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Testimonium Flavian and Luke 24

Sun, 22 Jul 2018 03:20:22 GMT

There is speculation that Josephus and Luke used an earlier document or speech in their writings. Luke 24 "Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about sixty stadia from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, and looked sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" "They replied, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to the judgment of death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. "Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." "Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. The Testimonium "About this time there was Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon an accusation by the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these things and countless other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. (Antiquities 18.63) "The analysis allows us to identify what is authentic in the Testimonium. It also allows is to plausibly uncover the document used by both Josephus and Luke. I will argue elsewhere that this document is a copy of a speech used by early Jesus proselytes of Jerusalem. "For the first time, we will have independent, Jewish documentation of the speech that is called, many times in Luke/Acts, "the word" and "the gospel." "More subtly, the vocabulary of Luke/Acts bears a greater resemblance to Josephus than does any other work in the New Testament (as Steve Mason once pointed out). A study of each author's style seems to indicate that they at least learned Greek from teachers with similar backgrounds. " These connections have raised some possibilities that have been the focus of much attention by scholars. The weightiest question has been, did Luke read Josephus' Antiquities and use it as the basis for the historical references in his work? Did Luke, perhaps, even know Josephus in Rome, as Thackeray suggested? But there are discrepancies between Luke and Josephus -- particularly the census of Quirinius -- which suggest Luke used a different source. Was he perhaps genuinely handing down the traditions of some of those who knew Jesus? "And the similarities of language -- do they imply the two authors wrote in a similar place at a similar time? " The answer to these questions would help to tell us how and when Luke composed his works. If Luke read Josephus' Antiquities, he could not have written his gospel before the 80's CE, when the Antiquities was a work in progress, or the early 90's, when it was published. The same conclusion can be drawn from language similarities. This happens to agree with the dating of Luke most often surmised by scholars; but some think he wrote much earlier, in the 50's and 60's for Acts and perhaps much earlier for the gospel, while others argue that Luke is a very late writer, circa 120 CE. "A reliance on the Antiquities would suggest also that Luke's gospel is not constructed solely of authenticate reports about Jesus from the apostles and others who knew him. It would mean Luke combined some information from original Christian sources with other materials. It would thus be left to readers to determine which is which." Wonder if Joe is aware of this site?