emperor! Josephus was lavishly rewarded. Is there a connection between Josephus earlier visit to Rome, with his intimate connections to Neros personal household - his knowledge, prophecy, of the impending demise of Nero - and the later dedications of his propaganda books to Epaphroditus? Then, there was Josephus intimate knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the fortifications of Galilee, as he had organized them! He also knew Jerusalem well and had high connections there, through his family. This intelligence would have been invaluable to the invading Romans Jesus of Galilee had to depart Tiberius and later Tarichae because the leaders of the cities went over to the Romans pleading that the actions of a Mad-Man not be blamed upon them and the other peaceful, loyal, citizens. Anyhow, this Jesus of Galilee and his followers departed from the loyal cities. Then they attacked the Roman camp from the sea as it was being constructed and caused considerable damage before taking to their boats. They rowed out of bow-shot and taunted the Romans. Vespasian saw this as a problem. The Jews could retreat into or across the sea, even to Gadara or 154

Gerasa, with impunity. So, to pacify the sea Vespasian had rafts built under secrecy. When the day of reckoning came his troops on land closed in on Capernaum. Jesus of Galilee with his followers fled into the wilderness and this is the last we ever read of him. When the remaining Jews of Capernaum looked out to sea that fateful morning they saw, through the mist, a string of Roman rafts with soldiers standing upon them; like they were walking upon the water. Their gleaming armour and spears were like a wall of bronze. Vespasians land troops attacked, driving the Jews into the sea. Their boats were hemmed in by the Roman rafts. The stones flung by the Jews bounced harmlessly off of the Romans armour. On the other sandal, the Roman javelins, arrows, slings and pikes destroyed the light boats and their occupants. There were no survivors. Some six thousand Jews, (the size of a Legion), were destroyed or drowned in the sea. Their bodies became bloated, like swine, and the stench was overpowering for weeks! (For this Pacifying of the sea Vespasian was awarded a Naval Crown, Corona Navalis, in his Triumph as victor in the war!) Both Gadara, Gerasa and all of the territory East of the Jordan were subsequently pacified, destroyed, with great slaughter by Vespasians Xth Legion, commanded by Trajan, father of the future emperor. This left only Jerusalem in Jewish hands, the territory of Galilee and Perea having been subdued! The operations were then suspended upon the death of the emperor, Nero, until a new emperor could give authorization for the war. After the year was out, Vespasian was the new Emperor in Rome. His son, Titus, finished off the Jerusalem campaign and the destruction of the Temple. Then he and Josephus sailed to Rome on the same ship. Years later, when challenged by a rival historian about his questionable actions in Galilee Josephus threw back the taunt - How would you know? There were no survivors to tell the tale! (Life, 358) Josephus Jesus of Galilee may have no connection to the canonical Jesus of Galilee, but the Swine story certainly does? This is as far as the mainstream literature goes, there were no survivors! >>Having then put the work away I had almost forgotten about it. Then, much later, a friend, Dr. Rodney Blackhirst, visited with a little known gospel forgery, (arent they all forgeries?). It was a medieval work which showed late fabrications or modifications of the canonical gospel stories with many Islamic additions. He had found it in a Turkish food store. Over the next few months we examined this work, Pseudo-Gospel of Barnabas, (arent they all pseudo?). Dr. Blackhirst decided to do a serious study of this rare and ridiculed book, thinking that there were possible reflections of early material embedded within the work. Meanwhile, remembering the earlier work on Josephus I read Barnabas account of the Swine episode. Aside from Josephus there is one other historical mention of Capernaum; the medieval Gospel of Barnabas. In the Gospel of Barnabas the scene of the Swine episode is slightly altered from the Synoptics accounts - to Capernaum: The Demons & the Swine. 21. 1. Jesus went up to Capernaum, and as he drew near to the city behold there came out of the tombs one that was possessed of a devil, and in such wise that no chain could hold him, and he did great harm to the man. The demons cried out through his mouth, saying: O holy one of God, why are you come before the time to trouble us? And they prayed him that he would not cast them forth. 155

2. Jesus asked them how many they were. They answered: Six thousand six hundred and sixty-six. When the disciples heard this they were affrighted, and prayed Jesus that he would depart. Then Jesus said: Where is your faith? It is necessary that the demon should depart, and not I. The demons therefore cried: We will come out, but permit us to enter into those swine. There were feeding there, near to the sea, about ten thousand swine belonging to the Canaanites. 3. Thereupon Jesus said: Depart, and enter into the swine. With a roar the demons entered into the swine, and cast them headlong into the sea. Then fled into the city they that fed the swine, and recounted all that had been brought to pass by Jesus. Accordingly the men of the city came forth and found Jesus and the man that was healed. The men were filled with fear and prayed Jesus that he would depart out of their borders. Jesus accordingly departed from them and went up into the parts of Tyre and Sidon.< In the canonical gospels Jesus departs to Tyre and Sidon after being warned by the Pharisees (his enemies?) that Herod was after him. Just at this time some Pharisees came up [to Jesus], Go away, they said. Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you! Luke, 13:31-32 After this good advice from his Pharisaic enemies Jesus then flees, or departs, Galilee for areas which were not under Herods control. He spends some time doing miracles in region of Tyre and then returns to Galilee briefly before finally going up to Jerusalem to his death. Mark breaks down on his geography at this point: Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. Mark 7:31 Sidon is in the other direction, away from, not towards the Sea of Galilee? Further the Decapolis was on the East of the sea, not on the Western side facing Tyre. Up until this point Marks geography is coherent. Is the Barnabas account more sensible than the garbled and contradictory accounts in the Synoptics? Is Barnabas reflecting an earlier, more reasonable, version of the Swine story? Is the author following Josephus?

The Peregrinations of Paul Cliff Carrington, July, 1999 Often there is more truth in jest than is noted. The satirist, Lucian (120-190 CE), gives us the earliest independent substantial secular source for the existence of Christianity following the Flavian forgers and myth-makers from late in the first century. Flavius Vespasian replaced the Julio-Claudian line of emperors and needed a literary justification for his dynastys rule. Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius and even Pliny the younger were all Flavian employees. It is in this Flavian Four where we have the first noncanonical testaments to the Christians. Flavius Josephus makes no apology for his biases: The treatment I received from the Emperors continued unaltered. On Vespasians decease Titus, who succeeded to the empire, showed the same esteem for me as did his father, and never credited the accusations to which I was constantly subjected. Domitian succeeded Titus and added to my honours. He punished my Jewish accusers. [Life, 76.] 156

Josephus Jewish accusers were probably other historians accusing him of being a blatant Roman propagandist. Despite his disclaimers in his own writing he gives them grounds for such a belief: This account I have given the reader, not so much with the intention of commending the Romans, as of comforting those that have been conquered by them, and of deterring others from attempting innovations under their government. [War, 3.5.8.] That he was the sole historian of the Jewish war approved by the emperors is a matter of great pride to Josephus. It was his books on the war which were the Authorised Version: Now the Emperor Titus was so desirous that the knowledge of these affairs should be taken from these books alone, that he subscribed his own hand to them, and ordered that they should be published. [Life 65] His contemporary historian, Tacitus, follows: My official career owed its beginning to Vespasian, its progress to Titus and its further advancement to Domitian. [Histories, 1.] Suetonius wrote the existing biographies of the Flavians and Pliny was a friend of the Flavian family. These four men were well placed as the official historians of the new dynasty which changed the face of the Roman empire and Western culture forever. Unofficial historians, or those who did not follow the party line, were severely dealt with: Then Hermogenes of Tarsus died because of some incautious allusions that he had introduced into a historical work; and the slaves who acted as his copyists were crucified. [Suetonius, Domitian 10.] There is an argument that the Flavian testimonies to the Christians are interpolations. However, these were official histories, therefore if the Christian passages are interpolations they are official. One simply did not interfere with the histories of this period without risking dire consequences. A case can be made that the Christians and Gospels were actually a product of the Flavians. According to Suetonius, Vespasians son, Titus, was a master forger and propagandist who installed a select group of exceptional men who served the succeeding emperors as invaluable servants for both their private and public needs: It often amused Titus to compete with his secretaries at shorthand dictation, or so I have heard; and he claimed that he could imitate any handwriting in existence and might, in different circumstances, have been the most celebrated forger of all time. He chose as his friends men whom succeeding emperors also retained as indispensable alike to themselves and to the State, and of whose services they made special use. [Suetonius, Titus, 3 & 7] (Desposyni?) Following the disastrous civil wars during the year of the four emperors, in 69, the Flavians instituted a regime which was stable for almost 150 years. These were the forgers and propagandists behind the scene who insured this period of stability in the empire. This was also the period of the consolidation of Christianity and the first historical appearance of the Gospels. The Flavian historians wrote up a series of miracles and prophecies which were used to justify the rise of their patrons. Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius all describe an oracle that there would be a world ruler from the East, whom they identify as their patron Vespasian. Tacitus and Suetonius record, among other portents, the Jesus-like healing of the blind and lame by Vespasian in Alexandria. Josephus throws in his famous prophecy for Vespasian, which Suetonius also records. These are the Flavian Synoptics. These men were not the only ones in the emperors employment who could fabricate miracles and portents. Being of common origin the Flavians needed supernatural support for the establishment of 157

their dynastic rule. Et in Arcadia Ego: At this same time, by the direction of certain soothsayers, some vases of antique workmanship were dug up in a consecrated spot at Tegea in Arcadia and on them was an image very like Vespasian. [Suetonius, Vespasian. 7.] However, Tacitus gives away the plot: It may be that mysterious prophecies were already circulating, and that portents and oracles promised Vespasian and his sons the purple; but it was only after the rise of the Flavians that we Romans believed in such stories. [Histories, 1. 10.] However we look at these historians they are compromised by their own admission as being Flavian hack-writers. If we want an independent source for the existence of early Christianity we have to look elsewhere. It is my considered opinion - and in dealing with this period one must have an opinion to make any sense of it at all - that these people were quite capable of creating the Gospels and propagating them in their own interest to provide an Hellenistic alternative to Judaism. If this clandestine project of theirs did flourish into an unexpected religion, well and good as it was tame and answerable to authority. It did indeed work so well that Christianity soon became the authority itself. Lucian is our first truly independent source describing a Christian sect which would have been around for some time in the first third of the second century. The poor wretches have convinced themselves, first and foremost, that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, in consequence of which they despise death and even willingly give themselves unto custody, most of them. Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that they are all brothers of one another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws. Therefore they despise all things indiscriminately and consider them common property, receiving these doctrines traditionally without any definite evidence. So if any charlatan and trickster, able to profit by occasions, comes among them, he quickly acquires sudden wealth by imposing upon simple folk. (They were even cursed with T.V. preachers back then!) The poor suggests a Jewish/Christian sect of the Christians which Lucian is describing. This will become plain later in the text. These early Christians show all of the major distinctions which separated them from the rest of society at the time. They believed themselves immortal and that they were all brothers (and sisters I presume). The feature which really separates them from others in the society is their denying of the old Greek gods. Lucian also writes that they worshipped a crucified sophist and lived under his laws. Communism is described as flourishing in this sect. Back then the Romans distrusted Communism as much as the Americans do today. However, Lucian notes, quite clearly, that these Christians believed in their doctrines traditionally without any definite evidence. Faith, brother! All of this accords with the later descriptions of the Christians by themselves. Lucian was writing in almost the same years as Justin Martyr was supposed to be encountering the Gospels for the first time in recorded history. Perhaps these Gospels were now needed to furnish the definite evidence lacking in the Christians of the very early second century. Lucians purpose is to describe one of the charlatans who duped these simple folk: It was then that he learned the wondrous lore of the Christians, by associating with their priests in Palestine. And - how else could it be? In a trice he made them all look like children; for he was prophet, 158

cult-leader, head of the synagogue, and everything, all by him self. He interpreted and explained some of their books and even composed many, and they revered him as a god, made use of him as a lawgiver, and set him down as a protector, next after that other, to be sure, whom they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world. What were these books which the early Christians had? One would immediately think of the gospels. However, Lucian has neither the interest nor the literary need to name the Christian books, therefore we can only conjecture. So what type of literature did this interloper compose to contribute to the Christian writings? We are on somewhat firmer ground here because Lucian has an interest and a literary need to describe the type of his compositions. At the end of the Satire Lucian writes of his dispatching Epistles: The story is that he dispatched epistles [epistolas] to almost all the famous cities - testamentary dispositions - so to speak, and exhortations and prescriptions - and he appointed a number of ambassadors for this purpose from his comrades. By associating first with the leaders in Palestine this huckster became a respected member of the sect and soon rose to the top, an arch-apostle. Anyhow, the charlatan is eventually imprisoned for his activity as a Christian: Then at length (the charlatan) was apprehended for this and thrown into prison. Lucian then goes on about how supportive the Christians were for the prisoner and how he was eventually freed: Well when he had been imprisoned, the Christians, regarding the incident as a calamity, left nothing undone in the effort to rescue him. Then, as this was impossible, every other form of attention was shown to him, not in any casual way but with assiduity; and from the very break of day aged widows and orphan children could be seen waiting near the prison, while their officials even slept inside with him after bribing the guards. Then elaborate meals were brought in, and sacred books of theirs were read aloud... Indeed, people came even from the cities of Asia, sent by the Christians at their common expense, to succour and defend and encourage the hero. They show incredible speed whenever any such public action is taken; for in no time they lavish their all. So it was then in the case of (this charlatan) much money came to him from them by reason of his imprisonment, and he procured not a little revenue from it. However, (the charlatan) was freed by the then governor of Syria, a man who was fond of philosophy. He was not even given the customary scourging before being freed, the Lucian Satire adds. In both the Lucian Satire and the Lukian Acts the Christians are allowed to visit the prisoner. This raises a question. If Christians were being persecuted by the Romans and arrested at every opportunity, why were these Christians, who came flocking to the prison, not also arrested? Perhaps the Romans only arrested the civil trouble-makers and left the harmless ones alone? In the fourth century Eusebius could only account for 146 Christian martyrs. This is out of a population of sixty million which continued over two hundred years. It is not a great percentage of martyrs. Then, Lucian writes about this charlatans further peregrinations and his final falling out with the Christians: He left home, then, for the second time, to roam about, possessing an ample source of funds in the Christians, through whose ministrations he lived in unalloyed prosperity. For a time he fattened himself thus; but then, after he had transgressed in some way even against them - he was seen, I think, eating 159

some of the food that is forbidden them - they no longer accepted him. This passage identifies these early Christians as ones who were probably still following the Jewish dietary restrictions, as did the Ebionites. Saul/Paul had this same dietary problem which eventually separated him from the Jerusalem Church where he was no longer accepted. This prophet and cult-leader in the Lucian Satire has an uncanny resemblance to the character of Saul/Paul in the Lukian Acts. The charlatans name is Peregrinus, also known as Proteus. These Christian passages from Lucian are in the Death of Peregrinus (de Morte Peregrini), paragraphs 1116. In the Loeb, volume 5, pp. 13-19. This Peregrinus is well attested, and respected, by his contemporaries, Aulus Gellius (123-170 CE), Tatian (110-172), Athenagoras (120-177) and Tertullian (145-220). (See Appendix) He is recorded as a Cynic philosopher by later writers such as Philostratus the elder, and Ammianus Marcellinus. Notice, however, that the Christians Tatian, Athenagoras, and Tertullian do not claim him, and he is not mentioned in connection with the Christians anywhere else except in the Satire of Lucian. Only Lucian identifies him as a lapsed Christian. Peregrinus died, by self-immolation, in public at Olympia in 165 CE. Lucian had earlier met him in person and later witnessed his spectacular death. But, Lucian thought of him as merely a fraud and a notoriety-seeker. The manuscript tradition of the Satire is good, several going back to the 9th and 10th centuries. The Satire is missing in some later manuscripts because it was put on the Index Librorium Prohibitorum. (I wonder why?) It was thought to have been written soon after the event in 165, probably about 167. The Satire implies that Peregrinus was an old man when he suicided and that he had been a Christian as a young man. This would put his Christian adventures in about the 130s. This scenario would fit several time schemes for the development of early Christianity. But, for the moment let us look at the parallels between this Protean character and Saul/Paul. He interpreted the Christian books and even wrote some for them. From the evidence in Lucian this Proteus had a practice of writing catholic letters containing exhortations and prescriptions, like Paul of the Epistles. He became their leader and law-giver. Then he differed with them on their food restrictions. The Paul of the Epistles is like Proteus, the archetype shape-changer. I have become all things to all people. (1 Corinthians 9:22) Perhaps there is more in the meaning than has been apparent. I do not wish to push the identification of these two characters any further than to point out the canny resemblances. This Lucian Satire ends with Peregrinus/Proteus giving up his body to the flames as his ultimate bid for notoriety. Paul says: If I give up my body to the flames so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3) Lucians self-sacrificing character says, And I wish to benefit mankind by showing them the way in which one should despise death. (Peregrinus 33.) Josephus says at the end of a speech to the war-like Jews besieged in Jerusalem; Take my own blood as a reward, if it may but procure your preservation; for I am ready to die in case you will but return to a sound mind after my death. (Jewish War, 5. 9. 4.) Jesus supposedly went to his death voluntarily. It must have been the thing to do in those days. But, sensible men, like Lucian, ridiculed such acts, perhaps hoping to prevent others from following the lead of these senseless self-sacrifices. Peregrinus was following the example of the Indian philosophers such as Calanus who self-immolated in front of Alexander the Great and his army. These examples of the ultimate fortitude were much admired by the extreme Cynics. Lucian was cynical, but not suicidal.

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The sect of philosophers known as the Cynics flourished under the stable Empire of the Good Emperors in the first two centuries of our era. Some of the more famous whose work has survived are the other peregrinator Dio Chrysostom, Musonius Rufus, the would-be peacemaker, and his student. the almost-Christian, Epictetus. From Vespasian to Severus the Empire was relatively liberal to feral philosophers and even Christians. The Flavians initiated this blessed age which lasted for almost 150 years. To return to the Lucian Satire, in which he mentions these early Christians, their books, and their beliefs - Jesus is not named! If Lucian knew of Christians why not Jesus? He calls him; that other, to be sure, whom they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine and that crucified sophist. Why is Jesus not named? Perhaps as a crucified man Jesus was cursed and also his name? That would be a Jewish excuse, but Lucian is not Jewish. The question remains open. One other problem is - who is Lucian slandering, Peregrinus or the gullible Christians? He seems to be almost sympathetic to these Christians, calling them nothing worse than simple folk. There is a note of indignation in Lucians account of this charlatan and trickster imposing upon them. The Lucian Satire is good independent evidence for the existence of recognizable Christians in the first third of the second century who worshipped a crucified hero. Lucian also gives us a recognizable type of an epistle writing Saul/Paul in the form of Peregrinus/Proteus. Is this all we can say? [If one came from Jupiter and read the description of Saul/Paul in Lukes Acts one could justifiably come to the conclusion that Paul is being described as a Roman agent-provocateur travelling about disrupting the Synagogues and dividing the Jews! Whereas, when one reads Pauls Epistles one finds a neurotic maniac/depressive. Can these two be the same character?] APPENDIX Flavian writers: Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, bk. 18, ch 3 (Jesus) Tacitus, Annals 15. 44. (Christians and Christ) Suetonius, Claudius 25 (Chrestus) & Nero 16. (Christians) Pliny the Younger, Letters, bk. 10, 96, 97. (Christians) These are the other secular and Christian references to Peregrinus: Lucian also mentions Peregrinus in passing in his Satire Demonax 21. Aulus Gellius (123-170 CE) Attic Nights. Book VIII, 3. (Fragment) In what terms and how severely the philosopher Peregrinus in my hearing rebuked a young Roman of equestrian rank, who stood before him inattentive and constantly yawning. Book XII, 11. When I was at Athens, I met a philosopher named Peregrinus, who was later surnamed Proteus, a man of dignity and fortitude, living in a hut outside the city. And visiting him frequently, I heard him say 161

many things that were in truth helpful and noble. (Aulus then describes the teaching that mens hidden crimes are not hidden from god.) Tatian (110-172) Address to the Greeks, XXV. Though they (philosophers) say that they want nothing, yet, like Proteus, they need a currier for their wallet, and a weaver for their mantle, and a wood-cutter for their staff. Athenagoras (120-177) A Plea for the Christians, XXVI. But of the statues of Alexander and Proteus - the latter, you are aware, threw himself into the fire near Olympia, that of Proteus is likewise said to utter oracles. (The Alexander Athenagoras mentions is the subject of another Satire of Lucian Alexander the False Prophet.) Tertullian (145-220) Ad Martyras IV. The philosophers have been outstripped - for instance Heraclitus, who, smeared with cowdung, burned himself; and of Empedocles, who leapt down into the fires of Aetna; and Peregrinus, who not long ago threw himself on the funeral pile. Philostratus the Elder (b. 190) In his work On the Lives of the Philosophers there was a Proteus the Cynic which has not survived. He mentions Peregrinus in passing as a famous Cynic philosopher in other parts of his writing. However, my copy of Philostratus has gone Walk-About I will have to chase it down. The references to Peregrinus in Ammianus Marcellinus. XXIX, 1, 39, and Eusebius, Chronology II, p. 170, I cannot supply. My source for Lucian is from the Loeb, volume five of the Satires . The Church Fathers quoted above are from the Eerdman edition of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 1. The Josephus quotation is from Whistons translation.

A defence of MARY MAGDALENE the gnostic who knew the all Mary, called the Magdalene, the archetypical adulteress reformed by Jesus, is an important figure in the western tradition. But for the wrong reason, as there is no evidence, either in the Gospels or Apocrypha, or the Church Fathers, that she was an adulteress or harlot. The Church has allowed that belief to continue, and often encouraged stories of her conversion from prostitution to the faith. It was not until the seventh century in the Western Church that Mary Magdalene was identified with the sinner[1] who washed his feet, while the Orthodox Church has kept them separate. The Greek Church followed the exegesis of Origen and always distinguished three separate women: Mary of Betheny, Lazerus sister; Mary Magdalene, the witness of the Resurrection; and the sinner. In the Orthodox calendar, their feasts are kept on three different days. But in the west, ever since the interpretation of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), the three have been combined under the name of Mary Magdalene, whose memory is celebrated on July 22.[2] 162

The destruction of the reputation of Mary Magdalene served the church well in its suppression of women through the ages. That the stories have no basis and the accepted tradition is a lie does not seem to matter, it seems that the ends justify the means in organized religion. Let us look at the facts as we have them in the writings of the Gospels, Apocrypha, and contemporary works. First the canonical Gospels: (Luke 8:1-3) Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, {2} as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, {3} and Joanna, the wife of Herods steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. (Mark 15:40-41) There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. {41} These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem. (Mark 15:45-47) When he [Pilate] learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. {46} Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. {47} Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid. (John 20:1) Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. (Mark 16:9-11) Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. {10} She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. {11} But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. Always seven demons! There is no mention of a seventh commandment, only seven demons. For the church fathers the Mary Magdalene of the Gospels is the only one they know, and when writing on subjects where mention would be expected such as Adultery, or Prostitution Mary is not used by example or illustration. The early Fathers of the church up to the fourth century mention her as little as possible; but not the writers of the Apocrypha. They held her in high regard, so high that she rivals Jesus Himself and overshadows the Apostles in her wisdom. We can read of this adoration of the Magdalene in the Gospel of Mary; Peter said to Mary: Sister we know the lord loved you more than the rest of the women. Tell us the words of the saviour which you remember, which you know, but we do not nor have heard them. Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.. Peter answered... Did He really speak with a woman without our knowledge and not openly? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us? Then Mary wept and said to Peter, My brother Peter, what do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart, or that I am lying about the Savior? Levi answered and said to Peter, Peter, you have always been hottempered. Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well. That is why He loved her more than us...[3]

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Also in the Gospel of Thomas; Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go out from among us, because women are not worthy of the Life. Jesus said, See, I shall lead her, so that I make her a male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males.[4] On the Companion of Jesus [E Hetaire, = companion, which can also mean courtesan or whore.] There were three who always walked with the Lord Mary his mother and her sister and the Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.[5] As for the Wisdom who is called the barren, she is the mother [of the] angels. And the companion of the [...] Mary Magdalene. [... loved] her more than [all] the disciples.[and used to] kiss her [often] on her [...]. The rest of [the disciples...]. They said to him, Why do you love her more than all of us? The savior answered and said to them, Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness. The Lord said, Blessed is he who is before he came into being. For he who is, has been and shall be.[6] We have seen that the accounts of Mary Magdalene written during the period of the formation of the church make no mention of a reputation for Adultery. On the contrary we see her as a very respected companion of Jesus. To discover what the seven demons represented to the people of the period would assist our understanding of Mary Magdalene and her role in the early church. There is an interesting prayer that could have come from Mary Magdalene in Acts of Thomas: Come, thou holy name of Christ that is above every name. Come, thou power of the Most High, and the compassion that is perfect. Come, gift (charism) of the Most High. Come, compassionate Mother. Come, she that revealeth the hidden mysteries. Come, Mother of the seven houses, that thy rest may be in the seventh house.[7] Come, elder of the five members, Mind, Thought, Reflection, Consideration, Reason; communicate with these young men. Come, Holy Spirit, and cleanse their reins and their heart, and give them the added seal, in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Ghost.[8] This prayer reads like an initiation by a priestess of an Astrological cult. That Mary Magdalene was a votary of such a cult before Jesus came into her life, would seem to be a more satisfactory explanation than some violation of the seventh commandment. In light of modern archaeological discoveries such as the Nag Hammadi Library and other collections of writing from the period it seems certain that the Astrological Seven (rather than seventh sin) is meant when speaking of the demons of the Magdalene. In the Gnostic works she plays a dominant role, in the Pistis Sophia Mary asks the questions [39 out of the 42 asked] and also answers most of them from Jesus, to the annoyance of the Apostles. It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished speaking these words unto his disciples, that he said unto them: Do ye understand in what manner I discourse with you? And Peter started forward and said unto Jesus: My Lord, we will not endure this woman, for she taketh the opportunity from us and hath let none of us speak, but she discourseth many times. And Jesus answered and said unto his disciples: Let him in whom the power of his spirit shall seeth, so 164

that he understandeth what I say, come forward and speak...[9] It is she who explains the ascent of the soul through the spheres and the judgements in the after-life. It came to pass then, when Mary had heard the Saviour say these words, that she gazed fixedly into the air for the space of an hour. She said: My lord. give commandment unto me to speak in openness. And Jesus, the compassionate, answered and said unto Mary: Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren. Then said Mary to the Saviour... She then explains Jesus description of the Planetary ascent, and Jesus blesses her: It came to pass then, when Mary had finished saying these words, that He said: Well said Mary, for thou art blessed before all women on the earth, because thou shalt be the fullness of all fullnesss and the perfection of all perfections.[10] There is another Gnostic work called the Dialogue of the Savior which also has Mary Magdalene in a prominent position asking questions of Jesus on at least an equal standing with the Disciples. Mary said, Thus about the wickedness of each day and the laborer being worthy of his food, and the disciple resembling his teacher. This word she spoke as a woman who knew the All. [11] (83) Mary said, There is but one saying I will speak to the Lord concerning the mystery of truth: In this we have taken our stand, and to the cosmic we are transparent.[12] The cosmic to which they are transparent are the seven Planetary spheres, governors or administrators, which were thought to impede the ascent to the true Heaven. The worship of the Planetary Gods was never so wide spread as during the times we are examining. The Roman Peace and communication throughout the world, combined with the Alexandrian centred explosion of learning, fostered a revival in philosophical and religious study which mixed the East and West. In the Pistis Sophia, where Mary takes precedence, we find that the whole work is built around the Cosmic or Planetary ascent. Almost every part of the world at that time was penetrated by Mystical sects promising a new life here and survival after death. Most of these used the Heavens and Planets as their symbols of higher Truths. That Mary Magdalene had done the same would not be surprising. Her name, Magdalene, may even be derived from the feminine of Magus - Magi. That the later church suppressed such Astrological cults and their Mary Magdalene is certain; that to blacken her reputation the story of the fallen woman was invented for circulation is fair speculation. However, a converted Votary or Priestess of a Gnostic Astrological cult is more likely, than the adulteress, to be Jesus companion and first witness of the Resurrection. C.N.C. 7-85

[1] Mat 26.6-13; Mark 14 3-8 [2] Warner, M., Alone of All Her Sex, p. 228 [3] Gospel of Mary, ch.10, N.H.L., 2nd ed., pp. 526,527 [4] Gospel of Thomas, Logion 114 165

[5] Gospel of Philip, N.H.L., 2nd ed., p. 145, 59.9. [6] Gospel of Philip (II,3), 63.34-65.12, N.H.L., 2nd ed., p.148 [7] see Proverbs. 8-9 [8] Acts of Thomas 27 [9] Pistis Sophia, 36, pp. 46,47 [10] Pistis Sophia, p. 20-22 [11] Dialogue of the Savior, N.H.L., 1st ed., p. 235 [12] Dialogue of the Savior, N.H.L., 2nd ed., p. 253

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FLAVIANS, CELTS & CHRISTIANS.


A Study of the Earliest Christianity in the British Isles. Comparing Bede and Monmouth, with Tacitus and Suetonius. Wayne William Blakeley B.A.(Hum)., B.Theol., Dip.Ed. 1999. The majority of histories concerned with the Church in the British Isles begin with a very brief account of the Roman invasion under Julius Caesar in (55 B.C.E.). Some mention the Claudian invasion and Vespasian but most simply use these events as an easy introduction to what they consider the real history of the Church in the British Isles which begins with the Martyrdom of St Alban in (304 C.E.). Even Eusebius first mentions Britain in his History of the Church only when he comes to St Albans time under Diocletian (284-305 C.E.). Very few Church historians ever bother to examine the very early history of Christianity in this part of the Roman Empire. Most begin with St Alban while other begin later still with the mission of Ausgustine of Canterbury (596-7 C.E.) but few attempt to explain the very earliest histories that have come down to us such as the works Bede and Geoffrey of Monmouth. Both of these great mens works are simple treated as non factual Medieval wishful thinking written to justify their own stand on the pressing issues of their time. However, because most writers have passed over the works of these two Historians the small clues they offer about the early development of Christianity in the British Isles have not been fully explored. The clues which are embedded in their sometimes hard to believe narratives have simple been ignored. These clues have never, to my knowledge, been isolated and rigorously examined. Nor have they been compared to those histories written by the Roman writes that have subsequently formed the foundation of Western history such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, and later Eusebius. It is my intention in this paper to examine the parts of the histories of Bede and Monmouth that relate to the first and second centuries and compare them with the histories of mainly Tacitus and Suetonius so as to establish a clear understanding of the earliest foundation on which the Christian faith of any sort came to the British Isles. The Venerable Bede (673-735.C.E.), educated under Abbot Benedict, served at Jarrow under Abbot Ceolfrid. This Bede was the author of the History of the English Church and People which was given royal approval by the court of King Ceolwulf in (731.C.E.). Bede states that the first Christian King was Lucius who in (156 C.E.) received the Christian faith under the direction of Pope Eleutherus. In the year of our Lords Incarnation 156, Marcus Antoninus Verus, fourteenth from Augustus, became Emperor jointly with his brother Aurelius Commodus. During their reign, and while the holy Eleutherus ruled the Roman Church, Lucius, a British king, sent him a letter, asking to be made a Christian by his direction. This pious request was quickly granted, and the Britons received the Faith and held it peacefully in all its purity and fullness until the time of the Emperor Diocletian[1]. This passage is preceded by his account of Vespasians subjection of the Isle of Wight. Bede does not give us an account of the years between the time of Vespasians activities in Britain and the time of King Lucius. He simply skips over them and records Lucius conversion. This leaves a gap in Bedes history of a hundred years. One thing that we can be sure of is that Bede did not know the intervening history. Bede was not in the position, as we are today, to see embarrassing connections that the 167

intervening history, which we will examine in this paper. If he had shared our position he may never had written that the Britons received the Faith and held it peacefully in all its purity and fullness until the time of the Emperor Diocletian[2]. The Christian faith may well have been received in Britain at this time in history but was it as pure or as full as Bedes history would have us believe? On what sort of foundation was the earliest Church in the British Isles built? The history of the Roman Empires dealings with Britain was recorded in the works of Tacitus and Suetonius. However, it is not until Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his History of the Kings of Britain at St Georges college in Oxford between (1129 to 1151. C.E.) that we are given an account of Lucius family history. Monmouth tells us that Lucius was the great, great, grandson of a King Avirargus who had once refused to continue his homage to the Senate[3] and arrogating all things to himself instead[4] when Claudius was Emperor. Claudius sent Vespasian to deal with Avirargus and to either bring about a reconciliation with Arvirargus or else to force him back into subjection to Rome[5]. Vespasian attempted a landing at Richborough but Arvirargus prevented him. Vespasian redirected his force and came ashore at Totnes[6]. Vespasian marched on Exeter[7] and besieged the city for six days until on the seventh day Arvirargus arrived with his army and attacked Vespasians besiegers. The two forces clashed and the battle ran all day but neither side could gain the victory as the light of day faded. As the new day dawned both armies where still suffering from the pervious days' battle and Queen Genvissa acted as mediator and the two leaders made peace[8]. At the end of the winter Vespasian returned to Rome and Arvirargus at last, as old age came upon him, began to show deference to the Senate and to rule his kingdom in peace and quiet[9]. He lived to a good old age, died in the reign of Nero and was buried in the Temple of Deified Claudius in Gloucester. In the beginning of his history Monmouth complains that outside of Bede and Gildas he could find out nothing of the Kings that came before the time of Christ or those who came after until the time of King Vortigern (449.C.E.) and Ambrosius Aurelianus (493.C.E.). His complaining came to an end when Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford presented him with a book of histories in the British language. Monmouth translated this text into Latin and found that it contained a history of the Kings of Britain from the time of the fall of Troy (1240 B.C.E) to the time of Cadwallader (689.C.E.). This text became the foundation of Monmouths history as we have it today. This however does not verify the events found in Monmouths history. Some of the events such as the conversion of King Lucius and the victories of Ambrosius Aurelianus are found in Bede and Gildas but the rest of the information covered in Monmouths history has no other sources to check it against. Indeed, it stands alone and thus we must endeavour to verify his statements as best we can. So, let us begin and see on how much of Monmouths account we can rely. The history of Arvirargus gives us our best leads to begin with since he is connected with the Claudian invasion. Thus, if we take the date of Claudius ascension which took place in the (794) year after the foundation of Rome in (753 B.C.E.) and we subtract (753) from (794) we will get (41) which would make the date of Claudius ascension to the Purple (41 C.E.). This date is verified from the other end of Claudius life by the fact that Suetonius says that Claudius died during the consulship of Asinius Marcellus and Acilius Aviola, in his sixty-forth year, and the fourteenth year of his reign[10]. Thus, (753)+(41)+(14)=(808) years since the foundation of Rome. (808)-(753-1) = (54) [11] gives us the date of his death in (54 C.E.). (54)-(64)=(-10) which would make the date of Claudius birth (10 B.C.E.). From these dates we can establish some rough dates for Arvirargus. Arvirargus was old enough (18-20+) to take over the rule of his father kingdom just before Claudius invasion. Claudius sent his troops into Britain in (43 C.E.) (2) years after his ascension to the Purple in (41 C.E.). Thus, we may say that Arvirargus came to power in (40 C.E.) between the ages of twenty and thirty-five which would suggest that he was born within the 168

first decade of the first century. We know that Arvirargus lived at least into the late (50s C.E.) for he is mentioned in the Satires of the Roman writer Juvenal who puts him in the context of dateable figures, and Monmouth is good enough to give us Juvenals quotation in Latin. Regem aliquem capies, aut de themone Britanno Decidet Arvirargus.[12] You will capture some king - perhaps Arvirargus of Britain will tumble out of his chariot[13]. Juvenal places these words in the mouth of a blind man who says this line to the Emperor Nero. Therefore, we can at least say the Arvirargus lived into Neros reign. By comparing the firm dates of the dateable characters mentioned in the reliable histories, such as I have done with Claudius above, with those characters from Monmouths history, such as Arvirargus, that have no fixed dates we can establish rough dates for Monmouths characters via their reported connection with the dateable characters in the more reliable sources we have. This is the method that I have used hereafter to offer dates for the characters mentioned in this section of Monmouths History. All date after this point will be (C.E.) dates unless otherwise denoted as (B.C.E.) dates. So, let us now continue to examine Monmouth and see on how much of his account we can rely. Arvirargus was the youngest son of the famous Cunobelinus of Catuvellauni or Cymbeline, as Monmouth calls him. Cymbeline was the son of Tenvantius, the Duke of Cornwall, who succeeded to the throne after the death of Cassivelaunus, who had made peace with Julius Caesar in (55 B.C.E). Cymbeline, Monmouth tells us was, a powerful warrior whom Augustus Caesar had reared in his Household and equipped with weapons[14]. Cymbeline was made King in the fifth year of the first century and ruled as Rex Brittonum until (40) when he handed the rule to Guiderius his oldest son. Arvirargus was given the Kingdom of Cornwall to rule. Cymbeline is mentioned in Suetonius[15] who refers to a son of Cymbelines named Adminius who was banished by his father and fled to Rome and surrendered to Gaius Caligula. This individual plays no part in Monmouths history. Tacitus does not mention Cymbeline but rather Caratacus whom Michael Grant footnotes[16] in the Penguin translation suggests that this Caratacus is also a son of Cymbeline. Togodumnus is another name which is associated with Cymbelines sons, but from the sources all we can assume is that Cymbeline had two sons who took over the rule of southern Britain two years before Claudius invasion. The problem of their names may be explained in two ways; firstly by the fact that Monmouths source is written in the British language and uses their native names while Suetonius and Tactius are using their Latin names. That British Kings were known by their Latin names is demonstrated by a Latin inscription found in Chicester which reads; To Neptune and Minerva, this temple is dedicated for the welfare of the divine house by the authority of Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, king and legate of Augustus in Britain...[17]. Cogidubnus was a King of the Regnenses of Sussex who made terms with Claudius and was received as a vassal King. Tactius says that he Maintained his unswerving loyalty down to our own times.[18] It is from such inscriptions as the one found in Chicester that scholars such as Durant. G. M. have stated, it is obvious that the former British Chieftains had not only adopted or been granted Latin names but was very proud of them and of his standing with the Romans.[19] Thus, it is possible to reconcile the different names used to denote the sons of Cymbeline. In his Annals Tactic describes the capture and trial of Caratacus. Having delivered his finial appeal Caratacus waits for the Emperor to respond. Claudius responded by pardoning him [Caratacus] and his wife and brothers[20]. 169

In light of this we may assume that Cymbeline had more than two sons. In all, we may name five of them, Guiderius, Arvirargus, Togodumnus, Adminius, and Caratacus. Two were killed in battl; Guiderius at Richborough and Togodumnus at Medway. Arvirargus takes the power but retreats to his southern inheritance in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall and submits to Roman rule via Vespasian. Adminius was banished and fled to Rome. Caratacus fled west into Wales where he continued to fight in order take back his father's capital in Essex in vain. This scenario is also within the bounds of possibility. What we do know from our sources is that these sons of Cymbeline where the leaders of the British force which met Claudius invading force under Aulus Plautius and Vespasian in (43). This force, consisting of the II Augusta from Strasbourg, XIV Gemina from Mainz, XX Valeria from Cologne and the IX Hispana from Pannonia, came ashore at Richborough. Monmouth has says that these forces came to Britain because Guiderius refused to pay the Roman the tribute which they demanded[21]. Monmouth places Claudius himself at their head as commander. But we know from Suetonius that Claudius was only in Britain for six months[22] and fought no battles but had Vespasian do his work for him[23]. Guiderius, Monmouth tells us, nearly succeeded in pushing Claudius forces back into the sea but Guiderius was slain. This battle according to all other accounts never happened but there may be an element of truth about it since the eldest son of Cymbeline under the name of Togodumnus was most likely killed at the battle of Medway the first major battle between the two forces. At this point Arvirargus took over and fought bravely until the capital Camulodunum was taken. Monmouth has Arvirargus retreat to Winchester where Claudius besieged the city. However, Arvirargus flung open the gates and went out to break the siege. Claudius forces are said to have suffered and Claudius sent envoys to sue for peace promising to give him his own daughter, if only he would recognise that the kingdom of Britain was under the sway of Rome[24]. Arvirargus accepts the offer of Claudius Daughters hand in marriage and thus a peace was agreed. This daughter of Claudius, Monmouth says, was named Genvissa. However, according to Tactius and Suetonius Claudius never had a daughter by this name. Claudius married four times. He married Urgulanilla who bore him Drusus and Claudia, Paetina who bore him Claudia Antonia, Messalina who bore him Octavia and Britannicus beloved of Titus, and finally Agrippina who bore him Nero. Claudia Antonia married Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix while Octavia married her step brother Nero. In light of this evidence Claudius had only one other daughter by Urgulanilla, Claudia, to offer Arvirargus. This Claudia, Suetonius tells us, was not really Claudius offspring but rather Claudias real father was Claudiuss freedman Boter. Claudius disavowed paternity and, through she was born nearly five months after the divorce, had her laid naked outside Urgulanillas house-door[25]. This woman was very powerful and her friendship Augusta had placed her above the law[26] so much so that she could defy a summons from the senate and get away with it. If Urgulanillas child lived, since she is never mentioned again, she would be the only daughter Claudius had to offer Arvirargus and Urgulanilla had the power to defy her ex-husband and raise the child on her own. The possibilities of this being the right child is heightened when we understand that Urgulanilla was related to the commander of the Claudian forces in Britain. Aulus Palutius, belonged to a family which had enjoyed high regard with the Julio-Claudian house since the reign of Augustus. A Cousin of Claudius ex-wife Ungularilla...[27]. However, the woman that Arvirargus married was known as Genvissa. Again the names may have been changed by the language in which Monmouth received these histories, or this woman may have taken 170

on a native name at her marriage as demonstrated with the names of Cymbelines sons above. This woman gave birth to a son, Marius, between (43-45). Monmouth tells us, that having come to this peace, Arvirargus helps Claudius subdued the Orkneys and the other islands in the neighbourhood[28]. However, this peace was not to last. Monmouth tells us for as soon as Claudius had left; Arvirargus began to show his prowess and to develop his own policy. He rebuilt his cities and castles and rule the people of his kingdom with such firm application of law that he was feared by far-distant kings and peoples. As a result he became arrogant and looked down on the majesty of Rome[29]. Arvirargus made a diplomatic error by rebuilding his fortification. Such an enterprise was always seen as an act of defiance and was treated as an act of rearmament[30]. Claudius sent Vespasian to deal with him as layed out at the beginning of this paper. Monmouth here sees the coming of Vespasian as a separate invasion and uses the traditional site of the Roman landings which both Julian and the Claudian forces under Aulus Plautius had used. Thus, he has Vespasian come from Rome, from Claudius presence, and again lands at Richborough but he is forced back into the sea by Arvirargus. This motif is a reflection on the trouble that Julius Caesar had when he tried to land the first Roman forces to come to Britain. In this way Monmouth presents the coming of Vespasian as if he was the first. This indicates that his source views this as a turning point in the history. The Julio-Claudian settlements that had governed Britain since the arrival of the Romans begins to wain. Vespasians appearance in the history, though under Claudius orders, is seen as the beginning of the Flavian ascendants to the Purple. Monmouth however uses this to get his Vespasian to Exeter. Yet, again we ask how reliable is this historical interpretation? We know from Suetonius and Tactius that Vespasian indeed was active in this region of Britain at the head of a legion, the II Augusta from Strasbourg, between (43-45). Indeed, Suetonius, Tactius, and Bede all say roughly the same thing that it was in Britain that Vespasian truly distinguished himself. Tactius writes that Claudius; sent over legions an auxiliaries and chose Vespasian as his coadjutor the first step towards his future greatness. Nations were subdued, kings captured, and the finger of fate pointed to Vespasian[31]. But Suetonius does not look to what fate did but simply records the most extensive account of Vespasians progress through Britain which we have. He writes; On Claudius accession, Vespasian was indebt to Narcissus for the command of a legion in Germany; and proceeded to Britain, where he fought thirty battles, subjugated two warlike tribes, and captured more than twenty towns, besides the entire Isle of Vectis. In these campaigns he served at times under Aulus Plautius, the commander of consular rank, and at times directly under Claudius, earning triumphal decorations;...[32] From these quotations we see, that Vespasian was in Britain when Monmouths history says he was and he, at times, served directly under Claudius orders as Monmouth states. That Vespasians activities were concentrated in the south of Britain, where he subjected tribes and Kings and took more than twenty towns should not be doubted. Tacitus writes of this fact in his Histories as he reflects on the allegiance of the provinces as the civil war of (69) raged; 171

Here the balance was already in favour of Vespasian, who had been posted to the country by Claudius to command the second legion and fought there with distinction[33]. Monmouths history is thus consistent with the only sources we have and it is doubtful that Monmouth had access to then as we do. Thus, his source is reliable and independently verified by the ancient authors who were writing much closer to the events which they describe on these points concerning Vespasian. It is surprising that Monmouth does not mention the subjection of the Isle of Vectis (Wight) but there is a good reason why Suetonius does. The Isle of Wight was the southern strong-hold of the Druids. These Druids where the grandsons of those Julius Caesar had pushed out of Gaul. The Druids remained a problem to the Romans in Gaul because they had a safe haven in Britain and easily crossed back and forth instigating revolt and insurrection. Julius Caesar recorded this after uncovering a seditious plot against the Romans in Gaul. He writes; Their leading men induced (the Bellovaci people) to sever the connection (with Caesar) and take up arms against Rome, by telling them that the Asdui were enslaved by Caesar and had to endure every kind of ill-usage and humiliation. The people responsible for the adoption of this policy, he continued, have now realised what a calamity they have brought upon their country, and have fled to Britain[34]. Thus, Julius crossed into Britain in the hope of ending their influences in Gaul. Caesar made active preparation for an expedition to Britain, because he knew that in almost all the Gallic campaigns the Gauls had received reinforcements from the Britons[35]. These Druids of the southern kingdoms were the back bone of nationalistic, anti-Roman, religious resistance. Some Kings had willing defected to Rome in light of the strength of Claudius invasion force. King Prasutagus and the Iceni, King Cogidubus and all the people of East Anglia, Kent, Surrey and Sussex submitted to the Romans after they had taken Essex[36]. The Druids withdrew from the mainland to the Isle of Wight. This Isle lay six miles off the coast at the southern end of the Romans first established line of control that ran from Colchester, through the future site of London, to Chichester and the Isle of Wight. From this relative safety these Druids could direct operations against the Romans amongst those tribes in the south west. The Celts appointed those whom they call Druids, these also being devoted to the prophetic art and to wisdom in general. In all these cases the Kings were not permitted to do or plan anything without the assistance of these wise men, so that in truth it was they who ruled, while the Kings became their servants and ministers of their will, though they sat on golden thrones, dwelt in great houses, and feasted sumptuously[37]. These tribes, the Dvrotriges of Dorset and Somerset, the Belgae and Atrebate[38] on Salisbury plain, and the Dvmonii of Cornwall were the tribes that Vespasian and the II Augusta were sent to subdue. Thus, what we see is that Vespasian was sent to deal with the most important fanatical religious 172

nationalistic strongholds that lay at the head of the resistance in Britain and influenced Gaul. The Druidic doctrine is believed to have been found existing in Britain and thence imported into Gaul[39]. The Isle of Wight was the key religious stronghold in the south, and the Isle of Mona (Anglesey) was the religious refuge in the north west. If Britain was to be taken and held by the Romans the religious spirit led by the Druids needed to be destroyed conclusively. Vespasian with his down to earth common sense was the right man for the job. Thus, he took the Isle of Wight and smashed the southern Druids influence over the southern tribes. Britain was to the Druids what Jerusalem was to the Jews and both, with their anti-Roman religious fanatical nationalism, were wiped out, along with their major centres of power, by Vespasian. It was here in Britain that Vespasian learnt how to deal with this sort of religious nationalism which he later used so effectively in Judea, the only other place in the Empire that suffered from this particular sort of problem. Monmouths account of Vespasian being repelled by Arvirargus at Richborough and sailing to Totnes may reflect his attack by sea on the Isle of Wight. The archaeological evidence demonstrates that the II Augusta, with Vespasian at its head, was the legion that reduced the south west to peace[40]. There are many theories about Vespasians campaign in the south west writers such as L. Cottrell[41] say that the II Augusta simply extended their lines to the west alone the southern coast line and swept north to encircle the Belgae and Atrebate on Salisbury Plain and secured Bath, the region around Glastonbury, the Charterhouse lead mines in Somerset and up to Gloucester. Having accomplished this task the II Augusta began to push deeper into Devon and finally finished at Exeter. Monmouths account suggests a different tactic. Monmouth account suggests that Vespasian sailed to Totnes and marched on Exeter, Arvirargus seat of power, from which he ruled his kingdom given to him by his father who left Essex in the north east, now over run by the Romans, to Guiderius. This may suggest that Vespasian attacked the rear of the resisting tribes and then pushed back towards Gloucester with a fast sweeping advance. How Vespasian reduced these regions to peace is unknown to us and we can only speculate about his precise movements. But Monmouths history is not wrong when it places Vespasians activities in this region. Monmouths history tells us that Vespasian besieged the town of Exeter. This is not at all impossible. Suetonius, as we have seen above, says that Vespasian took twenty towns. The archaeological evidence presented by Sir Mortimer Wheeler revealed that Maiden Castle near Dorchester was destroyed at this time[42]. Hod Hill near Blandford was also occupied by the Romans at this time. Another two other hill forts in Dorset have yielded evidence of Roman attack. Therefore, it is not difficult to be assured that Exeter was one of the other sixteen of the twenty that Suetonius mentions. We know now that Exeter was the II Augustas base camp from this time on until the time of Frontinus[43]. Thus, again Monmouths history contains the cornels of truth and that Arvirargus and Vespasian could had a have battle, and on the seventh day of the siege come to a peace via Queen Genvissas mediation as Monmouth claims. This may explain why Cornwall gave the Romans no trouble after this time. At this juncture Monmouth says that Vespasian returned to Rome. This would coincide with Claudius triumph around (45-46). He lived in retirement until he was given the province of Africa[44]. By (47) the conquest of Britain, below the Humber and east of the Severn, had been accomplished and Aulus Plautius came to the end of his governorship in (49). He had advanced north with the IX Hispana towards Lincoln and west with the XX Valeria Victrix while Vespasian and the II Augusta subdued the south west. Later, in (57) Aulus Plautius Wife Pomponia Graecina,...was charged with foreign superstition and referred to her 173

husband for trial. Following ancient tradition he decided her fate and reputation before her kinsmen, and acquitted her[45]. This passage is used by Christian scholars as the first reference to Christianity in antiquity[46]. Aulus Plautius was replaced by Ostorius Scapula and during his governorship, (49-50), a colony of veterans was established at Colchester which was Cymbelines old capital. Ostorius Scapula defeated and captured Caractacus and sent him to Rome. He also made some advancement into Wales against the Silures. Didius Gallus came next (50-55). In (54) Claudius died and Nero became Emperor. In the following year Britannicus was killed and Titus the son of Vespasain turned fourteen. According to Monmouths chronological sequence about this time, or a little later, Marius, the son of Arvirargus, had a son and named him Coilus. Didius Gallus was followed by Veranius (56-57) who died within a year of taking up his post. Suetonius Paulinus came to take Veranius place in (57-9) and set his mind on the destruction of the last remaining Druid stronghold on the Isle of Mona (Anglesey) which was feeding the native resistance[47]. So in (60) he set out to do in the north what Vespasian had accomplished in the south. But no sooner left he had to turn back as the Iceni of Norfolk and Suffolk under Boudicca broke out in serious revolt. What can be discerned from the histories of these events is striking when we compare the recorded relationship between the Romans and the native tribes in the north compared to the south. In the north peace never really took hold and the Client Kings and vassal semi-independent states under the system of the Julio-Claudian government was always breaking down because of the abuses of power which the Romans indulged. Tacitus informs us that; the Britons themselves submit to the levy, tribute and the other charges of Empire with cheerful readiness provided that there is no abuse. That they bitterly resent; for they are broken in to obedience but not to slavery[48]. Things seem to have gotten worse under Nero in the north until the time of Agricola. In (60) the abuse in the north reach its climax. This abuse is particularly evident in the case of Queen Boudicca[49]. When Prasutagus, King of the Iceni, died and left his kingdom to the Emperor and his two daughters the Roman officers, most likely of the IX Hispana, took little notice of the dead Kings wishes and his Kingdom and household alike were plundered like prizes of war[50]. For a start they took hold of Queen Boudicca, the Kings widow, and she was; flogged and their daughters raped[51]. The Incenian chiefs were deprived of their hereditary estates as if the Romans had been given the whole country. The Kings own relatives were treated like slaves[52]. The south, where Vaspasian had been and the II Augusta was stationed, on the other hand, enjoyed peace. Under this Flavian influence it stayed that way for (170) years. This matches the conditions depicted in Monmouths history of this time, but not the history of the north, the abuses marks a distinct divide between the two areas of Roman influence in Britain at the time. These good relations in the south west may have been further deepened by Vespasians son Titus. Having barely held Britain and survived Boudiccas vengeful revolt and finally defeated the enemy in (61) the Romans sent for reinforcements. Nero sent Petronius Turpilianus to replace Suetonius Plaulinus as governor (61-64). It has been suggested that Titus, having won his Tribuneship in Germany, now came to Britain and assisted with the mopping up and was in Britain at this time.

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Reinforcements were sent from Germany, 2,000 legionaries, eight cohorts of auxiliaries and 1,000 cavalry-7,000 men in all which gives some indication of the Roman losses, it has been suggested that the officer in command of his large Vexillatio was Titus...there seems no other time when he could have been in Britain[53]. When Terbellius Maximus became governor in (64-67) Titus returned to Rome and practiced Law at the Bar in (65). Suetonius gives us this sequence of events in Titus life; Titus reputation while an active and efficient colonel in Germany and Britain is attested by the numerous inscribed statues and busts found in both countries. After completing his military service he pleaded in the Roman Forum as a Barrister; but in order to make a reputation, not because he meant to make a career of it[54]. In (66) Titus joined his father Vespasian in Greece, on tour with Nero, when they were sent to Judea to subdue the Jewish revolt. It is quite possible that Titus, Vespasians son, was in Britain while Avirargus was alive and may well have been the same age as his son Marius who succeeded Avirargus to the throne at about this time (6365). It is possible to assume that Titus was attached too, or visited, his father's legion the II Augusta which was stationed in the south west at Exeter. Marius was on the throne, according to Monmouths chronological sequence, when Vespasian became Emperor with his son Titus after the confusion of (69), the year of the three Emperors. Over this period Vettius Bolanus was governor in Britain (67-71) [55]. According to Tacitus, Britain remained quiet and loyal to Vespasian as mentioned above but the division between the Julio-Claudian legions in the north and the Flavian legions south west of Cornwall and Wales became apparent at this time. Tacitus tell us that the south was loyal to Vespasian; But there was some restlessness among the other legions in Britain, for they contained a number of Centurions and [other ranks] who owed their promotion to Vetellius and were doubtful about accepting a new Emperor in exchange for one they knew[56]. In (71) Vespasian sent Petillius Cerealis to Britain as Governor and he subdued the Brigantes. He was followed by Julius Fontinus in (74) who defeated the Silures of southern Wales. As part of Frontinus campaign the II Augusta (moved from Exeter to Gloucester it take the place of the XX when it was transferred to Wroxeter) was now stationed in a new legionary fortress at Caerleon.[57] In (78) Gnaeus Julius Agricola who finally reduced the Isle of Anglesey and ended the Druids influence in Britain. He then set about reforming the army which had abused the natives under the JulioClaudians along Favian lines and; by checking these abuses in his very first year of office, Agricola gave men reason to love peace and honour peace. Hitherto, through the negligence or arbitrariness of former governors, it had been as much feared as war[58].

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King Marius, Monmouth tells us, was faced with an invasion of Picts under Sodric whom he repulsed after many battles[59]. This would reflect the moves that Agricola made against the tribes, the Scots and Picts, in Caledonia (Scotland) about (79). It is not implausible that a friendly native King would send men to assist the Romans who where waging war on their mutual enemies. Having proved his loyalty and; Once he had established absolute peace in every part of the island, Marius began to develop a close relationship with the Roman people, paying willingly the taxes which were demanded of him. Encouraged by the example of his father, he fostered justice and peace, the maintenance of laws and decent behaviour in all matters throughout his kingdom[60]. From this quotation we can assume that the Romans mentioned where those which belonged the forces under Agricola in the north and the II Augusta now in the south of Wales. King Marius ruled well and had a son called by the name of Coilus who took over the rule of the Kingdom on his father's death. From his early childhood this Coilus had been brought up in Rome. He had learnt the ways of the Romans and had conceived the greatest possible liking for them. He paid their tribute without even attempting to argue about it, for he realised that the whole world was subject to them and their power was great than that of individual countries or any one province. He therefore paid what was demanded and was left to rule in peace over his possessions[61]. This Coilus would have thus been in Rome when the Flavians came into the purple and set up their new dynasty. The ways that he learned about would have been Flavian and it is this influence that he brought back to Britain when his father had died. This is very understandable and having been born in the late (50s) Coilus may have been taken to Rome as a hostage after the revolt of Boudicca when he had been weened. Thus, he would have been (10 or 11) years old when Nero died and (13 or 14) years old when Vespasian won the government. Just after Agricola returned to Rome in (82) Marius died and Coilus returned to Britain to take up the crown as Domitian began his rule. Coilus rule was a very good one through he only produced one heir in (85-95) and he gave him the name Lucius. Domitian after his regression to the wickedness of the Julio-Claudians was assassinated and Nerva brought good government back to the Empire (96). Trajan consolidated the Flavian Peace. Hadrian came into the purple in (117). The Picts and Scots harassed the British Kings and the Roman province. The Romans built the wall which divided the Island in two and kept the enemy in the wild northern extremes in (122). About this time King Coilus died and Lucius came to the throne of Cornwall. Britain as a whole lived in peace but the Jews arose again in (135) and were subsequently defeated in the eastern regions of the Empire. In (138) Antonius Pius became Emperor and second wall bearing his name was thrown up in Britain against the Scots and Picts in (142). In (145) Tertullian was born while King Lucius rule his kingdom. At this point Monmouths history turns to the story Bede relates in the passage with which we began. Monmouth adds many details about the life and works of King Lucius but finally informs that he had no heir to succeed him, so that after his death dissension arose between the Britons, and the power of Rome was weakened[62]. What is seen in this sequence, according to the sources we have examined and compared, is that there was a steady Romanization of the Kings in Lucius line and that these influences began with Vespasian 176

himself and further developed under Titus. These influences were of a Flavian nature because of the Flavian allegiance of the II Augusta who were the Romans stationed in their kingdom. The net result of this Flarvianization was that King Lucius requests to be made a Christian under Pope Eleutherus in (156). There are some problems with Bedes account which will yield some interesting connections when we try to solve his problems. For a start, the Emperors mentioned by Bede reigned between (161-196). The date Bede gives (156) of King Lucius letter is not consistent with the Emperors mentioned. We can trace Bedes problem with these Emperors to the writings of Eusebius who makes the same mistakes with their names in his work The History of the Church.[63] Pope Eleutherus did not become Pontiff until (175) and reigned until (189). Thus, King Lucius must have lived into his hundreds and made this request very late in his life[64]. However, Monmouths history avoids the problem of which Emperor was ruling the Empire by simply not mentioning them. He does mention the name of Pope Eleutherus but not the Emperors. This connection with Pope Eleutherus then is the only clue to the time that King Lucius was converted. What is really different from Bedes account is that Monmouth says that King Lucius dies in (156)[65]. In the following passage from Hegesippus, via Eusebius History of the Church, we can see that Eleutherus was not the Pope in (156) but was the deacon to Pope Anicetus and thus was in a position of power. It thus is possible that any letter the King Lucius may have written to the Pope would have passed through Eleutherus hands. Eleutherus may have been given the task of instruction and leading the King through the catechismal process which lead to Baptism. This is an appropriate role for a deacon at this time of the Churches development. Hegesippus writes that; On my arrival at Rome I drew up a list of the succession of bishops down to Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. To Anicetus succeeded Soter, and after him came Eleutherus. But in the case of every succession, and in every city, the state of affairs is in accordance with the teaching of the Law and of the Prophets and of the Lord.[66] From this passage it would seem that the teachings of these Bishops of Rome was in accordance with all Orthodoxy but if we examine all the possible connections to Pope Eluetherus we find that he was not always viewed with such high regard. Eusebius records a letter of introduction written in (177) by Attalus the Martyr to Pope Eleutherus for a priest named Irenaeus (120-202)[67] who was coming to Rome to plead his help in putting down a new out break of Montanus teaching in Lyons led by a man named Alcibiades. Montanus had taught his spiritual method in Hierapolis a city of Phrygia and sent out many missionaries in (156) many of whom reached the ends of the Empire very quickly via the sea and the Roman roads[68]. When Irenaeus reached Rome he had the mortification of finding the Montanist heresy patronised by Eleutherus the Bishop of Rome; and there he met an old friend from the school of Polycarp, who had embraced the Valentinian heresy.[69] It is suggested that it was because of these encounters that Ireneaus wrote his work Against Heresies when he became Bishop of Lyons. What we see is the Eusebius, Bede and Monmouth are attempting to cover up a very embarrassing fact Eusebius hid the fact that this Bishop of Rome Eleutherus was a Montanist while Bede and Monmouth, if they knew, hid the fact that the first British King to convert to Christianity was brought to faith by a heretic. It is my opinion that it was in (156), while Anicetus was Pope, that the Christian message, of a Montanist missionary, was first heard of in King Lucius court. As his old age came upon him in the reign of Pope Eleutherus King Lucius formally received the faith and died. King Lucius died around 177

(175-80). The first mention of Christians in Britain dates to within 40 years the events that both Bede and Monmouth record. The first mention of Christians in Britain comes from Tertullian (145-220). Tertullian writes in his work An Answer to the Jews that the Christian message had been carried to many nations. For whom have the nations believed,-Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and they who inhabit Mesopotamia, Armenia, Phygia, Cappadocia, and they who well in Pontus, and Asia, and Pamphylia, tarriers in Egypt, and inhabiters of the regions of Africa which is beyond Cyrene, Romans and sojourners, yes, and in Jerusalem Jews, and all other nations; as for instance, by this time, the varied races of the Gaetulians, and manifold confines of the Moors, all the limits of Spain and diverse nations of the Gauls, and the haunts of the Britons-inaccessible to the Romans, but subject to Christ...[70]. This quotation from Tertullian shows that Christianity had been received in Britain within his life time and gives some creditability to the conclusion of the history I have taken from Monmouth and compared with the earliest sources available. It is also interesting that it was Tertullian who records this since Tertullian at the time he wrote An Answer to the Jews had taken up the Montanist position and may well have reason to include Britain in his list especially if the British Christians he refers to are Montanist like himself. This then would serve then as a two edged sword against the Jews and those who did not agree with the Montanists. Montanism, as a Sect, had several characteristics that would have a lasting impact on the Christian Church in the British Isles. Montanisms sometimes charismatic use of the Holy Spirit would have appealed to a people familiar and comfortable with the practices Druidic Bards and Priests of their common past. The anti-establishmentarianism of Montanism would have warmed the hearts of a subjugated people without the normal political problems. Its universal celibacy, rigorous fasting and extreme puritanical asceticism that was akin to the forest dwelling Druids of the past would shape the character of the later third and fourth century Celtic saints. The Montanists belief that Easter should be celebrated on the fourteenth day of the moon in the month of Nisan[71] would become the foundation of the Celtic Churchs problem with the establishment of the Roman Church until the Synod of Whitby in (664)[72]. The Sect of Montanists as a Sect would die out but these influences would remain part of the Celtic-British Church for the next five hundred years. However, regardless of what sort of Christianity was received in Britain during the reign of King Lucius. It is clear, from the history I have examined and presented above, that it came and was received first by the Flavianised Kings and peoples of the south west of Britain as Monmouths chronological sequence indicates. The historicity of this paper and the marked contrasts between the Flavian and Julio-Claudian methods of government is not the most interesting aspect of my work but rather the connections it reveals between the rise of the Flavians, the peace which insured, and the rise of Christianity in this part of the world. The history laid out above seems to indicate such a connection in Britain and may indicate a hidden foundation on which the history of early Christianity in other parts of the Roman Empire was also adapted and established. The list from Tertullian above gives ample examples to test out this Flavian foundation theory on as I have done with Britain in this paper. Other scholars have worked over this history before and this paper is indebted to their broad works on 178

Roman Britain but I have yet to find one that has looked at this history from the position that has been able to be put forward in this paper. However, this is a small beginning and further study of this material is needed to follow these Flavian influence into those Stories, Legends, Traditions and Histories, such as Geoffrey of Monmouth, Bede, Gildas, Nennius, and Richard of Cirencester that have been dismissed by most scholars. It is my hope that other scholars may join me in further study of this material and that we may be able to trace the Flavian influence deep into what we now call the Dark Ages of our Western culture and find that those Ages were not as Dark as we have previously suspected. Geoffrey of Monmouth Suetonius & Tacitus

(55 B.C.E.) Julius Caesar invades Britain.(55 B.C.E.) Julius Caesar invades Britain. Cassivelaunus makes war with Caesar and drives him back into the sea. Caesar regroups in Gaul and invades again. After fighting the make peace. Cassivelaunus pays tribute if CaesarALL DATES C.E levels Britain. (0-5) Cymbeline in the house of Augustus. ALL DATES C.E (0-5) Cymbeline becomes King. (40) Cymbeline hands rule too eldest sons Arvirargus & Guilderus. (41) Claudius becomes Emperor. Titus is born. Vespasian goes to Germany. (43) Guilderus killed in battle at Medway or (43) Claudius sends Aulus Plautius & Vespasian London fighting Claudius, Arvirargus takesinto Britain. Claudius in Britain for six weeks over the kingship & withdraws to Winchester. back in Rome within six months. Claudius besieges Arvirargus & comes to terms. Arvirargus married Genvissa. Claudius & Arvirargus take the Orkneys. (44) Arvirargus defies Rome from Exeter.(44) Vespasian & the II Augusta reduce the Isle Rebuilds fortifications and rearms. Claudiusof Wight & the south west to peace. The II sends Vespasian to make him submit. Marius is Augusta stationed at Exeter in Cornwall. born. Vespasian brings peace and good relations between Arvirargus and Rome. (45) Vespasian leaves Britain. (45-46) Vespasian leaves Britain and returns to Rome. Claudius Triumph. Becomes governor of Africa. (46-47) Aulus Plautius extends frontiers to the 179

Humber & remains as governor. (47-52) Ostorius Scapula becomes Governor. Veteran colony established at Colchester. Caractauc defeated & sent to Rome. Advanced into Wales against the Silures. (52) Didius Gallus becomes governor. (54) Claudius dies Nero becomes Emperor. (55)Britannicus assassinated. Titus is fourteen. (55-59) Marius has a son Coilus. (57-58) Veraius becomes Governor but dies. (59) Sustonius Paulinus takes his place. (60-63) Arvirargus dies and Marius becomes(60-61) Iceni revolt under Boudicca. Titus in king. Relations with Romans in the south west become stronger. Coilus goes to be raised in Germany. Rome. (61-63) Titus comes to Britain with reinforcements from Germany. Petronus Turpilianus becomes the new Governor. (64) Terbellius Maximus becomes Governor in Britain (65) Titus practices Law in Rome. (66) Titus & Vespasian with Nero in Greece sent to Judea to subdue the Jewish revolt. (67) Vettius Bolanus becomes Governor in Britain. (69-70) Civil War: Years of the (3) Emperors. Vespasian becomes Emperor with Titus. Titus destroys Jerusalem. (71-73) Petillius Cerealis governor in Britain & attacks Brigantes. The II Augusta moved from Exeter to Glochester.

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(74-78) Julius Fontinus governor in Britain defeats Silures and southern Wales. The II Augusta moves to l new legionary Castle at Caerlion on Usk (Isca) in southern Wales. (78-85) Marius fights the Picts (78) Gnaeus Julius Agricola becomes governor, destroys Anglesey, reforms the northern legions under Flavian lines and fights his way into Scotland. (79) Vespasian dies.

(79-81) Titus becomes Emperor but dies having reigned alone for only (2) years. (81) Domitian becomes Emperor & recalls Agricola. (85-90) Marius dies and Coilus becomes King. Coilus son Lucius is born. Relations with the Romans very, very strong in the south west. (96-98) Nerva becomes Emperor. (98-117) Hadrian becomes Emperor. (120) Coilus dies Lucius becomes King. Very(120) Irenaeus is born. friendly relations with the Romans in the south west maintained and cultivated. (122) Hadrians wall built. detachment from II Augusta helps build a section of the wall. (138) Antonius Pius becomes Emperor and adopts Marius Aurelius and Lucius Aelius Verus. (142) Antonies Wall built. (145) Tertullian Born. (150-56) Lucius converts to Christianity and(156) Montanism preached. the south west receives the faith. 181

(156) In Monmouth Lucius dies without an heir and relations with the Romans begins to wain. In Bede it is this year that Lucius writes to Pope Eleuthius. (161) Marius Aurelius becomes Emperor. (170-180) Lucius dies and relations with the (175-89) Eleuthius is Pope in Rome. Romans begin to wain. (177) Irenaeus visits Rome

Bibliography Thanks to Carringtons Classical & Christian Library for providing the majority of texts listed. Bede. A History of the English Church and People. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. Penguin. Eng. 1955. Bettenson. H. Documents of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 1963. Burn. A. R. Agricola and Roman Britain. Collier. New York. 1962. Caesar. The Conquest of Gaul. Trans. S. A. Handford. Penguin. Eng. 1951. Christie-Murray. D. A History of Heresy. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 1989. Cottrell. L. The Great Invasion. Pan. London. 1975. Coxe. A. Cleveland. Introductory Notes to Irenaeus, Against Heresies. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Vol. 1. WM. B. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. 1979. Dio Chrysostom. Discourses. Loeb Classical Library. Vol. IV. Harvard University Press. USA. 1986. Durant. G. M. Britain, Romes Most Northerly Province. Readers Union. London. 1970. Eusebius. The History of the Church. Trans, G. A. Williamson. Penguin. Eng. 1965. Frontinus. Stratagems. Loeb Classical Library. Harvard University Press. USA. 1986. Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Trans. Lewis Thorpe. Penguin. Eng. 1966. Gregory of Tours. The History of the Franks. Penguin. England. 1977. Hegesippus, Fragments from His Five Books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The AnteNicene Fathers. Trans. Rev. B. P. Pratten. Vol. 8. WM. B. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. 1979. Ireland. S. Roman Britain. A Sourcebook. Routledge. 1989. Josephus. Antiquities. The Works of Josephus. Trans. Whiston. W. Ward, Lock & Co. London. 1907. Juvenal. The Sixteen Satires. Trans. Peter Green. Penguin. 1967. Lives of the Later Caesars. Trans. Birley. A. Penguin. 1978. Luttwak. E. N. The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire. From the First Century A..D. to the Third. 182

John Hopkins University Press. U.S.A. 1976. Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars. Trans. Robert Graves. Penguin. England. 1957. Tactius. The Annals of Imperial Rome. Trans M. Grant. Penguin. England. 1956. Tactius. Agricola. On Britain and Germany. Trans. H. Mattingly. Penguin. Eng. 1948. Tacitus. The Histories. Trans Kenneth Wellesley. Penguin Books. Eng. 1964. Tertullian. An Answer to the Jews. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Trans. Rev. S. Thelwall. Vol. 3. W. M. B. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. 1978. Todd. M. Roman Britain (55 B.C.-400). Harvester Press. Sussex. 1981. Webster. G. The British Revolt against Rome 60. Book Club. London. 1978.

[1] Bede. A History of the English Church and People. Trans. Leo Sherley-Price. Penguin. Eng. 1955. p 42. [2] Ibid. [3] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 16. Tran. Lewis Thorpe. Penguin. Eng. 1966. p. 122. [4] Ibid. IV. 16. [5] Ibid. IV. 16. [6] This town is in Cornwall at the southern end of the Dartmoor where the Dart river empties into the sea at Dartmouth. These means that Vespasian fleet sailed through the Dover strait and through the English Channel and attacked Arvirargus seat of power while Arvirargus was at Winchester. [7] Formally known as Kaerpenhuelgoit. [8] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 16. p. 122. [9] Ibid. IV. 16. [10]Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars. IV. XLV. Trans. Robert Graves. Penguin. England. 1957. p. 212. [11] The extra (1) in this equation needs to be subtracted to account for the extra year in C.E. A.D. dating. This extra year needs to be accounted for because the span of time between (1 B.C.E.) and (1 C.E.) is (2) years rather than (1) year. Without this adjustment the equation gives the date (55 C.E.) rather than the correct date of (54 C.E.). This adjustment is not necessary when dealing with purely Roman dates but only when reconciling Roman and Christian dates. [12] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 17. p. 123. [13] Juvenal. I. IV. 126-127. The Sixteen Satires. Trans. Peter Green. Penguin. 1967. p. 109. Also see Greens note on Shakespeares use of this name. p. 115. [14] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 11. p. 119. [15] Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars. IV. XLIV. p. 176. [16] Tactius. The Annals of Imperial Rome. XII. XXXIII. Trans M. Grant. Penguin. England. 1956. see 183

note on p. 266. [17] Ireland. S. Roman Britain. A Sourcebook. Routledge. 1989. p. 224. [18] Tactius. Agricola. XIV. On Britain and Germany. Trans. H. Mattingly. Penguin. Eng. 1948. p. 64. [19] Durant. G. M. Britain, Romes Most Northerly Province. Readers Union. London. 1970. p. 8. [20] Tactius. The Annals of Imperial Rome. XII. XXXIII. p. 267. [21] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 12. p. 119. [22] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. V. XVII. p. 196. [23] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. X. IV. p. 280. [24] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 14. p. 121. [25] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. V. XXVII p. 203. [26] Tacitus. Annals. II. XXXIV. p. 93. [27] Todd. M. Roman Britain (55 B.C.-400). Harvester Press. Sussex. 1981. p. 65. [28] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 14. p. 121. [29] Ibid. IV. 16. p. 122. [30] That rebuilding fortifications was viewed in this way in Claudius reign we have the example of Herod Agrippa I. In Josephus Antiquities XIX. VII. 2. we read; As for the walls of Jerusalem, that were adjoining to the new city [Bezetha], he repaired them at the expense of the public, and built them wider in breadth and higher in altitude; and he had made them too strong for human power to demolish, unless Marcus, then president of Syria, had by letter informed Claudius Caesar of what he was doing. And when Claudius had some suspicion of attempts for innovation, he sent to Agrippa to leave off the building of those walls presently. So he obeyed, as not thinking it proper to contradict Claudius. The Works of Josephus. Tran. Whiston. W. Ward, Lock & Co. London. 1907. p. 489. [31] Tactius. Agricola. XIII. p. 64. [32] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. X. IV. p. 280. [33] Tacitus. The Histories. III. XLIV. Trans Kenneth Wellesley. Penguin Books. Eng. 1964. p. 171. also see note on S. W. Britain. [34] Caesar. The Conquest of Gaul. II. IV. Trans. S. A. Handford. Penguin. Eng. 1951. p. 81. [35] Ibid. V. I. p. 119. [36] Durant. G. M. Britain, Romes Most Northerly Province. p. 8. [37] Dio Chrysostom. Discourses. XLIX. VIII. Loeb Classical Library. Harvard University Press. USA. 1986. Vol. IV. p. 301. [38] These tribes had fled to Britain from Gaul at the time of Julius Caesar. Frontinus. Stratagems. II. XIII. 11. [39] Caesar. The Conquest of Gaul. I. I. p. 32. [40] Stamped roof tiles, stamped pigs of lead and tombstones. [41] Cottrell. L. The Great Invasion. Pan. London. 1975. p. 114 - 127. 184

[42] Durant. G. M. Britain, Romes Most Northerly Province. p. 11. [43] Ireland. S. Roman Britain. A Sourcebook. p. 80. [44] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. XI. IV. p. 280. [45] Tactius, The Annals of Imperial Rome, XIII. XXX. p. 299. [46] Bettenson. H. Documents of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 1963. p. 1. [47] Tactius. Agricola. XIII. p. 64. [48] Ibid. XIII. p. 63. [49] Ibid. XVI. p. 66. [50] Tactius, The Annals of Imperial Rome, XIV. XXX. p. 328. [51] As a Claudian policy of defiling the royal line. This abuse of the daughters and female relatives at the death Client King can also be seen in the case of Bernice who was one of the three daughter of Agrippa I. When Agrippa I died Bernice at sixteen years along with her ten and six year old sisters were raped by the Roman soldiers stationed at Cesarea and Sebaste. These soldiers which were great in number went to his house and hastily carried off the Statues of the kings daughters and all at once carried them into the brothel-houses, and when they had set them on the top of the houses, they abused them to the utmost of their power, and did such things to them as are too indecent to be related. Josephus. Antiquities. XIX. IX. 1. Whistons note to the word statues say the Photius believed that it was not statues but the ladies themselves. see note on p.489. of The Works of Josephus. Tran. Whiston. W. Ward, Lock & Co. London. 1907. In light of the treatment of Boudicca and her daughters I agree with Whiston and Photius on this point. This sort of abuse is characteristic of the Julio-Claudian method of government which I am comparing to the Flavian method applied in the south west of Britain. It is to be noted that both this note and note (29) above both relate to Kingdoms that suffer from the influences of powerful fanatical nationalistic religious institutions The Jewish High Priesthood and Sects and the Druids these groups were never able to be reconciled with Roman occupation of land that they consider sacred or Roman interference with religious matters. This sort of abuse of royal women may reflect a Julio Claudian method to defiling the sacredness of a throne and the family that sits upon it and thus separate the religious claims on the political power. [52] Tactius. The Annals of Imperial Rome, XIV. XXX. p. 328. [53] Webster. G. The British Revolt against Rome 60. Book Club. London. 1978. p. 101. [54] Suetonius. The Twelve Caesars. X. IV. p. 293. [55] Tacitus. The Histories. II. XCVIII. p. 140. [56] Ibid. III. XLIV. p. 171. Wellesley translated the [ other ranks] as N.C.O.s other translations vary and I think this is the most neutral. [57] Ireland. S. Roman Britain. A Sourcebook. p. 80. [58] Tactius. Agricola. XIII. p. 71. [59] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. IV. 17. p. 123. [60] Ibid. IV. 17. p. 124. [61] Ibid. IV. 18. 185

[62] Ibid. V. I. p. 126. [63] Eusebius. The History of the Church. V.1. Tran, G. A. Williamson. Penguin. Eng. 1965. Book V. note I. p. 192 & note 2. p. 206. Bede gives two names Marcus Antonius Verus and Aurelius Commodus. The first of these is to be taken as Marcus Aurelius who Co-rules the Empire with Lucius Aelius Verus both of these men were adopted by Antoninus Pius. Thus, Eusebius confuses all these three Imperial names and Bede following repeats the mistake. Commodus also is mentioned by Bede but he is confused and mixes up the full names. Commodus full name Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. [64] That men in Britain could live to this age is evident from a inscription on a soldiers tomb stone it reads; To the spirits of the departed. Julius Valens, veteran of the II Legion Augusta, lived 100 years.... Roman Inscriptions of Britain, Vol. 1. Inscriptions in Stone, Collingwood. R. G. & Wright. R. P. Oxford. 1965. p. 363. [65] Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. V. I. p.126. [66] Hegesippus, Fragments from His Five Books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Trans Rev. B. P. Pratten. Vol. 8. W. M. B. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. p. 762. [67] Eusebius, History of the Church. V. 4. p. 206. [68] Christie-Murray. D. A History of Heresy. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 1989. p. 34. [69] Coxe. A. Cleveland. Introductory Notes to Irenaeus, Against Heresies. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Vol. 1. WM. B. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. p. 309. [70] Tertullian. An Answer to the Jews. VII. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Trans Rev. S. Thelwall. Vol. 3. W. M. B. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids. pp. 157-158. [71] Christie-Murray. D. A History of Heresy. p. 34. [72] Bede. A History of the English Church and People. III. 25. p. 185.

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