Jesus and the Beloved Apostle

Josephson

Member
“…Many also of those that had been put in prison by the tyrants were now brought out; for they did not leave off their barbarous cruelty at the very last: yet did God avenge himself upon them both, in a manner agreeable to justice. As for John, he wanted food, together with his brethren, in these caverns, and begged that the Romans would now give him their right hand for his security, which he had often proudly rejected before; but for Simon, he struggled hard with the distress he was in, till he was forced to surrender himself, as we shall relate hereafter; so he was reserved for the triumph, and to be then slain; as was John condemned to perpetual imprisonment. And now the Romans set fire to the extreme parts of the city, and burnt them down, and entirely demolished its walls.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 9:4​

Finally cured John's withered right hand.
According to Christian tradition, John was imprisoned and died their while Simon the Rock was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero, and here we clearly see that John in condemned to perpetual imprisonment and Simon the Strong was executed in Rome under emperor Vespasian during their triumph celebration and his remains are believed by some to still be in Rome in Saint Peter's tomb.




“Then Peter {Simon the Rock;}, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
John 21:20-25​

This is the very end of the book of John, after Jesus is already resurrected, and there is still someone who is going to betray Jesus, and the person which betrayed Jesus is the one that he loved and is the one who wrote that book (while talking about himself in the third person “this is the disciple and we know his testimony is true”). I think what this tells us is that John being kept alive is in a sense a betrayal to the Roman Empire which should have conquered all of their enemies and executed their generals and John, as a rebel, should be condemned to die. In Christian tradition, John was condemned to life in prison as was Simon executed in Rome. Now we can clearly see that that tradition was correct, Simon was indeed executed at Vespasian and Titus' triumph celebration and John condemned to imprisonment.

And why does the disciple that Jesus loved and who everyone thinks is going to die all of a sudden but for some unexplained reason he won't actually, just hang around for a while, and who claims to be the author of the book of John, why does he talk about himself in the third person ("this is the apostle which testifieth and we know his testimony is true")? Oh, right, he does it satirically because Josephus does:

“And here we shall put an end to this our history; wherein we formerly promised to deliver the same with all accuracy, to such as should be desirous of understanding after what manner this war of the Romans with the Jews was managed. Of which history, how good the style is, must be left to the determination of the readers; but as for its agreement with the facts, I shall not scruple to say, and that boldly, that truth hath been what I have alone aimed at through its entire composition.”
– The Wars Of The Jews, Book VII 11:5​

Those last two verses of John are just so silly, they can only be seen as satire:
"This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
John 21:20-25​
This is another joke being an exaggeration mocking Josephus' very long works, extremely verbose and detailed. It is the same as another joke also from John about the length of Josephus' writings when Jesus Finds Philip:
http://postflaviana.org/community/index.php?threads/jesus-finds-philip.1932/

Because we have the same jokes appearing at least three times in the book of John, this strengthens their interpretation. The author of John really seems to have thought that Josephus wrote way too much.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
This is the same parallel as "Simon Condemned, John Spared", included in Caesar's Messiah as Flavian Signature #34, Luke 22:31-38.

http://postflaviana.org/community/index.php?threads/the-flavian-signature-inside-the-city-simon-condemned-and-john-spared.1474/

Joe believes that there was some sort of re-invention of Christianity under Domitian, and then another change of direction under Trajan. The Gospel of John might date to one of these later re-evaluations, and it makes sense that there would be some gentle ribbing of Josephus in those latter works. The same goes for Revelation.
 
Bart Ehrman is one of a number of scholars who speculate that the 21st chapter was a later addition. About ten years ago, a partial manuscript was discovered which appears to end at the 20th chapter.

Can we consider the possibility that the Gospels were written under the Flavian court (Josephus, Tiberius Alexander, Berenice) and then later embellished or even revised by others?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Can we consider the possibility that the Gospels were written under the Flavian court (Josephus, Tiberius Alexander, Berenice) and then later embellished or even revised by others?
Makes sense to me. Considering that we don't have surviving hardcopy until much later, it's hard to exclude such revisions.
 
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