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187. Testimonium Flavianum
  Greek from Arabic
63 Γίνεται δὲ
κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον 
Ἰησοῦς σοφὸς ἀνήρ,
εἴγε ἄνδρα αὐτὸν λέγειν χρή:
ἦν γὰρ παραδόξων ἔργων ποιητής,
διδάσκαλος ἀνθρώπων
τῶν ἡδονῇ τἀληθῆ δεχομένων,
καὶ πολλοὺς μὲν Ἰουδαίους,
πολλοὺς δὲ καὶ τοῦ Ἑλληνικοῦ ἐπηγάγετο:
ὁ χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν.
And at this time
there was 
a wise man named Jesus.

He did good deeds

and was known to be virtuous.
And many from among the Jews
and other nations became his disciples.
64 καὶ αὐτὸν
ἐνδείξει τῶν πρώτων ἀνδρῶν παρ᾽ ἡμῖν 
σταυρῷ ἐπιτετιμηκότος Πιλάτου
οὐκ ἐπαύσαντο
οἱ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαπήσαντες:
ἐφάνη γὰρ αὐτοῖς
τρίτην ἔχων ἡμέραν
πάλιν ζῶν
τῶν θείων προφητῶν
ταῦτά τε καὶ ἄλλα μυρία

περὶ αὐτοῦ  
θαυμάσια εἰρηκότων
εἰς ἔτι τε νῦν
τῶν Χριστιανῶν
ἀπὸ τοῦδε ὠνομασμένον
οὐκ ἐπέλιπε τὸ φῦλον.
 

Pilate condemned him
to be crucified and die.
Those who became his disciples
did not abandon their discipleship.
They reported that 
he appeared to them
three days after his crucifixion
and that he was alive.
So--perhaps--he was the Messiah
about whom
the prophets told wonders.

 


  --- Josephus, Antiquities 18.63-64
  [NOTE: This passage follows two Jewish protests (involving imperial images & temple funds) that Josephus reports under Pontius Pilate. It was quoted by the Christian historian Eusebius of Caesarea ca. 340 CE. But for the past 400 years its authenticity has been questioned for two reasons: (a) the wording of the Greek version, which is unabashedly Christian (proclaiming Jesus as a super-human Messiah), does not sound like Josephus, who elsewhere identified himself as a Pharisee; and (b) this pericope is not parallel to the passages to which it is linked (since there is no hint of a Jewish disturbance crushed by Pilate). On the other hand, Josephus did probably introduce Jesus here since (a) unlike Christian writers, he identifies Jesus as a sage & assigns responsibility for his crucifixion to the Roman governor and (b) he later presupposes that his non-Christian readers are already familiar with Jesus by claiming Pharisees protested the execution of James "the brother of Jesus the reputed Messiah." Since 1971 attempts to reconstruct the original wording of Josephus' text have been aided by Shlomo Pines' discovery of an Arabic version of this passage that lacks the overt Christian proclamations (italics in the Greek version). The Arabic was probably translated from a Greek ms. that lacked the Christian interpolations (italics). Whether the original text also associated Jesus' execution with some sort of Jewish disturbance (as R. Eisler proposed in 1931) is harder to prove, since any hint of social unrest would have to have been expurgated from the Greek text before the transcription of the ms. from which the Arabic translation was made.]

Other resources on line: 

Jesus' brother James stoned

188. Jews expelled from Rome
25 Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis (the emperor Claudius) Roma expulit. (ca. 52 CE).
  --- Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars 5.25
  [NOTE: The imperial biographer apparently had no detailed information about the cause of the Jewish community's agitation other than that it concerned the name of a person. "Chrestus" is probably a Roman misunderstanding of a debate about the Messiah [= Christos for Greek-speaking Jews], since the emperor took unprecedented action against the whole community rather than a single agitator. This incident probably preceded the founding of a distinct Christian church in Rome such as that presupposed by Paul's letter to the Romans.]

189. Nero persecutes Christians in Rome
44 sed non ope humana, non largitionibus principis aut deum placamentis decedebat infamia quin iussum incendium (which burned much of Rome in 64 CE) crederetur. ergo abolendo rumori (that it was started by the emperor) Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis poenis adfecit quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat.

auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat; repressaque in praesens exitiabilis superstitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem (of Rome) etiam quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque. 

igitur primum correpti qui fatebantur (to being Christians), deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens haud proinde in crimine incendii quam odio humani generis convicti sunt. et pereuntibus addita ludibria, ut ferarum tergis contecti laniatu canum interirent, aut crucibus adfixi aut flammandi, atque ubi defecisset dies in usum nocturni luminis urerentur.
  --- Tacitus, Annals 15.44

190. A Rabbinic view of Jesus' Execution
  :It is taught:
  . They hanged Jesus [Yeshu] on the eve of Passover.
  : Now a crier went forth for forty days before this (saying):
  --"He goes forth to be stoned because he practiced magic
  . and stirred up Israel to apostasy.
  Let anyone who knows anything in his favor come forward
  . and speak up for him!"
  But they found nothing in his favor
  . and they hanged him on the eve of Passover.
  : Ulla said:
  . --"Do you suppose a revolutionary had anything in his favor!"
  He was an instigator [mesith] (to apostasy)
  : and the Merciful has said:
  (Deut 13:8) . --'You shall not spare or conceal him!' "
  . But it was different with (Jesus), for he was near to the kingdom!
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a
  [NOTE: this account was probably formulated to contradict Christian claims that Jews engineered Jesus' execution without giving him a fair hearing. It agrees with the Fourth Gospel in dating Jesus' death prior to the Passover meal. Otherwise its details are based on Jewish procedures for stoning rather than on information in the gospels.]

191. Jesus' Age
  :(bar Hama) א״ל* ההוא מינא לר׳** חנינה
  ***? מי שמיע לך בלעם בר כמה הוה
  *:א״ל
  .מיכתב לא כתיב
  :אלא מדכתיב
   (Ps 55:23) אנשי דמים ומרמה לא יחצו ימיהם
  .בר תלתין ותלת שנין או בר תלתין וארבע
  *:א״ל
  .שפיר קאמרת
  ****:לדידי חזי פנקסיה דבלעם והוה כתיב ביה
  בר תלתין ותלת שנין בלעם חגירא
  *****.כד קטיל יתיה פנחס ליסטאת
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 106b
* א״ל : rabbinic shorthand for אמר לו ("he said to him")
** ר׳ : rabbinic shorthand for רבי ("Rabbi")
*** בלעם the false prophet; a frequent epithet for Jesus by later rabbis to avoid Christian censorship.
**** The calculation of Jesus' age as 33 at the crucifixion is based on Luke 3:23 plus the Fourth Gospel's account of a public career spanning three Passovers.
***** פנחס ליסטאת is probably a code name for Pontius Pilate, who confiscated temple funds. ליסטאת is simply a Hebrew transcription of the Greek word λῃστὴς ("bandit, robber").

192. Eliezer's Lament
15 : רבי אליעזר הגדול אומר
  מיום שחרב בית חמקדש
  שרו חכימיא למהוי כספריא
  וספריא כחזניא
  . וחזניא כעמא דארעא
  . ועמא דארעא אזלא ונדלדלא
  . ואין מבקש
  ? על מי יש להשען
  . על אבינו שבשמים
  בעקבות משיחא חצפא יסגא
  ויקר יאמיר
  . הגפן תתן פריה והיין ביקר
  * והמלכות תהפך למינות
  . ואין תוכחה
  . בית ועד יהיה לזנות
  . והגליל יחרב והגולן ישום
  ואנשי הגבול יסובבו מעיר לעיר
  . ולא יחוננו
  . וחכמת סופרים תסרח
  . ויראי חטא ימאסו והאמת תהא נעדרת
  . נערים פני זקנים ילבינו
  : זקנים יעמדו מפני קטנים
  בן מנבל אב
  בת קמה באמה
  כלה בחמתה
  (Micah 7:6) . איבי איש אנשי ביתו
  : פני הדור כפני הכלב
  . הבן אינו מתביש מאביו
  ? ועל מי יש לנו להשען
  . על אבינו שבשמים
  ---- Mishna, Sotah 9.15
* מינות ["heresy"]: probably a reference to Jewish Christianity with its mission to Gentile pagans [cf. 1 Thess 2:14-16].
  [NOTE: This lament presents a 1st century rabbi's assessment of the social turmoil among Palestinian Jews after 70 CE, about the same time the gospels were being written. Urgent Messianic expectations are particularly evident in the gospel of Mark (8:38-9:1, 13:21-26), while scorn for scribes & disrespect for elders were prominent in Jesus sayings in the Q source (Matt 23:13-36 //Luke 11:43-54, Matt 10:34-37//Luke 12:49-53, 14:25-26)].

193. A Rabbi Arrested for Heresy
  * : ת״ר
  ** כשנתפם ר״א למינות
  *** . העלהו לגרדום לידון  
  : אמר לו אותו הגמון
  ? זקן שכמותך יעסוק בדברים בטלים הללו
  : אמר לו
  . נאמן עלי הדיין
  כסבור אותו הגמון עליו הוא אומר
  . והוא לא אמר אלא כנגד אביו שבשמים
  : אמר לו
  . הואיל והאמנתי עליך
  . דימוס פטור אתה
  כשבא לביתו
  . נכנסו תלמידיו אצלו לנחמו
  . ולא קיבל עליו תנחומין
  **** : אמר לו ר״ע
  . רבי תרשינו לומר דבר אחד ממה שלימדתני
  : אמר לו
  . אומר
  : אמר לו
  רבי שמא מינות בא לידך והנאך
  . ועליו נתפסת
  : אמר לו
  . עקיבא הזכרתני
  פעם אחת הייתי מהלך בשוק העליון של ציפורי
  ומצאתי אחד
  ***** [ תלמידי ישו הנוצרי ]
  . ויעקב איש כפר סכניא שמו
  : אמר לי
  : כתוב בתורתכם
  (Deut 23:19)... לא תביא אתנן זונה
  ******? מהו לעשות הימנו בהכ״ס לכ״ג
  . ולא אמרתי לו כלום
  : אמר לי
  כך לימדני
  ***** :[ ישו הנוצרי ]
  מאתנן זונה קבצה
  (Micah 1:7) . ועד אתנן זונה ישובו
  ממקום הטנופת באו
  . למקום הטנופת ילכו
  . והנאני הדבר
  . על ידי זה נתפסתי למינות
  --- Babylonian Talmud, Aboda Zara 16b-17a

*

ת״ר : rabbinic shorthand for תנו רבנן ("our rabbis taught")
** ר״א : rabbinic shorthand for Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus who was arrested by the Roman civil authority, not his fellow rabbis. The charge of מינות ("heresy") was probably suspicion of being a "Nazarene" (i.e., Christian).
*** The Talmud's גרדום ("gallows") is probably a corrupt reading. An earlier shorter version of this story found in Tosefta cHullin 2.24 has בימא ("tribunal").

****

ר״ע : rabbinic shorthand for Rabbi Aqiba ben Joseph.
***** ישו הנוצרי ("Jesus the Nazarene") appears only in manuscript M, but was probably deleted by Christian censors from other Talmud mss. Tosefta cHullin 2.24 has "Jesus ben Pantiri." The words of Jacob are not given in the Tosefta version of this story.

******

בהכ״ס : rabbinic shorthand for בית הכסא (lit.: "throne house" -- i.e., latrine)
כ״ג : rabbinic shorthand for כהן גדול ("high priest")

194. Healing in Jesus' Name Forbidden
22  מעשה בר' אליעזר בן דמא שהכישו נחש
   ובא יעקב איש כפר סכניא לרפאותו
  *. משמ ישו בן פנדירא 
  (ben Elisha) ולא הניחו ר' ישמעאל
  **: א"ל
  . אי אתה רשאי בן דמא 
  **: א"ל
  . אני אביא לך ראיה שירפאני
  . ולא הספיק להביא ראיה עד שמת
  : אמר ר' ישמעאל
  . אשריך בן דמא
  שיצאת בשלום העולם
  . ולא פרצת גדירן של חכמים
23 שכל הפורץ גדירן של חכמים סוף פורענות בא עליו
  : שנאמר
   (Eccles 10:8) . ופורץ גדר ישכנו נחש
  --- Tosefta, cHullin 2.22-23

*

ישו בן פנדירא [Jesus son of Pantera]: reference to a Talmudic tradition that Jesus was fathered by a Roman soldier named Pantera or Pandira. This name is spelled differently in various mss. & is omitted from some editions of the Tosefta.

**

א״ל : rabbinic shorthand for אמר לו ("he said to him")

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