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  •  There is at least ONE ... Flavius Josephus (4+ / 0-)
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    a gilas girl, unclebucky, fumie, GAS
    Scholarly opinion on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, a passage usually called the Testimonium Flavianum, varies.[12][13][1] The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation.[13][14][15][16][17][18] Although the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear[19] there is broad consensus as to what the original text of the Testimonium by Josephus would have looked like.[17]
    Personally, I think F.J. was something of a ham sandwich on matzoh ... Jewish on the outside, Imperial Roman on the inside -- and opportunistic through and through.  

    But compared to OTHER historians of the Imperial Roman era ... well, at the very worst he provided "artistic verisimilitude" to the official narrative of Roman successes in Palestine.

    Of course Roman standards for "historical accuracy" were nothing like what Enlightenment Europeans came to expect some 1800 years later on ...  but they DID love a good read. And Josephus provided one that flattered Imperial expectations.

    Still, I can't escape the feeling that pretty much every Greek and Roman document we have today came to us through a totally Christian filter:  monastic copyists working from copies of copies of fragments, subject to revision and redaction by clerical authorities.  

    •  Flavius Josephus was born (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GAS, teabaggerssuckbalz, Homa Sapiens

      in 37 CE and wrote Antiquities in 93 CE.  Not exactly an eyewitness account.

    •  Josephus (1+ / 0-)
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      Fishtroller01

      I am amazed that anyone brings up the Josephus example anymore as it has been so thoroughly derided by even Christian scholars. The paragraph you cite from his "Antiquities" is just pasted on, it doesn't fit with what was before it or after. The earliest records of a historical Jesus was the real and forged epistles of Paul, who never spoke of an earthly figure. There were many meticulous historians of the time and they do not mention a "Jesus."

      I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center. Kurt Vonnegut

      by klimtone on Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 10:40:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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