$#!+ Josephus Says

Josephson

Member
Josephus in his writings always tries to come off as eloquent and professional, but frequently he just sounds quite silly, sometimes even ridiculous:


Josephus is Wise
"However, in this extreme distress, he {Josephus;} was not destitute of his usual sagacity; but trusting himself to the providence of God, he put his life into hazard..."
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 8:7​

Then did Josephus take necessity for his counselor in this utmost distress, (which necessity is very sagacious in invention when it is irritated by despair,) and gave orders to pour scalding oil upon those whose shields protected them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:28​


The Spurious and Abortive Offspring of our Nation

"...They confessed what was true, that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation..."
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 10:5​
Hehe. Just try to imagine the rebels acting out what Josephus says they did, all standing there saying "oh, yeah, sure, we confess that we are the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, there's no reason why we should try to hide the truth."

Can't Teach Jews to Use their Hands
"And when he had considered that the Roman power became invincible, chiefly by their readiness in obeying orders, and the constant exercise of their arms {weapons;}, he despaired of teaching these his men the use of their arms {hands;}..."
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book II, 20:7​
The Greek version of Josephus uses the word “όπλα” which is unambiguously “weapons” {and not the ambiguous “arms”;} in reference to the Romans, but for the Jews he despaired of teaching them the use of their “χέρια” which is quite literally “hands/arms” although the English translation gives “arms” for both. "Oh, I will never be able to teach these damn Jews the use of their hands", says Josephus.


Fall on your Face and Worship
When any persons entered into the temple, its floor received them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 5:5​
You just fall smack on your face and bite the dust, every time.


Lay Aside your Courage
"...the greatest part of them laid aside their arms, together with their courage, and betook themselves to lamentations…"

– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 5:2​
I think I'll just follow everyone else's lead and lay my arms and courage over here in a safe place and get busy with crying!



Josephus Hates Greek Satire


“…He adds another Grecian fable, in order to reproach us…”
– Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II :8​

However, I may justly blame the learned men among the Greeks… 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​


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


Wait, what?


"...those that opposed themselves fled away...”
– The Wars Of The Jews, Book VI 8:4​

"...the ground did no where appear visible... as they ran upon such as fled from them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:1​
 

Josephson

Member
“…However, there is a place left for your preservation, if you be willing to accept of it; and God is easily reconciled to those that confess their faults, and repent of them. O hard-hearted wretches as you are! ... return from your wicked ways, and have regard to the excellency of that city which you are going to betray... Who could bear to be the first that should set that temple on fire? who could be willing that these things should be no more? ... O insensible creatures, and more stupid than are the stones themselves! And if you cannot look at these things with discerning eyes, yet, however, have pity upon your families… take my own blood as a reward, if it may but procure your preservation; for I am ready to die, in case you will but return to a sound mind after my death."”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 9:4​
 

Josephson

Member
There was a rock, not small in circumference, and very high. It was encompassed with valleys of such vast depth downward, that the eye could not reach their bottoms; they were abrupt, and such as no animal could walk upon, excepting at two places of the rock, where it subsides, in order to afford a passage for ascent... the one of these ways is called the Serpent, as resembling that animal in its narrowness and its perpetual windings... and he that would walk along it must first go on one leg, and then on the other; there is also nothing but destruction, in case your feet slip; for on each side there is a vastly deep chasm and precipice, sufficient to quell the courage of every body by the terror it infuses into the mind…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 8:3​
If you want to walk along it you have to first go one leg and then the other??? Isn't that how Josephus normally walks or does he normally hop around like a rabbit? Hehe, stupid asshole.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Some people go rock climbing or wire-walking as a hobby. Not me. I want to be able to plant my feet solidly. I do a double-take whenever I'm at a precipice, even when I do have a solid place to stand on. So I find myself completely in sympathy with Josephus here; his description infuses terror into my mind for sure. I don't normally hop around like a rabbit, but you're not going to find me climbing Masada either.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Not meaning to neglect or downplay the other quote here, JW V, 9:4. A stunningly clear statement of Christian theology, with Josephus in the role of the sacrificial lamb.
 

Josephson

Member
Some people go rock climbing or wire-walking as a hobby. Not me. I want to be able to plant my feet solidly. I do a double-take whenever I'm at a precipice, even when I do have a solid place to stand on. So I find myself completely in sympathy with Josephus here; his description infuses terror into my mind for sure. I don't normally hop around like a rabbit, but you're not going to find me climbing Masada either.
I took the aerial tram, but I saw some people walking up what I am guessing was remains of the old Roman banks. However, I still have a hard time imagining precisely what Josephus means by walking on one foot and then the other, as opposed to any normal way of walking.
 

Josephson

Member
"...And I will begin my account of these things with what I call my First Chapter.”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Preface:12​
Oh, really, Josephus, you're going to call your first chapter "your First Chapter"? Wow, that sounds amazing, I cannot wait to read it!
 
“…However, there is a place left for your preservation, if you be willing to accept of it; and God is easily reconciled to those that confess their faults, and repent of them. O hard-hearted wretches as you are! ... return from your wicked ways, and have regard to the excellency of that city which you are going to betray... Who could bear to be the first that should set that temple on fire? who could be willing that these things should be no more? ... O insensible creatures, and more stupid than are the stones themselves! And if you cannot look at these things with discerning eyes, yet, however, have pity upon your families… take my own blood as a reward, if it may but procure your preservation; for I am ready to die, in case you will but return to a sound mind after my death."”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 9:4​
This video is the Right Reverend (ret) N. T. Wright, a highly-respected, mainstream theologian. Please see his comments on this passage at 5:00. I'm astounded at how he can be staring at this same passage and see something so completely different from what seems to me (now) so obvious:

 
Top