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Flavius, a Greek Jew


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#1 HSTa

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 10:29 AM

Brother Rick, Jess here

…In March 2006 my work, "The Chase of Jesus Christ" was published by Dorance Publishing of Pittsburgh, Pen. and is also available in Amazon.Com. …

Brother Jess

http://www.urantia-u...p?showtopic=606


I read the conversation between Brother Rick and Brother Jess, and become interested in some related aspects.

There are two YouTube videos at the end of this link, with some “Tough Questions for Christians”:

http://www.mwillett....ism/strobel.htm

And some harsh accusations by the atheists and skeptics.

What Is Unique About Jesus Christ? - Lee Strobel:



= = =

One theme ridiculed in those links was the passages in the history of Flavius Josephus, that mentions Jesus (Christ) and his brother James (Testimonium Flavianum).

Sometimes I have wondered if there might be some connection between the person called
’ Flavius, the Greek Jew’, in the UB, and the historian known by us as Flavius Josephus:

UB PAPER 142
THE PASSOVER AT JERUSALEM
THE month of April Jesus and the apostles worked in Jerusalem, going out
of the city each evening to spend the night at Bethany. Jesus himself spent
one or two nights each week in Jerusalem at the home of Flavius, a Greek Jew,
where many prominent Jews came in secret to interview him.

4. FLAVIUS AND GREEK CULTURE
Flavius, the Greek Jew, was a proselyte of the gate, having been neither
circumcised nor baptized; and since he was a great lover of the beautiful in
art and sculpture, the house which he occupied when sojourning in Jerusalem
was a beautiful edifice. This home was exquisitely adorned with priceless
treasures which he had gathered up here and there on his world travels. When
he first thought of inviting Jesus to his home, he feared that the Master
might take offense at the sight of these so-called images. But Flavius was…


I tried to dig into the subject a little, and this is what I found:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proselyte
A gate proselyte was a "resident alien" who lived in the Land of Israel and followed some of the customs…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus
Josephus (AD 37 – c. 100), also known as Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph, son of Matthias) and, after he became a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus, was a first-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry …

http://en.wikipedia....sephus_on_Jesus

( Testimonium Flavianum:The following passage appears in the Greek version of Antiquities of the Jews 18.63-64, in the translation of William Whiston )

This is what might be found in the translation by William Whiston: (on Jesus and his brother James)

CHAPTER 3. Sedition Of The Jews Against Pontius Pilate. Concerning Christ, And What Befell Paulina And The Jews At Rome.

So he bid the Jews himself go away; but they boldly casting reproaches
upon him, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand
agreed on; who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had
commanded them, and equally punished those that were tumultuous, and
those that 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, there were a great number of them slain by this means, and others
of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put to this sedition.

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to
call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such
men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of
the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate,
at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to
the cross, [9] those that loved him at the first did not forsake him;
for he appeared to them alive again the third day; [10] as the divine
prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things
concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not
extinct at this day.


4. About the same time also another sad calamity put the Jews into
disorder, and certain shameful practices happened about the temple
of Isis that was at Rome. I will now first take notice of the wicked
attempt about the temple of Isis, and will then give an account of the
Jewish affairs. There was at Rome a woman whose name was Paulina; one
who, on account of the dignity of her ancestors, and by the regular
conduct of a virtuous life, had a great reputation: she was also very


CHAPTER 9. Concerning Albinus Under Whose Procuratorship James Was
Slain; As Also What Edifices Were Built By Agrippa.

1. And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus
into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high
priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of
Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that
this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons
who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had
himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never
happened to any other of our high priests. 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,
[23] 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, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his
authority]. Festus 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, who was called Christ, whose name was James, 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: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens,
and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they
disliked what was done;
they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring
him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he
had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to
meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed
him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without
his consent. [24] Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and
wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to
punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high
priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus,
the son of Damneus, high priest.

2. Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all
his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace, and this
by destroying many of the Sicarii. But as for the high priest, Ananias…

Source: Online Books by Flavius Josephus

http://onlinebooks.l...i...us, Flavius

Josephus, Flavius: The Antiquities of the Jews, trans. by William Whiston
Gutenberg text, Text (2.9M)

= = =

Edited by HSTa, 06 March 2009 - 10:31 AM.


#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 06:43 AM

Thanks for researching this HSTA,

If Flavius is Josephus, then the record of his birth is incorrect, all web sources agree he was born in 37 CE. But you were suggesting they are connected, not the same person, yes?

One can't blame non believers for asking tough questions of religionists, questions whose answers are not satisfying except to other believers. God must surely weep when sons and daughters harden their hearts and minds against spirit thru logic, reason and lack of tangible proof. If I had not had experiences with spirit, I too would be creating YouTube attacks on the silliness, inconsistency and paucity of religious belief.

But I have noticed that atheism is most often a phase, and not a life-long entrenchment. And even if a seeker never has a genuine spiritual experience, age and experience eventually reflect the undeniable reality of an underlying and overseeing Creatorship abroad in the mysterious universes. The fact of consciousness demands the postulation of a Grand Consciousness, a source and destiny of knowingness.

Such a planet, Rick

Edited by Rick Warren, 07 March 2009 - 06:47 AM.


#3 Bonita

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:22 AM

Scholars debate that the following passage is a forgery added at a later date by Christians. It is believed that this single passage, however, is responsible for the fact that Josephus' writings survived the centuries, protected by later Christians as historical evidence of Jesus' existence.

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to
call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such
men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of
the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate,
at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to
the cross, [9] those that loved him at the first did not forsake him;
for he appeared to them alive again the third day; [10] as the divine
prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things
concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not
extinct at this day.



#4 HSTa

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:30 AM

Yes, I noted that Flavius Josephus was (said to be) born too late to ever actually have met Jesus. But there are many other possibilities.

Flavius was the name of a gens in ancient Rome, meaning "blond":

In ancient Rome, a gens (pl. gentes) was a clan, caste, or group of families, that shared a common name (the nomen) and a belief in a common ancestor. In the Roman naming convention, the second name was the name of the gens to which the person belonged. The term has also been used to refer to families within a clan system in other contexts, including tribal clans:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavius

Therefore, Flavius the Greek Jew, most probably belonged to a group of families, that shared a common name! Flavius Josephus might even have been the son of this Flavius, who met Jesus, and therefore had access to his fathers knowledge about the Jews?

The UB mentions many things that might be found in Flavius Josephus history of the Jews; for instance the harbor of Caesarea, and that Herod died in the year 4 BCE:

UB Page-1334:
Herod built the harbor of Caesarea, which further aided in making
Palestine the crossroads of the civilized world. He died in 4 B.C., and his
son Herod Antipas governed Galilee and Perea during Jesus' youth and ministry
to A.D. 39. Antipas, like his father, was a great builder. He rebuilt many of
the cities of Galilee, including the important trade center of Sepphoris.
The Galileans were not regarded with full favor by the Jerusalem
religious leaders and rabbinical teachers. Galilee was more gentile than
Jewish when Jesus was born.

= = =
”Matters such as his (Josephus) credibility, accuracy and sources are therefore foremost among the topics which should occupy scholarship. ”

The perimeter of the walls of Jerusalem is said by Josephus (War V, 159) to extend to thirty-three stadia (6138m.), whereas in Avi-Yonah's reckoning they were 5550m. long; but this is a difference of merely 10%.
Again, the harbour of Caesarea built by Herod has been studied meticulously by A. Raban and he finds that Josephus's account of it is by and large correct.

http://centuryone.com/josephus.html


= = =
According to Josephus, a first-century Jewish Roman historian, Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt. In 66 CE, at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War against the Roman Empire, a group of Jewish extremists called the Sicarii overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the destruction of the Temple, the Jewish rebels and their families fled Jerusalem and settled on the mountain top, using it as a base for raiding Roman settlements

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masada

= = =

We also know, with some accuracy, the actual date of Herod's death. We can say with certainty that Herod died towards the end of March in the year 4 BCE. This is because Josephus recorded the execution of forty-two people who had staged an unsuccessful revolt against the Idumean. Josephus recorded an eclipse of the moon that occurred during the night of this execution. This allows for precise astronomical calculations which sets the date of execution as March 13th 4 BCE. Now we are told that Herod died a few days after this execution, which makes his death around the second half of March 4 BCE.

http://www.geocities.../Quirinius.html

= = =

It is also possible, that the works attributed to Flavius were written by somebody else, who considered Flavius to be his master:

It was the custom in those days for pupils thus to honor their teachers:

UB Page-1341:
The Apostle Matthew did not write this Gospel. It was written by Isador,
one of his disciples, who had as a help in his work not only Matthew's
personal remembrance of these events but also a certain record which the
latter had made of the sayings of Jesus directly after the crucifixion. This
record by Matthew was written in Aramaic; Isador wrote in Greek. There was no
intent to deceive in accrediting the production to Matthew. It was the custom
in those days for pupils thus to honor their teachers.

Edited by HSTa, 07 March 2009 - 09:31 AM.





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