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Re: Marian Hillar on the Testimonium Flavianum

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  • ehub035
    [from Geoff Riggs; not Liz H., my better half] ... Flavianum might be interested in Marian Hillar s essay on it, available ... pdf or html versions. ...
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 31, 2011
      [from Geoff Riggs; not Liz H., my better half]

      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Olson" <kenolson101@...> wrote:
      > Those of you who are not tired of hearing about the Testimonium
      Flavianum might be interested in Marian Hillar's essay on it, available
      in pdf form at:
      > http://www.socinian.org/files/TestimoniumFlavianum.pdf
      > or you can just google "Hillar" and "Testimonium" to get either the
      pdf or html versions.
      > Basically, Hillar argues that the Testimonium is completely
      inauthentic and that the identification of James as "the brother of
      Jesus who was called Christ" in Ant. 20.200 is a later gloss inserted to
      identify the James found in Josephus with the James of Christian
      tradition. I am in general agreement with Hillar on those points


      [G.R.] Although I have seen some cogency in some of the arguments
      questioning certain phrases in the TF, I still have trouble seeing the
      logic in any argument advanced against the reference to James in
      Ant.20.200. Unlike the TF, we have direct citations of this Josephan
      reference to James as early as Origen, well before any Christian scribe
      would be very likely to interpolate this James reference in a Josephus
      text. Moreover, the more entrenched Christian tradition became, the
      higher the discomfort in associating any member of Jesus's family with a
      sibling relationship to Jesus, due to developing beliefs around Jesus's
      mother Mary. Considerations like these point to a perspective very much
      like Josephus being behind Ant.20.200 and not a later Christianized one.

      For all these reasons -- and having now read the Hillar essay cited
      above -- I remain unconvinced as to the proposed inauthenticity of the
      wording in Ant.20.200. If there are any arguments for its
      inauthenticity in addition to those cited in the Hillar URL, I'd be
      interested in seeing them. But so far, I see such arguments as having
      certain distinct flaws.

      With respect,

      Geoffrey Riggs
    • David Mealand
      Hm. The discussion gives a lot of attention to the treatment and use of Josephus in the time from his writing to a much later period. It tends to focus mainly
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 1, 2011
        Hm. The discussion gives a lot of attention to the
        treatment and use of Josephus in the time from his
        writing to a much later period.

        It tends to focus mainly on the content and themes
        in the disputed passage, and in the related passages
        in Josephus, and the way these motifs are used in
        later writers, which is fair enough.

        What it does not do is look at the stylistic evidence.
        The TF is either interpolated or completely spurious
        but which? By taking successive short phrases of a
        few words at a time one can see which of these phrases
        uses a linguistic pattern which reappears a) in the
        rest of the extensive works of Josephus b) in an even
        larger quantity of early Christian texts.

        The result is that the phrases which are unproblematic
        in their content in the TF do reappear elsewhere in
        Josephus, and those which are more suspect do not.
        Also the first set of these phrases do not appear
        in the very large quantity of early Christian texts
        available in digital form since the early TLG disc came out.

        Eusebius does elsewhere use some of the phrases in question.
        But then Eusebius cites the TF. So it is possible that
        E repeated elsewhere phrases from an already interpolated
        TF. (Or, if you think E was in the habit of
        falsifying other quotations then one might suspect
        him of being the interpolator).

        The main drawback with the stylistic method tried, is that
        it is checking extremely short passages from the TF against
        a very large quantity of other text a) in Josephus and
        b) elsewhere. This is not a normal stylometric procedure
        and it would need rather smarter statistical methods than
        are usually used in stylometry to knock it into shape and
        test it properly. Also I think changes to the TLG might make
        it hard to re-test some of this - the earlier systems for
        stylistic work on the TLG may have been more flexible.

        David M.

        David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

        The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
        Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
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