Re: Joe's view on Josephus
>>I did specifically deal with this sentence as a misleading translation ofIt should. One can't distance it on the basis of it only being the first
>>"archEn echthras" based on an early form of English. The Greek actually
>>implies "first (or fundamental) cause" for the strife.
>>So the passage is actually quite plain.
>At least as I understand it, this does not change anything. Previously, Ian,
occasion that there was a grievance, for this was the principal grievance.
>I quoted what I believe was *your own* translation, i.e.,Basically. I consulted the Greek text at the MIT Classic Tech Library.
>"Aretas made this [the repudiation] the first cause of the strife betweenI suggest you have a look where I did. I don't have a Greek source for Josephus.
>him and Herod, who had a quarrel with him about their boundaries at GamalikEi."
>Is this in fact your translation, Ian. If not please give your translation.
>And, if it is not too much to ask, could you also provide a M. Grondin style
>If this is your translation, nothing is changed by your translation since inJoe, I simply didn't understand the logic of this. Josephus provides the
>both translations we have Aretas, not Josephus, providing the first cause of
>the strife. (How, in any case would Josephus ever really know what the first
>cause of the strife? Considering how far he is removed in time, and
>considering the unreliability of hearsay evidence.) If we still have Aretas
>providing the first cause of the strife, then my prior remarks are still on
background to the war. I see no point in trying to make modern analogies to
the situation as the stakes are very different. Marriage was a totally
political event between rulers in the ancient world. This is a matter of
power and politics, or definitely would have been for Aretas. So forget the
second world war, or whatever.
>I recognize, Ian, that the cited passage is ambiguous.In what way ambiguous?
>Still, it is myThat is deeply involved in the marriage.
>experience that gold, land, and self protection are behind most wars. I do
>not trust the reasons given by Aretas."
>To which Ian asked:This should be sufficient, that it was thought that someone thought that
>>>>Does this mean too that you believe that Josephus had no reason for
>>>>connecting the death of John the Baptist with the war between Aretas and
>>>One senses in Josephus that he may have believed that divine forces were
>>>somewhat ostensible. Thus he says:
>>>"It was also reported, that when Aretas heard of the coming of Vitellius, to
>>>fight him, he said upon the consulting his diviners, that it was impossible
>>>that this army of Vitellius' could enter Petra; for that one of the rulers
>>>would die, either he that gave orders for the war . . . ."
>>>Thus Tiberius died, Aretas received fate's protection, and Herod received a
>>>fate due him. That is the sense I get from Josephus. But you read far too
>>>much into this to suggest a date for JB's death. Fate has its way of
>>>catching up to people, but it works at its own inexorable rate.
>Ian is not satisfied:
>Unfortunately, Joe, I can't see how this deals with the question you were
>trying to answer. Did Josephus have a reason for connecting the death of
>John the Baptist with the war between Aretas and Herod or did he not?
>I believe I answered your question, but I will try one more time.
>Your question, as they say, "assumes facts not in evidence." Josephus does
>not make an explicit connection. His theme, instead seems to be one of
>drawing attention to the interesting forces of fate at work. In the passages
>we are discussing, he provides the info re the death of JB because some Jews
>said there was a connection, not between the war and the death, as you
>suggest, but between the outcome of the war and the death of JB.
there was a connection between JB's death and the war. Josephus records it
as having some relevance to the events. Josephus is quite a reasonable
historian for his time, even given his clear apologetic aims both for
himself and his people. He shows himself to be critical. Had this connection
seemed unreasonable, he would have commented. If he had added it himself, it
would have been because the connection seemed reasonable, ie no exaggerate
time lag between the death and the war. It is inescapable that the death of
John the Baptist is perceived by Josephus as in some way relevant, whether
he was the source or not.
Some people have this idea that if you sneeze, it'd make sense to say "bless
you" even a week later.
If you wonder why you get just one copy of this message, Joe, I sent it too
the list only, so that you wouldn't get a wasted second copy.
- At 10:03 AM 11/2/98 +0100, you wrote:
"Basically. I consulted the Greek text at the MIT Classic Tech Library. I
suggest you have a look where I did. I don't have a Greek source for Josephus."
Fortunately, Ian, you are located at kind of the midway point between
Occidental, California, where I am, and Europe, where quite a few folk are.
Still, Ian, this is going to be a little out of the way for Anne Quast in
Australia. Will you at least pick us up at the airport?