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tou legomenou Christou

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  • ehub035
    [from Geoff Riggs; not Liz. H., my better half] This query is with respect to Josephus s description of Ananus s plans to deliver over one James for stoning.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2009
      [from Geoff Riggs; not Liz. H., my better half]

      This query is with respect to Josephus's description of Ananus's plans
      to deliver over one James for stoning. -- I'm not referring to
      Josephus's sometimes contested Test. F. in Josephus's Antiquities 18;
      I'm referring to a description of Ananus's abuse of his high position in
      delivering over this James person for stoning in Josephus's Antiquities

      Now, I don't know if the Greek words "tou legomenou Christou" have been
      previously the chief focus of any discussion here. But they may have
      been previously discussed in a few contexts here. I'd certainly like to
      hear any reflections here concentrating on those words primarily. They
      are the words that are extant in Josephus's Antiquities 20, 9,1, when
      Josephus is describing the stoning or threatened stoning of this James
      person. Instead of just calling the person James, the extant text states
      that he was "the brother of Jesus, who (?)was(?) called Christ, whose
      name was James". The Greek original of "who (?)was(?) called Christ" is
      "tou legomenou Christou".

      Varied Greek forms of this locution appear in different contexts. Origen
      referring to this Josephus passage uses this specific locution three
      times. But in Matthew 1:16, the phrase becomes "ho legomenos Christos"
      (RSV translation, _the one called the Christ_) at the end of that
      writer's elaborate family tree for Jesus. Then in Matthew 27, at 17 and
      22, Pilate uses "ton legomenon Christon" (in the RSV, _who is called
      Christ_) instead. There is also a variant of this that appears in John
      4:25, when quoting a Samaritan woman's talk about Jesus.

      Elsewhere in Origen, we find him writing about Jesus being called "the
      Christ" (Against Celsus 1.66 and 4.28), while Justin Martyr (First
      Apology, chapter 30) refers to Jesus as one that Christians "call

      Now, I'm not as familiar with Greek, particularly Koine Greek, as I'd
      like to be, but I've read claims that the form found in the extant
      Josephus text and in Origen's citation of Josephus is "in an oblique
      case". Do others conversant with Greek essentially agree with that
      characterization? And if so, what might that say about the other forms
      elsewhere of this locution duly cited here? Also, in context, in the way
      it appears in this Josephus passage in Ant. 20, is it possible to say if
      the writer really means "who _was_ called Christ", or, in context, is it
      possible it might be saying "who _is_ called Christ" instead? Or are
      both the context and this specific phrase tense-neutral?

      The reference in its context in the extant Josephus passage dealing with
      this James character has occasioned some discussion, partly textual in
      nature -- i.e., Is it or is it not from Josephus's own hand? What was
      the writer (whoever it is) trying to convey? etc., etc.

      FWIW, the word order here -- "the brother of Jesus, who was called
      Christ [tou legomenou Christou], whose name was James" -- has sometimes
      been thought to be strange for Josephus, but I thought I'd throw into
      the hopper similar things in Josephus elsewhere:

      Wars 2.21.1
      â??a man of Gischala, the son of Levi, whose name was Johnâ??

      Ant. 5.8.1
      _but he had also one that was spurious, by his concubine Drumah, whose
      name was Abimelech_

      Ant. 11.5.1
      _Now about this time a son of Jeshua, whose name was Joacim, was the
      high priest_

      These rare cases, in thousands of lines of material, don't necessarily
      prove that "the brother of Jesus, who (?)was(?) called Christ [tou
      legomenou Christou], whose name was James" is automatically authentic
      Josephus. But these three citations are still a part of the overall

      I remain highly curious as to thoughts on either side of the question
      regarding the Josephan authenticity of "tou legomenou Christou" and am
      still entirely undecided myself as to the answer one way or the other. I
      remain most interested of all in hearing from those of greater knowledge
      than myself when it comes to deep familiarity with the Greek of the
      Josephan era. I simply do not have that myself. If compelled (like Jack
      Worthing in "Importance of Being Earnest":-) to answer the question if I
      know "everything" or "nothing", if those were my only choices, I would
      have to choose "nothing" when it comes to Koine Greek!

      Thank you, and I look forward keenly to any replies.


      Geoffrey Stone Riggs
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