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Re: Questions concerning Ant. 20.9.1

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  • Geoff Hudson
    ... famous enough in Rome to be used for the purposes of identification? ... Perhaps it was not Jesus who was known to be famous, but James. Then it would
    Message 1 of 9 , May 13, 2003
      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Peter Kirby <kirby@e...> wrote:

      > 1. How did the personage being used to identify James come to be
      famous enough in Rome to be used for the purposes of identification?

      > 2. Why don't we find out anything about James in this passage?

      > 3. Why isn't the passage clear about whether James died?

      Perhaps it was not Jesus who was known to be famous, but James. Then
      it would have been unnecessary to say anything further about him. He
      would have had to be well known by Romans and Jews alike. Proving
      that James spent years in Rome is difficult, but that is what I think
      he did. He probably went there, possibly with his brother John (I
      see the two together), following the outbreak of persecution as
      described in Acts. I think that much of the history lies buried in
      the Clementine literature.

      I have no problem in seeing the passage as a later edit of
      Josephus' original text, but would hesitate to say it was
      a "Christian" interpolation, because I suspect that the
      original meaning of "Christian" may have been different from
      later understanding. I see the adjacent text as being so heavily
      contaminated with dissimulation that there is every reason not to
      make an exception of Ant. 20.9.1. I would simply refer to two
      examples. The first is the stunning parallels between the story of
      Helena and Izates (Ant.20.2) and the events in the lives of Agrippina
      and Nero. The second is the ridiculous story about Agrippa building
      a "very large" dining room in his palace to observe the
      sacrifices in the temple, only to have his view obscured by the
      construction of a wall in the temple (Ant.20.8.11). I can accept
      that a "very large" wall was constructed, but I say
      ridiculous because the view from the palace in the west to the alter
      on the eastern side of the sanctuary would be obscured by the high
      sanctuary building without the need for a wall. The wall was built to
      obscure the alter from a different aspect.

      I have similar reservations about the TF.

      A speculative reconstruction of the passage:

      [ ] = read out
      {} = read in

      But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the
      high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he
      was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging
      offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already
      observed; when, therefore, [Ananus was of this disposition] (1)
      {Albinus was but upon the road}, he thought he had now a proper
      opportunity to exercise his authority. [Festus] (2) {James} was now
      dead, [and Albinus was but upon the road]; so he assembled the
      sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of [Jesus]
      (3) {James} [, who was called Christ], whose name was [James] {John},
      and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed
      an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them
      to be stoned."

      Notes:
      (1) The editor has already described Ananus' "disposition", and has
      moved the phrase "Albinus was but upon the road" from its
      natural position.

      (2) It is my view that James was killed earlier, possibly in Rome.
      Having rid themselves of James, this was now the opportunity for the
      high priests to finish the job and remove the next most important
      leader, John.

      (3) Jesus was substituted by the editor for James. "Who was
      called Christ" could be an addition if James was well known, or
      it could be "who was called Just", or it could be "who was
      called lord" - "just" and "lord" being titles used elsewhere.

      Geoff
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