Samaritans Reject Jesus


“…yet did it now so happen that they were sometimes very ill treated by those upon whom they fell with such violence, and were taken by them as men are taken in war: but still they prevented any further punishment as do robbers, who, as soon as their ravages [are discovered], run their way. Nor was there now any part of Judea that was not in a miserable condition, as well as its most eminent city also. These things were told Vespasian by deserters; for although the seditious watched all the passages out of the city, and destroyed all, whosoever they were, that came thither, yet were there some that had concealed themselves, and when they had fled to the Romans, persuaded their general to come to their city's assistance, and save the remainder of the people; informing him withal, that it was upon account of the people's good-will to the Romans that many of them were already slain, and the survivors in danger of the same treatment. Vespasian did indeed already pity the calamities these men were in, and arose, in appearance, as though he was going to besiege Jerusalem, but in reality to deliver them from a [worse] siege they were already under. However, he was obliged first to overthrow what remained elsewhere, and to leave nothing out of Jerusalem behind him that might interrupt him in that siege…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 7:2-3​

“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
– Luke 9:51-56​

Of course, Vespasian was going to Jerusalem to save the Jews, that's why Jesus' face looked like one that was going to Jerusalem. I never understood what it meant to set your face to go to Jerusalem, nor how to identify someone with a Jerusalem-set face before. Now after all these years it finally does make sense.

Jerry Russell

Staff member
According to Joe (and Giles, more or less), the "Flavian Signature" parallel for Luke 9:51-52 is found at JW V, 1:40. We've been using the translation at

Luke 9:51-56:

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;

JW V, 1:40:

For Titus, after marshalling part of his forces and telling the rest to meet him in Jerusalem, marched from Caesarea.

While the parallel for JW IV, 7:2-3 (408) is Luke 8:30:

30 Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion;" for many demons had entered him.

JW IV, 7:408:

408 These who now gathered and joined in the conspiracy, too small to be an army and too many to be a gang of thieves, attacked temples and cities,

The "Flavian Signature" parallels are conceptually easy to grasp, but there's really not much to them. Just a couple of words/ concepts each. If there's any statistical power there, it would be in the sequence.

Viewed in isolation, Josephson's parallel is at least as strong: Vespasian and Jesus are both going to Jerusalem to "save" it, but both take a detour.


One thing to keep in mind here is that one Gospel passage can combine a several passages from Josephus and that multiple Gospels can reference the same passage in Josephus even several times. For example, see my post on the Last Supper which combines three passages that make mention of the "upper rooms" into a last supper scene, where thousands of Jews starved to death in their "last supper". Look up all the passages with the Jordan river and you get the story of John the Baptist.

As you mention, the CM parallel "setting his face to go to Jerusalem" paired to JW IV, 7:2-3 is conceptually easy to grasp and there is not much to it except "going to Jerusalem" and "meet me there". That parallel doesn't tell us why his face was set to go to Jerusalem. The parallel I give here suggests an answer why his face was that way, because he "arose, in appearance, as though he was going to besiege Jerusalem". If you just cut out the offensive part, "besiege", then this offers us a humorous explanation of what it means to have your face set to go to Jerusalem. Further, the CW parallel does not explain why James and John (the rebels) wanted to destroy the population with fire, but this parallel does: "it was upon account of the people's good-will to the Romans that many of them were already slain, and the survivors in danger of the same treatment". Finally, this parallel gives you another awesome joke, because Jesus says " the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them" because Josephus says "in appearance, as though he was going to besiege Jerusalem, but in reality to deliver them" which is a hilarious thing for Josephus to write, since we all know he killed them all, so it is very ironic. The parallels here are "Jesus looks like he is going to Jerusalem", "his followers think he wants them to destroy the Jews", but actually "he is not come to destroy men but to save them", then "they go to some other village". Those are four rather complex parallels tied together in an ironic way, not two simple parallels that basically are just the word "Jerusalem". The Greeks were very smart and good at satire, they didn't write satire by just making references to a couple words here and there, but the ideas and many of them mixed together elegantly.

I think you mean JW V, 1:6 and not 1:40. For that one, I have a couple of parallels which are much more complex than that. The main one is the Fifth Seal: Martyrs which I already posted. The next one is:

Jesus Teaches at the Feast
“…for Titus, when he had gotten together part of his forces about him, and had ordered the rest to meet him at Jerusalem, marched out of Cesarea. He had with him those three legions that had accompanied his father when he laid Judea waste, together with that twelfth legion which had been formerly beaten with Cestius; which legion, as it was otherwise remarkable for its valor, so did it march on now with greater alacrity to avenge themselves on the Jews, as remembering what they had formerly suffered from them. Of these legions he ordered the fifth to meet him, by going through Emmaus, and the tenth to go up by Jericho; he also moved himself, together with the rest…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 1:6​

“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”
– John 7:1-10​

Here we can see, Jesus (Titus) had his followers about him and they were eager to go to Jerusalem to show them the works (warfare) that he does, because the Jews of late sought to kill him, instead of accepting him as their Lord, so he sends his followers (soldiers) off to Jerusalem and he goes also, as it were in secret (he also moved himself, together with the rest). These are the same stories. Like exactly, just change Jesus to Titus and followers to soldiers and feast to battle:

"...they soon take their arms, and put themselves into motion, and make haste to a battle, as if it were to a feast..”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 4:1​

Every time the Bible says "feast" it means "battle" and when Jesus "sat at meat" he was killing people. I have many examples where this lexicon works perfectly and hilariously, except for the fact that it is talking about a genocide. This is how Greeks do satire.

Jerry Russell

Staff member
I think you mean JW V, 1:6 and not 1:40
Whiston gives book, chapter, paragraph, and verse numbers. In this example, JW book V, chapter 1, paragraph 6 contains verse 40. We've been in the habit of using verse numbers rather than paragraph numbers.

This is how Greeks do satire.
Josephus claims that he originally wrote the Jewish War in "the language of his country" and then translated into Greek, but there is no surviving copy of any Aramaic original. What makes us so sure it ever really existed? All Josephus' other works are Greek.

For that matter, how do we know Josephus didn't make up his autobiography? He sure doesn't act like a Jew, and doesn't write like one either.

Roman Piso and Abelard Reuchlin say that Josephus was really Arrius Calpurnius Piso, son of Gaius Calpurnius Piso and Arria the Younger (although perhaps Caligula was really the father.) Makes sense to me.

Jerry Russell

Staff member
This is hot
Thanks, Ameen, and welcome to our site.

Your Facebook group looks great! Thanks for the support.

But, I'm curious if you're aware that the Qur'an has some similar problems as the New Testament, in terms of its creation as wartime propaganda? See, for example, Emmet Scott's article "Were the Arab Conquests a Myth":

As Spencer notes, there is no mention of Muhammad, the Qur'an, or even Islam, until around 700 or shortly thereafter. In Did Muhammad Exist? Spencer argues that the whole myth of Muhammad, as a separate person from Jesus, was invented by Arab propagandists between 700 and 730 in order to unify and justify the massive Arab Empire that then existed.

Although Spencer does not go into the question of how that empire came about in the first place, there are very good grounds for believing that it was not originally an Arab creation at all, and that the invention of an Arabian prophet as the spiritual fountain-head of this empire, was motivated by a desire to justify what was essentially the Arab takeover of an imperial machine that was not theirs.

The two greatest powers in the Middle East at the beginning of the seventh century were Byzantium and Sassanian Persia. In 602 the Persian king Chosroes (Khosrau) II went to war against the Byzantine usurper Phocas, who had earlier murdered Chosroes' friend and father-in-law the Emperor Maurice. The war did not end with the death of Phocas (610), but continued into the reign of Heraclius, and was to prove ruinous to the Byzantines. Jerusalem was taken by the Persians in 614, a disaster which was quickly followed by the loss of most of Asia Minor between 616 and 618 and Egypt in 619/20. Chosroes II now equalled the achievements of his Persian predecessors in the sixth century BC, with his forces marching across North Africa to annex the Libyan province of Cyrenaea in 621. The story told by the Byzantines of how Heraclius, in the face of this overwhelming calamity, rallied his armies and reconquered all the lost territories – only to lose the same territories again to the Arabs from 632 onwards – has a ring of fantasy about it, and historians have long viewed it with scepticism. Certainly there is no doubting the power and influence of the Persians in this epoch.
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
But, I'm curious if you're aware that the Qur'an has some similar problems as the New Testament, in terms of its creation as wartime propaganda? See, for example, Emmet Scott's article "Were the Arab Conquests a Myth":
Or that it seems that before it was Mecca ... it was Becca?

Becca, or Petra, is interesting as well because according to Muslim tradition this is where Moses hung out during the last of the 40 years in the wilderness.

Welcome Ameen.

Ameen Khalid

New Member
Yes it is.

I been battling all people over the Flavians History, these People that have Roman History Groups they jump over the Flavian history.