Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

Josephson

Member
This account I have given the reader, not so much with the intention of commending the Romans, as of comforting those that have been conquered by them, and for the deterring others from attempting innovations under their government. This discourse of the Roman military conduct may also perhaps be of use to such of the curious as are ignorant of it, and yet have a mind to know it. I return now from this digression.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 5:8​

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth {the comforting works of Josephus and the knowledge that the Roman power had become invincible;}; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
– John 14:15-26​

It is so very true. Reading Josephus' true account is comforting and brings to remembrance all things that Jesus said and it does serve as a deterrent for those seeking innovations under the Roman government, promoting repentance for a remission of seditions and obedience of the commandments of the living God. And it certainly is comforting now to know the whole truth, how much soever it be neglected by the Greek historians. Wouldn't you agree?

“Now although any one would justly lament the destruction of such a work {the temple;} as this was, since it was the most admirable of all the works that we have seen or heard of, both for its curious structure and its magnitude, and also for the vast wealth bestowed upon it, as well as for the glorious reputation it had for its holiness; yet might such a one comfort himself with this thought, that it was fate that decreed it so to be, which is inevitable, both as to living creatures, and as to works and places also.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 4:8​

“But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father {who is in Rome;}.”
– John 16:5-16​
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
And it certainly is comforting now to know the whole truth, how much soever it be neglected by the Greek historians. Wouldn't you agree?
Ahaha, Dr. Matthias Bar Joseph! Most comforting indeed! Or at any rate, I'm sure Marcilla would find it very comforting.

But why does Josephus seem to be making a mockery of Christianity in passages such as Lunatic Jesus, and Cannibal Mary? Was there some earlier version of Christianity that was spoofed by Josephus, and the Greeks are getting the last laugh?

Did these Greek NT authors also think Titus was Lord?
 

Josephson

Member
Well, the Gospels and the book of Revelation are pretty much universally believed to have been written after 80 AD while The Wars of the Jews was published in 75 AD. Also, Josephus really doesn't seem to be the type to be making spoofs, I really don't think he could even understand or appreciate Greek style irony or sarcasm at all:

"...nor by way of irony, as thou wilt say, (for he was entirely a stranger to such an evil disposition of mind,) but he wrote this by way of attestation to what was true...”
– The Life Of Flavius Josephus, 1:65​

If we have seen already so many places where the New Testament is mocking Josephus, why should we think that Lunatic Jesus is any different? For Cannibal Mary, I already posted the answer to that under the thread "The Star of Bethlehem", here is Lunatic Jesus:

“…But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing peculiar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our procurator) asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melancholy ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dismissed him. Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:3​

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying…woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!… Woe unto you! …Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites… Woe unto you, ye blind guides… Ye fools and blind… Ye fools and blind… Woe unto you… Ye blind guides… Woe unto you… Thou blind Pharisee… Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? …Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation… O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.”
– Matthew 23:1-37​

Who is making fun of who? The one who came long before Matthew and has no concept or appreciation for humor? I think not.

From my perspective, all of the Gospels and the book of Revelation had no other objective at the point of their writing than to mock Josephus and his writing style and the horrible awful things he says, like saying it was God's will that his own entire nation be slaughtered in front of his eyes, I mean what a stupid ass hole. I would be mocking him too if I were a Greek satirist, especially after Josephus so many times insulted the Greek writers (scribes;) for their fables and invented histories.

“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks, who… although they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to do… where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, 5​

But, it was kind of like a joke or a running gag that got out of hand and took on a life of its own:

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”
– Matthew 13:31-32​

But at some point, someone read this satire and realized it was worth gold:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”
– Matthew 13:34​

“Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."”
– Thomas 1:109​

Jews don't write satire, Greeks do.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The Gospels and Revelation are pretty much universally believed to be based on earlier sources, either written or oral tradition. So Josephus could have been lambasting those earlier sources.

You don't find it the least bit amusing that Josephus said that his Lunatic Jesus was "still more terrible" than the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem, or that he is smote by a stone just as he is uttering "woe unto myself also"? I know that many scholars see this as completely deadpan, so you're not alone in your view. But I think Josephus is wickedly funny in this passage. And I don't believe it could be true that this Jesus had nothing else to say than "woe", assuming he existed at all.

Now, I also think it's pretty funny that the Gospel writers chose Lunatic Jesus as the basis for their "woe" passage, with the time shift and all that. But there's no reason one joke can't be built on another.

"Jews don't write satire"? Seriously? Woody Allen?
 

Josephson

Member
Haha, you are right, that was poorly worded. Certainly Jews can and do write satire, but two thousand years ago they certainly did not have a strong tradition in that field while this is one of the main things that the Greeks were known for.

And Josephus, I find almost every word he writes amusing, but I don't think it was intended that way. I think he was just a terrible person who threw his nation under the bus and helped the Romans, even telling them they were doing God's work, while they slaughter his entire nation, including his wife and son, in front of his face. To be faire, Josephus must have been deeply traumatised by such an experience, PTSD times a million, but every word this guy writes is just begging to be mocked. Many of the things he writes are stories he got from some deserter which have questionable credibility in their full detail, like "woe" was the only thing he ever said? But Josephus writes it down as fact, not as reported by so-and-so, without questioning because besides being a terrible person his is probably not the best historian ever. If someone is cracking jokes here, it is probably not the guy who thought he was inspired by God to watch the Romans obliterate his nation, but the Greeks who Josephus attacked for writing "Grecian fables" in order to reproach the Jews.

“…He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II :8​
“…There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this!…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 1:10​
“Nay, this miracle or piety derides us further, and adds the following pretended facts to his former fable…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book I, 11:10​

I really don't think Josephus was the type to be able to appreciate satire:
“…nor by way of irony, as thou wilt say, (for he was entirely a stranger to such an evil disposition of mind,) but he wrote this by way of attestation to what was true…”
– The Life Of Flavius Josephus, 1:65​

Back then, the Jews were pious to the point of being willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs, the Romans were conquerors and willing to slaughter anyone for the sake of empire building and the Greeks made nihilistic jokes about it all because they couldn't believe how stupid everything was.

“However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks… which moderns, although they may be superior to the old writers in eloquence, yet are they inferior to them in the execution of what they intended to do… where it must be reproachful to write lies, when they must be known by the readers to be such…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Preface, 5​
 
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