[ Pilate & Caligula ] [ Greek texts ] IHO Index ] [ Search ] [ Roman Rulers ] Revolt against Rome  ]

Click on title of any pericope numbered in red to access the original language text.

45. Theudas: A "Prophet" is Beheaded [45 CE]
97 Now when (Cuspius) Fadus was administrator of Judea (45 CE), a certain sorcerer named Theudas urged a great part of the people to take their belongings with them and follow him to the Jordan River. For he told them he was a prophet and that by his command he would divide the river and give them easy passage over it.
98 And many were led astray by his words. Fadus, however, did not let them reap any benefit from their folly. He sent after them a cavalry troop which overtook them by surprise, slaying many and taking many alive. And they took Theudas himself alive and cut off his head and carried it to Jerusalem...
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 20.97-98

46. Famine and Crucifixions [46-48 CE]
101 Now at this time (46-48 CE) a great famine also happened to spread through Judea. And during it, Queen Helena spent much of her wealth for grain from Egypt and distributed it to the poor.
102 And in addition, James and Simon the sons of Judah the Galilean---who, as I pointed out in a previous book, had led the people to revolt against the Romans when Quirinius came to assess the property of the Jews---were now brought up and crucified, by order of (the Roman procurator, (Tiberius) Alexander....
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 20.101-102

47. "Prophets" promise Signs: the Egyptian
160 Now the affairs of the Jews grew continually worse and worse. For the country was full of bandits and imposters who deluded the crowds.
161 Yet every day, Felix [procurator of Judea, 52-60 CE] captured many of these (imposters) as well as the bandits and put them to death...
167 The bandits' deeds filled the city with such pollution [i.e., murders]. Moreover, sorcerers and charlatans called on the mob to follow them into the wilderness.
168 For they said that they would show them unmistakable wonders and signs happening in accordance with the plan of God. Many, in fact, were persuaded by them and paid the penalty for their folly. For they were brought before Felix and he punished them.
169 At this time a man from Egypt came to Jerusalem. He said he was a prophet and urged the masses of common people to go with them out to the mountain called the Mount of Olives which lies five furlongs from the city.
170 For he claimed that he wanted to show that at his command from there Jerusalem's walls would fall down. He promised to provide them entry to the city through them.
171 When Felix heard of this, he ordered his soldiers to take up their arms. Setting out from Jerusalem with a large force of cavalry and infantry, he overtook the Egyptian and his followers, slaying 400 of them and taking 200 prisoners.
172 But the Egyptian himself escaped from the battle and disappeared. And now the bandits once more stirred up the populace for war with Rome by telling them not to heed them. They even burned and pillaged the villages of the disobedient.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 20.160-161, 167-172

48. Procurators & Bandits
54 Now, in the meantime, Felix incited crimes with untimely cures, the worst being copied by Cumanus, to whom the (other) part of the province belonged. It was divided thus: the natives of Galilee were subject to the latter and the Samaritans [and Judeans ?] to Felix.* They were at odds from of old; and now in contempt of their rulers their hatred was less restrained. Therefore, they ravaged each other: sending out troops of bandits, they set up ambushes and sometimes came together in battle. Their spoils and prizes they brought back to the procurators. At first both were pleased. (Yet) soon, with the destruction spreading, they [the procurators] came between them [the bandits] with armed troops. But the troops were killed and the provinces would have burst out in war if Quadratus, the governor of Syria, had not intervened. There was no longer doubt that capital punishment was in store for those Jews who broke out to slaughter (Roman) soldiers.
  --- Tacitus, Annals 12.54
* [NOTE: Tacitus' claim that there were separate procurators for Galilee & Samaria at this time is not supported by Josephus, who was himself in Jerusalem. Nor does Josephus support Tacitus' charge that Samaritan bandits collaborated with Roman procurators. This discrepancy is best traced to Tacitus' confusion over the fact that Cumanus was replaced by Felix after Quadratus' campaign against Galilean bandits.]

49. Stoning of James, the Brother of Jesus [62 CE]
199 Hanan (II) the younger---who was appointed to the high-priesthood (in 62 CE)... ---was rash in temper and exceptionally daring. He followed the sect of the Sadducees, who are in fact more harsh than all the (other) Jews in judicial matters..
200 This Hanan thought that he had an hour of grace, because Festus [the Roman procurator] had died and (his successor) Albinus was just beginning his journey to Jerusalem. So he convened the Sanhedrin of judges and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus, the reputed Messiah, and some others. He accused them of having transgressed the Torah and delivered them up to be stoned.
201 Now those who seem to be the most fair of those in the city---those who were strict in keeping the Torah [= the Pharisees]---were deeply shocked by this and sent (a messenger) to king (Agrippa II), to call on (Hanan II) not to do such things. For he was not right in the first thing he had done.
  --- Josephus, Antiquities 20.199-201

50. A Prophetic Lament for Jerusalem
300 Four years before the war (62 CE), when the city was at peace and enjoying the greatest prosperity, an uneducated peasant, one Jesus ben Hananiah came to the feast when all the people make booths for God [i.e., Sukkoth].
301 Suddenly he began to cry out through the temple:
"A voice from the East, a voice from the West,
a voice from the four winds:
a voice against Jerusalem and the temple,
a voice against the bridegroom and the bride
a voice against all the people!"
Crying this day and night he went through all the streets.
302 But some of the prominent citizens, upset by this evil announcement, arrested the man and tortured him with many blows. But without a sound concerning himself or for the persons of his persecutors, he kept on crying the "voices" as before.
303 So thinking that the man was moved by some greater force, as indeed he was, the rulers brought him up before the Roman governor.
304 Although he was there flayed to the bone by scourges, he neither begged nor wailed. But bending his "voices" to greater laments, he responded to each blow: "Woe to Jerusalem!"
305 When Albinus,...who was then governor, asked him who he was and where he was from and why he uttered these things, he did not respond at all to these questions. But he would not stop repeating his lament for the city, until Albinus judged him a madman and released him.
  --- Josephus, Jewish War 6.300-305

[ Pilate & Caligula ] [ Greek texts ] IHO Index ] [ Search ] [ Roman Rulers ] Revolt against Rome  ]

 

Perspective on the World of Jesus

with new translations from primary texts

Copyright 1999-2017 by Mahlon H. Smith
All rights reserved.

an American Theological Library Association Selected Religion Website 
OCLC World catalog no. 62046512

[Hypertext links to this web page are invited. Brief quotations may be used in scholarly reviews and research providing the author is credited & the URL for this web page properly noted. But the text as a whole may not be posted or reproduced elsewhere without express written permission of the author.]