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• to Ananus no more to attempt such things: and some went away to meet Albinus, who was
coming from Alexandria, and put him in mind that Ananus had no right to call a council without his leave. Albinus approving of what they said, wrote to Ananus in much anger, threatening to punish him for what he had done: and king Agrippa took away from him the high-priesthood, after he had enjoyed it three months, and put in Jesus the son of Damnæus.'
This passage is cited from Josephus by · Eusebius, and from the twentieth book of his Antiquities. It is also quoted by • Jerom, but very inaccurately. We perceive likewise that it was in the copies of Josephus in the time of Photius.
Nevertheless there are learned men, of good judgment, " who think that the words which we now have in Josephus, concerning James, are an interpolation.
They were in Josephus in the time of Eusebius, and afterwards; but it does not follow they were always there: indeed, there is a good deal of reason to believe that they were not originally in Josephus.
I have elsewhere carefully examined the most ancient accounts of the death of James, called the just, and the brother of Jesus : those disquisitions will be of use here. The
persons of whom Josephus speaks, who were tried and condemned by the Jewish council at the instigation of Ananus, were put to death by stoning, and probably without the city. But, according to the history of the death of James, given by Hegesippus, a learned Jewish Believer and writer in the second century, the death of James was effected in a tumultuous manner: the disturbance began at the temple, and he died there, or near it. Some flung him down and threw stones at him : but his death was completed by a blow on the head with a long pole, such as fullers make use of in beating wet clothes. This is said by Clement of Alexandria in his Institutions, as cited by Eusebius, and by : Hegesippus, as cited also by him. That therefore is the true and ancient account of the death of James, the Lord's brother: and the Christians of the second century knew nothing of that account of his death which we now have in Josephus : therefore, probably there was then nothing in him about it; for if there had, they would not have been ignorant of it.
Moreover, it is very observable that, according to the long and particular history of the death and martyrdom of James, which we have in Hegesippus, that apostle suffered alone: there was no attempt made upon any others, as the passage now in Josephus intimates. And it is inconsistent with the whole narrative that any others should be joined with him.
And that James suffered martyrdom, not by order of council, as now in Josephus, but in a tumultuous manner at the temple, or near it, and by a blow on the head with a fuller's pole, appears to have been the general and prevailing opinion of Christians in the fourth century, as well as before: for it is mentioned by . Jerom, and i Epiphanius, very agreeably to Hegesippus.
In this place therefore Josephus gave an account of some who were accused by Ananus, and condemned by his council as transgressors of the Jewish laws: and what Ananus did was upon. several accounts disliked by many discreet and moderate men's but there is not sufficient reason to believe that James was particularly mentioned by him as one of them.
a H. E. 1. 2. cap. 23, p. 65, 66.
nonpullis; quam recte, xpITIXwTepwv esto judicium. Hudson. • De V. I. cap. ii. De Jacobo fratre Domini.
annot, ad Antiq. 1. 20, c. ix. sect. 1. -αυθεντισας καθιζει συνεδριον, και Ιακωβον τον αδελφών e See this Vol. Ch. xvi. Sect. iii. v. vi. τα κυριε, συν έτεροις, παρανομιαν αιτιασαμενος, λιθοις αναιρε- * Δυο δε γεγoνασιν Ιακωβοι· είς ο δικαιος, και κατα τα πτεροGyvai Tapatxea'ÇEL. %. 1. Phot. cod. 238, p. 977.
για βληθεις, και υπο κναφεως ξυλω πληγεις εις θανατον. a Facile quidem crediderim, Jerosolymitanos proceres gra- Clem. A. ap. Euseb. H.E. 1. 2. c. i. p. 38. D. Conf. ib. viter tulisse, quod synedrium suâ auctoritate instituisset, cum cap. 23. p. 63. C. et 65. C. And see in this work, the predudum jus gladii a Romanis esset Judæis ademtum; quod sent Vol. ch. xvi. num. iji. iterum inconsulto Czesare ab Anano usurpatum timebant, ne 8 Και λαβων τις απ' αυτων, είς των γναφεων, το ξυλον εν ω genti sue gravi fortasse pena Iuendum esset. Sed que de απεπιεζε τα ιματια, ήνεγκε κατα της κεφαλής το δικαιο. Και Jacobo, Jesu, qui Christus dicebatur, fratre, habentur, merum STWS EL aptupucen. Hegesipp. ap. Euseb. H. E. 1. 2, cap. 23, adsumentum male feriati Christiani esse videntur. Cleric. H. E. ann. 62, n. ji. p. 415.
h Qui cum præcipitatus de pinnâ templi, confractis cru-Sunt quoque rationes sat graves, quæ persuadeant hæc ribus, adhuc semivivus -- fullonis fuste quo uda vestimenta fuisse interpolata, et scripsisse duntaxat Josephum: xai Tapan extorqueri solent, in cerebro percussus interiit-et juxta : gaywy Els AUTO Tivas, you ws Traparou partwy natryoplay templum, ubi et præcipitatus fuerat, sepultus est. Hier. de Tomoajeros. x. d. Statutosque coram eo nonnullos, et accu- V. I. cap. 2. satos perfractæ legis, tradidit lapidibus obruendos. Id. Ars Qui et ipse postea de Templo a Judæis præcipitatus sucCrit. P. 3, cap. 14, sect. 12. Vol. 2, p. 289.
cessorem habuit Simonem, quem et ipsum tradunt pro Illa de Jacobo, Jesu, qui Christus dicebatur, fratre, (licet Domino crucifixum. Id. Comm. in ep. ad Gal. cap. i. T. 4, agnita ab Eusebio, aliisque eum sequutis, disertimque a Photio,) pro mero adsumento male feriati Christiani habentur a Hær. 78. num. xiv. p. 1046,
P. 65. B.
It is certain we ought to be very cautious in admitting quotations from Josephus by later Christian writers; for they had a great regard for him, and were fond of having his testimony, whether there was ground for it or not. Theophylact, upon John xiii. 33, and referring also to John vii. 34, says, The · Jews sought him when their city was taken, and the wrath of God fell upon
them on all sides: as also Josephus testifies, that those things happened to them upon account of the death of Jesus.'
So says Theophylact. But from Origen, as before seen, we have good reason to believe that there was no such account in the works of Josephus, and that he never said any such thing.
In Suidas is a long article at the word Jesus, where it is said that · Josephus, who is often s quoted by Eusebius Pamphili in his Ecclesiastical History, expressly says, in his History of the • Jewish War, that Jesus sacrificed with the priests at the temple.'
There is no such thing there now; and probably never was in any good copies of the works of Josephus: but as he was an author in great repute with Christians, and he was often appealed to, and too often quoted inaccurately, (of which Jerom, in his article of St. James, is a remarkable instance,) his works were as likely to suffer some interpolations as any writer's whatever.
Blondel supposed, that to this desire of making an advantage from Josephus we owe the insertion of the remarkable testimony to Jesus which we have above so largely considered. What Blondel says appears to me so judicious, and so apposite to the purpose, that I shall transcribe him below in his own words: and let his judgment be added to those of Vitringa, and the bishop of Gloucester above quoted.
IV. Supposing Josephus not to have said any thing of Jesus Christ, some may ask : What could be the reason of it; and how can it be accounted for ?
To which I might answer, that such a question is rather more curious than judicious and important; and it may be difficult to propose a solution that shall be generally approved of. However, I shall hazard a few observations upon the point.
It is easy to believe that all Jews who were contemporary with Christ or his apostles, and did not receive Jesus as the Christ, must have been filled with much enmity against him and his followers. We are assured by early Christian writers of good credit, such as Justin Martyr, * Tertullian, and others, that the ruling part of the Jewish nation industriously spread abroad false and injurious reports among the nations concerning the followers of Jesus. But the polite and learned writers, such as Justus of Tiberias, and Josephus, might think it expedient to be silent. They had nothing to say against Jesus or the Christians, with any appearance of truth and credibility; they therefore thought it better to be silent, and thereby, if possible, bury them in utter oblivion.
It is not easy to account for the silence of Josephus any other way. Many things are * 4 –ως και Ιωσηπος μαρτυρει, δια τον θανατον το Ιησε • Dial. cum Tryph. p. 234. D. Par. sect. 18. p. 102, ταυτα αυτοις γενεσθαι. Ιη Εν. p. 762. Α.
• Eυρομεν εν Ιωσησον, τον συγγραφεία της αλωσεως Ιερεσο- ' Ad Nat. 1. i. cap. 13, p. 59, D. et adv. Marcion. 1. 3, λυμων, (8 μνημην πoλλην Ευσεβιος ο Παμφιλε εν τη εκκλη- cap. 23, p. 498. σιασικη αυτ8 ισορια ποιειται) φανερως λεγοντα εν τοις της s Le Cardinal Noris se fâche avec raison contre Joseph, de αιχμαλωσιας αυτο υπομνημασιν, οτι Ιησες εν τω ιερα μετα των ce qu'il expédie en dix lignes les neuf années du règne d' ιερεων ηγιαζε. Suid. V. Ιησες.
Archélaüs- -pour raconter au long les deux songes, dont on • De V. I. cap. ii. To Jerom might have been added a parlé cidessus. Mais on a encore plus de sujet de se plaindre Eusebius, and divers other Christian writers. Concerning de la négligence, ou plutôt du silence affecté de cet Historien, Eusebius's inaccurate quotations of Josephus somewhat was touchant le dénombrement, dont S. Luc parle, et touchant said formerly. Vol. ii. p. 361. And they have been observed le meurtre des enfans de Bethlehem, du tems de la naissance and censured by Scaliger, and other learned moderns. de notre Seigneur: pour ne pas parler de sa vie, et de sa
"A même dessein, de tirer avantage de Josephe, quelque mort, dont il ne dit rien non plus: car on ne peut guère main hardie a inséré dans ses Antiquités, lib. 18, c 4. des douter, que le passage, où il en est parlé, ne soit fourré, par paroles qui lui sont d'autant moins convenables, qu'elles con- up Chrétien malhabile, dans Joseph. S'il eut dit seulement tiennent un témoignage honorable, tant de la personne de un mot du dénombrement, et du massacre de Bethlehem, on notre Seigneur, que de la sainteté et vérité du Christianisme, n'auroit point la peine de chercher le tems de la naissance de de la profession duquel cet auteur a toujours été très éloigné: Notre Seigneur. Mais ce Juif malicieux a voulu, autant et d'ailleurs qu'elles sont notoirement une pièce d'attache, qu'il étoit en lui, ensevelir cette histoire dans un éternel oubli, sans liaison avec le reste de son discours, tant précédant que en haine des Chrétiens. Le Clerc. Bib. Ch. T. 4, Art. i. p. suivant, et placée à l'endroit qu'elle occupe par affection de
74, 75. parti plutôt que par raison, Blondel Des Sibylíes. p. 28.
omitted by him of which he could not be ignorant: he must have known of the massacre of the infants at Bethlehem soon after the birth of Jesus. The arrival of the wise men from the East, who were conducted by a star, gave concern not only to Herod, but to all Jerusalem ; Matt. ii. 8. Josephus was a priest: he could not but have heard of the vision of Zacharias the father of John the Baptist at the temple, Luke i. and it was a thing very proper to have had a place in his History. The prophecies of Simeon and Anna at the temple, and other things that happened there about that time, as we may think, must have been well known to him: then the preaching and miracles of our Saviour and his aposties at Jerusalem, and in Galilee, and all over Judea; the crucifixion of Jesus at Jerusalem at the time of a passover; the darkness for three hours at Jerusalem, and all over Judea; the death of James the brother of John at Jerusalem, by Herod Agrippa: all these things must have been well known to him.
Moreover, before Josephus had finished his work of the Jewish Antiquities, or even the History of the Jewish War, Christianity had spread very much in Asia and in other parts, and at Rome itself, where also many had suffered, and that several years before the final ruin of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation. The progress of the Christian religion was a very
considerable event; and it had its rise in Judea.
The sect of the Christians, which had its rise in Judea, and consisted partly of Jews, partly of men of other nations, was as numerous, or more numerous, in the time of Josephus, than any of the three Jewish sects, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, whose principles are particularly described by him in the - War, and in the Antiquities; and therefore, as we may think, were deserving of notice: but they were not Jewish enough; they were not entirely Jewish; and they were followers of a leader whom our author did not, and could not, esteem, consistently with his prevailing views and sentiments.
Josephus was well acquainted with affairs at Rome, and in all the settlements of the Jewish people in Asia, and parts adjacent. He is as exact in the account of the several successions in the Roman empire as any Roman historian whatever. What a long and particular account has he given of the conspiracy against Caligula, and his death, and the succession of Claudius ?
I do not say that Josephus had read the books of the New Testament: he might have come to the knowledge of most of the things just mentioned another way: they are great and remarkable events, about which a contemporary, and a man of good intelligence, engaged in public life, could not be ignorant: his silence therefore about Christian affairs is wilful and affected. It cannot be owing to ignorance, and must therefore be ascribed to some other cause, whatever it
His profound silence, however, concerning the affairs of the Christians in his time is no objection to their truth and reality. The history of the New Testament has in it all the marks of credibility that any history can have. Heathen historians of the best credit have borne witness to the time of the rise of the Christian religion, the country in which it had its origin, and who was the author of it, and its swift and early progress in the world.
Of all those things which are recorded in the gospels, and of the progress of Christianity afterwards, we have uncontested evidence from the evangelical writers themselves, and from ancient Christian authors still extant, and from heathen writers concurring with them in many particulars.
And Josephus, the Jewish historian, who believed not in Jesus, has recorded the history of the Jewish people in Judea, and elsewhere: and particularly the state of things in Judca, with the names of the Jewish princes and Roman governors, during the ministry of our Saviour and his apostles. Whereby, as " formerly shewn at large, he has wonderfully confirmed, thoug! without intending it, the veracity and the ability of the evangelical writers, and the truth of their history. He has also, as we have now seen in this volume, borne testimony to the fulfilment of our Lord's predictions concerning the coming troubles and afflictions of that people; which is more credible, and more valuable, than if given by a believer in Jesus, and a friend and favourer
• De B. J. I. 2, cap. viii.
Pontium Pilatum supplicio affectus erat. Repressaque in Antiq. 1. 13, cap. v. et I. 18, cap. i.
præsens exitiabilis superstitio rursus erumpebat, non modo • Antiq. I. 19, cap. i. ii. iii.
per Judæam originem ejus mali, sed per Urbem etiam, &e. quos vulgus Christianos appellabat. Auctor hujus Tacit. Ann. 1. 15, cap. 44.
e See Vol. i. nominis Christus, qui, Tiberio imperante, per procuratoruan
of him: so that, though all the passages in his works which have been doubted of should be rejected, he would be still a very useful writer and his • works very valuable.
Josephus knew how to be silent when he thought fit, and has omitted some things very true and certain, and well known in the world. In the preface to his Jewish Antiquities, he engages to write of things as he found them mentioned in the sacred books, without adding any thing to them, or omitting any thing in them: and yet he has said nothing of the golden calf, made by the Jewish people in the wilderness; thus dropping an important narrative, with a variety of incidents recorded in one of the books of Moses himself the Jewish lawgiver, the most sacred of all their scriptures.
The sin of the molten calf is also mentioned in other books of the Old Testament in the confessions of pious Israelites: as Neh. ix. 18, ard Ps. cvi. 19. Nevertheless Josephus chose to observe total silence about it.
A learned critic observed some while ago, as somewhat very remarkable, that • Josephus has never once mentioned the word Sion, or Zion, neither in his Antiquities nor in his Jewish War, though there were so many occasions for it, and though it is so often mentioned in the Old as well as the New Testament: and he suspects that omission to be owing to design and ill-will to the Christian cause.
And, if I was not afraid of offending by too great prolixity, I should now remind my readers of a long argument of old date, relating to the assessment made in Judea by order of Augustus, at the time of our Saviour's nativity, near the end of Herod's reign, recorded by St. Luke, ch. ii. 1' then quoted a passage from the Antiquities of Josephus, whence it appears that there were then great disturbances in Herod's family: and there were some Pharisees who foretold, or gave out, that · God had decreed to put an end to the government of Herod and his race, and * transfer the kingdom to another.'' Josephus here takes great liberties: and though he was himself a Pharisee, and at other times speaks honourably of that sect, he now ridicules them. He
says 8 « they were men who valued themselves highly for their exact knowledge of the laws; • and talking much of their interest with God, were greatly in favour with the women; who had • it in their power to control kings; extremely subtile, and ready to attempt any thing against • those whom they did not like. But it appears that the king, who was then talked of, and who was to be appointed according to the predictions of the Pharisees, was a person of an extraordinary character, for he says that Bagoas, an eunuch in Herod's palace, 'was elevated by them “ with the prospect of being a father and benefactor to his country, by receiving from him a - capacity of marriage, and having children of his own.'h
All these particulars, though not expressed with such gravity, as is becoming an historian, and is usual in Josephus, cannot but lead us to think that he was not unacquainted with the things related in the second chapter of St. Matthew's gospel. Says the evangelist: “ Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews ? For we have
* Evangelicam quoque et apostolicam historiam Josephus H. E. T. i. p. 258. Conf. J. Otton. Animadversiones in Joseph. confirmat in multis, etiamsi vel maxime ponamus dubitan- sect. ii. p. 305. Havercamp. dum esse de yurTietyTo Jocorum de Christo servatore, lib. And by all means see Tillemont's remarks upon this xviii. Antiq. cap. 4. de Joanne Baptistâ lib. xviii. cap. 7. de Author's Antiquities, Ruine des Juifs. art. 81. Jacobo. 1. 20. c. 8, et quæ de dirutis propter Jacobi necem d Sion, Tzion nomen, montem, munimentum, semel iteinjustam Hierosolymis--ex iisdem Josephi libris laudant rumque apud Josephum quærens, nullibi inveni, neque iis Origenes, 1. contr. Cels. et l. 2, et in Matthæi cap. xiij. etiam in locis, ubi expugnationem arcis Tzion expresse tracEusebius. 1. 2. c. 23. H. E. Hieronymus, Catalogo Script. Ec. tat; quuin tamen centies et millies ipsi occasio data fuerit, ita cap. 2, et 13. Suidas, Iwoy,wos, et Inca5, hodie vero in ut plane sentiam ipsum studio et datâ operâ hoc tam glorioJosephi libris non reperiuntur. Fabric. Bib. Gr. 1. 4. cap. vi. sum pro Novo Testamento nomen prossisse silentio, &c. J.B. T. 3, p. 237, 238.
Ottii' Animadversiones in Joseph. ap. Havercamp. T. 2. 1 Τατο γαρ δια ταυτης ποιησεις της πραγματειας επηγγειλαμην, εδεν προσθεις, εδ' αυ παραλιπων. Αntig. Pr. sect. 3, e See Vol. i.
The quotation is as above, p. 152, taken from the Anti• Eruditionem, diligentiam, prudentiam, fidem, omnes quities. I. 17, cap. 2. sect. 4. p. 831. Havercamp. .collaudant, præterquam ubi nimio est in suam gentem affectu. g P. 152. v. gr. in rebus Mosis et Salomonis - silentium nonnun- Whiston translates : And for Bagoas, he had been puffed quam affectatum, ut in iis que probro cederent suæ genti. up by them; for that this king would have all things in his Qualis ex. gr. fuit vituli aurei fabrica, et adoratio, tacita power, and would enable Bagoas to marry, and to have Josepho: ita et in its quæ faverent Christianæ rei, eruditi children of his own body begotten. passim notârunt, et nos subinde in locis suis. F. Spanhem.
seen his star in the East, and are come to worship. When Herod the king had heard these things he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” The word rendered - troubled” is of a middle meaning. How Herod was moved may be easily guessed, and is well known. The inhabitants of Jerusalem were differently moved and agitated, partly with joyful hopes of seeing their Messiah “ king of the Jews;” partly filled with apprehensions from Herod's jealousy, and the consequences of it.
It seems to me that Josephus had then before him good evidences that the Messiah was at that time born into the world: but he puts all off with a jest. Perhaps there is not any other place in his works where he is so ludicrous. We are not therefore to expect that ever after he should take any notice of the Lord Jesus, or things concerning him, if he can avoid it.
And why should we be much concerned about any defects in the writer's regard for Jesus Christ and his followers: who out of complaisance, or from self-interested views, or from a mistaken judgment, or some other cause, so deviated from the truth as to ascribe the fulfilment of the Jewish ancient prophecies concerning the Messiah to Vespasian, an idolatrous prince; who was not a Jew by descent nor by religion ; who was neither of the church, nor of the seed of Israel?
Josephus was a man of great eminence and distinction among his people; but we do not observe in him a seriousness of spirit becoming a Christian, nor that sublimity of virtue which issuited to the principles of the Christian religion; nor do we discern in him such qualities as should induce us to think he was one of those who were well disposed, and were “not far from the kingdom of God;" Mark. xii. 34. He was a priest by descent, and early in the magistracy; then a general, and a courtier; and in all shewing a worldly mind, suited to such stations and employments; insomuch that he appears to be one of those, of whom, and to whom, the best judge of men and things said, “How can ye believe who receive honour one of another, and . seek not the honour that cometh from God only!” John v. 44.
CHA P. V.
THE MISHNICAL AND TALMUDICAL WRITERS.
1. The age and the authors of the Mishna and the Talmuds. II. Extracts from the Mishna, with
remarks. III. Extracts from the Talmuds. 1. Of our Saviour's nativity. 2. His journey into Egypt. 3. His disciples. 4. James in particular. 5. His last sufferings. 6. The power of miracles in Jesus and his disciples. 7. À testimony to the destruction of the temple by Vespasian and Titus, with remarks.
1. The word Talmud is used in different senses; sometimes it denotes the Mishna, which is the text; at other times it is used for the commentaries upon the Mishna: at other times it includes both: I shall generally use it as distinct from the Mishna, denoting the commentaries upon it, of which there are two, the Jerusalem and the Babylonian: of all which good accounts may be seen in Wagenseil's preface to his Tela Ignea Satanæ, and in Dr. Wotton's Discourses upon the Traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, and in many other writings. The most authentic account is that of M. Maimonides, in his preface to the Order of Seeds, which is the first of the six orders into which the whole work is divided; and may be seen in Pocock's Porta Mosis, as it is also prefixed to the first volume of Surenhusius's edition of the Mishna.
The compiler of the Mishna is Rabbi Jehudah Hakkadosch, or the Holy, upon whom the highest commendations are bestowed by Maimonides, as eminent for humility, temperance, and every branch of piety, as also for learning and eloquence, and likewise for his riches;; which are magnified by him and other Jewish writers, beyond all reasonable bounds of probability.
Ap. Poc, Port. Mosis, p. 35, 36.